A primary example of this is the belief described by Burk et al. (1995) that exposure of a pregnant woman to an eclipse will cause her infant to have a cleft lip or palate. The belief originated with the Aztecs, who thought that an eclipse occurred because a bite had been taken out of the moon. If the pregnant woman viewed the eclipse, her infant would have a bite taken out of its mouth. An obsidian knife was placed on the woman’s abdomen before going out at night to protect her. This belief remains intact hundreds of years later, the only difference being that today a metal key or safety pin is used for protection.
the belief that an infant may have characteristics of an object that the mother craves during pregnancy if the craving is not satisfied (eg, the infant may have strawberry spots if the mother craves but dos not eat strawberries)
(40 days) the period following birth during which certain dietary and activity restrictions are observed to allow the mother time to recover from pregnancy, to bond with the newborn, and to prevent certain illnesses from occurring later in life
Mexico, in common with most of the Americas, was colonized by the Spanish from the 16th century onwards. This has led to a combination of Indian beliefs with European Christian ideology. The best-known example of this is the Day of the Dead, the Mexican equivalent of All Souls day, which is celebrated on November 1st.
$290.2 billion value of goods traded between U.S and Mexico.
698,314 number of firms owned by people of Mexican decent.
of these 275,055 are in California and 234,732 in Texas
$96.5 billion in sales and receipts for firms owned by people of Mexican origin in 2002
$100.4 million is the value of product shipments by mexico in 2002
How to apply to the classroom - While statistical information does little to provide educational opportunities, in terms of lesson plans or activities, it does however provide a clearer picture as to the backgrounds of the students enrolled in your course. Although not applicable as a template for dealing with all Mexican American students statistical data provides a “mean” economic and educational standing for the general student and therefore provides greater insight into there lives outside of school. Knowing that a students home-life impacts their academic experience it is helpful to have a basic understanding of the domestic setting these students deal with on a daily basis.
In 1998, the top 20 percent of income earners accounted for 55 percent of Mexico's income, while an estimated 27 percent of the population was living below the poverty line.
The size of the middle classes has shrunk in recent years.
Poverty and marginalization are widespread, they are particularly strong in central and southern Mexico and especially in rural areas. Among the poorest segments of the population a strong presence of Indian groups can be found.
The wealthiest segments of the Mexican population, which are predominantly made up of whites.
The degree of economic participation of women was 35 percent in 1995, while that of men was about 75 percent.
Female economic participation is increasing rapidly. In addition, it is generally assumed that many women are employed in nonregistered and underpaid informal activities.
Women also generally earn less than men and their level of educational is lower. Most women are economically active when they are young (between twenty and twenty-four years of age).
the political arena is strongly dominated by men, the presence of women in public space has become more common place.
In the early twenty-first century, for example, the leadership of major political parties was in the hands of female politicians, as was the government of Mexico City and the chair of Mexico's largest union. The involvement of women in numerous social movements has also been significant.
Women play crucial roles in the family, but even here the male is "chief of the family" ( jefe de familia ). Women are seen as the caretakers of morality and hence take center stage in the domain of religion.
The two key cultural icons for defining femininity are La Malinche and the Virgin of Guadalupe.
The myth of La Malinche refers to the Indian woman who was given to conqueror Hernán Cortés in 1519. During the remaining part of the conquest she was his interpreter and "mistress.“
The Virgin of Guadalupe represents suffering and sacrifice. This has given rise to the image of the submissive, self-sacrificing, but virtuous woman ( la abnegada ).
Together these myths explain the ambiguity attached to defining females. The key concept for defining masculinity is machismo, which is associated with violence, power, aggressiveness, and sexual assertiveness.
They have been influential in the imagery of Mexican men and women, but they are increasingly considered simple stereotypes.
Under the influence of profound social and cultural transformations in an increasingly urbanized Mexico, perceptions of masculinity and femininity are shifting continuously.
Marriage. Mexicans are free to choose their marriage partners. Informally, however, there are rules that constrain choices, most importantly those related to class and ethnicity. People usually marry after a period of formal engagement that can last several years.
Out of all Mexicans aged twelve and above, just over half were married or otherwise united. Although the basis for marriage is love, many Mexicans consciously or unconsciously look for a partner who can provide social and economic security or upward mobility.
Domestic Unit. The nuclear family is the common household unit: in 1995, almost three-quarters of all family households were nuclear. Households consisted of an average of 4.6 members.
A significant number of households consist of "extended" nuclear families, which often exist on a temporary basis. Particularly among the urban poor there are households consisting of parents, children, grandparents and sometimes other relatives.
Recently married couples may live for a few years with the kin of husband or wife in order to save sufficient money to establish an independent domestic unit. In the countryside different nuclear families might live close to each other and share common resources.
Inheritance. Inheritance laws make no distinction between men and women. Each child is legally entitled to an equal share, but in practice male descendants are often privileged. In the countryside land is often distributed only among sons.
Kin Groups. The extended family is of crucial importance to most Mexicans. Although family members generally live dispersed, sometimes very far away due to international migration, they seek opportunities to gather on several occasions.
Fictive kinship relations are established through godfathers ( padrinos )and godmothers ( madrinas ) at Catholic baptismal ceremonies. The family and larger kin groups are the main locus of trust, solidarity, and support in Mexico.
After kindergarten, children are required to go to primary school for six years.
In public and private schools pupils have to wear uniforms. Whereas public schools stress civic values and lay education, the majority of private schools tend to place more emphasis on religious values. There are also more liberal private schools. Relations between teacher and pupils tend to be strict.
Role and rule differentiation between girls and boys begins at an early age and forms key aspects of child rearing until adolescence.
Male babies are dressed in blue and female babies in soft pink. There is a tendency to raise boys as "little men" and girls as "little women," thereby preparing them for their future gender roles.
Sexual education within the family is still taboo for many Mexicans. Methods of child rearing also show differences according to class .
Example, in lower-class households it can be strict and traditional. During the 1990s, the government launched campaigns against the use of corporal punishment.
The most important initiation ceremony for girls is held when they turn fifteen. This fiesta de quince años marks the transition from girl to señorita , that is, a young virgin.
The event also indicates that the young woman is now available for marriage. The ritual includes a holy mass during which the need to maintain purity until marriage is stressed. Afterward, the family holds a large party. There is no comparable ritual for boys.
In Mexico higher education is considered a road to socioeconomic progress and well-being. During several decades, public universities were recruitment sites for the political and administrative elite. This function has increasingly been taken over by the most prestigious private universities .
men. Half the students studied social and administrative sciences and a third were in engineering and technology
In 1995, nearly 12 percent of the population over the age of twenty-five enjoyed some degree of higher education. At the beginning of university courses in 1998, there were just over 1.5 million students in the universities (excluding preparatory schools), of which 811,000 were men and 704,000 were woIn 1995, nearly 12 percent of the population over the age of twenty-five enjoyed some degree of higher education. At the beginning of university courses in 1998, there were just over 1.5 million students in the universities (excluding preparatory schools), of which 811,000 were men and 704,000 were women. Half the students studied social and administrative sciences and a third were in engineering and technology.