San Felipe — The Books Arrive

May 14, 2010

To see a photo album regarding recent activity in San Felipe, go to —


They will receive 100 more books in another month or two and also have an open house later in the year.

This is a project funded by a southern Wisconsin, USA, nonprofit in conjunction with a Mexican family in LaCruceita, Oaxaca, Mx.

The books are in lower level Spanish for young children, but higher level books will be added over the next 3 years. Also, donations of Spanish books are welcome, but must not be political/religious in nature. This is a community owned and operated library for the children in a very high mountain village.

It is possible children from two “neighboring villages” may also benefit, but they will have to travel some distance on mountain trails to see and select books. Children are encourage to check out books and have them in their homes for the benefit of all of their family members.

The library will likely become an education and social hub for children and probably have internet capacity.

The contact people are Luis and Elva, owners of Los Portales and Onyix restaurant in LaCrucecita. This is their website —


Luis Alfredo Estavillo Chavez
Bugambilia 603, La Crucecita
Bahías de Huatualco, Oaxaca. México
C.P. 70989
Tel (958) 587.00.70


San Felipe — Gets Library

March 22, 2010

A few weeks ago, we were able to travel to San Felipe Lachillo, about 3 hours straight up northeast of Huatulco and deliver building materials for a new library for children for the village.  Because of video, you can visit our trip on YouTube by clicking on the following video.

Much work on the library has already been accomplished since the day of our delivery of books shelving material.  In addition, a dental clinic is under construction and teachers are living in the community and teaching sewing and voluntary library skills.  You can check out the photo album on my Facebook page at the following link.


We hope to return next winter to the state of Oaxaca and visit the ¨little library in the mountains¨at San Felipe.  It is the 40th library established in the state of Oaxaca by expats from USA and Canada living in Oaxaca City.

Stephen Sardeson, ¨The¨Genuine Tourist, living in Tlaxcala, Tlaxcala, MX



Our Casa Gets A Makeover

March 15, 2010

It is good to be living in Tlaxcala again in the same place we have lived for the past two winters.  We were pleasantly surprised to find that our “casa” had been painted  and cleaned “inside and out” during our absence. A photo follows of our Mexican home’s new look.

Our Puerta or Gate and Upstairs on Left

Walking up to our First Floor

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Library at San Felipe Lachillo

January 29, 2010

San Felipe Lachillo is a very poor village located in the mountains about 4 hours northeast of Huatulco, Oaxaca.  For the past several years,  Luis Alfredo Estavillo Chávez, a humble restaurant owner, has traveled monthly to San Felipe to work with the children of the village.  While his primary interest has been for the children to learn how to read, he has also assisted the children to find more ways to feed themselves, so they will have enough energy to attend school and actually learn.  

One food project has been the raising of chickens for both eggs and meat.  You can see the chickens being inoculated by Luis and MsSardo in the following photo.   


Chickens for Eggs and Meat

You can see a video of how the CHILDREN helped catch the chickens on YouTube at — 


Other videos of regarding San Felipe are also available on YouTube by searching under “Silversard.”  One, for example, shows the children demonstrating their reading skills to Luis during one of his visits. 

A few months ago, the “Expats” living in Oaxaca City agreed to set up a new library in San Felipe with the help of funding from the USA.  You can learn about their earlier library projects at — 


In order to see information specific to their library work, you need to click on their “outreach programs” tab and read about “Libros Para Pueblos.” 

Luis and Elva traveled to San Felipe in recent months to meet with school officials (and indirectly community leaders) about the project.  Here is a photo of the teachers who want to see the project succeed.   


Luis (left w white shirt) and Teachers

The teachers have offered a large unused office in the school building as a location for the new library.  If the location is selected, the community residents, working with Luis, will build library shelves and small desks and chairs for the children to use when selecting the books for their personal use.  Of course, the new library will be open to all children.   


Possible Location For Library

Luis and Joe Wilkes, Oaxca Lending Library Contact, will be traveling to San Felipe in the near future to meet with the leaders of the community and finalize the establishment and location of the library.

