A few weeks ago an American in San Miguel de Allende asked
me about Morelia, and I excitedly started to describe the exciting changes in
my town — Bosque Monarca, Tres Marias, the Jack Nicklaus golf course and the Carter Morrish golf course.
And, of course, Paseo Morelia, which will be one of the largest shopping
centers in Latin America. I’m downright proud
of the development in my city, and I know it bodes well for Mexico.
“But this is Meeeexico,” the listener whined. “What’s
happening to this country?” It was apparent that she wanted Mexico to
remain an idealized version of smiling folk astride burros. Her attitude reflected the statement that got
the late Adolfo Aguilar Zinser, who served as National Security Advisor and UN
Security Council Ambassador under the Fox Administration, fired after saying
that the elites and other classes of the U.S. see Mexico
as a “country whose position is that of a back yard.” Aguilar Zinser said that
was only interested in a relationship of convenience and subordination” and a
“weekend fling,” and he stood firm in his position in his resignation letter.
“What’s the point of living in Mexico if you’re near shopping
malls and subdivisions?” she persisted.
And then I realized that this poor misguided soul couldn’t
distinguish between visiting Mexico and living here. She just plain couldn’t understand that expatriates live
Mexican lives, harboring a certain appreciation for development. What’s good
for business is good for Mexico.
Americans who rant and rave about the last Mexican election
without being able to even name the contenders – much less the name of the man
who won – really do see Mexico as nothing more than their backyard and weekend
fling. Mexico’s moving ahead, but sadly its neighbor to the north isn’t.
jennifer j. rose, Morelia