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About Me and Mexico

Updated on January 1, 2013

A Celebration of Mexico

I count myself among the lucky ones in this life, not least for the years that I lived in and roamed around Mexico. It wasn't awaysl bliss by any means, but my husband Kelly and I have a saying that we have "good bad luck." We mean that naturally we suffer bad luck sometimes, but it has a way of turning out well. This happened to us many times in Mexico, like the time Kelly fell off the roof of a house.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. I'll tell you that story further down the page. I will also touch briefly on the turmoil in Mexico now. I hope that the tremendous love that I have for this country and its people will be well reflected here.

Photo credits: My husband Kelly Hart took this photo of me wearing a traditional Chichimeca dancing headdress, put on me by a warm-hearted Mexican dancer named Ana Hernandez. All photos on this lens were taken by Kelly or me.

We Roamed Around Mexico in Our Small RV - Here, goats graze near our rig in a campground in Ciudad Victoria, Tamaulipas.

We made two trips to Mexico in our Toyota Dolphin, partly for fun away from a cold Colorado winter, and partly to consider living in Mexico. We found that if we asked local people where it was safe to camp, we could boondock in a lot of interesting spots. We also used campgrounds when we found them, though a lot of our travel was off the beaten track for American RVs.

We experienced such deeply heartfelt connections with so many Mexicans that we went home to Colorado, sold our house, and headed back to Mexico. We thought we would live in a town we already liked -- Bernal, in the state of Queretaro -- but destiny put us in San Juan Cosala, in the Lake Chapala area not far from Guadalajara.

Living in Mexico - How Kelly Falling Off a Roof Changed Our Plans

In 2005, we sold our house in Colorado, put most of our stuff in storage, and hired someone to do the parts of our business that we couldn't do ourselves online... we have a small publishing company. We set up an internet satellite dish on the roof of our rig.

Then we and our dog headed south, planning to go back to the town of Bernal which we had liked so much. Some American friends of ours were staying by Lake Chapala for the purpose of adopting a Mexican baby. They already had her with them, while the legal work was underway, and so we went there and found a backyard to camp our RV in, right near where they were living. We thought we'd visit there a week or two before moving on.

Just for fun, one day Kelly and I decided to go look at an unfinished house that was for sale with a view of Lake Chapala. Kelly climbed up on the flat roof, a completely normal thing for him to do since he's done a lot of construction. He took some photos and set his camera aside, then clambered down. It wasn't far, as the house was on a hillside, so when he slipped and fell, it wasn't terribly far. But my heart sank as he lay on the ground, moaning "that was stupid." The realtor we were with called for an ambulance. We were astonished when a fire truck arrived first, but eventually we were on our way to the emergency clinic in the ambulance. And Kelly's camera was unhurt.

It turned out that Kelly had broken a rib. We were stuck in the Lake Chapala area. It would be a couple of months before Kelly could travel any distance without considerable pain.

During that time, we got to like the area. When we had a chance to buy a charming little cabin with lots of fruit trees and even a tiny swimming pool, for about eighty thousand dollars, we did it. That became our home, in the town of San Juan Cosala.

I blogged a lot about our life there. Here are links to a few of my stories.

Video of the Ajijic Street Market

I shot this video one day as Kelly and I strolled the length of the Ajijic street market. Our town, San Juan Cosala, had its weekly market too, but it was much smaller. We got most of our veggies -- that is, the ones we didn't grow in our big organic garden -- in our town, and we often drove the ten minutes over to Ajijic for other things. Near the end of this, we are chatting with Blanca and Carlos whom we knew well because we bought our veggies from them in either town.

Ajijic is known as an artists' colony for expats, and it has a lot of charm. Quite a few of my American friends lived in it or even further along the shore of Lake Chapala.

This video captures the flavor of the area for me. I watched it again before adding it here and felt very nostalgic!

How Different Mexico Is from the US! - Centuries-old cultural traditions continue.

It took us a while to understand some aspects of Mexican life, and there are plenty of things we still don't get. But here are some things that are very different in Mexico.

