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How safe is Mexicali … and Mexico?

Seized narco-money

Seized narco-money

This post is prompted by a comment sent in by one of our readers. He is coming to Mexicali on business, and wonders if he will be safe.

That’s a very fair question. My short answer is “yes.”

Jim and I could only afford to move to a border town. The trip deeper into Mexico was well beyond our means. Mexicali, where we live, is a border town, and our house is just 176 feet south of the big steel fence which divides Mexico from the U.S.

Before moving to Mexicali, we checked out some other towns, either on the border, or nearby. Going from east to west, these included Agua Prieta, Naco, Nogales, Sonoita, Mexicali, and Rosarito Beach.

In Agua Prieta, near Douglas, Arizona, we did not see any suitable places to live. We stayed in the Hacienda Motel. As soon as night fell, large black SUVs filled up the parking lot. There was a lot of noisy coming and going, with the headlights flashing into our room, and voices talking in Spanish. At one point Jim actually stepped out (in his boxer shorts) to take a look. When he came back into the room, he said, “Great rims on those SUVs, yup.” Later, around midnight we heard gunshots and sirens – went on for some time. By dawn, everything stopped – the SUVs were gone, and you wouldn’t notice anything strange about the Hacienda Motel – except that everyone there avoided eye contact.

To the east of Agua Prieta, Naco and Sonoita had only very small towns across the border in the U.S.

The Pacific coast towns, such as Rosarito Beach, have beautiful Southern California weather in the summer, and are bit milder than Mexicali in the winter. Rosarito Beach was a bit congested and touristy. In addition, a motorcycle cop stopped us, saying we went through a stop sign – which we didn’t. We had to settle up with an eighty buck bribe with that guy.

THEN, on the way back to San Diego, going through Tijuana, the police had sealed off the ramp that leads up to the U.S. border checkpoint. We had to circle all through Tijuana to get back to the ramp again, and it was still sealed off with yellow tape. Jim pulled over to ask the police what was going on. Immediately, the policeman said, “No seat belt – that’s a fine – you will have to follow me to the police station.” Jim said that he had taken off the seat belt only after we came to a full stop.

The officer repeated, “Follow me to the station.”

At this point, Jim, by now an old pro at bribery, said, “OK, Sir, what’ll it take to pay the fine now?”

“One hundred dollars.”

“OK,” said Jim, and for that, can you remove the tape so I can go up the ramp and get back to the States?”


Jim took two fifties from his wallet and handed them to the officer, who, without saying a word, walked over to the ramp and removed the tape. We were back on our way to the States, and Jim didn’t start cussing until we were in San Diego.

For us, Mexicali turned out to be the best. Across the border is Calexico, a small town, but with all the shopping, and support (such as flu shots) that you could want. The downside to Mexicali is the weather. It is blistering hot in summer and a little cool in the winter.

From what we understand, there is a turf war between drug cartels going on in Tijuana, Rosarito Beach, and even down to Ensenada. We understand the turf war was caused by the arrest of some leading members of the Arellano Felix gang who controlled the area. Now, another gang is attempting to move into the vacuum, and take over the territory. Jim and I would not feel safe in Rosarito Beach or Tijuana.

Tijuana has a very long border fence, which is probably a help for illegal crossings into the U.S.

Mexicali, on the other hand, has a short border fence – only a couple of miles long – and easy to monitor.

On the other side of the border fence from us, there is constant patrolling by the U.S. Border Patrol cars, helicopters (we hear them everyday), and aircraft. Things are very calm in Mexicali, and we feel completely safe. I don’t think we look worth kidnapping.

We lived for a while in Phoenix, Arizona, which now has the distinction of being the kidnapping capital of the U.S., with one kidnapping reported every day – and how many go unreported?

