We are driving up Mexico Highway 200 again today. Its the main highway up the west coast of Mexico. It meanders through villages and roadside clean up consists of the random burning of garbage and brush. Its a low or no budget program that has collateral damage when the fire gets away and climbs into the trees and sometimes orchards. The orchards are usually one or more of the five kinds of mango I have seen, or tamarinds, or passion fruit. The fire rarely burns the coconut palms more than a few feet on the trunk.
Its a financially poor coastal area by our standards, but people are well fed and happy looking. When you have an abundance of fruits and vegetables, fresh seafood, water and a mild coastal climate you get by without a lot of crap. I’ll bet few people here have any debt.
It got me thinking about so called subsistence living and how the standards of the dominate society can either improve or ruin the way of life of subsistence living communities.
The conclusion I have reached is best described by the phrase “everything in moderation”.
A little bit of money can improve peoples lives but a lot of money ruins more lives than it improves. Where ever I have seen an idyllic location, whether its an island, beach front harbor town or lakeside mountain village, big money and the boom times it creates brings good times for a few and the end of life as it was for most.
Its a natural progression that we have all seen and some have experienced. Better to live in a fairly nice place than paradise. We stopped into Zihuatanejo, a few miles back. A beautiful harbor and beach. Must have been paradise in the 50’s. Its now wall to wall resorts and time shares, fabricated in an architectural style that reminded me of a Disney depiction of Sorrento Italy. Fake and crowded the beach was closed to swimming by Mexican authorities due to unsanitary sea water. People swam anyway. The water smelled bad as we walked gingerly along the shore past the last resort on the beach.
It reminded me of a song by the Eagles with that same title. “The Last Resort”
There is a line that sums it all up for me. “You call someplace paradise…kiss it goodbye “
Awesome post, that same thing has happened many times over here in the US. Great writing.