How Living in Mexico Has Made Me Less Cynical

I was reading the local paper this morning here in Mexico and I saw an article about a job fair today in Cancun. The job fair is focused primarily on the tourism industry and they are looking to fill 3,364 positions. While reading the article, it occurred to me that I have never met an unemployed Mexican while living here. Granted, I have known at least 10 who lost their jobs because businesses were sold, closed, or downsized; however, every single one of them found a new job within two weeks.

This prompted me to do some research and I learned that Mexico has an employment rate that was as low as 3.74% in March of this year.

I have discovered that the general attitude toward work is different than that of America in 2016. Actually, it reminds me of the United States in the 80’s. People work hard here, and they believe that the only way to get ahead is through hard work. They do not make excuses for what they have accomplished in life and no one is looking for a handout. They take the jobs that are available in order to feed their families even if it is not necessarily the job they want.

If there is no job in their immediate area, they either commute or move to where the jobs are located. We know several locals that live hours away but work here on the coast. They stay on the coast during the work week and head home on their days off to see their families. Although they all admit this is not an ideal situation, I have never heard one person “complain” about it.

In the U.S., it was not unusual to run into people who were on unemployment for over a year while they looked for the “ideal job”. We even met one American on unemployment at an all-inclusive resort in Mexico a few years back. He told us that he had been on unemployment for a year and half and it was about to run out. He decided to take a big vacation before going back to “look” for a job.

Admittedly, a long career as a law enforcement officer left me quite cynical and jaded. I could go on and on about the widespread abuse of social services and programs that I witnessed over the years, but I won’t. All I will say is that living in Mexico has made me less cynical and has restored a lot of my faith in my fellow human beings. Just think what my attitude will be like in a few years if this trend continues.

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

About the Author

Q-Roo Paul
Paul Kurtzweil (Q-Roo Paul) is a former lieutenant from the Polk County Sheriff's Office in Florida. During his 25-year career, he received numerous commendations to include two of the agency's top honors: a Meritorious Service Medal and a Medal of Valor. In 2015, Paul retired and moved to Mexico with his wife. He now spends his days enjoying the Riviera Maya and blogging from from the beach.

9 Comments on "How Living in Mexico Has Made Me Less Cynical"

  1. I totally agree, that’s what I love about the Mexican people, when I started to go to pv, 15 years ago, it made me totally change my way of thinking about life, live for needs and not wants, and work hard..and because of that, we changed our life, banked everything and now we are like you, taking the plunge, selling everything and moving to pv….and we are only mid 50ish…and its not because mexico is cheaper, because in pv I really don’t think other than healthcare that it is cheaper because of it being a tourist area, but that’s not what draws us to retire there, its the Mexican community….love them and their attitudes and morals.

    • Well said! We absolutely love the Mexican community. I really cannot see us going back to live in the U.S. again.

  2. Alejandra Dawson | June 21, 2016 at 12:13 pm | Reply

    My opinion is, lazy Mexican workers also exist, but mainly in the public sector, and within their unions.

  3. Shelley Silva | June 21, 2016 at 12:34 pm | Reply

    My husband and I are newcomers and half-time residents of Baja California Sur. We’ve both been very impressed by the people we’ve met. In northern Arizona, where we live in the summer, it’s very common to see homeless people panhandling on the street corners, largely because the law forbidding this was recently overturned. By contrast, when we were in Loreto a man on a bicycle approached us as we pulled into our parking area. I expected him to ask for a handout; instead, he asked to wash our car. We agreed, and he did an excellent job. We paid him and also gave him a gift of food.

    I do wish Mexicans were better compensated for their work. Minimum wage is so terribly low.

    • I agree, the wages are very low but as a result the cost of living is also quite low. As wages increase, so do prices (as we have seen in the U.S.) and actual buying power tends to stay the same. That is the reason that I pay $10 a month in Mexico for the same cell phone plan that I paid $110 a month for in the U.S.

  4. True! I was shocked how little a Mexican acquaintance paid to attend university in Loreto, as compared to the appalling debt U.S. students take on to get a college education.

    I read your article on the Mexican cell phone with interest, and I have a couple questions: would callers in the U.S. be charged international rates to call a Mexican cell number? And do you know how good the coverage is outside of urban areas? In Baja, there are long lonely stretches of highway between towns, and it’s important for us to have good coverage when we’re on the road.

    • Callers in the U.S. would have to pay the international rate unless they used a cell phone that covers Mexico such as T-Mobile or AT&T. If one of our friends has Verizon, we use Whatsapp to talk to each other or we call them. As far as coverage, it varies quite a bit by area. There is a site that allows you to compare coverage in a particular area:

  5. Muchisimas gracias, Paul!

  6. That is peculiar because I feel the same way with living in our Mexico home less than 30 days a year. Hardworking, Courteous, Humble & Good Hearted. Not much else to say. They are a pleasure to be around. I find myself trying to be more like them every visit we make. That is not a bad thing!

Leave a Reply