Yucatan Living

Moving to Mexico

27 March 2012 Immigration & Residency 18

Editor's Note:

"Merida... there are one million stories in the White City. This is one of them." We know that many of our readers have already moved to one of the cities in the Yucatan, but many of them are still considering a move here, daydreaming about it or making solid plans. The following is the story of one couple who retired here recently. And actually, they didn't retire to the White City... they retired to the White City's little sister, Valladolid. Their story is not necessarily typical, but it is not unusual either. Anyone who is considering a move to this part of the world can benefit from their experiences as told here. Anyone who has already made the move can read their story, nodding or shaking their head as they go. Keep in mind, though, there are thousands of stories along these lines. Please also keep in mind that this is one couples' experience. Yucatan Living does not necessarily condone or recommendany strategy or solution described here. Since it has been awhile since we wrote about our own, we thought you might enjoy another saga of the process of becoming a Yucatan expatriate.

My First Visit to Mexico

In1968, I visited Guadalajara on my first visit to Mexico.For a Nebraska farm boy it was an eye-openingexperience.I heard my first mariachiband, drank my first shot of tequila, and ate my first chili relleno...and I was hooked. Through the years, my wife and I have visited 26 of Mexico’s 31 statesand the Federal District (Mexico City or D.F., as it is called by those in the know).We have a deepaffection for all of Mexico but our true love is the Yucatán and itspeople.During our teaching careers webrought more than 600 students on study abroad programs to the Yucatán.Our primary stop was always Valladolid for twelve days.

When it came time to retire, Valladolid keptpopping up on our radar screen.We hadbecome dear friends of Mario and Lupita Escalante and their children Rodrigoand Valeria at the Hotel El Meson del Marques. We discussed the move to Mexico with them extensively and they sharedmany ideas with us about what changes we could expect.They promised to help us buy a house if wemade the decision to retire as Vallesoletanos. So, with brave hearts and trepidation in our souls we decided to leave behind the joys of paying $8,000 ayear in property taxes in Texas and we embarked on a new experience.

Buying a Home

By the time we were ready to buy a house in Valladolid, we were familiar with the various neighborhoods in the city. Neighborhoods in Mexico are different, justlike neighborhoods in the United States. Some neighborhoods are safe, while others can be shady, and not fromtrees.We had learned to check out street and sidewalkconditions as well as drainage problems. We looked to select a street with nice homes that we thought would improve and help retain thevalue of our house.After we found a house we liked, we observedtraffic conditions both during daylight hours and at night.We made the decision to avoid a house on a corner, as we knew that mufflers on trucks, somecars, and most motorcycles and scooters are loud here, and when they leave a stop sign ora tope (speed bump), the decibel level can be annoying and distracting.

When we purchased our home, we wereasked to pay cash in pesos.Fortunatelyfor us, we were able to exchange dollars for pesos before the banks clampeddown on money exchanges.Whenyou are dealing in hundreds of thousands of pesos, you frequently get stacksand stacks of small denomination bills, which take forever to count on closingday.There are more efficient ways tomove money, but much depends on the whims of the seller. And if you want the house, you need to go along with their requirements. Luckily, banks, lawyers and others involved in house sales are used to this.

Before we signed the deal, we hired an engineer toaccompany us.He was especiallyinterested in signs of structural weakness. He checked walls and ceilings for cracks and he closed and opened alldoors and windows to make sure they were operating properly.He inspected the wood for termite or other insect damage as well as rot.He went up on the roof and checkedits condition and whether it appeared to drain properly.

Dream House orNightmare

If you buy an older house andremodel, the experience will be much different than building a new house.In our case, we purchased a 40-year-old houseand literally gutted it.My wife retired, moved to Valladolid, and took the position of construction supervisor to create our dream house.For her,there were times when the project was closer to a nightmare than a dream.Although she began the project with verylittle knowledge of Spanish, by the time she finished she spoke almost perfect“construction Spanish.”

She hired a local Maya contractorfrom Popolá, a nearby village, to complete the major construction changes.Payments for the work of the following weekwere agreed to before Monday morning and wages were paid on the followingSaturday afternoon.All workers signed alegal agreement to pay for their own medical costs if injured. We were responsible for purchasing allbuilding materials.

