Americans are flocking to Mexico City, and locals aren’t too happy about it. This isn’t about anti-immigration, though. It’s an ongoing issue that was amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic and is still feeding onto the country’s escalating gentrification issue.
With so many foreigners relocating to the Distrito Federal, there have been numerous reports of locals feeling that gentrification is increasing at a faster pace. And it isn’t without reason.
If you Google search “move to Mexico City,” thousands of links appear encouraging it.
There are articles detailing step-by-step “expert” guides and even lists of their negative experiences. It’s no wonder people are jumping on the “move to Mexico” bandwagon.
But locals are doing their best to be heard. Whether or not they’re from Mexico City, social media users are expressing their concerns. “White Americans not understanding that moving to Mexico City and working remotely so they can have ‘cheap amenities’ isn’t the same as people immigrating here for a better life. Not only is there racism and gentrification but economic problems,” a Twitter user tweeted.
YT Americans not understanding that moving to Mexico City and working remotely so they can have "cheap amenities" isn't the same as people immigrating here for a better life. Not only is there racism and gentrification but economic problems. I miss my childhood ignorance.
— Sir Tea (@NoSkillsWriter) August 3, 2022
That’s only the surface of what’s going on.
Remote Workers Staying in Mexico City Are Affecting the Country’s Budgets
A source analyzed the overall effect remote workers are having on local budgets. Even when they consider remote workers’ spending as tourism revenue, it doesn’t balance local workers’ pockets. “Although the city’s economy partially relies on the revenue that comes from tourism, the class and race divide has accelerated tensions,” Allwork. Space reports. “Now, working-class Mexicans have to deal with the weight of rising housing costs and inflation, while wealthy remote workers feel little to no impact.”
The aforementioned source talked to a local journalist to get a further insight – and it turns out it’s a bigger issue than expected. “Many of the companies that capitalize on tourism aren’t Mexican either; those who come to Mexico to work remotely do not pay the taxes that a resident pays and their income is also in a much higher currency than those who live here,” Mexico City-based freelancer Carlos Acuña said about the influx.
Gentrification of Mexico City by US remote workers who take advantage of the financial situation of a city where 44% of residents live in extreme poverty. pic.twitter.com/OgfEtt5m0J
— Ka Makau (@Ka_Makau) August 1, 2022
Locals Are Putting Up Signs Asking Travelers To Leave
Armerican remote workers have flooded Mexico City…city residents are becoming concerned about gentrification. pic.twitter.com/LDC88JPHtD
— Max Speed (@Relativity_Is) August 2, 2022
Similar to what’s going on in Puerto Rico, locals are doing the most to keep their homes safe. They’ve even put up posters asking for people to leave. Why? In both regions, there’s been a hyper-increase in tourism and remote working. Will they actually pay attention to their plea, though?
Despite Local Pleas, Foreigners Are “Likely” To Continue Moving In
Regardless of social media conversations against it, chances are that foreigners will continue moving in. “The influx, which has accelerated since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and is likely to continue as inflation rises, is transforming some of the city’s most treasured neighborhoods into ex-pat enclaves,” LA Times says about the surge.
¡Dios mío! When will Americans – and foreigners, in general – stop and get the hint?