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Journalist honors historic Mexican architect

Journalist honors historic Mexican architect

Pedro Ramírez Vázquez, a Mexican architect who passed away on April 16, 2013, had a style all his own that was showcased in a wide variety of structures. In the post-World War II era, the Museum of Anthropology in Chapultepec Park in Mexico City and Museo Amparo in Puebla are just two of his buildings that have withstood the test of time and continue to inspire architects around the globe. 

Elena Poniatowska, a world-renowned journalist and novelist, has plans to honor Ramírez Vázquez in the near future. According to the Los Angeles Times, Poniatowska recently shared her thoughts and views on Ramírez Vázquez with a Mexican newspaper to help others understand his impact on Mexican residents and those who live and work in the U.S. and send money to family members and friends back home. 

During his life, Ramírez Vázquez helped transform Mexican culture through his projects. He was even appointed the leader of the organizing committee for the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City and helped the country bolster its global reputation. 

How has Ramírez Vázquez affected Mexican citizens?
As a mid-20th century architect, Ramírez Vázquez had a substantial impact on Mexican residents. His creations have served many Mexican business leaders, citizens and government officials over the years. 

For example, The New York Times reports that Ramírez Vázquez designed the Institutional Revolutionary Party's national headquarters, which served the group as it ruled the country until 2000. This political party also commissioned Ramírez Vázquez to complete numerous government structures during his life. 

Additionally, Ramírez Vázquez was a political leader for a short period. He served as secretary of human settlements and public works from 1977 to 1982, and his accomplishments significantly impacted many Mexican residents. 

Professor notes Vázquez had big impact on architecture community
Luis M. Castañeda, a professor of art history at Syracuse University, said that he is one of many architecture professionals who has been affected by Ramírez Vázquez. In a 2012 interview, Castañeda noted that Ramírez Vázquez wore many hats, taking on multiple responsibilities to ensure that all of his creations met specific criteria. 

"To think of him as somebody who designed buildings is not to take account of all the roles he played," Castañeda told the news source. "He wasn't the one constructing the models or sketching the drawings; he was the one securing the commission from the president."

However, many Mexican residents may remember Ramírez Vázquez for the Museum of Anthropology, arguably his most prominent achievement. 

"Without any doubt, that's what he'll be remembered for," Miquel Adriá, director of the architectural magazine Arquine, told the news source. "He succeeded in projecting in modern form many aspects that we had found in Mexican architecture."


Energy reform is a hot topic in Mexico

Energy reform is a hot topic in Mexico

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto has made energy reform a top priority for the near future. According to The Washington Post, Peña Nieto and other Mexican leaders are reviewing various solutions to help enhance the nation's energy segment. 

Since taking over as president in December 2012, Peña Nieto has sought ways to help the country boost its revenue. While Mexico is still the third-largest source of foreign oil for the U.S., Peña Nieto will embark on a massive system overhaul during the summer that could deliver long-lasting rewards to Mexican residents and those who work in the U.S. and send money to family members south of the border. 

"This is about a practical reform that will allow for the introduction of new technology, which we lack, and accelerate the growth of our energy resources in order to lower electricity costs for Mexican families and businesses, and give us a more dynamic energy industry," Peña Nieto told the news source. 

Peña Nieto looks to accelerate energy industry growth
Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex), the largest oil company in Mexico and Latin America, significantly affects Mexico's economy. As part of the nation's energy reform efforts, Peña Nieto may help Pemex reduce its taxes to ensure that the firm can effectively support the country and its citizens. 

GlobalPost reports that nearly 60 percent of Pemex's revenue currently goes into the Mexican treasury, and this total represents roughly 40 percent of the government's income. Meanwhile, Pemex earns approximately $100 billion a year in revenue, but the company could further increase its profits by receiving tax breaks from the Mexican government. 

The lack of competition among energy oil providers is a major consideration among Mexican leaders as well. Pemex has a monopoly in the country, and George Baker, a global oil industry expert, states that Mexico must attract foreign investors to increase its energy sector profits.

