For more than a decade, Marcos Del Rosario Santiago has lived in la Roma — at the time an up-and-coming neighborhood on the west side of Mexico City.
But Del Rosario has seen a shift in his neighborhood. More Airbnbs are popping up after those living in apartments, some who have had to already have three or four roommates could no longer afford to live there. At his local panadería, where he often orders coffee and pan dulce, he used to only hear people order in Spanish, even if they were not Mexican. Now, he said he’s seeing and hearing more foreigners order in English.
“Some of them don’t even try to speak in Spanish,” he said.
While many Mexicans are increasingly concerned about gentrification brought on by the influx of Americans that relocated to “el D.F.” as the capital used to be called, Del Rosario, believes having new neighbors isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
“Diversidad.” The singular word Del Rosario is used to describe the impact of this new phenomenon. And the rising rent and food costs? Well, that’s just the price to pay for progress, he said.
Less than five miles from Del Rosario’s neighborhood, President Joe Biden met with Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador this past week to discuss how to stop large swaths of migrants from coming to the United States illegally.
“We’re working together to address this challenge in a way that upholds our nations’ laws and protects the human rights of migrants facing desperate circumstances,” Biden said at Tuesday’s press conference at the National Palace in Mexico City.
While immigration rhetoric in the U.S. has focused on sending migrants back to Mexico, another burgeoning phenomenon remains largely ignored: Americans migrating to Mexico.
In the last decade, Mexico has become the top nation for U.S. Americans to move to — a trend that ramped up during the pandemic. There are now a record number of U.S. Americans becoming temporary residents in Mexico as of 2022.