Join the Baja Good Life Club and received discounted rates on your Mexican auto insurance. Drivers license, RV, boats, motorcycles and more.
The Print Supplier offers the lowest prices, fastest turnaround, and highest quality - guaranteed!
Come join us on March 21, for a 4-day bicycling tour from La Paz, Baja California Sur, around the cape and back to La Paz. Help put a positive spin on Baja for the kids.
Comprehensive guides to living, working, playing and enjoying the Baja peninsula to the fullest.
Your magazine to living the Baja Good Life; articles, discounts, adventures and more.
Sunday, December 27, 2009
Friday, December 25, 2009
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Please don't hesitate to bring "at risk" animals to the site for care.
For now please call any of these phone numbers for directions and information, both in Spanish and English. You can call Carolanne at 686-231-1565, Sochee at 686-122-6344 or Martine at 686-165-7333 or Steven at 686-190-3432. We are there and ready to help!! Thanks for your patience. Signs will be up tomorrow on the Highway, with markers that will lead you all the way to the site.
The custom of putting up a Christmas tree has become very popular in Mexico, so we thought we'd share a few popular Mexican Christmas gifts that you may want to add to your Baja holiday gift shopping list.
Aztec Dolls are 100 percent handcrafted by the Mexica (Ma-she-ka) Indians of Central Mexico. The Mexica are the descendants of the the great Aztec Empire, but in today's world they struggle for existence. The craftsmanship of these dolls are so intricate that their arms and legs actually move. www.aztec-empire.com/dolls.htm
Oaxacan Wood Carving
Oaxacan folk art wood carvings or "alebrijes" have been produced by the same families in the small town of San Martin Tilcajete for decades. Each piece is carefully carved with amazing detail from copal, a soft wood found in Mexico. Then it is hand painted in bright colors and patterns. www.sunriseimports.net/oaxacanwoodcarvings.html
Created by the Huichol Indians, a small tribe of approximately 10,000 Indians living in central western Mexico, this beaded mask is made by overlaying the carved mask with a beeswax and resin mixture. Then tiny glass beads are placed by hand on the sticky base, one at a time, until the pattern is complete. The Huichol create these sacred objects of beauty as a way of honoring the life-giving forces of the universe.
Mexican Bubble Glass
Mexican blown glass was called Mexican bubble glass because of all the bubbles produced when blowing the molten glass. The blown glass technique consists of blowing through a pipe onto a red-hot glass mass, heated in a special oven. Pitchers and glasses can be clear or with rims and bases in cobalt, turquoise and amber. Mexican bubble glass will add a bit of the Mexican culture to your home.
Dia de los Muertos, Mexican Day of the Dead Folk Figures and Sculptures
The skeleton figures and sculptures are made from a variety of materials including hand-painted sheet metal, paper mache and clay. The skeleton figures are created and painted by hand by the folk artists of Mexico. Many of the painted clay skeletons (esqueletos) are fashioned to depict the activities the deceased enjoyed while alive.
Virgen De Guadalupe T-Shirt
The Virgen of Guadalupe is universally revered in Mexico, which doesn't mean her image is somehow sanctified. It is everywhere, though it is never used in a commercial manner to sell anything. A tasteful T-shirt or blouse with an image of the Virgen de Guadalupe will help your traveler feel right at home in Mexico.
Sterling Silver Jewelry from Taxco
Artisans from Taxco, a beautiful town located in the mountains of the west coast of Mexico, are world famous for their handcrafted sterling silver jewelry. They transform pure silver into lovely jewelry with either classic or trendy designs. The complete collection at Silverzeal is 925 sterling silver.
JollyMon Bar New Years' Bash
December 31 8PM-?? NO COVER CHARGE Live music of Agave Blues FREE Jell-O Shots FREE Oyster Shooters FREE Champagne at midnight for toast You can also bring your own hors d'oeurves to share, if you would like. Invite everyone to bring donation of non-perishable food item for Food Bank San Felipe
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Riding Christmas Waves
to download a fresh and refreshing surf tune for the holidays.
