Retire Early Lifestyle
Retirement; like your parents, but way cooler

 
 

Retire Early Lifestyle Blog  Free Newsletter Subscribe/Contact Us

Advertise on RetireEarlyLifestyle.com info here

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.

Tehuantepec, Oaxaca to Tuxtla Gutierrez, Chiapas, Mexico
(Pronounced: Tay-HWAN-t'pek,    hwah-HAA-kuh   TOOXT-la,    Goo-tee-AY-res,    Chee-OP-us,   MAY-hee-coh)
Currency Conversion Site 

Billy and Akaisha Kaderli

Well now THAT'S a mouthful! Continuing our 105 day journey through Mexico, Guatemala, Belize and the Yucatan, we leave the beautiful beach area of Puerto Escondido and move further east through the Mexican state of Oaxaca to the city of Santo Domingo Tehuantepec.

We left our hotel at 6 a.m. and caught a taxi in the street. Twenty-five Pesos convinced him to take us up the hill at Zicatela Beach and into town, dropping us off at the bus station.

 

First class bus with air conditioning, movies and adjustable seats make for a comfortable ride.

The isthmus of Tehuantepec is the shortest distance between the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific Ocean, and prior to the opening of the Panama Canal, was a major shipping route known simply as the Tehuantepec Route.

Tehuantepec gets its name from the Nahuatl language tecuani-tepec meaning 'jaguar hill.'

 

The isthmus itself at its narrowest point is about a 125 mile stretch that includes four states of Mexico: Veracruz, Oaxaca, Tabasco and Chiapas.

The North American tectonic plate lies across this isthmus, and geographically divides North America from Central America.

 

Local transport in Tehuantepec.

The noisy town is full of crowded streets and tiny walkways. Even the insides of the buildings are tight and crowded with 'stuff.'  People, however are friendly.

We were going to try out this local means of taxi transport - the first of its kind that we have seen in Mexico - but prices were not cheap. Some taxis offered canvas covering from the sun, others didn't. Standing in the back, you hold onto the rails of this 3-wheeled vehicle, with your purchased items on the floor. Prices ranged from 70 - 100 Pesos for 1/2 an hour.

 

The tropical Toucan lives in Southern Mexico, both Central and South America, and the Caribbean region. The colorful, giant bill, which in some large species measure more than half the length of the body, is the distinctive characteristic of toucans.

 

Taking a break from the sun in the Central Plaza.

Native population is mostly comprised of the indigenous Zapotecs. The women in this tribe are the traders in town and are known for their colorful dresses, assertive personalities, and relatively equal relations with men. Tehuanas are known all over Mexico to be strong, stately and beautiful women.

 

Large colorful murals are all over Mexico usually depicting phases of their colorful and, oftentimes, violent history. Favorite symbols are suns, phases of the moon and the magical, mystical talents of women.

 

As usual, we head to the market that evening for some local cuisine. These aluminum tubs are filled with tamales and other food offerings. In the center of the photo you can see the tamales wrapped in corn husks tied at both ends. How the tamale is wrapped reflects the customs of each particular village.

 

Unwrapped, the tamale is presented on a plate with a special red salsa. They are remarkably delicious, and can be filled with pork, chicken, beef or even a sweet fruit. But note: these are not a diet choice!

 

This is an entirely different tamale style all together. Wrapped and either cooked or smoked in banana leaves, this tamale uses the leaves of the legume, chipilin, as flavoring.

The leaves are high in iron, calcium, and beta carotene. They can be boiled and served green, dried and used as an herb, or added to these tamale doughs for color and flavor. 

 

 Piñatas are seen all over Mexico, but surprisingly, they could be of Chinese origin. Marco Polo discovered the Chinese making images of cows, oxen or buffaloes, covered with colored paper and decorated. These hollowed figures were knocked hard with sticks and when they broke open, seeds spilled forth. The remains of these figures were burned, and the Chinese people gathered the ashes for good luck throughout the year.

