By On the occasion of our 20th anniversary
By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
Illustration by Mark DancyDear Mexican,
How come so many Mexicans send their money to Mexico?
Gabacho,gabacho,gabacho.You have at your service a Mexican who can answer any question about his country—from why Mexican men beat their wives (same reason white men do) to which local restaurant makes the best spiced crickets (El Fortín in Fullerton) to where you can find the cheapest fake driver's licenses (visit Santa Ana's Centennial Park Saturday in the evening and ask for "El Kennedy"). And this is the best you can do? Come on, pendejo, ¡usatucabeza,cabrón!But you want an answer, an answer . . . remember what George Mallory said about the Himalayas? That people climb its mountains because they're there? Same thing with Mexicans and their cash. The Mexican government offers a tres-por-uno(three-for-one) program: for every dollar a migrant invests in hometown municipal projects, the government matches it on a federal, state and local level. Given the chance to improve a Third World country, Mexicans have responded enthusiastically—according to Banamex, Mexico's national bank, Mexicans in the U.S. sent back an estimated $14 billion, making remittances the country's second most important source of income after oil. Such altruism is unsurpassed in human history, so I have to ask you, Güero Power—why not make like a Mexican and offer your money to Uncle Sam in the name of better schools, highways and infrastructure? Oh, right: because you're an American.
Got a spicy question about Mexicans? Ask the Mexican at email@example.com. And those of you who do submit questions: give your name or a pseudonym,por favor, orwe'llmakeoneupforyou!