Mexico’s Own Immigration Problem Surfaces in Tourist Hotspot Cancun

By: Elena Toledo - @NenaToledo - Feb 6, 2017, 2:51 pm
Mexico's Own Immigration Problem
Immigrants from Central America and Cuba arrive to Cancun under the notion that they will work in Five Star Hotels, but they are actually hired to pick up garbage on beaches, at best. (Youtube)

EspañolCancun is one of México‘s most touristic cities, but it is also shares a border with Central America, which has created an interesting dynamic.

Immigrants perform the most difficult jobs in the city. Their work hours start as early as seven in the morning and finish late into the day. For the base salary of 100 pesos per day (US $5), they do everything from waiting on tourists, setting up beach chairs by the seashore, cleaning and other labor-intensive duties.

People from El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala and Cuba are mostly the people who come to Cancun. They thought they were buying into a better life and salary, but instead of being employed as waiters at five star hotels, now collect garbage on beaches or have resorted to prostitution.

Eventually, they turn to any immigrant work in the peninsula that provides them with a roof over their heads and money for food.

Manuel Amador is in charge of refugees, and said he had never noticed so much immigration to Cancun before. Since 2014, he said the influx of Central Americans has only increased from 120 illegals to as high as 300. Most of them have to perform physically intensive tasks on beaches, which qualifies as labor exploitation, because their salary is below the minimum wage and in high season they don’t have breaks.

“The main reason why they have remained in the peninsula is because of how difficult and complicated it has become to reach the United States,” Amador said. Since many people know how dangerous it is to get on the train, they prefer to stay in this area, and language is not an issue.”

In connection with the lack of decent working conditions for Central Americans, the activist stated:

“Now both immigrants and hotel businesspeople, as well as restaurant owners, are learning to handle the situation and tolerate heavy-duty work and minimum wage; unfortunately there is not enough work for everyone and locals have preference and immigrants keep what is left over.”


The numbers provided by Manuel Amador are supported by Cancún‘s Ministry of Social Security, which pointed out that in 2016, 20 Central Americans were detained for disturbing public security while in prior years that number had been almost zero.

Also in 2016, local authorities indicated that they received 80 complaints of alleged labor exploitation. However, none were carried forward because the victims did not have legal documents in Cancun.

“There are opportunities for everyone here,” a restaurant manager in Tortuga beach, Cancun said on the condition of anonymity. “But in the case of Central Americans, for instance, it is complicated, because they they don’t have documents, references or anything. We give them a chance to start here, they have had bad experiences, but we know that they are not all bad, so we try to help them however we can.”

Source: El Universal

Elena Toledo Elena Toledo

Educator by trade, social-media apprentice, activist for a democratic Honduras, and free thinker. Follow her on Twitter @NenaToledo.

Maduro Looks to Pope Francis to Restart Dialogue with Opposition in Venezuela

By: Sabrina Martín - @SabrinaMartinR - Feb 6, 2017, 2:03 pm

EspañolPresident of Venezuela Nicolas Máduro is working to set up a meeting with Pope Francis in hopes of restarting talks with the Venezuelan opposition. Maduro is reportedly hoping to meet with the Pope at the Vatican, along with representatives from his opposition. He mentioned the plan during his televised radio program "Sundays with Maduro" without offering major details, but did confirm his administration is still willing to keep talks going despite the two-month pause. The opposition represented by the major opposition party, Democratic Unity Round Table (MUD), threw out any possibility of talks after Maduro and his administration did not comply with previously agreed-upon commitments that included freeing political prisoners, publishing a timetable for elections and accepting international humanitarian assistance. Read More: Why Teachers Unions Are Doing All They Can to Sabotage Trump’s Education Plans Read More: Viewing Trump’s Travel Ban Through the Prism of Pragmatism The opposition coalition, which is made up of more than 20 political parties and organizations, rejected proposals made last month by international facilitators to reestablish dialogue, saying it would present a series of alternatives in the next few days. Maduro's attempts to kick start talks come at a moment in which the opposition is undergoing a restructuring process to avoid being dismantled by technicalities in voting laws. googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('div-gpt-ad-1459522593195-0'); });   MUD Executive Secretary Jesus Torrealba said he believes the opposition does not know how to manage "the enormous political capital" that was obtained in December 2015's parliamentary elections, and acknowledged in a statement last week that "the democratic alliance has to be restructured, because it's undergoing a crisis." Source: El Estímulo; Sumarium

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