Ant Eggs in Mexico - Wacker Chemie AG


Ant Eggs in Mexico

Alfonso Valcarce thought he knew what it was like to live in a big city. After all, for many years he had lived and worked in Barcelona, the second largest city in Spain. But in 1998 when he moved to Mexico City for WACKER, he had to get used to a whole new set of dimensions.

Alfonso Valcarce (2nd from right) and his 14-strong team in Mexico City.

More than 20 million people live in the metropolitan region of Mexico City, one of the most densely populated areas on earth. Negative side effects include air pollution and having to travel a long way just to get anywhere. Not to mention the temperamental nature of most motorists. “Mexicans are extremely feisty drivers,” says the managing director of Wacker Mexicana, “you really have to assert yourself when you’re on the roads.”

Over time, the 62-year-old has learned to love his new home. He gushes over Mexico’s breathtaking beaches, impressive mountain landscape and the dazzling colors of its plants and flowers. “Spring is the most beautiful time of year.”

WACKER has had a presence in Mexico through a subsidiary since 1972 and has grown along with the emerging market. Today Valcarce’s team is made up of 14 staff members, most of whom are chemical engineers like him. They look after an extensive region including large parts of South America, the Caribbean as well as Mexico, which on its own is four times the size of Spain. The most important customers come from the construction and personal care sectors.

Mainly chemical engineers are employed at Wacker Mexicana, which also operates a Technical Center and a WACKER ACADEMY.

The pace of life and work is more relaxed than in many European countries. “Negotiations with business partners tend to be lengthy affairs and are often rounded off with a shared meal,” explains Valcarce. And they mean “share” literally: all dishes are served at the same time and everyone helps themselves.

Occasionally, delicacies such as deep-fried locusts, fried ant eggs or raw maguey worms are served. Fortunately, Mexicans are generous hosts and aren’t offended if their guest prefers to just eat tacos and enchiladas (wraps filled with meat, fish or vegetables).

Wacker Mexicana’s headquarters and Valcarce’s place of residence are located in a well situated district of the metropolitan region called Álvaro Obregón, which lies in the southwest of the city near the university and the Olympic stadium. Since December 2012, the tenth floor of the Torre Murano Tower, an ultra-modern skyscraper with a glass facade and roof garden, has been home to the sales department, technical center and WACKER ACADEMY.

Valcarce views the market prognosis as positive. Growth in emerging-market economies is significantly higher than that of most European countries. Plus in Mexico, the largest market for Wacker Mexicana, the economy is expected to bounce back following a slump in 2013. All this means bright prospects for WACKER in the Latin American region.