What is a Mexican?
In Puerto Vallarta we don’t hear the term Hispanic as much as we do Latino. There is a justifiable reason for this. Hispanic is technically considered to be someone from a Spanish speaking country, which has been disputed by those who don’t consider themselves of Spanish ancestry. Mestizo once referred to a mix of Indigenous and primarily Spanish, but Africans and Europeans changed this over time.
Large numbers of African slaves were brought in after the Spanish conquest, to work in agriculture, just as they did in the United States. Other Europeans soon arrived in the New World, as well and it wasn’t long before everyone was having babies with everyone else. Originally it was an honor to be called Mestizo and many Indigenous women were willing to have their children labeled as such, to protect them from slavery and other evils of the downtrodden. Less than a hundred years after Cortéz disembarked on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, the mestizaje (people of Spanish and Indian blood) numbered in the tens of thousands. The result was the majority of Mestizos being raised in the indigenous communities, where there was no chance of being mistaken for elite. Interbreeding backfired and being Mestizo was considered low class, swinging the genetic label in the opposite direction.
Hence there is a bitterness regarding Spaniards in Mexico and it remains to this day, though few are willing to go to war for the cause. In Puerto Vallarta, it’s not unusual to meet a light-skinned Mexican, with blue or green eyes, blond or red hair. They are proud to be referred to as Latino.
To be a true Mexican, one must have been born in Mexico, regardless of ancestry. Since there is no actual Mexican genome, it’s impossible to track true pedigree, but genetic diversity is under serious research and development to make DNA tagging possible. The main objective of studies is to analyze complex diseases that science and medicine have often proven to be genetically based.
If you have lived in Mexico for a certain period of time, meet all requirements, and pass the tests, you can certainly become and refer to yourself as a Mexican citizen. Mexico is much like the United States in that way. Mexico, Canada and the United States are all nothing more than melting pots of many heritages, all equal, yet different in the most individual unique ways.
Que es cómo es.
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