Mexico's Mega City

la vida en la Ciudad de México

Mexico's Mega City started out as the Aztec Empire. The Spaniards believed that the Aztecs were blood thirsty people and they wanted to "save" them so that god would forgive them. The Aztecs Empire was conquered by the Spaniards in 1521. Soon after they conquered the Aztecs they decided to build a new city on top of the empire. They decided to call it Mexico City. Soon Mexico City was one of the most beautiful cities in the Americas. About 300 years later, in 1821, Mexico won its independence from Spain. Today, Mexico City is one of the most populated cities in the world. It sits about 7000 feet above sea level on a highland basin called the valley of mexico. It is also surrounded by mountains and has a mild climate.
Mexico suffered a rural decline after NAFTA was passed because it made corn prices drop 66%. Most farmers had to give up farming because they weren't earning enough money to support their families. This caused a flood of urbanization to Mexico City. There were already rich and middle class people in Mexico city but because so many poor farmers came into Mexico City it cause spatial inequality within the city. This led to yet another major issue. It caused the standard of living to go down drastically because so many people wanted a home whether it was a good home or not. One example of this would be the first neighborhood my class mates and i visited. The federal district where the neighborhood was located was Magdalena Contreras. A woman named Rosa let us interview her and she told us she was living in the slums here because she sold her farm but couldn't afford to live any where else. Her children only attend school when she has the time to take them because the children must work in order to help support the family. Only about 55% of homes in her neighborhood have running water but they believe that the slums are better than being out on the streets.
It is very difficult to believe that a different family living only about 16 kilometers away lives a luxurious life compared to Rosa and her family. This family lives in the federal district Benito Juarez and they have many luxuries such as maids,cooks,chofurs,nannies, etc. There are approximately 1300 police officers in this area and about 94% of homes here are built with excellent material.
After visiting Mexico City I realized that after NAFTA was approved the spatial inequality was much more prominent in Mexico City because of all the poor farmers that arrived there in search of better wages,homes, and most importantly a better life.