Cost of Living in Mexico
Purchasing your new home in paradise can be an overwhelming experience. Fortunately the right real estate agent can make this a smooth, stress-free process. But when you got your ultimate property, next thing you'll think is “how to make your dream vacation home a reality?” .We've got you covered with our favorite local businesses and artisans that can help you furnish your vacation property.
Finding Your Furniture
Here in Huatulco, we have partners that offer beautiful handmade furniture perfectly suited for the area’s weather and elements. They even go one step further and offer to purchase all of your household items for you. From your toaster to your towels; your desired color schemes to your interior decor, name it and they’ll get it done for you. All of this shipped right to your new home, offering a simple turnkey move in. Ask us to put you in touch with the experts!
A great store to visit for quality linens and towels is Vianney. You can purchase in the store or order from their catalogue. It is priced a little higher but the quality of the items is very good.
Personalize your new home with unique art and décor that is just your style. There are many local artisans in Huatulco and area that can dress up your home. Rubin Art Gallery is located on the marina in Santa Cruz and offers a variety of unique pieces for your new coastal casa. For
extra touches and unique ideas, visit Coastal Creations in Santa Cruz.
Housewares & Electronics
Looking for a great price on houseware items? Check out Jessic Toys where you will find everything from plant pots, beach toys, dinnerware, small appliances, linens, pillows and more, all at very affordable prices. Additionally both Chedraui and Soriana offer a variety of household items, electronics and more. Elektra is a large store in Huatulco with a full range of TVs, small and large appliances and other electronics.
Make things happen! Make your Dream Vacation Home a Reality. It's time to sit back, relax and enjoy your new paradise in Huatulco wonderland!
Perhaps the story of distillation and mezcal in Mexico begins with the arrival of the Spanish during The Conquest in the first quarter of the 1500s. Or with Filipino seamen in the Manila galleon trade who reached the country’s western shores that same century. Or with Olmec or other indigenous cultures some 2,500 years ago.
What we know for sure is that fermenting was practiced in Mexico dating to several thousand years ago with the extraction of aguamiel (honey water) from certain species of the majestic agave succulent, which when left to ferment becomes pulque. And that agave itself has a history of being used as a source of nutrition going back roughly 10,000 years.
But there’s a big difference between (1) allowing fruit, agave nectar or anything else to ferment, inhibiting its decomposition and enabling its imbibers to become inebriated, and (2) deliberate advance planning and the use certain tools, resulting in distillation.
We also know with a reasonable degree of certainty many specifics about the global history of distillation and styles of still manufacture, all of which aids us in our conjecture. But it must be kept in mind that most is scientific speculation often based on inference, regardless of how adamant our historians, geographers, chemists, biologists and anthropologists might be in their discourse (or me in mine).
The Moors invaded the Iberian Peninsula about 711 AD. We have them to thank for the introduction of many food products including rice and saffron, integral in the preparation of Spanish paella. Despite their Islamic beliefs together with a prohibition against imbibing spirits, Moorish influence in Spain is connected with the distillation of mezcal.
During or about the 9th century, the modern alembic, or still, made with a serpentine condenser alongside, arrived in what is now Spain as a consequence of the invention by Arab alchemist Jabir ibn Hayyan. Non-Muslims who were already fermenting grapes quickly realized that distillation, for whatever purpose initially intended, could result in production of a high alcohol content spirit extremely agreeable to the palate.
And so when the Conquest began, the Spanish armed with this knowledge came across indigenous populations which were already drinking pulque, and likely baked sweet agave piñas (pineapples, or rather the hearts of the carbohydrate-rich agaves) which had been fermented. The gap had been bridged. It is this style of still, the two sided alembic, which is frequently used in mezcal production today. It has been suggested however, that the technology had its first application in the distillation of sugar cane which the Spanish imported for rum production.
But throughout various parts of Mexico, there is a different type of still being employed to make agave spirits, including mezcal. It is a single unit comprised of two or more pieces stacked on top of one another, made primarily of wood, metal and/or clay. It is frequently encountered in Oaxaca, Michoacán, and elsewhere throughout Mexico, including tequila country (i.e., Jalisco and thereabouts).
It has been suggested that this type of still was introduced to what are now Colima, Guerrero and/or Jalisco during the 16th century by immigrants from the Philippines and the Solomon Islands who established a community for the purpose of developing coconut plantations.
