By Marcia Chaiken and Jan Chaiken
A typical photograph of a food market in Mexico commonly shows a table, stall or blanket with heaps of colorful fruits, vegetables and, of course, chilies ranging from green to yellows to fiery red. Vendors are depicted in traditional dress. But these eye-catching food suppliers are increasingly competing with modern supermarkets all over Mexico. Large food department stores, stocking everything from prepared soup to nuts and a variety of other products and services, can be found in all cities and the majority of towns. Continue reading Supermarkets in Mexico
By Julie Etra
All of us who own property in Huatulco pay taxes, which are determined by the Municipio. They are based on neighborhood, square footage of the property, improvements, and other amenities such as ocean views. Technically, they are due the first of the year, but with the holidays (Christmas, New Years, and then El Día de los Reyes) payments start up the second week of January or around the 7th when the Municipio comes back to life. Property taxes are called predial, with the accent on the ‘P’, not pre-dial. Continue reading Paying Property Taxes In Huatulco
By Deborah Van Hoewyk
What Frida Wore: Tehuanas in Charge?
Women. Mexico. Mexican women. What do you see? Maybe Frida Kahlo comes first to mind, maybe just something fuzzy that is not Mexican machismo. Despite the 2006 passage by the Mexican parliament of the General Act on Equality between Women and Men, which has heralded considerable improvement in male-female equality, genuine gender equity still has a way to go in Mexico. Continue reading Tehuana Power
By Erin May
Buying property in Mexico is easier than you think. As with all real estate purchases, you will need to choose your location, do your research and hire the right professionals. Tens of thousands of foreigners have purchased real estate in Mexico and with the right approach; you can be one of them. It is important to understand Mexican property law which will safeguard your investment and make the purchase process easy and smooth. Continue reading How To Buy Property in Mexico
By Julie Etra
Pemex, short for Petroleos Mexicanos, is the state run supplier of petroleum products and by definition a monopoly. It is responsible for exploration, production, refinement and distribution.
Pemex has its origins in the United Kingdom when in 1919, Shell (Royal Dutch Shell, with headquarters at The Hague, Netherlands but registered in London with 60% Dutch ownership and 40% British) took control of the Mexican Eagle Petroleum Company and formed Shell-Mex Limited. As of 1935, oil companies were still under control of foreign owned companies who tried to prevent the formation of unions. Continue reading The Slippery Slope of Fuel
By Larry Turk
On the evening of January 22nd, 2012, I was sitting at Señor Puck’s, a cold Pacifico con limon in hand, intently watching my San Francisco 49ers as they prepared to kick off to the NY Giants to begin the over time quarter, tied at 17. It just doesn’t get better than this.
A tap on my shoulder, and a friend informed me my vehicle, parked on the curb, had just been rear-ended by another vehicle. Continue reading Mexican Car Insurance: A Personal Essay
By Neal Erickson
Mexico is number 8 in world auto production as of 2012, and is poised to displace number 7 Brazil in the near future. Some of the newest, most modern and efficient auto assembly plants in the world are located in Aguascalientes, Toluca, Hermosillo, and Guanajuato. The auto industry of Mexico provides 56,000 jobs, 21.9% of the country’s exports, represents 18% of its manufacturing GDP (Gross Domestic Product), and is growing at a steady rate. Continue reading Mexican Auto Industry Surprising the World
By Kary Vannice
In 1954, at an exhibition entitled “Germany and Its Industry”, Mexicans were first introduced to the German manufactured car, Volkswagen. The attendees of that exhibition, I’m sure, had no idea just how important the symbol ‘VW’ would become to their national economy. Continue reading Beetlemania
By Alvin Starkman, M.A., J.D.
Four years ago Juana, a resident of Teotitlán del Valle, Oaxaca’s main rug village, was earning virtually nothing selling the odd bottle of soda pop or package of gum out of her family’s narrow, halfempty storefront. Today, with the assistance of small, interest-free loans facilitated through $50 USD donations from tourists visiting Oaxaca, she earns a decent living as the proprietor of a handicrafts store filled with colorful handwoven wool rugs, tapestries and handbags. Continue reading Grassroots Micro-finance in Oaxaca: Fundación en Vía
By Neal Erickson
Internationally, microlending has been lauded as a tremendous benefit for the working poor. In Bangladesh a man named Mohammad Yunus founded the Grameen Bank in 1983, and in 2006 was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his work making fair priced loans available to poor working people. The Grameen Bank has been an inspiration to like-minded people around the world.
In Mexico, there have been numerous organizations formed to bring this benefit to the people (see Alvin Starkman’s article on Fundación en Via in this issue), and have a seemingly endless list of success stories of those who have used small amounts of borrowed money to make large advances in their lives. However some corporations have entered this market, and because of lack of government regulations or laws limiting excesses, have built extremely efficient, and some say obscenely profitable business models. One of the most visible of these, but not by any means the only, is Elektra/Banco Azteca. Continue reading Microlending: Mexico’s Double-Edged Sword