Thanks for taking the time for writing such an informative page about my city, Monterrey. I agree with most of what you say. In fact I will email your web address to several people I know. On the other hand, I think you wrote this with a lot of prejudice in mind, and I challenge you to post this letter, without hoping you will.
People say you have to take criticism according to the source. You seem very critical about education, but you say that high schools are “preporatory” (sic), not preparatory; then you say they are intended to “prepare students for post-secondary education”. I guess that if you enroll in preparatory AFTER secondary education, it’d be very difficult that they prepared you for PRE-SECONDARY education, or anything else: this is at least redundant and prolix.
Then you evacuate another pearl: “….the first general director being a graduate of M. I. T., of Massachusetts.” So, we have the graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology of Massachussets. Wonderful.
“Some high schools are more prestigious than others.” Pretty unique I guess.
In any case, I don’t expect you to post this, really. I can only say I am sorry you didn’t appreciate (since you don’t have a word for it) the sunrises on the Saddle Hill, or the vertical walls of la Huasteca; the greenery of the mountains, with more natural habitats than anywhere near in North America short of Oregon; the magnificent cliffs, the pine forests, the fir (yes, fir) forests above the Cola de Caballo; the pecan, orange, the apple orchards; even the Saltillo-Monterrey highway, that puts Big Bend National Park to shame. Too bad you didn’t know the right people, it seems….
S. S., Ph.D.
Thank you for your email but once again, we must sigh and repeat. As is plainly stated, we wrote as WE saw it. No two people will ever see the same thing in the same way. This does not make either of them wrong. It’s just what makes the world go round.
Thank you for pointing out a typographical error (“preporatory”). That has now been corrected. With over 3,800 pages on our site, we do occasionally miss a few errors.
Yes, we are critical of education in Mexico (and elsewhere, for that matter). There is no pride in being in last place among the world’s industrialized nations in education. We have another page on our site which expresses what higher education is like in Monterrey. The title Circo de la Educación Superior (The Circus of Higher Education) should be self explanatory. The scene has not changed much in the past 20 years because we continue to correspond with the “educated” population there.
There is nothing “redundant and prolix” about how we described the stages of formal education. Secondary education includes both junior and senior high school (secundaria y preparatoria en México). Post-secondary education includes universities, community colleges, and vocational institutions. It is also known as “tertiary” or “higher” education. Therefore, preparatory school is simply a subset of secondary education that prepares a student for the third stage of formal education.
You did provide us with a chuckle though. You say that the city is beautiful but then you only point out those places as being OUTSIDE the city. We have been to many places (Horsetail Falls, Saddle Mountain, Huasteca Canyon, Estanzuela Park, Garcia Caves, etc) around the city and they are indeed beautiful, but also well populated on weekends by those who also want to escape city life for a brief time. However, at the end of your letter you imply that only the “right people” know about these spots. Would the author of this article be one of those right people? His recommendation is “if you look at the litter–not at what’s behind the litter–you won’t enjoy your trip.”
That brings us to the Saltillo-Monterrey highway. Never before have we heard of this area being compared to Big Bend National Park. Is that because Big Bend does not have a big, dusty, polluted cement factory in it? Or is jammed with diesel trucks belching clouds of black death as they snake their way along the highway? Or is polluted with smog from a wonderful city nearby? When Big Bend National Park has those features, then we will understand your comparison.
Mexico is a beautiful country … away from the cities.