Solo woman moving to GDL - Questions - Page 2

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Solo woman moving to GDL - Questions - Page 2


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Old 9th June 2010, 04:15 PM
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I don't know if this has been anyone else's situation, but I personally didn't have to show proof of income when applying for my FM3. I was offered a job, and I applied for it from there, with the help of the company (it was a university). I didn't have to get my degrees translated or anything either, since the guy at the visa place said "obviously you can teach English, you're Canadian!" I don't really think that's an obvious conclusion, but hey, it was one less thing to do...!

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Old 8th July 2010, 03:44 AM
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I have just recently moved to Guadalajara with my son, we are living in a 4 bedroom house that has 3 bathrooms, no bathtubs. We would be willing to rent one of the bedrooms out for a couple of months to let you get settled and find your way around. We live in a very nice and safe neighborhood and the house is funished, with towels and anything else you would need.

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Old 8th July 2010, 02:05 PM
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Dsuehurst,
Welcome to the forum and to Jalisco.

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Old 15th July 2010, 09:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlms View Post
Guadalajara public transport is not really good. The metro lines are restricted, slow, and overcrowded, buses should preferably be avoided. In as much as possible you should take taxis in a "sitio" (a kind of base on the street where only taxis belonging there can pick up passengers, there should be a person working there that can vouch for the security of boarding a vehicle there) or radiotaxis. You can flag down a taxi on the street, but then you should make a point of looking at the ID of the cabbie (which should be displayed prominently) and discretely take a note of the plates, but this method is best avoided if possible.
There is a lot of good advice in the responses here generally. However, I have to disagree with this comment on public transit in Guadalajara.

I have lived here for 2-1/2 years and take the buses all the time. They have positives and negatives, listed below, but the bottom line is that it is a great system for doing what bus systems should do: making it convenient and cheap to get around without a car.

Positives:
They run everywhere, particularly in and out of the center of Guadalajara.
Most routes run very often, every few minutes. I rarely wait more than 5 minutes. At off hours or in outlying areas the wait can be longer.
They are cheap. The full fare is 6 pesos (45 cents). For seniors with "credencial" it is half that.
They are clean in the sense that you can sit on the seats without worrying about it (see negatives).

Negatives:
They are old and beat up.
The shocks/springs often are terrible.
Many drivers like to stop and start abruptly so it usually is a jerky ride.
They can be crowded during rush hour. (Worst example: 380 on Perferico)
It can be a challenge to figure out which one you want. The best is to ask someone at a bus stop if you speak enough spanish.
They stop running at about 10:30 or 11 in evening, so they can truncate socializing late at night.

Finally, a comment on taxis. The recommendation for only getting taxis in the sitios is overly conservative. You can usually negotiate a better price with a taxi on the street. I have never heard of anyone having any problems stopping a taxi on the street. You do want to discuss the price and agree on the fare before you get in. And it helps to know what the fare should be.

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Old 16th July 2010, 06:22 PM
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Hola Jane,
I recently lived alone as a woman in Mexico in my mid fifties and feel it's very different from living alone in central Florida (with lots of Hispanics). I recommend that you learn more Spanish, so you can at least carry on a basic conversation if you plan to go alone... it's best, though, if you can get to intermediate level before going it on your own. Do you have any friends in GDL? You do need to be significantly more careful in Mexico than you would in the States. I made friends with Mexican women when I lived in SMA by offering 'intercambio' - free conversation - half and hour of English for half an hour of Spanish. This was a great way to make friends with Mexicans and learn Spanish.

I'm concerned that you might not get work with one course in TEFL and little knowledge of Spanish - even though you have the MBA. Maybe you could put together workshops for Americans on developing entrepreneurial skills? So many of us are going to Mexico hoping for a little income with a small business...I'm hoping that my art workshops and my paintings of Mexican Conchero dancers may be of interest to Americans in the GDL area when I retire - hopefully, to Mexico.
Catalina

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Originally Posted by JaneScriv View Post
Hello,

Now that I've found this excellent website, I am very eager to do more research about my intended move to Guadalajara. Feedback on any of the following questions greatly appreciated.

1) I am a redhaired pale skinned 'gringa' of a certain age - not quite ready for full retirement but way past the spring chicken stage. Basically fit, active. What should I know about living, alone, in Guadalajara or Zapopan?

