Tag Archives: moving to Mexico

Moving to Mérida: How to Successfully Move to Mexico As a Family by Cassie Pearse

Moving to Mérida: How to Successfully Move to Mexico As a Family by Cassie Pearse is one family’s story of transitioning from the U.K. to the Yucatan. The author addresses safety and legal issues, schooling, shopping, and medical care, the top concerns any family has when moving to Mexico. The appendix adds detailed information from the author’s husband about the process of applying for residency and buying a car, both potentially frustrating experiences.

Moving to an expat haven like Mérida is not without its difficulties. The author does a great job talking about some of the best ways to handle certain situations that arise. There is even a section which breaks down the yearly costs of an average family of 4, an extremely helpful bit of information. 

There were just two points that I think could have been made clearer. The author states that permanent residents can not own property, which is not exactly true. Permanent residents can own property as long as it is not in the restricted zone, within 50 kilometers or approximately 31 miles from the coastline or 100 kilometers from the border. This book focuses on Mérida which is in the restricted zone. So yes, permanent residents can not own property without a bank trust (fideicomiso) in Mérida, but in other areas have that right just like any Mexican citizen. 

The other item that I thought could have been expanded upon was healthcare. Residents or their employers pay a fee for IMSS (Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social) services. However, many areas also offer INSABI (Instituto de Salud para el Bienestar), which is the national healthcare plan. INSABI is free and available to permanent and temporary residents. I agree with the author that private insurance is probably the best bet if you can afford it, though. 

Other than those, Moving to Mérida: How to Successfully Move to Mexico As a Family by Cassie Pearse is a great read. The writing is witty and honest. The information is useful and current. So if you are even thinking of moving to Mérida, then this is a must-read book for you!

You can read more about Cassie Pearse here and about her blog Mexico Cassie here.

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Modern Day Marias–Lynne, the crafter

It’s important to remember that Maria didn’t live in the time of Walmart. Everything was hand-made by the women of her community. Was Maria particularly talented in textiles? Was she an excellent baker? Did she have other creative skills?  Why were these things never mentioned by those dratted bible writers?

Today’s Modern Day Maria, Lynne, meets the arts and crafts aspect of a virtuous woman as described in Proverbs. “She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands. She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple. She makes linen garments and sells them and supplies the merchants with sashes.(Proverbs 31:13,22,24)


My name is Lynne and originally from the Oregon and Washington areas but now live just north of Ensenada, Baja California. We are fairly new to living in Mexico as it has only been 15 months. My husband and I met in Oregon and were dating other people but became good friends then later ended up together. We have been together for almost 19 years and married for 18. What is funny is his older sister’s children and mine were friends, such a small world sometimes.

My spouse was not legal and it had gotten to the point he was like in jail in our own home, no more driver’s license, only able to do odd jobs but took care of the house and yard. We were in limbo with the attorney as it took 3 years just to get data/information on my husband and decided life is too short to wait for possibly years with no guarantees for him to be able to get his papers and who knows how much money for not having a sure thing. Played with the numbers and determined we could sell the house and basically retire or semi-retire in Mexico, this would allow my husband the freedom to do as he wants without worries of immigration so we made the decision to move. I knew the final decision came down to me to actually move here but I was ready for us to move on to another phase in our lives even though he would end up having a lifetime ban from the US.


It has been a big change for us but not just from moving to Mexico as much as us being together all the time since I’m now retired or semi-retired (not sure which yet). Sometimes when things are not going just right, he will mention I was the one who wanted to come here but he is happy we did come. We care for each other very much but we both have our days. For my spouse, the change has given him freedom and for me, it has been a transition of working in a more stressful type environment for many years to not working. I’m looking forward to getting into my artsy/craftsy phase of life.


As to family and friends even though we don’t physically see each other very often I feel we make the effort to connect through Messenger or Hangouts via phone and video. We have set dates and times to video with the grandchildren along with talking to the kids, relatives and friends. When we do physically see people it is more quality time. I consider our move no different than if we had moved across the country. I would say if anyone, my mother has been the most difficult over the move. She constantly was making negative comments but over time this has stopped. I think some of it has to do with her seeing us on Facebook everything is going fine. I would say the hardest thing for both of us has been the family (kids and grandkids) not being physically around us especially my husband as we had part of the grandchildren almost weekly in the US, I can go visit while he can’t. We hope to finish getting through the passport process for my husband and see about a visitor’s visa to vacation in Canada so it will be easier for our immediate family to get together.

