living in mexico
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How safe is it to travel to Mexico? This has been the question on many tourists’ minds over the past six months or so. Every time there is a new story from the country about the warring drug mafia or an isolated robbery case, the crescendo around this question increases incredibly. Like every other story in the media, there is more than one side to this issue … some we are acutely aware of and others we have never heard.


We went in search of stories that offer a different viewpoint on this issue and found one by Diane Schmidt on, “Moving to Mexico – How Safe? Safe to Live in Mexico?” Her sister has been living in Mexico for more than a year and her article gives us a clear insight on the life there. Interestingly, Schmidt’s article is more like a conversation with her sister that answers many common questions about living in Mexico.


Compared to the United States, Mexico is a large country. The violence and drug-related crimes of central Mexico do not make a dent in the peaceful Mayan region. Frequent travelers to Mexico have always enjoyed the welcoming Mayan region, extending from the Riviera Maya to the Yucatan Peninsula. The geography of this region does not allow for good hiding or easy escape routes for those involved in crime, thus there isn’t much criminal activity here.


If you visit Playa Del Carmen, you will notice that in addition to the tourists, there are many expats who have chosen to settle down in this beautiful place. It is interesting to find that while the world is canceling their holiday bookings at an alarming rate because of things they’ve seen on the news, there are a lot of people who have visited and fallen so in love with the country that they have returned for good.


Obviously, petty crime in any city in the world cannot be nil. There will always be enterprising merchants trying to cheat tourists in the local markets. There will be the odd robbery in the market area. There will be overcharging at restaurants and gas stations. However, these instances happen around the world in any area where the economy is still growing and the locals depend on tourism to make their livelihood.


Schmidt’s says she is an ardent fan of Mexico and the Mexican people. She has other friends who have settled in Playa Del Carmen. She thinks nothing should stop you from spending your annual holidays in the beauty of Riviera Maya. Schmidt and her family continue to exercise common-sense caution when they travel, and advise you to as well. Those who have been there once just cannot stay away from the serenity and beauty of Mexico.

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  • The Yucatan is one of many safe places here. After 15 months of criss-crossing Mexico, my new book looks at Americans and Canadians who’ve chosen to avoid the big expat colonies in San Miguel de Allende and Lake Chapala. What they’ve found is both diverse and surprising. If you’re wondering what the expat experience is like, whether on the beach or in the colonial cities of the interior, you need to listen to this conversation. The book is called Into the Heart of Mexico: Expatriates Find Themselves Off the Beaten Path, and there is no other book like it. There’s a sample on my website:


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