Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Builders Ready to House Growing Baby Boomer Population

"It's a great time to develop senior housing," said Marilynn K. Duker, the president of Brightview Senior Living, a developer based in Maryland that has completed five new facilities since 2008 and has three others under construction. "As long as we can continue to get capital and have the ability to afford it, it's an opportunity and there isn't a lot of competition."

"That kind of financial performance gives banks confidence that senior housing is different from other sectors of the real estate sector," said William Pettit, president and chief of Merrill Gardens, a developer in Seattle. At the same time, David S. Schless, president of American Seniors Housing Association, says "It's certainly not for everyone, but there are companies that really understand the markets and submarkets, and they're very adept at building."

4 Reasons Your Retirement Will Be Nothing Like Your Parents

The face of retirement in America is changing. Whereas older generations seemed to be intent on making dreams of rest and relaxation come true, seniors today are more focused on fun and easy ways to stay active. Here are a few new tendencies in the attitudes of citizens approaching their golden years.

We’ll keep working. Nearly eight in ten (78%) of boomers say they plan to work longer than their parents did. This is driven both by necessity and choice, says Perry, the president of Bankers Life and Casualty Company, a Chicago-based insurance company. “Boomers see things differently.”

We’re staying fit. More than eight in ten baby boomers say that staying physically fit is very important to them. “Boomers realize they’re going to live longer so they’re concerned about keeping active to protect their health,” Perry states. It's also about enjoying retirement more, he says.

We’ll never be irrelevant. Of all baby boomers surveyed, seventy-seven percent think it’s important to keep up with technology in retirement. In fact, according to a recent Wall Street Journal article, senior citizens have accounted for the bulk of the growth that social media has encountered recently.

We’ll keep on learning. More than 60% of boomers say it’s very important that they learn a new skill in retirement (just 21% of them think that this was important to their parents though), and more than one in three wants to go back to school.

All in all, the study concludes that “active lifestyle defines the new retirement.”

Michoacan is Mexico's New Retirement Hot Spot

Via Mexatua.net:

Here is a list of reasons why Michoacán is predicted to become Mexico's Number 1 retirement destination. Can you name any other reasons?

Michoacán abounds with agricultural richness and is the number one exporter of avocado in the world

Rich in culture and crafts

Great year-around climate for seniors

Morelia, the capital, is less than a five hour drive from Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo

The state has a network of high speed highways

International flights serve Uruapan and Morelia

Morelia, the capital, is the place for many cultural events and festivals

The meseta Purepecha is rich in tradition and indigenous culture

At night Morelia is a city of lights with its spectacular XVIth century buildings lit up

Michoacan has its own variety of Mexican cuisine

The village of Paracho produces world class guitars and violins

Paricutin is the volcano that erupted in 1943

There are more than 6,000 extinct volcanoes in Michoacán

Unlike some of the beach areas, there are many affordable properties for sale

Monday, August 29, 2011

Travel on the Yucatán Peninsula

One of the theories behind the source of the name Yucatán is that is derives from the Aztec word Yokatlān or "place of richness." The Yucatán Peninsula is a beautiful spot for traveling along the southeastern part of Mexico, in what separates the Caribbean Sea from the Gulf of Mexico. Known for it's wonderful Mayan ruins, it's a fascinating journey to the past and, in many cases, accompanied by beautiful climate, food and local shopping.

Grutas (Caves) de Loltun
Loltun has some of the oldest evidence of human habitation in the Yucatan boasting 10,000 year old cave art.
Merida is a beautiful colonial city that feels like a small town, but has much more to offer.
Chichen Itza
Hire one of the knowledgeable guides for a group for 600 pesos (<$60) to see the Mayan ruins this town is known for. Tulum
Host to Mayan ruins in a beautiful setting on the coast south of Playa del Carmen.
Uxmal is not quite as grand as Chichan Itza but is less crowded and is interesting in it’s own right.
Coba is a 45 minute drive from Tulum and is a much larger site than Tulum.
Grand Cenote
The Yucatan is dotted with numerous sink holes called cenotes, many of which are filled with fresh water. One town south of Merida boats 150 cenotes in the area. For a fun afternoon on a hot Summer day, take a swim in a cenote
Playa del Carmen
Playa is an hour or so south of Cancun and is a popular destination for Mexicans and Europeans.

You can see what else is going on in these towns here.

