Frequently Asked Questions
Question: Why do retirees choose to visit the Rio Grande Valley?
Answer: According to a recent survey by the University of Texas, Rio Grande Valley 92.3% is attributed to our warm climate and 66.45 because of the friendliness of our people. Furthermore, the survey says the diverse and numerous social activities account for 55.7% and visiting Mexico ranks at 42.1% of reasons retirees visit the Valley. Once retirees visit the Valley, they keep coming back. According to this same survey 96.6% plan to return. An average visit per retiree during Winter months averages 133 days.
Question - Is the Rio Grande Valley a Safe Place to Live?
Answer- This is not an easy question to answer in a few sentences. But none of our surveys and personal experiences point to any reason why a person should feel unsafe while in the Rio Grande Valley. We go about our lives with a carefree attitude. We shop, dine, dance, go to nature parks, parades and movie nights without any concern for our safety. Contrary to media perceptions, crime is not rampant in this area. But like in any other city in the world, or area is not exempt from crime.
To illustrate this better, we recommend reading data from the links below:
https://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2013/preliminary-semiannual-uniform-crime-report-january-june-2013/tables/table-4-cuts/table_4_offenses_reported_to_law_enforcement_by_state_oklahoma_through_wisconsin_2013.xls http://www.politifact.com/texas/statements/2014/aug/08/juan-chuy-hinojosa/does-rio-grande-valley-have-less-crime-major-texas/ http://lavidavalle.com/la-vida-valle/the-rio-grande-valley-much-safer-than-the-rest-of-texas/
Question: Is visiting nearby Mexico safe?
Answer: For the most part it is especially if you exercise caution in the larger cities of Reynosa and Matamoros. For example, you do not want to travel or wander around at night. You stay within the tourist friendly areas like the downtown and the markets, or those areas closer to the international bridge. These are large cities, but there is a small fun and safe town across the border from Weslaco that welcomes thousands of retirees every year. In addition to retirees, folks from the Rio Grande Valley and all over the state of Texas cross this border to visit a dentist or buy affordable prescription medication. Pet medication, the occasional manicure and pedicure, folk art, a great meal, live music, dancing and cheap beer and margaritas all add to the appeal of Nuevo Progreso, Mexico. On average, 86.6% of Winter Texans (retirees in the Rio Grande Valley) visited Mexico in 2014. This translates into an average of 5.3 trips during their stay.
Just a short walk across a covered pedestrian bridge is where people find Nuevo Progreso. Secure Parking on the US side costs $2 per day, so you can have fun without end. Our Winter Texans (retirees) love Nuevo Progreso and so will you.
Question: What documents do I need to cross into Mexico?
Answer: To visit a border town in Mexico by car or as a pedestrian, US citizens do not need any papers. None at all. It is on the way back to the United States where you will be asked for a valid U.S. passport or passport card. For US citizens who do not have a passport, there is the option to use a birth certificate with a photo ID to obtain re-entry to the United States. But a passport or passport card is the best option. If you plan to travel further than 25 kilometers into Mexico you will need additional permits.
To read more about requirement Click Here.
Question: Where do over 150,000 retirees who winter in the Rio Grande Valley come from?
Answer: Most of our Winter Texans are from Midwestern states and Canada. We have the highest population coming in from Minnesota followed by Iowa, Wisconsin and Illinois. Retirees from Ontario and French Canada wintering in the Valley increase every year.
Question: Where do retirees stay when in the Rio Grande Valley?
Answer: There is a plethora of lodging options in the Valley. Extended stay hotels, condominiums, rental homes, RV and Mobile Home parks. There are 289 RV and MH parks viable for retirees in the Valley of which – according to the latest UT RGV survey – 248 listed as having 35,156 RV sites for an average of 141.76 per park. The same survey shows 217 parks have a total of 22,453 MH sites for an average of 103.47 MH per park.