Splitting Our Life Between California And Mexican Coast

By JOHN M. DERBY
Times Founding Publisher
October 25, 2018

By now, most of the readers, who follow this column, know that we winter in Mexico and spend the rest of the year in the San Joaquin Valley.

It is the best of both worlds. We love our home, 600 miles south of the border in Mexico, and we love all our friends and family here in the valley.

Twenty years ago, when we sailed the Day Dreamer, out the Golden Gate heading south, we had no idea that it would change our whole life.

We had really intended on sailing around the world, but we took a detour at La Paz, the southern point of Baja Mexico and headed north into the Sea of Cortez. The round the world trip never happened.

Instead, we fell in love with a little beach community and built our home 100 feet from the water on the Bay of Conception. Not at first, but it was to eventually become our winter home. We don’t own the land. No foreigner can own coastal land in Mexico (those that think they own the land really have a bank which acts in their behalf as the land owner).

It doesn’t matter, we reasoned, no one takes the land with them when they go. We consider ourselves caretakers of the land which God has allowed us to use. The sun, the fishing, the kayaking, swimming and all the other fun stuff is just an added bonus.

Mexico is safe! We keep telling people that where we live in Mexico is more safe than where we live in the San Joaquin Valley. One man who was involved in selling drugs was killed last year, but prior to that, we only recall of one other homicide. Note: We are not saying all of Mexico is safe and there are parts where we would not go.

There have been two hurricanes in our part of Mexico in the past month; and these have hammered the roads. We expect to use our four-wheel drive if necessary.

Our house has had the roof tiles blown off several times. We do not have insurance because most of the companies don’t pay. For $500 to $1,000, we have local workmen repair the roof and we are good to go.

It works like a welfare system. After a long summer when the tourists are gone, the local Mexicans are hard pressed for work and income. The hurricanes help offset this problem and everyone seems happy.

We have a whole other family in Mexico. One family takes care of us and we have adopted them and see that they make it through the off season.

Many other families return to Mexico each year and they are like a whole family. They are just like us, snowbirds, looking for the sun in their retirement years. It will be somewhat of a celebration when we return.

And so as we leave for Mexico, we invite you to come and visit. There is no wall between the people of Mexico and the people of California. The wall is for government and national security.

Keep reading this column and we will tell you more about life in Mexico.


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