Photo Credit: Courtesy of @ayebonk
The Black Expat Mexico: 'I Relocated My Company, And Now Business Is Booming'
Atlanta native Kendrick Little took a big hit in his media company, once the pandemic struck. As a full-time photographer and videographer, most of his 2020 bookings were canceled or postponed due to capacity limitations, or people cancelling events all together.
Rather than let the year go by without making that income, he took the leap and transferred everything to Mexico. The crazy part is, it was also his first time leaving the country.
“I was literally out of a job,” Kendrick told Travel Noire. “Things were set to reopen in Atlanta in late April, but I still wasn’t 100% comfortable and didn’t feel well informed on what was happening. So I started researching places that were accepting Americans.”
In that research, Kendrick found that Mexico was allowing American travelers to enter its borders. He immediately started looking for villas or other places that he could stay long term, on Airbnb.
He came across a 2-bedroom villa in Tulum for around $1300 for the entire month. In his opinion, it was a great deal, so he booked it.
“I just wanted a mental break from everything changing so fast. I went to Tulum at the beginning May. At that time, the area was still pretty shut down, but I was able to explore the area more. I fell in love with Playa Del Carmen, and wanted to move there next.”
Kendrick’s move to Playa del Carmen happened right around the time of George Floyd’s murder. Seeing that, on top of the things happening to protesters in Atlanta, made Kedrick realize that he wasn’t ready to go back.
“The contrast in reality of where I was, compared to that in my hometown made me ask “why would I go back?””
Instead, Kendrick booked a flight back to Atlanta to pack up all of his photography and videography equipment. What he couldn’t fit into a suitcase, he had shipped. He was going to make things work in his new home.
He went on Facebook marketplace and found a villa in Playa Del Carmen. He signed a 1-year lease without hesitation. He knew that he could live a much better life in Mexico, than what he was living in the States.
“I joined up with the founder of the Facebook group, Black in Tulum,” he said. “I started offering services to members of the group, and before I knew it, business was pouring in. I was shocked.”
As one of the few Black photographers and videographers in the area, Kendrick has found that travelers feel more comfortable booking someone who looks like them, and who can relate. People are willing to pay full price, too.
“I haven’t had to bend or fold on my worth here. I definitely plan to build a more permanent home base here, and then possibly travel internationally for job opportunities, too.”
Living in Playa Del Carmen has been a great move. He is literally half way between Cancun and Tulum, and is able to get to either place in around 45-minutes. This has also opened up his clientele across the area.
“I love my life in Playa,” he said. “It’s affordable and there’s reliable internet.”