MOVING TO CABO SAN LUCAS
Of all the e-mail Carlos Fiesta receives from people inquiring about Cabo San Lucas, the most frequently asked questions have to do with moving to Cabo. With great weather, a booming economy and a quality of life hard to match, moving to Cabo sounds like a no-brainer. But look before you leap.
One of the most important things a person can do when thinking about moving to Cabo is to plan at least one (hopefully two) short trips to Los Cabos for a sight inspection. A person can garner quite a bit of information on the Internet and by talking to people, put there is nothing like walking the streets for an accurate head's up.
Employment is a key factor when considering a move to Cabo. Some people think that just by showing up in a place that has plenty of jobs that getting hired won't be a problem. Moving to Cabo without a specific job committment is risky business, and not the best way to plan your move south of the border.
The Mexican government realizes the employment opportunities that a destination resort like Los Cabos offers, and they work hard to make sure that the vast majority of those jobs go to Mexican nationals (citizens). Mexicans come from all over Mexico to try to get a job in Los Cabos, so new gringos have quite a bit of competition.
Even thought the Mexican government tries to steer most jobs to it's citizens, some gringos are successful getting work in Cabo. It helps if your skills are unique and hard for the employers in Cabo to match with local talent. Construction workers looking for a job have a very hard time edging out the local labor force.
Part of the formula for moving to Cabo is deciding if it really is a place you would enjoy living. Yes the weather is nice most of the time, but it does get very hot in summer and occassionally hurricanes (chubascos) hit Cabo with amazing intensity. Humidity gets high in the summer months as well.
Another consideration is that of working in a place where everybody else seems to be playing. Anyone who has had a job working at a beach, ski resort or any other vacation destination knows it takes a bit of disipline to stay focused on the job when everyone else is partying.
Part of living in Cabo is figuring out a place to live. While it is true that housing costs decline once you leave the coast, prices are rising even inland as more citizens compete for affordable housing. In general the areas south of the Los Cabos Highway close to the ocean is expensive, and the hill areas inland and just outside of Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo are more affordable.
While it is possible to find a job within walking distance to your home in Cabo, don't count on it. Most workers commute from their home to their job, so a car is usually nesessary. Since the Los Cabos Corridor is only 20 miles long most wokers are never more than 20 minutes from work.
One of the particulars that many people may not think about when moving to Cabo is health care. Although perscriptions are easily filled in Los Cabos farmacies, health care may not be as available or of the same quality as back home. Many expats who live in Mexico make it a point to plan one or two trips back to the US each year for medical needs and to catch up on their other reality.
Living in Cabo allows a person to explore Cabo and the surrounding areas, including the West Cape and the East Cape. It's a spectacualar area, and one could spend a lot of time searching for something new and exciting around the next corner. The key to moving to Cabo is to plan ahead and nail down as many of the variables as possible before you go.