Mexico Newsletter —
December 2020

This month: Land border update; Christmas in Mexico; Two new banknotes; Lifestyle planning; Monarch butterflies; Fresh local produce; Visa reminders...

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Mexperience Mexico Newsletter — December 2020

Land border restrictions have been extended to December 21st: Mexico’s land border restrictions have been extended again, until at least December 21st.  However, we are hearing that American citizens are driving and walking into Mexico without hindrance.  Tourist permits (FMMs) and Vehicle import permits (TIPs) are being issued as normal.  This article summarizes the restrictions and the comments section contains anecdotal notes left by local travelers.  Note that Flights between the US and Mexico are not affected by this restriction.

Mexico’s Gradual and Phased Reopening

Mexico continues to undergo a phased reopening of its economic, cultural, educational, and social activities.  Each region and municipality is implementing a custom reopening plan based on a color-coded ‘traffic light’ system so the restrictions vary depending on each region and/or locality.  Covid updates

Christmas in Mexico: A term you might hear in Mexico this time of year is Guadalupe-Reyes. It describes the Christmas holiday season between December 12th, Día de Guadalupe, and January 6th, Dia de Los Reyes Magos, or Epiphany, and the period includes the eight days of Posadas Navideñas between December 16th and 24th.  The Christmas holidays in Mexico are a time for family, food, festivals, and recreation.  You can learn about preparing for Christmas and browse our articles about Christmas and the New Year to discover more about these holiday traditions in Mexico.

Getting acquainted with Mexico’s new banknotes: Mexico’s central bank introduced two new banknote designs during November 2020 as part of an ongoing program of upgrades: a new $100 peso note and a new $1,000 peso note.  Foreign Native comments on latest reshuffle of historical figures gracing the bills, including on the the return of Sor Juana Inés to the new, vertically-printed, $100 peso bill.

Gentle Reminder: Please tip generously during this difficult time

Tipping is woven-in to the fabric of Mexican trading culture and, as we explain in our guide, tipping in Mexico must be practiced often and in a wide variety of situations.  Please remember your generosity when tipping during this exceptionally difficult economic period.

It’s Monarch Butterfly season in Mexico: The very special Methuselah generations of butterflies migrate each year, leaving the colder northern climes of the U.S. and Canada to take winter refuge and breed in Mexico.  They begin arriving in November and overwinter until March.  The sanctuaries are expected to be open to visitors.  Learn more about the Monarch butterflies and how to visit the sanctuaries.

No Hay and the specter of retail scarcity: While the overall availability of all kinds of things and services is Mexico has improved immensely in recent years, in comparison to its northern neighbor, a continuous reliable supply of certain types of goods can still be a hit-and-miss affair here.

Driving to Mexico?  Mexperience offers a wide range of articles that will help you to plan your road trip in Mexico.  Our article about bringing your foreign-plated car to Mexico covers key points you need to know, and our (updated) article on Temporary Import Permits (TIPs) shares valuable information about ensuring your vehicle remains legal here. Don’t forget to insure your vehicle before you cross the border as your US or Canadian policy won’t cover you for third party liabilities.  Our guides and articles about Driving in Mexico are filled with practical advice for drivers.

Lifestyle planning: We receive a constant stream of inquiries from people interested in exploring Mexico as place to live or retire.  There are lots of good, sensible reasons for moving to Mexico, but as we consistently advise our readers, a successful move takes consideration, research, and a plan.  Our regularly-updated article about Lifestyle Planning in Mexico provides a summary of key points and links to a wealth of practical information here on Mexperience.

Medical health insurance and evacuation coverage: If you’re wondering what options are available for medical coverages in Mexico, learn about the options for Medical Insurance in Mexico.  If you have good medical health coverage in your home country a fully-managed medical evacuation plan can be an alternative in some situations.

Visas and immigration: We’ve been receiving several inquiries asking about the documentation required to travel to and enter Mexico.  You can get insights and answers to common questions about tourist and residency visas on our section about Mexico Visas & Immigration.

