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Gifts for Staff at Resorts?

This is our first time to an all-inclusive in Mexico - staying at the Grand Pallidium Colonial. We have spent the last few vacations in Cuba where we always took a bag of medical supplies, clothing, candy, etc. to pass out to the staff or while travelling in the countryside. I was wondering if this is done as much in Mexico - or is cash the common practice??


You are very correct in your assumption. At first thought it is nice to give gifts, but for the most part going to the dollar store and buying Chinese junk is not as good an idea as it seems. The Mexican people have lots of flee markets with the same stuff. The people working at the hotel at least have a job, so why not treat them like any other service industry?
If you truly want to give to the unfortunate then take things to drop off at the orphanages or collection centers. Just my opinion.

I 2nd that.

If you are going to the dollar store, stock up on band aids, toothbrushes, first aid ointment, etc. Although the gesture of gift giving is very kind, supplies that are hard to come buy or expensive for the average Mexican, are very very much appreciated.

Ask around, it won’t be too hard to find a struggling neighborhood, just make sure your not wandering in to a bad situation. Locals, and collectivo’s normally can help you find a family, or school that is in need of such supplies.

Another way to help out without lugging down so much stuff, is to just shop with the locals. By local produce, if you don’t want to consume it, buy it and ask a collectivo to take you to a family that is in need.

There are many many ways to show your generosity.


For myself, I will usually leave a gift for the maid once during the week, but I give money the other days. I like to bring lotions, kids colouring books, bandaids, etc (things that may be a bit of a luxury for them)

These comments are somewhat off the question asked. I believe people who have never been to Mexico think it is all this 3rd world environment. This could not be further from the truth. I see so often people traveling to the resorts talking to Mexicans as though they are so lucky to have made it to where they are. Its this condescending attitude that really makes me feel sad. The manager/caretaker of our condo down there is a graduate from a US university even though he is Mexican. Never judge a book by its cover. I would never think of bringing gifts to the hotel staff from the dollar store the next time I travel to the US. If I wanted to help and donate to the less fortunate, then I would do as I said in my earlier reply. Please don’t jump all over me and get into these big discussions about whether Mexico is or is not 3rd world. They are a very well educated and humble people, and a great place to enjoy their culture and beautiful country. Guess this is why I am so passionate about all the Mexican destinations I have had the pleasure of visiting. Just my two pesos worth.

;D yes they are.

Nothing wrong with giving a little extra when you have some extra to spare.

It is the thought that counts, and if your afforded the opportunity to experience a culture un-like your own your truly a lucky person.


Gifts and trinkets are one thing, but Dollar Store items should be left at home. Many of the items bought there are out dated and if you want to do a good deed, buy some quality items or just give them cash, they know what they need and the stores of Mexico have stocked shelves unlike Cuba or other “have not” countries. You will have no problem at all finding families in need of assistance, but as Deputy suggested going to the grocery store or local market and watching people buying “what they can afford”, is always a good way to find someone who may be in need.

Jake, eh

Thanks for all the input re my question. Cash $$ is always a good option (and much easier to transport) - I appreciate the feedback.

Hope all have a very Happy Holiday season and all the best for 2009.