The project involved majorchanges.The floors were ripped out andnew plumbing lines were laid out to the septic tank.A qualified engineer was called upon toinspect the septic system before closing the tanks.Removing walls, constructing new walls, andinstalling a completely new wiring system was all done, changing the layout of the rooms.We tried to install more electrical outletsthan we needed, including placing outlets in several locations onthe exterior of the house.Servants’quarters in the rear of the house were destroyed and replaced by a pool,outdoor kitchen and bathroom, as well as a large covered patio.During the major phase of construction mywife spent time at the house throughout the day to inspect the quality of thework.We felt this was a critical element in ourconstruction project.


Discussions with my wife and my own experiencesafter I arrived led to the following observations.

Work appointments were broken more frequently than the TenCommandments. Sometimes, workers simply did not show up foran appointment and did not call to let us know. As a result, we often wasted a good part of the day waiting.

We learned not to lend our personal tools toworkers.If they were broken or damaged,the most common response was, “I am sorry.” On occason, we had lent tools that were not returned.I do not think they intended to steal them; they just forgot who they belonged to and placed them in their toolbox.When reminded that they had borrowed thetools, they were embarrassed and returned them immediately.

We had two or three batches of cement that were mixed with polvo (dust or fine dirt) containing a plant seed capable of germination long after the cement haddried.In some cases the seed wouldgerminate after a full month and produce a bullet-hole type of mark in the wall.The only solution turned out to be to patch itand paint over it.

We could not find outdoor lightingwith the design we wanted or a price we thought was reasonable.My wife sketched a picture of what she wantedand a local iron worker produced a beautiful product at a very reasonableprice.The same thing was true for lightingaround our pool.She took a drawing to astone carver in Dzitya and he carved absolutely stunning light fixtures.

The biggest problem we faced waswith our traditional red roofing tile. One month after it was installed it began to crumble and fall off theroof, presenting dangerous conditions around the pool and around the doorsexiting the house.Our tile retailercontacted the manufacturer who admitted that the clay used to make one batch oftile had been contaminated and had produced an inferior product.The manufacturer agreed to send a new batchof tile and a team of installers to rectify the problem.That was in July.By November they still had not arrived.I got on the roof and took high resolutiondigital photos of the damaged tile, burned a CD and headed to Meridá to meetwith the retailer and the manufacturer. After seeing the photos, the manufacturer agreed again to send a crew toreplace the tile.He sent a crew ofinexperienced common laborers with no experience in tile work.They arrived without ladders or a truck tohaul away the damaged tile.After majordelays they removed the tile but when they started the installation process,their work was so shoddy, that we sent them home and hired a local contractorto finish the job.We decided that wewere better off to use true professionals and pay the workers ourselves.It was not an easy lesson to accept, but inthe long run our tile was laid correctly and sealed properly.

I think that the key words we learned duringremodeling were inspect, inspect, inspect, and even after taking precautions, learn to expect the unexpected.


"Out of sight, out of mind,” is a good proverb toremember regarding your roof.Mostpeople forget about the roof on their house unless it leaks. We found it to be a good idea to make random visits toour roof for observations.What were we looking for?Obvious cracks tostart, but also standing water after a rain.

Standing water on a roof can create twoproblems.Most concrete roofs in this part of the world arecovered with a layer of special sealant and a thin material, called impermeabilizante.Impermeabilizante will begin to peel anddisintegrate under standing water and that will threaten the integrity of theroof.The sun also has a destructiveimpact on impermeabilizante, so it should be replaced every three to five years.Of course, standing water also provides an environmentwhere mosquitoes can breed, which does not damage the roof but makes living underneath it a lot less enjoyable.

We learned to check ourroof drains regularly to make sure they were not clogged withleaves from nearby trees.We also looked fordepressions in the surface of the roof where water would stand naturally, and we corrected this problem by having a qualifiedconcrete contractor fill the depression with newconcrete.

