Thirteen years ago Dan Gair & Holly Hunter bought land in a small village on the coast of Jalisco. Three years later they sold their U.S. businesses and moved to the property full time. The experience since became a rogue experiment that overran the lab – fun, challenging, and even scary at times.
In September 2018 “The Mexico Diaries, A Sustainable Adventure”, a memoir about their journey, was released on Amazon & Kindle. To date the book has received an astounding 4.7 average rating on Amazon/Kindle and 4.44 on Goodreads (30+ reviews on each). SurvivingMexico. com / Book Reviews calls The Mexico Diaries “A whirlwind Mexican journey to sustainability and beyond…”.
In the book you will find scores of eccentric people, outrageous animal stories, narco encounters, corrupt cops, and even a splash of Voodoo or two! The book is also a narrative about switching up our lives and pursuing a more sustainable lifestyle on foreign soil.
For those of you considering Mexico as a place to retire to, ‘The Mexico Diaries’ can serve as both encouragement, and a cautionary tale.
That’s it then. Hop on Amazon using the following link (https://goo.gl/FHJ94q), purchase a copy, and enjoy the ride! Please also consider giving it a review (the Amazon sales game is all about reviews which drive rankings) knowing that 50% of any profit will be donated to The Environmental Defense Fund!
#Mexico #sustainbility #adventure #Permaculture #photography #sustainable #travel
PDC’s – Free Online vs. Paid For Location Courses?
Ever wondered why on-location Permaculture Certification Courses (PDC’s) charge the big bucks, while their kissing’ cousins, online PDC courses, are free, or practically nothing to “attend”?
The following is an excellent general primer on PDC’s, and explains clearly and fully why live PDC’s are well worth spending your hard earned pesos on: (click link)
January PDC (Permaculture Certification Course) in Mexico!
Join us for this transformative experience in a welcoming, traditional village
– just steps from one of Mexico’s most pristine, swimmable beaches! Jan. 10-24, 2016
Come Grow Your World!
Learn regenerative food growing, energy production, natural building,
and water systems, adaptable to any climate.
This is the Permaculture Design Certification (PDC) course laid out by Bill Mollison and David Holmgren, and refined since it’s inception in the late 1980’s. Participants receive 72-hours of theory and hands-on practical training not possible with online courses.
Camping, all meals, and ground transport provided. Lodging upgrades, early bird discounts, & limited scholarships available.
Andrew Jones: Founding Member of BajaBioSana, and PDC Instructor on 5 continents.
Shenaqua Jones: Permaculture Instructor, Yoga, Health & Raw Foods Educator.
Axel Gutierrez: Master’s Degree in sustainability. Trained with Bill Mollison & David Holmgren.
Daniel Gair: Natural Building & Solar Instructor
Holly Hunter: Artisan Cheese Maker and Animal Care Instructor.
For Further Info/Registration: www.PDC2016.com
This is a very cool search engine we’ve started using and want to pass along! Super easy to install as your primary browser, Clear, concise search results with fewer ads, and in exchange for forgoing Google’s goofy grafix, you’ll get to watch the number of trees your search clics help plant! Now that’s what we call a worthwhile trade off!
Here’s the link to get started: http://www.ecosia.org then select “more” in the lower left corner.
And here’s a link to their blog showing how our clicks get turned into planted trees! http://blog.ecosia.org/post/91850071905/the-trees-for-the-forest-more-than-700-000
A few factoids from the ECOSIA website
* 80% of the ECOSIA ad revenue goes to the rainforest tree planting program
* The funds from ECOSIA have resulted in over 670 thousand trees planted to date.
* Proof of ECOSIA donations audit is reported to The Nature Conservancy
So what’s not to love???? Give it a try…
Thoughts on the pursuit of living sustainably SOB (south of the border), plus a vetted listing of cultural, environmental, and educational programs where you can actively give back to the environment and local communities that you visit while in Mexico!
Do you want to make your trip to Mexico truly memorable and one of meaning? Do you want to contribute to real sustainability while having fun and seeing the country? If so, then this post is for you!
The following is a listing of places where your touring dollar or volunteering efforts can really make a difference. These listings are not typical eco-tourist destinations operating loosely under the guise of being “green” or culturally beneficial. Rather, these sites all have proactive environmental sustainability, education, or relief services as core aspects of their operating mission. These organizations have been individually selected and vetted as places where you can enhance your experience of mexico by actively participating in legitimate projects that really do provide a benefit to the planet.
