The people on this page are both personal and professional friends of ours. We have used their services, and can vouch for their honesty, integrity, and competence.They have in no way paid or offered to "give us a commission" for their presence here. We are including them in case for some reason you may need such services and don't know where to turn. We can't recommend them highly enough.

Santiago Leon Lorda - Architect [top]
A photo of my friend Chago, happy as usual. You will see his signs on all the nicest homes in Mazatlán, but his friends call him Chago. He has been married to his wife, Maria Carmen for longer than either would care to admit, and has two daughters and a son, who is just entering the business with his father. He was born in Mazatlán and educated in Mexico City, but returned home and has been building quality homes for the last 25 years. If there is one thing that makes Chago different, it is his attention to details. It is easy to tell a Chago house, because in addition to a pleasing visual design, there is an absence of the "little problems" that drive homeowners crazy. He also stands behind his work and will fix problems that crop up months after the owner has moved into the property. He has built two homes for us, and I would never use anyone else. You can contact him at his office at 916-5552, fax: 916-6666 email, or his home at 913-8942.
Carol Sinclair Ibarra - Real Estate [top]
A photo of Carol, with a nice smile and long blond hair Carol and her husband Walfre have been in the real estate business here in Mazatlán for 10 years. They have two of the best behaved preteen daughters I have ever met. Carol was born in Canada, and chose to make Mazatlán her home after visiting a friend here and finding it difficult to leave. Before I proceed I should warn you that real estate agents in Mexico, unlike their counterparts in the US, are unlicensed, and in many cases a little shady. Also, the "title search" process here isn't as accurate as it is in the US, so it is not uncommon for the owner of a property to have hidden liens and obligations that he does not necessarily disclose. Often the agents participate in such deceptions just to get their commissions. Well, Carol is a truly honest person, who goes out of her way to make sure that her clients are happy and protected. If you are interested in buying or renting a property in Mazatlán, I wouldn't use anyone else. She can be contacted at her office at 983-0011 or her home at 914-0154. You can also reach Carol online at now have their own websitethat lists a sample of their current properties.
Dr. Ricardo Huerta - Internal Medicine [top]
Dr Ricardo Huerta, looking serious, but always ready to help Dr. Huertajust (Spring 2004) opened his new office, right next door to BanNorte, across from the Sharp Hospital. The address is Rafael Buelna #300. He practices internal medicine, and had a great and caring bedside manner. Recently, during a routine medical checkup, he found a brain tumor in a friend of ours, that currently had no symptoms. He caught it so early, that the treatment turned out to me of an inconvenience rather than a life threatening procedure. He also runs a small hospital called Cruz Oro, with much lower prices than Sharp Hospital, but still good quality care. You can contact him at his office at 984-1507 or 986-5631, or via his cell phone at 044-669-918-1926.
Dr. Anna Chang - General & Plastic Surgery [top]
A photo of the sweet Anna, ready to make you look more beautiful. Anna and her husband Enrique are both doctors at the new Sharp hospital here in Mazatlán. She is a plastic surgeon and he is a radiologist. Her surgical training was at the Hospital Angeles del Pedregal, at the University of La Salle in Mexico City, where she received an excellence in vascular surgery. We have several friends who have used her services, and who are very happy with their result. This isn't surprising, since when it comes to her work, Anna is a perfectionist. Unlike many other doctors here, she refuses to do a "second rate" job on patients who can't afford the full cost of the treatment. She has changed the lives of many children who would have been permanently disfigured had it not been for Anna. If you have ever considered cosmetic surgery, you could probably save a lot of money and get the best treatment if you consult with her. She can be reached at work at 983-0214 and at home at 913-9984. She also has a fax number at 982-6848. Finally, she has gotten around to going online. Her new email address is
Mina Aguilar - Pet Groomer [top]
Mina, animal lover, hard worker, and all around good person Rafael and Mina Aguilar are the owners of La Jungla, and are two people who truly love animals. Mina has opened her own grooming shop in the golden zone, located right next door to Citibank. She provides professional dog grooming, flea and tick treatment, boarding, pet food and supplies, including Science Diet, and Royal Canine. She also provides Health Certificates, for those of you who want to bring your babies back to the USA or Canada. She also sells puppies, and has contacts with many local dog owners who occasionally have puppies available. If she doesn't have what you are looking for, just ask her and perhaps she can track it down. You can call her at 913-1631 or send her an email at We have known Mina, her husband, Rafael, and their children since we moved to Mazatlán in 1992, and the more we hang out with them, the more we love and respect all of them. You won't regret leaving your precious Fido or Fluffly in their care.
