I have lived in Guanajuato, Mexico for three years, right in the heart of the country. In a nutshell, we came because this country, this little town, this house is my husband’s birthplace. We had retired from years of working the US, and found it difficult there to live on our retirement income. And in general, we are able to manage very well here.
Since we are farming my husband’s father’s land and two other pieces of land he bought in the 80’s we can’t travel a lot. We do manage to go occasionally to towns in other parts of the state and in nearby states, and we enjoy the drives, the views, and meeting new people.
As musicians, we especially enjoy going to Paracho, Michoacan, for guitar music festivals. This trip, as short as it is, can become part of the other side of the postcard.
When we let our travel plans out, people start saying “Michoacan? Don’t go there! There are many problems there, and it’s dangerous!”
We have never had problems traveling to Michocan during our trips there – over 20 years of short trips. We haven’t had any problem getting there, even when the roads were “closed because of violence”. Occasionally we are stopped and asked where we are from and where we are going. Then we are waved on.
The trouble we sometimes do have is with the federales and the Mexican version of Highway Patrol. We have been told we must turn over our car. We have been asked for money. We have been searched. We have been insulted.
There is red tape, very similar to the bureaucracy in the US. You must pay for your car registration every year. You must pay property taxes. There may be problems with identification, addresses, money exchange.
You may have very different ideas about the intangibles of life than the people you live with. Opinions, ideas and ideals may differ widely. You may be ignored in your community. Language may be a problem if you find it difficult to apply your self to learning, or find it hard to make friends.
I think it's worth it. Yes, I do.