International Gift Giving Etiquette - Mexico

GIFT GIVING IN MEXICO* - Gift Giving Etiquette


General Guidelines

  • Gift giving is not usually a requirement in Mexican business culture. Presenting a small gift, however, will generally be appreciated as a gesture of good will.
  • If you do want to give a gift, be aware that inquiring about what he or she would like to receive as presents can be offensive.
  • If you are invited to a home, there is no obligation to bring a gift. If you would like to reciprocate, an invitation out for a meal is often appreciated.
  • If you do present a gift to your hosts, your thoughtful gesture will be appreciated. Bring candy, flowers, or a souvenir from your home region. An illustrated book about the city you represent is a good choice.
  • According to Mexican folklore, yellow flowers symbolize death, red flowers cast spells, and white flowers lift spells. Ask the florist or another Mexican for help.

Appreciated Gifts

  • items with your company's logo [for your initial visit and if appropriate]
  • a bottle of wine or scotch [for subsequent visits]
  • Expensive gifts are seldom appropriate unless a considerable degree of friendship has been established.
  • Secretaries always appreciate receiving a small but thoughtful gift such as a souvenir of your area. It's best to wait until the second or third visit and until she has become a part of your project. Expensive gifts are never appropriate.

Gifts for Children

  • It is also thoughtful to bring a small gift to any child that may be present at a home you visit. Good gift choices for children include:
  • toys associated with the United States
  • appropriate computer related software, if not available in Mexico
  • If the child is interested in sports, bring a sports team shirt or cap, preferably from your area.
  • If you're still undecided, ask your Mexican host ahead of time about his or her child's interests. Try to be indirect; again, enquiring about what others would like to receive as a present may be offensive.

Gifts to Avoid

  • Don't bring silver. Mexicans are justly proud of their silver which is among the purest in the world. Products made from it win awards world-wide.

*Mexico Consulting Group.  Mexico Business Etiquette - Gift Giving.  Executive Planet.  09 Aug. 2004 <>.

Above:  The flag of Mexico