off-grid in mexico

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strabes's picture
strabes
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off-grid in mexico

Wondering if anybody has experience/knowledge of Mexico living?  

Jesse Ventura lives off-grid on the Baja but temps there are in the 90s and it's a desert so I think it would be a bad place for sustainable living.  The benefit is that it has great surfing!

I was looking at San Miguel de Allende which has mild temps year round and cooler evenings sort of like monterey CA weather. Anybody know about water/solar down there?  The problem with the town is that it's been a bit of an expat destination for 20 years so it's lost some originality.  But originality isn't one of the priorities for sustainable living.  

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that1guy
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Re: off-grid in mexico

You know, I have been thinking heavily on the same topic. Not necessarily Mexico (but now that you say that, it is definitely a thought), but where to get my dual citizenship....where would have the best possibility of sustainable living where my son's future wouldn't be completely taxed away....

Is Mexico the only place on your list?

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jerrydon10
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Re: off-grid in mexico

strabes wrote:

Wondering if anybody has experience/knowledge of Mexico living?  

Jesse Ventura lives off-grid on the Baja but temps there are in the 90s and it's a desert so I think it would be a bad place for sustainable living.  The benefit is that it has great surfing!

I was looking at San Miguel de Allende which has mild temps year round and cooler evenings sort of like monterey CA weather. Anybody know about water/solar down there?  The problem with the town is that it's been a bit of an expat destination for 20 years so it's lost some originality.  But originality isn't one of the priorities for sustainable living.  

San Miguel is a wonderful little city with gorgeous architecture and cobble stone streets. I have spent time there. And the cost of living is ridiculously low compared to U.S. standards.

Many people (hotel clerks.....etc.) speak English and there is an English newspaper. It is an expat destination especially for gays. But I feel the flavor is still there. My kid was disgusted when he ordered a glass of milk with yellow things floating in it. And later we observed milk being delivered to the restaurants via milk cans stretched over the back of a donkey.

the Jardin (kind of like a town square, here) is always busy with events, cute dancing little girls in indiginous costumes will entertain you and the locals will talk your head off.They are very friendly to Americans.

I suppose solar would be better there than most places here. But watch your pocket book. Many waitresses and gas station attendents tried to rip us off.

Yes, we drove there.....lol...Won't make that mistake again......People would honk at us when we stopped at red lights. They don't seem to care about all those silly traffic laws down there.

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Davos
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Re: off-grid in mexico

I looked into Mexico and read you can't buy land there....Also a lot written about corruption (like our beltway can't be a septic system at times)

strabes's picture
strabes
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Re: off-grid in mexico

davos, I think that's only on the coast...there is some sort of imminent domain for coastal property.  yeah the corruption is intense. but I'd rather have ragtag criminal/govt/drug cartel/anarchist corruption than tyranny/control.  I've heard from people down there that if the police ever tried a systemic crackdown, they're so lame that the armed renegades would beat the government.

that1guy, I've considered a lot of other places but proximity to the US has become important for me.  costa rica and canada are the only others I'm considering now because the other places I've considered (new zealand, australia, switzerland and some of the countries surrounding s africa) are too far away.

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Farmer Brown
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Re: off-grid in mexico

I have a friend from Louisianna that lives there. He owns his own house in Guadalajara, so property ownership does not seem to be an issue.  Here in CR you cannot buy anything within 150 meters of the high tide (which, get this, is the height of the water when it touches a horses belly - which still doesn't really tell me where the line is supposed to be!) so maybe they have a similar silly law there for coastal property.  Perhaps they use the belly of some other animal.  Who knows.  In any case, there are still coastal properties.  It's just that technically, the land belongs "to the people" i.e., the government, so you sign 20-yr leases with the local jurisdiction.  There are a few beaches that were grandfathered in before this law, but not many.

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jerrydon10
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Re: off-grid in mexico

You can own property in Mexico. As an estate planner, I often run into people who have property in Mexico in the form of a vacation home or a time-share. This always presents a problem as Mexican property can only be passed to the next generation through a Mexican originated will or trust.

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Ken C
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Re: off-grid in mexico

jerrydon10 wrote:

You can own property in Mexico. As an estate planner, I often run into people who have property in Mexico in the form of a vacation home or a time-share. This always presents a problem as Mexican property can only be passed to the next generation through a Mexican originated will or trust.

It is my understanding that the rule about property ownership in Mexico is that only Mexican citizens may own property within 50 Miles (maybe KM) of the ocean. It is apparently OK for foreigners to own inland property.

I personally would never move there because of the security and corruption issues but there are people that like it.

Ken

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tx_floods
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Re: off-grid in mexico

Strabes - This is my opinion, and worth exactly what you paid for it. We live in El Paso, TX - Across the border from Juarez, Mexico. While I cannot say that the cartel violence has impacted my family directly, we read about it almost every day in the local newspaper. With that being said, I acknowledge that border cities like Juarez, Tijuana, Matamoros, etc. experience higher rates of violence than inland cities, due to the fact that whoever controls the corridors wins the trafficking game. So, San Miguel, et al, may be perfectly safe. But, it's important to note that these people are animals, their behavior surpasses a new bottom that's hard to imagine in humanity. Heads with no bodies, bodies with no heads, bodies cut up and placed in barrels and soaked in lye to make them un-identifiable, kidnappings, missing people, etc.

