Zaqueo hired a third friend of his from his home area named Chicalo. He was to be an “ayudante,” or assistant as they are called when they don’t have a specific trade. Chicalo had only one working eye. The other had been irreparably damaged by a bungee cord accident. I used to work with eye surgeons, and one of them told me, “Don’t EVER use bungee cords, and tell everyone you know they are very dangerous and to throw them out!” She had...
"Why would anybody want to build a house in a foreign country?"
That’s what I asked my friend who was buying land here in Guatemala. She was looking for a partner, and I thought she was a bit crazy to attempt it. I went with her and her real estate agent to look at land. When she chose to buy this one with an amazing view, I took more interest. I told her I would start making drawings of what she wanted that she could take to an architect to have plans made. The...
"What is Hobbitenango?"
Many of my stories involve a place up the hill near us called Hobbitenango, and before I write about building my house here, I must explain what Hobbitenango is. “Tenango” is a Mayan suffix to many of the names of towns in Guatemala, meaning “the place of.” Jocotenango is the place of the Jocos, Alotenango is the place of the Alos, Chimaltenango the place of the Chimals, etc. So this place near us is the place of …. you guessed, the...
A large percentage of Mexicans in San Miguel de Allende perceive that all expats (Gringos) living in the blissful hamlet of San Miguel de Allende are wealthy.
This is so far from the truth!
Many expats, and in particular Americans, live here on their monthly Social Security check. Most can live exceedingly well while others truly perish and must live like the locals in the marginalized communities.
She was walking hand in hand with her husband that cold winter's day. I was so impressed to see such an old couple holding hands. When I asked her how long have they been married, she offered me a toothless smile and said, "67 years, Señor."
Her gentle words touched me in a very special way on that cold winter's day, so I offered to help the both of them with FREE dental treatment and dentures in my clinic.
From the photos attached,...
In early 2014 my partner Vanessa and I sold almost everything we owned. Vanessa sold her house in the UK, and I sold my small island home in Panama.
NOTE: You can read more about this in my previous "Best Places..." story.
Free at last
We were free. Free to go wherever we wanted, free to live life on our own terms.
Looking back on this decision we now see that it was the first step on a three step journey towards the global freedom we sought.