Category Archives: La Yacata Revolution

Unbelievable Residents

So things are picking up in La Yacata. I’d like to say that this is a good thing—but it’s not.

The other day a guy came to find out exactly where a lot was that he had bought. I told him that the certificate he had was not the current valid one and that he should get the new one (which is blue instead of cream) from the previous owner. He went back to the previous owner who said that he didn’t have it. When he came back to report,  I showed him a receipt for the new certificate in the papers that he had been given. I then realized that he couldn’t read. So I marked the receipt with an orange spot and told him he needed to go back to the previous owner, show him the receipt and get the new certificate. If the previous owner still refused, then he needed to get his money back because the previous owner had plans to resell the lot to someone else, making double the profit and leaving a mess for the new owners.  What do you know? The previous owner “found” the blue certificate. Now that all that was in order, the new owner decided that he wasn’t going to register the lot in his name because, you know, there’s a charge of a $100 pesos and all. And I’d saved him way more than that. Whatever.

The next big adventure with certificates began with the neighbors down below. The lady met me on my walk one morning and asked about getting a certificate changed because her sister had bought a house in La Yacata. Curious, I asked which house. Why, Chuchi’s house, of course. Now, Chuchi doesn’t have any houses in La Yacata. When I said that, she said the house on the corner. Oh–well, that house doesn’t belong to Chuchi but to the original owner. She showed me a certificate Chuchi had made. It was white (which means it’s the second round of certificates that Chuchi gave out) dated 2010, when Chuchi wasn’t the president of the association, made out to Chuchi, signed by Chuchi, and property rights ceded to the lady’s sister by Chuchi. I laughed and said this wasn’t a valid certificate. She said Chuchi said it was. I told her I’d take it to Super Prez, but that I really doubted he would legitimize it. I mentioned that if Chuchi were the owner he should have a contract from the original owner saying so, or receipts of payments. She said Chuchi didn’t pay for the lot but received it as payment for his services as “encargado” person in charge. Again, I said that he should have something from the original owner saying that.

Chuchi’s house, built with the ill-gotten gains filched from the community and on a lot he has no claim to.

A week or two later, I stopped by Super Prez’s office and saw another certificate made by Chuchi, signed by Chuchi and ceded by Chuchi, only this one was cream (meaning it was from the first batch of certificates) and had a date of 1998. Since the lady down the road hadn’t mentioned this to me, I supposed she dropped it off at the office herself as “proof” that Chuchi was the owner. While I was there, Super Prez called his secretary and I talked to him on the phone. He said he didn’t have any intention of validating that certificate because the property in question still belonged to his dad, furthermore, that lot was our backup plan to pay the lawyer with. We still owe most of the balance on the court case occasioned by Chuchi. Then he said that the person who Chuchi ceded the certificate to was his own wife. Well, since the lady down the road is his sister-in-law, that would make sense even though she presented the situation to me as if it were a different sister living in the US, not the one married to Chuchi.

Now the lady down the road isn’t speaking to me as if any of this is my fault. And this after I explained she needed a power inverter to use the car battery and then sent her along to the guy who sold us the solar setup to get her own. No good deed goes unpunished I suppose.

The chicken feather guy’s compound. Chickens, pigs, horses and cows!

Finally, there’s the chicken feather guy who you know is the bane of my existence. He evolved from chickens and pigs to cows and horses (sold for meat). Only as cows and horses eat more, he’s decided that he’d let them out all night to forage instead of buying more feed. Whatever crops were still alive despite the heat wave have now been devoured. Of course, the chicken feather guy puts his cows and horses back in his compound before anyone is up and around in La Yacata. So, naturally, it’s our new horse Lady that is the culprit even though she’s never untied or unsupervised.  

Then the other night I’m pretty sure the chicken feather guy was auditioning for a role on the Walking Dead because he certainly tried to recreate that scene where Neegan rolled a car into the compound with the radio blaring to attract zombies and Maggie had to run it over with a tractor. Too bad I don’t have a tractor.

He must have gone up and down our road 10 times with his radio at full volume playing that horrible banda music. Each time he passed our house, the automatic sensor light went on and he slowed down and backed up so that it went on again. I think he thought we were turning on our light to express our displeasure or something. Then he’d go past AGAIN and sit in his car, music blaring, in front of the neighbor’s for a bit, then circle around the block for more fun.

I asked my husband if he’d ticked the chicken feather guy off or something. He said that he didn’t think so since he hadn’t spoken to him in over a year. So the best guess is that someone, probably the horse guy, said that we had said something about him to somebody and this was his revenge.

I can’t wait to see what lies in store for us in La Yacata next!

