Mexican Earthquakes, Resilience, and a Dog Named Frida

Today, 19 September 2021, marking the 36th anniversary of the devastating 1985 Mexico City earthquake. Unfortunately, Mexicans have another, more recent seismic event on their minds, as well. But despite the jarring coincidence of a second major earthquake rattling the city on the exact same date, the 2017 Puebla earthquake presents a different kind of story than that of a disaster made worse by government inaction and ineptitude. It’s a story of courage, hope, and resilience. And the face of that story is a heroic dog named Frida.

Frida the rescue dog. Photo by Gobierno de la Ciudad de México, CC BY 4.0 

On Mexican Courage and Resilience in the Face of Disaster

Any earthquake is, of course, a huge tragedy for those who lose loved ones and/or homes. And the sensation of feeling the Earth below you shaking or the building you’re in swaying is pretty nerve-wracking, let alone witnessing entire concrete buildings collapsing to the ground! So the stories of people rushing in to try to help instead of running in the opposite direction in search of safety says so much about the nature of the many chilangos who did just that during the 2017 earthquake, a 7.1 quake, whose epicenter was determined to be just outside San Felipe Ayutla, Puebla, by the US Geological Survey.

Diego Luna says he was inspired by seeing Mexicans running into the danger zone to help:

A reporter from the Dallas Daily News also documented the resilience and solidarity of the Mexican people in the face of disaster and hardship, highlighting how a new generation of young Mexicans who weren’t around back in 1985 has taken it upon themselves to do whatever it takes to help their neighbors and move their country forward.  I mean, this snippet says it all: 

“’There is more courage in Mexico than in any other country I know,’ said John Womack, a historian at Harvard University and longtime expert on Mexico. ‘The resilience — strength of heart, corazon, courage — comes from family and from historically, for centuries, having to face disaster after disaster without much of a coherent state to help.’”

Volunteers moving debris in Colonia Obrera, Mexico City
Photo by ProtoplasmaKid, CC BY-SA 4.0 

Frida the Rescue Dog Goes Viral

The biggest hero to emerge from the 2017 terremoto was Frida the rescue dog. Frida became an international star after the Secretaria de Marina (SEMAR) posted this tweet about the loveable golden Labrador retriever several days before the Puebla quake, as she had been hard at work helping rescue people caught in the massive 8.2 Chiapas earthquake that had shaken much of the country on 9 September. 

Although there were other valiant rescue dogs that also helped save lives by going into dangerous situations in search of survivors, Frida was the most experienced among them. She and her handler, Israel Arauz Salinas, have even been honored with a statue in the city of Puebla along with a plaque that memorializes the pair as “symbols of the strength Mexicans can have when we decide to come together for great causes.” 

This article first appeared in Shoptezuma.com on 9/17/2019.

4 Recetas para Exfoliantes Corporales Naturales y Económicos

Exfoliar la piel para que se sienta suave y luzca fresca y mantenga la flexibilidad que desde muy jóvenes tenemos, viene de uno de los documentos médicos más antiguos en la historia humana. El papiro de Ebers el cual es un antiguo pergamino egipcio que detalla el conocimiento médico relacionado con todo, desde la depresión hasta cómo circulan los fluidos en el cuerpo, describe el cómo sentirse bien que a la larga se vera reflejado en nuestra calidad de vida.

Este rollo de alrededor del 1500 a.C.también transmite algunos de los secretos egipcios para una piel hermosa, incluida la creación de exfoliantes con ingredientes naturales.

Photo by Billie on Unsplash

Beneficios

El significado de un exfoliante es similar a raspar todas las costras viejas o pedazos del fondo de una olla. En algún momento esa piel que teníamos en años de juventud era fresca y nueva, aun asi con el exfoliante adecuado se puede recuperar algo de los hermosos rostros que solíamos tener.

Deshacerse de la capa vieja también significa que se está desintoxicando la piel, a su vez, que tu tez se ilumina, el desprendimiento de la piel muerta significa que las líneas finas de expresión desaparecen a medida que se elimina la capa exterior rugosa.

La eliminación de la capa exterior también tiene el beneficio adicional de darle a tu piel una apariencia agradable y limpia.

Limpiar la piel con un exfoliante también reduce la grasa y ayuda a prevenir el acné.

 ¿Qué se necesita?

Los exfoliantes son sumamente fáciles de hacer en casa. Necesitas muy pocos ingredientes, que probablemente ya estén en tu cocina.

Aquí te menciono algunos de los Ingredientes exfoliantes más fáciles de conseguir, puedes crear tus propias recetas a medida que vayas experimentando en la mezcla de algunos de ellos pronto obtendrás tus favoritos y más efectivos:

  • Azúcar
  • Sal
  • Café molido
  • Arroz molido grueso
  • Nueces muele
  • Lentejas molidas toscamente
  • Ingredientes hidratantes
  • Aceite de oliva virgen extra
  • Aceite de coco
  • Aceites esenciales
  • Mantequilla de coco
  • Leche
  • Miel
  •  Almacenamiento

Usa un frasco hermético para guardar tu exfoliante.

Puedes empaquetar el exfoliante en frascos pequeños para evitar exponer todo tu contenido al aire cada vez que se vaya a usar.

 De que estar atento

Recuerda hacer una pequeña prueba de parche en tu piel antes de usarlo en toda el área. Frota el cuerpo para asegurarte de que no eres alérgico a ninguno de los ingredientes.

