Tag Archives: expats in mexico

An oasis of music and wine in Baja

 

 

An oasis of music and wine in Baja
Steve Lopez
Recent Columns
October 12, 2013, 12:05 p.m.

In the hills high above Ensenada, on the road to Ojos Negros, a dust-covered, mustachioed cowboy named Don Heriberto Aguilar has found the perfect life.

A trip to Aguilar’s rancho was not on my itinerary in Mexico. I was there to research a story, which will be coming soon, on more than three decades of good deeds performed in Baja California by the owners of Benning Violins in Studio City.

But Tito Quiroz, a musician who started Ensenada’s Academia Benning (which he named for his longtime mentors), was determined to give me and Times photographer Michael Robinson Chavez a look at a Mexico few visitors see. If we were interested, he said, he would take us to a party at a winery in the hills.

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This Sure Beats California…

Originally posted on InternationalLiving.com | By Patti Morrow

Margit Gantt wanted to find a more fulfilling lifestyle than the one she had in California. She was looking for great weather every day…somewhere she could get more for her money.

"Ensenada, Mexico feels like California did years ago"

“Ensenada, Mexico feels like California did years ago”

She and her husband Patrick knew where they wanted to be. They often vacationed in the seaside community of Ensenada, Mexico. “The feeling here is like California years ago,” said Margit. “It’s different and familiar at the same time. That’s what we love about it.”

Ensenada is on the Pacific coast of the Mexico’s Baja California peninsula. Even though the population is approaching 400,000, it still maintains small-town charm.

In 1989, the Gantts took the plunge and decided they were staying. They never regretted it.

“It’s a thousand ti mes better,” said Margit.

“California is so overcrowded now, a bit of a circus, and people aren’t a community. It’s different here. Even strangers still greet each other on the street.”

The Gantts tried out several locations before settling on their current home—a three-bedroom hillside villa with panoramic views of Ensenada Bay, the city, and the mountains.
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The Best Countries to Retire to in 2013

POSTED ON FORBES.

Planning to retire abroad? Ecuador is the top spot for North American retirees, according to InternationalLiving.com’s newly-released Annual Global Retirement Index 2013.

This is Ecuador’s fifth consecutive year at the top of the heap.

Mexico voted #4 in Forbes best countries to retire.

Mexico voted #4 in Forbes best countries to retire.

This annual Index—now in its 22nd year–ranks the best international retirement destinations. To compile the ranking, InternationalLiving.com editors collated data from its team of experts on the ground in the most popular countries among U.S. and Canadian expat retirees. Editors assessed factors ranging from the price of groceries and average temperature, to utility costs and the friendliness of locals.

The information was then used to score each of the top countries out of 100 in categories such as “Real Estate,” “Climate,” “Special Benefits for Retirees” and “Health Care.

“It’s designed to help readers compare and contrast what we believe are the best options for retirement abroad in 2013,” says Jennifer Stevens, Executive Editor of International Living magazine.

“Ecuador is such an overwhelmingly attractive choice for retirees overseas today in part because your dollars really stretch there,” Stevens says. “You could live comfortably for $1,600 a month, rent included. The values extend to real estate, as well. A condo right on the coast that might cost you $1 million or more in California, you could have for less than $150,000 along Ecuador’s northern Pacific. We have readers who bought a little mountain place as well as an apartment overlooking the water and split their time between the two. They could never have afforded to do something like that in the States.”

The South American country offers great variety in lifestyle options, she adds. You have sunny beaches, temperate mountain villages, college towns where there are plenty of cultural offerings, and historic colonial cities. “This country rolls out the red carpet for its seniors, as well—offering benefits like 50% off international airfares and cultural events. Plus Ecuadorians are welcoming, friendly, and easy-going. It’s a friendly place to launch an adventure in retirement.”

Panama earned the No. 2 spot in the 2013 Retirement Index, while Malaysia rounded out the top three.

“Panama is just plain easy,” Stevens says. “Panama City is a vibrant, cosmopolitan city with great restaurants, and excellent hospitals. It’s a banking and commercial hub so you find a real international community there. Panama is committed to attracting foreign retirees and offers the world’s best incentive program to do so, making it convenient and easy to get residence there.”

