Live or Retire in Mexico: Neighbors

Live or Retire in Mexico: Connect with your Neighbors

Neighborliness is one of the nicest things about living in Mexico.  It is one of the main reasons to choose to live or retire in Mexico.

Neighborliness is Fun

Our neighbors are present for the little things such as laundry and purchasing tortillas. Chatting through the fence while I’m hanging clothes on the line makes laundry a social event — which is a great improvement over how it was before we moved to Mexico.  

Walking to the corner together to buy tortillas breaks the monotony and gives me a chance to get an update from my neighbor on the latest, which ranges from upcoming cultural events to hot sales at the grocery store.  

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Good Mexican Neighbors Help Out

My husband is building a box from scrap wood. As soon as Don Manuel heard the sound of the skill saw, he moseyed over to help out. My husband, who is skilled in the Mexican art of hospitality, quickly pulled out the beers and a plate of lemons and salt.  

The first two days our neighbor showed up, my husband made little progress on his box. He wondered out loud what he was going to do with Don Manuel, who wanted to make too many suggestions. The focus had shifted from the project to hospitality. So far neighborliness was slowing him down.

Today he was not going to be slowed down. I peeked outside and saw Don Manuel and he bent over the boards they were cutting, Don Manuel holding the board as my husband slid the skill saw through it. The next time I peeked out, Don Manuel wasn’t there. Later, I looked out again and they were both leaning over Don Manuel’s red chop saw! The lid of the box ended up being framed with mitered corners, a quality touch that couldn’t have been done without a chop saw.

“Planning” to Connect with Your Neighbors When You Live or Retire in Mexico

Our neighbors celebrate holidays with us, loan us tools, and keep us informed on infrastructure, such as whether or not the municipal water has been turned on. Their attention and generosity provides us with a safety net and source of fun.

When you Live or Retire in Mexico, how can you set yourself up so that you can enjoy Mexico’s neighborliness?  Mexicans interact with people with whom they are in regular contact.  You have to be available.

Be sure to say hello to people.  Beyond that, the type of house and community that you live in when you come to live or retire in Mexico effects your connection to your neighbors. Instead of a wall and solid gate, the entrance to our house is a chain-link fence. It doesn’t create a barrier between us and others. The neighbors can see us when we are outside. We don’t have privacy in our front yard, but we do have lots of opportunities to strike up conversations.

You can choose housing that allows you to see and talk to your neighbors. If you aren’t quite trusting enough to have a see-through fence, you could try a gated community that is open once you get inside.  

Also when you first live or retire in Mexico, remind yourself to make an effort at neighborliness. Give away plates of cookies. Stop and chat. Break out the beers or lemonade. If someone is unloading a truck, show up with your sleeves rolled up. If someone is sweeping, come out with your broom and dust pan. Mexico is the perfect place to enjoy neighborliness.

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