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(NO) INCIDENTS OF TRAVEL IN YUCAT N: AN INVESTIGATION OF THE TALK IN PIST, MXICO, REVOLVING AROUND THE INFLUENZA PHENOMENON OF 2009 BY JUSTIN QUINN A Thesis Submitted to the Division of Social Sciences New College of Florida in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree Bachelor of Arts Under the sponsorship of Anthony P. Andrews Sarasota, Florida May 2010
ii PREFACE influenza ph enomenon and subsequent declaration of a pandemic during the summer of concurrent economic slump, and the state of tourism oriented business in the area. I interviewed a targete d group of residents who were or had been employed in professions I considered likely to be affected by a lack of tourism, and who would be able to comment on what, if any, relationship they believed to exist between the phenomena I was investigating. As I will explain below, this particular location has an extraordinary connection to the history of tourism, and, as one of the earliest post Columbian points of contact in North America, a storied history in the annals of globalizing phenomena. I cannot over emphasize how the incredible richness of history this location possesses, or the kindness and generosity of its inhabitants managed to contribute to my research endeavors, and surely would have ended in disaster otherwise. In the course of my research, I encountered many difficulties that could have been avoided if I had the prior experience of working in the area, a stronger command of the languages spoken by my collaborators, and a greater depth of financial resources to draw upon. Many problems could ha ve been avoided if I had not wasted a considerable amount of time learning the way things worked in this community (and in my research) the hard way; greater attention to some of the guidance that was offered to me would have been a
iii tremendous help in this regard as well. Important field equipment was of sub par quality, causing me to have significantly less data than could have been achieved with equipment that was appropriate for such an investigation. I could not take photographs at night, and many of th e photos I took during the day were out of focus. My audio equipment was essentially useless out of doors, and required considerable effort to hear what was produced indoors. This, combined with my lack of fluency in Spanish, necessitated extensive efforts on my part to confirm and re confirm the meaning of what was said to me by my collaborators, and likely would have been impossible without the extensive and dedicated help of my friend and collaborator Rodrigo Cat Buenfil, as well as the fact that many of my collaborators also spoke English. These problems all of which were avoidable in many ways took away from my experience at Pist, requiring many more hours of diligent work than was necessary, a fact related to me by the other anthropologists in the OSEA program and my collaborators alike on more than one occasion. Although I managed to produce, in my opinion, a solid work of ethnography, I regret the fact I lost so much time remedying these problems, and hope I can draw on these experiences to circu mvent such difficulties in the future. Conversely, my intense interest in the local culture, coupled with the good luck of making some truly amazing friends, gave my project and myself many opportunities to learn about the people of Pist and their history in ways that would have been different had I approached the investigation in an overly clinical manner. I earnestly believe that the exceptional generosity of the people of this community in sharing their lives with me at this most difficult time made the difference in the quality of the finished product that is this paper, and I am eternally indebted to them for these favors.
iv ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I would like to thank: Frank Alcock, Kacie Allen, Anthony Andrews, Traci Ardren, Sarah Block, Natalie Boyd, Alana Breines, Adria Bryant, Sergio Bub, Gaspar Burgos and family, Quetzil Castaeda, Juan Castillo Cocom, Rodrigo Cat Buenfil and family, Linsey Cory, Eugene Crossen, Emilia Cruz, Erin Dean, Rick Doblin, Patricia Fortuny, Katie Glemmer, Chris Gray, Evan Holcomb, Amy Hughes, Brian Hughes, INAH, Sarah Johnson, Michelle Krasowski, Myers, New College of Florida, Victor Olalde and fami ly, The Open School of Ethnography and Anthropology, Cecilio Pat, Joni Pirnot, Daniel Potthast, Evan Pressman, Caroline Reed, Ed Schmith, Dawn Shongood, Kimberly Smith, Sarah Taylor, Gloria Tepal, Gabrielle Vail, Maria Vesperi, Jeanne Viviani, Tim Wallace, Jessica A. Wheeler, and of course my family (and anyone else I have managed to forget!) for your help and support it by no means went unnoticed.
v Table of Contents Chapter I Chapter II Chapter III Literature Review Chapter IV Literature Review Chapter V Chapter VII Methodology...................................................................... ........... .............89 Chapter VIII Data and Analysis......................................................................................97 Chapter VIV Conclusions and Suggestions for Further Research...............................108 Appendix I Interviews...................................................................................................113 List of References...................................................................................... .... ...................130
vi List of Figures Figure 1.1 Map of the Yucatn Peninsula.........................................................................1 Figure 1.2 Map of Pist and regions to the northeast......................... ..............................5 Figure 1.3 Map of the Yucatn Peninsula (early 18th century)......................................20 Figure 1.4 Map of Chichn Itz......................................................................................7 9 Figure 2.1 Photograph Vernal Equinox........................................................................61 Figure 2.2 Photograph Informational influenza poster................................................88 Figure 2.3 Photograph Anti flu beverage option.........................................................96 Figure 2.4 Photograph A very un crowded view.......................................................107
vii (NO) INCIDENTS OF TRAVEL IN YUCATN: AN INVESTIGATION OF THE TALK IN PIST, MXICO, REVOLVING AROUND THE INFLUENZA PHENOMENON OF 2009 Justin Quinn New College of Florida 2010 ABSTRACT Due to its proximity to the UN World Heritage Site of Chichn Itz, Pist, Yucatn by providing hotels, restaurants, and other services. Not surprisingly, many residents of this town derive their income from the tourist industry surrounding them. This paper reports on the way that residents of Pist talked about the H1N1 influenza durin g the summer of 2009, focusing on the relationship economic slump. Anthony P. Andrews Erin Dean Division of Social Sciences
1 Figure 1.1 The Yucatn Peninsula. One inch equals approximately 100km. (Source: http://maps.google.com/maps?client=opera&rls=en&q=yucatan&oe=utf 8&um=1&ie=UTF 8&sa=N&hl=en&tab=wl ) N
2 CHAPTER I Introduction In late autumn 2008 I was a third year transfer student at New College of Florida, studying anthropology with a particular interest in the anthropology of development. Up to that time, I had thought it very likely I would become an Africanist anthropologist not because of a particularly strong connection of any sort to a particular culture or region, but because it seemed to be the most logical area of focus for someone with my interests. The department of anthropology at my school had recently hired a new professor, Dr. Eri n Dean, who specialized in this area, and, by virtue of association with many of the issues that were important to the region, taught considerably about the issues I was most interested in. As luck would have it, however, fate had other plans for me. My a dvisor, Dr. Anthony Andrews, was an accomplished Mesoamerican scholar who possessed a seemingly inexhaustible supply of information and personal lore about his area of specialty that slowly drew my attention to the considerable degree of overlap my interes ts had in his geographic area of specialization as well. That said, I still had no idea how this would come to shape the development of my personal research interests. That fall, I needed to decide on an appropriate topic for my thesis research. I had com e to Florida from Connecticut as a non traditional student in my late twenties, after rea lizing that my true vocation lay within the academy at a relatively late age. My family had moved to the region in the mid 1980s, and I had seen the slow transformatio n of the planned expanse of half occupied strip
3 malls and nearly identical housing that was just collapsing in the wake of the demise of the over inflated U.S. housing market. Like many people around me (an d not unlike the migrant labor discussed by scholars such as Alicia Re Cruz (1996) among others), I had relocated to a region which had a long history of development that arose in response to tourism, seeking to re make myself in a new place in a way that largely eluded me in the place I grew up because of poverty and the structural inequities that reproduced such conditions. I found this opportunity in Florida, and specifically New College, but it w as by no means easy going. I had little in my corner in t erms of resources, instead getting by through years of hard work and dedicated scholarship, reaping the benefits available to those who would make such a commitment, which were not few. Still, the availability of funding was a considerable factor in my dec isions regarding choosing a topic for thesis research. It soon became clear that any research in Africa would simply be impossible given the resources I could hope to muster. Through the suggestion of Dr. Andrews, I inquired into a field school located muc h closer to home, in Pist, Yucatn, Mxico, run by a friend of my advisor, Dr. Quetzil Castaeda. The field school, The Open School of Ethnography and Anthropology, quickly became the obvious choice for me not only because of the aforementioned fiscal c onstraints, but because it clearly mirrored my interests in issues such as globalization, development, and heritage. I could not have predicted the events which were to follow, but by the time I had secured funding and finalized my travel plans, events wer e in motion which would transform not just the direction of my research interests, but the lives of billions of people around the world.
4 A perfect storm of an unprecedented global recession and a world wide influenza pandemic began to unfold, exposi ng all of the most glaring weaknesses in the current global economic paradigm for all to see and nearly stopping my thesis research in its tracks before it ever got off the ground. In fact, the timing of the pandemic itself nearly caused the field school to cons ider either relocating (which would have been far outside my economic ability to participate in after spending so much of my remaining resources on my initial travel plans) or even cancelling. The Mxican government lifted their quarantine a mere two days before the planned start of the field school season, and many students who had planned to join me at the field school from other (more paranoid) institutions of higher learning could not join us in Pist, as they had grants and the promise of academic cred it rescinded out of concerns for liability. Although I did not know what it was I would come to research as a result of these events, I knew that where some might see adversity and even danger, I saw opportunity. My life to date had been one long (and in truth, rather common and not especially distinctive) story of finding a way to cope with a bad situation, and make it into something better, so I saw no reason to look at it any differently. My instincts proved (at least in my opinion) correct that what I found myself diving head first into was not just a disaster it was an opportunity to bear witness to important historical events which, in turn, provided a unique insight into the state of affairs which holds the promise of, once again, taking a bad situa tion, and turning into something better. The result is the following ethnography; it is my earnest wish it in some way gives back something to all the people involved in its creation, because I cannot possible over emphasize just how much this experience g ave to me.
5 Figure 1.2 Pist and regions to the northeast. One inch equals approximately 80km. (Source: http://www.maps of mexico.com/quintana roo state mexico/quintana roo state mexico map b0.shtml ) N
6 CHAPTER II The Ethnographer s (Deserted) Path As I arrived in Cancn, the sun was setting and I watched it cast long shadows over trees that looked strangely like the ones I had left behind in southern Florida. Unfamiliar patterns of land use unfolded below me in the fields the plane passed over. I w ould later learn these were milpa farms, which, once crucial to the local economy, have mostly been replaced by s easonal crops of tourists. T his year, the harvest looked to be bleak. l community near Chichn Itz called Pist as part of the Open School of Ethnography and experience. My original plan was to study what the local people of the community I was to stay in thought of their heritage, which I presumed would be a Mayan heritage, in an era of globalization where corn was no longer a viable cash crop, and mass tourism seemed to promise a stable, even lucrative alternative. The events of the last ye ar, however (the near complete collapse of the U.S. housing market, and resulting world wide economic down turn) had changed the dynamic of my initial plans, and I knew that the widespread financial difficulties would lead to an expected drop in tourism th at would have some sort of influence on the local economy. The events which would unfold in the weeks leading up to my departure for the field school, however, changed the situation I was to encounter on my arrival far beyond anything I could have imagined
7 An outbreak of the H1N1 strain of influenza media, due to speculation it arose in central Mxico as a result of the factory farming of pigs destined for export to the United States spread rapidly, and showed unusually high rates of mortality, prompting health authorities in Mxico and worldwide to issue warnings and enact quarantines. The resulting media coverage and governmental responses combined to virtually extinguish all tourism in Mxico for more than a month, with lev els continuing to be far below normal as of the time of this writing. A quarantine standstill, with all public gatherings including schools, sporting events, tourist attractions, r eligious services and most jobs canceled, or at least heavily curtailed. The lack of consensus on the origin, cause, seriousness, means of prevention, or really anything other than the existence of the strain and the relative severity of the known cases co ntributed to wild speculation and radically divergent publi c policy choices in Mxico, the United States, and abroad. Mxican nationals traveling abroad and tourists from around the world who had recently visited Mxico were frequently finding themselves p laced in alarms, such as the one which happened in 1976, or the complications which could occur 1 such as those which arose from vaccination programs at that time 2 did little to assuage the public of their fears, and even ignited much speculation about governmentally sponsored conspiracies (McNeil 2009; Roan 2009; Smith, et al. 2009; Stevenson, 2009). 1 Guillain Barre Syndrome, for instance. 2 As many as five hundred people are estimated to have developed this disease in 1976, with twenty five fatalities, costing the U.S. federal government millions of dollars in damage payments to the victims.
8 Blame tended to flow southwards, even though the putative cause of the soon to be pandemic was a method of farming introduced to Mxico by U.S. corporations to supply their own markets. It made as much sense as blaming the people who ride on buses or go to shopping malls for spreading a strain that could mutate into a virulent form anywhere, at any time, and may have been transmitted by humans, pigs, birds, or any combination of the three. The severity of the responses, however, as crippling as they were for many economies already depressed from the trickle down effect resulting from the collapse of the U.S. housing economy, were not entirely unwarranted, given the precedent of what has been described by some to be among if not the worst pandemic in 3 This pandemic was estimated to have killed anywhere from fifty to one hundred million people, or between three and six percent of the total world population, infecting approximately one third of the global population (McNeil 2009; Roan, 2009; Smith, et al. 2009; Taugenburg er and Morens; 2005; Wilkison 2009). These issues weighed upon my mind as I prepared to leave for Mxico. My friends and family questioned the sanity of such a decision, citing their perceived threats to my health, which inevitably included not only the H1N1 epidemic I was about to ignore, but also the (geographically distant) threat of harm from narcotraffickers that were making frequent headlines, as well as the predictable admonitions about bad water, food, and parasites 4 After the briefest of reflect ion, I decided that the benefits far 3 I cannot help but note the peculiarly lopsided nomenclature of influenza epidemics that tend to associate 4 Interestingly, I neither experienced nor witnes sed any confirmed (or even suspected) cases of H1N1 or
9 outweighed the risks, primarily because it was clear to me that what was unfolding before me had a great deal of social, economic, and politi cal implications involved. T hough it was not entirely clear to me at the time what exactly it was I should be studying (it was already clear to me before I even left that my initial plans would be radically if not completely changed by these events), I knew that whatever I experienced had the potential to cut through assumptions of the nature of the situation itself, and possibly After a number of conversations with the director of the field school, Quetzil Castaeda, I decided to do everything I could to take advantage of this unique opportunity. A week later, I was walking off a plane in Mxico. I was hardly able to think I was so excited. It was about seven in the evening, and my flight was twenty minutes early. Two other field school partici pants, Sarah B and compatriots would be out of the crowd of passengers on board. We got off the plane in Cancn, and it was immediately evident we were in a building designed for many more people than were present and more than one person commented on this, making the assumption that it was related to recent media coverage (and probably also the recession, though this did not occur to me at the time). As we disembarked, I tri ed to determine what should happen next; I had filled out the requisite customs forms, and looked for where to go next. We all moved through the queue at the airport towards the customs drug cartel related violence the entire length of my stay in Mexico. Additionally, I somehow managed to be the sole member of my field school who managed to avoid getting sick from anything else, too t hough I promptly came down with a nasty illness almost immediately after my return to the United States, which, ironically, could indeed have been a milder case of H1N1.
10 people, and gave them the fo rm for how long we were staying and where we planned to go. In my ignorance, I tried to declare items to this fellow, who calmly sent me on my way to the right person. Before I started to do that, I was shunted towards the baggage I had checked, so I could (obviously, in retrospect) take care of i t all together for customs. As I stood there and guessed at who might be the two fellow OSEA participants, the luggage began to move, and I shifted my attention to that. No sooner had my focus shifted then a figure appeared almost as if by magic on my side with an accent unmistakably hailing from New York that asked me if I were Justin Quinn, and informed me that he was Matt, and the person standing next to him was Sarah B. Matt and Sarah B or have any particular qualities that would have made them stick out on the flight as obviously being students though I am not really sure what would that be, really, considering I myself am a thirty three year old undergraduate student. Still, it surpris ed me I had not noticed them. We discussed our flight, and how empty the airport seemed, and customs issues, making small talk, and getting to know one another. It had come up in my reading of the forms we were given before landing that there was a limit t o a number of things one could enter Mxico with not covered by the State department website, one of which was memory devices, of which I had more than the allowable amount. Matt offered to bring the two extra I had on me in for me, and I accepted, as I co uld not afford any extra fees being assessed. We shortly thereafter scooped up the last of our luggage off the racks and made for the customs queue. As luck would have it, Matt and I were both ushered through quickly without any search, after being somewha t disingenuous about our actual personal belongings, and Sarah, who had nothing to do with any of this, found her stuff being
11 closely inspected by random lot. After she was done, we continued through the queue, with the last hurdle being a gentleman with a thermometer and a facemask, whose purpose was clear this was no courtesy physical care of the Mxican government to ensure we would have a great time, by any measure. After this, a large, frosted glass door slid aside, and we found ourselves free to explo re the airport and then after the whole of Mxico. We were outnumbered by employees and vendors at least ten to one, and asked a fellow in an official looking uniform for directions to downtown Cancun in Spanish. Impatient, or simply expecting us to murde r his native language, he gave us clear directions in English, and suggested we take a bus or shuttle. Not feeling sure of where the buses stopped in relation to the hotel we planned to stay in that Sarah B had booked for us, we opted for a shuttle direct to the hotel. We brought out our luggage, waited by a Florida like environment outside the airport for our shuttle, and discussed what we had heard of the other OSEA participants. The general consensus was that Brianna was already in Cancn somewhere, thou gh we were not sure where, and that we had no idea what was going on with anyone else. After a brief wait, our shuttle arrived, disappointing the small army of idle cab drivers who adamantly insisted that they were in fact the best alternative available to us. The driver helped us load our bags into his van, and we clambered in with a few folks who were also travelling 5 We chatted with the driver as we moved towards Cancn proper, and he told Sarah of the city year, stay anywhere free if you g et swine off the collapse of the tourism industry in the wake of the epidemic. We learned that one 5 In fact, they were the only folks we saw waiting for a shuttle.
12 of our passengers in the van was an older woman, a travel agent from the southwestern United States wh o was there to see what the actual situation was on the ground after the American couple, probably in their thirties at one hotel, driving down nearly empty streets with hot el after hotel looming dark in the distance, as if some apocalyptic event had brought the area to its knees. From an economic perspective, it more or less had. We dropped off the travel agent at her hotel and continued on to our destination. We shortly fou nd ourselves at a quaint hotel that turned out to be the wrong one entirely (it had almost an identical name, and was an honest mistake of the driver), and had to hail a cab to lug our entire equipage to the actual hotel we were to stay in. We had no diffi culty whatever hailing a cab to this end (unsurprisingly), and shortly found ourselves at the proper place, next to a fairly busy location compared to the ghost town part of Cancn we had just left though there was not an obvious tourist to be seen. We fou nd Brianna waiting for us in the hotel lobby, and decided to get our first real meal in Mxico just as soon as we had dropped our luggage in our rooms. At dinner, we exchanged information regarding the whereabouts of the other students. We knew there had b een a of concern for liability issues, but we had no idea who else if anyone would be coming. The next day, we woke up in a hurry, and rushed across the street to the bus station, grabbing a bite to eat from the kiosk in the lobby. We got on the bus, and it had large, blue, spacious seats with sanitary napkins for our heads, and videos (in Spanish) to keep us entertained. Once again, the bus and even the station seemed devoid of
13 on his luck Everyone but me slept at least part of the trip. On the way we saw graffiti on the s, and it faded to huts here and there, made of pole and thatch. Garbage, rubble, and general disrepair increased as we drove further from Cancn, and there were stores in random places on the way. We also saw smoke from trash fires and seasonal burns that were being used to clear land for crops wafting across the road in many places. Occasional corrugated roofs and more solid buildings appeared, as did the Pyramid Hotel as we approached Chichn Itz. We pulled into the main parking lot of Chichn, and, in the distance, saw an artisanal market, which was nearly empty. At this point, we were then the only people left on the bus, and from here, we were driven the few remaining minutes to Pist, where the driver, an older gentleman, pulled into a small area off the road, a dirt and grass lot between two buildings with long plaza like area surrounded by a white, crumbling building. The driver helped us lug our stuff out of the bus, and then we proceeded to go in the direction our maps and our advice from the driv er suggested. We managed to find the hotel Posada Olalde, our designated meeting place and temporary home, without too much trouble. We got our rooms from the proprietor and OSEA associate, Victor, and sat down to talk with him. We discussed our trip, aske d if he could speak Maya, talked about the weather, and the inquired as to the whereabouts of Quetzil and his assistant, anthropologist Sarah Taylor. Soon after, we met Lindsey, another student of the field school, for the first time at the hotel, and agai n exchanged notes about the still missing students.