"If you only make Pemex more efficient in Mexico, that's not enough," Baker told The Washington Post.  

Former U.S. ambassador Tony Garza has encouraged the Mexican government to diversify its energy industry investments. By promoting competition among oil companies, more jobs could become available across the nation, which may deliver a substantial boost to the country's economy. Additionally, diversification could help keep electricity costs lower for Mexican business operators and citizens around the country and enable the nation to improve its revenue without delay. 


President Obama will discuss immigration in Mexico

President Obama will discuss immigration in Mexico

Building a strong partnership between the United States and Mexico is vital for residents in both countries, and President Barack Obama is increasing his efforts to improve relations between these nations. According to ABC News, Obama will visit Mexico on May 2, 2013, and discuss economic and immigration concerns with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto.

"A lot of the focus is going to be on economics," Obama told the news source. "I think we forget [Mexico] is a massive trading partner responsible for huge amounts of commerce and huge numbers of jobs on both sides of the border. We want to see how we can…maintain [an] economic dialogue over a long period of time."

In many cases, Mexican immigrants who are working in the United States send money back home to support their families. As the global economy continues to recover from the downturn of the late 2000s, new employment opportunities could become available in the U.S., which could lead more people to pursue jobs around the country. 

Meanwhile, U.S. officials are exploring options to improve their immigration system without delay. Ben Rhodes, deputy national security advisor for strategic communications at the White House, said that U.S. leaders are working closely with Mexican administrators to identify immigration issues and quickly remove these problems. 

"Mexico is an important partner in immigration reform given that we work with [Mexican officials] every day to secure our border," Rhodes told the news source.

The impact of Obama's visit to Mexico
Obama's trip to Mexico could have far-flung effects around the globe. By working with Peña Nieto to review immigration in the U.S. and Mexico, both countries can take steps to help their citizens. 

NPR reports that Mexico is the second-largest market for U.S. goods and services. During his visit, Obama and Peña Nieto will evaluate strategies to further improve the border between the U.S. and Mexico and deliver significant support to the global economy.

"If the Mexican economy is growing, it forestalls the need for people to migrate to the United States to find work," Rhodes told the news source. 

U.S. Chamber of Commerce chief executive officer Thomas Donohue stated that roughly six million jobs are based on U.S. relations with Mexico. By taking steps to improve interactions between both countries, residents in the U.S. and Mexico could reap the rewards of gradual improvements to their local economies. 


Radio Personality Piolín Named a Xoom Endorser


“Piolín” recommends as the convenient money transfer service for immigrants living in the United States

SAN FRANCISCO, May 1, 2013 – Xoom Corporation (NASDAQ: XOOM), a digital money transfer provider, today announced that Mexican radio personality Eddie “Piolín” Sotelo, has become an endorser for the company. Piolín is starring in a series of radio commercials for Xoom and, during his radio show, he provides live shout outs for, advocating how convenient, safe and fast it is to send money home to Mexico and Central America using Xoom.

“Piolín is truly a man of the people. Piolín has millions of Spanish-speaking fans of his radio show, with  a very strong influence in the Los Angeles community where his show is based,” says Julian King, Xoom’s Senior Vice President of Marketing and Corporate Development. “We are excited to be working with Piolín, as he shares our passion for providing immigrants with an innovative solution for sending money home.”

“I recently used Xoom to send money to Mexico, and I was amazed at the speed and quality of the service. No kidding! I told my friend who was driving, ‘I’m in the car and I’m sending money!’” says Piolín. “It’s companies like Xoom who, little by little, help our community to improve their lives in the United States. is very convenient and completely accessible to any member of the community through their smart phones, tablets and computers.”

Piolín’s radio show “Piolín por la Mañana” runs weekday mornings on more than 50 Univision and non-Univision affiliate radio stations in the Spanish language format and online.  Piolín is also known for his activism in immigration reform, and has often discussed his own experience of immigrating to the United States on his radio program. He resides in Los Angeles and engages in peaceful political activism for immigration reform.

