By ESTEVAN MEDRANO
Port Isabel-South Padre Press
On the heels of the momentum brought in by Spring Break comes one of Mexico’s most significant holidays, Semana Santa — or Holy Week — which occurs from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday. The week-long holiday typically draws a sizeable tourist crowd, and thousands are expected to funnel over the Queen Isabella Memorial Causeway to celebrate on South Padre Island. In anticipation, the Island has planned a myriad of concerts, shopping hotspots and community activities in hopes of continuing the financial prosperity of the past few weeks. How much financial gain the Island and the rest of South Texas can reap may be impacted by the strength of the Mexican peso which has fallen in recent years.
The peso reached a six-year low against the U.S. dollar in March. The slumping currency is blamed on a dip in oil prices and fears of a possible upcoming spike in interest rates by the U.S. Federal Reserve in June. Though it has at one point dropped to as low as 15.63 to the dollar in early March, as is stands, the US dollar to Mexican peso exchange rate is currently hanging around 15.17, a stark contrast from 13.07 one year ago. This over 15-to-1 ratio is certainly concerning for locals being so close to such a significant tourism period.
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