14 After inquiring as to their whereabouts, we learned Quetzil and Sarah T were still preparing for our arrival, so after a little while, all of us except Lindsey decided to walk the city and take a look ar ound. The hotel was empty, or very nearly so, and the town seemed to have about as many tourists. A local encouraged us to check out a private cenote he worked for, telling us about the buffet that comes with it, and another asked if seemed that their enthusiasm for our potential business seemed unusually persistent, if polite. At that point, Matt decided to break away and explore. Brianna, Sarah B, and I decided to look for a baseball game we had heard about. We walked for some time in the direction we were told the game would be in, with Matt planning to try and meet us there from another direction after exploring Pist. We passed the center of town, a church, a n umber of (mostly closed) restaurants, store fronts, and handicraft stands clearly designed to cater to tourists, and kept right on walking until we finally came on some soccer and baseball fields but no baseball game or tourists. At this point, we decided to turn around and head back, as we were pretty sure we were either lost, or there was no game to find (we later found out it was next week, and every other week) We stopped to talk to some very bored looking vendors on the side of the road who sold handi crafts from their front yard, asked about whether they knew Quetzil, and discussed their Volkswagen bug and how reliable and efficient they are. They were a husband and wife team, and they did indeed know Quetzil (pretty much everyone in town did, which is not surprising considering he has been working in the area for over two decades now). They spent their down time which they had quite a lot of lately making more wood carved masks for future tourists to buy. Nearby, for three
15 pesos, I bought a small stone carving from some other vendors who were in the process of packing it in for the afternoon siesta. Walking about the town on the way home, we noticed turkeys and other livestock rant with a pool inside, and considered but rejected went back to the Posada Olalde, and met Evan, another student attending the field school, and talked with him for a while. Later in the evening, we met as a fie ld school for the first time, and got to know each other. We learned that one of the students who we had yet to meet had been unable to come because her university withheld her grant, and that the others would be joining us late for other reasons. I was ve ry thankful my college was either brave enough or oblivious enough to have not followed suit with me. participate in as part of the field school, our own adventures, and our frequ ent group meals at Restaurante Chichn Itz, a small, family run restaurant we often dined at just down the road from the Posada Olalde. It was staffed by our friend Luis and his brothers, with other family members helping out from time to time, especially on the rare occasions it was actually busy, which, as one might expect given the economic climate in the aftermath of the quarantine, was the exception, rather than the rule. Quetzil had arranged for us to practice our Spanish with Luis, so we were there anywhere. It was a rarity for there to be more than one table occupied at any given time, and they were almost always occupied by locals; tourists began to trickle back in o ne or three at a time in the final weeks of our stay, but for the bulk of the time we were there, a
16 tourist anywhere in town was almost immediately noticed. Most of the restaurants in town were on the street that leads to Chichn Itz, and all were experie ncing similar levels of business. It was a disaster, and it rapidly became clear to me that I needed to study how people were getting by in times like these if indeed they were getting by. Within a few days, we were joined by Sarah J, the last of our last fellow students at OSEA to arrive, as we learned that complications would prevent the other two students from joining us (one from grants affected by swine flu, and the other by insurmountable logistical problems). We were soon placed in home stays by Quetzil and Sarah, and began to get our projects designed and underway. Sarah B and I were placed with different branches of the same family, many of whom were employees of INAH ( Instituto Nacional de Antropologa y Historia 6 the federal agency charged w ith overseeing and preserving Mxican cultural heritage) who worked at Chichn Itz, and had for generations. For my research interests, this was optimal, as I could not ask for a better opportunity to learn about Chichn, which was, through tourism, the b ackbone of the local economy. We slept in hammocks, which we learned, besides being the local custom, was also a means of people living further removed from tourist centers to participate in the many of the goods sold at Chichn Itz were part of a trade network that, though primarily local for many items, stretched far into central Mxico, and involved many more communities than just Pist. Many of the goods produced wer e consciously adapted and modeled to 6 National Institut e of Anthropology and History.
17 cater to the tastes of the visiting tourists, frequently with elaborate tales regarding their the tourists as of the local peopl e who produced them. This is not to say that there was any absence of local culture far from it or that it was somehow inauthentically being represented, but rather that local culture whether one considers it Maya or no operated in overlapping but not ide ntical spheres with the of history and authenticity 7 It was not unusual for man y people I spoke with in the course of my visit, as well as in the United States, to be entirely unclear on the fact that the people living in the community surrounding Chichn Itz are the descendant population of what is increasingly being marketed as a are speaking locally about it to, and in what context. The family I stayed with was comprised of Rodrigo, the father, close to my age, and his wife Andrea, who was a little younger, his younger sister, Tania, and his three children, Gael, Andres, and Sheccid. Tania was in her mid twenties, and the two older brothers, Gael and Andres, were six and five years old, respectively. Sheccid, the baby of the family, was only three. Before the quarantine, she would stay home with her mother or her aunt while her father went to work for a business that staffed both tourist oriented 7 Not Indigenous!
18 vending in Pist and other areas with tourist attraction s from Mrida to Cancn, as well as local festivals. Lately, however, her brothers would spend the day with her, as school was canceled a number of times due to fear of potential H1N1 outbreaks. Rodrigo found less and less work was available, had to travel further and more often, and found himself having to draw on savings to maintain the standard of living he was used to. By American standards, this was very modest, but the two story villa with a spacious yard could hardly be considered the norm for the ar ea. Much like the community I left in Southwest Florida, saving money for hard times was certainly not the norm either, and it was definitely taking its toll. Luis, the proprietor of Restaurante Chichn Itz, began to miss our language practice meetings from time to time, which, I soon discovered, was because he was forced to seek work in the nearby city of Valladolid, as the meager patronage of his establishmen t was not producing enough income to keep things running. This became more and more frequent, until eventually, his utilities were disconnected for non payment. Although I did not ask, (I felt such a question might offend him) his utilities were quickly tu rned back on after about a day or so, and I learned in my many interviews that the most common remedy for problems like this was to pawn goods accumulated in times of plenty. However, I also learned that when rough times had happened in the past, such as a hurricane, or a regional economic slump, it quickly righted itself after a month or three. What was going on at the time was unlike anything which had ever happened before, because of both the magnitude and the duration of the recession. The recession had bee n affecting the number of tourists from the United States, with visitor levels continuously declining for four or five months before my arrival and when added to the
19 influenza pandemic, was ongoing for well over six months when I left. As of the time of this writing, over a year after the initial economic crash, there has still not been an appreciable recovery even close to earlier levels.
20 Figure 1.3 Map of the Yucatn Peninsula (early 18 th century). (Source Guelle 1734 )
21 CHAPTER III Literature Review Mxican Tourism her book By Night (2006). She focuses on how international mass tourism rose to prominence, beginning in the latter half of the second decade of the twentieth century after the Mxican political climate achieved a relative state of equilibrium, and the development of automobile and air travel enabled increasingly larg e segments of the global (but primarily American) population to participate in mass tourism. Berger is primarily concerned with internal political and historical developments, but pays significant attention to the s largest patron of tourist oriented business, and Europe. She addresses the role tourism played in the shaping of the modern Mxican state, as well as the social, economic theoretical and academic perspectives involved in tourism in general. Although the period of time she is studying (1928 1946) largely predates mass tourism in the area I am focusing on, and thus remains focused on more northerly destinations within Mxic o, the creation and organization of tourism in Mxico is still of considerable importance to my research. Tracing the start of Mxican mass tourism to the period immediately after the First World War, Berger notes the strained political relationship betwe en the United revolutionary instability as primary reasons Mxico was initially uncompetitive with Cuba and Canada as a tourist destination. This
22 was further compounded by a general lack of the necessary transpor tation and hospitality This is particularly salient when viewed with the current situation in Mxico, as gain, albeit in a very different manifestation. Interestingly, in a curious parallel dev elopment, another H1N1 pandemic dating from precisely the same period also took advantage of the very same expanded means of transportation that enabled the birth of ma ss tourism to spread around the world, although it was significantly more virulent, and did not find a tourist economy to speak of in Mexico to disrupt (Berger 2006, Billings 1997). The threat of violence at the hands of powerful drug syndicates has creat ed a similarly threatening aura around the whole of Mxico, even though the worst of the violence is limited t o the northern states of Mxico and rarely affects the areas I am focusing on. Political corruption in the form of governmental complicity in the turning a blind eye to the actions of the narcotraffickers is once again adding to a negative perception of Mxico that slowly erodes the confidence of potential tourists. The concerns for contagious disease have changed from tuberculosis to influenza, and are, if anything, expanded on a scale almost unimaginable at that time in terms of the rapidity and scale of the potential for infection. To paraphrase a quote oft en attributed to Samuel Clemens Berger (2006) notes ease of entry and standardization of border practices into Canada and Cuba are cited as advantages these nations initiall y had over Mxico in addi tion to superior infrastructure and freedom from (at that time) instability and
23 partnership with private enterprise in the time between the World Wars to make effective conducting effective trade research through their overseas consulates, and expanding road and hospitality infrastructure at home. Seeking to avoid replicating the situation in Cuba, according to Berger, sought to create a nationalized tourist industry along the lines of what it accomplished with the petroleum industry. As histor y shows, however, this was not to be the case, and, from a competitive standpoint, was probably never a realistic option. Berger also discusses the role the timing of the Second World War had in helping to jump start the Mxican tourist economy, which, on one hand, directed many tourists away from Europe to closer destinations such as Mxico, but on the other hand had the misfortune to be launched just before one of the greatest economic crises the world has ever seen. Although it is outside the scope of he r book, this would not be the last time deteriorated and finally became untenable. Oriol Pi many of the issues my work is concerned with namely, whether mass tourism as it is currently being conceived of, designed, developed, and conducted -is sustainable. Pi Sunyer et al. (2001) begin by situating the Maya (a category some make take issue with, though this is qualified later in the chapter) historically, and as part of La Ruta
24 Maya in the Mundo Maya 8 where, as they put it, it has come to be identified with the coastal areas discussed as the main focus of this chapter, the region I am studying ealth, and is experiencing the same issues discussed in this chapter as central problems for the local tourist industry, the specifics of which I will discuss in greater detail later. Sunyer et al. (2001) note that the area has long been one of the most isolated and disease prone parts of Mxico, something which remained virtually unchanged from the colonial period up until the 1970s. It was during this period that mass tourism transformed Quintana Roo from a state with only fifty thousand citizens to very close to five hundred thousand, a nearly ten fold increase. This explosion of development, according to the chapter, brought so many jobs to the region that the local population found itself suddenly a minority, c ompeting for jobs with better educated individuals already use d to life in urban environments and closer to happened in so many rapidly urbanizing environments, shanty town s have formed around the periphery of Cancn, built by job seekers and creating a community that is neither traditional, cosmopolitan, or even a community in the usual sense. Citing Escobar, they note the assumptions of a juggernaut like nature of developm unsurprised to find. 8 The Maya Road in the Maya World.
25 Even the most ardent free market capitalist would be hard pressed to deny the inevitability of market distortions and their inevitable financial effects on local economies, and, as my research will show, international flows of trade, particularly has ceased to have much meaning in all but the most far flung locations. Working with these facts, it refutes the secondary assumptions regarding development that national interests are subordinate to local ones, as it has become clear that the boundaries between local, national, and intern ational issues have become sufficiently blurred as to be almost indistinguishable. As to the first assumption the inevitability of development true or not, it the situation has echoed the inequitable and over simplified patterns of neoliberal development w orldwide with predictable results. Pi Sunyer et al. (2001) trace the same path Berger (2006) lays out in her book, noting the demographic explosion which occurred outside the timeframe dealt with by Berger. This population explosion, according to the chap ter, expanding from a relatively small twenty six million in 1950 to a rather daunting ninety eight million in 1998, created a simultaneous downward pressure on wages, and a general inability to provide enough jobs tourist oriented, agricultural, or otherw ise to satisfy such a rapidly growing workforce. Although there was indeed steady overall economic growth for this period, essentially moved an increasingly larger segment in more than one sense of the population living in poverty, up to about a third by the start of the twenty first century. The chapter continues by situating the contemporary importance of the Mxican tourist economy it ranks seventh in the world in tourism revenue, trailing only the
26 United States in revenue in this hemisphere, and which, by virtue of the high labor demand to conduct this business, is, superficially, an excellent fit for a country with such a large population seeking employment. Pi Sunyer et. al (2001) then shift the focus specifically to Yucatn, and more exactly, Quintana Roo and Cancn, which is, according to the chapter, the chief port of entry for most tourists, the bulk of which come from the United States. The city was designed (primar ily through funding provided by the Inter American Development Bank, FONATUR [ Fondo Nacional de Fomento al Turismo 9 ] and private investment) with the intention of the island section of the city acting as the principal tourist region, with the surrounding c support area with infrastructure, health, and educational facilities designed to service the local population. Anthropologists were consulted to advise on the execution of this plan to maximize local benefit and were subsequent ly ignored, as is so often and lamentably the case transforming what could have had considerable potential as a model for tourism development into what essentially amounted to a public relations campaign. Ironically, one of the most important forces in Mx ican tourism Cancn has become the exact opposite of what Berger (2006) describes the original intention of the Mxican government largely foreign owned and operated, catering primarily to the concerns of the visiting population with minimal concern for th e well being of the local population, paying only a superficial respect for the culture that is supposedly the main attraction. Essentially, it has become with the loss of (legal) American access to the Cuban market irror image of the tourist economy Berger describes the government as trying to avoid replicating. 9 National Fund to Promote Tourism.
27 development of tourism and the social networks of local people. Pi Sunyer et al. (20 01) discuss the transformation of Quintana Roo from the Maya agriculturalist communities from isolation to ejido status in much the same process so famously described in Robert Chan Kom: A Maya Village (1962; orig. 1934) quarters of a century ago, one can see the processes described in this chapter beginning to unfold via a gradual orientation away from traditional means of subsistence t owards an local actors, particularly the trade generated by the presence of the Carnegie project at Chichn Itz. The authors next discuss the tradition of a considerable amount of communal and reciprocal labor that provided important social solidarity which a community could rely being replaced by wage labor, both in an increasingly unpredictable and unprofitable agricultural context, and in the production (wage labor for archaeological projects) and execution of the continued expansion of the tourist sector into the local economy, otal dependence on tourism revenue for survival. Also discussed is how the introduction of consumer goods via non local economic connections has in many ways changed traditional means of subsistence (the loss of kitchen gardens was cited as one example), w hich further erodes sufficient, and, as has been discussed elsewhere (Castaeda 2003, A.P. Andrews, personal communication 2010), eventually breaks down
28 anything that could genuinely be called a community into a series of dependent but politically opposed factions. Attempting to formulate a systematic approach to understand the dynamics of the local political economy, Pi Sunyer et al (2001) demarcated four distinct areas of influence for tourism: social relations and cultural systems, food consumption, environmental in the state of Quintana Roo, they arrived at the notion that the shift from a locally oriented, self sufficient agri cultural economy to a globally oriented, interdependent consumer economy had a number of significant effects in these areas. Local people began to perceive of themselves as impoverished, under paid, and under employed. They complained, according to the aut hors, of the undesirable work available, and considered wealthy individuals and non locals. Other examples cited by the authors illustrate shifting gender and family dynamics, residence practices, land tenure practices, social stratification and dynamics, food consumption, and the advent of labor migration to participate in the tourist economy. Also important, according to the authors, is the introduction and necessity of formerly absent consumerist material go ods and commodities and the concomitant disappearance of traditional goods and culture except in highly performative contexts related to the tourist trade, the abandonment of traditional medicinal practices in favor of western approaches and products, and the transformation of much of the area to accommodate the movement of goods and people to the detriment of local agriculture and land use, and the role of the media in promoting a national and even globalized economic and social agenda. Though not explici tly stated, perhaps the most salient point of the
29 article is that the radical restructuring of Yucatecn society has created an interdependence with the rest of Mxico and the wider world which constitutes the economic base of the local tourist industry, a nd for all the benefits it has brought to the area, it also has bound the region to actors which have a disproportionally smaller stake in the outcome of the distribution and continued success of this arrangement. This has become painstakingly clear in th e wake of the global recession and the H1N1 pandemic, produced disastrous effects (Pi Sunyer et al., 2001). Pi Sunyer et al. conclude with th e observation that there is a p erception of an educational and developmental glass ceiling preventing local involvement and control of the administration and development of this industry and note the complexity of the situation through out the region; however, they do not significantly a ddress or suggest either possible solutions to the problematic nature of this economic reorientation and its social consequences, or more importantly in the context of my own work, the potential ramifications of the possible (and eventual short term) failu re of the economic basis for this new social order. Although this social transformation can be seen to have begun as far back as in the 1930s, it began in earnest with the construction of Cancn in the 1970s, a phenomenon which is extensively documented in the doctoral dissertation of Rosemary Louise Lee, The Tourist Industry in Yucatan: A Case Study in the Interaction Between Class Structure and Economic Development (1978) It is an especially salient document in regards to my research, as it is essenti ally very similar in nature to the focus I pursue in this research in that it seeks to investigate the efficacy of tourist
30 development as an alternative to traditional means of subsistence at the period of time when it truly began to get underway. Although it does not by virtue of the period of time it was produced in notably question the paradigm of development itself and the entry into a world system area of Latin America, and in fact employs a Mar xist perspective that problematizes it does contain a considerable amount of very useful information. through radical change in social structure, and the resul ting view that the preservation of focus of her dissertation. Citing the existence of a conservative, well established bourgeoisie that traces its roots back thro ugh the various periods of Mxican political upheaval, Lee suggests that the hacienda as a primary means of production, the economic three primary reasons the socio poli tical milieu has remained much the same over the (at that time) last century and a half or so. Lee discusses the role of international tourism in replacing or replicating this order, noting the arguments which (accurately) contended that little would chang e due to the nature of capitalism, and would in fact increase dependency on developed nations. She also addresses the argument, as noted by Berger (2006), that the type of capital needed to provide necessary amenities for fostering successful tourist orie nted economic development is only available via investment with developed states regardless of the degree of local control further reinforcing this asymmetrical power relationship historically present in the area, and sending much of the revenue generated by any development overseas.