Like Ecuador, the cost of living in Panama is significantly lower than what you’d expect back home. “A budget of $1,700 to $2,500 a month, housing included, would see you eating out, perhaps with a housekeeper a couple days a week, movies a few times a month, and so on.”

In the world’s No. 3 retirement haven, Malaysia, English is widely spoken as the unofficial first language, making it easier for North American retirees to transition.

Asia’s top retirement destination is also exotic and far away—but it is incredibly affordable. “Talk about a place where you can step up in your lifestyle without blowing your budget,” Stevens says. “Our contributing editor there says that he and his wife rent a sea-view apartment in Penang that comes with a pool and gym for $1,000 a month. They keep a small sailboat, eat out five nights a week, have a maid that comes once a week – and do it all for $1,700 a month.”

Another perk: Malaysia is a ‘medical tourism’ destination, so you can count on excellent care that’ll run you less than half of what you’d pay in the U.S., she says. “Plus, unlike elsewhere in Asia, in Malaysia you can buy property, land, houses, and condominiums freehold.”

The most attractive retirement havens aren’t just cheap; they’re welcoming places where you can integrate into the community, she adds. “They’re safe. They’re attractive. They provide the diversions you want, which could be anything from snorkeling to the opera, depending on your interests.”

But of course, there’s no one-size-fits-all destination. You really have to think about your own priorities and what you really want. “The beach? Maybe–but it might be too hot. A small village? Maybe–but if you have health issues to consider, you may want to be in a bigger community,” Stevens says.

“Retiring abroad isn’t for everyone,” she adds. “The happiest expats we meet overseas have one thing in common: They brought their sense of adventure with them. They went overseas ready to try new things, to be confounded, to be impressed, to be surprised. Living overseas works best when you’re pulled there and not just pushed. If your motivation for going abroad is entirely economic, brace yourself for disappointment.”

Also, remember that it doesn’t have to be a full-time endeavor. You don’t have to sell everything and upend your life to enjoy an international lifestyle in a good-value haven somewhere exotic in the world, Stevens concludes. “Go for a month, three months, six months. In a good-value destination, you could spend less on the whole of your everyday needs than you would on just heat alone back home.”

Full List: The Best Countries To Retire In 2013

Search for properties to buy in Mexico. Or look here for properties in Baja.

Baja California Real Estate Property Increasingly Becoming Well known By: Miguel Sedano.

 

Baja Mexico real estate has turned into a popular option as many people purchase additional properties or maybe take advantage of this location as a form of place to go for vacation. All the same real estate buying and selling at this point is budget friendly and even numerous.


Baja Mexico real estate investment keeps growing into amount and also remains to be one of the best settings to own within Mexico. For individuals who dropped by the spot previously, and that are back in to think of it as home, real estate property within Baja, Mexico still is fairly very affordable as well as easy to find, though the continuing surge in number of inhabitants here has resulted in a large number of markdown on accessible homes for sale. Possibilities in property investing over here vary from extremely reasonably priced to deluxe and high priced. In a few sites, the property is among the most pricey in the country.
Baja, Mexico, considerably more technically referred to as Baja California, is one among the 31 states in the country of Mexico. This is around the northern most as well as the westernmost portion of Mexico, along the Baja Peninsula. Having a population of 3.1 million people, the place is large and developing. This rests upon typically the Pacific Ocean, near to the United States, rendering it a fairly easy location to travel to meant for Americans. Nearly 75 % of this state’s inhabitants lives within the capitol city of Mexicali, or Ensenada or simply Tijuana. Each of these zones along with San Felipe, Playas de Rosarito and Tecate are important in the housing market over here.
The most prized of property and assets within Baja Mexico is certainly around the coastline. Many individuals just who purchase over here accomplish this to take advantage of the warm, peaceful Pacific Ocean. Baja, Mexico real estate property meant for auction within this region comes with a wide volume of property and assets opportunities, but a majority are generally solitary family residences, townhomes or even apartments, having studios actually being the most common option for those who’re acquiring from abroad. Moreover, merely beyond the greater urban centers, and then in places such as San Felipe and Tecate, even larger homesteads can be obtained. A number of these pose probably the most valuation promise depending on their particular location.
That searching for Baja, Mexico rentals will find apartments the most commonly obtainable property or home over here, yet getting a family house, can also be attainable. Baja Mexico real estate investment listings give a assortment of opportunities on budgets, with basic comforts actually being the most affordable. Often the far more remote the spot might be, the cheaper the fee. All the same, Baja, Mexico homes that can be purchased keeps to construct and get bigger, with many sites seeing a price tag per square foot of all the way to US $2000 around locations where it also cost $20 per square foot merely 20 yrs earlier. Those purchasing Baja, Mexico real-estate will likely notice their investment grow eventually, though there is absolutely no assuring in which fees can even out.
If you are thinking in moving to Mexico, don’t think more act today.  We Can Help.  Call today 858-433-0561 or email Miguel Sedano  info@rentinginmexico.com the perfect home is waiting for you.

