Things We Don't Like About Mexico

Trash on the road near Juchitan
OK, you've heard us fawn on and on about how nice we think Mexico is. Now we have to pony up and tell you about some of the other stuff.

  • The trash on the roads and even around the towns is abominable in places. ABOMINABLE. Unbelievable. I don't know what's wrong with Mexico and trash, but they need to get it straightened out. We have seen entire little villages strewn with plastic bags and bottles. One that I saw looked like a dump until I looked closer and realized there were houses. We rode along a canal the other day near the coast and found dumped plastic garbage bags everywhere for miles, with dogs digging into bags containing animal entrails and endless piles of plastic trash. There was even a dead pig rotting in the swampy water along the roadside gutter.

  • Unattended public services seem to be vandalized routinely. Graffiti is out-of-control in some areas. In hundreds of miles of interstate-type highway in Sonora we saw dozens of solar-powered auto-emergency-assistance phones placed by the government. Not a single one was still there or anything like functional. It seems that things that are attended by someone are never at risk, but anything placed out in public without somebody to take care of it has no chance. This is ugly.

  • There are too many places with smelly sewer systems that run unpipe or unmaintained under the streets of the towns and city of central Mexico and at least one area, near Tula, where they use untreated black water as irrigation/fertilizer for the fields. It's ugly, smelly, and unsanitary.

Forty years ago the United states had enormous litter and pollution problems and we seem to have learned from our past, cleaning up the rivers, the roads and the air. It is not perfect but it is a lot better now. As Mexico transforms from a third world country to a first world country, perhaps Mexicans will learn from their past and create a cleaner environment in which to raise their children. There is lots of public consciousness of this, lots of signs about not littering, lots of attention to environmental issues. Maybe there's lots of hope!