The Mexican Army is a force with a mission - to help the poor and underprivileged peoples in remote towns and villages of the nation.
The Mexican Army is a force with a mission - to help the poor and underprivileged peoples in remote towns and villages of the nation. The training that the men of the Army receive is put to good use in places where medical care is a luxury, schooling a rarity, and the accepted services of large towns and cities, non-existent.
The Mexican Army is said not to have any political bias nor any political ambitions. The Militia is, in fact, sub-divided into comparatively small units which are spread throughout the country. Its main objective, apart from its normal military role, is to help the poorer, less fortunate citizens who live in remote parts of the country.
This aid comes in the form of regular visits by doctors, dentists, teachers, barbers, cobblers and engineers. Often these skilled troops provide essential stop-gaps in the Government's civil programme until civilian counterparts arrive.
Equally essential in rural parts is veterinary advice. The villagers depend on their animals for their livelihood. Without the skilled, modern techniques of the army vets, dairy cattle and other domestic animals would not yield their full potential and, at the worst, die for lack of proper attention.
The fervour with which the soldiers go about their aid programme is an indication of the sincerity they have for their work. Often in conditions of considerable squalor, hospitals are set up and much needed treatment given. It is the children who most benefit from this humane army scheme.
Where no roads existed before there are now properly surfaced high-ways, permitting not only the army transport to pass, but even more vital, allowing free access and exit to all who wish to come and go. Trade for the villagers naturally improves - so does their standard of living.
Schooling, which has never existed in some places, is now a regular five-days-a-week luxury for the children. The army tutor often stays behind when the rest of his unit has left to ensure a continuity until the State teacher arrives.
For the men and boys the army barber is a focal point in the village square. A free, short haircut is a novelty. Equally so, the army shoe repairer is kept busy mending footwear that is not a fashionable accessory, but a basic necessity. Apart from the occasional mule, transport is entirely on foot.
The troops appear to be men with a mission. That mission is to help the needy, to make their lives less arduous, more informed, and even to beautify their surroundings, for when the engineers build a road they line it with young trees - a growing symbol of hope for the future.