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Heart Full of Zih

by ZihuaRob ⌂ @, Zihuatanejo, México, Thursday, July 26, 2018, 13:26 (23 days ago)

Every day I'm reminded why I'm the luckiest gringo in Mexico thanks to my amazing saint of a wife, Lupita, who is like no one else I've ever met. Yesterday she was invited to a get-together of the mayor-elect to thank the folks who helped him during his campaign. It's a fairly informal event and lots of community leaders and respected citizens are invited, and several were invited to speak. My wife had been invited to give the opening speech, but then thought better of it and declined. Her message was going to be that it's time for the citizens to work together to help make Zihuatanejo a better place instead of depending on the government to do everything. She was going to suggest that instead of waiting for the government to fix everything why not have neighborhood raffles and fundraisers, what we know as a kermes, to help get many small tasks done. She was going to suggest that folks be more careful and responsible with their garbage instead of throwing it in the street everyday then complaining when the government can't collect it all (yes, we have DAILY trash pickup which is why the trucks are always broken down because no garbage truck is designed to work 24 hours a day 7 days a week, twice a day in the downtown area). She was going to make suggestions that she quickly realized some folks present wouldn't want to hear. And sure enough, except for a very few folks mostly from older families and colonias, most folks who spoke asked for exactly the same kind of things that we've come to expect from the newcomers. A new road. A new walkway. A roof for their basketball court. A school for their kids (whatever happened to walking a mile or so to school?). Since the land invasions on the hillsides above the Cota 70 (70 meter mark) began and were allowed to remain about 2 decades ago, the honest, hard-working taxpayers have watched in dismay as more money is spent on dishonest folks than on the real needs of the community: the infrastructure, tourism, health care, public safety. We've got no business allowing unplanned urban growth if we can't at least maintain the already developed urban and commercial areas. Now each new government begins with more debt than the previous one, and the game of catch-up starts further and further behind what should be the starting line. This is not how a municipal government is supposed to work. And many folks here finally realize that, especially the older families, but their voices are drowned out by so many newcomers who seem to arrive with their hand out asking what the government can do for them. A mentality we must change, just like we need to end impunity and go back to enforcing municipal regulations and ordinances such as those that regulate the bars, the noise, the traffic, the wandering vendors, the public areas and right-of-ways, and the vagabundos. Most responsible citizens seem to agree on this. And that is what folks have been discussing with the mayor-elect, which is what made some of the speeches yesterday so disappointing. And for which reason Lupita was glad she took a pass. Why sour the mood? There will be better moments to have the serious discussions with our new government. Many of us are planning for and counting on those discussions. The level of civic responsibility is improving. Let's hope the level of representation by those elected to do so has reciprocated.

An old photo of a Zihuatanejo many of us sorely miss. Certainly a different Zihuatanejo when there were less bars, less disrespectful people, less crime, less pollution, and more prosperity.
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Careful what you swallow! This pelican swallowed a fish that decided to resist. Ouch. Thank goodness for teeth.
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