Sunday, November 28, 2010

Dirty Dirty Mexico....

A lot of the time when people are talking about Mexico, dirt comes up in the conversation.

"Oh Mexico is so dirty..."

Huh?

Yes, I guess the places you are attracted to are.....is what I usually respond with...

I also say that I have only been in border towns once or twice in my life and that I usually go to places that have more culture, history, art, so I don't hang around sleazy dirty locations that they are talking about........

That usually stops the conversation pretty quick....

Or, they say,.... no tha'st not what I mean, .....I mean it's dirty.......

Ok, it's pretty obvious that they have never gone to places like Guadalajara or Morelia, Mazatlan or Puerto Vallarta, unless they stayed at some cheap 15 dollar a day place..... Or travel only by the cheap bus lines.

What I see is clean, clean Mexico. Most of the time.

I am constantly amazed at how many times I see people sweeping up.


Store employees constantly mopping up the sidewalk or rinsing the walkway with a bucket of soapy water.

All the time.

It's kind of an obsession, or the shop keeper tells his employees to wash the sidewalk each and every day.

The other day I was waiting for my wife and sitting around. I snapped this picture.

Here's a way to really sweep the street and it works. Instead of using a fancy broom of some sorts , the street cleaning lady walks into the plaza, picks up a palm frond and uses it to sweep the fallen leaves on the street down to the corner.

The width of the "Broom" seems to make perfect sense to tackle these fallen gifts from the cobblestones......

Funny thing is I also see people sweeping up dirt sidewalks and walkways..... even when the walkway or road is dirt... I mean dirt walkways..you know, no concrete or asphalt.... plain old dirt, but yet they sweep it.

So when you say Mexico is dirty, look around your own town.

I for a fact know that while growing up in San Francisco it was one of the dirtiest places around, now with the homeless it's gotten worse. You could venture into Oakland across the bay...you can add dirt to the crime infested neighborhoods.

LA, same thing, Phoenix, same thing...even cute little Long Beach , San Diego they all have their spots, but you don't see as many people sweeping up in any of those places then you see down here.

So next time you say that Mexico is dirty, let's define what YOU consider dirt.

End of story.

10 comments:

mariemcc said...

I lived in a West African village for two years as a Peace Corps Volunteer. They swept the dirt there, too, in their own yards. They didn't have the habit of using garbage cans and dropped their litter wherever. Then every morning they'd sweep the dirt, collect the junk and throw it elsewhere. I imagine in Mexico they are doing the same thing: getting rid of the litter and garbage so their dirt is "clean."

Tancho said...

Hi Marie, yep you described it to a tee. But in Mexico I forgot to mention, ( another post ) is their mystery of cleaning up by sweeping the dirt, but think nothing about tossing empty pop bottles and garbage out of moving vehicles, littering the road.....

JerryL said...

The other comments you hear about Mexico is the wide spread poverty. During my brief stint working in Mexico I saw about the same amount of poverty as I have seen in the US. One just needs to travel outside of metropolitan areas.
I did also we less homeless people in Mexico than in the US. Families seem to take care of their members whereas in the US they rely on the government programs.

Tancho said...

Jerry, don't forget to include that Mexico is a 3rd world country, not considering that it is rich with natural resources and lack of jobs, thereby necessitating their poor to travel north to find jobs, meanwhile lots of stores and businesses display "help wanted" signs.
That's another topic we have discussed before.

Calypso said...

I don't find Mexico particularly dirty - I mean there are some dirty cities in the U.S.

Puerto Escondido is particularly clean as a matter of fact.

What does bother me is the throwing down of trash - often from car windows. Apparently a lot of this is cleaned up - but it surely is sad to see the little regard for throwing trash. Maybe it keeps the job stream filled with clean-up folks?

Steve Cotton said...

I will confess my town is dusty -- but not dirty. After all, the place is made of sand. Go figure. Every rural area in which I have traveled has dust issues. It is just part of the territory. But the towns and cities? The only sound more common than the sweep sweep sweep is the pat pat psat of tortillas.

Don Cuevas said...

I'd have to say that while people sweep and wash the sidewalks in front of their houses and businesses, there's little to no consciousness about littering. People tend to throw out all maner of litter, and yes, garbage in bags, along the roadside. It's something like the U.S. was in the '50s. Sometimes, when disposable diapers are involved, for example, it's pretty gross.

Our ranching village has generous organic deposits from cowns, horses and to a lesser degree from dogs. We consider that part of the natural environment. We just look where we step.

By the way, our landlady is SeƱora Limpieza, washing, scrubbing, mopping constantly at her house across the street.
Our own home cleaning efforts are just adequate by comparison.

Saludos,
Don Cuevas

Felipe said...

As other commenters have pointed out, Mexico is both dirty and clean. They sweep a lot. They litter too much.

And there are jobs available.

Anonymous said...

Hola Tancho,
Wow! Deja vu. If I had 10 pesos for every time I heard that...

One of the many things that impressed my wife and I when we visited Patz was the lack of trash in public areas.
We also saw the highway litter. Plastic bags are bad business.

By the way, You could also just substitute any of the following stereotypes: corrupt, dangerous and as JerryL added, poor.
More grist for the mill.

Viva Mexico!
Anthony
NYC

Tancho said...

Well it looks like the really bad rap is still with the prevalence of trash on the side of the roads.....not organic type....
The only thing I can think of is education and a few more generations. After all, I do remember that it was ok to toss out metal soda cans out of moving cars in the 50's in the states...
Sort of., now you don't see any one doing any of that NOB. Sad because Mexico is such a beautiful country with that horrible blemish.
Nice to hear from NYC!