“Now is the time for conversation” | Carlos Fonseca, Bogotá 39

“Now is the time for conversation” | Carlos Fonseca, Bogotá 39

The rumor of Spanish chatter makes me feel that México is home.

Just a couple of minutes after landing in Benito Juárez airport, I realize that four years of living in the United Kingdom have made me nostalgic about my own mother tongue. Very soon, I will discover that Querétaro will be just as familiar and endearing.

Every corner in Querétaro is full of Mexican flags for sale, and every small park – of which there are dozens, all beautiful – is full of life. National celebrations, music, street vendors. I am, undoubtedly, back in Latin America, a joy that can only be compared with that of catching up with friends I have not seen in years.

Jet lag doesn’t matter, especially when the frantic rhythm of the festival is punctuated by drinks with friends, amazing events and the possibility of discovering a city that played a crucial role in the conspiracies that gave way to the Mexican War of Independence.

In the meantime, I meet other Bogotá 39 authors, we discuss new publications, we participate in panels, we begin, little by little, to understand why Querétaro was chosen as the festival’s city: it is, undoubtedly, a city with a secret ingredient, a city where everybody can feel alive. There will be time to sleep later, I tell myself. Now is the time for conversation, for celebration, the time to feel that – thanks to Hay Festival – I am back at home.

Carlos Fonseca is an award-winning writer, recently selected for the Hay Festival Bogotá 39 project – a celebration of the best emerging writers from across Latin America. Fonseca was born and raised in Costa Rica. After studying Latin-American Literature at Princeton University, he moved to London to teach at Cambridge University. His work has appeared in publications including BOMB, Art Flash and Asymptote.