How Do You Feel About Mexico?
What are your true feelings about our southern neighbor?
Posted Jan 17, 2019
A few months ago I went to the border with Mexico and I personally spoke to about 30 or 40 border patrol agents and I asked them if they had ever crossed into Mexico, which is just a few yards away? Not one of them had ever been there. One of them said why do I need to go to Mexico? The second one said there’s nothing of interest to me in Mexico. The third one said we have everything we need right here why cross the border? Another one said I would be afraid to go there because I might be recognized by some of the people I arrested. I asked others if they even crossed over to get a good taco or have a nice cold Cerveza? And they didn’t seem to understand why someone would care about going to the country that hugs our southern border
So my husband and I decided to come to Mexico for two months just to give another point of view about Mexico and Mexicans. We have been to various parts of Mexico many times before but the longest stay was a few weeks and this time we had a few months to go deeper.
We started out in Oaxaca because we wanted to go to the festival of radishes, where people sculpt unbelievably complex scenes of life out of large radishes. What was most touching was that many of the sculptors, who of course were artists, were people who sold tacos in the street or students or stay at home moms or folks who worked in sanitation or tended their fields.
We connected to a collectivo driver, a man who goes back-and-forth every day taking up to five people in his rather run down cab. We loved him instantly and hired him to take us to out-of-the-way places and ruins that people don’t seem to know about. Instead of sitting and waiting in his cab while we wandered through ancient Zapotec palaces and ball courts, he asked if he could come with us and he photographed all the information panels and recorded a video message to the president of the municipality to ask him to improve the signage and the roads.
At the end of the day he insisted on bringing his wife and six kids to meet us, and he made a blessing ceremony on the sidewalk in front of our Airbnb to thank us and ensure our safe journey.
In Yucatan we went to a religious festival in Tizimin. Tourism there is in its infancy, and locals were anxious to help us and usher us to the front of the line. No one ever groused when we asked if we could photograph them. Even when I asked a matador about ethical and humane issues relating to bullfighting he was thoughtful and respectful and not at all macho.
If you have been to Mexico or have Mexican friends I invite you to post your feelings. we can’t just stand by and remain silent while Mexicans and folks from other Central American countries are being so maligned and insulted.