It is true I have a long walk up a steep mountain trail to reach my property, but once I am there I have little reason to leave. I have found community in this remote mountain valley. There are always people about.
Our activities center on the land and there are few mechanical or electronic distractions. There is electricity here but it doesn’t seem to be used for much other than lighting and radios.
The villagers who have tried televisions have given them away, saying they are not good for their families. The men enjoy television while the soccer tournaments are being played, but they don’t like their wives watching soap operas.
So let’s talk about the dollars it takes to live somewhere like this:
I have purchased one-quarter acre of land, half of which is under cultivation. Half of the land is flat and ready for a small home. Water comes from a small spring above that also irrigates the property. The land is costing me less than $2000 USD.
I have a small window of time to put all this together. We have mild weather here, but we do have Seasons. The Rainy Season is not that far away and I must get my new adobe home under roof before the wet weather begins again.
My home will have a quarried stone floor, fireplace, and adobe walls on the ground level. The roof area of the house will be of an a-frame design and house my bedroom. The upper level will have a small porch that will overlook the lake and great the rising morning sun.
The water I drink from the spring that feeds the property needs no filtration; it is that pure. My property has never known chemical fertilizers.
Half of my land is in fruit (orange and apple), avocado, and bananas trees. Coffee trees grow below the fruit trees above. Squash and beans carpet the ground. In addition to all this my neighbors grow organic corn and a hundred different fruits and vegetables I can’t even name yet.
There are nuts and berries free for the gathering on the surrounding hillsides. Beyond a few staples, there is little I need carry in. Chickens will arrive when I have the coup build. My food will now come almost exclusively from my land and the village.
Fresh baked bread, tortillas, and fish are delivered to my door by local venders; yet my food costs are now less than $10 a week.
I can also build my basic home here for about $1000 USD. The adobe blocks will be made from clay on my land by local labor.
It feels like I have my bases covered and I am doing this on a retirement income of $1000 USD a month. This works for me because I love to live rustically. I love the sound of the rivers, the mountains, and the lake being in my life.
And now the Mayan village people are becoming more real to me. They are the people who live in the remote villages and who are little touched by the outside world. It is good to meet them.