With all the construction work that was done originally and continues to be done for maintenance, we found we wished we had shipped a good extension ladder andstep ladder with our household goods.They are expensive to buyin Mexico, and we still use them frequently.

Air Flow

Electricity is one of our major expenses, like everyone here, andthe use of air conditioners increases our electric billsignificantly.We figured that one way to cut theelectricity consumption was to have good airflow throughout the house.We installed screens on all of ourdoors.Screen doors with interior locksallow us to leave the doors open at night with the exception of the frontdoor, which we always shut and lock. During the night, cooler air enters the house and cools it for the followingday.Ceiling fans in every room andfloor fans keep the air moving consistently. We found floor fans last spring that move a large volume of air whileonly using the energy of a 30-watt light bulb.

Air Conditioners

Since few houses in the Yucatán have attics, thereis no place to run the ductwork for central air conditioning.Individual room units are most commonlyused.We have units in all the majorrooms because we are not comfortable in high temperatures and high humidity.However, we seldom runmore than one air conditioner at a time.

When purchasing air conditioners we tried to buy a brand that would allow us to have continued access to parts and service.We checked with local businesses and homeowners to see what brand they recommended. We learned it was important to provide the square meter size of each room we intended to aircondition to the dealer, and not try to cut corners.Buying an air conditionerwith a BTU (British Thermal Unit) size that is too small for the room is unproductive and can be more expensive in the long run.

We learned that it made sense to buy our air conditioning units duringthe winter months.Prices almost alwaysescalate in this area during the hot season when demand for air conditioners skyrockets.We bought most of our air conditioners in Cancun becausethe prices were comparable with Meridá, but the sales tax was five percent lessin the state of Quintana Roo.As we were buying four or five units, that provided a considerable savings.

We made a point of buying units with a remotecontrol that allows us to easily adjust the temperature.All remotes in the Yucatán will register temperaturesin degrees Celsius, and most new models have remotes withtimers. We set the timer for four hours, one-halfhour before going to bed.The room iscool before we go to sleep and the air conditioner shuts of automatically while wesleep.We have found that using the timer helps cutthe use of electricity by about 50 percent.

Most air conditioner compressors are located onthe roof of the house. These units are called mini-splits.Since we are locatedin a region susceptible to tropical storms and hurricanes, we were instructed to secureour compressor unit to the roof with metal straps.

We have also learned to turn our air conditioning units on atleast once a month for about 15 minutes. The motor that runs the fan inside the wall unit has a small lubricatingpump that lubricates the fan motor.Ifthe unit is not operated for several months during the cool season, the workingparts dry out and that can lead to problems when you start the air conditioning after a longperiod of non-use.

We were told to have our air conditioning units serviced once a year before the heavy usage season begins.There is a lot of dust and foreign materialin the air that gets trapped by the filters.If those filters are not cleaned regularlyand the cooling gas levels in the unit are not checked regularly, the unitcannot be expected to operate at its highest efficiency.

During the season when air conditioning usage ishighest, we also periodically check the pipe that drains water from the air conditioners.Those pipes are usually located outside the house, andwe check to make sure condensed moisture is dripping freely.We have heard that sometimes geckos and other small lizardscrawl into the pipes and build nests or die in the pipe, which can lead to aplugged up pipe and big problems.Ifflow of condensed moisture is unable to drain out of the pipe, the water willback up into the wall unit and drip onto furniture and what ever is locatedbelow the AC.

Under rare circumstancesthe backed up water can cause an electrical short and lead to a fire.We experienced a fire caused by this problemand while overall fire damage was not horrible, the smoke and soot damage wasbad. After this experience, we also installed smoke detectors and have fire extinguishers available in case of a fire.

Clean Dishes

We made a decision not to have a permanent maid inMexico even though the cost is not high. That was one of the reasons we bought and had a dishwasherinstalled.This may not be a problem inMeridá or Cancun, but in Valladolid and some of the smaller urban areas, mostplumbers have never seen a dishwasher.Our plumber installed the unitincorrectly.When we attempted to washour first load of dishes something malfunctioned and burned out the motherboardfor the unit’s electrical system.Whenthe plumber returned, we received the reply we had grown to expect, “I amsorry.”There was no warranty on hiswork and we now use the dishwasher for storage.

