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#1 avons

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 06:58 PM

My Wife has a friend who lives in Las Americas just outside the city towards Progreso.
Has anybody been there? Could anybody tell us how it actually is?
We been looking at the rental market there, it looks affordable for our budget, and her friend
told us that it is quiet, and very safe.
Would anybosy have any more information about the place?


Thank you



#2 ChuckD

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 08:56 AM

I've driven through a couple of times. It's a vast treeless housing subdivision with rows and rows of houses of identical design. It's an easy commute to Merida, but to mee seems like a fairly depressing place.
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#3 fishinisfun45

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 10:37 AM

To-may-to ... to-mah-to (unless you are Dan Quayle)

Some parts of Las Americas are solely cookie cutter homes, but in other sections, each owner has made different touches to the front facades of the homes and different plantings in the front gardens. There seems to be a lot of pride-of-ownership in my perception.

Las Americas is a large subdivision about 2 miles outside of Merida. The homes in Las Americas are generally built using a Mexican Government subsidized loan program, so they are mostly starter homes. Most are 1 story homes with about 3 different floor plans - 12 x 12 or 14 x 14 ft rooms are common. About 10% of the homes are 2 story - and surprisingly large with unique architectural designs.

Las Americas is far cleaner than many Centro gringo gulches.
Las Americas is far cleaner than Chelem.
Las Americas is far cleaner than Progreso.
Levels of yard and building maintenance (painting) seem much higher than typical Centro blocks with gringo homes and much better than Chelem, Chuburna, or Progreso.

Still, I would guess that 80% of Las Americas homes look pretty similar to each other.

As affordable housing goes, they are much much nicer that similar US public housing projects and worlds better than French or Soviet Bloc affordable housing. I say all these nice things about Las Americas, because it sure seems much much nicer than similar housing projects in South Merida and East Merida. The South Merida projects seem run-down and a bit depressing for my tastes.

I'd bet that gringo renters would find their Las Americas neighbors to be blue collar - speaking some English - people happy to own their own cute places. It's no Garcia Gineres, Colonia Mexico, or Campestre - but many gringos find few English speakers in upscale Merida neighborhoods - and upscale Yucatecans typically have busy schedules with work, family, etc - so the upper middle class Yucos tend to interact less (or not at all) with their neighbors than the people in blue collar Merida areas.

I've done repairs and maintenance inside a few of them, and I found them to have cute, simple, and functional inside spaces. Much much nicer inside than most Centro properties - decent electrical, decent plumbing - unlike Centro or Chelem etc.

different strokes for different folks.

#4 YolistoKhaki

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 11:47 AM

I'd betcha, with no fear of losing the bet, that college degrees and small business ownership are thick enough in the northern fraccionamientos that you couldn't stir them with a stick. Come back and take a second look every year or so. It won't be long before second stories begin to rise and young shade trees begin to work their magic.

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 12:49 PM

avons, can you be a little more specific about affordable. Thanks

#6 avons

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 07:58 PM

Well we will not have too much money to start with two small children. And we wanted to rent as cheap as possible. But we also realize that if we live there we would have to have a car as well.
My wife is Mexican. She thought univercity English before we got married. She is also a certified translator, not the tottaly formal one, but she needs one or two courses to become one. So we were looking to open a business for her.
Because of the money with car, we might looking to move to centro. There we would not need a car, and perhaps would have better prospects for the business.

#7 Dave_in_Ont

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 09:05 PM

Avons..I wish you the best in your quest.

Speaking in real terms..."not too much money"...probably will lead to problems for you guys.

Since you don't mention a dollar figure budget per month, I will offer this.

With 2 adults and 2 children, VERY modest living, figure around $1500-2000 US per month including rent on a VERY modest place.

I know others will agree or disagree with that generalization but it is what I would suggest as a minimum monetary need.

We are retired and have a "nest egg" behind us, as well as monthly pension incomes. We survive here on the figures I mentioned, but that is also AFTER paying rent. Car expenses vary, as do food, booze, restaurants etc..

Personally, I wouldn't consider a move here without having a guaranteed monthly income of $2000 US minimum, no matter how frugally I wanted to live.

