This sweet elderly Mexican abuela has been dubbed the "real Mamá Coco" from the beloved Pixar film.
Pixar’s 2017 film Coco was a huge hit. Although the protagonist of the story is a young boy named Miguel, the film’s name comes from another key character: Mamá Coco, Miguel’s great-grandmother.
I don’t know if it’s a coincidence, but my paternal abuelita (grandmother) is also affectionately called Coco—short for Socorro—and it’s an honor for all of us grandchildren to be able to continue receiving her blessing and advice every time we can see her.
Her wrinkles are part of her history and part of her beauty. But today I wish not to just speak of my own abuelita; I want to talk about another wonderful grandmother, Mrs. Maria Salud Ramirez, who was born on September 16, 1913, and currently resides in the town of Santa Fe de la Laguna in Michoacán, Mexico.
Michoacán is a Mexican state plagued by the infighting of drug traffickers. But today let’s focus on Mamá Coco, as they started calling Mrs. Ramírez, who became famous in her town because of her physical resemblance to the protagonist of the successful Pixar movie.
Mrs. María Salud Ramírez’s fame began when family members noticed her resemblance to the character of the animated Disney/Pixar film. She went viral when some famous influencer shared a photo of her, and as it happens with social networks, overnight Mrs. María Salud Ramírez was baptized the “real life” Mamá Coco.
It’s also true that the town of San Fe de la Laguna shares the characteristics of the town that appears in the movie. The picturesque streets and their colors fit perfectly, almost making the fantasy and the reality match exactly.
Mrs. Ramírez, who completed 108 years of life last September 2021, is in good health for her age, and receives visits from celebrities and ordinary folks who long to meet her. From time to time they leave her gifts as a token of affection for this beautiful abuelita who has the characteristics of every grandmother in the Hispanic and Latin American world.
Love for her children and grandchildren
Abuelitas are distinguished by their traditions and their love for their children and grandchildren. They are the backbone of families. Indeed, every grandmother in every culture seems to have a wealth of memories and secret recipes and remedies for every illness. Grandmas have always given love and protection to their children and grandchildren, generation after generation.
According to information going around the net, Pixar has declared that Mamá Coco in the movie was not inspired by any real person, but was only the fruit of the imagination of its authors and cartoonists. Regardless, part of the success of this movie is that they were able to portray and empathize with the abuelitas of Mexico and of the entire world.
Do you have a “Coco-style” grandmother who lives with you, knows delicious recipes, prays the Rosary, knows all kinds of remedies, and has beautiful wrinkles? If you do, be sure to cherish her! As Pope Francis said in his general audience this past April 20:
We have received the love of parents and grandparents, and now we return this love to them, to the elderly, to our grandparents … Please cherish the elderly. And [even] if their mind goes, cherish the old. Because they are the presence of history, the presence of our family, and thanks to them we are here, we can all say: thanks to you, grandfather and grandmother, I am alive.