Live & Retire in Mexico

Tarzan Cuts Our Cocos

by Dobie

Lorena's Note: Dobie and Sergio are homesteading in a former coconut plantation on Mexico's Pacific Coast. From their latest update:

The land is starting to really look lovely - you know how our Mother Earth responds to a little bit of TLC.

This week I'm working with Martin and his son Omar (16), clearing around the coconut trees. Omar is young and motivated -- I'm paying him per tree. However, I realized we needed someone else to help us or we would be there forever.

So today's adventure: Martin told me someone was going to come to buy some coconuts. The coconuts on the trees should have been cut a month ago, so lots of the coconuts are old. They've turned brown, but still have good water in them. The big green ones are worth the most, because they have the most water.

So this guy Abel comes to cut the coconuts. I swear he looks like a Mexican version of Tarzan. He's wearing only shorts, and he's barefoot (there are spiny, thorny plants everywhere). He's carrying a coil of rope and a machete that's had the end cut off, so it's square at the tip. His hair looks like it was cut by a little kid who just got his hand on a pair of pruning shears.

'Tarzan' proceeds to climb the coco palm, basically just walked right up it. The coconuts grow in bunches (kind of like grapes), so he would wrap the rope around a bunch, cut it and lower it down to the ground with the rope. If you just drop them some of the coconuts break open.

Then the guys come in the truck to pick up the cocos and say they want 300 coconuts. Tarzan and the driver get in a big fight -- Tarzan saying the other guy owes him money. Lots of shouting and name calling ensues.

I go back to work. Martin is counting the cocos as they load them.

Tarzan climbs another tree and cuts more cocos. They load the truck. Martin counts 100. Tarzan doesn't want to cut anymore.

Driver and friend are in a big hurry. They go off and say they'll be back for the rest.

Tarzan goes for something to drink (alcoholic).

Martin, Omar and I go to Martin's house where Rosa has made another luscious lunch - frijoles with fresh cheese and salsa and a salad of nopales (steamed cactus leaves) with tomato and cilantro and avocado, and of course a pile of hot tortillas. A cool strawberry agua fresca to drink (strawberries, water and sugar blended up). I feel so spoiled.

This evening Martin tells me that Tarzan will be back to cut more cocos tomorrow and the other guys will pick them up. Meanwhile they owe me 80 pesos as I'm getting paid 80 centavos a coco. Usually they pay a peso per coconut, but lots of these are small. Plus Tarzan is cutting all the old cocos too, (along with dead palm leaves).

Continue with Tarzan Never Returns

Women In Mexico
The Best Of Mexico
Live & Retire in Mexico
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