Women selling trinkets in Ixtapa

by Skeet20 @, Saturday, March 23, 2019, 13:06 (177 days ago)

Whenever we go out to eat in Ixtapa there are always women and young children walking amoung the tables trying to sell little toys ect. I recognised some of these women from previous years and they all seem to have infants or small children with them
Who are these people and where do they come from? I don’t see them in the day. Are they just trying to make a living or is this some sort of a scam. They are always polite and the children are very well behaved. What’s the story behind them?

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Women selling trinkets in Ixtapa

by ZihuaRob ⌂ @, Zihuatanejo, México, Saturday, March 23, 2019, 13:29 (177 days ago) @ Skeet20

Whenever we go out to eat in Ixtapa there are always women and young children walking amoung the tables trying to sell little toys ect. I recognised some of these women from previous years and they all seem to have infants or small children with them
Who are these people and where do they come from? I don’t see them in the day. Are they just trying to make a living or is this some sort of a scam. They are always polite and the children are very well behaved. What’s the story behind them?

They're just trying to make a living. Lots of folks came here with construction workers, others with land invasions, others are brought to sell crafts in the markets and on the streets and beaches. Many are single moms whose men either left them or died. I only ask that you don't haggle prices with them. Please, if you want what they're selling just pay what they're asking. Even if they may be breaking local regulations we consider them to be trying to work honestly. If you don't want what they're selling at least be polite and say "no gracias". Too many times I see people act rudely towards crafts vendors. There's no need for that. We're all in this together.

Great question. Thanks for asking!

Women selling trinkets in Ixtapa

by Charlybby, Saturday, March 23, 2019, 22:37 (176 days ago) @ ZihuaRob

Gracias Rob! Have witnessed a few (thankfully) rude people, but most are not & most are all honest.

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Women selling trinkets in Ixtapa

by mexicoman @, Zihuatanejo, Saturday, March 23, 2019, 16:37 (176 days ago) @ Skeet20

OMG. A scam alert!

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Women selling trinkets in Ixtapa

by ZihuaRob ⌂ @, Zihuatanejo, México, Saturday, March 23, 2019, 17:24 (176 days ago) @ mexicoman

OMG. A scam alert!

Don't get yer knickers in a knot. It's an honest question.

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Women selling trinkets in Ixtapa

by mexicoman @, Zihuatanejo, Saturday, March 23, 2019, 18:47 (176 days ago) @ ZihuaRob

Horsesh*t

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Women selling trinkets in Ixtapa

by ZihuaRob ⌂ @, Zihuatanejo, México, Saturday, March 23, 2019, 20:16 (176 days ago) @ mexicoman

Horsesh*t

Excuse me? Let's try this again. Where's the scam? Please be precise.

I don't mind folks disagreeing with me. I do mind folks being rude.

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Women selling trinkets in Ixtapa

by mexicoman @, Zihuatanejo, Sunday, March 24, 2019, 06:49 (176 days ago) @ ZihuaRob

I am stunned that anyone would suspect a scam regarding children and women selling trinkets to scratch out a living.
And you see that as a good question that needs to be clarified. What possible scam could anyone fear?

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Women selling trinkets in Ixtapa

by ZihuaRob ⌂ @, Zihuatanejo, México, Sunday, March 24, 2019, 09:32 (176 days ago) @ mexicoman

I am stunned that anyone would suspect a scam regarding children and women selling trinkets to scratch out a living.
And you see that as a good question that needs to be clarified. What possible scam could anyone fear?

In 5 decades of living in tourist destinations I've found that visitors often have questions that may seem odd to some people who live or spend much time here. I don't fault visitors for their curiosity, but instead try to understand how they might have such ideas. In the question at hand, all the recent talk in the USA about human trafficking in Mexico may cause folks to wonder if some of our vendors may not also be victims of a type of indentured service. The answer is definitely yes, but it isn't the complete story nor is it necessarily something to denounce.

