Mexicans Have Been the Structural Core of This Florida City For Years

Mexicans Pensacola Florida BELatina Latinx
Photo: BELatina.

Mexicans often feel that they are not welcome in the United States. However, the United States owes immense gratitude and respect to Mexico and its citizens.

Mexicans are, without a doubt, some of the hardest workers in existence. Just look at the hard work on farms or search and rescue groups like the Topos. They have been a structural core of the past in the United States, especially in Pensacola, Florida.

Let’s review a little history, shall we?

According to the Pensacola News Journal, in 1559, eleven ships brought 1,500 people from Veracruz, Mexico, which then became the indigenous laborers that helped build what is now known as Pensacola in Florida. 

Even though this sounds like a lifetime ago, it would not be the last time Mexican laborers set aside their differences and helped the state when needed. 

As the journal explains, in 2004, after Hurricane Ivan hit Pensacola, “seemingly overnight, Latino laborers, mostly of Mexican origin, began to arrive in the region to rebuild the devastated area.” The truth is, the Raza will always lend a hand when possible. 

Mexican nationals from about 31 states came to the area to help rebuild it by “quickly repair[ing] roofs on businesses and homes that had been covered with blue tarps to stop water from creating further damage.” Efficiency to the max!

As we all know, the Raza helps their people when in need, even though sometimes they don’t always get the credit they deserve in places like Florida. 

Just earlier this year, the topos weren’t allowed to get into the site of a disaster site where a residential building collapsed. According to Reuters, “Seven Mexican search-and-rescue volunteers [who] flew to Florida to help after a residential high-rise near Miami collapsed have been barred from the disaster site because of U.S. restrictions.” Imagine being sent back where you came from when all you wanted to do was help. Is it really the time and place to push aside laborers trained in their country to do what is needed to help in these emergencies?

When solidarity and humanity seem increasingly lacking in today’s world, it is deeply sad that prejudice outweighs the will to help. However, it is comforting to know that, despite everything, the initiative of some persists in building peace in a world in perennial red alert.