Miss Sinaloa 2008

Miss Sinaloa 2008

The main center of the drug trade is not at the border, as some might think, but in the Mexican state of Sinaloa, where “El Chapo” rules. The beauty queen, Miss Sinaloa 2008, Laura Zuniga 23, and her boyfriend were arrested on Dec. 23rd at a checkpoint outside of Guadalajara. Miss Sinaloa was riding in one of two trucks, where soldiers found a large stash of weapons, including two AR-15 assault rifles, 38 specials, 9mm handguns, nine magazines, 633 cartridges and $53,300 in U.S. currency.

Allegedly, Miss Sinaloa claimed that the cash was for her shopping. Small change for the drug cartels, which bring in a total of $53 billion a year, and who can afford to pay top Mexican Government officials $500,000 a month for information.

The Sinaloa Cartel is the one of the largest drug trafficking cartels in Mexico. The cartel’s leader, “El Chapo” is one of Mexico’s most wanted criminals. The U.S. has a $5 million reward for his capture – but no one is interested. Many of El Chapo’s “soldiers” were trained in advance weaponry by the U.S. Army – in an attempt to beef up the Mexican army. Why stay in the Mexican army, when you can work for El Chapo? The pay is a lot better – some say ten times better.

Many Mexicans, however, idolize the drug lords. There are songs written about them, and colorful names, such as The Queen of the Pacific, The Empress, and, of course,  El Chapo (shorty).

Sinaloa has a beautiful coastline, and Mazatlan, which is in Sinaloa, is a favored spot where American retirees live and play golf. Jim and I would never set foot in Mazatlan or Sinaloa.

Mexicali is peaceful place, with a lot of police trucks patrolling around. Many of the cars have California license plates, and you can pay in dollars as well as in pesos.

So long as Jim and I stay out of the turf wars, we are going to be A-OK in Mexicali.

Here is something you should take note of, however, regarding bringing guns into Mexico. The rules are very strict.

The Mexican constitution allows for possession of one small-caliber firearm, however, the owner must be a Mexican citizen (foreigners, even those with legal residency status, are not entitled to this privilege).

The weapon must of small caliber as specifically cited by regulations,be registered with the army and, critically, the and not be  carried in the street.

The purpose of the law is to provide for self-defense within the confine of one’s own home.

Jim suggest you get a cross-bow. His choice is the 80 Lbs Self-cocking Crossbow Pistol Cross Bow 15 Arrows that sells for under 30 bucks on Amazon. “Just click that there link, and you’ll have something much better than some tiny pistol,” says Jim.


Update: February 22, 2014:

El Chapo captured in Mazatlan!

El Chapo

El Chapo arrives in Mexico City, after arrest

A senior US law enforcement official said Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman was taken alive overnight in the Mexican beach resort town of Mazatlan. “We’ve been actively tracking him for five weeks. “Because of that pressure, he fled in the last couple of days to Mazatlan. He had a small contingent with him.”

Guzman was found naked in bed with an AK-47 nearby, which he didn’t get a chance to grab. The raid was so fast his bodyguards didn’t even have a chance to react, the source said.

Saturday’s arrest followed some near-misses in attempts to capture Guzman during the last three weeks.

Mexican authorities missed taking him “within seconds” at a condominium in Mexico 10 days ago, the source said. Guzman escaped through an elaborate tunnel under a bathtub, leaving behind his personal handgun, which authorities confiscated.

Guzman, 56, faces multiple federal drug trafficking indictments in the US and is on the Drug Enforcement Administration’s most-wanted list.

His drug empire stretches throughout North America and reaches as far away as Europe and Australia.

In more than a decade on the run, Guzman rose from a middling Mexican narco to the most powerful drug trafficker in the world.

His fortune is estimated to more than a billion dollars, according to Forbes magazine, which listed him among the World’s Most Powerful People and ranked him above the presidents of France and Venezuela.

Update: February 27, 2014:

Hundreds of Mexicans are marching in support of drug kingpin and fold hero Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman.

Chanting slogans in English such as “I love Chapo,” the demonstrators demanded his freedom during marches Wednesday evening in three cities in Sinaloa, the state that was the birthplace of Guzman’s vast multibillion-dollar drug empire.

