Originally Posted by manny_santos
This is a VERY interesting perspective, and I've been waiting a long time to hear from a Mexican who is immigrating to Canada. So far I've only heard from Mexicans with romantic notions of what it might be like to live in Canada.
I wouldn't say that necessarily every single job is located in the capital - I have friends in other parts of the country and they have had no problems finding good employment. They live in mid-size cities, similar in size to Saskatoon or London, Ontario. However, the economic situation in Mexico City is likely better than many parts of the country. The city is indeed very crowded, and my least favorite daily activity is taking the subway in the morning. I'm getting used to it, at least.
You're very right about the reasons some Mexicans go to the United States - there is still a belief among many Mexicans that there are endless opportunities there. I even had an educated Mexican try and tell me that murders and even robberies never happen in the United States or Canada. Which is strange because Mexico City has a murder rate lower than many major U.S. cities; you're six times more likely to be murdered in Detroit, for example, according to the most recent statistics I've seen.
Your perspective on the post-secondary education system is also very interesting. I am a little biased, I guess, because every single Mexican I know who wanted to go to a public university got in without any problems. I haven't heard about the other side of the coin. Still, what would you rather have - the possibility of attending a university for free and be almost guaranteed a job in your field after graduating with no debt, or be guaranteed to pay $26,000 over four years and get stuck working at Tim Hortons after graduating, while battling debt?
The biggest difference I've noticed, however, is rent. I rent a nice apartment in Mexico City for CAD $150/month, and it is very secure. When I briefly lived in Toronto last year, I was paying $900/month for a dump that had no security and was less than half the size of the place I live in now. I'm surprised my laptop never got stolen.
There are many industries located in other parts of the country, but for the most part, if you want to make it big, you move to Mexico City, the possibility of transferring to other cities might come later. And yeah I hear you, I'm too much of a p*ssy to dare and drive here, so public transportation it is for me. Taking the subway sucks and I avoid it when possible, I also take a lot of taxis since they're ridiculously cheap, even compared to other parts of the country.
And yes, Mexico City is surprisingly safe for its size. Not once have I felt insecure going about my regular activities.
Regarding post-secondary education, I'm a little divided on the issue, especially with everything that is happening in Québec (since I'm going back to Montréal soon!) Here are my opinions:
First of all, Universities have to get funds one way or another, don't think that because they're free, that the government is paying for the whole bill. UNAM charges like 50 mexican cents, which equals a nickel, a joke I know, but not free
they also have many events to raise funds. UABC (my state university) is "free" but every semester there is a raffle and you're obligated to sell ALL 10 tickets which cost 250 pesos each, otherwise you can't move on to the next semester, so not exactly free, right? Also remember that as a foreigner, you're probably interacting with the educated
bunch of my country, those that had access to a different array of opportunities. I had the (mis)fortune to live a few years of my life in marginalized neighbourhoods, also my parents divorced when I was 6 months old. My father's side of the family is wealthy and they would be considered quite successful and middle/upper middle class, whereas my mom's side of the family would be considered to be in the poverty line. The difference between both sides of my family is quite astonishing, and I hear from both sides their perspective.
As to the question you asked me, I think paying American prices for education (think 10k+ per year) is TOO MUCH, but I also think that "free" education doesn't cut it either. The current Canadian prices are okay for me, And at least in Canada I have access to government loans and bursaries, which is the big difference. You can be smart with your money, and I plan on working and going to school at the same time, it's hard, but not impossible. Also not everyone in Mexico gets a guaranteed job after graduating, don't let your friends or coworkers sell you this image of Mexico. Look at both sides of the coin and then form your own opinions, you're speaking to the privileged society of my country. I know plenty of recent graduates making 5,000 pesos per month, I'd hardly call that a great job.
$150 per month? I don't know in which neighbourhood you live but boy you got lucky! I pay $350 per month for a bachelor in Colonia Roma, and all my friends tell me how I got a great deal! The same apartment in Polanco would be $700. Rents in Mexico City are relatively expensive though. My father back home in Tijuana pays $900 US dollars per month for a house with 3 bedroom, 2 bathrooms, an office and a huge backyard 5 blocks away from the beach.
There are certainly many plus and cons about Mexico/Canada, but IMO Canada wins easily just because of stability, lower crime rates, cultural offer (though hard to beat Mexico City here), and many other things. It's easier to be independent in Canada. Do you know how much is minimum wage in Mexico? 60 pesos per day! And I do know people making that, because the common argument is "oh but nobody makes that!" I know a lot of young people in unskilled jobs earning that, how can they be independent, move out of mom and dad's, go to school and make a decent living with that? Impossible. Here in Mexico if I wanted to go back to school, I'd have to move back to Tijuana to my dad's house, and I'm not doing that.