While much remains to be done, it is likely the library will become a reality sometime this year.  Regardless, we must remember that it is all about the KIDS of SAN FELIPE LACHILLO who are so very interested in working with Luis and Elva on their education. 

Luis Listening To Child Reading Publicly

We will be in Mexico for the next 3 months or so and hope to travel to San Felipe Lachillo near the end of March to see the progress on this project.  Won’t you join us via this blog and follow the progress of this small village.

Stephen Sardeson, Genuine-Tourist.com, reporting from Baraboo, WI, USA 






Nine Bay Swim Success — Part 3

November 18, 2008


Correction — Total swim time for all 9 bays was 5 hours and 24 minutes, not 10+ hrs. previously reported.  I can hardly believe it!  but it was reported to me by Wayne Overby who was in a kayak next to Luis the entire time.


We “summarized” in part 2 by reminding people that Luis was a “man with 2 missions,” one to establish an “open water swim” record for the Bays of Huatulco, and the other to be of assistance to the “children of San Felipe.”

He said that he used as his “mantra” the expression, “Cada Brazada, Un Aliento Para La Niñez,” which loosely translated means with, “Each Movement of the Arms, A Breathe For Childhood,” so that he had the energy to make the necessary strokes to complete the course.

One can only wonder how many strokes or “breathes for children” had to take to swim approximately 14 miles in UNDER 6 hours.  No matter, however, for he was doing it for the children of San Felipe. 

More photos and videos just a click away — Read the rest of this entry »


Nine Bay Swim–Part 2 of 3

November 18, 2008

During the swim, Luis Alfredo Estavillo Chavez was “monitored” by his swimming coach and “shadow” by a security force to protect his safety natural “predators.” However, Luis also had other creatures “shadowing” him, the Dolphins, which Luis has always viewed as a good sign.


The swim lasted many hours (about 10 and 1/2 hrs.) but ended on San Agustin Beach.  Here is a photo of Luis at the beach of San Agustin.

More photos are just a click away — Read the rest of this entry »


9 Bay Swim–Part 1

November 18, 2008



We are happy to report that on Saturday, November 15th, 2008, Luis Alfredo Estavillo Chavez successfully completed an “open water swim” of the 9 Bays of Huatulco and “set a new standard” in doing so.  The event was a formal judged and certified by Edgar Pedraza Jiméz.  The following is a very loosely translated  summation by the judge.


The past Saturday 15 of November. I am carried out (certified) the crossing in morning swim of the individual swim of the 9 bays by the sportsman Luis Estavillo Chavez, leaving at 7:00 AM from the Bay of Conejos and arriving after 12:24 PM at the Bay of San Agustin . . . . Giving to faith and legality of, I swim the Judge and Director of Association State of Swimming . . .  announce a new sport event in the Bays of Huatulco under the heading of “open water swimming,” and “open” the invitation to any national or international sportsman to try it and to surpass the time established by our friend Luis. It was one pleasing experience to have participated in this project that as much effort him cost to Luis, but obtained the recognition to its effort and tenacity. Greetings to all. Edgar Pedraza Jiménez


Luis attempted the swim twice before but was thwarted by severe storm conditions and strong currents on the previous attempts.  On his third and successful attempt, he wisely decided to swim the Bays in the opposite direction of his previous attempts.  Apparently, he still encountered strong currents near the lighthouse and Cacaluta Bay but got through by keeping up his strong pace.


The following photo is of Luis receiving certification of his swim from Mr. Edgar Pedraza Jiménez, Judge and Director of the event.




