Mexico Connect
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robt65

Dec 13, 2009, 7:39 AM

Post #1 of 24 (8679 views)

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How long has MexConnect been around . . . what is the history of Mexconnect? Who started Mexconnect?

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Hi Again,

This is getting interesting. I asked a couple of questions . . . . really a "two parter". Of the 435 views (minus my 9) only 8 persons responded . . . .Wonder Why? Maybe that is because most Ex Pats want the privacy and maybe some are suspicious? It's two bad more don't respond. I think that the Ex Pats who moved to Mexico are really interesting and good people. I know that I have probably learned more from reading the various threads here than any of the books I have found on Mexico. Sure wish more people would respond.

The other funny part of this two parter question is that no one answered the part of the question on "When and who started" MexConnect. It's a great forum, filled with much good information and by good people. Oh well . . . . maybe in time.

Thanks to all who did answer. Very interesting.

Robert



Reefhound


Dec 13, 2009, 8:10 AM

Post #2 of 24 (8656 views)

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Re: [robt65] How long has MexConnect been around . . . what is the history of Mexconnect? Who starte

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I don't know, I'm just a NOB who visits central Mexico a few weeks per year to visit wife's familia. And every year I come back thinking how I would like it if I could live there. Despite all the drawbacks relative to my life here in Texas, it is a simpler and more relaxed life. But with a wife and two small kids, I must work for a living and so I will have to be a visitor until I can land a remote telecommuter gig (which as a programmer is feasible, but getting an employer who is willing is not so easy).

I remember a few years back Mexconnect was a pay subscription site. And the traffic volume was pretty low. I think the fees turned away a lot of potential members. Not that it wasn't worth it but with so many sites free on the net the typical response is to move on without really giving it a chance. I like it a lot better as a free site supported by advertising.


robt65

Dec 13, 2009, 8:24 AM

Post #3 of 24 (8642 views)

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Re: [Reefhound] How long has MexConnect been around . . . what is the history of Mexconnect? Who sta

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Reefhound,

I agree with you. I first saw this site also when it was a pay site. It seems to get a lot of hits now but only a few stay around. I think (for me) it is a great site where I can learn a lot about my new home country. I just got to thinking that someone when to a lot of work to get this site working well. I thought it would be interesting to learn more about it. What part of Texas are you from Reefhound? I am fortunate to have retired and have a fair pension to fall back on. I am trying to sell my home in Kentucky but now the real estate market is so poor in KY that I am going to keep it until Spring at least.

Robert


Reefhound


Dec 13, 2009, 8:39 AM

Post #4 of 24 (8639 views)

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Re: [robt65] How long has MexConnect been around . . . what is the history of Mexconnect? Who sta

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Been in Houston for over 20 years now, born and raised in Louisville Kentucky.


Reefhound


Dec 13, 2009, 9:30 AM

Post #5 of 24 (8615 views)

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Re: [robt65] How long has MexConnect been around . . . what is the history of Mexconnect? Who starte

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BTW, have you clicked the About link at the very top of the page? Tells you a lot about Mexconnect.


Rolly


Dec 13, 2009, 10:23 AM

Post #6 of 24 (8588 views)

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Re: [robt65] How long has MexConnect been around . . . what is the history of Mexconnect? Who starte

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I had hoped David McLaughlin would share the history; he hasn't; so I'll chime in with what I think I know.

David founded MXC more than a decade ago; I don't know the exact date. He had custom software created, bankrolled the venture, and rounded up some friends to help, most notably Tony Burton and Jennifer Rose. Tony is still active while Jennifer has moved on to other pursuits.

The forums began as a free service supported by David with some help from advertising. The site became very popular, and after a while it begin to attract what I call drive-by marauders. These creeps would post hateful messages and generally mess up things. The advertising plan was not working very well, so David decided to try a pay-to-play plan for the forums. This did a good job of squashing the drive-bys, but (I think) the financial arrangement was not much improved.

Then Google came with their advertising plan. David decided to make the forums free again and sign up with Google for ad revenue.

Those of us who are moderators are charged with being sure to keep the drive-bys at bay. That's why we are gung-ho at enforcing the rules; we remember what happened before.

