This article is from the August - September 2000 The Mexico File newsletter.
Back Issues and Subscriptions available.

Some Doís

Register with your Consulate for emergency purposes. Both USA and Canadian consul agencies are located in the main plaza across from the City Hall and the Cathedral.

Do keep your FM3 current (renew annually). Itís just as important as your passport.   If you have your own vehicle, keeping your FM3 current will save you a trip to the   border for annual renewals.

Keep copies of your FM3 and insurance in your vehicle.Make multiple copies of all your important documents.

Set up accounts with the larger money exchange houses such as Monex and Intercam. This enables you to cash third-party checks or exchange bills at a good exchange rate Ė usually a little higher than Banks or even American Express.

Consider a mailbox at Mail Boxes Etc or similar to expedite your postal mailings.

Do use surge protectors on sensitive electronic devices. If you have a computer, remember to do backups and, if possible, install a backup power supply. Power outages are common and can last microseconds to days!

Invest in a cellular phone for emergency purposes, whether it is at home or traveling.

Also have a good portable radio and spare batteries on hand, also candles and canned foods.

Think about getting involved in the community. You are going to have lots of free time, so why not volunteer with one or more of the many charitable organizations such as: The International Friendship Club, The Mexico-American Association, The Animal Protection Association, The Make a Wish Foundation, Feed the Children and more, all of whom do such wonderful work.

Think about relaxing. As Vallarta is very much an artisan city, start a hobby such as painting or sculpting. Itís your time to enjoy life to the fullest!   

DO REMEMBER that you are in Mexico. We need to remind ourselves of this when things are good, and when they turn bad!