31 Lee (1978) begins her dissertation by outlining the background of the socio political situation in the Yucatn in light of the failure of development projects to substantively alter the inequalities they seek to address as des cribed above. Noting the exceedingly sharp urban/rural population split in the state of Yucatn and its overall rural character, Lee describes henequen as being the primary agricultural (and thus economic ) activity in the area. This one crop economy is e xacerbated, according to Lee, by the huge disparity between the relatively few wealthy locals, and the vast majority of residents who are poorer (at the time of the writing) than in many of the other regions on Mxico. High illiteracy rates and, again agre eing with Berger (2006), a rapidly growing population creates further barriers for equitable development. Citing a general lack of exploitable resources and the relative isolation of the region as major natural barriers to development, Lee continues by not ing how increased competition from other fiber of synthetic fibers as a serious problem for the local economy that was, at that time, almost entirely dependent on it. E erily similar to what is currently happening in the Yucatn with tourism in the present, Lee notes that the governmental response to this problem is not, as one might expect, attempting to diversify the economy, but rather to expand henequen production. A dditional factors cited by Lee (1978) as barriers for economic development include the intentional government intervention in ejido organization to avoid political unrest that might accompany any turn to a more capitalistic model, and the presence of what which, although they may have been as such at the time of her writing, would soon
32 transform the local economy of Pist in an entirely different, and decidedly capitalistic m anner I will describe in further detail later. Lee does in fact note the very recent (at that time) beginnings of a relationship between tourism and the handicraft industry, but dismisses it as contradictory due to its incongruity with the typical model of Marxist economic development, in large part because of a lack of awareness of an increasingly in much recent literature beyond the scope of this thesis to address (Chambers 2010:96 102 Schouten 2007, Smith 2001:114 5, Swain 2001:228 229 ) Lee (1978) also notes the barriers created by the rigid class structure, with the poor locked into eking out a subsistence crop of maize in the corn zone, and the wealthier elites managing henequen sold to U.S. corporations who controlled the market and obtained much of the profit from the region in much the same way non Yucatecn Mexicans and U.S. corporations currently dominate and export profits f rom the local tourism indu stry. Describing the final acceptance of expanding henequen production as a strategy for dealing with the downward pressure exerted on the region with unfavorable global market developments, Lee (1978) discusses the adoption of government programs to stimu late local development via citrus and agricultural development targeted for the U.S. winter market, the expansion and modernization of cattle ranching and commercial fishing, and most successfully (and, in the context of this research, importantly) the exp ansion of the tourist industry. about the potential benefits of tourism, which include bolstering the balance of payments via the earning of foreign exchange, stimulating the local economy with the influx of capital, and
33 addressing regional inequalities of resource availability hindering economic development (as in Yucatn), providing new employment opportunities with little if any barriers for entry in terms of necessary skills. Additional ly, secondary economic development such as construction and handicrafts stood to benefit in the eyes of the Mexican government, as did international relations via the exchange of culture. Continuing from roughly the period Berger (2006) ended her book, Le e (1978) discusses how tourism began to be implemented as a major focus of development strategies in 1959, taking on additional local significance in the Yucatn in 1967 when the Federal Program for Tourist Development was extended to the region, primarily to address the unemployment resulting from the wilting fortunes of the henequen industry. The region was viewed as especially amenable to this strategy due to the availability of a large labor force, its exceptional beaches, and proximity to the United St ates. (particularly Cuba in the aftermath of the overthrow of the Batista regime), and relatively low cost were also (rightly) seen as advantages. It was not noted, how whether the government considered the long term problems associated with simply replacing a regional economy dependent on one failing primary resource with another that would be equally dependent on the economic stability of the U.S., o r for that matter its foreign policy and the related neighboring political situations. Admittedly, the degree of interdependence and economic and political fragility this alternative would depend on was virtually incomprehensible in its nascent period, and arguably right up to the present events which this thesis is investigating, and as such, any lack of foresight is eminently understandable. However, as noted by Pi Sunyer et. al (2001), there was at least some
34 thought given to these eventualities in the d esign and construction of Cancn, though it seems to have fallen by the wayside in the search for an economic silver bullet. At this point, Lee (1978) sets out to justify her employment of the concept of structural change in understanding her application described above, noting the dearth of structural analysis in preceding research in this as flowing from the developed to the develop ing regions, Lee notes the artificial division created by such a theoretical framework, the supposition that development will be universally beneficial, and the dependency on measuring success on relatively abstract concepts such as the Gross National Prod uct and redistribution of wealth which frequently do not accurately assess the actual sociopolitical situation taking place, or give any clue to the eventual sustainability of any gains (perceived or actual) of social change. Alternatively, Lee (1978) no tes the theoretical framework of dependency theory, which does, to some extent, consider the relationship extant between the locality being examined and the external actors (namely the developed states investing in the growth of the locality for self inter ested purposes) who have historical links to the areas as a result of colonial or hegemonic relationships. This, in turn, views underdevelopment as caused by the development of the former colonial powers rather than as an effect of some sort of backwardnes s or historical accident. Lee is critical of this view, as well, as it assumes (in her view, in which she does not elaborate the importance of or reasoning for disagreeing with) the necessity of conceptualizing Latin America as capitalist states (or, assum edly,
35 the mercantilistic predecessors thereof), and tends to ignore internal barriers for development in place of the focus on external ones. A third perspective on underdevelopment is offered by Lee (1978), the Marxist framework she chooses to employ. De parting from the above views in the assumption inherent in Marxist theory, it is also in agreement with dependency theory in that it envisions relationships of depe ndency as a barrier, but differs in that it does not view these relationships as the prime cause of underdevelopment. Relying heavily on the concept of dialectical materialism, Lee posits that these relationships and transformations of social class must be understood in terms of a historical progression, holistically viewed in the context of external forces and events. A significant amount of space is given to the explication of Marxist theory at this point, which lies outside the context of this work to ad dress. However, in summary, the primary problems lying in Marxist perspectives have been covered in detail elsewhere, and for the purposes of this thesis, only the points that describe phenomena which are neither dialectical, evolutionary, or teleological in every (or even any, ac cording to some views) instance. Such theories are bound in Euro American cultural conceptualizations which do not always mesh neatly with alternative epistemological perspectives where they exist. Summarizing her views on the Marxist perspective on underdevelopment, Lee retardation of capitalist development through the preservation of pre capitalist forms of day Yucatn by
36 stating that the agricultural sectors in most Latin American countries (on which the Yucatn was entirely dependent) have retained semi feudal organization, thus impeding the process of development. Basing her observation on this perspective, Lee (1978) posits that the social organization of the area cannot hope to successfully implement development as a solution to the ine qualities prevalent in the region because the dynamics of such a solution will in fact only reinforce the existing social structure. Although the particulars of her argument have a number of issues worthy of criticism which lie outside the scope of this th esis, history has more or less bore this observation out, though it could easily be argued that a more nuanced analysis could be brought forward to explain the same situation without the progressive, dialectical aspects of the Marxist theoretical framework and all its accompanying baggage. Additionally, as I will discuss later, the interpenetration of markets that has become the hallmark of globalization provides an incentive for both federal and international approaches to tourist oriented development to r econsider investing in any future projects without incorporating significantly more diverse and forward looking plans as was initially discussed and forgotten in the beginning stages of Cancn (Pi Sunyer et. al 2001). Lee (1978) continues the dissertatio n in the second chapter by shifting her focus to international tourism. Much of what is discussed is similar in content to what is covered by Berger (2006), but a few points bear mentioning. Because the topic is international tourism in total, and not simp ly restricted to Mxico, Lee addresses the
3 7 primary sources on the topic. Lee uses th e chapter to delineate the more detailed aspects of what businesses (primarily service oriented, though not limited to this sector) comprise the tourist industry, and the economic history and structure that have made tourism itself an option for the vast m iddle classes of developed states which in turn make tourist oriented economies viable in the first place. Another point is her mention of the tendency towards vertical integration, and the desire to leverage economies of scale, which again relates back to the problem of creating actual social change in terms of equity and enfranchisement, and is a large part of what makes Chichn Itz unique in comparison to other Maya archaeological tourism attractions in the region, another subject I will discuss further below. Additionally, Lee notes the common tourism marketing strategy (and desire of tourists to see) underdevelopment as an attraction in and of itself; although this is, to an extent, true in a strictly performative sense in the present day in the Yucat n, it is not, in fact, actually a significant factor in obstructing local residents from benefitting from the influx of tourist income, as anyone who has seen the relatively incongruous and not infrequent sight of a satellite dish on top of or next to a pa lapa 10 in even a fairly small and remote village can attest to. To a small extent, Lee is correct in her assessment that economic dependence on pre industrial handicraft techniques create a barrier for economic diversification, but such patterns exist throu ghout the Maya cultural area, and local responses to increased capitalization and entry into global markets has been met with radically different responses in locations such as Cancn, Cob, and Chiapas (Castaneda 2009, Daltabuit and Pi Sunyer 1990). 10 A traditional Maya home, with palm thatched roof and partially open sides.
38 The chapter continues with much the same observations regarding changes in consumption patterns as noted above by Pi Sunyer et al. (2001), though her view that tourist contact functions as a sort of cultural imperialism probably has less credence than the obse rvation of the nationalistic cultural hegemony prevalent in Mxican media, as noted by Pi Sunyer et al., and additionally represents an oversimplification of the complexities of globalized exchange. There is also a considerable section outlining the role o f government in tourism development in terms of the expansion or creation of infrastructure, cultural attractions, land appropriations for development, institutions to safeguard public health and safety, investment from foreign and domestic sources, and th e marketing of all of the aforementioned, also covered in detail by Berger (2006). the Yucatn from the Spanish Conquest until independence from Spain in 1821; Although I (2003) as my primary source regarding the local history of Chichn Itz, which I will discuss belo w, a number of broader points about the history of the region bear mentioning. According to Lee (1978), the isolation of the entire peninsula not only caused the region to develop more slowly than the rest of Mxico, but caused it to orient itself more closely to Cuba and the United States than the rest of Mxico, from which it even seceded on two short occasions in the mid 19th century. Other than its geographically strategic spot between other Spanish colonies, and linguistic and cultural continuity th roughout the peninsula, there were few reasons for intensive Spanish colonization.
39 However, the cultural continuity and pre existence of a tribute system made up to some extent for the region s lack of mineral wealth or agricultural fecundity, which the Spanish exploited where they could. to the Mexican revolution, the years between 1821 and 1910. I discuss this period below as it relates to Pist specifically, though there a re a few points worth covering that Lee discusses about the region in general in this era. This gradual shift to a capitalist economy and much of what is discussed in chapter four and five is better described in article by Anthony P. Andrews, Rafael Burgos Villanueva and Luis Millet Cmara (2006) According to Lee (1978), a struggle between Campeche and Mrida soon emerged for control of the highly profitable sugar growing region. This area was on the borderlands between the two urban centers, with Campeche being focused on maritime trade and possessing stronger links to central Mxico, and Mrida, which, as has been discussed above, focused on agricultural production, and g ravitated towards trade with Cuba. This trade relationship 11 coupled with the geographical isolation of the peninsula would eventually cause the region to separate from Mxico twice in the 1840s, and Campeche, in turn, to become a separate state in 1858. T his era also saw significant labor migrations in a manner very similar as to what was described with the advent of mass tourism in the region over a century later in the work of individuals such as Alicia Re Cruz (1996), as well as large population drops in the wake of the Caste War era (Castaeda 2003). 11
40 inaccurate, frequently contradicting itself. Thus, I have turned to a more succinct summary of the periods discussed in these ch apters in an article by Andrews et al (2006), According to Andrews et al. (2006), capitalism in Yucatn began slowl y, starting with the advent of large haciendas with a resident workforce that began to produce a surplus of goods namely corn, beef, henequen, and beans among other agricultural produce which was in turn sold at market in Mrida and Campeche in the early part of the 1800s. This was, according to the article, a direct result of the Bourbon land reforms of Spain in the latter decades of the 1700s, which essentially removed some of the protections allotted for native lands. Previously, land which had been ow ned by natives individually or communally was purchased by Spanish Creoles or mestizos, or declared expanded haciendas came from those natives who were dispossessed of land i n the wake of these reforms, and soon found themselves newly possessed of a serf like status as workers, falling somewhere in between sharecroppers and slaves. Andrews et al. (2006) continues by noting that the post War of Independence era (1810 1821) saw a decrease in what was previously a heavy handed government controlled economy, which had the additional effect of reduced labor and land rights for natives. It was at this time that large sugar and cotton plantations became widespread in the region, and cities, namely Mrida, Campeche, and Valladolid. These products, along with salt,
41 leather and logwood, were traded in Mxican, Central and North American markets, with a small am ount of trade even reaching as far as Europe. According to the article (Andrews et al. 2006), after the era of the Caste War and the subsequent breakdown of the cotton and sugar plantation based economy in the mid 1800s, the north west of the peninsula s aw the rise of a new cash crop, henequen more commonly referred to as sisal which was grown for the fiber it produced, and was made into cordage, rope, and similar products. This new henequen dominated economy differed from earlier periods in that the prim ary consumers were foreign markets, creating a significant economic dependence on external factors and trade that in some ways presaged the tourist economy of the latter decades of the twentieth century to the present. The economy was most dependent on th e business of North American cord and combine manufacturing firms, who effectively managed to set the price of the commodity via their near domination of the market. Conditions for the native laborers were effectively the same, with indentured labor provi ding the economic engine in the production of henequen, though considerably more technology was employed in the transportation and processing of the product, particularly the desfibradoras 12 and the use of decauville (mule driven) tracks and railroad track s, which required a significant amount of capital investment. region, beginning with the Mxican Revolution, and has a few points worth noting not discussed in the Andrews et a l (2006) article. In it, she notes the abolition of the system of debt peonage and subsequent population shift to local villages from the haciendas, and 12 Fiber extraction machines.
42 the creation of the ejido system. According to Lee, this early phase of land reform affected the henequ en industry very little, as it primarily took place outside of the henequen zone. Additionally, it did not give land to those who lived on hacienda lands or who had just recently left them in new settlements, only to established and recognized villages. T his initial period of land reform picked up speed with the election of President Crdenas in 1934. At about this time, the region began to experience significant overseas competition for fiber production, which eventually depressed the market enough for C rdenas to issue orders to redistribute henequen plantation land to the workers in order to ameliorate the severe economic downturn. These new ejidos differed from earlier land reforms because they were communal rather than individual in nature, and used co llective credit agencies that were eventually overseen by the federal government. These reforms, according to Lee (1978), changed the production of henequen into large, medium and small, individual producers, who now sold through the new federal corporatio n CORDEMEX, shifting control of the industry to the federal government in both the investment and distribution sections of the commodity chain. content for this thesis. In it, Lee examines the structure of control of the tourist industry in the region at the time her dissertation was written. Her primary goal is to outline how the overall economic structure of the region had not changed significantly from the henequen perio d. This is particularly salient, because the close parallels between the henequen and tourist industries become strikingly apparent when it is taken into consideration that both economic strategies were far and away the only significant option
43 for employme nt for nearly all local peoples, regardless of class, were both heavily dependent on external investment and trade to function and suffered when political and economic forces taking place beyond the local context interrupted the flow of capital on which the economic structure depended. mass tourism via the seminal work of John Lloyd Stephens and Frederick Catherwood, who, in writing up their travels in the region in Inciden ts of Travel in Central America, Chiapas, and Yucatn (1841) and Incidents of Travel in Yucatn (1843) helped create the public interest which led to the modern phenomenon of mass tourism, in addition to the immeasurable contribution their experience lent to Mesoamerican archaeology, which, in turn, would come full circle a century and a half later to form the primary attraction of the basis of the local tourist economy at Chichn Itz. Lee then traces the influence of Edward Thompson in setting the stage for local tourism in the region via his purchase of Hacienda Chichn at the beginning of the twentieth century, and more importantly, through the foresight and planning of Fernando Barbachano Pen 13 a member of a wealthy local family with long standing ti es to the region who recognized early in the twentieth century the potential the area possessed for tourism. Barbachano bought the land at Chichn from the heirs of Thompson in court in 1926 14 and used the property to build the first in a series of touris t hotels in the region. Additionally, he started the first guided tours of the ruins at Chichn, and started a school 13 for other individuals as well, though, given the broad public knowledge of these events and persons, it is not necessary to do so. 14 The court battle continued for another two decades.
44 to train new staff in conducting tours, allowing him to rapidly dominate the nascent tourist trade. His family continued to expand their h otel holdings beyond Chichn, to Mrida, Uxmal and Cozumel, and even launched a local airline service 15 (Castaeda 2009, Lee 1978). ia several international air carriers had helped boost local tourism to Chichn, though it was far from the levels that would later develop as a result of increased traffic to Cancn. Lee (1978) considers 1962 as the beginning period of tourism as a seriou s economic force in the region, due, in her opinion to the overall growth of mass tourism as a phenomenon, a continued expansion interest in promoting tourism in the region 16 This included the restoration of archaeological sites with the addition of light and sound shows, and considerable road construction. This government involvement opened the door for the region to become a viable mass tourism destination, and a via ble location for further development by non local investors 17 Lee (1978) continues in this chapter by describing the assortment of different 15 Now defunct. 16 It is worth noting Lee does not take into account the role of the Cuban Revolution for this increase in tourism. 17 would generally spend a few days in Mrida (as Cancn had not yet been built), and v enture out for a few visits to archaeological tourist attractions such as Chichn Itz or Uxmal, instead of the current situation with the majority of tourists arriving via Cancn.
45 assortment of goods and services into the following categories: accommodations, food and drink, personal services, entertainment, purchases, and transportation 18 with accommodations and food and drink accounting for over half of total expenditures. 19 Based on this, she makes the case that hotels the predominant choice for both lodging and food dominate local tourism. At the time of writing, Lee counted a total of 97 hotels in the states of Yucatn and Quintana Roo, with only 29 operating at the minimal standards required to partic ipate in the mass tourism market, and a mere seven at the level of what was found in competitive locations. The primary reason for this, according to Lee, was the intensive cost 20 of building such establishments, an insuperable barrier for almost anyone in the region. This dearth of hotels has the negative effect of limiting the number of wealthier visitors to the area, leaving the tourism potential of the region (at that time) underdeveloped 21 and is further compounded by the tendency for local investors to employ low risk, low skill ventures primarily employing their relatives and being comprised of individual efforts or simple partnerships. This, in turn, created more barriers to producing the level of service needed to compete with alternative destination s in the wider mass tourism market. In terms of control, Lee (1978) broke the sum of all relevant businesses into four categories based on the ubiquity and volume of traffic they received: large chain services, 18 31%, 27%, 14%, 11%, 10%, and 7%, respectively. 19 A recent and more upd ated general inventory of such businesses can be found in Davidson (2005) 20 Lee cites the cost ceiling at as high as seven million dollars (US) in 1974. 21 As I have already mentioned earlier, there is no discussion on the limits or hazards of over develo pment, due, in large part, to the time this work was written.
46 smaller groupings of tourist services, mediu m to large stand alone enterprises, and finally minor stand alone enterprises. The first category was heavily dominated by a few families (mentioned above), and especially so by the Barbachano family 22 though Lee discusses a potential alliance with the Dem asas 23 family and a major international hotel chain to aid them in establishing a presence in the then nascent Cancn, as well as potential partnerships to garner American investment for expanding their existing holdings. This eventuality represented a shi ft towards the same path taken by the agricultural sector in the previous century, with agricultural exports enabling the regional economy to become increasingly competitive in attracting foreign exchange. The second category is also dominated by a small group of families (4), the most prominent of 24 family, who previously exerted primary control of the henequen industry. This family had, at the time of writing, also been working to attract foreign investment to expand its more m odest holdings. A similar pattern existed with the large scale single enterprises 25 with a relatively few families dominating the category and working at least in the case of one of the families to create a larger presence in Cancn though the scale of sin gle unit operations seemed unlikely to attract foreign partnerships in investment. The final, small scale category is (predictably) not of significance in the wider economic picture, and in all likelihood would have been the first 22 In a departure from the trends of economic overspecialization that would again come to plague this region again, this family actually had, at the time of writing, actually begun to diversify their holdings into various non tourism related holdings such as banking, media, and agriculture ventures. 23 This is a pseudonym, and a pun 24 Yet another pseudonym, and a pun -sh for rental. 25 With the addition of a potential criminal connection in the form of local Mafioso.
47 victims of the vertical i ntegration that often follows large scale tourism development by transnational corporations (Fyall and Garrod 2005, Reid 2003:26 58). Lee (1978) considers this economic structure to be an organic if indirect transformation of the henequen economy(and prev ious forms of economic organization, albeit transformed by the political realities of the era being considered) to tourism, though she does not make a convincing argument as to what extent henequen was traded for tourism, merely that economically dominant elite families managed to move successfully from one economic paradigm to the next in a rather conservative and piece meal fashion, which should come as no surprise. She is correct in her assessment that the overall mode of production in terms of class str ucture has indeed been reproduced to the detriment of expanding tourist oriented development to its fullest potential, as well as leaving the vast economy on any but the most minimal level 26 This limited ability for the local campesino 27 is divided by Lee (1978) into construction and other poorly paid unskilled labor 28 usually in the service sector, and handicraft production, which, although it would later explode into a significantly lucrative and diverse trade as I describe elsewhere, was at that time relatively small scale, relatively unprofitable, and lacking in diversity. Employment in the construction and 26 As is made clear by my discussion elsewhere, Chichn became and is still a notable exception to this trend. However, recent events have likely only accelerated the loss of local control of the tourist industry, as only major international chains could eff ectively weather the extended losses caused by the recession and pandemic. 27 Lower and historically agricultural class. 28 This phenomenon is described in considerably greater detail in th e work of Alicia Re Cruz (1996 ), as are the patterns of rural urban migration which characterized this economic restructuring as much as did previous, agriculturally oriented ones.
48 related industries was short term and insecure, and at least p artially contingent on the continued expansion of tourism. Further barriers existed (and continue to exist) based on the level of education attained, particularly in reference to literacy and ability to speak English, and tended to exclude women from parti cipation in a disproportionate manner. In turn, these barriers created (and, again, continue to create) multiple obstacles for transforming the local economy from a relatively elite dominated one 29 to an economically diverse and stable one, in addition to the problems created by external interests. A special section of the chapter is dedicated to the tourist industry in Cancn, where Lee (1978) rightfully credits the region for being the harbinger for change in the influence the city would have on local tourism, Lee discusses the role of INFRATUR 30 in conjunction with funding from th e Banco de Mxico, Inter American Development Bank (BID) and World Bank 31 particularly notable in two ways. First, it represented the first example of an exclusively tourist oriented development loan grante d by the BID, and secondly, because over half of the funding came from private, foreign investment. The explicit non discussed by Lee (1978), who notes that this is superficially making dif ficult local 29 As has historically been the case. 30 Fondo de Promocin de Infraestructura Turstica (fund to promote tourist infrastructure; later replac ed by the Fondo National de Turismo, or FONATUR). 31 Banco de Inter Americano Desarroll
49 investment for reasons which have already been discussed, but also is shifting the consolidating federal control over the region, as has been the overall tre nd since 1929. Lee also notes the difficulty in accurately quantifying the actual levels of external capital investments being made with the increasingly nebulous nature of capitalism working its way into the region, suspecting that actual foreign control of the economy may be higher than expected, which, in light of recent events, may have indeed been an accurate observation. economic base had not, in fact, matched much of th e rhetoric she cites (1978) as claiming to be particularly beneficial to the campesino class, and has actually reinforced the position of the elites. I would not argue with the general nature of her conclusions, though, as I have previously mentioned, the particulars have a number of points and not entirely correct, either, but rather a heuristic with which to address a series of deeply interrelated industries which ha d in fact previously existed, and continue to exist, in overlapping context with other economic sectors, which I will discuss in further detail below (Davidson 2005). Her argument that tourism, because it did not perform as advertised and by virtue of its oversimplifies the situation though, in her defense, alternative approaches for tourist
50 oriented development would soon be suggested 32 and, later, successfully implemented in other places though with significantly more substantial stakeholder representation 33 and alternative approaches to meeting the problems of maintaining local control of the industry that serve to benefit all stakeholders in a more equitable manner. Although she did not continue on to become a major authority on development in the region, Lee d id contribute a chapter to the first locally published volume on tourism and development, Turismo y Desarrollo (Tourism and Development), edited by Antonio Benavides (1980). The book has four papers, which I will discuss below. El turismo en America Latina: El comercio del 34 departs from her straightforward Marxist conceptualization of the tourist theoretical framework based o n dependency theory that mirrored popular trends in anthropology at the time. In addition to many of the points she made in her dissertation (1978), Lee argued that the rhetoric of proponents of tourist oriented development tended to portray the strategy as a highly desirable alternative to industrialization and other options due to all segments of society. However, in practice, it tended to preserve rather than repla ce 32 at least in the case of Cancn. 33 The two examples which spring to mind the unique situation this thesis describes at Chichn Itz, and the Ma differ substantially in that stakeholder status was attained through sustained and dedicated resistance both legal and, in some instances, otherwise was employed to this end. 34
51 conditions which cause local populations to be dependent on non local capital investment and the nations which can supply it. Lee (1980) continues by commenting on the distinct nature of tourism as being a service oriented economy which does not produc e material products as do conventional industries 35 Lee notes the considerable growth of tourism since 1970, which she considers to be an expansion of elite behavior extending into the middle class, if only for short periods of time 36 Although much has sin ce been written that refutes this, it is important to note that the processes she is describing, particularly regarding the asymmetrical degree of local control of tourism that she (correctly) believes to be the primary problem creating and recreating ineq uitable economic relationships for the Yucatecn people. However, it is overly simplistic 37 in its conceptualization, and offers little in the way of creating alternative models of development. 35 Lee does consider incorrectly tourism to be an industry something I will address in further detail below. 36 ch in large part are commensurate with her perspective in effect, operating with an answer that is looking for a question which I will discuss in greater detail below. 37 I will agree that tourism alone especially if it is not properly regulated by lo cal and/or federal governments is not a sustainable model for development, however, the same holds true for any economy which finds itself overly dependent on a single sector, investor, or trading partner. Additionally, her comparisons of Guatemala, Hait i, and the rest of Mexico in terms of the utility of heavy industry as a model of good development is problematic for a variety of reasons which lie outside the scope of this paper to address. The argument of an economic relationship which creates dependen cy also has the fault of reifying a monolithic non description of the s ituation, and continues to make assumptions regarding the teleology of development. A further criticism is that her argument that the commodification (and the adaptive changes this participation in a cash economy can create) of culture for tourist consumpt ion somehow creates a false culture is not only incorrect, but (at least in the case of Chichn Itz) actually has the potential to further disenfranchise local people from a robust stakeholder status, something I will discuss further later.
