The Mexicans – 2010
The term Mexican is itself a crude colloquialism world-wide for the unwanted neighbour across the border. I had known it before I’d come, even used it in jest. Inherent vulgarisms like this on top of our chosen route would provide the basis for my preconception; one that had marked me like a stain before I’d even crossed the border from Texas into northern Mexico, but one that would wash off as easily as it had appeared the further from the divide I moved.
Driving across 22 Mexican states and some 15,000 kilometres. From the famed desert landscapes of the north, to the tourist bastions and hot-land outposts of the Pacific coast, frigid nights and dramatic mountains in the central highlands to the dissident southern states of Chiapas and Oaxaca, the steaming Gulf Coast and up into the Yucatan Peninsula then back again. This is the Mexico that I observed.
Mexico is a land rich and proud in culture, of people true to their roots yet equally impressionable, people who use their feet and their hands in a pre-industrialised fashion, who sit and watch, who walk rather than drive, who truly retire in old age, who fix and mend rather than dispose of, whose kindred are absolutely family and whose fascination and admiration for their northern neighbours is curiously apparent but who, when all is said and done, are Mexicans; inimitable and unique.