|This post is in reference to my post: http://gorbman.com/2011/12/05/first-symposium-of-american-retirees-and-mexican-government-representatives/
Thanks, Anne, for clarifying.
I just wanted to give a bit of context to the forum and also answer the questions above. The International Community Foundation has met with the Secretary of Tourism several times on the topic of sustainable tourism (better coastal development) and quality of life for expats (“aging in place” and infrastructure improvements). The government’s desire was to hear directly from the expat community and they agreed to co-host the forum with us to do that.Because our research focused on the U.S. retirement community, we focused mainly on U.S. participants for this forum. We have three years of data on U.S. retirees, but little or nothing on Canadians. Having said that, however, there were two Canadians there, and the forum was called the “North American Forum” not the “U.S. Forum.” Although we cannot speak to specifics about the Canadian retiree community, we are not deliberately trying to exclude them. Similarly, we focused on coastal communities primiarly, which is where our grantees are. Merida was one of the only inland communities represented at the forum for that reason. But again, we are not deliberately trying to exclude people, but rather trying to reflect the demographic that was presented in our research.
To select participants, we reached out to those people that answered the survey in 2009 and again in 2012. We only had space for 50 people and we filled the group quickly.
I don’t know if this will be an annual event. We need to follow up on this one first! ICF has committed to work with the Secretary of Tourism on state-level meetings with governors, to document working relationships with retirees in places where there are good relations (like San Miguel de Allende), and also to follow up on some of the specific recommendations from the forum. I know it will take some time to do that so I don’t want to commit to another forum yet.
“Engagement in Local Communities” — for ICF, this means civic engagement or volunteering as well as charitable giving. How does the retiree community spend its time in Mexico? We have a whole report on trends in this area on our website.
I hope this is helpful! Thank you Beryl for the venue to respond.