Powerful Spiritual Healer in Mexico By Susan A Mahalick. Compiled By: Miguel Sedano

 

I went to see someone called El Maestro, or Constantino, this past week in the wine valley close to my home in Baja.

Mexican Spiritual Healer

 

People think very highly of this spiritual healer. Much publicity went out to let everyone know locally about his arrival. He had been here one day in January, but I could not go at that time. I figured it would be an all day affair, which indeed it was. Constantino came back for another three days in February due to popular demand. It was his calling, he was called to come back. Some people go to see him every chance they get. Some of my friends are volunteers as they believe in him so much. One friend told of people who could now see, or get up and walk after years of being in a wheelchair. One of the volunteers follows him all around the world as she was one of his major successes. She had been in a wheelchair for fourteen years. She had tried many treatments to no avail until seeing El Maestro.

One of the volunteers is my friend Jo Ann who relates these stories to me via email:

“A friend of Janet’s went to see the Maestro. She recently had a 10 hour operation to remove a tumor at the top of her spine. The doctors could not remove it all and recommended chemotherapy. After seeing the Maestro she experienced pain on her left side and went to the emergency room. They performed an MRI and the tumor is gone.

Or the one about Judie. She was one of the Friday wine group and makes jewelry. She’s been a bunch of times now. She had tintinnitus, ringing of the ears… gone. She took her 90 some year old husband in a wheelchair and he no longer has pain in his legs and is walking…. don’t know what else. Took Margo and the pain in her shoulder (it was dislocated) is gone and she was walking. (Margo has suffered horribly for years from fibromyaligia. She has fear of falling. She can’t wait to go back again. The stories go on.)

A sister of her close friend, Coleen, named Barbara who was legally blind can now thread a needle.”

I talked one of my close friends into going, even though I had a ride from someone in La Mision where I live. The van would have been a bit too full with my friend. Rocky had three different friends of his try to convince him this might be a good idea. As he is an open minded and curious sort, this appealed to him. Most people have medical or emotional issues with which they would like some assistance. So off we went at ten thirty in the morning on a Wednesday to go see a spiritual healer at La Casa Viejas in the wine valley.

It was a pleasant enough day for a trip and we made it to the event in about a half hour or so. The healer was supposed to arrive between twelve and one, but many people got there early to get into the first group. We were seated by arrival for the most part. Given slips of paper to fill out with our concerns and basic information like where we lived and our contact numbers and email addresses.

It was a well organized event with just the right amount of volunteers. Taken into the first room in a group of thirty seven people, we were treated to some testimonials by prior participants. We also got to hear about the beliefs of El Maestro such as a simple diet, no alcohol and no drugs of any kind. No eating of any meat was emphasized. He only owns two sets of clothes, simple white pants and a shirt, with a long poncho of soft beige material over his clothes. It was a somewhat chilly day in the shade. He stays with people so he does not have to own anything other than the clothing. I saw a rather simple gold ring on one hand. His hair was tied back with headbands that were embroidered in dark colors. I could not tell how long his hair might have been, but I would guess it to be of medium length and black. He wore a white scarf tied around his mouth and head to help prevent the passing of germs to complete his look.