9 Tips for Picking an Affordable Place to Retire

This is one of the best articles I've seen on the subject of retirement abroad. I'm always wondering what are the steps to ensure that the place you choose to retire abroad is the right one. Well, here are 9 tips, via U.S. News, that will guarantee that you feel confident in your decision about retirement abroad, and will prevent any unpleasant surprises in the long term. All in all, it really is a process that can be key to a wonderful retirement. For that reason, I leave you with wonderful advice on what to consider before deciding on your retirement spot overseas.

Test it out. You should plan to make several visits to a city before you buy property, or even rent for the first year. Fred Brock, author of Retire on Less Than You Think: The New York Times Guide to Planning Your Financial Future, says "Go spend a month at a place that you are considering, and go there during the worst time of the year."

Access to an airport. If you plan to travel long distances during your retirement years, you will need access to a nearby airport or train station. "I don't think most people want to live more than an hour-and-a-half from a major airport. Otherwise air travel becomes very difficult," says Brock.

Locate new medical facilities
Make sure that you locate medical facilities in that area that will be able to attend to your current needs, as well as any conditions that run in the family that could possibly appear.

The weather . It's tempting to move to a retirement spot that boasts a great climate, but you'll have to make sure you're ok with possibly trading high heating costs for large cooling bills.

Proximity to family . Consider how much time you want to spend with your children and grandchildren in retirement.

Local transportation. Consider how you will get around, no matter where you are moving to. Consider the possibilities if you don't want to drive or are no longer able to. Find out what options are available for getting around without getting into your car.

Consider the economy. Make sure that the country and its economic outlook matches what you're looking for. Again, this U.S. News article states, "If you need or want to work during your retirement years, you need to choose a retirement spot where you will be able to find a job. But even if you plan to permanently exit the workforce, it's a good idea to pick a retirement spot where the economy is at least fairly strong. "Unemployment is like a cancer that affects the whole community, including services you enjoy and take for granted such as police and parks and services for the poor and elderly," says Sperling. "You don't want to be the only person who is well off in a community where everyone else is suffering."

Low-cost things to do . If you take up expensive hobbies, you can end up spending more money in retirement than you did while working. The key is to find public spaces and associations or clubs that will allow you to engage with other seniors in your area and enjoy low-cost, group-oriented activities. The added benefit? These types of outings generally lead not only to a fuller wallet, but a fuller, happier social life as well.

Puebla: A Sweet and Easy Day Trip from Mexico City

Everyone knows that Mexico City is a must-see when traveling to Mexico. Due to the huge cultural offering, from world-class cuisine to renown architecture and innovative art, Mexico City is the place to go. If you're ever looking to get to know a little bit more of Mexico, perhaps a smaller, more traditional city, you should definitely make a side trip to the beautiful town of Puebla.

Here are a few places that are a must-see for any first time visitor:

Museo Amparo (Displays of pre-Hispanic, colonial and contemporary Mexican Art in grand colonial buildings)
Museo de la Revolución (Houses revolutionary materials and is located on Avenida 6 Norte, #206)
Museo Casa del Alfeñique (Showcases religious art in a period setting and is located on Avenida 4 Oriente # 416)
Puebla Cathedral (Dedicated to the Immaculate Conception and claimed to be one of Mexico’s largest)
Callejón de los Sapos (An alley lined with antique shops that becomes a flea market on Sundays. Located south of Avenida 5 Oriente, on Calle 6 Sur)

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Mexico Safer than Headlines Indicate

Many consider Mexico to be less safe than the States. Well, did you know that even the very safe Washington, D.C. has a higher homicide rate than Mexico City? The flip side to all of the news about crime in Mexico is that more than 95 percent of Mexico's municipalities (the equivalent of an American county) are at least as safe as the average American traveler's hometown.

Based on FBI crime statistics for 2010 and Mexican government data released early this year, Mexico City's drug-related-homicide rate per 100,000 population was one-tenth of Washington's overall homicide rate - 2.2 deaths per 100,000 population compared with 22. (Drug violence accounts for most murders in Mexico, which historically does not have the gun culture that reigns in the United States.) Media sensationalism accounts for much of the wariness concerning travel to Mexico. The biggest factor may be, as this San Francisco Gate article suggests, that travelers looking for a carefree vacation simply find it easier to write the entire country off than to learn what areas to avoid.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Mariachi and the Worldwide Mariachi Festival In Guadalajara, Mexico

A huge part of the Guadalajara's culture includes traditional dance and music. Dance in Guadalajara is very famous and popular worldwide...Ballet Folklorico is performed all over Mexico, but only the "Mexican Hat Dance" or "Jarabe Tapatio" in Spanish is honored as being Mexico's National Dance.

