We note the clothing Mexican boys wore for a range of different activities. Many Mexican children worked from an early age, especially in rural areas. Although not as extensive, there is also considerable child labor in urban areas. This is primarily in the 'grey' unregulated sectors of the economy. This is still a problem. The major activity for children is now school. Until the Revolution, public schools were limited in Mexico. Today there is an extensive public school system, but there are questions about the quality iof those schools. Many Mexican children wear school uniforms. Mexico has some children's choirs. The country is a largely Catholic country, at least culturally. Many Mexicans do not practice their religion. Many children, however, do a First Communion. Sports are very popular in Mexico. The single most populasr sport is scoocer (football). Baseball is also very popular, especially in northern Mexico. The main youth group is the Scouts, but paricipation is limited. There are also important festivals and holidays in Mexico in which children participate.
Mexico has some children's choirs.
The tradition of cock fighting is strong in Latin American countries and a big favorite in Mexico. It is still a popular event with well-established arenas with seats or bleachers for spectators surrounding the ring, similar to a wrestling or boxing area on a somewhat smaller scale. Numerous fights might be held throughout the day, with attendees betting on which birds will lose. Parents often bring along their children for what is considered a day of fun for the entire family. It was all until recently totally legal and accepted. Among the men who raise fighting cocks, there is great pride in the prowess of their birds and in producing a champion. Many believe that Mexican cockfighting was introduced from the Philippines during Manila-Acapulco galleon trade. The galleions were btransporting Mexican silver to China. The Filipino sailors brought their culture including drinking tuba and cockfighting.
Arenas designed for cockfighting are called palenques. They are still common throughout Mexico. Every major city and many towns have one. They are associated with Mexican traditinal music. To add to the festivities. Music concerts may alternste with boughts. The singers or dancers perform from the cockpit.
We do not know a lot about the games Merican children played. We believe that many are similar to those played by children in other countries. We assume the principal influence is Spain. Wedo not know if Native American games have had any inluence on modern Mexican games. Some games may be different than thse played in other countries. Some of the games may have just have had different names. The names certainly are different to those we see in North america, but they may not be differet than popular games in Spain. We have arcived a set of images from the 1920s which provide fascinting glimses of children's games played in Mexico. We see games played by both boys nd girls. All we know about the games, however, is what can be climpsed in the photographs and in some cases the name of the game. We suspect these are games which hve been played for some time in Mexico. We do not know to what extent why are still being played. As in other countries, sports have become much more important in youth activities than was the case in the past. We are hopeing that our Mexican readers can provide some information on the games.
There are also important festivals and holidays in Mexico in which children participate. Because of the country's Chrustian hertitage, they are similar to hilifdays in the United States and Europe. Interestungly, Mexico's most imprtant national day (Cinco de Mayo) is wudely celebrated in the United States. Alhough nearly all of the Amrrican cekldevrantys know what it is all about -- the victory in the Battle of Pueblo over the forces of Emperor Maximillian who had been put in power by French Emperor Napoleon III. The most destinctive Mexican celebration is the Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). It is kind of fusion of All Saints Day/Hallowen and Amer-Indiuan traditions.
One statistica study suggests tht pet ownership is very high in Mexico. That sounds high to us. Income levels have risen in Mexico during recent years, in part because of NAFA. And the moddle-class has expanded, a good indicator of pet ownership. Many Mericans, however, have incomes far below American and European levels. And pet ownership can be be expensive, especially veternarian care. Mexico's economic progress have resulted in more veterarians opening up clinics, but there ius a major problem with fordability as well refuges for stray animals. still Mexican law only classifies cats and dogs as pets. Some Mexicans also own birds, but there are not a lot of other popular pets. Many owners can not aford to neuter their pets. Thus we see a lot stray animals, especially dogs, on city and town streets. Most middle class families can afiord to care for their pets, but often working-class parents can not. We have nt been able to find much information on pets in Mexico. An internet search yields most information for Americans desiring to tske their pets with them into Mexico.
The country is a largely Catholic country, at least culturally. Many Mexicans do not practice their religion. Many children, however, do a First Communion.
Assessments of Mexican public schools are generally negative. The World Economic Forum according to a 2004 report ranked becicoonly 74 out of 102 other countries in the quality of education. That rank was just below Cameroon. Mexicans generally agree that public schools are not very good, but disagree as to just why. Some say it is inadequate financing and poor facilities. Others point to the country's powerful teaching union--the National Educaton Teacher's Union. Mexico has a highly centralized educational system. State government plays little role in Mexican education. Nor does local government and parents play an important role. HBC has only limited information on Mexican school uniforms. Not all schools require uniforms. Many state elementary schools do not require uniforms, but secondary schools do require them. The general fashion is white shirts, ties, sweaters, and grey long pants. Short pants are not commonly required, except for gym uniforms. Kneesocks ("calceta escolar") are not common for boys, but as in the image on this page, they are worn at some schools. Knee socks are much more common for girls, perhaps because mist Mexican boys wear long pants to school. Knee socks are very common at girls' schools which is perhaps why they are commonly called school socks.
. Until the Revolution, public schools were limited in Mexico. Today there is an extensive public school system, but there are questions about the quality of those schools. Many Mexican children wear school uniforms. >
Sports are very popular in Mexico. The single most populasr sport is scoocer (football). Baseball is also very popular, especially in northern Mexico.
Many Mexican children worked from an early age, especially in rural areas. They were assigned a variety of tasks. Often they worked as shpherds (pastorcillo). Mexico until after the Revolution was a largely aricultural country. Most of the population lived in rural areas and worked on farms. Children worked in both family fincas and rancheros as well as on haciendas. Most children worked on farms rather than attending schools. There were not even schools in most rural areas. And the rural population was largely iliterate. We are also surprised with the number of authors who associate child labor with the capitalism and the industrial revolution. In fact it was only with the industrial revolution that child labpr began to be seen as a social problem. Although not as extensive, there is also considerable child labor in urban areas. Authorities did not begin to address child labor untikl the Revolution. The establishment of a comprehensive free public school system has helped reduce the problem, but it has not been eliminated. This is primarily in the "grey" unregulated sectors of the economy. This continues to be a problem in Mexico.
The main youth group is the Scouts, but paricipation is limited. We do not know of any other important youth group.
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