photo by me
I haven’t really talked about my trip to Mexico. I think, in a lot of ways, I’m still processing it and thinking about it. I think, too, that it bothered me too much and I just can’t express what it was about it that bothered me.
But I’ll give it a try.
The trip itself was beautiful. The drive down took us into an amazing sunset that glowed red over the desert mountains. The saguaro, organ pipe, and ocotillos actually gleamed in the sunset.
My brother’s house is cozy and comfortable. It’s about 200 yards from the tidal bay (Choya Bay). The roads are all sand. His neighbors are a mix of American vacationers, American ex-pats, and Mexicans.
Everyone we met was generous and kind. There wasn’t a sour face or an unkind word. Even the street vendors were incredibly kind in their hawking (even to the point of complimenting the kids over and over).
The food was delicious (but I do tend to be partial to Mexican food).
The colors were wonderful.
In my brother’s neighborhood, I mentioned that there are a lot of American vacationers. They have come in and bought up houses at very low prices and have now raised the property values so high that it is not possible for the locals to buy in to the neighborhoods any longer.
And while some may say that’s not bad, as someone who lives in an area that is being bought up by more wealthy people, I can say it is a huge struggle to exist. It’s almost impossible to buy homes, food, clothing, etc. It’s too expensive.
That’s not what bothered me the most though.
I have a big disdain for people who go into foreign countries and treat them like their playground or their dump.
Choya Bay is beautiful. It is a tidal bay that ebbs and flows with tides. There are points during the day when you can walk across the entire expanse of it (quite a few miles). People go out clamming and kids can be seen roaming, looking for the perfect shells.
But there are also people who treat it like the land doesn’t matter. They drive across the Bay (which is illegal). They use it as a driving range, littering it with their golf balls. They stumble out drunk, leaving broken glass bottles and sharp aluminum cans on the floor of the Bay. It makes it dangerous to play in the sand. It makes it look like a dumping ground.
By and far, these people are Americans. And it embarrassed me to be an American because of the way they treated the land.
That’s not to say that the nationals don’t dump things. They do. The roads are littered with trash that people just throw down.
But if you’re going into another country, it is important to treat it as well as your own home, if not better.
Would we want people driving through our tidal bays? Throwing trash in our backyards?
We wouldn’t. And we shouldn’t be doing it either.