Mexico is a nation where 1.6 million households depend on remittances from migrants in the United States as their most important source of income.
CGTN’s Franc Contreras reports.
In an era of mass migration, the money that migrants send their family members back home, called remittances, is crucial for economic survival. That’s especially true in Mexico, a nation where 1.6 million households depend on remittances from migrants in the United States as their most important source of income.
This is a rural town in one of Mexico’s smallest and poorest states-Tlaxcala. It’s a place where many people rely on money sent from their family members who have migrated to the United States. Arely Atriano lives here with her son and daughter. Her husband, Fidencio has been living in the U.S. the last four years.
Each month, her husband sends back around $1,800. Atriano says her family has used the money to build their own home in this town, where the economy is virtually stagnant.
“Having built this house is a point of pride and satisfaction for us. My husband knows that the money he sends, whether it’s a little or a lot, is invested here in our little home, a space for us and our children that’s ours” she said.
The vast majority of Mexicans use remittances to purchase basic items, like food and medicines. The Mexican government reports, the amount of remittance money the country receives has been growing constantly since 2016, more than $26 billion this year alone.
Remittances from the United States have hit record levels according to Mexico’s Central Bank. Some Mexicans use the money to create small businesses like this one. Jesus Cervantes is a statistics analyst for the Center for Latin American Monetary Studies in Mexico City. He attributed the rise to a weaker Mexican peso.
“The weakening Peso again the dollar has raised the purchasing power of the dollars that Mexicans in the United States send back home. So it is a factor that works as an incentive to send more dollars, which are converted to more pesos” he said.
Back in Tlaxcala, Arely Atriano has also been investing some of the money her migrant husband sends from the U.S. to create this small store. She shares some of the money she earns with her mother and is putting some of it away for the day when her husband returns home.