The cost for a maid in Mexico depends on your needs. For example, I was paying my maid 1,200 pesos ($60) a week. She worked Mondays through Fridays, from 9AM – 3PM. I was willing to pay her more, but she had to move on. My wife and I are now going through the struggles of finding another maid.
The cost for gardeners in Mexico depends on the size of the property and how much work it is. It would be unfair to base a set price unless you went into an hourly rate for the gardeners because there’s a big difference. If you have a big garden, you’ll need a gardener to tend to it at least three days a week. Gardeners typically charge 1,000 pesos ($50) or more a week.
A fair hourly rate you can pay a gardener in Chapala and Ajijic would be 60-80 pesos ($3 - $4) per hour, depending on how much you love your gardener or how good of a job they do. Sometimes it’s better to hire a gardener based on the weekly rate because if they charge by the hour, the gardeners come and go. What you want to have is someone to maintain the property. You have to intercede and supply them with fertilizer and fumigants that your garden will need.
I’ve had five clients who bought properties for their maids and their gardeners, mostly the ones who have been working for them for 10-15 years. We help them make their purchase strategic so they don’t get ripped off. One option for someone who wants to buy property for a maid or gardener is the “Derecho de Uso” which translates to “Right of Use.” In Derecho de Uso, one could put the property under the maid’s name, but the client is the boss until the day he dies. When he dies, the maid shows his death certificate and becomes the legitimate owner of the property.
The properties they buy for maids and gardeners are mostly low level income homes worth about 1 million pesos ($50,000). I have one client for whom we do property management who just bought three brand new 2016 Hyundai vehicles for his two gardeners and one maid.
On the other hand, there are people who wouldn’t even buy their employee a banana. On the whole, North Americans come down here and say, “Wow. I can live a great life in a great temperature for a lot less money, and because of that, I want to give back.”
I also know many clients who put their maids’ and their gardeners’ kids to school. There are about 200 North Americans in the Lake Chapala area who put people’s kids through school because they care, and they get to know the family. In return, they get invited to parties simply because they are loved. It’s a two-way street.
On the other hand, there were also expats who take very good care of their maids and gardeners but were then jerked around by the same people in the end when it came to selling the house, getting the severance pay and complaining.
(Terrace at night, Lake Chapala, Mexico, pictured.)