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Anya

Jan 1, 2003, 3:37 PM

Post #1 of 10 (4303 views)

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exchanging work for room and board

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Hi everybody. I'm hoping someone can share any knowledge they may have.

I've made the decision that I want to change my life and lifestyle and move to Mexico permanently. I am 28 years old and currently living in New York City. I work in banking, but can't stand it. I'm hoping to eventually make my hobby of horseback riding (and my love of Mexico!) into a life with horses in Mexico. It isn't financially possible for me to simply start my own ranch, nor am I ready for that large a project. I am hoping to find a situation where I can work at a ranch in exchange for room and board. Is this something that I can realistically do in Mexico? I have very simple needs and would not be looking to make money, but I would need to find a housing exchange as my meager savings just won't cut it. Any information or guidance would be appreciated.

Thank you!

Anya



sparks

Jan 1, 2003, 4:01 PM

Post #2 of 10 (4201 views)

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Re: [Anya] exchanging work for room and board

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Anya .. I love the idealism but you have a hard road ahead if realizing that goal is something you want soon. Getting away to Mexico is kinda what I want ... but in retirement. Maybe you should try moving to Arizona, New Mexico or Tejas ... where you are close to Mexico, have some of the culture and still can work for a wage that you can save.

Looking forward to other more experienced replies on this. Hopefully they won't slam you (too bad) on the "run away" issue!


Capt_Canada

Jan 1, 2003, 4:34 PM

Post #3 of 10 (4143 views)

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Re: [Anya] exchanging work for room and board

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Yes I couldn't agree more, sounds idealistic in theory but in reality it could be a nightmare as opposed to a dream. Having done the Mexican lifestyle thing as a retiree and then returning home many months later you will most likely find that it is not the right thing to do especially at your young age. More likely if you are seriously set on a lifestyle change such as you suggest, you should check out the Caretakers Gazette. There are lots of various opportunities available. If you are thinking of running way from your job, running to another country won't solve anything, you will most likely be running home a few months later.


Anya

Jan 1, 2003, 4:50 PM

Post #4 of 10 (4185 views)

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Re: [sparks] exchanging work for room and board

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Thanks for your reply. I guess your response is similar to what many people will think or say. I'd liked to clarify a couple of things though. First, I don't think it is simply idealism for me to want to do this. Although I am American, I was born in Spain and have lived in several countries and states. My parents got by in Spain on very little money, mostly from my fathers writing and living very basically. Mexico is actually far cheaper and easier than Spain. I have been living on my own since I was 15. I've traveled the US fairly extensively and have considered moving out west where there are many horse ranches. The thing about that is that I would still be in the same arrangement of working for almost no pay except I wouldn't be experiencing the culture or life that I really wanted. In other words, settling for something with almost no benefit, except that it is easier.
The other thing to understand is that here in NYC I work all the time in a stressed out environment and all the money I make goes to pay for my housing and expenses. If I am simply going to work to pay my basic living expenses then shouldn't it be somewhere I love to be, doing something I love to do?


sparks

Jan 1, 2003, 5:28 PM

Post #5 of 10 (4164 views)

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Re: [Anya] exchanging work for room and board

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Well I guess what you were hoping to find here was a recommendation of a farm that you might work on ... but I find that mighty unlikely. Short of that - you'd need an area where you could go look for yourself _AND_ support yourself while looking. Anything is possible, especially if you are outgoing and speak any Spanish. Just lots of things to consider - like cultural taboos, Mexicans also work for little .. etc. Maybe a farm in Chiapas that asks for volunteers (I've heard of one), not necessarily livestock.

Living along the border would allow you to venture into Mexico more easily while working at whatever you choose.


LJ

Jan 1, 2003, 6:33 PM

Post #6 of 10 (4154 views)

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Re: [Anya] exchanging work for room and board

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First question is this, as it relates to horses. Is your preference that of English or Western style riding? If it is English, I think you will clearly understand why it is I ask that question ... the amount of money involved and "available" to those who partake. There is a large English riding and competing circuit in Mexico. I know there are many stables and farms in the Guadalajara area, as well, I would imagine, in other areas.

My suggestion to you is to take some time in the next month or so and head down to Tampa and hook up with some nice folks on the Winter Circuit. Granted that's an expensive proposition, and could potential end up costing more in vacation $$, but it's most definitely a quick way to make contacts in the field.

By working both ends of the contacts, the Move-to-Mexico side and the Work-with-Horses side, you should be able to come up with something.

Other's will ask "the rest" of the questions.

Good luck.


Anya

Jan 1, 2003, 8:04 PM

Post #7 of 10 (4133 views)

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Re: [LJ] exchanging work for room and board

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Thanks for the positive feedback.

I enjoy both English and Western riding. I worked for an English riding stable in my teens, though most of my riding these days is western style. When I'm in Mexico I lean towards adventure riding in the mountains. I love the whole charro culture, though realistically I know that not too many women (gringas, no less!) become charros. I love the Guadalajara area because there is so much opportunity for all kinds of horse experiences. I also love the climate and terrain, especially the Lake Chapala area. I guess I'm a bit young for the area, but I don't really mind. I keep trying to convince myself that Puerto Vallarta would be easier for me to find a work exchange (all those riding places for tourists) and better socially since there are more young people. But, it just doesnt feel like my kind of place. Not all young people want to lay on a beach all day and party all night and tourist areas get very tiresome.

I liked your idea of heading to Tampa for winter circuit. You are right though, it is an expensive venture. More likely I would head down to Mexico prepared to live off savings for several months and use the time to find a place for myself. It seems scary to do that, without having something setup in advance, but with Mexico it just isn't possible to set anything up without being there.


j2callie

Jan 1, 2003, 9:15 PM

Post #8 of 10 (4124 views)

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Re: [Anya] exchanging work for room and board

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I did a quick Google search for "horses jobs" and one of the sites led me to this listing of riding resorts around the world, just click on Mexico. At least that'll give you addresses etc.

http://www.resortsonline.com/activities/riding.html

Good luck, it was my dream to work with horses too, only I did it in Europe, for room and board.

Callie


keith

Jan 3, 2003, 3:17 PM

Post #9 of 10 (4091 views)

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OK, here it is!

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Doug Rhodes is almost always looking for someone to work cheap (room and board plus some salary) at his horse-oriented place in the Sierra Tarahumara. Contact him at http://www.mexicohorse.com/. Tell him Keith sent you.


Anya

Jan 3, 2003, 3:32 PM

Post #10 of 10 (4074 views)

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Re: [keith] OK, here it is!

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Thanks for the great info!
 
 
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