The here and now... and what and why

Complacency is a trap. At least that’s what I was thinking when I up and left the comfort of a Yankee prep school gig, where I taught music, amongst other things, for 28 years. There was also that life long career as a composer, musician and artist.

First, it was a year in St. Thomas, USVI, working as a reporter and shooting photography and then, a year in San Agustin Etla, Oaxaca, Mexico.
Time passed.
More time passed and a year back in the Athens of America followed by a hasty return to Oaxaca where it is all happening.
A couple of years in San Sebastian Etla and now, just down the road in San Pablo Etla. Life is good.

Click on an image to see it larger.
For additional photography please visit my flickr page.
You can find my music on Jango (World & latin - Worldbeat) and at iTunes and most online stores.
¡Soy consciente de todas las tradiciones del Internet!
If you are coming to Oaxaca, please contact me for tours or advice.

Santo Domingo

Santo Domingo
The view from Corazon del Pueblo

The hereafter re me

My photo
Oaxaca, Oaxaca, Mexico
Musician, photographer, videographer, reporter, ex-officio teacher, now attempting to be a world traveler

Monday, May 28, 2012

El planton continues

El planton, the annual sit-in by the state's teachers will continue for another week.  Last week I wrote about the "smell of fear" in the air.  Well, yesterday, when I ventured into the zocalo to check things out, there was a smell in the air and it wasn't fear.  Whatever it was, it was bad, like garbage, piss and poop.
There are hundreds, maybe thousands, living in the zocalo.  There surrounding streets are all filled with tents and vendors.  Thirty percent of the people there are just folks taking advantage of the situation and selling all sorts of stuff from food to crafts to pirated dvd's.
As I have said before, I do not understand all the issues here.  For one, the teachers want the competency testing done away with and the government's continued assurance of support, meaning money.

This is an annual event for the teachers.  There are those who do it every year and have for years.  However, there are many maestros that do not participate.  They do not attend the meetings or marches.  Whether or not they support the actions of their union, Section XXII, is a point for speculation.

While walking the streets, I had the thought that it was kinda like Burning Man for Oaxacan teachers... without the painted faces and craziness... something to do each year, a time to hang with friends and colleagues and just chill.  Just a thought.....
At any rate, the teachers are marching again this morning from the five points around the city, so I am sure traffic is chaotic.  Then, they are going to shut down the banks, shopping centers and government offices at some point this week.  It should be fun. 

I wish I could understand better their demands, because I just don't get the whole thing.  The only thing they seem to be successful in doing is pissing off everyone.  That and causing chaos and costing the city, state and individual businesses millions of pesos.

Meanwhile, the kids are not in school.  They continue to be hurt by the actions of those intrusted with their education.

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