|Shoveling the sand back onto the beach|
It is not all sun, sand and cerveza in Mexico; there are long days of hard work for most Mexicans.
May 1st is celebrated in many countries as International Workers’ Day, commemorating the establishment, in 1886, of a legislated eight-hour work week.
However working hours in Mexico are not tightly regulated by laws, there are always ways to get around the official rules. Most office job hours run from 8am to 6pm, although working hours often go until 7pm or later. Tourism-related jobs by necessity include weekends, public holidays and frequently shifts for 24-hour staffing.
|Fallen down a rabbit hole|
The islanders that we know are such hard working folks. Recently we noticed a CFE worker was head first into a deep hole; he was really getting into his job. The concrete power pole next to our house was in danger of toppling, due to a weakened centre of decomposing and rusted rebar.
|Wet policeman directing traffic|
On the other end of the weather situation searing hot days, and swelteringly humid afternoons can make for difficult conditions especially for outside workers.
We have lost count of the number of bottles of water, pop, and juice that we have handed out to labourers in and around our neighbourhood.
|New grouting for pool – hot hot day!|
The thirsty street-sweepers, garbage collectors, mosquito control folks, and traffic police all get complimentary cool drinks when working nearby our casa. It’s a small thank you for a tough job.
Construction workers go about their daily jobs with little or no safety equipment. Hard hats and safety boots are a rarity on most work sites. The maintenance and repairmen work long hours in high temperatures, fixing and repairing houses and pools. It’s not so much that the work is hard, it’s a combination of long hours in the heat without much regard to safety that takes its toll on the human body, prematurely aging joints and spines.
|Safety equipment is a rare sight in Mexico|
In Mexico wages are a lot lower than in Canada, the US and most European countries. Unqualified jobs often paid the minimum daily wage of $73.04 Mexican pesos, which is about $4.25 USD per day.
It’s barely a survival salary, not allowing for balanced meals that include protein.
The more fortunate workers are usually involved with the hospitality trade of restaurants and bars, where their income is supplemented by tips from their clientele.
|Filling in after new main water line installed|
The next time you are enjoying the sun, sand and cerveza on our little slice of paradise, remember the folks who make it all possible.
A little kindness goes a long way.