52 The second paper, La especializacion artesanal en el Contexto del desarrollo regional: El caso de Yucatan 38 by Alice Littlefield, discusses the fluorescence of artisanal craft production in the Yucatn with the advent of mass tourism in the region in a Marxist theoretical framework. Originally, according to Littlef ield, the local population was highly homogenous in the production of artisanal goods, but recent years (at the time of her writing) had seen local specialization develop in the production of products such as hammocks, ceramics, and huipils Additionally, Littlefield observed the advent of the production of local handicrafts for tourism revenue, such as cotton and cotton blend hammocks. These hammocks were then distributed from the producers to eventual sale at market through a local formalized trade networ k known as the maquila system, the origins of which Littlefield traces back to the 1950s. Huipils are also manufactured and distributed in this system, and both, according to Littlefield, were produced primarily by women. Littlefield wrote that this syst em of production was analogous to pre industrial home based production methods in Europe, whose history she outlines, extending the term to what she quotes Lenin referring to as however, Littlefield addresses some of the problematic aspects of her analogy, noting the significantly better conditions for the Yucatecn workers than their European analogues. Littlefield then provides a brief sketch of Yucatecn economic history that attracting the investment capital to develop saleable products suitable for lo cal 38
53 production. In other words, the local socio economic conditions coupled with the environmental and geographic limits on what could be effectively produced essentially left only a few options for investors, and did not allow for non agricultural alterna tives to be developed by local actors, primarily because they did not have enough local wealth to invested in industrial or commercial enterprises of dubious potential. The eventual incursion of the federal government into the henequen industry is also di scussed by Littlefield (1980) as the industry came to be increasingly unprofitable due to the competition mentioned above, increasing federal control over the region and sending many former henequeneros 39 searching for alternatives, many of whom settled on tourist oriented business. Interestingly, Littlefield seems to suggest that transnational corporations have taken on a mantle of imperialistic capitalism, with the federal government joining local bourgeoisie and government in the role formerly held by th e latter two parties in the pre henequen era, or in the example of the development of British capitalism. Because of this unusual (at least in terms of Marxian analyses) development, Littlefield seems to suggest the necessary middle class will not develop locally in the new tourism oriented economy, as it is essentially acting as an adjunct subsection of a non localized economy. The third paper, Turismo, trabajos arqueologicos y desarrollo: El caso de Cob, Q. Roo 40 by Margarita Rosales, problematizes tou rism oriented growth that focuses primarily on meeting the needs of investors and tourists without regard for and possibly 39 Henequen farmers. 40 Tourism, Archaeological Work, and Development: The Case Of Cob, Q. Roo.
54 even at the expense of socially equitable and beneficial local development, using as her example the archaeological tourist site of C ob Rosales argues that tourism development, which had become a major economic force in the region even at the time of her writing, particularly in the vicinity of Cancn, tended to focus on expanding operations in a quantitative manner, with the assumpti on that the expected boost to the economy would sufficiently ameliorate any issues of Rather than focus on the broader set of problems this thesis addresses, however, Rosales limits her focus to disproving this erroneous assumption by using Cob as an example. According to Rosales, Cob, which lies between Valladolid and the coast in the northern part of the state of Quintana Roo, was a pre Columbian Maya site that is centered around a series of fresh water lakes, and began to see considerable modern habitation around 1950, when several farmers from the area of Valladolid came to live at the site. At the time of her writing, approximately seventy families lived in or n ear the site, spoke Yucatec almost exclusively, and lived primarily as subsistence farmers, though they did trade for some non locally produced goods. Additional wealth, when it existed, would be stored in the form of livestock, which could be sold or used in times of need. In the 1960s, writes Rosales (1980a), the site attracted governmental attention due to the existence of pre Columbian ruins. As a result, a road was built to facilitate travel, and archaeological work began to reconstruct pre Hispanic st ructures, both of which provided temporary employment for the local population. The road was finished by 1975, and a modest tourist business began, and FONATUR began making arrangements to
55 bring a hotel to the site to bring more business. Without consultin g local government, or reacted by chasing the surveyors off the land, and a compro mise then had to be sought to continue construction. After receiving expanded ejido lands and a number of other perks 41 work was allowed to resume, and local workers were hired, though many specialists such as masons had to be brought in from other locatio ns, as the local population were, as mentioned above, primarily subsistence farmers. Additionally, the jobs were not necessarily the boon some might have expected them to be; the structure of the work day prevented the farmers from spending time with their crops, and sometimes violated federal laws regarding shift lengths. The creation of the hotel itself also created significant (if frequently temporary) disparities between the visiting tourists and the local population. According to Rosales (1980a), the hotel possessed 42 rooms with air conditioning, radios, and a host of other amenities designed to attract wealthy Europeans. In addition to these obvious examples, the availability of large scale refrigeration units and kitchens with modern appliances (and their associated and varied menus), constant self generated electrical power and even deep drilled wells created a visible (and in the case of the generators audible) gulf in standards of living between the local population and the community that served them. These disparities were further amplified by the fact that most if not all agricultura l produce served to guests come from outside the area via Cancn, creating economic 41 Among the benefits that the community received were a volleyball court, bus and a new ejido building.
56 relationships which not only distort local prices but also deprive the local pop ulation of expanding the production of agricultural products that could be locally produced at levels of quality and quantity sufficient to support the local tourist oriented businesses 42 Furthermore, the staff of the hotel was mostly European at the admin istrative level, and from the state of Yucatn on the service level. The five jobs allotted to local residents were low paying unskilled positions, and only twenty one jobs were created, a fraction of dissertation, is more focused and less complicated, makes sense, and is supported by contemporary documentary evidence. 43 Planificacin regional y arqueologia en 44 by Antonio Benavides, deals with conceptualizations of development projects as they relate to local needs, and how archaeology can play a role in this. Benavides begins by noting his opposition for external visions of development being applied w ith little regard for local needs in order to achieve the goals of people who are not living in the area (1980a:29). Benavides continues by discussing the role of archaeology in developmen t. He notes how traditionally archaeology has served to reinforce nationalistic ideology that has 42 The argument can be made that there are in fact few if any examples of local agricultural goods which can meet the standards necessary to attract and retain the clientele the hotel sought to entice, and is likely to be the case, especially given the historical and modern condition of agribusiness in the region. 43 Another related article by Jaime Garduo Argueta (1980) decries the lack of inclusion of the local population in the development of Cob, and notes how the arrival of archaeological work in the region caused the price of food to spike, and for crops to end up being neglected. His version of the same period at Cob strongly corroborates Rosale account,, and interestingly, also relates how people tended to view archaeologists as being complicit with the developers, and, by extension, with the problems described by both him and Rosales. 44
57 had the additional benefit of creating a substantial amount of reconstructed ruins and museums to house artifacts. These projects, in turn, injected a small a nd temporary flow of monies into local rural economies, which, in turn, created labor migration and even behavioral changes such as decreased attention to agricultural production. Recognizing the local context for archaeology in a regionally complex web of relationships between government, other economic actors, and the local people, Benavides makes the case that it is still important to acknowledge that the discipline does have a role in development, and can take the initiative to assist in the creation of more equitable plans for development. He was, in essence, calling on archaeology to remove itself from a state of ivory tower ensconced self absorption in consideration of its broader anthropological obligation to consider the needs and rights of the peop le with which they work. Early on in the period of tourism development at Cancn, the government of the state of Quintana Roo and the Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnologa (CONACYT) 45 in association with the Universidad Nacional Autnoma de Mxico (UNAM ) 46 organized a symposium to address many of the issues discussed by Benavides (1980a), Lee (1977), Littlefield (1980) and Rosales (1980a) in regards to the economic future of the state, in which tourism was already being considered to play a major role in. The resulting ) was organized in October of 1980, and the associated papers presented were organized into an eponymous book which provided insight into the offi cial 45 46
58 dissertation. The issues and concerns addressed in these works were considered by the participants both academic and governmental at length, though, as I have pointed out already, making the jump from theory into practice in addressing these concerns has proven problematic for all concerned parties with any tangible degree of influence over large scale planning. As Pi Sunyer et al. (2006) subsequently pointed out, it is difficult to divert investment into sectors that are less profitable in the short term (and to investors in general, as most capital is non local) but would provide an added measure of stability in rough economic times for tourism. Additionally, as is so often the case, academics often find themselves being consulted for advice that has little to no chance of being implemented due to the political and fiscal factors inherent in the processes they are being called on to discuss. I will discuss three papers in the 1980 conference volume that relate directly to El Parque Arqueologico Ecologico de Cob 47 by Antonio Benavides and Norberto Gonzalez (1980), addresses the relationship development, especially tourism, has had in damagi ng both the historical and environmental resources of northern Quintana Roo. They recommended the creation of an archaeological and ecological park to preserve the site of Cob against similar losses they feared could occur with the continued expansion of development. 47
59 Turismo y desarrollo regional 48 Fuentes, discusses how the period of the symposium marked the initialization of a plan to promote tourism in the reg ion as a serious economic force and to ensure a more equitable distribution of the benefits to society than had occurred in the past. This was begun with the Plan Nacional de Turismo 49 and FONATUR (as described in Pi Sunyer et al. 2001), and Garca contended it was important, given the (correct) expectation o f the importance of tourism to the state, to analyze the relationship of tourism and the state both in the (then) present and future. According to Garca, the three main goals that need to be addressed by the state are obtaining funding, generating employm ent, and development in general. In order to achieve this, Garca claimed it would be necessary to plan out and prioritize the timing and resources necessary, and to take stock of the barriers which existed, as well, in order to determine what tourism orie nted development required, and addressed many of the more obvious problems, such as the creation of a supporting infrastructure for development, finding funding and properly educated employees, environmental degradation, excessive vertical integration of t he industry, and many more issues already discussed above. Turismo arqueolgico y desarrollo: El caso de Cob, Quintana Roo 50 by Margarita Rosales (1980) addresses the role of archaeological tourism in the region, and how it rel ates to the overall plan of tourism oriented 48 49 50
60 development in the area. Of particular interest to Rosales is how investment in this sector will reconfigure the local economy, principally in relation to the local population of Cob. This paper, as I noted abo ve, comprehensively addressed a series of issues later discussed in Pi Sunyer et al. (2001) that were, unfortunately, largely ignored. These issues, and a number of others they could not have been foresee n given the era these events took place in, have co ntributed to the overall unsustainability of tourism as an economic basis for the region, in much the same way as henequen and even the hacienda system functioned beforehand. This situation is actually even more complicated than the preceding texts have il lustrated, as it is necessary to define what one is talking These three words, seemingly obvious in meaning at first glance, are in fact quite slippery when used impreci sely, and more often than not serve as rubber stamps for the interests of investment capital and their public relations campaigns. In the context of this thesis, they have a very specific and well defined meaning, to which we will now turn.
61 Figure 2.1 Vernal Equinox, 2010. Nearly one year later, and tourism is still very low, even at what is usually the busiest time year.
62 CHAPTER IV Literature Review The Sustainability of Tourism In a recently published work, Globalizacin y sustentabilidad: El turismo en el sur de Quintana Roo, Magali Daltabuit Gods, Hector Cisneros Reyes, and Ernesto Valenzuela Valdivieso (2007), address the situation described by Lee in 1977. Tailoring development to fit the needs of a loc al populace in a sustainable manner is becoming increasingly important and apparent in an era of ever increasing economic interconnectivity for those who are unable to grasp the already compelling humanistic reasons for ensuring such a relationship exists. In this work, Daltabuit Gods et al. begin by noting the imprecision and According to the authors, these words refer to a series of interrelated systems of an alysis specific to academic disciplines describing a body of phenomena which are (by nature) similar, yet represent disciplinarily specific definitions which can, and often do vary depending on the context they are used, and the auxiliary terminology being brought to bear to provide this context. It is my goal to provide just such a specificity in terminology when I discuss globalization, tourism and sustainability to bind them to a specific time and place 51 without severing the historical and trans local co ntext that have brought about not only the local manifestations of these phenomena, but the phenomena themselves into existence. 51 Specifically, Chichn Itz and the surrounding vicinity during the last 30 years, with particular attention to the recent past.
63 According to Daltabuit Gods et al (2007), globalization can be viewed in two ways methodologically. The first, as is primarily discussed by Reid (2003), is as a stage of capitalistic development, a global mode of production. This begins to achieve a degree of usefulness in separating what does in fact differ in this particular incarnation of globalization, as the current phenomen on exists without a significant alternative model, such as communism, and rapidly breaks down the structural elements of early stage capitalist or pre capitalist 52 economies. On the other hand, Daltabuit Gods et al refer to the postmodern/poststructuralist narratives of socio cultural transformation that have come about because of globalization. They point to descriptions of globalization as the deterritorialization of space, spreading human relationships across national and regional borders. This creates a global framework for social space to transform practice through the power of capitalism in ways which are not bound by spatial and cultural barriers in the way that previous incarnations of globalization might have 53 Though there are significant theoretic al and conceptual problems 54 with parts of Tourism, Globalization and Development: Responsible Tourism Planning (2003), the section introducing and defining globalization is informative on the subject, if somewhat one sided. Reid associates trends of increased urbanization, the mechanization of agriculture, and the loss of regional and national sovereignty (along 52 I am borrowing from a Marxist theoretical framew ork with the terminology employed here; I neither merely commenting on popular conceptualizations of these economies for conveniences sake, and as s uch, am not engaging broader theoretical issues in the context of this thesis or in making this observation on the nature of the current characteristics of globalization. 53 Moderni ty and Self Identity. Self and Society in the Late Modern Age (1991) offers a comprehensive analysis. 54 Reid exhibits a tendency towards both reification and oversimplification in this work in order to support nearly categorical negative views of globaliz ation and its role in development.
64 with the ability to effectively regulate resources and development) with globalization while conveniently ignoring both the benefi cial aspects which have been attributed to it as well as the other issues contributing to these problems. Reid feels this sets the stage for After tipping his ideological hand in a not entirely subtle manner, Reid (2003) 55 which he deems necessary to properly understand it, and in turn demands a thorough analysis of the global economy. Unsurpr understanding the global economy. According to Reid, globalization itself is a murky term with contested meanings and origins, and can be summarized by what was once primarily referred obstructions to trade such as tariffs. What differs from earlier incarnation(s) of the dir ect involvement of national governments in decision govern ment where it belongs, thus assuming its negative qualities. Reid (2003:37) also cites Cox (1992) as describing six large scale changes which help in conceptualizing 55 Interestingly, though perhaps unsurprisingly, he does not seem to feel the need to define tourism when discussing this relationship. This is characteristic of phenomena described by Davidson (2005) and Theobald (2005) b elow.
65 production 56 the encroachment of sovereignty by international organizations such as the WTO 57 on nation states, uneven patterns of development among developing nations, the e 58 of the poor, both abroad and domestically 59 Although there are certainly more succinct and ideologically neutral examples that could have been brou ght to bear in defining globalization, Reid (2003) serves to exemplify the problems which can arise when taking a near polar opposite position to development as silver ideological spectrum. They cloud the discourse with rhetorical flourish and sweeping generalizations such as the assumption that governments will (or can) be trusted to trans national corporat ion. Although tourism itself is not a recent phenomenon in and of itself even if you restrict it to any of the various modern conceptualizations of the term, it has existed as such for a much longer amount of time than it has been studied by the social sc iences. 56 This consists of widely dispersed global production networks which assemble finished products in the nation in which they will be sold. 57 In this instance, World Trade Organization. 58 This term refers to the increased marginalization of the poor, which Reid attempts to envision in a de 59 There are a number of assumptions made within this conceptualization which warrant debate that lie outside the scope of this thesis to address; however, it is worth considering that the argument can be made fact occurred in the past in cyclical fa shion to a greater or lesser extent, and in some instances may be assigning cause effect relationships to phenomena which, in fact, may actually be symptomatic of complex relationships with a host of causal factors worth considering.
66 According to Erve Chambers in (2010), even the history of phenomena that is collectively referred to as concept of culture itself in defying precise definition as a subject of study. According to Chambers (2010), there are many assumptions concerning the notable of which is that i points out that there has been a tradition of what could just as accurately be described as tourism dating back at least as far (if not farther) in Japan, with many characteristics of modern tourism appearing in Japan long before they did in the West. Another assumption, claims Chambers, is that tourism became possible with the increased leisure time made available with the growth of Western Capitalism. However, Chambers cites evidence that pre industrial cultures often had more leisure time, and there had been a conceptualization of leisure time centuries before the industrial revolution ever began. Additionally, C hambers notes that the assumption that tourism arose out of elite origins may be equally inaccurate, citing parallel patterns of middle class English tourism dating from the same era. If the history of tourism is so contentious, it should come as no surpri se that the definition is equally imprecise. These are precisely the issues addressed by William H. Theobald in his chapter of
67 (2005). Noting the explosive growth of tourism re venue since the 1950s 60 Theobald discusses the problem of ascertaining accurate information about tourism due to the fragmentation of the industry into related (but often very different) sectors such as accommodation (hotels, etc.), food service, transportation, leisure facilities, souvenir merchants and their suppliers, among others. This ambiguity has created, according to Theobald, significant obstacles for analysts and poli cy makers alike, obscuring the actual economic contribution to a given destination. Moreover, the very definitions of the words tourist and tourism are anything but standardized, creating further problems for addressing problems as they relate to tourism o riented development. This lack of standardized definitions is especially problematic when attempting to assemble any sort of corpus of meaningful data, according to Theobald (2005). Citing (2005:9), as an example, the U.S. Census Bureau and U.S. travel Ce nter, the U.S. Travel qualifies as a tourist, one is left with respective definitions of an individual who travels either 100 miles, 100 miles, 50 miles, or 25 miles one way away from home. The United Nations, in response to this complete lack of common understanding in regards to compiling useful comparative data on tourism, convened a Conference on Trade and Development in 1971 that attempted to create a formal guideline for nati onal tourism statistics. It suggested measuring both incoming and outgoing international tourism in addition to domestic tourism, including data on accommodations and other facilities used 60 International touris t receipts ballooned from 2.1 billion dollars in 1950 to 462 billion in 2001 (Theobald 2005:6).
