Living & Lifestyle

Mexico Newsletter —
January 2023

New Year traditions; Living well through the winter; Residency qualification, Living off the beaten path; Monarch butterflies; Mexico eBook updates for 2023...

Mexico Letter Box

Your monthly Mexico newsletter is filled with inspiration, meaningful knowledge, helpful connections, and tips for better living, lifestyle, and leisure in Mexico.

January highlights in Mexico

The winter season in Mexico begins on December 21st, that is also the ‘shortest daylight’ date of the year, although as we often mention in these pages you can enjoy long daylight hours all year in Mexico—even on December 21st.

From mid-December through to the the end of February, air temperatures can collapse dramatically in highland towns and in the northern deserts after sundown —the chill may be felt especially during the early morning just before sunrise—  although daytime temperatures tend to rise steadily throughout the morning hours and become pleasantly warm in the afternoon.  These are also the most comfortably-warm months in places situated at lower elevation along the coasts and coastal plains. For those staying or living in Mexico at higher elevations this time of year, a pullover or fleece worn during cooler daytime hours (or indoors) and an extra blanket on the bed overnight is often sufficient to dress against the chill.

New Year celebrations on the eve of December 31st are traditionally followed by family and social gatherings to eat delicious Rosca de Reyes on January 6th —Epiphany— the date that also marks the end of the so-called Guadalupe-Reyes festive period in Mexico.

Mexico’s dry season makes itself readily apparent during January. As the near-ground moisture leftover from the rainy season evaporates, the landscapes begin to reveal hues of yellow, ochre, and brown, and gardeners must make additional efforts to keep their garden plants content. Our article about living well through the dry season offers practical advice for living in Mexico this time of year.

January is the month when changes of official rates and prices are published.  The increase in Mexico’s minimum wage was announced before Christmas; however UMAs and other official data are not released until the first weeks of the New Year.  These official data have an effect on some qualification criteria for residency in Mexico—more details about this in the section below on immigration.

Mid-January to late February is the ‘peak’ viewing season at the Monarch butterfly sanctuaries. Learn about the butterflies and contact our travel associate if you’d like to arrange an excursion to one of the sanctuaries.

If you’ve been thinking about a move to the perennially popular Lake Chapala area, this is a reminder that the next lakeside lifestyle discovery program will take place in the charming town of Ajijic during February 2023—there’s still time to register.

Immigration and residency updates

Official data and immigration qualification: If you apply for legal residency in Mexico on the basis of ‘economic solvency‘ (your income or savings/investments) the criteria that consulates and immigration offices use to make the calculations are affected by the changes in official price data, especially minimum wage, and UMA. We don’t yet know if Mexican consulates abroad will use minimum wage or UMA to make their calculations—we’ll update our relevant articles throughout January with information as it becomes available.  (Immigration offices in Mexico have been using UMA for their calculations for some while now.)

Consulate appointments: A reminder that some Mexican consulates abroad are experiencing a very high demand for residency application appointments presently so we recommend you plan in advance, and be prepared to exercise patience while waiting for your interview appointment. Our associate can assist you in finding a suitable consulate to apply at, with appointment scheduling in accordance with the policy and process in place at the consulate where you make the application.

Financial Qualification Criteria for 2023

The values of Mexico’s Minimum Wage and UMA rise on January 1st each year, and these affect the financial criteria to qualify for residency in Mexico. By mid-to-late January we will have a better idea of what the criteria will be in 2023—and whether Mexican consulates abroad continue to use Minimum Wage or adopt UMA instead.

We will update the articles about financial criteria and UMA early in the new year with the latest information.

Mexico residency articles and guides

Here are some reminders of key matters in relation to visas and residency:

Immigration Assistance

When you need assistance with your residency permit application or renewals, regularization procedures, expired permits, or troubleshooting, consider using our Mexico Immigration Assistance Service.

If you already have your visa and need help exchanging that for a residency card in Mexico, our associate offers a visa-to-card exchange assistance assistance package.

Lake Chapala lifestyle discovery program in February 2023

If you’ve been considering a move to the Lake Chapala region in Mexico, the Focus on Mexico team have announced additional dates for the 6-day “life at Lakeside” program that enables you to discover local lifestyle opportunities there and determine if the Lake Chapala area is right for your lifestyle intentions.  The next  program is taking place between February 26th and March 3rd, 2023.

Living well during winter in Mexico

Mexico offers relatively mild winter climates in many places, accompanied by crisp and bright days with springlike air temperatures even at higher elevations. Here are some articles and guides to help you make the most of the winter season in Mexico:

  • Many people arrive in Mexico to live here part-time, and our article about preparing to overwinter in Mexico offers practical advice about this.
  • Winter offers agreeable climates across Mexico, especially along the coasts, and even in the mountain highlands.
  • The occasional winter chill spells that are prevalent between November and March tend to arrive and pass swiftly.
  • January begins to reveal the effects of the dry season; we have tips for living well here when the rains are scarce.
  • Mosquitoes tend to thin out during the winter, but they can still be present in some places.  Our article about dealing with mosquitoes shares more details.
  • Regardless of the season, you’ll enjoy long daylight hours and extraordinary light in Mexico.