More photos are just a click away — Read the rest of this entry »


TomZap — Condo Chahue

November 14, 2008

It has occurred to me that some of the readers of this Blog may not be following a forum about Huatulco that is heavily viewed (but often badly participated in) by many people.  I do contribute to it from time to time, although not always posting articles with photos.  However, I recently posted an article about a condo project in Huatulco with photos, and you might want to scan it at —


The developing group (represented in Huatulco by John Graham) has some even more GRANDE plans to build a complex near La Entrega.  You can see initial info about the project entiltled, “the Point,” at — 


To my knowledge, “the Point” has not been started yet because of the current project “Playa Chahue Condominum” has not been completed nor fully marketed (in these difficult times).


click here


Children — Delightful

November 13, 2008

In Mexico workers often have their children with them while they work.  However, it isn’t always easy because what are they to do?  We have observed worker’s children playing with rocks, sleeping on blankets, or eating small amounts of food.  One day such a “little person” showed up at our “B&B” and we thought we would give her some colored pencils to entertain herself . . . and she did for hours.

A Serious Artist

A Serious Artist

But, we have another child in this photo, and he is a “working stiff.”  Notice the CD on the table by the little girl in above picture.  It is a CD produced by a 5 year old singer in Xalapa, and you can hear him peforming on the following YouTube link with his YOUNGER sister dancing (white blouse) on the platform in front of him. 

Stephen, at — http://www.Genuine-Tourist.com —  reporting from Baraboo, WI, USA


El Granadillo, Las Brisas Cascada

April 6, 2008

While on route to deliver school supplies — http://tinyurl.com/5k6wkx  a few days ago, we decided to take “the path less traveled” and visit a waterfall less advertized and NEVER visited by our season guide.  We traveled on a dirt/gravel road through several villages up the mountains above Huatulco for about an hour and one half before we saw the above sign very close to our goal.

We soon arrived at a rope across the road where a small girl, to whom we had previously given school school supplies, charged us each 50 pesos (excluding our guide and his son) to pass and go down a fairly steep, well graded mountain switchback road until we reached a parking area with a shelter house and restrooms.  The same girl wanted to sell us coffee as we were leaving.  I think someone should hire her to run their business! 

We left the car secured and traveled briefly down through a path in a cornfield to reach the area of a mountain stream.  See next photo of my spouse and the son’s guide, Miguel, working their way through the cornfield.

Patricia and Miguel in the Cornfield

At first, when we got into the mountain ravine and began to follow it up stream, it didn’t seem like we were going to see very much.  Oh, we saw a small stream and some water coming from springs along the mountain side, but that was about it.  But then we saw a mountain pool that we could look right down to the bottom of because it was so clear.

More photos are just a click away — click here


The “Rest of the Story” — “Each Arm Stroke . . . . “

November 18, 2008

“Each arm stroke, a breath for children” – says Luis

There are children in the state of Oaxaca who live in a remote village over a mile high in the mountains not far from the head waters of the Rio Copalita . Their community, San Felipe Lachillo, is part of the Santiago Xanica Municipality. Within the community are over 200 school children who live in “extreme poverty” with little food or other needed supplies.

Now, how Luis Alfredo Estavillo Chavez, owner of Onix Restaurant in LaCrucecita, ever learned about their struggles and found them is beyond me because the village is miles inland, slightly northwest of Huatulco, and without roads or rivers to or from its location. Like too many children, in too many countries, the children of San Felipe Lachillio have little food and little energy to attend and concentrate on learning while in school.  

Luis Estavillo, has decided to do something to help the children. He believes his own life and that of his spouse, Elva, has been very blessed, and it is time to demonstrate his gratitude using some of his own funds to help children who are in much distress. Luis would like to see some kind of an industry started in the community of San Felipe that would make enough profit to pay for the food for breakfasts of the school. Perhaps a small scale “fish farming” industry could be started or maybe something could be manufactured from bamboo that could be sold in the markets of Huatulco, Pochutla, or even Oaxaca City.

He has the support of the community already. The following is a photo of families of the community gathered at the “city hall” where they learned about the plan for the children of their community–

Community Families at City Hall

With the support of the community, a new shelter was constructed as a kitchen and breakfast area for the children in order to protect from the sun and rain. It is under construction in the next photo-

More photos are just a click away — Read the rest of this entry »