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  • Mexperience: Comprehension: ¿Me Entiendes, o Me Explico?

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    By PinPoint Spanish.

    Some while ago, an exercise by BBC Mundo showed the most annoying expression across the Spanish speaking world as being “¿me entiendes?” —do you understand me?— which certain speakers will inject into their conversation when trying to make a point.

    One similar expression, “¿me explico?“ —am I explaining myself?, or am I making myself clear?— is fairly common in Mexico, and particularly galling.

    Like its counterpart “¿me entiendes?,” “¿me explico?” comes across as speaking down to the listener, with the added poison of fake humility. Both carry the implication that any failure to comprehend (and of course agree) is caused by the faulty intellect of the receiver.

    Continue reading at Mexperience: Comprehension: ¿Me Entiendes, o Me Explico? More #Mexperience

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  • Mexperience: Cultural Insight: Woe is the Malinchista

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    By Foreign Native.

    Malinchista is a term some Mexicans use to describe other Mexicans who show a preference for foreign things, speak gushingly of the order and tidiness to be found abroad, or are critical of Mexico and Mexican ways vis-à-vis their foreign counterparts.

    The expression malinchista (or the practice, malinchismo) harks back five centuries to the native woman Malinche —the Aztecs called her Malintzin, and the Spanish doña Marina— who served as interpreter for Hernán Cortés, became his mistress, and bore him a son.

    Incidents in her early life meant that Malinche spoke both Maya and Náhuatl, and along with Gerónimo de Aguilar, who knew Spanish and Maya, allowed Cortés to communicate with the Aztecs in his conquest of Tenochtitlán.

    Continue reading at Mexperience: Cultural Insight: Woe is the Malinchista. More #Mexperience

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  • Mexperience: The Five Vowel Sounds in the Spanish Language

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    By PinPoint Spanish.

    One thing that makes Spanish conversation quite easy for the beginner is that there are basically only five vowel sounds.

    Vowels don’t change their sound in Spanish
    By themselves, Spanish vowels never really alter their sound, unlike English vowels, which, to the native Spanish speaker can be quite baffling. Pronunciation of words like determine, waffle, sausage, and names like Ian and Graham, as well as wind (the kind that blows) and wind (as a watch), read (present) and read (past), and differences in the pronunciation of words such as rough, bough, though, thought and thorough, are almost anathema to the logical Spanish mind.

    Even when two vowels together join to make a single sound, that sound is essentially a combination of the two vowels’ individual pronunciations.

    Continue reading at Mexperience: The Five Vowel Sounds in the Spanish Language. More #Mexperience

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  • Mexperience: It’s Urgent that You Wait

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    Mexican Spanish is versatile when it comes to questions of time and punctuality through use of the diminutive term, "ahorita".

    By PinPoint Spanish.

    Spanish words ending in “ito” or “ita” are diminutive: indicating a smaller version of the noun in question.

    Diminutives as euphemisms…
    Diminutives are also used as a form of euphemism, especially for guilty pleasures. A dieter may go for “taquitos” rather than tacos, or round off a meal with a “pastelito” instead of pastel, while a drinker could order a “cubita” (a little rum and coke) if it looks a bit early for a cuba, or open the appetite with a “tequilita.”

    …except for now
    An exception to this rule is “ahorita”—at least as it is often used in Mexico. As the diminutive of “ahora” —now— technically it should mean “right now,” as in “ahora mismo,” insofar as it suggests that less time ought to elapse between the promise and the fulfillment. ...

    Continue reading at Mexperience: It’s Urgent that You Wait. More #Mexperience

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  • Mexperience: The Spherical Object is in the Back of the Net

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    By PinPoint Spanish.

    Among the many versatilities of the Spanish language is the use of adjectives as nouns. By adding “el,” “los,” “la,” or “las” before an adjective or past participle of a verb, you get a descriptive noun referring to a person, place or thing.

    Some examples include:
    • El veloz — “the speedy” one
    • La Ventosa — “the windy” place
    • Los desesperados — “the desperate” ones

    Some English adjectives are also applied as nouns, such as in the rich, the poor, the good, etc., but these are usually general, whereas in Spanish almost any adjective can be used, and the application is specific. ...

    Continue reading at Mexperience: The Spherical Object is in the Back of the Net. More #Mexperience

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  • Hay & Haber—Treading in a Grammatical Minefield

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    By PinPoint Spanish.

    “There is” or “there are” in Spanish is expressed with the simple word hay. Derived from the verb haber —nominally, “to have”— hay can be applied without modification to singular and plural, masculine or feminine.

    Hay lugar para tres personas.
    There is room for three people.

    Hay tres personas en el elevador.
    There are three people in the elevator.

    Dealing with tenses ...

