Doña Licho lived enchanted with the love letters her husband sent from the battlefields: ``I am saying goodbye with a broken heart, my Lichita, because I love you so very much, my sweetheart``. The vehemence of Venustiano Carranza's constitutionalist movement kept Isaías away from home. ``We must stay strong, we will win, and we will be very happy, because God's justice will fall upon those who are responsible for our suffering``. Very little gave Lichita hope in those barbaric times, except for the promise of a family life.
The words of her beloved husband reflected the passion that led to Lichita having six children. That quiet, deep woman raised with the good manners of the town of Vega de Alatorre in the coast of Veracruz. Life turned out as she had expected. Motherhood made her relentless and her character was forged with the virtue of few words, accurate actions, the pragmatism of the beginning of the century and the festive spirit of the coast of Veracruz.
By the time Lichita became a widow, she had already been through an immeasurable transformation. Naivety had been replaced by temperance, illusions for caution and silence…for a sharp tongue that could equally threaten, or give advice. All of this happened while Lichita became Doña Licho. There was one more thing that had always stayed with her: A prodigious ability to cook. Within the delicacies of the state of Veracruz -from the fun port town with its abundant sea life, to the prodigious rainforest- there are recipes that have been passed down generations through the local women. Licho's food became legendary and was steeped in her grandchildren’s memories of a happy childhood, and the comfort of those dishes that would forever stay in their childhood memories.
Every afternoon during her later years, she would pray on her rocking chair, she chatted and smiled to her neighbors who walked past her house, and she would never miss a game of poker next to the church. Doña Licho taught her family to always be united. She left a legacy of a substantial culinary tradition. The lushness of fruits and spices that arrived from around the world to the port of Veracruz...that was the beginning of a lineage of cooks who not only understood the magic of their domestic delicacies, but also insisted on creating a ceremony around food.
Their sauces, their passion for chili peppers and spices, combined today with chocolate, an ancestral ingredient in Mexico, took an unexpected turn...and they keep it alive in their families. If Doña Licho were with us today, she would sit calmly at the table, ready for one more feast.