Tim Smith's Primal Sky "Riding Christmas Waves" is smooth, soothing holiday music that we guarantee you'll be listening to even in July! Simply check the audio section for all the latest music and talk.
Saturday, December 12, 2009
These local San Felipe Businesses have enthusiastically agreed to support the Blues and Art Fiesta as primary sponsors: The Peoples’ Gallery, El Cortez Hotel, Tecys Security, Copy Central, and Versoleil Landscaping. The Lions Club of San Felipe is grateful for their early sponsorship and recognizes their contributions as businesses that provide quality services to our community.
Your business in Baja can gain a lot of visibility and press through our sponsorship packages. The Blues and Arts Fiesta will be celebrating its fourth successful year and promises to deliver a day of music and art that you and your family can enjoy.
Sponsorship packages range in price from $250 dollars to $900 and if you are interested contact
The San Felipe Lions Club is again the primary sponsor for this event. Last year the Club was able to donate $10,000 to the Sonshine Home for Children which is being built in San Felipe. Look for more information on this project in future articles.
Right now our committees are working diligently to provide an amazing day where you can listen to the Blues, eat great food, and add to your art collection. The bands will be performing on a large stage in our town outdoor stadium. Professionals have been contracted for lighting and sound and we have a great line-up of performers to give you the best of the Blues. Acts like legendary guitar player Javier Batiz, Alice Stuart, Sean Carney with Phil Berkowitz, Michele Lundeen, Chet Cannon, Gregg Wright, Becki Sue and her Big Rockin Daddies, Route “69”, 820 Band, and our local band Agave Blues.
Spend the week-end of March 27th 2010 in San Felipe & see why we think that our town is a remarkable place to live. Enjoy the views of the ocean from your hotel room. Make it a family event or invite your club members for a week-end trip that you’ll remember. General addmission tickets are $20 and provide open access to the event throughout the day. This is going to be the biggest event to date, don't miss out on a celebration of art and music. Order Your Tickets Today
Time to sharpen your scissors, find your scotch tape and dust off your holiday cheer. The Christmas wrapping will be held at the Internado on: Wednesday, Dec.16th at 9:30 a.m.
We need wrappers. Not great wrappers, not even good wrappers, but just willing hands to make the holiday posada a wonderful event. We would love to see new faces this year so please join us.
Coffee, Tea and goodies will help make trying to wrap those impossible balls a lot easier. Any questions: Linda Nicholls 133-0635 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Friday, December 11, 2009
In El Caballo Blanco, browse the best Baja book selection. Thousands of used books fill the palapa room, with new Baja books, art and maps in the second room. They carry favorite things; art supplies, pottery, and fabric, comfortable chairs and their ever-ready coffee pot. Stop in for coffee and a chat; bring along this month's edition of Mexico Living and receive a 10 percent discount on all items during the month of December.
Their story is here:
Thursday, December 10, 2009
OPENING SATURDAY, DECEMBER 12th
Thanks so much for your generous contribution to ZAPP. As you know, ZAPP has purchased land, and is opening a 7.5 acre Rescue, Adoption Center, Rehab Center, Sanctuary & Spay/Neuter facility this Saturday. The New ZAPP Center is located on the south side of the highway, just before the arches, 2 miles off the road. We will also provide Board & Care for travelers, and Grooming. Our goal is to ultimately provide 24 hour urgent care for animals in immediate need. The New Center will have an open door policy for all dogs, cats, kittens and puppies. Thanks so much for your continuing support - Steven Forman.
Sunday, December 6, 2009
Celebrate this Holiday Season & see many vehicles decorated with light and tinsel, even a boat !!!
The parade is starting from 7/11 Pemex aprox 5pm ! At the circle it turns right ...going thru neighborhoods and ending up at the Malecon and then back thru neighborhoods to the 7/11.
