Yesterday Bodega Aurrera opened its doors at the Xico end of Coatepec and blocked traffic for everyone. Hopefully, soon it will appear as bedraggled and unused as the one in Xico (much smaller) appears. As a friend said, the prices aren't lower and it's much more fun to shop in tiendas and los mercados and if you need a supermarket there's the immense and much more attractive (if owned by just as corrupt dueños) Chedraui.
[It] was denied by the federal government, said the Secretary of Economy Ildefonso Guajardo, in response to Lopez Rodriguez. He stressed that Dragon Mart Cancun does not have federal permission to operate, and clarified that it has not even begun “any licenses for export of goods procedures, or for persons to arrive in the country as part of the business center.”
“The Ministry of Economy, up to today, has not received any request for any type of application for imports, nor does the Secretary of Governing have applications for admission permits of entrepreneurs from other countries or any kind of environmental clearance. The project is still being discussed at a local level.”
The federal official pointed out that federal government’s policy is open to foreign investment as long as they “comply with all legal elements, and failure to comply with fair trade practices, is not accepted".
I would also like to add that Dragon Mart spokesmen claim it will be "green" and that no trees will be chopped down. BUT THERE ARE NO TREES NOW ON THE LAND PROPOSED FOR USE NOW!!!
A short article about Dragon Mart including the fact that it is supposed to be build ton a greater part of a nature preserve than allowed by law appeared in The Standard, a Hong Kong free daily also in English.
If Dragon Mart should proceed, apparently the investors have agreed not to sell shoes or clothing from China in it. These are significant Mexican industries could (among others) be seriously affected if these items were sold.
Obama continues idiotic border policies. This is a fine op-ed piece in the NYTimes on the costs of the wall along the US-Mexico frontier. Obama has shown so little curiosity about Mexico and Latin America (and probaby other parts of the world) that it isn't funny. While Hillary Clinton is a very appealing woman, she didn't help in this regard. I can't imagine John Kerry doing any better.
There had been rain and bitter cold in our colonia while we were away in Boston. The night we arrived home, we couldn't get warm. Once in bed, we piled a comforter on the comforter and I put my jacket around my feet. The dogs all joined us. But on Sunday, the clouds cleared to reveal an intensely blue sky over newly-washed fields and fincas and woodland. We were very happy to take our dogs for their walk. Below are a miscellany of pictures from that walk along a path that criss-crosses a meandering stream and takes us to, among other places, a trail up to a waterfall. I put pictures of the falls on the blog awhile ago. The owner of the stretch of trail that goes to them has fenced it off so it is harder to reach. There is debate about his right to do so since it is all ejido land. Who knows.
Anway, here are the pics:
Some bridges crossing the stream:
This crosses to someone's land. It goes off the main path.
Same with this. There's a small stand of bamboo, upper right.
This was an ambitious bridge project that was never finished. You can sort of see Jim behind the tree at the right. The bridge has no ramps so Jim climbed up the abuttment (I think that's what you'd call it).
This is the roadway on the unfinished bridge. I mean the area right here at the bottom covered with plants. A layer of earth has grown as plants have seeded, sprung up and decayed. And of course now there are more plants. The log has fallen across the roadway. It didn't grow there. I think there is now an effort to promote growing plants on rooves. In Xalapa, at one of the markets which is being rehabilitated, plants are growing on purpose out of a wall.
Just a regular bridge across the road. Daisy and Rita are up ahead of Jim. There are several like this.
This is one of those ordinary bridges, but it is guarded by a giant sycamore part of whose base you can see on the right. You can also see Daisy.
These are some of the roots of the giant sycamore clothed in dried mud.
Footbridge to house of man who won't let people use the trail to the waterfalls.
Below are a rock that looks like a piece of tree trunk and a piece of a tree trunk that looks like a rock (more or less).
Here are some flowers in bloom.
These flowers have a lovely lavender-purpley color which you can't see here. They are prolific.
Same flowers with a bamboo stand in the background.
I call these lantern flowers. My sister in law Evelyn remembers them from her childhood in Hawaii. I love them. They dry beautifully and once again are growing as spring approaches.
These are floribundia. They are among may favorites. They grow on small trees and indeed do hang upside down. And as their name suggests, they are abundant. I have a painting of some pinkish-white ones by my friend Jo Belmont.
There are many more kinds of flowers open now, but these are what I took pictures of.
Below some miscellaneous plant pictures.
If you click on this one you can see that it has long, stringy seed pods.
This gardener has fenced his beds with glass bottles. The lettuce in the second bed is doing beautifully. I am a little envious.
This is a pruned coffee plant. Old plants get pruned way back. You can see shoots starting to come out of it. A man in Coatepec sells orchids stuck into these stumps. They often have strange, monstrous shapes.
Once again I can't show you the vivid color, but if you look carefully about two thirds up the left side you can see splatters of red, a fungus on this coffee trunk.
A stand of bamboo
Bamboo skin that has peeled and fallen. It has a firm paper quality and I sometimes bring some home meaning to try it out for drawing on or something. Haven't done it yet, though.
Some lacy bug-eaten leaves. The bugs had quite a feast. The plant survives.
Now that Hugo Chavez, President of Venezuela, has died, it has finally become respectable in at least some quarters of the US to print favorable articles about him. This opinion piece by Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, former president of Brasil is one of them. Another excellent article by Jon Lee Anderson appeared in the New Yorker. Both described the genuine warmth and caring that Chavez embodied, his strengths as a leader for the very poor in his country, his real achievements and his dreams for Latin America. He was instrumental in bringing together countries of the continent.
In the US (and I might add also among some PAN people in Mexico) he was viewed with, at best, hostility. Often a bogeyman for US policies, the US really has no one to blame but itself for his turning on our country. What a shame. As has been pointed out elsewhere, the US has supported and supports far more villainous and far less humane leaders than Chavez. I don't know if our country is capable of opening its eyes by itself. Certainly Obama has not provided the hoped-for leadership in enlightening Americans, at least as far as Latin America is concerned. As a Latin American pointed out not long ago, Obama's neglectful attitude towards the south may turn out to be a blessing.