    Continue reading at Mexperience: Hay & Haber—Treading in a Grammatical Minefield. More #Mexperience

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  • Mexperience: The Mother of All Expressions

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    By PinPoint Spanish.

    Mothers are widely revered in Mexico, and although Mother’s Day on May 10 isn’t a national holiday, not a great deal gets done that day. It isn’t moved to the nearest Sunday like Father’s Day, or Mother’s Day in other countries: when it falls on a week day, so be it. Working mothers are given the day off, some people leave early for family gatherings, and any employer who refuses to allow this without good reason may be said to “not have a mother.”

    Which brings this entry to its point: the widespread use of the word madre in expressions whose English equivalents have nothing to do with matriarchal figures.

    When it’s said of a person, “no tiene madre,” it means they are shameless or unscrupulous. It can also be applied to things that are disgraceful or simply unfair. A variation is “¡qué poca madre!” which amounts to the same thing.

    These two expressions, however, can also mean something quite different ...

    Continue reading at Mexperience: The Mother of All Expressions. More #Mexperience

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  • A Guide to Mexican Street Speak

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    By PinPoint Spanish.

    Spanish offers a potpourri of different terms to describe paths, streets, roads, and highways, some of which provide practical assistance to the traveler and others which provide opportunities for flexibility in use of the language.

    Common terms for streets in Mexico
    The most common term seen and used in Mexico is “calle” —street— with calle principal indicating a main route, usually crossing or connecting smaller streets adjacent. The fancier avenida, or avenue, and even bulevar may also be employed when the need for distinction arises.

    Camino, the equivalent of ‘road’ or ‘way’ in English, is less commonly seen and used in Mexico, and is a word that can also serve to describe a person’s journey: va en camino, he’s on his way—or distinctly, va por su camino which translates to ‘he’s making his own way (in life)’.

    Continue reading at Mexperience: A Guide to Mexican Street Speak. More #Mexperience

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  • If You Had Read This: Verb Tenses in Spanish

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    By PinPoint Spanish.

    A good many Mexicans, when returning from an extended stay in Spain, get into the habit of saying hubiese instead of hubiera, hablase instead of hablara—and some even pronounce the ‘s’ almost as an ‘sh.’

    Now if there’s one thing that’s liable to get friends and family wound up, it’s talking as if you had been born and bred on the peninsula. The reasons for this could be historical, or cultural, or a bit of both. The point is that applying the preferred Iberian usage of the imperfect subjunctive tense in Mexico is considered pompous at best.

    The imperfect subjunctive in Spanish
    The imperfect subjunctive is very common in Spanish and it’s easy to mix it up with the conditional tense. ...

    Continue reading at Mexperience: If You Had Read This: Verb Tenses in Spanish. More #Mexperience

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  • INAPAM: Mexico’s Discount Card for Seniors

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    One of the most popular programs that senior citizens in Mexico enroll for is the INAPAM discount card. This article explains what it is, how it benefits you, and how to enroll.

    By Mexperience,

    One of the most popular programs that senior citizens in Mexico enroll for is the discount card offered the INAPAM (Instituto Nacional para las Personas Adultas Mayores).

    How does it work?
    The program is open to all Mexicans and legal foreign residents who are 60 years of age or older, and the card issued by the institution enables holders to enjoy worthwhile discounts on a wide range of goods and services including food, medicines, transport, clothing, as well as recreation and leisure activities.

    Many firms and businesses actively advertise the fact that they offer discounts to INAPAM card holders, and even those who don’t advertise it might give a discount on goods and services you buy if you present your card to them.

    Many organizations in Mexico are pleased to give seniors a discount, and this card is the means by which prove your legal residency and age qualification. ...

    Continue reading at Mexperience: INAPAM: Mexico’s Discount Card for Seniors. More #Mexperience

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  • Cardinal Numbers in Words

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    By PinPoint Spanish.

    It’s said that even people who can waltz through a lie-detector test without so much as blinking will stumble if required to do arithmetic in a foreign language.

    This probably wouldn’t be very useful for Sherlock Holmes to know in these days of $1 calculators, since it’s rather hard to find anyone who can do much arithmetic in their own language without the aid of an intelligent chip and LCD screen.

    Big numbers get trickier in Spanish
    Numbers in Spanish —particularly big numbers— can be a bit tricky for native English speakers. The Spanish-speaking world still uses thousands of millions — miles de millones— for billions, and un billon is a million millions, or a U.S. trillion. ...

    Continue reading at Mexperience: Cardinal Numbers in Words. More #Mexperience

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  • Make Sure You Know Who’s Renting Your Mexican Home

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    A Mexican law empowers authorities to seize your home if it’s suspected that the property was obtained illicitly or if it’s being used for illegal activities.

    By Mexperience,

    Legislation enacted in August 2019 gives the Mexican state wide-ranging powers to seize physical property in the event that it’s suspected to be —or suspected ever was— linked to illicit or criminal activity.