Local materials used in their homelands for fashioning small yet effective equipment for making their coconut distillate, principally clay (and likely reed), were available in this new North American environment. In fact, to this day the term “tuba”, the fermented coconut liquid which was thereafter distilled, is used in some parts of Mexico to describe fermented agave, despite its Filipino origin.
Various sources confirm that the beginnings of and motivation for the prohibition era in Mexico (yes, we also had prohibition) were to protect the interests of Spanish brandy importers and rum producers, and to ensure tax revenue. Banning production, sale and consumption of pulque, tuba and coconut distillate started the movement, which eventually led to full-scale prohibition. But it was the portability of these small single-unit and easily fashioned, predominantly clay stills that (together with below ground ovens and stone fermentation chambers) made detection of distillation, including the production of mezcal, all but impossible by the “revenuers.”
Last year’s publication of El Mezcal, Una Bebida Prehispánica at minimum makes us rethink our understanding of the origins of agave distillation in Mexico. Authors Mari Carmen Serra Puche and Jesús Carlos Lazcano Arce, together with their associates from various disciplines, spent in excess of a decade researching in Oaxaca and Tlaxcala.
They have purportedly debunked all previous theories, having uncovered ovens containing burned stones with runoff stains they concluded after analysis had been created by baked agave piñas. But has literally hundreds of years of research and umpteen publications been thrown to the wind? Certainly not.
The foregoing finding in and of itself is not determinative, since it suggests nothing more than converting carbohydrates to sugars, and a reasonable likelihood of fermentation thereafter. It’s the unearthing of pre-Hispanic pottery fragments they identified as parts of stills that is most significant, suggesting pre-Hispanic distillation dating to perhaps 2,500 years ago. Others have previously proposed similar theories, but that of Serra Puche and Lazcano Arce is the most comprehensive and convincing to date.
Since the book’s publication there has been a considerable amount of chest beating, a renewed or additional sense of pride that the indigenous peoples of Mexico did not need the Spanish nor the Filipinos to distill mezcal. Of course there is academic significance to the most recent work. But regardless of origins, one can never take away from our Mexican brethren of predominantly pre-Hispanic heritage the fact that mezcal, the pre-eminent agave spirit, owes its recent and exponentially growing popularity to not foreign interests, but rather to its dedicated artisanal producers, beginning with subsistence growers, and concluding with expert distillers.
Agave is Mexican. It has been of such importance over millennia that it warranted its own goddess, Mayahuel. Her husband, Patecatl, was the god of pulque. Yet curiously there is no pre-Hispanic deity for an agave distillate. Food for thought.
Alvin Starkman operates Mezcal Educational Excursions of Oaxaca www.mezcaleducationaltours.com
Owning property in Huatulco, Mexico is very easy. Once you have found your perfect property, there are a few steps to follow before you become the owner.
By accumulating some information and listening to good advice, you can buy and secure property in Huatulco property in less than 60 days.
Step #1 – Making an Offer
The first step is to make a serious offer to the seller. You can do by providing a promise to buy/sell. In Mexico, there are two ways of doing when non-nationals are involved, with the most common of them is either the buyer and seller sign joint agreement, or both agree on the details of the transaction, such as price, closing date, etc. The buyer must pay 10% of the price offered in a secure bank account at the time of signing the document. (A confirmation must be done by a lawyer before any money transfer)
The second way less common, but often practiced by the Mexicans, is when the seller asks that the money goes directly to him / her. You will have to sign a document describing the details of the transaction in these cases in the presence of a notary public for the safety of both parties involved in the transaction. The notary is the highest placed hierarchically in these situations, and they check no obstacle disturbs the sale of the property.
Step #2 – Hiring a lawyer
It is essential to hire a lawyer in order to complete the purchase of the property in Huatulco. The attorney will be a third party acting in your best interest until the final purchase. They will be there to review the conditions, identify problems; offer you counselling, formalize the transaction and so on.
When you hire a lawyer, you should check whether sworn by the United States of Mexico. Lawyers registered in other countries are not allowed to practice Mexican law unless they have completed all prerequisites premises.
Step #3 – The Closing
Signing the contract will happen in front of a notary public. Just before that, the remaining amount of money should be deposited. With the certificate and the signature of the contract, the amount is transferred to the seller and the property to the buyer. Most often the buyer pays the closing costs including taxes acquisition, notary fees, and other expenses. This is somewhere between 4-5% of the capital gain of the property, without forgetting the cost established by fideicomiso or corporation. Normally, the estimated value is less than the actual sale price.
