Life in Mexico – Tips for Newcomers

When expats come to live in Mexico they often have their own ideas about the culture, people, & how things work. Many get tips from other English-speaking expats who have lived here for a long time without forming their own experiences. What many don´t realize is that their dominant culture can and often does dictate their perception of how services & interpersonal relationships work in Mexico.  This occurs most frequently when Mexico is the first Latin American country they have spent significant time in.  Unconsciously, many judge the Mexican culture based on the standards of their own culture.

An example of this is in health care services in Mexico. Many expats arrive thinking that Mexican doctors accept credit cards and that Mexican hospitals bill Medicare.  Others sign up for Mexican public health plans such as IMSS and Seguro Popular thinking that health coverage is similar to their Canadian health care plan or Medicare in the US.   They fail to realize that health care services in Mexico, in many ways, cannot be compared to North American services.

So, what can expats in Mexico do to learn first-hand about how things really work?

1.       Learn about Mexican health care, banking, and other services from bilingual / bicultural individuals.

2.       Go to Expats Living in Mexico https://www.facebook.com/groups/expatslivinginmexico/

3.       Plan long trips to Mexico to learn first-hand about Mexican culture, history, and life.

4.       During your travels, contact English-speaking Mexicans & Spanish-speaking Expats.

5.       Meet with bilingual health insurance, real estate, property management, and other local agents.

6.       Take Spanish classes before moving to Mexico.

7.       Schedule a visit to Mexican public & private hospitals to see how they operate & what services they offer.

8.       Verify the information & tips you learn from others.