"Their parents force them to beg for money and the children become very insistent,” Max said. “Our tourists will spend less money on the boardwalk, Calle Primera (1st Street) and at the entrance of the cruise ship terminal — if they are being bothered.”
Max, an Ensenada resident and business owner, requested his name changed for the story. “I’m very uncomfortable to see parents do this with their children.”
“They (women and children) come from several states, not necessarily from Oaxaca,” said Elsa Rebeca Mungaray Lagarda, the head of the Department of Commerce, Alcohol and Public Entertainment for the city council — as reported by the Frontera news outlet on January 11.
“Last year they came from Jalisco and Nayarit and we saw six trucks of purely women with children …. but thanks to the participation of established merchants, we have been able to learn more about the situation that we are experiencing.”
Max noticed about the same amount of children begging by the waterfront as last year, despite reports of municipal inspectors issuing fines to non-authorized vendors (some with their kids) — selling snacks in plastic bags.
“I’ve seen tourists complain about them,” Max said, “and it affects the image of our port.”
Last summer, Raquel, an Elite ’19 Yelp reviewer took a cruise down to Ensenada; she gave the Cruise Port of Ensenada a three star review. “Be prepared though, to be bombarded with pushy vendors and swarms of little children rushing and begging for money from you,” she commented in part. “Yikes! I got bad anxiety from all the madness [and] needed to do my meditation. ‘WooooooSaaaaaa’ and take a step back.”
Many of the tourists like Raquel, visit Papas and Beer on Calle Primera.
“I worked at Papas and Beer for many years,” Al said, “and there, I realized the exploitation suffered by these children. They take them in groups and release them in the streets and they always have to be with their group ready to run when the commercial inspectors seek them out in areas where tourism is concentrated.”
“Mungaray-Lagarda said that in some cases the children are not even children of the women who are selling,” Frontera reported. “Since last year, they detected several cases like this on the beach and that the trucks (with the children and women) arrive mainly in the summertime when there are more tourists.”