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Bubba

Feb 7, 2006, 9:10 AM

Post #1 of 38 (17121 views)

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On Living in or near Veracruz

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Even though we retired to Ajijic, Jalisco some five years ago, we have always had a distant love affair with the city of Veracruz and its culture which may be based on reality or simple fantasizing about its charm. We have, in the past, been a little concerned about the climate there but everything is a trade off. There is air conditioning, after all. When passing through there last year we were impressed with the city's beauty, seeming prosperity and culture.

We see a trend here in the Lake Chapala area that displeases us. The area is becoming more and more Americanized in ways that represent to us some of the more negative aspects of that culture. With the baby boomer retirees, we expect to see certain areas such as this and coastal areas along the Caribbean and in Baja become huge foreign enclaves. On our recent trip to Guanajuato State we felt the same discomfort with the Americanization of certain otherwise beautiful areas in that state.

On the other hand, we were very impressed with Merida and some other parts of Yucatan away from the Caribbean on an exploratory trip last year. However, the weather in Merida is rather extreme.

Maybe some of you who live in and around the city of Veracruz can help us. Any public posting on your general experiences of living in Veracruz (not Jalapa) would be appreciated. Some information on places to live and the cost of living by someone who actually lives there would be helpful. If you are willing to discuss specifics, please PM me and I will get back to you.

And, don't worry about attracting a foreign colony. Nobody ever follows me anywhere.

Bob


(This post was edited by Bubba on Feb 7, 2006, 9:13 AM)



Ed and Fran

Feb 7, 2006, 12:26 PM

Post #2 of 38 (17094 views)

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Re: [Bubba] On Living in or near Veracruz

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Bubba

You might want to look at this guy's website:
http://www.johntoddjr.com/index.html

I'm pretty sure he lives in the port of Veracruz. After reading some of his stuff, his home page has an email to contact him. He might be a good source.

Strangely enough, that project that he mentions where he worked in Tuxpan for 18 months was the same project where I worked down near Cd del Carmen. So we were both working for Bechtel at that time, although I never met him or even heard of him (it was a huge project).

If you move to Veracruz I'll come and visit. Hell, I'll come and visit you in Guadalajara too, it just might take longer for us to get up there.

Best regards

Ed


"El Gringo Jalapeño"


Feb 7, 2006, 6:06 PM

Post #3 of 38 (17074 views)

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Re: [Bubba] On Living in or near Veracruz

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Bubba:
Good to hear from you on this forum! And I am glad you are always "pooh-poohing" Xalapa, because it is not a perfect city or "just right" for everyone, especially if that somebody always has a little black cloud raining over his/her head. And "Jarochilandia"(Veracruz port) is an incredible city with a life of it`s own very distinct from that of Xalapa. I really love "El Puerto" for a day or two visit, especially since I have a lot of Rotarian friends there. And now it is about an hours drive away on the very good highway that was finished about 2 years ago.
Please let me know if you contact John Todd since I haven't been able to reach him in over a year.
Come over and check out Veracruz. I know you'll like it a lot, and you can stop by Xalapa to say "Hola" to me(as well as all the "pooh-poohs" you want!).
"¡Siempre serán bienvenidos a Xalapa, su casa!"
"¡Portense mal y cuidense bien!
Roy B. Dudley "El Gringo Jalapeño" See more about Xalapa at www.xalaparoy.com


DoDi2


Feb 7, 2006, 6:15 PM

Post #4 of 38 (17072 views)

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Re: [Ed and Fran] On Living in or near Veracruz

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Ed and Fran,

Thanks for posting that link... I particularly enjoyed his history of La Bamba.


Bubba

Feb 7, 2006, 7:34 PM

Post #5 of 38 (17067 views)

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Re: ["El Gringo Jalapeño"] On Living in or near Veracruz

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Roy:

I have matured since I moved to Mexico. I believe Veracruz State to be a be beautiful place and Xalapa to be an extraordinary city. I only excluded Xalapa from my potentially desirable places because I find the notion of chipi-chipi a bit disconcerting after 30 years in San Francisco. You live in a wonderful city. Your sister city on the coast is quite impressive. What's wrong with it?

Ed & Fran:

We would love to meet you guys whether here or over there.

Now, listen here all of you. Why is information about a city of the size and importance of Veracruz so limited?.


