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Forums  > Areas > Jalisco's Lake Chapala Region


goodman12

Jan 31, 2016, 9:00 AM

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Looking for an email friend!!

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  I have been to Lake Chapala for just four days a year ago and am strongly considering retiring there in a little over a year. I will be a 62 year old male at the time. My basic concerns are how well I will fit in and questions about how to get situated once I'm there. I will be doing this alone and must admit the somewhat nervous about the process. Would be great to talk to someone, male or female, to get a better idea of what I'm taking on. Thanks for reading and hope to hear from someone. P.S I live in Los Angeles now.



Gringal

Jan 31, 2016, 9:20 AM

Post #2 of 17 (17526 views)

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Re: [goodman12] Looking for an email friend!!

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No worries. You'll fit in fine. There are groups for every type of interest which you can join, meet like minded people and find friends.
I suggest you look for the local Chapala web boards and start reading them along with this very informative site. You'll get the idea of what it's like here.
Good luck!


playaboy

Jan 31, 2016, 5:20 PM

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Re: [goodman12] Looking for an email friend!!

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Why pick Chapala? After just 4 days visiting?

I am a single male from the LA area. I lived in Chapala for 2 years and found it tremendously boring. No dating, No nightlife (or much of a day life for that matter).

There are very poor government services. No money to maintain roads, police cars, fire trucks, garbage trucks and the like. There was even a call for somebody to donate plastic garbage bags for the new trash cans in Ajijic.

Other areas of Mexico are thriving, you might want to look around a little more.


Gringal

Feb 1, 2016, 6:04 AM

Post #4 of 17 (17470 views)

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Re: [playaboy] Looking for an email friend!!

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Now, now, Playaboy. Maybe you didn't have such a grand time in the Lake Chapala area, but it's nothing like you just described, either. For those who want more action, the huge metropolis of Guadalajara is less than an hour away on a good road.

There are selling points for living here, starting with the kind of mild weather you won't find at the otherwise lovely, but hot and humid beaches. Don't get me wrong: I love the beach and lived on the coast in CA nearly all my life, but I'm just not happy being stuck in A/C living inside or dripping wet and burning outside. If there were a Mexican beach town with a CA coastal kind of climate, I'd be living there. However, I believe you can sell the OP a nice place at the beach, si?

Generally addressing the OP, he should look around Mexico before making a permanent decision about where to settle: always a good approach. Many expats are happy living in places where there are few other expats. Others are happy to find lots of other expats to socialize with. For those who aren't already fluent in Spanish, the latter is a good place to start.


(This post was edited by Gringal on Feb 1, 2016, 6:09 AM)


playaboy

Feb 2, 2016, 5:59 AM

Post #5 of 17 (17424 views)

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In Reply To
Now, now, Playaboy. Maybe you didn't have such a grand time in the Lake Chapala area, but it's nothing like you just described, either. For those who want more action, the huge metropolis of Guadalajara is less than an hour away on a good road.

There are selling points for living here, starting with the kind of mild weather you won't find at the otherwise lovely, but hot and humid beaches. Don't get me wrong: I love the beach and lived on the coast in CA nearly all my life, but I'm just not happy being stuck in A/C living inside or dripping wet and burning outside. If there were a Mexican beach town with a CA coastal kind of climate, I'd be living there. However, I believe you can sell the OP a nice place at the beach, si?

Generally addressing the OP, he should look around Mexico before making a permanent decision about where to settle: always a good approach. Many expats are happy living in places where there are few other expats. Others are happy to find lots of other expats to socialize with. For those who aren't already fluent in Spanish, the latter is a good place to start.


Gringal, all I ever say was that "I" was bored living lakeside. There is nothing wrong with being honest.

I see the appeal for people to retire there. For most, the first thing people say IT is because the "WEATHER, WEATHER, WEATHER". The other reason is the Elite Expat Enclave, where you get to live with other immigrant similar to you. Oh, would that be a ghetto?

Where was I wrong about the bad roads, broken traffic lights, crumbling sidewalks,etc, etc, etc? Or the perpetually, poorly managed, under funded, municipal Chapala government. Nobody ever mentions that the lake is mostly just ornamental and non-recreational.

The road to the airport and GDL has been in bad shape forever. Did government fix the dangerous dips and resurface the road recently?

You are one of the biggest boosters for the area online. It is easy for you to say "No worries and you will fit fine" Tell us all why Lakeside is THE place to be.

