photo of Mexican man the sierra norte
Mexico glossary










YavesŪa, Oaxaca


September 1999



The translation of this interview consists of extracts only.

Section 1
Yes, now thereís something I would like to ask you. You returned here after living in Mexico City for so many years. Can you see a difference between the way of life in Mexico City and here? What do you think about the way of living in the big cities? Because you lived in one of the biggest cities in the world and now you are living, working and complying as a village ciudadano (citizen) here. How do you feel, what do you think, about the big difference that there is between living there and here in this village?
Of course the difference is very big because one lives better here, in the village, itís just that it isnít very well organised; thereís no work plan. If someone thoughtÖ if one lived off something, at least some plots of land, plant fruit trees and all that, with a big village organisation, or set up a workshop for making clothes or something, handicrafts from this village, then one would live better.
Living in Mexico City isnít good anymore because the wages are very low now because of the problem of the free trade deal. The wages went down and the working class isnít recognised any more. Promotion isnít seen; only casual labour is used because the machines are very good at doing the work - specialised labour isnít needed any more. So if one doesnít have any qualifications or something from Mexico City, one canít get any work. Now some people are finding it worthwhile going to the USA; they earn dollars and then invest them in the village. But thinking about it, well, they live better in the village. Itís a lot calmer here, there isnít so much noise - there isnít any, just the sound of the birds and a car now and then, right? So itís a lot calmer here, the people are better, they are healthier than people from Mexico City.
In Mexico City, in a factory, youíll definitely get some disease because of the air pollution, or simply from the car exhaust. So the people in the village have less illness than those who live in Mexico City. If people from YavesŪa had never immigrated there wouldnít be so many illnesses here [for example] diabetes; people in YavesŪa didnít suffer from diabetes before. Other illnesses also came from Mexico City to contaminate the village because itís very easy to catch any disease in Mexico City and well, one lives very quietly here. If I had thought about doing something in YavesŪa well before, of making something to live off, I would have stayed and not gone to Mexico City. I would be better off now because my land would have been planted with fruit trees, or something. I would live more peacefully. Of course I live in peace now because of the pension I have. If not, what would I live off?