Cuban migrant Valeria speaks at a press conference in the city of Tapachula, state of Chiapas (Mexico), August 31 2023. EFE/Juan Manuel Blanco. EFE/Juan Manuel Blanco

Tapachula (Mexico) (EFE).-

A new wave of Cuban migrants who arrived at Mexico’s southern border with Guatemala are finding jobs in local strip clubs, bars and traditional cantinas.

Antonio Armas, manager of the Marinero Men’s Club, told EFE with that since the first increase in Cuban migration to Tapachula, a border city with Guatemala, over five years ago, migrants have been working in these establishments while they go through the asylum and migration process to regularize their stay.

“About 98% of those who have worked in this establishment are Cubans, we have had one or two Venezuelans, and some who live here are Hondurans,” the businessman said.

In the month of August alone, at least 150 people worked in this strip club, many of them passing through on their way to Mexico.

Valeria, a 30-year-old Cuban migrant, works on commission at El Marinero while in Tapachula, to pay for her rent, food, services, and immigration procedures.

She is even able to send about 1,500 pesos ($88) a week to her family in Cuba.

“My goal is to go to the United States, I’m going to Texas and I want to work there and this job serves me as a foundation. Here we learn a lot so later I can work there and help my family in Cuba and take them out of the country. I was studying nursing before I came but I dropped out,” the woman said.

Antonio Armas , manager the Marinero strip club, speaks at a press conference in the city of Tapachula, state of Chiapas (Mexico). , August 31 2023. EFE/Juan Manuel Blanco


Cuba is the third country with the highest number of asylum requests, according to the Mexican Commission for Refugee Aid.

The commission registered a record of nearly 88,000 requests in the first seven months of 2023, of which 7,462 were from Cuban nationals.

Natasha, who works attending costumers, is among the Cubans who have come to work in Tapachula.

She arrived at Mexico’s southern border two weeks ago and says she can work safely in a cabaret here, even though she is a migrant.

“I decided to come to this country even though Cuba is a good and peaceful country, but the economic situation is not the best,” she said.

The young woman graduated in epidemiology in Cuba, but migrated to Mexico to cross into the United States, halting for a few months to regularize her migration process so she can continue her journey.

“I wanted to come to Mexico to help my family and get ahead, Mexico is very good. I want to go to the United States, but if Mexico opens its doors to me, I will stay,” she said.


Armas, the club manager who is also a member of the Association of Establishments and Entertainment of Tapachula, said that the initiative to support migrants was born because they had many Guatemalan, Honduran and Salvadoran workers.

Now, with the Cuban wave, he said that they are trying to provide “dignified employment,” by which he means he pays a salary and an “appropriate commission.

The businessman said that about 80% of the family bars in Tapachula employ foreigners as cooks, waiters and other customer service positions. EFE jmb/ics (foto)(video)

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