Even in the midst of tragedy, the generosity is overwhelming. I had come to his house, and he wanted to give me a gift: a huge jar of pickled prunes.
I was with Victor Manuel on the outskirts of the hard-hit city of Juchitan.
One-third of all the houses in this city of 100,000 are now uninhabitable. That is a stadium full of homeless, and in many cases peso-less, people.
In just one minute, the heaving earth stole houses, possessions, and in at least 90 cases, lives over a wide area of south-west Mexico.
But no town was affected as badly as Juchitan. Many of those killed were crushed to death in collapsing homes here.
Victor showed me the ruins of his house were his family and 10 boarders lived. There was nothing left worth salvaging.
In the outdoor cooking area, shattered ceramic pots were strewn over the floor. In the street where the walls crashed down, a child's homework lay open.
I tell Victor I hope things improve for him. What else can I say? I cannot promise the Government or NGOs or anyone else is going to make all this go away. His home is destroyed.
He will try and build a small place using the timbers from the wreckage.
"With God's will" he will get through it. It is an expression I hear again and again.
Fear of aftershocks linger
Around the corner his neighbour, Magdalena Hernandez, is wondering what to do next.
The house collapsed around her as she tried to get her children to the safety of the street. One leg was snapped, and the other cut.
Her husband dragged her into the street where she waited in agony for 12 hours before the army finally arrived and she was taken to hospital.
Her husband and her neighbours push and pull the wheelchair over the rubble and into the shell of her former house. Four walls and plastic overhead. That is it.
Somehow she has to find the strength to keep going, raise three children and maintain her sanity with damaged legs.
Like everyone here, there are no cash reserves, handy insurance policies. This is a poor part of Mexico, and when things go wrong, the net has gaping holes in it.
Outside her door there is a commotion. Everyone is running into the street. It is another aftershock, and each one creates panic. You can see it in people's eyes.
The memory of the violent end to their relatively secure lives will not be forgotten. It is why everyone now eats and sleeps in the street.
Plastic sheets are all that protect from the wind and the rain, and there is no obvious way out. Rebuilding could take years, even if people had the money, which they do not.
After a few minutes, everyone relaxes. It is not another monster. But there is soon another flurry. Two women have arrived with bags of donated clothes, one for adults and another for children.
So many here have lost everything, including their clothes, so a circle of anxious people search the bags for something that might fit.
I notice a tiny girl, about four years old. She is standing on the outside of the circle and no one seems to notice her. She waits with a patience no four-year-old I ever knew has.
But finally one of the women handing out the clothes spots the little girl. Her hands rummage around the bottom of the plastic garbage bag and pull out a beautiful party dress that looks to be just her size.
For a moment, that little girl forgot the horrors of the past few days. Beaming, she handed it to her mother. It is a smile you do not forget.
The Mexican spirit
There is resilience and resignation here. All are in the same leaky boat. And with every downpour, they will be reminded of all they have lost.
As I left, a familiar figure was already lying on a makeshift bed in the street. Ms Hernandez was not about to stay in the house where her legs were so badly damaged.
She gives me a smile, a wave. "Adios," she says.
A proud woman, she is now totally dependent on those around her to survive. No house, her income from selling street food gone. Her future about as uncertain as you could get.
And yet with all that against her, there was something defiant about Magdalena. She will not be beaten by this.
Time after time I found those whose lives has been literally turned upside down refused to give up hope. It is a Mexican spirit I think will see most through the worst of this.
But a helping hand, even from far away Australia, would go a long way for a four-year-old girl in a party dress.
And everyone else whose lives were shaken to pieces just a few days ago.ABC