Please note that many of these locations are working organic farms, ranches, research field stations, schools, etc. and, as such, take volunteers or other visitors on an advanced approval basis only. Unless noted, please be sure to contact the site ahead to make any necessary arrangements for your visit.
I hope that you’ll comment on your experiences, and suggest your own secret spots for helping to have (our) touring dollars & volunteering efforts make a positive difference! This list will be updated frequently and your suggestions will be added. Please provide links, or any other contact info in the comments section (click on comments bubble above).
Bien Viaje! Enjoy the tour!
Nearest City: Tepic / Sayulita
Type of Visit: school + center for preservation of indigenous peoples (Huichol) / volunteer work exchange (2 month min. + spanish). Advance arrangements suggested
Name: The Huichol Center for Cultural Survival
contact info: Susana Valadez email@example.com
State: Jalisco (El Tuito)
Nearest City: Puerto Vallarta
Type of Visit: eco tourism + education / extensive tropical gardens & organic restaurant. No advance booking required.
Name: Vallarta Botanical Gardens
contact info: firstname.lastname@example.org
From within Mexico: 322-223-6182 From outside of Mexico: 011-52-322-223-6182
State: Jalisco (Mayto)
Nearest City: Puerto Vallarta / El Tuito
Type of Visit: working organic ranch + campground / guided horse, botanical and educational tours / volunteer work exchange programs (10 day min. – by application) + longer internships & homesteading options
Name: Rancho Sol y Mar
contact info: email@example.com
State: Jalisco (Mayto)
Nearest City: Puerto Vallarta / El Tuito
Type of Visit: Turtle Research Camp / nightly turtle releases in season (no advance booking required). Volunteer work exchange programs (contact for further info)
Name: Campamento de Tortugas
contact info: firstname.lastname@example.org
State/Region: Jalisco / Lake Chapala
Nearest City: Chapala
Type of Visit: eco farm + education + community development / volunteer work exchange
Name: Acá Centro Ecológico
Baja Peninsula (California Sur)
State: Baja (Cal Sur)
Nearest City: Cabo San Lucas
Type of Visit: eco tourism / working organic farm / eco visit or volunteer work exchange
Name: Rancho La Venta
Contact info: email@example.com
Nearest City: San Jose Del Cabo
Type of Visit: wellness / creative arts center + organic farm + CSA / volunteer work exchange
Name: La Semilla / Raices y Brasos
Contact: local #: (624) 142-3794 US #: (802) 734-9808
Nearest City: Tiajuana
Type of Visit: Cattle Ranch being converted to organic farm / volunteer work exchange
Name: El Papalote
Contact Info: 52+661-100-0000 (land) 52-1-664-194-7514 (cell)
State/Region: Baja California Sur
Nearest City: La Ribera
Type of Visit: botanical gardens / teaching center / volunteer work exchange
Name: Buena Fortuna Jardin Botanico
Website (blog) http://buenafortunapermaculture.wordpress.com
Contact Info: firstname.lastname@example.org
Central + South Central Highlands
Nearest City: San Miquel de Allende
Type of Visit: center for sustainability & appropriate technology workshops (contact for workshop schedules)
Name: iCATIS Mexico / Instituto Tierra y Cal
Contact info: Dylan Terrell email@example.com
Nearest City: Oaxaca
Type of Visit: off grid living / volunteer in exchange for learning about solar, chickens bee keeping, and grey water
Name: Sn Fco Lachigoló
Contact info: Daniel Ellsworth 52-1-951-142-1849
Nearest City: Oaxaca
Type of Visit: urban / relief work with children, primarily education. No advance necessary.
Name: Oaxaca Streetchildren Grassroots
Website/Contact Info: http://www.oaxacastreetchildrengrassroots.org firstname.lastname@example.org
Nearest City(Guevea de Humboldt)
Type of Visit: organic coffee plantation / volunteer work exchange
Name: Linda Vista / ConDoy Coffee Farm
Website (blog): http://condoycafe.wordpress.com
State/Region: Michoacan (Lake Pátzcuaro)
Nearest City: Pátzcuaro
Type of Visit: organic permaculture farm / retreat center / volunteer work exchange (2 wk. min.
Name: Bosque Village
Website/Contact info: email@example.com
Nearest City: Malinalco / Tenancingo / Mexico City (D.F.)
