Thursday, March 31, 2011

San Cristóbal - It's a Hard Life

March 30, 2011

On my final two days our driver finally shows and we don't have to find and change taxis anymore. When I mention that we have a driver it's not like a limo, but someone who drives us around in whatever vehicle they have. This particular model comes with an extra-large stellated crack on the passenger side windshield with no backseat seat belts and missing a few hubs.

My backpack is kept in a side room at Sergio's museo and the light switch is a little faulty so Sergio decides to ditch the switch. He connects two hotwires to turn on the light.

As we were departing for the day, the mother with her young child from Teopisca came running to stop our car. She brought the child from Teopisca so we could change her bandages. It is quite a trek for her as she had to catch a collectivo (probably a public transportation Volkswagon van) and probably a taxi ride too which could be more costly.

After being here a while you get immune to seeing the military trucks loaded with soldiers and guns. I never know where they're going, what they're doing and why there are so many.

When I first saw a woman street sweeper I thought, "Surely men do this task as well". I made it a point to pay attention and the only employees I saw cleaning the streets or picking up the trash were women, although Bela assured me that men do it to - it is civil service and actually does pay a pension someday. I do like the broom though.

On our way to Nishnamtic we stopped at an abarrotes (grocery store) so Sergio could by candy for the two-year-old boy we're treating. I needed to empty my bladder and it was either this or the road-side option. At least there was an option as there is a beautiful roadside rest-stop between Tucson and Phoenix that is completely closed down.

Coming back from Nishnamtic, we stop and see the 14-year-old. His parents have yet to buy him crutches so he can get around better. They must not have the money so he uses a broom stick as support and hops on one leg for ambulation.

Returning to the museum we see a fresh blob of concrete with the label "Sapam" impressed on it. Sergio explains that the water company turned off the water. He said he's paid the bill but there seems to be a discrepancy and he's tired of arguing with them. They left the large rock they extracted in the sidewalk for someone (me) to trip over.

So, we use a bucket of water to wash our hands and dump water in the toilet to flush. Sergio rents the museum for 5,000 pesos per month. The rent a year ago was 3000 pesos per month: a hiked up price of 60%. It is hard to believe that one can do this knowing that Sergio give so much to the community, but it seems;.. it's just business.

The free range animals are always hungry and have their noses to the ground. It was nice to see this pair taking a rest in the shade.

Life is not hard for everyone in Mexico. Anyone with modest financial security can live a high-quality life in a nice colonial home, maid included. Not all indigenous are poor as they live off the land and food is available most the time (in the good times). They just don't have any money to buy things and they barter instead. In my opinion, it is when people don't have access to an adequate diet, an opportunity for good education, access to clean water and access to healthcare of all types and especially for injuries such as burns or accidents then that is when the poverty reveals itself.

Sergio relieves this stress by going to their homes and providing wound care for them or their loved ones. It is the donations from his museo and donations from those who support his work that allow Sergio to reduce the burden and bring relief and healing to lives of those in need.

If you are looking for a cause to support, Sergio Castro, the Maverick Humanitarian would be highly worthy cause. All funds go to Sergio Castro minus PayPal fees. Any amount is appreciated. Thank you.

Posted by Patricia Ferrer, PA-C.

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