General Info Archive

The Mexican Peso and You

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pesos and dollarsThe strength of the US dollar ($USD) against the Mexican Peso ($MXN) has been the focus of a great deal of attention over the last year. Plenty of theories have been set forth to explain it, ranging from the cratering of crude oil and other commodity prices to the rhetoric of US Republican President Donald Trump. Conversations about the exchange rate among certain groups on social media exploded last year, while a cursory glance at Google web search trends for “Mexican peso” indicates that over the last 5 years, interest really began growing from 2015 into 2016 with large spikes in April and November of last year. Needless to say, there’s good reason for all the attention the topic has been getting. The exchange rate between the $MXN and the $USD (or other currencies such as the Euro (€EUR)) affects multiple interested parties, from Mexicans both inside and outside of the country to travelers to expats residing in Mexico to multinational corporations and governments looking to do business with Mexico. Why had the $USD/$MXN exchange rate risen so high, and will the dollar continue to stay strong against the peso? Or, will the peso continue to recover as it has been doing recently? In order to answer these questions, we must look at the behavior of both the peso and the dollar separately as well as in relation to each other. It’s important to gain the best possible understanding of the situation, and we’re here to help. 

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The Best Local Online Resources in English

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discussion happeningWhile you’re here in Guadalajara, or on your way over, you may want to follow up on (other) local English-language resources to get a sense of what’s happening around the city and in the general area, maintained by people already in the area. Of course, we’d love for you to spend as much time as possible on our site, but hey, let’s face it, there are other great resources out there in addition to discoverGDL. To that end, we’ve compiled a short list of news and discussion sites to get you started. For event-related online resources, see our related article. For security-related online resources, click here.

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Avoiding Another Traveler Tragedy

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puebla highway carreteraWe are extremely saddened by the recent news that two Australian surfers, Adam Coleman and Dean Lucas, were killed at the hands of an apparent highway robbery gang in the state of Sinaloa while on their way to Guadalajara. It has reminded us of the preceding tragedy involving Harry Devert, a New Yorker whose body was found months after his reported disappearance early last year as he traveled from the state of Michoacan into the state of Guerrero alone on his motorcycle on his way to the World Cup in Brazil. There is no excusing the violence that occurs in Mexico or anywhere else in the world, but there are steps that travelers, expats, all of us can take to help us avoid another similar horrible occurrence. Below we outline some of the most important and practical ones.

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Everything You Need to Know about the MiBici Public Bicycle Rental System

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mibici bicycles parked at a stationNot so long ago we reviewed Guadajalara’s ratings as a green city according to a study from 2010 and provided updates on some of the improvements it had made since then. You may recall that we mentioned that at some point in 2008, Guadalajara counted a free, public bicycle-lending system called Pedalea Guadalajara (Pedal Guadalajara) among its local transportation options. It was apparently complete with bike stations at various locations throughout the city (especially around the center) but it had since disappeared, for what reason we know not. Well, as we also mentioned back then, as of last year Guadalajara once again offers a public bicycle-sharing system, although this time it’s not free. Named MiBici (MyBike), much more has gone into it than ever went into Pedalea Guadalajara and it promises to stick around for some time. Indeed, you may have already noticed installations all over the city or people using the red, silver, and black bicycles. If you’re curious as to how the system works, you’re in the right place. Here’s everything you need to know about it to describe it to someone else or use it yourself.

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Guadalajara, Mexico, Is a Leading Portal for Exporting Goods to Trading Partners via Air

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air freightAccording to ProMéxico, the trade and investment arm of the Mexican government, Guadalajara has led Mexico in handling the country’s exports via air 5 out of the 7 years from 2007 through 2013 (complete data for 2014 is still unavailable), as indicated by the value of goods passing through customs (in millions USD). Guadalajara has only fallen second to Mexico City twice, in 2011 and 2013, and then not really by much. This for a city that is by some estimates but a quarter to a third of Mexico City’s size in terms of population. Monterrey, in Nuevo León, is usually a distant third. As for exports by road or by railroad, a massive collective amount of goods travels to trading partners via these means through Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, which has led the pack in both categories year after year. Ciudad del Carmen, Campeche, has been the annual leader where it comes to shipping goods by sea. These are just some stats to keep in mind as you contemplate international business with Mexico. See the following infographic for all the figures.

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Where to Find Travel Alerts & Warnings on Guadalajara, Mexico

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warning-838655_640With Acapulco, Guerrero, named Mexico’s most dangerous municipality and third most dangerous city in the entire world; the state of Veracruz becoming known as one of the deadliest areas to be a journalist in; and the recent May 1st violence in Guadalajara and Jalisco in general perpetrated by the Jalisco New Generation Cartel, there is no denying that Mexico has more than its share of safety concerns. While tourists and expats are rarely targeted as part of the political or drug-related violence that takes place in parts of the country, it still pays to stay informed. With that in mind, following are some English-language resources where you can find pertinent travel alerts, warnings, and general safety information.

