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Finding a job and an apartment in cozumel


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#1 laura4224

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Posted 22 July 2011 - 10:36 AM

Hi, im 22 years old and finishing college, i have been to Cozumel several times and i am in love with the island and the people who live there. There is something about it that is so magical and entrancing i think about it all the time. There is nothing more that i want then to live there and really experience it, the island, the people and their way of life, weather its for a year or longer i just want to be there more then anything. I love diving and being surrounded by so much nature and beauty. I know people will probably think im so young maybe i dont know what i want or cant do it but i am responsible and a hard worker, i met a few friends in cozumal while on vacations who might be willing to help me get adjusted but i really just need any advice anyone can give me on where to even begin. What papers do i need to actually move to cozumal, can Americans work there and if so what kind of job could i possibly get, how hard is it to find a job, how much is a one bedroom apartment, what areas would be better or safer for me to live in anything you can tell me i would greatly appreciate
thank you, laura
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#2 Carey

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Posted 22 July 2011 - 10:51 AM

Read through this recent thread from another young woman with the same ideas, Laura: http://www.cozumelmy...t=0

It is difficult to get a job here doing anything but working long hours at the reception desk or as an "animator" at a resort or in timeshare sales. You can't pick up work as a waitress, for example.
Hours are long for 6 days per week and wages are shockingly low by US standards. So you would need money to finance an exploratory stay here.

You will not be able to live the carefree life you did on vacation on the money you might be able to make here. You would need to bring enough to cover your expenses.

There are probably still some places available in the $200-$300 range but they are going to tend to be ratholes by US standards. Figure $500 and up per month for something modern and more comfortable with amenities like cable tv and the internet.

That said, there are young women who have come here and made good, started their own businesses after seeing the lay of the land and now doing well, really fitting into the community. But it took years to get where they have and I expect they had help of some kind from their families in the early years.
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#3 laura4224

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Posted 22 July 2011 - 11:20 AM

Read through this recent thread from another young woman with the same ideas, Laura: http://www.cozumelmy...t=0

It is difficult to get a job here doing anything but working long hours at the reception desk or as an "animator" at a resort or in timeshare sales. You can't pick up work as a waitress, for example.
Hours are long for 6 days per week and wages are shockingly low by US standards. So you would need money to finance an exploratory stay here.

You will not be able to live the carefree life you did on vacation on the money you might be able to make here. You would need to bring enough to cover your expenses.

There are probably still some places available in the $200-$300 range but they are going to tend to be ratholes by US standards. Figure $500 and up per month for something modern and more comfortable with amenities like cable tv and the internet.

That said, there are young women who have come here and made good, started their own businesses after seeing the lay of the land and now doing well, really fitting into the community. But it took years to get where they have and I expect they had help of some kind from their families in the early years.



Thanks for your help carey, so i can only work for resorts and American owned businesses, would i make enough money working at a resort to support myself in like a 500 dollar apartment, also how would i go about getting the papers to move and work here and would it be best if i came for a few weeks first to find a job and apartment then came back. Also every time i have been to cozumal i have felt totally safe but people keep telling me its crazy to ove there but i dont see how its any more dangerous then any other city
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#4 laura4224

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Posted 22 July 2011 - 11:42 AM

[quote name='laura4224' date='22 July 2011 - 11:20 AM' timestamp='1311355235' post='12628']
Thanks for your help carey, so i can only work for resorts and American owned businesses, would i make enough money working at a resort to support myself in like a 500 dollar apartment, also how would i go about getting the papers to move and work here and would it be best if i came for a few weeks first to find a job and apartment then came back. Also every time i have been to cozumal i have felt totally safe but people keep telling me its crazy to ove there but i dont see how its any more dangerous then any other city

How did you get started in cozumel
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#5 nauticab

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Posted 22 July 2011 - 01:51 PM

first, save up at least 1000usd and expect to live cheaply while finding something. there are rooms to rent all over the place. many on this board are semi-retired or retired folks who have a somewhat decent monthly income and won't bother to live in less than modern facilities (this is NOT a put down in any sense of the word...just fact). i arrived with $50 in my pocket and some natural health care stuff to sell in my jeep. you can live cheap and get a simple room for under $150usd a month. but don't expect much. a room, perhaps kitchenette, bathroom, and you can always get cable hookup anywhere. there are often beds for sale you can buy or get used to sleeping in a hammock. get a fan. dont get a/c. eat at home and save a fortune. when you go out, drink water and meet people (or have the guys buy you beer...don't spend your money like that! haha). have a simple resume done in spanish. nothing special, most folks won't ask for it. go to the larger hotel and tourist companies. the dolphin places are always looking for staff like photographers. the larger the business, the better the chance. diamond stores are getting tougher and the commissions suck, especially in low season. if you think at all like me, the last thing i want to do while living on a tropical island is to wear a stuffy suit standing in a jewelry store trying to get a cruiseship passenger to buy a diamond necklace. I WANT TO ENJOY THE ISLAND.

