As Bill and I look back over our more than seven years of
living in the Lake Chapala area, we know one thing without a
was one of the best decisions we have ever made.
We made the
decision based on the reason many of you do: We
were tired of working, and wanted to enjoy whatever years were available
Bill was 62 when we retired to Lake
Chapala, and I was almost
58. We didn’t know what to expect…neither of us had ever been to Mexico
trip, let alone lived here! During our research we found that Lake
had the best weather and the cost of living was way below what we were
in the United States.
We were both so tired of snow in the winter and hot and humid days in
summer that we knew we needed something different, weather-wise. As for a
cost of living, we were able to retire on Bill’s social security alone.
course, we had bought a house in Mexico, so we were not paying rent.
one thing we didn’t anticipate, but experience every
single day of our lives is the warmth, kindness and generosity of the
people. I’m sure you all realize you can have perfect weather and
expenses and still be miserable because you’re not enjoying life. Don’t
usually find that’s because
of the people who surround you? We find that too! I would like to share
our experiences with the Mexican people we call our friends.
we moved into our Mexican village…and don’t be
confused, thinking I’m being cute and quaint; it IS truly a Mexican
with only about 25 gringos living in a community of about 25,000…I knew
the basic Spanish that everyone picks up, Gracias, Buenos Dias, De
nada, and so
on. Very, very basic. Bill was fluent in three languages, none of which
Spanish! Our neighbors were wonderful. Once they knew I was trying to
Spanish, they spoke to me in one-syllable words. For instance, if the
electricity went out, and I wasn’t sure whether it was just us, our barrio
(neighborhood) or the village, I would usually walk up to the front gate
if someone knew. Fernando (or one of his multi-generational family
the house across the street) usually was sitting on the stoop. I would
ask, “Luz?” (Lights?), and they would wave
their hands back and forth in the universal sign of an X, and say, “No,
no luz!” We got along just fine.