When we asked our housekeeper if she knew a trustworthy person to help with painting the extra bedroom, we landed on the proverbial gold mine. The discovery that most men in Puerto Vallarta can do just about anything was our opportunity to help boost the local economy. We hired Cesar.
When a friend asked where we found our mozo, we were taken aback slightly by the term but on further exploration came to realize this is an honorable term. It would not be improper to call the person who serves in a restaurant a waiter, nor would we be remiss in referring to our mailman, as such. A title for the job, and nothing more. Our mozo is not a servant, for a slave. He is paid well, lives in his own home and commutes to work in his own vehicle. He is a laborer. In the States and Canada, we would call him handyman.
Our mozo works for other people, too, and is only a cell phone call away. He is connected in the community and does all our negotiating. His English improves on a daily basis. We have concluded he is smarter than we, by far. We can send Cesar on just about any errand, whether to dispute a CFE (electric) bill; pick the pup up from the vet; buy fish for dinner at the local pescaderia.
Cesar, with the assistance of his father-in-law, has laid our tile floor and built myriad concrete shelves. He orders metal work from the hererro and supervises installation; confers with the cabinet maker and oversees their efforts; takes our car to the mechanic and makes minor repairs himself. He also paints, as aforementioned. He found our marvelous gardener and together they tend the garden.
If one’s Spanish is rusty (or nonexistent), one can be intimidated by getting things done in Puerto Vallarta. It needn’t be this way. Start the conversation with friends and neighbors. Inquire as to who they have hired and start getting connected.
Trust? This question comes up occasionally from friends hesitant to give someone such free reign of their household. We certainly don’t recommend inviting total strangers into one’s home. However, loyalty is a treasured element of living in Mexico and we’ve been rarely disappointed. Ask for references; make sure you know where the people who you’re hiring live. Insist on seeing their identification. No one has ever been insulted or annoyed when we request simple procedures; if they are, move on. There are many looking for work, qualified and eager.
Que es cómo es.
Thanks to our guest blogger Adam Garcia for this article!
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