Rolly Pirate


(This post was edited by Rolly on Dec 13, 2009, 10:29 AM)


Papirex


Dec 13, 2009, 10:48 AM

Post #7 of 24 (8575 views)

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Re: [robt65] How long has MexConnect been around . . . what is the history of Mexconnect? Who starte

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Mexconnect was started around 1998 by David McLaughlin. It has gone through several format changes since then. Registration was required in early 2002 and it became a pay site a year or so later. I first visited it shortly after it started, and I read every single post before I made my first post around 2000. I remember when Rolly and Johanson first began to post here, before they became moderators, I think Jennifer Rose was here from the beginning.


After it became a pay site, I stayed for about 3 years but I quit when there was some problems with unjustified banning s and arbitrary deletion of posts. I could not justify paying $30 Bucks a year to be insulted. I came back recently when it again became a free site.


I don't post often because many of the inquiries are area specific. I try to only reply to things I have personal experience with, If it is only my opinion, or applies only to my city and state I try to make that clear. There are 31 states in this nation and they may or may not adopt federal rules or laws. I have noticed that if someone asks how to do something here, for instance, how to get a drivers license, The replies will always be positive without noting that the information is only for the state where the respondent resides.


A lawyer that worked for the Federal government that I was consulting a few years ago told me it is perfectly legal for the head of any agency (Gerente) to change, ignore or add local requirements in any agency down here. He told me a Spanish word that covers that practice. Unfortunately, it was one of the few times I didn't have a shirt pocket notebook or pen with me to write that word down, and I have since then forgotten it. At one time I was a military policeman, we were on duty 24 hours per day, and I developed a lifelong habit of always having a notebook and a pen or pencil with me at all times, that day was one of the very few times I forgot them.


Rex
"The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved" - Victor Hugo


wendy devlin

Dec 13, 2009, 1:31 PM

Post #8 of 24 (8546 views)

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Re: [Papirex] How long has MexConnect been around . . . what is the history of Mexconnect? Who start

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Retired Canadian, David McLaughlin, am led to believe, had started a BB(bulletin board) where other people, wanting to move/live in Mexico, shared information that at that time was publically, scant. Inaccurate and/inadequate.

Mexconnect was created about 1995, when use of the PC assessing the WWW, exploded.

Having travelled by RV with husband and three kids from western Canada, two years in a row for 3-4 months in 1992/1993 down as far as the tip of Baja and the Yucatan, I had a lot of questions about what we experienced then, to ask now that our little Canadian town got internet in 1995.
Joined Mex-Online, at that time, almost the only general Mexico forum site. The site gradually deteriorated from a discussion board to ? On the invitation of Luis Dumois, a Mexican in Guadalajara, I joined Mexconnect where was invited to submit articles.

From 1996 to 2001 was a frequent, volunteer contributor of travel/cultural articles, still archived on this site. The forums went from one General Forum to many over time, and there were plenty of wild and wooly discussions, which unfortunately, usually descended into personal attacks.

Have always had strong mixed feelings about the level of censorship on Mex-topic forums, especially in the first ten years, say 1996-2006. A lot of pertinent information(in my experience) got thrown out, like babies in bathwater. However after years, of participation in non-or lightly moderated sites, Yahoo groups, etc. I'm back participating here.

At least here, people talk about many parts of Mexico, from many different experiences and viewpoints. Most other bulletin boards are very area specific, Mazatlan, San Miquel de Allenda, Chapala etc. and almost completely contributed to by people not born and raised in Mexico.

Always hoped these boards would be intercultural exchanges and that Mexicans would enjoy the challenge participating on them. That dream has never been realized and I've pretty much given up on the idea. Mexican friends who have tried to participate here over the years, find the forums, way too 'foreign' for their tastes.


(This post was edited by wendy devlin on Dec 13, 2009, 3:34 PM)


tonyburton / Moderator


Dec 13, 2009, 1:57 PM

Post #9 of 24 (8530 views)

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Re: [wendy devlin] How long has MexConnect been around . . . what is the history of Mexconnect? Who

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I think David should chime in as well, since I certainly was not the originator.
MexConnect was very much David's baby, and I was delighted to contribute photos and articles from the very start. Jennifer Rose became involved after I met her by chance on a boat ride on Lake Patzcuaro and we got chatting. I'm not sure now if she already knew something about MexConnect at that time, or if our conversation was her introduction to it. In terms of years, I believe MexConnect actually began as an entity in 1995, but the first formal issue was 1996.
David will have to fill in the details, since I'm currently in UK and a long way away from my files! It is quite fun using the Internet historical sites to see what the early issues looked like, or to search them out in our own archives on the site - we have come an amazingly long way, thanks to the hard work of moderators such as Pete, Rolly and Esperanza (and obviously Jennifer Rose until she decided to move on to other interests), Jim, Marlene and others, as well as the incredible sharing of so many Mexicophiles over the years via articles, photos, and posts on the forums. MexConnect's success is due to the quite extraordinary quality of all contributions. Here's hoping we can continue to innovate and improve over the years ahead. "Cheers!"
Tony