We were sent into a nearby palapa that could seat two circles of thirty seven people. We were instructed to be patient and center ourselves around peaceful thoughts. Some talking went on before the arrival of the healer. When he appeared all went very silent. We were told he was going to come see us one by one. We were instructed to all rise and hold hands. Told to look into his eyes when he stood in front of us, but not to touch him. Our chairs were still behind us when we all arose in greeting. A spotter would stand behind each chair as he approached so we could not fall. I could not wait to be touched with his quite powerful presence of healing. I feel that his personal being is a channel to a higher power. El Maestro would look into your eyes and then most often touch the center of your chest with a somewhat forceful motion with one finger. This is to open the heart. Most people fell into their seats from the contact. If your ailment pertained to walking, then you were instructed to walk around the circle after being touched. One man came in on crutches and walked around the circle very stiffly without them. Everyone paid him the most respectful attention.

Some people cried, though not very many. I was one of those who did. I get emotional at these kind of things, even getting teary eyed in church some times. He looked into my eyes with his intense green ones. He asked me what my concerns were, and they got translated into Spanish. I wanted assistance with some uterine fibroid tumors which I have had for about ten years. Conventional medicine would have me get a hysterectomy. I also have a small lesion on the left hand side of my nose. It has been going away slowly for about four months now. He spent a good amount of time with me, even putting his hands on the front of my lower belly and chanting. I was asked by the volunteer if there was anything else and I replied that yes, I am without an income at the moment which causes a lot of stress.

We were told the healing is not always instant, that it can be a process that is now ongoing as we have encountered such a powerful healing force in the spiritual presence of Constantino. A white box was passed around the circles before we left for donations to help El Maestro with his traveling expenses and favorite charities. No suggested amount. Then we were each given a sheet of paper with simple instructions to detox our bodies for the next fifteen days. Mostly vegetables and fruit. No caffeine, alcohol, salt, sugar or refined pastas or white rice. No drugs of any kind. The kind of diet that not very many people can handle as it is so restrictive. No meat as it is aggressively procured. He lives this way all the time himself and recommends that everyone take up his principles for a less aggressive and healthier world. He is most probably correct, but the only people I know of who can follow this regime live in monasteries or spend a week at a spa to get cleansed. My point here being that when you see other people eat what they want it is much more difficult to stay on such a regime without a very strong will.

As for myself, thus far the lesion on my nose is almost completely gone. I am attributing this to the power of El Maestro as the rapidity of the healing has increased. I am going to continue to believe the fibroids are gone until I can get an ultrasound for verification. As for the lack of income, that was taken care of quite nicely the next day.

What can I say but that I am truly a believer in Constantino, El Maestro, the powerful spiritual healer. The man who has the mysterious reputation of being from nowhere.

Susan Mahalick has lived in Baja for the last nine years. She recommends that newcomers can use the FRAO (Foreign Relations Assistance Office) for many of their issues and information. She has also written a book about “Living Resourcefully, Yet Well” available in eformat on Amazon about tips on living well and within a budget.

If you are thinking in moving to Mexico, don’t think more act today.  We Can Help.  Call today 858-433-0561 or email Miguel Sedano  info@rentinginmexico.com the perfect home is waiting for you.

Surf and Travel in Baja California. By: Miguel Sedano

 

What you need to know to stay safe and have fun south of the border.

Fun in Baja California

In 2007, violent assaults and robberies experienced by American surfers and off-road enthusiasts in Baja California rocked the avid Baja travel community in Southern California.

That news combined with the very real violence and media coverage of the drug war in Mexico caused many Baja stalwarts to abandon their lifestyle dedicated to surfing, fishing, off-roading, diving, hiking and just plain enjoying one of the world’s most spectacular natural and cultural regions.

Thankfully, the Mexican government finally responded to the surge in incidents in Baja by increasing roadside patrols and strategically combatting and reducing narco violence.

Tourists are slowly returning to Baja again.

According to Mexico’s Tourism Secretary, border tourism increased 9.4 percent this year compared to 2010.

As someone who works and plays in Baja California, I can attest to the increased security and the fact that for the most part, the majority of the peninsula is as safe as ever.

That is especially true in Baja California Sur, which is considered one of the safest states in Mexico.