Step #4 – Bank of Trust (Fideicomiso)
A bank trust (fideicomiso) is a legal instrument issued by the Mexican Government that allows non-Mexican to acquire properties in the “Restricted Zone” (the limit of 62 miles from the border and 31 miles from the coast).
This legal mechanism is established by a bank and permits foreign investors to buy and sell. It ensures their investment by granting them the same rights and obligations of a Mexican citizen. Fideicomiso beneficiaries have the right to use, lease, inherit, and sell the property to anyone buyer. A Fideicomiso is established for a period of 50 years, and it is renewable at any time. The implementation of the Fideicomiso is simple and should take you four complete weeks.
Step #5 – Funding
Financing is available for property with certain foreign private lending institutions. Scotiabank also grants a credit to the Americans and Canadians up to age 15 and 75% of the value of the property. If you want to know the best financing for your property, the best thing to do is talk with a financial specialist who will be able to offer you the guidance you need when it comes to investing in Huatulco property for sale.
(Related Article: Substantial Changes to Buying Property in Mexico)
Finding a home in Mexico can be one of the biggest decisions of your life. It is not for the faint of heart but once you find that perfect casa, you can begin enjoying living in paradise. The following is a guide on how to find the home of your dreams in Mexico.
Here are some Tips on finding your Mexico Home:
Book a trip to the area that you are interested in. A good real estate agent will take you to the properties that are suitable to your budget and needs. During your trip, walk around town and get a feel for the area or community. Are you looking for a place near the centre of town? Do you want to be close to the beach? Close to shopping centers and markets?
Make the hunt for your Mexico home faster and easier through browsing the internet and available listings. This will give you comprehensive property information to help you narrow down your search.
Evaluate the house
While doing a tour of the property you are interested in, ensure you spend a good amount of time assessing the home. Make sure you inquire on the cost of condo fees, property taxes and utilities.
One of the biggest questions we get from prospective expats is about healthcare in Mexico. Is it available, high quality, effective and affordable? These are great questions and ones that we happily answer with a resounding YES!
Before we jump into the topic, though, it’s important to note that we are not healthcare professionals. We can only speak to what we’ve experienced and what has been shared with us by trusted sources. If, after reading this article, you still have questions, let us know. We’ll be happy to connect you with healthcare professionals in the area who can answer your questions and provide high quality service.
The Effectiveness of Healthcare in Mexico
Doctors in Mexico are highly trained, with many receiving instruction in Canada, Europe and the United States. They speak English, have wonderful bedside manners and are deeply concerned with the well-being of their patients. It’s not uncommon for them to make house calls or to offer their personal contact information for questions and after-hours concerns. They also stay up on the latest technology, techniques and prescriptions, especially since medical tourism is very competitive and they wish to attract patients from around the world.
● Care and prevention for chronic conditions (cardiovascular disease and cancer)
● Chronic diseases
● Community family healthcare information and education
● Dental treatments
● Domestic violence
● Emergency medical treatment
● Family planning
● Family safety and injury prevention
● Infectious disease prevention (HIV/Aids, malaria and tuberculosis)
● Mental health services
● Osteopathic Medicine
● Plastic surgery
● Sexual health
● And more!
Another plus is that Mexican healthcare facilities and hospital infrastructures are as current as others in North America and around the world. They feature highly effective diagnostic and treatment technologies, as well as accommodations for natural disasters that affect the region.
Rooms are private or semi-private, with natural light and thoughtful spaces for friends and family who visit long-term patients.
The Affordability of Healthcare in Mexico
The cost for healthcare is a big concern for those considering a move to Mexico from other countries. Most of our clients are either from Canada or the United States, both of which presents a unique set of concerns. If you’re Canadian, you’re accustomed to social healthcare and would need to pay out-of-pocket for health and medical services in Mexico if you don’t sign up for insurance (later in the article). If you’re American, you want to be sure that you’re free from paying the ever-increasing, inflated rates that are common north of the border.
