Wednesday, June 23, 2010

You want to find family in Mexico. Putting an ad in newspaper is NOT your first option.

I was reading a question by a woman who wanted to know how she could find someone in Mexico. The best and only answer she got was "put an ad in the newspaper". First, this was the best advice given on Yahoo Answers. The response got a one star, and the Asker was being generous.

This is not the first time I have seen this advice given by someone who knows very little or nothing about Mexico. This answer implies a stereotype that can be a great danger to anyone who is looking for a relative, loved one or friend living in Mexico.

The idea of placing an ad in a Mexican newspaper assumes a couple of things:
1) That everyone reads the paper including the "notices" section
2) That the city is so small that everyone knows each other

I'm from Texas where we have some pretty small towns with only a hundred or so people, those towns that if you blink when driving, you discover that you've already driven through it. There are such towns in Mexico, but in my experience because of how people populate an area, few relatives or friends are living in these small towns. Instead they are moving to medium to large cities.

Take Morelia, the capital of the state of Michoacan. This city has over 600,000 residents. Monterrey, Nuevo Leon has close to 2 million residents. Mexico City has over 21 millions.

The idea of placing an ad in a Mexican newspaper assumes that Mexican cities are so small that everyone knows each other. The idea is that surely someone will see the ad and run down the street and knock on the person's door and say, "Jose, look! Someone is trying to find you."

In the many years that I have worked with clients to find their birth parent, mother or father, cousin or friend in Mexico, people have told us that they tried to find a specific person by posting an ad in the newspaper with no success.

I applaud anyone who has the determination to try everything to find a person in Mexico. However, the sad truth is that putting an ad in a newspaper has as little chance of working in Mexico as it would if someone put an ad in a U.S. newspaper.

Instead if you are wanting to find someone in Mexico, save your money and use it to gather the necessary information: their complete name, the city and state where this person lives/lived and search for them using whatever resources you have. If all of that fails, then get the professional help you need so you can find this person.


Richard Villasana
Richard Villasana

Richard Villasana
The Mexico Guru
Find Relatives In Mexico

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