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Along for the Ride ¿Donde esta su Mexico?
Donde esta su Mexico?
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Where's your Mexico?

michele serros

Audio

EXPERIMENTE esta página en español.

LISTEN to Michele's conversation with Rosalba Pardo, the mole chef at Mi Mexico. (With Amilcar translating into the English.)

Text

FIND OUT more about current immigration patterns to the U.S from Census 2000 or from the INS Web site.

Michele's Mexico is distinctly different from Amilcar's Mexico, and his Mexico differs from Chef Pardo's Mexico. Michele's is actually that piece of land that used to be part of Mexico but is now more often called California. Amilcar's Mexico is his small majority indigenous (consequently multilingual) town of Tlappa, just outside the state of Guerrero, Mexico. For Rosalba Pardo, the chef at one of NYC's relatively few Mexican restaurants called Mi Mexico, Mexico is her native Guerrero and the fields of Baja California where she spent most of her life as a field worker before coming to NYC.

The largest U.S. city, New York, actually doesn't have a large Mexican population. Experts on immigration to NYC say that they first saw a pattern of immigration from the Mexican state of Puebla and some from the state of Guerrero, directly to NYC in the early 1990s. The number of immigrants has increased but they continue to come from those same states of Puebla and Guerrero. Like any beginning stage of migration (often called "chain migration") early immigrants come from the same part of their home country. Whole villages and extended family networks are encouraged to immigrate by the pioneers of the group and then by the next wave. Once there is a critical mass of Mexican immigrants settled near each other in NYC, people from all over Mexico who want to immigrate will begin to choose NYC in ever greater numbers.

The immigrant stream from the Mexican states of Puebla and Guerrero to NYC grew as Mexico City ballooned and began to creep into the countryside around it. Workers living in formerly agricultural states started to work in Mexico City's service jobs. And soon they began translating their service industry skills into possibilities all the way up the eastern coast to cities like New York.