Best locations for expat family?

My wife and I and our two kids (age 3 and 9) are planning to spend the next year in Mexico and may move there permanently if all works out. I work remotely for a US based company. Our goals are to improve our quality of life while reducing cost and getting out of the "rat race." We are beginners in Spanish and would like to eventually become fluent, but realize that this may take quite some time.

I am wondering if someone can give recommendations for locations in Mexico where there are a lot of expat families with kids. We know the move will be hard on our oldest child and think that he would transition much easier if he could find other friends in a similar situation.

I get the impression that the Lake Chapala area and SMA tend to be the most dense with expats, but they also tend to be retirement communities without many children. Large cities like CDMX and Guadalajara would likely be options, but I am not sure I want the hustle-and-bustle. We are also considering Queretaro or Guanajuato. We are not fans of the heat and humidity so will likely want to avoid the Yucatan peninsula.

My wife and I are going to be scouting some locations this Spring, but we really will need to have a narrow list of locations due to time constraints.

Does anyone have opinions on the suitability of the above locations for expat families or suggestions for other locations?

Thanks in advance for your help!

Well Dr Z,

You sort of ruled out major areas where you could possibly find what you are looking for.
You Might want to check out Rosarito which would be close to the U.S. and would not be hot or humid. I also don't think it is retired people heavy while still having locals who likely also speak English and expats.
Good luck

in the moment is a lot of trouble in mexico, especially the borderline.

I would try Cabo San Lucas

Puebla City, Puebla.

Puebla city, Puebla. The Los Angeles Basin town transported south of the line by unscrupulous opportunists.  A fine history in a region once critical to the Spanish Conquistadors determined to commit genocidld en-route from Veracruz to the Valley of Mexico. Today, an unimpressive conglomeration of low-lying suburbs  spreading as far as the mind can mis-comprehend for no particular purpose. The last massive urban jungle in Mexico in which this immigrant from San Francisco would settle.   Mexico has so much to offer so why settle for this unremarkable and mismanaged  urban cesspool. Try Detroit.

So, Imarkus, you disdain Mexico in general and tout Southern Baja as the place for teaching family values.  Remarkarkable. Cotton  Candy Mexico  with infamous corruption and blood lust. I personally recommend Metropolitan Tijuana so your kids will grow up street smart if illusion is what you seek and they grow up at all. I suggest Guadalajara or environs.

The place with the most "expats with kids" would be without a doubt Baja California.
However the one thing about this site is when you ask a question like that you will get many answers. Now what you need to decide is what are you trying to get out of this move? Also will your children be educated in English ,Spanish or both? Or home schooled? That will also determine where you will be able to live.
Good luck on wherever you decide.

Well DrZaius  : color me skeptical but whenever I read posts such as yours (particularly with no subsequent followup on your part) I picture a potential author on a fishing expedition for free information. From my personal life experience - I think it is reprehensible that someone would interrupt the life of a 9 year old almost on a whim (a possible one year commitment). I would suggest that you continue working and use free time over the next 10-15 years or so taking trips to Mexico to find the right spot for you and your wife.

Well Bubba2shoes : I recognize you from other forums. I hope you are enjoying your Mexican experience. I don't live in Puebla but I do wish I had explored it more. I find it far from a 'cesspool'. I've been to Guadalajara and I  never plan on returning there unless someone somewhere down the road tells me the only doctor who can cure my wife of something is in Guadalajara (I would not go there for myself). Ya know - Chiapas is currently not coming across as a great place to be at the moment...