A continuación te presento algunas de las recetas que me han funcionado a mi y a otras personas

RECETAS DE EXFOLIANTES CORPORALES

Exfoliante de té azúcar

El azúcar (blanca preferentemente) es muy beneficiosa cuando se aplica a la piel para una variedad de razones. Ayuda a  reducir esas arrugas y crea un agradable tono uniforme.

 Rinde: 18 onzas

Ingredientes

  • 11/2 taza de azúcar de caña orgánica
  • 3/4 taza de aceite de oliva virgen extra
  • 1 cucharadita de extracto de vainilla

Preparación

1. Combina los ingredientes en un frasco hermético, mezcla bien y almacena en un lugar fresco.

2. Humedece la piel y frota con la mezcla, espera 10 min y enjuaga.

 Exfoliante de té verde

El aceite de té verde aporta numerosos beneficios a la piel. Se ha usado

para todo, desde el tratamiento de la picazón hasta una forma ligera de protección UV.

Sus increíbles cualidades antioxidantes lo convierten en una potencia que desafía el envejecimiento.

Rinde: 18 onzas

Ingredientes

  •  1 1/2 taza de azúcar de caña orgánica
  • 3/4 taza de aceite de coco
  • 1 cucharada de aceite esencial de té verde
  • 1 cucharadita de aceite de árbol de té

Preparación

1. Combina los ingredientes en un frasco hermético, mezcle bien y almacene en un lugar fresco.

2. Humedece la piel y frote con la mezcla, espera 10 min y enjuaga.

 Exfoliante de chocolate

El cacao no solo huele divino, sino que también es fantástico para la piel.

Las mascarillas y baños de chocolate eran muy populares debido a las capacidades antioxidantes e inherentes del cacao. Cuando se aplica a la piel, estos ayudan a librar al cuerpo de los radicales libres que dañan la piel.

Rinde: 16 onzas

Ingredientes

  • 3 cucharadas de cacao en polvo orgánico
  • 1 cucharadita de aceite esencial de cacao
  • 11/4 taza de azúcar de caña orgánica
  • 3/4 taza de aceite de coco

Preparación

1. Combina los ingredientes en un frasco hermético, mezcle bien y almacena en

un lugar fresco.

2. Humedece la piel y frota con la mezcla, espera 10 min y enjuaga.

 Exfoliante de café

No sólo puedes disfrutar de una deliciosa taza de café, si no que hasta te lo puedes embarrar ya que estimula la circulación, reduciendo la celulitis.

Rinde: 12 onzas

Ingredientes

  • 1/2 taza de granos de café
  • 1 taza de aceite de coco
  • 1 cucharadita de extracto de vainilla

Preparación

1. Combina los ingredientes en un frasco hermético, mezcla bien y almacena en

un lugar fresco.

2. Humedece la piel y frota con la mezcla, espera 10 min y enjuaga.

 Espero que algunas de estas recetas te sean de utilidad y que te consientas de vez en cuando sin tener que gastar tantos centavos en cremas excesivamente caras y con ingredientes químicos en su mayoría.

Fuente:

  • All natural homemade beauty products. Author Josephine Simon

9+ Toys That will Remind you of Your Childhood in México

In the modern world full of technology it is difficult to imagine that we ever played with toys made of wood or that we sat for hours playing board games.

Many experts talk about the importance of restricting the time our children spend in front of the television. But did you know that taking our kids away from technology and instead offering them toys that don’t use batteries helps develop their imaginaciones?

Giving our children 100% Mexican handmade toys not only helps them learn about Mexican cultura, it also helps them to be smarter every day.

Here is a list of the most famous toys from our childhood that we could share with our children:

Lotería

This game is not only fun, but it can also help your children learn new Spanish words. You are guaranteed to keep the whole family entertained for hours. Did someone say El Borracho?

Wooden Boxeadores

Source: Wikimedia

The boxers game is perfect for people who want to challenge their speed. Children who like video games or challenges may find this game fascinating. The fastest fingers will be the ones that take the gold belt.

Muñecas de Trapo

Rag dolls are a national craft that are not as appreciated as they should be. Each doll is different because they are all completely handmade. This could be a beautiful gift for an expectant mom or as a last doll gift for a quinceañera.

Pirinola

Maybe you have ever been frustrated by “losing everything” with this game, but maybe you have also been the lucky one to “ganar todo“. With this game we can expand our imagination and invent new ways to use the pirinola in housework, activities, exercises, etc. Each family can have their own way of playing pirinola and create new traditions that mark the childhood of your children.  

The Tablitas Mágicas

Something that seems like a thing of magic are the famous little boards, the way they change position impacts many and it is incredible to know that Mexican artisans are the creators of this fantastic game.

The Balero

Balero is one of the most challenging games of all, in addition to the fact that it is almost impossible to put the bearing in place on the first try, you should also be careful not to end up with a black eye. Despite all these challenges, you can spend several hours enjoying this game.

The Trompo

Something new that you can teach your children is the “picotazos“. This game is the favorite of many, you can practice for hours to perfect the art of the top and you can also play with several people to see who is the one who can keep their top spinning until the end.  

Dominó

The domino is not 100% Mexican, as it is believed that it was actually created in China. However, our Mexican artisans can create beautiful wooden games that you can use at family gatherings to entertain your guests.

