The Transience of Friendships in Mazatlán


I’ve lived a lot of places: Wisconsin, the San Francisco Bay area, Tokyo, Kyoto, Hamamatsu, Salamanca, Mexico City, Kansas City… What has been a defining factor of friendships in Mazatlán for me has been transience. Maybe I’m unique, or maybe you’ve had similar experiences?

Many of the most interesting Mazatlecos I’ve met have been world travelers; their children often leave for school, marry and have children abroad, and the parents are then split between worlds. Quite a few of the expats we have met and grown to love here, even though full-timers, have gone home, moved nearer their grandchildren, or moved on to a new location; wanderlust is in their blood. Nationals love it here, but several of those we’ve become most fond of have been called to another city, transferred by their employers or moving because life here has gotten tough or taken a new turn.

In Tokyo or Mexico City, the people I met and loved, Japanese or foreign, tended to be settled there for life. Yes, there are plenty of born and bred Mazatlecos, or people who have lived here 30 years or more. But, somehow, I am able to quite easily count two hands’ worth of fingers of people I’ve loved and lost to moving in the mere eight years I’ve lived here.

There’s sadness in that, of course, but there are upsides as well. We can travel to visit these friends. We can stay in touch over the distance, and share glimpses into life in other areas. And, to me, it’s proof we are blessed here in Mazatlán with friendships with people who are intelligent, interesting and vibrant, people who embrace life fully and who see the world as their home.

One such beloved family we met through our son, Danny. Danny went to secundaria at Colegio Andes with another US American girl, Sierra, and her little brother, Kelton. Her father, Brian, taught there. Heidi, the Mom, works at El Cid, so we still get to see her occasionally, though she splits her time between here and her family in Portland. They moved because they wanted a different, better in their opinion, education for their kids. We miss them dearly. They were fun. They are fun. Adventurous. Curious. Crazy. Global minded. Outdoorsy. They were just a whole lot more fun when they lived here, close by, and we were able to join them for an adventure or to create some memories.

We saw the Samore family on a recent trip to Portland, and of course they come to Mazatlán to visit every once in a while. They’ll be here soon. You may know them and miss them, too.

This morning we were fortunate to receive a copy of an article in the school newspaper of the high school where Brian currently works. I want to share it with you, because it is a testament to the caliber of the people, the kind of weirdness and passion, we are privileged to be able to share space and time with here in Mazatlán. Although we miss them, we are so privileged to be able to call them friends. Whether you live here in Mazatlán, spend part of the year here, or are hoping to move here, we wish you wonderful friendships!


About Dianne Hofner Saphiere

There are loads of talented people in this gorgeous world of ours. We all have a unique contribution to make, and if we collaborate, I am confident we have all the pieces we need to solve any problem we face. I have been an intercultural organizational effectiveness consultant since 1979, working primarily with for-profit multinational corporations. I lived and worked in Japan in the late 70s through the 80s, and currently live in and work from México, where with a wonderful partner we've raised a bicultural, global-minded son. I have worked with organizations and people from over 100 nations in my career. What's your story?

4 thoughts on “The Transience of Friendships in Mazatlán

  1. Hey, just wanted you to know that there is a group of men/women who show up on Saturdays (about 10:30) to play hockey at the Gran Plaza skating rink…you may be interested in checking this out…

    • I’d heard about your group from Guy, Lorraine. I guess you can’t take the cold, snow and hockey out of the northerner, right? 😉 I’ll do my best to come by one Saturday, take some photos and interview a couple of you. Or, if you’d like to send in a story with a pic or two, I’m happy to look it over and credit the writer. Have a great weekend! Thank you!

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