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Going to Guadalajara

 
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Is Guadalajara a good place for fun and excitement & a nice lifestyle?
Yes
40%
 40%  [ 2 ]
I've lived in better places, but it's not the worst
60%
 60%  [ 3 ]
No, it's awful
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
Total Votes : 5

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EllenLowery



Joined: 12 Jan 2003
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2003 6:14 pm    Post subject: Going to Guadalajara Reply with quote

My husband and I are planning to visit Guadalajara in March 2003 as a sort of scouting mission in preparation for moving there next September. We both have TEFL certs and experience teaching, and by Sept. I'll have US certification. If we like Guadalajara as much as we expect to, we hope to find teaching jobs there. Can anyone with info. or experience in Guad. please write with advice?? When we're there in March we'd like to meet expats and collect info - what are good bars, etc. to hit? And how is the job situation there, or the housing options? Has anyone brought a dog from the US to live there? Does anyone have opinions on good employers? Any and all thoughts are appreciated. Thanks!! Ellen (Loweryportland@hotmail.com)
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ZIA!



Joined: 13 Jan 2003
Posts: 40

PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2003 4:55 am    Post subject: Guadalajara and taking your dog Reply with quote

We used to take our dog with us to Guadalajara. All we needed was proof of rabies vacination from the vet. Sometimes in fact at the agricultural checkpoints the guys really had fun looking at our dog because he was so cute. They never actually asked for papers...but he was wearing his tags. Also dog grooming is quite cheap in Guadalajara. Las Fuentes is a little on the outskirts of Guad and is nice but somewhat expensive. La Universidad area is near the WalMart/Sams Club is a pretty nice neighborhood. There are some gated communities and such there...which can be helpful because there is a bit of a problem with residential burlgaries. Driving in Guad can be nerve wracking at times but you get the hang of it! I did it all the time....Outside of Guadalajara is Lake Chapala with all the snowbirds and retirees so you can always go there to meet expats. Hope this helps some. I do know that the best paying jobs I found in Guad...were at Bilingual private schools and that was about 8,000 pesos a month in 2000. Hope this helps....we found that as a couple without a flamboyant lifestyle we lived quite well on 1000 US per month....
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dan allan



Joined: 15 Jan 2003
Posts: 38

PostPosted: Sat Jan 18, 2003 4:41 am    Post subject: Guadalajara vs Mexico City Reply with quote

I've lived in both places. Guad has very nice weather. Pay is low. Vancouver Lang Cen always seems to be hiring, about 40 pesos to start.
I prefer DF, and they is always work here if Guad does'nt pan out.
By the way, does anyone know the email for the Teacher Training Institutes in Guad? I'd appreciate that info.
danallanmx@yahoo.ca
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desultude



Joined: 19 Jan 2003
Posts: 614

PostPosted: Sun Jan 19, 2003 2:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I second what Dan said. Guadalajara is nice, and the weather is good. But Mexico City is wonderful. It is a great city with more art per square meter than Paris (I may exagerate) and the pay is good. Best of all, most English teachers seem to be scared to go there, so there is lots of work. Remember, most Americans are afraid of New York City, too, and it is one of the great cities of the world. Guadalajara is like Portland- a safer bet, maybe, and definitely nice and pretty, but are you traveling the world to see Portland?

Hi Dan, The number for ITTO is 3658 3224. Hope things are going well. Ask for Christopher Hart.
J.
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EllenLowery



Joined: 12 Jan 2003
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2003 1:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks guys for the info. I imagine we'll learn a lot just through experience in Mexico, anyway. As far as the differences between Mexico City & Guadalajara, my take on it is this: We're from a small town in Maine (not a larger town in Oregon, as you may have thought) and frankly just being beyond Maine is an adventure for us. Also, we spent all last year in the crowded filth of Bangkok. I wouldn't change a thing, but the idea of living in a clean and organized, albeit somewhat tame city, appeals to me. We will definitely visit Mexico City though, and who knows. Thank you again for all the input, and my dog thanks you too.
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speakeasy



Joined: 27 Jan 2003
Posts: 2
Location: Queretaro, QRO, Mexico

PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2003 2:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can only offer some very genral advice since I haven't been here long, but here are a few things to consider.
I live in Queretaro, which isn't far from Guad.
Definitely decide ahead of time what kind of arrangement you are looking for, and don't be afraid to ask many probing questions. My job is with a private adult school, which is run very much like a business. The students are fantastic people, and the company treats them well, but the materials are not terribly avante-gard. If you want to be able to plan your own lessons and topics, a prep or university would be a better choice. If on the other hand, you just want to be handed an assignment, and not be bothered with planning or thinking of new things to do, a private school with a canned curriculum might be your thing.
Personally, I have been here a month and I am already suffocatingly bored, because I know I am capable of so much more.
I am told that my wage of 40 pesos an hour is quite competetive, but I have recently learned that people with connections are making in the range of 70. If I had it to do over again, I would be much more bold about asking for more! The Bajio region is one of the most prosperous parts of Mexico, and has a compartively high level of education. I live decently, but with no savings, in a very nice neighborhood on $700 a month.
The best times to find jobs are august and january, but if you know where to look, there will always be something, because people tend to move around once they get their bearings.
Best of Luck,
Natalie
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Brenda



Joined: 13 Feb 2003
Posts: 48
Location: Montreal, Canada

PostPosted: Mon Feb 17, 2003 2:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Natalie,

Tell me, what's it like in Queretaro? I worked for a year in Leon, Guanajuato and I liked it very much, made a lot of lasting friends and plan on returning to Mexico for the end of March 2003. I'm positively obsessed with Mexico, its people, language and culture and would like to hear your point of view about your area, its people, lifestyle and more about working conditions.

