Retirement; like your parents, but way cooler
In 1991 Billy and Akaisha Kaderli retired at the age
of 38. Now, into their 3rd decade of this
financially independent lifestyle, they invite you
to take advantage of their wisdom and experience.
Mexico City, Mexico
Billy and Akaisha Kaderli
West side of the Zocalo.
We are approaching the
historic center of Mexico City, and this west side of the plaza has been
occupied by merchants and their shops since the Spanish Conquest of Mexico in
Today, there are offices on
the upper floors, and shops at ground level. But most of the upper floors of the
buildings here are taken up by suites and rooms associated with the Gran Hotel
de Ciudad de Mexico and the Hotel Majestic.
Interestingly, the Hotel
Majestic was recently purchased by Best Western, and the Gran Hotel de la Ciudad
de Mexico is now run by Howard Johnson. People still call these buildings by
their original names, as it sounds so much more gentrified.
Display of Mexican patriotism
This area of the Zocalo, is equal to our own
Washington, D.C. and houses the government that runs the country of Mexico.
Mexico City is the Federal District of Mexico City or D.F. for short
(pronounced: DAY EFF-ay.
Here you see some happy patriots waving the
Moving closer to the square
The streets and sidewalks are both clean and
wide. It was not always so. Over the years, Mexico City has been prone to
flooding, and in the "olden days" before closed sewers and better sanitation,
these streets would become unbearable.
I won't go into description, but you can
imagine for yourself what that might mean, especially since horses were a means
of transportation at the time.
But these days, the streets are something to
be proud of.
The red rock used in constructing these
buildings is called tezontle and the white stone is a cantera. The
whole Mexico City Zocalo is a mix of these stones.
The Metropolitan Cathedral of the
Assumption of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary into Heaven
This is the largest cathedral in the
Americas, and the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Mexico. It just
happens to be situated on top of a former sacred Aztec area.
The two bell towers you see here contain a
total of 25 bells, each one weighing tens of thousands of pounds. There are
sixteen chapels inside the cathedral.
Much of Mexico City is built upon soft clay
soil. That, combined with dropping water tables, accelerated the cathedral
sinking and threatened its structural integrity. Reconstruction work in the
1990s saved the cathedral and now it has been removed from the endangered list.
Two separate entrances are shown here
We went in and out of the cathedral through
several doorways that were open. Each led us to a different chapel.
Notice the cantera stone on the front
of the church.
This very ornate entranceway is to the
This cathedral faces south towards the Zocalo.
Here you see a better
angle of the Tabernacle, a few doorways and the bell towers.
You will also notice that
deep red volcanic stone, tezontle, that is utilized all throughout the
Inside the cathedral
With its graceful lines, the soft colors of
rock, paint and gold leaf, the inside of the cathedral is very beautiful.
Altar of Forgiveness
Covered in gold leaf, this is the Altar of
Forgiveness. Several stories describe how the name of this altar came about. One
of them states that those condemned by the Spanish Inquisition were brought to
the altar to ask for forgiveness in the next world before their execution.
National Palace on left,
the Federal District buildings on right, vendor stalls in the center
The site where the palace
stands has been a place for the ruling class of Mexico since the Aztec Empire.
Much of the current palace's building materials are from the original palace
that belonged to Moctezuma II. It is now also home to some of the offices of the
Federal Treasury and the National Archives.
Above the central doorway,
facing the Zócalo, is the main balcony. Just before midnight on the eve of
Mexican Independence Day, the president of Mexico gives the Grito de Dolores.
Part of this ceremony includes ringing the
bell that hangs above the balcony. This bell is the original one that Father
Miguel Hidalgo rang to call for rebellion against Spain. It originally hung in
the church of Dolores Hidalgo,
Guanajuato, but was relocated here.
On the right are The
Federal District buildings. They house offices of the governing authority of
Mexico City. The building to the far right has been the site of city
administration since the Conquest.
A panoramic shot of the cathedral, palace,
plaza and government buildings.
The ancient Aztecs, called Mexihcah
(pronounced: Meh-shee-KAH) lived here and founded their cities on raised islets
in the Lake Texcoco (which used to surround Mexico City) around AD 1300.
The Zocalo and surrounding blocks have played
a central role in the city's planning and geography for almost 700 years. The
area one block southwest of here, according to Aztec legend and mythology, was
considered to be the center of the Universe.
Many other Mexican towns and cities, such as
Guadalajara, have adopted the word zócalo to refer to their main plazas, but
none are this big. This Zocalo has been a gathering place for Mexicans since
Aztec times, having been the site of Mexica ceremonies, royal proclamations,
military parades, and modern religious events.
For more photos and stories of Mexico,
About the Authors
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and Akaisha continue to journal and photograph their world travels.
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