Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Don't know much about Mexico, but...

I have to confess I do not know much about Mexico. But as I recently enjoyed the sun and the palm trees in a very touristic resort, I could not help but wonder about the difference I saw around me. It's the kind of difference that is meant to be invisible in a touristic resort - after all, nothing should remind you of the poverty outside the gates of your luxurious, all-inclusive resort. Not that you, yourself, live in luxury on a daily basis, but that is the concept of holiday being sold - go to an 'exotic' place by Western standards, and be treated like a queen/king.

The resort offers everything; there's little reason to go out, and if you do go out, there's always the organized tour to yet another touristic point of interest. But the difference between this artificial paradise and the everyday rhythm of local life is there, in your face, waiting to be grasped. I wondered why almost all of the staff had darker skin while the managers and owners where white. I wondered why most of the waiters and chefs were men, while all the room cleaners were women. I wondered why our resort had big fences, and why, given that beaches are public, these fences became man-built dams. I wondered why the staff that looked so cheerful and professional in their uniforms in the resort looked so poor and tired when leaving by public transportation, in the same uniforms. I wondered why everything was so green in our resort and why the palm trees were so rich, when they looked so dry outside it.

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