Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Safety in Mexico: Reality vs. Sensationalist Media Hype

Safety in Mexico: Reality vs. Sensationalist Media Hype

Three problem areas to be avoided (Tijuana, Juarez, and Nuevo Loredo), and how far these places actually lie from main tourist areas.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Debt to GDP

Mexico is where we were before 1971!

Friday, November 23, 2012

What Happens to Family Holidays When You Live in Mexico?

What Happens to Family Holidays When You Live in Mexico?

Unfortunately, my daughter so believes what the MSM says about Mexico she won't set foot there once I my wife and I move.  

Sunday, November 11, 2012

5 Places to Retire On Social Security Alone

Kathleen Peddicord of U.S.News & World Report has an article about 5 Places to Retire On Social Security Alone. The average social security check is about $1,200, so you could live in these five places comfortably
  • Boquete, Panama
  • Granada, Nicaragua
  • Hangzou, China
  • Morelia, Mexico - You could retire on a budget of about $1,100 per month in this colonial city full of charm and history. A friend calls Morelia the "coolest Mexican city you've never heard of."
  • Cuenca, Ecuador
Not in favor of Hangzou, China, thank you!

Capital Controls Coming On January 1st!

One of my predictions for 2012 was this:
We are heading for economic Tyranny and Capital Controls and Restricted exits and failed currency.
Now, Attorney-entrepreneur-investor Joel M. Nagel, who is a frequent writer and speaker on asset protection concepts, has written that January 1, 2013 may be the start of capital controls. A law was passed in 2010 that goes into effect on January 1st, that requires foreign banks withhold 30% of any deposit from the U.S. and send it to the IRS.
Under Section 1474 of the bill, the law makes banks, as a third party, responsible for the enforcement of government tax policy. The banks are liable for the customer’s tax obligation on transferred funds, if they don’t withhold the required 30 percent to cover any possible tax liability. The banks essentially become the tax police, working for the government as hammers to bring about individual compliance.
Nagal writes that if you were to purchase a home in Panama for $100,000, you would need to send $142,000. Less 30% would net you $100,000. That my friends is an effective way to limit capital from leaving the country. One more freedom gone!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Book Review: Mañana Doesn't Mean Tomorrow By David Kindopp

We’ve all had lovers who just didn’t love us back as we wanted. David Kindopp describes his love affair with Mazatlan, Mexico in “Mañana Doesn't Mean Tomorrow, An unbelievably, ridiculously, painfully, delightfully true adventure in Mexico.” David gave up his real estate career in San Diego, settled up with his two ex-wives and sailed to Mexico on a 50-foot ketch.  All he wanted to do was start a charter business, taking tourists for sunset sails at $35 apiece.  He would provide the cervezas and food in a first-class manner and tourists would fall in love with the city as he had.

David is 40 and loves sailing and is good at his job.  He isn’t afraid of hard work and his mind overflows with the music of Jimmy Buffet. Working with tourists can pay well, but the ups and downs of the economy and the seasons can savage your endurance.  I’ve seen “Davids” in Mexico and Hawaii.  Sharing living quarters with other “Davids” enjoying the life in paradise. David is good with people and the lady tourists, looking for adventure, find it on the sea and in David’s bed, all in vivid detail.

Mexico is another story.  He loves the culture.  He feels alive.  Here he is not an American sheep with predictable futures, always paying for the new house, new car, education, healthcare. However, the corruption and inefficiency just beats him down.  He needs to get a permit to take tourists sailing, but is told by his business partners that the permit will be here Mañana! Those expats who live in Mexico know the most maddening part of living there is the lack of concern about time.  If it doesn’t get down today at 11:00am, there will be another 11:00am tomorrow or next week. He doesn’t understand why officials make it so hard to be an entrepreneur promoting tourism.

