Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Mexico’s Changing Demographics in an Era of Reform

Mexico’s Changing Demographics in an Era of Reform

Examining demographic data in detail demonstrates that immigration has clearly increased. Census data from Mexico’s National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI) show that the number of foreigners living in Mexico increased by 95 percent from 2000 to 2010. Of the 961,121 foreign-born people living in Mexico in 2010, 738,103 were from the United States. The 2010 Mexican Census reports that the foreign-born population trends young, with about 56 percent between the ages of 20 and 39. While this is a small percentage of the 116 million people in the country, it does suggest that as Mexico grows, workers will continue to vote with their feet. The other side of this story, however, is what is happening within the general Mexican population.
I tell everyone I can that Mexico is booming and the Boomers in the US will be flowing like water south across the border. We apparently need the immigrants into the US to provide cheap labor and Mexico will benefit from the assets brought into the country from the US and Canada.  Who of us can resist the warm weather?


World's Coolest Staircases includes:

Las Pozas, Xilitla, Mexico

Built by eccentric English poet Edward James in 1962, this Surrealist sculpture garden took more than two decades to complete and covers 80-plus acres of Mexican jungle with groovy structures like the “Stairway to the Sky,” a winding staircase you can climb up several stories—but that leads nowhere. Las Pozas also has natural waterfalls and pools. —Briana Fasone

Monday, September 23, 2013

Look What I Found In Mazatlan

Yo Amigos! I was reading Mazatlan My City and saw familiar face, Rick Wise, and this headline: Rick Wise – Pitching Mazatlan Now. It was written by Lisa Lankins, a Portland, Oregon native. Lisa was born in Portland in 1962, went to grade school in Eastmoreland and then moved to Estacada for high school  Her brother and sister went to Cleveland High School. Lisa claims she is a Portland girl through and through.

The article about Rick Wise brought back old high school memories of Madison baseball. Rick and team-mate Keith Lampard tore up Portland teams with their power hitting and Rick's pitching. I graduated in 1962 and Rick and Jeith graduated with my sister Cheryl in 1964. Here's the article which Lisa Lankins allowed me to reprint:

You know the guy, maybe a favorite uncle, that looks at your shirt, points at a spot and makes you look, then flicks your nose with his finger and says, "Gotchya"? The funny guy that stands behind a 4x4 post and pretends you can't see him and peeks around it until you do see him? That is Rick Wise, a loving jokester that is very down to earth and enjoys making people smile. You would never know that Rick is also a very famous retired baseball pitcher. He comes to Mazatlan as often as he can.

Rick is from Portland Oregon. After graduating from high school, he was signed by the Philadelphia Phillies. His rookie year was 1964 when he was 18 years old. His career blossomed and on June 23rd of 1971 he played the game of his life when he threw a no hitter and made two home runs in the same game against the Cincinnati Reds. That is a record that still stands to this day, 42 years later. His career in the major leagues lasted a total 18 years, a veritable marathon compared to today's short runs. After retiring, he became a pitching coach in the minor leagues. He coached at every level of the minor leagues including independent ball, for 24 years.

In his first major league win, he pitched the 2nd game of a double header on father's day 1964 at Shea Stadium in New York. At the end of the first game, I remember everyone came streaming in from the field talking about the perfect game of Jim Bunning, and I said "I need a baseball to go warm up!" I needed to be ready for game two. It wasn't my first start, but my first win. They don't play double headers any more. The closest thing is a split day-night double header. Two games in the same day, a whole different crowd usually. That allows for 70,000 people to attend. With today's baseball salaries the way they are, they have to do that."

Rick loved the competition, and still does according to his wife Susan who says he and his brothers are constantly trying to outdo each other. He knew he wanted to be a big league ball player when he was 7 or 8 years old. "We went out and played sports all the time, played whatever sport was in season. I was a born athlete, had college scholarship offers for three sports, but I was consumed by baseball. I was in the little league world series in 1958, where we were beat 2-1. Three years later at the age of 15, I went to the Babe Ruth World Series. I threw the 2nd no hitter in the history of the Babe Ruth Series in 1961. Then 14 years later I was in a Major League World Series".

In 2009 Rick and Susan were coming north on a baseball cruise and they spent eight hours in Mazatlan. It was a port-o-call for their cruise. They REALLY liked it. They had already wanted to come back to Mexico, having been to San Miguel de Allende 20 some years earlier. Then, because they liked what they saw in Mazatlan, they decided to come back here.

Rick_wise_card_2They found a condo to rent on-line, on icebox hill, and booked a 6 week trip. Hurricane Rick just happened to hit while they were here. It didn't affect their love of Mazatlan and have been back several times since, renting houses or condos and have found house-sitting jobs, a total of 5 visits since then.

When you ask what he likes the best about Mazatlan, he quickly answers and goes through his list:
"The people - happy, always smiling, such hard workers, so engaging, helpful, friendly, and outgoing".

