Just the other day, this corner was home to several little shops.
“What’s going to be built here?” I ask one of the workers.
“An OXXO,” he says,
What’s an OXXO, you ask.
It’s the ubiquitis convenience store found in Mexico. Our little area (population approximately. 20,000) has at least 10 (at last count). For good measure there is one on the highway at the corner nearest our end of town, one at each of the three service stations along the highway, with the remainder dotting the streets in town often with little more than a block between them.
Sitting under the palm tree, this is what I see.
Looking up, this is what I see.
And, no, I do not want one of those coconuts to fall on my head!
Yes, you read correctly. This sweet, innocent looking little kitten, a scrawny bit of body on legs when we found her in an empty lot in December,
is responsible for the influx of critters which occurs each night just before we are about to go to bed.
She drags in bugs of various sorts, most of which we have never seen before. They are alive and squirming. One of us has to capture the cat while the other, with broom and dustpan, encourages the critter to come along for a ride to the garden where, hopefully, the cat will not find it again. At least not until tomorrow.
Then there are the geckos and lizards, some of which are at least half the kitten’s length. Holding these critters captive with a paw firmly planted on their tails, we once again are forced into rescue mode. “I really wish they didn’t move quite so fast,” I mutter as I wield the broom.
And let us not forget the frogs. Tiny babies a week ago, the evidence of their growth is obvious as the latest contributions of dear rescue cat are now an inch long. Soon they’ll be the size of the palm of your hand and we’d be really really happy not to have them inside.
For more about frogs in the house in rainy season Mexico.
They’ve done it right in the tiny beach town of San Pancho, Nayarit, Mexico. It’s here that we find the home of Entreamigos.
Start with an abandoned creamery built in 1970.
Add imagination, creativity, materials originally intended for the trash can and you get walls,
an overhang for the office area (plastic pop bottles dipped in paint),
and a tree,
and a classroom door (to the original cold room),
Put it all together and you have a community center–with a lending library of 10,000 books, areas for numerous arts and crafts, an indoor gym and an outdoor activity area, both offering space for a multitude of classes–all of which serves over 250 people a day.
Kudos to the Entreamigos team.
In San Pancho, Nayarit, Mexico, we find a Montessori school–a compound of buildings and gardens and play areas sequestered in a jungle setting, hidden from the highway by a row of car and tire repair shops, and backed by an abandoned abandoned bull ring.
We step out of the car and hear roosters crowing. I feel like I’m in Mali.
In this hide-a-way spot, we see the kindergarten class washing their lunch dishes and brushing their teeth. We hear the laughter of kids playing and gathering vegetables from their garden to prepare for their lunch.
One of the teachers shows the Munchkin his classroom.
“We have this,” says the Munchkin who is in grade 2 Montessori in Canada. “And we have this, and this, and this.” I think she’d like to go to school here.
Photo hanging in a hotel gift shop in small town Mexico. Despair seeps from the paper into your heart. I hate looking at this picture, but at the same time I’m mesmerized by it.
Hungry? Time for tacos de camarón (served with hot sauce, or for us northerners, mild tomatito sauce) at our favorite seedy bar in Mexico. Yes, it’s seedy with lots of drinking and dart games and drinking and eating and drinking … but, we’re not about to let that stop us. We take the munchkin and go early enough to beat the crowd, chat with the staff who’ve already placed our order–they saw us coming–and enjoy our tacos (and beer) in peace.
in small town Mexico, we find little delights.
Walking home from the beach, we often see people out for a trail ride. The horses live just off main street a few blocks away.
Off for dinner in the next town (a few minute drive away) we find the main street blocked off for the Spring parade, the floats all manned by the kindergarten classes of the area.
Then we see a charming painted wall on a street leading to the beach. I want to live in one of these houses, if only they were real.
The munchkin beating on what’s left of her Peppa Pig piñata.
The best kid’s birthday party
Happens in the street. Yes, the street. In Mexico, that is. And it’s the party our munchkin has chosen for her birthday.
Tables are set up for the cake and food and gifts. Chairs line the sidewalk and curb. The piñata is strung up over the street. Everyone comes—kids, parents, grandparents.
Chicken or pasta salad is served on tostadas, agua de jamaica (made from hibiscus petals) is the favored drink.
The kids play, everyone eats, and then it’s time to sing as the children from youngest to oldest take turns trying to break the piñata. Usually it’s up to one of the teens in the crowd to administer the final blow so the kids can scramble for the candy that tumbles out.
Group photos are taken and candles lit, Feliz Cumpleanos sung to the birthday child, and cake served.
Several hours later, replete and happy, the kids go home with their parents, toting their goodie bags.