El Otro Lado Part 3: We Can't Predict The Future of Love and Marriages

24 Jan 2005|Added Value

In the recent December Holidays, I spent my first Christmas and New Years in Mexico. I witnessed many “Posadas” during the Holiday season, with lots of parties and festivities. But I also noticed the crowded highways with the influx of people who had arrived from the U.S. to their home towns, and then later, the highways were filled with those that were leaving. During this time, the average # of people crossing each border line went up from 300 per day to 700 per day.

I learned of entire towns that come to life during these Holiday seasons. Towns, such as General TreviƱo, with a population of 3500, are almost entirely dependent on the U.S. immigrant for thier existence. Out of the 3500 in the town, 2000 work in the United States. According to the loyal mayor, Raquel Villareal, the workers in the U.S. not only support their local families, but they also play an important role as social citizens, donating money for parks and school buses. Doctor Aroyo, another small town in the south of the northern state of Nueveo Leon, with an aging population and little infrastructure, continues to exist only because of the US$400,000 the town receives in remittance each week. In the town of Los Ramones, 120 residents from Orsi, California purchased a $20,00 school bus for local town residents. (www.Elnorte.com). Many of these residents are are second and third generation U.S. Mexican Hispanics.

Many companies ask us whether the U.S. Hispanic market will one day become 100% assimilated. With the cross-border relationships, immigrants who have financial and familial commitments on both sides of the border, it is clear that Cross-border lives are an ongoing reality. In our ethnographic research, we have learned of several families where the kids will choose which side they want to live in for different periods of time. There are many instances where some kids will choose to be in the U.S. with one parent, and the other kids stay in Mexico with grandparents or another parent. In the end, where those kids marry and who they marry plays a crucial role in which culture they make dominant in their lives. No one can predict the future of love and marriages. What we can be sure about, however, is that cross-border lives will continue to exist for some time, and this phenomena presents all kinds of opportunties for new products and services.

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