    Known in Spanish as Ley Nacional de Extinción de Dominio, the law enables a judge to immediately order the seizure of a property that is suspected to be part of a corrupt or illegal transfer chain (for example, if previous owners used illicit means to acquire it or build it) and/or if it’s suspected the property is being actively used for criminal purposes. ...

    Continue reading at Mexperience: Make Sure You Know Who’s Renting Your Mexican Home. More #Mexperience

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  • What are Mexico’s UDIs, and what are they used for?

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    UDIs were introduced as an inflation-protected unit to address a banking crisis in 1995, and are still used today for mortgages, bonds, and some financial calculations.

    By Mexperience,

    UDI is an acronym for Unidad de Inversión, or Investment Unit. UDIs were first introduced in 1995, at the height of the so-called Tequila Crisis.

    Events that led to the creation of the UDI
    Unlike the global financial crisis of 2008-2009, or even the Covid crisis of 2020, the Tequila crisis was a home-grown Mexican economic blowout. In 1994, a year of political unrest which included the armed Zapatista uprising in southern Mexico and the assassination in Tijuana of the ruling party’s presidential candidate, foreign investors fled the country with their capital. By the end of the year, central bank reserves were depleted, and the government was unable to pay its debts. The peso was allowed to float against the dollar, bringing about a sharp devaluation. ...

    Continue reading at Mexperience: What are Mexico’s UDIs, and what are they used for? More #Mexperience

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  • Mexico’s 2020 Census Reveals an Increase in Foreign-born Residents.

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    Mexico’s latest census reveals insights about the country’s changing population trends, including a rise in the number of foreign-born residents living here

    By Mexperience,

    On January 25th, 2021, Mexico’s statistics institute, INEGI, published the preliminary results of the 2020 national census, which was completed last year with some interruptions because of the social-distancing measures imposed in late March, April and May.

    Population growth is declining, and aging slightly
    The population was recorded at just over 126 million people, of whom 64.5 million were women and 61.5 million men—a split of 51.2% to 48.8%. The average annual population growth rate was 1.2% since the last census in 2010 when a population of 112.3 million people was recorded. ...

    Continue reading at Mexperience: Mexico’s 2020 Census Reveals an Increase in Foreign-born Residents. More #Mexperience

    Executive Summary (sp pdf) also attached.
    Principal Results (sp pdf) also attached.
    Population and Housing Census 2020 (sp).

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  • That’s what False Friends are for

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    There are many pairs of words in English-Spanish that look and sound similar but have very different meanings.

    By PinPoint Spanish.

    Native English speakers more or less know that if you’re struggling to find a word in Spanish, you can add an ‘o’ or an ‘a’ to the end of an English noun —as well as “idad” for words ending “ity” and “ología” for “ology” and “ismo” for “ism”— and have a 50% chance of coming up with something close enough that people will understand what you are getting at.

    Of the remaining 50% chance, there’s roughly a 33% chance each that you will: a) be misunderstood, b) say the opposite of what you mean, and c) make a complete fool of yourself. ...

    Continue reading at Mexperience: That’s what False Friends are for. More #Mexperience

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  • 2021 Mexico Immigration Guide is Published - Free eBook

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    Our Mexico Immigration Guide has been fully revised and updated for 2021.

    By Mexperience,

    The most complete and up to date guide about Mexico Immigration is available as a free eBook again this year from Mexperience.

    2021 edition completely revised and updated
    We have been publishing the Mexico Immigration Guide for over a decade. It’s the most complete guide to Mexico Immigration whether you plan to live, work, retire or start a business here.

    Continue reading at Mexperience: 2021 Mexico Immigration Guide is Published. More #Mexperience

    You can download the free eBook from the Mexperience link above and it is also an attachment to this post.
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  • 2021 Mexico Cost of Living Guide is Published - Free eBook

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    Our Mexico Cost of Living Guide has been fully revised and updated for 2021.

    By Mexperience,

    The most comprehensive guide to the cost of living in Mexico is available as a free eBook again this year from Mexperience.

    Our 2021 Mexico Cost of Living Guide is more than a random list of prices
    People considering a move to Mexico —part-time, full-time, or for a defined period— usually want to know what their cost of living is likely be here, so that they can assess the affordability of the move and plan accordingly. Our guide to the cost of living in Mexico —updated annually— enables you to do just that.

    Continue reading at Mexperience: 2021 Mexico Cost of Living Guide is Published. More #Mexperience

    You can download the free eBook from the Mexperience link above and it is also an attachment to this post.
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  • Mexico’s Peso Roller-Coaster Ride of 2020 and Estimates for 2021

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    By Mexperience,

    The Mexican peso went on a roller-coaster ride against the US dollar in 2020, at one point reaching an all-time low before gradually clawing back those losses to end the year only about 5% weaker than at the end of 2019.

