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An Expat Talks about Living in Saltillo, Mexico

Submitted by Xanaidah

What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?

Saltillo

How long have you lived there?

1 1/2 years

What activities, clubs and organizations would you recommend to newcomers to help them meet others?

Saltillo appears to be a much friendlier city than others I have lived in (Puebla, Cuernavaca, Toluca). However, it was not easy to get to know people until I got connected with the Saltillo International Church (www.saltillointerationalchurch.com). They have bilingual services on Sundays, and for those who may not be "church-y" (or, like me, prefer the neighborhood church) have book studies for adults, men, and women throughout the week.

Also, if your Spanish is decent www.desaltillo.com is helpful to find out events that are going on in town. If you friend them on facebook, they'll send daily updates--so helpful for me, as we don't regularly buy the newspaper.

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In terms of religious, racial, economic and cultural diversity, are the people of this city or town diverse? Are they accepting of differences? Describe.

Like most of Mexico, Saltillo is fairly homogeneous, both racially, culturally, and religiously (although at times it feels that there are nearly as many tiny, hole-in-the-wall Protestant churches as there are large Catholic ones).

While I fit the mold, I can't really say whether they are accepting of differences. But the prevailing attitude seems to be that of "live and let live".

What are the main industries in this city? What types of career opportunities commonly exist? How do most people find new jobs?

The automotive industry is huge--GM, Chrysler, Daimler, John Deere, among others, and their suppliers have plants here. With my husband being a Mexican engineer, we always knew that we'd live here someday.

And if we ever move away, we'll probably be sent back, sooner or later.

Good thing I like it here!

In general, what are peoples' priorities in this city? For example, do lives revolve around work, family, socializing, sports, etc.?

Saltillo is a small city/large town, so it's relatively quiet here. People here seem more respectful of their neighbors than in other areas of Mexico. For example, in general people don't blare their music from their homes or use their car horns as doorbells.

People work hard and enjoy their families. While social stratification runs the gamut here, in general people are friendly and laid-back.

While soccer is still a huge pastime, baseball appears to be just as popular, if not more popular, than soccer. Saltillo's professional baseball team won the 2009 national championship, and I always hear my neighbor kids hitting a ball around.

Saltillenses are good runners, too. Every June, the city hosts a half-marathon, and throughout the year there are a variety of 5K and 10K races.

Saltillo also boasts a plethora of good public parks--great for picnics, enjoying some green spaces, or playgrounds for kids.

If a friend of yours was thinking of moving to this city or town from far away, what other advice would you give them.

Get out, see the town. Clearly, learning Spanish makes getting out a lot easier, so learn Spanish (again, people here are pretty patient, so it's a great community to try perfecting one's broken Spanish).

The downtown has a lot to offer, between the Alameda, Plaza de Armas, and various free/cheap museums. The Serape Museum is my favorite, and, as creepy as it sounds, the Bird Museum is pretty interesting (and in the summer, well worth spending 10 pesos for an hour or so in the air-conditioning).

If your company is moving you, they'll probably suggest that you live in the way north side of the city--this is a nice area of town and may be advantageous as it seems that most expats live there. However, do consider the Republica neighborhood, downtown, and the south side of town. They're all great places to live, within walking distance of points of interest, and often a lot cheaper than the northern neighborhoods.

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