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Showing Respect in Mexico

Showing Respect in Mexico:  We are in the season of cheer and joy in Puerto Vallarta and there is much to celebrate but for some, death arrives to put a damper of the fiestas. As foreigners, what can we do to understand and be of any comfort?

Our first year in Puerto Vallarta, we visited a family member of a friend at the hospital. Showing respect, as we would have back home, we brought a bouquet of flowers. They were quickly and discreetly whisked away and it was explained later that in Mexico, one doesn’t bring flowers to the hospital, as that could be a bad omen. Flowers are reserved for funerals and it should be noted, the more flowers surrounding a casket indicate the family’s high regard.

Mexicans accept death as a part of life in a way that we from outside the borders are not accustomed to, yet it’s a healthier was to teach children, and not shield them from grief. Mexicans see grieving as a natural process of life. Family and friends spend time with the corpse before burial and it’s not unusual for them to keep a body in the home for up to 48 hours in a simple coffin or shroud. Communion with the departed is of great importance, as is choosing objects to be sent with them on their journey to the next realm. It would be normal to see an expensive bottle of tequila, for example, in the coffin, along with personal articles, such as a hair brush, dominoes, photos of those left behind, and other sentimental things.

If you attend the velorio (wake), you have an opportunity to bring flowers. You can also bring food to share, as the family is likely to have members from outside Puerto Vallarta staying overnight and sometimes for several days. Cash is always a welcome gift, as funerals are expensive in any country. You don’t have to stay for long but in Puerto Vallarta, showing up at avelorio is the best sign of respect you can possibly pay. Candles are a big deal at velorios, so you might consider bringing them as gifts. They burn all night and are placed carefully at the specific corners of the coffin. Novenas are said for nine days following burial, to ensure a safe journey for the traveler.

Day of the Dead is a time for the departed to return to visit and they are welcomed and enticed by their favorite foods and mementoes.

It’s good to know the customs of any country one visits to avoid faux pas such as ours with the flowers.

Que es cómo es.


About Boardwalk Realty Vallarta:

Here are a few of our guiding principals at Boardwalk Realty:

“First of all, we really want to get to know you,”   When we know you, we can tailor home tours to your tastes.”

Secondly, there’s the legal side of owning in Mexico. “Besides our own experience, we can save you a lot of time and money by offering you complimentary consultations with our partner attorneys.  The nuances of how you buy here can save you a lot of money when you sell. It’s important to know what you’re doing on the purchase so that when you sell you can best use any tax advantages. This service is free to our clients and can be invaluable.”

Both partners agree that the most important element of Boardwalk Realty is our ongoing service and commitment to our clients after the sale.  We are both passionate about protecting the investment and security of our clients.  “Our clients become our friends, we see them socially, and we treat them as we would like to be treated ourselves”, adds Mike.

Boardwalk Realty Puerto Vallarta represents buyers and sellers of real estate in the entire Bay of Banderas area, and will soon add a rental and property management division.

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