Luchador mask

There are many children who like to play Make-Believe or dress up to look like their favorite character. Whether it’s for Halloween or just to pretend to be a Mexican wrestler, luchador masks are ideal for kids with big imaginations.

Bonus: Chavo del 8

Ok, this is not precisely a toy from childhood, but definitely the El Chavo character is, and anything that reminds us of that great TV show is something we want. These dolls are more of a collectible that you can keep to remind you of the good ol’ Chavito.

These are not even half of the things that Mexican hands can create, there are cars, guitars, noisemakers, carousels, trucks, yo-yos and much more. You don’t need a shopping center to find the perfect toy for your children, the next time you have the opportunity to visit Mexico, maybe it would be a good idea to walk through the streets full of handicrafts and support the artisans who need our support so much.

“Remember that what is done in Mexico is well done”

Not Everything That’s Said of the Migrante Mexicano is True

Did you know that there are approximately 11,793,976 Mexicanos throughout the American continent, 103,814 Mexicans in Europe and 11,180 Mexicans in Asia. Even so, for some reason, the stereotype of the Mexican has been painted to the image that his only objective is to cross the border of the United States to invade that nation.

Now more than ever the cries of contempt towards Mexicans are heard, either because people think that the majority of Mexicans live illegally in the United States or because they think that, although they live legally in this country, they live for free thanks to government programs.

But what is true of all this?

Border

The reason why there is a large Mexican population in the southern United States is not because we Mexicans are invading this country, but because a large part of this population was already on this side of the border, since several southern states used to be part of the Mexican territory.

“Mexico, after the independence battle that freed us from the Spanish empire, was in economic crisis, confusion and fear. Whereas the United States was a country with a flourishing economy. The US invasion of Mexico did not happen overnight, it all started from 1809, and finally after the battle between the United States and Mexico, on February 2, 1848, the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was signed, by which Mexico “Sold” half of its territory to the United States. “

Mexicans have not arrived in masses or in caravans to take the US territory, they have already been here for many years.

Taxes

The myth that all immigrants live off the government is just a way to discredit immigrants who work hard, in addition to suffering from abuse at work, since they are not offered a fair payment, nor do they enjoy the benefits that they should have as contributors to the economy of this country.

“Every tax season, millions of undocumented immigrants file their taxes with the federal government, even though they could easily avoid it and not do it.

Unauthorized immigrant workers and their employers contributed $ 13 billion in payroll taxes in 2010. “

Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

Either because they hope to one day become American citizens and want to present all their papers in order or because they are simply honest people who do not want to abuse the country that has provided them a home. Many Mexican immigrants comply with the law, even after having crossed the border illegally.

If we were to ask the reasons why several of these Mexicans decided to emigrate to the United States, we would have a wide variety of answers. The world is not only black and white, in addition to crossing the border illegally is not a serious crime and in some occasions a pardon can be obtained , in such a way that Mexicans should not be classified as abusers and criminals.  

If you need more information on how to obtain a pardon, click on this link: https://www.uscis.gov/es/forms/i-212

Although there are those who live illegally in the United States, they make sure they do not commit another crime, comply with paying taxes, live honestly, and avoid asking for government help. These are model citizens, who appreciate the opportunity to live in the United States.

Should all unauthorized immigrants be deported in the same way?

Unfortunately, the righteous pay for sinners. And people who have committed crimes or who abuse the government system have given all immigrants a bad name. However, each person should have the right to present their case before a jury to determine how much they have contributed to this country, instead of being deported without being able to have a proper trial.

As human beings we should all be treated with dignity and respect. Especially if the only reason to live in this country is to seek a better life. Let’s not lose humanity and look at these situations with compassion. Mexicans are luchadores and we just need one opportunity to show everyone that we are capable of contributing great things to this country in the same way as any American citizen.

6 Libros para Empezar en el Mundo de los Negocios

Muchos de los Mexicanos que llegamos a Estados Unidos, venimos buscando un mejor nivel de vida. Mejor trabajo, mejores circunstancias. Muchos, tenemos la oportunidad de abrir un negocio. Mucho se requiere para abrir de manera exitosa uno, recursos, habilidades, conocimiento y, porqué no, hasta un poco de suerte.

A continuación, algunos de los mejores libros de negocios a mi parecer, en lo personal he leído y me han parecido muy interesantes y he aprendido y aplicado varias cosas. Todos son en inglés, pero también se encuentran versiones traducidas al español, para que elijas la opción que más se adapte a tus necesidades.

Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

Espero te sean útiles también y sin más comencemos.

Dar y Recibir (Give and Take) – Adam Grant

Habla básicamente de cómo las personas que tienen más éxito normalmente son las que más dan, contrario a lo que se puede pensar, que la gente que tiene más éxito en la vida es la que le quita a otros, es decir, que se aprovecha del resto. Hay infinidad de estudios científicos de personas famosas de la vida real, historias que Adam Grant desmenuza para ver cuáles son las causas reales de su éxito y encuentra que normalmente la gente que tiene más éxito es la que más da a los demás, es como la que está en la cúspide (los que tienen más éxito). Luego vienen los ‘Takers’, que son la gente que toma el resto, la que se aprovecha, y esta como en la parte media de la curva, si lo vemos desde la perspectiva de una campana de Gauss. Y en la última parte paradójicamente también es la gente que más da, es la que menos éxito tiene la vida. Este libro explica por qué se da esa contradicción, porque la gente que más da está en los dos extremos, o tienen mucho éxito o no. Luego sucede que la gente que es ‘Taker’ o se aprovecha obviamente va a sacar ventaja de la gente que es ‘Giver’ que es la gente que da, o da mucho, o que se deje. Si eres un ‘Giver’ natural puede ser que te pasen por encima y tú ni cuenta te estés dando. Entonces este libro nos ayuda a como romper el paradigma o estereotipo de que la gente que más éxito tiene son los que más se aprovechan o son las más gandayas, y la esperanza de que siendo un ‘Giver’ tengas éxito y como puedes lograrlo.

