Tuesday, November 29, 2005

The Bird People

As long as I'm writing about the drive to San Miguel, I thought I would like to tell you about the people in one place along the highway who have made makeshift shelters and sell things they trap out in the campo. These people are so tragically poor that when you see them you can't help but think of Mexico as a third world country even though up and down this highway trucks carry parts and finished products like HP computers and Honda cars. I could write about the bird people but my friend Sharon Seligman, a photographer, has been documenting their lives for several years. Her essay and images tell it much better than anything I could write.


Anonymous said...

That's so sad and the same time those pictures are beautiful. You seem to have experienced more of Mexico than I have, and I am a Mexican. I live in Nuevo Leon. There is nothing like that where I live. Keep up the great journal.

BillieS said...

Many Thanks, Anon. I have been to lots of places in Mexico and I hope that my love for your country comes through in what I write.

The bird people are along the highway between Matehuala and San Luis Potosi. Their situation is tragic and such a contrast to the Mexicans who have jobs in the factories that make HP computer or Honda cars or any number of modern goods.

Mario Bahena said...

The San Luis Potisi government is doing everything to help this people, from offering land in the rich regions of La Huasteca to invating factories to stablish in the region.

It is difficult to remove them from this area since this is their ancestral land. Their ancestors have lived in this land before the Spaniards came. Every group of poeple that came here, either tried to kill them or to ensave them. Now, they will not abandon their ancestral land because the government thinks they will live better in a foreign.

But I think the second opction is staring to work well. Some companies are eager to use cheap labor from this region, close to HighWay 57. Factoried could be shipped to the States in no time.

But for now, regardless how bad we feel about them, let us not forget that we are dealing with a culture that has been around living in the area before our notion of poverty came into existence.

Billie said...

Thank you so much for your comment. I'm really glad to have additional information about these people and glad to know that the government is trying to help them. I can understand the difficulty of this issue if they feel so strongly about their "home."

BTW, I've looked at your blog and I'm glad there is some of it in English. I wish my Spanish were better but I will try to translate some of the Spanish entries.