Last year I took a 2,970-mile round-trip to the East Cape from San Diego with my two teenage sons.

We traveled down some of the peninsula’s most remote coastal dirt roads and encountered friendly locals, lots of smiles, great wave and cold cervezas.

WiLDCOAST, the organization I run, has an office in Ensenada. At any given time our staff can be found in some of the most remote corners of the peninsula or the most trash-infested colonias of Tijuana.

So far we have had no problems at all.

To get an update on the situation south of the border, I checked in with some of Baja’s most knowledgable and experienced travel experts who spend lots of quality time visiting Baja’s nooks and crannies.

Geoff Hill is the Vice President for Business Development for Baja Bound Insurance Services and a longtime Baja surfing and travel vet.

Susie Albin-Najera is the creator and editor of The MEXICO Report, MEXICO Travel Writers and is a Community Manager for the recently formed Mexico Today. She has been published in numerous publications including San Diego Magazine, Latin Style, Vallarta Tribune, Baja Traveler and Baja Breeze.

Angie Mulder is the Program Director for Baja Discovery, an adventure and outdoor outfitter that specializes in natural history tours of Baja California. The company’s destination eco-camp in San Ignacio Lagoon is one of the world’s premier locations for whale watching.

Kimball Taylor is the author of Return by Water: Surf Stories and Adventures, a columnist for ESPN.go.com, and a former Senior Editor of Surfer Magazine. He has co-authored books on both Pipeline and Jeffrey’s Bay. He is a longtime Baja California travel vet with many miles of deep Baja surf trips under his worn out tires.

Patch: From your perspective has the safety/security situation in Baja improved?

Geoff Hill: I really don’t feel that Baja has a safety problem as much as it has a perception problem. Every year I drive an average of 5,000 miles all over the peninsula and always have positive experiences wherever I travel. Be respectful, use common sense and Baja will treat you well. It’s not the scary place the media has made it out to be. I always look forward to being down in Baja. I love the warmth and friendliness of the people that I interact with and the rugged beauty.

Susie Albin-Najera: Baja is an excellent destination for road travel, whether it’s visiting the border territories or heading further south. The real safety issues are just simple road conditions but the toll roads are safe and constantly being improved. I’ve always felt safe driving in Baja, but always encourage people to purchase insurance and take normal road trip precautions.

Angie Mulder: After our nearly three decades of travel in Baja, times have certainly changed, but applying the rules of safe travel has not. Whether exploring the peninsula with guests or pursuing our own adventures, we do not drive alone or at night, and don’t carry a lot of cash or take along expensive electronics. Just use basic common sense. We continue to run our natural history trips without incident.

Kimball Taylor: The safety issue is a tough call. Although instances of shocking violence have decreased in Tijuana and the Rosarito to Ensenada corridor, the discovery of a massive pot farm near El Marmol indicates serious narco activity in Baja.

Patch: If tourists have a problem on the road, what should they do and who should they call?

Hill: To start with, it’s a good idea to carry a Mexican insurance policy that includes roadside assistance and towing. That will give you direct contact to assistance 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. HDI Seguros and ACE Seguros are the two Mexican insurance companies that Baja Bound works with and they both have English-speaking representatives that are ready to assist you. You can also dial 078 anywhere in Baja which is the Tourist Assistance Hotline provided by the Secretary of Tourism.

Albin-Najera: The Green Angels also provide 24/7 free roadside assistance to visitors with mechanical problems. Tijuana, Ensenada & El Hongo toll roads: 01-800-990-3900 Tijuana, Tecate toll roads: 1-800-888-0911

Taylor: By far the most dangerous aspect of travel in Baja is Highway 1 (the trans peninsular highway). Although the highway is being widened and improved in places, it is still just one slender ribbon of asphalt with little to no shoulder and dubious engineering. With the advent of Costco and Home Depot in Cabo San Lucas, commercial traffic and semi-trucks increasingly burden the road. I would advise to keep driving to daylight hours and to refrain from the nighttime blitz drives that were popular in earlier decades.

Patch: What destinations do you recommend visiting in Baja?

