The New Tribes of Miami: Mexicans
Mexicans are another fastgrowing Latin tribe. “It’s a group that’s tripled in number in the last three years,” says architect David de la Garza, owner and principal of the firm Zurdo DGS, who works between Monterrey, Mexico, and Miami. The Mexican rich have traditionally hopped across the border to San Antonio and Houston in order to take cover from short-term security scares back home. Now, Mexicans see no end to the drug wars that are ravaging their country and are looking to move out for good, with their families. And they are choosing Miami rather than closer-by Texas cities.
“For a Mexican, Houston and San Antonio are very different propositions to Miami,” says Jorge Uribe, senior vice president of ONE Sotheby’s International Realty in Miami. “Texas is an old society. A Mexican would never feel he can belong there. But if a Mexican showed up in Miami, within two seconds he’d have a ton of friends. In the [past] 12 months, I can count 10 significantly rich Mexican families from the technology, energy, and consumer goods industries who have come to live here. These are people who own their businesses and traditionally visited on holiday. That they want to live here is good for Miami because they stay year-round, hire staff, donate to the arts, and eat out.” A key ambition once they arrive in Miami is to send their children to the right schools—Gulliver Schools, Ransom Everglades School, and Carrollton School of the Sacred Heart being tops on the list—while they shuttle to and from Mexico running their businesses.
As for the social circuit, Mexicans have been slow to emerge, preferring for now to keep a low profile, lest they give undue notice to their affluence back home. “But Art Basel has been a lure, even before they invest in property here. Art serves as a presentation card, and when Mexicans emerge on the scene, it’s likely in this arena,” says de la Garza.