2) Costs: I would want to find a furnished apartment in the Zapopan or northwest GDL area, rentable by the month. I will not be bringing a car. Security of course is a major consideration. I would want a small two bedroom, 1 bath apt. w/shower and full bathtub, full kitchen (I mean stove, oven, refrigerator, cooking equipment, etc.) Beds, linens, towels - what one would generally find in a decent, not luxurious hotel. Access to safe laundry facilities. Television, highspeed internet most important. A more or less quiet residential neighborhood would be nice. How much should I expect to pay for that, and how would I find it?

3) Is the public transport system reasonable to get around on? Radio/licensed taxis generally available, reasonable, safe? Are there 2 prices for taxis? i.e., gringo price and local price? Do you negotiate in advance?

4) My initial plan is to take a TEFL course at the ITTO school, and look for work, perhaps part-time as a Teacher of Business English (I have a BA in Economics and and an MBA). Has anyone any information about working for US companies whose Mexican employees get English instruction on-site? Or Mexican companies, for that matter?

5) Living inexpensively is important - I like to cook and don't need much in the way of American brand name products. Is a budget of USD1200/mo. a reasonabe expectation? I hope to be able to make $400-$500 of that by teaching.

6) Moving permanently. I have read, somewhere, that one may bring all of one's personal possessions into Mexico without duty - but only within 90 days of 'going' to Mexico. Can anyone elaborate on this, or recommend links?

7) Are there good Mexican Chardonnays? How much for a decent bottle - not something to impress the guests, but just a good daily quaffing wine?

8) I speak a bit of beginner level Spanish and intend to continue to work on and improve my fluency - but that will take time. How essential is fluent Spanish in GDL?

9) Should I have broken this up into 8 different topics?

Looking forward to hearing from you. I've been perusing the topics and will be doing more - looks like a great bunch of folks here. Thanks.

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Old 31st July 2010, 02:16 PM
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I'm only going to toucb on the financial part here. My family of 3 live off os $1040/mos and it's fine. We have to be careful, that'sall. Of course, I will be getting a raise this year, so it will increase. I doubt you will be able to make the sort of money you need to live off as a single person though. Maybe it could happen. Do you have any degrees? It might be easier to try to secure a job first before making the move.

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Old 4th August 2010, 04:56 PM
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I was originally interested in Lake Chapala, because I want to retire to an area that is still authentically Mexican that also offers lots of activities with expats....but I'm increasingly interested in retiring to GDL - and particularly in the area of Zapopan. I also think it's great advice to rent for awhile in each location to know where to buy a "casita".

If your family can live on $1000 a month, I'm thinking the rentals may be even cheaper than I thought. I'll just need a one bedroom place for myself (and my dog. I'm wondering if you could give me a ball park minimum - maximum $ range to think in terms of for rent and utilities... I'm frugal...

Thanks!
Catalina

Quote:
Originally Posted by TamiJ View Post
I'm only going to toucb on the financial part here. My family of 3 live off os $1040/mos and it's fine. We have to be careful, that'sall. Of course, I will be getting a raise this year, so it will increase. I doubt you will be able to make the sort of money you need to live off as a single person though. Maybe it could happen. Do you have any degrees? It might be easier to try to secure a job first before making the move.

  #18 (permalink)  
Old 4th August 2010, 06:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kathleentitus View Post
I'm wondering if you could give me a ball park minimum - maximum $ range to think in terms of for rent and utilities... I'm frugal...
You can rent a one bedroom apartment in Guadalajara in decent neighborhoods for $2500 pesos/month. Utilities (for one person) per month in pesos:
Water $33
Electricity $60
Gas $100
Internet $499

The gas estimate may be low, I only turn the water heater on once a day for a shower. I use the stove a lot, but the water heater is the real consumer of gas.

The internet bill includes cable TV which I don't use but have to pay for anyway.

Food costs depend on the individual but if you eat at home and stay out of bars, food is pretty cheap. Fruits and vegetables tend to be a lot less than the US.

Cheers,
Will

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Old 4th August 2010, 06:49 PM
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My best guess is that you can expect to find places from US$250-500 per month but finding one that will accept a dog and have gardens to accommodate it, at that price, may be a problem.

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Old 4th August 2010, 07:02 PM
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As another way to look at it, Peace Corps gives volunteers in Guadalajara $9600 pesos/month ($750/month) to live on. Some live on less and save money. A very few supplement it with other resources. Most just spend it. Many Peace Corps people keep or adopt dogs while they are here.

Will

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