Mexicans pawn gifts to pay bills

Posted on February 6, 2008 

Mexicans pawn gifts to pay bills

For legions of cash-strapped Mexicans facing the bill for last month’s jollies, now is the time to pawn the jewels.

About 10,000 people a day have been lining up in Mexico City — and more than twice that number nationwide — at the offices of the Monte de Piedad, a 233-year-old nonprofit pawnshop that has become a national institution. Thousands more are heading for other pawnbrokers.

All told, Monte de Piedad officials expect 750,000 families nationwide to pawn something — mostly jewelry — this month. If past patterns hold, all but 4 percent of the pawned items will be reclaimed within the next 17 months.

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