About Xoom
Xoom is a digital money transfer provider, focused on helping consumers send money in a secure, fast and cost-effective way using their mobile phone, tablet or computer. During the 12 months ended March 31, 2013, Xoom’s more than 840,000 active customers sent more than $3.6 billion to family and friends in 30 countries worldwide. The company is headquartered in San Francisco and can be found online at


La celebridad de Radio “Piolín” es nombrado patrocinador de Xoom


“Piolín” recomienda como el servicio conveniente de envío de dinero para los inmigrantes viviendo en los Estados Unidos

SAN FRANCISCO, Mayo 1, 2013 – Xoom Corporation (NASDAQ: XOOM), un proveedor mundial de envíos de dinero por internet, anunció hoy que la personalidad de radio Eddie “Piolín” Sotelo se ha convertido en un patrocinador para la compañía. Piolín es la estrella en una serie de comerciales de radio para Xoom y, durante su show, hace menciones por, apoyando lo conveniente, seguro y veloz que es para enviar dinero a casa en México y Centro América usando Xoom.

Piolín es realmente un persona del pueblo. Piolín tiene millones de fans hispano-hablantes en su programa de radio, con una gran influencia en la comunidad de Los Angeles, desde donde basa su show,” dijo Julian King Vicepresidente de Mercadeo y Desarrollo Comercial de Xoom. “Estamos emocionados de estar trabajando con Piolín, porque el comparte nuestra pasión por proveer a los inmigrantes una solución innovadora para enviar dinero de regreso a casa.”

“Recientemente usé Xoom para enviar dinero a México y me impresionó la velocidad y calidad del servicio. ‘Estoy asombrado e impresionado!’ le dije a mi amigo que iba conduciendo, ‘estoy en el carro y enviando dinero’” dijo Piolín. “Son compañías como Xoom quienes, poco a poco, ayudan a nuestra comunidad a mejorar su vidas en los Estados Unidos. es muy conveniente y completamente accesible a cualquier miembro de la comunidad a través de sus teléfonos smartphones, tablets y computadoras.”

El show de radio de Piolín, “Piolín por la Mañana”, está al aire las mañanas de Lunes a Viernes en más de 50 estaciones de radio en español de Univision y afiliadas. A Piolín también se le conoce por su actividad en la reforma migratoria y varias veces ha discutido en su programa, su propia experiencia de inmigrar a los Estados Unidos. Hoy Piolín reside en Los Angeles, CA y lidera y apoya actividades políticas pacíficas sobre la reforma migratoria.

Sobre Xoom
Xoom es un proveedor digital de envíos de dinero, que se enfoca en ayudar a los consumidores enviar dinero de una forma segura, rápida y rentable usando su teléfono celular, tablet o computadora. Durante los 12 meses finalizando en Marzo 31, 2013, 2012, los más de 840.000 clientes activos de Xoom enviaron más de US$3.6 mil millones a familiares y amigos en más de 30 países alrededor del mundo. El centro de operaciones de la compañía está en San Francisco y puede ser encontrada en línea en


Próxima pelea de Pacquiao sería fuera de Estados Unidos

Pacquiao quiere enfrentar este nuevo desafío, que vendría a completar su quinta pelea con Márquez.

Ya han pasado más de seis meses, desde que los fans del boxeador Manny Pacquiao realizaron enviar dinero a sus familias, para que estos pudieran ver la pelea por pay-per view  del boxeador y político, quien le ganó al mexicano Juan Manuel Márquez. Y si su entrenamiento va como él lo tiene previsto, volvería más tarde que temprano al ring para derrotar al hombre que lo noqueó en el sexto asalto.

De acuerdo con el diario The Philippine Star, Pacquiao quiere enfrentar este nuevo desafío, que vendría a completar su quinta pelea con Márquez. Sin embargo, esta vez  quiere enfrentarse con el mexicano de 39 años de edad en su país de origen y no en Las Vegas, donde la mayoría de sus peleas han tenido lugar.

