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Is it worth it?

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Is it worth it?

Post by Downthefairway on Wed Mar 14, 2018 9:06 am

After reviewing the crime reports which are very difficult to retrieve anywhere else, and something that this board should be commended for, I'm wondering out loud if its worth living in a location with the risk of home invasion, bodily harm etc. Everything that I've read indicates the policia seem to be in on the game. Has anyone ever reconsidered their decision to relocate here? I know of the advantages being climate, culture, and a lower cost of living. All of the You Tube videos paint an almost idyllic picture of the area. Thanks for allowing the truth to surface. I live in a small city in Canada with a population of 50000 and seldom hear of muggings and armed home invasions. I know we are not comparing apples to oranges but the crime does seem to be substantive and a little troubling.

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Re: Is it worth it?

Post by addtocart on Wed Mar 14, 2018 9:35 am

No problem, just find yourself a place with high walls topped with razor wire and broken glass, get a couple of big, loud dogs, don't answer your door and you'll be fine.
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Re: Is it worth it?

Post by Lady Otter Latté on Wed Mar 14, 2018 10:08 am

I have lived here for 10 years and still love it. It is, however, not idyllic. It is a real place with real problems. Anyone coming here believing the hype is bound to be disappointed. I do not feel unsafe. At the same time I am noticing an uptick in people reporting break-ins and purse snatchings. The recent robbery in Chula Vista where a woman was badly beaten because she resisted is very troubling.
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Re: Is it worth it?

Post by gringal on Wed Mar 14, 2018 10:59 am

On the other hand, how much crime happens in cities with a population of 5,000 ANYWHERE?

IMHO, to answer the OP's question:  Yes, it is to me.
I'm also cautious.
I don't go out walking alone after dark.  I avoid obviously high risk situations.  I don't have a fancy car or flash super bling jewelry.
I have a remote view and voice feature in my house which allows identification of whoever rings the doorbell.  No way would I open for complete strangers.  I have high walls and barred entrances.  Those are not for imprisoning the occupants, who can leave freely, but for keeping unwelcome intruders out.
Back in the states in a very nice area, everybody had security systems with a fast response time company.

Things are very different from a small town here, and for some people, it's just not going to work, psychologically.  The sooner they realize it, the fewer problems they'll have.

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Re: Is it worth it?

Post by coffeeguy on Wed Mar 14, 2018 12:05 pm

To the great responses by Lady Otter Latté and gringal I will just add that yes it is all about relative perception of risk and common sense.

No doubt your Canadian city of 50,000 has far lower crime rates AND unlike Mexico a very good chance that crimes that do occur will be solved. On the other hand, how's the weather up there? IMHO dangers from snow, black ice, bitter cold, huge heating bills, going broke paying for everything from property taxes to basics like food are not to be taken lightly.

Coming at it from a U.S. perspective I always feel much safer in most ways here in Mexico. Property crime at Lakeside is certainly at least as high as in a large U.S. city but one's chances of being shot by some crazy person with a gun are infinitely fewer: you might lose some jewelry or a laptop but losing your life is far less likely.

As I age I also appreciate not living in a place where the climate could kill me, and also the sense of safety that comes with being able to afford routine and even quite a bit of emergency care immediately and inexpensively out-of-pocket. That again is a U.S. thing I realize since Canada has national health care but even so being able to see a great doctor or dentist the same or next day for $20-30 or a specialist for less than twice those amounts is pretty comforting.

I think where people get into trouble is that they let the small size and population of Lakeside villages and the general politeness and dignity of the Mexican people lull them into a false sense of security. Where there is visible wealth and a huge gap between the have's and the have-not's there will be crimes of opportunity. Still overall I would be a whole lot more concerned about the dangers of driving here than I would about crime and neither of those issues keeps this from being a wonderful place to live.

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Re: Is it worth it?

Post by Lost Dog on Wed Mar 14, 2018 12:10 pm

The discussions about living lakeside are naturally subjective as I see it. The needs and reasons for relocating here are different for many people. What I see often missing in the discussions comparing crime levels here to those in the US/Canada is the lack of law enforcement. The anxiety which is not really spoken about commonly, is the lack of reliance on local law enforcement. My own community NOB is a wonderful place but with more than its share of crime, both property and violence at times. The difference there is that law enforcement is responsive and can be relied upon in an emergency and the judicial system, despite its flaws, is working. There is a kind of "elephant in the room" situation here and expats tend to discount that vulnerability in hope that it will not be a significant factor.