Mariachi usually involves men in their elaborate costumes and sombreros singing lovely ballads to beautiful senoritas. Jalisco is home to the Mariachi and Guadalajara and even hosts a worldwide Mariachi festival every year in September.

"What makes the Mariachi so special is that not only did they originate from Jalisco, but it can only be considered a true "Mariachi" if they dress and use the same song style as that of Jalisco."

Fiesta de Huamantla 2011

Via Go Mexico Guide:

Colorful papel picado decorated the streets of Huamantla during this year's Feria.

Oaxaca Children's Band

I'm amazed at how well these kids play their instruments. Look at how they keep to the rhythm of the music. Does anyone know what type of music they're playing exactly?

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Rancho La Puerta: World-Class Spa Destination in Mexico

As I wrote about on my blog in July, the readers of Travel and Leisure magazine honored the spa Rancho La Puerta as the World's Best Destination Spa both this year and last. As retirees, it's still nice to take some time to rest and relax. In fact, it's the best way to stay happy and healthy. If you're looking for a spa vacation in Mexico, Rancho La Puerta in Tecate, Baja California is the place to go. As the general manager states, “Our business model is taking care of the body, the mind and the spirit. And even though right now that is a trendy way to say it, it’s something we’ve been exercising since the early 1940s.”

The Rancho La Puerta spa is ranked highly for the quality of accomodations, treatments, service, food and value. In this Mexico Today article you'll see what you can experience among Rancho La Puerta's 3,000 private acres of garden, mountains and meadows. Check out the video below as well to learn more.

Retirement Resource: "Retire in Mexico"

If you're looking to retire abroad, here is a great resource that includes monthly updates on the subject of retirement in Mexico. It offers seniors key information before making the big move as well as meet-up dates that provide an interactive, group-setting for those wishing to find out more about what it's really like to live and retire in Mexico.
Already, there are millions of North Americans that have chosen Mexico as their retirement haven, due to the increased value of the dollar there.
Click here to take a better look at this resource for those, like you, considering retiring in Mexico, where you can also sign up for their free informative monthly newsletter.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Baja California Retirement Communities: Cabo San Lucas

From what started as a small fishing village, Cabo San Lucas has grown tremendously over the past 20 years. With almost 70,000 inhabitants, the area, which includes Cabo San Lucas, San Jose del Cabo, and the 'East Cape' or Cabo Este, all considered part of the municipality of Los Cabos or 'The Capes', is considered by many an idillic retirement spot. The year-round beautiful temperature is paradisiacal and if you’re a nature-lover, you’ll revel in all of the fascinating diversity of flora and fauna Cabo San Lucas offers its visitors. Cabo is known for its sandy beaches, world-class scuba diving locations, balnearios, or spas, and the distinctive sea arch pictured above called the Land's End Arch, which many sail by while admiring the abundant marine life or fishing.

How Much Does it Cost to Retire in Mexico?

While I've posted a lot of different articles on the cost of living in Mexico, none have gone so in detail as this one. Everything from what from medical procedures cost to utilities to housing are listed with an American expat living in Lake Chapala, ready to answer any questions that may come to mind. Click here for a better idea of what living in a place like Lake Chapala can cost.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Grand Velas Resort offers International Cuisine Courses

Grand Velas Resorts in Riviera Maya and the Riviera Nayarit are now tempting travelers even more: two new culinary-themed packages that feature international cuisine and wine pairings, cooking classes, food tours, and mixology lessons are being offered by the beautiful hotel through December 19, 2011. With even junior-cooking classes, this gourmet package is fit for entertaining the entire family. Click here for more details.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Spanish Expressions: Se Vende Como Pan Caliente!

Via Mexican Guru:

Literal Translation: It’s selling like hot bread.

Translation: It’s selling like hotcakes.

Example: Mi nueva línea de camisetas se vende como pan caliente. In English --> My new line of T-shirts is selling like hotcakes!

Spanish Expressions: Échale Ganas!

¡Échale ganas! This expression means "Give it your all or Give it your best!"

