-Dear Friends of National Geographic

-Ladies and Gentlemen,

-Amigos y amigas,

We are thrilled to showcase Mexico Through the Lens of National Geographic here at the Mexican Cultural Institute. This exhibition represents a truly unique opportunity to enjoy a selection of exceptional images that National Geographic has amassed in countless assignments in Mexico over several decades.

For more than a century, National Geographic has awakened the spirit of discovery and interest in our immediate surroundings and distant lands among both adults and children.

Many of us have fond childhood memories of flipping through the pages of the magazine. We used to feel a sense of amazement as we were exposed to different people and places that existed outside our reality and perhaps only in our imagination, making us aware and perceptive of a larger world. In fact, some of us may still have that feeling today!

Over its long history, Mexico has been a special focal point of the magazine, and at the same time this publication has been instrumental in stretching the boundaries of the Mexico you thought you knew, unveiling new aspects of the country’s exceptionally diverse nature, culture, and peoples; driving exploratory efforts that enhanced our understanding of past civilizations, and serving as a letter of introduction to Mexico for millions of people globally.

The time and dedication that National Geographic has invested in Mexico cannot be underestimated. Countless people, from early archeologists and explorers who made important discoveries and witnessed the heartbeat of a nation; to photo-journalists, scientists and ethnographers who have contributed to shed light on the country’s social and natural diversity.

As the Mexican Ambassador and a true photography aficionado, I am delighted that over the years Mexico has attracted the interest of a wide range of experts from National Geographic. These individuals have played a key role in furthering the understanding of Mexico’s complexity, and it is our pleasure to welcome some of them here this evening.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The exhibition we are opening tonight offers a well-rounded outlook of Mexico over the last century. It covers various aspects of the magazine’s work; from exploration, to nature, ethnographic photo-documentation and urban life.

The great photographer Tina Modotti, who was Italian by birth but Mexican at heart, once said about photography, that “precisely because it can only be produced in the present, and because it is based on what exists objectively before the camera, it takes its place as the most satisfactory medium for registering objective life in all its aspects, and from this comes its documental value.” Few organizations have contributed as much as National Geographic through its photography to document Mexico’s history, peoples, culture, and nature, so we are truly honored to have these prints with us, and through them peer into small vignettes of Mexico’s soul.

Thank you.