Very sad to learn last week of the passing of our friend China in Bahía de los Ángeles. China provided so much warmth and affection to me, my colleagues, our kids, and the community. In addition to literally sustaining us with her delicious food, China’s presence was (and will continue to be) a real touchstone in the lives of those who met her.

When our daughter was born, China celebrated with us. When everyday struggles with experiments or work intruded on our lives, China was a regular, steadying presence - always there with a bright smile and a warm meal (or, importantly, a cup of “café fuerte”).

And as important as China was for scientists and staff, she played an even bigger role in the lives of our students. I remember many times seeing students helping China in the kitchen, when they could have been resting or sleeping in. China was a sort of surrogate parent for many who were missing that connection while in the field.

And all of that is just the hundreds of lives I intimately witnessed being touched by China. Her taco shop was a hub for the community of Bahía de los Ángeles - a place where residents and tourists alike could get their fill of delicious food, catch up on the events in town, and feel at home.

We will miss China deeply, and Bahía de los Ángeles will not be the same without her. It is comforting to know that memory will live on in the community and far beyond.