Since I moved to Mexico almost three years ago, I’ve lived in three different abodes in three separate pueblos. All I have been great, but the places just keep getting better and better.
When I first moved to Lake Chapala, I lived in a nice unit in a gated condo style community in El Chante, which is just east of Jocotopec. It was a perfect place in which to acclimate myself to my new country. I lived in the unit on the right side.
My landlords, Georgia and Tony, had done great stuff inside. The walls and tiles were bright; the furnishings were Mexican combined with American. Tony had even built some of the furniture.
And it was a nice size: open plan living room/dining room/kitchen; large bedrooom; office/den; bathroom; and even an indoor laundry room. The only thing that it lacked was private outdoor space, aside from the enclosed patio in the front. I spent a happy year there.
When I began to look around for a different place to rent, I thought I would perhaps enjoy living on the south side of the lake. There are a few small pueblos within easy driving distance of Joco, but rentals are relatively scarce. And so are gringos.
One of the posters on a forum I read frequently mentioned that she lived in the little town of San Cristobal Zapotitlan … SCZ …on the south shore. I contacted her to see if she knew of any rentals in her area. Coincidentally, her neighbor had just mentioned to her that he was thinking of renting out his little house because he didn’t use it enough. He lived and worked in Guadalajara and only got down to SCZ a couple of weekends a month.
I immediately made arrangements to see the place and fell for it during that first viewing. Not only did it have TONS of outdoor space, it was located right on the lake and the view was spectacular. And the rent was less than I had been paying in El Chante. I quickly signed a year’s lease.
It wasn’t as colorful as my previous place had been, and not as large, but, oh, the view out of the living room/dining room windows was great.
When I moved in, I became only the third gringo in the whole town. Well, actually, gringa because the other two were also American women. One was a woman in her 80s who had been living in SCZ for some years. The other was a tall, willowy gal about my age. I never knew for certain, but I figured the locals, when speaking of us, called us “the old one,” “the tall one,” and “the fat one.”
After a year of life in SCZ, my landlord agreed to extend my lease by six months, so I actually resided in the house for a year and a half. Again, I loved the place, and my friends and I had a lot of pitchin luncheons at the very large dining room table.
I was sad when I had to move again, until I realized that I was next going to be living in the house found behind the gate in the photo at the very top of this post. Upon opening the gate, this is what I found:
While I’ve lost the lake view that I had in SCZ, I’ve gained a pool and I’m really only two blocks from the Joco malecon … the boardwalk area right on the lake. And since I’m now back on the north side of Lake Chapala, I actually see my friends a lot more often, since they all live on this side.
For different reasons, I have loved all of the abodes I’ve inhabited since I moved to Mexico in April of 2008. And I’ve loved my landlords and am friends with them all. Just another reason I’m happy that I made the decision to move to Mexico.