By Natalie Taylor
Marcelo Castro Vera was born in Leon but his family moved to San Miguel de Allende in 1993. He is probably the least exotic in the marriage because his wife, Mukasha is from Uzbekistan—a long, long way from Mexico. How they met and moved here, is a fascinating story of diverse cultures and a mingling of far-off lands. Since Marcelo’s mother is a hotelier he was motivated to go into the hospitality business. He considered Cornell University in the US, but chose the Cesar Ritz School in Switzerland because it seemed to provide a more international environment; he enrolled there in 2003. In the meantime, in the city of Tashkin in Uzbekistan, Mukasha had come to a similar conclusion. She decided on a career in Hospitality because of an article she had read—the school mentioned happened to be Cesar Ritz. It was here, at the school that the two met and began to date. Mukasha was impressed with Marcelo’s demeanor, he acted like a gentleman, instead of the other students who projected a “college vibe.”
This was no overnight romance; they both come across as very level-headed individuals who don’t jump into anything without forethought. They continued with their studies which took them to different places around the world for their internships. She studied in Geneva for a period of time, he in other cities. They shared a period of proximity when both had internships in the US, she was in Philadelphia and he was in DC. But in spite of their distances, they stayed connected and saw each other as frequently as distance and time allowed. Mukasha’s first visit to San Miguel was a short one-week trip for a family wedding. Then she returned for about a month, giving her a chance to experience the city and consider it as a potential home. She found the city colorful and festive, different in size and culture from her native Tashkin, and she loved it. They got married and San Miguel became their home.
Today, they have made a unique life for themselves and their two girls, ages 10 and 8—who are fluent in English, Spanish, and Russian. Marcelo and Mukasha (M&M) are using the skills they acquired through their studies in Hospitality. They have a hotel near Leon with a restaurant and they also prepare and bottle their own brand of mezcal—from a very clean tasting one, to mixes of various ingredients, and another that should be called mezcal 420.
You can taste all these at their Mezcal Tasting room located on Tenrias 2. But there is more, Mukasha is an accomplished professional photographer who has her works on display and for sale at the store and who does family photographs and portraits that are nothing like the static ones you might be accustomed to. There is nothing boring or static about Marcelo, Mukasha or their business, they are the essence of what San Miguel is about.
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