We’ve lived here in Mazatlan for around 3 months now. I’ve gotten to know the area fairly well already despite the immensity of it. Centro is a fabulous place and the people are amazing. We live in the outskirt area of Centro it’s a middle-lower class neighborhood. The unbelievable pride that my surrounding neighbors take in the properties/homes is more than I’ve seen in comparable areas I’ve lived in the United States.
Daily I watch in the morning’s residents sweeping there portions of the streets and many of them actually washing them with buckets of water. They all seem to have such pride of cleanliness. Most of the homes have beautiful plants and flowers surround the fronts. I already know everyone on my street they are always so happy even in this heat. They stop to say Hola, Buenos Dias or how are you.
My closest neighbors are very giving and always willing to give a helping hand. In fact just last week I decided to splurge on a nice office chair. Since I sit at my computer a good part of the day every day. I have a dreadfully bad back due to several accidents and medical conditions. So off to Office Depot I went. Picking out the right chair was no easy task especially because I have an unusually tall table. So after playing Goldilocks and the three bears, sitting in each one, testing the back support and height I finally picked one that I thought would work best. I was so excited as I waited for an unusually long time at the check out for the picker to bring the chair forward. Much to my surprise, it was brought out in a box. Odd I thought since there were several already put together on the floor. Hmm, this should be interesting I immediately thought. Now I’m pretty handy I’ve done a house flip, built my own bed and many other handy things. But at this point in my life with all the back pain I face every day I couldn’t think what the heck was I going to do.
I called an uber and the driver very kindly packed up my large box for me sweet! I was happy okay that was nice when we arrived at my house again the nice uber driver unloaded the chair for me. Wow now that’s service, I gave the kind driver a nice tip and expressed my gratitude.
My neighbors to the left of me and older friendly couple that sit out on their porch most of the day watched. Curious of course as to what the gringa neighbor has brought home, they asked me and I answered the best I could in my bad Spanish. As I emptied the box and placed it outside the lady neighbor asked me for the box I was happy to give it to her. Now here’s the amazing part to me. Her husband a quiet soft-spoken man without any hesitation walk up to my stoop and began helping me build this chair. I hadn’t asked for help nor had I intend to. Never has anyone just jumped in a helped me like that. He immediately took over the task which turned out to be good since the directions were in Spanish. Honestly, I could have achieved the task on my own but his kindness was not something I could or would have said no to. Plus it saved me from risking pain in my back. He wouldn’t expect anything for his help from me but a glass of water.
This same neighbor who sees me walking everywhere asked me one day why I don’t just drive to the places I need to? Again in poor Spanish, I explain we don’t have a car and nor can we afford one. He looks at me amused and says but you know how to drive yes? Yes, I said for many years now. Without another word he explains when I need to run errands, I am able to use his vehicle. Amazing! I have yet to take him up on this offer but knowing that he was even willing to allow someone he barely knows to use his truck is something else to me.
All my neighbors are aware that Jeff is in Alaska at this time working away to pay for our wonderful life here in Mexico. So they’ve become protective of me always watching out for my best interest. My landlord lives directly across the street from me. She comes to check in on me from time to time. On a few occasions, she’s even brought me fresh mangos from her yard.
The neighbor on my right no longer has her husband with her but has her son and granddaughter living with her. But she too is always looking in on me we talk nearly every day. She brings me tasty treats now and then and is the first to suggest great places in the area for good eats. She also has said I can always go with her to run errands.
There is a gentleman that lives across the street from me who speaks pretty good English. He at one time used to live in Chicago and is nowhere studying Law. He too comes over just to say Hola and to see how I’m doing. The entire neighborhood knows each other and you can feel a sense of comradery.
I am almost 50 years old and I’ve lived a lot of places in my life but never have I known such fantastic people. You can see their genuine care and heart in their eyes. I’ve never known my neighbors anywhere really. Maybe a quick wave to the person across the street or next to me. But here in Mexico people actually talk to each other, they know about each other and they care for each other. It’s so nice to know that the people who live around you care and I care for them as well. I know their families and they know mine.
Honestly, before we moved here I was a little fearful Mazatlan is a big place. I had been living in San Pancho a very small beach/hippie town. I knew everyone there pretty much and was friends with many of them. So making such a drastic change in environment kind of spooked me. It wasn’t like I was just visiting as I had in many of the towns so far but we were actually going to live here. I have to say I’m glad we changed up our location there’s so much to do here. I’ve only shared just a little of it with you so far. Don’t worry there’s lots more to come. But the overall experiences I’ve had here is unlike any I’ve ever had. I’m now grateful for it every day.
“Life isn’t about getting and having, it’s about giving and being” -Kevin Kruse
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