Please find answers to common questions below. If you have a question that is not answered below, please submit your question using the form at the bottom. We will email you the answer to this question and if it’s relevant, we will post it in our FAQ below.
Questions & Answers
Eco Village Life, Off-Grid houses & Self Sustainable Living
Ecovillages are urban or rural communities of people, who strive to integrate a supportive social environment with a low-impact way of life. To achieve this, they integrate various aspects of ecological design, permaculture, ecological building, green production, alternative energy, community building practices, and much more.
Our potable water comes from mountain springs (manantial in Spanish). On our ranch we have a very large mountain behind us. We are always searching for natural springs to tap. We search in the dry season to be 100% sure that water will run all-year-round. The water has been tested and is 100% clean and pure, although just for extra precaution, we also use top of the line filters before the water enters your home. Yes, you can drink right out of the tap!
Currently, and as far as crops are concerned, we have corn and sugar cane. These crops are mainly used for animal silos. However, anyone may pick some corn or sugar cane for their own personal use! Apart from crops, there are literally thousands of fruit trees planted throughout the ecovillage property. Click here for complete list of fruit trees.
Each person has their own land, which is approximately 1000 square meters. You may do what you wish to your land and have your garden/patio of your dreams… In addition, you will also have a 10 x 10 meter plot in another location, which is specifically dedicated to your crops, vegetable garden, and/or greenhouse.
In addition to your 10×10 meter garden area and your 1000 square meter plot of land, we are also allowing each family to have an extra piece of land closer to the mountain for their livestock and/or chickens, etc. This is to ensure that others are not negatively effected by bad odors, noises, and other problems that may occur when animals are too close to living areas. Remember, our ranch is 700 acres, so there is plenty of room for everyone!
The ranch has water, lots of it! We are collecting water from 7 springs (there are more, but 7 suffice for now) so lack of water will never be a problem. Each house has two separate drainage system. Toilet waters go to a septic tank, while grey waters are used for irrigation of
garden plants after they go through a cleansing mini pond with plants such as water lilies and many others. This video demonstrates in a much more advanced way, what we are trying to achieve http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_BcC3uSiWZk. Our first filtration section is made out of sand and gravel.
Houses & Homes on the Ranch
Yes. We have a trusted crew of gentlemen whom some have been with us for many years. You may use your own builders to build, but it is highly recommended that you use our team, since they have experience building homes on our land and location. It may also turn out to be cheaper to do so, than to bring in your own crew. This can be discussed in more detail once you decide to purchase a share.
Each share specifies an area of approximately 1000 square meters for a home. Keep in mind that you will also have a 10 x 10 meter area for a vegetable garden, and another 1000 square meter area for a small amount of livestock, and/or chickens, etc.
Yes. If you purchase a share, your share will include the land and you may design your home the way you like it. However, for the homes in front of the river, we would like to keep the general “natural” look and feel of the design.
At Rancho ∞ Amigos you are free to design your home the way you want it, however there are are a few guidelines we would like you to consider:
When it comes to materials, we have a couple of options. Mainly, our houses and buildings are built using steel, cement, concrete block, coconut wood (beams for aesthetics), and river stones. However, if you are not in the financial position to build your house you may build your home with adobe rammed earth, or other eco-materials of your choice. Please note that we will access all building plans before they are accepted. We have areas for both building choices. Your lot portion on the ranch is large enough to build a modest one or two story home. For a better idea of homes already built, or in process, please see our home construction gallery here & detailed information here.
NO! Our land is not ejido land. Our land is 100% owned outright. We would not take the chance of starting a project of this magnitude if there were a chance of problems in the future.
In Mexican system of government, an ejido (Spanish pronunciation: [eˈxiðo], from latin exitum) is an area of communal land used for agriculture, on which community members individually possess and farm a specific parcel. Ejidos are registered with Mexico’s National Agrarian Registry (Registro Agrario National). The system of ejidos dates from the Aztecs‘ rule ofMexico.[when?] During the colonization of Mexico by the Spanish and other European settlers,[when?] the Spanish encomienda system replaced the ejidos.
Yes, however, keep in mind that this project is not a real estate development. All Rancho ∞ Amigos Shareholders are “partners”. As a partner, you will own a share in Rancho ∞ Amigos. Therefore, by owning a share in our project, the land that is specified in the share you purchase is yours and yours only! The share gives you 100% rights and ownership to your lot.
