|I am here in Oaxaca City, Mexico, the capital of the southern state of Oaxaca. This Sunday there will be a state election to elect new members of the various state and local governments , except the office of governor. In addition, there will be a protest march that same day. I am guessing that there will be about 50,000 people participating. The elections will come in the middle of a long struggle within Oaxaca for basic human rights for the primarily poor indigenous people of the state.|
This picture gives you a good example of what happens when poor folks try to take control of their own destiny and an out of control non functioning government steps in. This girl was part of strike by local teachers against the PRI backed government of Ulises Ruiz and the lack of funding for education and schools.
Yesterday I was in an area of Oaxaca known as Colonia 3 de Mayo. Most of the homes had no water systems, and the electricity for this area was very provisional. The people lived in either homes made of corrugated tin, tree bark scraps, or tabicon, a local block product. There were very few roofs that were water proof, a real problem in an area that receives substantial rainfall between June and November. Most of the children had one change of clothes, one pair of shoes, and lacked all the basics of what we have come to know as a balanced diet.
I went over to the school while I was there also. It had two rooms made of block. One for grades 1 - 6, and the other for kindergarten. Neither room was big enough as there were three other rooms made of corrugated tin to serve as overflow. The wells on the property were bone dry.
I cannot begin to explain the pain, anger, and just plain hopelessness I felt while I was there. This area is less than 15 miles outside of the capital city. As the election draws near, pray for the people of Oaxaca. Pray for a people that desires nothing more than you and I do... a chance to work hard, earn a decent living, and see their kids grow up healthy, strong, and educated. I´ll keep you posted as I can on the results.
If you would like to read more, click here. I have posted on this before.