Mexico -we were about to get a crash course on working as an artist in Baja.
Type A Personality: while we may consider this a positive attribute for the gung-ho entrepreneur, in Mexico this is the proverbial “red flag” to any play you
may want to be involved in. “We want what we want when we want it” attitude
will pretty much guarantee that you won’t get it any time, any how or anywhere,
All 5 of the “character builders” came up immediately upon dealing with the
Mexican bureaucracy. Indeed, any bureaucracy can make you crazy but they
have fine-tuned this in the Mexican immigration department. Under no
circumstances must one underestimate the importance Mexicans, working for
the government, place on properly executed paperwork!
Nothing, nada, no thing out of sequence, place, origin-stamped, stapled or
copied unless authorized, notarized, originalized, organized, and translated into Spanish and 10 copies to go with the original. Every single pertinent
passport, visa, document, bank statement, utility bill, birth certificate, proof of
residence, any and every single thing you can think of must be copied, 10
times presented with the original, notarized, stamped, approved, detailed and
on time, which you never know and which they seldom tell you. They will seek
and find any discrepancy, no matter how minute to get you to come back,
again and again and again and leave you waiting in line for hours and hours until “they” are satisfied you have complied with all the ubiquitous rules and regulations which, by the way, seem to change daily.
Patience is the virtue invented by Mexicans. And not just gringos have this
mountain of paperwork to climb; everyone including the Mexicans are invited
to participate in “paperwork roulette”!
Once you’ve been on this ride a couple of times, you finally realize it’s best to
hire a professional to do the dirty deed for you. They’re used to it, know the
procedures, never seem to be impatient, with standing in lines for hours and
even have a sense of humor about the whole thing. Bless them for it and pay
for the peace of mind you’ll have not having to deal with it. We hired an
accountant, eventually, enjoyed the time saved and because this is an on-
going battle, we feel it helped us stay in Mexico longer than if we had to be up
against this alone.
Always remember Chris’ proverb to friends wanting to come to Mexico to live:
“bring 1/2 the clothes and twice the money you think you’ll need”. Even with all
the hassles involved, we love the fact that in Mexico any problem can
disappear with just a little money thrown at it.
So first thing you need is a good, hopefully honest “paperwork processor” in
the form an accountant or notary to help you navigate the murky waters of the sea of paperwork you’ll need to live/paint and play in Mexico. Bring every
document you might need including, birth certificate, marriage certificate, up
to date bank statements from home, passport, tourist visa you’ll get on
entering Mexico, proof of residence utility bills, drivers license just to scratch
the surface. Oh, and bring lots of money, cash preferably, to pay for the
services, permits, copies, translations and sundry expenses.
Next we’ll go further into the nitty gritty. Hasta pronto Marilyn