Friends who recently moved south for the winter have begun to settle into their new homes and several more are on their way. These people have begun to realize the benefits of south-of-the-border living in Puerto Vallarta and shed the fears that had been created by clever media.
Shopping was a challenge until they realized how simple it is to flag down a taxi, and the abundance of grocery stores in the hotel zone. Prices are amazing and the adjustment to pesos will be a gradual process that soon will make sense and feel like a profit is being made. Our friends even bring their own bags and have been duly informed regarding the tipping of baggers in the local stores.
We long ago eschewed the term maid and have what we prefer to refer to as a housekeeper. Maid sounds a bit too privileged and though we realize how lucky we are to have the opportunity to live in Puerto Vallarta, we also practice a certain degree of humility. We have been chastised by others for overpaying but we won’t get into that argument here. We also are delighted to have no food go to waste and our housekeeper is happy to relieve us of hunks of cheese before they go off and heads of lettuce that have yet to wither.
Hiring help is not only accepted; it’s expected. Providing jobs for locals helps the economy and gives us free time for the pursuits of early retirement that we are obligated to fulfill.
Another name for housekeeper in Spanish is ama de llaves, which translates to “she who has the keys.” The lady who works for us had possessed her own set of keys since
shortly after we hired her. This gives us freedom to come and go without needing to rearrange schedules and always have someone at home. We were aware enough to ask if she was okay with the pup, before we asked her to work for us. Some Mexicans are afraid of dogs, since in many homes in Puerto Vallarta a dog is meant as a guard.
It is quite uncouth to ask a person who works for your neighbor if they would like to work for you. This type of behavior has a name. Stealing. The best approach is to ask your neighbor if their housekeeper has any extra time and would perhaps like to pick up extra work.
Our lady works for us twice a week, does laundry and spends about four hours a day. We pay her 600 pesos per week plus the extras we mentioned above. The big bonus is her connections to brothers, sons, uncles, etc, when we need assistance with bigger jobs. It’s a dream come true.
Que es cómo es.
Thanks to our guest blogger Adam Garcia for this article!
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