Navigate to chapter
► Chapter One: A Taste of Mexico
► Chapter Two: Immigration
► Chapter Three: Best Expat Districts in Mexico
► Chapter Four: Housing and Estate Planning
► Chapter Five: Utilities and Communication Services in Mexico
► Chapter Six: Work and Business in Mexico
► Chapter Seven: Family & Education in Mexico
► Chapter Eight: Taxes & Banking in Mexico
► Chapter Nine: Healthcare in Mexico
► Chapter Ten: Preparing for Your Relocation in Mexico
Chapter One: A Taste of Mexico
Through its rich, vibrant, and colorful history, Mexico became one of the most popular countries in Latin America. Its Native American and Spanish heritage is what makes this country unique and full of life! This chapter will give you a snapshot of what’s it like living in Mexico. You’ll also learn the kinds of people and expats you’re going to encounter, common reasons why foreigners settle here, the cultural differences and norms you need to be aware of, and how you can deal with language barriers.
You will also be provided with a brief timeline of Mexico’s history, some quick and important facts about the country as well as a preview of the basic essentials you’ll need both for travelling and settling in. Are you ready to take a glimpse of this beautiful country? Read on!
Mexico is a country known not just for its bustling metropolis but also for its cactus – studded deserts, tropical rainforests, beaches and blue waters, naturally crafted terrains, volcanoes and canyons, and of course it’s flavorful nachos, tacos and hard shot tequilas!
Mexico was originally inhabited by the Mayan and Aztec civilizations before being conquered by Spanish Conquistadors. Despite suffering from the destructive forces of many colonial rulers, rebellions, civil wars, dictatorships, and natural tragedies, the country and its people has remained warm, friendly, and even maintained its vibrancy through embracing its origins, history, and rich heritage.
The countryside in Mexico is not yet ‘exploited’ by man – made developments which is why many people love staying here to enjoy the natural surroundings that the country can offer, on the other hand, its modern – day cities possess a unique style of architecture – one wherein you can truly distinguish its native roots.
The long history of the country is still reflected today in its rural villages, ports, mining towns, and city – center. You can still visit the Mayan temples that stood the test of time, and many preserved historical sites where you can find the ruins of the Aztec civilization that built this country thousands of years ago.
Mexico boasts many fascinating aspects that any (potential) expats will surely enjoy. You will definitely get the best of both worlds as soon as you step in this beautiful place. You’ll immediately see the blend of traditional and modern – day Mexico in everything including its European – styled structures, its uniquely flavored Mexican cuisine, its very warm people, its religion, its landmarks, its colorful events and fiestas, and its overall welcoming vibe.
If you want to truly enjoy living here, and appreciate more its society, culture and tradition then it is best that you have a background of what went down in history that made this country what it is today. Here’s a brief timeline of Mexico:
- 1400 BCE: Development of Olmec Civilization
- 1000 BCE: Development of Mayan civilization
- 100 BCE: Mayans began building pyramids and temples
- 1000 CE: Beginning of the end for the Mayan civilization
- 1200 CE: Development of the Aztec civilization
- 1325 CE: Establishment of Tenochtitlan by the Aztecs.
- 1440 CE: Expansion of the Aztec Empire
- 1517: Hernandez de Cordoba reached the shores of Mexico
- 1519: Hernandez Cortez killed the leader of the Aztecs in Tenochtitlan
- 1521: Cortez conquered the Aztecs and the capital in Tenochtitlan
- 1600s: Spain officially conquered the rest of Mexico; arrival of Spanish settlers
- 1810: Catholic priest Miguel Hidalgo led a war of independence for Mexico against the Spaniards
- 1811: Hidalgo was executed by the Spaniards
- 1821: Mexico won the war and officially declared its independence on September 27 1821.
- 1822: Mexico assigned Agustin de Iturbide as their first Emperor.
- 1824: Mexico was turned into a republic; Guadalupe Victoria is elected as the first President of Mexico.
- 1835: Beginning of Texas Revolution.
- 1836: Texas defeated the Mexican army and declared its independence from Mexico.
- 1846: Beginning of Mexican – American war
- 1847: US Army occupied Mexico
- 1848: USA acquired new territory as the Mexican – American War ended. California, New Mexico, Utah, Nevada, Arizona, Texas officially became part of United States.
- 1861: French army invades Mexico
- 1867: Benito Jaurez defeated the French forces and eventually becomes president.
- 1910: Emiliano Zapata led the Mexican Revolution
- 1917: Adoption of Mexican Constitution
- 1923: Poncho Villa, a revolutionary leader, is assassinated.
- 1929: Establishment of The National Mexican Party which was later renamed as Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI).
- 1930: Mexico’s economy is booming
- 1942: World War II breaks out; Mexico joined forced with the Allies to defeat the Axis powers.
- 1993: Ratification of The North American Trade Agreement (NAFTA)
- 2000: Election of non – PRI party Vicente Fox as Mexican president – a first for the country in 71 years.
Reasons why People Move to Mexico
Believe it or not, most people who decided to make Mexico their new home didn’t come here because of all the things mentioned earlier, well, of course all those reasons are part of it – the awesome landmarks, the beautiful culture, and the likes – but for most people it’s either for professional purposes and/or personal purposes, not just the surface – level reasons I talked about in the beginning of this book. That’s perhaps the main difference between being a traveller and being an expat. Travellers go here to experience everything, every “big and obvious” thing in an instant because they only have a few weeks to spare. Expats, on the other hand, live here to immerse, to truly be among the people, or perhaps to become something more.
Here are some of the most common reasons or themes of why foreigners, especially Americans, Europeans and Canadians decided to stay in Mexico as an expat:
- Gain access to a different way of living, experience new cultures and immerse oneself in it.
- To engage in a much relax or slow pace of living
- Due to a better climate wherein one can truly enjoy the outdoors, reconnect with nature and also promote good health.
- Desire of learning new language, new customs, and develop new relationships
- Some people want to raise their kids here because of the good moral values and beliefs that the country possesses.
- Some go here for professional purposes – either their company relocated them to Mexico to have a cross – cultural working experience while others set up their businesses here to serve a new market.
- To live a simpler lifestyle or have a reflective journey – away from the hustle and bustle in their home country.
- To maximize more their earnings as the economy here is probably much better than in their home country.
- To retire and settle in a place in order to gain new perspective and a fresh take of life.
What Is It Like as an Expat in Mexico?
The way of living in Mexico will be very different than living in your home country especially if you’re from USA, Europe, and Asia since there’ll be a huge cultural gap.
This section will give you a quick snapshot of what to expect once you moved here.
Want to read the entire thing?