Travel Articles

Meet Your Host of the Mexico Horse Vacation

Get to know your host of the Mexico Horse Vacation, Lucia Guiterrez de Schravesande, and try her tasty guacamole recipe! 

I hear that food is a big part of any trip to Mexico, especially for travelers who take your Cooking Fiesta Ride. Do you have a favorite recipe that you’d like to share with our readers?

Lucia: Yes!  Mexican food is a big part of any trip to Mexico. Mexican food is the result of the blending of two cultures, the Pre-Colombian and the Spanish.  Each region has its own typical dishes, and all are a feast to discover and learn about. This is why we offer the Cooking Fiesta Ride, where riders interested in this can learn about it and cook some Mexican dishes.

There are so many and so varied dishes that it is impossible to say that I have one favorite recipe. The variety goes from very simple to very complicated dishes. Therefore I think that the recipe I shall share with you should be a very well known one that's easy to make and that can go along with other dishes... GUACAMOLE.  This is a delicious recipe that anyone can make, even those who are not kitchen lovers. So Bon Appetite. Or as we say in Spanish... "Buen provecho"

Lucia's Guacamole
Guacamole is a very popular Mexican food that's easy to make and very nutritious. There are many versions in Mexico. It can be served alone or as a botana with totopos to accompany tacos or as part of an extravaganza in a dish.

The best thing when planning to prepare this for a meal is to not make it in advance!  It tastes better when you taste is fresh. However, you can add some drops of lime juice to stop if from turning brown too fast. 

This dish is traditionally made in a “molcajete” (volcanic stone mortar).  The flavors of the guacamole are intensified by the crushing of the ingredients, cutting them with aknife is just not the same. If you do not have a “molcajete” you can finely chop the base of the onion, chile, cilantro, and salt them. Mash in the avocados to a rough texture. Do not blend to a smooth consistency. Texture is also flavor! 

Recipe to make about 2 1/ 2 cups.

 2 heaped tablespoons of finely chopped white onion

4 serrano chiles, finely chopped (with seeds if you want it as original), or to taste

3 heaped tablespoons roughly chopped cilantro

Sea salt to taste

3 avocados (aprox. 1 pound or 450 grams)

About ½ cup (125 ml) finely chopped un-skinned red tomatoes

The juice of half of a lime.

The Topping

 ¼ cup (63 ml) finely chopped tomatoes

1 heaped tablespoon finely chopped white onion

2 heaped tablespoons not too finely chopped cilantro

The Steps

Put the onions, chiles, cilantro, and salt into a molcajete and crush to a paste. Cut the avocados in half, without peeling, remove the pit and squeeze out the flesh.  Mash the avocado roughly into the base and mix well.  Stir the tomatoes, add the lime juice and sprinkle the surface of the guacamole with the toppings.  Serve immediately.
 

How did you and your husband get involved with horses?

Lucia: My husband Pepe and I started riding horses when we were kids. In my case I started riding at the age of nine when after the death of my grandfather, my father being nostalgic of his origins decided to buy a weekend home with five horses in the backyard. 

Pepe started riding since he was a very young kid and loved to ride in the mountains. He and his family lived in a wonderful place in the outskirts of Mexico City where it was a pleasure to ride. Therefore family friends, little by little began, asking if they could board a horse. Eventually, having so many horses boarding in the property, a riding facility separate from the house was built. Here horse lovers could board a horse, ride the beautiful Mexican mountains and for those interested in jumping and dressage,  several riding arenas and trainers worked in the facility! When Pepe was 17-years-old, he began organizing riding vacations for those interested in discovering the "Mexican way of life on a horse."
 
In 1978 my father decided to rent the weekend house where we had the horses and moved them to the riding facility of Pepe´s family. This is where I met him.... I was 14 years old. Both of us loved horses, loved riding and enjoyed being around them. Riding our horses together in one of the horse vacations that he organized in the mountains of Valle de Bravo brought us together and we began going more and more to the fir tree mountains where the Monarch Butterflies hibernate in Mexico during winter time.
 
What is most surprising to travelers who visit you in Mexico?
 
Lucia: Guests are surprised by many things. Many people think of Mexico as a desert, therefore they are surprised when they come and ride in a mountainous area with oak and pine trees, when they climb up to the fir trees, descend to green meadows and valleys, with streams and agricultural valleys that go down to where the sugar cane grows.
 
Visiting the Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary on horseback  is also a surprising experience for visitors. Discovering the thousands of well disguised butterflies on the fir trees and then watching them burst into an orange explosion when beginning to fly on a warm sunny day is a feeling worth to experience.
 
The Mexican hospitality and warmth of our people experienced by our guests during the one week ride is also one thing that will bring many of them back to ride with us.
 
What is the history of your hacienda, Finca Enyhe?
 
Lucia: Finca Enyhe is our home and was built to live and experience a true typical Mexican hacienda with all the comforts and modern facilities of our times.  It shows the typical architecture, furniture and gardens of an hacienda. Pepe and I are proud to be Mexicans and to live and enjoy a Mexican way of life that was so much lived in the past and is now being lost in a "modern" world.

Riders who visit you may try riding with Mexican Charro tack. Can you describe what makes this tack different from regular American Western tack?

Lucia: Although we offer to our guests several different tack options such as English, Western and trail saddles, we definitively offer the Mexican Charro tack. The Mexican saddle was created to work out in the countryside with cattle. It is very similar to the Western but the main differences are the seat and the horn. The seat is a bit wider and flatter than the Western seat and the big horn, which is used for working with the rope, allows it to slide around its wide base. The tree of the saddle is made with several pieces of wood and is covered by the thin under layer of cow skin, which holds the wood together better. The rest of the saddle is made of leather decorated very simply up to very elaborate pieces of work!  Many times silver or embroidered decorations are added to the leather just to make them more fancy.

What do horses mean to the people of Mexico?

Lucia: Although horses did not exist here before the Spanish conquest, Mexico is a country with a big horse tradition.  Since the time they were introduced in the New World by the Spanish, they were used for different purposes, they played an important role in the Conquest of the New Spain, were a means of transportation and for working with cattle in the countryside.  Horses, along with the "Charros" and the "Adelitas" (ladies riding with colorful wide long skirts in a Mexican side saddle), are the symbol of Mexican traditions, history and of Mexico.

What’s your favorite part of your job?
 
Lucia: We can not say that there is only one part of the job that we like the most.  There are many! We like training and working horses that guests will ride in our Mexican horse vacations. We like riding and looking for new routes in the Mexican countryside while enjoying nature and meeting people from all parts of the world and with one common thing between us--  horses. We are proud to show to our guests a beautiful part of Mexico, a colonial town set in the lush green mountains, next to a blue lake. We are proud to talk about our Mexican traditions and history while sharing the wide variety of Mexican food. 
 
Wow, we can go on and on about what we most like!

Learn more about the Mexico Horse Vacation, a great winter escape for equestrians. Choose from the Cooking Fiesta Ride (departing May 22 - May 28
Oct 23 - Oct 29), Classic Ride, Relaxed Ride, the New Year's Day Rides and special Clinics.