Just my opinion/thought.

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#8 CasiYucateco

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 09:42 PM

People tend to throw around "safe" everywhere, except maybe the southern fraccionamientos and Kanasin.

Las Americas -- in my mind -- is not a good place to be for people wishing to cut their costs to a minimum as every little thing will require a trip in a car. Living in any of the more established neighborhoods in Merida, you will have little shops on the corners for some food or water basics, some hardware basics, etc. While Las Americas has bus service, you'll likely have longer rides than in other areas of town, unless you just come and go from North Merida to Las Americas.

If you are thinking of a translator business for English-speaking folks, the majority live in Merida Centro or along the beach areas, but really might be found in any area. An easy location for them to find and to park is more important than the exact address, most likely. So a house in a quiet neighborhood with plenty of parking on the street (outside of Centro) might be a good place, if you plan to do the translator business out of the front of the house. There are many 'side' neighborhoods near the big popular ones mentioned which might work out. Just be sure to consider how easy a place is to find from major streets while you are looking for rentals.

Being the spouse of a Mexican citizen, you may want to explore gaining Mexican citizenship as soon as possible, as that would also allow you to work without the paperwork issues for a foreigner. You may hold dual US / Mexican citizenship.
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#9 doble

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 10:09 PM

There are many "good" neighbourhoods in Merida - with normal houses and reasonable rents - street parking is a real plus for a business, but keep in mind that there are some restrictions on setting up a business in parts of your house - I know that seems crazy given the number of tiendas that seem to be everywhere in every house in some colonias.
I suggest that you shop around once you arrive.
Saludos and good luck.

Las Americas is a newer neighbourhood - but as previously pointed out, it is a little remote from the rest of the city (a suburb, really) so would require a vehicle unless you wanted to spend a lot of time on a bus. The houses there are Infonavit houses (financing provided by govt) and are reasonably small and basic - some updates are happenning there - probably as safe as many other neighbourhoods in Merida.

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 09:04 PM

I recently went through the process of looking for a house to rent. My husband and I were looking at 1 story 2 bedroom houses in Las Americas, and the rent was generally $2,500 MX per month. We decided not to live there because it is a bit remote---15 minutes to the nearest supermarket just seemed a little much for me. For about $3000 MX a month, you can rent a house in the Churburna/ Francisco Montejo area, and be much closer to services.

-Sara

#11 fishinisfun45

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 09:26 PM

...
Being the spouse of a Mexican citizen, you may want to explore gaining Mexican citizenship as soon as possible, as that would also allow you to work without the paperwork issues for a foreigner. You may hold dual US / Mexican citizenship.


Avons,
If you decide you want to get Mexican citizenship, and carry two passports, realize that the US does not allow dual citizenship with Mexico.** Possible Loss of U.S. Citizenship and Dual Nationality

"U.S. citizens are subject to loss of citizenship if they ... obtain naturalization in a foreign state (Sec. 349 (a) (1) INA) ...

When an American citizen becomes a naturalized Mexican citizen, Mexico requires that the American renounce their US citizenship. Fortunately, US rules currently say that telling the Mexican Govt. that you renounce your US citizenship does not meet the US restriction against:

"U.S. citizens are subject to loss of citizenship if they ... formally renounc(e) U.S. citizenship before a U.S. diplomatic or consular officer outside the United States (sec. 349 (a) (5) INA); "

So, you can become a naturalized Mexican citizen and carry 2 passports, but you cannot formally be a citizen of both US and Mexico under US laws.

**The US does allow dual nationality for some classes of Mexican Americans. This means that your children qualify for full legal Dual Nationality in both the USA and Mexico.
Dual Nationality for US Children of a Mexican Parent

#12 avons

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 09:57 PM

hello


I am letting everybody know I am from Canada not from the US.
Also,SARAH, if you can tell me where in Chuburna and Paseo de Montejo (street number) so we can look.


Thanks.

#13 Channi

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 01:56 PM

Avons,
If you decide you want to get Mexican citizenship, and carry two passports, realize that the US does not allow dual citizenship with Mexico.** Possible Loss of U.S. Citizenship and Dual Nationality

"U.S. citizens are subject to loss of citizenship if they ... obtain naturalization in a foreign state (Sec. 349 (a) (1) INA) ...

