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.
Church of Santo
Domingo de Guzmán
Billy and Akaisha Kaderli
Visiting the old
Colonial city of
Oaxaca, Mexico, you cannot escape from the mesmerizing draw of the Church
and former monastery of Santo Domingo de Guzman.
The Church of Santo
Domingo de Guzman
This church is a classic
example of Baroque architecture at the time of the Conquistadores of
Spain. It is a religious complex that was the church itself and a former
monastery. It includes an extensive system of courtyards, cloisters and rooms
that used to house the priests and religious attendants of the Church.
The groundbreaking began in
1572, and the complex was completed in 1731.
A well-used plaza in
front of the Church
Always holding our
attention like a magnet, the daily change of weather provides a dramatic
background for this beautiful structure.
The Church is made of
cantera stone, naturally formed by millions of years of compression of volcanic
ash and lava and exclusively mined in various regions of Mexico and Central
America. The colors are astounding and the rock itself, while durable, is also
porous and light, allowing for detailed carving and cutting.
The andador lies
perpendicular to the entrance of this church, with the Zocalo at the end
of the walking street to the right about half a kilometer.
Favorite coffee house and shops
Directly across the street from the Church is
a very popular coffee house, named Brujula which means compass. We met
friends here daily while having our specialty coffee drink and people-watching
out the windows.
This street is the walking street, or the
andador as it is called, and you can take it all the way down to the
Zocalo, the downtown Plaza. Shops,
bars, museums, mezcalerias, churches, and stunning government buildings line
both sides of this street.
Traveling ice cream vendor
Remember the old ice cream truck of your
childhood? Well here is the Latin version in Oaxaca city. Complete with a little
bell that he jingles, he offers ice cream treats for a pittance as he walks the
Taking a break to read the newspaper in front
of the Church.
Snow cone and sorbet
Here you see a variety of
flavors of sorbet and syrup for snow cones. Lemon, mamey, strawberry,
Oaxaca kiss, nut, mezcal and "tuna" which is not really the canned fish. Tuna is
a prickly pear cactus fruit that is bright red like a beet and is very popular
with the locals.
Right next door to the snow
cone stand is a fruit drink stand offering flavors of squash fruit, rice with
cinnamon, lemon, orange and jamaica (huh-MAI-kuh) which is hibiscus
Typical weekend crowd
gathers at the Santo Domingo Plaza
The monastery was active
for 250 years, and during Mexico's revolutionary wars, the buildings were turned
over to military use and served as barracks. It was restored to religious use in
Today, the wide plaza acts
as a center for local fiestas and other entertainment.
Children performing native Oaxacan dance
Just down from the Church entrance, these
children are performing a native Oaxacan dance. People gather round to watch.
A favored place for
Because of the obvious
beauty of this Church, both inside and out, it is chosen as a favorite place for
weddings. Here you see a young couple in front of a vintage car. Magazine
The color of the stone of
the Church runs from tan, red, cream, shades of green, golden, brown, coffee and
ivory. It is truly beautiful.
Oh! The inside!
On our travels throughout
the world, we have seen amazing churches and temples, including the Vatican.
Still, when I went inside this Cathedral my breath was taken away. There was so
much gold! I read that the highly decorated interior used more than 60,000
sheets of 23.5-karat gold leaf.
Truly, it's eye-poppingly
A place to gather one's
thoughts and take a deep breath.
Cameras are allowed inside,
but not the use of flash.
One last look...
Here in this photo you
might be able to distinguish some of the stones' varied colors.
This photo was taken from
across the street at McCarthy's Bar/Restaurant. They offer great views of the
church and all the activities below
We would recommend this
bar/restaurant for their chicken wings which are quite good, but they were
playing head-splittingly loud music when we were there, so we ate outside the
restaurant instead of the table that gave us this view.
For more stories and
photos of Oaxaca,
For more stories and
photos of Mexico, click
About the Authors
Billy and Akaisha Kaderli are
recognized retirement experts and internationally published authors on
topics of finance, medical tourism and world travel. With the wealth of
information they share on their award winning website RetireEarlyLifestyle.com,
they have been helping people achieve their own retirement dreams since
1991. They wrote the popular books, The
Adventurer’s Guide to Early Retirement and Your
Retirement Dream IS Possible available on their website
and Akaisha continue to journal and photograph their world travels.
Retire Early Lifestyle Blog
About Billy & Akaisha