November 3, 2015
The Tequila Effect
“We will never give up” was the phrase that most Mexicans said during the Mexican economic crisis in 1994. Mexico suffered a terrible economic crisis twenty one years ago, known as The Tequila Effect. Mexico got into NAFTA in January 1st of 1994, the United States was sending the message that Mexico was ready to take its place on the world stage. In return, Carlos Salinas would deliver a maturing economy with good fiscal discipline and, to encourage international trade, a stable currency. NAFTA is the North American Free Trade Agreement that Mexico signed with Canada and the United States in 1992 and it was implemented in January of 1994. Salinas de Gortari was the president that was governing Mexico during the time of NAFTA and the economic crisis. After NAFTA was put into effect in Mexico in the beginning of the year of 1994, this agreement took effect in a negative way because this caused an economic crisis. This economic crisis started in Mexico because of the sudden devaluation in the Mexican peso against the U.S. dollar in December of 1994. As a result, the economic crisis caused unemployment to double, more poverty, and immigration to the U.S. My family was not an exception because this had a deep impact on my family throughout the economic crisis.
My father had a very good job in a textile factory as an electrician before the economic crisis began. The economic crisis affected my family like other Mexican families because most people lost their jobs. My father lost his job as well because the textile factory went into bankruptcy, and the owners of the factory had to close it down. After my father lost his job, he fell into a depression because he was having a hard time finding a new job. My mother had never worked before the crisis because she had to take care of my two brothers and me. However during this time, my mother had to work in order to help my father with the household expenses. My mother tried to look for a stable job, but she didn’t have good luck with her job hunt. She ended up doing other people’s laundry to make some money because she didn’t have another choice.
The second effect of the Mexican economic crisis was that it increased poverty in the country, affecting urban areas more intensely than rural areas. Moreover, this affected middle class families and poor families even more than the wealthy ones. My family was a middle class family. We did not have a fancy life but a comfortable life. After my father lost his job, my family became poor because my father ran out of his savings during the time that he was not working. Even though my mother was working, the money that she was making was not enough to support all my family. Moreover, during this time, I was attending a private school but my parents couldn’t afford my education anymore, so I had to continue my studies in a public institution. Furthermore, my parents couldn’t pay their mortgage either, so they lost their house and they had to rent a small apartment.
Finally, the economic crisis caused my family to disintegrate. Mexico was experiencing extreme poverty, the wages plummeted, and the unemployment in the country had increased. Unhappily, my parents had a lot of arguments because of money issues, so they got divorced. They had been married for twelve years, and their divorce had caused profound emotional affects on my brothers and I. During this time, many Mexicans immigrated to the United States to find better labor opportunities. My mother was one of those immigrants that left everything in Mexico to search for the American Dream in the northern neighbor country. A year later, after my parents got divorced, my mother decided to immigrate to the United States because she couldn’t find a better job in Mexico. On the other hand, my father got a great job opportunity to work in the Canadian Embassy in Mexico City, where he has been working since then. I was very happy because my father had finally found a new job. However, at the same time I was sad because my family had disintegrated.
To conclude, it was very sad to see many Mexicans in poverty and having a lot of difficulties to find a job just like my parents did. Even so, I was glad to hear most Mexicans saying that they would have never given up even though they were having a hard time in this catastrophic economic crisis. Moreover, the impact of the 1994 Mexican economic crisis extended immediately to South America. This crisis affected mostly the economy of Brazil, Argentina, and Chile. These three nations had very good stable economies by that time. However, the sudden devaluation in the Mexican peso caused these South American currencies to suffer rapid depreciation as well. In fact, the Mexican economic crisis was called “The Tequila Effect” by some South American countries because of the negative impact of this crisis in the South American region. I still believe that life is not easy at all, but we have to work hard to achieve our goals in order to have a better future. Even though my parents had a lot of economic problems and they got divorced, they never gave up. Moreover, they found job opportunities in different countries, but they kept trying hard on looking for a job until they really found one. At least, thanks to my parents, I could continue my studies in a private school, and also they could give us a comfortable life again. Although my parents got married again with other people, I am always going to be proud of them because they taught me that I don’t have to give up easily if I really want to achieve my goals.