On the way to the beach at the Hotel Playa de Mazatlan, there is a mural painted on a hotel wall by some unknown Mazatlan artist.

The characters are easy to recognize.

There are homages to traditional lifestyles when women wore non-revealing clothes and carried baskets on their heads heading homeward after a day of laundry or working in the fields. There are mustached musicians strumming guitars and wearing huge sombreros. There are tourists taking pictures and children playing with turtles. There are bright, bold colors and exaggerated poses.

It is all in good fun, if not questionable taste, and full of contradictions – just like Mexico itself.

There is poverty in Mexico and unbelievable wealth. There is violence and lighthearted fun. Some people work hard and others little. There is pride and lack of pride, crumbling infrastructure and modern architectural wonders. There is sun and surf and family outings and beach vendors selling hats and trinkets for a pittance.

This mural is one of the first things we see when we go to the beach, and one of the last when we leave on our way back to our rooms.

Whether you cry, or laugh, depends on you, the moment, and how much beer you have had.

ThIs mural is a Mazatlan postcard painted on a wall.

All you need is a stamp and a mailbox.

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