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For years, Mexico has been a top destination for visitors, expats and retirees. Sadly, the violence related to drug cartels and TV shows present the whole country as a very dangerous place; when the reality is that violence is located in certain border areas.

The Yucatan Peninsula has not suffered the escalating levels of violence of other regions of Mexico. The state of Yucatan is the safest in all of the country, with a rate of 2.8%; compared with the national average of 27%. Crimes related to drugs or kidnappings of foreigners are unheard of. Violent crimes happen mainly in poor areas in Cancun; far away from the hotel zone and tourists.

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“Millions of U.S. citizens safely visit Mexico each year for study, tourism, and business, including more than 150,000 who cross the border every day.  The Mexican government dedicates substantial resources to protect visitors to major tourist destinations, and there is no evidence that organized criminal groups have targeted U.S. visitors or residents based on their nationality.  Resort areas and tourist destinations in Mexico generally do not see the levels of drug-related violence and crime that are reported in the border region or in areas along major trafficking routes.” Said the U.S. Department of State – Bureau of Consular Affairs at the U.S. Passports & International Travel Office in a Mexico Travel Warning published on October 10, 2014. They also stated:

Quintana Roo: Cancun, Cozumel, Playa del Carmen, Riviera Maya and Tulum are major cities/travel destinations in Quintana Roo – No advisory is in effect.

Yucatan: Merida and Chichen Itza are major cities/travel destinations in Yucatan – No advisory is in effect.

When it comes to road safety, roads are kept in good condition; toll roads tend to be in better shape than highways and drivers need to keep an eye out for the speed bumps on the roads as many are unmarked.

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The road that has the most accidents is 307, the road that connects Cancun, Playa del Carmen and Tulum. This road has a lot of traffic and people tend to drive too fast.

Moving to Mexico is an excellent choice, as it is so close to the United States and Canada. With direct flights departing daily, and it only takes few hours to get to your new home and back to visit friends and family!

Mexico offers not only culture, history and charm, it is ideal to make your money last much longer; as the cost of living is much cheaper. If you chose to live in destinations like Cancun or Playa del Carmen your cost of living will be reduced, but if you want to see dramatic low prices Yucatan State is the place!

Now if you have any question about this or any of the TOP MEXICO REAL ESTATE properties we have listed in Playa Del Carmen, The Riviera Maya or anywhere throughout Mexico, please feel free to contact any of our TOP MEXICO EXPERT SALES TEAM and we will be glad to help you find your very own piece of paradise.

And remember, here at TOP MEXICO REAL ESTATE

We make it happen!

We would like to thank Quetzal for sponsoring this blog. Quetzal is a new development in Bahia Principe. To learn more about Quetzal, please click here.

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Hanal Pixan is the Mayan celebration for the Day of the Dead, the term means “Food for the souls” and the festivity have particularities that are unique to the Yucatan Peninsula. The celebration spans from October 30th to November 2nd and it includes a shrine and offerings of food for the souls.

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Hanal Pixan: Elements of the Shrine in the Mayan Community

Mesa:

The table is the base for the shrine, traditionally it will hold the food, drink, religious images or whatever the family wants to include in their shrine.

Mantel:

The tablecloth changes according to who is celebrated, if it is a kid; bright colors can be used. If the shrine is to commemorate adults, the tablecloth is traditionally white or gray as a sign of respect.

Censer/ Incense

Traditional Mayan style censers can be bought in local markets, as well as the Copal to burn on or by the altar.  The idea is to offer light with the coal needed to keep it lit and the pleasant scent to attract the spirits.

Salt and water:

These are essential elements for the shrine and normally they are located on jicaras or gourds. Their function is to guide the souls and ward off bad spirits.

Shrine for adults:

For these souls the table covered with a white tablecloth with embroidery in black, a cross and images of saints, as well as portraits of the deceased is also placed. They make offerings on gourds, a glass of water and mucbipollo tamales or any dish that the deceased wanted and enjoyed in life, accompanied by breads, fruits, flowers, large candles, incense, liquor and cigars.