My spouse’s family are not located near here but have always gotten along with his siblings and children in the US. I have never met his mother or siblings in Mexico. He plans to see his mother for the first time in more than 25 years and the place he was raised this coming year. I’m not comfortable going since it is Guerrero which has had a lot of issues and he hasn’t been there in so many years to understand how it may have changed.

We were fortunate to sell our house in the US and buy/build our home. We are not sure what is next, I may do some part-time consulting in the field I was in – Geographical Information Systems (GIS) or sell some of the Arts & Crafts I enjoy creating. My husband is thinking of working independently as a plumber or handyman. We may look at some other options but are not rushing into anything. Whatever we decide this will supplement what we already are receiving.

The focus for the last year has been on the house but that is finally getting to the point we can start doing other things. We are craftsy people and enjoy little projects. Would like to see Baja and mainland MX over time, maybe do some house/pet sitting. I want to become involved in our community but not sure what at this time, up till now we have just contributed to different groups. I love the idea of contributing time to a group south of here that builds small homes for very poor families up in the hills.

For us, this is our next phase in our life together….


This is so worth it…



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First world parenting in a third world country –What to pack?

When we made the decision to relocate to central México, our son was only 4 years old. He had been in a preschool, but since we left in January, he didn’t finish out the year. I wasn’t too concerned with his education at that age since he did Mommy school every day. However, I realized that down the line there would be things that he would need to learn, and I wasn’t sure that I would have the resources in México to teach them.

So the first step in ensuring his future educational needs were met, was to decide what to pack. We had limited space. What didn’t fit into the back of the truck or trailer, did not get packed. So that meant, some darling school supplies, like a mini-desk, did not make the cut. He would grow out of it before we could say, Jack Robinson. But a full-size desk and chair set did get packed. He would grow into it.

Then for books and activities. That was easy. Everything I had. I would be able to use it for our son and then again for any classes I might teach in México. I also scoured Goodwill and yard sales, looking for any books that might be useful. One day while shopping I can across How To Juggle: 25 Fantastic Juggling Tricks and Techniques to Try! and happily added it to my cart. My little guy said to me, ‘But mom, I don’t know how to juggle. Why are you buying me this book?’ To which I replied, ‘One day you may want to learn how to juggle and then we will already have the book.’ Well, 6 years later, he still hasn’t mastered juggling, but it does provide him with hours of entertainment.

To make more room, I left most of my college textbooks behind, a fact I regret now as some of my students are advanced level and could have used those books. Then, before you know it, my son will also be able to read at that level, and here I am without the books.

I also brought quite some VHS tapes I had. As I haven’t been able to find a VHS player, I finally disposed of them this past year. Wasted space.

And then there were his toys and future toys. We were planning on remaining in México permanently, and I wasn’t sure how many times I would be able to return to the US to purchase new things, so this was it. Most of the stuffed animals were left behind. A full tote of action figures and animals was in. Another tote full of blocks. Some more advanced creativity enhancers like Building Cards: How to Build Castles found a space. I also bought him a Medieval Castle. However, it remained in its packaging until we had our own place.  Once we had moved to La Yacata, the castle was an incredible toy.  My son spent hours planning battles in imaginative play.

Of course, his Spidey lovey Marvel The Ultimate Spiderman Pillowtime Pal
also came along, complete with his own blanket and chupon (pacifier) (the lovey’s blanket and pacifier that is). Taking care of a doll would be a good educational experience for daddyhood down the line.

I also brought a suitcase full of preschool and elementary educational software which I used at the learning and teaching in as well, until Windows 7 made them obsolete. Now I can only use them on my own antiquated computer, but that works for us.

As a last minute purchase, we bought a portable DVD player and some cartoons for the 5-day road trip. We still use that player, connected to the cigarette lighter in the truck, because no electricity in La Yacata means no electricity. So 2 thumbs up on that buy. Anytime we come across National Geographic piratas (pirated movies are the only type available here) we snatch them up for an excellent family evening of learning.

You can find other suggestions for what to pack on my Resources for a life well-lived in Mexico page under Useful Items and many useful links to educational sites on the Schooling page.




Filed under Education, Parenting Challenges and Cultural Norms