Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Reporters in Chacala

During the past two weeks reporters from two major U.S. newspapers have arrived in Chacala. One stayed at Majahua, along with his photographer, and the other is staying at Aurora’s Techos de Mexico rental. Both reporters introduced themselves as being interested in writing about the Techos de Mexico program. And a program is probably going to be broadcast on CBC radio around the end of February. That broadcast is going to be about the Techos program and living in Chacala.

Of course, news of these visitors has swept thru Chacala, and it’s been interesting to hear the reactions of gringo visitors. Generally it’s along the lines of “Oh, don’t publish the name Chacala”, and “Oh, now Chacala will change too much”. Or “Chacala rental prices will skyrocket and I won’t be able to afford to come to Chacala”. All along the lines of “Oh no, there goes the neighborhood”.

These comments all seem reflect the desire that the door to Chacala shut as soon right after their own arrived. This is a town where tourism offers the main source of income for local folks. I wonder how people who live in tourist areas in the U.S. and Canada would feel if their tourists advocated no advertising of their tourist businesses. I don’t think they would like the idea, and with no advertising their incomes would certainly shrink.But some people visiting in Chacala, at least a few, seem to recognize that the idea is to bring more visitors to Chacala. People who will rent rooms and spend money here. And enjoy themselves. Of course, everyone wants Chacala to remain a lovely small quiet town, but that probably isn't going to happen.

We’ll see how the potential publicity actually works out. And what the reporters actually chose to write about. I can understand people not wanting more people to come to Chacala. But my guess is that most local Chacalenos would like there to be enough tourists here for them to make a living. To keep the locally-owned rental units occupied for as much of the year as possible.For them it’s crucial to have more renters renting units, for a long a tourist season as possible. People in Chacala often want the same things tourists have at home. Nice houses, cars, new clothes for their kinds, a good education, T.V., dental and medical care, furniture that isn’t made of plastic, and so on. And that requires tourists.

And of course, that takes pesos. And in Chacala those pesos usually come from tourists spending money for places to stay, boat rides, Spanish lessons, food and drink and other activities owned by local residents.

I like it that Chacala seems to draw a lot of quiet decent people who are trying to be respectful of local cultural. I’m glad everything closes down at dark, except for Mars Tres and a couple of other restaurants and a few stores. I am glad the beach is sandy with a gentle slope and no rocks. And the water is warm.

This is a nice town for people who are looking for a quiet vacation spot where many of the rental owners are local folks who are friendly and willing to spend time with their guests. And for people who don’t mind dirt and cobble streets, and dogs and chickens running around.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hola Andee,
Can you provide the names of the US papers? I would be interested in checking out any of their pieces about Chacala...

Mike D.

cjg said...

I wrote you a couple weeks ago about my friendds coming down from the frozen north. They're there...at Alonzo I think.
Yes it was -28 the other morning...and I wish we were joining you all.
As it is, we put on a great musical venue (talk to Stephen) at the local watering hole, collected over 20 used band instruments and are leaving Monday morning for my old stomping grounds, New Orleans, to give them all away to a little charter school. Revisit the city (scared and sad) see a little Mardi Gras.
I do enjoy reading your blog.