In 2010, Vivien, and her husband Joel, sailed away from San Francisco. They were taking their time, stopping in several ports in Mexico, and venturing off to inland destinations. In the spring of 2012 they dropped anchor in the bay of Santa Cruz where they spent three weeks.
“Then we docked in Marina Chahue, because eventually you need other services like internet, water and electricity. The first thing we noticed was all these little birds landing on our boat. I thought, what a wonderful greeting.”
The cruising community is known for its hospitality to other boaters and one of the residents in the Marina gave them a tour of Huatulco.
“It was so nice - the green along the wide boulevards… and clean. We hadn’t seen this in any other place in Mexico. It was April and getting hot so we decided to get off the boat and treat ourselves to a hotel room with air conditioning for a few nights.”
That turned into a month and then they rented an apartment. They originally planned to sail down to Costa Rica/Panama but it never happened.
“After we'd been here two years, Joel sailed back to San Francisco and sold our boat. This place was like paradise and we figured–Why go anywhere else? Huatulco had it all… white sandy beaches, snorkeling, birds, and an international airport. We had seen a lot of Mexico and nothing came close to being this clean, tranquil or having this much natural beauty.”
Vivien misses her family and cultural events, and she goes back twice a year for a visit, but they love their life here.
They have a scooter but they get around town on bicycles most of the time. Making a smaller carbon footprint is important to them. She spoke no Spanish when she arrived but is slowly learning more.
Vivien likes to be active and spends a lot of her time outdoors, swimming and hiking. They got permission to use a vacant lot to plant a vegetable/fruit garden with over 50 trees to harvest from. Later the municipality expanded that space into a lovely park. She currently maintains a hiking trail near their house.
She admits there is Bureaucracy and that you need to be patient. You can’t get anything done in a hurry and once you come to accept this, life is easier. Nothing is that important and most things can wait a week or even a month. Her advice to anyone thinking of living in Mexico is to develop patience. This is a different country and you need to be respectful of their culture. If you want everything to be the same, it might be better to stay home.