The People's Guide To Mexico

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The People's Guide to Mexico: Articles & Letters, Questions & Answers

March 2000

Oaxaca: I've Changed My Mind

It had been two years since my last visit and I was interested to see what had changed, for better, or for worse. I arrived in town by second-class bus from the East. The first noticeable, and significant, change I observed was the increased military presence in the state of Oaxaca and at the entrance to the city. The Mexican government says that the military is engaged in "drug interdiction." People I spoke with on the bus called it government Bill Masterson

Thirty-five of us have gathered here at Steve's favorite sunset fishing haunt for a picnic feast and to remember him before we consign his ashes to the sea. We are a circle of his friends who mostly were absent from his illness and death, only able to participate by phone or written card, with this one opportunity to come together in his honor. by Tina Rosa

Busjacked & Robbed!

I have Mexican cultural experience to report. Yes, it has finally happened to me. My bus was hijacked and robbed by highway bandidos! by Sean P.

Dropping Out.....Again

For the last 25 years, I've spent the winter camping out on a beautiful beach on the Pacific coast of Mexico. Being a fairly sociable person, I've made some good friends in the nearby town, and had come to think of the place as my second home. For the last 10 years or so, I've had fantasies of living there full time. by Dobie

Budget Living in Puerto Vallarta, Part III:

Lorena asks: would Deborah like to reply directly to any of our questions?

"Deborah misses the social aspects of work. We are not sociable in our private lives, so, Deborah’s only real social outlet was her friends at work. She would occasionally go to lunch or out for drinks after work with her peers, and she misses that. Also, in common with many newly-retired folks, Deborah misses feeling needed. She felt relied on at work, and here she doesn't." by Robert & Deborah Foster

Colima Police

"Screeeeech!" An endless sound of crunching metal, a *pop*, and another sound, something unidentifiable, something we can't see.We zip on like Bonnie & Clyde, half believing we'd stop if only there were enough room, when we hear the quick "wheerp" of a siren. by Bobi & Scott Wilson

The People's Guide at Walden Pond?

I anxiously await any and all info on your new living-retirement efforts. I greatly appreciate the frugality of your general perspective in the PG. And I am as curious as I am puzzled by your stationing in the center of the expat community near Guadalajara for research. by Tom Gibbs

Can I Continue My Career in Mexico?

So here I am, over 20 years later and looking at retiring to Baja (actually semi retiring..more on this in a moment). Now, as I may not have accumulated quite enough filthy lucre to really retire properly (having misspent a dissolute life as a grasshopper rather than the ant option), I will have to continue to work part time. by Val, reply by jennifer rose

ACA -- Asociacion Comunitaria de Autosuficiencia A.C.

Lorena: Every Thursday morning, I leave the house with my shopping bag and scurry down to the Lake Chapala Society to wait for Wendee & Marie to arrive with their pickup load of freshly harvested organic vegetables. A little later I'll leave with an overflowing "bolsa"...

What about medical insurance in Mexico?

Like sex, health insurance is a personal thing. It all depends upon the condition of your health, your age, your bank account and your risk level. by jennifer rose

Moral Solvency?

I face a problem with attaining the various levels of immigration status. I have drug convictions in my background and have been asked for a certificate of moral solvency. by Pat and Penny, reply by jennifer rose

•Carl's Notebook #9

On January 01, Lorena and I emerged safely from our Y2K bunker, saw our shadows, and like good ground hogs immediately returned to our work. Taking a cue from anxious survivalists, we’d laid in quite a supply of emergency rations: 2 liters of extra virgin olive oil, 8 pounds of popcorn, several mystery novels (in Spanish of course) and a box of instant flan.

•Maps, Atlases & Sources

Opening a fresh road map and spreading it out on the kitchen table are among the many pleasures of planning a trip to Mexico. So many highways, trails and tempting side roads... yet so little time.. Article and map reviews by Carl Franz.

•#8: Degrees of Acceptance

Descending by degrees into the tropic heat, I feel my being relaxing to a more profound level like chocolate. As I descend from the hills around Colima, the temperature rises up to meet me. When I see the first flowery pink tree I cry out to Steve, "Look!" It has always been a moment of excitement, of passageway to paradise, to sight that first flowering glory of the coast. by Tina Rosa

Tina Rosa's Mexico: Among her many talents and first-hand travel experiences, Tina is the co-author of Mexico In 22 Days and The Shopper's Guide To Mexico.

•We Want To Study Spanish & Volunteer 

We are interested in communicating with folks who live in Mexico and can help guide us to potential places to live. We want a warm climate, less Gringos and more citizens. We like beaches of course, but also colonial places like Morelia y San Miguel de Allende. We will also be looking to work in local volunteer projects since we both have experience in health care and social work and have lived in the bush in Africa. letter from Mike and Katy Casey

Vipassana courses are now taught in Mexico, near Cuernavaca, about an hour by bus from Mexico City. The courses are offered several times a year in a beautiful monastery in Tepotzlan


•Budget Living in Puerto Vallarta: An Interview with Robert & Deborah Jennings

We often go for a week or so without leaving the neighborhood or even firing up the old Safari. Usually, we just make a weekly run to the local Lloyds branch to grab a few pesos. Other than that, we're mostly shamelessly lazy homebodies. We spend a huge amount of time sitting on the terrace, staring at the mountains, and planning our next snack. 

