Over a million Americans currently call Mexico home, more than any other foreign country in the world. But for those moving to Mexico, how do you know which city is right for you? Thankfully Mexico offers a host of livable settings including beachfront communities, bustling capital cities, mountain villages and mid-size towns.
Urban dwellers gravitate towards the country's capital, Mexico City, one of the world's most populous cities. Students and educators may be particularly interested in the region's two world renowned universities, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México and Instituto Politécnico Nacional.
Situated near Lake Chapala, Ajijic boasts warm temperatures year-round, averaging around 70 degrees in January. If the weather's not enough to entice you, keep in mind that three-bedroom, two-bathroom homes in the area can be had for around $125,000.
Those looking to assimilate into Mexican culture usually move to mountain towns like Guanajuato where English is rarely spoken and little has been altered by American influence. Guanajuato is also a modern city, home to the prestigious Centre for Mathematical Research and the Festival Internacional Cervantino, a revered international art festival.
Perched along the Yucatan Peninsula, Merida aims to meet the day-to-day needs of relocated Americans. Merida has implemented many English-speaking, community-based organizations geared towards American families, such as support groups for new mothers and a library exclusively featuring English language books.
Monterrey, an industrialized yet aesthetically pleasing city, has something for everyone. In 2005 Fortune magazine ranked Monterrey as the second best Latin American city in which to do business. It also possesses more institutes of higher learning than any other Mexican city and Monterrey's crime rate is significantly lower than major cities like Mexico City and Guadalajara.
Multiple global corporations call Queretaro home, including auto and textile industries, adding in part to the city's famed booming economy and its impressive job opportunities. The high quality of life continues through Queretaro's two prestigious hospitals, Hospital San José de Querétaro and Hospital Ángeles de Querétaro, both of which actively cater to English-speaking communities.
Situated amidst a dense tropical setting and massive volcanic mountains, Xalapa mixes natural beauty with a thriving cultural scene. Three major universities grace the region, as well as a renowned museum, Pinacoteca Diego Rivera, and a prestigious orchestra, Orquesta Sinfónica de Xalapa.
San Miguel de Allende
A large number of foreigners have turned this historic 1542 city into their permanent home. As a result, in 2006, the city experienced a boom in private and public development. Today residents can find three-bedroom homes in the heart of the city starting at around $150,000.
Aguascalientes manages to embrace its colonial style and design, all while keeping an eye toward the future. Stone-covered streets weave through a city that continues to play host to numerous conventions, as well as international conglomerates, including a collection of automobile factories.
Irapuato features everything one expects from a major city, including a highly developed shopping district, as well as a professional sports team and a large zoo for entertainment purposes. The city also houses a series of esteemed universities, including one of the campuses of the esteemed Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education.
- "Live Better South of the Border, 4th Ed.: A Practical Guide for Living and Working (Live Better South of the Border in Mexico)," Mexico Mike Nelson; 2005
- Baja Life | Living In Mexico
- "The Plain Truth About Living in Mexico: The Expatriate's Guide to Moving, Retiring, or Just Hanging Out," Doug Bower and Cynthia M. Bower; 2005
- Photo Credit www.flickr.com courtesy of Esparta; worldsurfer; Appfrica; Yörch; marcopako; fer tapia; Sachavir; Sachavir; commons.wikimedia.org courtesy of Davelapo555