Vender es Humano (To sell is Human) – Daniel H. Pink

Me abrió mucho los ojos en cuanto a las ventas porque me hizo darme cuenta de que realmente todos somos vendedores, ya sea que vendemos nuestro tiempo (aunque no lo sepamos), aunque seamos malos vendedores todos tenemos que vender algo. Solemos vender nuestro tiempo, puntos de vista, el cómo se pueden hacer las cosas, etc. Incluso vender las cosas que hacemos a los demás, incluso a los hijos venderles la idea de algo que queremos que hagan y también ellos a su vez nos venden ideas. Entonces todo el mundo está vendiendo y la verdad es que es parte de la naturaleza humana.

Nos muestra un compendio de lecciones aprendidas con ejemplos como es costumbre en de un autor muy muy bueno que me gusta mucho y tiene muchos títulos geniales, pero este particular creo que es el que más me gusta de él, en realidad vender no es como tal lo que normalmente la gente piensa venderle a las personas cosas que no necesitan, de hecho el mejor vendedor, ayuda, apoya asesora a la gente a tomar mejores decisiones con base en sus necesidades reales.

El millonario de la puerta de a lado (The millionaire Next Door) – Thomas J. Stanley

Este libro me encanta porque desenmascara al estereotipo del millonario, que nos venden los medios de comunicación, los millonarios ostentosos que viajan en un auto muy lujoso y que se la pasan en jets privados y viajan por el mundo y visten ropa a la moda y todo ese rollo, viviendo exuberantemente, podríamos decir que como nos han vendido a los millonarios, que viven de una forma muy ostentosa y con excesos.

Aquí lo que hace Thomas con base a los estudios científicos hace un análisis de cómo viven los billonarios promedio en USA y nos comenta que ellos viven muy diferente a como nos los venden, dista mucho de cómo nos los han pintado. Nos ayuda a comprender como realmente viven y piensan y como son sus hábitos y como tú puedes ser millonario, y porque son tan pocos los que lo logran, y nos da muchas explicaciones y argumentos al respecto, que también tiene que ver con los aspectos económico-políticos y sociales de las diferentes regiones. Esto nos ayuda a comprender como viven los millonarios de verdad, no los que nos venden de revista o como actores de cine, en resumen, la gente que tiene mucho dinero no suele ser ostentosa, mantienen un perfil bajo, no usa demasiada ropa de diseñador o accesorios, son muy frugales y muy mesurados en su consumo, no gastan de manera inconsciente.

El fin de los Empleos (The end of jobs) – Taylor Pearson

El significado de la libertad sin el horario laboral de 8 am a 5 pm, clásico de oficina del mundo godin. Entonces Taylor nos habla de como el avance tecnológico y la globalización nos ha cambiado por completo la forma en la que trabajamos.

Este libro es del 2015 ya tiene más de 6 años que se publicó y sigue siendo vigente, explica como pudo este autor tener esa visión de que como la tecnología iba a poner los cimientos del empleo, del teletrabajo, que tiende a ser remoto (Home Office), tal como el freelancer, o que trabaja por proyecto, que es nómada tecnológico o que persigue sus pasiones, entonces explica cómo es que se ha estado transformando el empleo y lo que viene y da ideas de como para donde te puedes mover.

Deja de actuar como rico (Stop Acting Rich) – Thomas J. Stanley

Es básicamente una reseña de como dejar de aparentar ser rico o querer vivir como rico y como trabajar para ser realmente rico, o por lo menos tener tranquilidad económica y que no te importe lo que los demás piensen de ti, es básicamente como una extensión del libro anterior que te comento. Vale la pena leerlo.

La máquina silenciosa de las ventas (Silent Sales Machine) – Jim Cockrum

Silent Sales Machine 10.0

Es muy corto en cuanto a número de páginas, pero es muy conciso y muestra cómo puedes generar múltiples fuentes de ingreso a través de internet, muchos autores tienden a decirlo aunque solo lo mencionan como receta y no te dicen exactamente cómo lograrlo a diferencia de este libro que te lleva paso a paso, a cómo hacerlo exactamente con lujo de detalle, y realmente no es complicado lograrlo, es viable y no necesitas ser genio para lograrlo, eso sí, hay que hacer mucho trabajo, pero es una, guía bastante detallada y completa.

5 Characters from “El Loco” Valdés that We Will Never Forget

Last year, we lost a great one of Mexican comedy – Manuel “El loco” Valdés. And, even though the comedian had not been working on a large television project for several years, he continued to be an important reference point for comedy in Mexico.

A member of a truly unique family of the Mexican artistic environment. His brothers Germán Valdés “TinTan” and Ramón Valdés, are widely recognized not only in Mexico, but throughout Latin America and more.

