Friday, January 9, 2009

Gringos in Mazatlan

After being here a month it’s become obvious that there are a lot of people from north of the border living in Mazatlan on a full-time basis. We just keep running into them—in the Mega store, in little eateries, on the beach, and while we’re searching out apartments. I’ve been told there are 8 to 10 thousand Gringos living here. There are at least three different website groups for English speaking residents here and other supports like English libraries, organizations and lots of opportunities to get involved in the life of the city.

We met a couple yesterday from Oregon who just retired here to an apartment they bought a couple years ago while here on holiday. They’ve been here since November and are already volunteering in English classes at a local school. Then there’s a woman who’s creating a life here after a divorce and is developing a business selling dog treats. We also met a couple that’s lived here the past four years with their son who goes to a Mexican high school and spends his spare time surfing. The mom has a business here designing courtyards. Here’s their own courtyard that they’ve built on a small piece of property.

Some people buy property here but others rent and it can be very reasonable to do so. Bob and his wife rent a three bedroom, two bathroom house just down the road from us for around $450 a month. He’s here because he can retire on a limited income and he loves it. He says he occasionally misses ice fishing in the winter but does a lot of bass fishing now and explores the lakes and beaches and little towns with his truck and boat. His wife and adult daughter live here too.

The other interesting thing is the number of people from Canada. I’d say the majority of people who are here for the winter are from Canada, and lots of Canadians are here for longer than that. We met a fellow from Parksville the other day who rents a lovely house in Playa Sur, a very nice residential area for under $400 US. He and his wife have been here for several years. And a couple from Surrey has a little place near Sabalo Beach that they live in ten months of the year. Some people leave for a couple months in the summer when it gets hot and muggy. They head north for their summer holiday and return in September.

There’s even a restaurant here called Canucks that’s a meeting place for expats. We’re thinking we might go there tonight and find out a bit more about the people who’ve made a permanent move here and how they like it.


Morbid said...

Hi Joanna, and Happy New Year to you, Harry and Maggie.
It's been a long time since I've written. but Andrew and I have also been away for a bit, and things have been hectic what with getting back to work, work and getting better. I can't believe it is almost time for you to return! I've read all your posts and thoroughly enjoyed them all - especially the ones where you describe gardening in your courtyard, shopping like a local, getting shook down by Mazalan's best, home life, and especially explaining the intricate differences between dog toys - as only a true dog owner could fully appreciate. The pictures are beautiful and I look forward to hearing more about living a more permanent life in Mazatlan. It's something I can see Andrew and I (with whatever pooch we have at the time) doing - and it seems very apparent you gu7ys are destined to spend more time there. Good for you. Best wishes for a safe return and hope to catch up with you when you arrive home. I think the Il Terrazzo lunch is well overdue. Hugs!

Joanna and Harry said...

Hey Sue,
Thanks for your comment. It's nice to hear that you're enjoying my posts. The other day I was moaning to Harry that nobody comments so it feels like I'm sending them out into empty space. (Well I guess in a way I am). We're heading back north on Tuesday and I don't think we're ready really, but it will be nice to connect with our friends in Victoria. Looking forward to seeing you then.

Morbid said...
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Morbid said...

Hi Again Joanna,
I know how you feel with regards to comments - I have exactly the same experiences with my Smug Mug pictures pages. In the beginning I carefully edited and arranged each photo and wrote lengthy descriptions and captions in an effort to keep in touch with family and friends in Australia. Despite my requests I get very few comments and wonder why I do all the work. Then it occured to me that I also look back on each picture and read the captions and treat each page as a type of scrapbook of my life. My sister, and childhood friends later told me that they enjoy getting my regular updates but feel awkward leaving open comments. I forget too that although I tell others how easy it is, not everyone is as tech savvy as I am - even though I don't think I am! Anyway - bottom line is I keep it going and am happy doing so.
I hope you do too because I feel from your words that you enjoy it.
I learn and laugh when I read your posts. I am also enjoying Corinne's photo contest pages.
Enjoy your last few days, have a safe trip back and I hope to see you very soon. Cheers,

Joanna and Harry said...

Thanks for the reminder Sue of the pleasure I get from writing and thinking about my blog entries. I often while away an hour thinking about what I'll post next. It's something I really enjoy doing and I also enjoy having a record of our trips. But it is nice to have comments too and I appreciate yours.