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Re: Is it worth it?

Post by gringal on Wed Mar 14, 2018 12:22 pm

I misstated the numbers in my previous post:  I meant 50,000; not 5,000.

Re the "elephant in the room" concerning crime and law enforcement.  It doesn't take long for expats to realize that the police cannot be relied on to protect us here.  We're on our own for the most part.  We can either live with that reality and consider it a trade off for the good things about living here, or live in fear, or go home.  I'll definitely accept it as a trade off for all the risks of living in ice and snow. At least the weather won't kill you here if you get locked out of your house.
Shocked

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Re: Is it worth it?

Post by Trailrunner on Wed Mar 14, 2018 1:16 pm

Mexico has the fourth highest rating of impunity IN THE WORLD.

https://mexiconewsdaily.com/news/impunity-worse-due-to-institutional-failings/
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Re: Is it worth it?

Post by coffeeguy on Wed Mar 14, 2018 2:28 pm

Lost Dog wrote:The discussions about living lakeside are naturally subjective as I see it. The needs and reasons for relocating here are different for many people. What I see often missing in the discussions comparing crime levels here to those in the US/Canada is the lack of law enforcement. The anxiety which is not really spoken about commonly, is the lack of reliance on local law enforcement. My own community NOB is a wonderful place but with more than its share of crime, both property and violence at times. The difference there is that law enforcement is responsive and can be relied upon in an emergency and the judicial system, despite its flaws, is working. There is a kind of "elephant in the room" situation here and expats tend to discount that vulnerability in hope that it will not be a significant factor.

You're right on all counts. I sometimes tell N.O.B. friends who share my somewhat warped sense of humor that it comes down to which kind of failed state you choose to live in. In México there is no rule of law and thus no recourse when things head south but the inherent goodness and decency of the Mexican people, the pace, climate, fresh year-round food and lower costs among many other plusses may still make it a great choice. In the U.S. you're a lot more likely to get some help if your place is robbed or your purse snatched, but you're also a whole lot more likely to get shot, go broke or just wish you were dead due to weather, politics, survival stress, etc. Pick your poison(s).

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Re: Is it worth it?

Post by Lost Dog on Wed Mar 14, 2018 2:34 pm

I have been looking at coastal places in Mexico and began following this Facebook page for the Rosarito Beach/Baja area a few months ago. It is a chilling comparison to Lake Chapala region. Sometimes it looks like you need to wait for them to clear the roads every morning after each night of violence before venturing out.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/BajaYMas/about/

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Re: Is it worth it?

Post by coffeeguy on Wed Mar 14, 2018 2:39 pm

And yet more than a few people here at Lakeside are looking at places like Punta Banda just south of Ensenada and other such Northern Baja options since housing costs are apparently lower than here now, weather is as good or better (for those who like SoCal mildness) and an easy drive to the border.

It's calm here at Lake Chapala for now in terms of the narco violence but that can change at anytime. I believe there were ~16 murders in Guadalajara last weekend, most or all attributed to narco gang turf wars and not so long ago we had a spate of them here causing any number of gringos to flee even though expats weren't the targets.

So again, choose your risks. There are no risk-free options.

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Re: Is it worth it?

Post by CanuckBob on Wed Mar 14, 2018 2:49 pm

I have lived in Ajijic for 6 years and have never felt unsafe or in danger. I do go out after dark all the time to frequent the restaurants and bars. I use the same common sense and street smarts as I did living in and around Vancouver. There is more petty crime here due to the level of poverty. This is not unlike any country in the world that has similar or worse poverty rates. I assume the law enforcement in those countries is also similar. It is a bit like the wild west where you are own your own for safety and security. This suits me just fine. I don't like "police states". If someone is the type that needs the government and police to look after them Mexico and similar countries is not for them.....

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Re: Is it worth it?

Post by gringal on Wed Mar 14, 2018 3:42 pm

CanuckBob wrote:I have lived in Ajijic for 6 years and have never felt unsafe or in danger. I do go out after dark all the time to frequent the restaurants and bars. I use the same common sense and street smarts as I did living in and around Vancouver. There is more petty crime here due to the level of poverty. This is not unlike any country in the world that has similar or worse poverty rates. I assume the law enforcement in those countries is also similar. It is a bit like the wild west where you are own your own for safety and security. This suits me just fine. I don't like "police states". If someone is the type that needs the government and police to look after them Mexico and similar countries is not for them.....

