One of the main reasons so many Central and South Americans come to the United States is for the definite improvement in opportunity that the United States provides. A chief cause of greater economic achievement in America is greater educational achievement.
Many homes in Mexico have no books or magazines. Education has never been a societal priority in Mexico. It is not surprising, then, that many Mexicans languish in poverty. Mexican President Vicente Fox placed a greater emphasis on education, but the great corruption of previous Mexican governments meant that Mexican education had languished.
Herman Badillo was born in Puerto Rico and grew up in New York. He claims that the crisis in Hispanic education drives the crisis in Hispanic economies. It's a siesta mentality that Hispanics got from their Spanish colonizers.
Mexicans in particular do not read very much. In 2005, the Christian Science Monitor reported that many Mexican book stores and publishers have shut down due to lack of demand. What once seemed a lucrative market has turned largely to disillusionment:
Competitive pressures in a country where 3,000 copies sold makes a bestseller have pushed 4 out of every 10 bookstores in Mexico out of business over the past 10 years, according to the Mexican Booksellers Association.Meanwhile, from 2001 to 2004, roughly 10 percent of all publishers have shut down.
Very often, Hispanic parents don't take the lead in their children's educations, likely because they don't speak English. More often than another other demographic group, Hispanic immigrants to America do not finish high school. Perhaps this is the reason so many Hispanic youth join gains, and why gangs in many areas are predominantly of Hispanic membership.
How do we encourage more seriousness in education among Hispanics? Education makes anyone more valuable to their society. Even more important than Hispanics coming to America for educational and material benefits would be to foster education in their home countries so that they can be more valuable to their indigenous societies.
The genius of America is not secret. That's why everyone comes here. Somehow, we just need to do a better job of communicating that genius, so it can take root in countries around the globe. That genius begins with a desire to gain a good education.