Ed and Fran

Feb 7, 2006, 8:06 PM

Post #6 of 38 (17060 views)

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Re: [Bubba] On Living in or near Veracruz

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Why is information about a city of the size and importance of Veracruz so limited?


I'll take a SWAG at that one, and venture a guess that it's the climate. You have a lot less expats (e.g. MexConnect posters) who voluntarily choose to subject themselves to the high heat and humidity of the coast. If you look at the whole Gulf Coast region from Matamoros to Campeche, what MexConnect subscribers do we have.......? Well there me and Fran, and Adrian up in Tampico...... and then there's, give me a minute and I'll think of someone else....... well maybe not.

When the British/Spanish/French invaded back in 1861/62 they couldn't get out of Veracruz and up into the mountains fast enough. When the U.S. invaded Veracruz back in 1914 they had significant health problems while bivouaced in the city. Since then they've cleaned the place up and invented air conditioning, but that only helps if you're inside your house or in your car. While we're on the coast, we don't get the same strong sea breezes that seem to help our brethren who are encamped on the west coast in PV and points north.

For those who like the climate, Veracruz (the port) or one of its nicer suburbs could be a good place to live. Decent beaches, good restaurants, shopping, sufficient cultural opportunities as befitting a large city, history, tourism, etc. Heading up or down the coast from Veracruz tends to lead one rather quickly into small town Mexico.

Info is probably available, but don't count on a lot of first hand expat retiree anecdotes.

Best regards

E&F


raferguson


Feb 7, 2006, 8:49 PM

Post #7 of 38 (17056 views)

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Re: [Bubba] On Living in or near Veracruz

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When we visited Veracruz city, the only americans that we met were residents of other parts of Mexico, they went to Veracruz for vacation. I thought that was a good sign.

To me, Veracruz is a port and a vacation destination for Mexicans. Since few americans go there, and fewer live there, the info available in English is naturally limited.

Good luck, we love Veracruz City, the people are the friendliest in Mexico.

Richard


http://www.fergusonsculpture.com


ignacio

Feb 8, 2006, 3:05 PM

Post #8 of 38 (17023 views)

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Re: [Bubba] On Living in or near Veracruz

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Bubba, besides what I already PM'd you, let me clear up something about the weather.... it is hot if you get away from the ocean front, by that I mean 3 or more blocks from the ocean. The summer temp. here close to the beach is about what you would see in San Mateo in the Bay Area.

We live 1 short block from the ocean in a corner, and get a fantastic breeze here..... when we first moved here 6+ years ago, I installed some nice large carrier a/c, which are just sitting there getting rusty. I don't think I had them on more than 5 times in six years, except for the bedroom, where we set it on low to sleep cool and hide the outside street noise.

Other nice fringe benefits are being close to Xalapa and the Veracruz archeological sites, and the city of Puebla, which I think is one of the loveliest cities in all of Mexico.

As detractors, there are 'nortes' or northern winds from Oct. to March, some of them as bad as being in Chicago, but these last only a day or two and immediately after the weather continues to be a delight. I feel putting up with the winds is a fair price for living in this area.

We also have unspoiled pristine beaches North and South of the Veracruz-Boca el Rio metro area. If you come down I'll be glad to take you there, they are beautiful.


Bubba

Feb 8, 2006, 3:30 PM

Post #9 of 38 (17019 views)

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Re: [ignacio] On Living in or near Veracruz

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Ignacio:

Last year, as we drove through the cities of Boca del Rio and Veracruz along the malecon after having spent a delightful night in the fairy tale city of Tlacotalpan. We were convinced that if it weren't for the climate we would move there as soon as we could get back to Jalisco and pack. Then we moved on to Xalapa and drove from there to Puebla over some high mountain roads that would blow the mind of God. Perhaps I am mistaken but Veracruz State seems an extraordinary place.

Thank you for your nice responses - both public and private. You have my blood flowing again.


NJ2VER


Feb 12, 2006, 6:59 PM

Post #10 of 38 (16959 views)

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Re: [Bubba] On Living in or near Veracruz

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Check out www.loma.com.mx its a local Veracruz real estate website with lots of pictures and prices, good for hours of saliviting on your keyboard.


[link corrected by TB]

In Reply To



(This post was edited by tonyburton on Mar 6, 2006, 8:57 AM)


Rolly


Feb 12, 2006, 7:38 PM

Post #11 of 38 (16951 views)

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Re: [Bubba] On Living in or near Veracruz

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This discussion reminded me of remarks by my grandmother who lived in DF in the 30s and early 40s. She spoke often about Veracruz and visited there at lot. So I guess it has been a special city for long while.