•Northern Mexico Campground Report

Next we visited Teacapan (about 38 km south of Escuinapa de Hildago) and stayed at Playa Las Lupitas. A few kms before getting to Teacapan there is a campground called Rancho Las Lupitas along the highway. Just past Rancho las Lupitas, turn right towards the sea and follow a dirt road for about 1+ km. It winds around a bit but eventually ends at the beach. It's a dry camp situation. There are some palapas set up. It looks like one of those places that might get overrun on the weekends, but it was certainly quiet during the week when we were there. Usually the rest of the beach front is occupied by Canadian RVers dug in for the winter. We saw lots of dolphins playing in the bay and a couple came right up to shore persuing fish. Also, this is a great birding area. by Gerry and Maureen Recksiedler

•Kayaking In Baja?

My reason for writing to you right now is as follows: I'm a 40-year-old guy, 6'3", (that's pretty tall), and I want to take a sea kayak all alone from Mulege to La Paz in about one month. I don't know what kind of kayak I should buy or where I should buy it (I'm leaning toward saving for a while and buying a two-person Klepper and sails) never mind how I'm going to get it there ( to Bahia Concepcion, that is - should I try and throw it on the roof of a Green Tortoise Bus?). from Justin Bill

•Oaxaca in the Summer?

We are looking seriously at coming to Mexico for a month next July. Would you have any suggestions re places to take Nancy and Hannah? We will probably spend between one and two of the four weeks in San Miguel. Keep in mind that Nancy has never been to Mexico, but has traveled a lot and Hannah will be 10 and a half. from Jim Jamieson

•Living In Zamora

My wife is working teaching English at a campus of Univa here in Zamora. She finds the college age kids a delight, and we have been made to feel very welcome by the people we meet. Zamora is not on the gringo trail and that's just fine with us.

•Move To Mexico -- Beginnings

A few midnights ago, when salvos of exploding fireworks made sleep impossible, Lorena and I began blearily cataloging the various Mexican villages, towns, cities, ranchos and beaches we've lived in during the past thirty-odd years. We gave up when the count exceeded several dozen places, unable to agree if the caves we'd used on a 9 week kayak trip in the Sea of Cortez could be collectively dubbed a "residence" or not. Article by Carl Franz

•Getting Used to Things

Traveling to Mexico is like having a fling, a stunning romance, a love affair so intense that everything becomes a romantic vision. Magic is rediscovered. Moving to Mexico, however, is not unlike getting married. Once the honeymoon is over one begins to notice that the language and customs of our beloved are strikingly dissimilar to our own. ....The real work of compromise begins, as it does in all marriages, and it must be noted for the record, that divorce is a genuine option. by Teresa Kendrick

•Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca

Dan's cup of coffee is still the best in town, if not the state, and the mango croissants are still to die for. With the addition of a dinner restaurant next door, where we had a magnificent dorado platter for 29 pesos, Dan now has an all-day eatery. We did duck into town for one of Herman's fish platters, but at 25 pesos it probably doesn't represent a better deal than Dan's.... by Stan Gottlieb

Oaxaca Tips & Sidetrips

This excellent, highly detailed letter from Suzanne Strauss & Scott K. Kennedy is a mini-guidebook to the best of Oaxaca City and environs. Their letter is also a model for the kind of information we love to publish on this website. Please read it and be inspired to contribute your own travel reports and personal experiences!

Taking a cue from the last edition of "The People's Guide To Mexico", I ordered the book, "Mexican Slang Plus Graffiti". The book is quite entertaining for the aficionado of the slangier side of Latin American (heavy emphasis on Mexican) Spanish. It delves deep into the cruder aspects of cabronería, y el pendejismo. Readers of a delicate sensibility might find portions distasteful. It gives a more in-depth account of "la verga", notorious parrot phrase from The People's Guide to Mexico . (A word to be avoided.) by Mike Warshauer

•Extending Car Papers?

Question: We are living in Zamora at the moment and will need to renew our vehicle's six month permiso by the end of March. Our personal tourist visas will have been extended by virtue of visits home by plane, but we wonder if you have any advice on how to extend or renew the car's permiso without having to drive to the border. We are quite close to Guadalajara or could go to D.F.

Calling a Pharmacy in Mexico for Price

If you wish, you can use the telephone numbers listed below (Farmacia El Fenix in Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico) in order to inquire about price and availability of prescription drugs in Mexico. By David “El Codo” Eidell

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