Use CultureGrams for this activity
Mexico’s Independence Day is celebrated on September 15 and 16. This year’s celebration marks the two hundredth anniversary of the start of the Mexican War of Independence.
On September 16, 1810, Miguel Hidalgo called for the Mexican people to take up arms against the Spanish colonial government; his battle cry became known as the “Grito de Dolores.”
Learn more about the relationship between Mexico and the United States with the following activity using CultureGrams World Edition.
Grades 9-12 Learning Activity
Begin with the picture entitled Missing a Son, from the Mexico Photo Gallery. (See below.)
Read the caption out loud and discuss the ways in which the United States benefits from the cheap labor that Mexico provides.
Display or access the following pictures from the gallery to give students an image of life in Mexico: Cardboard Houses, Farmer, Flower Harvesting, Jumping Rope, Living Space, Praying, Resting, Rural Child, Tortillas, Washing Clothes, and Woodstove Meal.
Discuss why Mexican people might be attracted to work in U.S. factories on the Mexican border, despite the fact that their wages are much lower than those of their U.S. American counterparts.
Immigration is a divisive issue in U.S. politics today. In order to offer a Hispanic perspective on immigration, discuss the findings of this Pew Hispanic Center Poll (2005), which showed that large percentages of Mexicans wanted to immigrate to the United States but that Mexicans already in the United States had mixed feelings about the benefits of such immigration.
Using the Economy section of the Mexico CultureGrams report, introduce NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) to the class, outlining both the pros (increased jobs with higher-than-average wages for Mexicans, increased profits for U.S. companies, etc.) and the cons (U.S. jobs exported to Mexico, unsafe or unregulated working conditions in maquiladoras, underpaid Mexican workers, etc.).