Many people ask, “How do I find a person in Mexico?” For example, Betty posted on Yahoo! Answers to learn how she could find someone in Mexico. The only answer she got was, "Maybe you can try the personal ads?" I’m sure the person meant well by suggesting this action. This is not the first time I have seen this type of advice.
The suggestion of placing an ad in a newspaper to find someone in Mexico is based in part on the stereotypes too many Americans have about the country, what I call the “Speedy Gonzalez” syndrome. For anyone familiar with the cartoon, the characters always live in a small town, wear similar outfits including sombreros and all know each other. The idea of placing an ad in a Mexican newspaper hinges on the hope that surely someone who knows your person will see the ad, run down the street and knock on their door shouting, "Jose, look! Someone is trying to find you."
It is true that some residents of small towns in Mexico may know each other, but the assumption that everyone in Mexico knows each other is a fanciful holdover of the image many people still have of Mexico. Put simply, it isn’t so.
There are many towns in Mexico with fewer than 100 people, but they never have their own newspaper. Many won’t even be listed in phone directories, as even in these times there may be only one phone in the town. There will obviously be newspapers in larger cities such as Morelia, the capital of the state of Michoacan – but that has more than 600,000 residents! Monterrey has close to two million residents and Mexico City is home more than 21 million. It’s unlikely that by placing an ad in one of those cities’ newspaper that the person you seek or anyone who knows them will actually see the ad.
In my 20 years working with clients to find family and friends in Mexico, not once have I heard of this method succeeding. My company has worked with thousands of clients looking to find their birth parent, mother or father, cousin, friend or loved one. Many come to us after they failed to have success from placing newspaper ads.
My advice is to use your time and money to gather the necessary information about the person, starting with their complete name, city and state. Once you have this information, search for them using whatever resources you have available to you. Here are a few strategies you should try:
- Check your information to make certain it’s correct.
- Search online using more than just Google. Try several search engines, such as Yahoo, Ask.com, and Dogpile.com.
- Access the social media sites, including Facebook, MySpace and Twitter.
The Mexico Guru
Leading expert and international authority on finding relatives living in Mexico
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