Making Life Easier in Mexico

April 20, 2009

Hi Everyone, I ran across the below article and thought I would pass it along.

The author lives in Campeche, but the lesson learned here is the same for all of Mexico.  I only have a part time maid and gardener, but I completely agree with the author on how much easier life’s chores can be when you have good helpers.

Please don’t think that good help is hard to find. That’s just not the case in our area, even though we have a higher concentration of North Americans in our area, than they have in Campeche.  Maids here are currently earning the equivalent of approximately $2.50 USD per hour and gardener’s a little more.

I never had servants when living in the USA and yes, at first it takes a little getting use to, but as the below article points out it’s very very nice.

“Mexico–Where Anyone Can Afford a Full-time Maid

International Living Postcards–your daily escape
Monday, April 20, 2009

Dear International Living Reader,

I love having a full-time maid.

Like many expats who move to Mexico, I came here for the low cost of living. Low prices for goods like groceries and for basic services like healthcare mean more money left over for the incidentals that make life pleasant. For some, that means more travel, or golf club memberships, or eating out for every meal.

For me, it means being able to afford a full-time empleada–a maid. It’s great having someone to clean and organize the house (especially since cleaning and organizing a house aren’t among my better skills). But even more than that, having a maid buys me convenience and peace of mind. Here’s an example of what I mean:

I recently left Campeche for a couple of weeks. While I was away, I didn’t need to worry about my house or my pets, because my maid, Lupe, was there. She comes Monday to Friday, whether I’m home or not.

Because I knew Lupe would be coming while I was away, I didn’t obsess over pre-trip precautions like emptying the refrigerator of perishables and taking out the trash. I knew Lupe would take care of it if I forgot. Instead, I could focus on packing for my trip. Lupe also took care of my two cats, saving me the cost and nuisance of boarding them (not to mention saving them the stress of a kennel stay). And while she doesn’t clean my pool, she was on hand to admit the pool maintenance service I hired to do this while I was gone.

I returned from two weeks away to a clean, freshly-aired house (Lupe even changed the sheets the day before I returned). The only thing I needed to do was restock the refrigerator. And the cost for all this? Less than $100–and that’s counting the pool guy.

Glynna Prentice
The Mexico Insider, International Living”

P.S. If you’ve not discovered International Living you owe it to  yourself to give them a look. I first subscribed many years ago when they were just a small newsletter sent out by snail mail. They’ve improved with age like a fine wine.

  • Janis Lee

    Aloha Sid, this weekend, I was looking around on Craigslist, for rentals, mostly because I cannot find anyone that has rentals to e-mail me back,look up Graigslists for Mexico, it is so easy to scam on that list,so I keep trying, to find agents to respond, not one agent writes back, that’s Why I say you will be a milionaire, because you stay on yout clients, I also did that, and it paid off..

    I will just rent a place fast, then she can come down and hang out,I know once she gets down there, falls in love with it go back and sell.

    Many local agents use the free site to grab a lead for free ,advertise, their rentals, They never wrote back ,Isn’t that so typical in our biz?They want the clients ,but won’t do the work. to keep the clients,

    See most agents would meet me or get a e-mail, and figure oh she won’t ever buy.

    So If you see any killer house, for rent…

    Will speak to you soon.
    ; Aloha Janis Lee

  • Sid Grosvenor

    Hi Janis, Thanks for your nice words about being responsive to my clients and folks who are deciding if they may want to be a client.

    I just do my best to treat people as I would want to be treated if our roles were reversed.

    There are lots of rentals her at the moment as the snow birds have gone back North and the “sun birds” (people from the hot spots in the Southern USA have not yet arrived.

    As you know I don;t directly do rentals, but I know that for many people this is at least a first option. So, when clients arrive in the area I do help facilitate in finding them a rental to meet their needs and fit their pocket book.

    Some will always want to rent and that’s OK. Some will want to buy later and will I hope let me be of help then too, especially since they have never have a fee to pay to me for my help.

    When you arrive we can check out the various bulletin boards for rentals from individuals so you can relocate here and try us on for size.

    Another option is to look into being a huse sitter., There are snow birds or Sun birds who don;t want their home empty while they are away and need a trustworthy person to live in the home and look after the everyday things like watering the house plants, paying the gardner and bills.

    Many of these folks feel that their home is better looked after using a trusted house sitter than it would be by one of the management firms that of course must charge a fee to look after the home.

    Well Janis, thanks again for your nice words. I look forward to helping you. Please continue to stay in touch and I’ll do the same.

    Siempre tu amigo, Sid

  • Ruth Hill

    Wow, Sid, can’t make up my mind now between the Kindle, Sony, and Barnes & Noble. They all have nice features. Guess I will wait until sometime next year. I like the fact that the Kindle is now international but…..

    Can’t wait til we get to visit with you early next year.

    Check this comparison chart.


  • Sid Grosvenor

    Hi Ruth, Yes, I have the same problem. I’m waiting to see which one will come out on top for International use. We have more and more Wi Fi hot spots in our area all the time.

    There’s even more exciting news:

    Coming next year there will be totally portable slim large touch screens that you can easily carry from room to room that work wirelessly. The touch screen feature (like the Iphone and Ipod) would eliminated the need for a keyboard. It will just be the monitor portion. I hear Google will be a major player in this market.

    Watch for fierce competition, law suits etc. before it all shakes out. The big players are competing in many new ways for our eyes and ears. So, yes, I’ll be n the sidelines for a while. Will try and keep up as things change. Sid

    Instead of being tethered to your comuter in one room you take it along with you. The programming coming fairly soon I hear will be the next big thing that may even take over Satellite TV. You will be able to watch streaming movies and other programs on your touch screen and no more need antenna dishes on your roof and portable within so many feet of your home WiFi

Email for more information:

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