House Sitters & Sitting in Mexico
 

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Caretakers of the World: House Sitting in Mexico

Mexico has a burgeoning demand for house sitters.  The services of responsible house caretakers are increasingly sought worldwide and Mexico is no exception. A desirable destination for many would-be house sitters, Mexico is country of great beauty, with rich cultural heritage, and warm, friendly people.

 While house sitting in Mexico, you might find yourself on a balcony overlooking a stunning expanse of the Pacific coast, walking home along the steep cobbled streets of a small fishing harbor, in the foothills of cool mountains with spicy pine forests rising around you, or in an elegant city famous for its Spanish colonial architecture and cool palm-shaded courtyards.

If considering a house caring position in Mexico, start by studying the different regions of the country and find out what to expect in the way of climate and terrain.Bounded on the north by the United States, on the west by the Pacific Ocean, on the east by the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea, and on the south by Belize and Guatemala, Mexico has a wide variety of terrain.

The central part of the country is dominated by a high plateau framed by two mountain ranges -  the Sierra Madre Oriental and Sierra Madre Occidental to the east and west. This plateau runs from the border of the United States south to the Isthmus of Tehauntepec. Here, in the largest basin, known as the Valley of Mexico, is Mexico City, built on the ruins of the ancient capital of the Aztec Empire, Tenochtitlan.

Beyond the mountains, the country slopes down to coastal lowlands on the Gulf side. There you will find coffee plantations, fishing towns, elegant cities such as Cordoba, and the great port of Veracruz, as well as many ancient archeological wonders. To the west, the long finger of Baja California creates a narrow strip of sea coast flanking a backbone of mountain. Largely uninhabited, Baja California has become popular with Americans. South of Baja California, are the Pacific Coast lowlands, where the beautiful city Guadalajara is located.

Further south, the land is again very mountainous. The Sierra Madres del Sur plunge to the Pacific Ocean to form a verdant and rugged stretch of coast known as the Mexican Riviera, where international resorts such as Acapulco and Puerto Vallarta can be found. Below the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, are still more mountains, the Chiapas Highlands. Here dense rainforests and high mountain peaks stretch south to the borders of Guatemala and Belize. This part of Mexico is still largely rural and undeveloped, populated by indigenous Mexicans whose heritage stretches back to the ancient empires of the Aztec.

To the east and north, the Yucatan peninsula curves up into the Gulf of Mexico, bounded on the east by the Caribbean Sea. The Yucatan Peninsula, tropical at its tip, features stunning Mayan ruins deep in the jungle, while on the coast white sand beaches are lapped by a turquoise sea. The world renowned luxury resorts Cancun and Cozumel are located there at the edge of the Caribbean. From snow capped volcanoes, to steamy rain forests, from arid plateaus to waterfalls plunging through tropical forests, from sleepy fishing towns to luxurious world class resorts, from ancient Mayan and Aztec ruins to bustling modern cities, Mexico has something for everyone.

Whether you desire the sophistication of a big city or luxury resort, or the laid-back experience of an eco-tour, a visit to a pre-Columbian archeological site, or a day appreciating elegant Spanish colonial architecture, sipping margaritas under a palm tree, or spending the day chasing marlin, sailfish, or dorado on a sport fishing boat; Mexico has it all.

Luckily for those interested in exploring Mexico, there are many opportunities available for house sitting. Beautiful unoccupied homes have owners who are searching for reliable house sitters.It is a perfect opportunity for travelers who can be flexible about their time, such as retired individuals or couples.

Why house sitting? House sitting is an arrangement that is mutually advantageous for home owners and house sitters alike. House sitters stay in private homes at no charge.  In exchange for free lodging, they agree to take care of the house, including routine maintenance, caring for plants and garden, and possibly caring for pets. Usually it is understood that a house sitter will clean after himself, although sometimes a cleaning service is provided.  The house sitter ensures that the house is safe, secure, and inhabited, and that any pets and plants are well tended until the owners return.