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Finding Medical Supplies in Guadalajara, Mexico

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diabetic suppliesAs we wrote about in our “Finding Furniture” article, things are arranged in Guadalajara in such a way that certain parts of the city consist of store upon store dedicated to the same commercial activity, effectively making these areas unofficial commercial zones of one type or another. This time we’ll be pointing out a commercial zone with stores dedicated to medical supplies, including crutches, wheelchairs, even home fitness equipment.

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Finding a House, Apartment, or Shared Rental in Guadalajara, Mexico

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GuadalajaraFinding a place to stay in Guadalajara for an extended period of time can be a bit of a challenge if you are unfamiliar with the city and the resources available to assist you in finding a rental. For shorter stays, you can of course begin with Airbnb or Couchsurfing, but you can’t sleep on someone’s couch forever and Airbnb can run you quite a bit more than simply finding your own pad over the long haul. Hence, we’ve compiled a list to aid you in your task – sublets, shared rooms, or your very own place, we’ve got you covered. Please keep in mind that many rentals in the city are not listed online anywhere, but rather are advertised with signs and posters hung from the properties themselves in the streets. The only way to find these, of course, is to visit Guadalajara and walk/bike/drive around. That being said, below is your research sheet for those that are listed online. If you haven’t already read our neighborhood guide yet, we strongly urge you to do so as that will play a critical part in helping you find the right place in the right area for you.

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The Neighborhood Guide: Where to Stay in Guadalajara, Mexico

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NeighborhoodAnyone who is looking to spend an extended amount of time in Guadalajara will obviously be faced with the important decision of where to locate themselves during their time here. Whether it is a temporary or a permanent move, your concerns will most likely include things like safety and proximity to businesses, sights, or public transportation. Suffice to say, this decision can make or break your experience. We’ve therefore compiled a list of neighborhoods with brief descriptions that, for various reasons, you may wish to consider further as your potential future home base here in Guadalajara. Note that we are attempting to remain as impartial as possible in presenting our observations below as your preferences are extremely personal.

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Ridesharing in Guadalajara, Mexico

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RidesharingGuadalajara is a large city, and as such, has its share of transportation options to get you from one place to another here in Mexico. In addition to the typical flights and long-range bus services, you can obviously rent a car. We’ve even heard of individuals contracting with Uber drivers to get from here to the Jaliscan coast, for instance. That seems a bit much to us, but to each their own. Renting a car can be rather expensive too, and risky. Thefts, damage, and accidents are real issues. Bus and plane travel are dandy, but what if there are no bus routes or flights to your particular destination? And might there not be something even cheaper than traveling by bus or plane? A local bus might do, but it might take forever, depending on where you’re going. A taxi might do, but that could be prohibitively costly. A tour bus might get you somewhere, but hopping on a tour bus is a thing entirely unto itself. If you don’t own your own car, whatever are you to do? Hitch a ride, that’s what.

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Calling To and From Guadalajara, Mexico

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call-15924_640We’ll be darned if we don’t forget how to call to and from Guadalajara all the time, resulting in a hasty web search to remind ourselves just how to get it done before we can go about our business of actually making the call. Well, here to help us all out is a nifty infographic, courtesy of Gryffin Media, TollFreeForwarding.com, and Visualistan.com. It focuses on how to do so between Mexico and the United States, the most common back-and-forth calling arrangement. Bookmark this or print it out and stick it to the fridge!

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How Guadalajara, Mexico, Placed in the EIU’s Latin American Green City Index of 2010, with Updates

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Grass in the StreetIn 2010, the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), sponsored by Siemens, put out a study entitled the Latin American Green City Index in which the environmental performance of 17 select cities in the region were analyzed. As an interesting aside, some 81% of the Latin American population lived in cities as of the publication of the study. The EIU assessment was spread across 8 categories: Energy and CO2, Land Use and Buildings, Transport, Waste, Water, Sanitation, Air Quality, and Environmental Governance. Quantitative and qualitative measures were used to rank each city, and Guadalajara (along with Lima, Peru) ended up at the bottom of the stack with an overall result of “well below average”. While that certainly doesn’t reflect well on the city, generally speaking, one must first realize there’s a problem before one can fix it. Another way to look at it is that there is a lot of room for improvement and opportunities to get involved for those who care to. Additionally, if you’re considering moving to Guadalajara, you’ll of course want to know what you might be getting into, and this study, its results, and any updates we provide here, can help with that.

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