Mexican Earnings - Wages and Salaries

Every so often I ask people what wages they make in their work. Here are some examples:

  • A Hammock weaver and salesman on the coast nets about $20/day on a good day when his wife is weaving and he's selling to motorists at a military checkpoint.
  • Policemen make an average of $16/day nationwide, reaching up to $20 in some of the better-paying states, but going even lower than that in many places. It's quite a concern in the country because with salaries that low, it can be very cheap for a narco-trafficker to buy off a policeman.
  • Taxi Drivers in Tuxtla Gutierrez, if they own their own taxi, can net $40-$50/day by working 12-16 hours.
  • Teachers can make about $600/month, or $25/day and many have to work far from home and family, coming home a few times during a month.

We don't like to think about this, but when we go out to dinner and spend $10, or stay in an inexpensive (to us) hotel for $20, we're dropping more than most people's daily income just on that item. And, as we'll find farther south, Mexico is fairly well-off compared to much of Latin America.