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Retirees in Mexico cut off, study says
Date:6/2/2010

the locals are based on service, not friendship. As a result, says O'Brien, the expats' relationship to the locals is often condescending.

He also explains that expats have surprisingly little contact with their families back home. "It's kind of shocking," he says, adding that most people he talked to report that missing family members is the most difficult part of living abroad. Part of that may be due the fact that the community he studied was not on the tourist circuit, and therefore not as easy to get to as some of the cities or resorts.

On the plus side, O'Brien says the fact of living in an enclave and being cut off from family results in the creation of unusually strong community ties. People who wouldn't normally meet back home are thrown together, and because of the circumstances, friendships develop.

O'Brien notes the case, for example, of a burly former biker who became best of friends with an elderly gay man who had moved to Mexico to start a bed and breakfast. The fact of being North Americans together in Mexico often trumps other differences, he says.


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Contact: Ryan Saxby Hill
rsaxbyhill@fedcan.ca
613-894-7635
Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

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