The city of Guanajuato nestles against the Cañada de Marfil ravine at an altitude of 6,600ft, surrounded by the Sierra de Guanajuato mountains of central Mexico. Designated an UNESCO World Heritage site in 1988, the city’s Spanish past is evident in the hundreds of narrow alleyways, the cobbled callejones, which run up and down the steep hillsides between baroque and neo-classical colonial architecture. Buildings are painted in bright purples, oranges, pinks and blues, many with wrought iron balconies. The Callejón del Beso is only two feet wide, enabling lovers to stand on opposite balconies and embrace and many of the callejones have steep flights of stairs. With one road in and one road out, most of Guanajuato’s road system has ingeniously gone underground, allowing vehicles and pedestrians to negotiate the one-way system. The city has shady plazas, with sidewalk cafés, markets, museums and historical monuments. The Plaza of Peace stands in the city center, surrounded by basilicas, whilst the Alhóndiga de Garanditas, a granary built to withstand famine, commemorates the Mexican War of Independence from Spain and is now a museum. With a cosmopolitan population, thanks to the Universidad de Guanajuato, living in the city as an expatriate should be a pleasant experience. The Jardin de la Union plaza is the center of activity both by day and night for residents and students alike. Finding expats living in Guanajuato via the InterNations website for mutual support and friendship is best achieved by using our forums, discussion groups or private messages system. As a registered member of a select global community, you have the opportunity to network and socialize online with thousands of like-minded individuals.
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Guanajuato is known as “The Place of Frogs”, a phrase which early inhabitants coined due to the surrounding mountains resembling a frog in shape. The Guanajuato International Airport is served by American and Mexican airlines and will most like be the first choice for expats moving to Guanajuato from overseas. City buses traverse the tunnel system, whilst long distance coaches operate from the south of the city, while walking is typically the best option along the callejones. Relocating to a new country with a different language and culture can, however, be a demanding and stressful experience. Questions arise which often only those who have been through the relocation process themselves can answer, and the friendly InterNations members with experience of life in Mexico are willing to answer specific questions and give advice and tips. For more general queries, the InterNations’ Expat Magazine contains many articles on a wide range of topics, and should be consulted throughout the process of moving to Guanajuato as an expat.
Guanajuato is predominantly a resort city today, catering for tourists, but once it was the silver mining capitol of the world. Guanajuato specializes in working wrought iron in the baroque style, along with glassmaking in single colors of red, blue, green and yellow. Majolica pottery production continues, using traditional methods dating back over four hundred years. The university teaches over thirty thousand students, and is the main city employer. As an expatriate working in Guanajuato, your first port of call for meeting fellow expatriates should be the InterNations platform, networking with those of a similar professional standing for social activities. Members working in Guanajuato may organize trips to the city museums, including the Don Quixote Museum, or could take a trip on the funicular railway to the top of the mountain overlooking the city to enjoy the panoramic views from the statue of Pipila, a legendary fighter for independence from Spain who carried a huge stone on his back to deflect bullets as he stormed the royalist castle!