On the topic of expressions, what are some of your favorite Spanish expressions or words?
I'd love to hear about them!

Spanish Expressions: Que Digamos

Via Mexico Guru:

Commonly used with a negative connotation, the expression "Que digamos" is a way to say "Let's just say."

"Hoy el agua no está muy buena que digamos." In English would be --> "Let's just say the water isn't very nice today"

Spanish Expressions: Así Es La Vida!

Many times you'll hear someone in Mexico say at the end of a sentence, "Así Es La Vida!" When you hear this, now you'll know that what they mean is "That’s life!"

Spanish Expressions: Se Me Fue de la Mente

The Spanish expression "Se me fue de la mente" translates to English as "It slipped my mind."

Example: "Perdóname por no haber ido a la reunion. Se me fue de la mente."
In English --> "Forgive me for not going to the meeting. It slipped my mind."

Spanish Expressions: A Lo Grande!

Via Mexican Guru:

Today's expression is "A Lo Grande." It's meaning? Big time!

Example: Celebramos año viejo a lo grande! Fuimos a una gala en Nueva York y farreamos hasta la madrugada. In English --> We celebrated New Year’s Eve big time! We went to a gala in New York and partied until the early morning.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Profile of Sayulita Mexico

Here is a great link to a quick snapshot of what you'll find in one of the Riviera Nayarit's most beloved towns, Sayulita.

Have you ever been to Sayulita? If so, I'd love to hear about it!

Reason to Retire in Mexico #10

After all of the reasons to retire abroad in Mexico, I would love to hear what you consider to be the most important benefits that retiring to Mexico can present seniors with. Please leave me your comments below!

Reason to Retire in Mexico #9

Reason Number 9 to Retire in Mexico: Transportation to and from the U.S.

"All Mexican retirement destinations have close access to at least one international airport, with direct flights to most major North American cities, so traveling to and from the U.S. or Canada is easy and relatively cheap ($400 on average for a return flight, varying depending on distance and time of year, of course). This means that you can go back and visit family and friends and they can come and visit you in your beachfront home. You’ll find that once you own some property on the Mexican beachfront, you’ll become extremely popular with friends, and your family may visit even more often..."

Reason to Retire in Mexico #8

Whether it's the beautiful colonial cities like Merida or Mazatlan, or the gorgeous beaches of Riviera Nayarit or Puerto Vallarta, there are so many cultural activities and places to go that will broaden your horizon and introduce you to the vastly diverse sights of Mexico. Retirees in Mexico have described the rich cultural heritage of the country in different ways.

"Jim Hopkins, for example, names the “ability to experience different cultures and lifestyles” as a key motivation to retire in Mexico. While the culture varies considerably from place to place, in each location you will find a variety that makes retirement a real experience." Click here to read more.

Reason to Retire in Mexico #7

"In Mexico the people are warm, inviting and constantly smiling."

Reason Number 7 to Retire in Mexico: The People.

Via EFAM: They eagerly embrace foreigners and are incredibly good-natured. Mexicans live for the “moment”, they do not dwell in the past or fret about the future. In many communities time schedules are basically non-existent and everyone readily takes time to visit – whether it’s a formal visit or just a drop-in, you are always received with open arms. As a foreigner, you will find that you have much to learn from Mexicans with their wonderful family and lifestyle values. Read more on the topic here.

Reason to Retire in Mexico #6

Reason Number #6 to Retire in Mexico: The Opportunity for Activities

One of the great advantages to retiring abroad in Mexico is the amount of opportunities there are for engaging in social activities with fellow retirees. In Mexico, you can do so many things (the weather is a big help!)..."Whether it's playing tennis, golfing, fishing, swimming, strolling the boardwalk, browsing world class art galleries and shops, meeting new friends, learning a new language, volunteering for numerous charities or dining in local or gourmet restaurants, ...there is something for everyone. Not only that, but Mexico's more laid-back lifestyle will allow you more unplanned events and socializing from something as simple as talking in the grocery store, to an impromptu dinner with new neighbors.

Click here to read more on this reason to retire in Mexico.

Lifestyle: The Story of the Mexican Fisherman

Here's a story via Inspiration Peak that describes an outlook on life that not very many Americans have...or do we? I'd love for you to read the story and leave your comments below. Have you always wanted to live like the Mexican fisherman and are now fulfilling your dream in retirement? Inspiration Peak:

The American investment banker was at the pier of a
small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with
just one fisherman docked.

