Ciudad Juarez, Mexico Report of what it's like to live there - 08/07/13

Personal Experiences from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico

Ciudad Juarez, Mexico 08/07/13

Background:

1. Was this post your first expatriate experience? If not, what other cities have you lived in as an expat?

No. I have lived in different countries in Asia, Europe, and North America.

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2. What is your home city/country? How long is the trip to post from there, with what connections? How easy/difficult is it to travel to this city/country?

We are based out of Washington, D.C.

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3. How long have you lived here?

8 months.

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4. What brought you to this city (e.g. diplomatic mission, business, NGO, military, teaching, retirement, etc.)?

Employed at the U.S. Consulate.

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Housing, Groceries & Food:

1. What is your housing like? What are typical housing sizes, locations, and commute times for expatriates?

Housing is great and close to the Consulate - commute times are very minor.

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2. Are there any unusual problems with insects or other infestations in housing?

Some scorpions and spiders...nothing too difficult.

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Daily Life:

1. What is the availability and cost of household help, and what types of help are typically employed by expatriates?

If you work at the Consulate, you receive Consulate prices for domestic help. It is absurd. I highly recommend finding domestic help on the local economy where it is much more affordable. Seriously, some of my friends pay the equivalent of Montessori prices for nannies.

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2. What English-language religious services are available locally?

English language religious services are only available if you cross an international border.

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3. How much of the local language do you need for daily living? Are local language classes/tutors available and affordable?

It is important to speak Spanish - otherwise you'll constantly be in El Paso.

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4. Would someone with physical disabilities have difficulties living in this city?

There are little to no sidewalks or ramps.

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Pets:

1. Are qualified veterinarians and/or good kennel services available? Do animals need to be quarantined upon entry to the country? Are there other considerations regarding pets that are particular to this country?

No.

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Health & Safety:

1. Are there personal security concerns to be aware of at this post? Please describe.

Narco violence remains an issue, though the situation is improving daily. Car jackings and kidnappings are common.

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2. What is the air quality like at post (good/moderate/bad)? Are there seasonal air quality issues? Does the air quality have an impact on health?

Contrary to what other folks have posted, the air quality is not good in my opinion. The majority of folks here have allergy issues here. It is a dusty environment, it is too be expected. Neti pots are a desert dweller's best friend!

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3. What is the overall climate: is it extremely hot or cold, wet or dry, at any time of year, for example?

Hot, dry summers. Mild winters. Very pleasant spring and fall. There is no drainage in the city, so the rare instances of rain usually result in flooding.

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Expat Life:

1. Is this a good city for LGBT expatriates? Why or why not?

The Pride Parade was quite spectacular for a small desert town. I was really impressed.

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2. What have been the highlights of your time in this country? Best trips or experiences?

The food and local staff are the best things about this post.

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3. What are the particular advantages of living in this city?

Proximity to the U.S. is an advantage. The general cost of living is an advantage. I like the dry heat as well, but most folks do not.

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Words of Wisdom:

1. Knowing what you know now, would you still move to this city?

I would not bid CJ again. The local staff, food, and housing are great, but I would have preferred a much different professional and social atmosphere.

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2. If you move here, you can leave behind your:

Weapons.

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3. But don't forget your:

Rugs.

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