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macmember

Sep 12, 2006, 10:01 AM

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Salaries in Mexico??

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We have returned from our trip to Mexico and are confused as to how the people live on what we had heard were terrible salaries. We found the restaurant prices to be a little less than Texas, the Grocery Store prices to be about the same or higher on some things, the Health and Beauty items (razors/deod/hair color/etc) to be as high or higher. My question is, what is the salary for a Hotel Clerk or Bank Clerk for the week? How about a Hotel Manager or restaurant Manager? I'd be interested in any salary that you really know about. I think that maids are paid between $2.50 - $3.50 per hour, let me know if that is wrong.

We like to understand the economy of the places we visit.

Thanks



Bubba

Sep 12, 2006, 11:57 AM

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Re: [macmember] Salaries in Mexico??

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Depends where in Mexico. The help in Chiapas is paid 14 pesos an hour more in Jalisco ...


Anonimo

Sep 12, 2006, 12:16 PM

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Re: [macmember] Salaries in Mexico??

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Generally, one doesn't shop in the "grocery store" (do you mean "supermarket"?)
You shop in the mercados, where fruits and vegetables are very cheap.
You can still buy one razor blade or two aspirinas at a time (hypothetically) and one cigarette in the tiendas de abarrotes. You don't have to buy the Giant Family Sized Economy Pack. It is much cheaper if you don't buy US brands.
People on very limited incomes don't eat in restaurants, but they may snack from street vendors. Meat is eaten in much smaller quantities than we in the US are accustomed. Meat is VERY expensive here. Frijoles and tortillas are cheap and nourishing.

I can't answer your question about hotel employees' salaries. It kind of depends on where, and which hotel.

"En Boca Cerrada No Entran Moscas."

Saludos,
Anonimo


alex .

Sep 12, 2006, 1:26 PM

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Re: [macmember] Salaries in Mexico??

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Minimum wage , as a starting point, is roughly 4 bucks per DAY, not hour.
Alex


DoDi2


Sep 12, 2006, 6:39 PM

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Re: [alex .] Salaries in Mexico??

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A friend of mine in Oaxaca estimates that it costs about $500 usd per month to maintain her family which is made up of her, her husband and six of her children who are still at home.

They engage in share crop farming and sell what they grow in the mercado. Three of her boys are musicians and make money playing at weddings, baptisms, etc. with thier band. Her husband has worked in construction and sometimes has traveled away from home to work for periods in D.F. and the U.S. Everyone pitches in. Older children that have moved away also occasionally send money home when it's needed.

No restaurants, no supermarkets. They own thier house so there's no rent to pay and the extended family lives together... an older son, his wife and thier baby have built a small one room house adjoining thier parents patio. The other children each have a small plot to do the same if they want.

The lifestyle is basic but it's pretty average for many Mexicans.


raferguson


Sep 12, 2006, 8:45 PM

Post #6 of 30 (4124 views)

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Re: [macmember] Salaries in Mexico??

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I think this discussion is pointing out the main reason that Mexicans are migrating to the USA. Prices in Mexico are similar to the USA, but salaries are much lower.

I have a pie chart in my file that shows that half of Mexican households have a household income of $300 US or less. Obviously it takes some scrimping to live on less than $300 US per month. In fact, most of us cannot imagine living on that little money.

The 2006 minimum wage is between 45 and 50 pesos per day, less than $5 US per day, with millions of Mexicans making between 1 and 2 times the minimum wage.

One source says that the minimum wage in Mexico will only buy 17% of a basic market basket of goods and services, and that the minimum wage of today has only 16% of the buying power as the minimum wage of 20 years ago.

People crossing the border to work in the USA are recognizing very simple economic facts. The poor in the USA have a lot more than the poor in Mexico, and probably have more opportunity to improve their lot as well.

Richard


http://www.fergusonsculpture.com


macmember

Sep 12, 2006, 10:26 PM

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Re: [Bubba] Salaries in Mexico??

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I was talking about the Ajijic/Lake Chapala, Guadalajara, Guanajuato, San Miguel, Qieretaro areas.


Georgia


Sep 13, 2006, 7:19 AM

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Re: [macmember] Salaries in Mexico??

