“Living in Mérida,” an upbeat and encouraging guide, recently published its second, updated edition. Now a rival guide with a similar title, and possibly a darker, more provocative tone, is on its way.
“The Essential Guide to Living in Mérida” is scheduled to come out annually for 10 years, aiming to protect new arrivals from the “small cottage industry of hucksters that prey on foreigners,” according to editor Vince Gricus. Topics range from the innocuous “where’s a good Italian restaurant,” to the more biting “which are the three real estate companies to avoid?” Other topics: Which nonprofits are scams; which English library is recognized by the College Board for Teaching English. (Here’s an excerpt on the website of the book’s publisher, the Merida Bed and Breakfast Association.)
If you’ve been following Mérida blogs and websites for at least six months, these topics will sound familiar. Yes, this book will be a teensy bit divisive. (Update: I have read it and I can see I was right.)
I haven’t decided whether to splurge on the second edition of the original 2008 “Living in Mérida,” which lists recommended lawyers, property managers, markets and so forth, all things that can become dated pretty quickly. But the first “Living in Mérida” book had better start selling on Amazon if they want to compete with “The Essential Guide.” The book’s release date is listed on Amazon as tomorrow, and no reviews have been posted.
Online sources have been indispensable as well. Yucatán Today is online and in print, and their beautifully done maps are worn to tissue paper after one of my trips. (They also published the original “Living in Mérida” book.) Yucatán Living‘s Working Gringos’ first-person accounts of their home building — their enormous Ermita complex is now for sale — and their travels are engaging and enlightening.
Then there are services like Yucatán Expatriate Services or Yucatán Property Management, which will help you pave the way to paradise. You can pay for guidance every step of the way, from buying your property, to running it, to running a business out of it.
Right now, at home we’re considering whether our future new home will be a rental until we’re there full time. This is just the kind of service I’ll need. Who wants to fly down to your house to find the garden overgrown and burned out, or worse, some catastrophe like a break-in, a burst pipe, etc., etc. Right now I’m looking for someone to prevent any kind of etc., etc.
I wonder how many expat enclaves have the road ahead paved so smoothly. Does Ecuador or Panama have such a wealth of services? It’s stunning how many resources await gringos willing to spend the money for help living in a place where the cost of living is less.