Who you know is important wherever you live but we have found, over the 19 years we have been lucky enough to live in Ajijic, Lake Chapala, that it was never more important than here.
When we were first here getting things done could be a challenge and we relied heavily on our friends. the Eagers, to help point us in a number of the right directions. Michael Eager and his family, from La Nueva Posada, have been here for 38 years so there is very little that can arise that they have not had to deal with. Our children went to school here since they were young so they now know a lot of people who are in positions of authority and are very helpful in assisting us when required.
In the old days money was usually the answer but over the years things have changed and it is more important now to know someone who can help you get things done or who knows someone who can.
As ex-pats stick handling your way around the politics, paperwork, and general day to day functions can be very difficult without help who knows the language and the system.
One of our daughters works with her father and her friendship with various government officials as well as a particular lawyer has been invaluable help to her father.
For example we needed a piece of paper which normally takes at least three weeks to procure but my daughter was able to get in 2 days thanks to an old school mate.
Another situation called for entry papers to be issued asap which normally would have taken a month and her lawyer friend was able to get the necessary paperwork in 3 hours. All of this is legal you understand and it is just a question of who you know.
Now a family member needs a certificate for a job in Canada and asked us if we would go to Guadalajara to get an application for such a certificate. This, of course, struck terror into our hearts but, once again, our daughter was all over it and her lawyer friend is looking into what is required and, hopefully, will help us get said certificate.
What I am trying to stress here that it is important to know someone who can help you with whatever it is you may need.
Knowing a good, honest lawyer is important and also a notario (public notary) and immigration person to name a few.
If you do not know people who can help you ask your friends and neighbors because chances are they will have just the person who can do the job.
You, of course, can try to do things on your own but I suggest that it will be much easier and, in the long run, cheaper if you get the help of someone who knows what they are doing and knows how to deal effectively with the system.