El entrenador de Pacquiao, Freddie Roach, comparte el deseo del boxeador, "quiero que la última pelea  sea en México", dijo Roach en el Venetian Macao en China, ante  un grupo de televisión y prensa escrita. "Ese es mi sueño."

Mientras que los pensamientos y acciones de Pac-Man  están casi constantemente involucradas con el boxeo y el arduo entrenamiento para ser un mejor peleador, sus colaboradores dicen que en estos días está dedicando la mayor parte de tiempo a la política, ya que las elecciones están a la vuelta de la esquina en su país natal, Filipinas.

Bob Arum, quien ha promovido una gran cantidad de peleas de Pacquiao, dijo a los periodistas que una vez terminadas las elecciones,  Pacquiao, de 34 años de edad, se enfocará completamente en su entrenamiento y preparación física.

Singapur y Macao: otras potenciales ciudades para la próxima pelea
Mientras tanto, a pesar de que Roach y Pacquiao concuerdan en que les gustaría tener su próxima pelea en México – principalmente porque la tasa del impuesto sería más asequible allí que si lo tuvieran en Las Vegas – Arum dijo que está esperando una sede diferente. La Estrella de Filipinas señaló que "estaba esperanzado en que fuese Macao o Singapur", la próxima sede que acogerá la pelea del boxeador.

Donde sea la pelea de Pacquiao, las probabilidades de que se de en un lugar fuera de Estados Unidos son casi completas. Roach dijo en el Venetian Macao que la tasa impositiva en las Vegas, donde sus últimas peleas se han llevado a cabo, han subido desde el 31 por ciento a cerca del 40 por ciento en los últimos años.

Asimismo, la popularidad de Pacquiao ha incrementado en el ámbito internacional y hay muchas ciudades a las cuales, les gustaría auspiciar una de las peleas de boxeo más importante, con el orgulloso filipino como parte del evento.

Rosa Tamayo, representante de Pacquio también habló recientemente con la prensa de acuerdo a las apreciaciones de la próxima pelea del filipino.

"La lucha será definitivamente en septiembre", dijo Tamayo, de acuerdo al periódico del Reino Unido, Daily Mail. "Vamos a hablar sobre el rival y el lugar después de las elecciones del 13 de mayo".

Tamayo ha corroborado algunas de las declaraciones hechas por Roach y Arum sobre el boxeo en los EE.UU. y mantuvo que el costo de la tasa de impuestos en Las Vegas se ha vuelto demasiado prohibitivo. Asimismo, señaló que algunas ciudades consideradas para el próximo evento son: México, Macau, Dubai y Singapur.
Las personas cercanas a Pacquiao, así como expertos del boxeo, creen que Márquez será el próximo contrincante del filipino. En una entrevista, el ex boxeador de peso pesado George Foreman, dijo que tiene plena confianza en que Pac-Man podrá redimirse.

"Todas las probabilidades para convertirse en campeón otra vez, están a su favor", dijo Foreman.

Agregó que su ventaja es su condición física y la formación estelar, lo que según Foreman   permite a Pacquiao a recuperarse más rápido que el típico luchador en el ring.


Novedades en el Mercado inmobiliario hispano

Muchas personas hispanas que viven en los Estados Unidos están invirtiendo en viviendas, según informe.

Mientras que muchos de los hispanos que trabajan hoy en día en Estados Unidos, se las arreglan para seguir realizando enviar dinero a México y a otras partes de Latino América, también se las ingenian para invertir su dinero en comprar su primera vivienda. Esto se ha dado tan frecuentemente, que los expertos inmobiliarios creen que el deseo de los latinos por tener un lugar propio puede tener un rol fundamental en el mercado en los próximos años.

De acuerdo al informe  de 24 páginas publicado por la Asociación Nacional de Profesionales Hispanos de Bienes Raíces, NAHREP (por sus siglas en Ingles), hoy en día, los latinos son el grupo de más rápido crecimiento en el mercado inmobiliario. Esta tendencia ha sido única en toda la historia de Estados Unidos y los llamados compradores "vírgenes de casas" han marcado todo un record.