  1. There is a casual attitude to safety that at times I found daunting and at other times refreshing. In traffic, I didn't like it! But it's there in many ways, and when we returned to the US things here seemed mighty uptight regarding safety. I suspect that the ubiquitous presence of the Virgin of the Guadalupe may be part of the reason for the Mexican attitude... it's a kind of acceptance of what may happen.
  2. Mexicans do not worry if the noise they make might disturb neighbors. By the same token, those neighbors don't seem to care. For example, when we were in campgrounds, a Mexican family might arrive at 2 AM, set up next to us when there were plenty of spots further away, and then build a campfire, cook a meal, and chat cheerfully till near dawn.

    We also noticed this during Semana Santa, or Holy Week, which is a big vacation week. Mexicans who owned vacation cabins near our home would come and party all night.

  3. The centuries of class distinctions between the Spaniards and the native peoples are still with us today and explain a lot. Now it's the rich and the poor. By default, we expats are among the rich, which was not a role I was comfortable in. What we citizens of the US and Canada see as shocking bribery, for example, is often just the way the skids have been greased for centuries.

    It goes both ways. A taxi driver I once chatted with was genuinely shocked when I told him it was not the custom in the US to put a twenty-dollar bill under our driver's license when stopped by a cop.

  4. Mexico is a poorer country, and that is no surprise. But what did surprise me was how over time I came to see the ways people would disguise their poverty. For example, dressing nicely is important to everyone. You rarely see the grungy styles that are popular north of the border.

    Another example of the poverty is that sometimes people do not have anything to eat. I had a friend who was a beggar and most days took the bus to the grocery store frequented by expats, where she would sit on the sidewalk for hours. One day I asked her if she had enough to eat, and she said yes, but only on the days she begged.

  5. Surrealism is a way of life in the Mexican culture!

Surrealism Is Alive and Well in Mexico - In Art, In Bureaucracy...

I added surrealism to the list above, and also I wanted to show this picture. A small part of Las Pozas of eccentric, rich Englishman Edward James, it captures a lot of how Mexico can feel. We had a great time exploring Las Pozas.

I'm not sure I want to remember the bureaucratic surrealism I encountered. Just look at those stairs going nowhere and you will get the idea.

Was I Afraid at Times? Of Course!

My husband is one of those people who is very rarely afraid. But I am not. In fact, I am pretty timid. I found the wonderful experiences in Mexico were worth a bit of suffering. Here is a blog post of mine where I spelled that out.

I spilled my guts there so I won't here!

Kelly's Earthbag Building Community Project - Expats and Mexicans Worked Together on This

Kelly is an expert on a method of construction called earthbag building, and towards the end of our time in San Juan Cosala, he spearheaded a project to build a small dome at a school near us. Expats, adult Mexicans, and some of the kids at the school worked together most Saturday mornings for months.

You can see more at his Flickr account. There are comments with the photos.

Speaking Spanish

Do we speak Spanish? Yes, more or less.

Kelly had a good grounding in Spanish in high school, and he has a good accent. I picked up my Spanish as a child one summer in Mexico, as a young woman living in Spain for a year, and on various trips to Mexico I've made over the years. Frankly, I mangle the past tenses, forget the genders of nouns, and have a terrible accent, but I can communicate with Mexicans. They forgive my blunders easily.

Here is a blog post I did about learning Spanish.

A Program I Like for Learning Spanish - Fluenz Spanish

There are a lot of programs that can help you learn Spanish. I reviewed a lot of them when we were in Mexico... I even started another website on how to learn Spanish. Anyway, I ended up really liking this one. I did know a lot of the basics but it was a good review and by the second module I was picking up quite a lot. It is now up to a five-module version, also available at Amazon.

Learn Spanish: Fluenz Spanish 1+2 for Mac, PC, and iPhone
Learn Spanish: Fluenz Spanish 1+2 for Mac, PC, and iPhone

This DVD, which works both on Windows and Mac, is an enjoyable and effective way to start from scratch with Spanish or to review the basics.

