Living in a foreign country can be downright comical at times, and doubly so when living on a small island off the eastern coast of Mexico.
|Three-sided glass-topped security wall|
At the southern end of Isla Mujeres, there is security wall with shards of broken glass cemented into the upper edge. The wall protects an almost empty piece of land containing a replica of a Mayan ruin and a collection of derelict boats. Recently a squatter decided to set up housekeeping inside the windowless concrete shack. The property owner, rightly so, had the person evicted and the street-side entrance bricked over. Then shards of glass were added to the top of the wall as a further deterrent to trespassers. Because of the sharp embedded bits the iguanas lost a handy spot for sunbathing, and the birds had to find other places to rest, but other than that not much has changed. Strangely the wall only provides security to three sides of the property.
|The Tower – at the refuse transfer station|
Another source of amusement is located inside the municipal refuse transfer station, also near the southern end of the island. A large concrete structure was built in the early spring of 2013 under the direction of then Presidente Hugo Sanchez. The three stories high edifice is imposing.
|Original sign that showed a remodel of the area|
It towers over the empty building located directly behind it. We’ve never figured out the purpose of the fortification, but it now has a veritable garden of plants sprouting on several levels.
|Hacienda Mundaca – new, unused entrance|
Then on the western side of the island is the beautiful new entrance to the federally controlled Hacienda Mundaca, the historic home of the island’s most well-known pirate Captain Fermin Mundaca. From the fall of 2014 to the spring of 2015 construction crews slashed a path in the jungle and erected a tall concrete block wall to surround the estate.
|Stone-faced sign for new entrance|
Their final job was to create the stunningly beautiful new entrance with two soaring hacienda-style gates, a decorative iron fence and a stage for community performances. Well-signed and ready to go, the new entrance still remains closed and idle, a repository for wind-blown litter.
|Part of the sewer line project|
And another head-shaking bit of island trivia. In 2014 the municipality contracted to have Rueda Medina re-paved on the western side of the airport from about the naval base to the Coca Cola plant. Several business owners in the area petitioned the city to work in conjunction with the water/waste corporation, Aguakan, to install sewer lines before paving the road. Good idea. Very forward thinking of the business folks who struggled in the busy tourist winter season with almost daily pump-outs of their waste-water holding tanks. The companies anted-up the fees to Aguakan for the new sewer lines and the project got underway. The road was dug up, lines installed, detours around the work changing daily. It was a huge project that lasted for months creating a financial hardship for a number of the companies located along that piece of road. However, the consensus was in the end it would be well worth it. Except, the sewer lines have never been connected. The school, homes and businesses must still have their holding tanks pumped out on a regular basis.
|Rueda Medina the 2010-2011 project|
But the biggest ‘oops’ that provides hours of entertaining speculation is the construction project that began in the fall of 2010 and continued for at least eighteen months, if not longer. The multi-level proposal aimed to beautify Rueda Medina, the main entrance to the island with an eye towards impressing the arriving visitors. To that end, underground wiring was planned for all of the homes and businesses along Rueda Medina from the corner by the Aluxes Hotel to the car ferry terminal. The existing rough pavement was to be replaced with attractive stamped concrete. And to prevent unnecessary flooding during rainstorms large drains would be installed at regular intervals along the street. Well, the contractors did lay the pretty new stamped concrete surface for the road.
Mexico has been our beautiful and charming home country for the last nine years. Sometimes it can be very entertaining living here, and we wouldn’t want it any other way.
Lynda & Lawrie