Mike and Bev Leaving SMA

Dear Friends, When we are asked, “Why are you leaving?”, it is honestly hard to answer easily …
much less when asked, “Why do you want to go back to the US?”. A short answer is
difficult, but this is an attempt to do so (in writing!).


We have four lovely ones from about ages 2 to 11. We remember the role our grandparents played in our lives. We want more of an opportunity than a couple times a year to be part of their lives.

WV and Pittsburgh

We feel fortunate to have a place in the WV mountains and one in Pittsburgh. Both are little, but very comfortable and charming in their own way. Over the last 12 years, we’ve not spent much time at either.

Traveling About

Neither of us have traveled very extensively in the US or Canada and so we feel drawn to go out and explore. We hope to buy or rent a camper van and get out there to have some new adventures and ‘discoveries’!

Leaving SMA

It is bittersweet. While we feel drawn to the sweetness of the above, leaving fantastically close friends, creative and energetic neighbors, and dedicated and inspired colleagues is hard. All occupy special places in our hearts and have formed treasured memories. While we plan to return … sort of like snowbirds who rent … we don’t pretend to think it
will be the same. Naturally, the home we have created out of our house has been so very nice and it too will be missed. But mostly missed will be, people from Mexico – and all over the world – friends, neighbors, and colleagues.

Not Missed

It has been difficult over the years to experience the frustration of working on some pressing environmental issues, namely, water. The persistent ignoring of these issues by local government in favor of short term gain is very disheartening. The lack of smart development is just plain stupid and short sighted. It is a fact that growth is happening all over the world and most especially in attractive places to live. Our experience is somewhat limited, but it sure feels like it is out of control here and is driven by so much short term profit and corruption. For the last couple years, we began to feel that we didn’t particularly want to own property here anymore. It was just a feeling not based on any one thing or another necessarily. Undoubtedly a more logical explanation will come over time.

The uptick in crime is also a bummer. When people fear traveling to various places in this beautiful country, much less in one’s own ‘town’, it tends to cast a negative pall over everything. One is left feeling that laws and law enforcement are too often window dressing and nearly a mockery of citizen and resident security. So what about the US? We know that the US also has big problems. Joining millions of others, we will work to defeat the most horrible President in US history. Collectively, we will participate in the effort to turn the US hopefully in a new direction. We still believe that is possible and feel that personally we can do so more fluidly than here. If successful, Mexico and the rest of the world will benefit! 

And what else will we miss? 

Incomparable fresh fruits and vegetables! The cost of living. Color and diversity. The myriad of events involving art, music, dance, theatre, and intellectual discussion. Yoga at 8am. The best weather one could hope for. Playing guitar and singing with the jug band. Hiking in the Picachos the surrounding campo, and of course rowing and kayaking on the beautiful Presa Allende.

Suffice it to say, we didn’t expect that our house would sell after only three showings! In the current market, we figured we had a year or so. Oops! So, dear friends, neighbors, and colleagues, we say, “hasta luego” – somewhere/sometime – abrazos, and thank you.

Mike and Bev

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