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Chapala—The Largest Lake in Mexico–And a Cactus Garden!

Omar at Lake Chapala

Over Easter break Omar and I took a day trip to Chapala with our wonderful neighbors Silvia and Pablo and their kids Saul and Montse. We found an incredible cactus garden, at seafood at a lakeside restaurant, and explored Chapala town.

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Adventures in Mexican Spanish

Sometimes everyone in Mexico talks at once

Here is a potpourri of posts about the joys and pitfalls of speaking Mexican Spanish. No matter how much you study, until you get there an hear how people REALLY use the language, you ain’t speaking Spanish

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Mexican Buses—A Pleasant Surprise

You can get anywhere on Mexican buses--and many of them are world-class comfortable!

Traveling by bus in rural Mexico can still be rough going, but intercity buses are some of the nicest I’ve ever seen. They are comfortable and fast, and go everywhere. You would be hard pressed to find an area without at least some bus service.

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Mexican Hotels–In the Good But Cheap Category

View from a $20/couple hotel in Mexico City.  It ain

Of course there are world class hotels, spas, and resorts in Mexico. But if you are looking for a nice $20 a night place, here’s what you need to know. The most important thing is to be flexible, open-minded, and fearless about asking questions.

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Mazamitla–Orchids in the Trees

Dan, Omar, and Coco go orchid hunting in Mazamitla

They call it “Mexico’s Switzerland.” It doesn’t look much like Switzerland in the photos, but Mazamitla is green with lots of pine trees, and at times it looks more European than Mexican, if you stand on your head and squint. Here Omar and I explore the Los Cazos section of town and look for orchids and bromeliads in the trees.

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Here are Your Tickets. They’re Cursed.

Cursed tickets

Live in a place 27 years, and nothing happens. Plan a long trip and the floor sags, there’s a flood in the closet, and you’re called for jury duty. It’s the traveler’s curse.

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Utilities in Mexico

Coco at home

The kind of practical information you need if you are thinking of living in Mexico. Here are the utility expenses for our little house in Tlajomulco, south of Guadalajara. In general, utilities are less expensive than in the United States.

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But Can You Drink the Water?

You can

With all the great things Mexico has going for it, why is everyone fixated on the crummy water? Wherever you go, most people drink bottled water anyway.

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Chicharron–Pig Skin Delight

Not chicharron.  This is a pig in hot sauce that miraculously appeared in our pot of beans.  We were going to save it so people would come from miles around and Guiness and all, but we were hungry.  Stay tuned for chicharron picture.

Chicharron for Omar is like peanut butter to me–if you get a craving, you just gotta have it. Chicharron is pig skin, and it comes fried and boiled and pickled. Sometimes it is quite meaty, almost like roast pork. It is never a low fat, low cholesterol choice, but it sure is good!

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Omar Loves Menudo. Dan Doesn’t.

Saul likes menudo

When I first moved to Mexico, some dishes I liked right off, like mole poblano and chiles en nogada. Others took a little time to get used to–the mashed beans and lots of cilantro–but now I’m crazy about them.

More! Omar Loves Menudo. Dan Doesn’t.

Grocery Shopping in Mexico


Another practical subject. Where do you buy groceries in Mexico? The answer–street markets, corner stores, and WalMart!

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The Greening of 365Mexico–Building a Park

Dan. Omar, Silvia, Pablo, Montse, and Saul

How to build a park from scratch! Here are the photos of our first efforts in the abandoned park. A good example of how things don’t always go according to plan, and how to make lemonade from the situation!

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Tropical Snow–A Hail Storm at 365Mexico

Omar ready to plant trees in the park.  The dark cloud in the background is very unusual for April...

We had quite a hail storm, just as our new park trees were delivered. It was quite unexpected–it never rains here in April! Global warming is affecting us here in Guadalajara, too.

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Drunk in Paradise

Guadalajara house

This is a sad story about three year old Miguelito and his parent’s dependence on alcohol. We have spoken with the authorities, but until something really serious happens, they won’t do anything.

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XXII International Festival of Cinema in Guadalajara

The completely fab Antonio Banderas

Guillermo del Toro and Antonio Banderas visit 365Mexico! Well, they came to Guadalajara, if not to our little house in the country. The International Festival of Cinema is held every year in Guadalajara. .

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Mexican Bugs, Bichos, and Furry Crawlies

Black widow spider

Everybody asks, so here’s the scoop about bugs in Mexico. The bottom line–it’s pretty doubtful you will see anything more dangerous than mosquitoes and the odd cockroach.

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Christmas in Mexico–Romeritos


Christmas is beautiful anywhere–and in Mexico it is celebrated with an unusual and delicious meal. Romeritos are traditionally served at Christmas.

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Mexican Funerals

Mexican hydrangea

With the death of Omar’s grandfather yesterday, it seems like a good time to talk about Mexican funerals. Of course, details will differ from family to family and among the social classes, but here is an example of what you might find.

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Mexican Culture: The Funeral of Don Cleto

Dahlia in Mexico

We got the phone call yesterday. It wasn’t exactly unexpected. Don Cleto had passed away. Anacleto Salcedo Rordriguez was Omar’s grandfather. We always said that Omar was lucky, at 28, to have three living grandparents. We were all lucky to have known Don Cleto.

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365Video–A Boiling Waterfall in the Primavera Forest

Rio Caliente--the hot river

Dan and Omar visit a boiling waterfall in the geothermal Primavera Forest outside of Guadalajara, Mexico. Strange, heat tolerant algae, fish and insects live in the scalding water.

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Primavera Forest and the Boiling River

Tochi at the boiling waterfalls

Hot springs are cool (so to speak), but have you ever heard of a boiling hot river? We got one! Sunday, October 8 was Tochi’s birthday, and we took her to the hot river in the Primavera Forest near Guadalajara. Tochi (who’s name, Tochimani, means “rabbit’s foot” in Nahuatl) is a city girl, but as you can see she really loved the Primavera. Omar and I promised to take her back again real soon.

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The Country Life: A Day in Ahuisculco

Ahuisculco door

365 Mexico takes you to the Mexico the tourists rarely see–we enjoy a day with good friends and their family in Ahuisculco, Jalisco. A carne asada is the perfect way to share good times!

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