Ibis had yesterday off and we spent the afternoon driving around town and just hanging out. He works so many hours that it's been almost a year since we had an afternoon to just be with each other. After one little errand (our toilet paper holder fell apart a couple days ago) we drove to Ixtapa to get ice cream. Then we walked out to the beach.
Zihuatanejo has a bay, but Ixtapa is a straight beach and gets pounded by bigger waves. I'd say they were between 8-10 feet high, so we stuck to the shore. While standing there we noticed little crabs popping out of their holes and scurrying around in the sand. They disappear amazingly fast, but before I could stop him, Ibis tore after a particularly large one. I looked around, wondering where my grown husband went. All I saw was a ten-year old boy chasing crabs.
He managed to catch one - it didn't pinch him, even when he started playing with its eyes - and we got an up close look at yet another local creature. After a few minutes he put the crab back in the sand, then chased it all over again. I crouched down to watch the sand because every few minutes at least ten crabs would spring to the surface, scramble around, then vanish back into their holes. Very cool.
Next we drove to the opposite end of town, towards the airport, for dinner. Along the way we passed almost 100 cars parked along the highway. They were on both sides of the road, and there were also several police trucks. My first thought was they were searching for a missing person, but then we noticed a lot of them had shovels and long pieces of wood.
"They're squatters," Ibis declared.
My knowledge of squatters is they move into abandoned buildings and claim them for their own. Parking along the side of the highway didn't fit into that equation. But he went on to explain that occasionally people get together, and as a group, pick out a piece of government land to claim for their own. They offer a small amount of money (we're talking a couple hundred dollars), then set up their homes.
It all seemed very organized - the police were mainly keeping people on the shoulder of the road since they were on the HIGHWAY. I'm curious to see what the papers report and if they actually got to take the land.