Thankfully, out-of-pocket costs are about 482 MXN ($26 USD) to see a general practitioner and about 742 MXN ($40 USD) to see a specialist. The same cost covers house calls and trips to the dentist. An American friend of ours recently endured an itchy, red spot on her leg overnight. She had been accustomed to health insurance in the States, and figured that the diagnosis, tests and medications would reach $100 USD or more. She was referred to a local doctor, and within ten minutes, learned that it was a mere spider bite. The total bill, including an antibiotic, was 371 MXN ($20 USD).
If you need lab work, you can figure that it’s about one-third of what is charged in the United States. Treatment for serious medical conditions, such as surgery, dialysis and live-in care, are about half of what is paid in the United States. If you need to stay overnight at the hospital, it will cost about just over 2,041 MXN ($110 USD).
Prescriptions are famous for amping up healthcare costs, but in Mexico, they’re rather affordable. High quality generic medications (at the same quality of what the name brands offer) and over-the-counter remedies are readily available at local farmacias. You can expect to pay pesos on the dollar for a full range common and specialty medications.
Government Clinics and Hospitals – The Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social (IMSS) covers covers dental, medical, vision, hospitalization and prescriptions for 3,711-5,567 MXN ($200-300 USD) per year.
Private Health Insurance – If you’re under age 64, you can sign up with insurance companies, such as Grupo Nacional Provincial, MetLife Mexico and Monterrey-New York Life, for approximately 11,134 MXN ($600 USD) per year. Co-pays are around 556-742 MXN ($30-40 USD).These costs are still much cheaper than you’d pay in the United States, and you’d be under the care of top medical professionals in state-of-the-art facilities. Lab work is a third less than what is charged in the U.S. You can find private health insurance options online and by connecting with a participating hospital or healthcare facility.
And that’s it! We welcome any questions you may have and invite you to contact us anytime. We’re here to help you find your way to full health and happiness!
Life in Mexico – the mere thought excites and inspires people from all over the world to call this breathtaking paradise “home.” As they begin to turn their dream into a reality, they quickly realize that it's not just the beautiful weather, warm hospitality and lively culture that appeals to them. It's also the lower cost of living in Mexico!
Compared to what they would pay in their home countries – namely Canada and the United States – long-term visitors and expats find that living in Mexico is HIGHLY affordable. In fact, living in Mexico is about 53% less than living the U.S. or Canada as noted by NUMBEO. NUMBEO goes on to highlight the cost of living in specific Mexican communities. We selected the neighbouring community of Puerto Escondido as Huatulco was not on the list.
Note: The August 23, 2018 exchange rate was used for our comparisons (18.55 MXN peso for every 1 US dollar).
Calling All Foodies
If you're dining like a local, you'll pay an average of 50-90 MXN (2.69-4.85 US) for a quick bite. If someone is joining you for a three-course meal at a mid-range restaurant, you'll likely pay about 400 MXN (21.56 US) for the two of you.
If you're planning to do your own cooking, you'll need to visit the neighbourhood markets or grocery stores. Prices vary, depending on seasons and specials, but you can expect to pay the following* for these must-have items:
|Food Item||Mex. Pesos||US Dollar|
|Apples (1 lb)||16.16||0.87|
|Bannana (1 lb)||
Beef Round (1 lb)
Bread (freshly made, white)
|Cheese ( 1 lb. locally made)||41.51||2.24|
|Chicken breast (boneless/skinless 1 lb.)||37.35||2.01|
|Lettuce (1 head)||13.09||0.70|
|Milk (1 liter)||16.59||0.90|
|Onion (1 lb.)||7.88||0.42|
|Oranges (1 lb.)||6.40||0.35|
|Rice (1 lb. white)||7.94||0.43|
|Potato (1 lb.)||8.56||0.46|
|Tomato (1 lb.)||8.35||.45|
Partner your favourite entrees with locally made cervezas (beers), international wines, soda, coffee and more!
|Drink Item||Mex. Pesos||US Dollar|
Beer (0.5 liter bottle, domestic)
Beer (0.33 liter bottle, imported)
Soda (0.33 liter bottle)
Water (1.5 liter bottle)
Wine (mid-range bottle)
*Average costs according to NUMBEO.
Fresh organic produce costs considerably less at local farmers markets that you can explore. The local street vendors will have fresh produce available for bargain prices as well.
A taxi ride within the immediate area will cost 30 pesos (1.61 US). A cab can be hired for day trips or arranged tours. Prices are negotiable and very reasonable. Many people don’t even own cars as the cost of transportation is so reasonable and readily available.