It is my opinion that the Mexican Gov't has totally lost control, and the cartels have more authority and power as a whole than does the Gov't. The entire system is corrupt from top to bottom, imo. I used to have a daydream that I'd go live like a Boemian hippie on the Baja someday, but after living in El Paso for a couple of years, I'm pretty well cured of that dream! Again, just my thoughts. The towns and communities in the interior of the country may be different.

I also want to note that now the officials are finally admitting the violence has crossed the border. A murder, earlier this week, in El Paso, was linked to the Juarez Cartel. It was only a matter of time, and the info from the PTB is suspect. That's the only incident they've admitted to. All of the locals seem to 'know' that many of the cartel personnel live on this side of the river. Makes one wonder.

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JAG
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Think Big Island

If your looking for a good place to live a self-reliant lifestyle, think Big Island of Hawaii, Strabes.

  • Its kind of the States, but kind of not too
  • Good soil, good rainfall (in places), so you could grow pretty much anything
  • You can fish for protein.
  • Don't expect to get a job, especially if your a Haole....but if you have a skill, you could eek out a living.
  • Many communities already use household solar and rainwater catchment systems.
  • Of all the Hawaiian islands, the Big Island would probably fair pretty well in a TSHTF event.
  • Most Isolated place on earth, geographically speaking., which has its advantages and disadvantages.
  • Good Surfing !

Just a thought.

As a Texan, I would have to agree with Flood's perception of the dangers of Mexico.

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CaboJim
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Re: off-grid in mexico

I live on the beach off grid in Baja California Sur in an area called Cerritos. 35 miles north of Cabo San Lucas. Not so bad. Solar, propane refrigeration, 3G wireless internet and Dishnet to keep up with world events. My water is trucked in. $50 per month. I tried to find a large propane refigerator and couldn't down here. Now I import them from the US to Mexico and sell them as aside business. I lived off the grid in Topanga Canyon near Los Angeles for years. Not very hard to do if you have an understanding spouse.

tx_floods's picture
tx_floods
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Re: off-grid in mexico

CaboJim - After reading your post, I retract my earlier assessment of Mexico. You are my HERO! I wish I had the cojones 20 years ago to do what you've done! Maybe I can resurrect that dream one day!

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gary1
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Re: off-grid in mexico

Wanting to know what area Jesse Ventura resides in near Cabo?

ron45's picture
ron45
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Re: off-grid in mexico

Speaking of large propane refers..... I'm in New Mexico two hours north of El Paso, and have a large Servel two door ranch refrigerator and one with only one door both propane. Like to sell both. Neither are in mint condition. The large one I haven't used, Just hooked up a propane tank up to it before I bought and it was getting cold the next day when I went back.

To anyone considering living south of the border I'd look in to Paraguay and Uruguay. Not as homey as S M de Allende maybe but these are both quiet agricultural countries and very beautiful with plenty of mountainous terrain where the weather is cooler. Should be a cinch to catch rain water. A friend was looking to living there and checked a whole lot of issue with these two places and traveled in both. He gave glowing reports of the people and locations. Also once you are established as a local in any country people won't be trying to rip you off. There was nothing wrong with the interior of Mexico when I spent time there years ago. Rural people are pretty nice everywhere. As long as you don't get into relusion or politics.

Off Grid in New Mexico,

Ron

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ekellyw
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Re: off-grid in mexico

I have been living in Mexico for 10 months. I bought a property here (yes you absolutely can buy property here). I am in Central Mexico, in the desert and mountains and it is great for sustainable living. Yes, San Miguel is full of Americans, and I just saw this forum by accident while checking my google advertising online this morning. I have two businesses in a town 40 minutes from San Miguel, one a stone villa for rent beginning March 2011 and the other a real estate business selling gorgeous historic land form 5 acre parcels and larger. I am working with a Mexican architect to pave the way for like-minded people to invest and develop a sustainable community, building with the vernacular of the area in stone and adobe, water catchment from roof and above ground cisterns, patented solar ovens and stove, grey water use, black water filtration instead of septic and/or compost toilets, recycling water use, a combination of solar panels and wind turbine energy, gardens of fruits, vegetables, trees, cellars instead of refrigeration and consciousness for great quality of life supporting the local community. There are ways to work with all energy needs and for solar and wind there is no better place to be. It takes very focused thinking and research around "water supply" and pioneering this now, is necessary. I encourage all people to begin to look at what we take for granted because inside the next ten years water is going to be in short  to no supply. This is the next wave of our future, like it or not. By the way, I am from Minnesota, and when I found out Jesse was here living off the grid, I was not at all shocked. Smart, out spoken, and daring; happy to see people with influence leading by example. This part of Mexico has great weather and captivating architecture, scenery, and proximity to all great communities in Mexico. Not to mention food, veggies and fruit at a fraction of the cost as in the US, right across the street. (My land is not yet planted)

www.OfftheGridGetaway.com   or   www.VillaCasaMontana.com

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Gottagetoutofhere
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Posts: 1
Mexican Citizenship?

How ironic, an American citizen interested in Mexican Citizenship. Is there such a thing and what is the process to live permanently in Mexico?

Also, would like to blog with someone residing in San Miguel de Allende...anyone out there? Could assist in bringing needed goods of interest there upon arrival anticipated in June, July, or August of 2011. Thanks

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