Guzman was Mexico’s most-wanted fugitive and one of the largest drug traffickers in the world. His capture was seen as an important victory for the Mexican government in its long drug war, although few experts believe it will have a any effect on the $50 billion annual flow of drugs to the United States. (Yes, that’s $50 billion that is flowing into Mexico from the U.S—all for drugs.)

Many of the marchers had apparently been bused in and given free T-shirts and other gifts. Who is paying for all of this?

In the eyes of many people Guzman remained one of the old-style drug lords who showering local communities with benefits: money, business, gifts.

The United States continues to press for the extradition of Guzman, which Mexico opposes. Mexico wants El Chapo in Mexico.

As Jim says, “Shucks. It’ ain’t over ’til it’s over.”

El Chapo – Dying for the Truth: Undercover Inside the Mexican Drug War by the Fugitive Reporters of Blog del Narco

El Chapo's gun

El Chapo’s gun

The day he was captured on February 22, Mexican drug lord El Chapo Guzman was carrying a semi-automatic Colt 45, embedded with gold and diamonds. The gun is valued at $ 303,000. The hammer, trigger and safety are gold and the handle is inlaid with black diamonds. On the handle is a plaque inscribed with “701 billionaire Forbes,” referring to El Chapo’s position on the Forbes list with an estimated billion dollar fortune

At the time of his arrest, El Chapo was up early, cooking breakfast for his wife.

Update: April 30, 2014

The is a great article in the New Yorker about El Chapo’s capture.

It raises the question—was it really El Chapo who was captured.

From the New Yorker:

Several years ago, a fearless journalist named Anabel Hernández published a book about the Sinaloa cartel, called “Los Señores del Narco.” (It was recently published in English, under the title “Narcoland.”) Hernández argued that Guzmán’s influence was so pervasive, and the Mexican political system so thoroughly rotted by graft, that the whole Chapo saga could be interpreted as a grand charade. Guzmán was “imprisoned” at Puente Grande, but he was actually running the place. He “escaped,” when in reality, Hernández suggests, the President of Mexico at the time, Vicente Fox, personally authorized his release, in exchange for a colossal bribe. (Fox has angrily denied this accusation.) Guzmán spent years as a “fugitive,” though everyone knew where he was, and the authorities were simply lying when they claimed that they “could not catch him.” Hernández’s book sold more than a hundred thousand copies in Mexico.

She is not convinced that the man who was photographed in Mazatlán, and whose DNA was tested, is the real Chapo.

When Guzmán was questioned in prison by authorities, he, too, seemed to suggest a case of mistaken identity. He maintained his innocence, his rote replies taking on a smug absurdity:

Q: May the deponent say to which organization he belongs.

A: I don’t belong to any cartel. . . . I am a farmer.

How the drug lords live—here are some photos:

Nice Drug Lord Home

Nice Drug Lord Home – Visitors approaching


Drug Lord Home

Nice inside, too…

drug lord with his money

A drug lord with his money…

Drug Lord gun

Some Drug Lord guns to protect the money…

Drug Lord guns for his staff

Drug Lord guns for his staff…

Update, June 22, 2014 – Mexico’s top ten most dangerous cities:

From Mexican President Pena Nieto’s inauguration in December 2012 to the end of January this year, Mexico has had 23,640 murders, nationwide.

Here’s a list of Mexico’s top ten murderous cities for 2013:

1. Acapulco, Guerrero

This Pacific resort city has had 883 homicides in 2013 to 883. Acapulco, a vacation spot for unwary Ameracans, is the most dangerous city in Mexico.

2. Mexico City

Mexico’s capital and largest city had 753 homicides in 2013.

3. Tijuana, Baja California

This border city has had 564 murders in 2013.

4. Culiacan, Sinaloa

Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman’s town had 479 homicides in 2013.

5. Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua

This border town had 453 murders in 2013.