I loved the book. David Kindopp had me from the opening pages and I felt his love and hope for Mexico and also his pain and disappointment.  He says he has much more to tell and he plans on going back, so look for a sequel.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Visit Pinterest For Mexico Scenes

The new thing in social media is Pinterest where you start boards devoted to pictures on a specific topic. For example, I have a Mexico board and I pin pictures of places I want to visit or stay at in Mexico. You can see my board by clicking the link here. G9V3R3T7NCGX

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Heed The Call!

I had a conversation recently in which I wondered if there is a diaspora in which people from the cold countries, countries with harsh winters, are selling their stuff and moving south to warmer climates. Maybe, what I'm seeing is too much House Hunters International, just anecdotal. 

I was reminded that the first push to warmer climates came after air conditioning was invented and installed.  Now people could live comfortably in Florida, and Palm Springs and Arizona and San Diego.  Then people could move to Mexico and Central America, but they were isolated.  Most of the phones were hit and miss.

Now we have the internet and you are now able to work in air conditioned comfort anywhere you can connect online. If I could convince my wife to sell everything, I could post to this blog from the white sands in PV or Mazatlan or Merida or Cancun. I could earn an incme while getting a tan.

Now there's a new company that puts employers in touch with expats named Teleworking Expats For Hire. 

As they say on their website:

" can now continue your successful career while living overseas and doing virtual work for companies in the US or Canada. Millions of qualified North Americans choose to live in Mexico  - from sales people to financial specialists, receptionists to lawyers. is the first and only company to link these expats with businesses in Canada and the US, meaning expats can now further their careers and earn above average local wages – all from a beach in Acapulco!"

I expect more people in cold climates will answer the call.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

New Tropical Storm Near Manzanillo

The next 48 hours may see a tropical storm develop into a tropical cyclone near the coast of Mexico near Manzanillo.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Tropical Storm Carlotta

Tropical Storm Carlotta is expected to become a hurricane by Friday and impact the Mexican coast near Acapulco. Tropical Storm Carlotta is the 3rd tropical storm this season.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Camping In The Copper Canyon

Thinking of doing something outrageous? How about a hiking and camping trip to  Barranca del Cobre or Copper Canyon.  Situated in Northwest Mexico, Copper Canyon was formed by six rivers that empty into the Rio Fuerte, which flows to the Sea of Cortez. Inside Copper Canyon you will find canyons as deep or deeper than the Grand Canyon in Arizona, waterfalls (two of the highest in Mexico) and vegetation that varies from the tropical mango and avocado trees in the low spots to pine and oak forests in the higher elevations.

Copper Canyon is easily accessible by riding the Ferrocarril Chihuahua al Pacífico, or ChePe, Railroad. The train ride can be the entire 405 miles and passes over 37 mountain bridges or you can stop at popular hiker destinations, including El Divisadero, the Continental Divide. By purchasing a first-class ticket, you can get on and off the train at any or all of the 7 stops before its final destination. Bring a tent for camping and spend a night or two there while your explore the local area. You can hike the rim of Copper Canyon.  It is a 38-mile loop that has a 20,000-foot elevation gain.

When camping, remember you are a guest and using a camping tent site without asking is trespassing.  You can camp in Creel and Urique, however, many hikers prefer to find their own camp site along the way.  Just remember to go up to a rancher or farmers house and ask permission perhaps offering a small payment.

The best time for Copper Canyon is after the heat and rain of July through September.  In the fall, you’ll see full rivers, and the second-highest waterfall located in Candameña Canyon. You can also hike to Copper Canyon landmarks like Cuarenta Casas, which features 15 adobe houses from the 13th century featuring “T” shaped doorways.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Some Nice Words About PV

Kathleen Peddicord has some wonderful things to say about Puerto Vallerta in An Affordable and Sophisticated Retirement Haven.
Many expats and retirees living full-time in Puerto Vallarta came first on vacation, fell in love, and decided to return more permanently. Perhaps one of the biggest reasons for the region’s still-expanding popularity is that life here isn’t all about the beach. Yes, the sea is an ever-present feature, and the ocean breezes cool Puerto Vallarta in the hot and humid summers.

