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Hola! Que onda! my name is Kari and I'm 21 years old. Spanish has been my main interest for many years now (I have been taking it in school since kindergarten, it was my major in college, I don't work in places that don't require that I speak it) and I love everything about Mexican culture, and I really want to move there and live and work. I don't really have any special skills other than that I speak English, and am good with a computer, but I also do not have a college degree (can't afford it!). I have a friend who was deported back to Tapachula and has told me that I can come stay with him and his family for as long as I want and maybe we can get an apartment or something down the road. I am just wondering - is this feasible? I already know I would have to apply for an FM-2. I don't really care what I do down there... ninera, mesera, cocinera, it doesn't matter, I just have always wanted to live in Mexico and I finally have an option to do it. Les agradezco for any advice you could give to una chamaca =]

Also, does anyone live in Tapachula? That is where he & his family live, or at least very close to it. I'd just like to know a little bit about the city I would be living in!! :)

And lastly, what was the biggest culture shock to you when you moved to Mexico? Most of my friends are Mexican and so I know quite a bit (like never, ever tell a Mexican you think Clamato is disgusting!! Hahahaha) but I am sure there will be things there that will leave me scratching my head.

Gracias por todo sus consejos!
 

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Karikarino,
Welcome to the forum and I hope you get some good advice and will proceed very, very cautiously. First, you will have to have foreign income in order to qualify for an FM3 or FM2. You can't just go to Mexico and work, but must have a formal job offer and the support and cooperation of your prospective employer to obtain immigration permission to be added to your visa for a specific job at one particular location. The jobs you mention can be easily provided by Mexican nationals, thereby making you ineligible, for all practical purposes. There are also horror stories of young ladies falling in love with an illegal latin charmer in the USA, going to Mexico and finding that they just don't fit into the family in another culture, having a child or two, wanting to escape back to the USA and being unable to find their passport or get the children out either. If you can afford to support yourself without working, come and visit with an eye to exploring the details.
"Tapachula is a municipio (municipality) and city with a hot, humid climate in the Mexican state of Chiapas. It is located in southern part of the state on the Soconusco coastal plain, near the border with Guatemala, at 14.91° N 92.27° W. In the 2005 census the population of the municipality was 282,420 people, whereas the city of Tapachula had a population of 189,991 (more than two-thirds of the municipality's total). The city and the municipality both rank second in the state in population, behind Tuxtla Gutiérrez".(from Google)
 

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Well, that sucks. I don't know what to do now because I don't want to wait until I'm 50 and retired to live over there. Does anyone have any advice about what I should do, then? I was thinking about getting a TEFL over there, because I've always wanted to teach. And also this guy is like my brother and a wonderful friend of mine, there's no "latino lover" thing going on, haha. I also have talked to his family on the phone extensively - I know it's not like meeting them in person, but at least I wouldn't be walking in without knowing anything or anyone.
 

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Perhaps his family could identify and recommend international companies in the area. Then, you could contact them, or their home offices, regarding employment prospects. If you are fluently bilingual, there may be options. You must be aware that wages will be a small fraction of a similar job in the USA and your living standard will have to be adjusted accordingly. Otherwise, like most of us, you may have to pay your dues in the working world and wait until 50 or 65 to make the move. Starting a career internationally, especially in the failing world economy, is never easy. Those of us who may have done some work internationally, go our feet wet for many years with a US company and then gained transfers or assignments to foreign locations. That approach has many advantages. Otherwise, you are up against laws which protect citizens from foreigners competing for jobs, immigration requirements, medical coverage expenses, etc. So, again, dust off your passport and, if you can afford it, travel and visit in the area of interest for several months, including winter and summer, before making any decisions. You have a lifetime ahead of you; plan well.
 

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Would my mother's income allow me to qualify, perhaps, if she was willing to vouch that she supports me? Would this be enough to get started with an FM-2, and then I could work on my TEFL certification while I am down there? I am just trying to explore any options.
 

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No, other people cannot 'vouch' for you. For the three month period prior to applying for an FM3 or FM2, you will have to show original bank statements which include deposits to your account and/or a significant balance throughout that time. You will also need proof of residence in Mexico substantiated by utility bills or rental receipts/lease, etc. Your valid passport, birth certificate and your current FMT document must also be presented. You must repeat this process with fresh documents every 12 months at immigration offices nearest your residence; probably the capitol of the Mexican state where you reside. If you apply for your FM3 in the USA, before going to Mexico, you may do that at the nearest Mexican Consulate to your home; no other. Each consulate may have additional requirements, such as police reports, medical reports, etc.
Going to Mexico as a tourist for a vacation or even to live for up to 180 days on an FMT will require only a passport. Moving here to live entails jumping through some additional hoops.
 

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Tapachula.. Don't Even Think About It !

Unless you have a DEATH WISH I suggest you stay FAR AWAY from Tapachula. EXTREME DANGER. Don't even think about moving to Tapachula.
 

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Yeah, I want to hear as well. I don't think I'd be in the actual city, because he said he lives about 15 minutes from the beach... isn't the actual city a little farther away from that? Anyway. Does the violence have anything to do with the unrest about Guatemalan immigration?
 

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It would be wise for you to take a trip to the area and explore without your Mexican friend even knowing you are there. Go with your eyes wide open and a return ticket. If you can't afford to do that, I'm afraid your dream will have to wait. The fact that you even thought that you could just go to another country to live, without resources, government permissions, etc., indicates that you are a bit naive and need to do a lot of research. Pretty young things can vanish without a trace if they aren't experienced in the ways of the world and don't have the resources and knowledge to take care of themselves or to 'get out of Dodge' at a moment's notice.
 
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