Type of Visit: organic farm, school & retreat center / volunteer work exchange
Name: Rancho Cazahuate
Contact Info: Anya Loizaga Velder www.ecomundi.info or
State: Chiapas (Teopisca)
Nearest City: San Cristóbal de Las Casas
Type of Visit: non-profit farm & community development / volunteer work exchange (1 month min.)
Name: El Porvenir
Website/Contact info: 52+9671107386 / 52+1+ 9671149914(cell)
Nearest City: Amatlan
Type of Visit: Yoga/Healing Center
Name: Garden of Eden Healing Community
Website/Contact Info: http://www.moving-overseas-guide.com/2012-awakening.html
Yucatan Peninsula + Chiapas
State: Quintana Roo (Tulum)
Nearest City: Cancun / Playa Del Carmen
Type of Visit: Eco tourism, biological reserve park & lodging. Nature Tours. Reservations suggested.
Name: Sian Ka’an Bio Reserva
Website/Contact info: (http://www.visitsiankaan.com)
Nearest City: Playa Del Carmen
Type of Visit: Working organic farm / volunteer work exchange, 2 wk min.
Name: Tumbem Ha
Contact info: firstname.lastname@example.org
Nearest City: Vallodolid / Merida / Cancun
Type of Visit: Sustainability courses / volunteer work exchange (3 wk. min.)
State: Qintana Roo
Nearest City: Cancun
Type of Visit: Environmental & cultural educational tours offered (fee).
Name: Project Mayan Encounter
Nearest City: San Cristóbal de Las Casas
Type of Visit: After school student center in indigenous Mayan Community.
Name: La Chozita / Chiapas Children’s Project
Contact Info: email@example.com
Nearest City: Teopisca
Type of Visit: Education, community development, environmental protection
Name: El Porvenir
Contact Info: 52+9671107386
Nearest City: Playa Del Carmen
Type of Visit: rustic organic farm / volunteer work exchange
Name: Tumben Kuxtal
contact info: 52-1-998-133-4486
Nearest City: Xalapa
Type of Visit: aquaponics classes / urban organic farm / volunteer work exchange
Name: Semilla Verde
website/contact info: http://www.facebook.com/semilla.huertoshidroponicos
Nearest City: Juarez
Type of Visit: orphanage / volunteer work exchange
Name: Rancho Los Amigos
contact info: Patti Kidd ph: 407-232-3009
State/Region: Nuevo Leon
Nearest City: Monterey
Type of Visit: Relief Work (distribution of food & clothing)
Contact Info: Info@ammac.com.mx
Nearest City: Puerto Penasco
Type of Visit: medical clinic staffing
Name: Manos de Ayuda
Website/Contact Info: firstname.lastname@example.org U.S. (520) 760-8645
Pay-For Volunteer Programs
Nearest City: N/A
Type of Visit: Pay-for volunteer programs (teaching, medical, schools, etc. – $270 U.S. per week to participate)
Name: International Volunteer HQ
website/contact info: International Volunteer Head Quarters (volunteerhq.org)
S State: Various
Nearest City: N/A
Type of Visit: Pay-for volunteer programs (promote peace & justice, work with children – $2,295 U.S. per week to participate)
Name: Global Volunteers
website/contact info: (www.globalvolunteers.org)
State: Nayarit & Jalisco
Nearest City: Puerto vallarta
Type of Visit: Pay-for conservation, cultural, and ecology-oriented “expeditions”.
website/contact info: http:
Nearest City: N/A
Type of Visit: 72 listings for (mostly) pay-for volunteer service organizations operating in Mexico!
website/contact info: http://www.goabroad.com
Nearest City: N/A
Type of Visit: Eco tours + some coordination with local NGO’s for more extensive volunteer / service options.
Name: Glocal Travel
Passive Eco Tourism Destinations
In researching this post I came across numerous quasi eco tourist establishments that adorn themselves with green labeling but have little if anything to offer in the way of active environmental or cultural payback. Following is a link to tourist resort properties that appear to be offering truly low impact, mostly sustainable amenities, even if they don’t offer opportunities for active service.
Sustainable Mexico? Is there such a thing? You bet! And as environmental protections, governmental programs, and NGO’s are coming online at a rapid pace, I thought I’d create a blog that explores the various ways that we can all participate.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s buzz out to 80,000 feet for an overview.
First of all, let me ask if you are any of the following:
Are you a volunteer, looking for the right spot to make use of your fine energies. Do you want to meet others operating at the same frequency; working hard, having fun, doing right by the planet.