 

16 Reasons to Learn Spanish

Here's a one-minute slide show I made. The 16 reasons are 16 of the many people I met in Mexico. Some of them became good friends, others I knew more briefly, but my heart is always full when I look at them!

Why We Left Mexico

Might We Ever Return to Live There?

I never stopped missing my good friends and my small town in Colorado. I did make new friends in Mexico, and now I miss them -- go figure! Anyway, after a few years it became clear to me that I didn't want to live there long term. Kelly felt like he could, but he also felt like he could return to Colorado too. He's more flexible than I am, I know it.

So we spent the summer of 2009 in Colorado, to see how it felt to be back. We both loved it. When we had a chance to buy a friend's house at an amazing price, we did. Then we went back to Mexico and managed to sell our house there. It was hard to give up the view and the pool you see in the picture! We came back to Colorado in the spring of 2010.

Mexico has become more violent than it was when we lived there between 2005 and 2010. I can't recommend the kind of casual roaming around remote areas that we did so much of. I'm not even completely comfortable recommending Mexico as a place for expats to live nowadays. Some of my American friends are still by Lake Chapala, still loving the people and the country despite its current travails. Others have left. I'm really grateful that Kelly and I had already decided to leave, for these personal reasons, before the violence reached our town as it has lately. Only a few nasty incidents have occurred, but that is how deliberate terrorism often works. It is between cartels that have to do with drugs but are also interested in money, power, and revenge against what other cartels have done.

I doubt I would ever live there again in the sense of having a home and all that, but I certainly do look forward to a happier era when we can vacation there for weeks or even months in a carefree way. Viva Mexico!

Two Online News Resources in English on Mexico

The first is an English-language newspaper in Guadalajara. I read it most weeks.

The second is a long article in the New Yorker on July 2, 2012, about the intricacies of government and crime. IT IS SICKENING, so only read it if you can handle really nasty stuff. But it does a very good job.

How I Came to Write This Lens - It's Because of Rocketsquids

I recently became part of a free program taught by the Squidoo team. It's to help lensmasters who have already published at least one or two lenses -- but not yet as many as 25 -- to become better at creating lenses. This is the first one I did for the program. I wouldn't have written it without the assignment to write something about me, not so much as standard biography but something focused.

I poured my heart into this lens and it's paid off in touching a lot of people.

If you might like to do this, here are a couple of links:

This Lens Was Lens of the Day on June 14, 2012! - AND It Received a Purple Star... I'm Still in Shock

A few mornings ago, I received an email from the Squidoo team, telling me that this lens was Lens of the Day. I was totally thrilled. All day, as hundreds of people came to see the page, many of them wrote comments about Mexico that moved me deeply.

At the same time, the lens also recieved the Purple Star, which is, according the email from the Squidoo team about it, "awarded sporadically, when we come across editorial excellence, to our very favorite lenses on the site."

I'm still reflecting on what this means to me. It may change the direction of my writing, it may not. In any case, I love writing non-fiction with a personal touch. I've been doing it for many years, ever since my first book Living with Llamas came out, while we had a llama ranch.

I am very honored, and extremely pleased to be able to contribute my bit to the awareness of Mexico, not just its problems but also its joys. I've been very pleased that several Mexicans have told me they liked this lens.

Image credit: The drawings just above and just below here were done by an extraordinary Squidoo artist, Steve Thompson.The one above is from his lens Squidart, and the one below is from his lens Purple Star Art.

Please note that if you click through to Amazon.com from here and if you buy something, Squidoo and I may share a commission, at no cost to you. I appreciate the income, as it enables me to spend time doing writing like this.

I'd love to hear any comments or thoughts you have about Mexico and about this lens!

Any Thoughts or Questions on Mexico?

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    • hartworks lm profile image
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      hartworks lm 4 years ago

      @Webinaut: Thanks! Happily, I have heard that things are a bit better lately, in the area where I hear from friends.