Anonimo

Dec 13, 2009, 2:15 PM

Post #10 of 24 (8517 views)

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Re: [tonyburton] How long has MexConnect been around . . . what is the history of Mexconnect? Who

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This is the earliest "edition" I could find.
http://web.archive.org/...tp://mexconnect.com/

"En Boca Cerrada No Entran Moscas."

Saludos,
Anonimo


robt65

Dec 13, 2009, 2:37 PM

Post #11 of 24 (8507 views)

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Re: [tonyburton] How long has MexConnect been around . . . what is the history of Mexconnect? Who

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WOW ! ! ! ! That really came to life fast!!!! Thank you all for telling me what you remember about the inception of MexConnect. What a neat history. It's nice to see that the hard work has paid off. It is also good to see that many of the initial contributors have either remained or returned. This is a really informative site and I for one am very happy that it did start. I have learned so much from this site, and I hope to continue learning from other before me. . . . .Thanks to you all for sticking with it.

Robert


johanson


Dec 14, 2009, 8:35 AM

Post #12 of 24 (8435 views)

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Re: [robt65] How long has MexConnect been around . . . what is the history of Mexconnect? Who

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I'm sitting in the office of the person who designed the original website, Rod Collins, the owner of the only local ISP here lakeside. He checked his records. They show that the domain name Mexicoconnect was registered on 27, July, 1997.

Internet did not hit lakeside until late spring 1997, dialup of course. The download speed was up to 33.6 kb/sec, usually about 28. Upload speeds were faster, closer to 60 kb/sec


arbon

Dec 14, 2009, 10:10 AM

Post #13 of 24 (8415 views)

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Re: [johanson] How long has MexConnect been around . . . what is the history of Mexconnect? Who

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I still think it was in 1996, what ever it was called.

Our first local internet, our first 28.8 modem, Win 95, "E-BUS" internet home schooling in Canada and Mexico.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



johanson


Dec 14, 2009, 11:28 AM

Post #14 of 24 (8396 views)

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Re: [arbon] How long has MexConnect been around . . . what is the history of Mexconnect? Who

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Before MexicoConnect Rod and his sister had registered the name SouthMex. He tried looking up the day he first registered same and gave up, but 1996 sounds about right. In those days to update anything one had to drive to Guadalajara. Sure they could have called up the Guadalajara ISP, but the long distance charges where prohibitive.

The URL is www.southmex.com.mx and no longer is used as it was in the past.


(This post was edited by johanson on Dec 14, 2009, 12:06 PM)


robt65

Dec 14, 2009, 1:20 PM

Post #15 of 24 (8368 views)

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Re: [johanson] How long has MexConnect been around . . . what is the history of Mexconnect? Who

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Hi Pete,

thanks for your answer . . . you know this question has really sparked some interest. I doubt that many people who use this informative site ever bothered to learn more about it and why it was started. I find these answers very interesting especially that part of one reply about the boat ride. I bet many other folks do also. I really want to thank you all for starting and operating this great site. It's nice to know the origins of such things for me. It has taught me much and I sure hope it stays around a while.

Pete, I hope you and your family have a very nice Holiday season.

With Respect,
Robert


johanson


Dec 14, 2009, 3:07 PM

Post #16 of 24 (8350 views)

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Re: [robt65] How long has MexConnect been around . . . what is the history of Mexconnect? Who

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I'm a relative late comer to Mexconnect. This is a wild guess but I think I arrived as Moderator in maybe 2001. I knew David McLaughlin for a longer period as he and Rod Collins were working together and as I mentioned above Rod started the first ISP short of calling long distance, lakeside. He worked out of a small building on the family property in San Antonio (between Chapala and Ajijic) If I remember correctly his backbone to Guadalajara was just 64 kb/sec, and quite expensive back in May of 1997.

I moved to the lake I believe in Aug and immediately signed up for www.laguna.com.mx as my internet service provider and would occasionally see David when I visited the office. Lagunanet was the only option in town and I was proud of my fast dialup connection. Soon I started donating time giving Tech Support at this ISP and one day David and Rod suggested I become the moderator of the tech forum. The rest is history.