Por ejemplo, durante los últimos 12 años, más de la mitad – 51 por ciento – del total del incremento neto de las viviendas ocupadas por sus propietarios, han sido hispanos, o lo que se traduce en unos 355.000, según los informes del RIS Media.

Juan Martínez, quien ha sido recientemente nombrado presidente del NAHREP, dijo que este escenario es sólo uno de los últimos signos de la positiva influencia que los latinos han traído al bienestar del desarrollo de la economía eestadounidense.

Agregó que debido a que muchos hispanos hoy en día son responsables con la forma en que administran su dinero, el  mal crédito no es un problema que en un futuro les impida a los latinos  convertirse en propietarios de sus viviendas.

Lo que podría afectar esa realidad es el ritmo acelerado  con que hoy se están comprando las casas – el cual es más rápido que la actualización de los niveles de inventarios que los constructores de viviendas realizan.

Poca oferta,  limita a la industria inmobiliaria
Esto ha sido un problema desde hace varios meses. Por ejemplo, en el último informe publicado por la Asociación Nacional de Agentes Inmobiliarios (NAR, por sus siglas en Ingles), las ventas pendientes de casas – que son las transacciones de bienes raíces sobre la base de cuántos contratos se han firmado – se redujo aproximadamente cinco décimas de un por ciento en febrero. La razón de esta disminución se dio por la poca cantidad de casas disponibles.

Lawrence Yun, jefe economista de NAR, indicó que las empresas de construcción tienen la llave para frenar esta disminución.

"Realmente, sólo la construcción de nuevas viviendas puede ayudar a aliviar la escasez de inventario, la construcción de viviendas tiene que incrementar en al menos un 50 por ciento desde los niveles actuales", dijo Yun.

Predijo que la curva en que la compra de propiedades se desplace  a lo largo de los próximos meses, dependerá en gran medida de la mejora de los niveles de inventarios limitados, lo que él dice podría ser efectuada si las regulaciones para las empresas de construcción fuesen menos pesadas. Evitando así,  algunos de los trámites burocráticos involucrados con la producción inmobiliaria.

Si bien, los latinos parecen ser el principal motor detrás de la compra de la primera casa, los niveles de propietarios hispanos  han caído sobre una base porcentual.

Según el informe del RIS Media, alrededor del 46 por ciento de los hispanos son dueños de una casa, en comparación con el 47,5 por ciento del 2010. Esto significa una baja  porque hoy en día hay más personas de origen latino en los Estados Unidos que hace tres años.

El informe también revela otros aspectos de la vida de la comunidad latina  en los EE.UU.  Por ejemplo, el poder de compra – o la cantidad que una determinada comunidad contribuye a la función económica de un país -  la cual se ha incrementado considerablemente entre los hispanos. En la actualidad supera el $ 1 billón y se prevé que alcance los $ 1,5 billones en el plazo de dos años.

Mucho de esto puede derivar de los niveles de educación que los hispanos están logrando. El informe de la NHAREP muestra que los latinos representan el segmento más grande de las minorías matriculados en las universidades. Ellos lo están haciendo bien, pues una vez que se gradúan de las escuelas, también siguen teniendo un buen desempeño, ya que cuatro de cada 10 ganan un promedio de aproximadamente $ 50.000 cada año.


Mexican avocado growers in midst of full-scale U.S. marketing campaign

Avocados from Mexico hopes their marketing campaign will cause more people to jump aboard the avocado bandwagon.

Latin American natives perhaps have the best understanding of the type of quality and delicious taste Mexico-based produce has, seeing as how they're from there and spent much of their life enjoying the fine cuisine there. Some individuals may favor it so much that they're willing to send money to Mexico in return for a shipment of fresh fruits and vegetables from their local farmer's market.

But what these same individuals may not realize is that the fruits that they eat in the U.S. could very well be from Mexico, especially if one of their favorites things to eat are avocados.

