Minister Armando Vivanco Castellanos, chargé d’affaires, Embassy of Mexico in India, talks about his travels in India and his love for food
How long have you been in India and how has the experience been?
I came to India about two years ago and the time I have spent here has been quite interesting. India is a diverse country and in many aspects, very similar to Mexico. Take our shared love for vibrant colours and spicy food for example. And like India, my country too enjoys a varied climate and boasts multiple cultures! In Mexico, Spanish is widely spoken but we have as many as 62 indigenous languages, some of which are still used by the respective communities. So there are a lot of similarities between the two countries than meets the eye.
Have you had the chance to travel in the country? Do you have a favourite destination?
Although I did not get to go around as much as I wished to, but the little that I have explored has only piqued my interest and strengthened my resolve to discover more of the country. It is very difficult to choose a few destinations in a country where you come across something unique and stunning at almost every turn – be it forts, palaces or mountains. But if I must pick a favourite, it would have to be the caves of Ajanta and Ellora.
Any destinations on your bucket list?
There are so many that if I even try to list them, I am sure to miss out a couple of them. Khajuraho, Chennai and Bengaluru are a few places on the top of that list. I would also love to visit Amritsar, the Himalayas and the Northeast. And the list goes on. Mexico is two-third the size of India and I am yet to explore my country in its entirety. So imagine how difficult it would be to encompass everything that India has to offer!
What would you recommend to an Indian tourist in Mexico and a Mexican, in India?
Many Indian tourists, when they plan a trip to Mexico, want to visit Cancún. The city is undoubtedly beautiful but there is more to the country than just that city. So I would suggest Indian visitors to include other attractions in their itinerary. Even if they are only visiting Cancún, they can visit colonial cities and archeological sites located close to it. That apart, they can also explore the numerous beaches on the Pacific coast.
Mexicans who come to India usually don’t plan to spend just a week. The two counties are far, almost on the other side of the world. So, if a Mexican visits India, he or she needs to spend at least a month to discover and visit all the places I have mentioned, and more.
As told to Vinayak Surya Swami