The amount of work I have done on this forum is very small compared with what Tony and the others have done.


robt65

Dec 14, 2009, 3:24 PM

Post #17 of 24 (8342 views)

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Re: [johanson] How long has MexConnect been around . . . what is the history of Mexconnect? Who

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Pete,

I feel that you are a humble man . . . it is not how much one thinks they have contributed . . . . . . more importantly that they contributed at all. I for one am grateful to all who contributed large or small as this is what it takes to make any project a worthwhile endeavor. It doesn't matter if it is an internet site, a construction project or a fiesta.

At least that's my take on it for what it's worth.

Robert .


johanson


Dec 14, 2009, 7:51 PM

Post #18 of 24 (8304 views)

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Re: [robt65] How long has MexConnect been around . . . what is the history of Mexconnect? Who

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Bob: It's great to see you asking all of these questions. It brings us out of our closets. I see you are an architect. Cool. I certainly am not. Luckily I was adopted at the age of 3 months by an architect and his wife an artist. In fact he was the J in NBBJ. I sure was lucky he and mom were really talented. He had classmates that I met like Minoru Yamasaki the designer of the twin towers. I was lucky enough to know him.

Now if only I had 5% of the ability of these folks. I can appreciate fine art and beautiful buildings, but I "aint no" architect or artist, but I can fix your computer. Oh well.


Moisheh

Dec 15, 2009, 6:12 PM

Post #19 of 24 (8246 views)

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Re: [johanson] How long has MexConnect been around . . . what is the history of Mexconnect? Who

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I have been on Mexconnect since at least 1998. It was a fun forum. Jennifer had many who loved her and some who did not. Her wit and intelligence always prevailed. It was a great board even though there was not an abundance of members. Not many of them post today. I do rememnber when a lady named Betsy became enraged when I suggested that her paying a maid the equivalent of about $4.00 a day was not very charitable. I was hung in effigy by all the Chapala women who were afraid that they too might have to ante up a few bucks more! I think we all learned a lot on this forum. There was not a lot of Mexico information online at that time.

Moisheh


wendy devlin

Dec 15, 2009, 6:38 PM

Post #20 of 24 (8244 views)

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Re: [Moisheh] How long has MexConnect been around . . . what is the history of Mexconnect? Who

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Moisheh,
If you hang around any community (virtual or real)long enough, chances are, someone is stringing up your effigy, somewhere.

Or pricking pins, in your likeness of a, voodoo doll. LOL.


DavidMcL


Dec 15, 2009, 8:25 PM

Post #21 of 24 (8226 views)

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The official MexConnect story.

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So, the story behind Mexconnect?
OK.

In the earlier '90's when my wife, Dona, and I were researching whether we wanted to live in Mexico and if so where and how. There was little information in print or elsewhere that was helpful. There was lots for tourists but little for re-settlement.

Around that time this thing called the Internet was beginning to take hold.

Thus, for me, if we were having troubles finding info then others were as well and I had a curiosity about this Internet thing.
In 1995 I combined both thoughts and the very first version of Mexico Connect came with us to Mexico in November 1995 on a floppy disk. I had found a hobby for myself that would enable me to learn about Mexico, learn about the Internet and to share what we had learned.

Little did I know what was to be unleashed!

In January 1996, I met sister and brother Camille and Rod Collins who were in the desktop publishing business. We compared notes and decided to jointly produce Mexico Connect using the URL mexconnect.com.

We had to dial long distance to Guadalajara to get an Internet connection to upload the site.

The first version went live in May 1996, And it looked something like this:
December 1996 version

Rod looked after the technical side and Camile and I looked after content. All three of us fought over the design.

In 1997 Rod felt he needed more of a technical challenge and thus left and began Laguna Net as a provider of Internet services. Camille and I continued with MXC until 1999 when she left to open up Mom's Restaurant in Reberas del Pilar with her mother, Maye.

Mean while Mexico Connect was turning into a voracious child requiring a huge investment of everything there was.

In 1996, the first Mexico Connect Forum began in the form of a Newsletter entitled MTMG - "Moving to Mexico Group. (my memory is fuzzy as to how accurate that name is . . .) to which a dedicated group of people contributed tips, techniques, hard data, advice and experience.

