Sunday, March 30, 2008

We work all the time

photos by M.T. Hernandez

While in the city of Morelia, Michoacan during Easter Week I took a picture of an attractive young woman who was selling folkloric religious articles outside Morelia's Cathedral. She was standing under the bright sun, wearing a blue Superman t-shirt - holding a brightly colored umbrella.

When I asked her about taking the photo, I mentioned that if she gave me her email address I would send it to her. She replied: " I don't have an email address, we work all the time and don't do things like use computers."

A few days later in a taxi from a bus station in Mexico City to a hotel on Avenida Juarez I was speaking to the driver who was very talkative. We began a discussion on immigration, he told me he had relatives in most major U.S. cities. I told him about the movie "Under the Same Moon" (La Misma Luna), an interesting story about how a boy walked to LA to find his mother - I said maybe he could try to see it sometime. He smiled and responded: "we work seven days a week, eighteen hours a day - just to be able to survive." - he never told me he would see the movie or not, but his statement about work was another way of telling me that something like going to a movie was a luxury he didn't have.

Flying back home I thought a lot about the taxi driver and the woman at the cathedral. How different are the lives of those in the U.S. and those in Mexico. Here in America, writing on a computer or going to a movie theater are givens.

This is when I remember that 80% of Mexican citizens live below poverty level.

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