The People's Guide To Mexico

Tina Rosa

Raised in San Francisco and Europe by her widowed school teacher mother, Tina received a scholarship to Stanford and took a degree in English, focusing on creative writing. She took a two week vacation from her job as a case worker in Brooklyn to travel to Mexico in 1966. It took her eight years to get back to New York!

Later, a gift of money, intended for a winter coat, was transformed into a bus ticket back to the border, and on that second journey Tina bussed and hitch-hiked alone as far as the Yucatan. A visit to San Miguel magically opened a circle of friends that was to endure a lifetime, fellow Mex-trippers, hopelessly enamored with a country and a culture. Tina returned to Mexico year after year and eventually managed a four year sojourn in South and Central America.

In 1975 she hooked up with Steve Rogers, dear and exasperating companion of the coming 24 years. Together they built a house in Deadwood, Oregon, where they enjoyed the blessings of a diverse and profoundly connected community. They divided their time between Deadwood and Mexico and Central America, and their daughter, Felisa Churpa Rosa, grew up on the road, never quite learning her times tables on endless curving and bumpy roads.
The family had a small business importing folkart. Steve and Tina researched and wrote two travel books, 22 Days in Mexico, described as a "friendly little book", and The Shopper's Guide to Mexico, which shared their accumulated love of and knowledge about Mexican folk art. Tina also wrote articles, a screenplay and assorted short stories., as well as editing works for friends.

Sober since 1986, Tina and Steve became Vipassana meditators in the tradition as taught by S.N. Goenka in the early '90's. Churpa sat her first meditation course at the age of 16.

For seven years in the '90's, Tina channeled her passion about AIDS, engendered by the death of a childhood friend and sweetheart, into doing educational work in public schools in Oregon, as well as carrying condoms and educational materials to Mexico and Guatemala, which she distributed to clinics and individuals, sometimes surprising and embarrassing health officials at borders with her gifts.

Since they had always been craftspersons (both weavers and jewelers) and because of their love of folk art, two years ago Tina and Steve decided "Why not make some ourselves?!", and their icon business was born.

Quite suddenly, in late May of '99, Steve was diagnosed with liver cancer. Friends and fans from both countries rallied their support and love to try to save his life. The family was overwhelmed by the amount of love and financial aid that was showered upon them. It was a marvelous awakening for Steve to behold the love he had engendered in so many people. July 1 Steve died in his home with his daughter, Churpa, lifelong companion Tina and compadres Carl & Lorena at his bedside.

With Steve's passing, the ground shifted under Tina's feet, and she has spent the past six months riding the waves of loss and grief and waiting for the inspiration to rewrite her life. Facing the challenge of a first trip to Mexico at the helm of her own rig, Tina began writing about her experiences during this passageway.

Tina's Mexico:
On the Road Again

#1: Preparing to Leave for Mexico

#2: On The Road Again

#3: Dia de Guadalupe

#4: Gamboling for Cookies

#5: The Geography of Ghosts

#6: The
Baby Jesus

#7: Laughing Buddha

#8: Degrees of Acceptance

#9: Keys for the Road

#10: Not Pie in the Sky

11: Raison d'être

#12: Butterflies & Turtles

#13: Yes, Howard, We did eat Steve

#14: "56"

#15: Dia de Amistad

#16: Rio Purificacion

#17: Popcorn

#18: Ode To Odette

#19: Departure

#20 Pueblita's Flowers

#21: Rearview-Mirror

#22: Lingering


#24 1st Anniversay of Steve's Death

#25 The Mexican Left Turn Angelic Blues

Tina's Stories

Day of the Dead Altar
Ritual for October
All Us Desert Rats
© by Tina Rosa, 1999-2002
Tina Rosa's homepage
Tina's Mexico
Tina's Biography
Icons & Graven Images

Email Tina Rosa at

Steve Rogers Memorial

Churpa Rosa Roger
School Days in Mexico