6. Ecatepec, Estado de Mexico

This Mexico City suburb had 312 killings in 2013.

7. Guadalajara, Jalisco

Mexico’s second largest city had 297 murders in 2013.

8. Monterrey, Nuevo Leon

Monterrey had 266 murders in 2013.

9. Zapopan, Jalisco

Zapopan had 258 murders in 2013.

10. Chihuahua, Chihuahua

The capital of Chihuahua had 251 murders in 2013.


106 comments to How safe is Mexicali … and Mexico?

  • Michelle

    HA! She has some seriously good advice. I only wish I would have seen this before I moved to MX, I could have saved myself money and headaches! But I did do one thing right, I joined an American group and they taught me the ropes. But MXMaryAnn is better.

  • gaby

    thank you michelle, i have bn living in mexico for almost 2 yrs so i have an idea of what to expect, i am just anxious to live with my hubby and daughter again. and i just finished reading all of maryann’s blog. every single post lol 🙂

  • Michelle


    I don’t know. I would have to ask him. In all honesty, I have to tell you that I am not that impressed with his home. But it is very expensive.

    Another thing you need to realize, dollars per kwh are vastly different depending on community and you need to take that into consideration as well. The more expensive the neighborhood, the more expensive electricity. My Amigo, he pays $500 a month for what I pay $90 per month. USD. My house is bigger yet dumpier. His house is nicer yet smaller for double the money. Well, more than double. Quaduple. There is sooo much to learn about MX. You get a short term lease, you learn the ways, then you move to where you wish to spend your time.

    MexicaliMaryAnn rocks in ways you do not know. Listen to every bloody thing she has to write. Believe it all.

  • gaby

    thank you michelle! thats the info im looking for, the names of the gated communities with 24 hr security. i have only bn recommended montecarlo, do you recommend any others?

  • Michelle


    MaryAnn is right, for $800 a month you will live quite well. Just for the sake of comparison, my American friend lives in a gated community in Via Fontana (fairly expensive) for about $500 a month.

  • Gaby:
    For $800 a month rent you have a wide range of choices in Mexicali. Take a look at this blog of mine for some info:
    God Bless,

  • gaby

    hi everyone, my name is gaby and i will soon be moving to mexicali to live with my husband and daughter. we have bn apart for almost 2 yrs during my immigration process that i lost. any ways im trying to stay positive and mexicali sounds like a great place to live. i would like to join the american community if someone could tell me how to do that. and any tips on specific things like which internet provider to get or just any useful tips. can you recommend a good community to live in that is in a gated community, i am looking to pay $800 USD to rent a home. i am really nervous about this move so any advice would be much appreciated, im just so ready to live with my family again! 🙂

  • Becky:
    I don’t know of any American meet-ups in Mexicali – not a lot of Americans here. You might find that in Calexico (which is 95% Hispanic). There is very little humidity in Phoenix. I guess there might be only slightly less here.
    God Bless,

  • Becky

    Are there any Americano meet-ups in Mexicali? Like everybody lets the at such and such a resturaunt on such and shuch a date?

  • Becky

    So does that mean that it’s less humid than Phoenix I hope?

  • Michelle


    I agree with MaryAnn. Mexicali is very similar to Phoenix, AZ. I lived in Phoenix for 25 years. I have worked for doctors in Mexicali for 6 years. I have kept the temps on my laptop for 6 years for Phoenix and Mexicali and they have always been within 2-3 degrees (F). It is very dry here, my skin proves it. ;o)

  • Yes, Becky, it is, which means not very humid. Also a lot like Phoenix.
    God Bless,

  • Becky

    Is Mexicali about the same as Yuma as far as humidity is concerned?

