About Us

¡Bienvenidos! Welcome and thank you for joining us here!

We are a US American family that moved to Mazatlán in 2008, just as our son graduated primary school and was entering middle school (junior high). Greg left a great job, and Dianne brought her consulting business with us, primarily in order to give our son Danny a second language and the experience of living life as a minority. We have learned a lot, and we continue making mistakes, enjoying our lives, working hard, and learning more every day.

Please comment on any of the posts, as it encourages us to know your opinion and interests! Contact us at hola@vidamaz.com.

39 thoughts on “About Us

  1. Hello Dianne, My family has been following your blog for the last few months. Friends of ours live in Mazatlan and have continually invited us down over the years. This year we decided to take them up on their offer. We are now in Mazatlan enjoying carnival with our 7 y.o. Thank you for sharing your joys of living in Mexico and the gifts you and your family have received from your experience.

    • How wonderful to be down here with a seven year old! Such a terrific learning experience, to be overseas, to get to know people who think and live differently, and to see the joys of a huge community party that is fun, family-friendly, and safe. Glad you could make it. Thank you for letting us know!

  2. I came across your blog and find it interesting and informative. We are looking into moving to Mexico and just want to reach out to other expats. We have been narrowing down our search and Mazatlan seems to keep popping up 🙂 Do you know of some nice communities that are in the area that I could research ? Kind of would like to be more on the outskirts of a city rather than right in the thick of things, we are also thinking of building a home. Any info would be appreciated.

    • Dear Sandy,

      There are many beautiful small communities and towns near Mazatlán. You can search some of them via the Menu on our blog here. You sacrifice the arts and entertainment, but you gain the small town or rural experience. Pay attention to services you may need: medical, emergency, police, etc. There are expatriate forums that may help you as well. Good luck! We absolutely love living here.

  3. Good evening. Thanks so much for creating this blog. I’ve been reading up on all of your wonderful experiences and I feel like I’m right there too. I am a single mom from The Bahamas with a real travel bug. Like you, I’m giving serious thought to relocating in 2 yrs with my now 9yr old son when he enters 7th grade. He already loves the Spanish language and was intrigued with Mexico since visiting Cozumel last year. Any additional advice on finding reasonable/safe housing just outside the main tourist zones and easing the transition for my son would be greatly appreciated. I will be looking for a job teaching English (preferably in a day school setting so I can be home with him in the evening). Thanks again.

    • It will be a wonderful opportunity for both of you, Samantha! If you come on a scouting trip, we are happy to set you up with friends who do rentals. Or, if you prefer, email us at greg@vidamaz.com, and we can connect you with a realtor or two via email. Housing is very affordable and safe here in Mazatlán. Happy to help in whatever way we can!

  4. Hello, My name is Bill Hurley and I am vice president of the Seattle Mazatlan sister cities Association. Although the association has been dormant the past few years, We have a long history with Mazatlan dating back to 1979. We are looking for new members to help revive the great relationship we had with the city of Mazatlan. Could you please help us by spreading the word with any of your friends in Mazatlan from the Puget Sound region Who might be interested in such a venture?

    Here is a brief rundown of some of the activities we have Been involved in in the past;
    – Student exchanges with host families in Mazatlan in Seattle.
    – Hosting the delegation from Mazatlan for the Seafarer festivities in Seattle, including The Carnival Queen marching in the Seafair parade.
    – Bringing the Roosevelt jazz band to to perform atthe Angela Peralta Theater and El Quelite.
    – Installed computer labs at the boys Orphanage, El Quelite, and El Quemado.

    Any help you can provide will be appreciated. Feel free to call me or give out my phone number to those who might be interested.

    Bill Hurley

    • We are thrilled to be able to help your efforts, Bill. We’ve just posted to the VidaMaz group on Facebook and Twitter, as well as here on the blog. We do hope your venture can regain its legs and do good for people! Best wishes!

  5. Thanks for stopping by and commenting on my blog post about Mazatlan. i appreciate your comment, and will correct the part we discussed. Feel free to check out my other posts on Mazatlan, specifically our most recent trip in 2015. We had a great time there.

  6. Hi Dianne ,
    My name is Mike Cram.Your blog is great.
    I came across and got a kick out of your Trump piñata video.
    I’m launching a new anti- Trump product,
    The Trump Growing Nose watch,and was wondering
    if it would be possible to use a 3-4 second
    clip of your video in our video.
    We’re doing this on a low budget but could donate
    $100 to your choice of a Mazatlan charity.

    Thanks very much.

  7. Hello Dianne: I’m excited that I found your blog. Can I ask for some advice?

    I’m a long time visitor to Mazatlan and have always rented homes from Pat Smith in the El Cid complex. Well times change and lately I’m not so interested in golf anymore but more in just living and enjoying Mazatlan. So here is my latest maybe crazy thinking! I’m wondering about opening a B&B. It’s not about making a living as much as it is having something to do and meeting people and entertaining. So I’m going to ask you for an opinion.

    First question would be Is this a good idea for an expat or will I meet a lot of obstacles from the government?

    In your opinion would the location be better in Old Town or nearer the Gold Zone back in the neighborhood?

    I’ve never driven down from Montana but this year I was thinking about doing that. Will I meet any problems if I take on that adventure?

    How easy is it to buy and own a home? I’ve located a place in old town that could fit the bill of a B&B but of course like my question above wondering about Location?

    Hope you can find time to reply.
    Best Regards.
    Don Chlebeck.
    Cardwell, Montana.