Are you an experienced Wwoofer, looking to take it to the next level. Maybe you’ve got a bit of money saved. Maybe not. Either way, Are you looking for some good soil and, hopefully, some good community, where you can sink your teeth in deeper? Plant some roots?
Are you a seasoned farm hand or CSA worker, looking to homestead or start your own business?
Are you looking for intentional community to join, or thinking of banding together with friends to buy some land and forming one?
Are you a farm family, facing yet another harsh northern winter; stacking wood, canning veggies, worrying about heating oil contracts, thinking that there must be another, better way…
Well, if you’re any of the above, or anything like it, then this blog is a place to share ideas, options, and stories of what you think about, struggle with, and strive for.
My disclosure: I’m not an expert with pat answers to the above. I have enough experience with setting up solar photovoltaics systems to give specific advice and recommendations on that. My wife and I have an off grid working ranch, campground, and sustainability education center in mexico (www.ranchosolymar.com) and have enough knowledge of animal care (specifically goats & chickens), food production, managing water resources, and running businesses, to have some good, solid, practical advice to offer on those fronts as well. But really, there are plenty of other informational sites where one can find advanced farming and off-grid living knowledge. Instead, with this blog, we’ll be exploring topics that we considered vital to our basic decision making process, but which we’ve been unable to find to be well considered elsewhere. We’ll also be getting postings from time to time from some of the volunteers that have helped us at our ranch, to get their perspective, to find out what works and what doesn’t. Hopefully we will be drilling down more deeply into specific sustainability topics as the blog it evolves, hopefully offering some fresh perspectives and some useful advice!
General Topics This Blog Will be Covering:
- Consider Moving toward the tropics! One theme we’ll be revisiting frequently is the role of LATITUDE in the pursuit of sustainable living. One of my growing pet obsessions is the idea that living north or south of 35 degrees latitude presents inherent physical challenges, that, in many ways, simply don’t make good , common, practical sense. It’s all a matter of energy, really. The energy is takes to prepare for and survive winters (heat energy, and also “life” energy) can be put to much better use if one is living closer to the equator. By moving south (although this could be “north”, of course, if you’re located in the southern hemisphere. For simplicity here, I’ll be using “south” as the general catch all direction for considering a move) you can automatically liberate much of your life energy for other pursuits – pleasure and/or leisure time being not insignificant! There’s also a very basic baseline of security to be had by leaving winter behind.
- The costs and benefits of having animal “partners”. On this topic we’ll bounce around a bit; from the responsibility and expense of animal husbandry, to the practical benefits and shear joy of life with animals, we’ll explore many of the considerations that having animals “brings to the table”.
- “Farming Photons”: A general discussion of the use of renewables, particularly solar, as well as the practical considerations; costs, benefits, off-grid vs grid tie, siting, general equipment recommendations, and other specific information. (see “Our Solar Story” below for the first post on this…)
- Defining your goals and figuring out how to make them profitable: Having both run & sold successful businesses, Holly and I have spent a lifetime developing tools & strategies for defining and promoting one’s own niche market. Whether you are growing veggies, raising animals, or producing a value added product, we’ll explore some simple techniques for figuring out what “makes you sing” and how to turn it into a profitable business.
- Crossing Borders: We’ll look at both the literal implications of seeking out a sustainable life across the border, (in our case Mexico, but much of this discussion can apply to any cross border situation) but also the more metaphysical aspect of re-mapping one’s own life. What are the possible challenges and benefits of breaking out of your old, often worn out, geographical paradigms??? (see “Secret Sustainability South of the Border” for more on this…)
- Stories of sustainability: Stories can entertain as well as instruct. We’ve got a growing collection and would love to hear yours!
So, there you have it. It is my intention, above all, to make this blog a useful sounding board for your own pursuit of sustainability. Working toward true sustainability can and should be a joyful, fulfilling, lifelong experience. The hours will be long, and we’ll each have our own path to follow, but we’ll also have much commonality to share and helpful wisdom to impart. I hope that you’ll participate and make this blog part of your own virtual homesteading community – a place to cultivate, share and learn from!
