Uruapan, Michoacán, Mexico: One of My Childhood Homes
When I was a kid living on the run with my mom and younger sister, we spent about a year living in Uruapan, in the Mexican state of Michoacán.
Recently, memories of Uruapan have been flooding back as we polish up that section of our book, Seven Years Running.
Our favorite place in Uruapan was the National Park, called Parque Nacional Eduardo Ruiz, also known as Parque Nacional de Uruapan, where we often hiked along the beautiful trails through the jungle, along the crystalline Cupatitzio River. I made a trip back to Uruapan in 2010 with Keith. I found some old friends, and of course, we made a trip back to the National Park!
Mossy cobblestone walkways led us over rock bridges, and past flowering tropical plants, gorgeous waterfalls, bubbling springs, and lovely stone fountains which sprayed the water into all sorts of shapes.
At one point we lived just a few blocks from this beautiful park, so we usually went every week. Here’s a lovely video of the park that I found on YouTube:
Sometimes brave men collect donations from the park visitors to jump from the high bridges or the roof of a gazebo at the edge of a cliff and into the river below. Once they collect enough money and a large enough crowd, they entertain the onlookers with their spectacular dives. Here’s a 25-second video I found:
Sadly, Uruapan in 2010 was not the same as it was in the late ‘80s when we lived there. It’s still a beautiful place, but it has grown more commercialized, with a huge Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club and other major shopping centers. We also saw many federales (federal police) patrolling the city, thanks to the problem with drug cartels. Late one night we heard a grenade explosion a kilometer or two from where we were staying. We learned the next day that it had killed a police officer. It just didn’t feel as safe as it used to. I hope that things have improved since 2010 and that Uruapan can return to being the peaceful city it is meant to be.
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My husband and I are nomads, having lived in over a dozen U.S. states, plus Mexico, Antarctica, and Ecuador. I write. I recently released the 2nd edition of my 2nd book, "Live Like a Local in Loja," and I'm looking for a publisher for my third book, "Seven Years Running"--the true story of my fugitive childhood.