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expatwannabe

Apr 15, 2009, 2:28 PM

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Guanajuato or SMA for a year with 2 year old?

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Hi All-

I'm thankful to have found this forum and hope to get some good info. So, please don't be shy folks and offer your opinions, either positive or negative.

Me and my husband would like to move to Mexico for a year bringing our 2 year old, the dog, and 2 cats. Yes, we're crazy! I have been researching the above 2 towns but have never been to either. Have been to other places in Mexico and lived in Antigua Guatemala for 6 months. We're thinking Central might be best to make as our home base as an off-shoot for travel within the country.

The thing is we really do want an authentic experience and have heard that some are bothered by hearing English in SMA. I have to admit that while in Guatemala I found that a bit distracting. But, I love the volunteer opportunites, the architecture that SMA has to offer and I'm also thinking that should we need a doctor, etc. perhaps having some expats might be helful.

I'll also be looking for a pre-school and playmates for my 2+ year old. Which town would I have better luck with that?

Finally, I found a ranch to rent about a 10 minute drive outside of SMA and am wondering how easy is it to get in and out of town perhaps daily with a car and to find parking as I am hoping to drive in for volunteering, shopping, pre-school etc.?

I thought I had read that SMA has a population of 140,000 people and that there are 2,000-5,000 expats living there...that doesn't seem like too many?

Would welcome other people's opinions on the two towns and which might be a better bet.



Rolly


Apr 15, 2009, 3:17 PM

Post #2 of 3 (2566 views)

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Re: [expatwannabe] Guanajuato or SMA for a year with 2 year old?

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Be sure to check out this website: http://www.fallinginlovewithsanmiguel.com/index.html

Rolly Pirate


raferguson


Apr 15, 2009, 8:53 PM

Post #3 of 3 (2546 views)

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Re: [expatwannabe] Guanajuato or SMA for a year with 2 year old?

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Too many expats is in the eye of the beholder. If your goal is to learn Spanish, the best immersion would be if no one else in town spoke English. Guanajuato has very few expats, San Miguel many. I prefer Guanajuato, partly due to what I consider an excessive number of expats. The center of Guanajuato has bad air polution, in my experience, too many buses in a narrow valley.

Guanajuato is tough driving. The tunnels and below-grade roads make the roads curiously three dimensional, and the best way from A to B is generally not the same as the best from B to A. I think that once you learn the roads, it might not be too bad. The last time I went to Guanajuato I hired a taxi driver at the edge of town to lead us to our hotel, money well spent. I did not start the motor of the car again until we checked out of our hotel. I think that parking is probably more difficult in Guanajuato than San Miguel.

Guanajuato also has many cultural events, due to the university there, so both towns have lots of culture. The Cervantino is a huge cultural festival in Guanajuato in October.

Richard


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