So You Want to Learn More About Mexican Culture?

October 10, 2012

So You Want to Learn More About Mexican Culture
Let me preface this article by telling you, “I love Mexico, especially Lake Chapala”. I also love the Mexican people and their culture.
Like in most other countries Mexico is not monolithic but has a very diverse culture.
This article will be the first of what I hope will be a series of articles to give you practical, useful and interesting information about Mexican Culture to make visiting and hopefully someday living here at Lake Chapala even better than it otherwise would be.
Much of what I will share in these articles comes from personal observation, making the inevitable cultural mistakes, and from being part of an extended Mexican family.
I also want to acknowledge Ned Couch’s influence on me and the resulting articles. I’ve not met Ned, except through his book, “Mexicans & Americans: Cracking the Culture Code" available on for about $22.
E Mails and Why They Sometimes Seem Like a Waste of Time.
I’m often asked by clients to give them the e mail addresses of
rental agencies in our area that I would recommend. We have a number of good rental agencies and they’re staffed by bi-lingual Mexican people.
After giving the information my clients would write me back saying they had not heard anything back from their inquiries.
I learned not to give out the e mail addresses or even the telephone numbers of rental agents without first giving them a quick lesson in “Mexican Think”.
You see you have not really entered the recipient of your e-mails “personal space” just by sending an e mail. It’s almost like you don’t yet exist. Telephone calls are a bit better. The solution is a personal visit and then even better is to get an “introduction” by someone the rental agent knows.
That person can be me as first I only take clients to agents and agencies in which my clients have had good results.
No, I don’t get a referral fee, but probably could. I just want you to have a positive experience.
Doing business in Mexico is very much a question of doing business with someone you know, like and trust. The “knowing:
Part should come first.
The thinking going back to the rental example goes something like this. “I don’t know this person that sent me the e mail. I don’t know if they’re serious. They will not rent a house over the internet. I’m busy with other people already. I’ll send them an e mail later.”
Unfortunately later sometimes never seems to come.
Now, before I get hate mail or critical comments I know some of our readers have had “great email exchanges with rental agents at Lake Chapala”.
Please share these wonderful experiences with us. Give us both positive and negative responses, but if negative, please don’t give the names of the rental  agent or agency.
Libel and Slander laws are strict here. I live here and it’s best to share any negative information privately.
Later articles will also share the “I can’t believe how nice I was treated even as a perfect stranger” type stories.
All for now,  Siempre tu amigo, Sid

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