When an American citizen becomes a naturalized Mexican citizen, Mexico requires that the American renounce their US citizenship. Fortunately, US rules currently say that telling the Mexican Govt. that you renounce your US citizenship does not meet the US restriction against:

"U.S. citizens are subject to loss of citizenship if they ... formally renounc(e) U.S. citizenship before a U.S. diplomatic or consular officer outside the United States (sec. 349 (a) (5) INA); "

So, you can become a naturalized Mexican citizen and carry 2 passports, but you cannot formally be a citizen of both US and Mexico under US laws.

**The US does allow dual nationality for some classes of Mexican Americans. This means that your children qualify for full legal Dual Nationality in both the USA and Mexico.
Dual Nationality for US Children of a Mexican Parent


I was skeptical about the statement about dual citizenship: “…If you decide you want to get Mexican citizenship, and carry two passports, realize that the US does not allow dual citizenship with Mexico.** Possible Loss of U.S. Citizenship and Dual Nationality…” I sought the counsel of the renowned Rolly Brook from Mexconnect who I trust is a familiar name to many on the Yolisto site. See Rolly’s reply below:

"Hi Channi,
The guy is flat wrong. Both México and the USA allow dual citizenship. I personally know 6 dual citizens here in Lerdo and am e-acquainted with several others.
Rolly".

Kinda’of an interesting aside is that Presidents Calderon and Obama are on MSNBC as I write this... while wondering what the bottom line is on a US birth citizen acquiring Mexican- and, therefore- dual citizenship.

#14 ChuckD

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 02:15 PM

I don't think the guy is "flat wrong." The link fishin' provided, and quoted from, is the US Department of State. I think I would take the US Dept. of State documentation over a a "renowned" someone with no connection to the State Dept (that I know of).

Notice the site, and fishin', do say "possible." I'm sure there are multiple scenarios for affected individuals.
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#15 Channi

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 02:45 PM

Yes, I think you are correct about "multiple scenarios". A key to whether one is able to maintain US citzenship or not is outlined in this direct quote from the State Dept site:

"...the consular officer will simply ask the applicant if there was intent to relinquish U.S. citizenship when performing the act. If the answer is no, the consular officer will certify that it was not the person's intent to relinquish U.S. citizenship and, consequently, find that the person has retained U.S. citizenship."

So one's "intent to relinquish U.S. citizenship" makes all the difference. If the answer is "no" to reliquishment,then dual citzenship is possible apparently.

#16 fishinisfun45

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 04:05 PM

The issue of dual citizenship for both the US and Mexico is a bit messy, but fun. If you choose to become a naturalized citizen of Mexico, you publicly swear under oath to renounce your US citizenship as a requirement of getting Mexican citizenship.**

Because of the Vance v. Terrazas US Supreme Court decision, the court decided that US citizenship could not be taken away, unless the citizen's intent to give up citizenship could be established through a standard of a preponderance of evidence.

The US Congress, Supreme Court, and State Department decided that publicly swearing to another government that you renounce your citizenship is not sufficient to meet the preponderance of evidence that you actually renounced your citizenship. The Congress and Court decided that it takes a formal declaration of renouncing U.S. citizenship before a U.S. diplomatic or consular officer outside the United States.

So, there's basically a legal loophole where the US Government does not accept the expat naturalized-Citizenship renunciation as given to the Mexican Govt. So, formally, becoming a naturalized citizen of another country puts the US citizen at risk of losing their US citizenship, but the US legal burden of proof has been set high enough that the US State Department and CIS cannot generally prove that the US expat naturalized Mexican citizens actually renounced their citizenship - unless you wave your renunciation directly in their faces. As Channi points out, if you are willing to deny that your prior renunciation of US citizenship was not actually intended "to relinquish U.S. citizenship"**, then the US govt. does not prosecute.

Clear as mud?

US law prohibits US citizens from becoming Naturalized Mexican Citizens, but because it's difficult for the US Govt. to prove the renunciation, some US citizens apply for and get Mexican Citizenship without ever being prosecuted.