Although it is sad that he’s no longer with us, surely “El Loco” Valdés would prefer that we remembered him fondly and, as always, making us laugh. Therefore, here we recompile 5 of the characters that Manuel Valdés made immortal.

MANUEL LOPEZ

One of the reference films of El Loco Valdés is, without a doubt, Dos Fantasmas y Una Muchacha, where he plays Francois de Lavalier, Germán Pérez’s staunch enemy, played by his brother Germán Valdés “TinTan”.

MARITZA MIBANCO

Another of the duos that made history with Manuel Valdés was the one he did with Hector Lechuga, with the Hermanitas Mibanco. How can we forget the famous “pellizquito de pulguita, por mentirosita!”?

THE BIG BAD WOLF

It was surely not his best movie, but it was one that those of us who grew up in the 70s and 80s saw on television more than once and recognized the voice of the famous actor.

FRANCOIS DE LAVALIER

In a story similar to that of Dos Fantasmas y Una Muchacha, El Loco Valdés joins his brother TinTan again and now accompanying two other referents of the Mexican comedy: Antonio Espino ‘Clavillazo’ and Adalberto Martínez ‘Resortes’. Without comparing to the previous one, a classic without a doubt.

MANUEL “EL LOCO” VALDÉS

Without a doubt, his best character is the one he played all his life, on and off the screen: El Loco. An unparalleled character, whether in cinema, on TV or even in soccer, he made us spend unforgettable moments that many Mexicans carry in our hearts.

Goodbye, Don Manuel.

What other memories do you have of Don Manuel “El Loco” Valdés? Tell us in the comments below.

The Contrasting Family Values of Mexico and USA

As anyone from Mexico knows, la familia is one of the most important aspects of life. It is a fact that family comes first and that traditions are passed down from generation to generation. As an immigrant living in the United States, it is almost horrible to see the difference in family values ​​from those to which one is accustomed at home in Mexico. Here I share a comparison of family values ​​in Mexico and those observed here in the United States.

Photo by  Gonzalo Facello  from  Pexels

RESPECT

Respeto is not something that is required in Mexico; it is something that is expected. Children respect their elders because that is how they are supposed to be. If someone older than you walks into the room, you’d better get up and offer them your seat. If your neighbor asks you for help, it will not be because you will get something, but because it is the right thing to do. Things are done as second nature rather than obligation or fear. While there are areas where this is changing, they are few and far between.

In direct contrast, here in the United States, the value of respect appears to be out of date. While you can still find areas that follow what they call old-school values ​​here, they are becoming more and more rare. Here in the United States, respect is a virtue that is demanded and often issued out of fear of the repercussions of not showing it. However, this is also a waning practice. Many, including children, do not respect their elders or the needs of those around them. It has become common to look away when a neighbor needs it. The values ​​here become very selfish and move away from the respect of the old days.

Photo by  Frederik Trovatten  from  Pexels

CLOSENESS

Families in Mexico are very close. While family members may lead their own lives, they share triumphs and sorrows together. Familias in Mexico often live together until each child marries and in many cases even after marriage. If the children move, it is often close to their parents. If family members move to other areas, they try to connect or stay in touch as often as possible. Many of the small pueblos are made up of families that are spread throughout the town. While the larger cities are a bit different, the family connection is still evident in most places.

In the United States, however, family closeness has a different meaning. As families gather for vacations or birthdays, many families also begin to skip these events. The importance of earning money and improving one’s life has been given importance. So much so that the family is often left behind in the fight for success. This is not to say that family is not important to Americans, only that the relationship between family members is very different here than in Mexico. 

Photo by  Matthew T Rader  on  Unsplash

LATE IN LIFE

In Mexico, as parents or family members age, it is typical for a child or other family member to stay close and help care for their viejitos. While they can maintain their independence for a long time, family members often stop by to see and talk for a time. Siblings sit outside reminiscing about old times, grandchildren come over to spend a few hours with their older abuelos, and their sons and daughters cook and clean for their parents.

Here in the United States, there are many who verify an aging family member. However, all too often, this visit is to a retirement home. As family members reach certain ages, children or siblings begin to search for the most comfortable retirement home to live in. While these houses are often charming, they provide the elderly with a place where they can live and receive the medical care they need. It is not the same as being part of the family or living in your own home and having personal space. This is not to say that Americans love their family members less, just that the practices observed seem quite strange to immigrants.

Photo by  Pablo Rebolledo  on  Unsplash

While each culture has its own family values, the norms for one country seem quite strange to those of another. In this way, the family values ​​of people in the United States are in stark contrast to what we are used to being from Mexico. Here in the United States, they call all these changes progress. Me, in the hope that as immigrants living in this country, we can uphold our family values ​​and keep them alive on a daily basis here in the United States.

6 Mexican Writers that Made History

Welcome to the most important month of the year for Mexicans, el mes patrio, September. This month, as we all know, is when we commemorate Mexico’s independence. To be precise, it’s been 210 years since the day Miguel Hidalgo and the insurgents began their fight for independencia.

Since then Mexico has become a country rich in culture and warmth. Its food, traditions, landscapes, and art are recognized worldwide and enjoyed by many turistas each year. On this page I have already talked about the beautiful places that one has to visit, the traditions that are part of our day to day, and even some typical dishes of our country. But I have rarely mentioned the wonderful world of arte Mexicano.

