San Agustin, Mexico For $220/mo

San Agustin

Here is another email from my good friend, Lorna, who is living the good life in San Agustin, Mexico.

It’s inspiring, insightful, and full of many hopes and dreams realized.  It could be your dream, too.

Hi Barbie!

I just wanted to say thanks for the info you provide, it’s so helpful and practical!

I am not much for writing e-mails, but I wanted to tell you that I have been living in San Agustin for the last two years and I love it!

The weather is perfect, the rent is amazingly low for my 3 bed, 2 bath casita ($2200 pesos (Barbie – approxmately $220 American dollars) a month, includes water and a great gardener)!

banana plantation at Manzanillo, near San Agustin

Banana plantation

I pay aprox. $175 every 2 months for electricity, gas is aprox and I pay 300 pesos every 3 months, for phone, cable & internet. Combined is only 450 peso a month!


I live on a small pension plus I teach English at a local San Agustin school. I am the only “gringa” living in my coto, and my neighbors have taken me in with warm hospitality.

Guadalajara is a wonderful, diverse, cosmopolitan city with so much to see and do! San Agustin is only a 2 1/2 hour drive (on the Colima road) to the beaches in Manzanillo… 3 1/2 to the beaches in Nayarit… 4  hour s to Puerto Vallarta.

What more could I ask for? Life is good!

Thanks again for your newsletter, keep up the good work!

Cheers, Lorna

San Agustin article by Barbie

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24 Responses to San Agustin, Mexico For $220/mo

  1. Alex

    December 8, 2009 at 10:18 am

    Hola Barbie,

    Thanks for all the info on Mexico. I’ve read many of the emails on living or moving to Mexico. Most want a USA style, compound, much like in the USA. In my opinion, the move to Mexico should be into a small town or fishing village, where the natives are always very welcoming.

    I came down here for 2 weeks and have remained for almost a year. The natives are extremely warm and friendly.

    I operate very well on a fixed income of $500.00. My 2nd floor apartment is a large 2 bedroom with a view of the town ($205.00/month). The Pacific Ocean is a 10 minute walk. This town has a bird sanctuary and a jungle toward the mountains. Many sights to see. Most importantly, I live in a town where there are only about 15 Gringos living here 12 months of the year and it swells to about 100 in the winter months. If I wanted to live with the Gringos and not experience the Mexican culture, I would have moved to places like Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan, Cancun or just stayed in a warmer climate like California, Florida or Arizona.

    The reason for mentioning this is that there are all kinds of places in Mexico that are inexpensive. People moving here should be exposed to the culture. You can’t be exposed to the culture if you reside in a Gringo compound.

    Unfortunately, it wouldn’t be fair to the people here to mention this town. It has been this way for centuries. It’s a unique paradise and not for everyone.

    I spent a week in Bucerias, 30 miles north of Puerto Vallarta. It was like living in San Diego or any town, just north of the border in the United States, with so many Gringos. By the way, I am a Gringo too.

    Remember this famous saying “When in Rome, do as the Romans do”. Therefore, when in Mexico, enjoy their culture and the people.

    Hasta luego…Alex

  2. Perry

    February 9, 2010 at 2:49 pm

    Well said Alex. My folks moved from CA to a small village back in early 60’s as they wanted to immerse themselves in the village atmosphere. I was a teenager at the time. I too soon learned thereafter to appreciate Mexico as the Mexicans live, not what Gringos bring from the states. Places like Sayulita or Ajijic are OK to visit, but I enjoy more doing as the natives do and discovering those places that are mostly gringoless! I’ve been told by Mexicanos
    that I too am Mexicano! I was touched by that comment.

  3. Linda Thompson

    February 9, 2010 at 7:32 pm

    Dear Alex,
    You said you live on 500.00 US dollars in the community you live. WOW I am on S.S. disability, for now, but I’m going to Voc. Rehab. When I get through I’ll probably be pretty close to living on 7-8 hundred dollars a month. It’s sounds as if you have found paradise! I hope to make my move to Mexico at the end of the year. I have been thinking about Guanajuanto. It’s a village somewhat like you described. I am very excited to move. Like you said When in Rome… Well I like the fact that there is so much nature to see. I have lived in a large metro area for almost 30 years and am ready to move.
    Thanks for your blog I hope to read more from you.
    Linda Thompson

  4. Barbie


    February 10, 2010 at 6:32 pm

    Thanks Linda! Barbie

  5. Barbie


    February 10, 2010 at 7:14 pm

    Dear Alex, THANKS!!!! I love your blog!!!! And, I know what you mean – I’ve written articles about a few “ugly Americans” messing up the beauty and natural pleasures of Mexico.

    Barbie p.s. Do, please keep in touch – would love to hear more from you. I’m sure lots of people are going to be so excited to read about another happy story from a fellow retiree!

