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An Expat Talks about Living in Zirahuen, Mexico

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

Zirahuen

How long have you lived there?

1 month

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

Hello. I lived in Patzcuaro for a year which is 20 minutes by car from Zirahuen. This is a very small pueblo next to the cleanest lake in Mexico, Lake Zirahuen. There are no organizations or mail service, even! The only reason to live here is the beautiful vast nature and lovely people and animals. To meet others one needs to just speak Spanish. There are Americans living here, but I've only met two at a party. One has a grand house. I've been told the others live in fenced in areas of little houses.

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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.

I would say from walking everywhere and taking a bus twice into Patzcuaro they are all Mexican. People in Patzcuaro and Zirahuen are accepting of me. It's like anyplace, I suppose. The way you treat others makes a difference in how you are treated. If they didn't like you, they would still be too polite to tell you.

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

Well, this isn't a city. I work as an artisan painting wood furniture. I give pieces away as I have a non-working visa. There are no industries. Farming, growing flowers, little stores for food, carpentry, a pharmacy, an open market selling fruit and vegetables, little restaurants, some horses for rent, a boat for tourists, cabanas for rent.

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

There is always time for socializing. People are helpful and friendly. Family is part of work. Most families live where they work. The manners of local people are very gracious. People raise cattle, horses, gather wood with burros. There are fishermen who use nets to catch fish in their canoes.

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

Have patience. There is no need to hurry here. If you like you can live with the gringos or speak Spanish and live with the local people.

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