Jul 30, 2011

A million Gringos

edited and revised, Aug 3
I keep reading about a million gringos living in Mexico, and keep scratching my head about where they are all hiding.
Presuming that all foreigners in Mexico have a Visa, I come up with a figure considerably less.
In 2010, Mexican immigration reported 64,399 residency visas (FM2&3) issued to what they call North Americans: US, Canada & Bermuda. About 18% were issued to Canadians.

Visas issued in 2010 
                               FM3   FM3   FM2   FM2 
                Issue renew Issue renew  Total       %     
US & Canada     12388 39876  4774  7361  64399  31.40% 
Europe           8945 12963  3545  6977  32430  15.81% 
Others          17480 41015 17861 31889 108245  52.78% 
Total           38813 93854 26180 46227 205074 100.00% 

Veracruz all     1299  1995   569  1041   4904   2.39% 
probable US & Canada based on 31.4%       1520

Source: http://www.inm.gob.mx/index.php/page/Documentacion_y_Legal_2010

Two figures need to be added:
Imigrados, those that went beyond their visa requirements, were 639 "North Americans" last year. 
Let's say there are 10 thousand of those.  And then there are those that took the final step and obtained Mexican citizenship. I'll add another 5000 and am now up to 80 thousand, less 18% Canadians, for a total of 66 thousand plus the 65399 on residence visas.

Of course there are the 6 month border trekkers on tourist visas. How many? Anyone's guess! Maybe 50 thousand in Baja and another 100 thousand in the rest of Mexico. And then, of course, there are the snowbirds who show up for 3-4 months. Make them another 100 thousand.
Now I am at 316 thousand.

Now here comes the whammy:
The most important of the million gringo mentions comes from the US State Department
"a million American citizens live in Mexico" http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/35749.htm 

And that is more or less documented  by INEGI, the Mexican statistical agency, which reported 738,103
inhabitants as being born in the US as of the 2010 census. 
http://www3.inegi.org.mx/sistemas/TabuladosBasicos/Default.aspx?c=27302&s=est (click migraciòn)

To extrapolate how many of those would qualify as having been former US full time residents, is fraught with issues that border on racism and others.
Anyway of those 738,103 my presumed 316 thousand need to be deducted, because presumably they were also counted in the census.  
Of the remaining 417 thousand, I'll stick my head out and assume that most of those US citizens living in Mexico think of themselves as Mexicans, and I'll throw in 50 thousand as a fop to add to the total of US gringos living in Mexico.

To sum up, aside from bona fide tourists, I think, that at any one time there are less than 400 thousand US gringos either full or part time retired or working in Mexico. And that is on the high side and does not substantiate that Mexico is a significant choice as a retirement haven for those living in the US.

Jul 27, 2011

Catemaco video

About the extorsion of brujos, fat monkeys and the growth of ecotourism.

Jul 24, 2011

Catemaco Tourism is going down the tubes -9

You thought I forgot about the "Tubes"? WRONG
It's just that I seem to have more exciting things to do.
But you can read a draft here:

Meanwhile the photo is from a recent exhibition at city hall, and should accompany a fantasy article of the pre -hispanic history of Catemaco. In Spanish, of course.

Jul 17, 2011

La Punta of Catemaco

Take a look at the side of Catemaco City that most tourists never see:

from the bus station north to the Gorel restaurant (not the one on the Malecon)

Jul 7, 2011

Catemaco Pepper

Ever tried finding a decent pepper mill in Mexico?  After umpteen years of living with third rate substitutes, my good friend the Fool on the Hill, presented me what according to him was a marvel of German engineering.

For a while it worked great and  permeated my kitchen with the smell of fresh ground lemon pepper imported by the "Fool" from who knows where. The little marvel bit the dust, or should I say ground, a year or so back, and the Fool promptly replaced it with something that would satisfy an elephant in search of a dildo.

Today I made the mistake of  returning the original mill to the Fool, in case he needed spare parts.
He promptly proceeded to lecture me: 

"It is common knowledge among we pepper mill history buffs, that the Zassenhaus Pepper Mill has been around for ages and has been long considered the best. Actually, the mill was invented by a Swede living in Hamburg, who named the mill after his amigo “Hans Julius Zassenhaus”. This occurred just after the invention of Germans (also by Swedes), and in anticipation of the invention of pepper – by Swedes.
Sometime after I bought my original Zassenhaus Mill, many years ago, and prior to purchasing your mill, the Swedes relinquished their time honored right to technical production supervision (They did this after tiring of replacing millions of the little screw-type caps on the mills that the Germans kept losing.) Some German then took it upon himself to replace the metal gears with plastic (undoubtedly a German invention) gears. This accounts for your dysfunctional mill. Is strikes me as most apropos that you, a German, were the first in Mexican history to suffer a dysfunctional Zassenhaus mill.
"Du gamla, Du fria . . . Ja, jag vill leva, jag vill dö i Norden. . . . "

I'll be damned if I accept any more pepper mills from a Fool of Swedish ancestry!

Jul 6, 2011

Catemaco Aquarium

Catemaco is not just famous for its brujos and disappearing fauna and flora. Thousands of aquarium hobbyists  keep a piece of Catemaco in their tanks. Best know are the Catemaco Molly and  the Catemaco Platy. The video is of a rare Catemaco species, only discovered/described in 2003  Xiphophorus kallmani, a livebearing swordtail.

Jul 1, 2011

Catemaco Celebration of the Virgen del Carmen

July 14 - 24, 2011 - Catemaco
See the entire program here: (in Spanish)