  • Michelle


    I agree with you that Mexicali can be ridiculously expensive. It’s all a matter of learning how to do things here. Once you learn how to do it, it is much cheaper. For example, anything with an electrical cord is going to be a huge cost so you buy that sort of thing in Calexico. Appliances, same way. When you bring large purchases across the border to MX you just take lots of people with you. Not sure how to explain this but for example, if you buy a $1,000 appliance in the US and bring it to Mexicali you only have to pay tax on $700. Each person in the car gives you a $300 break so if you buy something for $1K you take 4 people with you and then there is no tax.

    I have never had to pay a tax on anything bringing it into MX but that doesn’t mean they didn’t try. I learned early on to either have a local meet me at the border so the agents that stop you on your way into MX can’t pull anything or if I am by myself I have my friend on speed dial that pretends to be my lawyer. ;o) Fast food is very expensive but nicer restaurants are cheaper. No idea why. I can go to the grocery store and buy a large chicken for $8-$9 USD but if I buy a roasted chicken from a restaurant with two salads and tortillas, it is $6.00. I never have figured out that one.

    I bought eye glasses before moving here and spent over $100 in Phoenix. Yet about a month ago I got my eyes tested and new glasses here and it was $42.00. I really think it is all about learning where to buy things. If I had a large family to feed I would absolutely do grocery shopping in the US but for just me it’s not really an issue.

  • Becky

    So, does anyone know of a Penticostal church with and English service in Mexicali? I’ve looked online but came up empty. (Even in Spanish) We’re currently AG, but have been COG previously. Thanks for any help in the right direction. I don’t want to get caught in border traffic every Sunday afternoon.

  • mario hernandez

    maryann u rite a bout onething mexicali isone of the safest places in mexico bt as far as safety not really i was born and raised in arizona i been living in the valley of mexicali in a village called estacion delta. which is a lot quiter than the city . since i been here i noticed everything its different home depot is sooooo expensive compared to the one in el centro wal kart is the same way their customer service is pathetic and horrible banks and every govertment facility their employees think they are the kings or queens of the world… yes we have mcdonalds burger king carls junior starbucks sams etc. bt its a luxury visiting those places ridiculous prices they dont even have menu specials…… even the movies i have a new born and they were trying to charge us for the baby’s entry .. 45 pesos when she is only 4 months like if she was gona watch the movie… staring to realize that mexico its expensive to live… for most americans mexico is cheaper to live yes to rent a house is cheaper …… bt if we compare prices from mexico to the USA it balances the same rent is more expensive over there bt everything else is more expensive in mexico …. so bottoms line im disappointed of my home state that sometimes i wish to back with my fam. just because i invested more thanm a 100000 thousand dlrs in my home and i dont want to be vandalized i stay here. bt yes as far as fun and freedom we have it more here in mexicali ….. thanks

  • Michelle


    I don’t know. Bailey baby needs her updated vaccines this week. I will ask the child vet about your cats when I take her in.

    Did I mention just how cute she is? I love this dog! Maybe Mexicali MaryAnn can meet her one day. You too!

  • Becky

    Is there anything out of the ordinary I would need to vacinate my cats against for Mexicali? I was thinking about getting the 4in1 from Foster and Smith. That way I don’t have to mess with their eyes and ears, and it’s a one time shot and covers four things instead of three. Lukimia is pretty expensive to vacinate for. Is it something I’ll need? Does anyone know?

  • Michelle:
    Not sure about needing vaccinations to get pets back into the USA. Coming into Mexico no one looked for any vaccinations, and we brought in 11 cats (in two trips). You are right about Hipico. It is the safest, easiest, and best part of Mexicali.
    God Bless,

  • Michelle

    Getting INto Mexico is no problem with pets. It’s getting out of MX that is a problem if your pets are not vaccinated. I do not know if cats are a distemper problem. Bailey is due for her vaccines this week, I will ask. I do know that my vet refers to Bailey’s vaccine record as her passport to the US. It’s this several page, vaccine record… he refers to it as her passport. And it does have stickers.

