The People's Guide To Mexico

Move to Mexico Index: part 1

Move To Mexico
Retire, Live, Work & Study

Index: Part 2

•Shopping for House Furnishings : PV or Guadalajara?

I have recently purchased a condominium in Puerto Vallarta. My decorator and friend Jan will be going to PV, and then on to Guadalajara to shop for furniture, etc. for the new condo. Jan will need help getting around in Guadalajara; translation; and also need help getting the furniture shipped to Puerto Vallarta. I am wondering if you have any helpful information regarding shopping as well as shipping from Guadalajara to Puerto Vallarta.... (more)

Mexico’s Lake Chapala and Ajijic:
The Insider’s Guide to the Northshore for International Travelers

“Mexico’s Lake Chapala and Ajijic: The Insider’s Guide to the Northshore for International Travelers” is quite a mouthful, but then so is this book. With contributions from experts in anthropology, natural history, language and culture, author and Ajijic resident Teresa Kendrick presents a description of Lake Chapala and its popular tourist and retirement communities that is broad in scope yet also quite detailed.... (Full Review) by Carl Franz

•Dobie's Homesteading Fanatasies Come True #5: Bugs: Not the Computer Variety

Woke up with a start this morning to lightening, thunder and fierce rain, at about 5 AM, hopped in the car and drove over to cover the well -- with an assortment of poles, boards, bricks and a tarp. All around the well was slick and muddy, and all I'm thinking is - don't fall in the well -- but it's hard to see as the mounds of dirt are blocking the car's headlights and my flashlight dangling by its cord from my mouth is only helping marginally.... (more) by Dobie

Buying Property in the Lake Chapala Area (near Guadalajara)

In the last decade or so, it is estimated that more than 10,000 foreigners have purchased property on the Northshore of Lake Chapala. Ajijic has become the prime location for foreigners because of its infrastructure of services, such as internet access, and the existence of the Lake Chapala Society, an English-speaking resource for newcomers and residents.... (more) by Tony Harries & Teresa A. Kendrick

•Buying Restricted-Zone (Coastal and border zone) property

Mexican residential property in the coastal or border zones can be legally purchased by foreigners, but only through the fideicomiso (bank trust) method set up expressly for this purpose by the federal government....(more) by Robert Foster

•Budget Living in Puerto Vallarta: An Interview with Robert & Deborah Jennings: Parts I, II & III

We often go for a week or so without leaving the neighborhood or even firing up the old Safari. Usually, we just make a weekly run to the local Lloyds branch to grab a few pesos. Other than that, we're mostly shamelessly lazy homebodies. We spend a huge amount of time sitting on the terrace, staring at the mountains, and planning our next snack. 

Can I continue my Career in Mexico?

So here I am, over 20 years later and looking at retiring to Baja (actually semi retiring..more on this in a moment). Now, as I may not have accumulated quite enough filthy lucre to really retire properly (having misspent a dissolute life as a grasshopper rather than the ant option), I will have to continue to work part time. by Val, reply by jennifer rose

Move To Mexico -- Beginnings

A few midnights ago, when salvos of exploding fireworks made sleep impossible, Lorena and I began blearily cataloging the various Mexican villages, towns, cities, ranchos and beaches we've lived in during the past thirty-odd years. We gave up when the count exceeded several dozen places, unable to agree if the caves we'd used on a 9 week kayak trip in the Sea of Cortez could be collectively dubbed a "residence" or not. Article by Carl Franz

Getting Used to Things

Traveling to Mexico is like having a fling, a stunning romance, a love affair so intense that everything becomes a romantic vision. Magic is rediscovered. Moving to Mexico, however, is not unlike getting married. Once the honeymoon is over one begins to notice that the language and customs of our beloved are strikingly dissimilar to our own. ....The real work of compromise begins, as it does in all marriages, and it must be noted for the record, that divorce is a genuine option. by Teresa Kendrick

•Vagabonding in Baja

To bring the actual experience of Mexico closer to home, let’s kick this off with an inspirational message from a friend, Joan, who already made the move south of the border. If daydreams of retiring to a chicken ranch in Oklahoma conflict with your elevated level of cholesterol, think avocados, tree-ripened orange juice and freshly caught dorado (mahi mahi).

"The water was phosphorescent and swimming at night was like swimming in liquid light. Floating in the water looking up at the stars (and the comet!) I said to Bill - "Tell me again why I’m going back to Tucson?" by Joan Parker

•Living by Lake Chapala

Lorena and I have finally returned to Mexico and are living on the shore of Lake Chapala, the country’s largest lake, about 45 minutes by freeway from Guadalajara. This region has long been a magnet for gringo “snowbirds” and expatriates, and thousands of Americans and Canadians live here, either year ‘round or part-time. It is easy to understand why: the quick access to Guadalajara (a city of millions), moderate elevation, near-idyllic climate, and the beautiful lake make a rather irresistible combination.

•Mexico on 5 Tamales A Day: What Does It Really Co$t?

Can I really live like a bachelor king on $500 a month? How about $900? Is $2,000 okay for a family? Did I hear somebody say $4,000? Help!.. .by Carl Franz

•Gringa Unplugged in Guatemala

"Carl said he was interested in hearing from "people who have successfully unplugged from Gringolandia. " Well, Carl, you know America has a rich history of those that left civilization... (more) " by Lee Valenti

•Living in San Cristobal

"I moved with my partner to live in San Cristobal de Las Casas, in the state of Chiapas, in February of 1997. Although we had never visited this area of Mexico, we chose San Cristobal, after much research. It fit the list of things we were looking for in a place to spend our two year sabbatical. It had a somewhat intact indigenous culture, moderate highland climate and possibilities for volunteering that would provide meaningful ‘work’...." by Sage Mountainfire

•A Realistic Budget

I have several retirement guides to Mexico on my shelves, some dating back to the early Fifties and Sixties. Almost without exception, their authors present Mexico as a bargain hunter’s dream, a warm, inviting “paradise for peanuts.” For some retirees, however, the promise of living cheap turns out to be misleading, if not entirely false. Why? ....(more) by Carl Franz

Our Favorite Retirement Books

Retirement Websites

•Mexico: Live & Retire Forum at Mexico Connect: <>

•Belize: Sometime in the 1980's, Bill and Claire Gray pulled the plug and escaped from California to the Central American country of Belize. You can probably guess the rest: Fleeing the land of smog and gridlock, they were soon hiding out on the beach.

•Guatemala: The Guatemala Living and Retirement Newsletter has gone out of Business,

Return to Part 1: Move to Mexico Index

Speaking Spanish
Recommended Reading
Staying Healthy
Parrot Fever
The Best of Mexico
Our Favorite Recipe

©1972-2008 by Carl Franz & Lorena Havens