Synergy Spanish

This system teaches you Spanish, the easy way - not the academic way. With only 138 words you will be speaking Spanish.


The Best Vet in Mexicali!

Dr. Rafael, the best veterinarian anywhere; he's close to the border, speaks English and has lived in Arizona! Click

Mexican Auto Insurance

This company has been with us since 2008. They are the oldest and best established insurer for those of you travelling to Mexico.
Mexico Insurance

Truth, Justice, and the Mexican Way

Our fiends dancing in Los Algodones this winter

Our friends dancing in Los Algodones this winter

Normally I don’t get into the news, but the arrest of Edward Chrisman, 88, and his grandson, Gary Chrisman Jr, 40,  deserves comment. Jim and I are not political types, and we don’t live in some quaint town with cobblestones, or in a resort. We live peacefully among Mexicans in Mexicali.

In the case of the Chrisman’s, we are not taking sides, but are only trying to explain how things work in Mexico.

Mexicans are very polite people. They always greet you with buenos dias, or buenas tardes, depending on whether it is before, or after noon. They always say goodbye, and they show, and expect, respect. Mexicans respect and take care of their elderly. In a Mexican restaurant, there are always families present with three generations – grandparents, parents, and children – a sight not often seen in the U.S.

No matter who you are in Mexico, you are given respect, and this extends to manual laborers, shop girls, and even ladies of the night. Mexicans are especially respectful of their womenfolk. In Mexico, you add your mother’s maiden name after your own last name. Joaquín Guzmán Loera’s father’s last name would be Guzmán, and Loera would be his mother’s last (maiden) name.

[Mr. Guzmán Loera, AKA El Chapo (shorty) Guzmán is the head of the Sinaloa Drug Cartel. The Mexican police raided his house in March 2007 and confiscated $205 million dollars cash – yes, $205 million in cash! More on him in an upcoming post.]

Jim is very careful when he photographs Mexicans, other than our friends. He never takes close-ups, where the person can be easily identified. Mexicans do not like to be photographed for many reasons. A colorfully dressed Mexican lady, selling wares on the street does not want to be photographed for fear of appearing in a post card – which would be embarrassing to her.

Mexicans don’t even like their houses to be photographed.

Wherever we go in Mexico, we have been treated with courtesy and respect. The Mexicans really appreciate it when they realize that we respect their politeness. It may be a small thing, but when you pay in Mexico, you don’t just slap the money down on the counter. You place the money directly in the cashier’s hand. A small matter, but one which conveys respect.

Edward & Gary Chrisman

Edward & Gary Chrisman

The Chrismans were arrested by the Mexican police on January 8, in Los Algodones. In Mexico, which follows French law, you are guilty until proven innocent, which is why the Chrismans remain in jail.

Jim and I make frequent trips to Los Algodones, for prescription drugs, eyeglasses, and to enjoy the restaurants. Los Algodonas is only seven miles from Yuma, Arizona, and makes its living by catering to Americans.

The Mexican police say that Gary Jr tried to pay young girls to pose nude for photos. Neither Jim nor I would ever ask a Mexican, especially a stranger, for a photo, payment or no payment. It’s just not done in Mexico.

Since their arrest, the Chrismans have been in a Mexicali prison. It seems strange to us that Edward Chrisman, the grandfather who was also arrested, as it is maintained he was simply sitting outside in his truck.

The Chrisman family says the men are innocent. The family said Gary Jr. stopped at a convenience store for a soda and, while there, asked a mother if he could take photos of her daughters. He’d been taking photos of Mexican culture all day with a new camera. The mother granted permission and he gave her $25. He snapped head shots of the two fully-clothed girls and left the store. Edward Chrisman, the grandfather, never even went into the store.

The girls from Los Algodones

The girls from Los Algodones

Our local television station right across the border, in Calexico, California, KSWT, Channel 13 reported a different version, as the girls accusing Gary Jr have come forward to tell their side of the story. The girls, who both speak perfect English, allege that not only did Gary Jr. ask them to pose nude for the pictures, but that he also pulled a knife on them. They allege further that Gary Jr positioned one of them on a couch and opened up her legs, and when she went to kick him he pulled a knife.

Pictures seized from Gary Jr’s  camera are in the police report obtained by KSWT News 13.  All the pictures included in the report are tasteful.  But the report says Gary Jr and his grandfather have caused trouble in the past. KSWT talked with the Chrisman family. They say the charges are bogus.  The family says neither of the men have criminal records.

I have no idea where the truth might be. Jim and I find that if you are polite and circumspect in Mexico, you will get on fine with everybody.

We will continue our visits to Los Algodones.

El Chapo – Dying for the Truth: Undercover Inside the Mexican Drug War by the Fugitive Reporters of Blog del Narco

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