It is worth noting that you are a middle aged guy in good condition, so heading out after dark is a much different risk level from the elderly ladies walking their little dogs in the evening. I've seen that too often.

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Re: Is it worth it?

Post by CanuckBob on Wed Mar 14, 2018 4:27 pm

I have seen many single senior women (usually in pairs) out in the bars late at night. Its all about your personal tolerance for risk....imo.

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Re: Is it worth it?

Post by ferret on Wed Mar 14, 2018 4:27 pm

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Re: Is it worth it?

Post by gringal on Wed Mar 14, 2018 5:38 pm

CanuckBob wrote:I have seen many single senior women  (usually in pairs) out in the bars late at night. Its all about your personal tolerance for risk....imo.

That's right.
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Re: Is it worth it?

Post by gobluejohn on Wed Mar 14, 2018 7:34 pm

almost 9 years now for wife and I, and have never felt unsafe. We have a very beautiful fully furnished 2 bedroom, each with a private bath for 600 usa dollars, and because we have 25 steps up to the house, no problems with any potential, break in, as we also have bars on all of the windows. Best of all it has never been below 42 degrees, and never above 95 in all this time and to top it off medical care is outstanding. I had an attack of cardiac arithimia sp 2 years ago. trip to Red Cross, cardiologist did ekg said I needed to go Guadalajara t the hospital for more tests and ekgs. at least 5 doctors nurses etc private room. when I arrived they had been waiting for me, and right into emergency, checked out the next day and with no insurance, total cost about 700 usa dollars. BEST TREATMENT EVER We love it and will never leave
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Re: Is it worth it?

Post by Trailrunner on Wed Mar 14, 2018 7:55 pm

Good for you, John! Glad it all worked out well.
Would you mind telling us which hospital you were admitted to? And who was the cardiologist that was summoned by Cruz Roja. Yours is a good positive reference.
Thank you.
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Re: Is it worth it?

Post by gobluejohn on Wed Mar 14, 2018 8:34 pm

I will look up the cardiologist info, but the the hospital was Saint Margarita, built in 1895, clean on top of everything. by the way my fav drink is a margarita
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Re: Is it worth it?

Post by CanuckBob on Wed Mar 14, 2018 8:42 pm

Lost Dog wrote:It is a chilling comparison to Lake Chapala region. Sometimes it looks like you need to wait for them to clear the roads every morning after each night of violence before venturing out.

This is your perception of the Lake Chapala region??

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Re: Is it worth it?

Post by Lost Dog on Wed Mar 14, 2018 9:51 pm

CanuckBob wrote:
Lost Dog wrote:It is a chilling comparison to Lake Chapala region. Sometimes it looks like you need to wait for them to clear the roads every morning after each night of violence before venturing out.

This is your perception of the Lake Chapala region??

No, I meant it is a chilling contrast to the relatively peacefulness here. I can't imagine the amount of denial that would be needed to remain there.

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Re: Is it worth it?

Post by Lady Otter Latté on Thu Mar 15, 2018 12:03 am

Lost Dog wrote:
CanuckBob wrote:
Lost Dog wrote:It is a chilling comparison to Lake Chapala region. Sometimes it looks like you need to wait for them to clear the roads every morning after each night of violence before venturing out.

This is your perception of the Lake Chapala region??

No, I meant it is a chilling contrast to the relatively peacefulness here. I can't imagine the amount of denial that would be needed to remain there.

So, how do you image our daily lives are here?
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Re: Is it worth it?

Post by Trailrunner on Thu Mar 15, 2018 9:01 am

And, where is "here" and where is "there"? I had to go back and reread Lost Dog's posts but I'm still not sure of the reference points.
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Re: Is it worth it?

Post by Trailrunner on Thu Mar 15, 2018 9:03 am

gobluejohn wrote:I will look up the cardiologist info, but the the hospital was Saint Margarita, built in 1895, clean on top of everything. by the way my fav drink is a margarita

Thank you, yes, I've always heard good things about Santa Margarita hospital. Looking forward to seeing who your doctor was.
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Re: Is it worth it?

Post by Lost Dog on Thu Mar 15, 2018 9:05 am

For me, life is good here in spite of all the frustrations we deal with. I came with open eyes and did my best to suppress any expectations. If things do eventually get out hand here, the airport is just up the road for a flight back home.

Unrelated: Is there an "Edit" function on this board? I often need to correct errors in my posts. I can't find an edit button. Thanks

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Re: Is it worth it?

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