When you purchase a lot or home on our ranch, you are purchasing an individual share (or shares) of a land trust, which includes 100% ownership of your specific lot and home built on that lot, as well as access to all common areas and ranch property (approximately 700+ acres/300 hectares). The price for each share will differ, depending on whether or not the lot includes a home already built or not.
Prices are based on US dollars because of the simple fact that the Mexican Peso (as well as many other currencies) is pegged to the US dollar. Fluctuations in the US dollar directly affect the cost of materials (i.e. cement, steel, etc.). Please contact us for shares available for sale and the selling prices.
Yes! You may sell your share at any time, at any price you wish. Other ecovillage members will have the right of first refusal to purchase your share from you before you sell to the public. If nobody within the ranch community wishes to purchase your share, you may then offer it for sale to the public.
Ownership in our ecovillage is much the same as it would be for any foreigner purchasing land & property on the coastal area in Mexico.
- Ownership is through a land trust. As a shareholder, you will own a defined portion of land (specified by exact coordinates) on the ranch. Your home may be already built (a Shareholder selling his/her share) or you may purchase a share in the trust and build your dream home on your defined lot portion.
- Owners may rest assured that ownership is 100% guaranteed, as it would be with any foreigner purchasing property along the coast in Mexico and you may sell your share at any time (other ecovillage members will have the right of first refusal to purchase your share before you sell to the public).
Yes! With the exception of personal lots owned by shareholders, you will have access to the remaining 300 hectares (approx 700+ acres) of the beautiful, mountainous, exotic ranch land. You will also have access to all common areas, including the outdoor kitchen, picnic, canopy/rotunda, soon-to-be library, and all common areas that may be built in the future.
No. Mexican citizenship is not necessary to live with us or in Mexico.
The first time you come to Mexico, you will no doubt do so on a Tourist Permit. You will be given one on your flight into the country…or at the border when you cross by car or truck. Your Tourist Permit allows you to remain in Mexico for up to six months (180 days) without working.
FM-3 Non-Immigrant Visa
There are nearly a dozen different types of FM-3 (officially known as no inmigrantevisitante) visas, including business designations that have been created since the passing of NAFTA. Basically, the FM-3 is designed for those who wish to live at least part-time in Mexico, but do not necessarily intend to make it their permanent home.
For a rentista visa, the most common type of FM-3 among expats, you have to show that you can support yourself in Mexico on funds you’ve earned (or are earning) elsewhere. The monthly requirement is about $1,000 for an individual, plus about $500 for each dependent.
The specifics change from time to time, so be sure to check with your nearest Mexican consulate for the most up-to-date information.
FM-2 Immigrant Visa
FM-2 Immigrant Visa:The FM-2 (inmigrante) visa is designed for those who intend to permanently reside in Mexico or seek Mexican citizenship. For an inmigranterentista visa, you must show a higher monthly income ($1,500, plus half that for each dependent), although again, if you own property in Mexico, that amount can be halved.
Years ago, FM-2s were the only visas available to foreigners who wanted to work in Mexico. Today, thanks to NAFTA, the FM-3 replaces the FM-2 as a working visa. Essentially, the FM-2 is like a green card, or resident alien visa. It entitles you to many of the rights of a Mexican citizen (except voting) and entitles you to work. The FM-2 is now the visa for those who ultimately want to obtain citizenship.
Learn more about a Mexican Visa and other countries in our daily postcard e-letter. Simply enter your email address below and we’ll send you a FREE special report – Why Millions of Americans Are Moving to Mexico. We value your privacy. You can unsubscribe at anytime.
The average elevation of the flatlands of the ranch is approximately 150-160 meters (480 feet). Since we are surrounded by mountains and have a large mountain located directly behind us which is our property, the elevation in some spots would be much higher.
This is perhaps one of the main questions we get asked, and the short answer is Yes! In general, what is happening in Mexico is happening for very specific reasons and is limited to only certain areas. Puerto Vallara and surrounding area is generally safe and has not seen any major violence out of the ordinary. Not to mention, we are quite a distance from any major city, but close enough to take a day trip to the beach!
For the last couple of years the US and Canadian media have been having a field day in revealing each new atrocity or crime in Mexico. The picture of Mexico as a lawless, dangerous destination has sold a lot of newspapers and filled a lot of time on 24 hour news channels. Yet the truth is the picture of Mexico they present is more myth than fact. Mexico is not the wasteland of drug gang warfare that has been portrayed in the news.