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A connection beyond business

Article - November 5, 2012
Connections between Hidalgo and Great Britain can continue to be of benefit to both countries. It is a matter of looking to the wonderful past to build the connections between both countries
If there is one state in Mexico that can continue to successfully develop trade relations with Great Britain, it is the state of Hidalgo, which finds itself in pole position to attract British investors. Investing in Hidalgo is likely to benefit people from Great Britain more than any other Mexican state.

The historical link between both is testament to this. It was nearly 200 years ago that British mining companies arrived in Hidalgo from Cornwall, England, invited to revive a sector that had been all but destroyed during the War of Independence.

Consequently, the majority of mining machinery was of English design and can now be seen in museums.

British influence extended beyond mining, as many expats decided to settle in Hidalgo; a cursory glance at a map is enough to see that many place names throughout the state are English.

Even the local cuisine bears the British mark; the typical paste in Hidalgo comes from the Cornish pasty, thus keeping yet another historical English influence alive.

Looking further afield again, Pachuca de Soto is known to be the cradle of football in Mexico, as it was here that the sport was played for the first time in an organised fashion. The first league was established in 1901 in this locale directly because of the English influence.

Architecture buffs are fascinated by the connections that can be made between Britain and Hidalgo. Not only can British architecture be seen in many important buildings of the region, several architectural monuments were left here, particularly in Pachuca de Soto and Real del Monte.

In 2011, Hidalgo Governor Jose Francisco Olvera Ruiz accompanied the UK Ambassador to Mexico, Judith Macgregor, on a visit to Real del Monte to visit the English Pantheon and honour Don Chencho, the man who had lovingly looked after the monument for the past four decades. It was here in the British Cemetery of Real del Monte where English people were buried many years ago. Visitors to the pantheon are immediately struck by the cemetery’s typical 19th century English design, which of course stands out in stark contrast to the surrounding Mexican countryside.

Directly after the ceremony, Ambassador Macgregor, along with dozens of locals and members of the British Society, attended the third annual Pasty Festival, as was only fitting.

Hidalgo is of immense and unique cultural value to the Mexican people, having more links with England than any other state in Mexico. British investment in the area would doubtlessly mean the ties between the two countries would be strengthened even more.