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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.

That's Zamora!

Zamora, Michoacan, Mexico
(Pronounced: Sa-MOR-ah, MEE-show-a-kahn, MAY-hee-coh)
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Billy and Akaisha Kaderli

When the moon hits your eye
Like a big-a pizza pie, that's Zamora!
Leaving Poncitlan, located on the northern side of the lake, we continued our trip around Lake Chapala. For 32 Pesos per person, we boarded a bus to La Barca and then paid another 41 Pesos on to our destination for the next 2 days, Zamora, Michoacan.
 

 

 

Zamora, with its current population of 128,000, was founded in 1574 and has a classical ambiance to it, sort of like a mini Oaxaca. At 1560 meters elevation, it is located about 190 km southeast of Guadalajara, and about 115 km northwest of Uruapan. We counted fifteen churches in the town plus the Cathedral, but was told there were many more, each one different in size and architecture. This Church is located at the main square.

 

Large, clean, active, with lots of music and well tended plants, this plaza makes for a welcoming feel. All Mexican towns have a Plaza and Zamora is no exception. Usually they are the town's meeting place and the local governments put on various displays and functions there. If you're looking for a pleasant way to relax, you go to the center of town, sit and people-watch or perhaps have an ice cream.

 

Vendors sell colorful trinkets along side well-stocked stores in beautifully maintained buildings. During holidays these town centers are decorated and many times have music and live bands drawing large audiences. The sales people take advantage of the crowds drawn to the activities to hawk their wares. An enviable location for businesses, restaurants normally line the plaza square.

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A Common Sense Approach

 

The old-time Spanish architecture with pink stones against the whitewashed paint is very attractive. We had lunch at a little shop looking out on this fountain and the mellow atmosphere of the locals.

 

Corn grilled on open coals like this is a common sight in Mexico and a favorite of its people. It's a chewy type of corn, not quite like hominy. A squeeze of lime, some salt and hot sauce and you have a tasty treat. Sometimes it will be served with a grated cheese and butter mixture.

 

Fruit stalls are everywhere in Mexico too. Jicama, papayas, melons, limes, pineapples, cucumbers with spicy salsa, and more are sold at these stands for about 10 Pesos a serving. It's prudent to watch for a while to see if vendors handle money with plastic bags over their hands before chopping more fruit and serving the next customer. It's a good value if sellers are clean.

The large bowl-type container on the left of the photo is an agua fresca - a drink made with water and fresh fruit juices, an infusion of leaves or flowers, or even a white, sweet beverage made from pulverized rice and cinnamon. The one in the photo is made from red hibiscus flowers, sweetened with sugar and served cold. It's a bit tart like cranberry juice and full of vitamin C. The bags to the top right filled with fruit are 10 Peso portions of watermelon and papaya. The bags in the center are filled with sugar cane. One chews on the cane to enjoy the sweetness, and then you spit out the stringy core.

 

As we mentioned before, meeting at the lively Plaza is a Mexican way of life. Fountains, gazebos, restaurants, stores, lots of plants and flowers, wrought iron benches, music, ice cream vendors, balloons, toys... It's a comfortable way to spend a few hours and join friends. Mexican weather is suitable to this sort of open air living. In the north we have closed-in malls where people gather to shop, walk and eat, but it's not the same as this outdoor living.

 

Ok, the question here is.... which one is Akaisha? Yikes!!

Getting ready for Halloween and the Day of the Dead celebrations.

 

More Spanish architecture in this charming city. Another one of the many different looking churches in Zamora

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Zamora is famous for the Our Lady of Guadalupe Unfinished Cathedral, or as it's known locally, the Catedral Inconclusa. Begun in 1898, it will stand at 105 meters tall when finished and will be the second tallest church in Mexico. Making a vivid visual statement, the large plaza in front for the faithful to gather is an assertion of the power and wealth of the Catholic religion in Mexico.

But in just plain English... this place is awesome!

 

We found out about a free dance concert at Teatro Obrero right next door to the Catedral Inconclusa. These ladies are waiting their turn to dance on stage and are wearing the costumes of the period when the Spanish were in charge of the city of Zamora, before the Mexican revolution.