Inside the small boat were several large yellow fin tuna.
The American complimented the Mexican on the quality
of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them.

The Mexican replied, "Only a little while."

The American then asked, "Why didn't you stay out longer
and catch more fish?"

The Mexican said, "With this I have more than enough to support my family's needs."

The American then asked, "But what do you do with the rest of your time?"

The Mexican fisherman said, "I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siesta with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos, I have a full and busy life."

The American scoffed, "I am a Harvard MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing; and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat: With the proceeds from the bigger boat you could buy several boats. Eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the
processor; eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the product, processing and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then Los Angeles and eventually New York where you will run your ever-expanding enterprise."

The Mexican fisherman asked, "But, how long will this all take?"

To which the American replied, "15 to 20 years."

"But what then?" asked the Mexican.

The American laughed and said that's the best part. "When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich, you would make millions."

"Millions?...Then what?"

The American said, "Then you would retire. Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siesta with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos."

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Reason to Retire in Mexico #5

The fifth reason to retire in Mexico is the Cost of Living

Very much related to the low cost of real estate comes the low cost of living.

Mexico is so much more affordable than other inexpensive places in the U.S. or Canada, while offering at the same time a variety of health benefits and convenience in terms of location. Read more how retirees save money when they decide to retire abroad in Mexico.

Reason to Retire in Mexico #4

What's reason number 4 to retire in Mexico?

Affordable Property

One of the most attractive pieces of Mexico is the affordable property. "While all of this about lifestyle sounds great, it’s also important that life in Mexico is affordable. One of the first ways that retired expats in Mexico see their savings is in their real estate purchase. Regardless of the property style or area of Mexico retirees choose, they will see considerable savings compared to similar properties in places like the U.S. More established areas such as Playa del Carmen, Riviera Nayarit, Puerto Vallarta or Mazatlan have very well priced properties that offer a luxury lifestyle on the beach."

Click here to learn more.

Reason to Retire in Mexico #3

Reason to retire in Mexico #3: Relaxation

Relaxation is a fundamental part of healthy living, meaning being able to balance hard work and other daily activities with time to rest. Here is a description of what kind of relaxation is available for seniors to enjoy. A big part of relaxation in Mexico can involve socializing, an already healthy activity, especially in older age.

via EFAM:

For Americans or Canadians coming to Mexico it’s a change of pace. Life moves slower here. Family is important. The elderly are cherished. Children are loved. The “little things in life” matter. Streets are closed off to host neighborhood block parties.

“It is hard to explain,” ponders Mike Green, “but it feels like my hometown did thirty years ago.”

Click here to read more about the health and romance involved in the relaxing lifestyle of Mexico.

Reasons to Retire in Mexico: Health

According to this article, The #2 reason to retire abroad in Mexico is their Health Care system. It's well-known that Mexico has improved in leaps and bounds in this area over the past half century and is a host to medical facilities and infrastructure comparable to that of the U.S.
Many people have resorted to Mexico for medical travel due to the breadth of experience, lower costs, geographic convenience and bilingual medical staff. Besides great healthcare at accessible prices, North Americans living in Mexico lead a much healthier lifestyle here; fresh fish, fruit and vegetables are always available...read more here.

Reasons to Retire in Mexico: #1

Here is the first of many reasons to retire in Mexico, via EFAM:

Weather, Nature and Beaches

The weather varies from region to region in Mexico. It’s a large country, and retirees can choose slightly warmer or slightly cooler locations, but one point true for all the favorite retirement locations on the beachfront; the weather is warm all year round. Most areas have a rainy season, but it is definitely not cold, and it’s rare that the sun is hidden for more than a day. This “near-perfect climate” is ideal for enjoying the beach, outdoor activities or even keeping a garden.

Michael Green of Puerto Vallarta describes weather from October to June as “warm, sunny days, cool evenings, and a gentle breeze. A running joke I have with my friends,” he continues, “is whether it could be more perfect if it were one degree cooler or one degree warmer! We have still not reached a consensus.”

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

A Glimpse into Malls in Mexico

Here is a great video that will reveal that Mexico, who has the number 1 economy out of all Spanish-speaking Latin American, has some amazing shopping malls, much inspired by our very own commercial palaces. The malls depicted in the video are mostly from the cities of Monterrey and Mexico City.

