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The Lakefront Promenade in Lake Chapala, Mexico

Pros and Cons of Living in Lake Chapala

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Last updated on Sep 17, 2022

Summary: Pros and Cons of Living in Lake Chapala, Mexico. Expats, Retirees and Digital Nomads talk about the pros and cons of living in Lake Chapala

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What are the pros and cons of living in Lake Chapala?

Expats, digital nomads and retirees living in Lake Chapala responded:

"Very friendly expats. Very welcoming community. Mexicans are very warm. Restaurants are affordable, although somewhat limited in scope -- but that's getting better. Weather is incredible year-round. Crime, security, corruption is getting worse," explained one expat living in Lake Chapala.

"Mexico has exceeded our expectations after about a year abroad. We feel safer here in the Lake Chapala/Ajijic area during COVID than we did in the States. And, we were so glad to escape the negative politics in the US and avoided the election chaos while here in Jalisco. We glance at the goings on from abroad and shake our head. Politics here in Mexico is not perfect but as expats they are very glad we are in their country spending money and creating jobs, laying low and they leave us alone. We love what we did for our country and what our country did for us, but that's all in the past," said another in Lake Chapala.

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What do expats in Lake Chapala appreciate most about the local culture?

"New things are always here to explore like art, Churches for their age and design, food love the food! I've explored most of the country by car now and love it. Always feel safe but use common sense too. It many ways there's always reminders of where you came from in the diverse terrain and geography like Mexico's," remarked another expat in Ajijic.

"Fresh food--veggies, fruit everywhere. Street markets that have everything you need, and the smell of cooking. People saying "buenas dias" and "buenos tarde" when passing on the street. No one's in a hurry, except macho jovenes in their cars, and then it's only to the next tope. Tequila and basic Mexican home cooking. The craftsmen and women, who still make items as their parents and parents before them did, and the fact that chicken wire has so many uses," explained one expat living in Lake Chapala.

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William Russell Health Insurance

William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.

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William Russell Health Insurance

William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.

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What do expats find most challenging?

"Can't really think of any past the language barrier when you can't talk to a car mechanic or shop person. Cops have all been extremely nice and not threatening at all," explained one expat living in Ajijic.

"Narco cartels and the resulting territorial violence is more than challenging--it's scary when it gets close. The unbelievably loud firecrackers and rockets set off anywhere for the slightest pretense of a fiesta, and boomboxes. Opportunistic thievery and denial. The adolescent attitude of the people who are well beyond adolescence in years. Sometimes, this is endearing, other times you really wonder. The poverty," said another expat in Lake Chapala.

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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.

The Lakefront Promenade in Lake Chapala, Mexico

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