The Ethnographic of Baja California is unique in its own right when compared to the rest of Mexico. In Northern Baja, Tijuana has all of the marks of a border town between a first and second world country. While many of the symbols and beliefs of Mexico are replicated in Baja culture there are mestizos (mixes) of American and Latin influences that intertwine like nowhere else on earth. The establishments of Baja California share the traditions of centuries old and tourists new and continue to evolve with politics and demographic shifts that hold Baja’s composition in flux. Rosarito, Mexico is a wonderful tourist destination rich in culture, attractions, and cuisine that is unique to travel.
When the ethnographic lens is placed over Baja California it is evident that the shared beliefs, rituals, and culture are a unique and dynamic environment. I wanted to focus on Baja California and how one microcosm of the country is evident at the Casa Estrella Orphanage in Rosarito, Mexico.
Baja Mexico combines many traditional aspects of Mexican culture with the customs of the Bordering countries. This is in part due to the economic importance of tourism to Mexico's gross domestic product. This reliance has made it almost a requirement to speak the English language in places where tourists frequent and make Americans feel at home and welcome when visiting to encourage them to visit and spend their money in the Mexican marketplace.
Rosarito and Mexico tourism has been adversely affected by the drug cartel wars and violence that has occurred. Recent spikes including the murder of two Americans waiting at the Mexican side of the border in April of 2001 remind both countries about the prevalence of the drug war.
The economy of Rosarito is largely based on tourism and fishing which create opportunities but also disagreements and inequalities in society. In the important sector of tourism Baja California has been struggling to retain and attract regular visitors. This has been largely due to the drug cartels and the violent takeover of innocent cities and disregard for citizens and individuals. These fears have been spurred on by the national media’s reporting about the vast dangers of traveling in Mexico have been heavily reported.
The will of the cartels and power of their operation had long been a functioning presence but recently sparked outward violence to the country. Their demands for operation have impeded the peace coexistence of Mexican people and tourists in Baja California. The decline in tourism has meant less money spent in the region and ultimately effects the macroeconomic scale of Mexico as a second world country which produces poverty.