Posted by Jarrod on November 22, 2007, 12:55 pm, in reply to "Making Sense of the Local News"
Message modified by board administrator November 23, 2007, 2:54 pm
All this strident idealism and gung-ho pie in the sky plans... Two voices of dissent, grounded in reason and realism (jean, george)speak, and this whole thread goes quiet. |
Cue the chirping crickets.
Is it righteous indignation that has silenced all the environmentalists here? Or is it deeply sublimated guilt?
"The developer wants a cabin in the woods. The environmentalist already has one."
Desalinization plant? Pave the town?
Face the facts, the problem is not Tamarindo in specific. It is not even development in general. It is selfishness.
It is easy to see the selfishness of the big developers. They have the most money, which buys the most privilege. They can do the most damage, they are faceless, and they are easy to blame. Selfish and rich, terms that can often be used interchangably in Mexico. It's the golden rule. They have the gold, so they make the rules. Some of us were here to see Tamarindo giving us the shaft before many of you had even heard of La Manzanilla.
But on the subject of selfishness, how many gringo households are there in La Manzanilla now? How much water did they require to build, and how much
water do they require to maintain? How does that compare to a local household? What about the service industry that didn't exist in any
meaningful permanent form just a couple short decades before, how much water does that use?
How selfish is that?
How about "discovering" a town en masse, moving in to revel in the quaint ambiance, then eroding that very ambiance by making it more comfortable and
familiar for yourself instead of assimilating as seamlessly as possible?
How selfish is that?
How about changing the economy of a town so that when external forces, such as a downturn in the stock market or a diminished/salted water supply, forces you to leave (and you do have somewhere else to go, don't you?), the inhabitants are left literally high and dry. You've only lost your real-estate investment. They've lost everything. There will be nobody to support the bricklayers and waitresses and maids and gardeners when all the gringos have gone.
How selfish is that? Sounds like the actions of a bunch of developers.
Yes, there's a shared responsibility there. Little wonder, then, that straws are being grasped at. Desalinization plant, indeed. There is unacknowledged guilt, deep and gnawing, to be assuaged. What better way than a little blind and hopeless idealism? Whatever gets you through the night.
But nobody is going to build a desalinization plant for La Manzanilla. And nobody is going to pave the roads, either. Both those ideas are laughable. You are in Mexico, remember? The rich will suck the poor dry, literally and figuratively, the way they always do in third-world countries. Until the day the main strip of homes on the beach is razed by bulldozers for a mega-resort, you won't see ANY money being poured into an alternate source of water for La Manzanilla.
From the perspective of those kind folks who have allowed you to be guests in their town, you are also among the rich. From the perspective of Tamarindo, you are among the poor. They don't care what you, or anyone you know, thinks about the water situation. You are in Mexico, remember?
You want to collectively do something to help the town? Go turn off your taps, let your tinaco drain back into the city water system, and go
someplace else. If you're the first to bail out, you might actually get your investment back. There are still people around who think it's a booming market.
Don't drag your feet though, last one out gets left holding the bag! Nobody'll want to buy a house with a view if the view is of a ghost town. If you really care, you'll leave while there is still some good water left. That way the locals, the people who will have to stay, will at least have some water while they adjust back to an economy that isn't based upon servicing vacationing gringos.
Think I'm joking? Here, hold this bag for me.
"Who the hell is Jarrod, and where does he get off?" Raise your hand if you're asking that.
I grew up in La Manzanilla. My father already had roots established when we all began spending the winters there, 22 years ago. At that time, and for years afterwards, every gringo household in the town could meet under a single roof (and did!) for holidays. But more importantly than that, all the gringo households had integrated into the community to the fullest extent possible. There wasn't a "gringo community", there was just a community, of which gringos were a part. That's why we were there, not so we could create a comfortable, familiar environment that just happened to be located in paradise. It was low impact.
My wife is from La Manzanilla, her dad one of the original gringos, her mom a local. We got married there. Some of you might remember that event new years eve 2005. Our folks still spend winters there. We choose not to.
Point is, we've got history there.
We remember when the Tamarindo well was actually an active issue.
Where were all you people then? Right, many (most?) of you arrived later, used a bunch of water building your home and filling your pool, and then got worried about the water supply. Well, all I can say is if you were so concerned about preserving La Manzanilla, you shouldn't have been a force of development to begin with.
Maybe all those big developers wanting to pay $30K per hectare are interested because of all the private development they already see there?
You don't become an environmentalist until you get your own cabin in the woods.
Be sure to visit www.lamanzanilla.info