We have different customs here, and oftentimes people from poor communities in the sierra of Guerrero are "employed" to sell the wares of a "patrón" to whom they become indebted. if a well-meaning person denounces this arrangement the vendor can lose their source of wares, income and sometimes even their housing. No one wins. No justice is served.

The past is alive and well in Mexico, and in many cases things simply aren't what they appear to be. While I certainly don't condone slavery in any form, there are still customs and practices used by indigenous communities that to the outside world appear barbaric, but when outsiders get involved they only make things worse. These communities need to be allowed to resolve certain things for themselves. I may wish to seek social changes that affect their communities, such as an end to the practice of selling women and children in some communities or treating women as second class members of a community, but it is still necessary to respect cultural differences and work for change differently instead of making it a personal crusade that almost inevitably causes more harm than good, as we have seen here in Zihuatanejo with certain foreigners aiding the people we know as land invaders helping them to remain permanently on the lands that were our ecological zones on our hillsides above the 70 meter mark known as la Cota 70.

So yes, there may indeed be a scam occurring sending women and children out in tourist areas to sell "trinkets", but there is no viable alternative or social safety net in place to otherwise help these people. What looks like injustice to one person may appear to be an opportunity for the alleged victim. An outsider denouncing that injustice thinking they are helping may end up only causing greater hardship for the person seeking opportunity.

My wife and I have many friends in the local indigenous community. We help when and where we can, but we also try not to cross certain lines. Sometimes what seems simple and easy to our culture makes little sense to another. Birth control readily comes to mind as one example where ideas differ greatly between cultures. The role of women in society is another. Social mores change mostly in gradual steps, and sometimes trying to force change or to impose external beliefs upon a group can increase their suffering. Religion is an excellent example of this.

So maybe you didn't understand the question, or maybe I answered a question the original poster didn't ask, but to me the question was indeed a good one because people are indeed used in scams all the time.

I used to have to warn visitors about people who carried around drugged or drunken children, sometimes infants even, seeking handouts to fill a bogus prescription for medicine. My public warning infuriated some people (local gringos) because in their eyes I was harming our tourist image. They thought my website should be all about happy hours and tropical flowers and bang for the buck and absolutely nothing negative. They no longer live here. And I continue being just as honest with visitors now as I was 20 years ago.

Women selling trinkets in Ixtapa

by islandgirl @, Cowichan Valley, Sunday, March 24, 2019, 22:00 (175 days ago) @ ZihuaRob

Thank you for mentioning that most (my word, not Rob's) of the trinket sellers are Mexico's Indigenous people. And just like in Canada & the USA, they are still working towards recognition of their land rights. Doing that in Mexico puts them at much greater risk than their colleagues NOB.

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Land Rights

by ZihuaRob ⌂ @, Zihuatanejo, México, Monday, March 25, 2019, 08:15 (175 days ago) @ islandgirl

One of the things that distinguishes Mexico especially from the USA's treatment of indigenous people is the fact that over and over there have been serious efforts to protect indigenous cultures and their land rights, going back as far as the Conquista. While indeed there were great wrongs done, there were also great differences from the very beginning. The participation of Emiliano Zapata in the Revolución was based on this. So it is still possible today to find indigenous communities on the same lands where their ancestors lived and worked for centuries if not millennia.

Unfortunately because the Mexican and the US governments agreed to stupidly ban popular recreational substances popular mostly among US consumers, entire communities are being run off their lands now used for the cultivation of poppies by organized and violent criminals. Anyone watching the HBO series "Narcos" can clearly see how meddling by the USA via the DEA and the CIA has only worsened the problem and cost endless innocent lives and livelihoods. I'm sure some of you remember when Ronnie Raygun had the USA running dope to buy arms to give to the Contras and particularly to the Iranians after making a deal with the Iranians not to release their US hostages until AFTER Ronnie Raygun took office. What a guy!