68 by tourists, and to allow assessments to be made regarding both eco nomic impacts on the balance of trade for a given nation as well as the economy in general. These guidelines clearly do not go far enough, however, in creating any sort of substantive definition of what is being measured, but rather create a framework wit h which to organize this data once the terms are agreed upon. Theobald (2005) begins his own attempt at definition with an etymological analysis which, for all its rhetorical flourish, is not particularly useful in arriving at the conclusion that a tourist must be one who makes a journey and then returns from whence they came. He continues by outlining the history of the term itself, which, (unsurprisingly) is in dispute; various sources place the origins somewhere between the seventeenth and late nineteent h centuries, and more style tourism, which may account for much of the un academic assumptions concerning the origins of tourism. Theobald (2005) then notes how specific disciplines have particular definitions of tourism which do not often transcend displinary boundaries. As examples, Theobald notes how in economics, the definition is primarily concerned with the development and state of the economy in a given location, and to geogra phers, the definition tend s to be defined by spatial criteria, yet in sociological and anthropological circles, definitions are frequently focused on behavioral criteria. Furthermore, Theobald relates, there are two additional types of tourism definitions. The first is a conceptual definition which attempts to isolate the basic characteristics of tourism in order to distinguish it from related but dissimilar actions. Theobald (2005:11) quotes Mathieson and Wall (1982) as giving an example of this kind of de
69 destinations outside their normal places of work and residence, the activities undertaken The second i s concerned with technical definitions that are designed to be used in compiling data. An example is the drive to create standardized criteria for international tourism, which has recently been extended to incorporate standardized criteria for domestic tou rism as well 61 The tremendous growth in tourism revenue mentioned above was, according to Theobald (2005), the main motivating factor in the pursuit of increasingly precise statistical definitions of tourism. The definition of tourism by the United Natio ns in 1945 was simply anyone visiting a country in which they did not reside for less than six months, and since then, the maximum stay has been extended to a year by some organizations. Further distinctions were made by a UN conference in 1963 to label al l at least 24 hours, 62 Theobald (2005) continues by noting how these definitions are employed in varying modes across all regional, national, and internatio nal polities, making useful comparisons exceedingly difficult if not impossible. Further complicating the situation, 61 Domestic tourism, when technically defined, according to Theobald (2005), typically incorporates the three basic components of international tourism (namely, the purpose of the trip, distance traveled, and duration of the trip), but occasionally also include the residence of the traveller and the mode of transport. Purpose of trip is an important criterion for those who want to distinguish between tourism and b usiness travel, though the difference between the two is not always clear. Distance travelled is typically an arbitrary distance employed to differentiate between local recreational expenditures and tourism, and duration of trip is used for a similar purpo se, though it can have the effect of excluding day trips to locations which are considerably different, and, aside from the temporal criteria, clearly tourism. The residence of the traveller is primarily important for marketing purposes, and mode of transp ortation data is usually employed in planning future infrastructure development. 62 An example of this could be cruise ship passengers disembarking for a few hours in a port of call, depending on the port of origin, and other criteria.
70 much tourism data is compiled only at the frontiers, or where there are significant concentrations of tourist oriented businesses, such as hotel registrations. What is more, Theobald (2006:14) quotes Frechtling as stating that out of the 166 (of 184) nations reporting tourism statistics, meas ure of international tourism receipts, and 46 do not estimate international travel expenditures. More than half (84) have no measure of international departures, and two thirds (113) do not count Theobal d (2005) notes that even in the United States, there is no standardized system for domestic tourism between states, with most designating non residency as being a key factor in identifying tourism, and varying degrees of purpose are considered in terms of leisure versus business, though many of the blurry lines between the two are a state or through state travel, while Nevada makes none whatever. Similar problems, says Theob ald, exist for European domestic tourism as well. In 1991 at Ottawa, Cana da the International Conference on Travel and Tourism Statistics convened with 250 representatives of 90 countries. They gathered to attempt to create uniform and integrated definiti ons and classification systems of tourism statistics, employ a strict procedure for determining the economic effect of tourism and the performance of various sectors of the industry, and establish dialogue between various aspects of the tourist industry an d government in order to facilitate data collection. It was, according to Theobald, successful in this regard, and two years later saw its guidelines
71 statistics. Theobald (2 005:16) quotes the World Tourism Organization (WTO) 63 (1991) as stating the following definition of tourism resulting from the International Conference on outside of his or her usual environment for less than a specified period of time and whose main purpose of travel is other than an exercise of an activity remunerated from within re, business and other types of travel which span less than one year as tourism, and has since experienced further refinement and specificity which are outside the scope of this thesis to discuss. Another chapter in Global Tourism urism: Are They tourism (and, as the title implies, travel) mentioned earlier that is frequently but erroneously assumed to be a fact. As Davidson relates, it is quite comm on for persons and organizations who deal with tourism and travel to refer to it as an industry. However, this heuristic is not more than just that; a shorthand for referring to a collection of related industries which, when taken together, comprise what i s usually referred to as an businesses, whether it is to legitimize or promote the further development of these businesses in a given location. It is also, in David respect for tourism from economists and the governments they work for. Although I 63 Now UNWTO.
72 would argue this is no longer the case 64 it undoubtedly has been a problem, and likely in large part to the sheer difficulty in quantifyin g it in the first place. Davidson cites the backlash against travel after the banning of gasoline sales on Sunday in the 1970s in response to the OPEC oil embargo, and describes the conceptualization of tourism as an industry to this period as a conscious response by tourism oriented businesses to attempt leisure. Davidson (2005) continues by describing the advantages of designating tourism as an industry (even though he suggests it is a fallacious designation). Among the more important advantages described are the respect and legitimacy created by virtue of being categorized as a productive and profitable group of businesses, as well as satisfying an important analytical criteria in terms of data analysis (which, as has been discussed, it is only just beginning to do). However, Davidson (2005) defines an industry as a group of independent firms, each of which is creating the same product, and, in economic terms, satisfies the definition of substitutability. Clearly, this is not the case, as restaurants are not taking airline reservations, and museums typically do not provide room service. This, as Davidson notes, then causes one to ask where, in fact, this collection of re lated but separate businesses should be considered in terms of policy and research. Davidson outlines his definition of tourism, which is essentially the same as those outlined by Theobald (2005), though there is one interesting distinction; individuals wh o maintain 64 In fa ct, it is quite likely the opposite of the situation at present, particularly in the area I am researching. If anything, tourism has become the only major strategy for economic development in the area.
73 seasonal residences are not considered tourists by Davidson by virtue of their routine recurrence, though he also acknowledges the arbitrariness of determining where economic credit should be placed when discussing financial receipts created by the presence of such individuals. The purpose for including these chapters in the literature review is, as I have er factors addressed above, has significantly impeded efforts to create truly sustainable tourism. However, even if one understands the role globalization and tourism has played in the area of my investigation on both a concrete and abstract level, it is i mpossible to address the root problem which surfaces both in the literature I have cited on the region and in my own research without defining all three phenomena first. The third term in need of definition particularly in the context of tourism in Yucatn is sustainability. Fittingly, a third paper from Global Tourism specifically. Beginning by locating the concept of sustainable development historically, Mu rphy and Price (2005) start with the publication of Danella and Dennis Meadows book Limits to Growth (1972), which essentially argued that the earth has a finite ability to support human population, and contributed to the publication of the World Conservat ion Strategy. This was produced by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) in 1980, and was one of the earliest attempts at creating a framework for sustainable development. In turn, this would lead to the World
74 Commission on Environment and Development 65 in 1987. It was a landmark work in that it introduced the world to these ideas with a specific, easy to understand definition which could then be broadly applied in a number of ways to specific situations concernin g development. The definition offered, in the second chapter, fourth section, part one, compromising the ability of future gene rations to meet their own needs y and Price note, centered on a conceptualization of the role of government as being environmental stewards, with the additional development (for lack of a better word) of ecologically sound and socially equitable economic growth as the ideological underpi nnings of sustainability, emphasizing a qualitative rather than quantitative standard of growth. Some of the more important guidelines regarding sustainable development, according to Murphy and Price (2005), which arose from the WCED include recognizing th e ecological limits to development 66 and setting expectations for standards of living which match these limits, proactively working to address inequitable development with redistributive measures, limiting population growth, the conservation of flora and fa una, as well as essential resources, and the equitable distribution and use thereof. Additionally, maximum resource retention (particularly for non renewables) was encouraged, as was minimization of adverse impacts and community control over local resource s. Other 65 Better known as the Brundtland Report or Our Common Future 66 Essential to both this and possessing the capacity to effectively audit an environment is a complex, interdisciplinary approach that is exemplified in the works of individuals like Fikret Berkes. For a more detailed example of this, read his 200 1 book co authored with Robin Mahon, Patrick McConney, Richard Pollnac, and Robert Pomeroy, Managing Small Scale Fisheries: Alternative Directions and Methods.
75 important issues raised included broad national and international policy networks, the necessity of being able to effectively audit environments to take stock of the overall economic prosperity, environmental quality and social justice being the three pronged goals of sustainable development 67 Predictably, Murphy and Price (2005) note the criticism of these approaches (with Reid  serving as a strong example of criticism that focuses most heavily on the weaker strategies), which question the utility of these approaches to create substantive results in ameliorating environmental problems. Other criticism equates this movement to a passing fad, much like the waves of energy conservation movements which accompany large price fluctuations in energy cost. Some criticisms focus on semantic incongruity of the two component terms, though, as me ntioned above, this is due to the mistaken conflation of quantitative and qualitative growth models. The authors (2005) claim that sustainable development has become a significant force in tourism during the preceding two decades (at the time of writing). They attribute this to the rapid growth of tourism during this period, and even to association made at the stainable 67 Murphy and Price (2005) claim this development strategy has been adopted (at least nominally) by most major corporations at the time of their writing, with many other corporations beginning to implement sustainable development practices as they become relevant (or aware of their relevancy) to their business practices. Means of adoption range from strong to weak, with stronger strategies focusing on preserving resources, limiting or even reversing economic and population growth, and a robust focus on inter and intra generational equity, and weaker strategies focusing on conserving or even exploiting resources with an orientation to economic growth, relying on technological innovation and free markets to create sustainable development.
76 development. Furthermore, Murphy and Price relate how tourism moved, perhaps in response to earlier conceptualizations of the phenomenon as frivolous, wasteful, and dern milieu. Perhaps the most important aspect of this new tourism ethic, according to the authors, is the focus on community involvement in economic and conservation issues and environmental integration in tourism development. Citing (2003:174) Platteau a nd Gaspart (2003), they argue that objectives of the participatory approach [to sustainable development]:economic growth, democratic governance sustainability, equi grassroots are not sufficiently empowered through suitable training programs and processes aimed at making them aware of their rights and confident enough to assert them, benefits are likely to be largely pree synthesis of the characteristics of sustainable tourism. Paraphrased, it includes safeguarding and/or enhancing natural and cultural assets of destinations and the re expectations of the tourist market 68 is economically viable and profitable, and achieves an equitable cost/benefit distribution throughout all economic and generational sectors of a community. The authors note that any sort of genuine sustainable development cannot by definition make use of non renewable resources, such as fossil fuels to power transport to destinations. Murphy and 68 This particular aspect seems fairly nebulous and quite possibly contradictory, depending on interpretations.
77 Price also note the significant lack of (and need fo r) assessing the actual sustainability of business practices. This, in turn, requires interdisciplinary investigation in order to assemble comprehensive data regarding current practice, and future development that includes information regarding current and projected social, economic and environmental relationships to a given approach to development. The authors identify seven dimensions which require interdisciplinary attention; the first of these is a need for resource management, followed by attention bei ng paid to the economic aspects of tourism as they fulfill sustainable definition of development. Thirdly is the social aspects, which extend beyond intergenerational equity to address issues such as cultural sensitivity. Additionally, consideration must b e taken to address aesthetic issues as they relate to all of the preceding dimensions, and, perhaps the most obvious two of the seven, significant attention must be focused on ecological parameters of sustainability, as well as on the maintenance and promo tion of biological diversity ( Murphy and Price 2005). This thesis is comprised of a cross section of incredibly rich historical and theoretical subject matter, and the challenge has been to sufficiently address the basic elements necessary in discussing the issues addressed in the larger context of my research. This literature review deals with the broader issues involved in as succinct a manner possible; the next section will deal with the history of the area where the research itself took place, again, with the intention of addressing a host
78 of separate but important and interrelated issues so crucial to understanding the research.
79 Figure 1.4 Chichn Itz. One inch equals approximately 200 meters. (Source: http://yucatantoday.com/en/maps/chichen itza map)
80 CHAPTER V A Brief History of Tourism at Pist and Chichn Itz This chapter outlines a historical account of Pist and the archaeological site of Chichn Itz 69 with a brief overview of previous scholarly research specific to the area to contextualize my investigation. The project studied the talk of the residents of Pist, summer of 2009, specifically focusing on the talk of the relationship residents considered the phenomenon to have with a contemporaneous economic slump. I examined the various ways residents of this community talked about these phenomena during a five week period s panning the months of May and June, 2009. I focused on Pist because of its dependence on international tourism. Due to its proximity to Chichn Itz, a United tourists who visit this location by providing them with hotels, restaurants, and essential goods and services. Additionally, it also serves as a place of residence for the many members of the community who derive their income from the tourist industry that physically t akes place at Chichn Itz. In turn, a large part of the local economy is dependent on the continued influx of revenue generated by international tourism. Because of this, the people of Pist can suffer considerable hardships when tourism revenues decline. The community of Pist has been closely associated with Chichn Itz for more than 1200 years, and has, by virtue of this association, served as point of contact for 69 Transformations in the Politics of Tourism"(2009).
81 increasingly complex mixtures of cultures. Originally it was part of the ancient Maya metropolis of Chichn Itz, where peoples from all over the Mesoamerican world converged. At its height, around AD 1000, it was probably the largest urban settlement in the Americas. Then came the Spanish, followed by Euro American antiquarians and archa eologists, down to the present day mlange of tourists one comes to expect at a UNESCO World Heritage site. After the conquest, the settlement of Chichn Itz dwindled to only a few families. It rarely appears in Colonial period records or maps. At some point in the Colonial period, the population became concentrated in the northwestern sector of the defunct prehispanic city, where modern day Pist is located. 70 The population began to recover in the 18 th century; by 1821 Pist had 882 inhabitants, and a population of 1172 souls in 1846 (Antochiw 1996: 21). Owing to raids by the Cruzob Maya following the inhabitants 71 before it was entirely abandoned in 1862, after a majo r assault and massacre. The town was not re occupied until the 1880s, when it also began to attract future become increasingly bound to the business of archaeolo gy, and later, tourism (Antochiw 1996; Castaeda 2003, 2009). Pist began to expand much more rapidly as the military defeat of the Cruzob Maya made the region safer for settlement, and the economic opportunities provided by 70 One of the earliest maps on which the town appears is the 1734 Guelles map, which includes both Pist and Chichn Itz as separate communities. For more details on the early history of Chichn Itz and Pist, see Historia del Poblado de Chichn (Pist ) by Michel Antochiw (1996). 71 This probably included families living in nearby rancheras and abandoned towns (Antochiw 1996: 23),
82 the work of explorers and a rchaeologists made the town particularly attractive for settlement by Maya from throughout the Yucatn Peninsula as well as Mexicans from beyond the peninsula. The first explorer to make an impact was E.H. Thompson, the American Consul who purchased the o ld Colonial hacienda at Chichn in 1894, and began exploring and clearing parts of the old city. Unlike many of the explorers who came before him (Waldeck and Le Plongeon, among others), Thompson represented the beginning of archaeological inquiry at the s ite, using systematic explorations and excavations to determine the use of various structures, and (unusual for that time) even extending his investigation to addressing issues such as the subsistence patterns of the local populations (Antochiw 1996; Brunh ouse 1990; Castaeda 2003, 2009). world; before his arrival, the only way to the site was a small path wide enough for a single horse. After a year of work at Chichn, Thompson managed to clear a road to the nearby community of Dzitas large enough for a wagon to travel on; his wife and children joined him in living there soon after (Antochiw 1996; Brunhouse 1990; Castaeda 2003, 2009). Thompson attempted to make the hacienda he rented (and would eventually purchase early in the 20 th century) a productive business venture through raising cattle and corn, though his primary interest remained archaeology. He hoped to eventually make enough money from the additional proceeds to open a research center for social Peabody Museum. Then, as now, archaeological practices and their ethical implications
83 were criticized, with Thompson finding himself being accused of plundering the site for profit by Teobert Maler (Antochiw 1996; Brunhouse 1990; Castaeda 2003, 2009). 72 published in his lifetime, though he published frequent accounts of his daily life in the Yucatn in The Atlantic Monthly, Century, and The Living Age popular magazines at that time (and in the case of The Atlantic Monthly today). For some years, he split his time between Chichn Itz and Mrida, where he worked part time as a U.S. Consul, but eventually retired from the position at the time he purchased the hacienda (Brunhouse 1990; Castaeda 2003, 2009). Just before his resignation and retirement to Chichn, he began exploration of the Sacred Cenote, a large body of water in the northern part of the Chichn complex. His dredging and diving at the site contributed further to archaeological methods, and attracted more visitors to the site with the artifacts discovered. Alfred Tozzer of the Peabody Museum, Justo Sierra, Ministro de Instruccin Pblica 73 and Leopoldo Batres, Inspector de Monumentos Prehispnicos 74 all were attracted by his work, as was a young Sylvanus Morley, who would later loom prominently in the history of the site (Brunhouse 1990; Castaeda 2003, 2009). A period of political instability which followed the Mexican revolution lasted from 1910 to 1923, characterized by intermittent violence between the Liberal and 72 In 1914, Thompson published the sole piece on archaeology from this period in National Geographic; all others were pu blished after his death. 73 Minister of Public Instruction. 74 Inspector of Prehispanic Monuments
84 Socialist political parties in the area, and a lack of archaeological research until the Carne Morley in 1924. Again, the local population dropped, taking almost two decades to recover to pre revolutionary levels (Castaeda 2003, 2009). The Carnegie period marked another important development; archaeologist Edward H. Thompson had lived at Chichn Itz during the first decade of the twentieth century to facilitate his research, but had abandoned it in the period of unrest following the rev olution. When the proverbial smoke had cleared, the Carnegie Institute rented Monumentos Prehispnicos (the predecessor to INAH) ; these two organizations set out to excavate and more importantly was a business venture, being put to work to further the designs of both the Carnegie Institute of Washington, who wanted to use Chichn Itz as a means of generating public interest in (and thus revenue for) archaeology, and the Mexican government, which wished to employ Chichn Itz as a means of creating a primordialist national patrimony (Breglia 2005, 2006, Castaeda 2000, 2003, 2009). The bulk of the workforce that served as the labor pool, as before, primarily came from Pist, but also attracted wor kers from other local communities, and elsewhere in the population of Pist had recovered and even surpassed its pre revolutionary level. It was at this time that the heirs o f Edward H. Thompson sold the hacienda he had been renting to
85 the Carnegie Institute to a wealthy non Maya Yucatecn family, the Barbachanos, and less than a year afterward that the Mexican Monumentos Prehispnicos became the National Institute of Anthropo logy and History (INAH). These two events set the stage for Chichn Itz to become a tourist destination, with the Barbachano family operating hotels for the tourists who began to visit the site, which was now administered by INAH via the custodios (custod ians), many of whom were former employees of the excavations of the Carnegie period (Breglia 2005, 2006, Castaeda 2000, 2003, 2009). Chichn Itz slowly grew in popularity as a tourist attraction over the next two decades, but remained a relatively low vo lume destination until the Cuban Revolution effectively removed the island as a potential vacation sp ot for U.S. tourists. The site picked up considerable momentum after both the creation and development of Cancn as a tourist destination, and the publicat ion of a book by Luis Arochi that popularized a symbolic interpretation of a shadow cast on the Castillo at Chichn Itz on the spring and fall equinoxes. Many residents of Pist would join others from across the Yucatn in migrating to Cancn for work in building the resort community in this period (Castaeda 2003, 2009). At about the same time, the innovation and sale of carved wooden handicrafts by an INAH custodio grew into a profitable business that was successfully imitated by others, particul arly by men who had returned to Pist after the first phase of construction in Cancn was over; many of these individuals also found work in the nascent hotel, service, and retail sectors that were emerging in Pist in response to the increased volume of t ourists (Castaeda 2003, 2009).
86 The 1980s saw the advent of Chichn Itz as a mass tourism destination, spurred by the continued growth of Canc facilitation, and promotion of the equinox phenomena to tourists, and the lobbyin g for and eventual achievement of Chichn Itz being designated an official UNESCO World Heritage site. The population of Pist had almost doubled from its 1970 level of 1,308 persons at the start of the decade, and would more than triple to 4,196 by the c lose of the decade. With this economic success came an increase in conflict due to contested visions detail in the work of Quetzil Castaeda and Lisa Breglia. In brief these conflicts, which began in this period and continue to the present, are a complex series of political and legal maneuvers by the Barbachanos, INAH, and local, state, and national political zone by the vendors that are facilitated by sympathetic INAH custodios These (in the eyes of these vendors and artisans) from their associ ation to INAH custodio families and/or membership in the communal agricultural estate, or ejido The center of the site lies on land owned by the Barbachano family, and parts of the site lay on land belonging to the ejido of Pist. These claims of usufru ct rights based on participatory and land tenure bases represent what has given the residents of Pist an effective means of repeatedly leveraging a situation to their economic advantage when claims based on an indigenous cultural heritage could prove to b e less effective. Unraveling the above conflicting claims is crucial to my own research, which attempts to explain why the
87 relationship between these two phenomena in the manner they do (Breglia 2005, 2006, Castaeda 2000, 2003, 2009).
