There are vast differences, however many similarities between the way of life in Mexico and the United States. It varies widely, depending on the socioeconomic status of the cities and it’s residents within them. Some other factors that influence daily life include but are not limited to: gender, racial perceptions, ethnicity, and regional factors. Mexico is a huge country, and in turn, life in one part of the country can seem like a completely different world from another. There are peasants and farmers in the jungles of the state of Yucatan, who live completely different lives from a successful businessman in Mexico City or Guadalajara.
There are many Mexicans who have spent time living in the US, who return to Mexico with more American ways of life. This often has an influence on the daily life in the centers of Mexican metropolitan cities. Even in a big city, lifestyles can vary greatly, from those who live in more trendy parts of the city, as opposed to the outskirts. You can quickly go from a modernized lifestyle, to rustic, in the matter of a few blocks. Most people speak Spanish, however in some popular expat-areas, there are large English-speaking populations. However, most Mexicans in cities can speak enough English to help you with directions, or to have a short conversation, as they teach English in most public schools.
One trait that stays pretty consistent throughout Mexico, is it’s slower pace. People stroll along streets, instead of shuffling by like in cities such as Los Angeles, or New York. If you need paperwork done at, say, a federal building, you will not see people rushing through the halls or typing frantically at their keyboards. They will welcome you to sit down at their desk, ask how your day has been, and after you’ve conversed a bit, then they will present you with the required paperwork. This isn’t because of laziness, but rather because they seem to value social encounters.
Family is very important in Mexico, if not the most important. Some families work, play, and go to church together, and have no qualms about it. They will do anything it takes to support and give a good life to their families. Abandoning family members is very rarely heard of, and as religion is so prevalent in the country, it is viewed as one of the worst things you can do. Mexicans will consistently surprise you by their hospitality. It is not rare to be sitting at their family dinner table within 24 hours of initially meeting them. Mexicans are very curious about foreigners, and this is no exception with their northern neighbors. They will do everything they can to make you feel comfortable and love to learn more about you and your experiences.
In terms of safety, Mexico is no more dangerous than living in any other global city. Although there are issues with drug-related crimes, it is publicized much more in the States, than other countries’ crimes. As previously mentioned, Mexico is a very large country. In fact, it’s estimated to be roughly the same size as all of Western Europe. Out of Mexico’s 31 states, the majority of organized crime murders have taken place in only three (Chihuahua, Tamaulipas, and Nuevo Leon). None of these states are located near popular tourist/expat locations. When was the last time you heard of an American expat or tourist being murdered? As long as you don’t buy or sell drugs, you will be just fine.
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