Two months ago, Chad Balcum packed his bags and decided to temporarily leave his life in Brooklyn, New York and move to Mexico City. And continue his work as a designer with “different energy”, social and cultural attractions, low cost of living and great climate.
The neighborhood I lived in in New York was very expensive and drove many people out. “In New York every time you walk out the door you feel like you’re spending about $100, whereas here you can put your money to better use. Everyday things, from eating to living expenses to entertainment, make life very affordable here,” said Falkham, 35.
His story may seem strange in the usual diaspora environment between Mexico and the United States, which is driven by the annual migration of hundreds of thousands of Mexicans to the neighboring country. however, Balcum’s case is not isolated, but rather common in Mexico’s capital and other major cities in the country in recent years.Attracting Americans and foreigners of various nationalities, they have engaged in a process of reverse migration unthinkable until relatively recently.
This phenomenon basically responds to the advantages that Mexico offers to settle and carry out their work remotely, benefiting from an exchange rate that makes their money more profitable due to a lower cost of living relative to nominal. source countries. According to Mexican government statistics, From January to September 2022, Mexican authorities issued 8,412 Temporary Resident Cards (TRDs) to Americans. This is an increase of 1,574 claims or 23% more than the same period last year when 6,838 were reported.
The increase is even more noticeable considering the fact that Many Americans immigrate to Mexican territory without requesting a TRT from immigration officials because they can legally stay as tourists for up to six months without interruption.They can start over by returning to the US for a few days and setting foot on Mexican soil again.
Edyta Norejko, CEO of ForHouse real estate agency, as statistics show, a boom Foreigners, especially Americans, have been coming to Mexico in recent years. “We have two types of foreigners coming to Mexico: the first is young people between the ages of 20 and 40, many of whom are digital nomads.and takes seconds RetiredFor whom saving money is important”, he explained.
Of Polish origin and living in Mexico 10 years ago, Norjejko founded a company in 2014 mainly focused on foreign clients who want to rent or buy houses in the Mexican capital, especially in the neighborhoods of Condesa, Roma and Polanco.
An increase in The influx of American digital nomads and retirees In that country, according to Norejko, it occurred during the Covid-19 pandemic, but also as a result of the increase in the cost of living in the United States, especially in terms of housing and access to health services.
Likewise, the interviewee explained “The most open life and “best cultural places” in the Mexican capital Areas like the Corridor of Condesa-Roma-Polanco neighborhoods have made the city a favorite destination for expats. Corridor is a safe area, there are many cafes, restaurants, architectural elements, attractions and places where you can do anything day to day.
That’s where most Americans look to rent “houses with at least two rooms and an outdoor space on a balcony or terrace, for between US$1,000 and US$2,000 a month,” Norejko explained.
Rent in that part of Mexico City is unaffordable for many Mexicans, in contrast to housing costs in major cities in the United States, which reach between US$5,000 and US$6,000 a month.
Local residents of Mexico City have viewed the phenomenon of reverse migration with reservation and criticism.This constitutes an example and potential intensification of the so-called tourism and gentrification processes that various parts of the Mexican capital have experienced in recent years.
One of the critics of the influx of Americans and foreigners to Mexico City in general, due to its effects on the local population, was philosophy professor and cultural critic Fernando Bustos. On his social networks, Bustos described how, sometimes, he was the only Mexican there except for the waiters in a cafe in the Roma neighborhood. “This phenomenon has a direct real estate impact. Throughout the pandemic, rents in Roma and La Condesa never dropped because foreigners moved here.Because here it’s very cheap for them and it somehow creates a gentrification process,” Bustos explained, in a video he uploaded to his networks.
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