La Reconquista

25 May

ha ha ha! I promised someone I would write this blog after talking about it last night. So here I go: I used to be a big fan of Gustavo Arellano’s articles, but then he got really conceited and began to dismiss anyone who dared to oppose him. In his early Ask a Mexican book, he described to his readers the version of “La Reconquista” that was a plan drawn up by the MEChistas of the 1960’s. Of course, clueless folk from south OC, Yorba Linda, or Kansas, wrote in asking about “La Reconquista.” Did it mean that Mexicans had to go to war and fight to take back the lands that were stolen from Mexico during the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo?  Should we be afraid that Mexicans were hiding in the USA ala “Trojan Horse” to plan a surprise attack on US soil? Nope! Arellano clarified that “La Reconquista” had a metaphorical meaning. All it meant was that Mexicans were slowly going to start infiltrating the US and eventually work their way into the professional, political, and social world. There wasn’t going to be an actual war: just a slow migration to el Norte in which the Mexican culture was going to dominate the US world. That was the real “Reconquista”.

The big turning point was the 1990’s: so many events happened that allowed Latinos to be pushed into the spotlight (see my previous “Selena” post). Latinos could no longer be ignored specifically Mexicans.

I thought it was funny when a mariachi colleague began to solidify plans to start a mariachi conference in the city of New York next month. Very ambitious especially with all the Newyor-icans, I thought to myself. But then I read an article which mentioned that Mexicans were now the largest minority in some areas of New York City. What?! For real?! Wow, La Reconquista was really happening! Of course we knew that minorities were one day going to be the majority in the US, but this article is further proof it already happened with babies.

Which brings me to my next point: WE’RE EVERYWHERE! No seriously! True story: I was in Italy during the summer of 2010. My friends insisted on trying the Chinese food restaurant next to our hotel. After a week and a half of Italian food, we were ready to try something different. We went and the food was INCREDIBLE. It was easily the best Chinese food I have ever had. The setting was also very elegant with silverware and very polite waiters. And the price: I paid about 10 euros for a 3 course meal and my drink. Yum! Due to the excessive walking, my digestive system was awesome in Italy so I had to use the restroom. I walked over to the back and the one uni sex restroom was busy so I waited. Then I heard something that I thought was a hallucination: was that Banda El Recodo coming out of the kitchen? You can’t get anymore Mexican than listening to Banda El Recodo. I took a peek into the kitchen and saw two Mexican men washing the dishes with their radio next to them blasting El Recodo. I felt like I was home. I kept staring, but couldn’t say a word and then one of the Chinese waiters came out of the kitchen and gave me a weird look because I kept looking inside the kitchen so I walked back to my spot waiting for the bathroom. After I finished using the restroom, I tried to peek again but the men were no longer there. I asked one of my friends to confirm my ears and yes indeed that had been 2 Mexicans listening to Banda El Recodo in Italy inside a Chinese restaurant.

Why yes: yes we are not just taking over the US, but now the world 🙂


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