|view of our village|
|main street in town, lined with restaurants & several hotels|
|the fisherman's boats & pelicans taking a siesta before the evening catch|
|local hotel down the street from us|
Here in town, there are 3 small markets for buying "groceries" (mostly bread, milk, eggs, rice, beans, limited veggies, chips, soda, beer, and canned items). Each market is a brick building measuring about 15 ft by 40 ft or smaller. You can buy fresh tortillas at the Tortillería. You can also find fresh coconuts and fruit smoothies at a local store. But if you are patient and wait for the right jingle being broadcast from a vehicle or exclamation from a person, you also have delivery service. Something very common in Mexico, big or small town, are the services that pass by on the street. One jingle is the propane gas supplier, another the purified water supplier, and others could be sweet breads, vegetables, mattresses, tamales, furniture, cleaning supplies, fresh squeezed juice, or homemade cheese.
|one of the small markets|
Mail service is available, however it comes to town about every 8 days and is delivered to a liquor store on the edge of town, which is not open very often or at least when you think of dropping by. You can pay a small fee for a post office box at the post office, which is in the next town, and they will call you when something is delivered. Mail sent between Mexico and the U.S. can take from 3-7 weeks and may not ever make it. So not the most reliable. In fact, we had something shipped from Mexico City to us last week via a shipping company and we got a call in the middle of the day from a guy standing in the plaza of Compostela (40 min away) asking us to meet him there to pick up the item. That was as far as they were going to go. Thankfully, we directed them to a friend's house and were able to get it on our next trip through Compostela.
Amazingly, internet service has improved drastically from when we arrived almost 3 years ago. Then it worked about 50% of the time, now it works about 95% of the time, except during the rainy season. The biggest challenges being the effects of humidity and salt air on wires and equipment and the base level of services and equipment offered from the telephone company. Being that we have two teenagers relying on the internet for their schooling, we are so very thankful to have an in-house I.T. expert, namely Chuck. Without his expertise, we would be in a world of hurt. His time spent keeping us humming along could almost be a part-time job.
|our I.T. department|
|nearest traffic light on the main highway as you enter the next town|
|the market mentioned above, pictured here on the right with the green awnings|
The next biggest town is about 30 minutes south. Here there is a mix of tourism and local industry. There is a weekly outdoor market here that offers local produce, art & crafts, jewelry, and much local color. There is a German deli and a Japanese restaurant here. You never know what you might find around the next corner. This is also where we go to church.
|Mision Cristiana ~ where we go to church|
Then there is the BIG city . . . Puerto Vallarta. This is a 1.5-2 hour drive south. The main highway is a two lane road, so depending which slow pineapple truck or 3 trailer tanker truck you get behind it might take a bit longer. Here you can find the familiar American retailers (i.e.: Costco, Walmart, Home Depot), large fancy resorts, the airport, cruise ships, small universities, shops, restaurants, and around 210,000 locals.
Life here in our village is so full of contrasts. You have a home where there is no running water next to a three story luxury home. You have the local farmer traveling between his fields on his horse, while being passed on the road by a swift and enormous tour bus. The roads full of potholes and speed bumps and rocks and dirt along with the trash burning on the side of the road, while taking in the incredible view of the vast ocean.
|local home just down the street from us|
|just across the street from the above house|