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Finding the target city
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mzuri



Joined: 30 May 2011
Posts: 75

PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2012 7:34 pm    Post subject: Finding the target city Reply with quote

Thinking to come to Mexico in September or so to find work teaching English.

Looking for guidance on which city to focus on, given these preferences:

    Climate = Summers generally no hotter than 70s; night-time lows in winter no colder than 50.
    City size = less than 1/2 million, but would really prefer less than 100k
    Student ages = adults
    City has natural or cultural interest
    Employment opportunities at private, corporate, or university venues


What I bring to the table:

    CELTA obtained in Playa del Carmen
    B.A. degree in Latin American Studies
    One year experience teaching ESL to children and adults in Georgia (Republic of)
    About 10 years experience professional development training
    SME in professional development topics, e..g customer service, leadership, conflict communication, mediation, workplace discrimination, burnout, supervision/management, business English


While I definitely want to earn enough to be self-sufficient in Mexico, the congeniality of the city is more important than the concentration of job opportunities.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts.
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Guy Courchesne



Joined: 10 Mar 2003
Posts: 9396
Location: Mexico City

PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2012 8:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cuernavaca might fit your bill well with around 350,000 people and a spring-like climate year round (might be a tad warmer than you want, but not humid). Plenty of interesting things to see and do and not bad for job opportunities.
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EFLeducator



Joined: 16 Dec 2011
Posts: 595
Location: NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS

PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2012 8:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Guy Courchesne wrote:
Cuernavaca might fit your bill well with around 350,000 people and a spring-like climate year round (might be a tad warmer than you want, but not humid). Plenty of interesting things to see and do and not bad for job opportunities.


I was told by someone that used to live with us who is from there that it is starting to get violent now. Shoot for Mexico City. That is where you'll find the most bang for your buck. Just have $4,000 to $5,000 saved because it takes a while to get set up and a lot of the schools in Mexico City WILL pay you late or not the whole amount. My experience and many teachers that I know there.

Good luck amigo and welcome to the land of opportunity! Cool
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notamiss



Joined: 20 Jun 2007
Posts: 859
Location: El 5o pino del DF

PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2012 9:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Articles in the Mexican newspapers are reporting increasing violence in Cuernavaca, more in the peripheral towns than the city.

Mexico City fits all your requisites, mzuri, except for the winter cold which gets a bit lower than you would like. On the other hand, there’s a natural balancing mechanism: winter is the dry season—rain is rare, even clouds are few—so it warms up during the day because it’s almost always sunny. It gets cold at night, but it doesn’t usually stay cold around the clock.
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MotherF



Joined: 07 Jun 2010
Posts: 1112
Location: 17°48'N 97°46'W

PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2012 9:32 pm    Post subject: Re: Finding the target city Reply with quote

mzuri wrote:
Thinking to come to Mexico in September or so to find work teaching English.


    Climate = Summers generally no hotter than 70s; night-time lows in winter no colder than 50.




That's not a realistic temperature range. Anywhere that is no hotter than 70 will be a high enough an elevation as to get quite a bit colder than 50 as an over night low in December-January.

All the cities I know that are "generally no hotter than 70". Such as Toluca, San Cristobal, Zacatecas, all get MUCH colder than 50 as an overnight low.

The city I live in has a very nice clilmate. In April and May it will get to mid 90s in the middle of the afternoon cooling to the mid 60s on those nights. Then in December and January afternoon highs are upper 60s low 70s and over-night lows are in the upper 30s--with one or two freezes a year.

I grew up in the American midwest, so I'm used to extreme weather. Sure it gets hotter than I'd like for a few weeks, and colder than I'd like for a few weeks--but that leave most of the year of pleasent weather.

I'd suggest you look into the SUNEO universities in Oaxaca--except for UMAR, UNITSMO and UNPA all of which are in hot areas. That leaves, UTM, UNSIS, UNCA, and UNSIJ all of which are located in cities under 100,000.

OR the other option is to look further south than Mexico--closer to the equator, you will find places with a smaller range of temperature, Cuenca Ecuador, or San Jose, Costa Rica perhaps?


Last edited by MotherF on Mon Apr 02, 2012 9:44 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Phil_K



Joined: 25 Jan 2007
Posts: 1820
Location: A World of my Own

PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2012 9:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Mexico City fits all your requisites, mzuri, except for the winter cold


...and a few more than 500,000 people Wink
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Guy Courchesne



Joined: 10 Mar 2003
Posts: 9396
Location: Mexico City

PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 12:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Phil_K wrote:
Quote:
Mexico City fits all your requisites, mzuri, except for the winter cold


...and a few more than 500,000 people Wink


Just a tad over... Wink

50-70-something F is a very thin range indeed...Mexico City has a narrow range but I can't think of anywhere that gets thinner. Maybe Queretaro and environs?

Quote:
I was told by someone that used to live with us who is from there that it is starting to get violent now.