  6. Marjory Lopes

    February 15, 2010 at 4:13 pm

    Hello Barbie, My husband and I enjoy reading all the stories about people enjoying life in Mexico and we have travelled to quite a few places ourselves trying to follow our dreams of also living there. However the stories we keep hearing here in Canada are not very encouraging with the Drug problems and crime resulting from this-it is difficult for us to know where it would be safe to live if and when we decide to take the plunge-we were looking in Cuernavaca a year ago and have also checked out Ajijic and San Miguel also Merida. Can anyone give us some ideas-we also like the idea of living in a small village not in a “Gringo Compound”
    Thank you, Marjory

  7. Barbie


    February 19, 2010 at 7:42 pm

    Cuernavaca is fine – there are so many places in Mexico to choose from – What climate do you like? What altitude do you perform best at? Does living near the States appeal to you? Visit the places – see what they are like, and which one you fall in love with – that’s the place for you. Read all my newsletters and blogs, and you’ll find a wealth of info about the different places – but mainly just info about Mexico. Best to you.Barbie

  8. Jacquie Hayes

    March 16, 2010 at 12:58 pm

    Hi Barbie,
    Thank you for such an informative newsletter. I enjoy reading it every month. I am almost ready to retire and have plans to live 1/2 of the year in Mexico and the other half in Vancouver, Canada where I now live. However, I haven’t yet made up my mind where I want to lay my hat but every year I visit one or two spots in Mexico hoping to find my favorite spot. I loved Ajijic but missed the ocean, however, most of the ocean spots I have visited have been very busy and expensive. Therefore, when I read your recent newsletter and the letter from Alex I was intrigued. Unfortunately, he was reticent to reveal the location he was talking about and I can understand his reservations. However, I was wondering, if I promised, promised, promised not to tell anyone else if he could perhaps give me more information. From what he said so far about the place it sounds ideal … inexpensive accommodation, 10 minute walk from the ocean, and very few gringos. I am trying to learn Spanish so I love the part about the few gringos since most places I have travelled to so far have had so many English speaking people that I never got the chance to practice my Spanish. I was at one time interested in checking out Bucerias but found the accommodation to be quite expensive.
    Any help you or your readers can give me would be appreciated.
    Yours truly,

  9. Barbie


    March 22, 2010 at 10:50 am

    I did arrange for them to correspond. Barbie

  10. Barbie

    March 26, 2010 at 9:24 pm

    . Dear Lorna, I have a request from a couple who would like to correspond with you to get more info on the area you are living in. If you would agree to this, I would give you their email address and you can correspond as you wish. Thanks! Barbie

  11. carlton

    April 20, 2010 at 4:38 am

    There has been a lot in the news lately regarding drug violance. Is this area safe?

  12. Barbie


    April 20, 2010 at 8:17 pm

    Hi Carlton. No one can guarantee anyone’s safety, either in the States, in Europe, or in Mexico. I always tell everyone to be careful and cautious – anyplace they go. I have so many warnings in my books, blogs, reports. And, no doubt about it, you need to be very careful and aware in Mexico right now.

  13. Cathy

    July 21, 2010 at 8:17 pm

    I would love to get in contact with Lorna…..

    I too have considered teaching English in Mexico. The course only costs about $1200.00 or so and runs for just a few days. How hard was it for you to get a job teaching? Did you make your move to Mexico as a single person? I would like to ask you more questions if you are open to sharing your experiences. Thanks.

  14. Barbie


    July 23, 2010 at 12:09 pm

    Please read my articles about working in Mexico – remember, the average daily wage is $5.

  15. Lizzz

    March 29, 2012 at 7:41 am

    Hello Barbie,
    Retirement is just around the corner for me, I turned 65 at mid month and signed up for Medicare. I have to wait for social security for another year. I plan on heading to Mexico in 2013.
    I noticed the email from Lorna about living in San Augustine. It sounded like my kind of place. I am totally Bilingual and love everything Mexican. Does she still live there? What does she like about living there and, what doesn’t she like about living there. Can you still find reasonable living accomodations? Would she be willing to help a stranger find a place to live? I would appreciate an introduction to her. Thanks, Elizabeth Center (Lizzz)

  16. Barbie


    March 29, 2012 at 9:27 pm

    Lorna, are you able to help Lizzz?

  17. Lizzzz

    March 30, 2012 at 12:15 am

    Barbie, I forgot to tell you to please give my email information on to Lorna…thanks, Lizzz

  18. Barbie


    March 30, 2012 at 11:05 am

    Will try. Barbie

  19. Karen

    April 12, 2012 at 5:48 pm

    Hello Barbie:

    Wonder if anyone has had a problem collecting the $400.00 U.S. (cash) car import fee upon leaving Mexico.

    We hold FM3’s which had to be renewed mid-March of this year. Apparently, our car sticker was stamped with the date of the expiry and therefore, our refund was refused.

    We are now back home in Canada and would appreciate any feedback as to what to do next in order to collect this money?

    Thank you

  20. Barbie


    April 13, 2012 at 2:14 pm

    Reader, Karen needs some advise… Thanks.

  21. Bart Cook

    April 18, 2012 at 8:45 am

    Hi Barbie
    Can you arrange for Alex to communicate with me also
    I have stayed in Bucerias a number of times but we have been looking for the place Alex is living for quite a while

  22. Bart Cook

    April 18, 2012 at 8:47 am

    Hi Karen
    We put the $200 on our visa and when we handed in the sticker our visa was credited the next day

  23. Bart cook

    April 18, 2012 at 8:59 am

    Hi Barbie
    Can you get in touch with Lorna in St Agustin and Alex wherever he lives as he does not divulge where he lives

  24. Barbie


    April 23, 2012 at 2:27 pm

    Hi. Have not heard from Lorna for quite a while, however, I believe, if I remember correctly, Charlie lead her to where she finally rented. I will copy this email and send to Charlie – he will probably contact you when he has a few minutes. Barbie

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