Thoughts on our visit to Mexico

Posted by Dominic on Monday, December 12th, 2005

So ultimately, what do Mexicans think of America? After a week blessed with the good fortune of talking with Luis, local arts organizer Karen Alamo, many local families, business owners, and folks from the hard side of Jaurez, one thing seems clear. Most Mexicans we talked with speak with a fondness for the US and its opportunities yet despise the second-class treatment they get both at home and in America. Despite the border tough talk by the US government, Mexicans seem to feel that they have become a necessity to the US economy. American talks tough and then looks the other way when affordable labor cushions its lifestyle.

The economics on the Juarez side while upscale compared to many other Mexican regions are still but a shadow to what exists just a mile away in El Paso. Many locals have come from all over Mexico lured by the promise of jobs in the Juarez maquiladora factories and life in the US. For many Juarez becomes a low-paying dead end as they move to the affordable and sometimes violent parts of west Juarez. Over the years, many area women have disappeared and been killed creating a climate of speculation and fear.

For most the only option remaining is escaping to life in the US. They will leave behind their homes, their families and risk everything to live in a place where they are both needed and despised.

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