Mexico is a country with a rich and ancient history. It has enormous dimensions and a population of about 125 million people. It is the most populous Spanish-speaking country in the world. Currently, many foreigners have chosen to live in Mexico. It must be said that living in Mexico City is one thing and living in the rest of the country is quite another. Living in Mexico City offers the opportunity to earn higher salaries. The capital is full of entertainment opportunities. It is home to a vibrant expat community. It is a city that never sleeps.
On the other hand, we have a higher cost of living than the rest of the country. The traffic is hell, the pollution and air quality are terrible, you meet people everywhere at any time of the day or night. Life outside of Mexico City offers lower income, fewer nightlife options, fewer cultural events. But also lower living costs, less traffic and less pollution. The environment and nature in Mexico are wonderful: beaches, jungles, mountains, deserts and many beautiful small towns.
Mexicans like to enjoy life. They welcome everyone regardless of race, economic status, gender and sexual orientation. Mexico is one of the few countries where people immediately consider you a friend when they first meet you. People are sociable and friendly from the first meeting. In Mexico, whoever you are, you are already a friend by definition. Extended families are common in Mexico, parents, grandparents, children, cousins, aunts and uncles living in the same house. People have a very relaxed lifestyle, so even meetings and dates have relative times. If the elctrician says he will arrive at 12am, it is likely that he will arrive at 4pm.
The cost of living is generally low. Rent and groceries are much cheaper than in Europe because they tend to be proportional to wages. While imported goods such as technology, car, etc. are actually more expensive due to import costs and other market factors. Organized crime is widespread. There are numerous mafia cartels fighting each other. General crime is also widespread, especially in large cities. Corruption is everywhere: in politics and in business. All areas of society are involved, none are excluded. In Mexico, half the population lives below the poverty line. That means they do not have enough income to meet their basic needs. Unskilled and semi-skilled workers earn $8-9 a day.
To work in Mexico, you must apply for a work visa (you cannot work on a tourist visa). The most common way to obtain a work visa is to receive a job offer from a Mexican company, Nowadays it is difficult to find a company that wants to sponsor you, unless you have a very specific professional qualification. Qualified jobs are not easy to find and generally pay much less than in more developed countries. It is more difficult for a foreigner to find a job. Employers will always prefer to hire a Mexican citizen. Big cities and tourist centers offer better job opportunities than small towns or villages in the countryside.
In tourist places it is possible to find work in the tourism sector, for example as a tour guide, but the salaries are low and there is a risk of being exploited. Some allow you to work without papers, but at your own risk, and if you are caught, you face a fine and expulsion from the country. In short, if you do not have the proper documents that allow you to stay and work in Mexico, it is almost impossible to get hired.
On the other hand, it is very easy to start your own business or sell your services, so it could be interesting to open your own business.
Living and working in Mexico pros and cons
Living in Mexico, pros
- Good cuisine
- Super relaxed pace of life
- Low cost of living
- Beautiful nature and surroundings
- Very easy integration
- Absence of consumerism
- Importance and values of family
- Fantastic weather
Living in Mexico, cons
- Driving wildly (everyone drives like crazy)
- Bureaucracy and slowness
- High cost of all imported products (electronics, etc.)
- High crime rate
- Low salaries
- Outdated infrastructure
Living and working in Mexico, conclusion
Mexico is a vast and very diverse country that is basically a place of contrasts.
Mexico is home to some of the richest people in the world, but also to some of the poorest people in the world.
Mexico is home to the best and most modern things in the world: cutting-edge technology, starred restaurants and exclusive events. But there are also places without basic services, dilapidated schools and people who have nothing.
In Mexico, there are huge, modern cities with shiny new buildings. And there are also small towns and villages with dirt roads and houses with crumbling brick walls and no running water.
In Mexico, there are beautiful, picturesque and safe towns and there are also dangerous cities marked by the violence of drug traffickers.
In Mexico there are huge, modern resorts on incredibly beautiful beaches. And there are remote towns without wifi, where you can get away from everything and everyone.
In any case, Mexico has many wonderful and beautiful places to live, and it is not surprising that many American and European retirees have settled there. There are more than a million Americans living there and also many foreigners from other countries.
In short, I would say that moving to Mexico is an excellent option if:
- You have a source of income from another country
- You have a good business or job
- You live in a safe city like Playa del Carmen