From the Archives: An Eight-Year-Old’s Travel Journal, 1987

Map of baja drawing

Churpa writes: While researching for a memoir of my childhood on the road, I’ve been digging through old family photographs and journals, and I found this very detailed illustrated travel journal that I started when I was eight, in 1987. The journal is canvas-bound with a sweet splatter paint design on the cover, and spans from November 1987 to the spring of ’89. It covers two long trips, from Oregon to Baja to Guatemala and back again. At the time, […]

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Traveling with Children and Water Quality

hippie family in van

A reader writes: This summer, my wife and I wish to travel and stay for a month or so to San Miguel or Guanajuato with our children ages 4 and 1 (right around 12-13 months). Our itinerary will be light:  just stay in a city and get to know it intimately. However, we’re concerned about issues like water: brushing teeth, when washing food, etc, especially with our younger child. Wondering if there’s a risk of him becoming ill even if […]

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Tarahumara School Project

Our friend Pilar just returnd from Bacabureachi, Chihuahua, where she and a team of volunteers delivered $1,200 of donated school supplies. The team then embarked on an improvement project at the Tarahumara school, where they re-roofed the dormitories, dug drainage ditches, replaced windows, and installed two washing machines. The school community was much appreciative: the boarding school is home to over 100 students, but receives no budget for maintenance or improvements. The American team worked closely with school officials and […]

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Historical Photo of the Week: On the Road with Steve Rogers

family in van

Our friend Tia just sent me this stellar photo. This pretty much sums up my childhood growing up in a van down by the river. This particular van was named Zebu, after the white humped back cows you sometimes see along Mexican roadsides. I (the toothy child) am sitting on my bed, an oblong plywood box that doubled as a storage compartment. Note the sweet roof rack, the sacred cooler in the foreground, the lucky “God’s eye” hanging from the […]

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Crossing the Border to Mexico: Requirements for Minors

As I’ve written before, Mexico is an ideal country for family travel. Luckily, kids are also easier to import than dogs, cats, or God forbid, tropical birds. To get a passport, minors under the age of 14 must show proof both of citizenship and proof of relationship to the applying parent(s) or guardian(s). You will find the various applications and forms you will need at To get a Mexican tourist card, both parents’ written notarized consent is required if […]

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Ghosts of San Miguel

A cobblestone street with colonial buildings.

San Miguel de Allende was a jewel on the map of my childhood. Many times circled, marked with a push-pin. Coming here always felt like coming home. I loved the smell of old stone courtyards, the sound of water splashing onto cobblestones as people cleaned the streets in front of their big-doored colonial houses, and the chorus of blackbirds in the Zocalo as the sun set behind the enormous pink Cathedral, which looked like something made up by a little […]

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Go Overseas!

If you are interested in studying, volunteering or interning in Latin America, you may want to check out Go Overseas!, which includes reviews of language schools and volunteer opportunities in Mexico, Central America, and South America.

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Tenacatita News: Laptop Program a Success

Dispatch from El Rebalsito…Dobie writes: Nothing new with the beach. The gate is still there, and access is still restricted. The new presidente of La Huerta, the municipality that was given the concession (the right to administer use of the beach) takes office at the end of this month. He has promised to help us open the access and there are several people who will be working with him, including the president of the ejido, Ernesto Garcia, and Chava Magaña, […]

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On Becoming an Abuelo

Pliar, eleven, and Dalia, seven, don’t remember life before their adopted grandfather started spoiling them to death. The two little girls have become as close to my heart as any pair of blood-related grand kids could ever be. Bam! Bam! Bam! “Grandfather, open the door!” followed closely by “Grandfather we’re hungry!” is a routine part of summer vacation and weekends. Brenda and Jesús are mom and dad. A few years ago, Jesús’ sister Andrea  departed from her “normal” luridly risque […]

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Letter from a Reader: Raising My Daughter in Bucerias

In May I posted my own memories of growing up on Mexican time. Reflecting on what I gained from growing up in and out of Mexico made me curious to hear our readers’ stories and questions about raising kids in Mexico. I found some interesting letters in the People’s Guide archives, including Moving to Mexico with a teenage daughter? In addition, Nora Hooper kindly sent me her memories of raising her little girl in Bucerias. “It was the best place […]

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