National Geographic : 1996 Aug
MONTERREY Confrontingthe Future Nestled in a serene valley, Las Misiones country club pam pers city golfers. "Everything here has to be first class to keep members," explains man ager Viviano Villarreal. "We're 20 minutes from downtown, and people aren't accustomed yet to driving out so far." After the game, players are served drinks at linen-covered tables overlooking groomed gardens of palms and bougainvillea. Competition comes from two other private golf facilities as well as Mexico's first public course. "Monterrey is the capi tal of business in Mexico, so there's money for people to join clubs like this," says Villarreal. Money also gives the city polish, with industry helping to support education and the arts. "We have theaters, libraries, museums, just about anything you'd want," he says. "You had to go to the States for that when I was growing up here." For those who can afford it, there's also plenty to shop for. Malls offer Bull Rider boots and Benetton, Cartier and Paloma Picasso, Adidas and Donald Duck. Many stores dis play signs in English, symbols of an increasingly bilingual and bicultural character. Like Mexico's northern neighbor, Monterrey now attracts migrants. "I used to think it was strange that people in the U.S. couldn't tell me where they were from," says Hiram Pe6n, a native of Yuca tan. "But Mexicans are starting to move around too. You have to go where the best opportu nities are." Monterrey is still one of those places. '