To Your Health
Mexico is a popular destination for medical tourism. It offers high quality care, affordable costs and no lines. This is especially appealing for Canadians who don't want to wait months (or years) for highly anticipated care, and for Americans who don't want to pay inflated insurance rates.
CNBC.com's “4 countries with the best health care in the world 2017” highlights Mexico as a top location for medical and dental care. The article points out that thousands of Americans flock to Mexican cities to take advantage of the savings. In 2018 International Living lists Mexico as number one!
In general, you will pay about 500-600 MXN (27-33 US) to see a doctor or specialist for a general healthcare need. You will pay about the same for a house call. (Yes, that's right, a house call!) A visit to the dentist is about the same rate.
Lab work is typically about a third of what one would be charged by a U.S.-based office. CAT scans are a quarter of the cost, and an overnight hospital stay in a private room tops comes to just over 1950 MXN (105 US). Even more serious medical conditions/needs, such as surgery, dialysis and live-in care, are more affordable in Mexico than in the U.S. (And there's little to no waiting time for our fellow Canadians!)
Those living in Mexico get the added bonus of choosing between two medical systems:
Government Healthcare – Mexico's government-run clinics and hospitals provide low cost, well-managed, basic care for a few hundred dollars each year. It's called the Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social (IMSS), and it covers covers medical, dental, vision, hospitalization and prescriptions. Expats holding a residency visa may apply for this medical insurance for approximately $350 to $450 per year, per person.
Private Healthcare – Private health insurance premiums from companies such as Grupo Nacional Provincial, MetLife Mexico and Monterrey-New York Life, cost 9,785-68,507 MXN (527-3,693 US) per year for those under age 64. Still cheaper than what one would pay in the U.S., this ensures that you can get in to see top doctors at top healthcare facilities for 587-782 MXN (32-42 US). Lab work is a third less than what is charged in the U.S.
Prescriptions are a fraction of the cost In the US and a prescription is usually not necessary. A medical doctor is available at most pharmacies in case you have questions. This service costs about 30 pesos.
As previously mentioned, the healthcare in Mexico is high quality. International Living and CNBC both point out that “physicians have usually received at least some of their training in the U.S., Canada, or Europe. If not medical school, they receive ongoing training abroad. All the latest technology, techniques, and prescriptions are available in Mexico. And having major surgery or treatment for serious medical conditions is not a problem.”
We couldn't agree more, and are happy to share our own “cost of living in Huatulco” experiences with you. Contact us today to chat about specifics, and to find out How to Find Quality Medical Care in Mexico. And if you're ready to create a whole new life for yourself, build new relationships and immerse yourself in a new culture, be sure to let us know. We'd love to share Huatulco with YOU!
If you’ve decided to move to Mexico, you may be wondering how to bring your favorite belongings with you. Should you take a DIY (do-it-yourself) approach or hire a moving company? Both are viable options, depending on your timeline and finances. Below is a guide to help you make the best decision for your moving to Mexico needs.
DIY Move to Mexico
Most expats opt to move themselves to Mexico and rely on one of the options below:
1. Partial DIY – With this option, you would sell or donate (great for tax deductions) big furniture pieces and appliances and bring only clothes and keepsakes. All items can be replaced upon arrival in Mexico. This is especially appealing to those who are renting apartments, condos or homes that are partially or fully furnished.
2. Full DIY – With this option, you would load your belongings and cross the border on your own.
3. Hire a Mexican National – This individual would bring your items across the border in a large vehicle. This option is very common and will not likely draw the interest of customs officials who assume your items belong to the driver. Sometimes the hired mover will unload and unpack your boxes, if you’re willing to pay for the service. If you need referrals, we can help you find a reliable and affordable mover.
With option 2 and 3, you’ll need to complete a Lista de Menaje de Casa. This list specifies all of the household goods and electronics you’re bringing into Mexico. (Clothing and personal items do not require a Lista de Menaje de Casa when crossing the border.) The list is in Spanish and notes the quantity, brand and descriptions of your items, as well as the model/serial numbers of your electronics. All boxes need your name and a sequential number that corresponds with your itemized list.
You’ll need to have four original and signed sets. The Lista de Menaje de Casa then requires a stamp issued by the Consulate General of Mexico office near you. The Menaje de Casa will need to be submitted to Mexican customs.
