Travel in Latin America

Life in Mexico: Water, Water Everywhere But Not a Drop to Drink *Picture*
By:Cindi Bower

In the USA, we take it for granted that we can go to the sink for a glass of water anytime we are thirsty. We don't have to wonder if the water is clean or if it is safe to drink. We don't even wonder if it is available. It is just there whenever we need it.

This is not so in most of Mexico. The water is not safe to drink, it is not always clean, nor is it always available. Whether you move to Mexico or just come for a visit, you will have to break your habit of drinking water straight from the tap.

So, if you cannot drink the water in Mexico, how do you get water for drinking, cooking, and brushing your teeth?

Residents use one or more of the following methods:

1) Boil – In my research, I have discovered a wide range of opinions concerning the length of time necessary to make the water safe. Some say letting the water come to a rolling boil is sufficient. Others say the water must boil anywhere from five to forty minutes. I personally don't use this method here in Guanajuato because the high mineral content of the water gives it a metallic taste.

2) Purification drops - These drops, usually iodine or chlorine, are sold in most grocery stores. The directions are printed on the label.

3) A water filtration system – You can buy an inexpensive unit that attaches to the faucet or a more expensive whole-house unit.

4) Bottled water – You can go to a neighborhood store and buy bottled water. However, these five-gallon jugs are quite heavy. I cannot lift one to carry it across the kitchen, let alone carry one from the store to my house (especially up a long flight of steps!). Fortunately, the water companies in Guanajuato send their trucks around the streets to deliver water. The employees walk through the streets shouting, "Agua" and the name of the company. I call out the window to get the employee's attention and tell him how many jugs I need. He brings them all the way into my kitchen for me. Though the delivered water costs more than the same water at the grocery store, the difference in price more than makes up for the hassle.


Guanajuato, México--New Book offers survival tips in the Land of Frogs

Guanajuato, México – According to the 2000 Statistical Yearbook of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, published by the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Service, an estimated 300,000 Americans would expatriate to other countries each year between 2000 and 2005. Some estimates predict the number will continue to increase each year after 2005. Americans are leaving the country in droves, most of whom settle in Mexico. The authors of The Plain Truth about Living in Mexico have written a new book targeting a specific area of Mexico where Americans are moving as expatriates, study abroad students, or retirees. This new book is titled, GUANAJUATO, MÉXICO: Your Expat, Study Abroad, and Vacation Survival Manual in the Land of Frogs.

Cindi Bower

Picture: Mexico Water

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