Hill: Some of my favorite memories are surfing at Scorpion Bay back in the early nineties when it was still relatively undeveloped. Tucked up in a pine forest at an elevation of almost 10,000 feet is the San Pedro Martir Observatory. They have three giant telescopes at the facility and tours are available every day starting at 10 am. The views are incredible, and on the right day you can actually see the Sea of Cortez to the east and Pacific Ocean to the west. I recommend this trip in the warmer months. It can snow on the mountain during the winter. Erendira is a sleepy little farming and fishing village about four hours south of the border that has fun surf, nice spots to camp on the water, good fishing and is a beautiful area to relax and unwind.

Albin-Najera: Baja is a mecca of eco-adventure, marine life, dessert and natural beauty. There are so many ways to enjoy the Baja region. I’ve visited all of the regions in northern Baja and each area offers something special. I recommend visiting all of the areas, either on your own with a road map or via guided tour. You can have great experiences all around Baja. For example, some of the activities available are surfing, scuba diving, whale watching, fishing, cave exploration, off road riding, beaches, biking, art galleries, culinary festivals, brewery tours, world class golfing and wine tasting. I recommend the Discover Baja California website to get an idea of all of the options. Even just driving along the coastline from Tijuana to Ensenada offers stunning ocean views.

Mulder: Our favorite Baja destinations include the rugged and beautiful desert in Cataviña and San Ignacio. In San Ignacio must sees are the Mission and cave painting museum, followed by dinner at Rene’s. And of course San Ignacio Lagoon, where we spend most of our time. The whales, people, flora and wildlife make it a very special place that keeps us coming back year after year.

Taylor: I recommend a visit to San Ignacio. The town and mission represent both the romance and reality of Baja. With the famous San Ignacio Lagoon and its gray whales nearby, the oasis is also a way station to San Juanico for those heading south and Punta Abreojos for those heading north.

Patch: What are your favorite places to dine?

Geoff Hill: I am a sucker for carne asada tacos. My favorite stands are Los Traileros in El Sauzal (just north of Ensenada) and Tacos El Yaqui in Rosarito. Tapanco in Rosarito is a great option for a steak dinner, and Rey Sol in Ensenada has a unique French-Mexican fusion that is amazing. If you have never been to the wine country just north of Ensenada you are really missing out! Most people have no idea that there are over 50 wineries producing some unbelievable wines that are just now starting to gain notoriety worldwide. The region is also producing some fantastic artisanal cheeses, jams and olive oil. Most of the wineries offer tours and wine tastings for about five dollars.

Albin-Najera: Tijuana has garnered a lot of positive media attention among foodies and food editors as the new gastronomic hot spot. I could be just as happy eating at a no-name food stall in Tijuana as in a fancy restaurant. As a chilaquiles connoisseur, I am partial to La Casa de Mole in Tijuana, and lobster, Puerto Nuevo style. There are many new upscale restaurants in Tijuana though, that I’m eager to visit.

Angie: Outside of San Ignacio, we stop for chicken tacos at Quichules, the best beans ever.

Taylor: My favorite places to eat are the roadside taco stands in Ensenada, or just around the campfire.

*La Fonda,  Las Gaviotas and Club Marena K38 still some of the best surfing spots in Baja.

If you are thinking in moving to Mexico, don’t think more act today.  We Can Help.  Call today 858-433-0561 or email Miguel Sedano  info@rentinginmexico.com the perfect home is waiting for you.

Choosing to retire at Calafia Condos – Testimonial – Baja Real Estate Group

Brad Billingsley, an American retiree living at Calafia Condos, talks about why he chose to retire to Mexico and why he chose Calafia Condos.

For more information on Calafia Condos visit http://www.calafiacondos.com. Click here for even more real estate in Mexico

San Ysidro “The world’s busiest border crossing” is going to get a bit narrower By: Miguel Sedano

Crossing through the San Ysidro Port of Entry from Mexico is a slog during the best of times for more than 17 million vehicles a year, but the trip promises to become even more challenging, starting Monday June 20th 2011 as a number of lanes are taken out of action for 30 hours at a time into July.

Click two times to Enlarge San Ysidro 2014

Click two times to Enlarge.