Rolly Pirate


Ed and Fran

Feb 12, 2006, 7:52 PM

Post #12 of 38 (16949 views)

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Re: [Rolly] On Living in or near Veracruz

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So I guess it has been a special city for long while.


It's been a special place since it was founded. It's the country's principal port on the east coast. The importance of the D.F. - Veracruz route was demonstrated when the first railroad built in the country was opened between D.F. and Veracruz way back in 1873.

Modern transportation and highways have given people in the D.F. many more options for traveling to different parts of the country, but for a long time Veracruz was probably the major destination of Capitalinos on holiday.

Regards

Ed


Lady Lissa


Mar 5, 2006, 9:53 PM

Post #13 of 38 (16868 views)

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Re: [NJ2VER] On Living in or near Veracruz

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Hi!,
I'm new to mexico connect and have been up way too late for 2 nights drooling over where I want to go. I tried the http://www.loma.com.mx link and got the 'doesn't exit' window. Any suggestions?

Melissa

[link now updated by TB]
Lissa

Never stop Dreaming - it's magic!!

(This post was edited by tonyburton on Mar 6, 2006, 8:56 AM)


tonyburton


Mar 6, 2006, 8:13 AM

Post #14 of 38 (16857 views)

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Corrected Link

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Link should be http://www.loma.com.mx


(This post was edited by tonyburton on Mar 6, 2006, 8:14 AM)


Rolly


Mar 6, 2006, 8:15 AM

Post #15 of 38 (16854 views)

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Re: [tonyburton] Corrected Link

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Nope. Still doesn't work.

Rolly Pirate


tonyburton


Mar 6, 2006, 8:54 AM

Post #16 of 38 (16850 views)

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Re: [Rolly] Corrected Link

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Hmm... it definitely works for me!


Lady Lissa


Mar 6, 2006, 10:36 AM

Post #17 of 38 (16838 views)

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Re: [tonyburton] Corrected Link

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Thanks Tony - it worked!!! Wish I understood spanish better:(
Lissa
Lissa

Never stop Dreaming - it's magic!!


wendy devlin

Mar 9, 2006, 10:39 AM

Post #18 of 38 (16788 views)

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Re: [Bubba] On Living in or near Veracruz

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Pay back time.... for the kindness of strangers:)

Below is John Calypso's blog of his daily life in Veracruz.

http://www.vivaveracruz.com/blog/

John Todd , mentioned by posters above, has also knocked around Veracruz for many years and takes crackerjack photos of places and people he knows there. He also writes about excursions he takes into the countryside as a guest of many friends he has made over the years. John is currently working on an industrial project on the Pacific coast.

His web-site is among my favorites on the web as it comes closes to describing the types of experiences that I enjoy having.

Although a person could get a lot of surprises if they were to visit or travel to other parts of Mexico thinking like everywhere would be like John describes.


misslyn

Mar 9, 2006, 12:31 PM

Post #19 of 38 (16779 views)

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Re: [wendy devlin] On Living in or near Veracruz

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Wow, Wendy, thanks for posting this link. What an entertaining (and informative) website!

Lyn in San Diego


Mark Landes

Mar 16, 2006, 9:01 PM

Post #20 of 38 (16715 views)

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Re: [Ed and Fran] On Living in or near Veracruz

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I got used to Taiwan, Saigon, and Baltimore humidity--I'd probably like Veracruz.
Mark


ignacio

Mar 17, 2006, 7:34 AM

Post #21 of 38 (16701 views)

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Re: [Mark Landes] On Living in or near Veracruz

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If you come down to Veracruz and buy a place, I would recommend not farther away than 1 or 2 blocks from the ocean front, and you will have very nice comfortable temperature and breezes, which will the humidity also comfortable.


MariaLund

Mar 21, 2006, 10:05 AM

Post #22 of 38 (16651 views)

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Re: [ignacio] On Living in or near Veracruz

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Living currently a "wee bit" up north, but on the Gulf Coast, I tend to agree with Ignacio: there is a considerable difference in how heat feels here on a barrier island than how it does downtown in July or August.
I have been toying with the idea of moving to Mexico ever since I came back from Costa Rica in the fall of 2003, which, I decided, was my last full time job before an early retirement. But first I went to Europe for over a year - instead of going to Mexico - and later moved to Padre Island off Corpus Christi.