Thanks!

Brenda
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Ben Round de Bloc



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Posts: 1946

PostPosted: Mon Feb 17, 2003 12:17 pm    Post subject: Questions for Natalie/speakeasy Reply with quote

I'm confused. You said you earn 40 pesos per hour (before or after taxes?) and live on $700 per month. Is that 700 pesos or 700 U.S. dollars? I can't imagine living anywhere in Mexico in a nice neighborhood on 700 pesos per month, unless the cost of living is incredibly low where you are. You must teach a heavy load of classes at 40 pesos per hour to earn 700 dollars a month.
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Brenda



Joined: 13 Feb 2003
Posts: 48
Location: Montreal, Canada

PostPosted: Mon Feb 17, 2003 1:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ben,

Yeah, Natalie probably works a lot of hours as you suggested. It may be so in order for her to make ends meet or that's the sort of contrat she agreed to. I don't think her message was all that confusing. You and I have both worked in Mexico and I for one didn't think she was referring to 700 pesos per month.
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Ben Round de Bloc



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Posts: 1946

PostPosted: Mon Feb 17, 2003 3:07 pm    Post subject: To Brenda and Natalie (and anyone else, too) Reply with quote

I was just trying to get a feel for the economic situation in other parts of Mexico, because, admittedly, I really only know how things are here in SE Mexico.

I often get confused when people use the $ sign on posts about Mexico, because I don't always know if they're referring to pesos or U.S. dollars. Reminds me of an interesting true story told to me by an American couple who recently moved to Merida, where realtors sometimes list prices of houses in pesos and sometimes in U.S. dollars. A young local realtor took this couple to see a house listed for $500,000. He assured them that the listed price was in pesos when they asked him, making the price around 50,000 U.S. dollars, which was within their price range. Even after the owner of the house had shown them the huge formal dining room, two large wings of the house, and the huge swimming pool in one of the many large manicured gardens, the young realtor kept telling them that the price was in pesos. As the American gentleman told me, "The realtor wasn't nearly as embarrassed as he should have been, or as we were, when he finally figured out the listed price was 500,000 U.S. dollars."

But I've digressed. Back to the topic, at 40 pesos per hour after taxes and living expenses at around 700 USD per month, that would be cutting it pretty thin even if teaching 40 hours per week in these parts. Minimum here for an extremely modest furnished apartment including utilities in a relatively safe (but not necessarily very nice) neighborhood runs around 2,000 pesos per month, and not all that easy to find. Something halfway comfortable in a nice neighborhood would easily run 3,000-4,000 pesos per month. Of course, individual cost of rent depends on how many share the apartment. What with the costs of transportation, food, entertainment, general living expenses, and all -- well, to live on a teacher's income certainly puts the emphasis on conservative.

Here it would be very difficult to put together teaching jobs at language schools to get 40 hours of teaching per week. Most local schools won't or can't offer more than about 25 hours per week, so to get 40 hours per week, it would be necessary to work at and coordinate schedules between at least two schools. The way most language schools function here, teaching 40 hours of classes per week would be extremely demanding. It's not unusual to find local language schools that offer 40 pesos per hour or less after taxes.

Best wishes! Smile
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nighthawk



Joined: 12 Feb 2003
Posts: 60
Location: USA

PostPosted: Wed Feb 19, 2003 4:52 am    Post subject: Wages in Mexico Reply with quote

First, in Mexico do they have state and federal taxes like in the US? Second, Ben, you said you make 60 pesos per hour after taxes, right? So how many pesos is that before anything is taken out of your paycheck? Also, if a language school says that they offer 60 pesos per hour, then what would that be after taxes? And how much variance is there through different regions in Mexico as far as how much is taken out of your check? And what states or regions have the highest taxes and lowest taxes? Thank you.
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Ben Round de Bloc



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Posts: 1946

PostPosted: Wed Feb 19, 2003 1:47 pm    Post subject: Response to Nighthawk Reply with quote

Employers can offer different types of contracts. Over-simplified, with one type the employer takes care of the paperwork of paying income taxes, and you (the employee) receive less money per hour, and for the other the employee receives more money per hour and accepts the responsibility of paying income taxes (which usually involves hiring an accountant to do it correctly.)

At the university where I work, I earn about 60 pesos per hour after taxes, and I let the university do all the income-tax stuff. I never see that money; it's deducted before I get my check. If I wanted to take care of my own income taxes, I'd earn about 90 pesos per hour. However, by the time I'd buy the required personalized forms, pay an accountant, and all, the amount I'd actually earn would be about the same or less. Also, the way the university does our contracts, if I chose to pay my own income taxes, I wouldn't get paid holidays nor would I be entitled to the university's medical insurance.

If you're not working legally, obviously you aren't paying income taxes, so what the school pays you per hour is neither before nor after taxes; it's simply how much you get paid. If you're working legally (work visa,) many school owners/directors won't bother to mention if the amount per hour is before or after taxes. You have to ask. They may offer you 60 pesos per hour and then later when you receive your first check say, "Oh, that was before taxes. After I take care of your taxes for you, you receive 35.50 pesos per hour."

In Yucatan, we don't pay state income taxes as far as I know. Federal income tax is federal income tax. Just like in the USA, federal income tax rates don't change from region to region that I'm aware of, unless perhaps it's adjusted based on minimum daily wage, or salario mínimo, (which does change from region to region according to cost of living estimates.) Although I'm not sure, I don't think that's the case, however.
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