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

Sunday, January 11, 2015

What would you do?

I hate to write this, but things have gotten significantly worse here in the last few days.  Seccion XXII, the teachers, have made life very difficult here once again.  However, for the first time ever, they actually shut down the airport, cancelling incoming and outgoing flights.  Of course, no one knew anything so travellers were on their own with no assistance from the airlines of the government.   In addition, I think they blocked gas stations, roads, shopping malls.  It's a long read but run this story from Noticias through a translator and you can get an idea of just how messed up things are.

I mean, there are soldiers and cops at the airport... with big guns.... and they hid and did nothing.  The teachers have taken over the streets around the zocalo again and businesses are going to start shutting down due to lack of customers or access.  How does all this happen??

Obviously, the fix is in.  It is sickening

And this is supposedly over the fact that the Feds, as a part of reform, now pay teachers' salaries electronically and that over 70 percent received their checks last week and the other 30 percent received them directly.  The teachers just returned from a two week vacation for the holidays and are receiving bonuses for some reason beyond my comprehension.

So what would you do??  As a resident?  A business?  A tourist?

Update: 1:30 PM Sunday.  I just heard a jet take off.  So maybe the airport is back.


PaulM_NY said...

Thanks for the info on the airport closure. We are scheduled to fly in on Thursday. We have been to Oaxaca many times so have gotten use to demonstrations and the camp-ins at the zocalo but the airport shutdown is a new twist. If the airport is iffy may decide to take the bus from Mexico City. Please keep us up to date on the situation there.

Christopher Stowens said...

I will try to stay on top of things. I am a ways outside the city, but plan on trying to get in to see tomorrow. We'll hope for the best and that this is just temporary.

PaulM_NY said...

Thank Chris, by the way I live where NY,MA,CT meet. We have 6 inches on the ground and a couple of days ago was below zero. Warmed up today to 16 degrees. So looking forward to being in Oaxaca once again

Chuck Edgerly said...

Thanks for your postings. They are beautifully written and illustrated with your thoughtful photographs that show a lot of what makes Oaxaca great. One thing that does not, I have come to realize, is the recurrent strikes that seem disconnected from any real outcomes for the teachers. In my last visit, in 2011, the city had just recovered from a lengthy takeover. Oaxaca is a magical place--thanks for showing that, and relating other events in a sensitive, respectful way.

Corrie Travels said...

I was one of those passengers stranded on Saturday afternoon - it took 5 hours to rebook a flight (3 phone calls to Mexico City, several taxis, visits to 2 AeroMexico offices by the zocalo, 2 bus terminals, back to the airport). Everyone at AeroMexico said they couldn't help me rebook until a brave ticket agent came out of the locked terminal on the sidewalk and very kindly used his personal cellphone to call and fix it for me. I just got home to the SF Bay Area this morning at 2:30! What an odyssey it was. Interesting that the locals in Huatulco tossed rocks & sticks at the demonstrators on Saturday... I can't imagine how much revenue is being lost by these bloqueos, and how much more difficult it makes life in Oaxaca.

Christopher Stowens said...

As Chuck comments, Oaxaca is a magical place. However, not all of it is good magic. There is more than enough of the dark arts at work here. That being said, I'm glad you make it back to SF and I hope your odyssey did not turn you off to this place. Hey, you were part of a first... the first shutdown of the tarmac ever. And yes, it does make life here difficult at times, and people are very upset and angry, but they are amazingly resilient and positive through all of it. I've learned to roll with the punches and lay low. All good things to learn, those and lots of patience.

Corrie Travels said...

Thanks Chris, I always love reading your blog and comments - it was quite an adventure - and I'm definitely not going to let the bloqueos keep me from returning (I come every 6 months) because I love Oaxaca. I just will be more thoughtful about how I book flights, and leave more time/room for the unexpected. One does have to wonder if there will be a positive outcome for the teachers in all this, and how the economy in the centro and elsewhere will be affected. So many businesses have shut down and there is no end in sight to the turmoil.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe these "teachers" actually got out onto the tarmac and painted slogans on it. Next step will be to hijack a plane and position it across the runway to prevent takeoffs and landings as they do with the buses. There seems to be no line they cannot cross. Ya basta!!! Down with the CNTE!!! Criminals!!! Bandidos!!!