This is like doing a perfect crime that cannot be prosecuted: People can commit criminal acts, breaking laws, but the State must prove that they committed a crime before a penalty can be assessed. US Citizens becoming naturalized Mexican citizens are crimes that are not easily prosecuted, but they are still illegal.

Gotta love lawyers and the subtleties of the law.

**Any contradiction here?
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Later: "I really did not intend that promise..."
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#17 YolistoKhaki

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 04:46 PM

I'm sure there are multiple scenarios for affected individuals.


That's an excellent takeaway from this line of discussion. We don't want potential American expats who might want or need Mexican citizenship (for a variety of reasons) to think they will automatically lose their American citizenship or that they will be doing something that is against the law if they become Mexican citizens. We have lots of Americans in Yucatan who have two passports and are perfectly within the law. Most of us are retired - or nearing retirement - so we see the world from our point of view - but our recent mail shows a huge (huge!) increase in younger married couples with small children moving to Yucatan. If our children come to Yucatan, they can put themselves in school - if they want - or check themselves into a hospital - or purchase insurance under their own name. As more and more Mexican and American young people marry and have children, both countries are very aware that there are special circumstances for different individuals and for different population groups. For our newbies - don't let this discussion scare you. Go talk to someone at the consulate office. You'll be fine here and your individual needs will be respected.

#18 lippincottfarm

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 08:09 PM

Fishinisfun is kind of right and kind of wrong. As usual, the legal issues are clouded with details and associated policies. The facts in the Terrazas case are that Terrazas was born in the US but his father was a Mexican national. He therefore was born with dual citizenship. When Terrazas moved to Mexico as a young man, he completed the paperwork for his certificate of citizenship as a Mexican citizen. It is my understanding that a person born outside of Mexico must complete this process for his Mexican citizenship to be recognized. Part of this certificate of citizenship process is affirming "adherence, obedience, and submission to the laws and authorities of the Mexican Republic" and "expressly renounc[ing] United States citizenship, as well as any submission, obedience, and loyalty to any foreign government, especially to that of the United States of America. . . ."

The Department of State, once it was notified of Terrazas’ actions, stripped him of his citizenship. Terrazas appealed to the District Court which agreed with the Department of States’ actions. The District Court concluded that the United States had "proved by a preponderance of the evidence that Laurence J. Terrazas knowingly, understandingly and voluntarily took an oath of allegiance to Mexico, concurrently renounced allegiance to the United States” and that he had therefore "voluntarily relinquished United States citizenship”. . . . . The District Court looked to 8 U.S.C. §1481 in making its ruling.

This statute states:
(a) A person who is a national of the United States whether by birth or naturalization, shall lose his nationality by voluntarily performing any of the following acts with the intention of relinquishing United States nationality—
(1) obtaining naturalization in a foreign state upon his own application or upon an application filed by a duly authorized agent, after having attained the age of eighteen years; or
(2) taking an oath or making an affirmation or other formal declaration of allegiance to a foreign state or a political subdivision thereof, after having attained the age of eighteen years; or
(3) entering, or serving in, the armed forces of a foreign state if
(A) such armed forces are engaged in hostilities against the United States, or
(B) such persons serve as a commissioned or non-commissioned officer; or
(4)
(A) accepting, serving in, or performing the duties of any office, post, or employment under the government of a foreign state or a political subdivision thereof, after attaining the age of eighteen years if he has or acquires the nationality of such foreign state; or
(B) accepting, serving in, or performing the duties of any office, post, or employment under the government of a foreign state or a political subdivision thereof, after attaining the age of eighteen years for which office, post, or employment an oath, affirmation, or declaration of allegiance is required; or
(5) making a formal renunciation of nationality before a diplomatic or consular officer of the United States in a foreign state, in such form as may be prescribed by the Secretary of State; or
(6) making in the United States a formal written renunciation of nationality in such form as may be prescribed by, and before such officer as may be designated by, the Attorney General, whenever the United States shall be in a state of war and the Attorney General shall approve such renunciation as not contrary to the interests of national defense; or
(7) committing any act of treason against, or attempting by force to overthrow, or bearing arms against, the United States, violating or conspiring to violate any of the provisions of section 2383 of title 18, or willfully performing any act in violation of section 2385 of title 18, or violating section 2384 of title 18 by engaging in a conspiracy to overthrow, put down, or to destroy by force the Government of the United States, or to levy war against them, if and when he is convicted thereof by a court martial or by a court of competent jurisdiction.
(B) Whenever the loss of United States nationality is put in issue in any action or proceeding commenced on or after September 26, 1961 under, or by virtue of, the provisions of this chapter or any other Act, the burden shall be upon the person or party claiming that such loss occurred, to establish such claim by a preponderance of the evidence. Any person who commits or performs, or who has committed or performed, any act of expatriation under the provisions of this chapter or any other Act shall be presumed to have done so voluntarily, but such presumption may be rebutted upon a showing, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the act or acts committed or performed were not.

