Monday, July 22, 2013

Still Going Strong

I am kind of surprised that our blog is still rolling along even though we have been back in the states now for 18 months. Lots of people still email me with questions asking for advice about how to transition, where they should look for housing, rental rates, schools for kids, starting a business.....things of that nature. All are very good questions and we try and take the time to answer them honestly as we receive them.

With that said, some things about Mexico will never change. Some things change rapidly. Some questions I can answer. Some I cannot (changes in visa laws as an example) as some things change quite often in Mexico. For the later I recommend getting on I would advise you to make that forum your second home if you are looking for real time advice on some of the more dynamic things of life (visa requirements, current events, inland travel info, etc.....).

The purpose of our blog was to give a view to our friends and family back in the states of what it was like to live as a family in Mexico. But with that, I don't know everything that is happening south of the Border. Check out the above forum. I have no ties to them and have nothing to gain from the referral. I found it very helpful for me and my family a few years back. Not sure if it has maintained it's quality or not. I am assuming it has unless otherwise informed.


Friday, September 21, 2012

We are back in the States at this time and very happy you are all enjoying our blog. We love getting emails from you all. We do want to make you aware that someone is emailing companies with advertising proposals for our blog, claiming they own the blog. We just want to be clear that we do not email solicite advertising, if you wish to advertise, please go to the contact page of our site and do not respond to any email solicitation.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Driving Back

I'm am at the hotel, exhausted so I am not sure how this will come out. I just finished Day #2 of the 3 day drive back and this time I am taking the inland route through Queretero. Where to start?

Day one went well. Whether you take the inland or coastal route when driving back and forth to Merida you generall cover the same ground between Merida and Villahermosa. The roads are good in Yucatan. In Campeche the are under heavy construction right now and you shouldn't drive them in the dark at all. My truck was covered in dirt by the time I got to Tabasco. The roads are unpaved at this time in several stretches of HWY 180 in Campeche which makes for slower going.

I also missed the turn to get onto the Cuoto (toll Road) at Champoton because of the construction mess. The distraction was that they had us merging off of a road with oncoming traffic and they didn't have the cones and temporary guardrails up so it caused some distraction and I ended up on the Libre (Free) route. Big mistake. It winds through some coastal mountains which you have to shift down into 2nd gear for (very steep) and it leads you into areas that are confusing. Just take the cuota at all times and make sure you take out a small signature loan for all of your toll expenses before you hit them. I think I have spent close to $100 in tolls and I am not even out of Queretero yet.

Once I got to Villahermosa at around 2:30PM it was rush hour on Friday an the locals were cranky, cranky, cranky. I watched a semi truck back up into the lady in front of me and not even get out to look at the damage. He just took off. Unbelievable.

Stayed at teh Quality Inn behind VIPS like I have recommended before. That was fine. Villahermosa just seeemed different to me on this trip. I noticed the trees along HWY 180 had black trunks from all of the smog. Just not applealing. For dinner I stayed in my room and at crackers and apples. Big spender.

Day 2. I left Villahermosa at 5AM and I noticed my headlights were not working that well. I later got out and noticed that they were covered in dirt from all of the roads in Campeche. The sun came up at 6:30 but the roads were clear for a bit of driving in the dark. Not a problem. I didi miss the turn to Minititlan and ended up on 180 towards Coatzacoatal. Another mistake. Had to backtrack and get back on the main HWY. Then I took the road towards Mexico City, Hwy 150. I have to tell you, for toll roads, Hwy 180 in Tabasco and Hwy 150 heading towards Mexico City are very torn up. They need to do alot of repairs for much of that stretch.

I was pulled over twice, once by the military, once by Federal Police. The Feds tried to tell me that I have to reregister my car with Aduanas each year. I told them and showed them the written law where, as long as my visa is current, the sticker on my windshield is current. The officer told me I was wrong even while I pointed to the sheet that was given me by Aduanas, green highlights and all, to show I was legal. He let me go with a warning.

I also continued to be amazed at how bad the toll roads are. There were a few stretches that were well paved but probably 65% of them were not. At times it was real bad, the quality of the roads. The Arco Norte was another story. It is the Mexican version of the Autobahn. At the entry point they give you a plastic card to hold onto and you give it to the toll attendant at whatever point you exit. I road it the full distance to Hwy 57, Queretero exit. The cost, $275 MXP just for that stretch. HWY 57 north to Queretero is 6 lanes and is an American quality hwy...with tolls of course.