    • Hi Don,

      This is Greg answering for Dianne. You have asked some great question and I am happy to hear the excitement in your online voice.

      There are many expats in Mexico doing what you want to do. There are a few in Mazatlan as well. Will there be obstacles from the government, yes! You will need to bring your patience, your best language skills and be flexible. It often helps to have a local to help you. You will need an accountant and an attorney of course.

      Centro Historico and the Golden Zone are both good locations. Ask yourself, where do you want to spend your time each day and you will have your answer.

      We have driven back and forth to various points in the United States around a dozen times without incident. You can spend some time on the Internet collecting best practices, but most important, don’t drive at night, try to use toll roads and pay attention to your surroundings when you stop. It helps to drive with someone else in the car, although I have done it alone with no problems. Your visa status is important here as it will determine if you can bring a car into Mexico, on a temporary or permanent basis. A visitor can get the permit in advance through the mail saving a lot of hassle at the border. A little Internet sleuthing will point you in the right direction. Residents bringing in cars is more complicated. Don’t rely on hearsay – be sure you have the right answer should your visa status become permanent.

      Buying a home in Mazatlan is very straightforward. You will want a good real estate and a qualified Notario (special kind of lawyer, not to be confused with a notary in the States). The Notario will help you get a bank trust to hold the title to your property. There will be an annual bank fee associated with this process.

      There are many expat real estate agents in Mazatlan. They have websites, Facebook pages and some send regular emails to your inbox. I would recommend you reach out to a few of them and find the one you feel most understands what you want to do.

      One thing you did not mention, but I will, is that you will need to decide who your target market is. Do you want to work just with foreigners, or Mexican Nationals as well? Your language skills come into play here as well as having to endure what can be a long hot summer in Mazatlan as that is when the Mexicans come to play at the beaches. If you rely on foreigners you will not have year-round business.

      • I find this all very interesting. Looking forward to hearing more about the opening of the b&b. Wondering if it will be in old town or the gold zone.

  8. Hello Dianne,

    I am a Japanese American living in Los Angeles. Recently, I discovered an ancestor migrated to Mazatlan about the same time my grandparents came to California. Do you know of any association that might be able to help me locate any descendents, if there are any? I saw your post about the Nikkei convention, it looked like it was a lot of fun!

    Thank you in advance!

  9. Greetings Dianne and family! I enjoy your blog especially when you describe your natural surroundings. We live in Canada and are attending a wedding in January 2018 in Mazatlan and staying 1 week. We are avid birders. We were hoping to hook up with a Canadian or American expat that could possibly guide us on a few birding excursions. Or, would you have the names of any birding groups in Mazatlan? Thank you in advance for your advise. Liz and Brian

  10. I’ve been following through a friend’s shares.

    I like to be able to see what your doing. The posts I’ve seen are amazing.


  11. Hi Dianne,

    I’m currently reading “We’re Not in Kansas Anymore” your brilliant essay in the book “Why We Left” – an anthology of American women expats. I just wanted to give a shout out to let you know I’m enjoying your story.

    I feel like an expat, as I’m dating an American artist, DougWestArtist.com, (who lives in Todos Santos) and so the book has held a keen interest … a page turner for sure!

    Thank you for a very interesting and informative read.

      • Hi Dianne,
        It seems to me that most of the happy expats I’ve met in Todos Santos are successful artists. They are able to enjoy & afford an ocean view lifestyle for a fraction of what a beach house would cost in the States.

        I live in Arizona so I get the attraction to the ocean view … as it’s the ONLY thing we’re missing here in the 🐫 desert.

  12. Hi Diana
    Happy 2020! I’m Fabiana and just read everything on your Blog. I’m happy that I found everything I was looking for about Popocatéptl.
    It’s going to be my second time in Mexico, but now with my husband and 12 year old son!
    I definitely will rent a car and drive towards the volcanoes!!!! We will be there at the end of January! Just can’t wait!
    Thanks for your tips!
    Beijos from Brazil,

  13. Hi Dianne! I am enjoying the book Why We Left and the stories of many happy and interesting experiences.

    I am in the education field, a specialty tutor for students with dyslexia.
    Are there opportunities for this type of work in Mx?

    Thank you!

  14. I love your website!
    I do have 3 questions. Perhaps you could steer me in appropriate direction…
    1) How is the water situation in the Mazatlan region-not travelers drinking *safe* water but is nature’s water plentiful there or how is climate change affecting this specific region and the locals/indigenous farmers?
    2) Are single older women from the US doing okay with moving to Mazatlan and adapting? Does it work well?
    3) I’ve had people tell me it’s dangerous to drive a car even on the toll highway to Mazatlan. If I move down, would love to bring or ship a few things! 🤷
    Blessings to you and yours,

    • Dear Basseva, there are literally hundreds if not thousands of single older women from the USA enjoying life here in Mazatlán. You will find a vibrant expat community and a group of friends who resonate with your interests. The highways in Mexico are generally safe in the daytime; we drive all over the country regularly. I do not recommend driving at night. You can safely ship your household items as most of us who live here did. You will need to learn to distinguish who you believe as people love to tell stories and share rumors. Regarding water, that is a more difficult question to answer as I don’t know your assumptions or starting point. There is plentiful water here. And, there are way too many condominium towers and apartment buildings being built, way over-stretching the potable water and sewage capacity of the city, in my humble opinion. This is a desert region. We get torrential rains in summer and are dry most of the rest of the year, yet we are on the ocean and surrounded by lagoons and estuaries. I hope this answered your questions. Others might chime in and be more helpful.

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