The first set of closures — four lanes on the east side of the port of entry — begin Monday at 8 p.m. and will last until 5:30 p.m.Tuesday. Workers will be stringing auxiliary power and data lines to entry booths in preparation for the dismantling of the building over the booths.
The entire border crossing is undergoing a three-phase, $517-million expansion and renovation which is expected to be completed in 2014. When completed, northbound vehicle inspection lanes will increase from 24 to 34. Southbound lanes will increase from six to as many as 12.

U.S. Customs and Border Patrol has provided a tentative schedule of lane closings. Each set of lanes will close at 10 p.m. and reopen about 30 hours later at 4 a.m. The schedule is subject to construction progress:
•    June 22-24: two lanes from the west side
•    June 24-26: three lanes from the west side
•    June 26-28: three lanes from the west side
•    June 28-30: three lanes from the west side
•    June 30-July 2: three lanes from the west side
•    July 5-7: three lanes near the middle/west
•    July 7-9: three lanes near the middle/west
Border crossers can call (619)-690-8999 for the latest information on which lanes are being closed and length of wait times at San Ysidro. Crossers hoping to use the nearby Otay Mesa Port of Entry can call (619) 671-8999 for the same sort of information.

Click two times to Enlarge

Click two times to Enlarge

 

Mexico is also developing a new southbound crossing known as El Chaparral, at a cost of more than $50 million.
If you are thinking in moving to Mexico, don’t think more act today.  We Can Help.  Call today 858-433-0561 or email Miguel Sedano  info@rentinginmexico.com the perfect home is waiting for you.

Welcome to Rosarito! Baja California

By Susan A Mahalick

Welcome to Rosarito!

Welcome to Rosarito! Baja California.

An expat community of 15,000 waits for you to join us. With so much to do, an excellent cost of living, and as a bonus some of the loveliest beaches, mountains and valleys to be found anywhere one cannot possibly go wrong.

Wondering what there is to do here? Travel throughout Mexico with like minded groups of friends. Volunteer at one of the many essential organizations like the Red Cross, Flying Samaritans, or the Nutrition Center in La Mision.

Do you play chess, do Yoga or paint? There is a club and classes for almost any pursuit you may have. I am going to the Writers Workshop later today to hone my skills with the assistance of writers with many publications to their names. One summer I studied under one of the local artists of note who has a large gallery, named Polo. And the cost of these activities and individual is often free or nominal.

Downtown we have a state of the art movie theater, Cemac, which is the art center with a theater and activities galore. You want to go horseback riding on the beach, no problem. How about spending the day at a spa? Or shopping for one of kind items. I promise you will never be bored here or lack for company.
New Year’s Eve, and every other holiday in Baja many people go from home to home to visit before ending up at a party. You will find that in an expat community that people bond like nowhere you have lived before and most class structure falls away. I have friends who are wealthy as well as those that are poor or in the middle. And interesting people abound here.

I used to know the head Engineer of the Apollo project who has since moved away.  Or my girlfriend who used to be married to the Jordanian Ambassador she met whilst going to college in Arizona. Or any of the hundreds who volunteer and give of their time endlessly., I was touched completely by a woman who gave her horse to a little Mexican boy for Christmas as he loved the horse as much as she did.

Places of worship abound here also. There is a large Jewish community along with Christians of all types, Mormons as well as just plain old folks who have a deep spirituality of their own.  The neighboring Valley of Guadalupe, otherwise known as the wine valley, has a large Indian population.’

I happen to be fortunate to live in the rural village of La Mision, population 2,000 which is right around the corner from the wine valley. World class wines are crafted at the 28 wineries which were originally started by Russians and Missionaries. A rich and diverse culture wrapped around vineyards, excellent restaurants with proximity to anyone living along the coastline. Steve Dryden, the local wine expert will be glad to give you a personal tour for only $25 per person, which includes transportation. I have been on his tour twice now and can highly recommend it! He can be reached at http://bajawineandcuisine.com/newsite/

What about technology you might ask? High speed internet, satellite TV, cell phone that are cross border all for quite reasonable prices are available. And fine technicians to keep all this in working order for you are everywhere.