you never know if you might find a roommate situation. actually, can't believe this is hardly ever brought up. i was with roommates in a 2br home for years and it not only halved my living expenses, it gave me an outlet to meet more people, and have more connections for business. check with coffee bean on their board to see if anything is available. ask on this board and others. someone may be willing to rent out a room in their home to a responsible young person. just be responsible. offer to take care of the yard or housework in exchange for rent or for a reduced rent. BE CREATIVE.

you can work for any business that has at least 10 employees (mexican). you can work as a waitress in a large enough area, but a resort area might be better. unless you are a hustler and can close buyers with a proven track record, stay away from the timeshares as they are commission only and you will go hungry. right now is a hard time to find a job due to being low season. but you never know.
once you find a job (and don't expect much by way of salary....it is the experience that counts right?), the company's accountant or lawyer can write up the paperwork needed by immigration. most companies will NOT pay for these fees but the letters and documentation should be free to the new employee. it is part of the job of the accountant. the papers are good for a year. come here on your tourist visa and ask for a 6 month visa. you can search freely in that time.

many here will say i am nuts to think someone can come down with $1000 and find something. i say this person is assertive and frugal. the hungry tiger gets the meal. if you are hungry (and most college grads are), you will get your meal. be smart and have fun and learn to live frugally until you get on your feet. very few make it. i know your plight. i was there. and 12 years later, i am still here, as a homeowner, a business owner, and a family. my first job here was running a small restaurant making 6000 pesos a month. then a bartender making 3000 pesos a month plus tips, then a snorkle guide, then divemaster, then acquatics director, then business owner. you need balls. big ones. if you have them, i will help you.
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#6 Agnes62

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Posted 22 July 2011 - 05:42 PM

Great reply nauticab.
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#7 Gobenoer

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Posted 22 July 2011 - 05:50 PM

Additional thanks to nauticab! While this site is a great resource to travelers, its a bit negative to those inquiring about moving to Cozumel. Any of us that come there frequently understand the differences. Hard work and attitude prevail.
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#8 Carey

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Posted 22 July 2011 - 09:40 PM

That was a great post, Nauticab, in fact, you're one of the people I was talking about when I said it was possible to come here with very little and make a go of it with perserverance in the extreme.

However, not everyone has stainless steel balls and its a tough road.
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#9 laura4224

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Posted 23 July 2011 - 10:26 AM

first, save up at least 1000usd and expect to live cheaply while finding something. there are rooms to rent all over the place. many on this board are semi-retired or retired folks who have a somewhat decent monthly income and won't bother to live in less than modern facilities (this is NOT a put down in any sense of the word...just fact). i arrived with $50 in my pocket and some natural health care stuff to sell in my jeep. you can live cheap and get a simple room for under $150usd a month. but don't expect much. a room, perhaps kitchenette, bathroom, and you can always get cable hookup anywhere. there are often beds for sale you can buy or get used to sleeping in a hammock. get a fan. dont get a/c. eat at home and save a fortune. when you go out, drink water and meet people (or have the guys buy you beer...don't spend your money like that! haha). have a simple resume done in spanish. nothing special, most folks won't ask for it. go to the larger hotel and tourist companies. the dolphin places are always looking for staff like photographers. the larger the business, the better the chance. diamond stores are getting tougher and the commissions suck, especially in low season. if you think at all like me, the last thing i want to do while living on a tropical island is to wear a stuffy suit standing in a jewelry store trying to get a cruiseship passenger to buy a diamond necklace. I WANT TO ENJOY THE ISLAND.

you never know if you might find a roommate situation. actually, can't believe this is hardly ever brought up. i was with roommates in a 2br home for years and it not only halved my living expenses, it gave me an outlet to meet more people, and have more connections for business. check with coffee bean on their board to see if anything is available. ask on this board and others. someone may be willing to rent out a room in their home to a responsible young person. just be responsible. offer to take care of the yard or housework in exchange for rent or for a reduced rent. BE CREATIVE.

you can work for any business that has at least 10 employees (mexican). you can work as a waitress in a large enough area, but a resort area might be better. unless you are a hustler and can close buyers with a proven track record, stay away from the timeshares as they are commission only and you will go hungry. right now is a hard time to find a job due to being low season. but you never know.
once you find a job (and don't expect much by way of salary....it is the experience that counts right?), the company's accountant or lawyer can write up the paperwork needed by immigration. most companies will NOT pay for these fees but the letters and documentation should be free to the new employee. it is part of the job of the accountant. the papers are good for a year. come here on your tourist visa and ask for a 6 month visa. you can search freely in that time.