Is it the bone jarring, car destroying, charm of driving on narrow cobble stone and pot holed streets? How about the weekly local holidays and celebrations practically everywhere? Do you love the cohetes announcing the brand new day? Hey if the OP loves his dogs, be sure to mentioned that the lakeside area restaurants will gladly pull up an extra chair and a bowl so the "fur kid" can eat at the table with them just like at home. Is it the live music scene with local bands playing great renditions of "Hotel California"?

We agree that the op should read the local boards in Chapala. Read the older threads to get a flavor of the areas residents. He should search using keywords like tourism, restaurants, noise, butter and local bean terrorists. Here is a good one to read; http://www.insidelakeside.com/...ght=small+town+blues

I am just advising the OP to look around Mexico. SMA, Queretaro, Catemaco, San Carlos, San Cristobal del las Casas, Merida, and the terribly hot, humid, modern, wealthy Riviera Maya.

BTW, I still have the house in Chula Vista for sale, very very motivated. I will gladly sell that to the op or anyone else. If I sell that one, I'll keep the beach palapa.

http://www.mexconnect.com/cgi-bin/forums/gforum.cgi?post=200785;sb=post_latest_reply;so=ASC;forum_view=forum_view_collapsed;;page=unread#unread

Just playing


Gringal

Feb 2, 2016, 7:55 AM

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Re: [playaboy] Looking for an email friend!!

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Pretty funny post, Playa boy. I enjoyed reading it.

I like it here, warts and all. I take a positive attitude toward it since I'm having a good experience with life here. I'm involved with the arts rather than the night life, so it hardly matters to me who's playing mediocre music at the local bar.

Yes, there are plenty of warts, I'm ready to admit. However, I couldn't stand living at the beach because of the weather, so that's the primary reason I settled inland. It doesn't matter if some of the beach towns have better facilities, better roads, better government and are wealthy. The weather is the one thing you have to live with 24/7/365.

Another potential place to explore if one is into wealthy and reasonably good civic services: is San Miguel de Allende. We first moved there from CA and stayed three years. It has much to offer, too. It also has bad air downtown (in a bowl like L.A.), nonstop traffic problems, high rents or home prices in the "good spots", but lots of "culture". . Reasonably good climate but chilly for a few winter months. High elevation. Close to Mexico City. Far from a good airport. Beautiful architecture. "Pueblo Magica" designation. Lots of divorced women moving there to "reinvent themselves". Lots of lonely guys. Lots of night life. Lots of "art", etc. Good, but expensive, restaurants that don't allow dogs.

BTW: It's tough to sell in Chula Vista. My sympathies. I live a block from the "decorative" lake in Ajijic. Everybody's different, but this works for me. Your beach works for you.


esperanza

Feb 11, 2016, 7:27 AM

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Re: [goodman12] Looking for an email friend!!

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Another lovely colonial city to consider is Morelia, Michoacán. There is a small community (200 or so) of English-speaking foreigners, a much larger community of foreigners from many, many other countries, and the city is home to several important universities. It has an international airport with direct flights to a number of US cities, and counts on luxury-class bus service to many cities in Mexico. Morelia has a vibrant cultural life that includes a jazz scene and annual jazz festival, an international classical music festival, classical and folkloric dance festivals, an organ festival, one of the best film festivals in Mexico, an internationally famous traditional food festival--the list goes on and on.

http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com









La Isla


Feb 11, 2016, 8:41 AM

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Re: [esperanza] Looking for an email friend!!

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I know you used to live in Morelia, esperanza, so why did you leave? Do you ever consider going back?


Gringal

Feb 12, 2016, 8:01 AM

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Isn't Morelia and the surrounding areas the place where some really dreadful cartel activity has taken place in recent years? I read about it and would be inclined to settle elsewhere.


playaboy

Feb 12, 2016, 8:15 AM

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Re: [Gringal] Looking for an email friend!!

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I am asking for trouble for posting this but here goes.

Do you really believe that Lakeside is perfectly safe area without any cartel activity?


Gringal

Feb 12, 2016, 8:52 AM

Post #11 of 17 (17189 views)

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Of course not. Several years ago, it was so bad that the army was stationed here for a while, and there is still a shooting blind "pillbox" along the highway going west. Weeds have taken it over now.

However, we haven't had the level of troubles they've had in Michoacan.

