What I think people "ought" to know before moving to Mexico:
Central Mexico, because of its altitude, has far better year-round climate than any coastal area (important to consider if you are planning to move to one location for year-round living); Mexico is far, far, far, far, far more safe than the news would have you think (unless of course you are a member of a drug cartel); RENT (don't buy until you've lived here for a few years -- and it may be good advice to never buy); start with temporary accommodations (get to know your chosen area before you make long-term commitments or move ALL the stuff you're keeping -- this will keep you from making a variety of costly mistakes); the longer you live in Mexico, the less you "need" certain items from north of the border (NOB); almost all homes for sale or rent (except brand new ones) come FURNISHED; sell your furniture and big things back home; small kitchen appliances and electronics cost much more in Mexico -- so bring those things; get a Capital One credit card (inform them that you're planning to use it in Mexico) -- other banks charge a % of every purchase; if you don't speak Spanish, you CAN get by, however whatever time and effort you invest in learning Spanish will pay off big-time; and finally: you should know that this is a wonderful country with warm, friendly, typically hard-working and honest people. You're going to love it.
I wish I had known that the USA was going to constantly warn people about my state, Michoacan. No friends or family will visit me as they believe everything they hear in the U.S. I've been back twice to visit them. Like there's no violence in the U.S.? Guns are illegal here. People are polite...Mexicans, that is. I live in a beautiful pueblo and don't see any Americans here. I would have moved to Chiapas had I known, but I am happy here.
It is so tiring to hear over and over again about how dangerous it is here. Yes its dangerous, in fact the whole world has become dangerous, but it's more dangerous in most U.S. cities than Mexico... Border towns are an exception because many Central Americans impoverished and trying to sneak across create an atmosphere charged with problems, drug runners supplying clients in the USA, etc., and other criminal elements along with exaggerated reports of yellow journalism (thats what sells newspapers) create an atmosphere of fear, I live in Central Mexico and dont plan on returning stateside... in fact I'm applying for citizenship. Find out the truth and it shall set you free. check my blog out at... http://mexicomystic.wordpress.com Hope we meet someday. hasta la vista !!!
I agree totally as my Canadian friends always say the scariest part of their drive down form Canada to Mexico is passing thru the lower 48 and they mean it. I've lived here for years and it's all BS from the government trying to scare you to keep your dollars up north. Check out a great website that hasa free newsletter. www.gringosinparadise.com.mx
After living in Mexico for over ten years, it is the USA and its random violence that scares us. On visits back to the USA, everyone reports the sour expressions on people's faces, cold stares if you greet a stranger and an almost universal argumentative attitude. The young seem uninterested in education and their parents (30-50) seem clueless and equally uneducated. Those who appear educated are often lacking in general knowledge and are only up to par in very narrow areas. Nobody knows history, science or math any more and are unaware that the USA has fallen to 31st in the world! We're not going back north. Life is good here. Besides, the climate won't kill us when the lights go out.
AMEN BROTHER...I HAVE LIVED IN A LITTLE TOWN CALLED TEQUISQUIAPAN, ABOUT 170 KILOMETERS NORTH OF MEXICO CITY. YOU COULD NOT FIND A SAFER PLACE ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD THAN TEQUIS. I WOULD NOT EVEN CONSIDER MOVING BACK TO THE U,S, TEQUIS TOM
I been on the road for about 6 years now and full time for over 2 years here in Mexico. Lived in Belize, Baja, etc. The longer you stay here the harder it is to go north and then after a few days we feel the need to leave. Sadly most of my friends are clueless about whats really going on and I've given up hope trying to convince to broaden their horizons. We all are the lucky ones living here. When the poop really does hit the fan up north we will still be just fine here. I live now in Ajijic on Lake Chapala, we don't have AC or heaters and don't need them either. I have a pretty nice garden going year round and it is cheap to live here well. I can't help myself sometimes watching the news up north same old BS just a few different scoundrels pretending to care about you poor suckers. Whether you love or hate Obama their all out to steal you blind - wake the hell up while you still can and get out!
It's all a matter of perspective and most NOB's have blinders on hoping it will get better, it won't!
I agree Alex....I moved here three years ago and have no desire to return to the U.S. I met a very cute Mexican girl, fell for her and just married her two weeks ago. Life could not be better. I rent an incredible apartment right off the main plaza for right at $275 USD a month (2 bdrm, 1 baño with courtyard and maid's quarters). We have a great maid, Helaria, who cleans our home, cooks three meals a week and does all the washing & ironing. We pay her $450 pesos per week, (about $34.00 USD) which is more per hour than she makes cooking for a local restaurant. Life is good!! Tequis Tom
If I had known life was this good down here, I would have moved 20 years ago. Also, I would have loaded my trailer with smaller household items, like a mattress, lots of sheets and towels, vacuum, toaster, microwave, other kitchen appliances which you can buy here but are expensive. I was tols you would have to pay taxes on all that stuff, which is hogwash! As it was, I loaded my Durango to the hilt and left everything else for my ex-wife and friends. No one even looked at me when I crossed the Mexican side (after I registered the car). Life is very good down here. Tequis Tom
I have to agree with MsAlex on almost everything....I have lived here more than 3-years and Mexico is wonderful. However, on monetary matters, I suggest you leave all your monies in a US bank (Bank of America). Here is a bank named Santander which (I hear) is owned by BOA. Debit cards at a Santander ATM directly withdraws your dollars from your BOA account (checking or savings...your choice at the time of the transaction) and charges zero fees for the transaction.
Glad to hear that you all living farther south still feel very safe--I hope with all my heart that violence doesn't come near you.
I've been living here for nearly 10 years. While I do still love it here, all the bad press about Mexico isn't just a pact with the devil to keep dollars out of Mexico. It really is dangerous here. But I realize that geography has a lot to do with that perspective. I live in Coahuila (Saltillo), and my in-laws divide their time between Mexico City and Morelos. We now joke that Mexico City is the safest place for us to be. *sigh*
Had you asked me last year, I might have agreed with many of you about the bad press. Now, unfortunately I've got to admit that it's deserved (in part--I haven't been to the US in over a year, so I don't know exactly what they're saying there). However, the reality is that I am getting tired of checking Twitter every time I want to leave the house, in order to find out if they're shooting up wherever it is that I want to go.
A silver lining is that friends seem to reach out more, emailing and calling on the phone warn us to not leave our houses when they find out that "stuff" is going down.
We still walk around downtown, commenting how much we like it here (Saltillo). Then we have to add, "but it's such a shame that they're shooting at us." Sometimes we can forget about it, but it's a big "but".
I've been at the Cape region of Baja for 25+ years. Traveled the country extensively, and never been drawn to move elsewhere. I wish I had known how wonderful this country is; I would have moved here in my twenties. I wish now that people knew how safe it is here, especially in the tourist areas. I wish Americans knew how much Mexicans should hate them for stealing almost 1/2 of their country, but they don't. I wish Americans knew how easy it is to start a company here or retire here.
Where are the safest places to live in Mexico? The most unsafe areas are well-covered in today's news headlines, but those considering a move to other cities or towns in Mexico should carefully research their possible destinations, talk with other expats and visit before they move. This article highlights members' recent discussions and comments about crime and safety in popular expat locales and some off-the-beaten path destinations. If you live in Mexico, we encourage you to submit an update on your city or town.
Where are the safest places to live in Mexico? The most unsafe areas are well-covered in today's news headlines, but those considering a move to other cities or towns in Mexico should carefully resea...