My Neighbor Next Door is From...Mexico

A new blog feature from AAA Translation’s Susanne Evens, My Neighbor Next Door is from… aims to expand multi-cultural knowledge and break down divides by letting readers get to know immigrants from various countries…one neighbor, friend and/or business colleague at a time.

This month’s featured country is Mexico. The country’s original name, Mēxihco, is the Nahuatl term for the heartland of the Aztec Empire, namely the Valley of Mexico, and its people, the Mexica, and surrounding territories which became the future State of Mexico as a division of New Spain prior to independence. After New Spain won independence from Spain, it was decided that the new country would be named after its capital, Mexico City, which was founded in 1524 on top of the ancient Mexica capital of Mexico-Tenochtitlan.

Mexico now has one of the world's largest economies and by 2050 is expected to become the world's seventh largest economy (according to PricewaterhouseCoopers) or possibly the fifth largest economy (according to Goldman Sachs).

We recently interviewed the multi-talented Zuilma Gonzalez who immigrated to the U.S. from Mexico in 2001. Zuilma is both a professional accountant AND photographer –

Q. What are the cultural differences between Mexico and the USA?

A. The key differences I’ve found are in the areas of traffic laws, food and education (schools). 

Q. What brought you to the U.S.?

A. My husband was offered a job in Fort Worth, Texas.

Q. What is something most people don't know about your original country?

A. Mexico is not a big rural town. There are many cosmopolitan cities with industry, art, modern architecture and technology.

Q. What do you miss the most?

A. Family, friends and food.

Q. What is the biggest misconception you encounter when people learn where you are originally from?

A. I have been very fortunate to have met smart people who don’t see stereotypes. The only exception to this is a woman I met once at the gym (our kids played together at the kids’ club). She thought she could hire me to teach her daughter Spanish while babysitting for her and pay less than the minimum wage rate. I politely declined :)

Q. Where do you live now?

A. Aledo, Texas (a suburb of Fort Worth).

Q. Any other comments to add?

A. I am grateful to the United States for all the opportunities and benefits it offers to anybody who really wants to learn and grow.