Letters & Emails

Nov 1, 1999
From Carl Notebook #5

We’ve done some very light editing on these letters, which includes deleting return email addresses to protect your privacy. If you’d like to receive email from other People’s Guide readers, be sure to specifically request that we publish your address.


Dear Carl & Lorena,

I wrote a letter recommending The People's Guide to Mexico when Salon magazine's travel writer asked readers to nominate the century's best books of travel writing. My comments were included in the resulting article.

The article's author refers to my suggestion as "offbeat." Maybe he considered the Guide out of place next to books expressly offered as literature. The People's Guide to Mexico is definitely not A Year in Provence. Thank God.

Here's the URL, if you're interested:


Tom Sackett
Seattle, Washington


Carl says: On those rare occasions when I’m asked about my educational background, I like to say that I have a degree in Applied Gastroenteritis from the School of Hard Knocks. Sherry Howell of the Experiencia language school in Cuernavaca (http://www.experiencia.com) obviously had my credentials in mind when she wrote:

Dear Carl,

Johns Hopkins University's School of Public Health is conducting field testing on the efficacy of a vaccine for use in preventing that well-known complaint, "traveler's diarrhea." This vaccine is already in use, very successfully, for other intestinal illnesses and has the full approval of the FDA. You are invited to participate in this easy and painless research study, and at the same time, earn money to help you finance your trip to Mexico. 

Carl adds: Unfortunately, by the time we picked this message up at a Mexican cyber-cafe, it was too late to participate in the study. We'll let you know if we hear anything more about the vaccine.


From: suzanne

I have been reading your news letter and find it most interesting. I have lived in Puerto Vallarta 11 years and want to move into a retirement home but since there aren't any here I am developing one myself. I am attaching a recent press release and you can log on to my website at http://go2vallarta.com/paradise.

This will be the first project of this type in Mexico. It is a "not for profit" project as the owners will be developing it themselves and will divide the costs among themselves. It is a facility that is desperately needed here. Would it be possible for you to write something about it in your newsletter. If you need any further information on the project, please, contact me. 

Thank you.

Suzanne Elmore
360 Pino Suarez #10
Puerto Vallarta, Jal., Mexico
tel/fax 011-52-322-2-4623


Hi Carl and Lorena,

Just a quick note to thank you for putting out the Travel Letter (printed edition). I just arrived in Mexico (Oaxaca) for two months of language studies, and your guides have already helped. I have #5 (Oaxaca) and #7 (Day of the Dead). 

I know that publication has ceased, but I was wondering if I could buy any back copies (other than #5 and #7)?

Also, I wanted to mention that, aesthetically, I think you did a wonderful job with the Travel Letter. I so much enjoy the layout, balance, illustrations... even the size of the dang thing! They're small gems... the best kind!

Oaxaca, over the last few days, has been fun. Getting an Internet connection was a minor adventure, but I'm all set up now. I have a URL of some of the images I took.
It's: <http://www.bigtrouble.com/photos> I've taken a bunch, but the link just shows some highlights. I'm going to expand on it, so you can do searches, have an uninterrupted slideshow, etc. I'll keep you posted.

I will be happy to do some writing of my experiences here...

Thanks again for the Travel Letter...


Bryn Dyment

Lorena says: while they last, back issues of the People's Guide Travel Letter can be ordered for $5 each. Send your check to: The People's Guide Travel Letter, PO Box 179, Acme, WA 98220


Carl: It probably didn’t get much attention up north, but the Pacific coast of Mexico between Cabo Corrientes and Manzanillo was damaged by flooding from an early autumn hurricane. Our friend Dobie knows this area very well, and recently bought a small parcel of land in a coconut plantation. The earthquake she refers to added insult to injury.

Dear Friends

Just called Mari at the Conasupo from California and they didn't even feel the earthquake and there were no big waves. She said the sky was very dark, and it got really windy, but that was it. She did say that about 3 weeks ago the river overflowed it's banks and flooded the town. Unfortunately the phone connection wasn't great and I could hardly hear her, so I didn't get any more details.

By the way, I'm able to call Mexico for only .20 a minute (a lot cheaper than the regular rates) by dialing 101-6868 before the 011-52..... At least that's from California. I found out about it searching for cheap phone rates on the internet. The charge appears on the regular phone bill, no monthly fee. 

As fires rage in California, Mother Earth shakes her booty in Turkey, Taiwan and Mexico, and the nuclear power plant in Japan is leaking - I send love to you my dear friends and pray for peace, harmony and enlightenment for our planet.

Love, Dobie  


Job Opening in Mexico
From: rancho esmeralda, ranchoes@mundomaya.com.mx

Dear Carl and Lorena:

We've met, but it's been years. In the interim, we've sent you some info about our guest ranch down here in the mountains of Chiapas. We keep hoping you two will stop in some time.

In the meantime, we are looking to hire a couple to manage the tourism side of the ranch. We thought you might know some folks who would be interested and appropriate. So here is the job announcement:

Guest Ranch Management Couple - Mexico

Couple wanted to manage guest ranch located in rural setting in the mountains of southern Mexico. Seven rental cabins and camping. Responsible for reservations, reception, food service, supervision of staff of 8 to 10 employees. Hospitality experience desirable, good people skills essential, must speak both English and Spanish. Compensation: Room and Board and U.S. $300 ($3,000 pesos) per month for each person.

Visit our website at http://www.horizonarts.com/esmeralda.Applications accepted by Fax: 011 52 (967) 30711 or by E-mail: ranchoes@mundomaya.com.mx

Please pass this along if you do know anyone. And come visit our ranch some time. We are looking forward to our first harvest of macadamia nuts next year!


Ellen Jones and Glen Wersch
Rancho Esmeralda
Ocosingo, Chiapas, Mexico


From: Ted Lindberg
To: Carl Franz, mexico@peoplesguide.com

Dear Carl Franz:

My new mask web site is up and running, with a lot of "work in progess" sections, but you might enjoy looking at it. It's MY retirement plan. 


Ted Lindberg, Guemes Island.


From: David M, Canada
To: Carl Franz, mexico@peoplesguide.com

I'm searching and searching for "how to" protect myself and family as far as medical insurance goes. 

My spouse and her children have moved to Guadalajara and I have remained in Canada to maintain an income while she establishes herself. She was born in Mexico, I was born in Canada. 

So far, she has had appendicites but no operation due to money; our daughter has been bit by a dog; our daughter fell and smashed her teeth; our other daughter got sick and dehydrated etc.

All these hospital visits and stays are draining any money I save for establishing ourselves. Also, I met my Sweetheart through her job in Canada which was looking after disabled people.

I am pretty badly disabled and I guess have taken Canada's healthcare for granted. How can I move to Mexico and still protect myself against these unforeseen medical costs. I don't know how other's do it. I find lots on Travel Insurance but nothing about permanent living (if that is the answer) 

My family has a house rented but no phone lines run into the sub-division so I barely have talked to her. Four or 5 minutes with a phone card from a payphone mostly talking about bills and illnesses. If she were able she would be able to investigate but she is pushing herself too hard already. So, your help is greatly appreciated. 

Please give me advice. I miss my family terribly and they are getting so discouraged. 

Thank you. 

Lorena asks: Does anyone have any suggestions for David?

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©1972-2001 by Carl Franz & Lorena Havens