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Citizenship: Is it More Than Just a Piece of Paper?

November 28, 2014

Spending a Sunday evening wandering along the Malecón, supporting a community initiative or getting involved with a local charity are all ways in which we interact and support our fellow citizens.

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico - I remember how proud I was when at the age of 18, I received my first British passport and even more proud when I used it for the first time to travel abroad. Forty-four years later, I was filled with an equal sense of pride when I received my Mexican passport and used it to travel to the US.

National pride is something we learn from family, school, and national programs and events. It is natural for us to cheer on our national teams and to celebrate and share in the achievements of our compatriots in both their professional and personal endeavors.

After many years of living in Mexico City, I moved more permanently to Puerto Vallarta. On Friday, November 14th, I read an article in the Vallarta Opína describing how the efforts and community spirit of Mexican and foreign nationals has been instrumental in maintaining and improving everyday life in Puerto Vallarta. This got me thinking a little more about citizenship and the role we play in the communities in which we live.

The term 'citizenship' is very complex. In its simplest form, citizenship is the legal link between an individual and the state. However, the concept of citizenship relates to many aspects of society, such as family, military service, the individual, freedom, religion, ethnicity and societal rules and norms to which a citizen needs to abide.

In the book Citizenship: Critical Concepts, the British politician Douglas Hurd remarked that citizenship essentially means doing good for others.¹ I have no authority to debate the complexities of citizenship and will leave that to others but living in this multi-national paradise called Puerto Vallarta, I realize that the attraction of many Mexican and foreign nationals lies in the way in which the citizens of Vallarta live. I believe that the unique charm of Puerto Vallarta lies in the community spirit that has developed among those who live here, whether temporary or full-time, Mexican or foreign national.

Spending a Sunday evening wandering along the Malecón, seeing a production being performed by one of the local theatres, supporting a community initiative or local charity are all ways in which we interact and support our community and fellow citizens.

Citizenship is not a piece of paper or a passport, it is a state of mind, and I hope that as the high season gets underway, everyone who lives here, no matter what their official status be, continues to support each individual, business and organization to maintain the character of Puerto Vallarta and show pride in being a citizen of this beautiful city.

1. Oldfield, Adrian; Bryan Turner and Peter Hamilton (editors) (1994). Citizenship: Critical Concepts. United States and Canada: Routledge. pp. 476 pages total; source: The Political Quarterly, 1990 vol.61, pp. 177-187; in the book, pages 188+.

Ian Shepherd is a Real Estate agent at Tropicasa Realty. If you are thinking about buying or selling an investment property in Puerto Vallarta or the Banderas Bay area, contact him at ian(at) or (551) 951-7400.
Since 1997, Wayne Franklin and his team at Tropicasa Realty have been a trusted name in Puerto Vallarta real estate. Tropicasa Realty is the region's representative for "The Leading Agents of the World" and with over 100 years of combined experience in real estate, all agents of the company are affiliated with AMPI. Wayne Franklin or any member of his knowledgeable team can be contacted in-person at their Romantic Zone Office - Pulpito 145-A at Olas Altas or in their San Marino Office - San Marino Hotel at Rodolfo Gomez 111-4. While in PV they can be reached at (322) 222-6505 or by calling 866-978-5539 (Toll-Free) from the U.S.

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