Last Sunday, Easter, I sat on the floor looking at old photos. Mostly family photos. But, I also came across photos of Guatemala and Mexico from the 70's, 80's and 90's.
It is truly astounding the differences that are readily apparent when looking at old photos.
Some of them are:
Toll roads - no longer two lane roads with steady streams of eighteen wheelers that block your path for long, long periods of time. Well, there are the "free" roads - I'm lucky to be able to avoid them.
Paved roads - through villages that were, back in the past, rutted dirt roads which eighteen wheelers had used during rainy season. That created a catywampus rut system that almost defied gravity when driving a regular car over and around those same ruts.
Telephone service every day. There were times when it would be two to three weeks without service. Just eleven years ago!
Dial up internet - Ah yes, I remember when I moved here that I could make my bed, go upstairs, make my coffee and come downstairs to the computer. Maybe, just maybe I would then have internet service. Now it is in the blink of an eye.
Grocery stores that smelled like bad fish - We had only one large grocery store eleven years ago in San Miguel de Allende. I had to hold my breath when I would go in while my stomach rolled. Now, besides the great tiendas and specialty stores, we have a sparkling clean Soriana and even better Mega which is owned by Costco. Great stuff - even Kobe beef! No longer necessary to drive to Queretaro for groceries.
Middle class families
who now can travel in country in their nice cars with their children in shoes and well dressed. I remember a time, forty years ago, when it was not unusual to see all the children barefoot in the villages along with many of the adults. It is a delight to me to see them visiting and enjoying life. In the warmer climes you still see children barefooted and adults in flip flops. I'm envious that they get to live that way year round.
Undeveloped beach villages Puerto Vallarta and Cancun come to mind. What a difference thirty-five years makes.......sadly. But, lest you think there are not still those funky, undeveloped areas, trust me there are still plenty left to discover. I'm keeping those to myself!
"Shade tree mechanics" They've always been here and hopefully they'll continue to be here for all of us to use, forever.
Great Masters of Mexico What a difference to know that those artesans who I knew so long ago now have web pages, have been recognized world wide for their amazing talents and can make a good living, in most instances, from the arts and crafts of Mexico.
Think of it and usually you can now find it in Mexico. Maybe not in the village you live in but somewhere in Mexico.