Early Christmas gift: Green Bay Packers Nation discovered in Baja, Mexico


Like all devoted members of Green Bay Packers Nation watching or at the very least listening to a Packers game broadcast is all but an obligatory part of my week.

However, with a Packers playoff push in full tilt I was, to say the least, concerned about my ability to uphold my duty to root on the Green Bay Packers.

Soon after the schedule comes out the games and start times are added to the calendar and anything short of death is sure to get bumped in favor of the Green and Gold.

For the holidays, my wife and I arranged a visit to Baja Sur Mexico. My wife’s family owns a palapa house on Burro Beach on the Sea of Cortez in the Bay of Concepcion.

Sounds complicated, but let me put it this way – as I write this blog with the sun rising and shining warmly on my face, if I set my laptop aside and took no more than five steps forward from their porch my feet would be warmed by the 72 degree waters of the sea.

The Packers fans cheer as loudly in Mexico as in Wisconsin. Here Patrick Hughes (background wearing green and sporting a beard) joins fellow Packers fans at Mark & Olivia’s Playa Buenaventura.

No complaints …

However, with a Packers playoff push in full tilt I was, to say the least, concerned about my ability to uphold my duty to root on the Green Bay Packers.

In the land of composting toilets, solar electricity and spotty satellite Internet connection it seemed there was a fair chance I might be inactive for both the game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and most important the Week 17 matchup with the Detroit Lions.

The night prior to our departure I subscribed to NFL.com’s Audio Pass. I figured at the very least I could travel into Mulege, a town 12 miles up the road and take up residence at an Internet café for a few hours and listen to Wayne and Larry describe the action.

What’s more in tune than the Green Bay Packers and the country of Mexico?

This I surmised was a suitable plan B if catching the telecast was not an option.

We flew into the small town of Loreto from Portland via LAX on Saturday morning. I knew I would have less than 24 hours to get this Green & Gold mission sorted out.

Erin’s parents picked us up and drove the hour and a half back to their winter home on the beach.

Her stepfather relayed that he could get the game via Canadian satellite TV broadcast he has somehow finagled. But after a closer look that plan was foiled, not surprising considering the Packers were playing the hapless Buccaneers and the networks had bigger fish to fry.

Saturday evening we went to dinner and bumped into some fans of the blasted Seattle Seahawks.

They seem to be plentiful here and they are all very confident, wryly turning up their nose at the thought of the Packers being a worthy opponent. However, the enemy proved to hold valuable information.

The Seahawks fans relayed that there was a bar just up the road, less than a 10-minute drive from where we were staying at Buenaventura Beach that was owned by a Packers fan and they suspected the game would be on TV there.

So of course Sunday morning just prior to kickoff my wife, mother-in-law and I traveled up the road to investigate said Packers bar.

I was excited and optimistic, but still a part of me doubted the odds that 4,000 miles away from Green Bay, Wisconsin, on an isolated section of Mexican Highway 1 I would stumble upon a Packers bar.

As we walk in the first thing I spy is a Cheesehead. Things are looking up. I glance to the television. There is a satellite connection and it appears to be counting down to the Packers vs. Buccaneers broadcast. I nervously ask the woman behind the bar if the game will be shown, she replies Si.


The bartender emerges, his name is Mark. As it turns out he is from DePere, Wisconsin, and once resided next to the legendary Bart Starr.

Patrick Hughes loves his Packers, whether he is lifting a beer at Lambeau Field or in Mexico.

Mark is the owner of Mark & Olivia’s Playa Buenaventura, an alluring bar and restaurant with obvious Wisconsin DNA, that if not for the Sea of Cortez a stones-throw from the bar it might be mistaken for a mountain town tavern of the Western United States.

Soon after we introduced ourselves to Mark, in walked Paul and Gayle Curtis, Packers fans as well. Paul is originally from Milwaukee and Gayle from Missouri. I welcomed them with a serenade of “Here We Go Packers!” Obviously excited to be in the company of my brethren, I extended a hand for a high five.

We had great fun with Mark, Paul and Gayle, sharing Packer stories and cheering Green Bay on to a decisive 20-3 victory over the Buccaneers.

In addition to the obvious reason of being able to watch the Packers’ game in the far flung corners of Baja, Mexico, this experience was gratifying for another reason.

Some of you may recall a Kickstarter campaign I launched in the spring of 2014, On the Road with the Green & Gold – A Journey into Packer Nation.

This venture unfortunately did not materialize, but this adventure proved my suspicions correct that there are stories to be made and shared and community to cultivate across Packers Nation.