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Mexico Newsletter —
January 2021

This month: Land border update; New Year's Eve and Kings' Day; Monarch butterflies; Winter climates; Language schools; Local food and meal times; Visa reminders...

Mexico Letter Box

Mexperience Mexico Newsletter — January 2021

Land border restrictions have been extended to January 21st, 2021: Mexico’s land border restrictions have been extended again; 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

New Year’s Eve celebrations in Mexico: The Guadalupe-Reyes festive period continues in Mexico with family celebrations on the eve of the New Year and gatherings to share the Rosca de Reyes and exchange gifts on January 6th.  The rosca (loaf) is interspersed with little plastic dolls representing the baby Jesus and whoever gets a doll in their slice of rosca traditionally hosts a gathering to eat Tamales on February 2nd.

Peak season for Monarch butterflies: 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 peak viewing period is mid-January to the end of February.  The sanctuaries are open to visitors and our travel associates can arrange suitable tours.  Learn more about the Monarch butterflies and how to visit the sanctuaries.

Spanish language schools and courses in Mexico: Learning Spanish at a language school in Mexico is an ideal way to combine learning and pleasure.  Class sizes are small, so you get the personal attention you need to support you and the class days are designed and paced to ensure that you don’t feel overwhelmed.  Learn more about Spanish courses in Mexico and connect to Schools offering classes.

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.

Local food shopping and meal times: Local, independent, neighborhood vendors selling fresh foods and comestibles remain a thriving part of the Mexican retail landscape, and if you’re wondering about meal time routines, Foreign Native shares some insights on Mexican meals and meal times.
See also: Foreign Native

Winter climates in Mexico: The winter solstice in December marks the ‘shortest daylight day of the year’ and the start of winter.  Winter climates across Mexico vary by region and elevation, although you’ll enjoy plenty of daylight throughout the winter season, and many places offer comfortable daytime temperatures.

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.

Wireless home internet services: In addition to fixed-line internet access and mobile data plans for your smartphone, you can also purchase a wireless internet service for your home in Mexico that combines cellular data signals with a special modem that creates a WiFi connection in your home or office.  This is useful if the area where you live is not well-served by fixed line services or you want a back-up internet service in case your landline service goes down temporarily.

Mexico visas and documentation: We’ve been receiving many questions in recent times about matters related to visa requirements, and to help we have published and updated additional information about the documentation and visas required to visit or reside in Mexico.  These include:

Mexican consulates are gradually resuming the provision of routine services including things like applications for residency visas, and menaje de casa requests.  Check with your nearest consulate for their current operating status and procedures.

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.

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.

Simple living, revisited: Simple living is concerned with identifying your priorities, and defining what is most important in your life. Some people move to Mexico as a means to create a clearing and cultivate simple and meaningful life situations here.  Our article about living simply in Mexico offers a concept primer, and our section about Simple Living in Mexico is filled with local knowledge and practical advice for those contemplating what a simple lifestyle might look and feel like in Mexico.

Pay-day fortnights: What the British call a fortnight the Mexicans call the quincena—that also refers to a 15-day period between pay days.  We have articles and guides to help you learn about pay days in Mexico, currency, and managing your money.

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.

Medical health insurance and evacuation coverages: 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.

Planning to visit Mexico for leisure?

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.

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.

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.

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.
* We are currently preparing the updated 2021 editions of our Mexico Guides.  They are scheduled for publication around mid-January.

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Matthew Harrup is founder and editor of Mexperience