Sometimes a few trips across the border are needed because you could be taxed if your shipment is valued at $3,000 USD or more. If that is the case, you’ll need the help of a Mexican customs broker to officially file the Mexican customs entry on your behalf.
Hiring a Moving Company
Expats who have or intend to purchase to a home in Mexico opt to hire an international moving company. Prices vary and the process includes an in-home interview (less than an hour) to go over the following:
● What needs to be moved
● Trip roles and expectations
● Packing materials
● Inventory/preparation of the List de Menaje de Casa
● Estimate (based on the total weight of your shipment)
● Transportation (usually ground shipping)
● Import and export documentation
● Port of entry fees
If you’re moving from the United States, the professional mover will need to pack your items to meet Homeland Security and insurance requirements. (Unpacking and box removal in Mexico is optional.) We recommend buying insurance through the moving company. It will cost about three percent of the total shipping fee.
It will take about three weeks for your shipment to arrive. Make sure that you’re there to welcome your driver and ensure that everything arrives in good shape. If something is damaged, take photographs to submit to the insurance company. If something is missing, contact the moving company’s customer service department right away.
Final Thoughts for Hiring a Moving Company
● Make sure your choice company is bonded and has been in business for more than a decade.
● Ask for references from those who have used their services.
● Reach out to expats via online forums. Inquire about the methods they used to move to Mexico.
Should you have any questions, feel free to connect with us! We’re happy to share those tried-and-true companies that have successfully moved our clients.
The INAPAM Card is a free, government-issued senior discount card. It’s the size of a resident or credit card and doesn’t expire. It is issued by the Instituto Nacional de las Personas Adultas Mayores (INAPAM).
What discounts are available?
The INAPAM Card offers discounts (typically 10-50%) off many of the items listed below. Discounts vary depending on the state in which you live.
While not every discount is noted, it’s always a good idea to inquire about using your INAPAM Card at businesses and with service providers. Be sure to show your card before your order is rung up or the invoice is created.
● Advisors and legal services – legal firms, accountants
● Clothing and home – construction firms, hardware stores, electricians, locksmiths
● Education, recreation and culture – bookstores, arts & craft stores, parks, hotels, travel agencies, event facilities, museums and galleries
● Food – grocery/convenience stores, restaurants and cafes
● Health and beauty – doctors, dentists, veterinarians, pharmacies, beauty salons, spas
● Property taxes
● Transportation – domestic airlines, buses, taxis, car service centers
Who is eligible?
Mexican nationals and those with temporal or permanent resident cards are eligible for the INAPAM Card, if they are 60 years and older. Sadly, tourist visas do not count toward INAPAM Card eligibility.
What is the application process?
Applications must be done in person at a local INAPAM office. To find a location and make an appointment, visit _____. Offices are open Monday to Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. For more information, visit gob.mx/inapam (in Spanish). Questions are welcomed at 01 800 0073 705 or email@example.com.
While applying for your INAPAM card, you will be interviewed in Spanish about your residence, who lives there and what furnishings it contains. You’ll also be fingerprinted and asked for the documents listed below.
According to gob.mx/inapam, you will need to bring the original and photocopies of the items below.
● Proof of legal status for non-citizens – Bring your passport and temporary or permanent resident card.
● Proof of age and identity – This can be a passport, resident card, Mexico-issued driver’s license or Mexico-issued voter ID card.
● Proof of residence address (comprobante de domicilio) – This can be a deed or rental lease, paid utility bill (both sides and not more than three months old) or a Mexico-issued voter ID card. If someone else’s name is on the utility bill and you live under the same roof, then that person will need to write a letter for you, stating that you live there, the date you moved in, the property address and the signature that the person is telling the truth. The person will also need to offer a personal identification copy.
● Passport-sized photos – Bring three black and white or color photos (“Tamaño Infantil,” 2.5 cm x 3.0 cm) of you in front of a white background. Avoid accessories – eye glasses/ hats.
We also recommend that you bring:
● Emergency contacts – names, addresses and phone numbers
● Hand wipes – This is for the 10-fingerprinting you’ll need to offer during your interview.
And that’s it! You should have your new INAPAM Card within a few weeks to start saving while you’re spending.
Whether you are here on vacation, or you have decided to live here permanently, good quality and affordable care for your pet is readily available. This was not always the case but a lot has changed in the last seven years.
