Walk along any street in practically any city in Mexico pushing a baby carriage and you will meet with an unexpected reception (i.e., not the kind involving a knife or a wallet being handed over). You will be greeted by kind smiles from women, knowing, cheerful nods from men, and, most unexpectedly of all, playful words (goo goo!) from youths directed tenderly towards the baby. Older ladies, called ancianas, rush over in multitudes, clasping their hands over their hearts, pinching cheeks, kissing foreheads and often asking to hold the baby. They genuinely crave physical contact with babies, exalting over the child incessantly and repeating the word ‘hermosa’, translating roughly to ‘beautiful’, with heartfelt joy and teary-eyed jubilance. Everywhere you go people seem to love babies and give deference and respect to parents.
For example, Mexican people seem to give right of way to a person pushing a stroller, be it in a strip mall or in a street; pedestrians step aside, rush to open obstructing doors if needed, and will many times let a parent advance to the head of a line up. Crossing a busy street with a baby carriage will literally cause waves in traffic, as drivers will dangerously hit the full stop, without hesitation, to let a stroller pass. Generally, Mexican people seem to have an innate understanding of children, their importance and their necessity.