Downtown McAllen shops are accustomed to seeing swarms of customers during Semana Santa, but this year’s turnout didn’t meet the standards of years past.

“The Semana Santa, the store would be packed,” said veteran worker in the downtown McAllen area Cesar Garcia. “Sometimes there would be occasions where they would have to close the door. It used to be crazy.”

In January, the city of McAllen faced a boycott when Reynosa residents, angry with President Trump’s plan to build a new border wall, launched the social media campaign #AdiosMcAllen.

At the same time, the peso reached its lowest level ever with a value of over 21 pesos to the U.S. dollar.

McAllen resident Tilfred Farley noticed the difference in numbers while shopping in the downtown McAllen area. 

“We need the Mexican shoppers here,” Farley said. “They really help our economy.”

In an effort to attract more Mexican national shoppers, McAllen spent $270,000 to launch the first phase of their own campaign dubbed “Amigos Always”.

Some Reynosa shoppers feel the campaign is welcoming.

“I really like it, how it’s hinting at not discriminating and treating us Mexican nationals well here in the area, especially since at one point this was a part of Mexico too,” said Reynosa shopper Berenice Jimenez.

Still, some employees from the downtown McAllen area said they’re still not seeing the numbers they used to see in years past.

“Honestly it’s not the same,” Garcia said. “Before it used to be super packed, the holidays, even in the summer. Ever since the dollar went up, it’s been slower, especially around this, Semana Santa.”

City officials said the “Amigos Always” campaign is in its first phase–the next phase will include billboards in both McAllen and on the other side of the border.

The city of McAllen does not have the official numbers of international visitors since their campaign signs went up in February. Results are expected to be released next week.