    If you are going to rent it is far better NOT to go through a rental agency. Go directly to the home owner. We have two prices here, the white girl price and the Mexican price. Go directly to the home owner. The best way to rent a home is to drive around and find signs that say a home is for rent. MUCH cheaper! I learned this the hard way. I almost rented a home via on line before I moved here. When my Mexican nurse co-worker called to find the price so she could pay the deposit for me it was $300 cheaper when they heard Spanish. ;o) They didn’t realize the house was for me, the Americana.

    You do not have to hire my ‘lawyer’ friend, he works for free. Heh….

  • Becky

    *Foster and Smith

  • Becky

    Well, it’s not written in stone yet as to where we’re moving. My husband changes his mind like every week. (He keeps my prayer life active.) and I’m also learning patients the hard way. Any ways… I have looked up some Hipico rentals, and you are telling the truth about prices. I wish I could bring my cats too, but there’s too many pets to vacinate everyone. Does anyone know if it’s OK by the border if I vacinate them myself? and put the sticker from Dr. Foster on thier shots record? Well, pray that we’re able to down-size cause we’ve got a bunch of stuff presently. It would be worth it to me to even hire your lawer friend for a day or two until I get everything through the gate! We have a pick-up, but it’s a 65 lol I’m trying to talk my husband into getting a tow for it for the move so it’s functioning when we need it at the border. So, U-Haul has a bunch of sirens go off? Wow. Maybe I should try Rider. JK. Well seeing as it’s midnight, I’d better get to bed. We will need to come down and rent a place if and or when my husband makes up his mind. We have friends in Tecate. But I’m thinking it will be too humid there for his arthritus. God bless,


  • Michelle

    Personally I would do it with your own pick up truck. I have done it both ways, I first drove over the border with my own vehicle and I brought the rest of my stuff over via U-Haul. U-Haul triggered every security system they have but that is my own experience. I would personally be willing to meet you at the border. Just to make sure when they do their search they don’t try to mess with you for illegal reasons. I have a friend with a thick MX accent that plays “my lawyer” when they try to tell me I need to pay tax. ;o) I just act all afraid like I believe them that I am breaking some law and claim to call my lawyer to meet me at the border and amazingly, suddenly I am just fine and need no assistance.

    I would seriously look at Hipico for housing. Houses are a dime a dozen here, cheap, large or small, good neighbhorhood, good electricity prices, and easy access to the new and old borders. I live between Colon and Argentina, straight access to either border.

    No Welcome Wagon here, but I am here! Not the same as in the US but maybe better in some ways. Americans here really care and help one another. We have an American community here that helps one another out in many ways. Not sure what I would have done when I moved here without them. They taught me which phone company I needed, which cable company, the works.

    I can’t answer about churches, I don’t know. I am sure they exist but Mexcali MaryAnn would know better than I. She knows the ‘how to’ stuff more than I.

    There are public pools here, I just aquired a largish dog (well, large in my experience, probably medium for the rest of the world) and I am told there are public pools I can take my dog to for low pesos. But… there are no dog parks with fences so they can’t run as fast as their little legs will take them! This is a concern for me. But I will tell you one thing, there is a HUGE AND MAJOR epidemic of distemper here. Most vet colleges are suggesting vaccines every three years. Due to the HUGE AND MAJOR epidemic of distemper in Mexicali, they are suggesting vaccines every six months. My new puppy is currently in quarantine until she receives her 3rd and final vaccine. That is how serious it is here. I adore my vet, he’s a child vet but fantastic! I just love him. Okay, maybe it is my age that I swear he’s a child vet but I am seriously picky about who takes care of my dogs. I will do anything he tells me to regarding my adult poodle and my beagle 12 week old puppy. I am happy to introduce you to him, he speaks perfect English. Did I mention he is a child? ;o) But he’s a really smart child! He tells me he used to get a distemper dog MAYBE 1 time a month at best, today he is getting 2-3 a DAY! He claims (and I believe) this is huge and massive. I hope Mexicali MaryAnn does an article on this. (hint hint)

    Again, many rentals here! MANY! Mexicali MaryAnn, please…. would you share my email address with this lady? I am putting it in writing that I will take full responsibility for this. I seriously want to meet more Americans here and if I can help make the move easier, I would love to do that as well.

