Saturday, May 1, 2010

Perceptions of Mexico

I’ve never been to Mexico, so I have no idea what it actually is like, in the tourist areas or in the real parts.

I do, however, get a very different perception of Mexico from Honduras than I ever got from the US. In the US, I feel like Mexico is always portrayed as a third world country, very similar to Central America. Everyone is poor and everyone just wants to sneak across the border into the US. There are beaches and resorts, but those are just filled with Americans and the cities are dirty and dangerous and you’re likely to be kidnapped.

From Honduras, the view is completely different. Mexico is a modern, western country, very similar to the US. All the streets are paved. The people are stylish and live in big suburban houses, or chic urban lofts. And despite the veneration of the US as the ‘land of opportunity’, a lot of people would rather go to Mexico.

Mexico obviously has a thriving film/TV industry, as a good portion of the TV channels and programs are based in Mexico (Venezuela and Argentina making up the other non-US foreign contributors). It even dates back pretty far, there is a Mexican TCM type channel with black and white Mexican movies that look like vintage Hollywood films.

I definitely understand why Mexico is seen in a better light here. Mexico is a more accessible country. Everyone speaks Spanish, making it easier to get around. The government isn’t immediately suspicious of you, assuming you’re an illegal immigrant just because you have darker skin. There even seem to be jobs.

Maybe I’m wrong, but it’s just an observation I’ve had. I welcome anyone’s comments about their own perceptions of the Mexico, from the US or abroad.

1 comment:

  1. Pam Ochs-SandbergMay 2, 2010 at 6:11 PM

    I'll be amazed if this comment actually shows up somewhere as I am one of those people having trouble posting comments,regardless of Nicki's instructions. Anyway, as a person who has been to Mexico several times, I don't see it as 3rd world country, but a very large, interesting place with many unexplored places just waiting for adventurous travelers like myself.