As its name suggests, avocados from Mexico is a business that operates out of Mexico and mass produces the pear-shaped fruit for markets around the world through exports. And while the company has long served the U.S. it has recently stepped its marketing campaign in order to encourage more people to enjoy the fine tastes of Mexico and the health benefits that come from the leathery skinned food.

Eduardo Serena, marketing director for the Avocado Producers and Exporting Packers Association of Mexico, noted that while the campaign hopes to encourage everyone to eat more avocados – thanks in large part to their richness in essential fats, vitamins and minerals – its key demographic are Hispanic consumers.

He also stated that since the Super Bowl, demand for avocados has been swift and with the NCAA college basketball tournament just around the corner, APEAM expects sales to continue operating in the black.

"Avocados from Mexico will keep the momentum going by supplying the right volume, quality and sizing, as well as powerful marketing programs through the coordinated efforts of APEAM and [Mexican Hass Avocado Importers Association]," said Serena.

Many grocery stores taking part in marketing campaign
Throughout much of the U.S., APEAM and Avocados from Mexico have set up display cases promoting avocados in grocery stores and supermarkets. Some of the signs show pictures of NCAA college basketball players taking the ball to the rim, with headlines over the picture like "Guacamole – A Slam Dunk." Guacamole is a type of dip often served at party gatherings that's primarily composed of mashed avocado, mixed in with various seasonings, diced tomato, onions, garlic and occasionally chili peppers.

Not only does avocado consumption enable Mexicans to get reacquainted with their Latino roots, but the fruit is also one of the healthiest foods one can eat. According to MyHealthNewsDaily, including avocados into one's regular diet can help improve a wide variety of well-being indicators. Researchers from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey came to this conclusion after reviewing health statistics gathered between 2001 and 2008, following people who ate avocados regularly with those who didn't. The health experts discovered that people who ate the fruit frequently were more likely to have higher levels of HDL – which is the "good" type of cholesterol – were more likely to have a lower body weight have a smaller waist circumference and to eat a well-balanced diet.

"These findings suggest a role for avocados in improving dietary quality and possibly reducing the risk of metabolic syndrome in the United States," the report stated. "Further research is needed to verify this epidemiological data and study the potential association between increased intake of avocados and other dietary components."

While avocados are one of the few fruits that has fat, it's primarily comprised of the monounsaturated kind, which health experts say are crucial to a health heart, skin and reducing the risk of disease. These fats are also found in oils and nuts such as olive oil and almonds.


Why Mexico City is the place to be

The Mexico City Cathedral is a must-see.

With each passing day in the U.S., the country moves closer to spring – a season of renewal and revitalization. Before the season arrives, however, many schools have winter vacations planned, where students are able to get away from the classroom for a week so they, too, can reinvigorate their minds before the final push toward the end of the school year.

While some kids and their parents may stay in the U.S. while on holiday, it's not uncommon for families to go on vacation in a different country. In fact, according to a recent poll conducted by brand agency Digitas, 30 percent of Americans intend to frequent international destinations in the second half of February.

Immigrants who send money to Mexico may want to take advantage of this time period in order to head home and enjoy their families and perhaps take in some parts of the country that they may have never experienced prior to moving to the U.S.

Similar to what Washington, D.C. is to America, Mexico City is to Mexico. Both serve as their respective nations' capitals and both are filled with activities that parents and their children can enjoy. Within the past year, CNN published a feature on Mexico City, the metro area that the news source describes as North America's "maximum city" – or the place that can reasonably be described as one of the most "enjoyable places on the planet."

Once again, similar to D.C., Mexico City has a variety of historical places that are worthy of experiencing. Perhaps the most popular is the city's main plaza, where the historic Zocalo is located. It's here that visitors will get that extra sense of patriotism they feel as being native to Mexico, thanks to the historical ruins that are found on virtually every corner. There's lot to see and enjoy at the Zocalo, including Madero Street, which is cordoned off to any vehicle traffic, as it's meant for pedestrian travel only. CNN notes that pageants are often held in this part of the City that are free and open to the public.

