Mexican migrants deported from the United States celebrated Thanksgiving on Thursday with a sense of nostalgia for the country where they went in search of a new life.
"It's like going back in time," said Carmen Rodriguez, 52, part of a group who gathered over a meal of stuffed turkey, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie.
"We're celebrating experiences that I knew and learned there and I'm remembering them here," said the 52-year-old, who was deported from North Carolina almost four years ago.
The Latin American country is home to a growing number of Mexicans who spent all or most of their lives in the United States without legal residency before they were expelled.
Around 12 million people born in Mexico live in the US, as well as another 26 million who have at least one parent or grandparent born on Mexican soil.
Almost 89,000 Mexicans were deported from the United States in the first half of this year, according to the interior ministry, leaving behind friends and in some cases relatives.
"Celebrating Thanksgiving here takes on another meaning because the dinner connects me with my family there and brings back memories," said 31-year-old Faustino Alanis.
In recent years the organization New Beginnings has hosted a dinner in Mexio City to mark the US holiday famous for a huge meal and family fights, in recent years often over President Donald Trump.
This year Democrat Joe Biden's victory over Trump and progress on coronavirus vaccines made for a lively discussion around the dinner table.
"It's a day to celebrate friendship, family," said the organization's founder, Israel Concha.
"It doesn't matter which country you're in. Especially in these times of the pandemic and the elections in the United States ... there's much to celebrate."