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There is a bustling underground economy in Mexico to the extent that what is reported as the average income, is way underestimated. By underground economy, I mean it is income that is "off the books." Mexicans are extraordinarily entreprenurial of spirit and find ways to supplement their reported, or "on the books" income. That is why you will often see people managing on what appears to be an impossibly low income.


(This post was edited by Georgia on Sep 13, 2006, 7:20 AM)


alex .

Sep 13, 2006, 7:41 AM

Post #9 of 30 (4042 views)

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Re: [Georgia] Salaries in Mexico??

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Yea, that phenomenon is worldwide, for sure. A neighbor of mine in AZ is a county sheriff: has 2 corvettes and a boat in the driveway. I reckon he has good credit?
The Mexican immigrants from my wife's side tell me that credit the key to living "suave" in the US. Enjoy all the luxuries NOW, pay whenever.
Alex


(This post was edited by alex . on Sep 13, 2006, 7:42 AM)


norma2002

Sep 13, 2006, 7:45 AM

Post #10 of 30 (4040 views)

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Re: [macmember] Salaries in Mexico??

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When talking about the grocery store (supermarket) prices, you have to remember that they quote in kilos, not pounds (a kilo is 2.2 pounds). So, the numbers are larger than in the States, the actual price is much lower. The other things might be higher if they are imported from the States -- naturally. I believe if you confined your purchases to only Mexican products, you would see that they are much less expensive than those you are accustomed to.

Norma


alex .

Sep 13, 2006, 7:48 AM

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Re: [norma2002] Salaries in Mexico??

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?? The speed limit signs have bigger numbers but my car goes no faster.
Alex


ignacio

Sep 13, 2006, 10:21 AM

Post #12 of 30 (4002 views)

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Re: [alex .] Salaries in Mexico??

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From a friend of mine, I hear that hotel maids, here in Veracruz, make 65 pesos a day in the better hotels.

That is going rate for any day of the week, including weekends, and they have to finish their assigned floors, no matter how long it takes, for the same money.

Hotel clerks I believe make around 1600 pesos per week, including week end work.

I hope this answers your original question.


Moisheh

Sep 13, 2006, 2:41 PM

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Re: [ignacio] Salaries in Mexico??

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Goergie's reply is so correct. The underground economy is proably 35 % of the "real" economy. How do people survive on less than $150 pesos per day? The whole family works. Sometimes the mother will make Tamales and sell them in Zocalo. The Economist used to have a column where they compared the economies of various countries by using the price of a Big Mac and how many hours one must work to pay for this gastranomic delight. Check with your local McDonalds and do the math. You will be shocked.

Moisheh


(This post was edited by Moisheh on Sep 13, 2006, 2:41 PM)


Gringal

Sep 13, 2006, 3:34 PM

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Re: [Moisheh] Salaries in Mexico??

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This is strictly an observation from "out the window" in my Mexican neighborhood. Not the poorest barrio, but probably average. Several generations may live in one house that a gringo family would think was small. Everybody is working at some kind of craft, going out to work as a maid, gardener, waiter, or driving a taxi. Sometimes a lower room will be a small tienda, watched by the older members of the family while babysitting the littlest. Add it all up and you have a fairly decent family income, certainly enough to pay the utilities and buy plenty of food. The house itself is paid for; often built by the family. Every Saturday there is a rash of street sales of used clothing. It seems to be more of an exchange arrangement, but everybody is well enough dressed. There seems to be enough left over for the kids to buy cokes and dulces.

I think we find it hard to understand how they get by in spite of the high costs in a place like San Miguel because few of us have lived or would consider living that way. There was a time in the U.S. when this type of communal arrangement was not uncommon, usually for the same reasons.


Bloviator

Sep 13, 2006, 3:50 PM

Post #15 of 30 (3939 views)

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Re: [Moisheh] Salaries in Mexico??

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I don't eat at McDonald's in Mexico. The prices are too high.

One of my joys when NoB is to go to McDonalds occasionally.


wendy devlin

Sep 14, 2006, 7:30 AM

Post #16 of 30 (3875 views)

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Re: [Gringal] Salaries in Mexico??

