Queretaro, Mexico Report of what it's like to live there

Personal Experiences from Queretaro, Mexico

Queretaro, Mexico 10/30/06

Background:

1. How long have you lived here?

15 months

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

Corporate.

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3. Travel time and best routes to this city from Europe or the US:

By plane, 5 hours NY-MEXICO, then 3 hours by bus from Mexico to Queretaro (from airport).

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Housing, Groceries & Food:

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

Typical Mexican flat houses, no big buildings.

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

Cheap; 50% less than in the US.

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

Some food (cheese, chocolate...). You can find anything else here, though it is sometimes expensive.

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

Fast food : McDonald's, Burger King, KFC... and a lot of tacos stands.

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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?

Easy to find and very cheap.

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2. Are credit cards widely accepted and safe to use locally? Are ATMs common and do you recommend using them? Are they safe to use?

No problems. There are ATM machines everywhere and most shops and restaurants accept all kind of credits cards.

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

None.

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4. English-language newspapers and TV available? Cost?

TV by sky. Newspapers are available in some shops.

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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?

You need to speak Spanish. You will find many people here who speak English with an accent, but speaking spanish will help you avoid paying higher prices.

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

There is almost nothing made to help people with physical disabilities, but a lot of people willing to help in everyday life.

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Transportation:

1. Do you drive on the right hand side of the road or the left?

Right.

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

Everything is very safe and affordable. (Buses for long distance traveling are great!!)

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3. 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 kind of American automobile is welcome here. It is more difficult and expensive for European automobiles.

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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?

Internet is available everywhere and is very cheap, though it is difficult to find very good quality internet.

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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?

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3. What is the best way to make phone calls back home?

Internet.

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Pets:

1. Quality pet care available (vets & kennels)?

Few.

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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?

Yes.

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

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Health & Safety:

1. Pollution index (Good, Moderate, Unhealthy, or Very Unhealthy)?

Good.

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

None, for me it's the safest place in Mexico!!

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

There is some good medical care, but also a lot of bad medical care.

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

There is no big variation during the year: fresh and hot (never cold), though there are some rains between July and October

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Schools & Children:

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

Some exchange in universities for foreign students.

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2. What accommodations do schools make for special-needs kids?

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3. 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?

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Expat Life:

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

Small.

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2. Morale among expats:

Very very good. It is nice to be expat in Mexico.

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3. What are some typical ways to socialize, either with local people or with other expatriates? Are there groups or clubs that you can recommend?

You can find almost everything here.

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

Very good for families or couples.

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

More or less. The community is small.

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

There are some problems with gender. Queretaro is well developed and prejudices are less than compared to other places in Mexico.

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

Clubs, visiting.

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

Food, music.

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9. Can you save money?

Yes.

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Words of Wisdom:

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

Yes.

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

Winter clothes, sadness, prejudices.

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3. But don't forget your:

Camera, swim suits, open mind.

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4. Recommended movies/DVDs related to this city:

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5. Do you recommend any books or movies about this city/country for those who are interested in learning more?

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6. Do you recommend any books or movies about this city/country for those who are interested in learning more?

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7. Do you have any other comments?

A very quiet, safe and well located city in Mexico; the best place to live and discover Mexico for families and couples.

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