But more generally - these 'what is the best place' type queries are really useless. I live on the outskirts of a largish town city, There are 10-12 municipalities. There are at least 280 fraccionamientos and I don't know how many colonias. There are SO many different ways to living life within this town. You can be a hermit and live up in the forest, or you can retire and live on your SS check in a flat on top of some shop in the center, or you can purchase a house very similar to what you might find in the US etc. All of these lifestyles would fall under the same label as living in our town. There are some areas of town that very easily could be labelled 'cesspools' yet at the same time there are areas which are INSANELY wealthy (that from a recent book I read).

i moved to ciudad juarez in august 2017 from cal. my youngest son lives here with his mexican wife and has been here for 4 years. he lives in juarez but works in EL PASO. I find the people here to be a most friendly bunch, my landlord (who speaks english) manages many rental properties. he is a friendly guy and his mom, uncles, grandma, all live in the building where i live.. lots of people who work in EL PASO live here and commute(2 miles) across the border. on weekends, EL PASO  people come here to shop, enjoy the food, so i see lots of TEXans IN THE MALLS.. THEY RECOGNIZE ME AS AN EXPAT so it actually feels like home here. my wife is mexican, a retired CPA who still has many clients, and she also speaks american english. i speak enuf spanish to get myself in trouble, so she does most of the talking. we r surrounded by many expats, and english speakers, so life here is easy and housing is cheap. i have a 2 bed apt for $270.usd. and my wife has a car. so depends on what u want and where u want to live. CARTELS(DRUG LORDS) are still rampant in southern mex, and there pockets here as well, but we r well protected by the FEDERALES and state police who r here in great numbers, armed to the teeth.JUAREZ is a boom town because so many companies from all over the world r moving here to set up up shop; so job searchers come here looking for work. 100000 good paying jobs can be found here as well as in EL PASO. juarez IS LIKE A SMALL TOWN; ALL THE HIGH RISES R ON THE SOUTHERN END OF THE CITY. close to the american ambassy. good place to live.
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Hi, I very much recommend you check out expat Facebook forums. There are various expat forums for San Miguel and one is specifically for people with children: San Miguel de Allende kids. There seem to be more and more families moving there. As a matter of fact, my sister is coming in January with her brood (5, 8 and 11). She’s coming in January to check out the Waldorf school in SMA.

In the Juriquilla suburb of Querétaro,  there also seem to be a number of expat families with children, but Querétaro is not tranquil anymore, it is a big city - with all the pros and cons that come with that  - and a lot of those families are here for work. Their forum is International Newcomers and Expats of Querétaro.

Querétaro and SMA are close to each other, so it would not be complicated to check both out and see which might work for your family.

All the best!

Yeah, in Los Cabos you can hoop it with heat-packers.  Nowadays even La Paz has gone the way of the gun.  Stay off the narco trail, go South, waaay South.

English-speaking schools are rare.  Maybe in a big city, and mainly for the rich.  Foreign languages are easy for young children.

Here I have mentioned some of the best locations for expat family in Mexico

1. Sayulita, Nayarit
2. Campeche
3. Tulum, Quintana Roo
4. Mazatlan, Sinaloa
5. Cancun
6. Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco

Now I am living in Puerto Vallarta and I have own house in this area.

My wife and i are nearing retirement and have been considering possibly renting in Aguascalientes for 6 months. If all goes well we’d settle there. My youngest daughter will be finishing her teaching degree here in the US and has expressed interest in coming with us for a year, at least, and teaching there at an International school. I love the idea but i am concerned about recent crime incidents that i have been following online. The narco-tards are now apparently infiltrating the city, which i understand has for some time (10+ years) was seeing steadily decreasing crime rates. Now, from what i can gather, there are two rival narco syndicates vying for control of territory throughout a lot of the country and they are apparently entering areas that were previously peaceful and causing a lot of caos. Homicides and kidnappings have double according to something i read, and this is directly related to the narco scum. My wife and i and our daughter all speak spanish and love the Mexican people, culture, food etc, and really like the fact that Aguascalientes has a moderate, dry climate. The fact that it is not a typical expat destination did not deter us. And up until recently, it was looking like the best fit for our needs. Now, we are not so certain. Is anyone on this site familiar with the situation there on the ground? Does anyone, perhaps, know someone who may have some insight into the safety situation there? Could our American accents and appearance put us at considerably more risk considering recent events? Is there any evidence that this trend of increasing violence may subside? Am i making too much of what i am reading in the news? I appreciate your all responses.