Shrine for the Anima Sola:

The Anima sola is a soul with no one to celebrate him or her, in order to let everyone be part of the Day of the Dead fiesta; there is a special shrine for this spirit. On one side of the family altar a small table covered with a white cloth, on which a large white candle, a glass of water and a plate of food.

Mucbipollo:

This delicacy is prepared only for the day of the death celebrations and it is a tamale filled with chicken and spices.  This tamale is wrapped in banana leaves and then cooked in a hole in the earth.

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Hanal Pixan: Experience the Day of the Dead in a Mayan Community

The local Tour Company Alltournative is offering residents of the Riviera Maya the wonderful experience of the Hanal Pixan celebrations in a Mayan Community.

This tour offers transportation, the event and food for a really good price, make sure to let them know you are a local to get special discounts!

Now if you have any question about this or any of the TOP MEXICO REAL ESTATE properties we have listed in Playa Del Carmen, The Riviera Maya or anywhere throughout Mexico, please feel free to contact any of our TOP MEXICO EXPERT SALES TEAM and we will be glad to help you find your very own piece of paradise.

And remember, here at TOP MEXICO REAL ESTATE

We make it happen!

We would like to thank Hacienda del Rio for sponsoring this blog. Hacienda del Rio is a new development in El Cielo. To learn more about Hacienda del Rio, please click here.

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Valle Bambu, Catrina Fest Open House

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Please join us this Saturday, November 1st from 1:00 P.M. – 5:00 P.M. Valle Bambu is hosting an Open House on at the Valle Bambu Sales Palapa at Arco Vial near Centro Maya. Thomas Lloyd the director of commercialization and Roberto Rosa the president of Valle Bambu got together and decided that it would be fun the present the family friendly neighborhood Valle Bambu to the community at a fun event for the whole family. There will be many fun activity for the kids like a trick or treat haunted forest and families can get their photos with one of the many Catrina puppets that will be at the event, designed and created by the Top Mexico Real Estate Marketing team and the Universidad Riviera Maya. There will also be a costume contest at 4:30 P.M. for children 4-7 years old, 8-10 years old and for pets, the grand prize for the two children’s age group will be an IPad Mini and the winning pet will take home a surprise, as well. The honored guest judges for the costume contest will be Ing. Eduardo Morentín Ocejo Director General of Dirección General de Ordenamiento Ambiental y Desarrollo Urbano, a representative from La Gaceta and The Playa Times, Carla Toledo from Soy Playense, Roberto Rosa the president of Valle Bambu and Thomas Lloyd the director of commercialization. Come celebrate the Dia de los Muertos at the Catrina Fest Open House and find out what the new family friendly community Valle Bambu has to offer.

Valle Bambu is a new, family friendly neighborhood in Playa del Carmen. Valle Bambu is convenitaly located close to supermarkets, shops, resturants, family entertainment and the beautiful beaches but far enough away from downtown Playa del Carmen.

The newest gated development inside Valle Bambu to be completed is Bambu Residential. Bambu Residentail features a pool and beautifuly manaquered park with a playground. Bambu Residential offers costum homes, residential lots and villa. Bambu Villas has 9 two and three bedroom villa in the complex with prices starting at $165,257 USD. Amenitys include a front and backyard and a common area with a swimming pool.

La Escondida is a gated, new luxury condo-hotel with prices starting at $260,000 USD. La Escondida is surrounded by lush tropical vegetation and a swimming pool with canals that wind through the complex. Luxury amenitys include a putting green, game room, bocce, fitness club and an internet café. If you are look for a top of the line in luxury condo-hotel, then look no farther then La Escondida.

Another stunning developement scheduled for the Valle Bambu district is Bosques de Bambu. Bosques de Bambu just broke ground on the first of five clusters, featuring residential lots starting at $64,350 USD. There will be multiple pools and beautifully designed common areas throughout Bosques de Bambu, Perfict for relaxing with your friends and family. Pre-construction pricing and in-house financing makes Bosques de Bambu a great investment.