Rafael Aguilar - Veternarian [top]
Rafael, animal lover, party animal, and all around fun guy. In addition to treating sick animals, Mina is always on the lookout for strays that she can rescue. Our best friends once had a very sick Chihuahua puppy, which desperately needed an IV inserted into one of its veins. They were unable to get ahold of Rafael initially, and brought the puppy to another vet. He tried was unable to insert the needle because the dogs veins were simply too small. He sent it home with them to die. Shortly thereafter, Rafael called and told them to bring the puppy right over. It took him several attempts, but he managed to insert the IV into the puppy without collapsing the vein. Our friends considered it a miracle. In addition to treating animals at his clinic, he and Mina will make house calls, and either treat or pick up and deliver your animals. We would never take our "family"anywhere else. They can be reached at the clinic at 981-6197 and at home at 914-5695. They are also online at
Dr. Jorge Morelos Chong - Dentist [top]
Jorge Chong, I now it's an oxymoron, but a gentle dentist and always a gentleman I know the last thing on your mind while you are on vacation is to see a dentist, but maybe you should think about it. If you have a lot of pending dental work, (and who doesn't?) you could save enough money to have it taken care of here to pay for your trip. Dr. Chong has been practicing dentistry for over 30 years. For the first 25 years he was in Mexico City, and for the last 5 years he has been in Mazatlán. He is very gentle, and according to my dentist in the USA, does excellant work. In fact, the last time I visited my dentist in California, he told me I should have 2 teeth filled, but that I might as well wait until I got to Mexico, because it would cost less and my dentist there does such a good job. Unlike the USA, the dentist himself does the cleaning and scaling. Also, Dr. Chong spends time with you, and doesn't just see you for five minutes while he is on his way to a different patient. A typical one surface filling costs 200 pesos, less than $25 at current prices. He is located upstairs above and toward the street from Kelly's bike shop, across from Citibank. He can be reached at 913-6068, and for emergencies at his home at 983-2098. His email address is
Gustavo Cervantes - Jeweler [top]
A photo of the Gustavo, always smiling. He'll include a song with your jewelery at no extra charge. Jewelry can be quite expensive in Mexico, especially in the tourist shops. The way to get a real bargain is to bring down the raw materials, and then hire Gustavo to make you the trinket of your dreams. He is not just a craftsman, but an artist, and has always exceeded our expectations. He is also totally honest, and will verify the gold content and weight of whatever you bring down before your eyes. His shop is a little hard to find. It is called El Arte, and is near the Banamex branch in the Zona Dorada. It is just behind the Elysse store that sells tennis outfits. Search him out, and you'll be glad you did. His phone number is 914-8411
Chrissy Smith-Hutchon - Hair Stylist [top]
Chrissy, with her cute bob haircut and fetching smile We've known Chrissy for many years now, through good times and bad, and yet we've never seen her lose her cheerful outlook on life. Along the way she used to come over to our house to cut our hair, just as a favor, but eventually decided that she should go into business for herself. She started her own little beauty salon last year (1997), and has been giving great haircuts ever since. She is a Brit, and was trained in London, so you may have to bring an English-English dictionary to understand her, but it is always fun to listen to her talk. She has just opened (Feb. 1999) a new shop in the Golden Zone. The address is 4480 Plaza Balboa #12, right next door to the Balboa Towers. She is in the back, behind Noroeste Net and a swimming pool equipment store. Her new shop, called Christine's European Salon, also provides manicures, petticures, and a relaxing massage therapist. She is open from 10am to 7pm and you can call her at 916-7077. She also has a coupongood for 10% off all services. Try her, and you'll get the best haircut you ever had.
Carlos Gonzalez - Insurance Agent [top]
Carlos, ready to make your home a safer place .Let me start by saying that in general, I don't like insurance agents. I especially don't like insurance agents who say "no problem" whenever I ask for something. In this particular case, I wanted the insurance company to agree to the value of our furnishings in advance of filing a claim. After all, our art and oriental carpets look a lot better now than they would after a fire or flood. Well, I went through at least four or five meetings with Carlos, where I presented him with what receipts and aprraisals I could come up with, and a list of the "special items" that I wanted covered. He came back with policy specifying each item, and a customized contract saying that the company agrees to the amounts that I presented. He never said, "no problem," but then again he didn't need to, because it wasn't. I was floored, and needless to say, whenever I want insurance I give Carlos a call. (We live on the beach, and a hurricane could really mess things up here.) Carlos was born in Mazatlán, and has been an insurance agent here in Mexico for almost 8 years, and represents Seguros Comercial America, one of the largest companies in Mexico. You can reach him at 914-3711, 914-1222 and 914-0065, or by email at
