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Considering Monterrey...

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Hello,
I am considering moving to Monterrey with my family (kids 6, 4, and 6 months), but am concerned about a few things I thought it'd be better to ask expats than locals.
First, safety. I've lived all over the world so I'm not too jumpy about safety, but do want to know if there are risks to expats while driving, walking, etc. or is it just in certain (avoidable) areas of the city?
Second, kids. Are there activities for kids, safe public parks, play-groups, etc.? Are any of these mixed Mexican-expat or do the groups mostly keep to themselves?
Third, quality of life. How is it living there as an expat? Again, do expats keep together or mingle with Mexicans (I'd prefer the latter)? How hard is it to get to know people? Where do people live in the city, and is it possible to get furnished rentals?
Thanks so much,
Anne
Oakland, CA

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