Today we will start with six writers who have changed the course of literature not only nationally but worldwide.

SOR JUANA INES DE LA CRUZ

Her intellectual life was very intense, she wrote numerous lyrical, courtly and philosophical poems, as well as comedies and religious works.

Her literary works are considered extraordinary classics of Hispanic literature. Some of her most famous works include the poem “Primero Sueño”, the comedy Los Empeños de Una Casa, and Respuesta de la Poetisa a la Muy Ilustre Sor Filotea de la Cruz, which is one of the most important texts in New Hispanic literature.

OCTAVIO PAZ

The writer Eliot Weinberger has written that, for Paz, “the revolution of the word is the revolution of the world, and that both cannot exist without the revolution of the body: life as art, a return to the mythical lost unity of thought and body, man and nature, me and the other. “

Paz wrote a prolific body of essays, including several studies on poetics, literary and art criticism, as well as on Mexican history, politics, and culture. In 1990 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.

ROSARIO CASTELLANOS

Photo credit: INBAL

Castellanos is one of the most prominent Mexican writers. She combined her literary work with cultural promotion, teaching, journalism and diplomacy. She wrote novels, short stories, poetry, and theater.

She is known for books such as Balún Canán, Oficio de Tinieblas, Album de Familia and Poesía No Eres Tú. Which are essential readings of Mexican literature, since they address two aspects that were ignored before and were barely mentioned: women and being indigenous.

CARLOS FUENTES

Fuentes was a novelist, short story writer, playwright, critic, and diplomat whose experimental novels earned him an international literary reputation.

La Muerte de Artemio Cruz, depicting the dying hours of a wealthy survivor of the Mexican Revolution, was translated into several languages ​​and established Fuentes as a leading international novelist. His wide range of literary accomplishments and articulate humanism made him highly influential in the literary communities of the world.

VALERIA LUISELLI

Luiselli is the first Mexican to be part of the long list of the Booker Prize thanks to her book Los Niños Perdidos, in which she addresses the situation of migrant children in the United States.

She also won the Metropolis Bleu award at the International Literature Festival in 2016. Her travels have served to deepen her narrative, and her unique perspective has made her one of the most important voices in Mexican literature in recent years.

JUAN RULFO

Mexican writer who is considered one of the best novelists and storytellers in 20th century Latin America, thanks to his production, which essentially consists of two books.

Although his literary career is not very long, Rulfo managed to create a great impact on Latin American writers including Gabriel Garcia Marquez, who practiced what is known as magical realism. His most recognized work is Pedro Páramo.


Mexican literature is a mirror of society, it is like a newspaper for the country. As soon as you open a book, you will be able to know exactly what was happening in Mexico at that time. And that is why we should applaud these greats for keeping our history between the pages of their books.

¿Porqué no Dar una Clase Sobre La Historia de México en Escuelas Estadounidenses?

Hace algunas semanas debutó un libro que causó sensación en el estado de Texas, Forget the Alamo, cuya intención es la de desmentir la historia que siempre se nos ha contado sobre la Batalla del Álamo. Pero como era de esperarse esto no le pareció a el señor gobernador ni a los miembros de su gabinete que han hecho hasta lo imposible para evitar la distribución del texto. 

Aun así es importante recalcar que libros como este son necesarios en la época que estamos viviendo, época en la cual los republicanos blancos están buscando borrar la historia de las minorías en este país mientras tratan de impulsar una educación más patriótica en las escuelas. Ejemplo de esto es el Proyecto de ley 2497 mejor conocido como el “Proyecto 1836” que intenta pasar el gobernador de Texas, el cual se centra en el año en que Texas se independizó de México y está destinado a promover una “educación patriótica” para los residentes del estado. Según el Proyecto de ley 2497, el “Proyecto 1836” es esencialmente el nombre de un comité asesor diseñado para promover la historia del estado entre los residentes de Texas, en gran parte a través de folletos entregados a las personas que reciben licencias de conducir. También premiará a los estudiantes por su conocimiento de la historia y los valores del estado.

Pero a los críticos les preocupa que el nuevo proyecto sea parte del impulso nacional de los republicanos para limitar la discusión de la teoría crítica de la raza en las escuelas. El Proyecto de Ley 3979 de la Cámara de Representantes, que ahora espera la aprobación de Abbott, limitará la forma en que los maestros de Texas pueden discutir los eventos actuales y el racismo en los Estados Unidos. El “Proyecto 1836” también requiere la promoción de “la herencia cristiana del estado”. Otra pieza de legislación que espera la firma de Abbott, el Proyecto de Ley del Senado 797, requiere que las escuelas de Texas exhiban la frase “In God We Trust” en los edificios del campus si es que se les dona dicha señalización.

Otro aspecto del “Proyecto 1836” que es controversial es su nombre. Algunos han señalado que la independencia de Texas no se aplicaba a todos los que vivían en el estado en ese momento, como los esclavos y los grupos indígenas. La Constitución de la República de Texas, aprobada en 1836, legalizó la esclavitud y excluyó a los grupos indígenas de obtener la independencia.

