Mexico : A Country with a Thousand Faces

By Go Takeuchi,
Former Representative in Mexico City

A scene that leaves you lost for words, just standing still in awe ...
2In a forest in the state of Michoacan, an amazing butterfly, the monarca (which is Spanish for “emperor”), spends its winters. Its lifecycle involves an intergenerational migration to and from the U.S.-Canada border region, all of 5,000 kilometers away. When I visited in February, countless numbers of these orange butterflies were dangling from the branches of huge trees, making the branches look as though they were made of butterflies. And when I looked up from the dense forest at what little could be seen of the sky, I could see more butterflies flittering about. The entire ground, meanwhile, was littered with the wings of dead butterflies. All was quiet apart from the faint, dry sound of butterflies flapping their wings ... It was the first time for me to see anything like this, to hear anything like this.

Mexico: always and everywhere offering surprises and discoveries:
The amazing power of the Teotihuacan pyramids.
Puebla Cathedral, which was built by the Spanish colonialists.
Cancun, one of the finest modern beach resorts in the world.
Acapulco, a long-established beach resort that also has its own unique attractions.
Los Cabos, for whale watching.
The Hotel California: Was it actually in Mexico?
The Chihuahua railroad, which crosses a canyon bigger even than the Grand Canyon
Drinking Smooth tequila in its homeland: it is made from a cactus, which is supposed to be good for one’s health.
The exquisite flavor of tacos sold from a cart, so spicy they makes you groan.
Kindness, embodied in the way that two people about to board an elevator will keep urging the other to go ahead. (But why is it that drivers never let you in when you’re trying to switch lanes?)
Number-one in the world for UFO sightings. (Why are they always coming here?)
Olympic gold medals in taekwondo.
Firebreathing men at intersections. Beggars? Though the richest person in the world, Carlos Slim, is Mexican.
6,000 people killed each year in battles among drug cartels.
A characteristic of Mexico is its various faces.

We began selling agricultural chemicals here four years ago. We’re still continually making new discoveries, even at the frontline of agriculture. Mexico covers an area five times as large as Japan and has various geographies and climates. It therefore also has various different types of farms. Traveling around different parts of Mexico, you see the many faces of Mexican agriculture.

Since the NAFTA took effect, the northwestern state of Sinaloa has grown rapidly as a region of large horticultural facilities growing vegetables for export. The site of huge, mesh houses employing state-of-the-art technology really takes one aback. Car license plates in this region carry a picture of a tomato.

At an elevation of almost 3,000 m, in a small sloping field basin among the mountains, small family-run farms growing potatoes are prospering. You reach the farms by walking along a road along which cars cannot pass, followed by donkeys and dogs. The thick morning mist on the plateau makes for an impressive sight.
Whatever the time of year, something is being grown somewhere in this country, so there are also various types of damage owing to disease or blight. Our staff require a high level of specialist knowledge, and also need to be fit enough to cope with all the traveling and walking their jobs involve.
(It also helps to have a strong liver to handle all the tequila drinking we need to do to become amigos of our customers.)

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