many here will say i am nuts to think someone can come down with $1000 and find something. i say this person is assertive and frugal. the hungry tiger gets the meal. if you are hungry (and most college grads are), you will get your meal. be smart and have fun and learn to live frugally until you get on your feet. very few make it. i know your plight. i was there. and 12 years later, i am still here, as a homeowner, a business owner, and a family. my first job here was running a small restaurant making 6000 pesos a month. then a bartender making 3000 pesos a month plus tips, then a snorkle guide, then divemaster, then acquatics director, then business owner. you need balls. big ones. if you have them, i will help you.



wow, thank you i cant believe how helpful you and everyone on this site have been, it is good to hear someone else s story of what they had to do to get their feet on the ground. I have one more semester of school left so i think ill take a Spanish course and save up some money. I want this more then anything and i think i can do it, your info on the jobs and living was really helpful and finding a roommate is an excellent idea it would make everything a little easier esp to meet new people, were your roommates other people who moved to Mexico like you?
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#10 laura4224

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Posted 23 July 2011 - 10:50 AM

wow, thank you i cant believe how helpful you and everyone on this site have been, it is good to hear someone else s story of what they had to do to get their feet on the ground. I have one more semester of school left so i think ill take a Spanish course and save up some money. I want this more then anything and i think i can do it, your info on the jobs and living was really helpful and finding a roommate is an excellent idea it would make everything a little easier esp to meet new people, were your roommates other people who moved to Mexico like you? my major is biology i don't know if that would be helpful in getting any jobs but i love to work with animals so the dolphin place or something like that would be awesome



also, would it be safe to drive into mexico now with my car or do you think its better to just fly and get a car once im there, i know i heard a lot about the boarder areas not being to safe to travel through
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#11 sailsgal

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Posted 23 July 2011 - 01:22 PM

Don't drive a car from USA into Mexico..? we have been advised to have a car shipped from Florida for $750.00, so less stress for everyone.
Please come down and check things out before you actually move here, be realistic and ask many questions. Its a very safe island and people are very friendly and helpful.
Good luck on your adventure in life!
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#12 Agnes62

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Posted 23 July 2011 - 04:25 PM

There is a great post by Jim - anyone remember where? On what he does to drive from Texas border to Cozumel. I don't think driving down is a very good idea for a woman/women alone. I would do it with a man who has done it before - sorry if that seems sexist. You don't say where you would drive from. Find Jims post; lots of really good details.
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#13 Valli

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Posted 23 July 2011 - 10:04 PM

Here is the link re: driving to Mexico and it provides great detail and information. I seem to recall Trudy had done the drive from Michigan to Cozumel on her own a couple of times a few years ago - she is a very gutsy, adventurous and independent person. Having said that, just in terms of safety, company, and some moral support, it may be preferable to have someone to share the driving, etc. whether you happen to be male or female (IMHO). But I know there are likely those who are content with doing the drive on their own, and I admire and respect that choice.

http://www.cozumelmy...h=1
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Posted 25 July 2011 - 05:45 PM

I would not make the drive alone....but I WOULD do it with another person male or female...but one of the two persons needs to know some decent Spanish. And be smart about it.
I live 3 miles from the border in Del Rio, Texas. Acuna is one of the safest border towns in Texas. My other suggestion would be itty, bitty Ojinaga...across from Presidio, Texas.
Do not ever drive after dark in Mexico. In fact, read lots of articles regarding driving in Mexico. Look for current articles. We drove from Laredo, Texas to Guadalajara, Mexico in 2005.
I know Trudy and she says she would not do that drive alone these days.
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#15 nauticab

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Posted 25 July 2011 - 08:51 PM

it was 12 years ago but i drove down alone (my driving partner backed out on me) but also had 2 dogs and a cat with me. all the stops were afraid of my dog, especially since his name was lobo (rip my boy). only drove in the day, was in a hotel by 5pm every day. i crossed in brownsville/matamoros at 6am or something like that. the only time i drove at night was after leaving miso ha waterfalls and escarcega was further than i thought and got there at 8pm but stayed behind a semi truck the entire time. my spanish was sadly very limited but had my dictionary in the passenger seat.

i would have rather drove with someone. if you choose a safe border town and skedattle to your next stop, should be ok. i drove the coastal route all the way to alvarado where i got on the interstate. i would have liked to have experienced more of the drive by staying in some places more but with the zoo in the car and a cat box on the floor board, i was ready to get to the island after 5 days!
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#16 sailsgal

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 09:16 AM

We have been advised by local Mexican friends and also from friends in Mexico City...DO NOT DRIVE down from the USA border to Mexico....In the northern parts it is not safe at all!!
We are considering bringing a car down here in September, so have all the papers
now to have it shipped from Florida to Puerto Morleos for about $750 US...
less stress on everyone.
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Posted 26 July 2011 - 12:55 PM

Depending on your route it could/would be fine. But you'd spend $750. in gas and hotels driving, so that shipping idea works.
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#18 Carey

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 01:04 PM

Depending on your route it could/would be fine. But you'd spend $750. in gas and hotels driving, so that shipping idea works.


And that's not adding in the value of your time which, presumably is worth Something even if you aren't gainfully employed at the time.
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