Mexico to me is not the Republic, the independence, or the revolution that have claimed the pages of our history books which corrupt leaders cynically use to promote patriotic festivities and parades.
Neither is it democracy or justice, or other rhetoric that corrupt officials use as their defenses.
Nor is it mariachi, tequila and charros, all created from Jalisco and unmistakable Mexican icons worldwide.
Today, for me Mexico is a country for sale where our coasts, forests, and natural resources and energy bear the signs, a country where the borders and territories are violently disputed by the drug cartels, a country that sells cheaply the labour of its children and is full of corruption, impunity, ignominy, alienation, vulnerability and destitution.
But, fortunately, it is also a country full of effort, tenacity, courage, humor, courage, joy, playfulness and warmth. It is a country of ingenuity, creativity and intelligence, solidarity, struggle and resistance, cultural and natural biodiversity, ethnicity and race. Mexico is gastronomy, art and color. It is a history that its citizens claim for themselves, a past and present struggle for equity and justice, for a better future for the children of this land and those who generously choose to visit.
Written by Vicky Martinez for Caras de México. Click here to more information and other articles, interviews, videos, photos and events examining Mexican identity.