Texas board of education approves a Mexican-American studies course, in all but name

04/11/2018 Dallas News

classroom-2093744_1280.jpgHigh school students in Texas will likely soon be able to take a state-approved Mexican-American studies course — but it won’t be called that.

The state’s board of education gave preliminary approval Wednesday for the creation of the course, the culmination of a four-year fight by advocates and educators to add it as an elective. A final vote will happen Friday.

“This should have happened four years ago, but we’re pleased to see the board move forward on this today,” said Kathy Miller, the president of the left-leaning nonprofit Texas Freedom Network. “It’s important for students to learn that the story of Texas and our nation includes the experiences and contributions of Mexican Americans and other people from diverse backgrounds.”

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What Ails Mexican Democracy

03/22/2018 Foreign Affairs

Mexico CityMillions of Mexican citizens will go to the polls on July 1 to elect a new president, just as they have done, like clockwork, every six years since 1934. If experience is any guide, the election will proceed without incident: polls will open on time, observers will pronounce the voting to have been “free and fair,” and the losers will congratulate the winner, even if they also pledge to “continue the fight.” But all is not well with Mexican democracy. Public support for democratic institutions is low, and faith in the democratic process is waning. The current president, Enrique Peña Nieto, has logged some of the worst public approval ratings ever recorded in Mexico—as low as 12 percent, according to one poll from January 2017. His administration is widely blamed for failing to solve Mexico’s most vexing problems: civil-war-like levels of violence, high crime rates, blatant corruption and impunity at the highest levels of government, a continuously impoverished countryside, and a long-term failure to extend the provision of public goods across the whole of Mexican territory.

What is to be done?

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Germany returns 3,000-year-old Olmec statues to Mexico

03/21/2018 BBC

arch.jpgGermany has returned two 3,000-year-old pre-Hispanic wooden statues from the Olmec civilisation to the Mexican authorities.

Mexico says the artefacts were taken illegally from an Olmec archaeological site in eastern Mexico.

They were seized from controversial Costa Rican art collector Leonardo Patterson in southern Germany in 2008.

In 2015, a court ruled that they belonged to Mexico and on Tuesday they were handed to the Mexican ambassador.

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Mexico celebrates Hollywood success of director Guillermo del Toro on Oscar night

03/05/2018 The San Diego Union Tribune

pexels-photo-164183.jpegGuillermo del Toro’s Oscar victories for best director and best picture for “The Shape of Water” have set off an outpouring of national pride and triggered celebrations in his Mexican homeland.

Many commentators on social media and elsewhere pointedly contrasted the success of Del Toro and other Mexican artists in the U.S. film industry with what many in the country assail as President Trump’s stereotyping of Mexicans as lawbreakers.

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Unpacking Mexico’s Universe of Mole

03/01/2018 Bloomberg

Mole_in_Puebla
Credit: Wikipedia (Elelicht)

There’s little that rattles the intrepid home cooks of 2018. Well-versed in world flavors and armed with the knowledge of 1,001 digital voices, today’s kitchen warriors don’t stop at Julia Child’s famously laborious beef Bourguignon. “Give me a real challenge,” one imagines them saying. Give me towers of croquembouche wrapped in spindly sugar webbing; day-long smoked pork butt lovingly basted every hour on the hour; and boulangerie-worthy bread baked with flour milled in my very own kitchen. The more steps, the better.

And yet, when it comes to one of the most challenging of Mexican dishes—mole, the complexly spiced and intricately prepared family of sauces dating from pre-Hispanic times—many voices go silent.

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Mexico Tourism Board’s Dedicated Meetings and Events Global Program Drives Continuous Growth for the Sector

12/20/2017 PR Newswire

mexican flagMEXICO CITYDec. 20, 2017  /PRNewswire/ — The Mexico Tourism Board (MTB) reported that its 2017 Meetings and Events program has led to significant growth in the industry sector, showing a 6.7% increase from January to October, when compared to the same period in 2016. Mexico has taken a leadership position as a destination for meetings and events with the relaunch of its strategic partnership program with meetings industry organizations and initiatives that aim to elevate its ICCA ranking, as well as to increase the economic impact of the meetings and conventions industry in the Mexican economy, which currently accounts for US$25 billion. The International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) ranks Mexico as 3rd in Latin America, 5th in the Americas, and 21st globally for meeting and incentive travel.

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She begged him not to leave Mexico again. But the lure of America was powerful, and deadly

12/1/2017 The Los Angeles Times 

border usa mexicoOn a cloudy morning last October, Agustin Poblete Ortega stopped by his wife’s house to tell her he was leaving again. Rosa Icela Nava, then 27, didn’t want him to go. Her whole life she had been surrounded by men who had gone north, and sometimes never returned. And while her relationship with Poblete had been rocky over the last year — she had moved out of his family’s house because of his drinking — he was a good father to their two young daughters. She wanted to ask him to stay, to tell him about the sick feeling in her stomach. But Nava kept her feelings inside, as was her habit. “I can’t stop you,” she told him. “Take care of the kids,” he said.

 

If Poblete was addicted to alcohol — he could never have just one tequila or beer — he was also addicted to American wages. On his five previous trips north, he had grown accustomed to earning $15 an hour. Back in his hometown of Malinalco, Mexico, he chafed as bosses handed him the equivalent of just $10 after a day of hard work.

He had been part of a large wave of Mexicans returning home in recent years, a phenomenon fueled by harsher conditions in the U.S. and new opportunities back home that is upending the immigration narrative on both sides of the border.

Coming back to Mexico is not easy for everybody. For Poblete, who had tasted the good life north of the border, the real winners in Mexico’s growing economy seemed to be the millionaire business and political leaders who arrived by helicopter to play at Malinalco’s exclusive golf resort — not high school dropouts like him.
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