Thursday, October 13, 2011

Come on Down................

For Sale House $130K USD..........

As I scanned the news this morning this hit my eye. Get ready for a deluge of gringos wanting the good life that you in Ajijic have.......I can't wait to see them take over the lake.

What will be next, dinner cruises, water skiing championships sponsored by Viagra, wheelchair races, with the 1st prize being a "help I have fallen and I can't get up pendant" ???

Somehow, I don't think they will come, after all it's not that easy to leave the family, the constant bureaucratic paperwork, the nickel and dime taxation...or is it?

Here it is, from US World New and whatever..

Top Expat Community Pick #1: Ajijic, Mexico. Ajijic and the area around Lake Chapala, Mexico, hosts the most organized, developed expat community in the world. The Lake Chapala Society reports about 4,000 American and Canadian residents in Chapala proper. The Mexican government, meantime, estimates that nearly 20,000 expats reside full-time in the state of Jalisco, the region where Lake Chapala sits.

In other words, the path has been cut. Moving here, you could slide into a way of life not dramatically different from the life you left behind in the States. You wouldn't have to worry about learning the local language if you didn't want to. You wouldn't have to work to make a place for yourself among the local community, because this isn't a "local" community. This is an entire community of nonlocals. You could wander into the restaurant down the street anytime and find English-speaking companionship, someone to complain to about the bureaucracy at the Department of Immigration or the challenges of studying to take a driving test in Spanish. Retiring to Ajijic, you could make a very comfortable life for yourself in a place that's exotic, beautiful, safe, and very affordable.

Friends who have taken this path live comfortably on less than $50 per day (U.S. dollars), including housing, food, transportation, entertainment, and in-country travel. They eat well, play tennis, socialize, and travel comfortably. As they put it themselves, they want for nothing.

Don't misunderstand. Ajijic isn't a retirement village. This isn't Sun City South, at least not formally. This is a legitimate Mexican town that, over the past three decades, has attracted such a volume of foreign retirees that it's become less Mexican and more foreign resident-friendly.

Maybe there is something for me being isolated on top of a 8500ft mountain overlooking the Lake Patzcuaro devoid of street signs and anything in English....


Calypso said...

There is a place in Mexico for everyone - including those that really want Amerika in Mexico - so viva Lake Chapala for them - not my shot of tequila - but that's what make diversity so great.

- Mexican Trailrunner said...


We need a few more shootouts, oh and maybe some heads tossed into the plaza.

jerryL said...

I guess that is the easy thing to do, especially if you don't want to learn the language and enjoy the local culture. I would think that immersing yourself would bring a much more rewarding experience. 50 bucks a day, wow, during our visits to Mexico we could live grand on 20. I guess golf and Grey Goose Martinis are expensive!
We have a friend who plopped himself down in Bucieras (sp) and lives a grand peaceful life with all the local flavors for even less than that.
I will definitely mark Lake Chapala off as a place to consider!

Steve Cotton said...

I am with Calypso. There are a multitude of "authentic Mexicos." But I am always a bit wary of anyplace in a foreign country that sounds as if a bit of Scottsdale or Brighton or Nice has been dropped there like a piece of cultural litter. And I do not want to sound too high and mighty about this. Melaque will soon turn into Alberta south for a few months this winter.

Felipe Zapata said...

I think Ajijic is a good place to visit. Like San Miguel, it has some great restaurants. Purely Mexican places tend to stick to tacos and cheese. Mexico City would be an exception. You can find anything there.

HD in Fla. said...

And I thought they were all coming down to Florida.
We can live cheap in Florida but the mosquito netting and bug spray quickly makes up the savings.

Tancho said...

One of the positive things that I find of visiting places like this and SMA is the varied entertainment and restaurants. The problem is that they are expensive and a treat since we don't have anything catering to that kind of clientele.
What I find interesting is the ease of which an gringo can live there, not needing a lick of Spanish. To me you might as well move to Palm Springs or Ft Lauderdale....Ok maybe not Ft Lauderdale.

Don Cuevas said...

Thanks, but we'll stay out here at el Rancho.

Don Cuevas

Nancy said...

I do think that life in Ajijic would be dramatically different for folks moving from the states... just not AS dramatically different as it would be if they moved somewhere where there were fewer English speakers.

But what we have found in Mazatlán (where there are plenty of English speakers) is that you can have whatever you want. A fully immersed Spanish only experience - fully English - or some mix of the two.

We didn't "dig the groove" at Ajijic and Chapala but it wasn't because they weren't Mexican enough towns.

Tancho said...

Nancy, you are right as far as " not Mexican enough" goes, the one time that I visited the place I was put off by the amount of English in signs and advertising. If you just want to isolate yourself in an English Bubble somewhere else, why bother?
I feel sorry for the folks that think they have discovered the great places without actually getting down and to speak.
I wonder how they would venture into a dive restaurant or bar to get an authentic cheap meal? I know,,,,,,they wouldn't even think about that..

You are right about Mazatlan, it indeed is a great balance of cultures and such a clean and welcome town. If we were not here, I think both my wife and her family would convince me to be there. They all love your town, and they are not even Mazatlanites.

Nancy said...


I think the key is Spanish. The more confident we are, the more we go off the beaten path.

The weather is a bit cooler now, you should come over sometime!

Oh, and if you live here you are a Mazatlecan! (or a pata salada)

Anonymous said...

I think Calypso has it right. To each their own. I personally would choose a place like Patz. Enough English speaking expats if one needs that. An abundant market, rich culture, nice weather, friendly locals. the list goes on and on. I just have to wait 'til retirement. heavy sigh.
yeah, I know, there's a down side. but then, nothing's perfect, is it?
good post.