Where the Sky Is Born

Jeanine Lee Kitchel

Subtitled “Living in the Land of the Maya,” this 217-page book by a former CN&R writer (late-’70s) belongs in the category of “travel fantasy,” except that it’s true. In 1985 Kitchel and her husband Paul were living a lucrative but hectic life in Silicon Valley, when on a trip to the Yucatan they met Alejandro, a charming Mexican-American businessman who was building a house in the tiny fishing village of Puerto Morelos. Inspired by his experience and offer of assistance, they decided they could do it, too. This book is a nicely written account of the challenges and adventures, including bushwhacking through both jungle and the Mexican bureaucracy, surviving a Class-5 hurricane and constructing their house, on their 10-year journey to living in their own seaside villa in one of the most unspoiled and beautiful areas of the Mexican Caribbean. Besides being a vivid portrait of two people making a radical lifestyle change, the book is “a cockeyed love letter to Mexico,” as the liner notes say, and an excellent primer for anyone thinking of building there.