Immigration Assistance

If you need assistance with your residency permit application or renewals, or troubleshooting with an expired permit, consider using the Mexico Immigration Assistance Service provided by our associates.

Three practical matters: Our Mexico Essentials guide provides practical and insightful local knowledge that helps you get to know Mexico better.  In recent articles related to the guide we have reminded readers about three spiders to be mindful of, how to order cooked meat to your liking when you’re eating out, and tips for connecting to WiFi in Mexico.

Eating well and affordably in Mexico: With its diverse climates, its varied topography and rich volcanic soils, Mexico grows a colossal variety of fruits, vegetables, pulses, herbs and peppers.  Through this gift of nature, Mexico offers visitors and residents an abundance of affordable and tasty fresh produce, grown and harvested locally.  Learn about how you can enjoy this abundance of fresh food at affordable prices.
See also: Enjoying Mexican Food & Drink

Speaking Spanish gives you unique access to Mexican culture: Whether you plan a short visit to Mexico or to stay for longer, being able to communicate in Spanish will make a material difference to your everyday activities and experiences.  This article explains why and our insightful PinPoint Spanish series helps you to get acquainted with the nuances of Mexican Spanish in everyday situations.

Tourism is beginning to reopen in Mexico—gradually

Phased reopening: States and destinations that rely on tourists are setting-out phased plans to reopen leisure services in the months ahead. States and regions are working through details of how hotels, restaurants, and other leisure activities can reopen.

Outdoor/Nature: Mexico’s Copper Canyon Train resumed services on July 17, and we understand that the nature sanctuaries that receive the Monarch Butterflies are expected to be open to visitors this coming fall and winter.

Planning: If you’re planning to visit Mexico this year, we recommend you talk with your tour operator to ask about the local situations, or if you’re traveling independently we suggest you contact the hotel(s) you intend to stay at to ask them about the current situation in their locality.  Flight schedules may be reduced and/or subject to sudden change: check with the airlines for details.

Customized tours: If you would like to book a custom tour in Mexico, our associates can help: they are in constant contact with the operators and destinations they work with, and will book travel itineraries when it is possible and practicable to do so.

Inspiration: You can find inspiration for future visits to Mexico by browsing Extraordinary Travel Experiences, and Travel Destinations in Mexico.

Insurance reminders: If you plan to drive a foreign-plated car in Mexico —even if only for short essential trips across the border— make sure you’re properly insured: US and Canadian policies don’t cover third party liability.  If you own a home in Mexico, you might be wondering whether the property is insurable; most homes can be insured, but there are notable exceptions.  If you’re considering healthcare coverages, read about your choices for healthcare cover in Mexico and connect to relevant resources.

Insights about Real Estate in Mexico: Whether you intend to rent or buy, our guides and articles about realty in Mexico provide insights and practical advice that can help you to understand the local market and find a home that serves your real needs and budget, avoiding common pitfalls.

Useful Resources on Mexperience.com

Discover Mexico: Visit our Discover Mexico section for the latest stream of articles and features to help you get inspiration, insights, and connections about Lifestyle, Living, and Leisure in Mexico.

Lifestyle & Living Services: Find services to help you to realize your lifestyle & living plans in Mexico.

Leisure & Travel Services: Find services to plan and arrange leisure & travel experiences in Mexico.

Immigration Assistance: When you need help applying for residency, or help renewing your existing residency permit (or working through a ‘regularization’ procedure after a mishap), consider using this Mexico Immigration Assistance Service, which offers detailed consultancy, personalized advice, and practical help through the process.

Mexico Insurance: Everything you need to know about Healthcare, Auto and Evacuation coverages in Mexico.

Mexico eBooks: Browse and download free eBooks which provide useful knowledge about Mexico including the 2020 editions of our Mexico Immigration Guide and Mexico Cost of Living Guide.

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Matthew Harrup is founder and editor of Mexperience