The beautiful country with the turbulent history. You must have heard about Mexico! As a tourist you see what you would like to see, sandy beaches, blue ocean, the Mayan pyramids or the Cenotes. However, how much do you know about the society and people living there?
Mexico is divided into two various social layers. There are the wealthy and the poor. The middle class is just beginning to shape. There are huge differences between both castes. I don’t solely mean what is visible to the naked eye, during the first impression, but something more, something deeper in inhabitants’ culture. Let’s scrutinize typical stages of Mexican life.
For the youngest life is the most complex and miserable. Since the day they were born, children, who originate from poorer community, have struggled with ubiquitous hurdles. They don’t have childhood. Most of them have to combine school with work. Children have many duties after classes, such as cleaning the house, cooking dinner or feeding animals. Some of them have also part-time jobs. In many houses beating, selling for sex services or exploitation is the fact commonly encountered on the daily basis. For those fortunate who attend school it is a safe place, where they may make friends and be taken care of. At the same time their peers who come form richer groups, don’t have such troubles. They don’t have to be so scared and they possess everything the poorer can only dream of. Safety, comfort and attention is what makes such things different. However, first and foremost, they have food and love, one of the most vital values in life.
There is an enormous contrast between both groups. Some children can have any toys they would dream of and some cannot. Their rattles are made out of bottles with little stones inside and they are also used as makeshift instruments. Obviously, they are deprived of such common technological gadgets as mobile phones or computers with games, so they spend a lot of time in the open air, running, playing together and inventing miscellaneous playful activities. It might seem shocking in the 21st century that those children cannot have any access to the internet and, therefore, they are so unimaginably limited with knowledge we take for granted.
What is interesting, the state of Mexico doesn’t provide equality in educational system. High quality schools are accessible only for the rich. That is why poorer families cannot afford to send their children to such schools. It is hard to improve their standards of life if they don’t have an opportunity to learn and then find well-paid jobs in the future. It sets them forever in the group of the poor.
Accommodation and food
What about places where people live? It’s so easy to say when it comes to the wealthy. They have houses, which don’t differ from acceptable standards. However, what about the poor? Very often they don’t even have basic sanitary facilities or running water, not mentioning the place such as bathroom. They live in huts in the jungle, but also in slums. Many of them have only tent-like places without walls. They are exposed to everything what lurks in the forest, especially animal attacks. Moreover, they eat very humbly. Their diet is monotonous, staple and not very nutritious. They breed also cows, chickens and goats.
Mexico is not the safest place in the world and it poses many risks to dwellers and tourists alike. Unfortunately, this country is under power of people who manage drug cartels, which is surprising because they have democratic government. In many cities everyone has to watch out for thieves and muggers who can rob or even kill. The sounds of gunshots are common. However, the worst is that adolescents are tied down to selling drugs because it is for them a fast earning. They establish cooperation with cartels and that is what determines their future if they survive.
Mexicans celebrate All Souls’ Day as a reason for joy and pleasant memories. Families create altars, which are decorated with toys and sweets for children and tequila when it comes to the graves of the adults. Almost always they place the photo of the late person as an inseparable element of the decoration. The food, which they brought, is eaten in the cemetery. This is how families celebrate with the dead. Burial places, however, differ in terms of how much money people have. The rich have elaborately ornamented and colourful tombs. The cemeteries of the poor don’t present that style at all. Families can’t afford to buy a separate place in the graveyard. That is why, after some years, the bones are pulled out and put into the boxes. This way they have space for the next relatives. As described above there are huge differences between social layers in every aspect of life. Although Mexico may be reckoned as a dangerous place with dark sides of life, it is also a charming country. Sandy beaches and the ocean encourage tourists form all over the world. There are also magnificent monuments, mainly the Mayan remnants, such as pyramids. Moreover, three fantastic theme parks are located in Mexico, Xcaret, Xplor and Xenses, which combine entertainment with history of the previous civilisations. Each of them is different and, for sure, worth visiting. Furthermore, what is vital to try is the delicious, local food, which you will not find in any other place in the world.
Also hotels provide their guests with a high standard of accommodation. Despite the fact that inhabitants don’t live according to European standards they are fantastic, cheerful, friendly people in everyday personal contact. We can learn form them how to be happy against the odds!
There are a lot of countries that are worth visiting just for once, and, definitely Mexico is one of them!
news and pictures from Iga Sękiewicz from class 2 j, edited by Ms M. Mąkowska