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San Jose del Cabo - Where are the Mexicans?

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Victoria, Canada
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San Jose del Cabo - Where are the Mexicans?

We came to San Jose del Cabo in the hopes of finding a typical small Mexican

city in which to retire within easy direct-flight reach of our hometown in

Canada. Unfortunately we are leaving somewhat disappointed. What we found

instead is an urban '"planning" exercise gone terribly wrong.

We decided to stay in the old town, in a small hotel on located near the

town square and surrounded by the art district. This sounded like a charming

prospect however upon arrival we discovered that the old town has been

spotlessly restored, to the point of erasing any semblance of normal Mexican

life. Residential housing does not exist here and the only businesses left are

expensive art galleries and grossly overpriced fancy restaurants. The large

town square, while beautiful and well-appointed is nearly devoid of the normal

family and evening gathering activity that is found in other Mexican towns. The

only Mexicans to be found in this Disney-ish, sterile and gentrified

"neighborhood" are waiters and shop workers.

Venturing further afield in the hopes of finding a real town and

reasonably priced food we discovered a band of residential and business

streets squeezed in between the old town and the beach resorts. While it was

refreshing to find a small business district with the odd taqueria it was also

disappointing to discover that the three big box stores (Mega, Soriana and Walmart)

had reduced the local grocery outlets down to an underutilized municipal

market and a few convenience stores selling only junk food and pop. The market

did inspire some local activity, especially in the food court area however the

lack of customers in the fresh food area was apparent and reflected in the

available limited offerings.

Finally, as we explored further south towards the beaches, we were

confronted by a no-man's land consisting of a barrier golf course which

effectively cuts the town off from the ocean. The only walking access to the

water is via one of two busy main arteries flanking the golf course and located

on opposite ends of town. Upon arriving within view of the beautiful beach you

realize that nearly all of the prime real estate has been taken over by large resorts

and that the only access to the so-called public beach is by climbing through a

barbed wire fence and walking though some barren trash-filled scrubland that is

obviously waiting like a missing tooth for the final resort to be constructed.Once on the beach there was not a Mexican to be found except for the odd trinket vendor.

We found the whole experience rather sad. The town seems to have been stolen

from the locals in the name of tourism development. Never in our considerable

travels around Mexico have we encountered such a dysfunctional community plan.

So in spite of the convenient airline connection and the friendly local

population we will give this area a pass in the future and return to other

areas of the real Mexico.

Edited: 16 February 2014, 01:24
San Francisco...
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1. Re: San Jose del Cabo - Where are the Mexicans?

Try Zihuatanejo.

Lincoln, California
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2. Re: San Jose del Cabo - Where are the Mexicans?

Well Jerry I'm sure the locals in San Jose will be thrilled to find out some touristy Canuck has decided they are not Mexican enough for him. Maybe if they come to Canada and don't find you in an igloo you won't be Canuck enough for them?????

Cabo San Lucas...
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3. Re: San Jose del Cabo - Where are the Mexicans?

Well Jerry - My guess is that it is going to be hard to find a place with a beach and decent airport where the developers have not taken over. Yes, San Jose is considered the more Mexican town, but it's still a beach resort and a little research before the trip would have told you that.

Saint James, New...
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4. Re: San Jose del Cabo - Where are the Mexicans?

Jerry you should have continued into the more remote area of the east cape where many expats are now colonizing that area too. We all seem to be searching for utopia only to find our personal vision of that to become popular and then wish for the good ole days.

Good luck with your search. Im sure somewhere there are no supermarkets, no medical centers, bad roads, and no safe areas to live, and a place with no parts available for BMWs that might seem more inviting as you age.

Edited: 16 February 2014, 03:45
Vancouver, Canada
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5. Re: San Jose del Cabo - Where are the Mexicans?

Jerry,A little research would have warned you that Los Cabos which includes San Jose Del Cabo and CSL has one of the highest percentages of Norte Americanos in Mexico.In Mexico towns are laid out a bit different from Canadian towns.The area around the zocala or the town square is where the wealthy people live,in this case,the Norte Americanos who can afford to live there along with the ricachon or Mexican elite.Middle class and working class Mexicans tend to live away from the town center in the different "colonias"closer towards the airport or the outside the town center.

This is the reality of much of Mexico,This is ALSO the "real" Mexico.My friend from Bucerias,A small town north of PV tells me that the waterfront homes are almost 60% Canadian or American owned.Mega and Soriano are 100% Mexican owned chains that are part of the new Mexico.Might I suggest that you are looking for the old image of Mexico.If you have ever been to the elite area of Polanco in Mexico city which I have visited in the past.It looks like any other wealthy enclave in California.The Mexican elite do not want to live in rustic looking areas.Rather they prefer to live in more American looking areas which would not be out of place in the USA.There are lots of Mexicans in San Jose Cabo,You were just not looking in the right area.

Edited: 16 February 2014, 03:54
Kelowna, Canada
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6. Re: San Jose del Cabo - Where are the Mexicans?

Why do you

think this post was spread out the

way it was ? Did he

think this was clever because I

got lost part way

through. And as a Canuck im sorry this

guy is one of us. Not asking anything

prior to the trip here on TA but

having the nerve to come on to SLAM

everything about the area is rude

and arrogant. Excuse me for being forward but

thats just not fair. Good day eh '

Vancouver, Canada
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7. Re: San Jose del Cabo - Where are the Mexicans?

Hew,Sad to Maybe He was expecting people to be living in adobe houses,riding burros and taking siestas under the cactus.This is the real Mexico in Baja California Sur.Los Cabos is in one of the richer parts of Mexico.If He wants underdeveloped areas,He can go to Oaxaca or Guerrero or one of the poorer states in the South

Cabo San Lucas...
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8. Re: San Jose del Cabo - Where are the Mexicans?

I think he was looking for a city like Merida where there is housing around the square. We only considered beach areas, so never there but know people that looked there.

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9. Re: San Jose del Cabo - Where are the Mexicans?

There are lots of wonderful people here. Mexicans and non.

I hope you find what you are seeking.

Lecco, Italia
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10. Re: San Jose del Cabo - Where are the Mexicans?

Dear Jerry, Los Cabos is the most american region of the Baja, including both Cabo San Lucas and San Josè. If your trip in Baja has ben confined in this area I can understand that you are disappointed. If you want to see something more authentic next time take a flight to Loreto or La Paz. Otherwise you can go to La Paz by car from Los Cabos in 2h!