Lifestyles lived off the beaten path in Mexico

This coming year we intend to bring attention to some places to live in Mexico that are situated off the beaten path.  While many foreign residents enjoy and prefer to live in locations that have a well established community of existing foreign residents, we’ve noticed an increasing interest for exploring places that offer lower concentrations of expats. Some of this interest is coming from potential new foreign residents considering Mexico for living and retirement, as well as from some existing foreign residents in Mexico who are seeking a change of location and environment.

Discover Comala: In December we published an introduction to living and lifestyle in Comala, a small rural town in the state of Colima that rests between a majestic volcano and the Pacific Ocean.  Comala is a quintessential example of a charming and undiscovered town that offers authentic rural living in Mexico with a very low concentration of existing foreign residents.

Our Free eBooks help you move to, settle-in, and learn how to live well in Mexico

Whether you’re exploring options for places to live overseas, have already shortlisted or chosen Mexico as your destination, or if you’re already settling-in to new lifestyles here, our extensive library of Free eBooks about Living and Lifestyle in Mexico offers you the most complete and comprehensive information resource you’ll find anywhere online, and every eBook is free to download.

Preparing for road trips in Mexico this winter

The winter season is accompanied by a significant increase in vehicles crossing the border from the US into Mexico, as travelers take leisure journeys to escape the cooling temperatures in the north, and part-time residents return to Mexico to overwinter here.

Mexperience offers updates and links to resources that will help you to plan and enjoy your road trips across Mexico.  We recommend you get your Mexico auto insurance online before you travel using our partners, MexPro.

Get the insurance coverage you need to drive with peace of mind in Mexico

Your US or Canadian auto insurance policy will not cover you for third party liability when you’re driving in Mexico.  Mexperience is pleased to refer our readers to MexPro auto insurance, which offers comprehensive coverages valid in Mexico using English-language policies backed by a fully-licensed US insurance broker.  Get a quote online.

Finding your home in Mexico

When you’re looking for a home in Mexico, Mexperience offers a wide array of information resources and connections.

Learning Spanish this winter

If you’re arriving in Mexico to overwinter here, or planning a move to Mexico in 2023 or beyond, consider taking an online course in your spare time, or attending classes in Mexico to improve your Spanish language skills.

Plan your winter leisure tours

Whether you’re visiting Mexico for a short vacation or living here and seeking to discover more of the the country you’ve adopted as your home, a custom tour enables you to make the most of your leisure time and absorb the experience of the activity instead of grappling with the details and logistics.

Comprehensive knowledge for Mexico lifestyles

Whether you’re considering a move to Mexico, in the throes of moving here, and even if you’re already here and considering ways to reformulate your current situations, our Mexico lifestyle planning articles and eBooks provide invaluable help and local knowledge:

Sign-up to this newsletter and keep updated

If you’re not already subscribed to our Mexico Newsletter, sign-up now: it’s free and you’ll get an email each month with the latest round-up of news and opportunities.

Discovering more of Mexico

Mexperience offers extensive resources to help you discover, plan and realize your lifestyle and leisure experiences in Mexico.

Immigration and residency

Our extensive collection of articles and our free eBook, updated annually, help you to learn about what you need to acquire and maintain your legal residency in Mexico.

Immigration Assistance

When you need assistance with your residency permit application or renewals, regularization procedures, expired permits, or troubleshooting, consider using our Mexico Immigration Assistance Service.

Lifestyle planning

Our Mexico Lifestyle Planning section offers local knowledge, insights, inspiration, and ideas to help you consider choices and make your Mexico lifestyle plans.

Mexico home life

When you’ve made the move to Mexico, our Mexico Home Life section shares local knowledge, ideas, and inspiration to help you discover opportunities and settle-in well to your home and living spaces in Mexico.

Driving and road trips

Driving your own vehicle across Mexico’s extensive and well-developed road network provides an ideal way for you to explore these diverse lands and become acquainted with the local topography, the regions, the culture, and the local people in ways that no other means of transport can match.

Insurance coverages

A range of Mexico-related insurance services exist that can mitigate the effect and expense of unforeseen events and mishaps when you’re here.

Property and dwelling spaces

Our extensive articles and free eBooks share local insights and advice to help you find, settle-in and manage your home and dwelling spaces in Mexico.

Your leisure time

Whether you’re visiting Mexico or living here, there’s an abundance of travel and leisure options for you to explore and experience.

Mexico-US land border

Entering Mexico: Mexico does not require visitors to show proof of vaccination to enter the country.  Tourist permits (FMMs) and temporary import permits for vehicles (TIPs) are being issued as normal.

Entering the US from Mexico: The land border restrictions imposed by the US on visitors by land from Mexico, introduced in March 2020 due to Covid-19 have been lifted, but only for visitors who can show an approved vaccination certificate. US Citizens and US legal residents do not need to show this certificate.

Spanish language study

Learning or improving your Spanish will enhance your experiences in Mexico, if you’re visiting, and especially if you’re living here.

Mexico Assistance Services

Connect to helpful Mexico Assistance Services that enable you to realize your Mexico plans.


  • 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 our Mexico Immigration Assistance Service, that offers detailed consultancy, personalized advice, and practical help through the process.








  • Our Mexico eBooks Library offers you a collection of carefully composed eBooks with helpful insights and local knowledge about Mexico—all titles are offered as free downloads.

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