Two very well educated veterinarians have set up clinics in La Crucecita. Both clinics are well equipped and getting better all the time. I have listed their contact information at the end of this article. Both veterinarians have Facebook pages.
You will find their services are comparable to those you were used to in Canada or the U.S. One thing you may notice is that they are more likely to use natural “medicines” such as aloe or honey for injury care – both are natural antibiotics. (This is true for human care as well.)
They Still Do Home Visits in Mexico
Dra. Norma Rivera speaks English and will come to your home for care. She has a clinic location but her service is primarily a mobile one which is nice for people like me who do not have a car and nice for the pets who feel more comfortable in their home. If she feels she has to treat your pet at the clinic, she will pick them up and bring them back when finished.
Dra. Fredy Cruz does not speak English but often has an employee that speaks a little. He does not make house visits but his clinic space is much larger, he has another veterinarian on hand, and he will sometimes provide a kennel service for you if you are going away for a short while.
Both doctors perform surgeries (general and orthopedic), practice preventative medicine, dental care, grooming, and both have plenty of foods and supplies for your dog or cat or other critter.
In the last few years we have finally been able to import quality pet foods comparable to those available in Canada and the U.S. The vet clinics also have foods specifically for allergies or medical conditions. The grocery store choices leave a lot to be desired but a couple of better quality brands are available commercially. The veterinarians or other pet owners can help you discover which commercial brands are better than others. Food prices in the stores vary and many people take shopping trips to Salina Cruz to buy decent commercial brands in bulk.
Vaccinations, surgeries, and tests – all are available here and the prices are pretty comparable from both clinics. You will notice that they are probably much less than you will have been used to at home. Here is a list of approximate costs. Your real cost will depend on your country’s exchange rate at the time and on changes that might occur at the clinics.
Vaccinations including DPPT and Rabies = $250 pesos each, $16 CDN, $12 USD
Antibiotics = $550-700 pesos, $35-45 CDN, $27-35 USD
Spay/neuter = $500-700 pesos, $32-45 CDN, $25-35 USD
Flea and Tick tablets = $250-350 pesos/month, $16-22 CDN, $12-17 USD
Travel papers to take a dog back to the US = varies up to $550 pesos, $35 CDN, $27 USD
The two main veterinarians and their clinics are centrally located and easy to reach by car or cab. Depending on your language ability, write down the address and hand it to your driver. Cabs will allow you to bring your pet, I have done it several times and never yet been turned down. But I do ask before we get in (“per favor senor?”) and I bring a towel along in case the dog or cat gets on the seat but I try to keep them on the floor of the cab. I add a tip of 20 or 30 extra pesos to the regular charge of 30 pesos for the driver. It is polite to thank them (“muchas gracias”) and wish the driver a good day (“buenas dias”) – in Spanish if you can.
Other pet services are springing up here as expats are traveling more often with their companion animals. We have dog sitters and dog walkers. Word of mouth is the best referral service. Ask other expats who they use and then you can negotiate a price. Some sitters will stay at your home and others can come over just when required to feed and walk.
Because you will be in a tropical climate you will need to be more cautious about certain things. Mosquitoes and ticks carry diseases that can cause your pet lots of pain. And they are here all year! Babesia and erlichea are two that we see on a regular basis. Worms from the ground are common and transmitted easily during your dog walks.
Better Safe Than Sorry
And heartworm will kill your dog or cat. So you need to consider using parasite and worm preventatives. There are several brands available. Bravecta is a three-month protection from one application that is affordable but doesn’t cover all the ‘bugs’ out there. I use a monthly tablet called Nexgard Spectra – it prevents internal G.I. worms and all the parasites (babesia, erlichea and heartworm).
I have two large dogs and my cost at the time of this writing is 310 pesos each per month. That translates to $19 CDN or $15 USD per dog per month. I am not sure what the costs are in Canada and the United States at the moment but it is still a savings over having to test and treat your dog or cat for any of the parasites here and it will also help prevent transferring parasites to you.
LOCAL AREA VETERINARIANS:
Dra. Norma Rivera, D.V.M.
Civ Veterinaria Huatulco
305 Calle Palma Real, La Crucecita
M-F 10-2, 5-8
Sat 10-2, 5-7
Dr. Fredy Cruz, D.V.M.
CVV Centro Veterinario del Valle
204 Calle Palma Real, La Crucecita