May 10, 2007, 1:40 PM
Post #1 of 18
INTRODUCTION - There seems to be some interest in the topic of the changes taking place in Mexico at this time. We seem to have some differences in the rate of change, but I think we can all see a lot of changes in Mexico, in our role in Mexico, in the type of person coming to Mexico, and a lot of other things about Mexico. Some are very positive and some are quite frightening for those of us planning to live out our lives here.
I hope that some of you will add your comments to those that I include below. In doing so, please try to give some idea of the time frame of the changes you are discussing. Obviously, a discussion of Mexico after the 1910 Revolution and Mexico today, would show a lot of differences, but would have little to do with current changes taking place.
PAN, PRI AND GOVERNMENT CHANGE - The most obvious change and the one that has the most potential to really change Mexico is the end of one party rule by the PRI after 70+ years. Though Lazaro Cardenas' son, Cuauhtemoc??, probably really won the Presidential election 14 years ago, but had the election stolen, the election of Vicente Fox and the PAN seven years ago has had a profound influence - though one that is just beginning to emerge.
NAFTA AND IMMIGRATION - Of course, no discussion of changing Mexico can take place without discussing the influence of NAFTA and the timebomb of Mexican immigration to the US and the consequences if that immigration should somehow be reversed and the immigrants sent back to Mexico - massive consequences for both the US and Mexico.
I get brain lock whenever I think of the logistics, cost, and economic and social disruption of trying to relocate 11 million people from the US to Mexico. I think we should turn over a couple of million dollars to each major politician advocating such action and give him/her the task of planning and carrying out the relocation of a thousand or so people. Tom Tancredo gets 100 million and is required to relocate 1 million people.
Incidentally, each of us who has a maid or gardener, or who undertakes a construction project or remodel, or even goes out to dinner here is doing more to keep the border clear than 90% of the Minutemen with all their sound and fury.
AJIJIC IN THE OLD DAYS - If you have not already read it, I urge each of you to read the article starting on page 28 of the Lake Chapala Review for April 2007, written by Mr. H.F. Edwards, it provides a superb first hand look at Lake Chapala in the 1960s??? It is a fascinating account of someone who lived through those days in Ajijic when things were totally different from today. Do not confuse this article with one in the same magazine by another Mr. Edwards that I found to be racist, anti Mexican, and extremely juvenile - Sorry other Mr. Edwards.
If any of you have discussed Ajijic and the goings on at the original Posada with people who lived here back in the '50s, please fill us in. I have had the opportunity to speak with a lovely woman who was part of that scene and her stories of the expat community and the goings on at the Posada back in the '50s is fascinating. It's hard to look at the falling down casitas that exist there today and realize that it was a real Posada (inn) back in those days and the most likely place for travelers to stay and think of the parties that took place there.
GRIDLOCK - Another change, one that I find very frightening, is the rapid development of gridlock in cities such as Mexico, Gueretaro and Puebla just to name a few. I'm very much fearful of the potential damage from this development and the difficulty of doing anything to avoid the problems. Old colonial cities, built for the traffic of the 17th -18th centuries have only a limited amount of potential for change to meet the needs of 21st century traffic.
On the other hand, just in the two + years I have been here, I have seen a good deal of improvement of highways away from the cities. There are two new cuotas on the way from CA/AZ and another will be finished soon. Some roads that were horribly bumpy and pot holed are now quite smooth. I'm amazed at how rapidly repairs can be made. There is a nice new road around the south side of lake near Suhayo that replaces one that was a true menace.
PEOPLE COMING HERE - HF Edwards article highlights the very different type of person who came here in the old days - artists, hippies, adventurers. Now we are adventurous - sort of - retirees, looking for whatever.
There is now a steady stream of people coming South from the US and Canada. It has already had a profound influence on the social and economic structure of towns like SMA and Ajijic and will continue to have major impacts unless there is some catastrophe here that ends the flow. It has also had a profound effect on those of us who are coming here. I'm sure more will come and their migration will have a significant influence on the US and a profound influence on Mexico.
One comment about the whole discussion - please don't make it "how to change Mexico." It is "What changes are taking place in Mexico."
(This post was edited by dlyman6500 on May 10, 2007, 1:44 PM)