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Patzcuaro, Mexico

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Last updated on Jan 23, 2023

Summary: People often describe Patzcuaro, Mexico as a charming colonial town with a rich cultural heritage. Expats love the friendly locals, the beautiful scenery, and the relaxed atmosphere. The weather in Patzcuaro is generally mild, with temperatures ranging from the mid-50s to the mid-80s Fahrenheit. The average cost of living for an expat is around $1,000 to $1,500 per month. The cost of a one bedroom apartment is typically around $400 to $600 per month, while a two bedroom apartment can cost anywhere from $500 to $800 per month. The approximate population of Patzcuaro is around 60,000 people.

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What do I need to know about living in Patzcuaro?

When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to Patzcuaro, they said:

"Learn basic phrases in Spanish, be patient and kind. Remember Mexico is a foreign country and nothing like the United States. If you are an arts and crafts person and are retired or have your own income, I think you would like it here," said another person in Patzcuaro.

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How do I meet people in Patzcuaro?

When we asked people living in Patzcuaro about club and activities where newcomers can meet others, they responded:

"It depends on who you want to meet. There is an English library inside the restaurant, Lupita's, a few steps from the Bascilica on Arciga Street. A volunteer group has their meetings there. English is spoken. They would welcome volunteers. If you want to meet Indigenous Purepecha, Mulle (dock) San Pedrito is run by them and it is a beautiful park next to the lake. Also they sell their art on the street and in the mercado in Centro ( open every day-even Christmas.) They also sell fruits and vegetables, clothes, shoes, socks, anything you need. To become friends with local people, it is necessary to speak Spanish and they are friendly. There are usually English speakers sitting outdoors at a cafe on Plaza Grande. One can take Spanish lessons as well," explained one expat.

"Just talk to people in Spanish anywhere you happen to be. I'm not a club person or organized. Haven't met any other americans here," said another person in Patzcuaro.

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Will I be able to find a job in Patzcuaro?

When we asked people about industries and career opportunities in Patzcuaro, they reponded:

"Most likely in Morelia, the state capital. This is a small town with a high unemployment rate. I have not seen Americans except as tourists or at the library. People grow crops. Wood carving and all the arts and crafts made in Patzcuaro and surrounding pueblos are sold here. Perhaps if one had a job in Morelia, they could live here and commute. There are buses and taxis. Many people own cars. It takes an hour one way," explained one expat.

"I'm retired, but if you can do manual labor, and are good, perhaps. This is a small town. If people are looking for jobs, Morelia, the state capital that is an hour away, is best," said another person in Patzcuaro.

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What is life like in Patzcuaro?

When we asked people living in Patzcuaro what life is like and how people spend their time, they said:

"People here, like other cities, love fiestas of which their are many. Family and socializing are the priorities for my friends. Men are macho and kind to women and children. People sit outdoors and love to talk. Of course, they must make a living. Couples marry young here and the young women and their beautiful children are often the only ones on the little buses during the day. People like to follow soccer on t.v," added another person living in Patzcuaro.

"This is Purepecha country. Of course, people's lives revolve around their families, taking care of their farm animals, and socializing in centro's 2 plazas. Growing and selling vegetables and fruit is a priority," explained one expat living in Patzcuaro.

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Is there a lot of diversity? Are people in Patzcuaro accepting of differences?

"I would think that most people are Catholic. I haven't seen any other churches and the children attend Catholic schools. As anywhere the wealthy are interested in making more money. Mexicans are very polite here and would rather lie than hurt your feelings. So it is difficult to know," said another expat in Patzcuaro.

"They accept me. This is a Catholic country. This is michoacan, so we're all poor. Tourists pay a small fortune for a hotel," remarked another in Patzcuaro.

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About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

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