Retirement; like your parents, but way cooler
In 1991 Billy and Akaisha Kaderli retired at the age
of 38. Now, into their 4th decade of this
financially independent lifestyle, they invite you
to take advantage of their wisdom and experience.
Billy and Akaisha Kaderli
square, officially called the Plaza de la Constitucion, but commonly
referred to as the Zocalo, is the heart of the city.
In previous visits to this
enchanting city, the Plaza was open, filled with flowers, and we enjoyed free
concerts by the city's magnificent orchestra. One could sit peacefully on
benches and enjoy the verdant environment. Or have a meal, a specialty coffee or
a beer from one of the many restaurants lining the Plaza and let the afternoon drift
by in the unagitated, restorative surroundings.
Unfortunately at this time,
the teachers union was protesting and what was once beautiful, turned
Cathedral of Our Lady of
This Cathedral took 200
years to construct (beginning in 1535), and due to earthquakes before
completion, had to be restored several times before it finally was consecrated
in 1733. You can see the different colored stones, called cantera stone,
naturally formed by millions of years of compression of volcanic ash and lava.
There are shades of green, beiges, browns and some pink tones.
This is the best shot we
could get of the Cathedral, as there were protest vendor stalls in front of the
Freshly grilled meats with
onions looked delicious and the aroma wafted through the air. This is a typical
taco stand, found all over Mexico set up in the plaza to feed the protesters.
Restaurants lining the
Here you see the
established restaurants that line the Plaza. Normally, those plastic lines above
the umbrellas would not be there, and the view to the Church would be a clear
These are tie lines,
holding the vendors' tarps up to create shade. A person who now sits at any of
these restaurants no longer has a view, just the back of vendor stalls.
Businesses were suffering, and so were their employees, since tourists would
prefer not to have their view obstructed.
At the time of our visit,
this protest had been going on for a couple of months.
Another view of
Here you can see that the
view from these outdoor cafe tables is simply the back of the vendor stall tarps
(on the left). There are not many tourists ordering meals at this time. It's
Carrot juice, beer and
Somehow we got all color
coordinated here at this restaurant. Billy's red shirt, my red blouse, the
orange/coral/yellow tablecloths, Billy's golden beer and even my carrot juice!
As you can see, the
restaurant tables behind us are empty also.
The beer and juice we ordered came to
75Pesos, or at this time, about $4USD. Tip was not included. Due to the Mexican
Peso trading around 18.50 to the Dollar Mexico is a real bargain.
Free education what the
Unfortunately (at least in
my view) there was destructive graffiti everywhere. This just happened to be a
blank wall, but the graffiti was even painted on the gorgeous cantera stone
buildings throughout the Historical Center.
Someone, somewhere, has to
pay for this clean up, or the graffiti stays indefinitely.
Ever onward to victory
Teachers had blocked 20 or
more highways in various locations that effectively paralyzed two Mexican
states, Chiapas and Oaxaca. Fuel, supplies and food were not able to be
transported to cities in the central valleys, towns on the beach, and even
Oaxaca City had shortages on the shelves.
No schools were open, so
children were not attending school.
The Teachers' Union was in
locked horns with the government, but the local people were the ones who were
Tents were set up in
make shift campgrounds
Here you see the tents
where some protestors were sleeping. I don't know what they used for sanitary
services, but these protests made businesses powerless to function.
We were born to overcome
More graffiti here mixed
with some artwork. Notice that the man with the scarf over his face has a
slingshot with a stone ready to be fired off.
The Interior Secretary said
civil society in both states had been the victim of “profoundly damaging”
actions of the teachers union which affected the lives of millions of people by
impeding their freedom to move, blocking the flow of goods and preventing
businesses from operating.
Tents were everywhere,
sidewalks were blocked, the beautiful view of the Zocalo was obstructed, and it
was difficult to walk around. Streets were closed and both pedestrians and cars
had to take alternative routes to work or to go back home.
Peak lunch rush hour
Those who worked in offices downtown still
had to go somewhere for lunch. The Plaza offered restaurants that were in
convenient walking distance from their building, so obviously, there was lunch
traffic. But tourists tended to stay away, preferring not to get involved in the
Usually, we would go to the Plaza almost
daily during our visit, enjoying the view and people watching. This time, we
No forgiveness, nor
Ugh. Politics can be so
intense and ugly.
This is why we stay out of
any local demonstrations and don't participate in any discussions when we are
visiting a foreign nation. Who knows what might happen?
The government, in
negotiating with the teachers unions, made only one condition; That the actions
of the union demonstrators not affect other citizens.
However, it seems that with
the tents, the blockades, the shortages of food, supplies and fuel, the
expensive defacing of buildings and the businesses being negatively impacted,
the demonstrators were not being very cooperative. They were using every bit of
muscle to influence the government to approve their demands.
Another graffiti sign
This sign speaks for
We would all love justice,
Even though the Zocalo is
indefinitely filled with protestors, there are still many places to enjoy in the
city of Oaxaca. You
definitely must go to the
Maya ruins of
Monte Alban. Get there early before the busloads of tourists arrive, and
bring sunscreen, your camera and drinking water.
Santo Domingo at the end of the
street Alcala is a wonderful day outing. Just walk from the Zocalo on
Macedonia Alcala to the end (about half a kilometer) until you arrive at the
Church's Plaza. Take your time along the way enjoying various
shops and cafes. Have a cappuccino,
get some lunch,
stop by a Mezcaleria
later in the day, enjoy the musicians of the weekend and generally people-watch.
And of course, going to
Oaxaca's day market just behind the Zocalo about a block and enjoying the local
BBQ of various
meats is also recommended. Or take a break from city living and hop on a
30 minute flight
and go to
At some point these
protestors will move on and disband, it's just that no one knows when this will
happen. Oaxaca is a fascinating city known for its delicious cuisines, the
historical architecture, museums, music and good weather.
Keep it on your list!
For more stories and
photos of Oaxaca,
For more stories and
photos of Mexico, click
About the Authors
Early Lifestyle appeals to a different
kind of person – the person who prizes their
independence, values their time, and who doesn’t
want to mindlessly follow the crowd.
Retire Early Lifestyle Blog
About Billy & Akaisha