Come and cheer all the different Floats in the parade!
Saturday, December 5, 2009
—Mary J., Ensenada
Mary, of course I think every edition is great, but the October 2009 edition is one of my favorites as well. Thank you so much for the feedback and kind words.
Letter #2 - I just finished reading the October edition of Mexico Living from cover to cover. You kept my interest from your Editor's Angle all the way to the classified ads. This month's articles on Medical Tourism were well written and very interesting and, should the need arise, could be very helpful. Thank you for yet another excellent edition.
—Gary Slavin, Florida
Gary, thank you so much for letting us know that we managed to keep your interest from cover to cover. I'll be sure to pass along the kudos to our writers.
In addition to the Jugeton, there will be a tree lighting ceremony on Dec 13 at Plaza Salvatierra at 8:00 pm. The Comittee in Support of Casa Hogar is selling tickets for a 50/50 raffle, and the drawing will be held at this event. If you would like to buy tickets, call Paula at 135-2125. You must be present to win. Tickets are 20 pesos each.
Casa Hogar is not an orphanage, but a safe home for children whose families are in crisis. They may spend up to 6 months at the home, in a caring and secure environment, and return to their homes when conditions are improved. The committee is composed of Loreto women from many walks of life. Several are teachers, most are raising families. They have organized several events to raise funds for the maintenance and improvement of Casa Hogar, and their work has improved the lives of the children placed in the home.
Submitted by: Paula Alley
Friday, December 4, 2009
But, the most important thing is, and I hope you'll agree, is to be able to start rescuing animals from the streets and make them safe. A warm place where mama dogs and cats can deliver their puppies and kittens. We'll certainly be ready to do that
Our staff is in place, the exterior perimeter fencing is done, and we will have a huge septic system which is critical to a project this size, which will involve so many animals. We'll have three large 20' X 30' chain link kennels that will serve as holding pens until the interior fencing is done, and our revolutionary straw bale dog condos are constructed. Next on the list of priorities is making ready some secure boarding kennels, so travelers will be able to leave their pets. But, forewarned is forearmed, and even though we've been working hard for months, we are certainly still under contruction.
Check out the ad below for the upcoming Drag Show on January 25th, starring TOOTIE & the Gang from San Diego. All funds raised at this event will help construct a "caterie" for our feline friends, and that's only a month away. Watch for the BIG sign on the Highway going south just before the Arches, which will direct you to the new location. It will be installed Tuesday! See ya there.
Thursday, December 3, 2009
The Holiday Poinsettia
by Greg Niemann
Throughout history, Mexico has made numerous gifts to its big neighbor to the north. Tomatoes, avocados and chiles all came from Mexico, and the state of Baja California alone has contributed fish tacos, Caesar salads and margaritas. Over the years, the U.S. has received many Mexican sons and daughters; and even, following the Mexican-American War, gave Americans the entire state of California.
But the most colorful gift that wended its way north is the flaming red poinsettia, that ubiquitous holiday plant that entices Christmas shoppers in malls and supermarkets everywhere. The poinsettia, which blooms in December, lends a festive air to homes and businesses on both sides of the border. And its origins are as Mexican as mariachi music.
Native to the area around present-day Taxco, the Aztecs cultivated the plant they called Cuetlayochitl (Cuetlaxochitle in some references), using the sap to control fevers and the bracts (modified leaves) to make a reddish dye. The plant was so popular that even Montezuma had them caravaned into Mexico City as they could not be grown in that high altitude.
After the Spaniards arrived, in the 17th century a group of Franciscan priests that settled near Taxco began using the red flowers for the Fiesta of Santa Pesembre (Feast of the Holy Manger), the first known holiday usage.
What is a Mexican tradition without a supporting legend? The poinsettia legend has a poor Mexican girl named Pepita walking with her brother (or cousin, versions vary) Pedro to Christmas Eve services at the village church where people made gifts to the Christ Child. She was sad as she had no gift.