Friday, May 25, 2012

I was on the website and found this underwater museum near Cancun.  Pretty spooky I might add.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Hurricane May Make Landfall Near PV

Hurricane Bud, one of the earliest storms to threaten Mexico in May, could reach Category 3 before moving offshore of Puerto Vallerta this weekend.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Mexico on my Mind has a nice post titled Murder in Mexico – What a Joke!! The article compares murders in the states of the U.S. and their population to the murder rate in states of Mexico and their population. It hardly seems fair that Mexico receives the Travel Warnings and the U.S. doesn't. Maybe, it's all MSM spin to keep you home and your money in the U.S.!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Reasons For Moving

The website, Mexico On My Mind, has this post titled Some Good Reasons for Moving to Mexico. Isn't it amazing how much negative information we get in our MSM about the dangers of Mexico? Talk about safety, I read the other day that so far this year 120 people have been killed in Chicago by gunshot and another 490 have3 been shot, but not killed, just in the first three months! And how about this chart, Mexico is growing faster than the U.S.!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

One View Of Puerto Vallerta

Is The U.S. Burning?

Here's another reason Mexico is calling.  In this piece from the latest Gartman newsletter, Dennis cites historians, Will and Ariel Durant, on the decline of the Roman Empire.
Rome had its socialist interlude under Diocletian. Faced with increasing poverty and restlessness among the masses, and with the imminent danger of barbarian invasion, he issued in A.D. 3 an edictum de pretiis, which denounced monopolists for keeping goods from the market to raise prices, and set maximum prices and wages for all important articles and services. Extensive public works were undertaken to put the unemployed to work, and food was distributed gratis, or at reduced prices, to the poor. The government – which already owned most mines, quarries, and salt deposits – brought nearly all major industries and guilds under detailed control. “In every large town,” we are told, “the state became a powerful employer, standing head and shoulders above the private industrialists, who were in any case crushed by taxation.” When businessmen predicted ruin, Diocletian explained that the barbarians were at the gate, and that individual liberty had to be shelved until collective liberty could be made secure. The socialism of Diocletian was a war economy, made possible by fear of foreign attack. Other factors equal, internal liberty varies inversely with external danger.

The task of controlling men in economic detail proved too much for Diocletian's expanding, expensive, and corrupt bureaucracy. To support this officialdom – the army, the courts, public works, and the dole – taxation rose to such heights that people lost the incentive to work or earn, and an erosive contest began between lawyers finding devices to evade taxes and lawyers formulating laws to prevent evasion. Thousands of Romans, to escape the tax gatherer, fled over the frontiers to seek refuge among the barbarians. Seeking to check this elusive mobility and to facilitate regulation and taxation, the government issued decrees binding the peasant to his field and the worker to his shop until all their debts and taxes had been paid. In this and other ways medieval serfdom began.
Sound familiar? The U.S. is following the same path and the outcome will be the same as Rome's.  I think a prudent man would take his family out of harm's way.
I've said that Mexico is attractive to me because of its peoples values. Do you think Hillary Rosen's comments about Ann Romney would go over well in Mexico?
“His wife has actually never worked a day in her life,” Rosen said on Anderson Cooper’s “AC360” show. “She’s never really dealt with the kinds of economic issues that a majority of the women in this country are facing in terms of how do we feed our kids, how do we send them to school and how do we — why we worry about their future.”
I am insulted for all the women I know who work hard to make a house a home, when I hear comments such at Rosen's.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Myths of Mexico

The video has some flaws, but does speak to some common myths:

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Is Mazatlan Safe?

Hat Tip To Mexico at Last

Popocatepetl Volcano Heats Up

The National Center for Disaster Prevention (Cenapred) reported that in the last 24 hours the Popocatepetl volcano registered 33 exhalations of low intensity, accompanied by emissions of water vapor and gas. 