    • Webinaut profile image

      Webinaut 4 years ago

      This lens is so engaging. You are an excellent writer. Having lived half my life in Johannesburg, I can relate to your concerns about the safety in Mexico these days. Thanks for sharing.

    • captainj88 profile image

      Leah J. Hileman 4 years ago from East Berlin, PA, USA

      Quite an adventure!

    • hartworks lm profile image
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      hartworks lm 4 years ago

      @RhondaAlbom: Roaming the world sounds great, though I think I'm happy to settle in for a while now, after a recent month-long road trip around the western US!

    • RhondaAlbom profile image

      Rhonda Albom 4 years ago from New Zealand

      Wonderful lifestyle and I love the expression good bad luck. We area also wanderers. We spent most of 2012 traveling around the world. ~blessed.

    • hartworks lm profile image
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      hartworks lm 4 years ago

      @siobhanryan: Thanks! it was very specoal.

    • siobhanryan profile image

      siobhanryan 4 years ago

      Blessed-Brillant article about your time in Mexico

    • Rosetta Slone profile image

      Rosetta Slone 4 years ago from Under a coconut tree

      I loved your story! I've never been to Mexico, but I did have a similar experience to you when we spontaneously decided to move abroad. We've been in the tropics for 3 years now and I have no regrets, although I'm not sure I could stay here forever. There are so many pros and cons to leaving one's home country.

    • hartworks lm profile image
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      hartworks lm 4 years ago

      @anonymous: I loved the Lake Atitlan area, back a few decades!

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      What area of Guatemala did you like ? Maybe I'll try it sometime.

      Thanks very much ! Enjoy your posts !

      Meg

    • Jack2205 profile image

      Jack 4 years ago

      This is an excellent story. Blessed. Some people that I know used to live by Lake Chapala a few years ago. I remember the street market in the video.

    • hartworks lm profile image
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      hartworks lm 4 years ago

      @Annbulance2000: It would have been very sad IF crime and violence had been major players in our departure, but I thought I was pretty clear that we left because I never stopped missing our community in Colorado.

    • Annbulance2000 profile image

      Annbulance2000 4 years ago

      What an opportunity to live in such a different place. It is very sad that crime and violence played a big part in your decision to return to Colorado. Do you think you might have stayed in Mexico if there was no violence? A lovely lense. I am off to read one more of yours as you draw me in with your well written stories.

    • hartworks lm profile image
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      hartworks lm 4 years ago

      @RinchenChodron: Great, sent you an email!

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      RinchenChodron 4 years ago

      Hello, fellow Coloradoan! I enjoyed reading about your time in Mexico. I'm coming down to Crestone the end of Sept. for the Chamma Ling Retreat - perhaps we could meet for coffee? Let me know your last 4 digits on your phone and I'll call you.

    • blessedmomto7 profile image

      blessedmomto7 4 years ago

      I've been to Mexico twice, once on vacation and once on a missions trip. I'd love to go back someday.

    • hartworks lm profile image
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      hartworks lm 4 years ago

      @Hammocksaustralia: I see you've gone on to sell Mexican hammocks! They ARE great, and with Mexico having hard times the more we can buy their handcrafts, the more they can afford their tortillas.

    • Hammocksaustralia profile image

      Hammocksaustralia 4 years ago

      Thanks for sharing your experience of living in Mexico. It makes for a great lens. I myself spent around 5 months living/traveling in Mexico and really loved it. I bought a car in Mexico city, which was an experience in itself, and then just followed my wanderlust around the country. Mainly sticking to the Pacific coast and south of Mexico city. Something I would love to do again and have so many great friends and memories from the experience.

    • hartworks lm profile image
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      hartworks lm 5 years ago

      @MayaIxchel: On another trip, we spent a month in Guatemala and LOVED it!

    • MayaIxchel profile image

      MayaIxchel 5 years ago

      Great lens and nice stories of your travels! Very enjoyable! Thanks for sharing!

