Boon or risk? Mexico Metropolis wrestles with inflow of distant U.S. staff By Reuters

© Reuters. Folks work on the espresso store Don Porfirio in entrance of the Bellas Artes Palace within the downtown of Mexico Metropolis, Mexico, September 9, 2022. REUTERS/Raquel Cunha

By Alberto Fajardo, Roberto Ramirez and Josue Gonzalez

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – In a classy a part of Mexico Metropolis, in a park surrounded by hipster coffeeshops and eating places, stands a determine wearing white with fingers in prayer like a Catholic statuette: the so-called patron saint in opposition to gentrification.

Sandra Valenzuela, a Mexican activist, created the statue to rally neighbors in opposition to what she regards as a rising risk to her neighborhood and others within the Mexican capital.

A wave of worldwide guests predominantly from america has poured into Mexico Metropolis’s cafes, parks and AirBnbs as they work untethered from day by day workplace commutes by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Practically two million foreigners touched down on the Mexico Metropolis Worldwide Airport within the first half of 2022, inching towards the document 2.5 million arrivals within the first half of 2019. In the meantime, demand for short-term leases throughout Mexico Metropolis surged 44% over the identical interval, in response to AirDNA, a market analysis firm that analyzes on-line rental listings.

Marko Ayling, a author and content material creator who lives in Mexico Metropolis, strolled via the coveted Condesa neighborhood, the place “For hire” advertisements alternate with indicators for stylish cafes and plant-based eateries.

“There’s clearly quite a lot of benefits if you happen to can earn in {dollars} and spend in pesos,” stated Ayling, initially from San Diego, California. “You are basically tripling your revenue.”

However housing activists and a few researchers say the digital nomad inflow exacerbates inflation and transforms neighborhoods into unique expatriate bubbles, in a metropolis well-known for stark divides between wealthy and poor.


Residents in lux neighborhoods like Condesa and Roma complain that long-time residents are getting pushed out as householders more and more decide to hire their houses via short-term rental platforms like AirBnb, the place they’ll earn 25,000 Mexican pesos ($1,261) monthly, stated Rafael Guarneros, president of a Condesa neighborhood affiliation.

The hole between American and Mexican salaries means even prosperous Mexico Metropolis residents can get priced out, in a metropolis that’s already house to extensive wealth disparities. In line with Mexico’s statistics company, the highest 10% of Mexico Metropolis households earned greater than 13 occasions as a lot as the underside 10% of households in 2020.

Common day by day charges for short-term leases throughout Mexico Metropolis jumped 27% to $93 in August 2022, in comparison with August 2019, AirDNA information present. The Mexican authorities stopped publishing common rental charges in 2018, however a research by actual property web site Lamudi discovered Mexico Metropolis rents dropped barely between December 2020 and December 2021. Nonetheless, there was little analysis on this topic because the COVID-19 induced wave of distant work.

On an August afternoon, Juan Coronado slid right into a leafy restaurant sales space earlier than opening his laptop computer to get work accomplished whereas he dined.

Coronado, an architect and inside designer who lives between Los Angeles and Mexico Metropolis, stated he understands locals are resentful.

“I do not dwell without spending a dime, I assist the economic system,” he stated. “However for them… my presence right here does not assist the truth that rents go up.”

Though Mexico Metropolis landlords can solely increase rents by as much as 10% per yr by legislation, the foundations are hardly ever enforced. The short-term rental market has no such restriction.


Past rising costs, residents cite much less tangible adjustments that make their neighborhoods really feel extra welcoming to foreigners than locals.

“There isn’t any method for folks to sleep peacefully,” stated Quetzal Castro, a resident of Condesa, which she says has develop into a middle of noisy nightlife, pushing mates to go away.

Digital nomads – as individuals who journey whereas working remotely are identified – influence the native economic system otherwise than conventional guests, stated David Wachsmuth, a McGill College professor who researches gentrification.

Extra more likely to settle in residential neighborhoods, they spend at native companies, Wachsmuth stated, but additionally create demand for providers with little profit to long-term residents: “Grocery shops flip into eating places.”

Whereas digital nomads get pleasure from a life-style out of attain to most Mexico Metropolis staff, who earn 53 Mexican pesos ($2.67) per hour on common, Ayling from San Diego pointed to a silver-lining of foreigners’ love for the capital metropolis.

“It isn’t simply narcos and violence and poverty,” Ayling stated. “There’s stunning sides of this nation they usually’re celebrating that too.”

($1 = 19.8210 Mexican pesos)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.