Looking Beyond Mexico|飞越墨西哥


Marco is from Mexico City, Mexico’s capital. He is a city kid, who likes tinkering with1 cars and playing video games about cars. Marco also enjoys watching football match, and lucha libre2, the country’s unique style of wrestling. When he has time, he trains at a nearby boxing gym. Until recently, Marco was studying for the national exam that Mexican students must pass to get into high school.
His studies took a new turn when his parents received a surprising offer. His mother’s employer said that he would pay for Marco to spend a year at a school in Toronto, Canada. There he would be able to learn English.
  Marco was uncertain at first. “But then I opened up to the idea.” he told us. “Because of the language, to get to know the city and to know the culture there.”
So last summer, Marco prepared to leave Mexico for the first time, his new suitcase packed with borrowed sweaters. He admitted that he was nervous at the thought of being all alone, in a place where he doesn’t know anybody. Yet he was excited too.
“I think it will be worth all the effort,” Marco said.

“I began training at the boxing gym at the end of January, every evening from 7 to 9 p.m. I’m a featherweight3. At the beginning, it seemed easy and boring. But then they give you harder exercises. I’ve already done some sparring4. The experience of being in the ring5 is the best. You feel like all your anger is just leaving you. It brings out6 all your strength.”                                                            —Marco

Cumbia and Hip-Hop
With nearly 20 million people, Marco’s hometown is the second most-populous urban center in the world. Mexico City was founded in the 14th century as Tenochtitlan, the capital of the Aztec empire.
  In 1521, Hernando Cortes, a Spanish explorer, conquered the Aztec and destroyed Tenochtitlan. The city that rose from its ruins is a mixture of rich and poor people, and Spanish and Indian culture. One of North America’s most important cultural centers, Mexico City is a place where modern skyscrapers rise close to tin-roofed shacks.
     Marco’s working-class neighborhood, called Juventino Rosas, is one of modest concrete houses and corner stores7 where mothers and small children shop for food. Norteno8 and other Mexican music mixes with hip-hop in the streets. It is a comfortable, family-oriented neighborhood, where fathers start their Sundays by washing the car.
The Jimenez family lives in a three-room apartment on the top floor of a two-story building. Marco’s grandparents, who live below them, run a building-supply business from their garage. Many of their neighbors also run small businesses.
Marco’s sights are set on Mexico’s National Polytechnic Institute9, and then a job as an automotive engineer. “The engineers... watch how the cars are assembled, they follow the design,” he said. “I like cars. I’m interested in fast luxury cars.”
More Opportunities
Marco’s family struggles to get by10. Marco’s father works as a driver and handyman11 for a wealthy family.
For Marco, education is the key to getting ahead. After he finishes college, he will face an extremely competitive job market. That is why his parents are so excited about his chance to study in Canada, where he will be immersed in the English language. They believe that a year there will give Marco an edge.
“It will be a letter of introduction,” said his mother, who is a secretary. “He will be on a different level from the rest in his school.”
Marco thinks his future will be more promising outside Mexico. “I feel there are more opportunities abroad.” he said.

     New Responsibilities
     A problem Mexico faces is drug-and gang-related violence. Ricardo, 19, was expelled12 from high school after he joined a gang and left home. “I became what’s called a ‘hooligan13’,” Ricardo admitted. “I fell in with some bad friends and took the wrong path.”
Eventually, Ricardo returned home to the bedroom he shares with Marco.
During the summer, Marco counted down14 the days before he would leave for Canada. He was carrying a big responsibility but seemed to wear it lightly. “I know that I can do this,” he said. “You just have to put your mind to it.”






1. tinker with 修补;倒腾;摆弄
2. lucha libre墨西哥自由摔跤赛
3. featherweight   n. 最轻量级选手
4. sparring   n. 拳击
5. ring   n. 拳击场
6. bring out 展示出
7. corner store 住宅区附近的商店
8. Norteno 一种墨西哥民族音乐
9. polytechnic institute 工学院
10. get by 维持生活
11. handyman  n. 做杂事的人
12. expel  v. 开除
13. hooligan n. 小流氓
14. count down 倒计时