A Quick Update

In 2010, we moved back to the small town in Colorado that I never stopped missing while we lived in Mexico. Now I sometimes miss Mexico, but I wouldn't travel as freely as we did when we were there, camping out in remote areas and so forth.

Mexico today is in a period of change, and in many ways it is more dangerous now. That said, I have plenty of American friends who still live there very happily, just taking a few more precautions than they did in the past.

Just to say!

Rosana

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Feb 28, 2009 — This week, I received the following email, reprinted here by permission of the woman who sent it:

Hi, I’m wondering if you can help me find some information about Mexico.  About I year ago, I met and became engaged to a Mexican man.  He’s from Ciudad Mante, Tamaulipas.  He wants to live in Mexico, and having recently visited his home town and met his family, I have no problem with that.

However, we’re both worried about the safety of living in Mexico, especially now.  His friends and family, when we ask them what they think about my living in Mexico, at first they say “no, it’s very safe in this part of Mexico,” but then after just a couple moments more consideration, and thinking of all the kidnappings that occur just among Mexican citizens, they all think twice.

So, we decided to try to find out what Americans think who are already living in Mexico and how they feel about the changes that have been taking place.  I wondered if you could tell me your opinion, or if you know any other Americans who would be interested in talking to me about this.

I’d deeply appreciate any information or opinions you might have to add a little clarity to our dilemma.  Thanks so much,

Readers, your thoughts?

To give you some context, Ciudad Mante is a small city due south of Ciudad Victoria by maybe a couple of hours’ drive. So while it is less than a day’s trip to Texas, this is by no means a border area.

My answer to the email

If the people you talked to who live there “all think twice,” that’s worth paying attention to. But try to remember the context of the conversations. Mexicans are so polite… did you express worry and then they agreed with you? It might mean less in that case.

I just happened to come across a blog which discussed violence in Mexico in two articles this week: http://travelojos.com/ can give you more food for thought. One expert they quote suggests that the odds of your being kidnapped are in the same range as the odds of your being struck by lightning. However, there are a few disquieting comments as well.

Another website to check out is www.mexconnect.com, which used to be a private membership site but is now free. It has a forum where you could discuss this question, and get answers from informed gringos who live in all parts of Mexico. I highly recommend this website.

Here by Lake Chapala, in an area with thousands of mostly-retired foreigners, while the long-term stability of Mexico is a topic of conversation, many expats feel more secure here than in the US as the economic conditions cause more stress in both places. But that is not directly pertinent to your question.

In the end, after you have gathered information, pay attention to your feelings and intuitions as well. Often the answer is there all along. And best wishes for your life together, wherever it may be. — Rosana

4 Comments from the old blog:

  • At February 28, 2009 6:07 PM,  Anonymous said…

    I, too am hoping to relocate to Lake Chapala soon, but as a single woman my family has voiced their concerns for safety, pointing out news reports of recent crime waves with kidnappings & murders. Common sense needs to prevail, however: it is akin to saying, “Don’t go to the United States!” because there is alot of crime & murder in L.A. and New York. The statistics refer to border towns primarily & this due to drug cartels. Most areas of the country are at least as safe as elsewhere in N. America that aren’t swarming with gangs and druglords. Common sense should also tell you to keep certain aspects of your situation between yourself & those you know & trust; don’t make public that you are a single woman living alone, have lots of money, wealthy relatives, whatever could put you at risk or make you a target. Sadly, these days that applies anywhere in the world, not just Mexico.

  • At March 01, 2009 8:22 PM,  Rosana Hart said…

    Thanks for your comments and I have a bit more to add.

    To the questioner: Yesterday, after I posted this, I happened to be chatting with a Mexican man I know here. I respect his opinion a lot. He commented that it would have a lot to do with your husband and his role in the community. Was he seen as rich? Also, that it would relate to things like if you wore expensive jewelry or drove a more expensive car than the people around you.

    HTH,
    Rosana

  • At March 24, 2009 1:38 PM,  Moroco Topo said…

    i grew up in ciudad victoria and would second that the area is safe. Not a lot of violence out there since it isnt considered a border area -like you pointed out- My main concern for her would be boredom in mante.

  • At April 01, 2009 12:17 AM,  Kristin said…

    I recently as of August 2008, moved to Chihuahua, Chihuahua with my husband. I am white and he was born here. Although there is a lot of bad things going on (especially here in Chihuahua and being blonde hair and green eyes) you really just needto be in a ok area. As long as you are not involved in the cartel, Mexico could not be a more wonderful place to live! Check out my blog while I go through living as a gringa in Mexico! www.familiavaldiviezo.blogspot.com

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