While the fundamental mission of the Mexico Institute remains to advance the knowledge, understanding and appreciation of the rich and diverse Mexican culture through artistic and educational programs, its mandate has become more urgent in recent years. Of the organization’s principal constituencies – Anglo-Americans, Mexicans, Mexican-Americans, Latin-Americans
and other minority groups – three of the groups, which the Institute not only serves but also represents, are growing in number thereby creating a pressing need to build the agency’s capacity. Moreover, this growth creates a set of demographic conditions that magnify the need for organizations like the Mexico Institute.
Alleviating “Cultural Collision”
Fueled by the growth of the Latino population (primarily Mexicans and Mexican-Americans), minorities are projected to account for more than 90 percent of Texas’ growth for the next 30 years. In fact, the United States as a whole will shift to a minority-majority by 2050, and Texas’ immigrant-gateway cities of Dallas, Houston and San Antonio already have minority-majority
populations. This makes Texas one of the bellwether regions for effective strategies to alleviate the unavoidable social, cultural, economic and political stress of demographic change.
According to demographer Dr. Steve Murdock, former Director of the US Census Bureau, “The future of Texas is tied to its minority population. How well they do is how well Texas will do.” Without aggressive action on part of community, business, cultural, educational and political leaders to address these trends, Texas faces the prospect of culture collisions and backlashes.
“We have a demographic window of opportunity that we need to take advantage of now to face these challenges. If we don’t, that window will remain closed for several decades.”
Get to Know Your Neighbor
Mexico is Texas’ principal trading partner. Along 1,000 miles of common border, Texas-Mexico trade continuously increases, and with it the need for cultural sensitivity.
Hispanics in the U.S., while usually sharing Spanish as their native language, have many nations of origin. The phenomenon of their cultural affiliation is just beginning to be examined, but studies indicate Latinos maintain both a strong sense of connection to their nation of origin and identification with a generic U.S.-influenced cultural identity called “Hispanic” (i.e. Spain as its
In the case of Mexicans, it should be remembered that during the 16th century the Spanish conquest of Mexico annihilated much of its high civilization and population. Racially, the average contemporary Mexican typically is a blend of Indian, European and Black peoples – creating what a scholar termed “the cosmic race.”