Teresa Mendoza, a house cleaner, frequents a money transfer house in Oceanside to wire money to two family members in Puebla, Mexico.
“I know the need in Mexico and God has blessed me with my job so I am able to contribute to my family what I can,” said Mendoza while visiting the business Friday.
Nashielly Marquez was also wiring money.
“I am sending money to my aunt to help her and so she can send me some items back from Oaxaca too,” she said.
Money transfer houses remained busy during the pandemic as workers like Mendoza and Marquez sent wire transfers, known as remittances, to their families living south of the border.
Some $41 billion in remittances were wired in 2020, a historic amount despite the economic impact of the pandemic.
Domingo Ramos Medina, an economist in Tijuana, says government aid that included U.S. stimulus checks and unemployment helped many families in Mexico stay afloat during quarantine.
“2020 was a historic year for remittances and it has to do with the government aid that helped workers [in the U.S.] who then sent money to their families in Mexico,” he said.
Ramos said that since the majority of families in Mexico hold informal jobs, there is no type of unemployment or insurance available to them. Therefore they rely on help from their families in the U.S.
By Tania Thorne