Microwave Popcorn

We use a microwave oven several times a day.With that in mind, when it was time topurchase a microwave we bought the most expensive GE Profile microwave on themarket.Sixteen months later, it quitworking.Of course the warranty was forone year, so we had to pay for repairs. When the microwave was removed from its location above the stove, we hadan unpleasant surprise.Once the coverwas removed, most of the interior parts turned out to be from Samsung and not GE.The part needed to repair theunit was not available in Mexico, so we had to order and wait for friends fromTexas to bring the part. Unfortunately, the part that was replaced was not the problem in the first place and weended up buying a new microwave oven.

Computer Safety

Surges in electricity are fairly common where welive.Both my wife and I use ourcomputers extensively, sometimes for several hours a day.They are a major investment for us.We protect them with Koblenz power regulatorsthat have proven to be very effective so far. We also shut our computers off if we are not going to use them for anyextended period of time, like trips back to the States.

Water Decisions

in the larger urban areas, water has been declaredpotable in most instances.However, weseldom drink tap water anywhere in Mexico.Hotels seem to confirm thesuspicion that the tap water might not be totally pure by providing bottledwater for most guests.We made thedecision to install a water purification system and a water softening unit.We are very happy with that decision.We know that the ice cubes and water fromour refrigerator are pure and that our guests are less likely to have stomach disorders when they visit.

The soft water system was installedfor peace of mind and for preserving appliances and plumbing. Since the Yucatán Peninsula is basically a large hunk of limestone, limecontent in the water is high.Extended useof local untreated water leads to calcification in the interior of waterpipes and serious long-range problems. In addition, unsoftened water is not as pleasant to usein the shower or tub.Soap and shampoodo not lather as effectively with hard water and the clothes washer is moreefficient at cleaning clothes with the use of soft water.

Yucatan Living

A number of municipal water systems in Mexico have irregular pressure,which is low during high-consumption hours. Our water pressure system provides consistent high pressure,which is a luxury in the shower after a hot day outside.

We installed outdoor faucets that are not connected to our water purification or softwater system.For gardening and filling the pool, we use water straight out of the municipal pipe.

Furnishing Your Newor Remodeled Home

At some point, you will have to decide to buy whatyou need in Mexico or ship household goods by container from the states orother countries.We decided to doboth. Whatever you ship by container, you are required by Mexican law to return toyour country of origin when and if you decide to permanently leave Mexico. We learned you cannot bring new householdgoods, only used household goods that are at least six months old.For high dollar items that we shipped, we had to be sureto have receipts to prove the date of purchase.

If we had known how easy andreasonably priced shipping by container was, we would have prepared a much largershipment.We paid for the space ofone-half of a container and probably did not use more than forty percent of thespace we paid for.It was still worth it.We were able to bring favorite chairs, patiofurniture, TVs, tools, lots of kitchen utensils and small appliances and moreclothes than we will ever need.Shipping goods made in China was prohibited at the time, but we haveheard that the law may change regarding Chinese imports.

We were grateful that we had hired adedicated professional customs broker and followed his instructions to theletter.Since the majority of containershipments of household goods arrive in Progresso, Meridá has an excellentchoice of customs brokers, and we were happy with ours.

One factor we had to consider was the combined height of the trailer and thecontainer.In Valladolid, municipalregulations prevent any cargo truck with a height of more than 4.10 meters fromentering the city.We had a choice ofusing a regular container trailer or a low riding trailer.We had to use the lower trailer because oncethe container was placed on the trailer it measured 4.09 meters in height.We met the legal regulations by onecentimeter.

We filled out the Valladolidpermit to bring the container into the city, and six days after the container left our home inNew Braunfels, it was on a container ship in the Gulf of Mexico and on its wayto Valladolid.

Our most precious household goodsthat would fit in a suitcase and meet airline weight limits arrived in Mexicoat the same time we did.Every time, we or anyfamily or friends flew to Cancun, we brought more items in our bags, and in that way, brought everything with us that was important to keep in our possession.