88 Figure 2.2 Informational influenza poster photographed outside of the town hall of Pist
89 Chapter V I Methodology By eliciting and studying the talk about swine flu, as well as what was said about the concurrent economic recession and the relationship between the two, I collected data about how the phenomena were talked about in Pist, which, in turn, helped create a more complete understanding of the social and economic issues involved in an economy almost entirely based on tourism. In addition to exploring the talk about these two phenomena, I also incorporated questions designed to obtain information about the strat egies used by the residents of Pist to make ends meet when drops in tourism occur. The project was an ethnographic study that drew heavily from the work of Quetzil Castaeda for historical, political, and economic contextualization, and also made use of thick description as advocated by Clifford Geertz (1977) for obtaining and interpreting data. I used focused, informal interviews with key collaborators to this end, and participant observation to record spatial and experiential data related to employme nt and subsistence in Pist. I worked primarily with a group of about twenty local taxi drivers because of their unique positioning at a focal point in the tourist economy, and because of the widespread underemployment of this group. Taxis are the primary means for tourists to travel between Chichn Itz and the town of Pist, as no local bus service or car rental agencies are available. I also included other people whose employment is dependent on tourism revenue, such as artisans, vendors, and employees of hotels and restaurants. Additionally, I included those employed in local g overnment, public health and education, as I assumed
90 these sectors of the community would also be significantly affected by these phenomena. I conducted my field research primarily within the community of Pist, but also at the nearby Chichn Itz archaeol ogical zone during the period I described earlier. I specifically focused on how these people talked about the swine flu phenomenon in terms of its relationship with the economy, and particularly the relationship it was said to have with instances of curr ent under or unemployment. I also explored the talk concerned with appropriate governmental responses to the swine flu phenomenon, as well as the talk about the existence, place of origin, and vectors of transmission of swine flu. Other questions were emp loyed in interviews to elicit opinions about other causes of under or unemployment in Pist, and the ways in which the people of Pist have dealt with these issues. Participant observation was used daily to gather information about employment (or the la ck of it) and the use of space in downtown Pist and at Chichn Itz. These methods were used between 8am and noon, and again between 4pm and 8pm. The research periods were used for gathering information about these phenomena, and also to observe where and how people participated in the local economy, or sought a means of taxi drivers or educators, and participant observation occurred at their places of employment throug hout Pist and the surrounding area. Informal interviews were conducted to elicit talk from collaborators revolving around the swine flu phenomenon, the contemporaneous economic downturn, and the talk about the connection between the two.
91 This was facilita ted by creating and employing a list of questions designed to obtain this data. Specific questions were used or excluded as needed, according to the individual responses of the collaborators. The afternoon and evening periods between noon and 4pm and again between 8pm and 9am were used for data entry and coding. The project followed this schedule of methods daily, shifting from one group of collaborators to another as planned, with the usual necessary shuffling of plans to accommodate unforeseeable events, such as canceled appointments. Interestingly, although the taxi drivers were indeed a central part of this investigation, equally valuable information came from individuals whose income was less affected by these phenomena, such as educators and health ca re professionals. Furthermore, a large part of my data came from vendors, artisans, and vendor artisans, as they are absolutely central to the local tourist economy, and in turn support numerous other businesses through the purchases they make with the rev enue gained through the sale of their products to tourists. Through the course of my investigation, my collaborators and I realized that our experiences of these phenomena, though very different in many ways, had much in common as well. My friends and fa mily in Florida were having many of the same s also dependent on tourism, had gone from bad to worse in the same period. People were looking for work wherever they could find it, cutting expenses wherever possible, and having little in the way of savings to fall back on. More than once, the financial difficulties experienced by my collaborators resulted in changes to the project, ranging from an increased focus on the talk about th e economic aspects of these phenomena, to
92 the not infrequent need to reschedule appointments to accommodate the employment needs of my collaborators. More than once I wondered how I was going to find a job to pay for my own food and rent when I returned ho me. I also thought a lot about how lucky I was in the first place, considering how many people in both communities do not have the luxury to worry about what they are going to do after they run out of money, because go. In many ways, I shared similar concerns with my collaborators regarding having the qualifications to speak definitively about these issues, as I have no background in medicine, public health, or economics. As much as it might have seemed like an obsta cle at first, in truth, it turned out to be an asset, because it kept us focused on what we felt we were qualified to talk about what was said about these phenomena in Pist. I approached the project with a good deal of trepidation, worried that my lack of experience in these areas would make me somehow suspect in the eyes of my collaborators. I was surprised to find them reticent to speak on these issues for the same reasons; it was not uncommon for me to find myself relating that it was only what they t hought about these subjects that I was interested in and not whether they had any degree of expertise in these areas. On at least one occasion, I even (truthfully) related that another anthropologist had suggested that I speak to a particular group about my the research questions, as they (the taxi drivers) would be the perfect candidates to talk to about these issues, as they were in the perfect position between all the other tourist oriented businesses in town. I must admit I did not include the entire r eason this why taxi drivers were recommended, as they might not be excited to learn that their lack of business made them more available. It became clear to me fairly early on that many of
93 my collaborators had a fairly detailed knowledge of the activities of social scientists in the area as well, both past and present. On more than one occasion, collaborators were quite willing to speak to me at length about my research questions, but shied away from even informal interviews. This was probably at least part ially due to my choice of words in seeking interviews, ( entrevista ) which implied a formality and grasp of the subject that contradicted my assertions that such qualities were unnecessary. Upon altering my choice of words per the suggestion of my colleague s to a potentially less daunting term ( plactica ), I found it noticeably less difficult to find people to speak with me about these issues. Interestingly, it was not uncommon for my collaborators to suggest other people they thought it would be goo d for me to talk to, which in some cases proved to be very helpful, and in at least two cases, led to active recruiting of other collaborators through an unintended snowball sampling. Health care professionals proved to be the only individuals I had any de gree of difficulty interviewing. It took numerous visits and a number of personal requests combined to land interviews successfully with all collaborators with this group, and when interviews were granted, they were almost always either short, interrupted by other medical staff or patients, or both. The steady flow of patients, incidentally, had absolutely nothing whatever to do the H1N1 influenza virus there has yet to be a single confirmed case in Pist at the time of this writing. In a notable reversal of trends, this absence led one doctor to initially suggest I travel to Valladolid until I was able to explain what it was I was in fact researching. On at least one occasion, I also needed to emphasize that I was a social scientist and not a reporter bef ore the doctor would speak to me.
94 Another obstacle I encountered in obtaining and conducting interviews was the climate. During the summer, the temperature in Pist can frequently reach forty degrees Celsius (104 o Fahrenheit), with a sun intense enough to give you a serious sun burn well inside an hour, and almost no air conditioning available anywhere, making conversation particularly difficult, if not impossible, at the hottest times of the day. I intentionally adjusted my schedule of research to avoid wa sting time and energy attempting to conduct interviews that, if possible, would likely have been less than desirable in terms of depth and length due to the weather. Yet another problem I had with conducting my research was directly related to my research of Pist, I inevitably found myself at their places of work, and for all the lack of employ ment (excluding doctors, as I mentioned above, and educators at the time I was interviewing them) it was actually still quite common for our talks and interviews to be interrupted or rescheduled due to work. Taxi drivers tended to have more fares at the ti mes I chose to speak with them, as I was not the only person in Pist who avoided doing schedule to focus on the later evening when there were still a good number of them l eft working, but less fares to interrupt. The waiters I worked with were frequently the only person working in a restaurant besides the cook, so even a single customer was capable of putting my research on hold for a half hour or longer, and put me in the unusual position of wanting my research to be interrupted, at least in this manner. Although I clearly wanted to conduct my ethnography, I also wanted the people I was working with to find
95 themselves suddenly busy with unexpected customers, as much as it would deprive me of their undivided attention. When I was speaking to a vendor, I was acutely conscious of approaching tourists, and found myself making many of the same calculations I assumed they made ng with some I imagine they might not have been trying to keep myself as engaged as possible with co nducting my research without being a hindrance to my collaborators when they really needed it least. Finally, one of the biggest hurdles I had to contend with in my project was one of access. Local culture made it particularly difficult for me to talk with members of the opposite sex without at least the suspicion that my research might be cover for the exercise of prurient interests, and made it effectively impossible to speak to women alone in any capacity without being viewed askance, requiring the prese nce of family or friends in every instance but one. I found this to be problematic, but given the dynamic involved, and the limited time frame I had to work in, it was unfortunately a fact I had to accept
96 Figure 2.3 Antiflu beverage option photographed in a restaurant at Chichn Itz
97 CHAPTER VI I Data and Analysis As I have previously stated, the project was an investigation which specifically elicited and documented the talk revolving around the 2009 swine flu phenomenon in and near the community of Pist, in addition to the talk about its relationship to a simulta neous economic downturn. My goal was to obtain data that would assist me in understanding the local significance of these phenomena in the context of what residents in Pist said about these subjects. I fully expected that people who relied a great deal on tourist revenue would be displeased with anything that might affect tourism negatively. I also expected to discover considerable displeasure over the handling of the swine flu pandemic by the Mexican government, whose 15 day quarantine brought the country tourism economy to a stand still. Although I did encounter talk which supported these assumptions, I was surprised the pandemic, and were eagerly looking to the futur e for an economic recovery. I found this puzzling, given that so many individuals I spoke to about the subject readily offered that this was by far the worst situation they had ever seen economically. I had expected at least a small degree of receptiveness to the idea of expanding the economy to include jobs which did not require tourism to function, but found none whatever outside of educators and health care professionals, who, as I have mentioned above, have been the least affected financially by both th e influenza phenomenon and the recession.
98 On at least on occasion, an artisan noted the government itself was actively campaign. Some artisans hoped that the European and Mexican vacations that were coming up in July and August would help increase business, though they did not expect them to change things very much. Another artisan noted that the state government provided excellent health care services during the initi al outbreak of the epidemic, and followed up after by providing food aid and economic subsidies to attempt to spur the local economy towards a recovery. Juan, a local educator offered a similar opinion in the following exchange: Has the govern ment been helping in this situation? Juan Yes, they have. The federal government, and also the state government have been helping with medicine for the flu, helping with health issues. They have also been helping people with food. JQ They have been helping everyone? Juan Others were less than supportive of the government, specifically citing the making the situation worse than it could have been, and at least one artisan I worked exchange: Is business good? Arnaldo Oh yes.
99 JQ Ah. I am an anthropologist studying the swine flu, and the economy, and how people talk about it. Your business has not been affected? Arnaldo Yes. It has. There is much less business. JQ Is it the swine flu, or the economic crisis, do you think? Arnaldo It was the swine flu. The Calderon government blames everything on the swine flu, like it blames everything on the narcotraffickers. The truth is they closed the borders, and scared everyone His government is irresponsible, and does not think of the people. JQ Arnaldo No! They are the problem. The story keeps changing, and they lay the blame on swine flu, human flu, the narcotraffickers, but take no responsibility fo r the economy. Do you remember the government of Vicente Fox? JQ Yes I do. Arnaldo Do you remember when there was the flu that was carried by birds? JQ Yes, the avian flu. Arnaldo Exactly. When that happened, Vicente Fox did not close the borders, and It caught my attention that one did not need to be beholden to tourism revenue to r. At least one educator I interviewed laid at least some of the blame on the lack of emphasis education receives in this area, particularly when tourism (usually) provides such good money. The educator further emphasized that basic infrastructure in the t own such as the water delivery apparatus were frequently irregularly functional and operating at far less than the capacity they should be, while amenities that fostered positive tourist experiences e did not, even after the recession and the influenza phenomenon, believe that there would be much chance of
100 to agree. Predictably, there was debate as to whe ther the cause of the current economic situation was swine flu, or if it merely added to the drop in tourism that was said to have accompanied worldwide economic troubles following the collapse of the U.S. housing market in the previous year. In the opinio n of one local doctor, it was merely a bad economy getting worse: Dr. Padilla There was a problem before the flu. There was a global economic crisis before, no? JQ There was. Dr. Padilla I think this is what affected the economy, and the flu just ma de it worse. It is a bad situation. JQ So there is a connection between the economic crisis and the flu? Dr. Padilla My research indicates that the global nature of these phenomena makes them different from other disasters experienced by the people of Pist. Hurricanes and regional recessions had indeed affected the local economy before, but nothing like these events had ever happened before, as evidenced by the following statement from Hugo, a local edu cator: Pist, I have seen it be rediscovered, and many people move to Pist, and there have been hurricanes, but the tourists only stay at home for a few mo nths, maybe two. Never like this. Now they have nothing no money, no jobs, no business, no food nothing, and
101 Furthermore, the timing of the disasters is generally agreed to be particularly problematic, with the swine flu pandemic crushing any hopes of even a partial recovery from the recession in Pist for the foreseeable future. pandemic were distinct phenomena, though there was some d isagreement as to whether the H1N1 virus responsible for human illness was a mutation or an entirely different and unrelated strain. However, the data was lacking in consensus about where swine flu comes from, or what caused it. For example, when I asked O ctavo, a government employee of the town of Pist what he thought caused the flu pandemic, he replied, s mutated, and became something it was possible for humans to catch. Mxico was not because it is new, that is the nature of viruses. The secretary of health tried to minimize t he risk to people after the first case in a person came out positive, but it spread because of the lack of a vaccine, and unfortunately, it has affected the whole world now, and the economy. The effect on the economy has lowered job security, lowered the n umber of jobs, and it began with the quarantines, and other plans of prevention. They closed the schools, and unfortunately, it became the pandemic that it is today. Now, there are whole shows on the Discovery Channel about H1N1. It is called H1N1 because it has changed. It is not swine flu, which is something only an animal can get; it has the name it has now because it is a virus that humans can catch. Now that it has been detected in humans, it should be possible to create a vaccine. It is always a proce
102 His answer framed the pandemic in a very positivistic manner, as an economic problem with a technical solution. Contrast this with my response from Felix, a local restaurant worker 75 onded: It started in central Mxico, and affected the economy, because it depends on tourism. Most people depend on tourism for example, artisans, hotels, and restaurants. Now there is no work. Calling it a serious illness caused the people to ha ve the mentality that this is a serious illness. The name swine flu is also important because of this illness. It affected the economy. Also, they have changed the name to a hu man flu JQ You mean H 1 N 1? Felix nsume, it affects others. JQ Why is this flu different? Felix television and the internet. It affected people psychologically, making them nervous. This situation has caused many jobs to be lost. The people are most affected in their familie s; various members of the family are not able to feed the many mouths they have when there is no money for food. It is incredible how the money has affected them, because this epidemic, how fast, for example, in Mxico, you see and hear on television and the radio, and in the paper how it brought the news to the people, how it got them listening and thinking. JQ But do you know how it started? Felix Most people know there is no one cause, scientifically they are investigating it. People, they listen to television, the internet, and they say it is from the avian flu, 75 Though it is normal to call someone who brings you your food in a restaurant a waiter, it was not uncommon for my collaborators in the restaurant business to work at all positions simultaneously m on the job; thus, I have used a more general term in describing this position.
103 not washing the hands or cleaning where you are living or eating. This is what you he For Felix, the problem lies in the representation of the phenomena, and though he is far from a foregone co truth even exists. Rather, he is focused on the tangible aspects of the phenomena he relates to be of importance a relationship he considers to exist between the representation of the phen omena in the media and the precipitous drop in tourism revenue he was experiencing during my investigation. Although it can easily be argued that this is also a cause and effect relationship, it differs in that Felix does not claim to know the material cau se of the phenomena that has brought about the collapse of the tourist economy in Pist, only that he believes the portrayal of the of this phenomena is to blame for the economic troubles he is dealing with. Some people were quite ambivalent about what the flu was beyond that it was a virus that humans could indeed catch, instead focusing on describing the economic significance of the virus to me; for example, Edwina, a retired woman I spoke with told me: d it was a human flu. This mistake had had a lot of influence, because the people would not eat pork. For a time there was a big loss because of that confusion, but they already knew it was human flu. The government worked to control that problem. Neverthe less, it affected many places in Mxico. In many states, it affected agriculture, because you could not buy anything, and because people were afraid, mostly of eating pork. Everything was out of control. There is no cure for this disease. It affected touri sm very much. They closed many borders. Because they closed everything fell apart, there were no flights for tourists, and there was no work. The government worked very hard to resolve the crisis. Nevertheless, the flu is still there even if you cannot see it. It is always in the air. They were not able to control this sickness. We need more time to see if they can find a cure, a vaccination to destroy this sickness. It is a
104 world sickness, I think, now. I say that because I am interested in this subject, a nd I watch a lot of news on television. I am watching to see how this dilemma fucked Lupe, a health care professional who works at a local clinic in Pist, was equally very clear in her opinion that the problem is one of representation: Where does swine flu come from? Lupe No one knows exactly where. Some people say it comes from pigs, but now it spreads from humans to other humans. In the US, magazines have made the Wilbur, a taxi driver I spoke with, is unusual in that he is the only person I spoke whether it was used, as in this case, that humans are being infected with no opinions being offered as to whether this has always been the case, or if it is some sort of mutation or a different virus altogether which humans are capable of being infected by. More importantly, when I ask Wilbur what has changed because of the flu, he replies every conversation, regardless of relationship these things might have with the local economy: tourism as a source of income is unreliable.
105 As was readily admitted by many of my collaborators, these phenomena were not the first prob lems to affect the tourist economy in Pist, and most did not believe they would be the last. What was significant was that they recognized this reality, and still made no significant plans to remedy this situation. As I have mentioned, this puzzled me, un til, after further inquiry, I realized there were few other options available to people if they wanted to work in a job that was not in some way dependent on tourism. Options were limited to working as a campe sino farmer, or finding work clearing wood and brush in the jungle, both of which paid much less than almost any job related to tourism, with the work being much harder, and unavailable to people who could not withstand the difficulties associated with intensive physical labor. Individuals who had resi sted the easy money of tourism and gotten an education in a specialized field were by far the exception to the rule, and clearly any such path was not going to be something someone could realistically pursue given the current economic problems they were ex periencing. Occasionally, my collaborators would venture to larger cities in search of employment, though I am unaware of their finding any opportunities on these trips. When I enquired as to what people were doing to cope with these problems, I frequentl y was told how people scaled down their expenditures, living on as modest means as they were able, typically by consuming cheaper food, and supplementing it from foodstuffs grown or produced by friends and neighbors in backyard gardens or fruit trees, or f enquired as to whether anyone had savings to fall back on in times like this; virtually every person I asked claimed they did indeed, while offering that almost no one else in to wn would be likely to as it was not the local culture to save money. The unreliability of
106 these assertions often proved obvious, with my observation of frequently disconnected utilities telling a different story than the proprietor in my interviews. My col laborators also explained to me that when savings, if they existed in the first place, ran out, the available opt ions for keeping the bills paid and stomachs full included selling valuables such as jewelry and electronics to casas de emp e o, which are esse ntially pawn shops, and less commonly, seeking loans from ageotistas, a local term for what is essentially someone who makes short term, high interest loans for profit. In more serious emergencies, I was told that people occasionally sell their property, b ut no one who I spoke to had a recent example of this occurring.
107 Figure 2.4 A very un crowded view of the Observatory at Chichn Itz
108 CHAPTER VII I Conclusions and Suggestions for Further Research The exceptional history of this town is inextricably bound to the history of Chichn Itz, and through it, the history of many interconnected (and sometimes oppositional) ideas. Here, one finds some of the earliest beginnings of what eventually would becom e the phenomenon known as mass tourism, tangled among the roots of the modern Mexican state, the discipline of archaeology, and the discursive construction of patrimony, heritage, and identity. This area has been fertile ground for the cyclical exchange o f culture and ideas for well over a millennium, and has, as a result, in many ways been at the forefront of transformative sociocultural processes that have shifted the locus of political and economic power further and further from residing in a local cont ext. Although this has been to the benefit of those in a position to enjoy the de facto globalization of local heritage, and even to the local population in terms of an increased standard of living and access to a wider variety of opportunities in life, it is clear that the benefits of this arrangement flow overwhelmingly in one direction. As such, the economic and political situations in many ways are cyclical as well, superimposing new versions of old ideas on the framework which has given rise to inequit able situations and instability for at least five hundred years.
109 Although it is beyond the scope of this thesis to address the larger issues of globalization and economic theory writ large, it is clear that the definitions of globalization, tourism, and s ustainability described earlier have important local significance, as they provide substantive means for comprehending the complexities of relationships which transcend local spheres of influence and concern, but carry considerable importance to the lives of local people. More importantly still, they provide a framework to formulate policy that has the potential to simultaneously support more equitable, stable, and profitable development over time, in turn returning benefits that will, in the long run, serv e to shore up regional and even global economic and political concerns, again transcending local spheres in a more positive manner. means of describing the Yucatecn economi c and political realities of the last half a local context assists in avoidi one attempts to employ a heuristic as if it were a law of nature 76 One cannot expect a single approach (or discipline, for that matter) to adequately describe a problematic situation any better than one can expect an economy to function on a single export; as such, it will be essential for future research to address this reality in an interdisciplinary manner drawing from multiple theoretical perspectives, thereby 76 Thereby confusing theory with practice, which unfortunately seems to be the fate of social science for some time to come.
