More Than Sombreros

Understanding the Mexican culture can be a hard thing to do in America. We are fighting against the abundance of stereotypes that exist about our neighbors to the north. Sombreros. Serapes. Cactus. Siestas. Tequila. Donkeys. Maracas. It doesn’t help when commercial companies promote this type of thinking as well. Have you been to your local Party store? Go find the “fiesta” themed section. Received a catalog from Oriental Trading company? How many sombreros do you need? See a commercial for a Cinco de Mayo sale? Time to order Tequila and Coronas. As Sudie Hofmann posts in this article on the Zinn Education Project, the intention is to honor and celebrate Mexican heritage and culture, but we sometimes aren’t as informed about what that is as we should be.

After seeing a sombrero-style cookie picture pinned hundreds of times on Pinterest, I decided to add some captions to it:
MasQueSombrerosTo this end, I decided to tweet some actual information and facts about Mexico and Mexicans so that we start to see them as more than just sombreros. You are welcome to join us on twitter and post with hastag #MoreThanSombreros

Costa Rican astronaut 1st Hispanic in Astronaut Hall of Fame @TheTicoTimes #MoreThanSombreros

The beautiful Salma Hayek started her career as a actress on telenovelas in Mexico. #MoreThanSombreros

Mexico ranks 14th worldwide in Gross Domestic Product, GDP ($1.2 TRILLION). It is a country and culture that is #MoreThanSombreros

5 Influential Mexicans Their contributions show that Mexicans are #MoreThanSombreros

Diego Rivera, one of Mexico’s renowned muralist, painted history of Mexico, his work accessible to all people. #MoreThanSombreros

Javier Hernández aka Chicharito, plays for Manchester United, 1 of greatest teams in England futbol. He wears the #14 jersey. #MoreThanSombreros

Mexicans can come in all skin, eye, and hair color. Yes, even blonde and blue eyes. #MoreThanSombreros

Instead of visit to restaurant for tacos and margaritas, how about educational trip to museum. #MoreThanSombreros

Carlos Slim, a Mexican, is the richest man in the world. He wears a suit. #MoreThanSombrerosmaracas y serapes

Mexicans: 60% Mestizo; 30% Amerindian; 9% White; 1% other #MoreThanSombreros

Mexico introduced chocolate, corn, and chilies to the world. #MoreThanSombreros

Mexico is the only country to host 2 FIFA World Cups (’70,’86), the world’s largest sporting event. #MoreThanSombreros

Mexico was named after the name of the Aztecs, Mexicas (meh SHEE kahs) #MoreThanSombreros

Salsa is not just something you eat with chips. #MoreThanSombreros

50.5 Million Hispanics live in the United States (16.3% of population) #MoreThanSombreros

Post your own, or if you don’t have twitter, leave a comment below and we will post it for you!

About spanishplans

Spanish Teacher in Chicago. Have studied or traveled to Costa Rica, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Spain, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Argentina, and Uruguay. Have taught level 1 at middle and high school levels. Degree in Spanish and Master's in Teaching and Leadership. Blogger
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4 Responses to More Than Sombreros

  1. Precilia says:

    I think your article is nice. I am Mexican/American born in Nebraska. All the information you put has to do with Mexico not necessarly Mexicans in America to which you refer to in your article. I think its funny and in no way shape or form am offended by any of the sterotypes that are put out commercially. Have a sense of humor not everyone is trying to bring us down. I am proud of who I am and my daughters are proud to be Mexican/American and also know that we are not sombreros and women with chanclas and colorful skirts. However, if we look at our ancestory there was a point in our history where we did wear those things. So, basically who cares of that is what is portrayed. I know Germans don’t wear lederhosen and drink beer all day either. But come Oktoberfest I’m in my lederhosen drinking beer at our local festival. Be proud of who you are, teach your children to be proud of their heritage and they’ll know that they are not just sombreros. Oh and yes I do scream el grito de independencia when I’m drunk!!

    • Billy says:

      Spot on! Why assume everyone stereotypes other cultures? That is stereotyping I believe. I like sombreros, lederhosen and The Godfather movies. Does that make me a bad person? Ummm, no.

  2. Kerri says:

    You should probably ask permission before taking someone’s picture off a website. That is considered stealing and stealing is just as bad as sterotypes. Just because you found something on pintrest does not mean you have the right to take the image. Most likely the cookies were used as a treat for a young child. It is just a little rude to judge someone off one thing.

  3. Pingback: Perspective |

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