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Published: April 20th 2019
In the United States, we tend to see certain types of Mexicans. The honest truth is, to most US citizens, anyone who speaks Spanish is a "Mexican." Thankfully, anyone with at least half a brain knows that not to be true.
We are getting the full immersion experience here in Lake Chapala. Both Rose and I speak Spanish, and I note that I am getting a lot more comfortable using the language. Many of the gringos here never bother to learn anything more than "buenos dias" or "gracias." They really don't have to since this is a place with a huge expat community and most of the folks in the service industry can speak passable English. I love seeing their faces light up when we respond to them in Spanish they can actually understand.
But let's get back to our question. The Mexicans we see in the United States are mostly gardeners or busboys. There are thousands of invisible farmer workers. They work with people who are like them so they can communicate. Being honest with ourselves, the USA does not attract Mexicans with the best educations or the most useful job skills. Down here, south of Guadalajara, we meet Mexicans of all stripes. If you get sick or you need your teeth cleaned, you meet a doctor or a dentist. These folks have the same education as the doctors back home. If you need medicine, you meet a highly trained pharmacist. When you go to Soriana to buy groceries, the people you meet there are just like you. You might meet a car salesman, a real estate agent or an old retired person. The cashier and the security guard live locally and they are just everyday people trying to earn a living and get ahead. You will meet tradesmen who work as plumbers, mechanics and welders. These are people who can find gainful employment in Mexico and make their lives here. They have no desire to emigrate to the US.
Mexican people are fiercely proud of their culture. They love their country just like you probably love yours. The Mexicans and other nationalities that come to the US are not in love with the idea of becoming an American. They are already Americans, even NORTH Americans. They just happen to come from a North American country called Mexico. By and large, those who come to the US are merely seeking economic advantages, and who can blame them for that? There is basically no penalty, no reason to NOT come. And when they have accumulated enough money, guess what they do. Yep, they go home. Back to the land they love, back to their families.
Do I prefer Mexicans over Americans? Not really. Most of the ones I have met are genuinely nice people with broad smiles. My point is, they are PEOPLE, just like us, just people who live in a different country. If I happened to move here permanently, it would be for the same basic reason they move north, for the economic benefits. Of course the weather here in Lake Chapala is fantastic, year 'round, no need for heating or air conditioning. Es todo. Gracias.
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