September 17, 1999
Mexico is a nation where the past plays a prominent role in shaping the its present day development. Mexico is often seen as a bewildering country that is hard to understand by Norte Americanos. Its past differs from that of the U.S. in many aspects but is yet inseparably intertwined.
When "discovered" in 1519, by the Spanish Conquistadores, Mexico was already a home to an estimated 10 million native inhabitants living in a highly organized, with a well defined culture and with a large body of knowledge accumulated over the past 50,000 years. It was a disciplined, organized society with a form of government that adhered to its own disciplines. Mexico was home to over 20 million pure-blooded indigenous peoples speaking nearly sixty languages!
They could not be completely conquered or ignored. They were all the human capital that existed in the continent. They became the foundation upon which the Spanish conquerors built their colonial empire. In the process they created a Mestizo race that survives to this day. It not only exists but rules Mexico.
Rich in mineral resources and manpower, Mexico was exploited in one form or another by the colossal of the North. Its abundant reserves of gold, silver, lead, petroleum, copper, zinc, were attempting targets. It is not by chance that Mexico's main railroad line, built by U.S. interests, ran from the Mexican South to the United States North. Its purpose to facilitate the transportation of Mexico's natural wealth that was needed for the development of the North America.
For the past 150 years Mexico has been overshadowed by its neighbor to the north. The relationship has wavered between blatant intervention, to total ignorance, to a growing sense of interdependence. Nowhere in the world do two countries of such distinction share such a common border. Proximity to the U.S. by Mexico has generated a peculiar acculturation on both sides of the border. Extensive "cultural borrowing," has occurred. An example is the prevalence of a bilingualism that is neither English nor Spanish but a hybrid with its own sense and meaning. From the beginning of the "contacto" between North and South America the cultures of both countries have became entwined and created its own particular ethos. Mexico has become an integral part of the United States and North America has become an integral part of Mexico creating a rich ethnic diversity to an otherwise bland European and Mestizo society. We can no longer exist without each other.
On this Mexican Day of Independence let us both declare our independence from past stereotypes, racial misconceptions, old hatreds and pledge to unite for the continued growth and development of the AMERICAN PEOPLE... ALL OF THEM, FROM THE NORTH TO THE SOUTH.