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Monday, February 17, 2014

Saturday afternoon in the Colonias

The second part of Saturday'sadventure. Posting the map again as it has changed some. I think I kind of figured out where Colonia Jesus Osuna was – the general area anyway.
So the numbers have changed some. #5 where we ate lunch is still off the map to the north. About lunch. We stopped at a typical family Mexican restaurant - Restaurante El Habaleno. We’ve driven past it many times but never stopped there. [You have to remember that neither Bill nor I like Mexican food.] Everything served there is made either in the restaurant or in the town. There are no menus. The menu is posted on the wall. And not everything posted was available. 
There were few choices. For drinks there was Coke Regular or Coke Light. The Coke Regular was served in the bottle, the Coke light in the can. No glasses – no ice. One of the group wanted a beer so they went to the store next door and bought it.
Lunch choices were “Carne Asada, Machaca de Res, or Cabeza de Res.”  [I knew Res is beef and that Cabeza means head] The waitress repeated the list several times until we all ordered. Bill and I ordered Carne Asada which is just seasoned and grilled pieces of thin beef. Very tasty. It came with a half plate of refried beans. As did the other choices. For desert there was – Dulce de leche pudding or cheese cake with a sweet syrup on top. Or fruit empanadas.
The ladies bathroom was very clean and equipped with a toilet with no seat. But lots of toilet paper. The sink to wash your hands was back out in the dining room of the restaurant. Had hot water, soap and paper towels. Sure could tell if everyone washed their hands or not.
The tables were set up family style – several tables put together. Before the meal we were served cheese, guacamole and chips. Excellent guacamole. It was an interesting but different experience.
After leaving the restaurant we headed south again down Highway 15 into Mazatlan – somewhere we turned east off the highway and into the Colonias again. Most of the houses are built either with bricks or cement blocks then they are covered with stucco. Sometimes only the front gets the stucco. Sometimes it takes a year or so for the house to get it final coat of stucco – it is done when it can be paid for.
A home with the front painted and a basketball hoop on the power pole.
After lots of winding around on streets paved and dirt we ended up at the Plazuela in Jesus Osuna. Bill standing watching the crowd.
This is a little house across the street. The two signs on the right are saying that people can recharge – buy more time – for their TelCel cell phones there. On the left side of the house where the green awning is there is a little market. They sell Bimbo bread and pastries. There also is a pinball type game set back in the same area. The kids/teenagers pay to play it. Very enterprising household. So many of the homes have turned their garages or front patios into some type of little store or restaurant. Notice the broom and shovel leaning up against the house. And that the side of the house is raw brick not stucco.
I have a lot of time to wander around while the people are listening to Paquis so I take pictures. Some children being amused with balloons.
Two missionaries distributing clothing for free. See the blankets piled up in the background. Bill gave the Sisters each a blanket – for them to keep or give to the needy. They were very happy.
More children playing. The little girls sitting down had little plastic furniture and dolls they were setting up. And the boys across the street were admiring the ATV.
He is far away in another time and place doing wonderful things.
I was asked if I asked permission to take the pictures or if I just took them. Sometimes I ask permission if I want to take a posed shot. Mostly I just snap pictures of the area or crowd and see what I get. I was just wandering around taking snaps here.
More little boys playing with plastic figures. The one on the left has on a Barcelona Football Club outfit.
Some of the people after the blankets were handed out.
A little shop/store set up next to a house. It is a hardware store and a plumbing supply place. What you need to build your house.
Just a little bright blue house. It has satellite TV.
A more fancy -fancier- house – many of the homes have individual touches on them to make them pretty. Lots of pillars and arches etc.
Just a sign. Taco, quesadillas and vampires????
Passing through another neighborhood of a little bigger homes. This is a really fancy one.
This one has a patio in front next to the garage and is adding a second floor.
But then we made a sharp right turn off the paved road onto a dirt road behind the nice neighborhood. We were heading for the railroad tracks.
In the railroads easement were houses, built of pieces of wood, tin, cardboard – whatever could be used. And of course people living there. We were told that at one time the government promised these people that they would give them land and houses. But turned out the government couldn’t give them the land because it was the railroads! Basically it is a squatters settlement. Or as they call them here "paracaidistas" in English paratroopers. Because where they land they stay. They have electricity that is bootlegged from the housing development next door. Wires are strung everywhere. And water is delivered to tanks on the roofs. However one kitchen door was open and when I looked in there was a complete kitchen including microwave. The new mayor of Mazatlan has promised to help them…
People coming to listen to Paquis. This is the back of the homes between them and the railroad tracks.
Listening and waiting for the blankets.
A little boy playing by the tracks.
Adults sitting on the tracks listening.

Kind of a sobering incident for us. Though I know we have the same kind of living conditions in some places in the states. It’s just that we don’t go there.
Leaving there we went to a nice middle class neighborhood again. This meeting took place just at dark in the street in front of this little grocery store. The garage has become the store. See the dog food out front. It is sold by the kilo.
Some of the people listening. The last picture I took because it was getting too dark and I got tired and went to sit in the car.
About these meetings – Paquis is a Federal Deputy that is like a Representative in congress. She can only serve one three year term. She is only 6 months into her term – so she is not campaigning. She is trying to bring information from the Federal government about programs for the poor to the people. One of the programs is life insurance on single women so if something happens to the woman her children will be housed, fed and schooled. The money will not go to a relative it will be used for the children. Another program is helping people build homes or add bedrooms and/or bathrooms to their existing home. 70,000 pesos worth of material will be provided for the construction. People have to register for these programs. That is the information she is trying to provide. She is a very charismatic person and very well liked. 
Also on her own, using her own money she is distributing the blankets to the needy. She is also providing the truly destitute – those with nothing – beds, tables, chairs, bedding and kitchen ware. Again using her own money – no government money involved. Last week she held a big all day event with 22 different bands to raise money from the community leaders to help pay for these things. People could also donate blankets – 5,000 blankets were donated and 10,000 kilos of beans. These will all be distributed to the needy.

So that was Saturday. Will catch up Sunday and today – tomorrow. 

1 comment:

  1. It's a noble thing you are doing; sharing with us the drive of a determined lady who has limited time to help her country in a government position. I hope she will continue for a few more years, and bring hope and encouragement to those who need it most.