Couple’s Mexican dream home set in stone
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.