And lastly, one of my favorite subjects… Food.  Fresh seafood at incredible prices. A local favorite place right on the water with waves crashing over the rocks serves up completely fresh seafood dishes starting at $1.75 for a shrimp taco. And wireless internet for tor those who want to sit at the horseshoe bar and gaze through the huge plate glass windows. Or throw a party, have your charity function, or hang out with friends, and this is only one of the many choices of a diverse nature including ‘Chinese, Italian, French and Baja Fusion, We even have Japanese… And I am talking about RosaritoEnsenada is an entire article by itself and only 20 minutes from my home along some of the most beautiful road you can imagine.

So why not come out and join us? We would be happy to welcome you with open arms!

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The Baja Blondes A Lifestyle Reality Show

The Baja Blondes - A Lifestyle Realty Show

The Baja Blondes - A Lifestyle Reality Show

Written By Melinda Bates

To the eternal questions, “Why are we here?  What is the meaning of life?” and, “Do these pants make my butt look fat?” we can add the perennial, “Do blondes really have more fun?”

The answer is clear to all those privileged to be invited to last week’s screening of the pilot of The Baja Blondes, a Lifestyle Reality Show, and it is an unqualified “YES!”

Blondes was created by Susanne Stehr and Debbie Shine, permanent residents of Baja, Mexico, and directed and produced by Robin Mackenzie, a part time resident of Baja, through her company, Tatblue Productions, LLC .  These are women of a certain age who have designed a life here they could never have back in the USA. Lives of freedom, beauty, creativity and friendship.  Lives open to the positive and unexpected adventures of Mexico, a country they adopted and deeply love.  Their goal is to promote Baja to an American audience in a positive light, by showing American women living and working in their communities up and down the gorgeous coast.

The pilot introduces our three protagonists in their lives and careers in the Rosarito to Ensenada area, while making clear that in Mexico, life is NEVER all about work.  In fact, they show us the Mexican dream:  affordable luxury, easy living, accessible health care, an ancient culture, fabulous food, award-winning wine and the excitement of living in a foreign country.

The screening took place at Northern Baja’s premier community, Palacio del Mar.  Guests marveled at the elegant reception areas, lounges and gorgeous landscaping that draws the eye straight to the only indoor pool on the coast, with the infinity pool and ocean beyond.  All the outdoor surfaces are clad in simple and dramatic gray granite. The look is both Mexican and modern.  Indoors, ceilings disappear in the distance above and the sense of space conveys the height of luxury.  The private theater with its comfortable seating and huge screen was the perfect venue for this beautiful event.  Surely residents will equally enjoy hosting their own Super Bowl party there!

Many prominent members of Tijuana and Rosarito’s business and social communities attended, including Raul Aragon, Director of Tourism for Playas de Rosarito, Laura Wong, editor of the Baja Times, Dr. Alejandro Quiroz, one of the area’s top plastic surgeons, Melinda Bates, speaker and author of White House Story, a Democratic Memoir, and Michael and Nancy Rosenberg, who together owned and operated “MARCO Entertainment” for 25 Years, managing the careers of over 100 Olympic and world champion athletes and international stars including Dorothy Hamill, Peggy Lee, Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Tai & Randy, David Brenner, Quincy Jones, and Oksana Baiul.

Sponsors for the evening’s cocktail party and screening included one of the area’s largest real estate brokerages:The Baja Real Estate Group, Click-On, an internet café and mail service for American residents of Baja, The William Hitt Center of Tijuana, offering specialized diagnosis and treatment medical services, Serena Senior Care, providing a wide variety of services, from nursing care to plumbing, for the American community along the coast, and the Rosarito Inn, generous hosts of the production crew for the Baja Blondes.  Their amazing hospitality convinced everyone to return to Baja every chance they get!

The Baja Blondes reality show will travel to Cabo San Lucas, Tijuana, the Valle de Guadalupe Wine Country, Loreto, San Felipe, and all over the Baja peninsula, all the while highlighting American women who live and work in this part of heaven, where their creativity can flourish in a safe and welcoming place.

In addition to producing further episodes, The Baja Blondes plan to establish a retail store and advisory travel arm to assist women traveling in Baja.

*The Baja Blondes is a non-profit Mexican corporation solely owned by Susanne Stehr, Debbie Shine and Robin Mackenzie.

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