By Marcia and Jan Chaiken
On January 20, 2001 at exactly noon, George W. Bush became POTUS, and Jan became the former Director of the Bureau of Justice Statistics, US Department of Justice. The transition of administrations had not gone well and, sure that the US was in for a catastrophic event, we decided to store all our possessions near Washington DC and drive to Mexico. We packed some clothes, snorkel gear, a pot, a pan, a toaster oven, and Marcia’s computer – essential for the research projects she was still leading in the US – and we headed south.
We spent much of the coming months wandering through many states in Mexico; from north to south, from east to west. We visited major cities, rural villages, many archeological sites, and countless beach communities. After thousands of topes, many rough roads, and enough adventures to fill the Eye for years to come, we pulled off the highway into Huatulco. We couldn’t believe our eyes: absolutely smooth roads, modern infrastructure, seemingly endless stretches of pristine beaches, and schools of tropical fish that appeared to be oblivious to our intrusion. There were so few people and places to stay that it seemed as if a paradise had been created just for us. That was 17 years ago, and of course we returned.