Like - Dislike ?
04-29-2012, 09:15 AM,
RE: Like - Dislike ?
I do not recall seeing much (any?) graffiti but coming from The San Francisco Bay Area where many consider Graffiti an "art form" I may be just immune.
04-29-2012, 09:32 AM,
RE: Like - Dislike ?
Love about M?xico/Guanajuato:
1) The warmth and kindness of the people. Lively street & plaza life.
2) Rich cultural life - performances, art, music, etc.
3) Abundance of good healthy food available at the mercado and from street vendors. Street food and restaurants everywhere.
4) Restricted auto zones. Amazing public transportation everywhere. Walkable and compact city.
5) Excellent medical and dental care available and affordable

1) Graffiti, petty thievery, and break-ins that seem never to be investigated or prosecuted
2) Outlying auto-centric sprawl, apparently encouraged by government which locates new buildings and services there.
3) University students who are oblivious that they are not the only people who live in the neighborhoods!

That said, the likes far far far outweigh the dislikes! Living in Guanajuato is so much better than living in the States, I can't imagine going back!
04-30-2012, 10:30 AM,
RE: Like - Dislike ?
Almost everything important already stated but here are some further thoughts:

- expat network while not large is varied enough that you will find friends, also people who will help in an emergency
- driving optional as public transportation in and from the city excellent
- San Miguel and Leon are about an hr away, good for shopping (Gto is only so-so); SMA has an excellent English library (the Biblioteca), Gto only a minimal one, although it does have Colleen's Donkey Jote bookstore
- on the other hand, Gto is at least 4 hrs away from most places I like to go (Mexico City, the south, Zacatecas, Patzcuaro, etc)
- medical/dental care not uniformly good; takes some trial and error to find what you want
- lack of private mailing service here for sending/receiving mail from the US
- hilly terrain may limit choice of houses/rentals

and thanks for raising our consciousness!
04-30-2012, 07:02 PM,
Thumbs Up  RE: Like - Dislike ?
To all those who have replied and may yet still reply I thank you for the information you have shared.

I have just booked my flight and should be doing a walk about in Guanajuato Wednesday through Friday of next week and then I will be checking out S.M.A. for a few days.

I have many questions but here are a some that I wish some would be kind enough to answer:

1. Has the drought in North Central Mexico been effecting the area of Guanajuato and S.M.A. If so in what ways? I had read than 2 million have left the drought effected mountain areas and I wonder where they are all going.

2. What is the qualify of the water in Guanajuato and S.M.A?

3. What is a fair price to pay for a taxi from Leon Airport to Guanajuato?

4. I read an article that in 2011 three killings occurred in S.M.A. If my memory serves me correct two of killings involved elderly expats within a short period of time of each other. Has there been any further incidents that should be of concern involving expats? I believe certain areas of Mexico can be dangerous and others have as much crime as North Dakota so it is wise to ask if there has been an increase of violent crime, of recent, in the area.

5. Why firecrackers in the morning, is that the way locals greet the rising sun. In Hawaii it usually someone blowing a horn.

6. Where is the local expat hang-out?

To those readers of this post who have not yet mentioned their likes and dislikes please consider doing so as the info you give is of value.

Thanks again!
05-01-2012, 10:46 AM,
RE: Like - Dislike ?
[Image: 51zwylqICsL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-stic..._OU01_.jpg]

05-01-2012, 11:57 AM,
RE: Like - Dislike ?
You ask some perceptive questions. Allow me to offer my insights on our water supply and quality as my 30 year professional life was spent in the water utility industry. I will be brief here but can expand if you wish in a different venue.
Yes there has been a dramatic decrease in rain and snow fall in much of North America over the past 15 years resulting in almost continual drought conditions. One can find a thousand different explanations for this but the impact is the same, reduced water resources against increasing demands as population and water dependent applications are rising.
Much more troubling here however is the challenging imbalance in water uses between politically powerful and entrenched agricultural users, that are huge,huge consumers, and our increasing water needs by industry and population. Just imagine how much water the new auto plants and their newly hired workers are using. This situation mirrors that facing Southern California where people, ie LA,SD etc., are deprived of water resources as Central and imperial valley agricultural users gobble up most of the Colorado river allocations at very low subsidized costs. It's crops versus people all over again.
The state is looking at all available options, including a scheme to "import" water from less populated parts of neighboring Jalisco state but since water is a highly emotional commodity, such solutions are almost impossible to achieve as who wants to be accused of "giving away OUR water". In Texas they say whiskey is for drinking but water is for fighting!
As we looked to purchase here last year I used some professional relationships to get handle on this situation and made contact with both government and industry insiders as to what we are getting into. To cut to the chase, it was almost universal that there are adequate resources, in conjunction with reasonable conservation, such that in our lifetime, ie 20-30 years, the water needed to maintain our manner of living would not be a problem. However without either some re- balancing of the resource allocation (more for people, less for crops) or a technological breakthrough ( recyle wastewater to potable, or similar)then our children and grandchildren, ie 50 years and further, will be faced with a diminished ability to access and use water as we have been accustomed.
On the water quality question, the systems here are doing the best they can with limited budgets and technologies with reliable and consistent disinfection being a challenge. The budget issue is totally political, in many areas of the country 30-50% of water is delivered but not paid for and the local utilities are limited in the ability to "cut-off" non-payers, thus greatly reducing monies available to install and maintain needed systems.
The bottom line is one should be prepared to implement your own method of protection and storage. In our case here for protection and convenience we are installing a whole house ultra-violet light system ($300us with a $75 per year replacement bulb) which will kill any microbial matter, thus meaning no need to use bottled water. For storage have a cistern or tinaco with a capacity equal to one week, or longer, household use. Figure 600l/day or 150 gal /day for a normal household, exclusive of irrigation. We are installing a 10,000 liter cistern for my wife's gardening habit and 2- 1100L tinacos for human consumption purposes. These amounts can be debated and may seem high but storage is cheap and protection can save your life, or at a minimum your stomach.
Thought I was going to be brief but us water guys drip and drip.
We love it here and with a bit of care and planning you will also with no serious water issues.[/font]
05-01-2012, 01:30 PM,
RE: Like - Dislike ?
05-01-2012, 05:05 PM, (This post was last modified: 05-03-2012, 02:10 PM by mexhapati.)
RE: Like - Dislike ?
what-s not to like??