Here at Valle Bambu, you are sure to find your place to call home. Whether you are a young couple just starting out, a family, someone looking for your dream retirement community or someone just looking for a great rental investment property, Valle Bambu has something for you. There are truly as many options in this new family friendly neighborhood as there are sands on the white sandy beaches of the Mayan Riviera. So come joins us at the open house, have a little fun and find your dream house.

Inside the beautiful Valle Bambu property you will find beautifully manicured gardens and landscapes throughout the region. The different developments inside Valle Bambu offers many amenities such as pools, palapas, picnic tables, barbeque grills and parks with a children’s playground. Soon to come to this district is an exclusive sports club, school and a dog park. All of this makes Valle Bambu the best neighborhood to enjoy life in the Mayan Riviera.

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Día de Muertos, Come Celebrate With Us!

Dia de Muertos, the Day of the Dead has been a Mexican tradition, dating back past the pre-Columbian era. The Day of the Dead has evolved from an ancient Pre-Hispanic culture to include traditional catholic elements.  The Day of the Dead is a Mexican holiday honoring and celebrate love ones who have passed on. Over the years, the “Day of the Dead” has become more known and popularized through Halloween costumes such as the famous “Catrinas” and movies like “The Book of Life”.

Day of the Dead takes place on November 1st and 2nd, the days marked by the Catholic Church to celebrate the memory of All Saints and All Souls.  The Day of the Dead celebration begins in the morning with the ringing of church bells and the practice of certain rites, such as decorating tombs and making shrines.

Día de Muertos: The Catrina

The famous drawing La Calavera Catrina, the Elegant Skull was created in 1910 by Jose Guadalupe Posada, a famous printmaker. La Calavera Catrina depicts a female skeleton dressed only in an upper class European hat. Posada drew La Calavera Catrina as a satirical portrait of those wishing to adopt aristocratic European traditions during the pre-revolutionary era. Posada’s image of the female skeleton is widely associated with the Day of the Dead and Catrinas have become the icon of the Mexican Día de Muertos.

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Top Mexico Real Estate has included Catrinas in their celebration. In celebration of the Day of the Dead, on Friday night October 31st Top Mexico Real Estate will be on 5th avenue in Playa del Carmen with handmade Catrina puppets designed and created by Universidad Riviera Maya and the Top Mexico Real Estate Marketing team. So come celebrate Dia de los Muertos with us and get a once in a lifetime photo taken with these one of a kind as Catrinas they parade down 5th avenue.

Día de Muertos: The Shrine

The Shrine is fundamental in the celebration of Day of the Dead. Mourners hold the belief that the spirit of their dead return from the underworld to live with the family that day.

The altar, is generally placed on a table or shelf; the most common are the shrines of two levels or three levels, representing heaven and earth and purgatory. Another traditions have altars with seven levels symbolize the steps necessary to get to heaven, this is considered the most traditional shrine.

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  1. First Level: The image of a saint, you can pick a saint the deceased were particularly devoted to, or the patron saint of their country or city, etc.
  2. Second Level: This is for the souls in purgatory; to get permission to get out for that day.
  3. Third level: Use of salt, which symbolizes the purification of the spirit for children placed in purgatory.
  4. Fourth Level: bread, offered as food for the souls that pass there.
  5. Fifth level: Preferred food, fruits and beverage of the deceased.
  6. Sixth level: photographs of deceased family members, friends, etc.
  7. Seventh level: a cross formed by seeds or fruits such as hawthorn and lime is placed.

Elements to Decorate Your Shrine

Copal and incense: Copal is a prehispanic element that cleanses and purifies the energy of a place and of those who use it; incense Hallows environment.

Candles: They are considered as a guiding light in this world. The candles can be placed according to the cardinal points, and extend candles as a path to get to the altar.

Flowers: The marigold flower is believed to guide the spirits into this world, with its smell.

Calaveras: The skulls are distributed around the altar and can be made of sugar, clay or plaster, with colorful ornaments; are considered an allusion to death.

