On the second day of my visit I had an appointment with Adriana at Yucatan Expatriate Services. Their website offers an amazing list of services to assist foreigners in relocating to Mexico. The plan was to begin my application for an FM3 visa which allows one to stay in Mexico beyond the period of the simple tourist visa and can be renewed annually. What I did not know is that you must remain in the country for the entire process, which is three weeks give or take a day or two. Since I would be here for only a week this visit, the FM3 would have to wait. I am still working part-time, so arranging a three week vacation during the summer months will be a little dicey. Adrianna told me that many of the Mexican Consulates in the United States no longer process visas ( visae?), but the Consulate in Washington still lists this service on their website, so I just sent an e-mail to see if that is a possibility. Other people have told me that they were able to obtain their FM3 in the states. D.C. is a 3 & 1/2 hour drive from Norfolk - inconvenient but not out of the question. The website states that I will need a valid passport, two front-facing passport photos, a police report (how do I get that?), and proof that I have a monthly income of $1000.00 US.
Adriana is quite knowledgeable about all things expat and gave me lots of good (free) advice. I'm certain we will utilize their services (very reasonably priced) in the future. If anyone is considering a move to Merida or anywhere in Mexico, check out their website.