    I adore Mexicali Mary Ann!

  • Becky

    I just have never moved to Mexico before. Is it easier just doing it yourself with a pick-up? Or has anyone ever listed everything in detail after hiring the Mexican version of “Two men and a Truck”? I wouldn’t mind meeting you either, (Marry Ann, can you give her my email address?) I’d love to meet as many American’s as will have us, is there a welcome wagon? Are there any Bilingual churches on the Mexicali side? Any other border tips like the “Made in China” tags? We would need to come and locate a home. I haven’t found many houses larger than three bedrooms. We’re in a spacious four bed now, with two boys, and three dogs. Is there a public or private swimming pool in Mexicali? Or a three bedroom apartment with a pool near the border that takes dogs? We pretty much need a one story, or on street level home as my husband has joint trouble. I’ve looked for lager homes at a decent price but only come up with For Sale, and not rentals.
    God bless,

  • Michelle

    Mexicali is great, you’ll love it. When you do move here be sure to have one of the locals help you. Different neighborhoods have different electricity rates. I live in Hipico and it’s very reasonable here. I have a 3 bedroom house and my highest bill was around $80USD. Yet my friend has a two bedroom apt and his highest bill for electricity was $500.

    Getting across the border with a truck load of stuff was not one of my easiest challenges. They do try to take advantage of you. When you are packing your clothing rip off any tags that say, “Made in China.” You will be taxed for it. Meet one of the locals that know how things work meet you at the border as you cross.

    Spanish – I am going to start Spanish lessons with my neighbor. We were thinking about getting 4-5 Americans and doing them together. I think he’s going to charge each of us about $10 USD per lesson. Not too bad. I found a flier for Spanish lessons in a college but when I called to inquire about the classes they didn’t speak English to tell me. ;o)

    When you move here be sure and let me know somehow, I would love to meet you!


  • Becky

    We’re thinking about moving to Mexicali. How would you move across the border? I’ve heard of a pick up truck. U-Haul to the border and then a pick-up? Also we would love to get to know some of the Americanos. My husband currently knows very little English, and I’ld like to get in on all the where to go shopping tips. Are there any neighborhoods to avoid? Where would be the best place to learn Spanish? Is there a university there that offers it?

    God bless,


  • rob

    ehat street the new border on which exit u take from 8 from yuma

  • I guess about 4 miles.

  • Michelle

    The Walmart I am familiar with is near Hippico, it’s easy to find from the old border and even easier to find from the new border. And faster. I’m going to guess 7 miles from the old border, 7 miles down one street and 2 miles down another. From the new border about 3 miles down one street and 2 miles from another.

    I’m happy to help in any way possible.

  • rob

    marryann how far is it to that walmart from border crossing is it near by

  • rob

    buying Tequila you got me confused i only drink on days end in y or when im alone with someone lol there u go good luck rob

  • Zerkmxl

    Unless Rob is buying Tequila….Saludos! Cool blog and welcome to Mexicali

  • Michelle

    It is safe in Mexicali, no problem there. But I will tell you whatever you want to buy from Walmart, it will be MUCH cheaper in the US vs. MX.

  • Rob: It is safe, and crossing the border either way costs nothing.
    God Bless,

  • rob

    dec 2011 i want to quick check out walmart in mexicali how much should it cost from border crossing to walmart is it safe asof now

  • Rey:
    The answer to your question depends on your budget. There are some very nice gated developments around Plaza San Pedro. Otherwise I would stick to the northern part of Mexicali, east of the border crossing.
    God Bless,

  • Sure, Michelle, You are free to mention our blog and to include my email address, Jim and I enjoyed your blog and have lost at least 30 pounds each.
    God Bless,

  • Rey Reyes

    Hi Mary ann. My name is Rey and I would like to know what areas do you know are safe to live in Mexicali or which area you live in and know for a fact that is safe. If I could get a few names of places I can check out that would be great. I also wanted to ask if its safe to be out in those areas at night due to me having my wife and 3 litte ones who are coming with me. Thank you…

  • Thanks, MaryAnn!