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Sounds like a nice adventure in Mexico, and one that I would like to try. Thank you so much for sharing this with us. I truly enjoyed to spirit of this all. :)

    • hartworks lm profile image
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      hartworks lm 5 years ago

      @Scarlettohairy: We wanted to live somewhere other than the US for a while! But when we had had our fill of that, we came back to the same town in Colorado where we had lived for 10 years, and we have picked up some of our closest friendships very happily.

      Yes, it was an adventure!

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 5 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      That's fascinating that you left Colorado for Mexico (I love Colorado). But it sounds like it was quite an adventure!

    • hartworks lm profile image
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      hartworks lm 5 years ago

      @Nancy Hardin: Nancycarol, I hope that the day will come that both you and I feel safe to go!

    • Nancy Hardin profile image

      Nancy Carol Brown Hardin 5 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      Thank you for sharing your love of Mexico. I have very mixed feelings about Mexico, would love to visit, but afraid to stray "south of the border," due to the violence. This is an excellent lens about your time there.

    • hartworks lm profile image
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      hartworks lm 5 years ago

      @rickmac lm: Thanks! There's a lot more on that old website of mine that I link to.

      Yes, my life is richer for having lived there. It's also richer for living with animals, and I saw your adopted cat story and loved it.

    • rickmac lm profile image

      Rick McBride 5 years ago from Dallas

      I loved reading about your adventures in Mexico. Your life is richer from living abroad.

    • hartworks lm profile image
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      hartworks lm 5 years ago

      @Angelina Gherna: Thanks! My husband is a great photographer, and it's such a beautiful place!

    • Angelina Gherna profile image

      Angelina 5 years ago from California

      Well done, so much information and beautiful images.

    • hartworks lm profile image
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      hartworks lm 5 years ago

      @marigoldina: Not really the best time now, but should improve eventually.

    • marigoldina profile image

      Heather B 5 years ago

      A wonderful and courageous story! I would probably be too frightened to travel around Mexico on my own, but if I could convince my fiancee to come with me...

    • hartworks lm profile image
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      hartworks lm 5 years ago

      @NC Shepherd: Yes, I am sad too, but hopeful things will improve. I do have American and Canadian expat friends who continue to live and travel there, but I'm not up for it at this point.

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      NC Shepherd 5 years ago

      I love Mexico, and it makes me sad that we have to be afraid to travel there. I understand your nostalgia for the country. I felt the same way when I watched your video, and I've only traveled there, not lived there.

    • hartworks lm profile image
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      hartworks lm 5 years ago

      @SandyMertens: Thanks! Looked at your lenses, you are one proflific writer!!

    • SandyMertens profile image

      Sandy Mertens 5 years ago from Frozen Tundra

      Congrats on your LOTD!

    • hartworks lm profile image
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      hartworks lm 5 years ago

      @chas65: The other day we saw a tv program about Colombia and how the bad times are behind them. The whole hour I was soaking in the feeling that Mexico too will reach that point!

    • chas65 profile image

      chas65 5 years ago

      Loved the article. It is a shame it is not safe to just travel around there now. We drove to Monterrey on our honeymoon (69) and took our daughter there a few years later. It was so beautiful.

      Also a RocketSquid grad and also loved the teaching.

    • hartworks lm profile image
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      hartworks lm 5 years ago

      @Melissa Miotke: Thank you! I am a bit amazed still at how many people have said that.

    • Melissa Miotke profile image

      Melissa Miotke 5 years ago from Arizona

      What a beautiful lens! I really enjoyed reading it.

    • TheresaMarkham profile image

      TheresaMarkham 5 years ago

      Congrats on LOTD & Purple Star! I've been to a few places in Mexico - not as exciting as your trip though!

    • hartworks lm profile image
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      hartworks lm 5 years ago

      @AlleyCatLane: Thanks! Umm... I am a scaredy cat myself! How do I get myself into these things? Glad to be leading a duller life now. But will I get on an airplane (ugh) in November for a trip to California being planned? Hmm...

