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Ask an old gringo about knife sharpening, a new college, Trump and things to like about Mexico Marvin West

afilador de cuchillo
There is a better way to sharpen your knife. Education can be expensive - for investors. The USA Presidential nomination process crosses the border - Not. How to gain wealth without working too hard. 'Tis the season to be juicy - Mangos and all the local drippings about a new hospital. read more

Baby Boomers: Reinvent Your Retirement in Mexico Reviewed by Elaine Halleck

Book lovers, especially those contemplating retirement near Lake Chapala, will enjoy Karen Blue's conversational interviews in Baby Boomers: Reinvent Your Retirement in Mexico.

But my guess is that the book may be more attractive to people who have already moved south and want to know what makes their fellow expats tick, and maybe pick up a few nuggets of practical information in the process.

Each short chapter in the 215-page softcover focuses on one person or couple who, in most cases, use only their first name.

Yet, with only that thin cloak of anonymity, the interviewees pretty much pour out their hearts, and the author gets in a fair amount of personal details about her background and her nearly 20 years living the expat life in the Lake Chapala area... read more

A cabin near Puerto Vallarta David Kimball

Seven US presidents were born in log cabins. The most notable, of course, was Lincoln. During elections, all of them were quick to remind the public of their humble frontier origins with fulsome refere... read more

In Mexico, Baja beckons expats Patti Morrow

Married, single, young, old, with kids in tow, retired or entrepreneurs — Baja Mexico is enticing expats with its promise of a better lifestyle. The choices are unlimited. The colorful culture of col... read more

San Miguel de Allende: A Place in the Heart - Expatriates Find Themselves Living in Mexico Reviewed by James Tipton

John Scherber's thoughtful and satisfying book, San Miguel de Allende: A Place in the Heart (2010), is a collection of stories about North Americans "who live here full time, as I do." San Miguel de Allende is their home.

The idea of the book originated when Scherber, after living in San Miguel for only eight months, began asking himself questions like: "What had I given up to come here, and what had I gained? What was my new role in the community? Was I an exile? An expatriate? Would I ever live in the States again? How did I react to Americans I saw here visiting? What had I done?" read more

Mexico's Christmas traditions: Posadas, pastorelas and nacimientos Judy King

Few North Americans recognize that the roots of these treasured “Christmas” traditions were active long before the birth of Christ. In fact, most evolved from pagan winter solstice rituals of the Celts, Druids, Scandinavians and indigenous groups, and the much older Jewish Festival of Lights.

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Good morning, Mexico Marvin West

Mornings in our village begin around 5. If we go to the third floor of our townhouse, we can look in several directions and watch the neighborhood come to life. The first flight of fishermen walk beside the arroyo, on their way to their boats moored on the western shore of Lake Chapala. read more

Living year-round in tropical Mexico: The dream and the reality Christina Stobbs

Dreaming of living in tropical paradise year-round? Somewhere with an idyllic sandy beach adorned with dancing palms and crystal clear warm ocean waters? Can you envision waking each morning to the swe... read more

Retiring in Mexico: How's Manzanillo? Donald J. MacKay

It is useful to think of Manzanillo as two bays in an arc of some 20 kilometers with its southern point where the port and the town center are located. About mid way north, a peninsula juts straight out to sea to form another bay. Then another more sizeable peninsula, Juluapan, extends into the Pacific. read more

Retirement in Paradise: a '50s burger drive-in on Mexico's Emerald Coast William B. Kaliher

Retiring in Mexico means different things for different people. But an American couple in tiny Tecolutla on Mexico's Emerald Coast have forged a unique and fulfilling lifestyle by taking the road less ... read more

AA: Alcoholics Anonymous meetings in Mexico "Mexico" Mike Nelson

You'll find AA throughout Mexico, even in small towns. NA has a sizable presence in the larger towns. Alanon is almost everywhere. OA, SALA and other programs are less likely to be encountered outside major cities. AA is very visible. I have noted where there are meetings in many cases, but like here, they move or change. We urge readers to help us keep this list current.