although i have been living in dolores for years now...i have a special place in my heart for guanajuato.. my grandfather was born on calle pocitos #6 just down the street the home, now museum, of diego rivera..i never tire of walking the streets and alleys

the climate, dry most of the year at 6000 ft well within the tropics...couldn-t be better, warm days cool evenings and mornings, clear crisp nights

as a university town and the capital of the state, you can sense a subdued cosmopolitanism that permeates the town...hand in hand with the old world magic...we attend the festival cervantino every year...concerts, sports events, theater...

i could go on and on...
mexhapati artesan ceramica ...since 1976
ap #53
calzada de los heroes #41 colonia miguel hidalgo
dolores hidalgo, gto 37800
viva mexico
Ph 418 182 2098 Cell 418 105 6160
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
05-03-2012, 07:42 PM, (This post was last modified: 05-03-2012, 07:43 PM by Fusilado Kent.)
RE: Like - Dislike ?
Hey Scott, everyone had pointed a lot of the joys and pitfalls of living here so I figured I'd help you with your specific questions.

1. The drought affects us locally in a way you can read pretty much daily in the paper. Which is to say depending on where you live water is periodically shut off for about 36 hours at a time. This is the first year I've really noticed it, but in the short term having a big enough cistern will get you through. As mentioned some more permanent conservational methods can help for the long run.

2. The quality of the water in Guanajuato has been covered in some of the above posts. For potable you can either have enough empty Ciel containers to make sure you always have some and aren't at the mercy of the delivery schedule, or go with one of the filter options.

3. A taxi from Leon Airport to Guanajuato is a set price from the kiosk just outside of customs. It's gone up in years but as I recall it's around 40 bucks US.

4. The violence that has racked the North and several other areas has been mercifully low in the state, and almost non-existent in the capital. It is (however quaint) still a city. Petty theft, break-ins, armed robbery, and assault do exist, and may be even on the rise. Specifically anti-foreign sentiment can and does exist. All and all, it's still one of the safest and friendliest cities I have ever lived in.

5. The firecrackers in the morning, like many cacophonous street sounds, is just one of the many unique cultural changes you'll get used to. Most of the time it's in celebration of one of the millions of festivals and holidays that occur year long. Mortar shells launched to the heavens for the glory of God and all that.

6. There really is no particular local expat hangout in the traditional sense which is part of the joy of the city - everyone hangs out with everyone. That said, there's the Sunday brunch mentioned above, the Sunday barbeque at Fusilado in Valenciana (full disclosure my bar), Cafe Tal and Antique for a good coffee, Zilch, Bagetin and Chaac for original live music, and countless other restaurants, bars, and cafes. If you keep an ear open, something neat or cultural happens pretty much every day and night and you can make connections to find them out pretty fast.

Ok, good luck to ya
05-09-2012, 08:05 AM, (This post was last modified: 05-09-2012, 08:10 AM by emmagirl2007.)
RE: Like - Dislike ?
I like the people. They are mostly very nice.
I like that there's almost no traffic/noise/pollution.
I like all the culture and stuff to do here.

I don't like that it take hours just to go to a store and pick up basic necessities, and w/out a car, you need a taxi.
I don't like walking the steep inclines in the middle of the afternoon when it's 92 degrees out.
I don't like the incredible amount of homeless dogs I see on the street.
And it's been very difficult to find a good job teaching English. More and more teachers are coming in and are better qualified. The competition is very stiff.
And oh yea, I forgot about the crazy "bombs" that go off almost every mornng at 6:30 am, for the saints and what not...and the firecrackers and the drums at all hours of day and night. And the dogs barking. Yikes.
Get some ear plugs!!! And a fan!

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