    • profile image

      AlleyCatLane 5 years ago

      I thoroughly enjoyed your lens on your life in Mexico. I admire people who can just take up and leave behind the familiar to go on new adventures. I am too much of a scaredy cat for that. I don't take a lot of risks. I plan to return to read your other articles. This is exceptionally well written and fascinating. Blessed!

    • hartworks lm profile image
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      hartworks lm 5 years ago

      @MarcStorm LM: Thanks! Your saying about the brightest of spirits really moved me... I bet there are websites where you could get folk art from around the world... Yes, Kelly healed up just fine, in fact he's up on our roof at the moment!

    • MarcStorm LM profile image

      MarcStorm LM 5 years ago

      It's such a beautiful place filled with beautiful people. Much like the sayings, "The brightest of spirits endure the toughest of hardships", "Since the beginning of time, enlightened spirits have always been met by violent opposition of mediocre minds". I've never been to Mexico but I wouldn't want to because of the dangers, especially from what I hear, along mostly the border. Which obviously doesn't negate the fact there are more dangers in other places as well. I'm so glad you made it out safe! We can only hope, that someday, the evil that lives in men's hearts will stir no longer and that love will consume their every breath!

      Also, I love the video you put up of the Ajijic Street Market. It's so wonderful! I want to buy one of those paintings that were shown. There's just something about paintings that are sold by street vendors in different countries that appeals to me. Someday I would love to be able to get one from every country, which is just about impossible I'm sure, but I'd give it a shot! lol It's a no wonder that this article has garnered such high praise and highlight, it's simply fantastic & you did an amazing job! Thank you for showcasing Mexico & your adventures there. I hope Kelly healed up nicely & I wish you and your family & friends the best of wishes forever and always!!! ():o)

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      poutine 5 years ago

      Enjoyed the photos.

    • hartworks lm profile image
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      hartworks lm 5 years ago

      @acregmed: Muchas gracias! That means more to me, knowing you are from Mexico!

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      acregmed 5 years ago

      Excelente

    • Diva2Mom profile image

      Diva2Mom 5 years ago

      Wow, nice lens capturing the beauty of Mexico! God bless.

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      JennySui 5 years ago

      Congrats on LotD!

    • hartworks lm profile image
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      hartworks lm 5 years ago

      @gottaloveit2: I've been through there, but it was long ago. I hope things will change!

    • gottaloveit2 profile image

      gottaloveit2 5 years ago

      I, for one, love this lens! I used to love Mexico too - Puerto Panasco, just 3.5 hours drive from Tucson, AZ was my favorite spot but it's gotten quite violent there. I do though miss the seaside and that beautiful, small, undiscovered town. Blessed!

    • hartworks lm profile image
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      hartworks lm 5 years ago

      @BarbaraCasey: Great! I did a lot of story tellng on that site!

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      BarbaraCasey 5 years ago

      Great story-telling. Now I'm really looking forward to exploring your website!

    • hartworks lm profile image
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      hartworks lm 5 years ago

      @jazziyarbrough: This was such an interesting comment to me. Cultural differences are often invisible like that. Yes, he was just being himself!

    • hartworks lm profile image
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      hartworks lm 5 years ago

      @MargaritasWorld: I've been to many parts of Mexico at different times, just didn't mention that. Couldn't fit everything in!

    • hartworks lm profile image
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      hartworks lm 5 years ago

      @SunnyDaze LM: Great place for children! Mexicans love children so much. I remember one time we had just crossed the border driving back into the US and we stopped someplace in Arizona for lunch in a restaurant. From the next booth we heard "If you do that once more I'm going to whack you hard!"

      We looked at each other and sighed. We were back in the US all right.

    • SunnyDaze LM profile image

      SunnyDaze LM 5 years ago

      Great lens. My niece moved to Mexico with her boyfriend. He just proposed to her a few weeks ago and they are planning to marry and have children and raise them in Mexico. I'm happy for her and all those who enjoy getting back to the basics. Blessed on 7/1/12.

