From Peppers to Hardwoods—Farming in the Yucatán

Growing habanero peppers wasn’t on my bucket list when I first visited Mexico. Nor was developing a 48-acre forest. In fact, when my wife Janet and I crossed the border in 2005, it was to explore our retirement options. Janet was 59, I was 64, and we wanted to explore Mexico, get to know its people, and see if living there was something that could work for us. I had visited our daughter in Mexico in 2004, where she was on a student exchange. It was summer and the balmy weather meant we ate outdoors. The food, full of peppers and tropical fruits, was outstanding. I fell in love with the culture—slow-paced, quiet, dignified, and peaceful. I had started and managed my own businesses in the U.S., but connecting with the land, a culture, and its people had always been my passion.

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