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La Yacata Revolution

If you’ve been following me since the beginning, like my mom, my BFF, and my brother, well then you already know the story of how we came to be where we are.  But if not, you might be wondering why we live in the middle of nowhere with no electricity, sewer or water. Here’s the thing, we didn’t intend to live this sort of life.  It’s just how it all turned out. So we do what we can with what we have.

La Yacata may not seem like much during the dry season.  It’s bleak. I mean really bleak. Over the years, I have learned that its very barrenness sets the stage for the awe that is overwhelming in the rainy season. Like yin and yang.

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It has inspired in me a passionate possessiveness that makes me understand why people would defend their land with their lives and yet I know that I don’t own La Yacata, rather it owns me.

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There is a steadfastness, a timelessness.  These stones have stood here for countless generations. I am grounded. I am given a whole new perspective. I am set free.

 

Well, that’s enough of all that new-age hippie silliness. If you are still curious and how we came to be where we are, you can search through the early posts and peel back the layers of the story or you can pick up the compiled e-book version, La Yacata Revolution: How NOT to Buy a Piece of Heaven in Mexico, which is FREE for the next few days. It’s up to you.

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Less than Satisfied with Community Spirit

The other day a lady came to the door about some lots in La Yacata.  Even though I’ve retired from active service, I still find myself called upon to advise.  Her sons looked surprisingly familiar.  In fact, they looked quite a bit like my nephew L.  Turns out, they are related.

My husband’s sister M. took up with DZ, brother of the woman at the door.  She had 3 children with him, although not his wife.  They met in Cerano and when DZ migrated to Nebraska, she followed him, leaving the wife and her children in Cerano.  My husband’s sister L. took up with LZ, brother of DZ and the woman at the door, although she was married with 2 children at the time.  Her third son L is the result of that liaison and he’s the spitting image of the boys at the door. So then L married her second husband and had another son but took up with the LZ and DZ’s sister’s husband C for a time.  She also managed to get the father MZ of LZ, DZ and the woman at the door, to sell her the lot on the corner in La Yacata. The property certificate was issued to her second husband’s mother, only it turns out that L was never legally married to the second husband since they married while she was still married to the first husband.  When second husband and L had a falling out, she kept the certificate.  Recently, the second husband has been coming around to try and sell the lot or give it in exchange for some money he owes–only he doesn’t have the certificate.  He tried to accuse me of making another certificate in L’s name, but I haven’t.  She’s never asked me to. I expect because L knows I wouldn’t authorize it without second husband’s mother’s signature.

Family issues aside–Ma.Z, the woman at the door proceeded to tell me her story of woe.  Her father MZ bought several lots in La Yacata and partitioned them off amongst his children.  She and her two sisters had lots just above us. Only RZ, one of the sisters and the wife of C, had taken all the original ownership certificates.  Most of the certificates had been returned to the dad MZ–all except for Lot #9.  And it was this lot that Ma.Z wanted to sell.  

I showed her the property registry.  Apparently, she had already sung this song to Super Prez because there was a notation to the effect that in the event someone comes forward with this certificate, the owner is Ma.Z.  I told her there wasn’t anything more I could do but gave her some free advice.  She could do one of two things–go to Ministerio Publico and have a demanda (lawsuit) drawn up against her sister RZ or offer to go miches (split the profit) on the selling price in an attempt to get RZ to agree to the sale.  She left rather less than satisfied.

Then I had another visitor.  This guy was an older gentleman and self-proclaimed corredor (which is someone who tries to sell lots to earn a small commission).  So he had this certificate that was made by Chuchi in an area that didn’t exist.  I told him this.  I also told him the certificate that he had in his hand was a copy, not the original.  He wanted me to give him another lot in exchange.  I said I couldn’t since every lot had an owner (or 2 or 3).  He then went on and on about how he knew the original owners and Chuchi.  I said he should talk to them then.  The president of the association is the son of the original owner.  Chuchi has lost his house due to shady deals and as far as I know, has several open demandas (lawsuit) against him. Furthermore, the person listed on the certificate knew that his certificate was invalid because I had talked to him about 2 years ago.  He could go to Ministerio Publico and have a demanda (lawsuit) drawn up against any of them.  He left rather less than satisfied.

