For decades Ajijic, a small traditional town located on the shores of Lake Chapala in western Mexico, has been a magnet for retirees from the US, Canada and Europe, and that is totally understandable. The US consulate in Guadalajara, estimates than more than 20,000 US citizens inhabite the shores of the lake, being the town of Chapala and Ajijic their prefered destinations. Being these two towns only a few miles away from each other, they share the same year-round spring-like weather, among other allures; Ajijic however, has a particular charm. Perhaps it is its small town unaltered tranquility that reminds of the ancient country life in Mexico. Maybe it is the friendliness of the locals, that welcome everyone and make them feel at home or maybe the fact that to enjoy all of this, you do not have to give up the perks of the modern. Ajijic and its sourondings offer all kind of services you can need in your daily life, from high speed internet to medical services, supermarkets, movie theaters, banks, restaurants, and of course Spanish language schools, should you need to improve your rolling "R"s. Not enough? well Guadalajara, Mexico's second largest city, is only 30 minutes away from Ajijic, there you can find world class medical services, top notch department stores and malls, award winning restaurants and an international airport with direct service to more than 30 cities within Mexico, 27 cities in the United States and 3 in Central America.
But honestly once you begin enjoying the slow and pleasurable rhythm of the life lakeside, you will have few reasons to leave Ajijic, let alone taking a flight to anywhere else. And do not get us wrong with all this tranquility thing, we are not suggesting that all you can do in Ajijic is stare at the lake thru your window all day long, oh no! We are simply saying that you will have the enough time and opportunity to do whatever you want, relaxed stuff or not. From bringing back to life those artistic dotes and joining a painting class, getting involved with the local community and work as volunteer in a charity or maybe starting your own business such a restaurant, a hotel or a paintball field, why not?
Back to Ajijic, lets talk about unavoidable topic: security. Everybody knows that violence has raised in Mexico in the last decade. Denying it would be naive, to say the least. But lets put this in context, pre 2006 criminal levels in most parts of Mexico was among the lowest in any part of the globe, way below the average levels in the United States. The goverment's anti-drug trafficking strategy, leaded to a fight againts and between cartels, deteriorating the feel of security for everybody and sadly without undermine the cartels' power. The security landscape in Mexico has moved from an homogeneous sense of peace to a peculiar mix where you can now find some of the most violent places on earth but also many cities that preserve their calmness; with security levels matching the safest countries in the world; fortunatly Ajijic is closer to the latest group. Chances are that you will hear about crimes, but probably not to a higher extent than in your hometown and as in America if you do not bother anyone, nobody will bother you.
If you are reading this article is probable that you are already considering moving abroad for your retirement years. Given its weather, its people, its closeness from home and a convenient exchange rate, Ajijic is undoubtedly a great option.