Why did we choose Ajijic? Another reason is a relatively large expat community.
(Expat is short for “expatriot,” which means someone living outside their home country. Having lived as an expat when I was younger, I can tell you that this term can have negative connotations to some in the foreign country you’re living in. Nonetheless, it’s a convenient word widely used in expat communities around the world, so I’ll use it here, too.)
Ajijic has about 1,000 expats living there full time, mostly retired Americans and Canadians. This represents a little less than 10% of the population. While we don’t want to just move to a gated community filled with American grandparents (which wouldn’t be the cross-cultural experience we had in mind), it does give us the opportunity to connect with others who share our experience.
The Lake Chapala Society in Ajijic is the focus of a lot of expat activity, offering language classes and social events. We’re hoping that the large expat community in Ajijic will help Angela find people to connect with to give her a support network and help her feel less isolated during our year abroad.