That's old news, from 2009 and on a couple of headline grabbing incidents. Violence isn't the norm in that city. Very different when you actually live in Mexico...
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mzuri



Joined: 30 May 2011
Posts: 75

PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 3:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for all of the replies thus far.

So I see I'll need to widen my desired temp range. Will do.

(I also grew up in the midwest. But having just survived a l-o-n-g winter in Republic of Georgia with no central heat, where one was always almost at the point of shivering indoors, teaching in the classroom with one's coat and hat on, I am not into cold at this time.)

I'd love to live in a place like Quito, but for the next couple of years, I just need to live a little closer to the U.S. ... Quito and Cuenca - the most perfect weather in the world, I think! Quito keeps coming up for me lately, though. Maybe I need to consider it sooner rather than later.

I appreciate that many love Mexico City; I'm not interested in it or Monterrey. Living within a reasonable bus ride away from Mexico City, however, would not be a bad thing.

So I'm hearing these possibilities:

Cuernavaca
Zacatecas
Toluca
San Cristobal
Oaxaca
Queretaro


Thanks again for your helpful thoughts so far!

Also, thanks for the wry humor in this comment:

Quote:
...t is starting to get violent now. Shoot for Mexico City. That is where you'll find the most bang for your buck.
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EFLeducator



Joined: 16 Dec 2011
Posts: 595
Location: NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS

PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 2:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mzuri wrote:
Also, thanks for the wry humor in this comment:


Quote:
...t is starting to get violent now. Shoot for Mexico City. That is where you'll find the most bang for your buck.


You're welcome, amigo! Laughing

Be careful in the smaller places in Mexico. The pay gets VERY low and there is usually less government control meaning the cartels are running the show. Professional TEFLer's in Mexico need to be careful due to the lack of control in that country. I lived there for almost 15 years so my personal experience is accurate. Best of luck to you.
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jaimem-g



Joined: 21 May 2010
Posts: 85
Location: The Desert, CA

PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 6:17 pm    Post subject: Go to Oaxaca Reply with quote

I'd highly recommend Mother F's advice about the SUNEO system. The best would probably be UTM and Huajuapan de Leon - maybe a 100,000 in the metropolitan area and a very pleasant summer climate when the rainy system kicks in. All the SUNEO universities have good pay and benefits.


Cuernavaca and Queretaro would also be great but I don't know any specific job connections there.
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mzuri



Joined: 30 May 2011
Posts: 75

PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 7:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent leads on locations and organizations - thanks!

In re: university positions ... most effective to start knocking on doors after I get to Mexico or is it a good idea to begin electronic overtures beforehand?

Also, where does September fall on the continuum of best months to apply for university positions?

I'm guessing that if September isn't very realistic, I could pull together work with language schools in the area, then start laying the groundwork for the next good application window at the university?
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notamiss



Joined: 20 Jun 2007
Posts: 859
Location: El 5o pino del DF

PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 8:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The school year generally starts in mid-August.
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MotherF



Joined: 07 Jun 2010
Posts: 1112
Location: 17°48'N 97°46'W

PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2012 12:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The SUNEO institutions start their fall semester the first of October--there is a summer session that runs for 8 weeks in August and September. Some would want new hires to start the first week in August, others the last week in September depending on whether or not the teacher was needed for the summer as there are fewer classes then.
These universities are also some of the few in Mexico that hire people from abroad--most are fairly out-of-the-way and qualified English teachers don't just happen in.
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mzuri



Joined: 30 May 2011
Posts: 75

PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 2:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

An update on this thread from last year:

I took a detour for 2012/2013 and went for New Mexico instead of Old.

But am now looking forward to November 2013 to spend a year in Mexico.

The climate wish list and city-size parameters remain the same as I noted originally, but because of a desire to be within 2 hours of a bus trip from Mexico City (for ease/budget of visiting family members from the U.S.), I've eliminated Oaxaca and Zacatecas.

Toluca's elevation at 8000+ feet will make some of my visitors uncomfortable, so I'm now looking at Cuernavaca.

The other new criterion is the need for internet access that is both 1) reliable and 2) fast, as my core income will be online English teaching.

Any thoughts on bedroom communities of C'vaca's that are particularly pleasant?

And any commentary on the internet access in Cuernavaca?

Thanks!
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MotherF



Joined: 07 Jun 2010
Posts: 1112
Location: 17°48'N 97°46'W

PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2013 4:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you are mostly going to be teaching online--you can live anywhere. There are many many charming little places within a few hours of Mexico City (not necessarily two--due to TRAFFIC!)
Like, Tepoztlan, Morelos. Malinalco, Estado de Mexico, Atlixco, Puebla. I'd go to any of those three if I was in such a position myself.


OR Oaxaca City. Obviously not two hours from Mexico City, but it has an airport, which has some direct flights to Houston, so people from the US can connect there instead of Mexico City. The flights do cost a bit more than flights to/from Mexico City.

You can get high speed interent in most places nowadays. I still don't have it, but all the places I've mentioned in this post, it would not present a problem.
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