Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Mexican Wealth

This picture was taken in about 1920, and shows the interior of a wealthy families home in Mexico. The stark contrast between this picture and the picture from yesterday illustrates one of the challenges in Mexico. There is not much of a Middle Class in Mexico. A few people are extremely wealthy, and then many, many desperately poor people. Perhaps now there is some emergence of a middle class in cities, but certainly in rural areas people are still living in abject poverty. A few years ago I had a chance to give a presentation at a University in Monterrey Mexico. About 2,000 students showed up for the talk, and after the talk I was literally mobbed by hundreds of students wanting to ask questions. I had never seen such enthusiasm from engineering students in this country. That experience gave me hope that perhaps young people there are appreciating the importance of higher education, and that through a number of excellent universities, Mexico will continue to build a broader professional workforce.

7 comments:

  1. If you enlarge the photo, you can see how beautiful and spacious the house was. It almost looks like the lobby of a hotel.

    I wonder if that building is still standing today?

    Several years ago, I knew a girl who married into a very wealthy and educated Mexican family.

    She met her husband when he was an exchange student here who visited her uncle one summer. He was very handsome, wealthy, and in college, and he took summer courses here, too.

    I think she was only 16 and he was about 18 at the time they met. After that first visit, he and a cousin returned every year until she was old enough for her father to let her get married.

    After about five years, they married and moved to Mexico city.

    His family was in some sort of fuel-related business and they lived in a huge house with servants and armed guards because it was so dangerous there.

    I once ran into them while they were visiting here about 10 years after they were married. At that time they had three children.

    I do know that the girl was very homesick living in Mexico and was always uncomfortable with the danger there, even though they had servants and a beautiful home.

    I think she persuaded her husband to move here for a while, but his lifestyle was much lower here than what he was used to in Mexico City.

    I don't know where they are now, or even if they're still married.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Does anyone know what that large, cloth-draped object is on the right side of the atrium, behind the potted tree?

    It appears to have an "R" embroided on it. It almost looks like a bier.

    ReplyDelete
  3. This could easily be one of the hotels we stayed at in either Morelia or Patzcuaro last Dias de los Muertos. Same for the previous street scene, except that the dress would be blue jeans and a short sleeved shirt.

    The people we met may not have had many material goods, but poverty is not a word I would use in describing them.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Smartgirl 1953, I think it is a pipe organ. This kind they ara still manufacturing in Mexico:
    http://www.geocities.com/organosbribiesca/home.htm

    ReplyDelete
  5. If this is the interior then why are there bars on the window located on the right hand side?

    ReplyDelete
  6. A pipe organ sounds reasonable.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I love your blog thank you for creating this!! :-D

    I am a sucker for old photographs,as well as a lover of history so this is awesome. This picture is beautiful and this home is amazing,makes me wish I could travel back in time to just visit it...although I probably wouldn't want to live in those times,being a woman was hard back then -_-'

    ReplyDelete