Local Artisans

In the last few years, sometimes it turns out that we have not been able to find the piece of furniture orother object that we want in Mexico.We have found that there are many qualified carpenters in Meridá, Temozon, and Valladolid that arecapable of crafting beautiful pieces of woodwork.All of our bedroom dressers and cabinets,kitchen cabinets, and bathroom cabinets were made and installed by a localcarpenter.We learned to have these objects created as “floating” furniture.The pieces were designed to be attached to thewalls, and to sit approximately six inches off the floors. This has made it possible to sweep and mop tile floors under the furniturewith ease.


Ants are one of the major nuisances in thekitchen.I do not know where they comefrom and most of the time we do not see them. However, the minute we leave food on the counter, especially anythingsweet, they appear in droves.We believethat keeping a clean kitchen and placing leftovers in sealed containershalts most problems with ants.

Solid WasteDisposal

The disposal of garbage (the politically correctterm is solid waste) is handled by our municipal government and is veryefficient.We pay for pick-up serviceson an annual basis and the truck comes by twice a week at regular times.We often see someone goingthrough our trash looking for anything of value.Cardboard boxes, plastic bottles, brokenappliances, etc. are prizes for some folks. On trash pick-up days, we have found that many residents puttheir garbage curbside before leaving for work. The dogs in our neighborhood have figured this out and make their roundsfairly early.We wait until about anhour before pick-up time to put out our trash and seldom have problems with thedogs tearing open our trash bags.

Lawn and Garden

Bishop Landa stated after hisarrival that the Yucatán Peninsula appeared to have the worst soil onearth.While that may or may not betrue, most agronomists will agree that the Yucatán has poor soil.Most soils are reddish –colored tropicallaterites that are low in plant nutrients. However, there are pockets of decent black soils scattered over theYucatan Peninsula.In Valladolid, street vendorsoccasionally stop in front of the house selling bags of soil.We have learned to check to make sure the soil is black and not red, and that it has been sifted to remove rockymaterial.We also often pay a little moreand buy our soil at professional lawn and garden centers.

We have purchased many of our yardand patio plants from street vendors.Wehave also started a number of trees, including a beautiful Flor de Mayo, bysimply breaking a branch off of a friend’s tree and sticking it in a pot withgood soil or directly into the ground. In the beginning all of the leavesdroppedoff.We figured that as long as the branch remained green and it wasproperly watered, it would eventually sprout new leaves and create an established rootsystem.We were well rewarded for our patience. This method is similar to theconcept of “living fences” where the fence posts eventually become trees, and if you look, you can observe these “living fences” inseveral rural areas in southern Mexico.

When ourplants or trees develop afungus or have insect problems that we are not familiar with, we visit our local veterinarian pharmaceutical supply store. They stock most of the treatment chemicals that we need. We try to take a damaged leaf with us, sothat they can identify the problem accurately.

Buying A Car

Upon reflection, we decided there woul be less hassle to buy a new or used car in Mexico.Our car would be registered here and have Mexican licenseplates.It might be a coincidence, butwe have never been stopped by the police while driving the car with Mexicanplates.On the contrary, we were stoppedseveral times while driving our car with U.S. plates or while driving rentalvehicles.

We found that dealers seldomhaggle over the sales price.The companyestablishes the price and negotiating a different price is not likely tooccur.There is a significant pricebreak if you purchase your car in Quintana Roo versus Yucatán state because thesales tax in Quintana Roo is five percent less.We were told to be up front with Yucatán state car dealers,because they may lower the total price of the car by five percent to cover the taxdifference.

We made sure to purchase carinsurance from a reputable company, as thelaws here are different from U.S. road laws and you can be held responsible forsituations that you would not be responsible for in the States.We have also found that it is easier to pay ourcar insurance fees on an annual basis rather than a monthly basis.

