Despite the cloud of violence hanging over it, on Sunday, Mexico pulled off an amazing feat: the world's largest enchilada, laid out for the offering in the 'burb of Iztapalapa.
This is not Mexico's first foray into the grandiose. Christmas saw the world's biggest Christmas tree hoisted up near the Angel de Independencia, during Semana Santa, officials created a series of fake beaches in the city, bragging over the record breaking use of water (while neglecting that at the time, many of the fringes of Mexico City were on water shortage rations) and last weekend, and an enormous "invisible" (read: clear) swimming pool was hoisted up for display on Reforma, one of the city's primary arteries. And, of course, the heavily-criticized excesses that marked the celebrations of 200 years for Mex, just over a month ago.
Interestingly, Mexico - City at least - seems fascinated by trying to pull off extravagance. In the article I read about the enchilada, there's some telling logic that might explain this trend.
"With this Guinness record we are showing the world that Iztapalapa [the burb the enchil was created and eaten in] is a high-level tourist destination," said Mexico City tourism secretary Alejandro Rojas.
There's a lot to be said out of such a short quote. One is that - and call me crazy - its a formidable series of faith leaps to draw a map between a giant enchilada and 'high end tourism'. Not to put any firm judgment calls on Iztapalapa, but its not the very first thing that comes to my mind when i hear the term 'high-level tourism.' Japanese package tours surfing the net this morning are now thinking 'well, if they got a giant enchilada, we just got a new stop for the bus!'? I don't think so.
Inertia. Consider that Mexico's international image basically revolves around decapitations, killing mayors, drug traffickers and the inherent dangers of setting foot anywhere in the country. I mean, like, the Jonas Brothers couldn't even come and play, and the San Antonio Spurs werenn't allowed to leave their hotel room when they played an exhibition game last week.
Mouth watering though it may be, its not clear how one giant enchilada can clear this up, and bring Euros, Pounds and dollars to the concrete jungle's suburbia. Dozens, perhaps, but not just one.
1 day ago