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reflexions in a cenote

Having been more or less stuck at home the last week, I have been reflecting on our life here. Monday, I went out and paid our predial (house taxes), the electric bill and our trash for a year. It was amazing, I had Husband drop me off on Calle 59 around 9:30 am and bing, bing, bing I accomplished my errands one by one within a half hour.

Having lived here long enough, I realize that the people of Mérida aren’t out and about early unless they are heading to work, which usually works well for me, since I am a morning person. Husband is a crack of dawn type person, but I am in the more moderate end of the spectrum.

My first stop was the trash company, for us, ServiLimpio, normally we pay the trash monthly. A man comes to our door and collects our 14 pesos, but sometimes we miss him and have to pay two months and sometimes he charges us twice. I keep all the receipts in a box by the door, so if there is a question, I can fish out last month’s receipt. This year, I decided to avoid all that by pre-paying. I brought along our last receipt because it has our account number on it. Guess what! If you prepay for the year, you get two months free. So a year’s worth of garbage pick up three times a week cost us $140 mxp, yup, less than twelve dollars! Plus no more arguing with the agent over paid or unpaid months. I am clearing away any possible negativity in advance and getting a discount. How sweet is that?

Just half a block down from the Condesa Building is the Treasury, I brought an utility bill with me since I hadn’t received our tax bill yet. You are expected to pay your debts here, regardless of whether you receive a bill or not. It’s the flip side of Mexican personal responsibility, that’s okay with me. There is a number machine but the sign on it said that predial payers should go directly to the cashier. My wait was so short that I wasn’t ready when my turn came!

From there I walked to 7/11 and paid the electric bill. You can pay your utility bills at a variety of places, I normally pay at the grocery store but today I was out and took care of that too. The only negative side to my trip was that several of the places that I wanted to shop at weren’t open yet! Many stores don’t open until ten some even later.

Why was it all so easy? I think it’s because I know the system now, I know that it’s easier to have a comprobante if my address is in question. I know that the earlier I do something the faster it will be. I avoid quincenas (most people get paid every 15 days, a quincena), and I never expect to get much accomplished in one day.

Husband and I love our life here, we have good friends, both foreign and Yucatecan. We have a nice home and great neighborhood. Our routines are established but not set in stone. Over all we have a much higher quality of life here than we would if we had stayed NOB.

About Theresa Diaz Gray

Born in New York City, I grew up in California, and have lived in 3 countries and 6 states. I'm a first generation Cuban-American who lives in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico. I'm committed to living an abundant and creative life and helping others do so too through DIY!


  1. MexiChica, Did the guy give you a receipt? I keep my trash receipts in a small box near the door. Just for those encounters. If you still have them look on the receipt for the name of the company. There are a couple of them. Then you can go down to the office and find out the rate. You can then pre-pay for however long you want. That eliminates the gringo tax.
    I would have been miffed at the guy, the aguinaldo is due from his employer, not you! if you want to tip the trash collectors that is fine but not the bill collector. What a jerk! Or you can let it go and see what happens next month.

  2. 14 pesos for trash collection?! I paid that the first month and then the following month the guy took one look at my gringo husband and requested $40 pesos. Since this was only our second encounter with the trash collection guy, I didnt argue with him over the difference. He explained that the last time was collected by someone from another route and did not know what he was doing. On top of that! He asked for an aguinaldo since it was December!!!!

    Congrats for getting things done and I’m glad that you are in a happier place right now.


  3. Thanks Ron!
    I have started another one but can’t seem to settle down enough to actually finish it and post it.

  4. I enjoyed your post. thanks


  5. Thanks for leaving a comment BajaJohn.


  6. Great Post. I’ve been thinking of retirement lately and have considered moving down to Mexico if I ever did. Your entry provides great insight in one’s daily life in Mexico.

  7. Hi Steve, it just get easier over time. Sometimes it seems like it never will but it really does get easier to get things done here.

    Gloria, LOL, I think Reilly probably had it better, at least they speak English in Ireland! You are right though about contentment, happiness and health. Thanks

    Joanne, I can’t prepay our water, it’s metered. $10 pesos a bag! wow, but then again, you are talking a big bag. At least you have trash service, I understand that many beach towns don’t.
    Paying taxes in January is a good deal when they give you a discount for doing it.

    Leslie, I don’t have cable, but if I did I’d certainly prepay for 2 months free, plus that way I could lock in the same price for the whole year. Sweet!

    Hi Pliers, our distress with the Mexican legal system goes way back to 2005,so actually getting before a judge is a victory of sorts.
    I believe that people have a base level of happiness and I have been blessed with a happy nature.


  8. Given your recent spurt of distress with the Mexican legal system, I think that it says an enormous amount about the quality of life in Mérida, Yucatán, México that you can articulate your last paragraph with such sincerity.

    Happy and Healthy New Year in your life SOB!

  9. In Progreso you get two months free on the water bill if you pay for the year at once.

    Oh, and despite it being the 15th I went and paid the property tax. Took all of 5 minutes and I got the 10% discount for paying in January.

  10. Felicidades! Getting three things accomplished in one morning is a BIG deal, and I am very happy for you!

    The cable company offers the same deal as your trash company. Pay for an entire year before January 15th, and you get two months free! Plus, you are entered in a drawing every month to win a new T.V.

    Have a wonderful weekend! 😀

  11. That’s a sweet deal on the basura. We pay 10 pesos/bag (big black garbage bag) when he stops to pick up. He does come by about 5 times a week which is great. Lots of people at the beach can’t get reliable garbage pick up.

    I just remembered yesterday that I should pay the property tax. Tomorrow is the 15th, but I will go anyway.

    You sound content. Its a nice place to be.

  12. Teresa, sounds like you have the life of Reilly. Glad to hear you are happy where you are. Contentment, happiness, and health are of the utmost importance. Take care.

  13. Three tasks. All accomplished. Certainly the world’s end is at hand.

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