I am staying in the Hampton Inn in Queretero tonight. $1475 MXP. I tried to take up residence at at a park and "whateve" hotel but they told me my truck was too big. Queretero is a very beautiful city, very modern. Not sure where all the wealth comes from but it is nice.

All right friends. I am going to finish up and hit the ATM to make sure I have enought for any more cuotas manana.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Planned Pethood

Today we took our adopted labrador Missy to the vet to get her Certificado de Saludo. Planned Pethood is a popular veterenarian used by many expats here in Merida.

In order to bring a dog back into the U.S. you have to have their records up to date. This includes a rabies shot that is administered between the last 30 days and 12 months. What I am saying is that the shots need 30 days to settle into the animal's body and can not be more than 12 months since administered. Make sense? This is per U.S. Customs regulations.

A dog also has to have a Certificado de Salud (Health Certificate) that is not more than 10 days old at the time of your border crossing. That means if I get my CS/HC today, I have to cross the border by February 9th. Does that make sense?

The cost of the treatment: $450 MXP for rabis shot, $75MXP for 30mg Endogard tablet, $200MXP for a Certificate of Health. Total Cost : $725 MXP or $53 USD. Not bad at all.

Tenga Buen Dia

Last Day of School

Today was our boys last day of school at Calvary Christian Academy. The experience there has been a very good one. This was the hardest part of saying good-bye for us. My wife and I felt like we had attended a funeral of sorts. In many ways our hearts are very much with what is happening in the lives of these teachers and students at this school.

This is Joseph's 6th grade class. Their are two classes in each grade from K through 6th. Each year the school adds a grade. Each grade has two classes of 25 students each. The tuition is only $1,200 MXP per month, approximately $100 USD per month. This class is taking the Spanish block of courses in the morning and the English classes after lunch. The other 6th grade class is below. They are in the English block in the morning and the Spanish block after lunch.

This is Joseph with his two teachers, Teacher Mimi and Teacher Andreas. Andreas teaches the English block to both classes and Mimi takes the Spanish blocks. Both teachers are bilingual. Andreas lived in the U.S. for 22 years and is a dual citizen. Mimi has family in Texas.

All 50 students after a serving of chocolate cake. These kids are really really sweet.
All the ladies need a good-bye hug. Joseph was really really embarrased.

Now it's time for Joel's good-bye party to start at lunchtime. He is in first grade.

Pictured around Joel is Miss Vaness and Teacher Lily. Vanessa was Joel's "shadow". We hired her to help him with his homework and assist him into his transition in the Mexican school system. To the Right is Teacher Lily. She is a wonderful bilingual teacher. She loves Joel and visa versa.

Joel with Miss Vanessa. Saying Good-bye to her was very very hard. The good news is God promoted her to be a 5th grade teacher. "I will bless those who bless you....says the Lord." She was blessed for her faithful service to our family and to the school as a whole.

Teacher Lily.

Joel's Classmates. 5 beautiful Yucateca girls.

Good-bye Calvary Christian Academy. We will love you and always miss you. Maybe again someday if the Lord brings us back.

Jay and family

Sunday, January 29, 2012


I promised these guys a recommendation....Multilimpia Cleaning Services. Here is their website.

I used them to clean the fabric covering on my couch and the coverings on my dining room chairs before I sold them. They did a really good job. If/when you call you need to ask for Yamil. His number is 999-969-9741. His email is He is bilingual and came over to my house and oversaw the work personally to make sure everything was handled properly.

They did an excellent job.

On a side note....if/when you buy furniture here I recommend you get leather or some type of material that wipes down.....unless you just have to have cloth furniture. As I mentioned in the earlier post on SMOG....their is alot of dust and soot in the air here at times. Because you open your windows alot here that poor air quality settles into fabrics really easy and well, it changes the quality of the fabric within about 18 months of purchase. FYI.


Saturday, January 28, 2012

Your Credit Score

Unfortunately that credit score doesn't mean anything here. Someone asked me if their credit standing in the states affects their ability to rent here. Answer: No it doesn't.

Enjoy your new start. Most people that buy a home here pay cash. Those that don't have to get foreign loans and from what I might imagine, the underwriting standards are doubled up and the interest rates are higher.

In summary, your credit in the states can't be pulled from down here from what I understand. You have to understand that the Mexican system is about 20 years behind in some technological areas. This is one of them.