What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?
How long have you lived there?
What activities, clubs and organizations would you recommend to newcomers to help them meet others?
MazInfo Yahoo Group and Sunday get-together, MazAmigos get-together, several ladies and mens lunches held weekly, Tourist Aide volunteers, Amigos de los Animals shelter volunteering, La Vina church, Friends of Mexico, American Library, discussion groups, exercise and dance classes, karaoke nights, walking the Malecon (seawalk), reading the Pacific Pearl and Maz Messenger magazines for activities schedules.
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 don't think there is as much diversity here as there is in other parts of the world, or even other parts of Mexico. I get the impression that most Mexicans here were born and raised in Mazatlan, or came here because they had family here. But they are very tolerant of us crazy expats! Economically, Mazatlan is very diverse. Besides being a tourist destination, we are the home of Pacifico Beer, and one of the largest shrimping fleets in the world! Mazatlan is also a major port for import/export. So we have a lot of "little worlds" going on within our larger one.
What are the main industries in this city? What types of career opportunities commonly exist? How do most people find new jobs?
Most expats here are retirees, but I do know several people who operate their own businesses, such as computer repair, construction, publishing, operating restaurants, teaching English. Most expats who are employees, have either been sent here by their foreign employers, or sell real estate or timeshares--and with the current economy, they are struggling with that!
In general, what are peoples' priorities in this city? For example, do lives revolve around work, family, socializing, sports, etc.?
For expats, Mazatlan is a very small town in a large city! It is easy to meet other expats, and we look out for one another. Walk through Centro, the tourist zone, or down the Malecon and odds are good that you'll see someone you know! Most of us are involved in at least one volunteer effort, trying to help make the lives of our gracious hosts just a little better. The citizens of Mazatlan are great people! Family is the most important thing, but people are very involved in earning a living, watching our baseball team (Venados), and enjoying life by the ocean.
If a friend of yours was thinking of moving to this city or town from far away, what other advice would you give them.
Do it! Mazatlan is a wonderful place to live! We have annual Carnaval and Motorcycle Week celebrations, and there is always some activity going on. There is drug violence, but it is extremely rare for expats to be affected in any way by it. Use the same cautions you would use in any large city. Bring only your electronics, clothes, and things you absolutely can't live without, because moving your goods is very expensive, and prices for replacing them here are very reasonable. Learn as much Spanish as you can (of course!); for a tourist city there were not as many English speaking merchants and service people as I thought there would be. Make an effort to speak Spanish to the people, even if you mangle the language, they will think much more highly of you for trying!