This is the story of my experiences living as an ex-pat in Mexico since 2003. It's to culminate in a published book. With your help, I'll be editing, selecting a title, and cover art: a participatory project. Your comments encouraged!

Letters from Mexico

Letters - Where Expats Blog

Cuernavaca-Part One

June 29, 2019

Cuernavaca, Mexcio. Entrance to the Zocalo (main plaza).  Photo by Don Karp

Bordering the Zocalo, or main plaza, is the Palacio Municipal, or state building. Nearby is an ancient building,  the palace built by Cortez. Now it’s a museum, but since the earthquake of 2017 damaged it, it has been under repair.

Walking a few blocks through the Centro from the Zocalo to the main cathedral and Garden Borda, one notices the busy traffic and many craft vendors on the streets.

Cuernavaca, Mexico. Palacio Cortez. Adjoining the Zocalo.Photos by Don Karp

Jardin Borda is across the street from the main cathedral. It used to be the summer home of the wealthy Taxco miner, José Borda. The lavish gardens include several species of plants, two pools, terraces at different levels, ramps, stairs, and fountains. Buildings house museums of  cultural events: exhibitions of painting, sculpture, plastic arts and photography, and dance performances, theater, and many concerts.

Cuernavaca, Mexico. Walk through Centro from the Zocalo to the main cathedral. Video by Don Karp

Cuernavaca, Mexico. Catedral de la Asunción de María, the main cathedral of Cuernavaca. Photos by Don Karp

This is the end of Part One. To learn more about Cuernavaca, please see part two, coming out on July 27, 2019.

Cuernavaca, with a population of 350,000 is the capital of the state of Morelos. At an hour and a half from Mexico City, it is a haven for those escaping the difficulties of living in the larger city. Cuernavaca has many language schools teaching Spanish to foreigners.

From where I live, Tepoztlan, it’s only a twenty-minute ride on the toll highway. I go there weekly. Because of the heavier pollution and dense crowding, I seldom visit Mexico City. It has a more to offer than Cuernavaca in terms of parks, culture, shopping, and what we might expect a cosmopolitan international city to have. For me, Cuernavaca is just a dirty place with attractions I can’t find where I live.To get a different perspective than mine, and one offering a more studied approach, including its history, for example, please visit the blogs of James Horn.

Six or seven steep ravines divide Cuernavaca into sections. They flow with water during the rainy season. They were considered different population areas until connected by bridges to be one city.

The area has a very temperate climate, with a year round temperature range from 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. This, with the large amount of vegetation, has attracted tourists and settlers for centuries. In modern times, many famous people have moved to Cuernavaca.

Cuernavaca, Mexico. The Zocalo (main plaza). Top: Palacio Municipal (Municipal Palace). Bottom: views of the Zocalo. Photos by Don Karp

Cuernavaca, Mexico. Jardin Borda, a multipurpose museum/concert space with lavish gardens.         Photo by Don Karp