Purchasing Property In Mexico
Thinking of heading south of the border with dreams of homesteading? Don’t know how buying a choice little piece of land to farm could fit into the equation? Well, the great news is that yes, you can do it! Purchasing property in the interior of Mexico is very affordable, very do-able, and an excellent alternative for many reasons (see “secret sustainability” post below…). It’s actually really easy. Here’s how:
1) Obviously, step one is finding your spot. Take your time, do your homework, and take at least a month to travel around the area you’re interested in. Travel by bus is easy and affordable in latin america, the people are incredibly friendly, and there are plenty of others travelers out there who you will meet on the road. Holly and I knew the country fairly well before starting, but still spent a month in a rental car, touring the Pacific coast within 150 miles of a key transport hub, Puerto Vallarta, before settling on the exact spot where we ended up taking root.
2) Once you have a property in mind, be certain to seek out a reputable notario in the area near where you are considering purchasing. Make sure you talk to a registered “notario”, not a regular abogado (lawyer). Also note that real estate agents in Mexico aren’t licensed and there are many agents peddling property without oversight or exclusivity, so if questions come up, the notario is the person to confer with, not a real estate agent. Always check with a Notario first before making a commitment to anyone! Most city’s have english speaking Notario’s available.
3) Once you’ve settled on a place that you know to be titled (having an escritura), have the notario you are working with review all title doc’s to make sure there are no liens. (Usually a small deposit will hold while doc’s are reviewed. Title insurance is available from U.S. based company, Stewart Title).
4) Next have said Notario write up a “Compra y Venta” sales agreement, and then proceed with purchase… Bank $ transfers are straight forward, Titles are usually issued within several days.
Purchasing near the Coast
Condominium properties or titled private properties located in the restricted zone and less than 2000sq meters can easily and safely be put into a Mexican bank trust (Fideicomiso). The process is basically the same as above however title will be issued in the banks name with you named as the beneficiary (trust are generally 99year term & renewable).
For ejido property without previous title, or purchase of larger land tracts in the federal restricted zone (within 50 km of the coast), property purchase can get a bit more tricky. For other, more problematic purchase, almost anything is possible although the process can be long and grueling. Read on…
The following is offered as a quick start trouble shooting guide to any foreign nationals considering the purchase of ejido, or recently privatized ejido property, or property in the restricted zone. Blogger MexDog assumes no responsibility for accuracy as the rules change over time, and even by region/municipality. Make certain to seek advice from at least one reputable Notario before committing more funds than you’re willing to lose!
1) Any deal to purchase property that is still part of an ejido should be considered RISKY. Regardless of what you may be told, using a mexican national as presta nombre (borrowed name) or any other means to purchase ejido property in the restricted zone can never be a fail safe proposition regardless of having Powers of Attorney or a Will in place. While many people have successfully “owned” property for years in the name of a prestanombre, there seems to be increasing financial/development pressure that is making that vehicle for holding property ever less stable over time.
2) The litmus for determining if property is actually private, and not still part of the ejido, is possession of an escritura (title) for the parcela or lot from RAN in name of the ejiditario property owner.
(Note that property can be titled and owned privately by an ejido member (ejiditario) without still being part of the ejido land holdings). Privataization can be accomplished through either the Procede “regularization” or dominio pleno process only). Any deals involving property said to be “about to be privatized” should be approached with extreme caution – if at all.)
4) It is advisable that any deposit money paid should be accompanied by a formal compra y venta agreement, best reviewed by a Public Notario’s office. A formal compra y venta will be drawn up for privately titled property only, not ejido property. Any purchase agreement other than a formal, approved compra y venta shoud be consider extremely risky. Consideration should also be given to the facts that realtors aren’t licensed, escrow accounts are rarely used, and that even deposit money accompanied by a formal compra y venta may be at some risk.
Note here also that even with a compra y venta agreement in place, all members of the ejido are constitutionally entitled to a first right of refusal before the first sale of a property out of the ejido.
5) Final purchase, payment, and transfer of title should be conducted under the supervision of a Public Notario’s office only.
6) Final deeds and ownership will be in the name of either a bank trust (fideicomiso) or mexican corporation, not in the name of the foreign national directly, and title insurance is available once the final deed is issued, approximately 2 to 6 months after closing.
Thinking of moving off the grid? Starting an organic farm or CSA? Are you part of a group considering pooling resources and homesteading together?
Well, shhhh-h-h-h, come closer, I’ve got a few well guarded secrets I can share with you…
Secreto Numero Uno: get your hippi ass south of the border! Be it Mexico, Costa Rica, Columbia, or wherever, there are many reasons that you should consider the southern option. The reasons? Listen in:
Reason #1: Two to Three growing seasons. Yes, you can find extended growing in the southern U.S., but 1000 miles south of Texas you really do get an entire second or even third season. What’s not to love about growing outdoors, year round!