While on the topic of Mexico and its volcano, there's another article that details the effect of the El Chichón volcano in 1982: Looking Back at the 1982 eruption of El Chichón in Mexico . Thirty years later the article has photos of pre-explosion and after.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Two More Reasons To Like Mexico

Here's another reason to consider moving to Mexico: Middle class is booming in a changing Mexico. That's more than you can say for the U.S. where the gap is growing between rich and poor and the middle class has seen their incomes flatten for the last ten years or more.

US News' Money just reported on the 18 best places to retire Overseas:
  • 1. Panama
  • 2. Belize
  • 3. Colombia
  • 4. Uruguay
  • 5. Ecuador
  • 6. Nicaragua
  • 7. Roatan, Honduras
  • 8. Argentina
  • 9. Mexico - It continues to offer some of the best coastal lifestyle and retirement options in the Americas, including Puerto Vallarta, my number-one choice for an affordable life of luxury on the Pacific. A couple could enjoy a a five-star retirement in this beautiful and romantic coastal town of marinas, golf courses, yacht clubs, and fine dining on a budget of as little as $2,500 per month.
Every time I mention wanting to be a snowbird in Mexico, I get worried looks from kin, friends and strangers. When you tell them you've never felt unsafe, they roll their eyes and ask about beheadings. Yet every morning's drive-time news always features a shooting, an assault or killing here in wonderfully safe Portland, Oregon. So it gave me great pleasure to read Peter Greenberg's Travel news you can use from America's travel expert write about why he travels to Mexico.

Greenberg writes
" a veteran traveler to Mexico who has been going down there since 1973 without a single incident. I am growing tired, and somewhat impatient with expressions of concern or worry — as well intentioned as they may be — about my traveling to Mexico.
Read the article! Greenberg thinks Americans are geographically ignorant, culturally insensitive and fearful. Indeed!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Strong, long 7.6 quake shakes Mexico City

The 7.6 magnitude was nearer Oaxaca and was quickly followed by an aftershock of 5.1

Sunday, March 18, 2012

 “Zibata” a Queretaro planned, gated community designed for 150,000 people.

The Washington Post reports that Mexico has a middle-class and it is growing,  Yes, somewhere between 24% and 50% of the 114 million people of Mexico are considered poor, but if "...the middle class can be defined (as a) household with a new refrigerator, a car and a couple of cellphones, ...even if the combined salaries of the members of the household would make them miserably poor in Washington,..." then they are considered middle-class and growing in Mexico.

Being middle-class may me smaller families, a college education, two earners and some of America's values.  The WP even saw a copy of Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged" on a Mexican coffee table. The middle-class also tends to be socially liberal, but fiscally conservative and they were the deciding factor in the election of Pres. Calderon.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

8 readers share their stories of Mexico - Your Community

 On Monday, CBC News launched a series of reports on television, radio and online focusing on Mexico's drug war, its consequences and its relevance to Canadians.

We anticipated that many of those tuning in to the series would have a personal connection to Mexico, or an array of experiences that may or may not have been reflected in our series.

As a result, we asked readers to tell us their story of Mexico.

8 readers share their stories of Mexico - Your Community

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Today's poem from Poem-A-Day is from Ezra Pound:

Come My Cantilations
by Ezra Pound

Come my cantilations,
Let us dump our hatreds into one bunch and be done with them,
Hot sun, clear water, fresh wind,
Let me be free of pavements,
Let me be free of the printers.
Let come beautiful people
Wearing raw silk of good colour,
Let come the graceful speakers,
Let come the ready of wit,
Let come the gay of manner, the insolent and the exulting.
We speak of burnished lakes,
And of dry air, as clear as metal.
The first thing I did upon reading the poem was to Google "Cantilations."
Cantillation is the ritual chanting of readings from the Hebrew Bible in synagogue services. The chants are written and notated in accordance with the special signs or marks printed in the Masoretic text of the Hebrew Bible (or Tanakh) to complement the letters and vowel points.
Ezra Pound at the time he wrote the poem was part of the Imagist Movement concerned with intense precision and condensation.  It seems that here Pound bemoans the "...shallowness of village life..." I like the poem because it speaks to me about the lifelessness of city life when we should be enjoying nature.  What better place to do that on Mexico's beaches with their "Hot sun, clear water, fresh wind,..." Don't forget the food and conversation, leisure and sound of the surf as we fall asleep at night.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