    The peso’s fall and recovery in 2020
    The peso had ended 2019 at about 18.90 to the US dollar following its most stable year in a decade. But as businesses prepared to shut down in the US and Mexico in March of 2020, the peso started to sell off heavily. Toward the end of that month, it fell as low as 25.26 per dollar—its weakest ever level.

    This was partly because oil prices were sinking on a global glut and shrinking demand, which would cause a loss of government revenue from crude oil exports and even greater financial difficulties for the state-owned oil company Petróleos Mexicanos, but also because neither traders nor economists knew what to expect in terms of economic growth. ...

    Continue reading at Mexperience: Mexico’s Peso Roller-Coaster Ride of 2020 and Estimates for 2021. More #Mexperience

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  • Mexico Residency-Related Fees for 2021

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    Learn about the 2021 fees for Mexico residency-related permits and administrative procedures.

    By Mexperience.

    If you intend to apply for legal residency in Mexico or need to engage in some administrative process regarding your existing legal residency permit, you will need to pay some fees to facilitate the procedures.

    Here is the schedule of fees for 2021. ...

    Continue reading at Mexperience: Mexico Residency-Related Fees for 2021. More #Mexperience

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  • Mexico’s Minimum Wage in 2021

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    Mexico has raised its daily minimum wage by an above-inflation 15% this year.

    By Mexperience.

    Mexico’s minimum wage was raised on Jan 1, 2021 to $141.70 pesos per work day, a 15% rise on the 2019 level of $123.22. The rate for 2020 along the Norther Border Zone was raised to $213.39 pesos per work day, a rise of 15% on the 2020 rate of $185.56.

    In years past the minimum wage had been raised more-or-less in line with inflation, to avoid a wave of wage demands that could cause a spiral of increases in prices and wages which would eventually have the most impact on the poorest people. The problem was that the minimum wage has for years been so low that it isn’t enough to for a single person to live on, never mind a whole family.

    Continue reading at Mexperience: Mexico’s Minimum Wage in 2021. More #Mexperience

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  • Local Food Shopping in Mexico

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    Local, independent, neighborhood vendors selling fresh foods and comestibles remain a thriving part of the Mexican retail landscape.

    By Mexperience.

    It’s still possible and practicable to shop for your food locally in Mexico, often a short walk from your home, at stores and open-air markets which provide an abundance of fresh foods delivered to the stores early each morning, or produced daily on the premises. In recent years, there has also been a proliferation of local ‘organic markets,’ in certain towns and cities.

    At these intimate centers of trade, you can get to know the local store or stall owners, talk with the butcher about which cuts are best for a meal you want to prepare, choose seasonable fruit and vegetables from ripe selections, wrap warm corn tortillas into a cloth cover almost straight from the oven which produces them, and buy delicious and tasty bolillo bread rolls which are baked continuously throughout the day. ...

    Continue reading at Mexperience: Local Food Shopping in Mexico. More #Mexperience

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  • A Lesson in Object Pronouns

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    Some complications arise with object pronouns in Spanish when you're dealing with third persons singular and plural.

    By PinPoint Spanish.

    Object pronouns in Spanish are reasonably straightforward unless you’re dealing with third persons singular and plural, when some complications arise.

    The object pronouns —me, te, lo/la/le, nos, os (Spain), los/las/les— are applied much as the English: me, you, him/her, us, and them. ...

    Continue reading at Mexperience: A Lesson in Object Pronouns. More #Mexperience

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  • There’s More to Piñatas than Meets the Eye

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    By Mexperience.

    The highlight of many a Mexican festive occasion —a birthday celebration, Christmas party, or Posada— is the breaking of the piñata.

    For the uninitiated, the piñata is a decorated clay pot or papier-mâché container filled with treats (more about those later) which is strung from a rope and flailed at in turns by party-goers who are blindfolded and armed with a stick. A person at one end of the rope —or sometimes a person at each end— will be able to swing the piñata in an attempt to keep it away from its assailant, and make the game last as long as possible.

    When the piñata breaks, the contents are scattered on the ground and a rush is made to collect as much loot as possible. ...

    Continue reading at Mexperience: There’s More to Piñatas than Meets the Eye. More #Mexperience

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  • Juárez and the Wind

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    By Foreign Native.

    Among Mexico’s many sayings, one that is especially popular in election season is: “lo que el viento a Juárez” —what the wind did to Juárez.

    There is no question of the Mexican origin of this saying, which refers to the most revered of the country’s presidents and is similar in meaning to “water off a duck’s back.”

    Several explanations are offered for how the expression came to be used, of which the most likely appears to be that offered by the late anthropologist and historian Fernando Benítez, in his work Un Indio Zapoteco Llamado Benito Juárez. ...

