Mixtecos: Norte / Sur


Eniac Martínez

For most of its history, a significant percentage of United Stated citizen shave viewed their border with Mexico as a no-man's land worthy of attention only as the entry site of illegal inmigrants and problems. In the last decade segments of the U. S. citizenry have become more vocal against the presence of immigrants in their country, while the Mexican presence throughout the United States -legal or illegal- intensifies. These photographs are part of a project called Mixtecos: Norte / Sur and one of it's goals is to create a better understanding towards the people who are crossing the border, an opportunity for a Mexican Photographer to share with a United States audience a vision of the Mixteco migration. It is the saga of indigenous people forced by economic circumstamces to move from their impoverished homeland of Oaxaca to the industrialized countryside of the southern United States.

Surviving prehispanic documents trace the history of individual Mixtecs city-states to the 7th century A.D. Mixtec people descendants of one of the greatest cultures of ancient Mexico are now building pyramids of tomatoes and oranges in the fields of the north county of San Diego.

Recent political and economic developments between the United States and Mexico makes Mixtecos: Norte / Sur an extremely topical exhibition. With the North American Free trade agreement, Proposition 187, and the recent economic and political changes in Mexico, a great deal of attention has been paid to the issues, but not much to the people. This present year 200,000 Mexicans are expected to cross the border, a significant percentage of them will be Mixtecos.

Eniac Martínez can be reached at: eniacm@cablevision.net.mx