Let the Dust of Mexico Settle on Our Hearts

We’ll admit that it took us some time to embrace the organized chaos that is Mexico.  If you want an always predictable, organized reality, stick with Hawaii for your vacations.  Or for that matter, the Mexican vacations that aren’t really Mexico, like the spring break destinations.  But for us, soon enough, the dust of Mexico settled on our hearts.

Mexico always offers unexpected experiences if you care to wander off the beaten path.  While the US has many good things going for it (very clean, much better roads, etc.), it’s not as easy to stumble upon such unique findings as it is in Mexico.

Before leaving Tapalpa, we went outside of town to the neighboring village of Atacco to where I was told a straw bale house had been built.  There are various ways homes can be constructed using straw bales.  They end up being much more insulated than typical homes and they’re even fire resistant because the straw is so compact.  The bales are covered with plaster and can look very nice.  I enjoy natural building methods so I was excited to go and try to find this house.  We stopped where we were told there was a natural medicine store.  The woman there was part of the women’s group that built the straw home as a model home to help encourage and teach others to build using the affordable & sustainable technique.  She told us how to get to the house, which involved walking through the empty town plaza, underneath a conveyor belt loading bags of corn onto a truck, and up a rough path past shanty houses.  And there it was, a beautiful little home made of straw bales, not quite finished.  I hopped the gate and lifted iola over because the women’s group had lost the key for the padlock.  I checked out the house, homemade ovens & stoves, water collection system, and composting troughs.  I never would have guessed there’d be such a cool project in this small, poor town in the middle of nowhere.

Back at the medicine shop, we browsed their garden that produces the raw ingredients for their homemade remedies & the old chapel that’s still standing.  We bought soap, skin healing cream made out of a flower, & eucalyptus oil, before heading out again.

That experience, and many others like it, is the reason we learned to love the unpredictability of Mexico.  It’s often used to portray the bad aspects of Mexico, but for us the positives far outweighed the negatives.  What nice, fantastic people we had the pleasure of meeting all around Mexico.  We made great friends both from Mexico and from abroad.

The dust of Mexico settled on our hearts and we’re excited to go back soon.

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iola found a broom & dustpan and got busy cleaning.

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-Ryan

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