Phoenix, AZ – Immigration and cultural exchanges have long been part of the world’s continuous practice in bridging the borders that limit interactions between people from various regions. These have been going on throughout the centuries. The resulting mixture of various traditions and cultures have provided an avenue for the growth of yet another distinct ethnic group. This is the case with Mexican Americans.
Mexico, or the Estados Unidos Mexicanos
Mexico is a country in the southern half of North America that is bordered by the United States to the north, the Pacific Ocean to the south and west, Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea to the southeast, and the Gulf of Mexico to the east. With this vast range, the country of Mexico occupies more than 750,000 square miles of land that also includes the Baja California portion of the northwestern region. Given its geographical setting, it is no surprise that there are several Mexicans who have a colorful mixture of various cultures, beliefs, traditions, and lifestyles that are similar to their neighboring nations.
Origin and Present State of the Mexican Americans
The first inhabitants of Mexico are believed to be hunters who migrated from Asia over 18,000 years ago. Over time, the new settlers established their own organized civilizations, which we now know as the Aztec, Mayan, Mixtec, Olmec, Teotihuacan, Toltec, and Zapotec societies. Later, at the peak of global exploration, the Spanish people arrived to make a mark in the vast region of Mexico. The first Spanish explorer Francisco Fernández de Córdoba discovered the Yucatan in 1517. This was followed by other Spanish expeditions where they conquered the different societies and placed Mexico under their rule for the next 300 years as part of their colonial territory called New Spain.
Spain’s oppressive colonial regime stifled Mexico’s economic growth and affected a great portion of the population. This even brought social unrest to the neglected citizens of the country, which resulted in a successful revolt against the rulers in 1821. However, the struggle of the Mexicans did not stop there, as they continued to face various economic and political issues that eventually led to an economic depression, which forced many residents to flee northward to the United States. This mass migration continued further as people sought security in another country, which created a great population that took part in cultural exchanges with the Americans. This was also brought about by Mexico’s own promotion of immigration in the 1820s.
Historically, there were a lot of complications with the initial immigration of Mexicans to America, as the new residents fought for greater autonomy, which brought fear to the locals. Presently, however, this exceptional immigration wave has created a wonderful mixture of traditions and beliefs that the ethnic groups continue to share to the younger generations of the community. The struggle for the regions and settlements is yet to end, however, as different laws provide different rights to the lands within and beyond the set borders.
Image from Mexican American Council, https://www.instagram.com/mexamcouncil/ or http://www.mexicanamericancouncil.org/