Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A Couple of Things About Mexico

One has to remember that Mexico is still classified as a Third World country. While we were travelling, we saw scenes like this donkey train in San Miguel. We read in a guidebook that garden soil was still delivered by this method, possibly because there are places too difficult to get to with a motorized conveyance. Whatever the reason, we saw several examples of timeless technology that I've never seen in the States; donkey carts moving hay, shepherds with their flocks between the lanes of the highway, a man with a scythe cutting grass for his cattle, and a horse pulling a plow with a man ahead of him sowing seed.
As you drive through Mexico you notice a country that can't keep up with it's population growth. Buildings are in all phases of construction, mostly unfinished and unfinished for years. There is hardly a bulding that doesn't have rebar sticking out of the top of the wall. Schoolkids go home at noon to make room for the second shift of young scholars to use the same desks and classrooms. In places, there is no trash pickup service. You're on your own to get it to the landfill, if there is one. A plastic bag caught on a bush, waving in the breeze, is probably the most common sight in Mexico. And sadly, the trash seems to consist of things that will never decompose; plastic bottles, plastic bags, and plastic toys. It's very sad to witness, but I saw the following a dozen times: people would roll down the window of their car and out would come a bag of junk, people standing on the street would toss away a recipt or a napkin from an ice cream cone, a plastic bottle would get tossed onto the roadside without a thought. Very typical. Very sad.

1 comment:

Linda said...

As for the rebar sticking out of the tops of buildings. I have more experience with another third world country - Egypt - and there building owners do not have to pay taxes on the building until it is finished. So there is rebar sticking out of every building, because they are never finished, so they are never taxed. Mind you, it almost never rains in Cairo, so leaving the building unroofed is not a problem.