Guest Blogger: Why I Love Mexico

By guest blogger Sandy Pool

One of the questions I am often asked, is why I live in Mexico, and what makes me stay.

Manny in Mazatlan (provided by A Tropical Cancer)

Manny in Mazatlan (provided by A Tropical Cancer)

The biggest reason to me is the people. Mexicans are open and friendly and sharing is done without even a thought. They have taught me to slow down, to enjoy what and who is around and to live in the moment. Walking down the street, everyone makes eye contact and greets you. I have been invited into homes and parties or to share meals by total strangers, just because I was in the vicinity. Laughter, music, food and drink have no language barriers.

Because I have crewed on boat deliveries up and down the coast, I have found myself traveling on buses alone, quite often. Almost every bus station and bus I have been on, someone has approached me just to make sure that I knew where I was going and that I was comfortable. I have been handed beer and empanadas without prompting and when I try to pay, I am just waved off with a smile.

A couple of years ago, I found myself in La Paz after another delivery. When we arrived at the port, I checked the Baja Ferry website, asked around the marina and found out that the ferry left for Mazatlan everyday at 9 am. I took the 250 peso, 45 minute taxi ride to the terminal early the next morning only to find out that indeed, it did leave everyday at 9 am……except Saturday. It happened to be Saturday. However, the ferry to Topolobampo was leaving at 5:00 p.m. so instead of going back to town and spending another night on the boat and returning the next day, I decided to take the Topolobampo ferry. It would put me on the mainland in the morning, and then only a few hour to Mazatlan. I had my iPod, camera, book and journal, so I was prepared.

Keep in mind, this is Baja desert, and nothing for miles but rocks and snakes. I found a taco wagon across the street from the ferry terminal and set up ‘office’ at a table. After a couple of hours, I ordered some lunch and a Coke. I asked for a cup of ice, but was told they had none. “No worries,” I said. The Coke was more than cold enough. I didn’t think twice about it when an older gentleman at a table next to mine got up and hobbled away on his cane. He returned about 20 minutes later, set down a cup of ice, gave me a smile and hobbled off again without a word. I have NO clue where he must have gone to retrieve that cup of ice!

Sunset (photo courtesy of A Tropical Cancer)

Sunset in Mazatlan (photo courtesy of A Tropical Cancer)

It is a much shorter ferry ride to Topolobampo, but then you have to take the bus from Los Mochis to Mazatlan. I reached the bus station in Los Mochis about 10:00 a.m. the next day and booked my seat for the next bus to Mazatlan, at 4:00 p.m.. Once again, I found myself a quiet corner and plopped down. When my stomach started to rumble, I approached the girl from whom I bought my ticket, and asked her about places to eat. She told me about a couple of restaurants then stopped and asked if I could wait a half hour. No problem I told her- I just assumed she wanted to show me some places instead of trying to tell me where they were located. Thirty minutes later, she collected me from my corner. We walked a few blocks and to my surprise, we entered into her home. The family did not lose a stride when the strange gringa appeared in the doorway and not only did they share their afternoon meal, her father thought it was good manners to drink some tequila with me as well. The family poodle, Poco, even decided that my lap needed warming. Once again, not only did they refuse money from me, her mother sent me away with a bag lunch for the bus trip and made me promise that I would visit if I found myself in Los Mochis again.

Her dad slipped me a water bottle filled with more tequila.

About Sandy Pool
I am a Virginia girl with New Mexico roots. After college, I spent 15 years in Texas before landing in Mazatlan in 2006. Living and working as a single gringa in Mexico presents its problems, but I love my life here and it gets better all the time! I enjoy shrimp, icy cold micheladas and a slow Pacific sunset.

Susie Albin-Najera on FacebookSusie Albin-Najera on InstagramSusie Albin-Najera on LinkedinSusie Albin-Najera on TwitterSusie Albin-Najera on Youtube
Susie Albin-Najera
Susie Albin-Najera is the creator and editor of The Mexico Report, an award winning travel blog showcasing news, deals and resources for the modern traveler. Najera is a writer, author, travel blogger, marketing and public relations specialist and producer. Najera serves on the host committee for Maestro Cares, founded by singer Marc Anthony and producer Henry Cardenas; and on the advisory board for Corazon de Vida, providing aid to children in Mexico. She is also the creator of 'The Real Heroes of Mexico' showcasing community heroes in Mexico and producer of Latino Thought Makers. Najera has been recognized by the Mexican Consulate and Mexico Tourism Board for fostering positive relations between countries and her dedication to showcasing Mexico as a premiere destination. She can be reached at

6 comments for “Guest Blogger: Why I Love Mexico

  1. 2013-08-06 at 12:55 pm

    I don´t blame you. I was in Mexico 2 years ago. Thats was an amazing adventure for me and my husband. I love cancun and Cabo. Thanks for share this article and remind me about it.

  2. 2013-04-18 at 7:21 pm

    It truly is impossible to encapsulate how wonderful the people are here, especially in Oaxaca State, where we’re at, the people are especially down to Earth. Every day I am blown away by Nicomedes, the guy who works for us here at the resort. While we do treat him better than any other employer he has ever had (his words, not mine) it is still heartwarming to see how much he genuinely cares about our project here. There is not an ounce of jealous blood in the guy´s veins, no matter how much more we have than him (money-wise) he wishes the best for us, with no consideration whatsoever to how our success may or may not affect his well-being.

    People who avoid Mexico because of their ridiculous preconceptions are truly robbing themselves of one of life’s great pleasures.

  3. 2012-11-04 at 1:04 pm

    I have to say “ditto” to your opinions. I arrived in Mexico as the bride of a medical student in 1965–almost fifty years ago! We were to arrive at the house of some friends, but the letter telling us where to pick up the key didn’t arrive before we left Texas. We were asking around the neighborhood if the key had been left there. One family where we knocked on the door said, No, but come in. They put us up for a week while we looked for an apartment. They fed us and took care of us generously while we were there. I lived in Guadalajara for more than twenty years, and now I am back in Mexico–in Torreón. I admire your spunk and spirit. You will no doubt be rewarded with many wonderful experiences.

    • Elisandro
      2012-12-22 at 2:04 pm

      Mexico is full of contradictions. Unfortunately for US Hispanics the Mexico experience is not the same. Mexicans are more open and friendly to white Anglo people. I lived in Mexico for two years and though people are generally friendly, if you are Hispanic you must be careful. Many times locals will think nothing of stealing from you. My wife is from Monterrey and she says she has not wish to return to Mexico to live. It is because it is a dog it dog world in Mexico. If you are white from the USA or Canada Mexicans are careful not to allow you to see the reality that is Mexico.

  4. Maria Ruiz
    2012-11-04 at 6:49 am

    Excellent article and so typical of Mexicans through out Mexico. A large country populated by large hearts and easy smiles.

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