Guanajuato City: Safe Neighborhoods

One property for sale in Guanajuato City that we considered buying was on Panoramica. We were very excited about this property because it was actually several small houses with a space in between them. The property was cheap and though somewhat in ruins, it was big. We could see the possibilities in this property. We went back to this property twice and then we called in a man who did some handyman work for us in Pozuelos. His name was Salvador. When he showed up though, he looked around and then took us outside and cautioned us against buying any property on Panoramica because this area of the city is known to have a higher than average crime rate. This property had seemed very okay to us though. We were crestfallen over this new discovery. The house offered a straight shot down some stairs into the centro but once Salvador pointed out this issue with crime, we were no longer blind to the men on the stairs loitering nearby and the fact that the periphery of the city was indeed somewhat of a slum. 

It wasn’t that easy to see the problems in Guanajuato City in part because all of the neighborhoods, rich and poor, were very mixed in terms of the people who lived there. For example, in Pozuelos, one of the “wealthy” areas of the city, the neighbor across the street from our house would go out on Saturdays and Sundays, open up a giant garage right outside of our living room window and start one of his numerous cars, rev the engine for a few minutes, let it idle and then shut it off. This car-starting and then revving thing would go on for hours on the weekends. 

Another neighbor in Pozuelos would stop us on the street as we were making our way home. He had jet black hair and he claimed to have been a member of the Russian mafia. Whether he really was or not remains a mystery to this day, but you get my point. Most neighborhoods throughout Mexico including in Guanajuato capital, will have people there who aren’t necessarily friend-material.

In Guanajuato City, there are richer neighborhoods and poorer neighborhoods. Being in a rich neighborhood doesn’t guarantee that you won’t be robbed and may, in fact, make you more of a target than being in a poor neighborhood ironically. 

Pueblito de Rocha Safety

That being said, Pueblito de Rocha is not a high-class part of town. Most of Pueblito de Rocha is poor, which is one of the reasons why Casa en Pueblito was a Guanajuato City real estate investment that was so affordable. But while technically Casa en Pueblito is located in Pueblito de Rocha, a poorer part of town, it is so close to Tepetapa that it’s somewhat immune to some of the issues in other parts of the neighborhood. Hundreds of kids walk up the street twice daily in Pueblito de Rocha to a school that’s just up the hill so, during the daytime hours, there are parents literally patrolling the area in front of the front door of the house. At night throughout Guanajuato City, it’s important to be smart and be vigilant outside of the city center no matter where you live in town, but Casa en Pueblito has the advantage of being located on a street and not down an alley. It’s possible to drive straight up to the front door in the middle of the night or take a bus to within steps of the front door. There have been so many times that John and I have felt grateful to NOT be located down one of the winding alleys in Guanajuato City because at night, especially during Cervantino, there’s no way to safely arrive at your front door except to walk there. 

The first property rental in Guanajuato City (in San Javier, to be exact) that we did through AirBnB was with a guy who warned us to “be smart at night” if we were out past sundown. He explained that it wasn’t that the city was unsafe per se, but just that there were times of the year when it was less safe than usual (i.e. Cervantino). He said that it was easy for tourists and newbies in town to get caught up in the excitement of what was going on in Guanajuato City and forget to watch their own backs.

On the other hand though, a couple of young women who worked together as receptionists at Escuela Falcon, a language school in Guanajuato capital, talked at length at a language intercambio one night about how much safer Guanajuato capital is than Mexico City. One of these young women was from Juarez and she told some truly scary stories about safety issues there. Both of them agreed that walking alone at night in Guanajuato City was a relief. It felt infinitely safer than Mexico City at night or Juarez during the day. So while a person in Guanajuato capital should definitely be alert and aware when out at night, especially during festival seasons, if you don’t have to walk alone down any of the dark, narrow alleys, or underground through the tunnels, this city is quite safe indeed.

The point of this article is simply to explain why we bought Casa en Pueblito instead of a different property in Guanajuato capital. It took us almost a year of seeing Guanajuato City properties for sale before we zeroed in on Casa en Pueblito. 

If you’re looking for real estate in Guanajuato City, keep some of these pointers in mind:

  • Look for a property that does NOT have 100 stairs up to the front door. Seek out a property that’s accessible by taxi. 
  • Take the time to actually walk from the property you intend to buy to the centro to verify how long it takes to get from the house to the center of the city. 
  • Make sure that there’s a vibrant community of vendors selling the things you need near the for sale house in Guanajuato City. Casa en Pueblito is located right behind an OXXO, which is super-convenient for many reasons.
  • Visit the house at night to make sure that it feels safe at all hours of the day.
  • The Casa en Pueblito property in Guanajuato City has key code locks on the exterior doors as well as key code locks on each of the apartment entry doors. It has 2 layers of security, but cameras. Also, having key code locks makes it easier and safer to get inside the house. Seek out a property with adequate security to discourage break-ins.

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