Muchos historiadores y profesores denuncian leyes como la anterior y apoyan libros como Forget the Alamo. En un artículo para The Washington Post la profesora de historia de la ciencia y profesora Antonio Madero para el estudio de México en la Universidad de Harvard, Gabriela Soto Laveaga, dijo lo siguiente:

“Se trata de negar quiénes somos como nación. Mas que borrar un hecho histórico, es otro ejemplo de la práctica continua y peligrosa de seleccionar partes de nuestro pasado para que encajen en los mitos nacionales predeterminados. Esta no es una práctica nueva ni nuestra sociedad es la única que reescribe la historia para adaptarse a los vientos políticos actuales. Sin embargo, negar un análisis serio y fáctico de nuestro pasado sabotea la capacidad de lograr una sociedad más justa e igualitaria. Si comenzamos la historia de nuestros orígenes nacionales con falsedades, continuaremos repitiendo y expandiendo estas ficciones para que la mentira inicial tenga sentido.”

Gabriela Soto Laveaga

La profesora Soto piensa que esta situación en particular tendría solución si se ofrecieran clases sobre la historia de México en las escuelas, justamente lo contrario de lo que piensan las personas como Abbott. Sobre el porqué México en específico ella dice:

“¿Por qué México? Entre otras razones, México perdió más del 50 por ciento de su territorio ante Estados Unidos. En pocas palabras, gran parte de nuestro país alguna vez fue México. Analizar los orígenes de esta ganancia territorial sitúa los debates actuales sobre la inmigración, la frontera e incluso qué idiomas se pueden enseñar en las escuelas en una perspectiva más amplia. El ensayista y premio Nobel Octavio Paz comprendió el valor de esto hace décadas cuando escribió, “al llegar a conocer México, los norteamericanos pueden aprender a comprender una parte no reconocida de sí mismos”. Esa parte no reconocida es complicada. Usemos solo un ejemplo, la Guerra México-Estadounidense o la Invasión de los Estados Unidos, como se le conoce en México, para ilustrar cómo este evento fundamental podría enseñarse en las aulas estadounidenses para expandir la forma en que estudiamos las acciones de nuestra entonces aún incipiente nación.”

Photo Credit: visitsanantonio.com

Si eres mexicano-americano y vives o naciste en Texas lo más probable es que en algún momento de tu vida algún familiar Mexicano te haya dicho “ustedes nos robaron Texas y California”. Y si eres como yo y si pones atención en tu clase de historia casi seguro intentaste debatir y decir que no fue así, incluso llegaste a culpar a México por perder el territorio. Pero conforme pasó el tiempo y busqué información por mi misma y escuché las historias que tenían que contar mis familiares me di cuenta que las cosas no encajaban. Aun así, no fue hasta mi primera clase de historia en la universidad que caí en cuenta que la mayoría de lo que nos enseñan en la escuela no es verdad, lo primero que nos dijo el profesor fue “olviden todo lo que creen que saben porque nada es cierto”. El problema es que no deberíamos de tener que esperar hasta estar en la universidad para recibir la información correcta, para aprender la historia de este país como realmente sucedió, y eso es lo que los escritores de este libro, historiadores y profesores como Gabriela Soto Laveaga intentan impulsar. 

La historia que Soto, los escritores de Forget the Alamo y México cuentan es la siguiente: Cuando México otorgó permiso a los angloamericanos para establecerse en el territorio escasamente poblado entonces conocido como Tejas, estos colonos aceptaron acatar las leyes Mexicanas y fueron alentados a aprender español, convertirse al catolicismo, casarse con mexicanos y, finalmente, renunciar la esclavitud. Pero los angloamericanos desafiaron todas estas expectativas. Comenzaron superando el límite del número de angloamericanos que podían establecerse en México. Eso les permitió superar en número a los mexicanos en su territorio. Los estadounidenses luego se negaron a seguir las leyes del país; en respuesta, México envió tropas para patrullar sus fronteras, entendiendo que una facción de tejanos tenía la intención de fomentar la secesión de México. Sin embargo el destino de Tejas no fue decidido en el campo de batalla, sino en Washington, D.C. En 1837, Estados Unidos reconoció a Texas como un estado independiente, lo que avivó la ira de México. Parte de la disputa fue por el donde iba a ser trazada la frontera, en el Río Nueces o Río Grande, lo que le daría a Texas 150 millas adicionales de territorio. Este detalle geográfico es importante. Polk, decidido impulsar la guerra, afirmando que una batalla fronteriza que involucró a tropas mexicanas y estadounidenses derramó “sangre estadounidense en suelo estadounidense”. Pero esta afirmación era falsa; la batalla ocurrió en el territorio que estaba siendo disputado. El aún no presidente Abraham Lincoln, objetando la mentira de Polk, presentó la Resolución Spot de 1847, que presentaba la evidencia de que la pelea no ocurrió en suelo estadounidense.

Como esta hay miles de historias más que no sabemos, historias que pintan un Estados Unidos distinto al que nos intentan enseñar en las escuelas. Historias que si fueran contadas verídicamente podrían traer un mayor entendimiento de quienes somos y poco a poco podrían ayudar a erradicar el odio y el racismo en este país. Historias que deberíamos de conocer desde pequeños.

