Craig Engledow '08
Tuesday, November 21st, we visited the National Anthropology Museum. It gave us a chance to see many Mexican Indian cultures from outside of central Mexico. The Mexican culture chooses to embrace their Indian heritage much different from the United States. While in the U.S. we understand that there were many injustices that were forced upon the Native Americans, there is still little desire to learn about these Indian cultures. In Mexico, however, not only do they understand the roots of their country, but they also embrace it in a way that honors the past. One of the main themes of this class is historical memory and it can be seen how the Mexican culture chooses to remember the “founders” of their country in a very positive light, a celebrate them. As we arrived at the museum, we were treated to a ceremonial los voladores from Veracruz, which is an event in which the Indians would climb a tall tower and work their way down by swinging on a rope. It also gave us a chance to learn about the central Mexican Indian tribes without being hassled by hundreds of sales men.
We also switched hotels today. We are now staying in the area of Zona Rosa at the Hotel Maria Cristina. The difference in socioeconomics between the two areas is very visible. Zona Rosa is a much more "Americanized." The area includes several restaurants that we are familiar with, such as Burger King and Kentucky Fried Chicken. As well as having restaurants that were not present in the other area, there were also much cleaner streets, 'walk/don’t walk signs' and even high rises. Designer shops and high-end restaurants dot the plaza walk.
While the Casa de Los Amigos was a great place to stay, the hotels do not even compare. We are now equipped with luxuries such as televisions and high pressure showers. It is sad to think how two different parts of the city, barely a mile apart, can seem like worlds apart.