But for those who want to get a real taste of what life was like in ancient times, they can't miss the pyramids located in Teotihuacan, which is just north of Mexico City. CNN says that if there's any location in Mexico that visitors – or people who are native to the country – have to see, it's Teotihuacan, which at one point was larger than ancient-day Rome. The pyramids that tower into the sky are a sight to behold.

Food in Mexico City is world-renowned
The food in Mexico City is quite eclectic. Pujol, Casino Espanol and Contramar CNN cites as perhaps the best dining facilities in the entire metropolitan area, many of which have been open for between 10 and 100 years.

There's lots to see and do in Mexico City, which is home to 8.8 million of the country's people and 300 neighborhoods. How vacationers plan their time there will have a tremendously positive impact on the city's economy, as the goods and services there represent more than 20 percent of Mexico's gross domestic product and 4 percent of its total national GDP, according to government statistics.


Mexico ready to roll at World Baseball Classic

Fans and players prepare for the third World Baseball Classic.

Nothing screams spring quite like the crack of the bat and the smell of worn-in leather, as every Major League Baseball team is in training camps preparing for the upcoming season. Spring training is anxiously anticipated by baseball enthusiasts throughout the country, many of whom will send money to their local team so that they can secure tickets.

But before MLB's official Opening Day, there's the World Baseball Classic to prepare for, which comes around once every four years.

For the third time since its inception in 2006, 16 teams throughout the globe will compete in the World Baseball Classic, a tournaments that was created by the International Baseball Federation, MLB and the MLB Players Association seven years ago.

While the U.S. has fared relatively well in the two previous tournaments, international teams have dominated the competition. For example, in 2006, Japan won the WBC after defeating Cuba at San Diego's Petco Park, where the San Diego Padres play their home games. Some of the best performances were had by Japan's starting pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka, who earned the tournament's coveted Most Valuable Player Award.

Four years later, Japan continued its dominance over its competitors, winning the WBC for a second time by topping runner-up South Korea. Japan finished the tourney with the stellar record of seven wins and only two losses.

This year, Japan is expected to continue its strong performance, but there are a variety of indications suggesting that Mexico may be among the tournament's most elite competitors, with the games beginning in the first days of March.

How Mexico has fared in past WBC tournaments
In 2009, Mexico finished had a less-than-sterling showing. The Mexican National Team ranked in the 11th position out of 16 teams after sweeping their competitors in the first round of play.

The initial round has proven to be one of great success for the Mexico, as they also went undefeated in 2006, surrendering just seven runs in 27 innings played.

The team hopes to build on its success with a strong pitching staff, led by David Hernandez of the Arizona Diamondbacks, Fernando Salas of the St. Louis Cardinals, Luis Ayala of the Baltimore Orioles, Alfredo Aceves of the Boston Red Sox, Marco Estrada of the Milwaukee Brewers and Miguel Gonzalez of the Orioles.

The team also sports a strong lineup as well, led by Rod Barajas and Ali Solis – who will assume catching duties – players who suit up for the Arizona Diamondbacks and Pittsburgh Pirates, respectively, in MLB play. Other members of the team include utility infielder Alfredo Amezaga of the Los Angeles Dodgers – and several other members from LA, like Luis Cruz and Adrian Gonzalez – third baseman Jorge Cantu of the San Diego Padres and second baseman Danny Espinosa of the Washington Nationals.

In some of the initial performances by the Mexican National Team, the starting nine have performed well. For example, in the Caribbean Series – which started on February 2 – Mexico blanked Puerto Rico after winning the first game 3-0. Luis Mendoza threw the first two-thirds of the game, while former MLB starters Dennis Reyes and Jose Cobos kept the game scoreless by pitching in the final three innings. Jose Cobos, Adrian Ramirez and Oscar Villarreal – all of whom still play professionally today – were also involved in the combined relief pitching effort.

As for the WBC, Mexico's first game will be held Thursday, March 7 against Italy.