McALLEN, RGV – The declining value of the Peso against the Dollar has been good for some but bad for others.

It has been good for maquila plants because they tend to purchase raw materials in Mexico with dollars. It has been bad for retail stores and restaurants in border cities like McAllen because Mexican visitors are having to pay more. So, some are not crossing into the United States to shop or eat.

Charles Marina
Charles Marina

In an effort to help its local stores and restaurants, the McAllen Chamber of Commerce has started a campaign called Tu Peso Vale Mas (Your Peso is Worth More). Under this program, stores and restaurants effectively offer their goods or services at a better rate for Mexican visitors. In return the McAllen Chamber has agreed to market the campaign heavily in Reynosa.

Charles Marina, chairman of the McAllen Chamber, spoke about the Tu Peso Vale Mas/Your Peso is Worth More campaign at a McAllen Economic Development Corporation board meeting last Thursday.

“We are trying to make the difference between the peso and the dollar more palatable. We are asking businesses to display stickers. We will advertise in Mexico so the Mexican shoppers will look for this decal. It lets them know if they shop at these businesses you get a discount,” said Marina, who is also president of First American Realty Company of McAllen.

“If the peso is being traded at 18 to one and that is what it is being advertised at the McAllen Chamber, the stores will agree to honor at 17 to one or less. This is a temporary thing. We will be curious to see how it works. For those businesses that participate, they will get advertised on radio and in print media. We think this is a good start to try to promote our stores and bring back the Mexican shopper.”

The McAllen Chamber wrote to retail businesses in McAllen to ask if they would participate in the program. Marina handed out copies of the letter at the McAllen EDC meeting. The letter states:

Dear Business Community,

The Mexican peso has had a significant devaluation which causes a momentous impact on the pockets of Mexican shoppers who tend to traditionally visit our city. The effects are impacting various industries from trades to restaurants and hospitality.

In order to lessen the impact on the Mexican consumer and attract more tourists to our city, we invite you to participate in a new program called “Your Peso is Worth More Here.” This program will be promoted by the McAllen Chamber of Commerce. The proposed program is intended to have local businesses accept pesos at a similar value to less than the quote offered based on the exchange rate listed on our Chamber website,

For example, if the Chamber website is showing the Mexican peso trade exchange rate at 18 pesos per one dollar, businesses in our program will accept pesos at the exchange rate 17 pesos per dollar, in order to increase the value of the peso in McAllen.

All participating businesses will be listed in printing advertising, radio and all aspects of media advertising to promote your business. Every participating business will be given special decal to identify them as a program participant. The decal should be displayed on a window or door of the business.

Under this program, customers will pay with pesos or with their Mexican credit card, but in the case of credit cards, a six percent discount will be deducted from the total purchase cost before the credit card is charged. It is important to note that to participate in this program businesses are required to sign an agreement with the McAllen Chamber of Commerce, in turn the Chamber promises to respect this agreement for a period of three months, from March 1, 2016, to May 31, 2016.

Please feel free to contact Blanca Cardenas if you have any questions or concerns, at (956) 682-2871. If you are interested in participating in this initiative, please sign the agreement below and fax or email: Attention Blanca Cardenas, (956) 631-8571 or [email protected]

The McAllen Chamber has also issued a news release in Spanish about the Tu Peso Vale Mas campaign. It is titled “McAllen Lanza Programa en Apoyo a Visitantes y Compradores Mexicanos” and came out on March 17. It states:

La nueva iniciativa ‘Tu Peso Vale Más’ les ofrecerá un tipo de cambio preferencial.

Debido a la reciente devaluación que ha sufrido el peso, el turismo y las compras en la ciudad de McAllen por parte de Mexicanos ha disminuido considerablemente. En apoyo a esta situación, la Cámara de Comercio de esta ciudad ha lanzado una nueva iniciativa llamada: “Tu peso vale más,” que permitirá a los Mexicanos realizar sus compras en pesos y beneficiarse con un tipo de cambio preferencial.

Steve Ahlenius, presidente de la Cámara de Comercio de McAllen, explicó las diferentes modalidades del programa: “Algunos de los negocios locales y minoristas tomarán como base el tipo de cambio oficial publicado en la página web de la asociación (, para luego ofrecer a sus clientes un ahorro de un peso por dólar en sus compras, pagando en pesos mexicanos. Mientras que aquellas tiendas que por política no puedan aceptar pesos, recibirán el pago con cualquier tarjeta de crédito mexicana, brindando un descuento del seis por ciento a los descuentos que tradicionalmente ofrecen los negocios a los compradores”.

Se trata de una iniciativa sin precedentes que reafirma el interés y solidaridad de la Cámara de Comercio y sus negocios afiliados con las familias Mexicanas. El programa estará vigente hasta el dia 31 de Mayo del 2016 y se espera que este programa a beneficie a miles de mexicanos que visitarán McAllen durante de este periodo.

Los comercios participantes mostrarán en sus puertas o fachadas esta imagen oficial del programa:

Actualmente, esta es la lista de las tiendas y comercios participantes. Se actualizará constantemente y podrá ser consultada en la página oficial de la Cámara de Comercio de McAllen.

La Plaza Mall (Pago con tarjeta de credito)

Best Buy Mobile
Coach Store
Claire’s Icing
Macy’s (Agregara descuentos adicionales)
The Jewelry Box
Portillo Jewelers – Acepta pesos
Samuels Jewelry
Aida                                                                                                                                                                                                 JC Penney
Call It Spring

Centro de McAllen (Acepta pesos)
EI Rey de los Perfumes/Perfume King
Karina’s Boutique
EI Pastor Grill
The Perfume Store
Plaza de Oro y Diamantes
C.P.R. Cell Phone Repair
Beall’s – McAllen
Shangri-La Jewelry
Oro Americana and Perfumes
Royal Fashion House