Why I Love Mexico | The Truth About Mexico

Categorized | Personal Experiences, Sinaloa

Why I Love Mexico

A post by "Nancy Dardarian" | http://www.countdowntomexico.com

Nancy lives in Mazatlán, Sinaloa, México, with her husband Paul and two dogs. To see more posts by this author, click here.

Since I have traveled in Mexico for many years – and now live in Mexico – I thought that instead of discussing all the negative press Mexico has been getting lately, I would tell you why I love it here.

The Spirit of the People – This is usually the first thing that people notice about Mexico. There is an almost indescribable sparkle that you notice around the eyes. Smiles come easily. Kisses at greeting. Kisses when parting. You seldom hear a child cry and never hear a parent speak in anger to a child. Family is everything, and every evening, generations walk arm in arm in the plazas. People don’t get upset easily. Loud party? (So what, they are having fun tonight.) Litter on the sidewalk? (Sweep it up and enjoy a little chat with the people who pass by.) Barking dog? (Put on some music.) I love the phrase “ni modo” which means “oh well, what can you do?” and is the perfect answer to minor aggravations in life. Ni modo.

Generosity – There are many organizations in Mexico to help those who are less fortunate. But when I comment on generosity I mean all the small generosities I see daily. People know how to give with a grace that I can only hope to learn. One time in Mexico City, we went out to buy soup to take home. While we waited, a little street boy who was familiar to everyone in the neighborhood ran up with a coin and asked for a taco. The owner sent him to the cashier (his wife) to pay, and prepared a generous taco for the boy to take away. As he started to leave, the cashier pressed a handful of money in the boy’s hand as “change.” He ran off. A few minutes later his sister arrived, and the same interaction ensued. It was obvious that the couple happily made sure these kids had a little good food every day and were happy to give it. They would be surprised that I even think their actions were noteworthy. It’s just what they do, and how they relate to the world around them.

Ability to Make Do – I have a soft spot for people who can figure out a work-around when they need something. Not very much goes to waste here. And if you are done with something, just put it out on the curb and it will find a new home.

What is Fun? – You don’t need a money to have fun in Mexico. Of course, there’s the ocean, the best playground of all. Sunday is family day, and the beach is full of large family groups – from Grandma to the smallest baby. They may bring their own food, or buy mangoes and donuts from vendors walking by. But even in places away from the beach, people head to the plazas and parks to relax and talk and usually share a meal together. Balloon vendors stroll. Outdoor dances are common. People love to buy a song or two from the strolling musical groups. Mexico is a social country, when they have free time they usually head outside to get together with friends. Even late at night the streets are busy with people laughing and having fun. And I guess I shouldn’t forget that parades and fireworks can surprise you anytime, day or night.

Acceptance and Friendliness – We have a regular route when walking our dogs in the morning, and we greet and are greeted by many people every day. I thought for a while that they only greeted me because I said hello to them first – but you know – that’s not true. We are part of the fabric of the city and we are accepted – tattoos and imperfect Spanish and all.

Hard Working – The old stereotype of the sleepy Mexican under a sombrero couldn’t be further from the truth. Most people work very hard, and long hours, too. Five long days and a half day on Saturday. And wages are so low that once they are done working they have to work hard to do everything else. Many people have the simplest homes, with just the basics and wash clothes and dishes by hand. They either bicycle to and from work or have long bus rides. You’ll notice, though, that all school kids have gleaming white shirts and polished shoes. I have no idea how they do it all.

Efficient and Accommodating
– We live in Mexico as retirees on an FM-3 visa. This visa is renewable for a year. We visit Immigration once a year with a bank statement showing we have adequate income (so that we are not a drain on their economy) and payment of a small fee in exchange for a new one year visa. When doing this I wonder what the same transaction would be like for a Mexican in the US, unfortunately I think I know the answer. Many of you also may not know that Mexico also has a national health insurance program. And guess what? They also make it available to foreigners. We are in the process of applying for the insurance and our experience has been efficient and way easier than a trip to the DMV in the US. Wouldn’t it be nice if the US had national health insurance available to all?

