American [uhmer-i-kuhn] Chilanga [Cheelong-a]
1. of or pertaining to the United States of America or its inhabitants: an American citizen.

2. of our pertaining to North or South America; of the Western Hemisphere: the American continents.

1. belonging to or related to the Federal District of Mexico/Mexico City.

2. a person who has moved to Mexico City from elsewhere, with the ‘a’ ending referring to a female.

This is a blog about building bridges instead of walls.

It’s about Mexico.

Catered to a U.S. audience, it shares creatively expressed reflections on people, culture, places, language, and history.

It seeks to foster heartened curiosity about a country that the mainstream news, all too often, portrays through a sensational blood coated lens or from a shortsighted outlook on immigration that turns humans into plagues. Certainly, the United States and Mexico have a richly entangled past and an equally complex present that is ridden with serious political and economic issues that are worthy of our time and analysis, but that information can be accessed elsewhere.

This site adds more weight to the creative, positive, inspiring, and even magical side of the scale in order to contribute to greater balance in perceptions and ideas about the world that fill our minds and affect our relationships and experiences.

Stories are the great leveler capable of crossing borders to unite audiences. And when there is so much conflict in our world, as countries go to war, with so much to pull us apart, it is culture that unites us. —Kevin Spacey

About the author.

AmericanChilanagaPortraitLaura Elliott first traveled to Mexico as an undergrad student in 2007 to spend the summer studying Spanish and Mexican culture in the capital city of Oaxaca.

She moved to Mexico City in 2010, and has since established herself in the country through diverse experiences studying, working, traveling, and simply living.

Over these years, she has recognized a need to exchange more positive stories about Mexico on a human level.

With an academic background in filmmaking, Spanish language, international relations, and social innovation, Laura currently owns and operates a boutique translation agency out of Mexico City, Idiomatics Translation Services, LLC, and serves as a communications consultant for the Colorado-based Hope For Children Foundation.

What you can expect.
The content you read and see on this blog is made up of creatively expressed reflections in the form of prose, poetry, photography, interviews, recommendations, and the occasional video, with new posts two to three times a month.

It’s based in Mexico City, but includes stories from travels around the country as well, and while Laura writes most of the posts, she also likes to invite other authors and to interview interesting people.

Finally, while it is not a site for research or news, when events call for it, there will likely be recommendations of articles and coverage from other sources.

You don’t have to be a chilang@ to enjoy this site.
Actually, you don’t even have to plan on visiting Mexico. (Though it is highly recommended!) Different from a travel blog, American Chilanga encourages you to take a trip, meet people, and immerse yourself in Mexican culture right from the comfort of your home, office, or classroom.

Keep in touch.
Would you like to know when new posts are published? Instead of having to remember to check back, sign up to the American Chilanga mailing list and you’ll receive e-mail updates right to your inbox. There’s no commitment, you can unsubscribe at any time.

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