Attention, baby boomers; don’t be late for the party! If you haven’t noticed what’s going on south of the border, having only heard about illegal immigration north of the border, the following may prove to be quite awakening and informative.
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, a sleepy little Mexican fishing village located in the foothills of the Sierra Madres on Banderas Bay along the Mexican Riviera is no longer sleepy or little. The population has literally exploded since the filming of “The Night of the Iguana” in 1963. Vallarta has grown from 2,000 inhabitants prior to 1963 to the current figure of 350,000 inhabitants in 2007. Today, the population of greater PV makes it the second largest city in the Mexican state of Jalisco, only behind Guadalajara. Please refer to the following graph in order to track this explosive growth and its projection for the next ten years:
(Please visit the website below for graph details)
Putting this in perspective, you’ll notice the above chart indicates that Vallarta has now reached the size of St. Louis and assuming the projected growth holds true, it will be equal in size to Cleveland within ten years. The significant note of interest is that St Louis, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, etc., will all probably show little to no, perhaps even negative growth, while PV is expected to grow by another 50% during the next ten years. Now, we ask, what’s going on down there? First, let’s consider who’s moving there. The entire industry of Vallarta is based on tourism and the immigration of North Americans. The US data from the IRS returns indicates a growth from 200,000 US citizens a few years ago to 750,000 Americans living in Mexico in 2005. Of the 750,000 Americans, we can only estimate that 50,000 Americans and Canadians now call Vallarta home. With the tens of thousands of condos and villas currently under construction or in the ten year planning phase, we can only imagine that by 2017, the North American population in greater PV will be somewhere between 100,000 and 150,000 retirees. The following are some of the reasons for this explosive growth:
Climate–The seven month “high season” of November through May has an average daily temperature of 73*F with virtually no chance of rain.
Scenery–Vallarta, located in the foothills of the Sierra Madres on the Banderas Bay, one of the largest and most beautiful bays in the world, is in the center of the Mexican Riviera on the Pacific Ocean. Beautiful beaches, rocky cliffs, mountain sides overlooking the bay, tropical flowers and wildlife, and all the sights that one would expect to find in Paradise.
Safe–With tourism being the life blood of the economy, North Americans are “off limits” regarding any sort of criminal activity. Since guns are strictly prohibited in Mexico, burglaries, robberies, etc., are virtually unheard of. The primary objective of most all of the young generation of natives is to assure all North Americans a pleasant and safe visit to Paradise so that they’ll return soon and often. Fear of a terrorist attack in Vallarta? Forget it!
Friendliness–In 2001, a readers poll taken by Conde Nast magazine listed Vallarta as the friendliest resort destination in the world. The locals treat North Americans with dignity, respect, and as friends, family, and almost as royalty.
Clean Food and Water–The explosive population growth has caused a complete revamping and expanding of the city infrastructure. This includes the road system, power generation and distribution, and of course, water treatment and distribution systems. The water is pure and safe to drink from the tap throughout the city. All food products are now available in the many new modern supermarkets equal to the finest in the States. Food for home or restaurant consumption is closely monitored for cleanliness and controlled as in North America.
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