Reason #2: The cost of land & living. Land is cheaper (well maybe not Costa Rica anymore), but equally important for the long haul is that property taxes are nearly zero. On our one hundred acres we pay a whopping $200 a year. Tell me that doesn’t help with the bottom line! And while some things like farm & solar equipment are expensive there, once you have property you are allowed a one time exemption to bring a moving van’s worth of “household goods” into Mexico without import taxes. Also, the cost of ongoing basic staple goods is roughly half what one pays in the U.S.
Reason #3: Save energy and reduce your carbon footprint: So how much of your precious time and energy do you want to spend every year preparing for the coming winter? 30%? 40% 50% or even higher??? Well how does 0% sound as an option for you? If you are situated in Mexico or further south, the cost of winter is a thing of the past. And then there are the ethics and nuisance factors of winter heating to consider. How much of your life’s energy, not to mention the planet’s carbon resources, do you really want to spend on heating you home, or even, in extremes climes, avoiding the possibility of freezing to death?
Reason #4: Less Regulation: Face it amigos, you just can’t fart in the U.S. anymore without a permit! Seriously, come south of the border and you’ll discover a sense of freedom you would never have dreamed of. Whether you plan to sell in a farmer’s market such as one of the three or four thriving ones in Puerto Vallarta alone, or if you’re planning a CSA, selling to restaurant’s, simply just growing for yourself, you can count on minimal regulation once you’ve crossed the border and made your way south.
Reason #5: Security in the face of what lies ahead. Really, you ask? Is he really suggesting that life in Mexico can be more secure than life here in the good olde U.S.A.??? Well, yes, actually, I am. As for the narco violence, there are a few simple, common sense rules to be followed such as staying out of the areas of drug production or major transport corridors. The vast majority of the violence I hear about is limited to three or four states, and even with that, it’s the narcos and cops getting perforated, not tourists, travelers, or organic veggie farmers. (I could go on and on about this subject, but will save that for another post…). So what do I mean by security for what lies ahead? Well, the way I see it, if the energy infrastructure gets disrupted for one of any number of reasons (troubles in the middle east, peak oil, climate change) then simply surviving, let alone thriving anywhere north of 30 – 40 degrees north latitude could get really expensive if not downright impossible. Personally, I’d rather build my life’s dream infrastructure in a place with great public transport, and where access to cheap energy is a bonus, not a necessity!
Reason #6: Sun, sun, sun… Viva El Sol! And boy do we have plenty of it. We make our electricity with it, heat & pump water with it, cook with it, and even sterilize with it. Yes, of course there’s sun in Arizona, but 1000+ miles south, it get’s even better. Just one of our photovoltaic systems alone, a mere 2.4kw array, produces close to 15kw on a sunny day. Sweet! So come on down and start farming those photons…
Reason #7: Affordable Help. Let’s face it, you can’t, or don’t want do, do it all yourself. At 200 – 300 pesos a day ($15-$25 U.S.), it’s possible to get excellent, flexible help as you need it. We always make sure to pay above the going rate, and we have gotten terrific, reliable help for all the special projects that inevitably pop up! For one longer term employee we pay all the required social security taxes and withholdings, and, all told, including accounting & filing fees, the extra cost still comes out to only around $1000 per year, (not counting the wages paid). Get the help you need at truly affordable prices!
Reason #8: Quality of Life. Having shuttled back and forth, splitting parts of the year between the two worlds for nearly a decade now, I can with some authority that QOL south of the border is, in general, superior. Yes there are issues with sanitation, schooling, crime and such, but over all life there is really sweet. The Mexican people are, on the whole, far more open, warm and friendly to strangers than has been my experience in the northern countries, and the pace of life, much more focused on friends and family, is more relaxed, and even festive, than north of the line.
Secreto Numero Dos: The really good news is that if you’re still not convinced, there’s a secret spot I can tell you about where you can come dip your toe in the water (literally) and try the idea on first before plunging in. You, our new amigos are cordially invited to come spend some time with us in beautiful Mayto! Our off grid goat ranch + sustainability center has a campground where you can beat the winter and hang out for a while. We also have work exchange programs, internships, and even the possibility of homesteading or other longer term involvement. Check us out! http://www.ranchosolymar.com