Reading in Mexico

One of the big issues in Mexican education is reading, or lack thereof. Mexicans just don’t read. A common figure thrown around is that the average Mexican reads 2 books a year vs. 6 for the average American. No idea if that’s true or where is comes from, but it passes the sniff test–although our friend Miguel and his family read tons. Working with kids and being in the schools, that seems true. Reading just isn’t part of the culture. There are steps being taken to change that. You see billboards around Puebla encouraging parents to read to their kids. Here in Pueblo Nuevo there are a couple of groups working on putting together libraries–one in the elementary school (actually, there are two in the school, one for the afternoon and one for the morning, but that’s another story) and one in the president’s offices. One group held an event to donate a kilometer of books in May–and succeeded. We’re big readers in our family. Drew is voracious, and Gavin and Fiona will be, I think, once they learn how. But we want to encourage our visitors to start bringing books down for us to donate to the libraries. What a practical way to show that we care about helping the community and raising the level of education. Here’s a great article in the Economist magazine about reading in Mexico.

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