    What if it is in my blog? ;o)

    If I am breaking any rules here I will fully understand if you wish to delete this.

  • Michelle


    Perhaps the owner of this blog would be so kind as to email you my email address? Then I can email you my phone number as well.

  • A lot of thanks for each of your work on this web page. My mum loves carrying out internet research and it’s easy to understand why. My partner and i notice all concerning the compelling form you offer very helpful tips and hints via the web site and as well as inspire participation from some other people on this content so our child is now discovering a whole lot. Enjoy the rest of the new year. You are carrying out a remarkable job.

  • Michael

    what’s the best way to get in touch with the American communities in Mexicali? I am an American with a little Spanish and don’t know much about the community/culture. Any help would be great, thanks!

  • Michelle

    I needed a challenge. I do not speak the language, I do not know the culture, I know nothing. I wanted a challenge and THAT I got! But I have a fantastico support system here. My neighbors are the BEST! I am active in an Americano community, life is pretty darn good here!

    I am lucky, I work from my home. I can do it here, too! So there was no reason not to move!

    People here are soooooooo nice! Well, until they get in their cars and then it’s a whole new world. But if you aren’t driving life is fantastico!

    I really, sincerely, love it here. My landlord is a sweetheart, my neighbors are my best friends, the people are seriously kind, I love it. Best thing I ever did.

    I honestly hate two things about Mexicali. Driving and stray animals. I see dead dogs and cats every place I go. People do not value animals. Many strays. I do not like that. Everything else? I adore. Adore!!!!!!!!!!

    Medical care – far superior to the US IF you are in the private sector. If you get standard MX Ins, not so great. But an office call with a MX private sector doc is $400 pesos, or about $35 USD. I just had a slew of labs done, $30 USD.

    Anything with an electrical cord, verrrry expensive. You buy that in Calexico. In the US.

    Chicken is yellow, beef tastes like… ugh. You buy that in the US as well, not a huge deal, just crossing the border. Americans usually share US mailboxes, we take turns going to the US for groceries, we take care of each other.

    Much to learn here, but… if you hook up with the Americano community and learn the ways, it is very good. If you do not hook up with an Americano community, it is harder than it needs to be. Americans will help you with literally anything. At least my friends do.

    They teach you what phone company to use, what cable company to use, how to get things for cheap, it all works. But you MUST hook up with Americans.

  • richard

    @michelle so why did u move to mexicali?

  • Michelle

    It is great finding this site! I just moved to Mexicali last year from Phoenix. I too, live just one block from the wall. I live in Hipico between Argentina and Colon.

    Nice to see other Americans here!

    If you would ever like to meet for lunch I’d love to meet you.

  • Maria:
    Glad you are most likely moving to Mexicali. If you cannot find a job in Mexicali, Calexico, CA is right next door. Just one point – there is no beach in Mexicali. We found our first place in Mexicali on . Good luck, and
    God Bless,

  • maria

    Hello MaryAnn, just finished reading you posts they are great and very helpful, I will be moving hopefully to Mexicali pretty soon to join my husband who lost his immigration case:( from the sound of it it looks like Mexicali is the safest i just hear it gets pretty warm i suppose. But what do you think of jobs there are they pretty good or better question is there jobs there?? i am an Office Manager currently in san francisco. Just learned that i can also use U.S dollars! i wonder where i can get more info on houses to rent or studios apartments by the beach or so?

    thank you,

  • Google:
    se renta mexicali hipico
    if you want to rent or
    se vende mexicali hipico
    if you want to buy.
    God Bless,

  • Carli

    Hi MaryAnn,
    Do you know of a good website to look for homes in Colonia Hipico?

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