Land Reclaimed From The Sea
JOHN M. DERBY
January 5, 2017
what some people think and say, Mexican land can only be
owned by Mexicans.
So it is with that in mind, that we as Americans can only
use the land which we live on while in Mexico.
Those who think they own Mexican land actually have a “Bank
Trust” which means the bank owns the property and
keeps it in trust for the foreigner for a fee.
Does this bother us? Actually, when we think about it, we
only use the land we live on in America, as when we leave
at the end of our lives, we surely don’t take it with
However, in Posada Conception, the little beach community
in Baja California where we spend our winters, there is
a different status for the land. It is legally called “Land
Reclaimed From The Sea,” and as such, is owned by
the government and can not even be purchased by Mexicans.
The government allows Mexicans to apply for a concession
to manage the "Land Reclaimed From The Sea," and
they can manage the land so long as they pay a concession
fee and meet the government’s rules and regulations.
Those rules include not building within 100 feet of the
highest high tide. This rule was passed in 1988, and since
our beach community was in existence prior to that time,
many houses are closer to the Sea of Cortez than 100 feet.
Some are actually within 25 to 30 feet from the high tide
This means there is continual a battle between the sea and
the land dwellers. Land dwellers eventually lose as the
tides break their limits and crash up against the rock and
concrete walls built to protect the houses.
During the summer, the rainy season, the water comes down
from the mountains and turns our roads into turrants, sweeping
the sand on the roads out to sea.
This is a regular seasonal event and so one of the first
things which needs to be done when Snow Birds like ourselves
return to Mexico, is to replace the sand on the roads.
For years this has been done every fall, mostly by day laborers
with a shovel and wheel borrow; however, in more recent
years, the owners have purchased a backhoe and dump truck
to make this task easier.
When the tide is at its lowest, the backhoe and dump truck
drive out on the beach and scoop up loads of wet sand and
dump it in the middle of the road. It takes a day or two
for the water to drain out of the sand making it dry enough
Then one dump truck after another returns until the streets
are all level again. The process takes about a month or
so, depending on the tides and the number of times the dump
truck gets stuck on the beach.
Each time the dump truck gets stuck, the community comes
out to watch the process of getting the dump truck unstuck.
Other vehicles are lined up with tow ropes and eventually
the dump truck is moved on to solid sand.
This year it took the crew longer because they had to unload
the sand from the drump truck even before it could be moved
to dryer land.
Little things like this keep the Snow Birds amused as they
relish the warm Mexican weather, watching the "Land
Being Reclaimed From The Sea" once again.