The Lazy Mexican: A Damaging Stereotype That Is Far from the Truth

Lacey Young and Mari Hall - Montana Kaimin
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May 24, 2017


The US and Mexico both have many wonderful attributes, but in several cases, Mexico’s are way cooler. Here are 10 things the country and its people just do better. (geobeats)

It is an iconic picture of Mexico: The image of a farmer reclining against a cactus, his sombrero pulled over his eyes, his posture evident that he is asleep. The form has been co-opted into salt and pepper shakers, tiles, bottles, paintings and trays. It exudes a passiveness and has come to symbolize the accepted image of the lazy Mexican.

The problem is, Mexicans aren’t lazy.

We’ve been living in Oaxaca, Mexico, for about three months, and the constantly bustling streets have become a daily comfort. Along the most common bus routes, street vendors sell tamales for breakfast and announce their presence through a megaphone. These vendors have been up since dawn and will continue to hawk their goods well into the afternoon.

Many locals have already been at work for hours when our classmates make their way into the Instituto Cultural Oaxaca around 9 a.m. each day. In the Zócalo, the city center, elderly women walk with towering stacks of thick shawls and scarves on their shoulders. Children as young as 3 years old sell gum, candy and cigarettes.

It’s common to meet Mexicans who work two or three jobs at once. Mirelly Pineda Blas, a 30-year-old Oaxacan, fits the bill. She has a master’s degree in teaching, works two jobs and takes English classes on the side in both Oaxaca and Mexico City.

A close friend of Blas works as a governmental police officer for the Procuraduría General de la República, the office for the Attorney General of Mexico, where she usually works from 9 a.m. until one or two in the morning.

According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the average Mexican worked 2,246 hours in 2015, exceeding all other countries involved in the study. The average American worked 1,790 hours that same year.

...There’s a saying in Mexico that describes their working culture: “Sé a qué hora entro mi trabajo, pero no sé a qué hora salgo,” or, “I know when I go to work, but I don’t know when I leave.”

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