Driving Hints

We never let our gas tank get below one-quarter of atank.If you wait until your gas lightflashes, you could be too far from a PEMEX station.There are no gas stations on the Cuota (the long highway between Cancun and Merida) onceyou leave major urban centers, except on the outskirts of Valladolid.In addition, we never fill up when a tankertruck is unloading into the underground tanks at the service station.When the tankers are unloading, the processstirs the sediment on the bottom of the tanks and you may pump this sedimentinto your car’s tank.Eventually thatsediment can cause problems with your car’s fuel line.

We decided to try putting nitrogen in ourtires for fuel efficiency and longer wear for our tires.The tires run cooler with nitrogen especiallyduring the long, hot season.We noted aone and one-half to two miles per gallon increase with nitrogen in ourtires.If you have a flat and cannotfind a nitrogen outlet, you can still use air.Lateryou can always return to a nitrogen station and replace the air withnitrogen.Most businesses where you buythe nitrogen originally, will check tire pressure free of charge and addnitrogen if the pressure in your tires is low. We have our tires checked about every six weeks.

In our experience, driving at night is risky, even onthe Cuota.Although there are signs thatstate that bicycles are prohibited on the Cuota, we see them frequently.Most of the bicycles do not have reflectorsand can be hard to see at night.On twooccasions, while driving at night between Meridá and Valladolid on the Cuota,we have encountered livestock laying or standing on the highway!

We have also learned to make use of ourside-view mirrors.Drivers onmotorcycles, motor scooters, and taxis frequently pass on both the left andright side of a car even if it is stopped or turning.In the United States most driver-side mirrorsshow accurate distances of approaching vehicles.Cars in Mexico seldom seem to come equipped with thattype of mirror. Drivers do not always have the same driving education here as well, so in general, we have found that driving in Mexico requires us to drive more defensively.

Flying Out ofMexico

Cancun has far more flight choices than Meridá and for us, the airport is closer than the Merida airport.We usually leave our car at home and take the bus to the airport. The bus is a much more economicalchoice because we save on the Cuota fees,gasoline for a round-trip, and parking fees for our car.Since we are over 65 and have the MexicanFederal SEDESOL card, our bus fare is one-half the normal ticketcost.We make sure to purchase our tickets afew days in advance because the number of discounted tickets is limited.If we have to be in Cancun for an earlyflight, we take the bus and stay in an economy hotel the night before our flightdeparture.There are several hotels thatcharge $35 to $40 for one night, so we will still save money over the cost ofdriving.

We have discovered, that for the most part, theYucatán is a cash-based, peso society.Weuse our debit card to move dollars from the United States to Mexico inpesos.We use banks in the states thatdo not charge a fee to use the debit card, so the only fee we pay is the localATM bank fee, which is usually less than three dollars. One problem with ATM machines is that theyusually disperse large bills (200 or 500 peso notes).Small businesses and markets in general havedifficulty breaking a large paper note and prefer 20, 50, or 100 peso denominations.

After spending some time in Mexicowe have noted distinct fluctuations in the value of the peso.For much of this past year the dollar tradedat 11 to 11.5 pesos.Recently we havegotten as much as 14.2 pesos for a dollar. Exchanging dollars at the higher rate can mean $100 to $200 in savingson each $1,000 traded.We try toexchange pesos regularly while the rate is increasing and put the pesos in ourMexican bank account.We use those pesos when the rate begins to decline. However, there is a fairly new law that says if you deposit more than 15,000 pesos in a single month, you will betaxed 3% on the number of pesos in excess of the 15,000 pesos, so of course we also try to stay within that limit.

Lending Money

We have learned to be cautious to whom we lend or givemoney.During the first month I was here Iregularly worked in the front yard getting our grass started.One day, a middle-aged man on a bicyclestopped in front of the gate and started crying and telling me how his daughterneeded medicine and he did not have any money. He needed 100 pesos for the prescription and he would come back the nextday and do some yard work for me.I waspretty sure it was a scam but the thought of the little girl suffering inducedme to give him the 100 pesos.He nevercame back.We also had an acquaintancehere that we had known for many years. We thoroughly trusted him based on our history with him, but he too hasfailed to pay back his debt.It can betough to say no, but it is a good habit to get into.

