The Wall of Shame ~ Muro de la Vergüenza

30 06 2011

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For anyone who hasn’t been in  Puerto Morelos in the summer ~ It’s hot. It’s humid. It’s rainy. It’s quiet. It’s truly wonderful.

Those of us remaining feel like Family.

But, I digress.

Sunday, our citizens elect their first Mayor! Perhaps those new to this area are not aware that Puerto Morelos is not “independent.” We are  considered within city limits of Cancun nearly 40 kilometers north, and our tiny voting populace really doesn’t count for much as far as The Big City is concerned. What the Cancun officials do like, however, are the tax revenues from the hotels and restaurants. Bottom line, they take in our tax money, permits and liquor license fees, and throw Puerto Morelos a pittance to finance services such as road repair, police protection (an oxymoron?), fire trucks, ambulance service. Before any city or state election, there’s a flurry of activity.

So in their infinite wisdom and heart-felt benevolence, Cancun is recognizing that Baby Sister is growing up and can handle money on her own. Not too much, of course, as Cancun carved out choice hotels to keep within its borders. But it’s a start.

Having an election, however, means no alcohol is sold or served from an as-yet-undetermined time on Saturday (Saturday Night in PM with No Alcohol?!) and all day Sunday. Elections are Sunday – because, theoretically, no one is working and each citizen will, of course, vote. And, we certainly wouldn’t want anyone who’d had a beer Saturday night to vote the next day.

The lack of alcohol is compensated for, however, by mindless entertainment preceding the election – singing trucks blaring Promises and Vote-For’s rumbling through streets here and in The Colonia. Rallies. Honking horns. Balloons. Billboards.

I’m all for billboards.

While eating ice cream cones Monday night, my friend Susan and I took refuge from the rain under a flapping canvas sign declaring loyalty for Rodrigo tacked over the front of closed-for-the-season Alma Libre bookstore. I’ve been somewhat partial to Rodrigo since that moment.

Until today.

Driving into town after a trek to the airport, I’m greeted by larger-than-life Manuel — giving a Thumbs Up and grinning crookedly, depending on the direction of the wind – ensconced in purple. Well, not actually purple  ~  lavender. His supporters, wearing lavender tee-shirts, carry lavender balloons.  I figure this has to be a guy secure with his masculinity. And what a nice smile. With gigantic thumbs.

Note-to-self: never allow my photo on a fluttering canvas sign.

In retrospect (and actually relating to this topic) one of my favorite billboards was erected in the Town Square last March:

 The Wall of Shame.

Muro de la Vergüenza

 The Wall of Shame was not simply a “billboard,” but a permanent cement structure boldly naming nine public officials for mentirosos and corruptos.  Signed El Pueblo (The Town).

Does one really need to understand Spanish to get the drift? Corruptos?

I did look up mentirosos – – loosely interpreted:  You’re a big liar!

It seems these are the officials who ignored the overwhelming vote of the Puerto Morelos citizens to elect their own mayor.  Perhaps allowing our election wasn’t total benevolence, after all.

And perhaps the United States could take a lesson from Mexico: Visualize the heart of town, the most-busy intersection:  Muro de la Vergüenza. Has a nice ring to it.

Elections in Puerto Morelos are Sunday.

Why wait? I’m buying extra wine tonight.

Planning an Election Party.

And wearing lavender.



4 responses

30 06 2011
Linda Austin

A wonderful read, great writing and very informatvie., especially to this new resident of this wonderful village of Puerto Morelos. A village that I plan to call home…………for a very long time indeed.


30 06 2011
Susan Harrison

Thank you Mary! Big thumbs up, and a crooked smile . . . jajajajaja!


30 06 2011

I will wear purple in Vermont on Sunday and the red, white and blue on Monday. Great write from a great person…thanks Mary!


23 08 2011
Connie L. Marks

I am proud to call you friend. Thankyou dear one. Keep up the fight until I join you.


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