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Hello all, major newbie here. My DH and I are planning our escape in 2013, when our baby graduates college. My question is this, and please reposition it if this is not the proper place for it. I am a practicing Pagan, and have been for 40 years. I am very out, here in my tiny western NY community, and really hope to be able to remain so after the move. Does anyone know of any Pagan folks or groups around the Guadalajara area? That is the target area for now, it may change. I found a Wiccan group, but it is Spanish speaking, and young. I am not Wiccan, not great at Spanish yet, and won't ever be young again. Any thoughts are greatly appreciated and highly sought after!! BB, SS
 

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Mexico is pretty accepting of most things, but Jalisco is a very conservative state. If you look different, have tattoos or piercings, you will be considered very 'unusual'.
 

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Oh dear, I am 57 and look every inch like my grand kids nana, hehehe. I do have a small tattoo on my ankle, been there for 20 odd years. I am mostly wanting to find a few like minded people to be able to relate to and chat with. I am surprised that it might be conservative there, not sure why. I guess the idea of such a huge city area, and considering itself so European, I perhaps expected a more open minded place. Anyway, I just am thinking out loud, if I must practice as a solitary no harm done.
 

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Jalisco and all of the colonial central highland areas of Mexico are generally very conservative. However, as a musician and artist, I have had many opportunities to meet the "different" folks and there are plenty in Guadalajara and any of the other larger cities. The Lake Chapala area is not really cosmopolitan per se, so it won't have much of an alternative scene since it is far enough from Guadalajara to be its own distinct place. In Guadalajara, on the other hand, I'll bet you will be able to find some like-minded folks, especially if you get you Spanish up to a good level so you won't be limited to meeting English speakers.
 

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If you are looking for a more liberal type of environment, with a small cosmopolitan feel, you may want to research San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas. It has a population of about 100,000 (depending on who you ask) and due to the large number of europeans living there, it is has more than its size would imply. Additionally, the city of Tuxtla (population 600,000) is only a 45 minute drive down the mountain.

Hope this helps. Good luck.
 

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Alternate Lifestyle Groups

Hello all, major newbie here. My DH and I are planning our escape in 2013, when our baby graduates college. My question is this, and please reposition it if this is not the proper place for it. I am a practicing Pagan, and have been for 40 years. I am very out, here in my tiny western NY community, and really hope to be able to remain so after the move. Does anyone know of any Pagan folks or groups around the Guadalajara area? That is the target area for now, it may change. I found a Wiccan group, but it is Spanish speaking, and young. I am not Wiccan, not great at Spanish yet, and won't ever be young again. Any thoughts are greatly appreciated and highly sought after!! BB, SS
Would expect that expat community around Lake Chapala much more traditional than around San Miguel de Allende. You might also look there, probably starting with Portal San Miguel.
 

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tattoos

Mexico is pretty accepting of most things, but Jalisco is a very conservative state. If you look different, have tattoos or piercings, you will be considered very 'unusual'.
Sir, I am covered in tattoo's,have an ear ring with skull on it, lived in the Chapala area for 6 weeks and found that the locals were VERY friendly towards me.
It was thr "GRINGOS" that looked down on me. I have never been in a country where I have seen so many sad, sower looking Americans. Why do they come down here to be unhappy and treat the locals with disrespect.
Aussie
 

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Sir, I am covered in tattoo's,have an ear ring with skull on it, lived in the Chapala area for 6 weeks and found that the locals were VERY friendly towards me.
It was thr "GRINGOS" that looked down on me. I have never been in a country where I have seen so many sad, sower looking Americans. Why do they come down here to be unhappy and treat the locals with disrespect.
Aussie
Since retorical question, won't answer.
As I said, Chapala much more like an Arizona retirement complex. San Miguel is an artist community.
 

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Let's see - you are covered in tattoo's and have a skull earring - and you think no-one should notice you ? But isn't that exactly why you did it in the first place. Myself, I like to be noticed for being overly nice to people, Mexican or anything else. As for sad and sower (sic) looking Americans (I am Canadian btw), I am guessing one sees what they expect to see, as in a self-fulfilling prophecy. That has certainly not been my experience of people in the area. Just about everyone I have seen and met are darned happy to be there.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Oh dear, I surely did not mean to start anything up on here. I have spoken to a lady, an online friend, who is exchanging English and Spanish lessons with my husband. She lives in Guadalajara. My husband will have to go there for the start of our adventure, teaching business English at the University. He asked her what the locals there would think of someone with tattoos and a nose piercing, which I don't have yet. She answered that they would think that person is out to harm them. I shudder to think of anyone being afraid of a middle aged woman, but if that is how it is, I guess I will have to stay under cover, so to speak. I am very respectful of other cultures, being a kind of minority as a witch, I treat others as I expect to be treated.

I would prefer a more rural lifestyle, as that is what I have here, after living in the LA area for 30 years, I have had just about my fill of crowded places. But I know also that he has to be near the University, and I do love the culture and history of Mexico, so I am kind of looking forward to being in such a colonial city.

I do appreciate all the suggestions of more open minded places, and I am researching them. Thank you all, and have a blessed Yule!! )0(
 

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RV knows so much more than I about the area (or Mexico) but in my limited experience one thing becomes instantly and overwhelmingly obvious. Mexicans are very religious and very Roman Catholic. I passed the night of the millenium outside of the huge Catholic church in Chapala with a huge crowd. The church is fundamentally important in Latin America. A bit of history discloses that pretty fast. I don't really know what I believe along religious lines but whatever it is, I more or less keep to myself. I honestly can't tell you how paganism does in Mexico but I would hazard a guess it is not universally practiced (not unlike the US or Canada). If that is your thing, well I hope you find kindred souls if that is what you need, but I would not flaunt it in Ajijic or Chapala.
I don't think you 'started something', just a forum for ideas and thoughts which cannot hurt.
 

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That's good advice. Just don't be overt. For young folks here, it is unwise to have tattoos or piercings anywhere on your body if you ever want to pass an employment exam with a reputable company. That should give us a hint as to the local 'flavor'.
 

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I would think suggestion to stay closer to Guadalaha is very good. The areas of Tlacapaque & Tonala is where most of the arts & crafts are. These were independent cities and retain a lot of their independence. This may give you the combination that you are looking for.
Additioally, just east of Tonala is start of silver making complex that is even more rural with separate towns.
However, do think renting in Tlacapaque or Tonala is a good starting point.
 
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