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Ask an old gringo: symbolism, police, education, and the Virgin

This old gringo, from time to time, receives a flurry of comments and questions. Many are predictable. Where should I visit? How much does it cost? How’s the weather in January? Is it safe to drive? This message was intriguing: “We are studying symbolism. What’s with the snake on the Mexican flag?” Answer The big bird […]

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Watchdog on the roof in Teotitlan del Valle © Ron Mader, 2010

Ask an old gringo: crime, sports, Starbucks and the Mexican roof dog

Please do not ask questions that require only yes or no answers. It takes more and better words for me to tell you how much I know about Mexico. Question Is Mexico competitive in international sports? Answer Yes and no. Mexico is almost a world power in soccer. Lorena Ochoa isn’t too bad at golf. Little boxers […]

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Peace March in Guadalajara © Alfredo Cortez Romano, 2011

Ask an old gringo about Mexico border smiles, Barbie dolls and captured catapults

Question: There is so much bad news along the border. Does anybody ever smile? Answer: Of course — and sometimes we laugh out loud. With all hell breaking loose around them, Border Patrol agents in the Juarez region caught a crowd of bad Barbie dolls trying to sneak into the United States. These were not genuine Barbies […]

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Puerto Escondido © Geri Anderson

Ask the old gringo about Mexico welcome mat, value system, jail time and hot billboard

Question: Are gringos really welcome in Mexico? Answer: Some guests are an aggravation, others are a pain, but it appears their folding money is well received. Officials of the beach community of Puerto Escondido, in the state of Oaxaca, threw a December party to celebrate foreigners. A few hundred attended. Free food and drink remains an exciting lure. […]

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The Bijou, docked at Punto Morelos, Quintana Roo © Roger Cunningham, 200o

Ask an old gringo about Mexico economy, Guerrero recovery, anchovy gelato and Yescka

It appears much of the world is very interested in Mexico. A surprising number of Mexconnect readers asked the old gringo about the economy, reforms, boats, Guerrero recovery, Michaocan dangers — and hospitality. Some questions are far out. One asked about anchovy gelato. Another asked about Yescka. That got my undivided attention. Question: I was reading […]

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Narrow city streets near the plaza in Guanajuato, Mexico © Geri Anderson 1997

Ask an old gringo: Mexico questions about tuna war, holidays, spelling errors and dinosaurs

Readers of MexConnect ask exciting questions about Mexico, about sea to shining sea, the mountains and most of the villages in between. Where to live, where to visit, where to park in Guanajuato? Own or rent and what to eat on the streets? Should I drive or take the bus? How about health care and bandits and topes? […]

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Family, friends, good food, and good times in Mexico contribute to a sense of well-being © John Gladstein, 2004

Ask an old gringo about Mexican happiness, jobs for foreigners, Mormon mother, books in English

Question: I saw on TV that Mexico ranks 10th in the world among happy countries. Are Mexicans that happy? Answer: I am often surprised but most Mexicans I know seem happy, even under difficult conditions. There are at least two possible explanations. The value system is different from many places, the United States, Japan and Germany, for […]

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