Saturday, February 27, 2010
The Good and The Bad
I'm going to be really honest here. I've been working on this for awhile now, and have revised it many times. I just couldn't decide whether to post it or not, but realize that I can't work on anything else until I do.
It is a topic that I feel I need to address.
I'm not going to go into details here, but there have been some regretful incidents in recent months. Everyone is talking, speculating and worrying about them which, I suppose, is natural. The ex-pat community, short term visitors and the general population have not been targeted; this seems to be the 'druggies' fighting among themselves. These events have been random, and are not by any means an every day occurance, however, they are distressing, and have certainly lead to some bad press.
Carnaval was not what we, or anyone, expected. It was much quieter than anyone anticipated and the crowds of people just weren't there.
Yes, the fireworks were as fantastic as they have always been. The floats in the parades and the young people manning them were stunning. The vendors, and the selections of food and 'bling' offered were many, and varied. The music was as loud, and as fun, as it has always been. Okay, I admit, I even stopped to bop to the Banda - but just for a minute.
But generally speaking, is was just so much quieter this year. The streets were not as crowded, the music was not quite as loud, and everyone was more subdued. We didn't have the endless on-going street party we were expecting. People were nervous and many of them just stayed home.
It is just such a shame.
We feel so very sorry for the people who have worked so hard over the past year to make Carnaval the success it has always been. Our hearts go out to the servers in the local restaurants who count on the extra tips earned over the week to supplement their income for the year. Many of these are parents who are now wondering how they will provide for their children throughout the year. There are many vendors who come from all over the country solely to set up 'shop' on the streets of the city for Carnaval. I doubt they have made enough to get to the next town. It has been reported that the revenues usually earned over Carnaval are down 50%.
I also have to wonder about the people who have complained about the increased police/military presence in the city during Carnaval. Apparently some feel that it has created a feeling of unease. I taught my son at an early age that "Mr. Policeman" is our friend, and I still feel that way.
I have learned that it is not only the visitors to Mexico who worry about the increased level of drug related crimes in Mexico. The Mexican people are very very concerned. A March for Peace was held in Mazatlan recently, and another is planned during Semana Santa, the Easter Holiday.
Life seems to be returning to normal, people are more relaxed, and the smiles seem to be back on the faces of our Mexican friends and neighbours. We can only hope and pray, for their sakes, that all remains peaceful!
We have been welcomed to Mexico and I hope that we can all continue to give our support to this wonderful country. We all laugh and say that Mazatlan is Paradise. Paradise, however, is not always perfect. Neither is 'home', wherever that might be.
We have discovered a web site which focuses on the State of Sinaloa, where we live. The address is http://www.unmundomagico.com.mx/ It is beautifully designed and has won numerous awards. The site is in Spanish, but there is a selection for an English translation. The photographs are lovely.
There is also a short movie that I just cannot begin to describe. I have watched it over and over - the site is http://www.youtube.com/sinaloaunmundomagico
Watch it, and enjoy. I think perhaps we might be in Paradise after all!