…all the news – that’s fit to print…

February 26, 2011

Yes, there has been lots going on in the Countdown to Mexico neighborhood, lately – here’s a bit of an update:

I’ve been getting together with various women friends pretty frequently – for coffee, for a walk or a bike ride, to share knitting, to discuss books, and probably much more.  One of the things that I love about life here is having so many women friends. Some are here year round and some just come for the winter but their friendship truly makes my life rich.

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I’ve been long overdue to get back on the healthy eating bandwagon.  Well, I actually have always been a healthy eater but I have been eating too much and not getting enough strenuous exercise.  A month ago I hosted a health talk here at the house for about 40 women given by a friend who is an expert in natural foods and therapies.  It was a great morning, surrounded by other women who care about eating well and are skeptical about conventional medicine.  It was the kick start I needed and I have been working out on the Nordic Track or spinning bike every day and every other day with weights.  So far I’ve lost 5 1/2 pounds, and love the way I feel.  A funny thing is that when I was working full time and jamming my days full I could get up a bit early and exercise before work – be all done and showered and off to work by 7:30 am.  But now… by the time we get up, have breakfast, feed the birds, walk the dogs, etc. I am lucky if I am exercising by 10 am!  That’s ok, though… I just noticed the contrast.

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The other morning Paul got the car out of the garage thinking we would need it (we only use it once in a while) and it was a lucky thing because a few minutes later we heard pounding and jackhammers and the underground utility people started digging right in front of our garage!  Two days later it was all fixed up but we were glad we didn’t have the car trapped inside.  There is lots more work to be done on the street (side street, actually) including chipping up the wall for the new wires to the electric meter, etc.  It will be great when all those wires are GONE!

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We have connected with a group of friends who like to bike ride a couple times a month on Sunday mornings – usually around Centro and then on the malecon with the lure – of course – of breakfast at the end.  Last time we went down to the base of the lighthouse and then over Cerro del Vigía (Lookout Hill) which was a pretty steep one for me since I had even forgotten how to shift my bike into low gear!  It is a fun way to spend a Sunday morning and we take our time over a nice breakfast somewhere and have fun catching up on each others’ lives.

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There has been drama in town thanks to the drug cartels.  A few days ago two men in a car were being chased and pulled in to a hotel parking area trying to evade their pursuers and both were shot dead.  The killers zoomed off, leaving a bunch of stunned people looking on – many of whom were from the three cruise ships that were in port that day.  The following day one scheduled cruise ship cancelled and they are considering pulling out of Mazatlán altogether.  I just read in the paper a moment ago that the cruise line has decided to come back to Mazatlán after all – which is important news for the city.

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Friday was a big day, too.  The new governor, Mario López Valdez (a man the people call familiarily, Malova) and the new alcalde (Mayor) of Mazatlán Alejandro Higuera Osuna, along with the Friends of Mexico and Sinaloa Tourism Bureau invited all extranjeros (expats) to a meeting, and gave us online access to submit our concerns.  It was mostly a feel-good meeting where we were assured that  the government heard our concerns (with security being the top one) and where the biggest surprise for me was that the Malova gave the audience his office phone number, cell phone number, and email address and said his door is open to us. A desk even will be made available in the tourism office and an expat will be on an advisory board. The picture above is from the room at the convention center and shows more than 2,000 of us gringos in attendance!

At that meeting also, Malova – this really shocked me – gave one month of his own salary to a homeless man who runs a shoeshine stand in the Plazuela Republica as a reward for his good deed a few weeks ago.  He saw a purse sitting unattended on a bench, put it safely away and then when he had a moment he inspected it and found it contained passports and papers that showed it belonged to a cruise ship passenger.  He closed up his shoeshine stand and took the purse to the cruise ship and turned it in.  His picture with Malova is below, when Malova went down into the audience to shake his hand.x

award
Photo courtesy Noroeste.com

Yesterday I also lucked out when a friend had an extra ticket to the Sinaloa Symphony and I had a wonderful night listening to the symphony and two fantastic opera singers, Elizabeth Blanke-Biggs and Stuart Neill.  They performed works by Saint-Saens, Verdi, Puccini, and more.  There were several ovations and the full house at the beautiful restored Angela Peralta Theater was reminded that we are lucky to live in paradise – not just because we are on a tropical beach but also because we have a lovely historic center and a strong cultural life, too.

opera
Elizabeth Blanke-Biggs and Stuart Neill

The ticket booths are up and the city is getting ready for Carnaval, which is March 3 – 8 this year.  I am expecting a great event this year and will keep you posted.  See you later!

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More about Nancy

I'm Nancy, a US expat living in San Antonio Tlayacapan, Jalisco after 11 years in Mazatlán, México.

12 Comments
    1. Gotta be more organized about booking our timeshare in time for Carnival-maybe next year. It was booked solid for this year by the time we figured out when we could go and who was going with us. Oh well, spring break will be just fine!

      1. Marty, The paper says that the hotels are 90% booked for Carnaval this year. I think it’s going to be a good one. I’m going to take a bunch of pictures this morning of the statues on the malecon, and I’ll keep you posted about the goings-on.

        John, Yes, there was a great turnout for the event… we live in Centro and are used to knowing or recognizing most people we see so it was a shock to see so many faces and only a few we knew! The golden zone, the marina area and nuevo mazatlan were out in force I think.

        Zoe, I agree with you about “retired”… sure doesn’t describe our lives, really! I was thinking about you, too when I wrote this – it has been tooo long since we’ve had a good visit. I’ll email you…

    1. Lots of interesting news. Quite a turnout for the gringo calming event – 2000 foreigners! We could probably scare up a dozen here in Xico 😉 Lots of foreigners in Puerto Escondido however.

      Thanks for all the updates.

    1. I think the word “retired” should BE retired from our vocabulary as we live and play here in Mazatlan, and often fill our calendars a month in advance. Retired? ha! Only when we go to bed at night. The only thing about you being so busy these days, is that I don’t get to see you often enough. ‘-)

      1. Canadiangrl, What town do you live in in Canada? Would you like me to send you articles on crime in your town? Can you tell I am a bit testy, tired of people NOB always “sharing” articles! I almost deleted your comment, not sure why I didn’t.

    1. CanadianGrl,

      Thank you for writing back and apologizing.

      This is my home, and I love it. I believe Mazatlan and Mexico will get through this awful period, but it truly does not help to have people who don’t live here sharing links like this. These murders occurred outside of Mazatlan but are obviously drug related. Every story like this makes me very sad.

      On our local message board, MazInfo, earlier today a woman who moved away because (we heard second hand) she felt unsafe posted the same link you did.

      Anyway, those of us who live here, love it here, and have financial interests here are aware of the news more than anyone who doesn’t. It is a huge problem, one that Mazatlan didn’t create and can barely cope with – but we and the Mazatlan people are feeling the pain, for sure.

      I apologize also for my quick reply.

      Nancy

    1. I’ve actually been pretty impressed lately with the increase in police presence in Mazatlan, the downtown area feels safer than years but…

      Mazatlan is still shifting and changing as a result of an infestation of drug crime growth….

    1. Good job re the comment Nancy! If you aren’t here or haven’t even spent huge amounts of time in Mexico it is so unfair to make negative comments. If we were able to do so financially we would live here permanently. We find the people in Mexico so very much more civilized than those NOB.

    1. Thank you all for your words of encouragement! I have always felt safe in Mazatlan, and I hope my son and daughter-in-law who are going with us will too.

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