What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?
How long have you lived there?
1.5 years, part time
What activities, clubs and organizations would you recommend to newcomers to help them meet others?
There are several local charities you can get involved in, to meet expats and locals, from animals, toy drives, school drives - whatever your interest. There is also the English Language Library in Merida that has many interesting programs.
In terms of religious, racial, economic and cultural diversity, are the people of this city or town diverse? Are they accepting of differences? Describe.
People are not too diverse, there are mostly folks of Mayan descent, as well as others from Mexico who have relocated to the area. Expats are mostly Brits, Canadians, and US, and are a growing population. The area is incredibly accepting of foreigners, gay, free thinking, and many diverse groups. The people are very welcoming and friendly.
What are the main industries in this city? What types of career opportunities commonly exist? How do most people find new jobs?
The rate of pay would not interest most folks of the US, as a professional can earn around $1500 usd/month for an educated position. The best option is for those with a job that is transportable, so that they can earn US wages, but work anywhere - something that can be done remotely via computer, for example.
In general, what are peoples' priorities in this city? For example, do lives revolve around work, family, socializing, sports, etc.?
Out at the beach areas around Progreso (Chelem is 5 miles west of Progreso) it has more to do with a relaxed pace of life, walks on the beach, and animal and children charities.
In Merida (30 miles inland from Chelem) it is more social, with restaurants and cultural events playing a larger part.
If a friend of yours was thinking of moving to this city or town from far away, what other advice would you give them.
Learn the area, explore, visit. Fly in to Merida, a lovely colonial city with a large historic center dating to the 1500's, and also modern conveniences such as Home Depot and Starbucks. Stay a few days out at the beach area to relax. Read up on the area from other expats at www.yolisto.com