International Living: Live, Work and Retire in Mexico

Watch this inside look into what living, working and retiring in Mexico is really like. I think this is going to inspire me to post a series of reasons to retire abroad to Mexico. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Glimpse into Sayulita, Riviera Nayarit

I'm always on the look out for original videos of the Riviera Nayarit region. Here is a nice glimpse into Sayulita, the quaint surfer town that is a host to people of all ages due to its friendly people and relaxing atmosphere. I'd love to hear what you think about the video or (even better!) the town itself.

What's the Difference Between Vacation and Retirement?

The difference between vacation and retirement is vague in many cases until further into retirement. Read this interesting article on the difference between taking a few weeks off and being off of work - forever.

What do you think is the main difference between vacation and retirement? What is your most favorite and least favorite aspect of being retired? Feel free to leave your comments below.

Friday, August 5, 2011

XVIII Festival de Música y Escena in Mexico City

This interdisciplinary festival dedicated to supporting the performing arts in Mexico is now in its 12th year. Going on from August 27 to September 4, events include presentations of well-known media such as chamber operas and musical theatre, but also of more current expressions, some of which are so experimental that they defy being pigeon-holed into specific categories.

Monterrey International Film Festival

This August 18 to 28, in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, the Monterrey International Film Festival is taking place, with Canada as guest country. Founded in 2000 as the Voladero International Film and Video Festival, this festival not only promotes Monterrey's distinguished film culture but also brings together the viewpoints of many filmmakers who meet in Monterrey each year. Click here for the official website in English.

Wine Festival in Baja California

This Wine Festival called "Fiesta de la Vendimia" in Spanish, is the annual festival that takes place in Enseñada, Baja California, Mexico. A celebration of the grape harvest that includes visits to wineries, wine tasting, fine dining and concerts, the festival kicks off with a wine show held at the Ex-Hotel Riviera, in which the vintage wines and local cuisine will be in the spotlight. Going on from today, August 5th to August 21st.
Click here for all of the information.

The All Night Festival of Huamantla

In Huamantla, Mexico, a very special event takes place tomorrow as part of the town's annual festivities in August. The event, dedicated to the Virgin Mary, covers miles of city streets with beautiful tapestries made of colorful flower petals and colored sawdust."Each year, the second Saturday in the month of August is the night no ones sleeps in the town of Huamantla, Tlaxcala. For it’s on that night that local artists, working for several hours from sunset, create a magical "carpet" of flowers and colored sawdust over approximately 7 km. of the streets leading to the main church, which will become the path of procession of the Virgin of Charity the following morning."

Cultural Festivals All Over Mexico

The International Chamber Music Festival is taking place in San Miguel de Allende during two weeks, until the 14th of August. The festival has spread in recent years to other cities, sharing artistic groups and activities: attendees will be presented with 15 concerts in Aguascalientes, León, and Querétaro, thereby strengthening cultural ties to present all the groups attending the XXXIII Festival in San Miguel de Allende.
Next performance? Tonight "THE MIRO QUARTET" perform HAYDN, BARBER & MENDELSSOHN at 7:00PM at the Angela Peralta Theatre, San Miguel de Allende.
Click here for more information.

San Luis Deposí, Mexico

Photo of the day via Mexicounmasked.com

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

How You Can Get Involved In Your Community in Mexico

Picture of Children of the Angel Tree Program, in Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo, State of Guerrero, Mexico (photo slide presentation on link below)

Here is a great link that will give you a good idea of ways to get involved in your community in Mexico. Below are two unique non-profit groups, out of the 11 listed on the 'Another Day in Paradise' web site, in the Zihuatanejo-Ixtapa region of Mexico that offer wonderful services to its community.

Hablando Menos, Amando Mas A. C.
Hablando Menos, Amando Mas, means “Speaking Less, Loving More”. The goal at hand is to construct a home for seniors who have been abandoned and who are at risk living on their own. [LINK]

S.O.S. Bahia, A.C.
Local non-profit group dedicated to the rescue and long-term preservation of the ecological integrity of the Bay of Zihuatanejo. [LINK]

Click here for the full list of ideas.

