Ex-pats hunkered down in Mexico to ride out COVID-19 pandemic

Americas Now

Canadian and European ex-pats fell in love with the tranquility of Lake Chapala

Lake Chapala, in Mexico’s Jalisco state, used to be a place to go for a quick, seasonal trip in Mexico for thousands of Canadian and European tourists. But many of them fell in love with the beauty and tranquility of the place and decided to stay forever and call it home.   

With COVID-19 ending tourism and travel around the world, many ex-pats were told to return to their own countries as insurance companies started to end coverage abroad. Some felt the pandemic forced them to make a decision: to leave or stay.   

But for thousands of them the decision was already made. They didn’t heed the authority’s recommendations. Instead, they organized and extended a network of help, to take care of those ex-pats in need.   

Foreigners seem to feel safer there despite Mexico being one of the North American countries with an elevated count of COVID-19 cases. As of July 6th, there were more than 250,000 cases confirmed and more than 30 thousand reported deaths. Jalisco state however, where Lake Chapala is located, had less than 8 thousand cases at the time.   

Correspondent Alasdair Baverstock reports on the hundreds of ex-pats who have chosen Mexico as their place to ride out the pandemic.