    Continue reading at Mexperience: Juárez and the Wind. More #Mexperience

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  • On the Mexico that was, and the Mexico that is.

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    One of the popular memoirs published about Mexico at the turn of the millennium is "On Mexican Time" by Tony Cohan.

    By Mexperience.

    One of the popular memoirs published about Mexico back around the turn of the millennium —now long-past its ‘best seller’ days— is Tony Cohan’s On Mexican Time.

    The book narrates the experiences of Tony and his wife Masako as they serendipitously discover San Miguel de Allende in the 1980s, and soon afterwards spontaneously decide to leave their highly-strung life situations in Los Angeles and move there.

    Cohan’s chronicle is a blend of personal observations about a Mexican culture that that is at once alien and alluring to the new couple, and narratives that describe some everyday experiences and sentiments new foreign residents can pass through as they establish their presence here and begin to settle into a new rhythm. ...

    Continue reading at Mexperience: On the Mexico that was, and the Mexico that is. More #Mexperience

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  • No Hay

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    By PinPoint Spanish.

    If you have lived in Mexico for a while, the title of this article will sound a familiar ring. If you come to live in Mexico for a while, you will, without doubt, become well acquainted with these two words.

    No Hay, in Spanish, means “there isn’t any,” and in Mexico the term may be applied to almost anything, anytime you need or wish to acquire something.

    The term may be used to express a dearth of foodstuffs, “hay leche” (no milk today), stuff in general, “No hay lentes de contacto” (no contact lenses in stock), and even services, “No hay luz” (power cut). ...

    Continue reading at Mexperience: No Hay. More #Mexperience

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  • New $1,000 Peso Bank Note Introduced in Mexico

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    By Mexperience.

    As part of an ongoing program to update the current series of Mexican bank notes, the Bank of Mexico launched a new $1,000 peso bill on November 19, 2020, replacing the current design that was launched in April 2008. This is the highest-denomination Mexican bank note in public circulation.

    The new $1,000 peso bill is presented in hues of teal and yellow. The face of the new note shows three key protagonists from Mexico’s revolutionary era, Francisco I. Madero, Hermila Galindo, and Carmen Serdán, who propelled the ideals of democracy, equality and justice; they are accompanied by a locomotive, the principal form of transport during that time. The reverse side of the new banknote features the sub-tropical jungles of southern Mexico, in particular a protected national park in the state of Campeche, ancient Maya ruins, and a jaguar—the iconic animal of that region. The new bill is printed on cotton-based security paper, unlike the new $100 peso banknote released in the same month this year that is printed on polymer plastic.

    The $1,000 peso bill is not commonly seen in circulation. ATMs don’t usually dispense them, and they are notoriously difficult to spend at small shops, independent traders, and market stalls who often refuse to accept the bills, either because they ‘rob’ the trader’s float of change, or due to fear of it being a counterfeit. ...

    Continue reading at Mexperience: New $1,000 Peso Bank Note Introduced in Mexico. More #Mexperience

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  • New $100 Peso Bank Note Introduced in Mexico

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    Mexico's central bank introduced a new design for the $100 peso bill on November 12, 2020.

    By Mexperience.

    As part of an ongoing program to update the current series of Mexican bank notes, the Bank of Mexico launched a new $100 peso bill on November 12, 2020, to replace the current design that was first introduced in 2010.

    The new $100 peso bill is presented in hues of orange and turquoise. The scholar and philosopher Sor Juana Inés is featured on the note; she was featured on the previous $200 peso note before the current design was introduced in 2019. The reverse side of the new bill features the bioreserve of Monarch Butterflies that overwinter in Mexico between November and March. The new bill is printed on polymer (a type of plastic) and, unusually, it’s presented in a vertical format; to now, Mexican bank notes had always been presented in horizontal formats except for special editions. ...

    Continue reading at Mexperience: New $100 Peso Bank Note Introduced in Mexico. More #Mexperience

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  • November 20th: Anniversary of Mexico’s Revolution Day

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    November 20th is the anniversary of the start of the 1910 – 1917 Mexican Revolution. The date is observed on the third Monday in November.

    By Mexperience.

    November 20th marks the anniversary of the start of the 1910–1917 Revolution— specifically the call to arms by Francisco I. Madero to unseat the dictator Porfirio Díaz, who had remained in power for more than three decades.

    2010 marked the centenary of the episode, during which time a number of special events were held, and a limited edition commemorative $100 peso banknote (now a collector’s item) was produced.

    While Mexico’s annual Independence Day is celebrated with vigor on September 16th each year, featuring parties, fireworks, gatherings of family and friends to eat traditional dishes such as pozole and tostadas, and the 11 p.m. “grito,” either watched on television or attended at the local zócalo, Día de la Revolución is little more than another día festivo —a day off school or work— and the reflections and orations on the achievements of those years of turmoil are left almost exclusively to the political classes. ...