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Hammering out a future for young people in Chapala, Mexico Ed Tasca

The men and women in the Chapala-Ajijic area whom I admire the most are those who can give so generously of their time to help others (without expecting anything in return), and Lakeside seems to be ov... read more

Mexico's alternative medicine in Amarillo, Texas John G. Gladstein

In Mexico, alternative medicine has long been popular. With the increase of healthcare costs, insurance, traditional medicines and a visit to the doctor's office in the U.S., many people are seeking al... read more

Sneaking north: an illegal immigrant returns to Mexico with honors Marvin West

Luis Martinez Gomez
For some, illegal immigration is a simple equation, what you risk for what you get.

Luis Alberto Martinez Gomez became an illegal four years ago. He was 16.

The family concluded Luis might be better off in the United States. There was an uncle who once made a promise to help the nephew if ever needed. He came through with cash for a border coyote.

Going north sounded so simple.

It wasn't.

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Propane gas is the norm for hot water, cooking and heating in your Mexico home J. Brad Grieve

Gas is an important element in homes here in Mexico — propane gas. We use it to cook our food, heat our water, occasionally to heat our homes and dry our clothes. Now remember that this is not natur... read more

Gone to Mexico and gone to the dogs Marvin West


Nick Lampiris and friends
© Marvin West, 2010
If man's best friend is really a dog, Nick Lampiris is richly blessed. He has 37. Nick lives in Mexico, at the end of a mile-long dirt road, on ejido land, in the high country above Lake Chapala, in the colorful state of Jalisco. From his back door, he can see Mount Garcia and the lake, all the way to Scorpion Island. To the front is Mount Viejo. read more

In Mexico, Operation Compassion feeds the hungry Ed Tasca

Often, when we think of starving children, we're thinking about Central Africa or parts of India or even remote areas of South America. But Mexico has its share of the poor, as close by as the Chapala area. The truth is, unremitting hunger is right here under our noses and most of us aren't aware of it. Three Lakeside residents have formed what they call "Operation Compassion." read more

Wild Bill discovers Mexico's Costa Esmeralda — the Emerald Coast of Veracruz William B. Kaliher

Wild Bill is a seventy-six year-old expatriate enjoying his motor home and life in relative seclusion at Quinta Alicia Trailer Park on the palm covered coast of Costa Esmeralda, Mexico. Retired from bo... read more

Stretching Social Security checks in Mexico Marvin West

Larry Herman and his best friend Lynda escaped subsidized senior housing, packed suitcases and moved to Mexico — even though neither one had ever been south of the border.
They stayed in Bucerias for a month and explored the area by bus.
Their modest apartment in Sayulita, one block from the beach, costs them about $500 U.S. per month, depending on the exchange rate the day you pay. read more

Dealing with insects in your Mexico house and garden J. Brad Grieve

Bugs like tropical shrubs and palm thatching
Cockroaches, scorpions, earwigs, mosquitoes, termites, beetles, ants and even fleas, present different challenges to homeowners here in tropical Mexico. They are part of the dark side of our little paradise read more

Expat living in Mexico: Xalapa vs. Ajijic Donald J. MacKay

Reports written some years ago about Jalapa, (or Xalapa as the locals prefer to spell it) Veracruz in MexConnect caught my eye. These tout the pleasant climate, cultural attractions, the presence of un... read more

Theater in the Chapala lakeside: The Naked Stage Ed Tasca

3A Calle de Zaragoza, Ajijic
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Tianguis: itinerant traders in a traveling Mexican market Jenny McGill

In Talpa, we have tianguis or street markets. Every two weeks, venders come from Guadalajara with their trucks loaded with fresh vegetables and fruit, herbs, ornate plants, cell phones, hair dryers and CD players. We can buy a galvanized milk can or rubber boots to wear in the milking lot. There are clay bean pots, stone metates for grinding the spices for savory salsas and machetes to clear the path through the woods. read more

On the way to Oregon: Adventurers settle on Mexico's Bay of Banderas Marvin West

An adventurous English couple builds a boat, sails toward Oregon to buy horses, but settles on Mexico's Bay of Banderas in La Cruz de Huanacaxtle where they run a restaurant and promote Huichol art. read more

Boomers in Paradise: Living in Puerto Vallarta Reviewed by James Tipton

Robert Nelson's Boomers in Paradise: Living in Puerto Vallarta, profiles fourteen "baby boomers" who now reside in Puerto Vallarta, The book, though, will be of interest to any expatriate (or would-be ... read more
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