Escuela de Español – Choosing a School

Guanajuato is known for its language schools. Being a smaller city somewhat removed from the heavier touristed locations where English is more widely spoken, it offers more opportunity for immersion without the crutch of English speakers on every corner. The renown University of Guanajuato with its over 34,000 students also makes for a higher concentration of foreign students than one would typically see in a town the size of Guanajuato, many of them seeking accelerated Spanish immersion. The town manages to support five different Spanish schools in addition to the University’s language curriculum. Continue reading

Finding My Way

No printed maps, android apps, or TripAdvisor Listicles can help when it comes to easily finding one’s way around Guanajuato.  Not even the Lonely Planet guide, which allocates Guanajuato a measly seven out of 896 pages in their Mexico Travel Guide, can be much help.  No, it takes lots of insider tips, landmarks, and a few good games of “Estoy Perdido” (I’m lost!) to finally learn one’s way around this crazy city. Continue reading

The Grand Finale and Good Trumps Evil

This is my last post on 2017 Holy Week, I promise.  But as my first “Semana Santa,” there is much to absorb and share.

After two weeks of watching from the sidelines in Guanajuato as the Easter story plays out, the routes, costumes, statues, and backdrop have all become familiar.    As we approach the “Grand Finale” of Easter Sunday, I am curious to know what the celebration is like in nearby San Miguel de Allende, known for its vibrant color and culture. Continue reading

Religiosity and A Game of Clue

The festivities progress over the weekend with Palm Sunday the finale for the first week, then continue on into the following week.  But unlike San Miguel de Allende which is a heavily touristed area, there are no billboards or English-print newspapers with the Semana Santa schedule published.   News of activities gets communicated via a Meet-up site, but one must be vigilant about monitoring the site.  Even then, events are described in Spanish (go figure!) and therefore not always easy to weigh the Continue reading

Friday of Sorrows, Viernes de Dolores

So the “gringo” interpretation of the Dia de los Flores as I understand it is a bit of a double meaning, both modern and traditional.  The more modern version of the celebration takes place on the Thursday night before, when vendors gather selling Easter baskets and toys.  And of course the vendors assemble with their stands of flowers for sale.  This sale of flowers appears to bridge the modern with the traditional. Continue reading

Dia de los Flores, Day of the Flowers

Aside from the week leading up to Christmas, there is no greater celebration in Mexico than that of “Semana Santa,” Holy Week.  Only it is now more like “Dos Semanas Santos” as it spans almost two full weeks with the lead-up in preparation and festivities being almost as exciting as the Holy Week itself. Continue reading

Turnaround Trifecta

One would think a month living in the Winnie parked down on the farm in Texas would be enough time to get the blog caught up.  But there were farm chores to do, families to visit, projects to complete, and adventures to experience.

I hauled off and burned enough tree trunks and limbs to warrant notifying the fire department beforehand.  I reconciled a few storage sheds and helped my brother Don install some 8’ X 12’ sliding doors on the equipment shed.   I got both my passport and my tetanus shot renewed for another ten years.  And got my Mom’s dog Annie  Continue reading

Bye Bye, Baja

I crossed the border at Tijuana on foot, then caught the “Tijuana Trolley,” in San Ysidro bound for San Diego where my dear friend Margie picked me up. We caught up over lunch at Stone Brewing Co, then she dropped me off at the car rental place.  After a few days in SoCal, I boarded a plane from San Diego back to Texas, almost two months to the day that I left on the bus bound for San Miguel de Allende, ending in one big sweeping clockwise circle through Mexico. Continue reading

Nacho Mama’s Tijuana

When I told my Mom I was stopping in Tijuana on my return from the Baja, her advice was “Don’t get arrested and thrown in jail!”  Now what would prompt a mother to give such advice?   She went on to say she had always been curious about Tijuana….a place with quite a rowdy reputation over the years.

Last year when visiting Baja, I rushed through Tijuana as fast as a Continue reading

Gringo Enclaves; Good and Bad

Gringo Enclaves, or expat communities are common throughout Mexico. These pockets within towns where “birds of a feather” flock from the US and Canada to be together are on the rise. Ask any local and they will tell you…more and more gringos are coming.

Whether a gringo enclave is “good” or “bad” is in the eyes of the potential residente’. Some prefer blending with the local culture while having access to just a touch of familiarity, while others complain that the CostCo does not have all the same brands as it does back home. I recently read a post of someone complaining about Continue reading