Sonoran Growth

Last week, I visited Horst Engineering de Mexico in Guaymas, Sonora. I hadn’t been to our maquiladora operation since last fall. Every time I return to Sonora, I’m amazed at the growth. Thankfully, the border violence that flared up in Nogales three years ago has quieted down. Now, the border (which I haven’t seen three years), is getting major infrastructure investment in preparation for even more activity.

We have seen positive quoting activity for precision machining in our core aerospace and industrial market bases. The aerospace, oil & gas, power generation, heavy truck, construction, and automotive sectors are all contributing to stronger manufacturing activity in Mexico. Our team is poised to capitalize on these opportunities. There is a lot of interest in manufacturing in Mexico right now. Southern Sonora, where we are located, is a safe working environment with a good base of skilled engineering and manufacturing workers. We work closely with The Offshore Group and their Sonoran operation, Maquilas Tetakawi.

I’m no expert on the larger economic outlook for Sonora or Mexico, but there are positive signs that the manufacturing slump is over. We haven’t seen the surge in orders that some suppliers have gotten, but we also didn’t suffer as much during the downturn. The automotive sector is a huge driver for Sonora’s economy with a major Ford plant in Hermosillo and many suppliers are also located there to support the major OEM customer. Some of these automotive shops are going gangbusters, but just three years ago, many of them were on the brink.

Guaymas is also developing a deep water port to handle the large cargo ships that clog the port of Long Beach in California. The vision is that the city would become a major hub of international shipping activity for North America. A Guaymas alternative requires better roads and railroads. That infrastructure is being upgraded throughout the state so that the south to north corridor through Sonora and Arizona becomes an even greater pipeline of commerce.

Even the little village of San Carlos that is adjacent to Guaymas is getting a slow by steady overhaul. San Carlos is where many expatriates and retirees live. It also has a tourist economy for driven by both Mexicans and foreigners. However, the recession and uptick in Mexican drug related violence hurt tourism badly. Also, Hurricane Henriette did a lot of damage in 2007 that is still being repaired.

Despite the seeming lack of foot traffic in San Carlos establishments, there were several new restaurants, new gas stations, new convenience stores, a larger supermarket, and lots of fresh asphalt. It is an election year in Sonora, so uncertainties remain about future development, but apparently some investors are deploying the “build it and they will come” strategy. I wish that there was a stronger environmental focus. Recycling is still minimal and the there is a lot of trash to deal with.

I was able to get out for a couple of early morning runs, and I was once again disappointed by all of the litter. Easter Week is a big party week in San Carlos, and it just passed. It is like their “spring break,” and loads of youth converge on the sleepy village. Broken bottles and garbage remained on the roads, tangled in the cactus, and lodged in every conceivable place. San Carlos and Guaymas are a terrible place to ride a bicycle. You would get a lot of tire punctures from all of that glass in the roads.

It really is a shame that there is such a lack of respect for the physical environment because there is a lot of nature to love in Sonora. My recent trips have been all business, but in the past I visited Nacapule Canyon, and even in the bush, there was a lot of garbage. There was no hint of Earth Day plans when I visited last week. For the sake of the environment, let’s hope that the situation improves.

My trip was short, and my flight back to Phoenix was on a Bombardier C900, so it was even quicker than the usual prop plane. I was glad to see progress at our operation and at the other companies that choose to do business in Sonora.

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@thecubscouts #pinewoodderby never gets old. Pack 157 Bolton, Connecticut #cubscouts So that little injury caused by my @renocxnats crash on Saturday afternoon wasn’t so little after all. It’s a broken leg (fibula). Prognosis is good, but it hurts like heck. My blog post report with blow by blow details is linked in my profile. #cxnats #teamhorstsports @horsteng #crossspikes #crossisboss - - -

This #lifedeathcyclocross stuff is true!!!! I crashed out of the Singlespeed Championship @renocxnats (on the dreaded off-camber) but not before having more fun. @artroti43 raced on the frosty course ❄️ at day break. 🚴🏽 We met a lot more @horsteng #crossspikes customers. I hung with little bunny hopper 🐰 Miles, the Junior 11-12 year old Silver Medalist.🥈I cheered for Nic, who represented @the_ccap in the Junior 15-16 age group. @sportstert and Iva came down from Tahoe to cheer LOUDLY for me. 🎺 I got my badly sprained ankle taped and iced. I had a beer. 🍺 I’m even looking forward to my red eye flight home ✈️ . Best of all, I’ll see @trailrunningmom and the kids on Sunday. I can’t explain the sensation, but despite the pain, I’m ready for next #Cyclocross season to begin... after some rest. #teamhorstsports #cxnats #horstengineering @parkavebikeshop #crossisboss #lifedeathcyclocross #crossiscoming You could say that at least for this week, I’m married to my #bicycle - - -

@renocxnats #cxnats @seven_cycles #sevencycles #teamhorstsports #horstengineering #crossspikes @horsteng #chapelofthebells #Cyclocross #lifedeathcyclocross Good day representing @horsteng at @renocxnats in the 45-49 age group. It’s a great course. The wind was blowing hard, but the sun finally came out. I’m happy with 37th place but should have made a move to get to 29th, which was 30 seconds ahead. That’s a long way when you are going flat out and cramping. 4,500 foot elevation was a factor. I’m disappointed that they cut one lap of my race when I wasn’t close to getting lapped by the leaders. You train this hard and come all this way; and you want to get the most racing for the $ and time invested. They only let 25 riders do the full six laps. The only positive to come out of that was that I watched fellow New Englander @adammyerson execute a perfect final sprint to win the Stars and Stripes again. Teammate @artroti43 had a good ride too. 
@seven_cycles #sevencycles #horstengineering #teamhorstsports @bicycleseastct #crossspikes #cxnats #renocxnats #Cyclocross #crossisboss @therichardsachs didn’t have the race he hoped for but it was still great to see him @renocxnats and “pit” for him. He said he officially started his second off season, but first of 2018. @artroti43 and I played soigneur/mechanic for 90 minutes, but minus the massage! atmo #renocxnats #richardsachs #teamhorstsports @horsteng #crossspikes #hauteframebuilding #Cyclocross #crossisboss #lifedeathcyclocross I previously hadn’t published this image, but it recently received an Honorable Mention in the 2017 @appalachianmountainclub Photo Contest for the People Outdoors category. Check out my blog (link in profile) for the interesting story of his photo (shot with this iPhone 6s), a trip report from this amazing Maine adventure, and past contest history. I love this image of two of my favorite women. I’m barred from submitting images to the 2018 contest, but I’ll be back in 2019. #appalachianmountainclub #baxterstatepark #katahdin Congratulations to Master Park, the Park Family, and the entire team at Park’s U.S. #Taekwondo at the Grand Opening of the new facility in the former VFW building. Our kids love it! So much better than being next door to the pawn shop and liquor store.😊#tkd 🇺🇸🇰🇷 This morning, the @trinitycollege Main Quad was bathed in beautiful sunshine ☀️but it was frigid and the wind was blowing! ❄️ The chapel was packed with an overflow crowd to celebrate the (shortened) life of a lovely friend. She will be missed. #circleoflife 🌏

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