This winter, a local carpenter donated much of his time and materials to build a little free library. In January 2023 it was installed at the front of the property next to our house, and many donations of books in English, French, Spanish and German have started to populate the little free library, filling a gap left by another local book exchange that closed down over the pandemic.
Although we financed the bulk of the initial lot cleanup and installation, several neighbours have contributed to clean up and landscaping, and our garbage guy at Casa Abierta even donated his weekly pick up services after we installed a garbage bin.
If you are staying at the house or in the neighbourhood, we encourage you to bring along a book or two (extras are stored on the main floor at Casa Abierta) -- the little free library is in particular need of children's books in Spanish. Mobiles, windchimes and painted rocks are also welcome, for the Enchanted Forest next to the library.
Today, a number of book exchanges exist at local hotels. We hope that this more publicly accessible little library and mini-parkette will become a welcome and much loved resource in the Guayabitos community for locals and seasonal residents like!
For more information about this magical space and how to contribute, check out this link:
Mexico's climate is one that lends itself well to living outdoors. The breezy nature of Casa Abierta's architecture makes it an ideal spot to curl up in a chair outside and read a good book, or take a nap in a hammock. We also have an outdoor BBQ and sink, as well as several tables and chairs for dining al fresco.
Working on the garden and courtyards at Casa Abierta has been a primary investment over the past few years; from the cactus garden to sprucing up the outdoor shower and adding a few potted plants throughout, we hope you will enjoy the outdoor spaces here as much as we do!
Lots of folks wonder about the safety of the drinking water in Mexico. For those of you newer to traveling in this part of the world, here's the low-down...
Tap water is good for cleaning dishes and washing your hands, but you should avoid drinking it. Generally, people use the large, 20L water bottles for drinking, and in some cases cooking and washing fruits and vegetables (depending on how sensitive your internal plumbing is!) We use the bottled water for brushing our teeth, too, and make our ice cubes from it as well.
Our guests receive a complementary 20L bottle upon check-in, and you can buy additional bottles from the truck that comes around 1-2 times a week.
The "main" company is Ciel; it's owned by the Coca Cola company, so if you want to support them and trust them, that's the truck you want to look for. Note: Lots of other, smaller companies reuse the Ciel bottles and run their own purification systems, offering treated water at reduced prices. Most locals drink that water; the majority of gringos and tourists stick with Ciel.
You can expect to pay about 30 pesos (or 2 bucks Canadian) for a bottle of Ciel, or 15 pesos (or $1 CAD) for the knock-offs. There is also a bottle deposit: Once you've paid that once, you can just get replacements for free and they will take away the old bottles when they drop off the new ones.