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We pulled into Mazatlán around 7 pm on Monday, March 9th. Eric and I had been looking forward to this time for many reasons. We had friends from Colorado that were also visiting the friends who live here in Mazatlán, specifically on the Isla de la Piedra. Eric and Maggie met Alejandro and Andrea in Switzerland while working with YWAM and all parties have stayed in touch, leading this week to be a sweet reunion of sorts. The evening we arrived they were celebrating Alejandro’s birthday at the YWAM base in Mazatlán. The island that they live on isn’t technically an island but they ferry back and forth every day between their house and Mazatlán. It is a quick ride in a small motor boat. To get our truck to their home, however, we had a slow drive on a very bumpy dirt road. We packed all seven of us into Pedro, Angela (their 11 month old) included, and drove to their beautiful home. The two-story home where they live is about 100 feet from the beach with an amazing roof top patio. The house is welcoming and had the perfect amount of space to host all of us.

The first official day of our time here was my birthday and I was spoiled the whole day. We had a long breakfast on the roof with an ocean view that you cannot beat. The remainder of the afternoon was spent on the beach, with a late lunch at Lety’s, a beach front taco joint. In the evening we ferried over to get margaritas and walk along the malecon in Mazatlán prior to dinner. To eat we went to Playa Sur Tacos for an awesome meal, a chorreada if you want to get specific. The evening ended with a guava pie, from the famous bakery, Panama. With sneaky surprise candles (provided by Alejandro and Andrea) I had at least 17 birthday wishes because it counts if they relight.

Wednesday we spent the day assisting in a home build with the organization Homes for Hope. They work with YWAM Mazatlán and there was a team from Texas who allowed us to join in. The home was two rooms and was furnished in the end with beds for all family members, a stovetop and range, a fridge and a dining table. Two families received homes that day and the dedication of them was very special to be a part of. The mother-in-law of one of the families receiving a home made us tamales, which were probably the best tasting ones we will ever eat.

We spent the majority of the day on Thursday emailing, catching up on the blog and finishing a short list of to-do’s. We felt guilty not maximizing our outside time, but we just have to create priorities on a day by day basis. To spend the day updating family members and recalling the past few days is beneficial to us. And it may not be a beach day but it is still important. Plus I had an ocean view, so that probably still counts as a good afternoon. Before sunset, Maggie, Steven, Eric and I hiked up to the lighthouse for a view of the whole area. We veered off the trail a bit and had to backtrack to avoid climbing up a rock face but the view was amazing and it was interesting to point out all the areas we had already been between old and new Mazatlán and Isla de la Piedra. That evening we wandered around the historical center of Mazatlán, saw the cathedral and had a meal where the conversation and company was so filling.

Friday was another relaxing day of beach time, coffee shop time in Mazatlán and general hanging out and cooking and enjoying each other’s company. We are enjoying the familiar sounds of the water truck and the vegetable/fruit truck coming by with horns or sirens blaring. The man who sells the produce explained to us that he knows only the English words of what he sells and nothing else. On Saturday we assisted Andrea with an orphan benefit gala she was a part of. The party hosted at least four orphanages in the area, children aging from about 5-15. The children arrived and had a dance party, received capes and crowns or tiaras, a clown showed up and lunch was provided. The underlying theme of the event was that these children are all unique and have inherited the Kingdom as Children of God. The children were hesitant at first, not totally understanding what the event was, but in the end left with such huge smiles and tightly held on to their goodies from the day. Steven’s birthday was also Saturday and his request was a meal by Alejandro, which pleased us all. The entire time we have been treated to amazing cooking, and have come away with some new favorites, such as Alejandro’s chipotle chicken, huevos con crema and the little roasted green onion bulbs, cebollitas.

Steven and Maggie left on Sunday. We said our goodbyes and hoped to meet again on a beach someday soon. Or just in Colorado. We spent the next couple days catching up on laundry, purchasing some needed supplies and getting things in order for our ferry trip over to Baja California Sur. Our final evening we sat in on a bible study with a local couple. Alejandro was gracious enough to translate for us so we understood everything rather than just about 40%. The couple shared some stories of the difficulty of life on the island and the general cultural struggles that appear in the smaller towns in Mexico. All of us, in English or Spanish tried to soak up any little bit of Alejandro and Andrea’s immense knowledge of the bible. We purchased tickets to leave for the Baja on Wednesday March 18th. We were especially thankful for Alejandro for helping communicate with the Baja Ferries office and convincing them that our vehicle should not be compared to “a house on wheels”, which kept us in the regular car category rather than a motorhome category, a much more affordable option.

The time spent in Mazatlán was a perfect way to really begin the trip. The local experience was unmatched due to Alejandro and Andrea’s heart and the way they desire to truly live in the community of Stone Island. And while we b-lined from San Diego to Mazatlán to start this trek, we are so happy we got to spend time with Maggie and Steven as well. We will be spending a little over two weeks exploring the southern tip of the Baja. We will head back to Mazatlán for another stay after our time in the Baja but up next is the lovely Baja Ferries experience. 18+ hours of fun.

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