By Steve Russell
I must first observe that Mexico is in America.
Then the question becomes the ratio of Indio to Hispano. Did you think the conquistadores brought their wives? Most of the literature puts the ratio at 80/20, and you have to realize this is in the context of pervasive color prejudice, giving persons of Indio blood strong reasons to deny it as soon as it became deniable by a combination of distance and color. So the records would tend to understate mixed blood Indians trying to avoid discrimination and full blood Indians avoiding being counted entirely. We can say a lot of bad things about the Spanish, but they kept excellent records compared to the U.S.
The marriage records I’ve seen from Spanish colonial times list Indians not by “race” but by tribe.
Leaving aside written evidence, my time working with the United Farm Workers tells me that many agricultural workers (those workers of lowest status) who come from Mexico do not speak Spanish but rather their native languages. My work with the Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas brought me into contact with individuals for whom English was their third language, after Kikapú and Spanish.
Most Mexicans are Indians, folks. They may deny it and we may deny it but that’s the fact. They are the offspring of the Natives and the colonists and, unlike in the U.S., the colonists were a tiny minority in the gene pool.