American Family Living in Mexico Since 1981 Publishes Candid Travel Guide to Cancun

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Save money and have more fun in Cancun! "Cancun User's Guide 2005" is filled with favorite people, places, and things based on more than twenty years of living and working in Cancun. Written by Jules Siegel (with Anita Brown and Faera, Eli and Jesse Siegel), the continuously updated print-on-demand book contains 204 pages of home-grown information, maps and illustrations. Available at:

The "Cancun User's Guide 2005" ( contains 204 pages of candid advice, recommendations and cultural information about Mexico and the Mayas illustrated with photographs, drawings and maps. It will not only help readers save money and have more fun when visiting Cancun, but also understand Mexico better.

Celebrated writer Jules Siegel (Playboy, Best American Short Stories, Rolling Stone) and his family have lived and worked in Cancun since 1983. The Cancun User's Guide is printed on demand using on-demand publishing tool Lulu ( ), which allows it to be continuously revised. "The book you have is the book we lived," Jules says. "We're still living it, so the book is always growing."

Cancun is not just a tourism resort, Jules Siegel explains, but a brilliant example of modern Mexican economic planning and social engineering. Siegel also runs ( and administers Newsroom-l ( ), a journalism discussion list.

More than half of the Cancun User's Guide 2005 is devoted to the Cancun Directory, in which the Siegels share their vast store of local survival secrets in an alphabetical listing of topics that other guide books rarely cover, including bribery, prostitution and nude beaches. The book has the mordant honesty and ferocious humor of Siegel's now-classic profiles of superstars Brian Wilson and Bob Dylan.

The story behind the book is just as interesting. When the Siegel family left the United States in 1981, Jules Siegel had an assignment to do the Playboy Interview with then-president José López-Portillo--not a trivial task, as it turned out. He writes, "I gave up after waiting eight years (and three presidents) when a presidential security guard commiserated, 'Siempre dicen sí; nunca dicen cuando.'-- 'They always say yes, but they never say when.' I guess Playboy is a little too risqué for Mexican presidents." Meanwhile, Jules had returned to his original trade of graphic design to survive.

"We were broke a lot of the time, had innumerable scrapes with greedy landlords and rapacious employers," Siegel writes. "I went to jail for three days, falsely accused of fraud. Justice triumphed, fortunately. The jail was one of those experiences you really need to write a book like this, but not one that you tend to look for with the same zeal as a Playboy interview with a head of state."

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