American Expats in Mexico: Background information when reading Mexico

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by Josh Barkan

Mexico by Josh Barkan X
Mexico by Josh Barkan
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    Jan 2017, 256 pages

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Sarah Tomp

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American Expats in Mexico

This article relates to Mexico

Print Review

Even if there's a lot of violence portrayed in Josh Barkan's short story collection, statistically, Mexico as a whole is comparable to the United States in overall crime incidents, but areas known to have high drug activity are more likely to include the "headline" crimes such as murder, kidnapping and extortion. In fact, although recent political and public attention has been toward Mexican immigrants in America, an estimated two million Americans live in Mexico.

The most common reason Americans move to Mexico is for the lower cost of living. The mild climate and ease of entering the country and obtaining the proper visa add to its appeal. For people who have gone to Mexico on a trial basis, the warm and welcoming nature of the Mexican people is cited as one the major reasons they've decided to stay permanently. Most expatriates are either living on retirement or work remotely via the Internet. When online gambling became illegal in the United States, many professional poker players moved to other countries, including Mexico.

God of the Winds Temple, Tulum Geographically diverse, Mexico offers a variety of lifestyles to choose from. For life on the beach, expatriates may want to consider Puerto Vallarta, a sophisticated resort town visited regularly by cruise ships, or, in contrast, Tulum, a small town on the Yucatan peninsula. The largest coral reef in the Atlantic Ocean is off the coast of Tulum and inland are Mayan archeological sites. For those wanting a different view than the ocean, Merida, a large vibrant city within the semi-tropical Yucatan Peninsula may appeal. San Miguel de Allende is considered to be a deeply culture-rich and art-centric city in the colonial highlands region. Alamos, also supportive of the arts, is surrounded by mountains yet still offers a mild climate.

Before you plan your move to Mexico, consider a few of the challenges. The mild weather is humid and much warmer than many parts of the United States. Material goods may not be as varied as the choices in the United States, and some items may not be readily available. Although health and dental care are seen as comparable, and cheaper than that received north of the border, you will most likely be paying in cash rather than using health insurance. Some goods, especially electronics, will be more expensive and possibly not of the most current technology.

Crime statistics may influence your choice of locale as to where to set up home. Generally, visitors and expatriates are encouraged to avoid wearing costly looking jewelry or using expensive cameras in public areas so as to avoid getting pickpocketed.

At this time, obtaining a visa to visit Mexico is still easy and inexpensive—so any American considering a more permanent move south of the border should explore more.

Picture of God of the Winds Temple, Tulum by Martin Falbisoner

This "beyond the book article" relates to Mexico. It first ran in the March 22, 2017 issue of BookBrowse Recommends.

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