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Chinese culture in Mexico


09:04, November 01, 2012

Chinese immigrant communities can be found all around the world. More than 100 years ago, they helped build the railroads of the western United States and northern Mexico. Many stayed and became part of the Mexican community, as Franc Contreras reports from Mexicali, Mexico.

Chinese culture is everywhere these days. But in this town along Mexico's northern border, it's particularly strong. Generations of Chinese entrepreneurs have settled here, and the local people have come to depend upon them. Products imported from China are always available in this city, where Chinese culture is thriving. The Chinese Association wields great influence in Mexicali, the capital of North Baja California State.

78-year-old Julio Yi is a former Chinese community leader with four generations of family history here. They were among the founders of the city. Over the years they've become a formidable business force here. He was stood among them.

Yi said, "To begin with, it was too isolated. There was no road. Later my countrymen came here to work. They began to build something by themselves, banks, railways and mines."

They've brought business, but also much more.

Reporter: "Cultural symbols like this are everywhere in this Mexican border city, which is said to have been founded by Chinese immigrants. So many have come over the years, they now number more than 10,000."

And Chinese restaurants far outnumber the Mexican ones. The local people come to these plentiful buffets daily.

In this border city the Chinese and Mexican communities understand that to advance, they must continue to stand together.

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