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Pollution Is So Bad In Mexico City The Government Issued Emergency Orders

Mexico City has long suffered from severe air pollution, but the bad air quality has been at a whole other level since forest fires erupted over this past weekend.

Massive wildfires in southern Mexico have sent smoke streaming over Mexico City, turning the sunsets blood red and sending pollution levels skyrocketing. The city’s environmental commission has warned residents to stay indoors, and pollution levels could spike further in the coming days. The U.S. National Weather Service has already detected smoke aloft in the U.S.

The air is so bad the city is urging all residents to stay indoors.

Credit: @ajplus / Twitter

The government declared an environmental alert, ordering vehicles off the road and postponing the semi-finals of the first-division football league as a blanket of smog enveloped the sprawling capital.

It low key looks like a scene from a post-apocalyptic movie.

Credit: @urbanthoughts11 / Twitter

One Twitter user captured this perfectly, comparing Mexico City today with a scene from Blade Runner 2049. #OnPoint

It might make for some cool photos but the smoke could lead to serious health issues.

Credit: @DuncanTucker / Twitter

Particulate matter measuring 2.5 micrometers or less, known as PM2.5, reached 158 micrograms per cubic meter of air at one measuring station on Tuesday morning, more than six times the World Health Organization daily mean recommended limit.

PM2.5 particles are thought to be particularly damaging because they are so small, they can penetrate the deepest parts of our lungs.

Others are trying to have a sense of humor about it.

But with such unhealthy levels of particulates, this is no laughing matter. The government is taking the necessary steps to limit the harm caused to citizens dealing with the pollution.

In fact, the pollution is so bad, the government has decided to close public schools.

Credit: @nncattan / Twitter

Many long term residents are pretty sure this is the first time the city has ever closed schools because of air pollution. That’s saying something in a city that has long suffered from severe air pollution.

They’ve issued less than clear warnings about breathing in the noxious air.

Credit: @miblogestublog / Twitter

Translation: Breathing has negative effects on your health. But like I’m pretty sure we all still have to breathe…right?

Or maybe not?

Credit: @miblogestublog / Twitter

Nope…I’m pretty sure that’s not an option.

Concerned people were quick to point out the possible connections to climate change.

The blazes come after an explosive spring. An AP report said 100,000 acres burned through March alone. And so far in 2019, Mexico City has experienced 73 days with temperatures higher than average.

Many Mexicans are frustrated at the nation’s slow approach to combating the industries and practices that fuel climate change.

Credit: @t0skaaa_ / Twitter

The city sits in a valley more than 2,200 meters above sea level. It’s surrounded by a ring of mountains that often trap smog over the capital, preventing it from dissipating.

Add to that major polluting industry and the more than five million cars on the city’s streets, an active towering volcano, and you have a recipe for bad air quality.

READ: Mexico City Is One Of The Must-See Cities In The World And Here’s Why

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Mexico City Could Soon Change Its Name To Better Embrace Its Indigenous Identity

Things That Matter

Mexico City Could Soon Change Its Name To Better Embrace Its Indigenous Identity

Mexico City is the oldest surviving capital city in all of the Americas. It also is one of only two that actually served as capitals of their Indigenous communities – the other being Quito, Ecuador. But much of that incredible history is washed over in history books, tourism advertisements, and the everyday hustle and bustle of a city of 21 million people.

Recently, city residents voted on a non-binding resolution that could see the city’s name changed back to it’s pre-Hispanic origin to help shine a light on its rich Indigenous history.

Mexico City could soon be renamed in honor of its pre-Hispanic identity.

A recent poll shows that 54% of chilangos (as residents of Mexico City are called) are in favor of changing the city’s official name from Ciudad de México to México-Tenochtitlán. In contrast, 42% of respondents said they didn’t support a name change while 4% said they they didn’t know.

Conducted earlier this month as Mexico City gears up to mark the 500th anniversary of the fall of the Aztec empire capital with a series of cultural events, the poll also asked respondents if they identified more as Mexicas, as Aztec people were also known, Spanish or mestizo (mixed indigenous and Spanish blood).

Mestizo was the most popular response, with 55% of respondents saying they identified as such while 37% saw themselves more as Mexicas. Only 4% identified as Spaniards and the same percentage said they didn’t know with whom they identified most.

