"So far away from God.. said Porfirio Diaz" Mexico City by cochinjew

Mexico City Travel Guide: 2,188 reviews and 4,553 photos

A Cultural Anthropologist's Dream

During my very pleasant stay in this city just leading to the New Years Eve 2007, which was spent in Merida, I was constantly reminded of the structural violence against the poor and the marginalized and especially the Indians
January 1, 1994 two things happened and one has something to do with the other, I am certain
NAFTA was signed. as a result you can see more McDos, Walmart, etc in Mexico
Mexicos first uprising in decades, by the indigenous peoples whose leaders asked on 18 january 1994: who must ask for pardon and who can grant it?
why do we have to be pardoned? what are we going to be pardoned for? Of not dying of hunger? Of not being silent in our misery? or not humbly accepting our historic role of beign ethe despised and the outcast?... Of having demonstrated to the rest of the country and the entire world that human dignity still lives, even among some of the world's poorest peoples?

In chiapas, 14 500 people die a year, the highest death rate in the country. What causes most of these deaths? Curable diseases: respiratory infections, gasteroenteritis, parasites, malaria, scabies, breakbone fever, tuberculosis, conjuctivitis, typhus, cholera and measles. This declaration of the Zapatists further noted that all fo this misery was expanding right under the noses of tourists and others who visited the region: "while there are seven hotel rooms for every 1000 tourists, there are 0.3 hospital beds for every 1,000 chiapans"
Mexico is one of the more interesting c.ountries in the world to visit. In this period of ecological consciousness and political consciousness understanding the structural violence would enhance your enjoyment of this country of multiple indian cultures, people drawn from all over the world.
Mexico City and violence is mentioned in the same breath. Were the mexicans always so violent? No way. Ex President Lopez Portillo (this has something to do with Cancun?) building a palace in Spain, Carlos Gortari taking his billions to Ireland, Vicente Fox of Coca Cola frame having refurbished his mansions with gold and silver. Tell me who is violent? the taxi driver who robbed you ? or every single official from mayors of small towns to the President who rob the people of Mexico?
Having said that, the personal violence in Mexico City is grossly exaggerated in the foreign press. True there are about 20 assaults per day in the taxis in Mexico City where over 1.5 million people take taxis per day. But tourists are more vulnerable than Mexicans who intuitively take preventive steps. Tourists can do the same. If you are a cheapskate tourist, trying to cheat the locals or live like the locals, you can expect the same sort of violence against them.
I felt very comfortable during my three day stay there. I took authorized taxis, which can work out to be 100 per cent more expensive, but the sense of security is well worth it. Coyuacan is safe, but the trip there needs a little planning. Polanco is boring but safe, the bohemian suburb of Condessa is safe. The only annoyance I had was that the safety issue did not permit to indulge in the gastronomic experiences i would have liked.

Frida Kahlo as a Metaphor for Pobre Mexico

Union of Europe and Indigenous
Wilhelm Kahlo, a jewish photographer from Austro-hungarian empire was her father.
Like the majority of the Mexicans, she inherited the looks of her indian ancestors.

Mexico is unique among all the American countries in that it is the country, its towns and villages where you can feel the pulse of the culture, whether it is the architecture (new or old), dress, food, music or street life

Mexico is defiant: The French army found out when they were routed by peasants and villagers with no army training but wanted to protect Mexico from foreign intervention
The North Americans (Yanquis) tried twice and were defeated.
Cardenas and the nationalization of Petroleum Industry
UK found out the hard way that Mexicans were intent and did nationalize their railways.

Mexico is suffering
Like the myriads of pictures of Frida, in the suffering mode, Mexico has always suffered. Individually, collectively and as a society. for no fault of their own except that they are mexicans. this continues to this day across the border to the north. One Tohono Oodham told me, early in the 20th century USA bought this piece of land from Mexico, but never consulted us who are the rightful owners of this land, it did not belong to Mexico for them to sell it, and it was not up to USA to buy it..I imagine a day of no borders between these two countries and NAFTA instead of being an economic colonialism disguised as a treaty would be a true friendship and developmental partnership, much like the EU. At least this allowed the son of lebanese migrants, Carlos Slim Helu to become the richest man on earth.. That is Mexico for you..

Mexico is ingenious and adventurous. Can you imainge Frida, in her indian attire and defiant attitude and adoration of the Communist Party, travelled int eh 1930s to USA and France. Most of the mexicans I have met, from the humble labourer to the richest of the rich in the exclusive suburbs of Mexico city, they would prefer to live in Mexico if the ambience, economic and poitical permitted them. The majority of Mexicans are of Indian origin so most of the migrants are also, almost all of them are of Indian origin. I tell the North American Indians who consider the Mexicans their brothers (dont talk about illegal immigration with the native Indians, they woudl ask who are the illegal Immigrants here?).. I tell them.. these Mexican brothers of ours are all Indians,they just forgot ..

Cuba and Mexico

While JFK govt and the succeding ones twisted the hands of the majority of the governments in this hemisphere to break off diplomatic relationship with Cuba, Mexico was defiant and maintained its sisterly relationship with the island from where the conquistador Hernan Cortes had sailed in 1515. You would note the influence of cuba in the music of veracruz and also the trova of Yucatan.
Isla Holbox an isolated island now becoming popular, the olde fisherman remembers fidel Raul and Che stopping there on their way to re conquer the island from despots.
Cuba and Mexico have always maintained cordial relationships and have great intellectual respect for each other. Granted Octavio Paz, the greatest latin american intellectual was not a fan of Fidel, nor I dont thin k is Carlos Fuentes yet another candidate for the Nobel Prize.
Gabo lives in Cuernavaca as well as La Habana.
Cuernavaca is also the home of Alvaro Mutis, and his alter ego Maqroll El Gaviero.
List of Mexican writers is very impressive, as are academics in various disciplines including Anthropology. In fact Mexico apart from Argentina and a little in Brasil is the home of many anthropologists studying society from the metaphor of suffering and healing.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:One of the more interesting countries of this world
  • Cons:Suffering, neglect of the Indians, subsequent violence
  • In a nutshell:Go, plan your travel well, and dont be stingy
  • Last visit to Mexico City: Dec 2007
  • Intro Written Jan 9, 2008
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  • Laura_Mexico's Profile Photo
    Dec 29, 2007 at 7:51 PM

    Wow, you're already adding tips to your Mex City's page WHILE IN MEX CITY!? You're FAST! I hope you enjoyed your stay and saw what you wanted... and have a happy new year celeb in Yucatan! :) Salut!


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