Friday at the Tienda

people's guide to mexico

Loyal People’s Guide correspondent El Codo with a taste of life in Baja… This is where I spend the days connected by modem. Visiting Eduardo, and chatting with locals. Can’t remember the last time I spoke ingles. Must be several months now. Jeez, was it before New Year’s? It might have been last summer. Hablo ingles en los estados unidos, pero aqui solo idioma espaňol. Eduardo’s kids asked me to participate in their pogo stick contest. 193 is the record so far. […]

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How to Prepare for a Hurricane

A cigarette card showing hurricane warning flags.

I am writing these notes after passage of a bad hurricane. We have been without services for a week and it looks like basic survival mode is going to last a lot longer. Note: Please bear in mind the ideas and suggestions listed in this article have nothing whatsoever to do with the most important issue – personal safety. Hurricane personal safety has been discussed in other articles and is, of course, far more important than comfort or convenience. But […]

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Baja Under Martial Law

Hurricane odile spinning over Baja.

  We are happy to hear from El Codo, who is alive and well if somewhat battered. He’s still without running water and his car was damaged in the storm. He writes: “President EPN said live on (someone else’s) TV that Odile is the worst hurricane ever to strike Mexico. Cabo San Lucas is out of the tourist business for two months absolute minimum and that estimate may be pie in the sky. Martial law, state of emergency. Only military […]

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From the Eye of the Hurricane

Vintage image of man in tux in hammock with a cocktail.

editor’s note: Loyal PG correspondent El Codo is hunkered down in a shack on the coast of baja, facing the worst of Hurricane Odile. Reporting live… Hurricanes are not tropical adventures where people in pith helmets sit in a fern decorated tropical bar while ceiling fans slowly revolve. “I say old sod, another gin & tonic, and you’d better mop by the door. Now as I was saying about the issue with the porters and the taboo…” The bar would […]

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Baja Hit by Worst Hurricane to Date

Faithful PG correspondent El Codo is hunkered down in a baja shack and has been sending us a play-by-play of the hurricane, which is considered the worst to hit the area in recorded history.  According to the National Hurricane Center, the hurricane hit Cabo San Lucas at 10:45 last night, with sustained gusts of 125 mph. Codo emailed us half an hour ago with this image and the following: “Looks like the Sierra la Laguna, the 7000 ft mountains north […]

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El Codo's Michoacan Travel Advisory

Coat of arms of Michoacan

After recently visiting Michoacan and talking with friends and neighbors (all Mexicanos), I have come to the conclusion that travel in the state is inadvisable due to the strife between the LCT (Los Caballeros Templarios), the Rurales, the authentic cops, SSP and military authorities, and the utterly corrupt state and local police. Tourist cars have been carjacked outside the sancturio mariposas, Uruapan, Tzintzuntzan, and north of Caleta de Campos on Mex 200. Tourist pedestrians have been robbed at gunpoint during […]

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Pointers for Using an ATM Card in Mexico

A Mexican peso coin from 1982.

Notify your bank well in advance of your travel plans. It is common for a bank to freeze a bank account if withdrawals start occurring in a foreign country. In México an ATM is called Cajero Automatico (automatic cashier). Some small town banks do not have a Cajero Automatico. Look for the sign. Small towns frequently have too few banks and too few Cajero Automatico machines to serve customers. Long lines and emptied machines are common. Plan accordingly. Mondays, Fridays, […]

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El Codo's Baja Cost of Traveling Update

A Mexican peso coin from 1982.

How much will it cost you to travel in Baja? In Baja, prices are similar to those found in northern mainland México along tourist corridors. A cheapest “feel-every-spring-in-the-bed” single hotel room will cost around 250 pesos ($19.00 USD). In general, groceries are more expensive than they are in the USA. Mexican staples remain inexpensive, but in tourist enclaves expect prices to be higher. In Cabo San Lucas you’ll find ten dollar hamburgers and 2-star hotel rooms priced like they’ve grown […]

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El Codo's Bag of Tricks for Getting the Best Gas Mileage

'87 Dodge van parked in palm grove.

editor’s note:  We don’t call him “El Codo” for nothing. Some of the more lax members of the People’s Guide staff may not go to such rigorous efforts to save a dime. But maybe that’s why we can’t afford to drive to Mexico this year and are forced to fly, like amateurs! El Codo says: No matter how you figure it, a gallon of regular gasoline in México costs the equivalent of three dollars and thirty five cents, and stops […]

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Buying Medications in Mexico: El Codo's 2013 Update

¡Hijole! How time flies when you’re having fun south of the border. It’s been a dozen years since I wrote my first series of articles on purchasing medicines in México. I look in the mirror and my reflection fairly screams “Senior Citizen!” Medications I once wrote about from a spectator’s perspective are now part of my life and require a goodly part of my monthly budget. Perhaps it is time to take a deep breath and peek at what has […]

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