Driving North and East from Puerto Vallarta, you do not need to drive more than a few miles and you will be in the foothills of the Sierra Medre Occidental. We are in the process of building our home here and are living on the edge of the jungle in Mexico, at least this part of Mexico. It has taken us a little over 15 years to purchase the land. We bought it in sections a little at a time and now we are actually living part time here as the building is being completed. So far, it has been an exciting journey. We started clearing the land so we could build our “Rancho” last November and started the actual building the same month.
Because we are semi-retired and in our “Golden Years” almost all of the family are against us building in the hills because they feel that should be left to much younger adventurers. Life is to short to listen to that kind of talk. We have never really “retired” and never will. We have just adjusted from living a faster paced life in the burbs to running our little rancho and we chose the edge of the jungle in Mexico to do it. We have over 150 chickens, a few ducks and some turkeys. Maria already has a good business with the hens eggs and now she has added the duck eggs and found a market for them.
There are the challenges, such as no water so we needed to add underground and above ground containers and have the water trucked in every few weeks for everything except drinking water. Drinking water we purchase from a special facility, 10 each 5 gal. containers and keep in the main house. When we have 5 empty containers we take them to be refilled. The water company is installing water lines in the area but are still a few miles from our house so we do not expect them for a couple more years.
One of the first things we had to do is hire people to stretch electrical lines to our property. Yap, you pay for that when
So we had the electric wire pulled to the property and now we have it in place and have lights in place on the “guard house”
Here in Mexico, you hire a guard or night watchman if you have building material or you might just arrive the next day to find that somehow it all disappeared during the night. The night watchman always has a dog and some form of protection. I’ll share an article about dogs and life in Mexico because they are an important part of living life on the edge of the Jungle.
We were going to build a little lean-to for the watchman to stay out of the weather but Maria noticed that there was a “Lost forgotten dream” just across the street from our property. We looked into it and it was available for $65,000 pesos so we bought it. We are having a roof put on it, adding doors and windows and we will then have a place to store the tools overnight as well as keeping the bags of cement dry should there be any wet weather.
It was heavily overgrown when we bought it but I failed to get any pictures before it was cleaned. If you leave houses unattended for a coupleof years the jungle will reclaim it. This will make a nice guest house once all the building is complete. There are thousands of properties like this spread across Mexico. A lot of them are available on the market. We bought this including the land for 65,000 pesos which in todays market is $3421 USD. Of course it is only for those with an adventurous spirit, a love of the land and a willingness to adjust to a few day to day challenges that they might not be familiar with.
There is a room in the back where the toilet and shower will go and that is scheduled to be installed in a couple of weeks, after the septic has been build behind the house. This first picture, you are looking directly through the part of the building that was there when we bought the land.
The doors and the roof go on tomorrow. We are still pricing out the windows. We only have another week to get that complete before we start getting the building material delivered for the main house.
There is so much more going on during this time in our lives it is indeed a great adventure. We have been meeting the farmers and ranchers in the area as well as many people that are living in their dreams as they work on them. The one you see that we are working on finishing, was abandoned 10 years ago and has been sitting there waiting for someone to come finish it before nature takes it back. Actually it does not take nature all that long to reclaim buildings like these when they are left alone. Trees will start growing up the the cement floors, vines around the windows etc. and before long you might just drive past them and not even notice they are there, or what is left of them anyway. Like I said earlier, if you have the pioneer spirit and are willing to do a little hard work there are still hundreds of places just like this scattered around the country. If you think this is something you might be interested in I suggest you start reading Mother Earth News because it really does take a pioneer spirit for the first couple of years.
I live a ketogenic lifestyle here in Mexico. It can be a challenge because you need to find restaurants that serve foods you can eat. Salads can be very hard to find. There are not many places that serve salad unless you are visiting one of the bigger towns. I have some nice keto/paleo recipes to share with you while writing about the building adventure. .
I have decided to write a lot of blog posts and then put them into a kindle book to help others that might be thinking of building/retiring here in Mexico. To that end, I invite your comments and questions. It will help me include information that I might overlook.
I plan to update this each week so that you can see the progress. (Note: This was written and shared on November 8, 2018 but but has been updated. So much has happened and I have been developing a “Mexican Keto” lifestyle with some great recipes. I hope to be shareing them with you each week)