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House sitting offers a terrific opportunity for world travelers; To stay free of charge in the comfort of a private home, allows a traveler to explore a region of Mexico at leisure, experiencing the country not as a typical tourist, but as a resident does. Unless you backpack or stay at youth hostels, you cannot travel less expensively. And though you are not paid for your services, you can potentially halve your travel expenses by saving on hotel costs.

 Imagine experiencing life in Mexico not as a tourist, based in a hotel, but as a resident, with a garden to tend and an outdoor market to buy your fruit and fish.  Imagine relaxing on a balcony with a cat on your lap and a cool drink, looking over the sea  Imagine walking a dog along the surf tossed beach early in the morning. Imagine leaving for Mexico and staying there, throughout the winter, and then through the spring as well.

House sitting offers an unparalleled opportunity to grow familiar with the world. For home owners, having a house sitter provides peace of mind if they must be away for a week, a month, or longer, knowing that their house is well looked after by a responsible and trustworthy individual. ;Home owners have many reasons to consider having their houses occupied in their absence. If you have pets, you are no doubt aware that your absence is extremely upsetting to your animals. Whether left at home with automatic feeders, or carted off to a kennel, animals dread your loss. While nothing can make up for you not being there, they are quite a bit less distraught if they can remain in the comfort of their own homes, with their established routines uninterrupted.

Many house sitters are animal lovers and consider a dog, cat, or other pet a wonderful bonus to taking a house sitting job.  You may find the perfect person who adores and is adored by your animal family, who would be delighted to come and housesit every time you must be away.

Gardeners also have a difficult time being away from home without someone to watch over their plants. After nurturing flowers, a vegetable garden, or lush indoor plants, it is very discouraging to return to find them wilted and failing. Again, there are many house sitters who would love nothing better than to tend your garden and putter amongst your plants.

Additionally, having your house inhabited while you are gone offers security from theft, vandalism, or emergencies. Someone on premises can take your calls, forward your mail, receive deliveries, and oversee any projects you may have scheduled such as grounds maintenance, reassuring you that your house is safe and well tended in your absence. The key to a successful arrangement is in the right match-up between a homeowner and a potential house sitter  A homeowner seeks someone trustworthy and reliable who comes with excellent references The homeowner needs a person who can agree upon dates of occupancy and who is capable of tending to whatever aspects of homecare may be needed.  A traveler wants a comfortable place to stay in the region he is interested exploring, at a time he is able to travel.

The right pairing can lead to a long term established relationship, in which a homeowner and house sitter have a mutually beneficial arrangement over years.

If you are considering looking for a housesit in Mexico, a good first step would be signing up with Housecarers.com, which matches potential house sitters with homeowners.  After registering, you will be able to browse available homes that need care takers. You will need to consider your availability, of course, but there are other considerations as well. Decide which regions of Mexico you would most like to explore, and focus your search there. Make sure you find out about seasonal weather conditions.

Other things to consider are

whether the home is walkable to town, whether transportation is available, how far away markets and basic services are; and how close you will be to places that you want to visit. A big consideration is pet care. Do not sign on for it unless you are an animal lover.  Homeowners are not looking for someone to put up with their animals. They want someone who loves and dotes on animals. If that describes you, then you will be sought by many homeowners. Also,

if you do not have a green thumb and there is a garden, be clear about that, and see if other arrangements can be made for plants.

Points of negotiation

Might be whether you pay for utility bills during your stay, whether there is a security deposit, and what tasks, besides cleaning after yourself, you would be expected to perform. Make sure you collect any necessary contact information, including local contacts for emergencies - such as fire, plumbing, and veterinarian. Also make sure to have the number of a nearby neighbor and the homeowners- contact numbers in triplicate. Know who is expected to deliver packages, pick up dry cleaning or clean the pool. Find out where the local hospital is, as well as any other services you deem necessary.And of course, plan to bring a phrase book and pick up some of the language while you are here.

Why not see yourself in the dual role of a traveler and a caretaker? As you travel, you can help to take care of the places you go

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