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Discovering Merida: A Haven for Black Expats

Updated: Mar 18

Hey there, Mexit Planners!

Over the last three years, I’ve been on a journey, sharing the stories of the growing Black expat community in Merida. If you’ve missed any part of this adventure, be sure to check out the link above to get fully up to speed.

This year, I’m taking a deeper look into why Merida has captured the hearts of Black Americans looking for a new chapter abroad. I’m excited to share my personal insights on what it’s like living here as a Black expat.

So, are you ready to jump in with me? Let’s go.

Just to be clear, the insights I’m sharing come directly from my experiences, managing a vibrant Facebook group, and living the expat life here on a daily basis.

The Year That Changed Everything

2023 marked a significant year for us in Merida. With the pandemic becoming a thing of the past, we observed a fascinating trend: for every family that left, two new ones arrived, bringing fresh energy and excitement to our community. Our Facebook group has seen remarkable growth, now boasting around 4,800 members, which is a hefty increase from last year. The group’s makeup is predominantly women (about 80%) with men making up the remaining 20%, mainly hailing from the USA, with a small but significant portion (around 10%) living in Mexico, 200 of whom have made Merida their permanent home. The top cities they’re moving from include Atlanta, Houston, NY, and LA, a trend that matches my personal observations. The age range within our group is wide, reflecting the diverse families who see Merida as their ideal home.

A testament to our community’s vibrancy was the turnout at the annual Halloween event organized by my wife in collaboration with Club Wandergarten. The event drew over 100 kids from various families and was a massive success, setting the stage for an even bigger Easter event. If you’re interested, make sure to sign up early!

Compared to 2019, the Black community in Merida has evolved from a handful of families and retirees to a rich mosaic of individuals across all walks of life. Regular meetups and events provide a welcoming atmosphere for newcomers and help foster a sense of belonging.

The influx of people planning to move here in 2024 is evident in the many posts in groups like ‘Kids in Merida’. Even my daughter’s school has welcomed more parents from our community. Last year was a standout for fostering brotherhood, with increased social activities including cigar nights, football games, and paintball, creating the sense of community I’ve been seeking since our arrival.

A Welcomed Presence

The local government and Merida’s broader community have welcomed us with open arms. Our participation in the Carnival, led by Jennifer Johnson of the Banging Body dance studio, was a highlight. Last year also saw the launch of several Black-owned businesses, adding to our vibrant community presence. Our integration into Merida’s cultural and social fabric, from art exhibits at Soho Gallery to community celebrations of new births, has been truly inspiring.

Why Merida?

Don’t miss the chance to support our kids’ production of The Wiz on February 17th. If you’re unable to attend, consider buying a ticket to show your support.

So, what draws so many Black immigrants to Merida? It’s the promise of a peaceful life, the warmth of the Yucatan people, and a safe environment away from the challenges faced back in the States. I’m here for the long haul and hope my story encourages more to explore this beautiful city.

If you’re part of the Merida community, I’d love to hear your story and why this community matters to you.

Until next time,

Mexit Plans Monte, signing off.

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