Living in Mexico has changed me for the better, too. I am more tolerant, smile more, am more relaxed and generous, and I actually like myself better. These are just a few of the things I can put into words about why I love it here. You really should come and see for yourself.

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38 Comments For This Post

  1. Palabra Says:

    What a great post, Nancy. Thank you for reminding all of us why this is such a special place.

  2. heatherinparadise Says:

    I love this post, Nancy. So true, and I love you.

  3. Jose Maria Says:

    Nancy wonderful post I am glad you are here :)
    Of course the country is not perfect (what country is?) but I have found that with a right attitude towards life in general this is a beautiful and lovely place to live, travel and work, my ancestors came from Spain when things were tough there back in the beginning of the XX Century, I am glad they did, this country is so generous,and your post made me realize that I also love Mexico for all the good things it has, and for the bad ones, the people that live here we must strive to change them.

  4. Bethie Says:

    what a wonderful post. my hubby will be returning to Mexico in the next few weeks, I have never been there and will be following a week or so behind him. I am looking forward to this more than you will ever know.

  5. David y Heather Says:

    Nancy, thank you! We are moving to Mexico soon but, until reading your post, I was unable to describe why I (david) was going there. Our experiences in Guanajuato last June on holiday were the same as yours – charming, wonderful people and a beautiful city where I can see my self living for the rest of my life. The only problem for us as Australians is that we have to pay for health care in Mexico; it is free at home. Ni modo!

  6. Ronycoca Says:

    Nice post Nancy. After 10 years living here including a divorce, I cannot think of anywhere else where I could possibly live as well. Day to day expenses are reasonably priced.

    Healthcare is affordable whether in the IMSS system or using local services. It is not free in Canada as some have tried to convince me, you pay for it there with your taxes. With the economic turndown moving back to Canada is out of my reach.

  7. Lori Says:

    Everything you say is true, which is why I feel “homesick” every time I get a chance to stay there for a while and then have to go home to Canada (sigh). Which is why I’m on the Net today, daydreaming and browsing for Mexican news…

  8. Berta Says:

    In addition to being eligible for the Mexican health insurance, non-citizens may also obtain a senior discount card which provides for discounts for, I believe, 450+ services, entry fees, etc.

  9. Eduardo Says:

    I´m mexican and I´m grateful for what you wrote about my country. A lot of people thinks its all about killing people here. I´m 24 years old and I have never been robbed or mugged. Enjoy your life in Mexico, its good to have people like you living in our country amiga.

  10. Rodolfo Says:

    I apreciate your kind words. I see the things you write about every day and it makes me proud to be mexican!

  11. Ivan Says:

    Nancy, thank you for talking good think about Mexico. :)

  12. Jose A. Herrera Says:

    I’ve lived in several states in the U.S. Illinois, Wisconsin, Missouri, Florida and California. I thought at my retirement I would find a place in the Mojave desert of California and live there “forever”!! I am now permanently retired in what I believe is the most wonderful place on earth! The beautiful colonial city of Merida in the state of Yucatan. I measure “quality of life” from how I feel deep in my soul and heart…After sixty five years in the U.S. I have found, here in this beautiful country of Mexico, the peace and tranquility…the love and harmony I believe all of us humans are looking for and deserve!!!

  13. SPLASH RODRIGUEZ Says:

    I WOULD LOVE TO VISIT MEXICO,I LOVE THE MEXICAN WAY OF LIFE.I HAVE SPENT THE LAST TWELVE YEARS OF MY LIFE AND TIME WITH MEXICAN FRIENDS AND MY EXHUSBAND WAS FROM TIJUNA.
    MY DREAM WITH HIM WAS TO WALK ON THE STREETS OF MEXICO HOLDING HANDS BUT SOMETHING ON HIS PART CHANGED ALL OF THAT AND BROKE MY HEART.I HOPE ONE DAY I CAN AFFORD TO VISIT.

  14. Clementina Says:

    I loved your post. It reminded me so much of why I love mis queridos padres.

  15. Patricia Says:

    I am a Mexican, of course I love my country and I am glad to hear this great news about us and that people do not think that they are not safe. I live in Puerto Vallarta and it is a great, clean and amicable place to live.