    Continue reading at Mexperience: November 20th: Anniversary of Mexico’s Revolution Day. More #Mexperience

    See also: Revolution Day Observed (paid holiday).

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  • Blogueando and other Anglicisms Used in Spanish

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    By PinPoint Spanish.

    The use of computers and mobile devices has brought with it a set of new words in Spanish, which are basically English words fitted with the corresponding verb endings and conjugations. Examples of this are “downloadear,” “hackear,” and “rebootear,” and of course, “bloguear.”

    In Spanish there are three standard verb endings, “ar,” “er,” and “ir,” each with a different treatment for regular verbs. Verbs that end in “ear” —e.g. canjear (swap or trade), crear (create)— are conjugated for the most part like “ar” verbs. For some reason unknown to the writer, all of the verbs recently adapted from English are given the “ear” form, and there appears to be consensus among users.

    Although there are standard Spanish words that will do for the range of new activities related to technological developments, these have the disadvantage of retaining their original meaning as well. Download is descargar, which also means unload; boot up is arrancar, which also means start-up (an engine) and several other things such as rip out, snatch away, kick off, and so on. ...

    Continue reading at Mexperience: Blogueando and other Anglicisms Used in Spanish. More #Mexperience

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  • The Gender Problem

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    By PinPoint Spanish.

    Some mistakes among foreign speakers of Spanish are caused by the misuse of gender. As a rule, feminine words end in an ‘a’ and masculine words in an ‘o’, and so do corresponding adjectives. But there are a number of exceptions, a common one being el problema, which is masculine. It’s not unusual to hear foreigners use the intuitive, and wrong, “la problema.

    A number of nouns beginning with the letter ‘a’ use the masculine definite article ‘el‘ or indefinite ‘un‘ to avoid the two a’s clashing. Examples are el agua, el azúcar, un alma. But unlike “el problema,” these words are feminine so use the corresponding endings: agua fría, azúcar blanca, alma perdida.

    There are a number of nouns that can be either masculine or feminine. La radio or el radio, la mar or el mar. It’s common for people to use la radio when referring to radio in general as a communications medium —an abbreviated form of la radiodifusión— and el radio when referring to the appliance. Radio is also masculine when it means radius, or radium. ..

    Continue reading at Mexperience: The Gender Problem. More #Mexperience

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  • Bread and Other Offerings on Day of the Dead

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    by Mexperience

    The first and second days of November mark one of the most important cultural and religious events on Mexico’s annual calendar: Day of the Dead, a festival that emphasizes remembrance of past lives and celebration of the continuity of life. Traditionally, November 1st honors deceased children and November 2nd honors deceased adults.

    A centerpiece of the traditions that surround the occasion is the creation and open placement of an ofrenda —an offering— that usually manifests as an altar in family homes, although some ofrendas are also arranged at local cemeteries, and in public spaces including parks and plazas. These altars are an art form and personal expression of love towards one’s family members now passed; they are not intended for worshiping but instead for the purpose of remembrance and celebration of life.

    Traditionally, altars featuring ofrendas will be composed of three layers ...

    Continue reading at Mexperience: Bread and Other Offerings on Day of the Dead. More #Mexperience

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  • Mexico’s Iconic Flower

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    by Mexperience

    Orange-colored marigold flowers, known in Mexico as cempaxochitl, are one of the iconic symbols which encircle Mexico’s Day of the Dead traditions.

    Cempaxochitl is the flower’s given name in Náuhuatl, and translates to mean the “twenty flowers” —cempa–xochitl— colloquially referred to as flor de muerto and is appointed as the flower-of-choice on every Day of the Dead ofrenda.

    A member of the sunflower family, the common varieties are annuals whose stems can grow up to four feet in height. Its bright orange-yellow petals provide depth of color and hues which have become emblematic of the traditions it’s called upon to represent: a celebration of the continuity of life. ...

    Continue reading at Mexperience: Mexico’s Iconic Flower. More #Mexperience

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  • Spotting Counterfeit Mexican Banknotes

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    Avoid getting landed with fake bills by learning about the security features on Mexican banknotes.

    by Mexperience

    Counterfeit banknotes circulate in Mexico, as they do in every country around the world. Notwithstanding the prospect of a twelve-year prison sentence for counterfeiting money, some people still chance their luck by printing rogue notes in an attempt to pass them off as genuine.

    Trouble may arise if you innocently offer a counterfeit note for payment and have the bill checked, refused, and possibly confiscated. Most stores and all exchange houses have security devices on-hand to make an immediate check of the paper quick and simple.

    Modern Mexican banknotes carry a range of security features. Most are similar to those you see on banknotes issued world-wide, making it easier to spot a fake. The latest series of notes being issued by the Bank of Mexico include some state-of-art anti-counterfeiting measures, most notably, a holographic features on the note face the image of which changes as the note is tilted. ...

