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MEXICO: The Virgin of Guadalupe

Raśl Escalante expresses his view on Mexico City and the Virgin of Guadalupe. In northern Mexico there are bumper-stickers reading "Do a good deed. Kill a chilango (inhabitant of Mexico City)!" I wish Raśl would explain what is behind this. he says:

"In response to Linda: I guess it's just what you're used to. When my wife and I graduated from Stanford we had the option of remaining in the Bay Area but decided against it because we didn't feel at home; the atmosphere was impersonal, it was difficult to make friends at work, etc.

Insecurity in Mexico City is, as Linda says, terrible but, to be quite honest, I do feel safer now than I did in 1998 when we left Mexico City for Stanford. The same is true for pollution. It has been almost four years since we had a "Contingencia Ambiental" during the winter months. Traffic, on the other hand, is much worse now than it was before, and it will probably continue to deteriorate until gasoline prices rise enough to reflect the social cost of driving (pollution, road congestion, etc.).

I agree with Ronald on the importance of the Virgin of Guadalupe as a symbol. I am a conscientious Roman Catholic, and do feel a particular devotion to la Guadalupana as a representation of Mary I am familiar with. However, it matters little to me whether Juan Diego really existed or not, or whether he is canonized. Perhaps that is because I am not given to praying to Saints (there is very probably a Baptist streak in me from my Georgian grandmother). I do feel close to St. Francis and detest the practice of holding bullfights in his honor. "

Ronald Hilton - 12/18/01