  16. Lisa Says:

    Gorgeous post, reminds me that I want to go back. I was fortunate enough to visit Isla Majeres for a few days in 2005 (thanks to Maxy) and I loved it so very much. After rains in Houston and too much in new Orlens, what a carefree calm and soothing place. As an Australian (Perth) it is a very expensive airfare but maybe I too will retire there… ah, day dreams!

  17. Kailyn Says:

    Wow, amazing article! I go to Mexico twice a year. No better place in the world. I love it there so much! I’m Canadian but I’m moving there to take Spanish for 3 months! I Can’t wait to live in Mexico (my real home).

  18. Paul Roberts Says:

    Thanks for your comment on my blog.

    I agree with you that Mexico has also made me a better person – though it is still a work in progress. I think I am more flexible, tolerant and enjoy life more for being here. Basically, life is so much more interesting here.

  19. Mario Says:

    Que bueno que te guste mi hermoso pais, aqui siempre recibimos con los brazos abiertos a todos los extranjeros, Saludos desde Cd. Victoria Tamaulipas ;-)

  20. Mark Estrada Says:

    I love the Mexican culture Spanish/Indian mixture. I love the Mariachis & the Charros. Vicente Fernandez, what a voice.

  21. Emmanuel Says:

    Everybody is welcome to Mexico “Mi casa es tu casa” is good to hear or know there some Americans that think different about us, also is good to know don’t believe in the TV news and the things the news says about our country, we know we have our problems, but honestly is a great place to live.

    Come on to Mexico City you will enjoy it, we can make a lot of things, doesn’t matter you skin color or religion.

    Nice post!!!

  22. Mexicant Says:

    I’ve been to Mexico four times and I’ve been treated like crap every time. The people laugh at you behind your back and curse at you for stealing their land in a war that happened a hundred years ago. One time I was mugged by four juvenile delinquents. Another time, I was chased to my hotel room by a superstitious mob that insisted I was the devil after the son of the mayor of the small town died of influenza.

    It’s nice to see that you’ve had such a nice experience, but for me Mexico will always be a hellhole.

  23. C. Mercuro Says:

    I fell in love with Mazatlan in 2000 while visiting for brother’s weddingon the ocean deck of the Motel Marley . After spending many vacations in Mazatlan from the Seattle area, he chose it as the perfect place to marry his lady love after 20+ years. My own family has been traveling to Mazatlan from New Jersey ever since & we love, love, love Mazatlan, Mexico and her people.

    Everything Nancy said is absolutely so very true. The minute I get home, I am already planning (scheming) to get back as fast as I can.

  24. Luis Says:

    Well, as a Mexican I really appreciate your article and feelings for this country. I must say–however– that the tremors this country is now increasingly manifesting herald big changes in the offing; changes that have to do with historical centennial cycles… 1810 Mexican Independence… 1810 Mexican Revolution… 2010 Mexican_______?? I would wish it will be Mexican rennaissance or a revolution of the minds, but now the fight will be against the strong, overwhelming monopolistic economy that stifles this country’s growth and shoots tv bullets to deceive people through a two-headed tv truth and soap operas. I do see and bask in the charm and bountiful nature of my country and my people, but this hefty and unjust economic structure, with its attending social aspects is taking its toll. A lot of people pretend not to see or not to hear the voices and signs that are indicative of the complete exhaustion of a model that is no longer working. A corrupt system that whenever a change is insinuated it resorts to electoral frauds or assassination (of the nation, it would even make a grotesque rhyme). Too much to write and ponder upon…too short the time to be able to elaborate.

    I am also in love with the shiny beaches, the picturesque colonial towns, the tasty cuisine, the open laughters and the willingness to share a taco even if it is the last one. I am in love with efforts of low-income people like my parents: Eight children = eight professionals and all of us made a life in our own country. I make sure that we don’t forget it and that my own three children don’t forget it either.