The Baltimore Sun has a recent article about the eight most unromantic places to visit. One is the Mummy Museum in Guanajuato:

                                          ( Daniel Jayo / Associated Press )

At this museum in central Mexico, you'll find over 100 mummies exhumed from a Guanajuato cemetery between 1870 and 1958. In 1870, a local law required families to pay a tax to ensure that their deceased loved ones stayed buried. The penalty for not paying was disinterment.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Rodrigo y Gabriela

Last year, while sitting around the pool at Pueblo Bonito Emerald Bay tanning and listening to the music, I heard a new and exciting group.  I asked the waiter if he knew who was singing.  He said, "Si, senor. That's Rodrigo y Gabriela."

Here we are a year later and guess who was a recent guest at the White House?  Rodrigo Sanchez y Gabriela Quintero! They met in Mexico while trying to get a band going and that failed, so they traveled to Europe as a duet and perfected their craft. Now they are back in Mexico with a new album,that embraces "...Latin music on their ambitious new album, Area 52, recorded in Havana with an 18-piece Cuban orchestra."
Area 52 finds them reinventing nine of their most popular original instrumentals with dynamic Cuban arrangements.
I just listened on iTunes to a preview of their album and am favorably impressed.  This will make a nice addition to our growing collection of Latin music.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

International Living has been writing about Tulum for years. FONATUR, the Mexican tourism agency, wants to increase tourist numbers along the coast from three to 11 million over the next decade.  The issue of IL just arrived with another take on Tulum in "Five Places at the Profit Tipping Point."

Ronan McMahon in IL writes that "the new highway overpass system at Playa del Carmen is open, reducing the drive time from Cancun Airport. Now Tulum is just a 90-minute drive from the airport, and that facilitates a high-volume of vacation and second-home owners.  And that's before they turn a sod on the new airport in Tulum itrself."

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Like Posh, Like Adventure?

I came across two articles this evening about places in Mexico,

The first article in the Houston Cronicle is titled "Living the sweet life on the Riviera Maya" by Dudley Althaus. I'm a sucker for these resorts that offer living that probably only the "1%" can afford. The article takes us to "...Mayakoba, an eco-focused luxury resort that's home to three hotels on Mexico's frequently frenetic Caribbean shore."

There's the Banyan Tree hotel:

"Banyan Tree Mayakoba takes opulence in Playa del Carmen to new heights with the first all-pool villa resort on Mexico's pristine Riviera Maya. Within the gates of eco-haven Mayakoba, the resort blends the romance of travel with a unique sense of place and signature touches of Asian hospitality, making it one of the most exclusive resorts on Mexico's Riviera Maya."

Next, is the Rosewood Hotel's Casa del Lago

"From the consummate operator of ultra-luxury hotels such as The Mansion in Turtle Creek, Las Ventanas al Paraíso in Cabo, and the Carlyle in New York, comes Rosewood Mayakoba. Rosewood Mayakoba voted Best Hotel in México in 2009 by Travel+Leisure continues to delight discerning guests with jaw-dropping design and exceptional amenities."

Finally, we have the Fairmont Mayakoba:

"Secluded on 45 acres of lush tropical mangroves and canals, the property features 401 rooms and suites, including a collection of beach and lagoon casitas- each one offering guests extraordinary views. The resort features 32,495 square feet of meeting space and a business center."

The second article from the Huffington Post is titled "In Puerto Vallarta There's Life And Then There's Living" by Barbara Barton Sloane. She writes about the zip-lines 200 feet above the jungle guided by Vallarta Adventures, whose tag is "One of the greatest adventures on earth. If you like adventure visit Puerto Vallarta!