Ana Isabel is the owner/president of Spanish Immersion Rincón – a Spanish language learning school based in Puerto Rico, helping ex-pats in the area learn how to speak, write, and understand Español. As part of our preparations for The Mexico Trip this February (less than a month to go!) – Ana sits down with our co-founder Amy Wees for a quick discussion on Mexico and LatAm Business Culture. And lucky for us, Ana has thrown in some basic Español lessons while we’ve got her with Amy.
Watch the fun conversation between Amy and Ana here:
Mexican Business Culture 101
As Amy and Ana Isabel mentioned repeatedly in the video, we can never assume that business practices, etiquette, and culture all over the world are the same. Even certain practices change between different states in the USA – what more with two different countries? Here are some of the differences that Amy and Ana identified in the video:
– There’s a fine line between personal and professional relationships in LatAm culture. Developing rapport with potential partners is the norm in Mexico. They will want to get to know you on a more personal level.
– For Latin Americans, there’s more to life than work and business. They are all about fun and family.
– They like to take their time – in fact, they get suspicious when you start rushing into things. So relax, have a cup of coffee, and trust that things will fall into place at the perfect time.
– A lot of their businesses are family-owned. Family will always be their number 1 priority. Family members are involved in their business from the Abuela down to their distant cousins.
– Wages are lower because of Mexico’s lower cost of living – not because their products are cheap in quality. On the contrary, most local products are very carefully made. Again, Mexicans and other Latin Americans like to take their time, sometimes to ensure that everything is perfect – even at work.
Basic Spanish Words and Phrases
Did you know that Spanish is the second most-spoken native language in the world? Spanish is spoken in 20 countries, by around 500M people. Majority of Mexicans speak Spanish as their native language – in fact, only 12% of Mexicans can speak and understand English.
As we step foot in Mexico, it is our responsibility as visitors to familiarize ourselves with basic words and phrases in their native tongue. We wouldn’t expect The Mexico Trip participants to speak Spanish fluently – but knowing a few simple greetings will go a long way. Remember what we said about developing rapport? Showing your effort in understanding their language will score well in relationship-building.
Here are some basic Spanish words and phrases that you can practice before you join The Mexico Trip in February:
– Saludos/ Buenas – Greetings
– Buenos días – Good morning
– Buenas tardes – Good afternoon
– Buenas Noches – Good evening / Good night
– Cómo se llama usted?- What’s your name?
– Me llamo Amy – My name is Amy
– Soy de Texas – I’m from Texas
– Mucho gusto! – Pleased to meet you!
– Encantado(masc)/ encantada(fem) – Delighted to meet you.
– Cómo está usted? – How are you?
– Bien gracias. Y usted? Fine, thanks. And you?
– Bienvenida/ o – Welcome
– Hasta luego – So long (see you later)
– Hasta mañana – See you tomorrow
– Hasta pronto – See you soon
– Adiós – Good-bye
And here’s a sample dialogue with a few phrases you might encounter on the trip:
Amy: Hola, soy Amy, la co-creadora de The Mexico Trip. Hello, my name is Amy, the co-creator of The Mexico Trip.
Mario: Encantado! Tambien es de los Estados Unidos? Nice to meet you! Are you from the USA as well?
Amy: Sí, soy de Texas.Yes, Im from Texas
Mario: Bienvenida a Mexico! Es usted vendedora de Amazon? Welcome to Mexico! Are you an Amazon seller?
Amy: Sí, entre otras cosas! Jajaja…. Yes, amongst other things!… hahahaha
Mario: Pues nosotros somos los propietarios de Industrias Azteca, la conoce? Well, we are the owners of Azteca Industries, are you familiar with it?
Amy: No, pero quisiera saber más a cerca de sus compañía y de sus productos! No, but I would love to learn more about your company and about your products!
Mario: Que bueno! Mañana tenemos una mesa en el LATAM Expo!
Por favor venga a visitarnos! That’s great! Tomorrow we will have a table at the LATAM Expo! Please stop by to see us!
Amy: Claro que sí! Allí estaré! Absolutely! I will be there!
Mario: Un placer conocerle! Lo siento, ya me tengo que ir. It was a pleasure meeting you! I apologize, I have to go.
Amy: Igualmente, encantada! Hasta mañana! Likewise, delighted to meet you! See you tomorrow.
We love learning foreign languages. It’s fun, educational, and again, builds rapport with our hosts. We hope our crash course in Spanish words and phrases will be helpful come February. But don’t worry, because we’ve figured out how to bridge the communication gap between us and our new friends. Like the 2022 Mexico Trip, there will be translators present within the vicinity of The Mexico Trip every day to help us communicate with the locals.
Well – it looks like we’re all set! If you’ve been following our blogs, we’ve posted a variety of topics to help us prep for the big event. We’ve discussed what we’ve learned from the previous trip. We’ve shared an inspiring sourcing story. We’ve also talked about unique Mexican practices on popular holidays. Check them out as we all prepare for this massive sourcing opportunity we’ve got waiting for us in Mexico!
We’re just so excited. It’s going to be epic! If you haven’t signed up for The Mexico Trip yet – lucky for you, we still have a few tickets. Sign up here before it’s too late.