domingo, diciembre 11, 2005
martes, noviembre 29, 2005
viernes, noviembre 04, 2005
This year in Zihuatanejo we saw a renewal of Mexican and regional cultural traditions related to Day of the Dead. It seems that much of our local society here in Zihuatanejo as well as the rest of the Costa Grande have noticed that we have been losing the traditions of our forefathers and that the young people of today are forgetting little by little the rich Mexican culture that dates back to prehispanic times.
That is the reason why cultural events were organized this year in order to recognize the traditions related to Day of the Dead, which is celebrated each year on November 2.
Shown below are some of the altars that were placed in the main plaza as part of a competition. All adorned with representative offerings of things associated with the dearly departed as well as the traditional flower called zempazuchitl.
One of the altars was for the renowned local diver Oliverio Maciel. A dolphin's skull can be seen in the middle of the cross of flowers. There was also a beautiful sand-sculpture in the gazebo of an angel praying over a sea turtle. Other altars were representative of graves, also made with sand from the Playa Principal in front of the Zócalo.
El Panteón de Agua de Correa
As happens every year, families of the region clean and adorn the graves of their deceased loved ones at the municipal cemetary located in Agua de Correa. On the 1st of November the children are remembered, and on the 2nd of November the adults are remembered. It is a solemn occasion even though it is common to see musicians singing as well as familes and friends sharing happy moments remembering their loved ones.
In the photos you can see flowering trees called bocotes in and around the cemetary as well as dotting the hillsides with their white flowers. In our region of Guerrero these trees always flower during the week when Day of the Dead occurs, and for this reason they are associated with this day.
viernes, octubre 28, 2005
martes, octubre 04, 2005
"Though we're not in the bay, Hotel Las Palmas tosses our hat in the ring of your support. These key issues are our 'golden geese' in our special corner of the earth. Let's not let them get killed." Scott of Hotel Las Palmas
"Excelente Rob! Thanks for your work. Keep following your instincts. Let's keep moving in good directions. Bravo amigo." Laura of Casa del Encanto
martes, agosto 23, 2005
Just as I predicted, the latest report of the water quality at our local beaches was just released for the month of July, now that summer vacation season is over and most all the tourists have already left. For some reason the report for June simply wasn't published (that bad, eh?). And many other areas appear simply not to have had water samples taken.
And as I have been saying for over the past month, the water quality at the Playa Municipal is unsafe for swimmers. But hey! They've already been exposed to the health hazard for the past month because of the alleged collusion and intentional coverup among the "responsible authorities".
Now that the July report shows health risks at both the Playa Municipal as well as at Playa Quieta (in front of the Club Med), it will be interesting to see if the "red banners" and signs warning of the health risk are ever placed on these beaches. There is currently no such banner or announcement on the Playa Municipal, and today, just like every other day during this summer vacation period, tourists and their children will flock to this beach and play in the water. Unfortunately, they may be taking more home with them than a suntan, and although they have a right to know, the "responsible authorities" do not appear to be willing to tell them.
jueves, julio 14, 2005
martes, mayo 03, 2005
viernes, abril 22, 2005
jueves, abril 21, 2005
Although I am already fairly occupied with a successful website about the Zihuatanejo-Ixtapa area of Mexico (see www.Zihuatanejo.net), I thought I would try setting up this blog site to see if it generates any interest and especially to see if it can be used to benefit the community in a positive way by helping to preserve and protect local culture, ecology, and a way of life that is under pressure from demands imposed upon it by migration, tourism, politics, population explosion, and unrestrained greed-driven development.
Most people in Zihuatanejo are now transplants from other cities and towns in Mexico, particularly Acapulco and Mexico City. Many were drawn here by the promise of jobs in a country where tens of thousands seek employment yearly by crossing into the USA, often risking their lives to do so at the hands of unscrupulous polleros who traffic in human misery. So most newcomers have no idea what way of life is being lost in Zihuatanejo. They have no idea who the original families are that made up the Zihuatanejo community for most of her recent history nor do they know much about Zihuatanejo's colorful history. So for these people who now constitute the majority of Zihuatanejo's inhabitants it is easier to get the attention of politicians who are always seeking more votes. That is one of the reasons why communities of land-stealing squatters have been allowed to proliferate on the hillsides that form a natural amphitheater around the bay of Zihuatanejo, and it is also a major reason why today the future of Zihuatanejo's tourism and way of life is at risk.
Between the moneyed interests and the political interests, the interests of the community as a whole appear to be getting lost. More people than ever are visiting Zihuatanejo and Ixtapa, yet more and more they are people who spend less, complain more, and demand services that are not present in our area. A "Swim With The Dolphins" attraction in Ixtapa is a typical example of a so-called attraction owned by non-Zihuatanejo natives that frankly insults local principles and ethics. In a community of people who love the sea, enslaving dolphins to swim with humans in a tank is unconscionable and an affront to their view of how we should treat dolphins. Adding insult to injury, the dolphins are located next to an open-air discoteque with its loud thumping music constantly battering the dolphins super-sensitive hearing. But the business remains operating after over 5 years, with no real challenge to their continuing operation in sight.
Actions such as these only serve to foment bitterness among the community, which sooner or later will translate into open animosity between locals and tourists, particularly the United States citizens who represent a large part of the foreign tourists, if for no other reason than they appear wealthy, come from a country whose government is unpopular in Mexico, and they stand out in a crowd.
So far such antagonistic behavior is not obvious today, and visitors continue enjoying the exceptionally warm hospitality of the people of Zihuatanejo and the surrounding communities. Let's hope it shall always be so.
Hopefully by making potential visitors aware of local sentiments and culture, some of the growing pains of our community can be ameliorated. Who knows, perhaps someone will contribute some helpful ideas how Zihuatanejo can attain sustainable growth while preserving its natural beauty, its charm, and its cultural identity.
"Que la esclavitud se proscriba para siempre y lo mismo la distinción de castas, quedando todos iguales, y sólo distinguirá a un americano de otro el vicio y la virtud." El Benemérito don Benito Juárez - "Sentimientos de la Nación"