“Estar a mano” or “estamos a mano” actually has no relationship in meaning. It is an expression we use in Mexico and shows us that we have concluded a deal or issue and no one owes anything to anyone, all parties will concur.
This expression is more a sense of shaking hands at the end of a deal, to be again equal, i.e. you owe nothing and no body owes you.
We’ve all or almost all; occasionally borrowed money or we need a favor from someone. And to give value to our word or for some sense of honesty, we would pay the favor as soon as we can.
In Mexico, when we paid money or terminate any treatment, we use this expression as a sign of a fair agreement, for example:
Ayer liquide al banco el crédito que tenia desde hace varios años, ahora ¡estoy a mano con el banco!
Yesterday I liquidated the bank credit that I had for several years, now I’m even with the bank!
Jimmy-Escucha Jorge, quiero proponerte algo. Si te doy mi carro ¿estamos a mano con el dinero que te debo?
Jorge- Si claro con el carro ¡estamos a mano!
Jimmy-Listen Jorge, I propose something. If I give you my car, are we even with the money I owe you?
Jorge-Yeah right with the car we’re even!
The translation or equivalent phrase in English is we are even!
Drawing your attention to this blog, I would like to give an ideological meaning to the term “estar a mano”. And question if as a society are we even with nature. I mean if humans are paying the price for the predation of natural resources that we have caused to our Mother Earth in more than 200 years of industrial era.
Man remained at the top of the pyramid of predators, destroying their habitat with real fury as if we had an infinite source of natural resources. It’s sad that millions of years of earth evolution were thrown away just for making material and financial wealth for a single species, the human.
The human is the only species that pays to live on earth, but does not pay the price to be even with nature, but to generate and accumulates monetary wealth in a few hands.
I’m not trying to say I’m against technological development and amenities involved, since it is precisely this development that allows you to be reading this blog. I´m talking about the excessive consumerism and the negative consequences of a liberal capitalist model where excesses and vices are living.
If you want to understand a little more about the expression Estar a mano! Download the PDF file and listen to the audio in Spanish for this issue, there you will hear more examples and a brief explanation of this interesting Mexican expression.
And if you like to read in Spanish a little bit more about the Man as a predator of nature and Humans the only species that pays for living on Earth, just hit the links at the end of this article.
Read in Spanish: