Recent columnist articles

Mexico finds new gold - with 4 wheels Marvin West

Mexico is now the North American leader in car assembly and export. The Mexico auto industry is booming, a stunning development of world significance. Assembly plants that popped up all around are now expanding. Nearby are convenient parts suppliers, tool shops and even tire manufacturers... read more

Mexico berries are the "in" thing Marvin West

Corn field near Jocotepec, Mexico
© Daniel Wheeler, 2014
Corn was the crop of choice 17 years ago when we landed in Mexico, on the shores of Lake Chapala. Everybody who had a patch of ground had a corn patch. More land, more corn, some for tamales, some for farm animals, some for the market.

A surge in tequila sales created a shortage of agave. Now, Berries are the "in" thing. In much of Jalisco and some of Michoacan.... read more

Me and Carlos and Mexico Marvin West

Mexican businessman Carlos Slim Helú
© Jose Cruz, 2007
The richest man in the world is one of Mexico's many amazing contradictions. read more

Mexico's Scorpion Mezcal empowers Oaxaca women Alvin Starkman

Erica is sitting in the office of her boss of eight years, Douglas French, owner of Scorpion Mezcal in San Agustín de las Juntas, Oaxaca. French has just informed her that she qualifies to become a pu... read more

Cultural differences and clarity in Mexico's business world Ilya Adler

When U.S. executives are sent to Mexico, they soon hear that Mexicans are "indirect" and "will not give you a straight answer, "especially if what needs to be communicated is unpleasant." Thus, the gen... read more

Mexico real estate and the recession J. Brad Grieve

Village street on Mexico's Chapala Lakeshore
North of the border, the real estate market has been influenced by the limited amount of credit available, causing banks to defer or decline applications for credit. On the other side of the equation, most homes in the area do not have mortgages, and the seller owns the home free and clear. read more

December holidays in Mexico: celebrating while cutting business costs Daniel G. Little

For companies doing business in Mexico, the Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe on December 12th is a bigger celebration than Christmas Day. During these difficult economic times I have had many enquiries a... read more

Case study from Oaxaca, Mexico: Am I paying my staff too much? Alvin Starkman

Day of The Dead is upon us in Oaxaca, and Juanita's hotel still has rooms available for one of the busiest times of the year. The City of Oaxaca, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Southern Mexico, relies on tourism for its very existence. Juanita is trying to figure out where she went wrong, realizing that Día de Los Muertos should top up her bank balance, just like the Christmas season, the summertime festival weeks known as Guelaguetza, and Easter. Time and again she asks herself, "Am I paying my staff too much?" read more

Questions on hiring in Mexico Daniel G. Little

Why do so many of my employees have the same names? This is a question that I hear a lot. It can be a little confusing at first when it seems as if a lot of your employees share the same surname. It d... read more

Severance pay for workers in Mexico Daniel G. Little

In Canada and the United States, it is fairly straightforward to downsize our employee base during a downturn in the economy. Employees have unemployment insurance to cushion the change. But in Mexico, the law protects the worker. read more
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