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Quite a few of the above comments, describe the situation as we have found it.

Everyone in the family working at something, sharing resources and net-working.

Besides the ever-present tiendita, there's also jobs like doing bits of sewing for others, making quilts and peddling them door to door, repairing things, fixing up food and selling it on the street etc.

The copadre system...and plenty of old-fashioned borrowing, bailing-out and...pay-back or alternatively...welching.

Don't forget financial pipe-line of remittances from El Otro Lado.
A Western Union office often in the smallest of villages.


Some of our family members go fishing, hunting iguanas, dig up roots, glean after harvest, etc. to stretch the peso. Which by-the-way, is often calculated to the tiniest percentage point.

People knowing precisely what the going-rate is for something(anything!) and what constitutes a good deal or not.

And then there's a whole life-raft of activities for families in the lower economic zone that might shock middle-class sensibilities.

Including those activities covered by the word, starting with 'chi' and ending with ar.


alex .

Sep 14, 2006, 11:11 AM

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Re: [wendy devlin] Salaries in Mexico??

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Ch***ar : 1.verb, in common usage signifies "outsmarting" the other guy. Ex: If one tricks, schemes, connives or plain steals and gets away with it then he has won the round. Relatives are particularly likley to be on the outsmarted side of the equation. Each round the slate is cleaned and the outsmarted tries to do the outsmarting next time. 2. Alternatively, the outsmarting is done in a violent manner and there is no recourse.

Alex


(This post was edited by alex . on Sep 14, 2006, 11:17 AM)


jerezano

Sep 14, 2006, 8:07 PM

Post #18 of 30 (3756 views)

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Re: [alex .] Salaries in Mexico??

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Hello,

I don't know where Alex got his definitions for ch...ar but they sure ain't what I have heard from any of Mexican friends.

The word in my section of Mexico means to fornicate.

By extension it has picked up many slang meanings as well.

El diccionario del español chicano / The Dictionary of Chicano Spanish defines the word as (vulg) to copulate (etc.), to cheat; to avenge; to defeat (in a contest); to get what one is after. And even (slang & vulg) to get married.

By the way, our companions need to be warned about the use here in Mexico of coger--to catch. In too many places it means to copulate. So when and if you use it be very careful that the context can only mean to catch. Otherwise you just may create a lot of laughter (men only) or shock (both men and women).

Adiós. jerezano.


Georgia


Sep 15, 2006, 8:06 AM

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Re: [jerezano] Salaries in Mexico??

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Ah, yes. In Spain, where I used to live, "to catch the bus" is "coger el bus." This particular use sends Mexican's eyes spinning as they consider the possibilities. Now, in Spain, "agarrar" used to be a suspect word. I've spent a lot of time in several different Spanish speaking countries and New York City ... sometimes it is mind-boggling to try to remember where you can say what to whom and under which circumstances.

One inventive Hispanic author wrote a novel called "El Senor Presidente" in which he used words and expressions from all over the Spanish speaking world. There was an extensive glossary in the back and the book was a hoot.


wendy devlin

Sep 15, 2006, 8:33 AM

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Re: [Georgia] Salaries in Mexico??

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The slang context of the word, most apt to my experiences and those of others I know, is 'to cheat; to avenge; to defeat (in a contest); to get what one is after. '

If a person lives or spends time most entirely with those persons with whom, this is not a 'life-style' and/or 'business practice' then perhaps, a person will not be unduly impacted. Inconvenienced yes, but repeat this mantra, This is Mexico...
adapt to the culture, or leave.

However if one spends time among people for whom 'chi***ar' is a way of life, not to get 'caught' will take due diligence and constant net-working. And even then?

This deeper scheming level of 'games people play' may come as a surprise to some people. It might not even occur to you, at first, that anyone, in business, a family member or 'formerly trusted' friend could be treating with you like this.

Once 'awakened', social survival strategies can be taken unless, of course, a person wishes to be a perennial door-mat.

Or more graphically, the 'lou'.


esperanza

Sep 15, 2006, 12:13 PM

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Re: [wendy devlin] Salaries in Mexico??

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The 'ch' word in Spanish is very little different from the 'F' word in English. Both words are used to mean...well, we all know how the 'F' word is used, and we can just substitute the 'ch' word in the same contexts.

