When we launched Expats In Mexico on the country’s independence day in September of last year, one of our objectives was to give our readers a real sense of what it would be like to live in the cities of Mexico where most of the expats call home.
We began with Puerto Vallarta, Lake Chapala, Guadalajara, San Miguel de Allende, Los Cabos, Cancún and Mexico City because they all have large expat communities, and lots of aspiring expats are interested in those cities.
We will be adding more cities this year that have a large or growing number of expats. Mérida is our first addition.
Known as the White City, Mérida has been attracting larger numbers of expats in recent years who are looking for a tropical climate, a culturally diverse city, proximity to the beaches of the Gulf of Mexico and historic colonial homes to renovate.
This city of over a million people got its White City nickname from the white limestone used in the construction of many of its historic buildings. As the capital of the state of Yucatán, it is the financial and cultural center of the Yucatán Peninsula.
Interestingly, Mérida often is featured on the U.S. television channel HGTV in its Househunters International show. Most of the programs are centered on expats purchasing historic or older homes for renovation. The homes are relatively inexpensive by U.S. standards and are soon transformed by expats into beautiful homes.
You may not know that Mérida has a rich Maya civilization history that predates the arrival of the Spanish by centuries. The city was built on the site of the ancient Maya city of T’hó, one of the oldest, continually-occupied cities in the Americas.
The Gran Museo del Mundo Maya in Mérida is a world-class museum celebrating Maya culture. It has a permanent collection of more than 1,100 well-preserved artifacts, including a reclining chacmool sculpture from Chichén Itzá, the well-preserved ancient Maya city just an hour and a half drive from Mérida.
And, although located in the northwestern corner of the Yucatán Peninsula, Mérida is only a half hour drive from beautiful beaches. But, be prepared to use your air conditioner a lot if you move to the White City.
Next up for our Cities section will be Mazatlán, home to many expats from the U.S., Canada and points beyond.
If you live in a city with a large and/or growing expat population and would like to see it added to our Cities list, send me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.