Carl's Mexico Notebook
Archive Issue for 10 July 2001
Oaxaca Info & Imagesby Stan Gotlieb and Diana Ricci
Puerto Penasco & Rocky Point
Carl's comment: As I mention below, we've noticed that real estate companies and independent realtors are putting up websites that offer information about Mexico. Nothing wrong in that... but why, I wonder, don't they come out and admit that these are really storefronts? I hate to be cynical (because, yes, some of our best friends sell real estate) but we have to wonder: Are the wolves trying out a new line in sheep's clothing?
Here's my reply to the unknown "chollabonita":
Yes... seems we did miss that one, but it is a big country and we are just two people here, doing our best to keep up.
I've just visited your websites, and note that in addition to being in the business of selling real estate, you are also rather anonymous. As it turns out, I've had a number of anonymous "tips" about Mexico-related websites lately. Curiously, when I do a little background research, all of these turn out to be from realtors.
To be blunt, this doesn't inspire confidence. I see nothing inherently wrong in offering honest services in combination with honest information about Mexico. For example, I don't care if Telmex is a huge company -- their website offers some very useful information for telephone users, and I recommend it.
In visiting your site I did note that unlike most of the websites I call real estate "fronts", one of yours does openly include real estate listings, along with some basic practical Mexico info. For this reason, I will mention it in Carl's Mexico Notebook.
Sorry to rant, but there's a trend here that makes us (and many of our readers) uneasy.
Monday, July 09, 2001
Diarrhea ScholarshipsVaccine Study at Language Study Sites in Mexico & Guatemala by Gene Groves
Glad to see your notebook articles back up. I found this really good deal through
Johns Hopkins Medical School that pays people to participate in their new vaccine study, testing a
vaccine to prevent E. coli that causes diarrhea. So you can get like $650.00 for the two week study
and the study is at language schools in Mexico and Guatemala. In other words, you can take a
language course and get paid to do the vaccine study also.
Sunday, July 08, 2001
Burritos for dinner... again?An after-dinner story by Roy Matlen
In San Felipe, Baja, a small Mexican family and I "mutually adopted" one another. Over the years I have eaten and stayed at their humble home several times. Once, when the family had planned a great dinner for us, I and a gringo friend, Mike, had taken the little children into town to go window shopping ("Manos in los boches!!!" I think that was "Hands in your pockets!").
Needless to say I was quite confused.
Finally, my Mexican friend, Juan, said, "Not birria, it's donkey, burro!"
Mike had miraculously just become a vegetarian, so they made him some fresh nopales (cactus) on the spot.
Another time the family brought out live chickens and proceeded to cut their heads off with dull knife. The mother made a mole sauce and stewed the meat till the next afternoon. Man, that was awesome. Americans think that mole sauce should taste like chocolate. They don't have a clue!
Adventure Sola, A Pacific Mexico Trip Reportby Patt Riese
I spent 3 months (March 99-June 99) traveling around Mexico alone (or "!?!sola!?!" as mexicano/as were fond of exclaiming), in my Toyota one ton pickup equipped with a locking tool chest.
I went down the Pacific coast of Mexico, then inland
to Guadalajara and Uruapan (to avoid Easter crowds at the beach), then farther south to the remarkable
& relaxing beaches of Michoacan & Colima. Nexpa particularily took hold of me. Then back up the coast;
Barra de Navidad, San Blas and the whole Bahia Matanchen south of San Blas, which I visited three
times on my trip! I also made a cursory visit to Creel via the Copper Canyon train, with a promise to
be back, especially to see Batopilas.
I ended my trip by exploring the northernmost coastal
desert including Puerto Libertad (complete with a gruelling 6 hour, dirt road drive to Caborca) and
Golfo Santa Clara just in time for Marine Day.
I had a blast. Some times I felt very alone and
enjoyed it, other times I was able to hook up with Mexicanos and/or other travellers from everywhere!
I can't wait to go back. In fact my next plan is to train to teach ESL (English as a Second Language)
so that I can, hopefully, have some income while I see Mexico.
I have also discovered the
Aconchi Hot Springs, recently improved and maintained beautifully by the state of Sonora. An extremely
pleasant surprise just 5 hours south of my home in Tucson.
I want to thank you for giving me the
information I needed to be able to have this great adventure. I had a wonderful friend introduce me to
Mexico 10 years ago. He got me started and I got "bit" by the "bug" that is Mexico. Wayne died a few
years later but stumbling across your book 7 years ago was the next best thing. It was exactly what I
needed to feel confident and relaxed and to know how to have an overall enjoyable trip.
pulled the book out after my minor fender-bender in Uruapan and opened it to the section on Traveling
Alone: Travelers Meditation. I followed your advice step by step and prevented myself from incurring
further disasters via my poor attitude. That alone was worth the price of the book, but then you went
on to teach me how to hang a hammock so that I looked like I was a pro when I got to Nexpa!
Gracias X Mil Gracias, I wish you all the best and hope to run into you some day on the road in