Merida, Mexico Report of what it's like to live there - 10/19/21

Personal Experiences from Merida, Mexico

Merida, Mexico 10/19/21

Background:

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

Tours in Europe, Asia, and South 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?

East coast USA. It's very easy to get to post.

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3. How long have you lived here?

One year.

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4. What years did you live here?

Currently at post.

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

Diplomatic.

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Housing, Groceries & Food:

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

Single family houses with pools and lots of space. In my opinion, repairs are of poor quality.

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2. How would you describe the availability and cost of groceries and household supplies relative to your home country?

Everything you want and more: Costco, local fruit markets, and seafood. Household help is reasonable.

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3. What household or grocery items do you wish you had shipped to post?

Can pretty much get everything here.

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4. What typical restaurants, food delivery services, and/or takeout options are popular among expatriates?

Uber eats and other delivery services are here. There's a range of local street food to fancy restaurants.

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

It's the tropics, so ants, cockroaches and the normal insects.

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Daily Life:

1. How do you send and receive your letters and package mail? Are local postal facilities adequate?

Diplomatic mail. There is FedEx which is easy to use and DHL.

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

Nannies, cleaning help, and gardeners are available and have a reasonable weekly cost.

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3. What kinds of gyms or other sports/workout facilities are available? Are they expensive?

Gyms, pools, and walking are all here...not western prices.

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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 ATMs are easy to use. Most locals use cash.

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

The more Spanish, the better.

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

There are sidewalks, but depends on the area in the city.

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Transportation:

1. Are local buses, trams, trains or taxis safe and affordable?

Uber and local buses are very affordable.

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2. What kind of car do you recommend bringing to post, given the terrain, availability of parts, burglary/carjacking risks, etc.? What kind of car do you advise not to bring?

Any type; I see small minis to large SUVs (the range is wide).
Merida is the safest city in Mexico.

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Phone & Internet:

1. Is high-speed home Internet access available? How long does it typically take to install it after arrival?

Yes, but fiber optics depends on where you live in the city.

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2. Do you have any recommendations regarding mobile phones? Did you keep your home-country plan or use a local provider?

Have a local phone and kept my home phone plan.

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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?

I brought my dog. Veterinarians are here that speak English. Petco is very clean and great.

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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?

Many are teleworking.

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2. What is the typical dress code at work and in public places? Is formal dress ever required?

No formal dress. Casual and covered up (it's hot here).

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Health & Safety:

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

No.

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2. Are there any particular health concerns? What is the quality of available medical care? What medical conditions typically require medical evacuation?

No. There is very good medical care here.

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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?

Near the beach, good quality, just hot year-round.

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4. What do people who suffer from environmental or food allergies need to know?

There are options here for different foods.

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5. Are there any particular mental health issues that tend to crop up at post, such as Seasonal Affective Disorder (winter blues)?

It's hot, very hot here part of the year.

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

Tropical dry heat most of the year.

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Schools & Children:

1. What is the availability of international schools? What has been your general experience with them, if any?

Better geared for kids under 15.

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2. Are preschools available? Day care? Are these expensive? What has been your experience with them, if any? Do the schools provide before- and/or after-school care?

Yes. Preschools and daycares are hard with COVID.

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3. Are local sports classes and/or activities available for kids?

Yes. Soccer, swimming, music, horseback-riding, tennis, baseball, and bowling.

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Expat Life:

1. What is the relative size of the expatriate community? How would you describe overall morale among expatriates?

Large snowbird winter expats and a very tiny diplomatic group.

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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?

Beach trips, Cenotes ruins, pool parties, and restaurants.

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3. Is this a good city for single people? For couples? For families? Why or why not?

With COVID, it's tough good for families and couples.

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4. Is it easy to make friends with locals here? Are there any prejudices or any ethnic groups who might feel uncomfortable here?

Hard with COVID, but before I am told yes.

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

Yes.

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6. Are there problems with ethnic, race/racial minorities or religious prejudices? Gender equality?

No.

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

People are warm and friendly; it's a great quality of life.

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8. What are some interesting/fun things to do in the area? Can you recommend any “hidden gems"?

The Cenotes ruins and beaches.

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9. Is this a "shopping post"? Are there interesting handicrafts, artwork, antiques, or other items that people typically buy there?

Hammocks and local art.

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

It's clean, safe, and inexpensive.

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Words of Wisdom:

1. What do you wish you had known about this particular city/country before moving there?

Nothing! I love this tour.

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

100% hope to stay longer.

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

Winter clothes.

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4. But don't forget your:

Bug spray and sun screen.

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5. Do you have any other comments?

Merida is truly a great city and amazing location. We are enjoying our time here, though it's not a hidden secret anymore. There are tons of snowbirds here during the winter months.

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