Expats in Mexico

Well, no one stopped me, so here is a lovely essay about American Expats in his native Mexico by Arturo Garcia, who is now a Mexican expat and wonderful artist and poet living in the U.S. I guess we traded places:

If there were Americans in Chapala, in Ajijic there were even more. They met at the Old Posada, at the Plaza, at the restaurants in La Montaña, and at the Lake Chapala Society. They had large houses in La Floresta, in Rancho del Oro and more in the heart of town where they felt part of the native community. Those who chose to live in town were not bothered by the cocks that began to crow in the corrals at five in the morning or by the dogs that barked all night at some opossum or some nagual soul that arrived in the shape of an owl. For them, the superstition of the people was ancestral mysticism and they saw it as part of our culture that they had learned in books and that the townspeople without knowing, lived by innate wisdom and by being direct heirs of the Indians who survived the conquests. People had that in their blood and Americans were attracted to it because everything was authentic.

Americans who were touched by the magic of the town left everything behind to stay. Many set aside their piece of land in the municipal cemetery because that was how great their love for the town was. Sometimes they used the politics of their country or the state of social decline as an excuse, but the real reason they did not return was not known to them. They were simply bewitched by the spirit of Ajijic and there was nothing to separate them, not even death.

They, the Ajijic Americans, stood out by their way of dressing, by the efforts they made to speak Spanish and did not judge the native ways of some inhabitants who refused progress, on the contrary, they went to the store with their huaraches and embroidered morral bags made by Huichol Indians while the women came out with their Oaxacan blouses looking and feeling like Frida Kahlo herself. It was nice to see them with their Mexican hearts blending with the locals, putting aside their cameras to hang Wixarika morrales on their shoulders when they decided to stop recording memories with the 35-millimeter camera roll to start storing them on the roll of memory living the experience permanently.

Photo: Pedro Loco. Inside Lakeside.

HERE is a link to Arturo’s website. Go here to see his art. 

12 thoughts on “Expats in Mexico


    Very well said Judy…. I like that~! I have been an expat for many years, and have seen good and bad but always tried to fit in as I was always considered the guest and especially in Latin countries I was always treated as the top guest, having many entertain me when I knew it was beyond their means. But today the tables are turned and I now am taken care by MexPats, who gave up their home life to come here for a better life, and even with the Trump gang crap it is still that, due to people like me who appreciate them need them and treat them as they treated me so many years ago, and I pay it forward remembering what was given to me by them, those years ago, and are still doing so.

    But I do miss the expat life I knew so long ago, and if I were younger, I would be knocking on your door asking if you knew a good place for me to stay while I got my roots replanted.

    Thanks for helping me re-live my dream~!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. lifelessons Post author

      I feel the same way.. we take care of each other, each according to our ability, each according to our means. Now what does that remind you of?With Yolanda and Paciano’s families, sometimes I feel like the mother, at other times like the kid.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. lifelessons Post author

      I can’t tell who this is from. Is it from Arturo? If so, are you in Mexico now? The IP address indicates you are in Guad or Chapala, but I thought you were in Colorado. Why would you think you looked like a fool?


        1. lifelessons Post author

          Ah a good point. I couldn’t imagine you thinking you looked like a fool, and yet no one else except Pedro was mentioned in my blog and obviously it couldn’t be him responding! The last time I talked to him he was in the exact spot he was in in the photo, by the way. At any rate, I really appreciated your piece. I have loved living in Mexico and I’m so grateful to be here.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. JoHanna Massey

    Enjoyed this essay so very much Judy. My dear friend left the US just before the 2016 election to relocate to Mexico and his only regret is not having done so much sooner. All my best to you and thank you for such a great post to read this Monday morning.



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