It’s easy to see the “good side of the coin” for expats with Mexico’s focus on having lots of holidays, in terms of lifestyle. Yet, Mexican culture also has another good side to the coin which specifically helps the construction process. Today, in the last part our sub-series on culture and building a home in Mexico, we will look at the Mexican attitude to work schedules.
While bureaucratic offices may be the hardest to deal with limited hours and slow processes and an individual contractor may show up late, employed workers who are part of a construction team (as well as many other employees) do not have the concept that a work day should be only 8 hours, or that a work week should only have 5 days. In this case, Mexican workers outstrip their North American counterparts; construction workers will often keep at a job from sunrise to sunset, 6 days a week. (If there happens to be a holiday, they will be happy if they can get it off; if not, most will be happy to celebrate as they can in the evening and show up for work early the next morning.) Pay is usually by the day, and not by the hour.
As for the other culture factors to take into consideration, Mexico’s bureaucracy has been ingrained into the country for at least 100 years. The country’s approach to punctuality, commitment and holidays has its roots in events almost 500 years ago, and in many cases even in cultural features inherited both from the indigenous civilizations and the Spanish colonists. If it hasn’t changed with foreign military intervention, revolutions, political upheavals, large waves of immigration or modernization, it won’t change for one American’s construction project; it’s something property owners will have to count on and plan around.
As Isis Saldierna, a construction project coordinator, says, “Good advice would be patience … In the end you can get the results that you’re accustomed to in your native home country, even better sometimes in some areas.”
Hawthorne Flaherty speaks the truth when he says, “It’s part of what is so charming for Mexico, part of what makes [buying Mexico real estate and living here] so appealing for so many people; there’s also the other side to it.”
We love the relaxation, laid back lifestyle, warm, friendly culture and continually festive spirit of Mexico; the rest comes with the package. An expat (or soon-to-be expat) can either get frustrated with it, or plan to work with and around cultural differences, enjoy the construction process and see the beauty in the final result – a high-quality home in which to enjoy a relaxing life in Paradise!
(See the our blog tag for building your home in Mexico for the full series of articles.)
Andy Welbourne, from London, Ontario, has been living in Playa del Carmen and working as a part of the team with Thomas Lloyd for 7 years. He has worked with many Canadians and Americans to assist in finding their dream home in the Mexican Caribbean; many of these clients have turned into great friendships. Contact Andy at (512) 879-6546.
The TOP Mexico Real Estate Network; “Mexico’s Leading Network of Specialists for Finding and Purchasing Mexican Properties Safely!”