Si alguno de ustedes quisiera leer el artículo de la profesora Gabriela Soto Laveaga este es el link: 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2021/07/22/every-american-needs-take-history-mexico-class/

México’s Indigenous Groups Before the Spanish Colonization

Last year was tough on everyone, we couldn’t go out and after a few months the boredom got to us. We had to find some hobbies, and while some took to gardening or built a whole business from their kitchen counter, I started watching documentaries. After watching 4 or 5 dealing with the Maya and their hidden treasures, I started to wonder what else was there? We often hear about the Aztecs and the Maya but there are so many indigenous groups still present in Mexico today that don’t identify with those cultures, so I turned to Google. 

Before the colonization of the Americas, the area that we now know as Mexico was inhabited by many indigenous tribes, each with their own traditions and languages. When the Spanish took control, the sum of their forms of oppression, the unknown diseases they brought with them, and the war destroyed many of the indigenous peoples. A large number of those who did not die gradually incorporated elements of Spanish culture, such as the Catholic religion, for example, and were forced to speak the Spanish language. As a result, many of the original features of the indigenous tribes have now been lost, despite the many efforts made to revive the sense of pride in Mexican indigenous culture since the Independence of Mexico, and even more so since the Revolution.

Photo Credit: Pixabay 

THE OLMECS

The Olmecs are probably the oldest civilization in Central America, a culture that began before 1000 BC. Their civilization was quite simple and relied heavily on agriculture. It was divided into two sectors: the elite, who lived in the cities, and the common people, who lived in rural areas. The huge stone heads they left behind are believed to be portraits of their kings, immortalized in stone, although much is still unknown about the Olmecs, for example how and why their tribe disappeared around 300 BC. Their culture, however, did not die completely: many other tribes incorporated aspects of the Olmec culture.

Photo Credit: fenarq

THE AZTEC EMPIRE

One of the best known Mexican indigenous groups is the one formed by the Aztecs.  Said group is actually made up of many individual tribes, mainly Nahuatl-speaking, who recognize their origin in the mythical place of Aztlán. The most powerful group of the Aztecs was the Mexica, who apparently moved to the Valley of Mexico after their god, Huitzilopochtli, ordered them to change their location in the 13th century.  Another 16 indigenous tribes are believed to have migrated from their homeland to this area of ​​Mexico where the Aztec Empire was located.

Being one of the last indigenous peoples to arrive in the Valley of Mexico, the Mexica found that all the good land was already occupied. They were forced to keep searching for their own place until they finally found a small island in a lake in the valley, which would later become the famous Aztec settlement of Tenochtitlán. The Mexica became experts in the development of their country of origin, which helped them to elevate their position in the social and political ladder of the Aztec Empire, as well as intermarriage with other tribes.

Photo Credit: Discover Oaxaca Tours

THE ZAPOTEC CIVILIZATION

But if we go further south towards Oaxaca and go back hundreds of years, the Zapotec civilization was the dominant one. Starting in the 6th century BC, their civilization continued to develop until the Spanish conquest in the 15th century, so their empire existed for much longer than that of the Aztecs or Olmecs. Their civilization was centered around the Zapotec capital of Monte Albán, known to have been very advanced for its time.

There was not a single Zapotec language, but a variety of dialects, with their own written and spoken forms. Many have survived to this day due to the many Zapotec communities living in the state of Oaxaca, as well as other parts of Mexico. Benito Juárez, the first indigenous president of Mexico, boasted of his full Zapotec ancestry. The Zapotecs’ survival is probably due to the fact that, upon learning of the Aztecs’ defeat at the hands of the Spanish, the natives sought a peaceful alliance with the newcomers rather than trying to fight against them.

Photo Credit: tulum.com

THE MAYA

The Mayan civilization began around 2000 BC, although it is not clear where. It is believed that the first settlements were installed along the Pacific coast, in the current state of Chiapas. What is known is that this empire extended from the Yucatan peninsula in Mexico to the south of El Salvador. The Mayan civilization has 4 clearly marked periods in time from the Preclassic Period that goes from the beginning of the Mayan civilization to around 200 AD. The next period is the Classic (250-900 AD), followed by a collapse and large-scale abandonment of cities. Finally, the Postclassic period (from the 10th to the 16th century) encompasses the decline of the Mayan civilization and the final surrender to the Spanish conquerors.

The Maya were a hierarchical people composed of city-states with their rulers.  Despite the fact that there were established trade routes between the cities and the relations between them were fluid, it seems that war was frequent between them. Often this war was linked to political control and resources, and as the population increased, the level of violence increased. Nobody knows why Mayan society collapsed at the end of the first millennium, some think it was due to overpopulation, others think it was due to a drought. Most likely, it was a combination of environmental and non-environmental factors that caused the collapse and abandonment of many cities.

While many large cities disappeared, in Yucatán some survived and continued to prosper, such as Chichén-Itzá. These cities would remain until they received the Spanish conquerors in the 16th century. One last note about the Maya is that they were extremely advanced for their time, sometimes dwarfing their European counterparts in science and mathematics. We must not forget that they were using zero 800 years before the Europeans and the calendar they used remains as valid today as 2,000 years ago.

According to recent studies there are 68 distinct indigenous groups still residing in México, 16,933,283 people that make up 15.1% of México’s population. There are 68 indigenous languages and 364 counted dialect variations being spoken in the country. But even if these people are our closest ties to our indigenous ancestry and we should look up to them as keepers of our cultural identity, they continue to be the most vulnerable in terms of the inequality they endure. It is about time that we start to learn, and teach our kids, more about who we were before we were colonized and start to look out for these people that make our home country the beautiful place it is.