Maybe we have discussed this little twist on the 'ch' word, but maybe not. Be really careful about tapping out the old 'Shave and a haircut, two bits' rhythm on your car horn or when knocking on a door here in Mexico. If you do it, eyes will pop everywhere and you will have a new sort of reputation.

Several years ago I was at a birthday party for an expatriate two-year-old. He and his parents are from France. The neighborhood Mexican old ladies were the VIP guests. We all kissed, hugged, ate, talked, and had huge pieces of cake. When it came time to open presents, the little boy joyfully found a made-in-China toy car in one package. The car was one of those that runs around by itself, backing up when it hits a chair or table leg, or the wall.

*Ahem*

The first time it hit the wall, it lit up and played 'Shave and a haircut, two bits...' The neighbor ladies' eyes got round as 10-peso coins and all conversation stopped. The French parents were clueless. The Mexican kids at the party snickered and giggled and poked one another.

And what in the world did the Chinese manufacturers know about all this? Nada! Fortunately the little car had a switch that turned off the music.




http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com









(This post was edited by esperanza on Sep 15, 2006, 12:15 PM)


Anonimo

Sep 15, 2006, 1:39 PM

Post #22 of 30 (3613 views)

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Re: [wendy devlin] Salaries in Mexico??

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Just a gentle reminder; we were discussing Salaries in Mexico. Can we return to that, and leave the "F" word and the "Ch" word for the Spanish Language Forum?

"En Boca Cerrada No Entran Moscas."

Saludos,
Anonimo


Marlene


Sep 15, 2006, 1:56 PM

Post #23 of 30 (3605 views)

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Re: [esperanza] Salaries in Mexico??

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Quote
The 'ch' word in Spanish is very little different from the 'F' word in English. Both words are used to mean...well, we all know how the 'F' word is used, and we can just substitute the 'ch' word in the same contexts.


Thank you Esperanza...I was trying to think of the way to point that out. It is a common slang in my part of Mexico for getting ripped off or deceived. Just like the English version. I loved the little car story.

About the salaries and those sorts of things being discussed in this thread, I would like to add that Mexicans are quite aware that there is more than one price structure even for each other. My husband leaves me behind when he sets out to get a price on something. And it saves us a fortune. (Thereby offsetting the cost of living and lower wages here) The other day he was getting price quotes from abanils for a renovation project. The first abanil, aware of my existance, quoted rather high. Hubby located a second abanil whose price quote was less than half of the first one and the job was begun. Everyone was happy.

Then, unfortunately, our van broke down and had to go to the mechanics, leaving hubby to drive my foreign plated car to our jobsite. The abanil immediately blurted out "the guy next door told me you were a Pocho but I didn't believe him, now I see you driving a foreign plated car. I sure should have charged you more"! Thinking fast on his feet, he assured the abanil it was a borrowed car and whipped out his credential (LOL) to prove he was a real Mazatlecan and then reminded him that if he was a "Pocho" he would be up north and not here earning Mazatlecan wages. Near miss, but not so sure we are going to get such reasonable price quotes from this same abanil on the garage we need built. (Pocho is a popular derogatory term that Mexicans use to denigrate Mexican-Americans who they perceive as putting on gringo airs) Ah...life in Mexico.


arbon

Sep 15, 2006, 3:19 PM

Post #24 of 30 (3579 views)

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Re: [Anonimo] Salaries in Mexico??

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from anon,
"Just a gentle reminder; we were discussing Salaries in Mexico. Can we return to that, and leave the "F" word and the "Ch" word for the Spanish Language Forum?"

That's a perfect example of wanting "to get what one is after" but when you have the experience in Mexico of,
Alex, esperanza, Marlene, Georgia et al, you will find that if you are after your "Salary" that is due, a gentle reminder will not work.

You may have to even marry someone.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



patricio_lintz


Sep 15, 2006, 4:42 PM

Post #25 of 30 (3558 views)

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Re: [Georgia] Salaries in Mexico??

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My Spanish teacher once said: In polite company, always use "escoger.":}


www:makeyourhomeinmexico.com
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