In the 14th century, this custom passed through Europe and on into Spain. And while Spanish missionaries brought this practice to North America in the 16th century, Aztecs already had a similar tradition. They celebrated the birthday of the Aztec god of war in a corresponding manner, hitting a decorated clay pot filled with treasures, and when broken, the treasures landed at the foot of the god's image as an offering.

Today, pinatas are used at birthday parties, any sort of fiesta and during Christmas time.

 

This individual vendor can transport her goods just about anywhere and set up shop. Vendors such as these are independent, but often their carts are filled up with similar items. Selling mostly sweets, she also offers trinkets and cigarettes.

 

San Marcos Church, painted all white and lit up at evening time, makes a captivating photo. Plaza Civica is in front of this church but was lacking the traditional gazebo and gardens.

 

On our way home from our evening out, there was a clown doing his schtick in front of a large gathering. Curious, we try to find an opening in the crowd to see what he’s up to. Immediately recognized as foreigners, the clown calls out to us in Spanish: Hey you new Gringos in town! and approaches Billy.

I think to myself : Do either of them know what they are getting into here?

Back and forth they go, joke after joke, and at one point the clown dramatically pulls out a whip. Before he can think twice, Billy just turns around and points to his behind, giving him a better shot. The people roar with good cheer!

Not yet finished with the stage drama, the clown asks Billy in Spanish if he likes Mexican food. “Si” says Billy. Do you like Mexican Tequilla?Si,” says Billy. Then loudly and looking around at the crowd: Do you like the Mexican Women?Si,” says Billy, but then he goes “SSSHHHH!! My wife is over there!

At which point I oblige by waving and smiling to everyone…

 

On another evening we attended a free concert featuring the famous Latin Jazz pianist, Raul di Blasio. An undeniable showman, di Blasio put on the best performance we have seen in Latin America to date. Both his music and manner were passionate, and he had an obvious rapport with his audience who gave him gifts which he displayed proudly.

There were songs from Brazil, Argentina, and Mexico, spectacular Tango dancers, a tenor opera singer and a dozen or more mariachis who were dazzling. Dancing and cajoling his audience, he told both jokes and stories, and graciously came out for more than 3 encores.

Our seats were near the stage which is behind the white video board in the left of this photo. You can see San Marcos Church in the right of this photo.

If you have never heard di Blasio on his piano, treat yourself by clicking here

Could it get any better than this?

Our next stop is San Cristobal de las Casas, an ethereal city positioned in the highlands of Chiapas.

Don't miss it!

Traveling south down the Pacific coast of Mexico is a must adventure for any traveler. Our style is to go slow and if we like a place, we stay longer, ‘getting local’ as soon as possible. This means we scout out where the neighbors shop, the restaurants they frequent and we make friends along the way with store owners, the maids, and anyone who lives in town. These people know where the best prices and value can be found – it’s certainly not where the tourists shop.

The Adventurer's Guide to the Pacific Coast of Mexico details our route, the places we stayed, prices we paid along this adventure and history and culture of these locations. We also give you names of hotels in each area, the transportation available, useful information and the pros and cons of each place as we viewed it. To learn more, Click here

Free Newsletter, Subscribe here

About the Authors

Billy and Akaisha Kaderli are recognized retirement experts and internationally published authors on topics of finance and world travel. With the wealth of information they share on their popular 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.

For more information about financial independence and travel, visit our book store

Sign up for great stories, interesting tales, and superb retirement information.

Contact Billy & Akaisha  TheGuide@RetireEarlyLifestyle.com

Advertise on RetireEarlyLifestyle.com contact Ad-Info@retireearlylifestyle.com
Over 1,400,000 visitors annually.

Billy and Akaisha continue to journal and photograph their world travels.

HOME   Book Store

 

Retire Early Lifestyle Blog      About Billy & Akaisha Kaderli      Press     Contact     20 Questions     Preferred Links    

Retirement     Country Info     Retiree Interviews      Commentary     REL Videos