I like it here and might have stayed longer, but now also this part of the island is getting into a rapid development boom: first a megaresort's construction was announcen on the dunes in front of my so called luxury apartment complex, which would not only block my sea view, but, a month later my complex was sold to a condo-conversion compant and became a construction circus. So I am planning to move when my rental contract expires and not to buy a condo - I hate "concrete ghettos" like Costa del Sol in Spain, a big part of Italian coasts, or Florida and even South Padre Island here.

I read this thread about living in or near Veracruz and thought: I am already used to heat and humidity and it does not bother me much, though, of course, it will be worth down there, so, why not try it?

During the research I found three places I'd like to explore further: 1) the beach suburb - or rather - "outburb" (I love creating new words, which, in my opinion, should exist) of Veracruz (for proximity to a not overdeveloped beach AND to all the amenities a big city has to offer), 2) San Antonio Tuxtla - a small town some 140 miles south of Veracruz in a lush jungle area with tons of natural wonders (and natural swimming holes of various kinds ( I must have been a fish in some previous life ;-), because I consider life without a - preferably daily - swim not worth living), but still only about 2 hours drive from Veracruz for weekly culture/"necessities not available in the jungle" trips; 3) a small mountain village with hot springs (I love hot springs), El Carrizo? El Carillo? - about half way between Xalapa and Veracruz. Warmer than Xalapa, closer to the beach and to Veracruz... I know too little about it yet, to know if it could be a suitable location. Do any of you have any experience / any input/ on any of those locales?
As for my lifestyle: I am baswically a bookworm, like musea, concerts, art galleries, BOOKSTORES and quiant cafes, but can't live without nature and swimming. My Spanish right now is lower level intermediate ( I think, and I can't concentrate on improving it now, since I am studying beginners japanese for a 3-week sightseeing tour of Japan in June) so a good Spanish school after arrival would be a bonus, but I can read announces in Spanish, understand some news on TV, ask for directions (and even understand at least some of the answer, lol), buy groceries and other necessities, order food in a restaurant, a hotel room etc.
Any input (including blasting any and all my choices - Bubba, go ahead, insult me ;-)) would be sincerely appreciated.
Vivere non est necesse, navigare necesse est!


"El Gringo Jalapeño"


Mar 21, 2006, 8:38 PM

Post #23 of 38 (16626 views)

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Re: [MariaLund] On Living in or near Veracruz

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¡Hola, amigos costeños!
Well, María, the town with the thermal baths is called Carrizal, and it is about half way between Xalapa and Veracruz. Since I am "anti-heat" to the Nth degree, anything farther than 10 minutes east of Xalapa tends to be to hot for me generally speaking. Carrizal is a small town, and other than the resort owned by Fito Contrerras(Veraventuras owner) where the white water rafters stop at coming down river from Jalcomulco, there is not much to see or do there. However, that may be just what you are looking for!
The town of San Antonio Tuxtla sounds interesting. I have hear of Santiago and San Andres Tuxtla(famous for its tobacco and cigars), but never San Antonio.
What ever happens, I know you can find just the right place for you somewhere here in the state of Veracruz.
¡Hasta pronto, amigos!
Roy B. Dudley "El Gringo Jalapeño" See more about Xalapa at www.xalaparoy.com


MariaLund

Mar 21, 2006, 9:09 PM

Post #24 of 38 (16624 views)

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Re: ["El Gringo Jalapeño"] On Living in or near Veracruz

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You caught me :-) I meant San Andreas Tuxtla, and I wonder how affected it became ( or will become) by the movie filmed near there. As for Carrizal, if the springs have been "resortized" as to be inaccessible, even for a fee, I would not like it.
I want my daily swim - and a climate warm enough do do it outdoors year round ;-) I know, an ide fix, but don't we all have them?
Vivere non est necesse, navigare necesse est!


wendy devlin

Mar 22, 2006, 12:40 PM

Post #25 of 38 (16597 views)

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Re: [MariaLund] On Living in or near Veracruz

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Again(prodding gently:)

Go to John Todd's website listed above or email John below.

Twenty years living on the east side of Mexico including the state of Veracruz, has given him considerable experience and insight. Plus, he's in love with the place and puts its most attractive features forward.

Mostly I like that he knows something about the Mexican countryside...a subject that continues to fascinate me. Buena suerte! Wendy

jtoddjr@lycos.com
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