    The writer of this string of words is a Mexican middle age man who once was a smiling and hospitalarian Mexican kid who opened his heart and home to the visitors from North America (and from other areas). I made lifelong friends and lovers (sigh) from across the border and learned your language in school, here in Mexico. … I still smile easily but cannot help but worry about a country strangled by very few at the expense of the bulk of the population. Imagine, we have the first or second richest man on earth, who is just starting to become a global player but whose source of panthagruelic wealth has been extracted only from Mexico. I would define Mexico as a company run by just a few hacendados or hacienda owners and the presidents have been (for the most part) their foremen. A circus of grotesque union leaders that control workers while amassing huge fortunes under the table (check about Elba Esther Gordillo, the teacher leader, for instance). You could say, well, that occurs also elsewhere, but I assure you that this is more than blatant and unbearable.

    In the end all of these apparently disorganized ingredients make a stew that could end up being rotten if things continue unchanged.

    Yes, Mexico is the cradle of chocolate and tomatoes, poinsettias (with a not so nice story behind their name, from a Mexican point of view), enchiladas, tequila, Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, Carlos Santana, etc. The original culture of Mexico should not be limited by the scarcity of resources and the horrible diaspora of so many Mexican economical refugees.

    For the readers “North of the Rio Grande”, by the way, when you see them in your countries, please respect them the way we respect you here. After all, they have been forced to leave their families behind and many of them are weakened, as they are not in their own territory and are in a situation of disadvantage.

    Mexicant: Sorry for the bad experiences. Let me tell you a brief story: back in 1989 in a tourist area in Mexico City a tourist dropped his wallet. I picked it up and yelled at him; two or three other persons joined me. He started to run and we were running behind him. He was running unbelievably fast but he could understood when I yelled “your wallet”. Finally he stopped and he was so, so shocked to see that we did not want to hurt him. That was very funny, indeed.

  25. RAFAEL Says:

    Thank you Nancy for this great report, I as a Mexican really appreciate it. If this happens in Mexico city can you imagine in the provicia? I urge all the Mexicans my paisanos to continue being as nice as this report shows, towards our people and all foreingners the most.

  26. Grace Cooke Says:

    Just wanted to drop you a line, I am going to Puerto Morelos for a month on April 12th and am counting the months,weeks,days,minutes and there are 8,249,199……..seconds left before I go…on my own…yikes, married for 22 years and never checked into a hotel alone before,but here I go, thank you for your encouraging comments…. I am as excited as I am scared

    Grace

  27. Nora Says:

    I cannot believe you live in Mazatlan and I don’t anymore…Want to switch? I live in the US now but I was born and raised there.
    I loved your article, it is so true, and I guess you walk the malecon with your dogs.
    You are very fortunate to live in a place where people are friendly and welcoming, unlike the US. I miss the “mexican hello” kissing when you come or when you leave…….
    Enjoy the beautiful weather and the great people!

  28. Barbara Curran Says:

    I’ve just read your post as I sit, waiting for my husband of 51 years to be discharged from the hospital after major surgery for cancer. How I would love to bundle him up and flee to a less stressful life in Mexico. More and more I find myself evaluating how best to spend our remaining years and have vowed to try to simplify our lives so that we can live without worrying if there will be enough money to last til the next Social Security check comes in. Somehow, with the good Lord’s help, I’ll find a way!

  29. Vitaly Polsicov Says:

    I just can say you are totally right since I left Mexico because of my company Im planing to go back and start a new life there I lived in Mexico city for 3 years and i just loved it speacially the People .Im Russian and my mother always told me stories about visiting America but I always had a dream to visit a “Latino” country and thanks to God it was Mexico I can say now yes I´´m Russian but yes Im also Mexican.

  30. Nina Says:

    I am a 14 year old Mexican and love everything about my culture. I hate how people use stereotypes against Mexicans which bothers me because I love Mexico more than anything in the world. You summed up the charm and beauty of Mexico that made me even prouder to be a Mexican. Orgullosos de soy Mexicana.