Jorge Buenrostro Felix - Attorney/Notary [top]
Jorge, who just can't quite bring himself to smile, even though he's a funny guy. Notarys here, are not like notaries in the USA. Here a Notary is a certified government agent, who must first complete a law degree before applying for the title of Notary. If you verbally promise something in front of Notary, it is considered a binding contract, and his testimony in court is considered as proof. Let me tell you a story about how we got involved with Jorge. Back in 1991, when we built our first house in Mazatlán, we were referred by our best friends to a well known notary to handle the paperwork for our house. He was considered the best notary in Mazatlán at the time. What we didn't know, however is that he was in the process of running for mayor of the city. Well, we paid all of the fees, and provided him with all of the information that he required, and then we waited. We waited some more, and after returning back to Mazatlán after a trip during the summer, we dismayed to discover that the campaign for mayor had taken its toll, and that the suffered an massive heart attack and died. Also, as it turned out, he had spent all of the money he had been paid on his political campaign. We were basically stuck, until we discovered that Jorge Buenrostro had agreed to take over all of the dead notary's pending projects. Since then he completed the trust agreements for the original house that we built back in 1991, as well as at least 5 or 6 other legal transactions that we have been involved with. Jorge can always be counted on to greet you with a smile, entertain you with his wicked sense of humor, and do a good job on your all of your real-estate transactions. He has since become a family friend, and I'm sure your experiences with him and his office will be as pleasant as ours have been. In addition to handling real estate trusts and promissary notes, he can also help you set up your own Mexicoan corporation, and any other legal matters you are worried about. You can contact Jorge at his office at 981-5083 or 981-0707, or via email at
Linda Ramirez - Pharmacist [top]
Linda Ramirez, owner and operator of the Belmar Pharmacy, and all around nice person. One of the great things about living in Mexico is that you can visit a pharmacy and buy whatever medication you might need, without having to go through an office visit with a doctor. Nadine and I find that ninety percent of the time, we know what is wrong with us, and the last thing we need is to wait two weeks for a doctor's appointment just so he can collect his fee and write us a prescription. Over the years we have tried just about every pharmacy in the area, and the we can honestly say that none has been as helpful and professional as the Belmar Pharmacy right across the street from the Balboa Club. It is owned and operated by Linda Ramirez, who has been in the business for more than twenty five years. She has travelled a lot around the world, and knows what it is like to be in a foreign country and in need of medication. She will go out of her way to answer your questions and track down whatever drugs you might need. She will deliver to your home or your hotel, and her English is as good as it gets. You can even order your drugs over the phone, before you leave the USA or Canada, and have them waiting for you when you get here. You can contact her by phone at 011-52669-914-3343 or 011-52669-913-7475, or via email at Linda has been kind enough to put together a tableof the most commonly prescribed drugs and their prices here in Mexico, in case you are interested.
Rossy and Patty - Massage Therapists [top]
Rossy Tapia and Patty Reyes are ready to put you in relaxation Nirvana Stressed out from too much bargaining with the beach vendors? Timeshare come-ons got you down? Had one too many margaritas at your local watering hole? Maybe you've earned the right to be truly and deeply relaxed!There is no better place to achieve this state of Nirvana than at International Massage, located just up the street from Heather's Placeand across the street from Oceano Palace. Just follow the footsteps up the few stairs to their front door, you'll be glad you did. They are located at Ave. Camarón Sábalo, #2601-5, just underneath the El Patio Restaurant. It wouldn't be a bad idea to call them at 913-1696 and make an appointment, to make sure they aren't already booked. Tell them Nadine and Henry sent you, and they may even give you the local's discount!
Jim Goodman - Home Inspector [top]
Jim Goodman, home inspectorFirst the disclaimers. I don't have any direct personal experience with using Jim on a project, however I have spoken with him and several of his past clients, all of whom were happy with his services. I found him knowledgable, and friendly, and wouldn't hesitate to use his services if I needed them.

