Even before Spanish conquest in 1521, Mexico had a tradition of strong, centralized authority (Krauze, 1998). In the words of the nation’s Nobel Laureate, Octavio Paz, ‘Except during the interregnums of anarchy and civil war, we Mexicans have lived in the shadow of governments that have been despotic or paternalistic in turn, but have always been strong: the Aztec priest-king, the viceroy, the dictator, Mr. President’ (Paz, 1985, p. 381). Philanthropy and self-help have always existed, but often on the periphery of power and at the community level.