The art of tipping in Mexico

Tipping is woven into the fabric of Mexican social culture, chiefly because of Mexico’s informal, cash-driven economy.

Most people working in Mexico’s service industries rely on tips (propinas) to augment their weekly take-home pay. During the health crisis, tipping will become an important economic resource for many Mexicans, who, by nature, earnestly aim to please, even when they know they are into hyperbole. “Si, señor, I’ll have your driveway redug and replaced  this afternoon.”


A tip is customary for the porter at the hotel who carried your bags; the concierge for booking a table at a local restaurant or arranging a taxi for you; the person who washed your windscreen at the stop-light; the street busker. He’s there to lighten your day after driving in Mexico’s apocalyptic traffic, which is often as chaotic as a motorized army in retreat.

Leave your hotel’s room maid a small tip of between US$1 and US$5 (equivalent in Mexican pesos) for each night’s stay at the hotel. If you’re staying more than one night, leave the tip daily, as maids work on a rotating basis. Or keep a diary of your personnel while you look for something to do.

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