18 and Mexico


The informant is my best friend from middle school. He has a twin sister and is older by a couple minutes. He currently works for the California Gas Company and on the side does voice overs for D.J. drops. 


Informant: Alright so you know how everyone does the cliche ass trip to vegas when they turn 21?

Me: Yea what about it?

Informant: Well in Mexican culture its all about hitting up Mexico when you turn 18!  At that point you’re considered a man.

Me: did you go on your 18th birthday?

Informant: Hell yea. That shit was crazy.

Me: who took you? (laughs)

Informant: my pop’s and my uncles (laughs).

Me: how was that?

Informant: It was insane man. I’ll never forget that shit. It was pretty funny getting fucked up with my dad too. That was an experience, having my first beer with him. I ain’t gonna lie though, My ass ended up puking at the end of the first night.

Me: Let me guess…shots?

Informant: Fucking tequila man. that shit is unforgivable (laughs)

Me: so is it like a ritual for the guys in your family to hit up Mexico when they turn 18?

Informant: yea, pretty much. My fam says it’s a lot less expensive than vegas too (laughs) Have you ever been?

Me: Nope.

Informant: we going this summer! You’re already 20 you’re two years behind!


This is a pure example of multiplicity and variation when it comes to a coming of age ritual. In addition, it is very common to see college students take their spring break trips down to Mexico because the legal drinking age down there is 18. I think the age is 18 down in Mexico because it helps draw an untouched market of customers who can’t drink in the U.S. Mexico nightlife is what drives the economy down there.