I couldn’t agree more with Dale Palfrey’s articles in last week’s Guadalajara Reporter.
Many Ajijic residents welcomed the entry of this village into the roster of “Magic Villages,” thinking it would bring some positive changes that would benefit all of us, Mexicans and foreigners alike. Instead, we are now told that the tidy sum of money allocated for the privilege of this title will be spent on tourism promotion and items of no value to those of us who reside here, pay taxes and support the economy year-round.
As a long-standing citizen of Ajijic and a dedicated pedestrian, I regret the direction this village is taking. Instead of decent sidewalks, as in most Mexican villages and towns, we have broken pieces of cement, potholes and traffic-choked main streets. Walking around Ajijic is a dangerous challenge for most, and especially the elderly and handicapped. One of the main streets leading to the hiker’s paradise at Tepalo had a burst water pipe two weeks ago. A huge hole was dug to accommodate the new pipe but Simapa (the local water and sewage utility) didn’t see fit to fill the hole and put back the paving stones. Instead, what we see right now on this two-way street is a hole in which people are depositing their garbage and a pile of stones that makes it look like a burial site that is obstructing traffic on half the street. I was told by Simapa officials that they are “short staffed” and no one knows when the street will be repaired! This is typical of the disdain in which Chapala City Hall bureaucrats hold their citizens.
Magic Village? Most of us see nothing magical about broken sidewalks, non-stop traffic and mounds of garbage piled up in the neighborhoods where non-tourists live! My question is what can be done about this and who will listen to our complaints and do something positive to make Ajijic a truly magical place, not just to visit but to settle in as well. Our last mayor is on his way out, having accomplished very little. Will the new one do something effective to put Ajijic on the right track or will he carry on with the window dressing now going on, wasting money better spent on much needed public works? Most of us wonder where our tax money and sizeable contributions go once in Chapala’s coffers.
I urge my fellow citizens to unite and try to get something positive done to change the wrong direction this village is taking. Magic Village? A resounding NO!