Thank you for your interest in Art Leap Adventures' Mexican art workshops. On behalf of myself and all the folks involved in creating our classes and workshops, we're delighted to have you journey along with us, and I'd like to address any questions or concerns you may have about traveling to Mexico. This section will also help prepare you for a trip to Mexico.
My goal is to provide you with an adventurous and exciting art learning experience, however, first and foremost, your safety and comfort are a top priority. I have lived on and off in Mexico since 2002 and can speak in great detail about my experience of being an ex-pat in Mexico, and I've also had the great fortune of traveling to several other fascinating locations within Mexico. It's a wildly diverse and evolving country, and there's no one way to describe it, except to say that Mexico is worth experiencing. All of Art Leap Adventures' workshops are designed for the participants to experience a fascinating and artful area of Mexico, without jeopardizing or threatening your safety. While there are no guarantees in traveling anywhere in the world, I do make certain that our workshop destinations are free from conflict, and plentiful in art and local culture.
Current political issues based in the United States have put a spotlight on Mexican/American relations, and while it is true that some areas of Mexico are experiencing stressful conflict, these are not the areas we travel to, just as we would not travel to stressful conflict areas of the United States. By and large the people of Mexico will surprise and delight you with their welcoming nature, and are deserving of our respectful communication and friendship, and most are open to sharing their customs and culture with curious travelers.
I'm often asked if it is safe to travel to Mexico, and I use this question as an opportunity to dialogue. Mexico is a diverse and complex country, with a long and dramatic history, but as a single American woman living in Mexico, I feel safe, welcomed, and at ease almost all of the time. I have witnessed many changes in the political scenes, both in my home country and in Mexico, and yet I consistently feel at ease in my temporary Mexican home. I am originally from Chicago, another city in the spotlight due to its perceived and actual violence; I felt safe in my sweet home Chicago, and I also feel quite safe in Mexico. Being aware of your surroundings is key in any city, place or country.
If you are ambivalent about traveling to Mexico, I would invite you to research a bit deeper, and ask more questions. We at Art Leap Adventures do not want anyone to feel uneasy about traveling with us, but I believe you will be more than satisfied if you do travel with us, and I'll look forward to welcoming you.
Thank you again for your interest in Art Leap Adventures, we are excited to meet you and see you in a wonderful Mexican city. Please feel free to ask me any questions you may have, and share your concerns. Safe travels! -Meagan
Entry Requirements to Mexico for Tourists and Short Term Visitors
Passport holders from countries on Mexico’s no visa required list do not need to apply for a formal visa to visit Mexico. They may, instead, use a visitor’s permit, known as a FMM (Forma Migratoria Multiple).
For countries that don’t need a visa, a Mexico Visitor’s Permit (FMM) will need to be filled out in place of a visa. This is a simple form: airlines pass these out aboard flights and should be filled out on the airplane before you land, or you can acquire one at all airports (almost all airports are digitally set up to process you when you arrive in Mexico), as well as land border crossings and sea ports of entry. Be sure to have all your passport and documents filled it out before you line up to have your documents checked and stamped by the officials at the airport.
Mexico charges a fee to all tourists and business visitors arriving in the country. The fee is approximately US$25; best to pay in cash if possible, in case credit card can not be processed.
If you arrive in Mexico by land, you will need to get a visitors permit at the port of entry;
If you fly to Mexico, air crews on international flights hand-out the visitor permit forms before the flight lands, and they are also available at Mexican airports, near the immigration desks
If you are visiting a Mexican port(s) as part of a cruise ship, you’ll need to get a visitors permit at your first Mexican port of call.
How long is your FMM valid? When you enter Mexico as tourist or business visitor, then the immigration official at the port of entry will usually grant you 180 days’ stay; this will be written on the part of the form that’s handed to you. If the official writes a number less than 180 days, you may apply to extend it to a maximum of 180 days at any local immigration office in Mexico, provided you intend to stay-on as a tourist or extend your business visit. See this article about Mexico’s visitor’s permit for more details.
Lost your FMM Permit? If you lose your FMM (please don't!), you will need to visit one of the immigration offices situated in towns and cities across the country, or at the airport, and apply for a replacement before you can leave. This will involve some form-filling and filing, and a trip to a local bank to pay your permit replacement fee (about US$30) before you return to the immigration office to receive your FMM replacement.
Money tips for traveling to Mexico
Before you travel to Mexico, make sure you have some pesos for your arrival and have a plan for exchanging dollars into pesos once you arrive. The most economical way to do this is to buy a small amount of pesos from your bank before you travel, and then to find a local currency exchange (called "Cambios") when you arrive.
Mexico’s national currency comes in colorful bills of 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 pesos. While Mexico uses the same symbol $ for its currency, keep in mind that it’s always pesos. You may get change in coins, which come in values of 1, 2, 5 and 10 pesos. These “centavos” aren’t worth a lot, but they’ll definitely come in handy when you’re out and about -- it's always good to travel with Mexican coins. The exchange rate for converting foreign currency to Mexican pesos fluctuates daily, so check online for the current rate.
Look for currency exchanges when you arrive in a Mexican airport if you are carrying currency for exchange, however, the most convenient way to buy pesos when you’re already in Mexico is by using ATMs. You will often receive the best exchange rate, even though you have to pay a service fee every time you withdraw. If you know you’ll be needing a lot of cash, you can take it out all at once to avoid paying the service fee multiple times. However, you need to be careful about carrying a large amount of cash while you travel. You don’t want to be a target for thieves.
Registering for a Travel Art Workshop
Please stand-by for the following to take place once you have submitted your registration:
Meagan will contact you to confirm your space in the workshop
Please do not confirm travel arrangements until you receive workshop confirmation
Be sure to read all trip details, including fine print about payment terms and cancellation policy
Invitation to submit workshop deposit and acknowledgement of final payment
Send all workshop quesitons and concerns to Meagan