Pedro said consolingly, "I am sure, Pepita, that even the most humble gift, if given in love, will be acceptable in His eyes."
So Pepita knelt by the roadside and scooped a handful of common weeds and tried to fashion them into a presentable bouquet. In the chapel, Pepita placed the makeshift bouquet at the foot of the Nativity scene. Suddenly the weeds burst into beautiful red blooms and all who saw were certain they had witnessed a miracle. From then on, the flower in Mexico became known as the Flor de Nochebuena, or Flower of the Holy Night. The botanical name is also colorful (for Latin) and the plants were named Euphorbia pulcherrima Wild (pulcherrima means most beautiful) by German botanist Wilenow who was dazzled by their color. The Mexicans have their name for the flower and the scientists have their identifying moniker, but how did Americans come to know it as the poinsettia? Enter John Roberts Poinsett.
Born in South Carolina in 1779, Poinsett became a special agent to South America, served in his state legislature, and was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives before heading to Mexico as special envoy. He was the first American ambassador to Mexico (appointed by Andrew Jackson) and was later a Unionist in rebel South Carolina. His outstanding career also included serving as Secretary of War under Martin Van Buren (1837–1841).
But Poinsett is best known for the flower that bears his name. An accomplished botanist, in 1825 he sent some of the brilliant flowers from Mexico to his own nursery in South Carolina, and also to other friends and American horticulturalists, and they thrived. As the plant became more popular, historian and horticulturalist William Prescott was asked to give the plant a popular name. He chose poinsettia, honoring Joel Poinsett's contribution.
A little known fact is that Poinsett was also the person who introduced the American Elm to Mexico, with the end result being a literal swapping of botanical gifts.
The present-day poinsettia has been hybridized greatly in the U.S. and Europe from the original Mexican plant. Today there are over 100 varieties, with varying heights, colors (red, pink, white), bract width and flowering habits.
Today 90 percent of all poinsettias are grown in the United States. They are commercially grown in all 50 states, with California top producer. One of the world's largest commercial growers is the Paul Ecke Ranch in nearby Encinitis, which grows over 80 percent of the U.S. wholesale market. In fact, 90 percent of all flowering poinsettias in the world got their start at Paul Ecke Ranch in north San Diego County.
The Ecke Ranch originated in 1902 when Albert Ecke started growing poinsettias in Eagle Rock, now a community of northeast Los Angeles. In 1909, he and his son specialized in poinsettias. They moved to Encinitis in 1923.
Paul Ecke poinsettias are known for huge, giant bloom centers and a unique single stem presentation.
December 12 has been designated National Poinsettia Day and the flower represents 85 percent of all potted plant sales during the holiday season. Hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of poinsettias are sold during the brief six-week season.
Poinsettias grow rapidly in Southern California, and do well in coastal areas. That simple holiday pot, planted in a yard will, in a few short years, be a flowering tree.
The cost of a poinsettia is determined by the number of blooms. Red rules as 74 percent of all Americans prefer that color to white (8 percent) and pink (6 percent). Women purchase 80 percent of America's best-selling potted plant.
In the large supermarkets and wholesale outlets like Costco, poinsettias are as ubiquitous at yuletide as chewing gum at the checkout counter, except because of the size and brilliance, the poinsettias are much more obvious and shopping carts quickly get filled with them.
I don't know what use the Mexicans made of the American Elm, but without their Flor de Nochebuena, the holiday season just wouldn't be the same for millions of Americans.
Greg Niemann has written extensively about Baja California for numerous publications, and is the author of Baja Fever, Baja Legends, Palm Springs Legends, and Big Brown: The Untold Story of UPS. www.gregniemann.com
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Baja Medix offers the following services: Consultation Services, Specialist Consultation, Traumatology and Orthopedic, Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, Urology, and Nutrition. The clinic is also prepared to offer hospitalization, surgeries, X-rays, laboratory and ambulance services.
