Moving To Guanajuato Expat Guide part 2 – Part one is here.
Pros and Cons of Moving to Guanajuato
Are you thinking of moving to Guanajuato? If that’s the case, it is important to look at some of the pros and cons of living in this city. It will provide you with insight into what to expect when you arrive. Not to talk much, check it out below.
Moving to a new city can be an exciting time and daunting one. For those considering moving to Guanajuato, here are seven pros of setting up your life in this Mexican gem.
A Great Education System
The International Survey on Student Academic Engagement rates the Universidad de Guanajuato as one of Mexico’s best universities. The Instituto Tecnológico de León is well respected for its engineering program. Both of these universities are located in Guanajuato.
Additionally, students will experience an education within a bilingual environment because all subjects at the Universidad de Guanajuato are taught in Spanish and English.
A Thriving Economy
According to the National Institute for Statistics, Geography, and Data Processing (INEGI), Guanajuato’s GDP was over $90.94 billion in 2021. This growth is attributed to manufacturing, financial services, and transportation. The city of León is commonly referred to as Mexico’s “motor city” because it has over 200 automotive manufacturing plants.
An Affordable Cost Of Living
According to Numbeo, a website that tracks the estimated cost of living for different locations, Guanajuato offers a low cost of living compared to other major cities in Mexico. One can expect to pay just over 1,000 pesos (USD 52) per month for a furnished, one-bedroom apartment in the city center.
Easy Access to Medical Care
The Universidad de Guanajuato and several subsidiaries of multi-national companies provide top-quality health care for expats and locals alike. One such subsidiary is International Clinic Mexico (ICM), which was ranked as one of the best clinics in Mexico by The Grand Tour Project.
A Vibrant Expat Community
There is a large and growing population of foreigners living in Guanajuato, evident at weekly English-speaking gatherings such as Onda Celular (Cellular Wave) and the recent establishment of local chapters of Toastmasters International and InterNations, an expat networking group.
A Beautiful and Historic City
Guanajuato is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and was the first place in Mexico to declare itself an “illustrious historical center.” The city is filled with grand plazas, ornate architecture, and colorful murals dedicated to Mexican history.
Strong Sense of Community
Guanajuato is famous for its spirit of “michoacanería,” which means being fiercely loyal and proud of one’s roots. This pride can be experienced throughout the year in festivals such as Guanajuato’s International Cervantino Festival, a week-long cultural adventure, and the Patron Saint’s Celebration in September.
Dislike of Police
If there is one thing that you will notice about Guanajuato, people hate the police. In Mexico, civil liberties are different from those in America, and even though crime rates are higher here than in other countries, the police force doesn’t have as much power. Because of this, there is a great deal of corruption in Mexico, and police officers are not widely respected.
Scarcity of Grocery Stores
The scarcity of grocery stores is an inconvenience to any foreigner moving here, but it can be particularly difficult for small children or elderly people who do not drive. Few small convenience shops around the city carry fresh produce, milk, and other essentials, so it is quite easy to find oneself walking around town trying to locate some groceries.
Risk of Food Poisoning
Mexicans are very aware that their country has a high rate of gastrointestinal illness because of street food, and foreigners who move here become educated on this topic more quickly than they would like.
Street carts are found on nearly every corner in Guanajuato, and many of them carry the same food that one would find in a restaurant. However, it is important to understand that just because something is being sold on the streets does not mean the health department has regulated it.
Discomfort with Clothing
The second you disembark your plane, you will notice that Mexicans dress differently than they do in America. For starters, people hardly wear shorts. Pants can be a bit baggy, and women’s skirts often come to mid-thigh, especially the more traditional ones.
Men are not allowed to wear shorts in banks or government buildings, so if you want to fit in with the locals, it is important to find the right balance between the business casual American style and traditional Mexican dress.
Lack of English Speakers
Perhaps this is not surprising, but it is still worth noting that Guanajuato does not have as many English speakers as other cities in Mexico like Queretaro or Mexico City. If you are hoping to move somewhere where you can get by solely on English, then Guanajuato may not be the place for you.
Mexicans are not known for their excellent driving habits. They often speed, don’t signal when changing lanes, and cut people off with little remorse. This can be difficult to deal with in general, but if you have children, it becomes even more important to conduct yourself properly while walking around town. Doing so can prevent an accident that may result in injury.
The dry season lasts from November to May. During that time, it is difficult to navigate through Guanajuato without a jacket or sweater because the temperature does not often rise above 70°F. Additionally, rain can be unpredictable, and floods are widespread in this area, so it is important for people living here to always be prepared.
Frequently Asked Questions about Guanajuato
What is a good place to live in Guanajuato?
Guanajuato is a large state divided into 113 municipalities. Each municipality has its own distinct character and different opportunities for life, work, health care, education, and entertainment. It is impossible to name just one place as ‘good’ for all people. The most populated cities in Guanajuato are León, the state capital, Irapuato, Celaya, and Salamanca.
Is Guanajuato safe?
Guanajuatenses are generally very friendly and helpful people, but as in all big cities, some neighborhoods are less safe than others. Crime rates have been falling for the past few years. There are currently no travel advisories issued by any country against visiting León or other major cities of Guanajuato.
Is Guanajuato a good place to have a baby?
Guanajuatenses take great pride in their very well-equipped and reasonably priced hospitals and medical centers. Maternity care is excellent, with low rates of infant mortality and reasonably high life expectancy. The average age for women giving birth is 28 years.
What is Guanajuato’s population?
Guanajuatenses are proud to be the second-largest state in Mexico after Jalisco. The current population is around 4 million people. With a fertility rate of 2 children per woman, it is expected that by 2030 there will be at least 6 million people living in Guanajuato.
Moving to Guanajuato is different from many other cities in the world. Most people move here for retirement. The most significant difference in moving to Guanajuato, compared to other big cities or countries you might be used to, is how much more relaxed life here is. Refer to this guide to know its advantages and disadvantages.