Alcoholic beverages: Traditionally it would be Tequila, Mezcal or Pulque; but in general whatever the deceased preferred like bottles of coke, juice or tea.

Mexico is a country full of colorful traditions such as Day of the dead. Come and celebrate with us and the Catrina’s on 5th avenue this Friday night. See you there!

Now if you have any question about this or any of the TOP MEXICO REAL ESTATE properties we have listed in Playa Del Carmen, The Riviera Maya or anywhere throughout Mexico, please feel free to contact any of our TOP MEXICO EXPERT SALES TEAM and we will be glad to help you find your very own piece of paradise.

And remember, here at TOP MEXICO REAL ESTATE

We make it happen!

We would like to thank Papaya 15 for sponsoring this blog. Papaya 15 is a new development in Downtown Playa del Carmen. To learn more about Papaya 15, please click here.

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IMSS Insurance For Foreigners

One of the main concerns of many of our retired clients has to do with health insurance, after all an accident, emergency procedure or sudden illness could throw anyone’s budget out of balance. Even with the very reasonable prices offered by doctors and pharmacies in Mexico, it is important to have a few backup plans in case of an emergency.

If you want to keep prices low and make sure your policy would cover any sort of disease; one of the options can be enrolling on the IMSS (Mexican Institute for Social Security) medical plan.

IMSS insurance for foreigners: What is IMSS?

IMSS stands for Mexican Institute for Social Security; it was founded in 1943 by the Mexican Government to provide health services as well as pensions for Mexican employees. Mexico has one of the largest Social Security groups in Latin America and their hospitals have some of the best doctors in the country.

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IMSS insurance for foreigners: Pros and cons

Pros Cons
Low cost, with a yearly premium of $7,531.55 in 2014. About 556 USD regardless of your age. For that price you will probably be able to get a decent “Seguro de Gastos Mayores” policy in Mexico.
Some of the best doctors work for IMSS, and have a second office in fancy private hospitals. Why pay more? The wait time to see a specialist might be long, from a couple of days to months. You have to consult with the general doctor first to be referred to the specialist.
IMSS has clinics and hospitals all over the country, in case of an emergency they will let you into any of their hospitals. Sometimes there is not enough staff, medicines or equipment. You might have to buy certain items to get the service.
A wide array of wellbeing programs: IMSS has a wide array of preventive medicine services, free vaccines, programs to control diabetes, etc. These services might not be worth your time if you can go to a private doctor and pay a few dollars for a consultation. 
No Expense limits: IMSS doesn’t limit your coverage, whatever you need; If IMSS has it, it will be provided to you. Again, in case of a serious illness, time consuming waiting lists might affect your health.

IMSS insurance for foreigners: Restrictions

It is important to know that IMSS will not cover these pre-existing conditions:

Malignant tumors; chronic degenerative diseases such as late complications of diabetes mellitus; Gaucher disease; chronic liver disease; chronic renal failure; cardiac valve; heart failure; sequelae of ischemic heart disease (arrhythmia, angina or myocardial infarction); Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease with respiratory failure.

IMSS also won’t cover chronic systemic connective tissue diseases; addictions such as alcoholism and other addictions; mental disorders such as psychosis and dementia; and congenital or acquired HIV.

While IMSS might not be a fancy choice, many Mexicans like having the service and also having a private “Seguro de Gastos Mayores Policy”. If you have to go to the doctor for a check-up or some tests, it might be better to pay in cash. In case of something more serious, by all means use your private insurance policy and if everything else fails, you have your IMSS coverage.

Top Mexico Now if you have any question about this or any of the TOP MEXICO REAL ESTATE properties we have listed in Playa Del Carmen, The Riviera Maya or anywhere throughout Mexico, please feel free to contact any of our TOP MEXICO EXPERT SALES TEAM and we will be glad to help you find your very own piece of paradise.

And remember, here at TOP MEXICO REAL ESTATE

We make it happen!

We would like to thank atSi for sponsoring this blog. AtSi is a new development in El Cielo. To learn more about atSi, please click here.

 

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