All Mexicans who live in Omaha and its surrounding areas who plan to visit Mexico for the holidays
should be aware of the “Paisano Guide,” a free booklet that is distributed at the Mexican consulate so that
they can have some valuable information that will help them have a safe stay.
This is part of The Paisano Program (PP), which was created to protect the Mexicans who live in the
United States and who will be traveling to Mexico.
The PP is currently experiencing its high season due to the end of the year December holidays, which is
why it’s being heavily promoted so that as many Mexican people as possible can get the guide.
The PP was created back in 1989 by the National Migration Institute, which is in charge of controlling
migration flows, in order to guarantee national security. On that note, the Institute created the Paisano
Program to eradicate mistreatment, theft, corruption and abuse of authority of Mexican authorities
towards their fellow nationals who returned to Mexico.
The Paisano Program consists of installing several information booths so that migrants know about their
rights while inside of the Mexican territory. They’re also distributing the free “Paisano Guide,” providing
the information people need in case of a complaint so that they can present it at said information booths.
Now 29 years after its creation, the program has not managed to completely eradicate the bribing culture
of some paisanos, on top of the corruption of some government officials and police officers – but it is a fact
that cases have gone down in numbers.
This is corroborated in the many reports that Mexican authorities have shared: “During the Semana Santa
operation and over the summer we didn’t have many complaints filed, only a few numbers really, and
some are due to administrative procedures, but numbers are definitely very low, so we hope that during
the Christmas and New Year’s operation complaints are minimal or that we don’t get any of them at all.”
We must highlight that the Paisano Program has been permanently implemented and that it does not only
run during the three strong vacation seasons: Semana Santa, the summer and December. It is during
said periods that 95% of the people that participate become involved, without pay, motivated by being
able to welcome visitors in a dignified and respectful way, according to the authorities of the Paisano
Program with their headquarters in Chicago, Illinois.
As mentioned by said authorities, the call center for the Paisano program receives a substantial number
of calls from Iowa and Omaha, which account for roughly 2% of all calls.
As for the Paisano Guide, it is issued every year and made available to all at no cost. It highlights the
rights and obligations of migrants, covering different topics to serve as a proper guide before, during and
even after someone has entered Mexico, solving many of the questions someone might have on issues
such as importing vehicles, paying taxes, the amount of cash someone can being when entering the
county, to name some examples.
The program is linked to a wide range of agencies that provide services to travelers, which establish
different benefits such as guaranteeing better protection for people, a boost in tourism, more exports, and
investments and having an overall better experience, allowing people to easily present a complaint if
something goes wrong.
Because of this, El Perico newspaper wants to encourage Mexicans to use this free program that their
country is offering, which is in effect all year long, to have a safe trip to Mexico.
For more information on the Paisano Program, call 1877-210.9469 or visit the Paisano Program website.