    • hartworks lm profile image
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      hartworks lm 5 years ago

      @aesta1: Thanks! You certainly get around yourself, enjoyed several of your lenses.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I was in Mexico with my husband for a NAFTA meeting and I visited Lake Chapala as well but Guadalajara was just a place I really loved. That was in the 90s though so it was safe to go around. Your description is true of other places we have lived as expats. I love the way you put it.

    • hartworks lm profile image
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      hartworks lm 5 years ago

      @Anastacia EG: Thanks, I almost didn't use it since it's kinda out there! Glad I did.

    • Anastacia EG profile image

      Anastacia Gutierrez 5 years ago

      I love the photo of you in the headdress!

    • hartworks lm profile image
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      hartworks lm 5 years ago

      @southernguy: Hi Southernguy -- I agree with you that people in the US often think Mexico is more dangerous than it is. But via phone calls and emails from close friends who still live in the area we lived in by Lake Chapala, I am also aware of some things I am not willing to write here.

      BTW, you remind me of our internet guy when we lived in San Juan Cosala. Are you?

      Viva Mexico!

      Zana

    • profile image

      southernguy 5 years ago

      This is a good perspective on Mexico, but having moved to Mexico as a young child with my parents I love it here. I have loved living here so much I married my Mexican wife and have two children. Could I live in the U.S, heck no.

      When people talk about violence in Mexico it is actually kind of funny how they perceive what they see in the media.

      In a nutshell for me Mexico is friendly, cheaper to live and we still truly have freedom.

    • hartworks lm profile image
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      hartworks lm 5 years ago

      @April Wier: Thanks! The day I wrote it, I really got into the flow!

    • April Wier profile image

      April Wier 5 years ago

      This lens is the perfect "About Me" specimen. Well Done.

    • hartworks lm profile image
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      hartworks lm 5 years ago

      @JackieSonia: Terrific! The Spanish may be a little different but people can understand each other.

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      JackieSonia 5 years ago

      I speak spanish fluently, although it may be a little different than the spanish in Mexico. My parents were from Puerto Rico.

    • hartworks lm profile image
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      hartworks lm 5 years ago

      @JackieSonia: Try to chat with some of the Mexicans. Many of them speak a little English but may be shy to try it.

    • JackieSonia profile image

      JackieSonia 5 years ago

      Loved your lens. Very informative. I'm glad Kelly was o.k. after that fall. I've never been to Mexico but will be visiting Cozumel and Costa Maya. I know it's not like living there, but at least I get to see some of Mexico.

    • hartworks lm profile image
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      hartworks lm 5 years ago

      @Reviews4u LM: I went to your page to email you but you have email contact turned off. So I will be brief here. Go to earthbagbuilding.com (my husband's site) and find the contact form and send a message saying where in Mexico you are.

    • Reviews4u LM profile image

      Reviews4u LM 5 years ago

      Nice lens! I live in Mexico but am relatively new here. I appreciate the English language news source. Thanks! I am also considering building a sandbag home so would love to hear of any folks or organizations that could possibly help. Peace to you in Colorado!

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      DebMartin 5 years ago

      Beautifully written. Thanks for the insights. d

    • Lee Hansen profile image

      Lee Hansen 5 years ago from Vermont

      Thank you for a virtual visit to "real" Mexico. The only views I really had prior to this were tv shows, friend and family resort vacation stories and news clips, none of which provide anything close to what it is like to live in a different place from home. What an interesting experience!

    • MargaritasWorld profile image

      Margarita Boettcher 5 years ago from Morrison, Colorado

      I'm Mexican. I was born in Guadalajara Jalisco. I have a huge family there. And I currently live in Colorado:D You guys are brave, I love that. I hope if you go back you visit more of Mexico. You can't generalize what all of Mexico is like by visiting just a few locations. It's kind of like visiting NY and assuming all of the US is like that. Plus cops in NY are nothing like cops in Colorado. I look forward to reading some of your blogs. I think it's wonderful that you traveled and opened your hearts to new places and adventures! I really enjoyed your lens. You look marvelous in that hat:D

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      sojourner-1 5 years ago

      Congrats on LOTD-everyone should pack up and just go...at least once in their life-great lens!

