What I Love Most...
The US is a country of aspirations. Everyone is trying to get ahead, get a better deal out of life. If that were all, it would be okay, but there are too many disgruntled people who feel like they have gotten the short end of the stick, that life somehow owes them more, that they deserve better than they have. That kind of dissatisfaction with life creates a negative energy field.
In poorer countries, you feel it, too. And if you come from what the locals perceive as a "rich" country, than they see you as a source of wealth. Whether it's a market for your cheap sunglasses, a ride for your taxi, the cash in your pocket or whatever, that vibe is a barrier between me and the country, its people and culture.
Rural Mexico, on the surface, also looks like a "poorer" country. The roads are unpaved and dusty, the houses unfinished, many live in rather rudimentary conditions. But unlike so much of the rest of the world, rural Mexico is very "rich." The people in this village seem completely content with their lives. I, too, feel like I have been given so much more than I ever expected and more than I probably deserve, so it's very, very comfortable living among people who are also as content with themselves.
Someone thought a palapa restaurant on a rock at one end of the beach might be a romantic dining spot. According to local legend, he and his brother got into a fight and now the restaurant stands abondoned. Another person had the grand idea that an theater on the malecon would be nice. Maybe that person moved to another town before it got finished.
Another time, a developer arrived to create a beachfront complex. An earthquake damaged the building before it was completed. Then the land was taken back by "the people" and the building looted for anything that was not nailed down. Whatever WAS nailed down was broken. I love that there is this big stretch of prime real estate that's a warning to future developers. The locals call it "the ruins." The locals catering to The Northerners call it "the old hotel."