San Carlos & Guaymas, Sonora Update

This week, I made a quick trip to Horst Engineering de Mexico. I hadn’t been to our maquiladora since last November, and a lot has changed. I was excited to visit the plant and see the improvements. We have added several new processes (centerless bar grinding and thread rolling) that we previously only did at our main East Hartford, Connecticut operation, and we have introduced passivation, a new special process for both locations.

The Sonoran economy is making a long slow recovery. The industrial base is seeing improvements and we are anxious for a stronger aerospace business pickup in Mexico. The tourist economy in San Carlos is still weak. The hotel is always half empty. With the exception of some other business travelers and a small conference, there wasn’t much going on. I was shocked to see several new restaurants. I joked with several “locals” about the market conditions, which couldn’t support the restaurants that were already open, never mind the new one that was offering 2 for 1 specials. Sometimes, people make business decisions for personal reasons and return on investment calculations are not based on market fundamentals. I find that odd.

The trip to Guaymas from Hartford isn’t a pleasant one. I was supposed to take a mid-afternoon flight from Hartford, Connecticut to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and then a flight to Phoenix, Arizona. Then, I was supposed to spend the night at a Phoenix airport area motel before catching a mid-morning flight (only one a day) the next day to Guaymas. With the awful spring weather, my flight to Pittsburgh was delayed so much that I would miss my connection, so I flew to Charlotte, North Carolina in an attempt to make a later Phoenix flight. I did the airport dash and came up short by less than 60 seconds. The gate door was closed and I was out of luck. Rather than go through the trouble of taking a shuttle to a motel, I spent the night at the Charlotte airport and caught an early morning flight to Phoenix, which gave me only minutes to make my Guaymas connection. It wasn’t any fun, but that is air travel in 2011.

Fortunately, the return trip was without a hitch, though the “red-eye” overnight flight from Phoenix is never fun. I connected through Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and was at work by 9:30 A.M. today. What a week! I got up early both days in San Carlos so that I could run. I didn’t have much time, but I got out a bit. The second morning was crazy. I was zoned out, listening to my iPod, when all of a sudden, I was being chased by a small pack of dogs. These were not nice dogs. I was forced to out-sprint them and scramble up on to a four-foot-high concrete block. Thankfully, they went back to their “camp” after a few minutes. I should have expected the “attack” and will be better prepared next time. These same dogs have given  me trouble on prior trips.

Side note: before last night’s flight, I had a nasty 8-hour layover in Phoenix. Like I said, the trip is brutal. I took the shuttle to the Metro and then rode the train to Tempe. I hung out for a while and then took the free shuttle to green New American Vegetarian restaurant. It was very good. I got in a fair amount of walking (pulling my roller bag behind me) on a beautiful Arizona evening. I was back at Sky Harbor by 9:30 and back to my Outlook Inbox…

1 Response to “San Carlos & Guaymas, Sonora Update”



  1. 1 2011 Shamrock Duathlon « Life Adventures Trackback on 22 May 2011 at 12:55 pm

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