Living & Lifestyle

Supporting Your Local Mexican Community Through the Unfolding Crisis

Practical tips and ideas for foreign residents in Mexico who want to actively support the local communities they love calling home

Supporting each other

As the Coronavirus event continues to unfold, the economic impact of these unprecedented times is beginning to be felt in local communities across Mexico.

As we remarked in a related article, if you’re a foreign resident living in Mexico, your local community needs you now: It’s time to step-up and make your presence here count.

Here are some practical tips about how you can help your local community through this crisis

Demonstrate your care for the people in your local Mexican communities in tangible and practical ways.

Shop locally, and shop sensibly.  Buy groceries and fresh food at your local stores (and stalls if they exist near you).  Buy only what you need and be sure to think of others’ needs as you shop.  There are no problems with transport or logistics supplying shops and supermarkets, but even the best logistics systems cannot cope with panic buying.

Do not hoard food and groceries.  Most working-class Mexicans live week-by-week and do not have the cash or credit to stock-up.  If you clear the shelves to hoard, you will deny others the opportunity to buy their family food shop when they attend the local stores.

Home deliveries: Some supermarkets offer home delivery.  Note that the items they take to your home are taken straight from the shelves of your local store, so only order what you need, otherwise other local people may find a shortage when they visit that store.

Keep your home helpers employed.  If you have a maid, gardener, pool-keeper, et al —don’t lay them off.  If it becomes impractical or impossible for them to attend your home, find a way to keep paying them through the furlough period.  If one of your part-time home helpers loses days of work at other homes they serve, consider giving your home helper extra days of work, if you can afford to.

Care Packages for home helpers: If you have additional stocks of food or home goods that you don’t need right away; shoes and clothes you no longer use, children’s toys laying idle, etc. consider giving these as a form of ‘care package’ to your home helpers in addition to their pay.

Employ local taxi firms and cabbies creatively.  Local taxi firms and cabbies can act as couriers and local shoppers.  They can buy and deliver groceries to your home.  With the current fall in tourism, cabbies can face severe economic hardship.  Consider how you can employ the local cabbies in your town or city creatively.

Stay in touch: Use text messages, email and the telephone to keep in touch with your local friends, family and neighbors.  Create a WhatsApp or Telegram group, a Facebook page, or other online forum where you can share information and ideas, be mindful of others’ needs, and deal constructively with issues as they arise.

Support your local shops and amenity providers: We’ve shared several ideas about how to do this in our related article about ‘stepping-up’ to support your local economy.

If you have any further ideas or tips to share with others, please use the comments section below to do so.

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  1. Anne Marie says

    When I go to a “takeout” restaurant. I immediately ask for the owner/manager/or whoever is in charge. First I get their permission. I then start with the kitchen help, then servers, and anyone else working that day. All I say is “Gracias” and I hand them $1.00. I try to explain that times are rough & I hope this helps him/her just a little bit. The surprise and smile is priceless. Just a special note: The total at one location was 12 employees ($12). The average is between three and five ($3 – $5).

  2. Kevin Pearson says

    5/19/2020 San Felipe – Over the past month we have been collecting donations and delivering food packages to local families with the help of local businessmen and grocery store owners. Kiki’s Hotel and RV park is collecting donations, in conjunction with the local chapter of Blues Against Hunger Society. In April we delivered over 60 bags of food; in May we delivered 70 bags of food and 70 bags of soap, personal care items and paper products. This week we plan to assemble and deliver 200 bags of food and items. Donations can be made via Paypal on the BAHS site: Click the donate button and select San Felipe.

  3. Lisa Hooke says

    Mazatlan did step up to stop the influx of people for Semana Santa. Hotels were closed April 1 and beaches were closed a few days later. It was a very quiet Easter.

  4. Speranza Avram says

    Here in Progreso, Yucatan, we have raised more than $8,700 US to help feed more than 1,000 families in our town. We buy food from local tiendas who package it into “despensas”–food baskets. We deliver the food baskets, along with masks, to people who have registered. Check us out on our website, or Facebook: Progreso Covid-19 Relief Fund

  5. Tuyeni Heita says

    Does anyone know of a crowd funding initiative that already exists to obtain key equipment that hospitals and health workers will need? Ventilators, protective clothing, test kits, etc…IMSS and ISSTE do not have enough to weather the crisis when we enter the next stage….Please consider these types of needs for your local hospitals also. Working on starting this in Morelia, Michoacan.

  6. Liz says

    A lot of people will need help with their pets, if you can afford to buy dog or cat food to give to them, it would really help. I’ve been driving around with a bag of both in my car and giving it to animals I see.

    • Tuyeni Heita says

      That’s great Liz! A superb idea. Could local vets get involved, do you think?

  7. Shar says

    How about Semana Santa? Living in Mazatlan there is a HUGE influx of people this time of year, up to a million visitors. Are there going to be any precautions taken, events cancelled or just go forward as planned & hope for the best?

    • Janet Levin says

      Hi Shar. I’m in Teacapan. Judging by the President of Mazatlan’s response to the Governor of Sinaloa’s announcement to close restaurants, bars, events, etc… to paraphrase your quote, I’d say “just go forward as planned, the consequences be damned.”

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