By Natalie Taylor
Elizabeth was born in Mexico City and Jean Marc is a Frenchman born in Casablanca, Morocco, but destiny wanted them to meet and found a circuitous route to accomplish this. Elizabeth was a ballet dancer with the National Mexican dance ensemble when she was sent to perform in Paris in 1974. Once there she decided to remain for another three months to earn some additional money. Her older sister, intent on taking care of her younger sibling, contacted friends in Paris and one of them took Elizabeth under her wing. One day this friend introduced Elizabeth to a charming young man by the name of Jean Marc Perrot. They met for breakfast at a café, continued talking through lunch, and were still together for dinner. They fell in love. When it was time for Elizabeth to go back in the fall, they parted in tears thinking they might not see each other again.
Back in Mexico Elizabeth’s heart ached as she tried to forget her Parisian love affair, but Jean Marc would not give up. He kept the flame alive with weekly letters and called her whenever he could no matter that international calls were difficult in those days. One day he called and asked, “Did you get my letter?” When she asked which one, he said, “The one where I asked you to marry me.” Instead of saying yes or no, she came back with her own question: “When?” And so it was that in April 1975 they got married in Mexico City, then moved to Paris to live there.
Life was good. They both worked, Jean Marc in advertising and Elizabeth became fluent in French and started a dance academy, then moved on to other positions; and they had children. But the harsh European winters were hard for Elizabeth and she missed her family and her homeland. With plans for a second home in a more temperate climate they considered Morocco, Spain, and Greece but none of these places called out to them. In 1990 they visited San Miguel de Allende with their children and were instantly charmed. The city was neither too big nor too small, they appreciated the well-preserved colonial architecture, the city’s languid pace, and they loved meeting many interesting people–some of whom became lifelong friends. The mild climate reminded Jean Marc of Morocco where he had grown up. When they returned in 2008, they found the city as charming as the first time and bought a home. Once retired they began to divide their time between Paris and San Miguel. Although the pandemic interrupted their routine, now that things are returning to normal, they look forward to coming back with their children and grandchildren. They feel at ease in the city with its amazing cultural mix which is what they created in their own family, where their children have grown up with both French and Mexican culture and are fluent in both languages. They are part of both countries.