December 2009 - by Christa Thomas
Mexico has more to offer than sandy beaches, great food and a lively culture. It can also be the perfect place to get inexpensive medical and dental care.
For years I lived with three broken back teeth because I didn’t want to pay the $2,400 it would cost to have them fixed. I had dental insurance, but it only covered half the cost of crowns—leaving me with a co-pay that I just couldn’t swallow. When I moved to Mexico, I learned that dental care cost far less here. Dr. Maricela Arizmendi came highly recommended and I now know why—she offers professional, caring and affordable dental care in a clean, modern office. The total cost for all three teeth was $750—less than one-third the cost of having them done back home in Canada.
I had learned what many before me already knew—medical tourism pays.
Medical Tourism is the growing phenomenon of people traveling abroad for affordable health care.
In 2008, more than 200,000 Americans traveled outside the U.S. for medical care, and that number is expected to double by 2010, according to Josef Woodman, in his book Patients Beyond Borders. They travel for procedures such as dental work, heart surgery, orthopedics, cosmetic surgery, neurosurgery, fertility treatments, LASIK eye repair, and cancer treatments. Mexico is one of the primary destinations for patients from the U.S. with shorter travel times and the potential to vacation before and after treatment adding to its allure.
It’s not just individuals considering overseas care. Insurers and employers are setting up cross-border health care plans to cover a wide range of elective medical procedures. For example, Blue Shield and Health Net of California offers its members care in Mexico. The outsourcing of health care is turning into a big business.
Medical tourists fall into several categories: 1) those that want elective surgery such as cosmetic or wellness treatments that are not covered by insurance plans; 2) those that are underinsured—high deductibles have many people who are in need of medical care running for the border; and 3) those that are uninsured.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, nearly 46 million Americans, or 18 percent of the population under the age of 65, were without health insurance in 2007, their latest data available. Since then, due to the recession, millions more have or will lose their health insurance coverage.
Some medical tourists go abroad for immediate availability of procedures as wait-lists and limited physician choices at home force them to seek out alternative treatment centers.
However, for most, the primary motivation is the significantly lower cost for health care found outside the U.S. or Canada. The cost of medical and dental procedures in Mexico is, on average, about 25 to 50 percent of U.S. costs.
While these savings are alluring, they should only be considered in situations where quality of care is not sacrificed. Along with its many benefits, traveling for your medical treatments can create some additional risks. There is no regulatory oversight of the medical tourism industry, putting the onus on the consumer to determine whether the foreign facility and medical team are qualified. And keep in mind that in many countries, outside the U.S. and Canada, you may have very little legal recourse if something goes wrong. With sound planning and research, many of these risks can be minimized, if not eliminated.
At its June 2008 Annual Meeting, the American Medical Association (AMA) discussed the issues facing Americans seeking medical care outside the U.S., and developed the AMA Guidelines on Medical Tourism. The guidelines are in favor of patient choice, and seek to inform and advise individuals, employers, insurers, and those coordinating international health care about how to ensure the quality and safety of patient care internationally.
One recommendation is that people should only be referred for health care to institutions that have been accredited by recognized international accrediting bodies, such as the Joint Commission International (JCI) or the International Society for Quality in Health Care. The JCI is an arm of the U.S. hospital-accrediting body, the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO). The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention also recommends using JCI accredited hospitals, stating on its website that to “ensure a higher quality of care abroad, Joint Commission International attempts to continuously improve the safety and quality of care in the international community through the provision of education and consultation services and international accreditation.”
The JCI sets over 350 standards of excellence for international hospitals to meet that ensure the quality and safety of patient care. These standards include patient satisfaction and quality outcomes, medical training of doctors and medical staff, nurse to patient ratios, overall hospital cleanliness, and innovation in medical technology and equipment. JCI has accredited more than 250 facilities in 36 countries, including eight in Mexico.
Hospital CIMA in Hermosillo, Sonora, is JCI accredited. CIMA has partnered with a major U.S. insurance company to offer services to U.S. patients. Blue Cross and Blue Shield members of Companion Global Healthcare Inc. can now seek treatment at CIMA Hermosillo.