If safety is a major concern to anyone, Mexico is not the best choice, but judging from the daily news.........it's not exactly "safe" anywhere. (What, me worry?)
But seriously, If a person decides to settle in Mexico, it's advisable to have a different level of security than in small town U.S.A. Bars on the windows, serious locks, and the device that lets you see who's at the door before opening it.
In my dozen years here, I've never been mugged, robbed or burgled. However, I don't drive a fancy car, wear "bling" on the street or go strolling alone after dark. I live in the kind of mixed neighborhood where neighbors looking out for one another is a way of life. The bad guys know it and head for a better pickings.

I'm not a booster for this area. There are probably many places with as much or more to offer. This and the others all have downsides. It's about picking one whose problems you can live with.


chinagringo


Feb 13, 2016, 12:11 AM

Post #12 of 17 (17148 views)

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As an artist have you taken on a new style of painting with a very broad brush? Your comments about Michoacan are somewhat similar in vision to the blundering statements made by the fools at the US State Department. As a test, can you provide examples of incidents in Morelia or Patzcuaro that are on a par with the 20+ bodies found in the van or some of the other incidents in the extended greater Guadalajara Metropolitan Zone?

An FYI for you: the Michoacan Governor's Office just announce the other day that the cartels in Michoacan had been defeated and were no longer a factor in the State. Then again, we must ignore the fact that the very next day the New Familia Cartel announced they were the new " power on the block" and were taking over where the others left off.

I might suggest that one should probably spend some personal time in a given State before running them down?
Regards,
Neil
Albuquerque, NM



Gringal

Feb 13, 2016, 6:23 AM

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That was surprising.
Was all that really necessary?

I will only comment by saying anyone making a decision about where to live would be wise to check out the recent history of troubles in the area. Any area.

Re Michoacan state, Google provides this reference, among many others:
http://www.latimes.com/world/mexico-americas/la-fg-mexico-vigilantes-20150113-story.html

Re Jalisco state:
http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2015/5/1/7-killed-among-violence-in-jalisco-mexico.html

Google provides multiple pages of reports on these and all other areas of Mexico. One need not rely on U.S. State department alarmist pronouncements.


(This post was edited by Gringal on Feb 13, 2016, 8:02 AM)


rockydog85251

Feb 13, 2016, 6:49 PM

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Re: [chinagringo] Looking for an email friend!!

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Neil, how do you want things to be.....sometimes you say people are painting too much of a rosy picture...then you turn around and castigate someone for trying to be objective about a subject. I've never been able to have it both ways at the same time.
It's really too bad that nothing seems to please you. It would be great for you to be able to spend more "time on the ground" down here with us - maybe soon?
Willie


Gringal

Feb 13, 2016, 7:16 PM

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Re: [rockydog85251] Looking for an email friend!!

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Thanks, Rocky Dog for understanding that I was trying to be objective and hopefully, helpful re the OP's questions.

I've spent quite a bit of time in Michoacan: Morelia, Patzcuaro and the rest of the villages in the past years and have great empathy for the artists and craftsmen whose business has suffered as a result of tourists being fearful of the cartel situation in the past few years. A number of those craftsmen have been invited to show and sell here in the Lakeside area. The locals were glad to offer them the opportunity. It's difficult to make a living in that way, and having tourists scared away makes it even more difficult. There's been a fair share of violence in Jalisco, too, but it hasn't had the same devastating effect on tourism as it has in Michoacan.


chinagringo


Feb 13, 2016, 7:18 PM

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Re: [Gringal] Looking for an email friend!!

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Please Gringal: my comments were certainly not a personal attack but as you well know, we have a great deal of experience traveling Michoacan without any personal issues and it is my nature to get a bit defensive on these generalizations that they seem to be burdened with. Since 2008, we have spent 40+ days and nights in Michoacan and we haven't even experienced our worst personal experiences (two flat tires in 17 years of Mexico travel/driving) in our Mexico travels in the State of Michoacan.

The article you linked referrerenced the situation in Apatzingan - prime territory for reaping protection monies from the avocado growers and if one follows the defined territory of the Tierra Caliente - this is where on might find most of the violence that Michoacan has been become known for. As a matter of comparison, Acapulco in the State of Guerrerol was just listed as the 4th most deadly city in the world.
Regards,
Neil
Albuquerque, NM



RickS


Feb 13, 2016, 9:46 PM

Post #17 of 17 (17086 views)

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Re: [goodman12] Looking for an email friend!!

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This thread has wandered so far from the OPs request that it's time to put it to rest...
 
 
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