Arabs in Mexico. Assimilation and Cultural Heritage by Carlos Barraza

Historical Context of Mexico and Lebanon in late XIX and early XX century

"El Porfiriato"

Dictactorship from 1876 to 1911

Porfirio Díaz

Diaz tried to reestablish peace and development.

  • Promotion of foreign direct investment.
  • Easiness for companies to establish in the country.
  • Support foreigners to colonize and work bigger extensions of land.
  • Law of Immigration and Naturalization

Mount Lebanon Civil War

Conflict between Maronite Christians and Druze in 1840 and 1860.

After World War

  • France took over Lebanon and Syria.
  • Desintegration of the Ottoman Empire.
  • Slow handcraft production
  • Uncertainity on land property.

Road to Mexico

Reasons to migrate

  • Better economic opportunities and quality of life.
  • Search for a refuge.
  • European countries taking over their zone.

Main access cities

"We went out to do the America. We left behind our beloved land, because the Lebanese has the aspiration to do great things, which the Turkish government stopped. In this new land, we found new people, people who gave the support and freedom that we needed in our homeland." - Interview to Lebanese pioneer in 1977.

Living in Mexico


  • Arab or Lebanese? No, Turkish
  • Name? Fares - Pérez, Maryem - María, Boutros - Pedro
  • Lenght of stay? Permanently
  • Want to marry a Mexican? No, thanks. -- Endogamy
  • Mexican nationality? Yes, to my children please.


The catholic maronite Lebanese represented more than the 90% of the total Arab immigration in Mexico.

St. Charbel Makhlouf
St. Charbel Makhlouf in Mexican Church


  • Commercial activities as street vendors.
  • Sales on credit and small payments.
  • Indigenous group as customers.
  • Establishing local shops.
  • Support to new immigrants.
  • Lebanese Chamber of Commerce.

Lebanese in Today's Mexico

Tacos al Pastor
Carlos Slim, Salma Hayek Mauricio Yázbek Garcés, Emilio Chuayffet, Jaime Sabines
"El que no tenga un amigo libanés... ¡que lo busque!" Lic. Adolfo López Mateos
Created By
Carlos Barraza



Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.