Mexico City, Mexico Report of what it's like to live there - 01/13/24

Personal Experiences from Mexico City, Mexico

Mexico City, Mexico 01/13/24

Background:

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

No. London, New Delhi, Vancouver, Kampala, Dar es Salaam, and Port Moresby.

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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?

USA, easy travel

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3. What years did you live here?

2016-2020

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4. How long have you lived here?

Three years.

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

Diplomatic mission

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Housing, Groceries & Food:

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

We were initially posted in a nice apartment in Bosques. The commute was 20 to 60 min each way, depending on traffic. There were very few families in Bosques. There are no sidewalks or parks within walking distance. It is very isolating.

After 1.5 years, we moved to a smaller apartment in Polanco and were much happier. I could walk my dogs every morning without fear of being hit by a car. There were plenty of stores/restaurants within walking distance. Commute to the embassy was about 10-15 minutes. Life was much, much better.

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

Same as America

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

Good cheese: I would pack it in my suitcase after trips home.

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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?

I think it was about $450 per month for a full time housekeeper.

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

Language isn’t needed, but it’s appreciated and it’s nice to have some understanding.

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

Not really.

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Transportation:

1. 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?

Small AWD for easy parking and rough roads.

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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?

Some decent care, but not up to par with States or with their human medicine.

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Health & Safety:

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

Same as any big city.

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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?

Medical care at Hospital Espanola was fantastic. I had a couple of emergency abdominal surgeries and was impressed with the sterility and quality of post-op care. You have to advocate for yourself for pain management though.

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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?

Horrible. The elevation makes it harder on your lungs too. This was the only real negative about this post.

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

Your lungs suffer here, even if you are healthy. Concern for COPD development.

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

Surprisingly cold, especially in mornings. Remember the elevation is 7500-8500 ft.

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Schools & Children:

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

Ours went to elementary at the American School Foundation (ASF). It was adequate. No more.

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Expat Life:

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

Giant! Biggest I’ve ever experienced.

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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?

Dinners and traveling together.

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

Traveling…we explored the entire country (minus off-limit areas). Some favorites were Baja sur, Chiapas, Oaxaca, Veracruz, Cuetzalan, Yukatan, Cloud forests, denotes, highlands, jungles, ruins, scuba diving, white water rafting, rock climbing, camping, the list goes on and on.

Butterfly migration, butterfly migration, butterfly migration

Dia de Los muertos

Food - especially Quintonil and street food.

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

Mexico puts on the BEST concerts. Go to as many as you can in CDMX.

Camping/rock climbing in Las Ventanas - 2 hrs from CDMX
Weekends in Las Estacas
Weekend art markets

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

ART is mind blowing here.

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

Culture and more culture. Food!

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Words of Wisdom:

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

Live in Polanco.

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

Yes.

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