Mexico has suffered a bum rap over the past few years. Drug lords, gang violence, swine flu ... the combination has translated into a dramatic falloff in this country's appeal for would-be American retirees. Meantime, Mexico is home to more than a million American expats. They can't all be misguided.
An army is invading Mazatlan. Its troopers are architects, painters, carpenters, plumbers and electricians. Their mission: to create a major new tourism attraction by restoring the colonial splendor of dozens of blocks of crumbling, long-neglected buildings running inland from the town's cruise docks.