Cou­ple’s Mex­i­can dream home set in stone

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - HOMES - DAVID SQUARE

AMANITOBA cou­ple is near­ing com­ple­tion of a home they are build­ing in Mex­ico. Sev­eral years ago, Ge­orge and Leney Still­wa­ter searched a popular snow­bird area for a tract of land with a small house that could be up­graded by a lo­cal con­trac­tor. With the help of a real es­tate agent, they viewed nu­mer­ous prop­er­ties un­til they lo­cated the per­fect one, but their ini­tial ela­tion was fol­lowed by deep dis­ap­point­ment. The house and land were des­ig­nated ejido prop­erty, mean­ing it could only be pur­chased by a Mex­i­can. “We were de­pressed,” said Leney. “It seemed our dream had been shat­tered.” But not for long. While walk­ing the streets of a small town, they no­ticed a land for-sale sign posted on a restau­rant bill­board. They con­tacted their real es­tate agent, who lo­cated the owner.

“It was love at first sight,” said Ge­orge. “The large prop­erty was cov­ered by ma­ture fruit trees, had a small adobe house and had ac­cess to Lake Cha­pala, the largest fresh­wa­ter in­land lake in Mex­ico, nes­tled be­tween the Oc­ci­den­tal and Ori­en­tal Sierra Madre moun­tain ranges.” The cou­ple’s land is lo­cated in a small town not far from the city of Cha­pala, the seat of gov­ern­ment for the sur­round­ing mu­nic­i­pal­ity of the same name. Af­ter pur­chas­ing the real es­tate, which re­quired “sign­ing reams of pa­per­work,” Ge­orge and Leney de­cided to make a few changes to the adobe house. Leney said they were for­tu­nate to be­friend a lo­cal man with build­ing, plumb­ing, elec­tri­cal and weld­ing ex­pe­ri­ence. Gollo, as he is known lo­cally, be­came the cou­ple’s con­trac­tor, hir­ing and su­per­vis­ing work­ers who live in Cha­pala or nearby towns. “The work­ers ar­rive at work on bi­cy­cles at 8:30 a.m. and leave when Gollo says it’s time to stop for the day,”

Foun­tain sur­rounded by cir­cu­lar flag­stone drive­way was re­cently added to Still­wa­ter’s ren­o­va­tion in Mex­ico.

Large flag­stone dug out of the ground by work­ers near Still­wa­ter’s ren­o­va­tion

site near Lake Cha­pala, Mex­ico.

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