 

This is a Mexican Folklorico dance done with lots of stamping of feet and colorful waving and swishing of the heavy dresses that the women wear. The dance is native to the Jalisco State in Mexico.

 

YEEE Haaa!

This dance is from Baja California Norte. Cowboy hats, beautiful women in skirts, and a whole lotta thumping of their white boots. Clearly the favorite of the audience for the evening. These guys and gals were HOT!

 

Breakfast at El Campanario the next day. A freshly cut fruit cup with apple, strawberry, melon, papaya, pineapple, yogurt, granola and almonds. Simply scrumptious, don't you think?

 

Huevos Rancheros and cappuccino for the two of us on the left, and some of the best looking pancakes I have ever seen for Dennis in the middle. Martha scored the fruit cup.

Eating Huevos Rancheros in Mexico is a real delight and something hard for us to pass up. Every flavor is authentic and mixes together unforgettably. Also, in the center of the table was a basket overflowing with fresh bread, butter and jam. 165 Pesos for our portion.

 

Here, Senor Billy speaks to his masses of fans below. Aaah, yes. Fantasies are sweet, aren't they?

 

Perhaps the car on the right is the future of General Motors, we're not sure. However, for certain, the car on the right isn't as fast as the one on the left, doesn't use as much fuel, and isn't as safe either. But, um... it's an option.

It does, however, have seat belts! I feel a lot more comfortable now...

 

Walking around, we discovered this cooking school.

 

When the chefs-in-training heard that Billy was educated as a French chef and had worked in France, they were eager to get advice and gain insight into the business of restaurant ownership.

 

Later on in the evening we returned to the plaza to find colorful and fun family life. Big brother is dumping a confetti-stuffed eggshell over his sister and cousin's heads.

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Earlier in the day, when Billy was having fun posing for a photo of himself shining our friend Dennis' shoes, a local man took note of the humor. When he later saw us all in the plaza that evening, he approached us and asked if we would  like to see the Mayor's office. 

Sure!

The city government building used to be the town's prison, but it was renovated into the offices we visited. Still, the rooms on the first floor maintained that jail cell feeling. The upstairs was expansive and comfortable.

Here Billy is right at home sitting in the seat of power. What was I saying earlier about sweet fantasies? Note the photo of the gorgeous wife and children on the table to the left. Not Billy's!

Honey? Wake uuup... Honey?

 

Extensive breakfast buffet at Casa Carmelita. Outstanding assortment of fruits, desserts, granola, nuts, yogurt, a full selection of fresh squeezed juices, eggs, local chicken dishes, tamales, gorditas, quesadillas, frijoles, regional Mexican cultural dishes, coffee and tea. 80 Pesos for one, 140 Pesos for two. Most certainly recommended.

 

Temptation... Gated garden entrance with 4 floors of new condos for sale located in central Zamora. With its handy placement in town, it still maintained a quietness unusual for city living. A workable opportunity for a home base in Mexico.

 

Choice of 900 sq. foot homes or 1200 sq. foot for from $57,000 USD to $100,000 USD. Includes water, trash pickup, gardener, and security.

Here you see the kitchen and front room with a hallway to the 3 bedrooms, some with balconies. Each condo had two bathrooms, a pantry and a utility room. No furniture or appliances were provided, but they were brand new with an open air feeling.

 

Here's an expansive view of the mountains and churches from top of the building. Below, there is off-street gated parking for residents' cars.

 

Here you see modern appliance stores, well kept streets, and a good mix of small vendor entrepreneurialism that keeps Mexicans alive. Street vendors are a way of life here in Mexico and make up about 40% of the country's income.

 

Well-groomed walkways between shops are a visual delight. This could be a boutique mall anywhere!

All of our books lead to adventure. Don't miss out on yours!

 

Quite the clean town, and modern too with cell phone stores, motorbikes, University students and shoppers. With its casual and classical way, we were impressed with Zamora.

 

Mexican culture is colorful and festive. One reason is as good as another to have a party and to celebrate. Balloons, streamers, cut paper decorations and anything that sparkles! Don't forget the music! To be sure, they won't!

That's Zamora!

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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 Adventurerís Guide to Early Retirement and Your Retirement Dream IS Possible.

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