Back Issues can be found here: Back Issues

In 1997 the Newsletter became the interactive General Forum on Mexconnect, at which point Tony Burton - who had been writing articles for the site - and jennifer rose became involved as Moderators.

An archived version sits Here.

In those days, the Forums were like the wild, wild West with every thing including the kitchen sink being thrown into the fray - Moderation was nearly a full time task as there was little attention being paid to the rules of civility and respect! However over time the Mexconnect forums developed a deserved reputation for quality postings. Occasionally things went off track and people were banned and then banned again and factions complained about this poster and that poster. Threats were made, friendships were lost and made.

Basically everyone had a good time except the Moderators who were intent on making the place good. And IMHO, I think they did. The forums expanded to the current 15, the personality of the forums settled down - with a few hiccups here and there, and the quality of info rose to become a very useful and usually accurate resource. New software at the turn of the century enabled a more robust system to look after peoples' needs.

Advertising was not paying the bills, so in 2003 the site was split into a free side, and a much more robust subscription side. This made lots of people madder than hell as, after all, the internet was supposed to be free damn it! Forget that it costs someone, somewhere, as long as it is free for me . . .
After dire predictions of immediate failure settled down, the site maintained its growth, and while still not paying for itself, did allow us to begin to pay an Honourarium to our contributors - A significant moment for us.

The production and design of the site was still a one person operation - barely. My wife of 34 years died in August of 2003 and I went into some kind of altered state for about a year. Thanks to the Moderators that side of the site continued happily, but my ability to be effective on the content side began to show. Thus in 2004 I hired someone to do the content. This person was able to hold the fort while I disappeared on a Don Quixote journey for 6 months, but the site did not grow during that period,

In 2005, I hired Carol Wheeler to take over production as well as Editorial content and the care and feeding of current and new contributors - great decision as the content of the site has become stronger, richer and of a higher quality than it has ever been.

In 2008, the site had grown to over 4000 articles and 2700 photographs. The site was still being hand coded and any site-wide change had to be changed on every single page - insanity.

Thus I decided to invest in the re-creation of Mexico Connect into a dynamic database driven site that could hold its own in the Web 2.0 age. In Spring 2009, the site went live as MexConnect rather than Mexico Connect, with a vibrant and powerful custom database design and - it went free. I made the decision that advertising had to be the route to decent revenue. Subscriptions had been successful, but with the advent of so many specialty Mexico sites, couldn't grow and was, in fact declining.

So here we are nearly to 2010. MexConnect is now nearing its fifteenth year - it has become a Granddaddy of the content rich sites and is being enjoyed by thousands of readers - who, I hope, will all take advantage of the advertising!

There are many stories to be told about Mexconnect, but I will just let this somewhat brief history stand as it is.
Thanks for the opportunity to share..

David
David McL
WebJefe

(This post was edited by DavidMcL on Dec 15, 2009, 8:26 PM)


bournemouth

Dec 16, 2009, 7:02 AM

Post #22 of 24 (8169 views)

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Re: [DavidMcL] The official MexConnect story.

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And thank you for sharing. It's been a roller coaster for you hasn't it - but thanks so much for starting it - I hope it continues way into the future.


robt65

Dec 16, 2009, 3:14 PM

Post #23 of 24 (8113 views)

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Re: [DavidMcL] The official MexConnect story.

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Hello David,

Pardon me for taking so long to respond to your wonderful letter about the real history of MexConnect. Sometimes things just fascinate me and this very successful and informative Internet site was one of them. Something this good doesn't happen overnight. I knew there had to be some interesting history behind it all. I am really glad that I asked. As you have seen so many different parts from those devoted members helped a lot but your detailed response really put the frosting on the cake.

Every once in a while I run across one of your responses and as I have said to many in the past . . . I learn much from each and every one of them. As another member wrote . . .thank you so much for your tenacity in reaching your goal. I can't even beguin to guess at the number of people who have been helped along the way SOB, thanks to this site. Me included for sure.

I sure wish you many more years of success with this site and also I hope that you have a really great Holiday Season.

Best Wishes,
Robert


tashby


Dec 16, 2009, 3:34 PM

Post #24 of 24 (8107 views)

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Re: [DavidMcL] The official MexConnect story.

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Well, all I can say is congratulations on creating, nurturing and sustaining what is by far the best Mexico internet site I've ever found. And, thank you.

Oh, wait....I know just the thing to say: May it go well for you!

Cheers and Happy Holidays!
 
 
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