AU PAIR CULTURE QUESTS
The following information is generalized and compiled from questions posed to the agents and interviewers in Mexico. Although au pairs from this country may or may not have had these experiences/beliefs, Au Pair in America wishes to share this general information with our families.
Child Care Skills
- It is common for Mexican people to take care of their siblings and cousins. It is considered natural that older children in the family take care of younger siblings.
- Preparing meals from scratch for children is very common.
- Children are taught responsibility by giving them light tasks from an early age.
- Two or more children per family is a very common occurrence.
- Mexico is a very family-oriented country. Mexicans visit other family members over holidays and weekends.
- Most Mexican applicants have a helper in their house and in some cases the helper lives with them and is like a part of the family.
- English is taught at all levels of education and knowledge of English is mandatory for most degrees.
- More privileged Mexicans often attend bilingual private schools from a very young age.
- The opportunity to improve their language skills during the Au Pair in America program is one of the reasons Mexican applicants join the program.
- The minimum age for obtaining a driver’s license in Mexico is 18, but Mexicans can obtain a driving permit at the age of 16.
- The process of obtaining the license is not long.
- Completing an exam and a driving test is required in order to obtain the license.
- In Mexico, basic education is normally divided in three steps – primary school, junior high school and high school.
- There are both public and private institutions for higher education.
- Higher education usually follows the US education model – approximately 25% will continue on to higher education.
- Healthcare in Mexico is provided via public institutions, private entities, or private physicians.
- Public healthcare delivery is accomplished via an elaborate provisioning and delivery system put in place by the Mexican Federal Government. In 2012, Mexico achieved universal healthcare.
- Residents of the United States, particularly those living near the Mexican border, now routinely cross the border into Mexico for cheaper medical procedures.
- Mexican people describe themselves as hospitable, family oriented and warm.
- Most Mexicans have very strong family ties.
- Tradition, culture and Mexican food are very important for Mexicans.
- Mexico is the 14th largest country in the world!
- The Aztecs used cacao seeds as a form of currency.
- The world’s largest pyramid is in… Mexico!
- How are you? ¿Cómo estás?
- Fine, thanks. Bien, gracias.
- My name is… Me llamo / Mi nombre es…
- Nice to meet you! ¡Qué gusto conocerte!
- Thank you. Gracias.
“It has been the greatest experience. It was all worth it, I would do it over and over again. Dare to have the time of your life!”– Denisse, au pair from Mexico
“It was a great adventure, the best two years of my life. Do it, you will never regret it!”– Monse, au pair from Mexico
“An unbelievable journey full of adventures.”– Zwryl, au pair from Mexico
“By inviting a person from another country to join our family, live with us, and learn about our culture, we actually learn so much about ourselves, how our own culture and way of life appear through the lens of someone new.”
Belle, host parent