110 creating the broadest and most compl ex understanding possible. Furthermore, of perhaps greatest importance is the inclusion of the local population in assessing the state of affairs, and formulating a course of future action. Through such a course of action, it may be possible to arrive at a n approach to development that improves the quality of life instead of focusing on quantitative criteria, as suggested by James Ferguson (1994:55), and economies measured by their contributions to well being instead of similarly quantitative measurements, as suggested by Joseph Stiglitz (2002). By extension, it is clear that this entails academic support for creating opportunities for the local population to achieve the same level of opportunities in assessing and formulating policy. By this, it is meant th at scholars who work in this area should, by ethical consideration alone, recognize that they have a duty to the population with which they work (and frequently derive their professional status), and therefore advocate to extend the same educational and pr ofessional opportunities they themselves enjoy to the people who have in many ways made such opportunities possible for themselves. This connects well with my broader suggestions for further research; education, and investment in it, serves as the key for transforming this economy into a more diverse, stable and, importantly, enfranchised incarnation that can serve as an example for other areas in Mesoamerica and further abroad that are dealing with many similar issues. The considerable advantage the area h as accrued in terms of infrastructure gained as a result of accommodating tourism can be used as a springboard for diversification of the economy. Natural extensions of the tourist economy to this end could mirror the
111 explosive growth experienced by Florid a in the latter half of the twentieth century when increasingly larger groups of seasonal residents from the Northern U.S. and Canada purchased property in the state to live in during the harsh northern winters. With such a population arriving, an increase d number of amenities for an increasingly longer period of time than in the context of short term tourism oriented visits would be required to satisfy such a large seasonal expatriate population (Coates et al 2007; Desrosiers Lauzon 2007). In turn, this w ould require the education and training of the local population in a host of different careers ranging from an expanded service industry to infrastructure expansion, medical and technical careers. This would have the additional bonus of considerably transf political stability and comparatively developed infrastructure in providing such an alternative in ways tha t potentially significant competitors in the tourist market -namely Cuba, depending on the coming shape of political developments -cannot hope to match in the near future. re 2002). The widespread availability of high speed internet in the Yucatn, and relati ve familiarity of the local populace with computers and information technology in general
112 suggests this may also be another area for economic diversification that builds on the regions existing strengths. It is absolutely crucial that any research to this end supports the development and implementation of policy by local, federal, and foreign (namely U.S. and Canadian) governments which actively addresses the issues outlined in this thesis, and implements clear and mutually intelligible definitions of key t erminology, particularly in a manner that can transcend academic disciplines and be comprehended to all affected parties, especially the local population and consumers of mass tourism and related industries. To fail to do so will continue to support policy which, intentionally or not, benefits only a worldwide at greater risk than is ethically acceptable by any standard of fairness. I cannot speak with any authority on what the people of Pist should do in light of the phenomena that initiated this project, or with regard to the future of mass tourism in general, but I sincerely hope my work has in some way provided a platform for further research that may offer fresh alterna tives for those who would see a future for the residents of communities near tourist attractions that does not depend so much on the complexities and caprices of increasingly problematic transnational networks, or necessitate acceptance of a second class s
113 Appendi x I: Interviews Mas ter Interview List INTERVIEW 05.19.09 CHRISTIAN [Male, 30s, restaurateur] [q] What do you think about swine flu? [c] I think it is an epidemic, but there have been epidemics more dangerous. [q] Can I ask you about swine flu, and how is has affected the people of Yucatn? [c] I think that in Yucatn, there are twenty people with this sickness, but it has affected the whole state, because they have closed restaurants, theaters, sports stadiums, and archaeological zones. For this reason, we do not have work, and lose thousands of pesos in the tourist businesses in the whole state. [q] Has anything like this ever happened in the past? [c] yes, but they were not epidemics. Because of the position o f Yucatn, it gets hit by many hurricanes, and we have had very strong hurricanes. We have had much damage in Yucatn. [q] What do people do in these situations? [c] We follow the instructions; we try to save, and to work day to day. [q] Are people prepared for these situations? [c] In the future, yes. We know that to be prepared is the best prevention. [q] How do you prepare for these situations? [c] For hurricanes, the family goes to a safe place in the house. For epidemics, we follow the indicati ons. We need to be prepared for all of the situations. [q] What do you think about the television programs and commercials about swine flu? [c] They are adequate, although they will generate psychosis. It is better to have the information, although much is inaccurate. INTERVIEW 06.14.09 FELIX [MALE, LATE 20S/EARLY THIRTIES, RESTAURATEUR] [q] So what caused the swine flu? [f] It started in central Mxico, and affected the economy, because it depends on tourism. Most people depend on tourism for example, artisans, hotels, and restaurants. Now there is no work. Calling it a serious illness caused the people caused the people to have the mentality that this is a serious illness. The name swine flu is also important because the people here eat and raise a lo it because of this illness. It affected the economy. Also, they have changed the name to a human flu [q] You mean h1n1? [f] and it is a consume, it affects others. [q] Why is this flu different? s on television and the internet. It affected people psychologically, making them nervous. This situation has caused many jobs to be lost. The people are most affected in their families; various members of the family are not able to feed the many mouths th ey have when there is no money for food. It is incredible how the money has affected them, because this epidemic, how fast, for example, in Mxico, you see and hear on television and the radio, and in the paper how it brought the news to the people, how i t got them listening and thinking. [q] But do you know how it started? [f] Most people know there is no one cause, scientifically they are investigating it. People, they listen to television, the internet, and they say it is from the avian flu, not washing the hands or cleaning where you are living or eating. This is what you hear on television; if it is true, no one can know for sure. [q] Did you do anything to protect yourself from swine flu? [f] Not much. I stay calm, think about what the authorities sai d, followed health recommendations, like if they said to wash hands, what is most important is to stay calm.
114 [q] does the swine flu exist? [f] no. there is a flu, from what I have heard and read about this. I do not know much, enough to say if it exists o r not. [q] Has the government done much to help with this? [f] [Laughs] A little. I think the government has, but not the most. They have spread information, but economically, not much. [q] Do people usually have money saved for these situations? [f] Aroun It is very important to have a little money saved. Without it, it is very difficult. [q] Do the people have to sell their property or land to pay their bills ? [f] Yes. Most do. That is the custom here. But only some people do, I think many in the month of December; they sell their gold jewelry and rings. [q] Where does the swine flu come from? [f] I hear and read on television and in magazines that in Mxico, the federal district of Mxico, they say it started in Canada, but then it came here! I have heard this a lot. [q] Have the risks of swine flu been exaggerated? [f] It has helped people a lot to have to have the information, but also, the panic mad e it hard to find where magazines spread information to help the people, but I believe this illness was alarmist. For example, this illness wa s used to sell papers as well as spread information. [q] Do you know anyone who has had this illness? [f] No. No one I know. [q] Do you know anyone who thought they had the flu, but in reality did not? [f] In Mexico, there are some jokers who pretend to be Mexican mentality. [q] Do you know anyone who changed their attitude in front of anyone they thought had the disease? [f] Yes, they were afraid they would catch it. They would stay away from that pers on, and not greet them with handshakes or kisses. [q] How long were people afraid of the flu? [f] Here? It was strong for five days or a week. [q] Is the flu important to you? [f] Only by how the money has been affected. [q] Your family? [f] No. Generally we have taken more care with the kids, but not really. [q] Your job? [f] We have been washing our hands when we work already. [q] What is the cause of the bad economy? [f] A lack of jobs, a lack of money, at a certain point. We still have what we need for clothes and for food, but we could use more help from the administration. INTERVIEW 06.11.09 OCTAVO [Municipal administrator, male, 40s] [q] What is the cause of this flu pandemic? [o] The swine flu is something only pigs can catch. There was already a risk there for that, and it is mutation because it is new, that is the nature of viruses. The secretary of health tried to minimize the risk to people after the first case in a person came out positive, but it spread because of the lack of a vaccine, and unfortunately, it has affected the whole world n ow, and the economy. The effect on the economy has lowered job security, lowered the number of jobs, and it began with the quarantines, and other plans of prevention. They closed the schools, and unfortunately, it became the pandemic that it is today. Now, there are whole shows on the Discovery Channel about H1N1. It is called H1N1 because it has changed. It is not swine flu, which is something only an animal can get; it has the name it has now because it is a virus that
115 humans can catch. Now that it has be en detected in humans, it should be possible to create a vaccine. It is always a process with vaccines. [q] What did you do about the pandemic? [o] Me personally, or Pist? [q] Both? [o] hands, avoided places that could be contaminated with lots of people being there. For instance, people did not go to schools. [q] What do you think about the flu? [o] you mean, in general? [q] Sure, in general. [o] The flu was invented by man. Day by day, someone looked for a better genetically modified you know, months, like that at I think personally. [q] Has anything like this happened in the past? [o] Yes. [q] What? [o] Avian flu. It was six or seven years ago, 2002 or 2003 I think. Birds from Canada, and the US flew down here on their seasonal migration, flamingos, Canadian gee afraid. [q] Why? [o] [q] So there was no effect on the economy, then? [o] No. [q] Do you think this flu has affect ed the economy? [o] Yes. [q] How and why? [o] Locally, 80 90% of the economy depends on tourism. Many people crossed the borders, looking for ways to prevent this with medicine; they closed the borders, and people began to return to their countries. People began to fear Mxico, and with this, no tourists come. With no tourists, there are no jobs, no money, and many problems. [q] Do people usually have money saved for these emergencies? [o] Only about 10% think to save. Many people are artisans or vendors wh o live and spend their money just [q] And you? [o] A little. [q] Do people have to sell or pawn their property or land to pay their bills in these situations? [o] Yes, they do [q] Where? [o] Casas de empeo They are like a pawn shop; you bring in your watch, and they give you money. If you [q] Where does the flu come from? [o] Swine flu? [q] Yes. [o] It was found in Mxico for one of the first times. A large population lives in Mxico City, 27 million, and many flights leave from there to all parts of the worlds, so it spread from there, unfortunately. [q] Has the swine flu been exaggerated by anyone? [o] Definitely! [q] Who? [o] The p structure to prevent this sort of thing, it is presented as something that kills in 24 hours, but only if you are already ill. It has not been this way in other countries, like France, Italy, Spain, the US. [q] Do you know anyone who had the flu?
116 [o] No one here! There was an Italian who we thought might have had it that was here, and some others we had tested. They all came back negative. [q] How long do yo u think people will be afraid of the flu? [o] Well, for the first four weeks, people were very afraid. They thought that they were going to catch it and be dead in 24 hours; then, things returned to normal when we had no concrete cases here. [q] Is the flu important to you? [o] No. [q] And the people of Pist? [o] it is as bad as a normal flu season. You need a doctor and antibiotics, just like the regular flu. [q] What d o you think is the cause of the bad economy? [o] The flu is a reason, but there are more reasons. In past years, there have been bad tourist seasons we have different tourist seasons for different places, Canada and the US, Italy, Europe in one place b ecause of local issues, but not others, and the flu has made them all go down. INTERVIEW 06.12.09 JOSE [Hotelier, male, late 30s] [q] So what caused the swine flu pandemic? [j] Before there was a human flu, there was a mutation of swine flu that allowed humans to catch it. In Mxico, there was an alert I am not sure in what month, June, April they decided to declare a red alert, when they began to discover many cases in the federal district, and a few in Oaxaca and other states. There are thirty milli on people who live in the federal district, and there are also many flights that come and go from there to places all over the world, people who visited these places from other countries can get it and from there it spread all over the world. They closed t he schools for fifteen days; the secretary of health was worried that in the cases they had detected, there had been many deaths. In the United States, there had been some cases also, but no deaths. A person from Canada visited Oaxaca, and it spread to Can ada from there. Some of the symptoms they reported for the flu were fever, sneezing, coughing, pain in the body, pain in the head. Many people went to the doctor very late, and because of this, many of these people died. The government of Felipe Calderon c losed the schools, concerts, professional sports, and all large public meetings for two weeks. People were afraid to go out and work because they might catch it, because they said it was very contagious. Here, it affected the tourists; it closed the border s, countries such as Cuba and China would not let people travel to Mexico; people canceled their trips and vacations here, many flights were canceled. It became an international problem. We issued a red alert; the government told us to wash our hands, wear face masks, and avoid large groups of people. It started in the United States and Mxico, and then Europe, Asia, and South America. Your president Obama came to meet with Felipe Calderon about this. I think it is a sickness, but that it is not as severe a s it is made to seem. They created an international paranoia, making it seem like everyone in Mxico has the flu. It was very much exaggerated, which really hurt our economy. The national economy depends on tourists, and it is doing poor now. No one is pa ying for hotels and restaurants, and the people who do come are buying less. People are buying travelling because there is no money, and this makes everythin g worse. They need the money from tourists dependence on work from tourism has really limited them. The only people who have work are people who are m asons or in construction, teachers and people who work for the government INHA employees. All of the other sectors have no business, and no money. Many people do not have jobs, or money saved. They have nothing, and it is a situation that is beginning to n eed governmental assistance like they have in Cuba where you get a ticket you can trade in for food. Their economy has no money in it, and is very different. There is no good food. The government will need to pay for all these things, and Mxico is bankrup t. Completely bankrupt. This flu has made it bankrupt. The people I mentioned are living day to day, week to week on simple food like ham and eggs and beans and tortillas. The government spends all the money on prevention ads on television, and not on medi cine the people need. If you are close to the PRI you can get keep themselves in power. The stories you see about them helping people with money for medi cine are bull
117 shit. Some of the doctors are bullshit too. If you show up with the regular flu, or allergies, they might tell you that you have the flu to get more money from you. [q] We have doctors like that in the US too. Sometimes if you hurt your back, they will tell you that you need surgery when you probably just need rest. Of course, I am sure surgery is expensive here, too. [j] You get some money from the government here for medicine and even surgery, but there are HUGE lines. You will wait all day in line, and the program is called EEMS the drugs and surgeries from the government are much easier to get if you are connected. [q] So where does swine flu come from? [j] You know how there is regular anthrax that kills cows, and then there is the kin d that is a weapon of mass destruction? There are a lot of people who believe that it was made this way; there are flues people government or maybe t he cartels are using. [q] Why would they do that? [j] Mutual laughter [j] god doctors, but no medical technology. They depend on blood and urine analysis, and when you need something major done like surgery, you might second guess the doctors because of this. Juan and Quetzil got into an argument like this. Quetzil got bit and it swelled up, and have good surgery though. That worked, and I had surgery when I was much younger for polio. I just wanted to walk when I wa s young, and I had to crawl because of the fever I had, it was polio, and it affected my brain. But I had the surgery, and after some exercises, I could walk! [q] is polio a common problem here? [j] to Mrida or Valladolid! [q] Has swine flu made you do anything differently? [j] No, but if the economy recovers, they will criticize the president very much for how he handled this. [q] Is the flu even possible to stop? [j] Mxico, people eat more chicken and beef, and are healthier, and even skinny. We have all kinds of problems here because of that. I NTERVIEW 06.12.09 CARLOS [MALE, 32, TAXISTA] [q] What do you think caused the flu epidemic? [c] I think it was the state of shock created by the use of a red alert by the department of health, and the advisory messages they gave to the people to take mea sures such as washing your hands all the time. [q] What do we do to prevent this illness? [c] At first, we did nothing. In general, though, we use much caution, in our families and as a person, to be careful. [q] Did you do something? [c] Yes. At first, no but then, at my job, after the alarm, when we touch money, we wash and disinfect our [q] Do you know someone who took precautions? [c] Yes. [q] What? [c] Well, the p recautions I mentioned are necessary for everyone, but it is most important for people not to eat and drink in the street. [q] Does swine flu exist? [c] [unintellig ible]. [q] How do you feel about the flu?
118 [c] Well, this sickness will have its time, and then pass. For now, we need to do things like wash our hands for ourselves, but no matter what, people will die. [q] Has something like this happened in past years? [c] No. [q] Has the government done anything to help? [c] Not in the health sector. They do not have control of the disease. [q] Has anyone helped you in this situation? [c] Yes; at my work, my boss has been very concerned with getting us enough money. He has also been worried about keeping us from getting sick. [q] Do people usually have money saved for these kinds of things? [c] Normally, some. Not all. [q] And you? Yes. These other people, they live day to day. It is a problem in the whole world. Ninety percent of the people in the Yucatn do not save. The government helps people who really need it, those in the street, women and children, but in this economy, this number is getting bigger and bigger, they do meals and schools for kids, but a lot of thes e programs are in the Yucatn only, and this problem is in all of Mxico now. The other states will feel the pain. In Yucatn, we have learned to live with what we have, what we need, and we get by because, more than any of the other states, what is most i mportant in Yucatn is not my job or my car or my dog but our family. [q] Do people have to sell their land and their property to pay the bills? [c] Yes. [q] To who? [c] Casas de empeo and ageotistas [q] What are those? [c] Pawn shops and loan sharks. [ q] Where does the swine flu come from? [c] I think, in this country, from not taking proper precautions in the first place. Many people have the opinion it was something made in the Iraq war, or that the narcotraffickers are somehow involved. [q] Do you th ink the risk of swine flu was exaggerated? [c] Yes. [q] By who? [c] [q] Have tourists been talking about the swine flu? [c] Yes! Very much. [q] What have they been saying? [c] They are worried about catching it and what precautions they need to be taking. [q] Has swine flu changed your life? [c] Economically, yes. Many places depend on tourism, like Chichn Itz, and many more places depend on those places. With the swine flu, there are no tourists! The people have lost a lot economically. [q] How did you discover the swine flu? [c] [q] Do you know anyone who caught swine flu? [c] No. there was talk of it in Valladolid, though. [q] What are the symptoms of swine flu? [c] [They are] fever, sneezing, runny nose, body pain, vomit, upset stomach, much pain. [q] Do you know anyone who changed their attitude in front of someone who they thought had the flu? [c] People would take more precaution their things were kept clean. [q] How long were people afraid of the flu? [c] Two month s. Normally, this is the amount of time people will take care to avoid the regular flu. [q] Is the flu important for you? [c] Yes, for all! With no jobs, there can be no life for the people. [q]
119 [c] The flu. Because of there are many large families, with five or six kids that need to be fed, and no work. INTERVIEW 06.16.09 WILBUR [MALE, TWENTIES, TAXISTA] [q] Does swine flu exist? [w] Here? No. It exists in Mrida, the capitol of Yucatn. [q] What is swine flu? [w] It is H1N1, the human flu. [q] There is no difference between swine flu and H1N1? [w] No. [q] What is the cause of swine flu? [q] Where does swine flu come from? [w] Mxico city no, I think from Oaxaca. Someone vacationed there, and brought it to other places. [q] What has changed because of the flu? [w] Everything. There is no work, there is no money; if there is no tourism, there is no work. [q] Has the flu changed the lives of the people of Pist? [w] People take more care, and wash their hands and clean their houses more. There are more vaccinations. [q] Vaccinations? [w] Yes. All kinds. [q] Were the risks of swine flu exaggerated? [w] Yes, th ey were, [q] Do you think the flu affected the economy? [w] Yes, the whole country and the world. [q] Do you think other things are affecting the economy? [w] Yes, but the flu is affecting it the most. [q] Has the flu changed your work? [w] Yes. Now I get up at eleven instead of at six in the morning because there is no work. [laughter] [q] Are there other ways to earn money? [w] Rob banks? [more laughter] Seriously? No. The only other way of life is to grow corn. [q] You mean like a campesino ? [w] Exactly Here, we depend on tourism and growing corn. [q] Has anything like this happened in the past? [w] Nothing that has affected the whole economy like this; hurricanes. We had to hunt to get food to eat. [q] Is the government doing anything to help with thi s situation? [w] Yes. They are giving out bags of beans, rice, and cookies to the people. [q] Are tourists talking about swine flu? [w] Yes. [q] What are they saying? [q] Is the swine f lu important to you? [w] No. [q] And your job? [w] Yes. We have to clean things for it. It affects a lot. INTERVIEW 06.16.09 JUAN [MALE, LATE THIRTIES/EARLY FORTIES, EDUCATOR] [q] Does the swine flu exist? [j] Yes, it exists. [q] What is the swine flu?
