I enter Estrella Romero's sunny kitchen the morning of our interview as she's busily slicing tomatoes and plopping them into a blender. "Te gusta?" [Do you like it?] she asks me, holding up a clove of garlic before adding it to the other ingredients. Surveying the corn tortillas heating on the stovetop, she smiles and informs me that she's preparing huevos rancheros (eggs sunny-side up on a tortilla, topped with red salsa), a typical Mexican meal that she's eager for me to try—one she's made probably hundreds of times in this same kitchen in Tlalnepantla, a suburb just north of Mexico City, her home for the past 40 years. Here she and her husband, Rigo, raised their five children, all of whom now have children of their own, making her a grandmother of 12 grandchildren.
Estrella's journey from alma de la casa, (housewife, or literally translated "soul of the house") to Christian Science practitioner, teacher, and lecturer seems only natural for someone who had been searching since early childhood for answers to life's deeper, spiritual questions.
Born and raised in the seaport town of Agua Dulce, Veracruz, on Mexico's Gulf coast, Estrella followed the traditional route for a Mexican woman of her time-early marriage and children. When money was tight, she supplemented her musician husband's income by working as a secretary. And, as she tells it, home was anything but happy—until her concept of God changed.