Rancho Pint - The Mexico Page

Text and Photos ©2011 by J. Pint





How It Came Back To Life

By John Pint

At their gathering in Ajijic on February 18, 2011 members of the Canadian Club of Lake Chapala launched a project designed to get the book Outdoors in Western Mexico back into print in a revised and updated edition.

The first edition of the book came out in 1998 and contained 40 articles which—with more than a little help from my wife Susy—I had published in the Guadalajara Reporter from as far back as 1985. For the most part, these articles described places few people in Guadalajara had ever heard of: rivers, beaches crater lakes, waterfalls, hot springs, slot canyons, etc. which, in many cases, we had come upon accidentally while hunting for caves all over western Mexico.

Believe it or not, just about the entire run of 1000 books was sold at only one location: Sandi Book Store. They finally ran out a few years ago, at which time we asked our publishers about a new edition and they replied, “Desgraciadamente, we are getting out of the book-printing business—sorry.”

Undaunted, we updated the original manuscript and a graphic designer gave it a complete overhaul, but to our surprise, we were unable to find a Casa Editorial willing to take the risk of publishing a book in English.

So things stood until November 2010, when I gave a talk at the Canadian Club on the “Magic Circle” of natural wonders in western Mexico, this amazing area in which all five of Mexico’s ecosystems just happen to come together, resulting in an extraordinary diversity of flora, fauna and geography. At this meeting, Club President Tony Wilshere came up with a brilliant idea for financing a new edition of Outdoors in Western Mexico. “How many of you are willing to pay in advance for a copy of the new book?” he asked the crowd. Almost every hand shot up. “See?” said Tony. “This is how we can do it.”

Margo McCutcheon of the Canadian ClubFortunately, the job of turning Tony’s idea into reality fell to a marvelous organizer, Margo McCutcheon. “I’m a librarian,” she explained. “I’m always trying to encourage people to read and this is a great book.” Margo set up a table at the Hotel Nueva Posada, where the February meeting of the Club was held, and was soon engulfed by people who wanted to sign up. In no time she was churning out hand-written receipts at lightning speed—I swear no computer could ever beat her. Meanwhile, people came up to chat about hiking in Mexico and I discovered that several of them are far more adventurous than I, but I guess that’s what you’d expect from people happy to travel over 3000 kilometers to find a new home in a new land.

More than one lady, by the way, came up to me and mentioned that they had been clipping my articles for years. “But they’re turning yellow and brittle,” they complained. “We’d definitely like to have them in book form.”

In only one afternoon, during the February meeting, Margo the Dynamic Librarian managed to sign up 55 people. “We are off to a fine start,” she said. “I think we will easily reach our minimum of 100 subscribers and I expect we’ll be seeing the new book in print in about a month.”

Well, it took a little longer than that, but in May, 2011, our printer Guillermo Zepeda of Quadrimag presented us with 1000 beautiful books. Outdoors in Western Mexico is back!



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