So ever since the DEA handed the major share of the narco trade to the Mexican cartels on a silver platter, and ever since US consumers decided again that heroin was what they wanted (thanks to the USA's Sackler family creating millions of new addicts), organized criminals have found it lucrative to grow poppies here in Guerrero. Farmers either cooperate or abandon their lands. Tens of thousands of people, mostly indigenous people, have been and continue being run out of their communities and off their lands in the past 20 years or so as this business grows and becomes more lucrative. This has created a heavy migration of people from the sierra to cities such as Mexico City, Iguala, Chilpancingo, Acapulco, Coyuca, Atoyác, Tecpan, Petatlán, and Zihuatanejo. The military and the police have been woefully outnumbered thanks to the cartels having access to seemingly endless resources to purchase and smuggle arms from the USA into Mexico apparently without hardly any effort thanks to the policies of our neighbors to the north and their mental affliction regarding firearms.

Thus the pressure is on all these municipal governments to somehow absorb the thousands of mostly indigenous people fleeing their homes in the sierra, and one of the things that tourists to Zihuatanejo may notice are simply more wandering vendors than they've ever seen here before. Just a small piece of the tip of the iceberg.

Women selling trinkets in Ixtapa

by Aunt Chelada, Sunday, March 24, 2019, 10:29 (176 days ago) @ ZihuaRob

Been coming to Ixtapa and Zihua for many years. This is part the Mexico I love and I hope it never changes. Some would ask why these small children are out late at night doing this and not at home in bed. Home may be a shanty somewhere in the hills with bed being nothing more than a soiled cot. For many, this is a family effort just trying to make ends meet and get by from day to day with the little they earn from selling those items. Treat them with the same dignity and respect you would a store owner. Those items make great gifts if you ever visit a children's hospital in Canada or the US.

Women selling trinkets in Ixtapa

by Susan G @, Zihua/La Ropa, Saturday, March 23, 2019, 21:08 (176 days ago) @ mexicoman

I find your response, mexicoman, somewhat offensive. We have purchased a number of items from the children and their mothers throughout many years and have asked them to sit down and eat with us. These people come from the mountains and are very poor. The least we can do is offer them food and a little hope for their lives.

Women selling trinkets in Ixtapa

by Charlybby, Saturday, March 23, 2019, 22:38 (176 days ago) @ Susan G

:megusta:

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Women selling trinkets in Ixtapa

by mexicoman @, Zihuatanejo, Sunday, March 24, 2019, 07:01 (176 days ago) @ Susan G

You, like Rob have completely misunderstood my response. OMG a scam alert! was my attempt at humor. How could anyone suspect a scam with those poor people selling trinkets to eat? My horsesh*t response was to Rob telling me not to get my knickers in a knot that suspecting a possible scam was a great question. Nonsense.

Women selling trinkets in Ixtapa

by carol, Sunday, March 24, 2019, 08:55 (176 days ago) @ Skeet20

I always ask them how many can I buy for a certain amount of money. One time, I ended up with all of the different "head bobbers"I thought - (I call them earthquake detectors). About ten minutes later my 'salesman' came back and said "Lo siento. Ud. no tiene el pinguino" So, of course, I had the buy the penguin!:-D

In a world where you can be anything - be kind.

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Women selling trinkets in Ixtapa

by LaurieMac @, B.C. Canada, Sunday, March 24, 2019, 09:17 (176 days ago) @ carol

:megusta:

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Women selling trinkets in Ixtapa

by ZihuaRob ⌂ @, Zihuatanejo, México, Sunday, March 24, 2019, 09:34 (176 days ago) @ carol

I always ask them how many can I buy for a certain amount of money. One time, I ended up with all of the different "head bobbers"I thought - (I call them earthquake detectors). About ten minutes later my 'salesman' came back and said "Lo siento. Ud. no tiene el pinguino" So, of course, I had the buy the penguin!:-D

In a world where you can be anything - be kind.

BINGO!

Women selling trinkets in Ixtapa

by Dacre, Chalk River, Ontario, Sunday, April 07, 2019, 15:28 (162 days ago) @ ZihuaRob

I always buy from the girls in the beach where i visit in San Augustillio.
They're Apotec and have driven 6-8 hrs to walk the beach dressed in their traditional garb.
Please support them....the are marginalized in Mexico as 2nd class.