The Complexities of Mexico by Todd Rutherford

Everyone is aware of the constant reports about the criminal element that is supposed to have taken over the alluring country of Mexico. From the soft beaches and sparkling blue waters of Cancun to Mexicali, it seems no one is safe there anymore. There is no doubt that Felipe Calderon, the President, has his hands full trying to keep violence down and tourism up. However, there is a little-known, quiet side to Mexico that doesn’t get such negative press.

Upon visiting the towns that are just outside the tourist areas, one finds the other Mexico-perhaps even a more memorable one. When traveling there it’s not unusual to see that the expensive resort areas have been developed side-by-side with the blowing grasses and the burros of the less affluent. This is the simple side to Mexico that remains untouched by modern society.

In Rudi Unterthiner’s book, Faces, Souls, and Painted Crows, the author brings to life such a town; it’s called Puertecitos, near Baja. He describes the simple, warm and caring people that populate the area with their histories and beliefs that gently expose their simplicity and beauty. The lead character in the book, Dr. Paul Reiter and his family, have relocated to Puertecitos in an attempt to find balance and perspective in their lives. The intriguing people they meet help a struggling Paul realize his worth as a man and as a surgeon-and ultimately bring peace to his troubled soul. Unterthiner’s tale is certainly a welcome and soothing departure from the usual horror stories we normally hear about Mexico.

Rudi Unterthiner has written this pseudo-autobiography after having become disillusioned with the plastic surgery he performed for purely cosmetic reasons. He was truly experiencing an inner struggle with something decidedly akin to guilt. His wealthy, former patients, who had such a clear conception of what beauty should look like externally, often had no clue about inner beauty. Unterthiner felt he needed cleansing, so to speak, or absolving from these shallow, pointless surgical procedures in which he played a major part. Fortunately his wife, who is a Ute-Shoshone Indian, was with her husband through his crisis of self-discovery-offering support, and at times, forgiveness.

In Faces, Souls, and Painted Crows, the author reminds us that there are wonderful people to be found everywhere. Under the baking sun of Mexico, in the shadow of crime-ridden cities, Puertecitos is home to a gentle people who take Dr. Reiter by the hand and teach him compassion, forgiveness, and true purpose in life. Read this wonderful story of self-discovery and be uplifted and inspired.

Find out more about Faces, Souls, and Painted Crows by visiting

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