  31. Marcos Says:

    Wow thank you so much for the post, Nancy. I am from America with Mexican decent, and I HARDLY hear anyone having nice things to say about Mexico, much less the people, and reading this article and all the comments posted has lifted my spirits and allowed me to view the other side of the coin. This is truly heartwarming, especially when I hear people claim that Mexico is their homeland, even though they are from a different country. Thank you guys. I personally love America and Mexico, both the same. :)

  32. Yuly Says:

    Hi.. Im Mexican of course. From a beatiful little town called Costa Rica,Sinaloa.
    I LOVE my country.. Everything you said is The TRUTH. & its only a small part of
    as mexicans that live in the U.S miss our country sooo much.. My parents moved to the US, and i’ve been living here for a while now. & i am frustrated because i cant
    go back to my home.. Every time i visit mexico i feel soo much better, without stress, i feel like everyone is my family. Its true that right now we are facing
    problems, but to tell you the truth, i feel more insecure here in the US than in Mexico, because here, if somebody is trying to hurt me, NOBODY is going to help me,
    i cant count on the police, because i feel the police is more corrupt here, and
    what’s worse is that at least in mexico , if you give them money your okay, but
    here, they just… hate you. In Mexico, everyone cares about you. and helps you.
    if you get stranded in the road, anyone will come and help you out. If your in a store and you dont have enough money( which idk how happens to me a lot lol) but they’ll be like, its okay mija. Take It. You go and you see people alll relaxed.
    and carefree because they dont have alll the bills and stress we have here in US.
    Time passes by so slow. and you hardly ever check the time. If you want some type of fruit and you see a house that has a tree of it. You can go to that house and
    ask them if you can have some. and there starts a beatiful friendship. Seriously
    i have a smile while im writing this. :) .

    All those drug-dealing issues and everything, its true.. but that exists eveeennn heree. Ive seen how people are selling drugs here and the police pass by all the time. and they dont tell them anything. In mexico, If your in that business, your the one that pays for it. not innocent people believe it or not. & here, they
    ruin the people that work. and help this country, the illegals.

    I Just Wish to move to my country as sooon as i can.
    :D

  33. Angel Says:

    I am a Mexican…and to be honest…I prefer to live in Canada or the U.S..jajaja…I mean…Mexico has nice places but need some attitude adjustment. What I mean with this, is that we need fix the corruption atittude in many actions in our daily lives…fixing this, educating the new generations, would bring a better Mexico with all its beauties it has right now..it is my very personal opinion and I know many Mexicans agree with me.

  34. Esmil Says:

    Aló… oye, qué buena onda que pienses así, me encantó tu texto. Sí, efectivamente, no hay país perfecto en el mundo. Por desgracia ahorita existe este problema con el narco, pero creo que se solucionará. Además, la cosa es sencilla: si no te metes en problemas, tienes menos posibilidades de tener problemas. Deseo ardientemente que el estado mexicano logre controlar todo esto. Es obvio que narcos siempre habrá, pero se deben de controlar. Por lo demás, sinceramente, para mí, residente en Hermosillo, Sonora, son “noticias de periódico”. Acá nunca hay eso, siempre ando de noche caminando, en bares, fiestas y demás, y nunca he tenido problemas. Tampoco se escucha de balaceras ni nada parecido. Al parecer aquí las cosas las tienen controladas, y es lo que se necesita hacer en todo el país. Saludos.

  35. Abel Says:

    Very nice post Nancy, you really describes your experiences in mexico with true love!!!

  36. Dominique Says:

    I love this post as well. I am an American living in Puerto Vallarta and I actually feel safer living here than I did in the U.S. It’s not only a beautiful place to live, the people are the friendlist I’ve ever met (and I’ve been all around the world).

  37. jazmin Says:

    you are so nice. i loved your post. i am happy that us mexicans make you think this way. i appreciate it.

  38. Amina Says:

    Nancy everything you wrote about Mexico is true. Sadly most people havent been to Mexico and dont know the culture and they talk with out really knowing what they’re saying. Mexico is a beautiful country, the most beautiful one in the world. The people are kind and generous and happy and they welcome you with open arms no matter where you come from. Mexicans are sooo hard working, and they are caring people who gladly help a stranger. If your car stalls or you get a flat or you simply need directions there will be some one there to point you in the right direction, or help you out. Mexicans are hospitable people and the life in Mexico is a beautiful one, filled with happiness and peace. I just hope more people like you, talked about the amazing things Mexico has to offer. I love Mexico and although Ive always lived in the US I will move there some day, its my dream to live there and enjoy the beauties Mexico has to offer.

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