A Quick Update

In 2010, we moved back to the small town in Colorado that I never stopped missing while we lived in Mexico. Now I sometimes miss Mexico, but I wouldn't travel as freely as we did when we were there, camping out in remote areas and so forth.

Mexico today is in a period of change, and in many ways it is more dangerous now. That said, I have plenty of American friends who still live there very happily, just taking a few more precautions than they did in the past.

Just to say!


Visit Expedia…

Expedia is my favorite place to book airfare, and they handle hotels, car rentals, cruises, etc. I like the organization of the site for figuring out what flights I want. Click on the suitcase to take a look.

I was very pleased to win an award for this blog! Even better for you: click through for lists of all sorts of award-winning travel blogs.

Tripbase Blog Awards 2009

Tripbase Blog Awards 2009

One very interesting feature of San Miguel de Allende, for both Kelly and me, is just barely getting started. Andy Watson, British, and Dorothy Gerhart, American, have lived and traveled extensively outside the U.S. . They met in Taxco some twenty years ago, and always knew that they wanted to return to Mexico to live. Dorothy is bilingual and Andy does pretty well in Spanish. Now they have purchased some fifteen acres of land about a twenty-minute drive from the edge of the city. It is rugged, rocky land, on a ridge with views overlooking San Miguel to the east. Here they are beginning a center for sustainable living called Karacadir.

Andy and Dorothy at Karacadir
Andy Watson and Dorothy Gerhart at Karacadir,
a center for sustainable development

Kelly has a website, greenhomebuilding.com, which discusses all aspects and forms of sustainable architecture, and before our trip Andy and Dorothy had emailed him. When Kelly told them we would soon be in Mexico, they were most welcoming. Indeed, if it hadn’t been for wanting to connect with them, we might have skipped San Miguel. We hadn’t much liked it when we were there a couple of times before. I liked it better this time, and felt that I got more to its heart.

Andy and Dorothy took us out to their land. Their first three-week earthbag building workshop had just ended, and they were exhilarated from the empowering effect it had had on the students, who were both foreign and Mexican. In particular, there had been three young Mexican single mothers, who had been greatly affected by the event. Andy and Dorothy doubted that the women would actually build houses as a result of the workshop, but thought they would contribute to their communities is other ways — perhaps a wall, or a shift in attitude.

We talked long into one night with Andy and Dorothy. They have lots of visions and plans, and a realistic awareness of the challenges involved. Luckily, they both like challenges! It will be fun to see what develops at Karacadir.

a walking street in San Miguel
A pleasant walkway

As for San Miguel, I gradually came to see it in a new light. I can imagine spending time there again. Particularly if I were going without Kelly for some reason, perhaps to take an intensive language course, it would be an easier place to be than one with only a few foreigners.

No longer just another pretty little Mexican city, San Miguel de Allende has become a kind of portal between Mexico and the rest of the world. It is the place where many Americans and other foreigners get their first taste of Mexico. Institutions such as the Allende Institute and the Biblioteca Publica (Public Library) have the flavor of being a cultural blend. Beyond the unpleasant stereotypes of pretentious and/or dissolute foreigners lies a whole complex world, a place where alternative builders, midwives, artists, and others – both Mexican and foreign – blend creativity in a variety of exciting projects.

[Next: heading north and finding a pleasant hot spring]

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