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I have done some searches but can't seem to find the info I'm looking for.

What is life like with kids in Mexico City? Are there good neighborhoods/apartment buildings with similar expats with young families? (Our kids are 4 and 6). Areas to avoid?

What are the pros and cons of the international schools? I've been looking at Greengates and the American School, but my kids don't speak any Spanish right now (unless you count what they've learned from Dora). I've heard kids who don't speak Spanish at the American school tend to get picked on/bullied. True or not? I plan on getting them into a basic Spanish class this winter to prep them for our move next summer. Any other international schools we should check out?

Our kids are involved in a lot of outside activities -- gymnastics, soccer, swimming. Are there any places where they might be able to continue the activities they enjoy?
 

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I have done some searches but can't seem to find the info I'm looking for.

What is life like with kids in Mexico City? Are there good neighborhoods/apartment buildings with similar expats with young families? (Our kids are 4 and 6). Areas to avoid?

What are the pros and cons of the international schools? I've been looking at Greengates and the American School, but my kids don't speak any Spanish right now (unless you count what they've learned from Dora). I've heard kids who don't speak Spanish at the American school tend to get picked on/bullied. True or not? I plan on getting them into a basic Spanish class this winter to prep them for our move next summer. Any other international schools we should check out?

Our kids are involved in a lot of outside activities -- gymnastics, soccer, swimming. Are there any places where they might be able to continue the activities they enjoy?
I have known American families with kids that went to the American school and never heard of the bullying issue and these kids ranged from very young to teen.

Keep in mind that Greengates is some distance from areas that I would call expat.

Most people whom I knew had kids that went to the American School lived in Santa Fe, Interlomas or Lomas de Chapultepec. Santa Fe and Interlomas have many apartment buildings, but Interlomas might be slightlyt less expensive than Santa Fe (simply because there are more apartment buildings there). Interlomas is where my cousin lived and they have extensive shopping centers there and it's not too far from Santa Fe, where they have perhaps the best shopping mall in the city, Centro Comercio Santa Fe. I would see lots of Americans in Interlomas, especially at the Walmart there (and it's not like the Walmart in the US, here it's a bit more upscale) and also at both of the movie theaters. That place is really growing and there's a lot to do in that area. I regularly saw the American School buses or ASF buses go through there to pick up and drop off.

Another school offhand would be the Peterson School, but I know its more frequented by Latin American expats.
 

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d.f.

i would contact the american ambassador in mexico city, he was probably given a list of many options for his children and living arrangenments. if you can afford it, rent a place in a luxury high rise....
 

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My expat friends when I lived in Mexico were all around the place, mostly upper middle class or markedely well off areas.

Satelite, Las Lomas, Polanco, Tecamachalco.

When I started working, my expat friends were mostly University researchers and students, then they tended to live in less affluent areas, where middle class Mexicans also lived: some parts of Coyoacan and Polanco, San Angel, anywhere where there was no abject poverty really.

Areas to avoid are poor ones (Colonia Pensil, Tepito, etc), but most likely you will not end there, even by mistake, you will know you are out of place as soon as you arrive there.

My friends with children preferred Las Lomas and Polanco (they could afford it) because you were walking distance from green areas, restaurants, cinemas and the real life in Mexico.

Santa Fe and surrounding areas are great, but will isolate you almost entirely from life in the country, if that is what you want you will be fine, but what is the point to relocate somewhere away from home just to live like you were living back home?


As for sporting activities, they tend to be in the south of town. Professional soccer teams (Cruz Azul, America and Pumas UNAM) have soccer academies for children.

As for swimming the best place is the Alberca Olimpica (Olypmic Swimming complex) but there is an array of academies and sports centres all around town.

Gymnastics is not very popular in Mexico, I can't think of any good places at the moment (it is always worth checking out of the sphere of expatriate life, the IMSS has several Olympic distance swimming pools with excellent coaching for which you pay peanuts and they used to coach the only proper gymnastics teams in the country).

Another option is private clubs, but they are quite snobbish (and I know of one instance of outright racism, so be warned) you will normally need a recommendation from a member in order to be allowed to join. Old favourites are Deportivo Mundet (Polanco) , Deportivo Chapultepec (Chapultepec/Reforma) and Club Aleman (Xochimilco). Your Mexican colleagues will have valuable advice regarding this.

You have rightly spotted lack of Spanish as a problem. This should be a priority for you and your children, this will allow you to take full advantage of the many possibilities available in Mexico without needing the filter of expatriate targeted publications.
 
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