This chapter begins a survey of economic motivations for southbound border runs with a discussion of U.S. citizens lured by the promise of cheaper cost of living south of the border, often in gate-guarded enclaves of resort towns. In recent decades, Mexico has attracted many retirees and buyers of vacation homes, as well as telecommuters and others with the flexibility to conduct their work from Mexico. Although Mexico’s Constitution imposed constraints on foreign ownership in the wake of the Mexican Revolution, today those restrictions are readily side-stepped by these gringos in paradise. Their entry, however, offers little benefit to the rural regions of Mexico, and the chapter ultimately suggests how the gringo influx might exacerbate rather than solve Mexico’s economic woes.
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