120 [q] What is the cause of swine flu? [j] What is the cause? [q] Yes. [j] Well, at first, I believe swine flu was a problem, that pigs transmitted this disease. And then later, they took a negative position on the economy [q] And they changed [j] Yes. At first, they believed it was an illness of pigs. [long pause] Then, in newspapers and magazines were saying it was transmitted through the air, and that it is spread from human to human. [q] Where does swine flu come from ? [j] Swine flu when it began in the state of Mxico. [q] What has changed because of swine flu? [j] It caused tremendous alarm, a lot of alarm. The whole country, the whole country of Mxico, including flights to other places, classes, it was very ser ious, fifteen days nationally. Another aspect that was very important in Mxico was that the flu, it has [unintelligible] the country [q] What? [j] Tourism, of tourism. Most of the economy is tourism, and many people work [as] waiters, hotels, vendors. I f the economy is bad, there is no work. Another aspect that is important is education was unbalanced when they stopped school for fifteen days, and possibly when we return, to begin to take care if children have real symptoms of the flu, a very runny nose, red eyes, if they have these symptoms, a doctor [q] Do you thi nk the risks of the flu were exaggerated? [j] Well, they tried to control it, to limit it; if a person had the symptoms, we sent them to a doctor at the health center. They began to check for it, and if they found someone who might be contagious, they woul example, in Valladolid, there have been cases of the flu. One, two, or three cases, I am not sure exactly how many cases there were. [q] Do you think s wine flu affected the economy? country to visit Chichn Itz. [q] Has swine flu changed your work? [j] No, no, because the federal government still pays me when they suspend classes. [q] Has something like this happened in the past? [j] With relation to health, no. There have been other kinds of problems, for example cyclones, [q] Has the government been helping in this situation? [j] Yes, they have. The federal government, and also the state government have been helping with medicine for the flu, helping with health issues. They have also been helping people with food. [q] They have been helping everyone? [j] Just those who need it. It is logical, yes? INTERVIEW 06.19.09 HUGO [Male, late forties/fifties, educator] [q] Does swine flu exist? [h] Yes, it exists. We saw a few children who looked like they might have the flu, a temperature, a lot of sneezing, and we sent them home. There have been no cases of swine flu here in Pist, but we had to shut [q] Do you think swine flu affected the economy? [h] Yes, it did. People from many places, many co untries come here to see Chichn Itz, on flights from all over the world. They come to Mxico City, or they come to Cancn. Almost everyone who comes to
121 Cancn comes to Chichn Itz, and much of the economy here is tourism. Many other places depend on the tourism here, too. Artisans come from far away to do business here. [q] Has swine flu changed your work? [h] No, not very much. We had to send the children home, but I still received my salary. It was worse for other people though. Many people in Pist, a grow up learning that tourism is an easy way to make money, for instance, I make 5000 pesos, and artisan in the same period will make 10,000 pesos [q] Except for now [h] Yes. But, they g their own kids young, and they spend a lot of money on cigarettes and beer and drugs [q] Do they ever have money saved for things like this situation? [h] No. This has never happened before, not like this. Twenty three years I have worked here in Pist, I have seen it be rediscovered, and many people move to Pist, an d there have been hurricanes, but the tourists only stay at home for a few months, maybe two. Never like this. Now they have nothing no money, no jobs, no business, no food nothing, and they have wives and children. [q] Do you think the people of Pist need tourists? [h] I do not believe they will. It is too easy to make money from tourists. [q] I think it is possible this will happen again. [h] Yes, it is possible, but what would th ey do? The artisans are not artists, they are businessmen. If they had an education, they could be a doctor, a teacher, and anthropologist, but they do not. Education is not as important here as it should be. For example, in the school that I work in, ther e is not enough water. There is a very small cistern, like the one on my house, and that is all we have for all of the students. [q] That sounds very dangerous, especially in the part of the year there is more heat. [h] It is dangerous, but what is there t o do? There is no money to fix these things, especially now. The whole city has problems with water. Some days in my house, there is no water, or almost none. I turn on my faucet, and nothing comes out, and then some, and then none. [q] I have noticed that too. [h] And it is not just the water; they have problems with the lights. Sometimes, the lights do not work for hours. And drainage! After the rain, the streets can have water in them for two or three days. There is no money to fix this. The internet an d cellular works well, but only here. Pist is part of Tinum, and there, tourist would stay home. INTERVIEW 06.16.09 DR.PADILLA [Male, 60s to early 70s, M.D.] [q] Can I talk to you about swine flu? [p] Yes, but it is a very delicate topic. There will be problems with the Mxican government if you publish this in a magazine. There have been no cases in Pist. anthropologist, and I am trying to learn what the people in Pist say about swine flu. [p] OK, what do you want to know? [q] What is the swine flu? [p] Well, before the human flu, they discovered a flu that infected pigs. [q] Is the human flu different th an the swine flu, or did it mutate? [p] It is different. The virus that causes flu in pigs is a different virus, and it has existed for many years undocumented. [q] For ten or twenty years, or more? [p] It is hard to tell. The government will silence any r eports about this to protect the pig farmers. [q] But there is no connection between this H1N1 virus and swine flu? [p] No connection. The government is afraid the economy will affect pig farmers, and many people are afraid to eat pork in Yucatn.
122 [q] Ha s it affected the tourist economy? [p] Yes. Many people depend on tourism in Pist. The only other option in this part of Mxico is to grow corn. [q] Has the government done anything to help? [p] Yes. They have a plan of prevention on TV and the radio. The y say to wear a mask, and to wash your hands, and your desk at school; not to use public transportation if you feel ill. This has helped with prevention. [q] Do you think tourists are talking about the flu? [p] Yes. They are afraid they will catch it. But, supermarkets, people wear masks. Hygienic methods like this have prevented it from spreading in Mxico. [q] Have there been prevention methods like this in other countries? [p] Mostly China. They quara ntined people from Mxico and other countries who might have it for many days before they were allowed to leave. Another method of prevention is to check for fevers in the airport. [q] I remember that. [p] Right now, there is no antivirus, no vaccine, and it will be three or four months before the Government says they can make one. They have started on this very rapidly, including the government of the United [p] It is [q] So it is not a mutation, but a virus no one has ever encountered before? [p] Yes. They are worried about when it gets cool in the autumn and after. It is in this time that they have more colds, more flu, and it is then that it is the most virulent. [q] Has anything like this ever happened in the past? [p] No, never. [q] What a bout the avian flu? [p] It never came here. [q] There were no infected birds? [p] That was different. When birds from Florida, flamingos, and others flew here in the winter, they infected parrots, chickens, but there were zero human cases of avian flu. It is transmitted by chickens and other birds to other birds. [p] I think it is, but there were no cases. [p] In this situation, pigs are not transmit ting the human flu, no. [q] So if pigs are not the cause of the epidemic [p] It is a pandemic now. It is in the whole world. [q] Yes. It is. Then what is the cause of this? [p] There are many causes. The conditions humans are living in, the climate, pove rty, a poor diet. In low immune system, and it is a problem. [q] Are they not eating well because the swine flu affected the tourists? [p] There was a p roblem before the flu. There was a global economic crisis before, no? [q] There was. [p] I think this is what affected the economy, and the flu just made it worse. It is a bad situation. [q] So there is a connection between the economic crisis and the flu? [q] And for the people of Pist, maybe they should start to plan for other ways to make money besides tourism? [p] The people of Pist have no plan. They learn very young how easy it is to make money fr om tourists, jobs, yes. INTERVIEW 06.16.09 LUPE [female, 40s, nurse]
123 [q] Does swine flu exist? [l] In Yucatn, no. Swine flu? No, there were cases of, the flu is an allergy, regular colds and allergies that there are no cures, no vaccines for, but they sometimes change to have a temperature In the Health Center, there was one person with a high fever with the symptoms for the flu, but we tested them, and it was negative for this disease. [q] What is swine flu? [l] It is a flu, of course. A vaccine exists for the flu, but for this flu, none exists yet. [q] What causes swine flu? [l] A person infected with the dormant virus becomes ill. [q] Where does swine flu come from? [l] No one knows exactly where. Some people say it comes from pigs, but now it spreads from humans to human flu. [q] What has chang ed because of swine flu? [l] Not much has changed. There has been a lot of trauma, a lot of fear but no major changes [q] Have the risks of swine flu been exaggerated? [l] No, not at all, especially not for the very young and old. [q] Do you think swine f lu has affected the economy? [l] It has affected it some. People are more careful; in Chichn Itz, people are taking minimal precautions against it. Pist depends on tourism, and it has affected it in that way, but not everyone. [q] Has anything like this ever happened before? [l] No. This is the first time I remember anything like this has happened. [q] Is the government helping with this? [l] Yes, slowly. [q] Why? [l] It is helping people who really need it, people who need hospitalization, medicine, and economic assistance. INTERVIEW 06.17.09 HUMBERTO [Male, 40s, artisan/contractor] [q] Does the swine flu exist? [q] What does that mean? [h] It is normal to have flu now. [q] Is the difference with swine flu [h] The difference between this and the normal flu is one is just sneezes, but there is a high temperature [q] What is the swine flu? [h] The swine flu exists because the president says it exists, and now they call it H1N1. Originally, the president said it was from the pigs, and for this, many people killed their pigs. Then they said it was not, om there, and they call it h1n1 also. [q] H1N1 is different because it is only for humans? [h] Yes. Humans carry it to other humans. It is not the fault of the pigs, it is a separate problem. In fact we eat, the meat and the lard. [q] What is the cause of swine flu? [h] The cause? [q] Yes. [h] The swine flu was born in Mxico. There is a lot of contamination in Mxico. In Mxico DF the temperature is very low, and very cold, and this is what made the flu. The swine flu came from there. [q] Where does the sw ine flu come from?
124 in the air. The scientists do not know where it comes from, maybe it comes from the air, and maybe it e to stay in Mxico. In two or three months or a year, it will come back again. The Mxicans and the president are getting prepared with a vaccine. [h] To make a vaccine, the government needs six or seven m onths. What they do now with swine flu, the give you antibiotics for the temperature, and for your nose. [q] Do you think swine flu has affected the economy? people have no work, no jobs, and no money. [q] Are there other ways to earn money? [h] When they country is closed by order of the president, there is no way to make some money. [q] Were the risks of swine flu exaggerated? [h] There was a lot, because t hey did not let anyone to even come get in to get their families. [q] Was the economy bad before the flu? [h] The agriculturalists were doing very bad, because no one had money to buy, and no one could sell anything. Pig farmers could not sell their pigs a fter either. [q] Has anything like this ever happened in the past? [h] No, nothing like this has ever happened. [q] So the swine flu is not seasonal? [h] It is now. [q] Is swine flu a mutation, or a new virus? [q] Are the tourists talking about swine flu? [h] Yes, the European tourists are very afraid to come, they are afraid it is contagious. The Mxicans are being discriminated against around the world; it was unacceptable, very bad treatment. A lot of Mxicans were angry. [q] For instance, China? [h] And Peru, and Argentina also. In the whole world, much discrimination, much disrespect because of the flu. [q] So was the economy bad before the flu? [h] No, not before. [q] Is the government helping in this situation? [h] The governm ent? Yes. They are giving vaccines to us. In what sense when it happened, or now? [q] Both. [h] When it happened, they gave us medicine, opened hospitals and shelters. Now, they are making new jobs, and giving money to improve the economy, Yucatn, Mxic o. They are promoting tourism, good prices for food, they talk about good nutrition. [q] Is it possible to prevent the flu? [h] Yes, it is possible, but you have to cover your nose and wash your hands. [q] Did the flu change your work? [h] It changed my b usiness. It was closed for a month. Our hope is the tourists, and there are no flights, no tourists. [q] Is it possible to prevent this type of economic situation in the future? [h] Until the president has advice for us, but, that happened. We have to be t aking care with vaccines, to cover your nose. They are going to vaccinate all of Mxico. [q] Are there plans to create jobs that do not need tourism? [h] What happened is the economy depends on what happens to the entire area of Mxico, and in Yucatn, we need tourists to survive. The people are used to working for tourists; they are used to being waiters, tour guides, receptionists. I am talking about my town. If no support comes, it will be our problem. Now I am telling you, the president will start to va ccinate all of the people. If it comes again, it will not be a problem, dollars. [q] Is it possible another virus could come that there will be no vaccine for?
125 happen here. We are exposed to many illnesses. The truth is, we were not expecting this problem. We what we are going to be prepared for the next time. INTERVIEW 06.22.09 MIGUEL [male, 20s/30s, artisan/vendor] [q] How is business? Good? [m] No, there is not much business. [q] B ecause of the swine flu, or the economic crisis? [m] The swine flu and the economic crisis, but the swine flu was worse. [q] I see these are mostly wood. Do you buy things that are made local because they are cheaper? [m] Yes. Not always, but these, yes. [q] Is the government doing anything to help in this situation? [m] No well, no. almost nothing. [q] Are there any other ways to make money? [m] No, just this. Right now, I am having trouble making enough money to feed my family, to feed my kids. INTER VIEW 06.22.09 HONORATO [male, twenties/early thirties, artisan/vendor shirts] [h] Do you see anything you like? [q] I like a lot of them. Are those shirts batik? [h] Those? Yes. Maya art. [q] How is business? [h] Good. [q] The swine flu and economic crisis did not affect your business? [h] It affected business very much. For ten days, they closed Chichn Itz. No business, no tourists. None. [q] But business is better now? [h] It is pretty low, actually. I am doing better than many, because I speak E nglish, Maya, and Spanish. I used to live in California, near San Diego, and in Tijuana. I left there and came back here. It is very, very dangerous there, and they always want you to pay rent. Rent, rent, rent! To have good business here, you need to talk the language of the people, and here, that is Spanish, English, Maya, sometimes Italian, French, Chinese. [q] So you are making enough money now? [h] Enough to buy food. [q] Do you have any other jobs? a little crazy. [q] Yes. I have met him. He is a little crazy. Are there other jobs that do not need tourism? [h] No. Eighty percent of Pist depends on tourism. INTERVIEW 06.22.09 ARNALDO [male, 30s/40s, vendor] [q] So this is a Maya instrument? (holds bamboo thing) [a] yes. It is handmade. [q] Is business good? [a] Oh yes. [q] Ah. I am an anthropologist studying the swine flu, and the economy, and how people talk about it. Your business has not been affected? [a] Yes. It has. There is much less busines s. [q] Is it the swine flu, or the economic crisis, do you think?
126 [a] It was the swine flu. The Calderon government blames everything on the swine flu, like it blames everything on the narcotraffickers. The truth is they closed the borders, and scared eve ryone. His government is irresponsible, and does not think of the people. [a] No! They are the problem. The story keeps changing, and they lay the blame on swine flu, human flu, the narcotraffickers, but take no responsibility for the economy. Do you remember the government of Vicente Fox? [q] Yes I do. [a] Do you remember when there was the flu that was carried by birds? [q] Yes, the avian flu. [a] Exactly. When that happened, Vicente Fox did not close the borders, and it did not a ffect the economy. [q] So is this situation affecting everybody in Pist, or are there people, for example, doctors and teachers, who are not affected? [a] Doctors and teachers are affected less. [q] Who usually makes more money doctors, teachers, or ar tisans? [a] Doctors. Teachers make about the same [as artisans]. [q] How long is it going to be this bad? Two weeks? [a] Two weeks? Two months, or maybe a year! Who knows? It will get a little better in July and August though, when Mexicans in other states go on vacation. [q] They go on vacation and come here? [a] Yes. Veracruz, Oaxaca, Sinaloa, Mxico, many places. Also, other countries have vacations at this time, and at other times, and they come and visit. Italy, France, England. INTERVIEW 06.22.09 LIC IA [female, 20s, vendor] [q] How is business? Good? [l] So so. [q] Better than the last couple weeks? [l] No. [q] Is business bad because of the economic crisis, because of swine flu, or both? [l] The economic crisis. It was bad before the swine flu. [q] Has anything like this ever happened before? [l] No, never. Business has been bad, but this is something different. [q] Do you have any other jobs to earn money, or just this? [l] Just this. There are no other alternatives. [q] What about farming? [l] Yes, there is farming, but no one has money to buy food. [l] They buy cheaper things, and they hope for more tourists. [q] These are mostly wood. Are these locally made? [l] Yes. [q] Are these cheaper because th ey are made local? [l] Yes. They are. INTERVIEW 06.22.09 PEDRO [male, 20s, vendor jewelry] [p] Hello. You know Matt? [q] Yes, I do. We go to school together with Quetzil. We are anthropologists studying Pist. [p] You are studying Maya? [q] I am studyi ng how the people of Pist talk about swine flu, and the economy, and the connection between them. But other students are studying different things. Some are studying Maya. [p] Matt is studying Maya?
127 is business? Has swine flu or the economic crisis affected it? [p] Very much. There was almost no business at all for twenty or thirty days. Chichn Itz was closed for more than a week. There is still fear about the swine flu, also. Many tourists are not coming to Mxico because of it. [q] Is the government doing anything to help? [p] (laughs) No nothing. [q] Are there other ways to make money? [p] No. [q] What about farming, or cutting wood? [p] Yes, there is that. [q] Are you making enough to pay your bills and buy food? [p] Yes. INTERVIEW 06.22.09 PANCHO [male, 50s, refreshment vendor, near Chichn Itz] [p] Yes! There is no sun, which is good for walking. [q] It is true. [p] Where are you going? (in Maya) [q] I am go ing to Pist. (in Maya) [p] You speak Maya? [q] A little (in Maya). I learned a little from my professor of anthropology, Quetzil. Do you know him? [p] Yes! He is from Guatemala. He speaks Maya very well. [q] He does. How much are diet cokes? [p] [They are ] ten pesos. [p] Its so so. I make enough to eat. [q] I am studying how people in Pist talk about the swine flu, the economic crisis, and how they affected tourist businesses. [p] The flu affected business very much! Chichn Itz was closed for eight days. There was no business at all. It is still affecting business. People are afraid to visit Mexico. It was a false alarm. [q] How are things now? Better than before? [p] No, they are still bad. There were seven or eight thousand tourists every day before. Now there are one or two thousand tourists on a good day. [q] When will more tourists come again? [p] It will improve in a few months when there are more vacations. INTERVIEW 06.22.09 ROSA [female, late teens/twenties, vendor] [q] Hello. How is business? [r] [It is] very low. [q] I am an anthropologist studying swine flu pandemic, the economic crisis, business in Piste, how people talk about these things, and if there is a connection between them. [r] Wh ere are you from? [q] The United States, from Florida. [r] Where do you go to school? [q] During the school year (points to shirt) I go to New College of Florida, but right now I am going to school with other students who go to other colleges also, to stud y here for the summer. [r] Here, business is very bad because there are no tourists. There are no tourists because of the pandemic, but it was bad before. [q] How do people make money? Are there other possibilities?
128 [r] Yes, I have other jobs. I work in a store, I help people. [q] Does everyone do that? [q] Is the government helping? money, Pist makes no money. [q] Can peopl e work in the forest? [r] Yes. They can, but it is a different kind of work. INTERVIEW 06.22.09 RAUL [male, 20s or early thirties, vendor] [q] How is business? Good? [r] Its ok. It is a little bad. [q] Why? Is it the swine flu, or the economic crisis, or something else? [r] The swine flu. [q] Are people making enough money to pay the bills? [r] No. [q] What do people do? Work other jobs? [r] There are no other jobs when there is no tourism. No jobs, no money. [q] Are there jobs that do not need tourists? [r] Seventy or eighty percent of Pist depends on tourism. [q] So there are jobs that do not need tourism? [r] Yes. Farmers, and also, you can get work clearing the woods, but it pays very badly. It pays about two have to clear an area about twenty meters by twenty meters, and you have to travel twenty or thirty kilometers to find this work. [q] I believe it is difficult work. It is probably only work for men, no? I think it is difficult for women and children to d o this work, no? [r] For children, yes. The women have other work. [q] Ah, yes. The children go to school, no? [r] Yes. [q] Is the government doing anything to help? [q] Are there plans to make jobs that do not need tourism? [r] No. INTERVIEW 06.21.09 EDWINA [female, 70, unemployed] [q] What is the swine flu? [q] What caused the swin e flu? [e] For a time they were confused but then they proved it was a human flu. This mistake had had a lot of influence, because the people would not eat pork. For a time there was a big loss because of that confusion, but they already knew it was human flu. The government worked to control that problem. Nevertheless, it affected many places in Mxico. In many states, it affected agriculture, because you could not buy anything, and because people were afraid, mostly of eating pork. Everything was out of c ontrol. There is no cure for this disease. It affected tourism very much. They closed many borders. Because they closed everything fell apart, there were no flights for tourists, and there was no work. The government worked very hard to resolve the crisis. Nevertheless, the flu is still there even if you cannot see it. It is always in the air. They were not able to control this sickness. We need more time to see if they can find a cure, a vaccination to destroy this sickness. It is a world sickness, I think now. I say that because I am interested in this subject, and I watch a lot of news on television. I am watching to see how this dilemma fucked everyone. This illness is global.
129 [q] Where does swine flu come from? [e] I think the swine flu came from the a nimal trade; from where the animals are, the people who had contact with them, what they eat unknown sickness. [q] Did swine flu change the form of your life? [e] Yes, it changed my life it was a step I did not expect. It changed my life in a shot. [q] Were the risks of swine flu exaggerated? [e] No. [q] Is swine flu different from avian flu? mber well. [q] Is the government doing anything to help? [e] Yes. They are doing their part. They have to do it, because it is the government of our state that has to move earth and water to help. Many countries have already helped us. It is already possib le to take the country out of this crisis. [q] You think they can do this? [e] If the governments in Mxico City, in Yucatn do their part to help, I think yes. There are many desperate people, they do not find a way to turn around and find the job they ne ed to work and get ahead. [q] Are there jobs that do not need tourism to function? [e] Yes, the farmers [are an example]. But we need money to buy the food from them in the first place! People have been starting to bargain because there is no money. Normal ly, when we need apples, bananas, we buy things. Now there is no money. It affects even the farmers.
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