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Things Are Looking Up in Oaxaca  

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Streets of colonial town
Credits: Madrugada Verde | Adobe Stock images

Things are looking up in Oaxaca.  I had only been back in Puerto Escondido for about 48 hours after my recent trip to the U.S. before I sold a very beautiful beach house to an American planning to relocate from Oklahoma. I’m happy to say that the pandemic has not slowed down interest in Mexico real estate.

Currently, I am working with a client relocating from Arizona who can manage his business online. Oaxaca City has very good Internet service. You can get a 100 MBPS connection, which is faster than a lot of places in the U.S. offer.

The pandemic has not slowed the real estate market in this part of the country. They come for the beautiful temperate climate that requires neither heating nor air conditioning, 4,000 years of a very rich culture exemplified best by the historical Monte Albán site, insignificant property taxes, very inexpensive domestic services and top-notch private medical care for the price of an average deductible. And of course, Oaxaca’s world-renowned cuisine.

And if that’s not enough to interest you, our city was just named by the readers of Travel + Leisure magazine as the world’s #1 destination!

The pandemic has struck Mexico almost as hard as the U.S., but we are hoping all of the museums, libraries, and other cultural attractions will reopen soon.  Hotels and restaurants have been open for a couple of weeks and things are returning to normal.  Oaxacans have been great about practicing social distancing and wearing masks. Anecdotally, I can say that at least 95 percent of the people I see have masks on.

Also, the churches are finally reopening, so I was able to enjoy a Mass recently at Nuestra Señora de Soledad for the first time since March.  We also have an Episcopal Church congregation as well as a Buddhist group, Bahia, Mormons and pretty much whatever spiritual expression one might be interested in.

As the pandemic recedes, I am very much looking forward to public concerts resuming. We have a wonderful classical music scene here with several small ensembles, as well as the Camarata, which is a superb chamber music group.

If climate is important to you, Oaxaca is known for wonderful weather. We have dry and rainy seasons, typical of the tropical latitude. Our secret, though, is Oaxaca’s elevation. Like Denver, Colorado we are about a mile high, which provides us with mild weather year-round. Our rainy season begins around the end of May and lasts until late October. From the beginning of November until the next rainy season begins, we receive no rain except for a few brief showers in February and March.  As we say, Febrero loco Marzo un poco, or February is crazy and March a little.

By the way, I mentioned that medical care is excellent in Oaxaca. For example, I recently paid my annual IMSS (a public healthcare program in Mexico that expats as temporary or permanent residents can use if they enroll) medical insurance premium.  It is the equivalent of US$550 for the year.  Comprehensive coverage includes prescription medications with no deductibles and no co-insurance. I am assigned to an excellent primary care clinic that I am encouraged to visit monthly because I take blood pressure and cholesterol medication.  Once you are insured, the coverage is renewable and non-cancelable. I am covered for emergencies at IMSS clinics and hospitals all over Mexico.  My experience with IMSS has been wonderful.

Our wonderful Oaxaca Lending Library also has reopened for check-out and check-in of books only.  Hopefully we will be back in full operation in the not too distant future.  The library has over 20,000 books in English as well as a very interesting collection in Spanish.  I am vice-president until February 2021 when I will automatically become president for one year.

Oaxaca is a great place to live or visit. We’re open for business again and I look forward to seeing you soon!

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