Since Eric Chavez started his new position as coordinator of educational services at the recently opened Museo Textil de Oaxaca, he has been describing the things he is doing to get started. He is writing lesson plans to teach beginning weaving techniques to young students in elementary school, and has made several cardboard looms for demonstration and practice. I have come to discover that the most astounding thing about this new job are the work hours, which Eric says is standard practice in Oaxaca. People work a 6-day week! I think we would have a rebellion here. His hours at the museum are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. with two hours off for lunch between 3 and 5 p.m., then back again for a 7 hour day on Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. This is the same for all of Eric’s working friends, including Elsa Sanchez Diaz, who just got a job at a bank/money exchange house. Starting jobs for college graduates range from 7,000 to 10,000 pesos a month. Convert this to dollars and we’re talking about $700-1,000 USD. (Today, the pesos was 10.3 to the $1.) Take it a bit further. This is a 47-hour work week, times four weeks a month, equals 188 hours a month, divided by, let’s say, the $1,000 per month salary. That’s $5.32 per hour tops! I’m thinking, if I were their parents I would be saying, For this I sent them to college? I hear tell that wage laborers will earn about $4-8 dollars per day in Mexico, and it is easy to understand why so many want to immigrate to the U.S. Of course, this is Eric’s first salaried job since graduating from college, tourism has not yet made a full come back to Oaxaca, the family is not selling as many rugs as usual, and this is an opportunity to earn a steady income, help the family, and be part of a fantastic museum in a great city.
Search by Key Word
Sign Up to Follow Us
Now on TripAdvisor
See-Do-Learn Travel Programs
Workshops, Retreats, Residencies. Oaxaca Cultural Navigator introduces you to the social, cultural, historical, archeological and creative world of Oaxaca, Mexico, through arts and cultural learning activities. No experience necessary! Our low-impact, small group workshops are in-depth and fun. Customized programs are our speciality!
We also work with colleges and universities to develop and deliver study abroad programs and volunteer clinical experiences for medical, nursing and PA students.
With over 35 years of experience creating award-winning programs at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, George Washington University, University of Virginia and Indiana University.
© Oaxaca Cultural Navigator LLC, 2007-2014We give permission to reuse the content on this blog, including excerpts, photos and links only when full and clear credit is given to Norma Hawthorne, Oaxaca Cultural Navigator LLC along with a link to the original content. Thank you for being respectful of this request. --Norma Hawthorne