Guadalajara, Mexico Report of what it's like to live there - 08/01/23
Personal Experiences from Guadalajara, Mexico
1. Was this post your first expatriate experience? If not, what other cities have you lived in as an expat?
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?
There are flights to many U.S. cities, though the times are often inconvenient and you must use a low-cost Mexican carrier for many routes, which are often unreliable.
3. How long have you lived here?
4. What brought you to this city (e.g. diplomatic mission, business, NGO, military, teaching, retirement, etc.)?
Housing, Groceries & Food:
1. What is your housing like? What are typical housing sizes, locations, and commute times for expatriates?
To the Consulate, 15-20 minutes from most housing. A new consulate is being built in a residential area but it is heavily delayed so no one knows when it will really open.
2. How would you describe the availability and cost of groceries and household supplies relative to your home country?
You can buy anything you need, but inflation and the strengthening peso have made everything about 30% more expensive than it used to be. We spend much more than we thought we would.
3. What household or grocery items do you wish you had shipped to post?
4. What typical restaurants, food delivery services, and/or takeout options are popular among expatriates?
Varied dining scene with tasty food. I've gotten sick multiple times, but I think I'm finally getting used to it.
5. Are there any unusual problems with insects or other infestations in housing?
1. How do you send and receive your letters and package mail? Are local postal facilities adequate?
Post mail system
2. What is the availability and cost of household help, and what types of help are typically employed by expatriates?
Affordable household help for about $35 a day.
3. What kinds of gyms or other sports/workout facilities are available? Are they expensive?
4. Are credit cards widely accepted and safe to use locally? Are ATMs common and do you recommend using them? Are they safe to use?
Yes and yes, just be careful at night at an ATM.
5. How much of the local language do you need for daily living? Are local language classes/tutors available and affordable?
Lots. You need Spanish to really get by.
6. Would someone with physical disabilities have difficulties living in this city?
The sidewalks are not smooth and are heavily rooted out, so a wheelchair may struggle in some parts of the city.
1. Are local buses, trams, trains or taxis safe and affordable?
Uber is best
2. What kind of vehicle(s) including electric ones do you recommend bringing to post, given the terrain, infrastructure, availability of parts, burglary/carjacking risks, etc.? What kind of car or vehicles do you advise not to bring?
Higher clearance for flooding in rainy season
Phone & Internet:
1. Is high-speed home Internet access available? How long does it typically take to install it after arrival?
Yes, usually reliable outside of rainy season. However, you will not get help having internet installed prior to your arrival, and you are on your own (and your Spanish) to set up your internet when you get here. Sometimes it takes many weeks.
2. Do you have any recommendations regarding mobile phones? Did you keep your home-country plan or use a local provider?
US carriers work here.
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?
Yes, many pets at affordable prices compared to U.S.
Employment & Volunteer Opportunities:
1. What types of jobs do most expatriate spouses/partners have? Locally based or telecommuting? Full-time or part-time? Can you comment on local salary scales?
Local economy isn't a great option unless it's with a U.S. company. Most have a U.S. job and work from home. Some jobs available in the consulate, but not many.
2. What is the typical dress code at work and in public places? Is formal dress ever required?
It's a pretty laid back city and Post does not have much of a dress code.
Health & Safety:
1. Are there personal security concerns to be aware of at this post? Please describe.
Yes, we've had a few security issues, including parts of the car being robbed while parked at night.
2. Are there any particular health concerns? What is the quality of available medical care? What medical conditions typically require medical evacuation?
Bad air and foodborne illnesses mostly. Some people have had dengue but it's not that widespread.
3. 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?
Bad in the spring, good in the rainy season.
4. What do people who suffer from environmental or food allergies need to know?
There are environmental allergies because there are beautiful trees blooming most of the year
5. Are there any particular mental health issues that tend to crop up at post, such as Seasonal Affective Disorder (winter blues)?
6. What is the overall climate: is it extremely hot or cold, wet or dry, at any time of year, for example?
Rainy season June - Oct, then it never rains again and gets hot and dry and dusty.
1. What is the relative size of the expatriate community? How would you describe overall morale among expatriates?
Not large, and we are the only large consulate in town. Mexicans are friendly but you have to work to make local friends, and they are less inviting than I thought. Language might have something to do with that, and the rich Mexicans are a bit snobby in my opinion.
2. What are some typical ways to socialize, either with local people or with other expatriates? Are there groups or clubs that you can recommend?
Bars, restaurants, hiking groups.
3. Is this a good city for single people? For couples? For families? Why or why not?
Yes, good for all.
4. Is it easy to make friends with locals here? Are there any prejudices or any ethnic groups who might feel uncomfortable here?
Not as easy as you might expect, but very easy to make friendly acquaintances.
5. Is this a good city for LGBT expatriates? Why or why not?
6. What have been the highlights of your time in this country? Best trips or experiences?
Guanajuato, and the coast!
7. Is this a "shopping post"? Are there interesting handicrafts, artwork, antiques, or other items that people typically buy there?
Yes, so many handicrafts.
8. What are the particular advantages of living in this city?
Great weather 75% of the year.
Words of Wisdom:
1. What do you wish you had known about this particular city/country before moving there?
It's higher altitude with worse air than expected.
2. Knowing what you know now, would you still move to this city?
Probably, but it's getting more expensive.