Thank you,
Frank

Frank Siclari :

My wife and i are nearing retirement and have been considering possibly renting in Aguascalientes for 6 months. If all goes well we’d settle there. My youngest daughter will be finishing her teaching degree here in the US and has expressed interest in coming with us for a year, at least, and teaching there at an International school. I love the idea but i am concerned about recent crime incidents that i have been following online. The narco-tards are now apparently infiltrating the city, which i understand has for some time (10+ years) was seeing steadily decreasing crime rates. Now, from what i can gather, there are two rival narco syndicates vying for control of territory throughout a lot of the country and they are apparently entering areas that were previously peaceful and causing a lot of caos. Homicides and kidnappings have double according to something i read, and this is directly related to the narco scum. My wife and i and our daughter all speak spanish and love the Mexican people, culture, food etc, and really like the fact that Aguascalientes has a moderate, dry climate. The fact that it is not a typical expat destination did not deter us. And up until recently, it was looking like the best fit for our needs. Now, we are not so certain. Is anyone on this site familiar with the situation there on the ground? Does anyone, perhaps, know someone who may have some insight into the safety situation there? Could our American accents and appearance put us at considerably more risk considering recent events? Is there any evidence that this trend of increasing violence may subside? Am i making too much of what i am reading in the news? I appreciate your all responses.

So Frank,

Where are you getting this information? Given that you indicate you speak Spanish it should be a Mexican source.   My friend has an aunt and cousins there and he says they live well, but it is not "really" safe. Yet unlike the U.S., your daughter would be unlikely to be killed in one of the many school shootings in the U.S.

As for the people, I would advise that you not call people "narco-tards". The drug issues like even Chapo said are fully funded and supported by the U.S. cartels.
The opioid crisis was initiated by drug corporations. Oxy was not developed by Mexico. They just supply drugs to feed the U.S. addiction problem. Oxy becomes too expensive and people turn to Mexico for a cheaper drug.

Also, the drug conflict involves natives for the most part, not tourists. Tourists who are not flaunting money or buying drugs should be fairly safe.

Thank you,
Frank

Hey travelight, i appreciate your response but i will refer to narco vermin however i like. 21 years in law enforcement here in the US and the fact that i am NOT a criminal or criminal sympathizer gives me that right. And as far as our responsibility for the drug problem, i am fully aware that it solely exists because of a weak, euphoria driven, spoiled, American populous of which i am proudly not a part. Of course, i have sympathy for those who become addicted because of chronic pain issues/debiltating accidents, but the large majority of drug abuse is commited by people who don’t wish to deal with realty and who think popping, snorting, injecting or smoking something is a great way to make their problems go away. I have no sympathy for them and i will not take responsibilty for them. They are “our” scourge. Nice job defending them. Thanks, but id just prefer to take advice from someone who doesn’t defend the drug trade.

Frank

Oh, and my sources are the Spanish language newspapers, La Jornada and El Sol del Centro, Aguascalientes.

Frank Siclari :

Oh, and my sources are the Spanish language newspapers, La Jornada and El Sol del Centro, Aguascalientes.

This is what concerns me, Frank, you have made judgments about me, and you don't even know me or my background.  You filtered your opinion through what I had to say. Making judgments with no evidence or data is not going to help anyone or make anyone want to help you.  At no point did I defend the drug trade or drug users, I just stated the facts.

It so happens that I have a long extensive background in medicine and I know a great deal about the drug issues.  I am very familiar with how they developed and who was involved.  I'm familiar with the laws and regulation. Plus my son is a cop, so I know what's happening on that end.

I suggested that you not use demeaning language because it does not help with communication.

Given your anger and general opinion perhaps you might want to reconsider your choices and investigate other options like Canada.

Travelight, it takes a big person to apologize. Apology accepted.

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