A woman reaches for a sweater donated by the public in Mexico City. A group of journalists and photojournalists kicked off a campaign this winter labeled with the Twitter hashtag #SinFrioDF to get folks to donate clothing to those in need.
I get asked these days by friends and family abroad about how Mexico is doing. Almost immediately an image of former President Carlos Salinas on the cover of Time Magazine in 1993 with the headline "Mexico Is Looking Up" flickers across my mind followed by the rest of significant events since then. Indeed, in spite of the economic turmoil that ensued in December of 1994 as the Mexican peso plunged things did take a turn for the better shortly thereafter. The party lasted a while as NAFTA began to take root and the world economy boomed. Mexico could have used this period of growth to diversify its economy, but didn't and the opportunity was ignored at a hefty price: its future.
Today Mexico is struggling to stay on its two feet as it fights destructive gusts from internal and external whirlwinds. Dreams of one day joining a dwindling middle class are being crushed as poverty rises in a country where approximately 50% of the population already faces extreme economic hardship and reduced life chances. Inflation on some basics suffered significant increase according to some figures released at the start of the year while the current administration lives in denial of both the rise in deaths from the drug war as of 2014 and the impact of the commodity and currency crisis on the nation's economy. Just to think where things could be taken if the people who could make a difference were concerned with being transparent about the issues. Recognizing a problem brings you that much closer to fixing it, if it's not too late of course.