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Living in the US is bad for Hispanics

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  • #16


    By Jason Wermers
    Originally posted on August 19, 2007

    Alexia Ramirez is well aware she doesn't face the best odds of succeeding.

    The 14-year-old, who lives in the Manna Christian RV Park in Bonita Springs, will begin her ninth-grade year at Estero High on Monday.

    She knows of friends like herself "” immigrants "” who have not made it through high school, succumbing to pressures of drug abuse or to the call to work to support the family.

    But she has an example to follow. Her 18-year-old brother, Luis, graduated from Estero last spring.

    The family emigrated from Matamoros, Mexico, first to Texas, then to Lee County, seven years ago.

    Luis and Alexia learned English in Lee County schools. Alexia was beneficiary of bilingual teachers in second and third grades.

    She already is starting to lend a hand to immigrant children coming up behind her. She has served as a volunteer tutor at New Horizons Super Kids Club in Bonita Springs for children who speak little or no English.

    "The little kids are learning at a young age so they can succeed later in life," Alexia said. "I like teaching people something, but mostly the little kids."

    Michelle Ramirez, 11, followed in her older siblings' footsteps. She is about to enter fifth grade at Spring Creek Elementary, the same school her sister attended. And because she was not yet in school when the family arrived in the United States, she learned English at home from Luis and Alexia.

    "I was scared my first year," Michelle said. "I didn't know anybody."

    But she made friends. And her teachers helped her master English.

    "They've done well," she said of her teachers. "They helped me a lot in school."

    Sergio and Josefina Ramirez work to support their children. Sergio is a construction worker; Josefina cleans a clubhouse at a nearby apartment complex.

    Luis Ramirez is setting his sights on earning a college degree. Alexia and Michelle hope to follow his example.

    Alexia said she wants to become an English for Speakers of Other Languages teacher in the United States. Michelle would like to be a social worker in Mexico when she grows up.

    "It's good," Alexia said of the Lee County school system. "They taught me a lot more stuff that I wanted to know than when I was in Mexico."


    • #17
      Why do Chinese and Asian immigrants do so well in school in the U.S.? They are not any smarter, so the only other logical explanation must be that they value education more. I don't understand why so many people come to this country and DROP OUT OF HIGH SCHOOL.

      Explora, your posts are usually nonsensical. Your latest post only adds to your string of not relevant posts. Thank you.


      • #18
        Hispanics might value families more, but no one can honestly deny that there is a big presence of "Machismo" in their culture as well.

        Families are closer, but women and children are more abused (physically and sexually). I don't think that you can credit a society for their family values, but ignore the brutalities that are present.


        • #19
          What a crock. Mexico is as bad, if not worse, then the U.S. for drug use.

          More Drug Use

          Nor have these seizures preserved Mexico from registering a dramatic increase in drug use since 1994, a fact that Madrazo "forgot" to mention during his press conference. Far from sharing the optimism of the attorney general, a nation-wide study conducted by the ministry of health has concluded that drug use "has shown a preoccupying increase and worrisome trends". Indeed, according to this study reviewed in the weekly magazine Proceso[1], the mean age of first drug use in Mexico is ten years. In 1993, 3.9% of Mexicans had used a drug at least once in their lifetime, but in 1997 they were 5.27%. Since Mexico has 95 million inhabitants, about half of whom are aged 15 and under, it follows that the domestic market is huge and lucrative. The range of drugs available is diversifying, polydrug use is spreading, and substances that were practically unheard of a few years ago, like synthetic drugs and especially ecstasy, are now imported from Europe and marketed in Mexico. However, cristal, the smokeable methamphetamine manufactured in Mexico, is also gaining adepts on the domestic market.

          Another imported product – cocaine – is now the second most-used illicit drug in the country, after marijuana, which is grown locally. In fact, cocaine use has exploded: 10% of Mexican minors used it is 1997, as opposed to 0.1% in 1993. Because prices have dropped, cocaine consumption, which used to be restricted to the elite and the narcos, has become democratized and is spreading to new social groups and regions. Almost everyone can buy it, in urban as well as rural areas. For example, an OGD correspondent observed that some young dwellers of a small village in the mostly rural and Indian state of Oaxaca (one of Mexico's poorest states, a large marijuana and opium producer and a significant transit territory for cocaine) used cocaine hydrochloride. The kids said they could buy a gram for 100 pesos (about US $9). In Mexico City, high-grade hydrochloride sells for 200 pesos a gram, but highly adulterated product is available at 80 pesos a gram. Crack cocaine costs 20 pesos a dose ("grapa"), and on the capital's street markets, from scruffy Tepito (a hub for smuggling, piracy and drug trafficking) to trendy Coyoacán, crack pipes are sold openly. This cocaine boom is a direct consequence of the deal struck between Colombian traffickers and Mexican counterparts in the early 1990s: the Colombians would pay the Mexicans in kind for smuggling cocaine shipments to the "other side", on the basis of a kilo in payment for a kilo delivered in the United States. As a result, the Mexican narcos have come to own large amounts of cocaine that they are disposing of cheaply on a domestic market which is much less glutted than that of the United States.

          Heroin use is also spreading in Mexico, especially along the northern border. This increase is likely a consequence of the rise in domestic opium production, itself due in some degree to the introduction of new varieties of poppies, which are "foreign", according to the authorities, and yield more opium per hectare than domestic plants. Insistent rumors mention the presence of "Turkish chemists" in the country, allegedly producing a distinct type of heroin than the usual "Mexican tar". In addition, Mexico is a transit country for Asian heroin.

          Although recent drug use statistics are distressing and they could be manipulated for electoral purposes (see below), their publication may have at least one positive effect. They imply an official recognition that Mexico is now a significant drug consumer market, and should put an end to, and at least strongly mitigate, the traditional stance of the Mexican government, for which drug use is basically a "gringo" problem and does not affect Mexico. Although it is not devoid of demagoguery, this position enjoys widespread support among the Mexican population. One of the consequences of this official and social denial is that public policy has been "often guided by moral or political positions instead of scientific knowledge", according to the health ministry, and as a result has not been efficient. According to OGD sources, American funds will be invested in developing a network of Mexican NGOs working in the field of drug prevention and rehabilitation, with branches throughout Mexico and led by good professionals. It may be hoped that these funds will avoid the fate of the US $17 million granted by UNDCP to government programs crop substitution programmes in Michoacán state in the early 1990s, and that vanished into thin air.


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