Today we went to Chichen Itza, a large Maya ruin. Our tour guide was a Mexican of Maya decent and was very interesting he told us lots of interesting facts about both peoples.
For instance he says that all people with maya blood are born with a spot at the bottom of their back. It normally fades as they grow older. The Maya are short and stocky.
He showed us around the ruins and I took pictures. I’ve uploaded them to my Flickr account. Cruise Images
On the way back to the boat – it was a two hour bus ride both ways – he talked about Mexico. It was very interesting to listen to while I was reading Freehold. Freehold is a libertarian fantasy book. They talk in glowing terms of the paradise of having no government. People pay their taxes on a voluntary basis. There are no public works, etc.
Well Mexico is a lot like that. For the most part the government does very little. Of course it does it because it is very poor and its people are very poor. Have no tax money makes your government small. He said that only 40% of the people who are “productive,” meaning they have a job, pay taxes. They are a very capitalistic group, every price is open to negotiation and we get hit up to buy something or give a tip for everything.
Guess what the minimum wage is in Mexico. $4.75. Wow that’s almost our minimum wage. Oh, but wait, that is a day, not an hour. No wonder people want to come to America.
On a survivalism note, in Progresso we noticed most of the houses had a tank on top of the house and asked what it was. It was a water tank. Most of the water comes from underground, and while the public works pumps it to the houses, they frequently loose power and can’t get it. So they fill these takes as a reserve. Sound kind of useful because it is connected to your regular water use.