Under the agreement, members are covered for procedures such as cardiology, gynecology and orthopedic surgeries. "These are typically very expensive procedures in the U.S., whether you have insurance or you don't," said Steven Foster, CIMA’s CEO. "Surgical procedures run about 60 percent less than the average U.S. procedure," added Foster. An example of the cost savings—a hip replacement in the U.S. would cost $100,000 on average while the average cost at CIMA is $12,000.
Doctors Robert Page and Curtis Page, in their book Mexico: Health and Safety Travel Guide, state that “CIMA, owned and operated by the International Hospital Corporation (IHC) of Dallas, Texas, has strong affiliation with Baylor University Medical School, a highly respected institution which provides updated educational and technical information to physicians and staff. CIMA has scores of highly qualified medical personnel and top-notch facilities that include a state-of-the-art cardiac-care unit and fully equipped emergency ward and intensive care unit. Travelers in need of medical attention will find themselves in excellent hands at CIMA.”
International Hospital Corporation’s website states that doctors in their hospitals receive continuing education from the following educational affiliates and educational partners: Southwestern Medical Center, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, UCLA, the Mayo Clinic and Children’s Hospital Boston. The website further states that the “hospitals are modeled after high-quality facilities operating in the United States and are held accountable by our management to U.S. quality care standards.”
Since moving to Mexico, I have begun using Dr. Roberto Salazar López at CIMA as my family doctor. I am very impressed with both CIMA and Dr. Salazar—from the marble floors throughout the facility to Dr. Salazar’s clean and modern office with its own ultrasound scanner and X-ray viewer. The doctor stores all patient information on his laptop and he can access and input my data at the touch of a button. The level of personal care that I receive from him far exceeds anything I’ve previously experienced. On my first visit, Dr. Salazar gave me his email address. I have since emailed him several times and each time received a response the same day. And I was never charged for these prompt electronic consultations. He accepted me as a client right away (I am still on a waiting list to get a family doctor in Canada), and when I need to see him, I can usually schedule an appointment for the next day.
In addition to CIMA, there are many other Mexican clinics and hospitals that are clean, modern and feature state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment and will provide exceptional care at reduced prices. Many facilities are staffed with English-speaking physicians and medical personnel.
As I discovered, Mexico is also a hotspot for tourists in search of low-cost dental care. High-quality dentists can be found in all of Mexico’s major tourist resorts and large cities, including San Carlos, Los Cabos, Tijuana and Cancun; and even smaller communities such as Los Algodones and San Felipe offer quality dental care. Any treatments available in the U.S. and Canada are also available in Mexico, including caps, dental implants and teeth whitening.
A medical tourism facilitator can help you find the doctor, dentist, hospital or clinic that is right for you. Using a facilitator like BridgeHealth, Healthbase or Companion Global Healthcare may also help alleviate some of the risks associated with medical tourism as these facilitators mainly work with hospitals that are accredited by the Joint Commission International. According to Patients Beyond Borders, these agencies specialize in international medical travel and “work with hospitals, clinics, physicians, surgeons, airlines, hotels and recovery retreats abroad to offer patients the best quality at the most affordable rates.”
One of the biggest advantages to choosing Mexico for your medical care is its proximity to the United States and Canada. In Mexico, you can get reasonably priced medical treatments close to home. And as an added bonus, while abroad, patients also frequently take advantage of the opportunity to take an inexpensive vacation. Recuperating on a sandy beach under a shady palapa while taking in the beautiful scenery may be just what the doctor ordered.
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Memphis barbecue sauce has its own distinctive flavor. Though the specific ingredients will vary from cook to cook, Memphis sauce is usually made with tomatoes, vinegar and any countless combination of spices. It is generally thin, tangy and somewhat sweet, and when Memphis sauce is poured over pulled pork—OH YES, BABY!