I remember our first visit to Mazatlán back in February of 2007. We stayed at Casa de Leyendas, and were introduced to lots of people and activities through the generosity of owners Glenn and Sharon. Practically as soon as we got home we started planning another exploratory trip. Mazatlán had really grabbed us, that’s for sure. To make a long story short (go to the Monthly Archives at left if you want to read from the beginning) we bought a house and on September 20, 2007 we drove in to town with our dogs and all our remaining worldly possessions in our minivan.
It was hot and our house needed everything – from water glasses to brooms to beds and lights. We ran around like maniacs all day arranging for work to be done or buying things. We schlepped everything in ourselves, learning quickly to save ourselves a parking spot in front with a couple of buckets. It took us a couple of years to really understand that pretty much anything can be delivered for a small tip and that the hottest hours of the day are perfect for a siesta.
Once our house was on the way to some sort of order we enrolled in Spanish classes and started getting to know more people. We found that our first impression was true – people who are attracted to Mazatlán are different – and that’s our kind of different. We have made so many wonderful friends here – and that is truly what makes a place feel like home.
There’s something about this place that makes people happy. Native Mazatlecos, newly arrived expats and everyone in between smile at each other. I think it has something to do with the warm weather and almost constant sunshine – but there’s something else, too.
There are no big chain hotels here, we’re just a small city on the coast with fishing and beer being the main industries. It feels real to me. Like we all are (or were) just regular working people here. Working people like to party, too. If you are in Mazatlán very long you’ll get into the party atmosphere of Carnaval or El Día de la Música or Moto Week. You’ll enjoy listening to banda music while sitting in a Pacifico chair under a Pacifico umbrella drinking a Pacific beer along with everyone else.
Living in a place where after school the kids bike to the beach with their boogie boards is pretty wonderful. Sundays are family days – and generally spent at the beach. Weekend evenings are spent having a leisurely meal at the Plazuela. It feels like a small town in many ways, especially since I live in Centro, the original historic center of Mazatlán.
Would I change things here? Sure I would – but not too much. It’s almost perfect as it is. We’re not going anywhere, that’s for sure.
(Picture at the top of the post is the moon and Venus a bit over a week ago, and in the center is a spider on his web in our courtyard.)