The idea hit Sarah and Steve Gallagher eight years ago during a sabbatical, a grand trip by van with their younger son to Mexico. They had driven from their home in Calais to the Southwest, then down Mexico’s Baja Peninsula; and eventually they meandered east to the central highlands, where they stopped in a small town, Cuitzeo in the state of Michoacan.
The family found an apartment for $72 a month, and liked the area so much they returned year after year, and in 2007, for $22,000, they bought a stone and adobe shack on a lot behind a 16th-century cathedral.
In Cuitzeo, the Gallaghers hike in the mountains, attend rodeos, watch parades and religious festivals, steam tamales over a camp stove and buy papayas and other fresh fruit at street markets. They and their son Isaac, who was age 11 on the first trip, are proficient in Spanish.
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