Mexico's immigrant communities ... on the web
Last month's column about migration generated quite a few emails. As a follow-up, it seemed appropriate to examine the depths of Mexico's racial, cultural and religious diversity by focusing on migrant communities in Mexico. One chaveta - historical connections are poorly documented on the Web. If an event happened more than 20 years ago, it's hard to find quality information online. For example, there is very little online about the Cornish miners who settled in Pachuca and developed Mexico's very own "cradle of soccer." That story and countless others about the Irish, Italians, Canadians and Gringos in Mexico are better sought in antique-book stores or in the reference section of the library. Not everything can be found on the Web.
ETHNIC DIVERSITY IN MÉXICO
This exclusive feature of the Mexico Connect website helps assemble the jigsaw puzzle of cultures. The guide includes a handful of excellent articles and resources. Highlights include Joe Cumming's portrait of Chinese immigrants who settled on the Northern Border: www.mexconnected.com/mex_/travel/jcummings/jcchina.html. Did you know that Mexicali lays claim to the highest per-capita concentration of Chinese residents in Mexico? Other excellent features include Roberto Rodríguez and Patrisia Gonzáles' exploration of Mexico's African roots ( www.mexconnected.com/mex_/feature/ethnic/bv/spec0303.html) and Shep Lenchek's history of Jews in Mexico ( www.mexconnected.com/mex_/travel/slenchek/sljewsinmexico1.html). The guide also features resources about indigenous cultures. For those who are not familiar with this site, be sure to check out the General Message Board ( www.mexconnected.com/wwwboard/index.html), probably one of the most active bulletin boards used by the ex-pat community in Mexico.
CENTRO CULTURAL ISLÁMICO DE MÉXICO
This site provides a fascinating glimpse into the development of Islam in Mexico. Developed by Omar Weston, president of the Muslim Center of Mexico, the site has a collection of reference articles in Spanish, a history of the development of Islam in Mexico in the section "Dawa in Mexico" and links to other Islamic centers in Latin America. Downside: it needs better navigational tools and should be updated on a more regular basis.
BLACK MEXICO HOME PAGE
This stellar website profiles the Afro-Mexicans of the Costa Chica-the Pacific coast of Oaxaca and Guerrero. Webmaster Bobby Vaughn writes: "As a cultural anthropologist, I am interested in how issues of race, color and nationalism make the Afro-Mexican experience what it is today, and hopefully, I can come to some general conclusions as to larger issues of race and ethnicity."The website provides a historical overview and includes interesting factoids like this: In 1570, Mexico's black population was three times greater than that of the Spanish, and it wasn't until 1810 that Spaniards outnumbered blacks.
The site also includes news about local projects, a photo gallery and even the webmaster's dissertation abstract. The entire site accompanies his academic work. Kudos to Bobby for making such fascinating research available on the Web.
OTHER SITES WORTH VISITING:
Basques in México
Fascinating essay from a 1995 conference.
Jewish Walking Tours of Mexico City
Learn about the Jewish culture in the heart of Mexico City.
Foreigners Living in México
Tom Penick's handy reference guide for foreigners currently living in, or planning to move to, Mexico.