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Mexicans themselves need jobs, and people who enter Mexico as tourists are not legally allowed to take employment. The many expats working in Mexico have usually been posted there by their companies or organizations with all the necessary papers.

English speakers (and a few German or French speakers) may find teaching jobs in language schools, preparatorias (high schools) or universities, or can offer personal tutoring. Mexico City is the best place to get English-teaching work, and Guadalajara is also good. It’s possible in other major cities. The pay is low, but you can live on it.

Press ads (especially in local English-language papers and magazines) and telephone yellow pages are sources of job opportunities. Pay rates for personal tutoring are rarely more than M$150 an hour. Positions in high schools or universities are more likely to become available at the beginning of each new term; contact institutions that offer bilingual programs or classes in English. For universities, ask for an appointment with the director of the language department. Language schools tend to offer short courses, so teaching opportunities with them may come up more often.

A foreigner working in Mexico normally needs a permit or government license, but a school will often pay a foreign teacher in the form of a beca (scholarship), and thus circumvent the law, or the school’s administration will procure the appropriate papers.

It’s helpful to know at least a little Spanish, even though only English may be spoken in class.

Apart from teaching, you might find a little bar or restaurant work in tourist areas. It’s likely to be part time and short term.

Jobs Abroad (www.jobsabroad.com) posts paid and unpaid job openings in Mexico.

The Mexico branch of our Thorn Tree travelers' forum is a great place to find out more about the pros and cons of working in Mexico from those who've been there, done that...and who often feel very strongly about the subject!

Business hours

Stores are typically open from 9am to 8pm, Monday to Saturday. In the south of the country and in small towns, some stores close for a siesta between 2pm and 4pm, then stay open till 9pm. Some don’t open on Saturday afternoon.

Offices have similar Monday to Friday hours to stores, with a greater likelihood of the 2pm to 4pm lunch break. Offices with tourist-related business, including airline and car-rental offices, usually open on Saturday too, from at least 9am to 1pm.

Typical restaurant hours are 7am (9am in central Mexico) to midnight. If a restaurant has a closing day, it’s usually Sunday, Monday or Tuesday. Cafés typically open from 8am to 10pm daily.

Banks are normally open 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday, and 9am to 1am Saturday. In smaller towns they may close earlier or not open on Saturday. Casas de cambio (money-exchange offices) are usually open from 9am to 7pm daily, often with even longer hours in coastal resorts.

Post offices typically open from 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday, and 9am to 1pm Saturday.

for our purposes opening hours are spelt out where they differ from those above.

It’s worth remembering that supermarkets and department stores usually open from 9am or 10am to 10pm every day, and stores in malls and coastal resort towns often open on Sunday too.

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