"The food- I like everything about the food, I like the different ingredients, the flavors, and you can sit here on the Malecón and watch the sunset during dinner. Mexican cuisine is not the Taco Bell flavor that we know in the US. It's made with local ingredients known to the area. It's very, very good. "Chuletas" or pork chops, are my favorite food on this trip. The bread and desserts are wonderful, not to mention the fish and seafood. They take such care making their food."

"The weather- the weather is kind of a given. Summers down here are hot, there no getting around it. I have worked in this kind of heat before as a professional ball player, St. Louis and Philadelphia can be similar in the summer, especially back in the 70's where they were cookie cutter stadiums with Astroturf. It felt like it was 170 degrees on the field. They were nasty hot."

"We love the summer storms and the lightening. Mazatlan has some of the most beautiful storms at night in the summer. Normally it rains at night unless there is an actual storm coming through." Rick and Susan seem to stay a little longer every time they are down, "We are here for two months this trip and going home in a week. We arrived on August 3rd."

Rick_Wise_card_4"I have gone to see the Venados games (Mazatlan's baseball team), a few times and really enjoyed the games. It's really a good brand of winter league baseball, really good competition. Mazatlan came in 2nd in their league a few years ago. If in Mazatlan, please watch them play. The season starts in October. Players use this league to hone their skills to try to get to the big leagues. So they can get experience in the off season. Everyone is trying to get to the big leagues."

When asked about how he feels about retirement, Rick replied, "Wish you could play forever, but physically you can't. It's a young man's game. You figure the average career today is 4 years in the major league, I spent 18, it was a long run".

"I went to get cigars a week ago in downtown and the guy knew I was a former pitcher in the major leagues. It stuns me how many baseball fans are here in Mazatlan. They love baseball here. They know the stats, the players and teams. It's amazing really. Everyone asks me if I know Fernando Valenzuela, who played for the Dodgers. He beat me 2-0 his rookie year in 1981. He was rookie of the year that year. He was great for Baseball, great for Los Angeles and great for Mexican Baseball."

When Rick is in Mazatlan, and you never know when that will be, he can be found enjoying a cold beer with his Mazatlan buddies, enjoying a walk with Susan around old town, or trying to make interviewers look at a spot on their shirts, haha.

"South of Normal" By Norm Schriever

· Print Length: 344 pages
· Publisher: Authority Publishing (April 19, 2013)

When I move to Mexico or even more south, I want to have read all I can about what it’s like to live there.

In “South of Normal” Norm Schriever invites us, to experience Tamarindo, Costa Rico. He doesn’t live in the resort towns, but a true, native, surfer town before the developers come in. Sounds a little like Sayulita in Mexico. Schriever introduces us, with love and humor, to the people who make this paradise home. These are the people that provide the services, scramble for work, party and hookup. They struggle, day to day, to provide for themselves and their families, yet, love where they live.

Schriever shares some of the reasons we want to move south:
· “Some people come south to die.”
· “Some come south to save their lives, to rekindle their joy in the sunlight that sets them on fire every dawn…”
· “Some come south to escape the frozen winters…”
· “Some come south to simply be…”

I read of many expats that simply want more from life than the rat race they experience every day. Maybe, Schriever suggests, many of us have lost the mere ability to feel! “Most people live a life of quiet desperation.”

Many expats say they don’t have many native friends and don’t get invited into their homes. Schriever seems to have succeeded by learning the language and giving away his love as if it were a commodity. He seems to have found a way to live and be loved as an expat. Schriever lived a year in Tamarindo while writing his first book.

Saturday, September 21, 2013


World's Greatest Dream Trips includes



 Courtesy of Baja Expeditions

“My dream escape—uninhabited Espíritu Santo Island—turquoise ocean, starry nights.” @Romanalilic
Swim in lagoons, hike the cactus-covered landscape, and learn to stand-up paddleboard among dolphins and whale sharks on trips with ecotourism company Baja Expeditions (two nights from $480 per person). Up to 16 adventurous travelers have the run of the protected biosphere reserve, an hour-long boat ride from La Paz off the coast of Baja California Sur. Meals (including fresh fish tacos with handmade tortillas) are eaten family-style, and nights are spent in simple two-person safari tents—or directly under the stars, if you prefer.

Chichén Itzá, Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico



Most make this a day trip from Cancún or the Riviera Maya. Choose a hotel close to the site, and get there when it opens at 8 a.m.
Stay: The Lodge at Chichén Itzá ($$) has 39 bungalows and its own entrance to the complex.
Book With: Zach Rabinor.

Friday, September 13, 2013

A Vacation For Your Brain

Guanajuato, Mexico


 Photography by Jeremy Woodhouse / Spaces Images / Aurora Photos

Mexico boasts much more than sandy beaches and ocean views. Located in the country’s center, the colonial city of San Miguel de Allende is a hub for students and artists who are drawn to the beauty of Baroque 17th- and 18th-century structures in the well-preserved city center, which is a Unesco World Heritage site. Visitors can elect to stay in town or at one of the rentable farms and sprawling ranches that ring the city.