    • chezchazz profile image

      Chazz 5 years ago from New York

      Great lens! glad to see it awarded LotD and a purple star. Bendecido por un squid ángel.

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      jeffster 5 years ago

      Congrats on receiving LOTD! I found it interesting to read about your experiences and seeing how other people around the world live.

    • Charmcrazey profile image

      Wanda Fitzgerald 5 years ago from Central Florida

      What a fun way to spend a few years. I admire your sense of adventure.

    • ccsonian profile image

      ccsonian 5 years ago

      Interesting how different cultures really are. I find the same when we are in Africa. I prefer Africa.

    • mel-kav profile image

      mel-kav 5 years ago

      Congratulations on lens of the day and your purple star!!!

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      YourFirstTime 5 years ago

      You look very regal in the feather headdress.

    • sociopath-free profile image

      sociopath-free 5 years ago

      Funny to think that a country so different is so close.

    • Nanciajohnson profile image

      Nancy Johnson 5 years ago from Mesa, Arizona

      Congrats on the LOTD and Purple Star! It is a beautiful lens both in photos and words. My parents had good friends who retired and lived in Mexico for almost 7 years, until one of them became really sick. They had a lovely home also in Mexico. I thoroughly enjoyed your story.

    • ryokomayuka profile image

      ryokomayuka 5 years ago from USA

      interesting len. I learned a lot.

    • Sher Ritchie profile image

      Sher Ritchie 5 years ago

      Amazing lens - I feel like I've been to Mexico after reading it. Wow!

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      This is a great lens, and the honesty comes through so strongly. I like that you don't minimise how dangerous Mexico seems to have become, but how lovely that you have so many great memories to keep.

      Cheers, Beejay4016

    • squidoopets profile image

      Darcie French 5 years ago from Abbotsford, BC

      I read every word - great story and very well presented.

    • JuneMary LM profile image

      JuneMary LM 5 years ago

      Congratulations on LOTD.

      I enjoyed reading your lens. Love the headdress.

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      jazziyarbrough 5 years ago

      Thanks for sharing this wonderful lens! Now I understand why my Mexican room mate had company and people coming over all times of the night and the wee hours of the morning. I was upset because I had to go to work at 6 a.m. Never thought it was a part of of the Mexican culture!

    • fugeecat lm profile image

      fugeecat lm 5 years ago

      What a great experience to live in Mexico. And it is sad how much violence is occurring in the country.

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      jmatts1 5 years ago

      Great lens, really interesting learning about your travels to Mexico. Congrats on LOTD.

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      grannysage 5 years ago

      I enjoyed reading about your travel to Mexico. We live in an RV but I would be too afraid to take it to Mexico. Congrats on getting LOTD.

    • Kathleen Hiler profile image

      Kathleen Hiler 5 years ago from Mountain Home

      i know people who go every year but we haven't had the interest because my husband is not retired yet....but would still like to go.

    • Elyn MacInnis profile image

      Elyn MacInnis 5 years ago from Shanghai, China

      I can see that one of the biggest reasons you love Mexico is the beauty of the people. You have expressed your feelings so beautifully.

    • ElizabethSheppard profile image

      Elizabeth Sheppard 5 years ago from Bowling Green, Kentucky

      I really liked your lens. I learned a lot about Mexico from it. Thanks for writing it!

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Actually never been to Mexico but it does look interesting. Congratulations on getting LoTD!

    • RawBill1 profile image

      Bill 5 years ago from Gold Coast, Australia

      Great stuff! It sounds like it was quite the adventure! I would love to visit Mexico or other countries in South America someday. Congrats on LOTD.

    • kislanyk profile image

      Marika 5 years ago from Cyprus

      Lovely lens indeed and gorgeous pics. Well deserved the LOTD!