Terrazas appealed to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals held that the wrong standard of proof had been used by the District Court. The Court of Appeals found that the evidentiary standard contained in 8 U.S.C. § 1481 was inconsistent with the standard of proof required by the U.S. Constitution which required that proof be not merely by a preponderance of the evidence, but by "clear, convincing and unequivocal evidence.” This is a much higher standard of proof. In a nut shell, what the 7th Circuit said was – you Congress do not have the right to set a lower standard of proof by legislation than the U.S. Constitution requires. This higher standard of proof requires the US government to show by clear and convincing evidence that Terrazas intended to renounce his US citizenship.

The case then went to the U.S. Supreme Court.

At the Supreme Court, the US government argued that committing one of the above acts was sufficient to revoke citizenship. It did not have to show an intent to renounce US citizenship. The U.S. Supreme Court reversed the 7th Circuit Court. What the Supreme Court stated was that Congress did have the right to set a lower standard of proof. However, the intent of the citizen must be considered even if the citizen committed one of the acts set forth in § 1481. So, the Supreme Court remanded the case for consideration of Terrazas’ intent.

Of note is that on remand, Terrazas’ US citizenship was revoked.

So what has changed since Terrazas was decided. In 1990, the policy of the US government was changed. The US government is no longer in the business of actively taking away a US citizen’s citizenship. What the US government does now is ask: did you intend to revoke your US citizenship? If you are smart enough to say -no, then you are fine. Can this policy change again? Of course it can. So, while a US citizen’s citizenship is pretty safe at his time when dual citizenship is procured, I would state that dual citizenship be sought with great care. You never know what tomorrow brings.

A bill was introduced in 2005 which sought, among other things, to force the State Department to abolish the above policy on loss of citizenship and reinstate its pre-1990 policy "of viewing dual/multiple citizenship as problematic and as something to be discouraged, not encouraged." However, this bill never made it to the floor of the House and died in committee when the 109th Congress adjourned. This last paragraph came from Wikipedia.

I have no idea why those little faces are appearing.

#19

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 11:12 AM

Also,SARAH, if you can tell me where in Chuburna and Paseo de Montejo (street number) so we can look.
Thanks.


Churburna and Fraccionamiento Francisco Montejo (different than Paseo Montejo) are two neighborhoods in the Northern part of Merida. There are also some other smaller neighborhoods in the same area. It's close to the Gran Plaza, and the Chedurai Norte. I can't really narrow it down to street numbers because it's a big area.

-Sara

#20 CoyoteMan

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 06:27 PM

I'm probably going to repeat what Lippincott Farm wrote, but I didn't read her post all the way through. Apologies in advance, C.! Also, I did zero reading or research about this. The following is what I was told. Take it for what it's worth.

My understanding is that you cannot have two citizenships. But if you lie to the State Department, you can possess two passports. The people I know with dual citizenships (exclusive of those whose birth is the deciding factor, e.g., my friend who is American but was born in London) have to be careful about which passport they use at any given time. They only travel abroad (whereever abroad may be) with one passport, and they don't mix passports on a single trip.

These are Mexican nationals by birth who have been granted U.S. citizenship. It might be different for U.S. nationals getting Mexican citizenship.

-- J.

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