Mexico is underestimated by many, included the very Mexicans. Not without reason the term “malinchista” was created to catalogue those Mexicans who can’t see the real value of their own country and are always worshiping other ones. If we talk about natural resources, Mexico outstands for its petroleum, silver, copper, coal, gas, and biodiversity. Mexico’s wealth is incommensurable, which makes more tragic the actual situation.
Almost half of the Mexicans live in poverty. We are not talking about not having enough money to buy the new Iphone 5, or having to take the bus instead of owning a car. We are taking about the impossibility of Mexican families of covering their very own subsisting cost.
There are people that claim that Mexico’s situation is not that bad since the unemployment numbers in Mexico are not that high compared with other countries. The reality is that it is disguised with the existence of sub-employment. Many Mexicans have found in the informal job sector a solution to the lack of stable and well paid jobs.
Why if Mexico is so rich, its people are so poor?
The current situation of the average Mexican is not the result of the lack of opportunities or the monopoly (even though it exists) of the big companies. It can be blamed to the education that he has received. In Mexico it is not taught to innovate, it is taught to follow. In Mexico it is not taught to create, is taught to copy. In Mexico it is not taught to be the owner of our own destiny, it is taught to be – as Robert Kiyosaki put it in his book “Rich Dad Poor Dad” – part of the “Rat Race”, where people live in a working routine all their lives without being able to enjoy the money they earn because they’re tied to the interminable debts that are always following them.
It is impossible to think that a change can be achieved in a few years because the education from elemental school to college is around 16 years. Even if we start today with a new educational model the changes would not be seen until the next generation. Still, it’s of crucial importance to, at least at home, encourage business creativeness in the kids, teens and adults so none of them will be subjugated to the general situation of the country, which is no more than a reflect of the Mexican’s mentality: Very few achieve to rediscover and exploit Mexico’s richness while the rest are engrossed between the soap operas and the soccer, limiting themselves to only follow without knowing where they’re really going.
Written by Victor Ramos for Caras de México. Click here to read more articles examining Mexican identity.