Jim has lived in Mazatlán full time since 2003, and worked in construction and as a licensed general contractor in Denver for over 30 years. He writes this about himself:

My experience as a general contractor, working with my structural, electrical, plumbing, mechanical and finish subcontractors, has educated me in the elements necessary to construct and maintain a home or commercial building. I would like to share my knowledge with those planning to purchase property here. I am happy to spend an hour with you to tell you what I see. I don't charge for this service and I don't offer a written report and honestly, I am hoping for the opportunity to bid and build your project.

Here are some general observations:

  1. Older homes may be rough around the edges and still be structurally sound. You should plan to replace the electrical and plumbing systems.
  2. Wood windows, doors and beams are beautiful, however if they are constantly exposed to sun and rain, will require a lot of maintenance. Consider using aluminum for windows, concrete for beams and protect your wood doors with roof projections.
  3. In my opinion flat roof areas should be recoated with a good quality impermeabilizante every 2 to 3 years. You want to keep our salty atmosphere from penetrating roof decks and reaching the reinforcing elements.
  4. Remember that our construction style is generally solid masonry, with no hollow walls, attics or crawlspaces. Once things are covered they are hidden, so find a contractor and architect that you can trust. Sometimes even the pros have to guess based on past experience what will be found when a home is remodeled.

If you are planning to build a house here and can't be present to personally supervise the construction, I (Henry) strongly suggest you hire Jim to be your eyes and ears. He will visit the construction site daily, and report back to you any anomalies that he discovers. Believe me, catching mistakes early makes a huge difference in the bottom line, especially when you are dealing with concrete! You can reach Jim by phone locally at 914-0457, or in the USA at (720) 249-2678, and via email at j12g345@yahoo.comHe also has a www site.

Juan Antonio Barragan Arias [top]
Juan Antonio, translator

We have known Juan Antonio for several years know, and he is a bright, honorable, kind, and decent man, with a fantastic outlook on life. He has been helping us with our pet project, the Amigos de los Animales Shelter for the last two years. In his day job, he is a translator, both written and oral. If you are planning a meeting where you need to have simultaneous translations done, Juan Antonio is your man. If you need a document translated from/to English or Spanish, give him a call. Here is what he write about himself:

Juan Antonio Barragan Arias, From Grupo Barra Traductores is a Translator Accredited (English-Spanish-English) by the American Consulate General in Hermosillo, the U.S Consular Office at Mazatlán, for Mexico, he is authorized as an official translator by the Federal Judicial System of Mexico and the State of Sinaloa District Attorney's Office. He is an Active Member of the American Association of Translators and the Mexican Translator Organization.

Mr. Barragan has 14 years experience as a Spanish-English, French to Spanish translator and simultaneous interpretation mainly on the fields of law, business administration, accounting, health care, biology, agronomy and tourism, and has provided his services as translator to the Mexican business community, State and Federal Government, as well as the U.S. Embassy and to international corporations doing business in Mexico. His company has all the necessary equipment to carry out the simultaneous interpretations servicing up to 600 people so far.

He got his bachelor of science degree from the Universidad Autonama de Guadalajara and studied for his Master degree at the Instituto Tecnologico de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey.

His office is located on:
Av. Camarón Sábalo 2100-d (In front of the Luna Palace Hotel)
Business hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday trough Saturday.
Phone: +52 (669) 914-24-73
Fax: + 52 (669) 913-12-27
Cel.: + 52-1 (669) 163-74-99

Geoff Simons, Furniture Craftsman [top]

Let me tell you a couple of secrets about building (or remodelling) a house in Mazatlán. At first you can't believe how fast everyone is working. It seems that your house just springs out of the ground before your eyes. Before you know it, they are working on the second story, then the roof, and wow, it looks like you're going to be able to move in in a couple of weeks.

Then it comes to the floors and the cabinetry. You wait for the tile or marble to be delivered. You wait for the carpenter to show up. You wait for the carpenter to install the closets and cabinets. Then you yell at the carpenter because he did it all wrong. Then you wait for the carpenter to try again. Then you cry as you watch the carpenter install your cabinets and totally destroy the beautiful marble finish with his paint and lacquer. Then you scream and threaten bodily harm. Then you watch in disbelief ans the carpenter removes your cabinets and tells you that you need to pay him more before he comes back and re-installs them.

There are many great craftsmen in Mexico, who do absolutely beautiful work, up to a point. It's during that last 10% that disasters happen. That is when you need a guy like Geoff on your side. He will not only design your cabinets, closets, and whatever other furniture you might like to your specifications, but will also see to it that they are finished and installed the way you want them. It really pays to have someone who cares and understands on your side, so tell your architect you want Geoff to do the woodworking, you'll be glad you did.

To find out more about how to hire a carpenter, and about Geoff's business in particular, please look here. If want to contact Geoff, you can call him at home at 916-6331 or on his cell at 044-669-941-0458 or send him an email at

Quote of the day:
I just got wonderful news from my real estate agent in Florida. They found land on my property.
Milton Berle

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