The poll also touched on the city’s history.

The ancient city of Tenochtitlán.

The same poll also asked people if they thought that the 500th anniversary of the Spanish conquest of Tenochtitlán by Spanish conquistadoresshould be commemorated or forgotten, 80% chose the former option while just 16% opted for the latter.

Three-quarters of respondents said they preferred areas of the the capital where colonial-era architecture predominates, such as the historic center, while 24% said that they favored zones with modern architecture.

There are also numerous examples of pre-Hispanic architecture in Mexico City including the Templo Mayor, Tlatelolco and Cuicuilco archaeological sites.

Tenochtitlán was one of the world’s most advanced cities when the Spanish arrived.

Tenochtitlán, which means “place where prickly pears abound” in Náhuatl, was founded by the Mexica people in 1325 on an island located on Lake Texcoco. The legend goes that they decided to build a city on the island because they saw the omen they were seeking: an eagle devouring a snake while perched on a nopal.

At its peak, it was the largest city in the pre-Columbian Americas. It subsequently became a cabecera of the Viceroyalty of New Spain. Today, the ruins of Tenochtitlán are in the historic center of the Mexican capital. The World Heritage Site of Xochimilco contains what remains of the geography (water, boats, floating gardens) of the Mexica capital.

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Mother And Teen Daughter Endured Ten Years Of Separation, A Dramatic Border, And A Covid Hospitalization To Be Together

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Mother And Teen Daughter Endured Ten Years Of Separation, A Dramatic Border, And A Covid Hospitalization To Be Together

Separated from her mother for a decade, seventeen-year-old Cindy (who is only being identified by her first name) took a chance last month to see her. Despite her age, a raging pandemic, and the risks of crossing the Mexico–United States border she journeyed from Honduras to see her mother in New York. Her love for her mother was so deep, she was willing to risk everything.

In her mission, Cindy wound up in U.S. immigration facilities where she contracted Covid-19. After three days in a hospital bed in California, Cindy was finally able to contact her mother who had not learned of her daughter’s hospitalization.

Thanks to the help of a doctor who lent her their phone Cindy was able to make the call to her mother, Maria Ana.

“There are backlogs and delays in communication that are really unacceptable,” Maria Ana’s immigration lawyer Kate Goldfinch, who is also the president of the nonprofit Vecina, explained to NBC.

After learning about her daughter’s COVID-19 hospitalization, Maria Ana feared the worst. “Following weeks of anguish and uncertainty, Maria Ana spent most of her nights painting the bedroom she has fixed for Cindy, just ‘waiting for my girl,'” she explained to NBC.

Last Wednesday night, Maria Ana flew to San Diego to be with her daughter after she’d finally recovered from Covid.

At the emotional mother-daughter reunion, Maria Ana assured her daughter “no one else is going to hurt you.”

After Cindy crossed the border, she spent several days in a detention facility in Texas in the custody of Customs and Border Protection. According to NBC “On any given night, Cindy said, she would share two mattresses with about eight other girls. She could shower only every five days in one of the eight showers the facility had to serve 700 girls.”

“It was really bad,” Cindy told the outlet..

Cindy was among almost 13,350 unaccompanied children left in the care and custody of the Office of Refugee Resettlement at HHS. This last year has seen over 3,715 unaccompanied children at these facilities diagnosed with Covid-19. Worse, there are currently 528 unaccompanied children who have tested positive for Covid-19 and put in medical isolation.

Now, immigration advocates and families are pressing the U.S. government to pick up reunions of children and their families in the United States. Over 80 percent of unaccompanied minors currently in federal custody have family living in the states. According to Goldfinch, “40 percent have parents in the U.S.”

“So we would think that it would be fairly quick and simple to release a child to their own parent. But because of the chaos of the system, the reunification of these kids with their parents is really frustrating and backlogged,” Goldfinch explained, “most frustrating, of course, for the actual children and their parents.”

While Cindy was in the custody of the Department of Health and Human Services, no one managed to notify Ana Maria that her daughter was in the hospital according to Goldfinch

“I don’t know why my daughter has to be suffering this way, because it’s not fair. It’s something very sad for me,” Maria Ana explained to NBC

“I’ve already been through a lot,” Cindy went onto share. “But I hope it’s all worth it.”

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