Update: Changes in Mexican Migratory Law

Today I found a very important piece of information for those expats and retirees that live abroad in Mexico. Recently, changes were made in the Mexican immigration law...
As the article states, "The new classification of Temporary Resident is equivalent to the old Inmigrante status, but will include some foreigners who previously fell into the category of No-Inmigrante and will exclude some foreigners who previously were classified as Inmigrante. The section of the law that follows explains, the figure of Temporary Resident ...Click here for the full breakdown of the new law by Solomon Freimuth, an American citizen resident in Mexico, who is currently pursuing a Law Degree and is part of the firm CHF Calderón & Asociados in Playa del Carmen, Mexico.

Garrafón: The Isla Mujeres Reef Park

At the amazing reef park in Isla Mujeres, there are many things that you can do to enjoy the weather and the beautiful scenery of Mexico even more. A picturesque island that is located just 30 minutes by boat from Cancún, Garrafón Natural Reef Park is 'the perfect vacation destination for relaxation and adventure.' Click here for more information, full map, list of facilities and wonderful photo album on the Isla Mujeres Reef Park web site.

Travel Deal: Affordable Luxury at Playa del Carmen, Mexico Resort

Today I found a great deal for any of you hesitating to travel to Mexico because of the cost. On Living Social.com, there's a travel deal for 'A Seven-Night Stay for Two in a Grand Master Room ($499)' among other special offers.

The deal proclaims:

"Take off to new levels of luxury: Relax on golden beaches under shady palm trees, or have your worries kneaded away at Brio Spa. Indulge in everything from Oriental cuisine to Italian fare at eateries like Gong and Tramonto. Work off last night's dinner with a round on a Nicklaus Design golf course. Then, visit the resort's crocodile farm for a walk on the wilder side."

The best part? This Living Social deal is only $499 for two guests in a gorgeous hotel room with it's own individual mini pool. Click here for more on this Playa del Carmen escape.

5th Festival De Cultura Del Caribe Maya, Isla Mujeres, Mexico

Watch this piece of footage of last year's Festival of Cultura del Caribe Maya on Isla Mujeres in Mexico.

Amazing Whale Shark Photography in Isla Mujeres, Mexico

Whale Sharks in Isla Mujeres, Mexico, is something that I've posted on twice in the past. A small island on the Riviera Maya, and once a sanctuary to Ixchel, the Mayan goddess of childbirth and medicine, Isla Mujeres is a top destination for visitors looking to find what few other places in the world can offer: Whale Sharks.

This picture shows how close one photographer got to this incredibly docile marine inhabitant, and even though the headline is surely an exaggeration (the diver is probably more to the right of the mouth of the Whale Shark than it looks from the photographer's angle), it's definitely worth a peak at a series of up-close pictures of this beautiful sea creature. Click here to see more.

Interesting, Informative Video on Owning Property in Mexico

Here is a video by a well-informed, retired expat that will give you all the key information on owning property in Mexico and answer a few fundamental questions before making a decision to buy a home in Mexico.

Hotels and Long-Term Lodging in Zihuatanejo, Mexico

Many American (USA) and Canadian visitors spend their winter in Zihuatanejo, Mexico, something that has brought many lodging options for short and long term stays.
As this web site states, "Zihuatanejo charms the visitor with atmosphere, a combination of Santa Fe, Key West, and New Orleans attitude. The relaxed atmosphere is sustained by several pedestrian only streets lined by open air restaurants and bars. Hotels and posadas are mixed in with the local eateries and shopping."

Advisory: One Beach in Zihuatanejo Registers Slight Pollution

Via The Associated Press:

Mexican health authorities say two beaches in Acapulco are severely contaminated and one in Zihuatanejo registered pollution slightly above permitted levels. The commission said Zihuatanejo's Principal Beach has bacteria levels of 233 units, slightly above accepted levels. The Zihuatanejo beach is among the most crowded at the resort spot favored by both Mexican and U.S. tourists alike. Gastrointestinal illnesses as well as eye, ear and skin infections could result from exposure to the bacteria.
Although the pollution level is only slightly above the permitted amount, it would be wise to avoid the water until further notice by the commission.

Discover the Butterflies of the Zihuatanejo Area

Via Another Day in Paradise:

"Until recently, only fifty-nine species of butterflies had been formally cataloged by naturalists working in the Zihuatanejo area early in the twentieth century, but thanks to an ambitious college thesis project by Mexico City biology major Ana Luisa Figueroa, that number is up to 155 and still climbing."

