Thursday, November 30, 2017

Find the Life That Suits You in Diverse, Affordable Mexico

From: International Living

Photos and article by Andrew Midkiff

Mexico’s amazing flora is what brought me here. You have plants ranging from desert cactus to jungle orchids. Plants vary with climate and Mexico has just about any kind of climate you would want. I live in the pine-oak forest zone of the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt. We have a rainy season which runs from May through October; our altitude is at 6,600 feet and the average annual temperature is about 65 F. Nice weather to grow things.

My wife Lulu and I own a small avocado orchid. I can literally reach out my window and pick fruit. We live in Tepancingo, Mexico—a pueblo (village) surrounded by mountains and forest. Our nearest town is Tenancingo de Degollado, where we shop at the food market and go to restaurants. The nearest big city is Toluca, an hour’s drive from our home.

Anyone wishing to move to Mexico should consider what things they wish to keep and what they can give up. If you have health issues, you may want to live closer to a city; an hour’s drive to a doctor is not that bad, but that’s the sort of thing you want to keep in mind when moving abroad.
Mexico is both modern and traditional, it all depends on where you choose to live. You can live in a gated community with Costco, Starbucks, and stores that supply anything you could get in the States, or you could choose to live in a country setting with your own little farm. Mexico has something for everyone, but you need to seek it out.

For myself, I want to be surrounded by plants and animals. I want to grow things. This is my tranquility base and the living is great.

Your dollar will go further in Mexico. Domestic help can be hired for $2 to $3 an hour. Locally grown fruit and produce are pennies on the dollar. Want a shoe shine? That will cost you about 75 cents. A man’s haircut is $3, while my wife spends about $5 at the beauty salon.
If you drive, the gas in Mexico is usually about the same cost as in the U.S. But I do like the service you get at the state-run gas stations; they check under your hood, check your tires, and clean your windshield. You don’t get service like that in the States anymore.
Mexicans love their food and so do I. From street food—which is safe, cheap, and delicious—to fine restaurants, Mexico has it all. If you’re in a tourist location you can spend more, but you don’t need to. For about $2, you can have enough tacos or tamales to fill you up. A meal in a nice restaurant will cost you about $5 to $10. Mexico has some of the best seafood on the planet, and if you don’t eat meat most restaurants will be happy to cater to your needs.

If you live in the countryside like me, your choices are limited compared to the cities that have it all. But, whatever you want, Mexico’s got it.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Devastation in Tenancingo

Saturday the 23rd another quake hit Mexico, we did not feel that one, but the quake on the 19th was the most devastating.  People's nerves are on edge as the death toll has climbed to over 300. The people in our town have gone about their work the best they can as cleanup operations continue. The people of Mexico pull together in a crisis like this, food and water are distributed to the needy and you can see truck loads of goods heading to the worst spots hit.   

This was once a house 
now its a pile of rubble

This church, Diócesis de Tenancingo, sustained heavy damage as seen is these photos

The older buildings took the most damage

Capilla de Jesús Catholic Church
note the crack in the dome

A family cleans up what's left of their house

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Powerful 7.1 Earthquake Strikes Central Mexico

A powerful earthquake today sent me running out of the house. At first there was just a slight shake and then all hell broke loose, I almost could not stand up. As I run outside my dogs followed close behind. It looked like the whole house was going to collapse. My wife was at work downtown Tenancingo and my thoughts were of her. I'm not sure how long it lasted but it seemed to be about one minute.
The quake happened on the anniversary of a deadly 1985 Mexico City 8.0 magnitude earthquake. I've been in a few quakes now but this was surrealistic, like time stood still. After everything settled down I checked the gas lines and the structure of the house, no major damage except the cabana and a covered walkway received heavy damage. After checking everything I started out to see about my wife. I met her on the way she was all shook up, no pun intended. We are fine and our thoughts and prayers are with those who were affected by this tragedy. Will update tomorrow with some photos.

Friday, September 8, 2017

The most powerful earthquake to hit Mexico in 100 years

A few minutes before midnight Lulu woke me up and said there's an earthquake, I felt it as soon as I woke up. We were just walking outside when it stopped, but only for an instant the next quake was harder. We could hear the windows in the house rattling, dogs in the distance could be heard howling, except our dogs, they just wanted to go back to bed. The hole thing only lasted only a few minutes. We turned on the TV but no news yet, the only thing on was pre-recorded news. It took about 30 minutes before the reporting started, that's when we learned it was better than an 8 in magnitude. 

The quake originated in the Pacific, our house is about 370 miles NW from the epicenter. Today we learned dozens of people were killed. Homes and buildings were leveled, much devastation. We pray for the people that were affected by this tragedy. This is the fourth earthquake I've been in, in Mexico. The earthquake of April 18, 2014 we felt more, that was a 7.2. It cracked our block fence and the wall on our porch. An inspection of our house and property this morning revealed no damage. No homes or buildings were damaged in our vicinity.

Sunday, January 22, 2017


Taxco is associated with silver, both with the mining of it and other metals and for the crafting of it into jewelry. Today, mining is no longer a mainstay of the city's economy. The city's reputation for silver work, along with its picturesque homes and surrounding landscapes, have made tourism the main economic activity.

The Parish of Santa Prisca y San Sebastían, commonly referred to as the Santa Prisca Church, is located on the east side of the main plaza of Taxco, and is one of the few Baroque buildings in the state of Guerrero.

It was built between 1751 and 1758 by José de la Borda who had made a fortune in the silver mines surrounding the town. 

                                                       Monumental Christ in Atachi Hills

  The town is filled with silver shops and jewelry makers.