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Top 5 Most Influential People from Mexico - Part 1

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Mexico is the expansive country that borders the United States and bridges North America with South America. As a country that boasts an internationally recognized presence in art, literature and science, it has been represented by famous figures such as artists Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlos and writer Octavio Paz. The influence of Mexico continues to transcend borders, languages and cultures.

These are the 5 most influential people from Mexico.

1. Enrique Peña Nieto – Current President of Mexico

Although probably the most polarizing and contested persona on the list, Peña is currently the President of Mexico. He has been placed on the Forbes list of The World’s Most Powerful People on two separate occasions. Even so, his party the ‘Institutional Revolutionary Party’ has been accused of creating a Pax Romana with drug cartels during their century long hold on the Mexican Presidency.


2. Gabriel Orozco – Contemporary Artist

Orozco is being coined as the most influential artists of the decade. He is internationally recognized and has exhibited his work in the Guggenheim, Berlin, the prestigious Tate Modern, London and the White Cube gallery. Orozco works in a plethora of mediums including installation, drawing, photography and sculpture. His work is not only preoccupied with the artefact of production but also with the viewers’ re-emergence into reality after their interaction with the work.

3. Carlos Santana

His decade spanning career have earned Santana ten Emmys and allowed him to play alongside rocks biggest names. He has graced the biggest arenas, stadiums and theatres. His guitar playing career started at the tender age of 5 and never stopped. He was even accepted to California State University and Humbolt University but chose music over academics. To date Santana has created a whopping 50 albums and collaborated on another 13. He is yet another example of Mexico’s contribution to the arts. 

4. Guillermo del Toro

Most famous for his directorial work Del Toro is also a screenwriter, director and producer. His films alternate between horror-fantasy and full-fledged action. He has written 22 films, produced 36 and directed 18. He has even acted in 12 movies. He has helped many other Mexican directors, actors and screenwriters transition to Hollywood. His most influential films which he also wrote are the Spanish language Pan’s Labyrith and the Devils Backbones. If you haven’t seen these two films, drop anything you’re doing and go get them. I don’t care if you just got out of the shower and you have to sit in your towel.

5. Salma Hayek

Hayek initially started her career as an actress but has since graduated to directing and producing her own films and T.V. series. Her career began with a starring role in a telenouvella but soon was showered with accolades after staring in her first film El Callejón de los Milagros. After embodying the tragic and tumultuous Mexican artist Frida Kahlo in the film ‘Frida’ her star rose meteorically. She is a very active philanthropist and spokesperson for violence against woman and discrimination against immigrants. She has inspired many Latino stars to take the leap from their home countries to the many opportunities present in Hollywood.

Mexico is a proud country being the home of the Aztec Empire and land with rich tradition and culture. Although it was influenced heavily by the Spaniards that invaded in 16 century, Mexico has become a the perfect melting pot of both old world and new world.