    Continue reading at Mexperience: Spotting Counterfeit Mexican Banknotes. More #Mexperience

    See also, from Sept 2019: Mexico News Daily: Record number of counterfeit banknotes.
    Reach record counterfeit 500 pesos bills (sp).

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  • A Quick Prep on Prepositions

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    by PinPoint Spanish.

    One of the most difficult things for Spanish speakers to master when learning English is when to use “in” and when to use “on.” Except in obvious cases, such as “on the table” or “in the box,” mistakes are about as frequent as correct uses.

    Spanish prepositions are generally less troublesome (no phrasal verbs), although there are some exceptions.

    One example is the multi-purpose “a“, which means: to, at, and can even mean from or for.

    Continue reading at Mexperience: A Quick Prep on Prepositions. More #Mexperience

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  • Experience the Monarch Butterflies in Mexico



    by Mexperience

    From November to March each year, you can be witness to one of the most spectacular natural phenomena in the forested mountains west of Mexico City: Monarch butterflies over-wintering in Mexico.

    The very special Methuselah generations of butterflies migrate each year, leaving the colder northern climes of the U.S. and Canada to take winter refuge and breed in Mexico.

    These migrating Monarch butterflies travel in colonies of about 20 million insects and will travel between 80-120 nautical miles per day, depending on the wind and other weather conditions. The butterflies take advantage of ascending warm-air currents, gliding in the thrust they provide, needing only to flap their wings when the air current diminishes a little or when they change their flight path. This technique uses their energy efficiently, and physically enables them to undertake the long journey. ...

    Continue reading at Mexperience: Experience the Monarch Butterflies in Mexico More #Mexperience

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  • Mexico’s Elegant Catrinas on Parade

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    by Mexperience

    Catrinas, the artsy skeleton figurines made in ceramic, clay, and other materials have become an extraordinary hallmark of Mexican popular culture, one that reflects Day of the Dead traditions in particular and which also tells a history dating back over a century.

    The character on which La Calavera Catrina —“The elegant skull”— is based was conceived by Mexican engraver José Guadalupe Posada. The original Catrina was titled La Calavera Garbancera: in the form of an artistic etching in zinc, composed for use as political satire around 1910 intended to poke fun at a certain social class of Mexicans who the artist portrayed as having European-aristocratic aspirations—thus the Catrina’s archetypal grandiose plumed hat of a style which passed through a period of high fashion in Europe during that age.

    La Calavera had to wait nearly four decades following its debut before becoming ingrained in popular culture. It was in the late 1940s that Diego Rivera’s mural, Sueño de una tarde dominical en la Alameda Central —that illustrates four centuries of Mexico’s key characters including Rivera himself, Posada, and Frida Kahlo— that gave Posada’s satirical character exposure and notoriety, as well as the moniker La Calavera Catrina by which the original character is still known and referred to today. ...

    Continue reading at Mexperience: Mexico’s Elegant Catrinas on Parade. More #Mexperience

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  • Speaking with the Right Accent

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    In Spanish, accents are used for words that don't follow the rules for natural stress, to differentiate words with different meanings, and to split weak vowels.

    by PinPoint Spanish

    Most Spanish accents are to indicate which syllable should be stressed in pronouncing a word. When the pronunciation deviates from the natural spoken stress, the syllable to be stressed is accented.

    There are only two rules for natural stress ...

    Continue reading at Mexperience: Speaking with the Right Accent. More #Mexperience

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  • Mexperience Mexico Newsletter — October 2020

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    This month: Land border restrictions; A journey to retirement in Mexico; Fall clock-time changes; Medical air evacuation; Copper Canyon; UMA and residency; Importing pets...

    by Matthew Harrup

    Topics covered in October's monthly newsletter include:
    • Land border restrictions continue until at least October 21st
    • Fall Clock-Time Change Reminder
    • Gradual and phased reopening
    • A Journey to Retirement in Mexico
    • Mexico’s Immigration institute begins to adopt UMA
    • Mexico visas and documentation
    • Residency applications at Mexican Consulates abroad
    • Medical air evacuation from Mexico
    • Importing pets and other animals to Mexico
    • To Be or To Be, that is the Question
    • Fall climates in Mexico
    • Insurance reminders
    • Insights about Real Estate in Mexico
    • It’s urgent that you wait

    Continue reading at Mexperience: Mexico Newsletter — October 2020. More #Mexperience

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  • Fall Time Change in Mexico

    DST in most of Mexico (except the states of Sonora and Quintana Roo) and Baja California Sur will end on Sunday October 25th 2020, when the clocks will be moved back again by one hour, at 2 a.m.