"There are but six families in Mexico’s butterfly world, Ana told me, and the most diverse are the brushfoots, one species being the popular Monarch. Zihuatanejo has about fifty kinds of brushfoots. The most entertaining variety I saw were the Gray Crackers, who make a crackling noise when they play with each other in the air."

Click here to read more about the fascinating species of butterflies that inhabit the Zihuatanejo area and see beautiful pictures like the one above.

A Heartfelt Account of Zihuatanejo, Mexico

Read this account of an American couple that recall their many trips to Zihuanatejo, a traditional, enchanting fishing town: "[When we visit Mexico] We merely skim the surface, but we try not to apply our own standards and preconceptions on what we see. The past five years we have stayed in Zihuatanejo, a fishing village of about 80,000 on the west coast, a couple of hours north of Acapulco."

"We usually stop at Cafe Casa, a small restaurant in a courtyard on Calle Adelita, run by a couple from Oregon, Johnny and Lorna who moved to Zihuatanejo and opened a bed and breakfast. [...] While we love the mercado and shopping in the tiny shops and stalls there [, for many visitors it's a trying experience (especially if your Spanish isn't up to the banter). Now there is a new outlet in Zihua"...Click here to read more about the good life this couple describes in Zihuanatejo.

Explore Zihuatanejo, Mexico

One of the beautiful places for retirement in Mexico that I have yet to talk about it Zihuatanejo, which is located in the state of Guerrero on the Pacific Coast of Mexico about 140 miles away from Acapulco. The modern tourist resort of Ixtapa is only a little more than 2 miles away.

Zihuatanejo is the head representative of the Municipality and is the fourth largest city in the state of Guerrero. Ixtapa, a town in the same area, is a government-planned tourist resort that was begun in the early 1970's and constructed on what was once a coconut plantation. In Zihuatanejo you'll find the old-fashioned charm of traditional Mexican culture. In a town that sprang up from a handful of families who were mostly fishermen, it's easy to find...read more about Zihuatanejo and what makes it so special, here.

Riviera Nayarit and Puerto Vallarta to Host Tianguis, Turistico Trade Show 2012

Last week, Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit were given the good news that they had won the bid for Tianguis Turistico, Mexico’s largest tourism trade show. This is very exciting news for the region, due to the fact that for the last 36 years, it has been held in Acapulco, Mexico. The areas of Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit will host the 2012 Tianguis Turistico trade fair in March 2012.

As the President of Puerto Vallarta Hotel/Motel Association states, "Our hotels and our entire tourism industry will have an excellent opportunity to underline that, beyond selling travel products, Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit are committed to creating unforgettable experiences for our visitors, regardless of motive or budget – whether it’s for business, groups, incentives, leisure, weddings, honeymoons, family travel, etc."

Click here for more details on what this means for the region.

Monday, August 1, 2011

World's Best Quality of Life: 2011 Ratings are Out

This International Living article boasts extensive research on different places all over the world, such as Belize, Panama, and Mexico.

While the numbers display a clear winner and show that the United States has a lot going for it, there are many other countries that offer just as high quality of life, but that are less measurable numerically.

"Statistics don’t always reflect the reality in communities on the ground. The truth is: In dozens of other countries, ranked lower in the final count than the U.S., you can enjoy a life of equal quality — with the same levels of comfort — at a much lower cost." Read about what are the best places in the world to retire, based on health care costs and quality of life.

New App Guides You Through the Best of Cancun

Here's the latest in mobile technology. A new mobile travel guide for Cancun was released in July by the The Cancun Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB). This new mobile app allows travelers to access a variety of information on Cancun, including the best of Cancun along with a complete list of hotels and accommodations as well as local information that's indispensable when traveling abroad. Click here to see exactly what this new mobile guide offers its users.

Origin of the Pan American Games

The first Pan American Games took place in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1951 but their origin dates back more than 20 years before...during an Olympic Congress members of the International Olympic Committee from Cuba, Guatemala and Mexico proposed the creation of a regional sports event in which Central American countries would participate...

2011 Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico

Did you know that this year the Pan American Games will be hosted in Guadalajara, Mexico?
In Guadalajara, Mexico's second biggest city, the past and the present co-exist in perfect harmony. Its residents enjoy Mexican folklore while recognizing their hometown as one of the cities with the most economic, cultural, and educational potential in all of Mexico. Read more about Guadalajara as one of Mexico's most promising cities.