Electric Rates

Electricity is expensive in Mexico especially duringthe hottest season of the year when air conditioners are frequently inuse.The first year we were here, Irecorded our kilowatt usage almost every day. We calculated monthly average costs for the year.Since we are on fixed income and a budget, weplaced money in our safe during the low cost months to use to subsidize thecosts of the more expensive months.

Family and Friends

It was important to us while we were adjusting to our newmove to Mexico to stay in touch with family and friends.For us, one of the best waysto do that is with the free Internet service called Skype.We are lucky to have a newer model of computer with a built-incamera that allows us to see the person you are talking to. In our case, this is especially wonderful with our grandchildren.Since my 100year-old mother does not have a computer, we subscribe to a TELMEX plan thatprovides Internet services as well as unlimited long distance telephone servicefor areasonable monthly charge and we use that to talk to her.

The Gringo Connection

The number of gringos living in Valladolid is quitesmall, but we are a very socially active group that has interwoven itself intothe local community.We shareinformation regarding doctors, dentists, plumbers, electricians, restaurants,etc.We also help each other by bringingnecessities to individuals from shopping trips to Meridá and Cancun.For those gringos without cars, we try tomake sure everyone has a ride to important events.We email and call each other regularly tokeep our group notified about important news. Finally, almost all of us subscribe and read Yucatan Living on a regular basis.

Authors Summary

I hope that this article does not sound negative,because it was not written for that purpose. We are very happy with the choice we made to retire in Mexico,specifically Valladolid.We have beenaccepted into the local community with open arms and warm affection.We remind ourselves that even though we havehad some unexpected problems and costs, they do not add up to more than a yearof house property taxes in Texas.Weare happy to call Valladolid home.


Read more about Valladolid.

Read the story of the Working Gringos.

Read the story of Building Our House in Merida (it's a long saga... prepare yourself!)

More about Driving in the Yucatan, Cost of Living in the Yucatan, and many Yucatan Survivor tips.


  • Frost9 years ago

    Thank you for the extensive information. Very valuable


  • DJaaay10 years ago

    You lucky expats.I just checked the exchange rate and it is 13.20 to 1 US!Loved your article. Thanks


  • Cat10 years ago

    Hello, Byron.I live in Puerto Morelos Q Roo.Please, please tell me what kind of floor fan you are using and where you bought it.I have not been able to find the perfect fan.Thanks.


  • Working Gringos10 years ago

    Margarita, MexPack on this page:


    specializes in moving people to and from Mexico.


  • Margarita10 years ago

    Thank you for writing this article.My husband and I just purchased property in Sisal and are very excited about our impending move.We have always known that we wanted to retire in Mexico and over the last 25+ years we have looked and many locations, but when we first visited Merida and its surrounding areas we knew this was the place and three visits later we purchased.I was wondering if you can send me the information regarding your mover as we are also planning on taking some of our own belongings and planning to purchase the rest in the region.


  • Diana10 years ago

    Hi, you're article was really interesting for us.We are seriously thinking of retiring in Mexico and have been to a number of places on both coasts and the Baha.Certainly not as many as you have but enough to know that we love the people, their culture, friendliness and, considering we live in British Columbia Canada the weatheris definitely a plus. We have friends in Merida and we really love it there but the weather is very warm and we prefer more green.There is so little on the internet on rentalsor real estate for Valladolid that we are hoping you may have more information or could let us know where we can get some. From what we have found it is like a mini Merida with some features that might suit us better.We are interested in being involved with the local community and doing volunteer Thank you. Diana & Don


  • RJ10 years ago

    Shouldn't be much debate abount reverse osmosis.It is only affordable for low flow rates such as an auxiliary faucet just for drinking water--probably 5 - 10 gallons per day max, unless you are willing to pay substantially more for a higher capacity system.RO uses and disposes of 1 - 3 gallons of water for every gallon that it purifies.

    The "waste" water is pretty close to your tap water, so if you like, it can be captured and used for toilets, washing, the garden, and so forth, but if you are using just 5 - 10 gallons per day from a normal drinking/cooking water faucet, the cost of reovery may not make it worth the extra expense.


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