Mexico should be a land of infinite possibilities. It has almost every climatic and topographical region found on the planet; there is a wealth of natural resources and the greatest of these has always been its population.
The people who live in this country are strong and hardworking. They are loyal and love their families. With such ease they create achingly beautiful art, music, colour, dance and delicious food. Yet many are poorly educated. Their familial alliances are often severed by poverty and circumstances. Their unique culture is not respected – and too easily, the essential parts of the national identity can be corrupted and diminished.
The politicians of ‘the free world’ are very quick to condemn Mexico for being the corridor through which drugs are shipped to the north. Do they ask themselves why the drugs need to go there? They’re also very judgmental of Latin American politics. Why do we tolerate this attitude? We have enough to deal with.
The lifestyle of the majority of Mexican families is just high enough to deter serious civil unrest but not good enough to allow sustained material, social or emotional growth. For those with means, living in Mexico is like being set loose in the candy store. For the poor, it is like standing outside, and looking through the window of that same shop.
Yet I have seen remarkable examples of faith and fortitude. Despite all the manipulation, the local and foreign interests have never managed to completely capture and cage the spirituality of the millions. The ancient ways are still alive.
It’s hard to understand how this culture prevails. The means of survival are beyond their experience…Sublime stories passed from father to son and secrets whispered between women as they prepare the mid-day meals… the nursery songs and children’s games… annual festivities and fervent devotion to traditions. Through these seemingly naïve folkways, the age old values are passed on.
Have you heard the term, La Raza? La Raza can trace its roots to the same time period as the early American civil rights movement. Singer Joan Baez and agricultural workers’ activist, Cesar Chavez were two of the movement’s earliest supporters.
La Raza – The Race, is certainly a term open to very broad interpretation. It is often used by tough-looking street kids looking for a descriptive moniker. But in truth it’s a symbol of Mexico’s cultural identity. It not only encompasses diverse ethnicity but also fierce allegiance and pride. If a way to positively spread the strength of La Raza was put in motion, you’d see mountains move. However, La Raza is yet a sleeping giant.”
Except for the last three, the photographs were taken by my son Carlos.