And then there were the golden van people who have come several times.  First, the elderly lady wanted to know where her lots were.  I showed her in the community plan.  Then she wanted someone to clear them off.  I said my husband would clear and mark the boundaries of her lots but there was a fee for that.  They went away but came back a few weeks later saying that they had come several times looking for me.  I told them that I worked and wasn’t always at home.  She wanted to know when we were going to have a community meeting and start the next project.  At the last meeting, so long ago, we presented the costs for water, sewage, pavement, and electricity to the community.  Sewage would be the cheapest to obtain at $6,000 per lot.  She wanted to know when we would begin collecting for that.  I said that we could not begin another project until we paid for the lawyer and that cost was only $250 pesos per lot.  If the community couldn’t be bothered to pay that, why on earth would we start a new project?

Meanwhile, the kids in the van got out.  Puppy was laying in the shade under the truck. I told the people that he does bark, but won’t bite.  Puppy was already cranky because the horse guy’s horses were wandering around loose and encroaching on his territory.  The boy had a slingshot and the girl picked something that was in Puppy’s area, probably a rock.  So he went ballistic.  He charged the girl and growled at her.  I stepped between Puppy and the girl and called him off.  She hadn’t been bitten, just scared.  But then, the dad, who had been standing there the entire time, picked up a boulder and tried to bash Puppy’s head in.  I called him a name or two (in English because in times of high emotion my Spanish fails me) and told him to leave and not to return.  I also yelled at the old lady and told her to sell her lots and be done with it.  Perhaps not my finest moment.  They left less than satisfied.

While I’m on the topic of La Yacata–we’ve been the subject of quite a bit of negative gossip.  Apparently, someone said that my husband started the brush fire that burned the posts of the cholo borrachos’ (drunk cholos) lot. Of course, that isn’t true.  It’s actually quite inconvenient that someone set the fire since now there’s nothing left for our sheep/goat herd/flock to eat. Plus it spawned a smoldering fire in the pig poop which takes weeks to burn itself out and smells! Then someone else said that my husband had broken into their place and stolen stuff.  Again, this isn’t true.  He does tend to pick up things like old pots and discarded candlesticks when he’s out with the goats which he sells for fierro viejo (recycling) but never goes into a house to steal anything.  In fact, his presence is often a theft deterrent.  The other day we were out with the animals and a suspicious van came along.  The driver saw us and decided to go someplace else.  Who knows what sort of funny business it had in mind?

Anyway, my husband is quite put out about all the chisme (gossip).  I tried to tell him that it didn’t matter because he knew it wasn’t true and I knew it wasn’t true. He said that the neighbors threatened a demanda (lawsuit) against him.  Initially, I scoffed at that because he hadn’t done anything so what is there to sue over?  However, we are in Mexico and it’s guilty until proven innocent and how do you prove something that you haven’t done? Remember all those demandas I had to testify at (See Demanda 1, Demanda 2, Demanda 3)-all of them were bogus, but cost an arm and a leg to get it resolved. So perhaps I should be more concerned.  

I’m also concerned that the golden van people will come back and poison Puppy.  We’ve had a rash of mysterious chicken deaths this week.  They could have been poisoned.  It wouldn’t take much effort to lob some veneno (poison) over the walls into the backyard. There’s no conclusive proof though so I won’t be heading to Ministerio Publico to have a demanda (lawsuit) drawn up.  It leaves me less than satisfied.

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Road Construction

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Last year I got my solar light hopes dashed by the installation of a huge, green, interstate highway size sign at the crossroads.  Well, this year, the powers that be decided that the two-lane slightly crooked cowpath that runs past La Yacata needed to be as spectacular as the new signage.

The entire construction process was hair-raising, to say the least.  Every day, huge construction vehicles rolled up and down the road that I, on my piddly little motorcycle, used daily to get to town.  Sometimes hot oil was spraying off the side, sometimes stones were pouring from the back of dump trucks, sometimes the backhoe was swinging its huge arm over my head.

So where were the construction guards, those guys that are supposed to signal danger ahead with little flags? Over there, in the shade of the mesquite.  It was too damn hot to stand where they could be useful.

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For weeks, it was always a surprise to come home after dark.  See, in the afternoons, the huge dump trucks poured the next days’ rockpile on the road.  Even if you thought you could jump the first mound of rocks, the piles were graduated in size, each progressively higher.  Since these rock piles were not there when I went to town, the trek home after dark was a full-fledged adrenaline rush as I wove and swerved and attempted to stay somewhat on the road or at least keep from crashing. I suppose we should count our lucky stars that there were only two fatal accidents during the whole revamping.

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The intersection has become this behemoth entranceway, fully capable of funneling at least 8 lanes of traffic.

After months of work, they have finally finished.  Since completion, there have been four fatal accidents, one involving a donkey and his rider, at the intersection because THERE ARE NO LIGHTS!  I can hardly wait to see what new improvements the benevolent government will bestow on us next year.

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