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Mexico Gated Communities – Five Reasons Not to Live in One

Mexico Gated Communities - Five Reasons Not to Live in One
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We have lived in Mexico for six and a half years. We have lived in three different Mexico gated communities during that time. One in Morelia and two in Uruapan, both in the state of Michoacan. We have also lived in three homes that were not in gated communities. Just regular homes in regular neighborhoods. Yeah, we have moved a lot. I don’t even want to talk about that right now, although I can tell you it does give us a little authority on this subject of Mexico gated communities.

Mexico Gated Communities - Five Reasons Not to Live in One

Personally, we don’t like living in fraccionamientos or the Mexican equivalent of a gated community. In each one we have lived in we have had negative experiences. Some experiences have been worse than others. I will not name the fraccionamientos for safety reasons as I don’t want this to come back and bite me in the butt. But for your reading pleasure here’s my current list of negative experiences in Mexico gated communities.

  • A neighbor’s fish pond pump was tampered with. The rumor was that it was the white kids. We even heard this rumor from our friends which was disturbing because they didn’t even live in the same fraccionamiento. Prior to hearing this rumor, I had consulted with the fraccionamiento guards out of worry. Our children were not involved. It was the neighbor’s kids that caused the damage.
  • One evening there was a knock on our door. It was a drunk neighbor and his friends. I can’t remember what he wanted. I think he was looking for someone and didn’t expect gringos to answer the door. Anyway, there was some silliness due to alcohol, and one of his friends shouted, “Be careful! You are dealing with the biggest drug dealer in the neighborhood!” They all laughed. I didn’t find it funny.
  • While playing at the fraccionamiento playground, one little girl became pushed Sawyer, who was only four. He hit his head against a brick wall causing a deep cut and profuse bleeding. There was also a little boy in the same fraccionamiento who constantly bullied the girls.
  • Another evening the property police knocked on our door. They took our Mexican friend to their office and they firmly told him we were living on someone’s property without permission and we had two weeks to leave or the individual was going to press charges. I still don’t fully understand this situation because we signed papers, put down a deposit, and paid rent to a woman who claimed to own the property. But we left after only three months renting the house. We didn’t need the drama. Click here to read more about this story.
  • The area outside our rental home was a party area. I picked up trash and swept up a street filled with broken beer and liquor bottles on a regular basis. Brad called the casita or guard shack countless times to complain but it continued. Our little corner was a party place. There were drug deals, cocaine use outside our front door, and teens having sex on the street. Ew.
  • We have been bullied by an eight-year-old. It is very weird being bullied by a child when you are an adult. This poor little kid had issues. He was always at our home or in front of our home and I seldom saw his mother. His parents gave him free rein of our block and allowed him to do whatever he wanted. He did not like being told no and was vengeful. Here are some of the things he did that drove us nuts: threw mud all over the front of our house; stole various toys, shoes, and whatever he could reach by coming in our house and taking them or by reaching inside the garage gate; drove his loud and obnoxious four-wheeler around our house doing figure eights around my boys as they played in the dirt; pulled my plants out of the ground in anger; spit and hit our boys intentionally even breaking Sawyer’s glasses; spit and climbed on top of our truck; came inside and stole toilet paper from my hall bath and closet; painted a Mexican curse word on our sidewalk in front of our door; and lied to us constantly when confronted about these things. Unfortunately, his parents did not believe he was capable of these things and did little to stop him. The saddest part is that this same child is capable of kindness and has a beautiful smile. I blame most of his behavior on his parents.

Palm Trees, Mountains, and Oceans Print or Canvas Wall Art

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Palm Trees, Mountains, and Oceans Print or Canvas Wall Art was taken from a cliff overlooking the bay in Caleta de Campo, Michoacan, Mexico. This print is exclusively for sale on paper or canvas in sizes ranging from 5x7 to 40x60 inches at Los Gringos Locos by Tina M Ernspiker Photography.

Besides the above, there are some valid reasons not to live in a fraccionamiento in Mexico.

  1. Gated communities are a pain in the butt to enter and exit for those that live there and for any friends that may come visit. As an example, my mother-in-law popped both her rear tires on the traffic spikes at the entrance due to a misunderstanding with the guard.
  2. Gated communities are more expensive. Rent is higher and there is almost always a maintenance fee in addition to rent. Electricity is usually higher in these neighborhoods as well because the average income is higher.
  3. Gated communities can be snooty and uppity just like the high-end subdivisions in the US. More money can make people feel entitled and self-righteous.
  4. Gated communities can be prejudice against gringos. Not everyone is prejudice but it is definitely there… Like a “Why are you in my country living off your US dollars?” attitude.
  5. Gated communities are sometimes home to unsavory folks, thus the increase in drug users and drug transactions. I mean why not? It’s gated. There is little more security for them.

Please note these reasons don’t apply to every city and town. I am sure somewhere there are some very nice fraccionamientos where you can be comfortable and content. Some of you Mexico expats may already live in one that you love. And that is great, I am happy for you.

My general dislike for Mexico gated communities also has not in any way diminished my love for Mexico. I could never afford to live in a gated community in the US but I am guessing some of my reasons for not living in one would apply there just as they apply here.

In conclusion, the choice is yours and I wish you the absolute best adventure and happiness in Mexico :-)

Signing off, Tina

Originally published March 2, 2020

8 thoughts on “Mexico Gated Communities – Five Reasons Not to Live in One

  1. Claire Janvary says:

    Hi Tina – I was on your blog at one time and not sure what happened, but I ‘lost’ you for a long time. We used to be in the Uruapan Ingles congregation (2013-2014) and still have beautiful memories of the friends there. We’d love to know how everyone is doing and be able to send hugs (when they are permissable again after COVID is over!!!) to our friends. After our 8 years in Mexico I can relate to your post on gated communities! We loved living there and returned to the US to care for elderly parents. With that said, there were challenges that come from being the minority in a country and long-held prejudices. Hope you and your family are well. Look forward to reading your posts again. Claire Janvary

    • Tina Marie Ernspiker says:

      Thanks, Claire! I am glad you found us again :-) We are doing well. Stuck in the house but healthy :-) I miss our friends at the Kingdom Hall very much and I will be glad when we are together again and in our Bible ministry! Be safe and stay well!

  2. John H says:

    Sorry for these experiences! I have had similar ones in non-gated communities. Guess it’s the luck of the draw.

  3. Pat Hall says:

    Another reason not to live in a gated community — if I were a thief, I’d figure anybody living in a gated community has lots of money and things to be protected. The reason they’re living in the gated community must be to guard all their precious possessions. A thief can easily find a way to get into a gated community — just go over the fence far away from the guards at the gate.

    • Tina Marie Ernspiker says:

      I guess if you want something bad enough you will find a way… And in Uruapan, some gated-communities have homes and people of different economic backgrounds. Some homes were established before the gated-community was built up around them. Sometimes you have a very large and wealthy home next to a small and simple home. Not everyone in this type of gated-communities is rich.

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