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Old 01-18-2009, 12:36 PM
 
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Default Queretero or San Miguel de Allende?

We are a couple in our late 40's/early 50's who are considering relocating from Florida. We are familiar with SMA, but know very little about Queretero. We love the SMA charm and the art schools and it might have been perfect for us in the early 70's, but we're not sure about now, if that makes sense to anyone. I grew up visiting relatives who retired in SMA and it's in my heart, but I don't want that to color what might be a good "fit" for us now. We're basically a couple of progressives who love music, art and coffee and great conversation. I'm wondering if the University in Queretero and larger population might bring a more intellectual flavor.

Can any locals share their comparisons of the two places and the pros and cons of each? Thanks in advance.
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Old 01-18-2009, 02:52 PM
 
Location: The world, where will fate take me this time?
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Queretaro is a big, modern city with many booming industries, specially aerospace, however it is still small enough to avoid heavy traffic and other issues with bigger cities, it also retains some of her colonial charm that is appealing.

San Miguel de Allende is a lot more relaxed and laidback, both are nice but it depends on what you want.

Regards
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Old 01-18-2009, 03:14 PM
 
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Thanks for the response. I love relaxed and laidback, but I also love the energy a city might provide, altho I'm not knocking SMA's energy by any means. I also suspect we might meet more peers in Qto., but I could be wrong about this. Housing definitely looks cheaper in Qto., and since we are very young, it looks like there might be potential for employment which would be a bonus. Of course, I'm completely unfamiliar with rules regarding ex-pats and Mexican employment, and suspect it's not a straightforward process. Does anyone know anything about this?
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Old 01-18-2009, 04:53 PM
emh
 
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I'm not a local but I've visited both cities. One thing to keep in mind is that Queretaro has very few gringos (either visitors or living there). Unlike San Miguel which is overflowing with them. That could be a plus or minus depending on your perspective. I think Queretaro could be a challenge if you don't speak much Spanish.

Another city you might want to consider is Guanajuato which is about an hour north of San Miguel. Guanajuato is definitely a college town and the college clearly influences the city.

If you're interested, I can send you links to my photos of these towns.
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Old 01-18-2009, 05:07 PM
 
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Thanks emh! I've actually visited Guanajuato, and thought it was lovely. I am more intrigued by Qto because of the tremendous growth it has seen and all of the businesses that are moving in there. My husband spent some early years in Peru and would quickly become fluent again. I, otoh, have very basic spanish and that would make my comfort level higher in SMA until I became more conversant. I appreciate you bringing this up - it's definitely an issue that could sway the decision for me. Is there an area in Qto that is particularly more gringo than another?
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Old 01-18-2009, 06:10 PM
 
Location: So. of Rosarito, Baja, Mexico
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Fauve.. can't say much about Queretaro other then driving thru on my way to and from Mexico City many times. Nice city from what I saw but to Americans being there...don't know.
I lived im MC (DF) three yrs as a tourista/residentia (which is not a correct term)... had a Mexican wife but debated on living there on a reg basis. As to the money for me and my background could easily work illegally with NO problem based on my experience in a certain field. Everyone called me maestro (teacher). The thing would be my passport and visa needs.
To work or live in Mexico you would need a FM2 or FM3 to be legal.
Certain requirements would have to be met to qualify.
As to the money depending on your trade...lower then the US...paid by the week...not hrs as in the US.
You would have to prove to Mexican Immigration that your expertise would not take a job from a Mexican National.
If you had unlimited funds...it would be possible to live here indefinetly without working. No one would bother you at all unless there was a car accident or another police related problem.

Have spent 3 yrs in Mexico City and now 12 yrs in Baja just south of Rosarito. Built a home here as my retirement residence and return across the border 2-3 times a month for the bank and mail. Do use the Mexican ATM here when needed. Further south into the mainland is more cumbersome for some I suppose.

Retired financially you can live anywhere in Mexico...being young is okay if working for an American company in the country will also work. Working for a Mexican firm is another ball game. You could speak excellent spanish and still find some blocking as your an American and will carry some stigma. They can hire a National for a lot less then what you would want in salary.

I am speaking with some background. My wife was a senior executive in a large GOVMT firm and I had a circle of high influential degreed friends that I will not name. I learned a lot in 3 yrs in DF. I am not uppity or anything like that...just being honest and truthful. I can only speak from my own personal experience and am sure others may agree or disagree but could care less...sorry about that.

Do wish you well in your endeavours. Steve
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Old 01-18-2009, 07:06 PM
emh
 
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In the 4-5 days I spent in Queretaro, I saw fewer than 5 other gringos. And they looked like fellow travelers. Personally I don't get it. Queretaro is beautiful and it's only an hour or so from Mexico. But for some reason, it hasn't caught on with foreigners.

Having your husband with you will obviously help with the transition. And there is a spanish language school in town. But if you're hoping to find other gringos to hang out with in Queretaro, that might take a while.
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