The number one question I get asked by people in their 20's is this: "Scott... I just returned from a holiday in Cancun. Like.. I love it and want to live and work there. What's the first step?"
Arggggg. This is a foreign country so first thing to know is that you need to have a skill that a Mexican doesn't have. You cannot come here and be a bartender for example - unless you speak several languages.
You won't want to read this but please do... they are the facts. If you are a slender 20 something girl or guy in great shape you might find a job as an "animator" in the hotel zone. They want people that can handle a microphone, have good taste, look athletic, and preferably speak some Spanish to deal with the questions....
Imagine this... a tourist at the pool says, "can we get more towels?" YOU have to ask the Spanish speaking staff for more towels in Spanish. You better speak the lingo or the employees are going to write you off as a loser and go out of their way not to help you. You are considered as a job thief.
Many people in their 20's that come here speak only English and are Canadians, British, or American. They search for a month or two for work and finally get a job selling time share. You are guaranteed to be poorer than you thought poor could be for the first few months.
I can't say this for all people, but in general that is what happens. They tend to spend like tourists when they first arrive, meet the man (or girl) of their dreams, and blow a fortune.
A single, slender 20 something year old girl is going to immediately be propositioned by everyone she meets. It is true, if you meet the right guy at the right "level" you can wine and dine for a few months, but in experience I know that this fades quickly. Not always, but in most cases. If you meet a guy at the "wrong level" there are passport lurkers out there too waiting for you to marry them or pass over your earnings to share in the purchase of a house.
I know only a handful of cases in 8 years where things have worked out and true love developed. It is rare so be on guard! Your case is probably NOT the exception.
What's the other question I get... hmmm.. oh ya, "I met this guy and I am totally in love. We had a moonlight stroll on the beach and he loves me to death." Uh-huh. He is most likely playing "Club 52" as I call it. A different tourist every week. The goal is to get 52 in a row and he wins with his friends as being the sexiest man on earth. Ah.. P.T. Barnham once said, "A sucker is born every minute!"
Things are totally different for professionals here. I have a friend who speaks 7 languages, is from Switzerland, male and 24 years old. He certifies hotels for ISO standards. Highly polished, obviously professional, and they treat him totally differently. Mexico is a "class concious" society.
Imagine these 2 extreme scenarios:
(22 year old girl looks for job in hotel). "Like.. I wanna work here. You got any openings right now? Spanish? Ya.. I can speak a few words but it is really bad. I can be a tequila shot girl or bartender."
(22 year old girl looks for job in hotel). "Hola... thank you so much for your time [small chit chat is vital here]. I know how busy you must be and I apologize for intruding upon your schedule. My name is Elicia and I am a licenciada in Hotel Management. My specialty is Human Resources and I speak fluent English and about 80% Spanish. Your hotel has an excellent reputation and I would like to offer my services. "
Girl #1 is going to propositioned for a night on the town and promised the moon. Girl #2 they will be truly interested in and tell you whether a job opening is coming up or not (and then they will invite you to dinner... you should accept!! Socializing is vital here).
People can flame me all they want but this is truly what happens here. All this being said, there ARE cases where everything works out extrodinarily. You end up getting a job doing computer work for a company, answering emails, or you excel at Time Share. I know many people both male and female that have made a large pot of gold from these activities. Generally they are over 30. I have many Mexican friends that are married to gringo's or gringa's and all has worked out tremendously well. So I don't want to stereotype but I DO want to point out the typical things that happen.