    The state of Baja California (not to be confused with Baja California Sur) and Mexican cities immediately bordering the US (including Juárez, Reynosa, and Matamoros) clocks move back one hour, at 2 a.m., on Sunday November 1, 2020.

    Note about US & European Clock Time Changes

    Not all of Mexico’s clock-time change dates are synchronized with U.S. or European clock-time change dates, so if you’re traveling or scheduling appointments between Mexico, the US, and Europe this spring and autumn, make a note to double-check your times, especially as flights and other public transportation systems always operate their schedules using local time.
    Mexico’s Fall Clock Change in 2020 More #Mexperience

    See also:
    Time Change 2020 in Mexico Oct 25.
    Time Change 2020 in the United States. Nov 1.
    Time Change 2020 in Canada Nov 1.
  • Mexico’s Immigration Institute Begins to Adopt UMA for Residency Qualification

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    The transition in the calculations for financial qualification makes legal residency in Mexico accessible to more people, including American retirees with a pension.

    by Mexperience

    As we explained in a related article, back in 2016 the Mexican government began to decouple the official daily minimum wage from a whole range of fees, fines and other official calculations, and introduced a ‘transitional’ measure, known as Unidad de Medida y Actualización (UMA) — which has since enabled minimum salaries to be increased significantly without the corresponding and potentially punitive rises in public charges and fees.

    The decree, made law in 2016, directed all Mexican ministries to use UMA and not Minimum Salary as a basis for their economic calculations. However, the INM (National Immigration Institute) continued to use the Minimum Salary as a basis for assessing applicants’ economic solvency for legal residency for a time. ...

    Continue reading at Mexperience: Mexico’s Immigration Institute Begins to Adopt UMA for Residency Qualification. More #Mexperience

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  • The Proliferation of Abbreviations

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    by PinPoint Spanish

    Standard abbreviations of household words are as much a part of Mexican Spanish as they are of English. One of the most common is fridge instead of refrigerator, in Spanish refri instead of refrigerador. La tele for televisión, has been in use for as long as most people can remember.

    Over the years, more and more of these shortened forms of words have been creeping into everyday use, exacerbated somewhat by the younger members of the population whose communications fit a new set of parameters defined by text messages, chat room one liners, and email.

    Appliances are a natural candidate for saving time speaking, and conge for congelador or freezer followed on the heels of refri. La micro will do for horno de microondas or microwave oven —not to be confused with el micro of public transport fame— and la laptop, already conveniently Anglicized to avoid the painfully Castillian ordenador portátil, is rendered la lap.

    Continue reading at Mexperience: The Proliferation of Abbreviations. More #Mexperience

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  • A Journey to Retirement in Mexico.

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    Mexperience wrote: Retired and single, moving to Mexico wasn’t on Steve’s mind when he signed-up to an online dating site. After meeting several women online, he struck a chord with Patricia, who lived in Mexico City, and they eventually decided to meet in person. As their relationship evolved, Steve and Patricia spent time together traveling around Mexico and getting to know each other. One of their earlier trips took them to Patricia’s friend’s house, situated in the highland town of Tepoztlán, near Cuernavaca —about an hour’s drive south of Mexico City— and this short weekend break left an impression on Steve that would change the course of his life, as he recalled, “…that first night, we were sitting together facing a log fire and looking at the mountains when a yellow dome began to rise between two cliffs. We watched in awe as a full moon ascended, beautifully illuminating the cliffs—and it cast an immediate enchantment on both of us.”

    Some months later, Steve was back in Mexico and together he and Patricia rented a house for a month in Tepoztlán, a town that Patricia had admired for decades, but for Steve, a place that had only just begun to weave its charms around him.

    Tepoztlán’s impressive copper-tone mountains offer an agreeable backdrop for Steve, who prefers the openness of the rural countryside but also seeks easy access to local amenities. “The town is big enough for everyday needs, and close enough to Cuernavaca when we need supermarkets and healthcare services,” Steve remarks. The cobble-stone streets, the local stalls with sellers of fresh fruit and vegetables, and the colorful artisan markets that set-up at the weekends when the tourists come to town add to the charm and character of this rural enclave. The warmth and welcoming nature of the local people was another big draw for Steve, and it was during this second visit that he made the decision to move here. ...

    Continue reading at Mexperience: A Journey to Retirement in Mexico. More #Mexperience

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  • Key Reasons Why People are Relocating to Mexico.

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    Mexperience wrote: Reasons why people who have come to Mexico and settled say they're here for the long-term.

    We receive a steady flow of inquiries about relocation to Mexico, especially from people seeking options for retirement in Mexico. We regularly talk with foreign residents who have made their home here and, while all gardens can never be rosy all of the time, we’ve gathered together the key reasons cited by people who have settled and say they are staying for the long-term: ...

    Continue reading at Mexperience: Key Reasons Why People are Relocating to Mexico. More #Mexperience

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