Mazatlan was a bit of a spur of the moment trip, as my good friend and business partner Aaron was spending a month in Mazatlan with his family and I came down as a surprise. What a great trip it ended up being.
I’ve been all over Mexico – DF, Guadalajara, Zihuatenejo, Cabo (obviously), Acapulco, Puerto Vallarta, Cancun, etc. I adore Mexico. My life is half Mexican. I think the people in Mexico are some of the warmest, most hospitable people in the world.
With that said, trips to the beach in Mexico don’t drive me crazy with excitement because I’m so used to Cabo San Lucas, which I adore. What I found in Mazatlan was special, and different, in a lot of ways.
First, there is surfing (we stayed at Playa Brujas). We stayed in a beachfront home with solid waves immediately in front of us. While I, sadly, didn’t have the time (or wetsuit) to surf on this trip, it was very exciting to see some glorious waves. Would make a return trip very worthwhile.
Mazatlan is also a a true Mexican city – definitely not the tourist grounds that a lot of the beach cities have going on. Definitely more like Mexico City on the beach than a place like Cancun (which is Florida in Mexico). Pricing is at least 50% less than Cabo San Lucas, and if you know where to go, 90% less. We had a spectacular dinner at El Presidio in downtown Mazatlan for 20 people for $300…total. Coffee and breakfast every day at Looney Bean was a highlight, with WiFi and an entire meal for about $5.
What I ended up enjoying the most on my trip – besides the rowdy escapades on Friday night with Aaron and Ryan trouncing through downtown Mazatlan via a combination of these funny little Mazatlany rickshaw-esque go-karts made from old VW Bugs and Ubers until we got lost at 2 am – was my trip to a small orphanage for special needs children on the outskirts of the city. It was called Rancho de los Ninos.
If you think that we need help for special needs kids, orphans, or inner city children in America, let me tell you something: the situation is truly dire in Mexico. There are government programs – no money – at all to help these kids. Most of the children in this facility were abused, beaten, and left on the side of the road to die by their families, only to be scooped up by these loving people that work for Back2Back Ministries.
These people have literally uprooted their lives to move to the middle-of-nowhere Mazatlan to support these children. They’ve erected barbed wire walls and fences – no, not to keep the children in, but to keep thieves that would steal the children’s food, out. It’s unbelievable. I was honored to tour the facility and spend time making bracelets and necklaces for the kids. (If you are interested in learning more about this facility, go here: Rancho de Los Ninos Mazatlan)
It was a very inspiring end to a fun 4-day getaway. It was a humbling reminder just how blessed we all are. While most of us are worried about traffic, Mondays, or some other petty dramas, these children are fighting day and out for survival, and the people caring for them have given up everything to help. Makes me truly embarrassed for any time in my life I ever complained about my situation.