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.
Cajititlan, Jalisco, Mexico
Billy and Akaisha Kaderli
About 40 minutes from
Mexico is a small local town of about 8,000 inhabitants. A lovely lagoon
with visiting migratory birds is there, and with weather in the mid-70s in
winter, it's a great place to visit!
We hired our favorite taxi driver,
Arturo, to drive us there and back for 800Pesos or about $42USD.
What a beautiful day!
The large letters spelling out the
name of the town, Cajititlan
As is the custom in Mexico, the names of
the city or town are spelled out in large, colorful letters.
You will find similar
style letters in
Puerto Vallarta, Guadalajara airport,
Tepatitlan, and even
the old, old town of
Small lighthouse for the laguna
Laguna Cajititlan is only 9 kilometers
long and 2 kilometers wide, but on a dark and stormy night, a light such as
this would help one find shore. The depth of the lake is about 4.5 meters in
Peaceful Laguna Cajititlan
This small lake is formed by runoff rain
from the mountains surrounding it.
In recent years, there have been some
problems with fish dying in this small lagoon due to lack of oxygen. Fixing
the issue is still a concern for locals, as fishing is an industry here and
a source of food.
Hand painted mural
We saw a variety of
hand painted murals in this delightful town. Here you see the Church of the
Holy Kings on the left, a large fountain, the lake and sailing boats.
Murals in any city or town seem to liven
Another hand painted mural in
This mural shows an agave plant, the Three Kings, fish from the lake, horses
from the Spanish... and I don't know who this man is. Probably someone
important from their founding or a favorite friar from the church.
Cajititlan is also known for their
Gorditas and roasted quail.
Gorditas can have many
fillings such as a picadillo (ground beef with potatos and spices), shredded
meat, cheese, beans, chorizo, thin steak and more.
You can get a whole roasted quail for
about $1.25USD from the man who raises them on his farm. He comes into town
on the weekends.
The Sanctuario de Guadalupe
It was in the 1530s that the first
evangelistic Spanish Friars came to Cajititlan to convert the locals to
Catholicism. In the year 1561, they built this first Chapel, dedicated to
the Virgin Mary.
We tried to get inside, but the doors
were locked. The stonework was beautiful.
The small town Plaza
In the background you
can see the bell tower of the Church of the Holy Kings.
Cajititlán, the day of the Holy Kings is
celebrated, and every December 31st to January 8th, thousands of people from
all over the world come to see the hand carved figures of these three kings
ride in a boat through the lagoon of Cajititlán.
The town dresses up
their children as kings, ranging from the largest to the infant with a white
beard resembling Melchior.
There is dancing, food, live music,
fireworks and processions.
The Church of the Holy Kings
This church was built in the middle of
the 16th century, and the figurines of the Three Kings, Balthasar of Arabia,
Melchior of Persia, and Gaspar of India were carved out of mesquite wood.
Soon, devotion to the Three Kings became
a tradition, and these statues are considered to be miraculous.
During the celebration of the Holy Kings,
there is much festivity, but also, many pilgrims, prayers and faith.
Inside the Basilica
All the way to the altar you can see the
carved statues of the Three Kings.
It was the custom for
local fishermen to ask the Three Magi for a good year of fishing for those
who live at the lagoon. Others ask for good health or an answer to a
question or problem they might have.
Curiously, in 1905 this church had a
fire, and the three statues were burned. One of the friars buried these
statues under the church and had new ones made.
Thirty years later, an ant hill was
discovered in the church and the head priest asked to have this ant hill
removed. One thing led to another, and as the ant hill was being dug out...
the original mesquite statues of the Three Kings were found!
The Virgin of Guadalupe painted on a
Inside the church are several painted
windows, and The Virgin of Guadalupe is one of them.
A Closer view of the Three Holy Kings
in their niches
In the bible there is an account about
wise men who came “from the east” to worship Jesus in His early childhood
and gave him gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Many people know them popularly
as the Three Kings or Magi named Melchior, Gaspar, and Balthasar.
In many Mexican homes, the three
kings are the ones who bring gifts instead of Santa Claus.
Also in Mexico it is a tradition to eat
the king cake, which is an oval shape bread with candied fruits and has a
plastic figurine inside representing the baby Jesus. The person who finds
the figurine agrees to host a party and offer tamales and atole, a drink
made from corn, on February 2, the Candlemas Day
From inside the Church, looking
At the front of the Church is a large
door, high enough for a rider on a horse to come through.
This is the view out towards the Plaza
and the large area in front of the Basilica.
In the center of the photo you can see
the bell tower of the Sanctuario de Guadalupe.
A large egret on the shore of Laguna
Here you see a great snowy egret. Whether this particular one is native to
Laguna Cajititlan, or has migrated here, this lagoon is a place for birds to
take refuge during the winter months.
In Egypt, egrets have
been a symbol of prosperity, and in China, it represents strength, purity,
patience and a long life.
The lagoon, looking off into the
The town itself was rather sleepy, with
several restaurants lining the lagoon.
We found one and ordered lunch which was
Sharing a couple of smoked marlin
some fish tacos, an agua fresca and beer, our bill came to about $16USD for
the 2 of us.
Sitting in the shade on the shore of
Except for the occasional loud music
blaring from one of the restaurants, the area around the lake was very
contemplative. This man rests in the shade of a tree, enjoying the late
Another beautiful mural in Cajititlan
This mural is a representation of the
Aztec god, Quetzalcoatl, the god of resurrection and death. Corn was also
very prominent in the Aztec culture, giving the natives sustenance in many
forms. Corn was able to be dried so it was usable all year round, and made
into corn flour for tortillas, atole, and various other dishes.
Mural of Aztec symbols and a
fish from the lagoon
These murals were very brightly colored
and in lovely detail. Scattered throughout the town, one could see them from
far down the street as we walked around.
The cross in front of the
Basilica of the Three Holy Kings
Against a beautiful sky of wispy clouds
is the stone statue of the cross.
The thick walls of the Baptistery of
the Three Holy Kings
You can clearly see here how thick these
walls of the church are. The small window carved out from the Baptistery
shows how formidable this stone church is.
The painting on the right is of St. John
the Baptist, baptizing Jesus in the river. The Holy Spirit shines above His
Mural of young Aztec woman
washing clothes on a rock at the lagoon
This one shows a young Aztec woman
washing clothes at the lagoon. Behind her is an agave plant (from which
is made), very common in Jalisco, Mexico.
Panoramic view of Laguna
From the town of
Cajititlan, here you see in this panoramic shot of the lagoon, and the
countryside on the other shore.
Our taxi driver took us
completely around the lagoon, with horse and cattle ranches on the other
side. Big, huge rancheros and homes behind high walls made us wonder about
the life here at this placid lake.
For more stories and
photos about Mexico,
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Early Lifestyle appeals to a different
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independence, values their time, and who doesn’t
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