Some Thoughts and Observations
about Life in Mexico

The Weekly Word #22 ~ February, 2008

I have been living here in Chacala, this little village 90 minutes north of Puerto Vallarta on Mexico's west coast, for four months so far. My sabbatical here is coming to an end in a couple of weeks, and I am looking back at what I have seen, learned, and appreciated during this visit to Mexico, her people, and the ways of this world. I thought it would be fun to share some of my observations with you here.

The people of Mexico are the main reason I come here. Especially in a small village like this (500 people ±), the people are warm, friendly, welcoming, and generous. I over-heard an American man talking to a local woman about coming here with his family to live next year. My projection of her attitude was "Not more gringos!" Then she said, "Oh, wonderful, more children!" Hmmmmm. . .what was I missing there?

The generosity always surprises me. I gave a large gift of extra cleaning supplies to a woman that I know struggles to help take care of her family. Her delighted response was, "I will use some, and give some to the school!"

In another instance someone was given a large supply of meat. I thought they could freeze it and have it to carry them into the future. Instead, I watched them send their kids out to relatives and friends, carrying little buckets of the meat. It was gone in one day. They had a great meal that night. Tomorrow will come.

It was another good lesson for me about sharing in the moment, and trusting the abundance to come. They were not afraid, even though most of the people here live pretty much one day at a time. There are only a few vehicles, phones, and the other possessions that we consider essential in the U.S. And no Trader Joe's!!! And you know what? they are happier here than most of the people in the U.S.

Recycling here has been a difficult thing for me, or NOT recycling. I am fastidious about it at home, and was pleased once when someone complimented me on it. Here, an individual apparently pays someone to drive around in an old truck and pick up people's garbage-- the garbage that doesn't just dumped it in the back yarde and lit on fire once in a while.

Everything goes in the garbage. I asked where the dump was, and was told, "Oh, he just has a place he dumps it off the side of the road." It is the same with the fellow who pumps out people's septic tanks (no sewers or treatment plants here yet). He dumps the tank in the jungle. My informant said, "It's just water," when she saw the rather horrified look on my face. What can they do, with no other resources.. .?

I feel quite decadent, and actually enjoy (confession) putting glass and plastic and food in the same garbage, without having to rinse things or sort them. Finish with it and dump it! Please forgive me.

The Commerce is simple here. I just heard the tamal truck announcing their presence, and went out and bought some chicken and sweet tamales (60¢ each). Dinner. This morning the vegetable truck came by, and many afternoons the shrimp and fish man calls out his presence. If that kitchen wares pickup truck bouncing down the street yesterday had been a wagon pulled by a horse, I could have been in the US circa 1865.

PS: The weather is fabulous, the seafood is simple, fresh, and great, the sun and sand and sea are paradise. Check the events page at and find out how you can join me in Chacala next winter ~ for a vacation, intensive personal work, or a Valentine's Week Workshop.

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Allan Hardman is an author and expert on personal and spiritual transformation, relationships, emotional healing-- and a Toltec Master in the lineage of don Miguel Ruiz, author of The Four Agreements.™ Allan teaches in Sonoma County, CA, and from “The House of the Eagles,” his winter home in Chacala, Nayarít, Mexico. He guides Journeys of the Spirit to sacred sites in Mexico, and hosts wellness vacations in Chacala. He is the author of The Everything Toltec Wisdom Book, and co-author of two books with Deepak Chopra, Caroline Myss, Dr. Andrew Weil, Prince Charles, and others. Visit Allan’s extensive website at, and TACO, his online spiritual membership community.