Friday, April 19, 2024

Gringo Backlash In Mexico

Over the last two weeks, there has been a backlash caused by major hotel chains in Mexican beach resorts.  Mazatlan has had the most complaints from musicians who play "banda" music along the beaches, bars, and streets.  One major hotel owner has taken to social media.  He claims that the music is causing tremendous damage to the city.  The mayor backs the musicians and their music.  They may have come to a compromise.  

On Facebook groups in Mexico such as the New Civil List for San Miguel de Allende, some Mexican members have posted saying how unfair it is and that gringos should go somewhere else.  

I mention this because we have seen a change in attitudes of local sanmiguelenses.  It's not just with ex-pats but with tourists in general.  Housing prices continue to rise thanks to the influx of foreigners, chilangos, and queratanos.  Although change is good and it helps the economy grow, it isn't helping locals.  Tourist cities are like that.  San Antonio, Tx is a good example.  

At one time San Antonio had five military bases.  Military personnel would retire at 48 and then move into management positions in the few major companies in town.  This would reduce salaries and it still does.  The same hold true for the tourist industry.  Most jobs are minimum wage.  California has raised minimum wage to $20 an hour for restaurants with more than 60 locations within the state.  Many are closes because they can no longer compete yet I can't imagine living in California even on $20 an hour.  Impossible.  I left the state in 1984 asking for a transfer to San Antonio.  I couldn't buy a house in California but six months later I was a happy homeowner in Texas.

Sunset in SMA from the mirador!

We didn't buy the Durango I posted.  There were some irregularities.  The inspection revealed that the 8 cylinders had compression ratings from 140 to 190.  No one could explain how that would affect towing.  The company that did the inspection is very reliable.  The owners were once students of ours.  The head mechanic said that he would buy it and that it was in very good condition.  Not sure if anyone out there has any comments about the difference in compression on the cylinders.

Back home in Monterrey we said goodbye to all our Canadian friends who headed home after spending time in Mexico.  It was a great winter and it was fun meeting up on several occasions with all of them.  


  1. Well Chris there are a number of issues with tourism in Mazatlan and its a complex situation with no easy answers and we gringos are part, but not all of the issues. The Mazatlan tourism board heavily promoted Mazatlan as a tourist destination and travellers are now coming in droves both gringo and nationals. The construction of condos, apartments and towers is unbelievable. Every bare piece of ground seems to be being built on. To us and our Gringo and Mexican friends it seems out of control and unsustainable. Nationals and gringos alike are buying places and a large proportion are now air B&B. The Mazetlecos aren't happy with the boom and we long term visitors aren't either. So, the banda music becomes an issue with short term visitors and it's understandable when you can't sleep at night. Do I like, it's just a bunch of noise when two or three are all playing at the same time. Not an issue for us as we're not in a beach hotel. Everyone will have to compromise. Telling the gringos to go home isn't an answer as you can't have your cake and eat it too! Mazetlans economy depends on tourism.

    1. Thanks Kathy. I don't like banda and I don't like noise. Here in the north, especially Monterrey, most people don't go for all night parties and music anymore. We now have noise laws and the city makes a big to do out of it. It's a give and take and I believe the banda groups are in retaliation mode

    2. I agree. Nobody really wants to get rid of them...just not hear it all night. In our predominantly Mexican complex banda is not allowed at all.