Frequently Asked Questions
WHAT ABOUT CRIME…… IS MERIDA SAFE?
Violent crimes in Mexico are very rare and Merida and the Yucatan are considered by most people to be one of the safest places on earth to live. In Merida, you can walk down any street in Centro day or night without worrying about purse snatching or muggings.
WHY? First there is a different philosophy of law and order. The Mexican approach is based on the Napoleonic Code rather than English Common Law. Therefore, instead of being innocent until proven guilty, a person must prove their innocence or take the penalty. Thus, people in Mexico tend to be more careful and concerned in their dealings with others and in their behavior.
A second factor (especially in the Yucatan) is that it is primarily a family and community oriented society and there is very little juvenile crime and delinquency. For example: on weekends, instead of the youth driving around, drinking and looking for trouble; they go to many of Merida´s town squares with their parents and family. In Merida, you can see teenagers escorting their Grandparents and even dancing with them in the Zocolo.
In addition, neighbors (both Mexican and foreigner) watch out for each other and keep an eye on each other´s property while they are away from home.
CAN I EAT THE FOOD WITHOUT GETTING SICK?
In Merida, you can find a wide variety of restaurants from fast food to five star. Merida also has a huge number of street vendors…all of which are safe. I have been in Merida for over two years and have never once been sick. However, I would personally recommend drinking bottled water.
Merida has a large variety of grocery stores and many local market places with tremendous selections of fresh fruits, vegetables and produce that truly make shopping a pleasant experience. The Mexican climate provides year round growing so that berries, melons, mangos, pineapples, avocados, bananas, lettuce, squash, etc. are picked for the market when fresh and are delicious.
WHAT ABOUT PETS AND VETS?
Dogs and cats with a veterinarian´s certificate indicating updated immunizations can be brought into Mexico without any quarantine. The vets in Merida are all well trained, inexpensive and even make house calls at no added cost. Those of us at Mayan Living have a combined total of seven cats and four dogs and we all like our vets and would be more than happy to give you their phone numbers. My vet also has a service that will pick up my dog, bath her, clip her and return her safely home for $12 US.
WHAT ABOUT AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE?
If you bring your car from the States or Canada (using your tourist visa or your FM3), you must have insurance. We have one car we brought from the States and one we purchased in Mexico. Insurance for our vehicle from the States costs about $200 a year for full coverage and has to be purchased from the States. The insurance on the Mexican car was purchased in Merida and is slightly higher. We would be more than happy to recommend both agencies.
WHY IS MERIDA CALLED THE WHITE CITY?
There are probably three reasons why it is called the White City: (1) the inhabitants generally wear white guayaberas, huipilles and Panama hats, (2) there is a white lime mixture that is used to spread on most of the roof tops to make them watertight and (3) the cleanliness of the city. The streets, plazas and parks are generally cleaned every day.
CAN YOU TELL ME MORE ABOUT THE HISTORY OF MERIDA?
Merida, the colonial capital of the Yucatan was founded by Francisco de Montejo (a Spaniard) in 1542. When the Spanish arrived, they conquered the Mayan city of T´ho or Ichcansiho, tore down the pyramids and used the huge stones to build the foundation for the Cathedral of San Idelfonso. The Spaniards enslaved the Indians and built grand houses, offices and cathedrals. Merida became the capital, trade center and seat of civil and religious authority of the Peninsula. The Indians finally rebelled in the 1840´s ( the Caste War).
WHAT IS MERIDA LIKE TODAY?
Merida today has about 950,000 residents and is a very cosmopolitan city with Mayan and Spanish descendants and is an extremely cultural city with many museums, libraries, theaters, numerous universities, etc. The economy that was once based on the henequen industry is now based on tourism, agriculture and fishing plus Merida´s export business is increasing every day. Some of the items exported are honey, sisal rope, petroleum products, hammocks, fine jewelry, concentrated orange juice, fish etc.
Residents call Merida "the Paris of the West" because of it´s tree lined boulevards, colonial mansions and estates of the henequen barons of the 1800¨s. There are many things to see in and around Merida. It is an easy drive from Merida to beaches, Mayan ruins, haciendas, etc. One of the nicest things about Merida is its people. The Yucatecan people are hospitable, honest, easygoing, hard working and make wonderful neighbors.
DOES MERIDA HAVE GOOD MEDICAL AND DENTAL FACILITIES?
YES! Merida has numerous hospitals that are staffed by well trained physicians, most of whom were trained in the United States. The hospitals in Merida are considered among the best in Mexico. Wonderful, inexpensive dental work is also available in Merida. Many Americans and Canadians have been taking advantage of this for years. Also within the past five years, a growing number of Americans and Canadians have been coming to Merida for plastic surgery. We would be more than happy to refer you to competent doctors, dentists and plastic surgeons in Merida.
HOW MUCH SHOULD I TIP?
Tipping varies from place to place and depending on what the services is, the following is a general rule to follow:
- hotel and guest house help…. at least 10 pesos ($1 US) per day
- strolling musicians…. 40 to 50 pesos
- parking attendants….. 5 to 6 pesos
- bag boys and girls at the grocery store…. 5 to 6 pesos
- gas station attendants….. 5 to 6 pesos….YES, gas stations are still full service in Merida
- Extra tips for exceptional service are always welcomed and appreciated
WHY USE A REAL ESTATE COMPANY WHEN BUYING PROPERTY IN MEXICO?
Mayan Living Real Estate is registered Mexican corporation S.A. de C.V. and has been successfully in business for over 10 years.
At Mayan Living, we strictly follow a Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice that promote the fair, ethical and honest treatment of all parties in a transaction. Real estate transactions involve one of the biggest financial investments most people experience in their lifetime, and we take that very seriously.
We highly recommend that you work with established professionals and legal counsel when considering any investment in real estate in Mexico. When you purchase with us you can be certain that our notaries and lawyers conduct a proper title search, review all property documents and will work to protect your interests as a buyer.
That said, our team will take you step-by-step through the buying or selling process and we make ourselves available to you 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can count on us to follow though on every aspect of the transaction.
In addition,we offer a Bilingual Concierge service that will assist you in getting power, water and telephone service, provide translation services, and will help you in finding and purchasing whatever you need to make the transition to your new home.
Mayan Living Real Estate is also here to assist you in the property selection process by providing objective information about each property. We can also provide local community information on utilities, hospitals, schools, etc.
When selling your home, Mayan Living Real Estate provides up-to-date information on the market and trends in the area, through comparable properties on the market and what has recently sold. These are key factors in pricing your property correctly and maximizing the resale value of your home. Mayan Living Real Estate markets your property to thousands of potential international clients through our extensive website, local contacts and advertising.
In summary, let Mayan Living Real Estate assist you in the purchase of your new home or in selling your home in the Yucatan! Let our years of experience work for you in attaining your Yucatan dream or selling your property. Our guarantee is that we at Mayan Living Real Estate will be with you every step of the way!