Immigrations Sucks

Discussion in 'Living in Cancun' started by gene37412, Feb 27, 2008.

  1. RiverGirl

    RiverGirl Guest

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    I understand that point. But I also think that sometimes outsiders or people with a fresh perspective can see things that someone brought up in that culture cannot. Of course we, as foreigners, need to be respectful of local culture, but you almost imply that because we are foreigners that our opinions on what should change are less valid and I disagree with that.

    We live here, we pay taxes, we pump money into this economy and we raise money for local charities. We see our car suspensions die due to these crumbling roads, we walk our dogs in these garbage-filled streets on these broken sidewalks. And we care enough to have an opinion, which counts for a lot. I think Mexico would be a better place if its immigrants had more power to contribute in big ways to the society here.

    My Mexican husband is always grumbling that the biggest problem in Mexico is that people don't expect more, that they don't complain. People get bad service and don't complain, they get extorted by cops and put up with it, their neighbor dumps rubble in the street and leaves it there for years and they ignore it, the list goes on and on.

    One of the great things about this culture is the great tolerance Mexicans have for putting up with crap (I've learned nothing living here if not patience), but it is also part of the problem here. People need to demand better government, better roads, better standards of conduct from public officials, more public garbage cans, and on and on.

    Maybe a few foreigners with big mouths can help raise awareness and get people to stop accepting and start asking for change.
     
  2. gbchayctca

    gbchayctca Guest

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    I was really trying NOT to imply that foreigners' opinions are less valid, but I guess I'm not being terribly clear!

    I would also like (for myself) better roads, less trash, more green spaces in Cancun and in Mexico overall. But I still maintain that if it's not a priority for others, then I've got a long road ahead of me trying to make things like this matter for other people.

    I think that a lot of people are like your husband...fed up with the fact that people just accept things and don't complain. But the process of change necessary to make more people care and complain (in a proactive way) is a slow one. Not that pushing for this change isn't valid, but that we're probably not going to see a paradigm shift in Mexican thought in our lifetimes. Of course, I still think that if that's what you believe in, it's important to advocate for it.

    For me, it's all about values. In a lot of these discussions, it seems that people honestly believe that values are absolute and that those they hold should be shared by everyone.

    As an American, I value open spaces, a healthy environment, and animals as sentient beings. While I love my family and value them, I have no problem with not living near them, and in fact would go crazy if I did.

    A Mexican finds this almost despicable...how can I not hold my family up as the most important thing in the world? They don't understand that I may value other things and definitely think I'm wrong. They also think I'm absolutely bizarre to love my doggy as I would a child.

    Are they going to change my mind? Will one day I wake up and kick my dog out of bed and move my mother into my spare bedroom? Hells no.

    But it seems that this is what many are asking the Mexican people to do...totally shift their values so that they're more in accordance with our own. Because I'm married to a Mexican, maybe my children and grandchildren will think nothing of having me live with them instead of placing me in a nursing home but that's generations down the line. And maybe Mexican people will start using garbage cans for what they are intended rather than see them as a weird prop and an obstruction...but that's not going to happen over night.
     
  3. Steve

    Steve Administrator Owner

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    The thing is gbchayctca I dont think any of us are talking about changing "values", customs or the way families interact socially - I think you're the only one that is. No one's saying Mexicans should eat pizza instead of tacos or lobbying for an English version of the National Anthem.

    What we (or at least I) am talking about is beauracratic incompetence and consistent poor service that we (people living in Cancun, not just immigrants) suffer from Govt bodies and private companies. Two different interpretations of a law in the same office being the example that kicked the thread off. TJ's blood donation story another good anecdote.

    Here's one we had recently. An incompetent meter reader got his numbers jumbled up and our last water bill was 15 times higher than usual. We phoned numerous times, many times the person lifted the phone and put it straight back down or hung up mid call. Finally we were told pay up or be cut off. Jannet went to the office twice, and after a lot of fighting was eventually told we'd have a new bill sent out.

    Then someone changed our meter without telling us and forgot to switch the water back on after he'd finished. Our water ran out once the tank was empty and we thought we'd been cut off. More unanswered / hung up calls and trips to the office required (4 in all queuing around an hour each time). We had 48 hrs with no water and all due to several people who couldn't be bothered to do their jobs properly.

    Efficiency and competence are the issues here not family values.
     
  4. gbchayctca

    gbchayctca Guest

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    I'm talking about values in a larger sense, much larger than the narrow interpretation of "family values."

    I fully understand that you're not talking about how families interact socially, but what you are talking about is changing the way people interact, even if you're not talking about how families interact socially.

    Check out "Kiss, Bow, or Shake Hands" and you'll see that the decisions people make and how they define how to do business with each other are culturally inscribed. As is how they either do or don't do customer service according to how we understand it.

    I was not necessarily responding to the fact that immigration agents interpret the laws differently as was brought up by Gene, but rather the ensuing discussion about effecting change in Mexico.

    And efficiency and competence are indeed values, values that I hold myself.
     
  5. T.J.

    T.J. I can choose my own title Registered Member

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    I'mmmmmmmm Baaaack !

    I love this thread.

    I wish I could pronounce gbchayctca but I always enjoy your/her contributions to this board. I wonder if you would be kind enough to spell it out phoenetically as many others have no idea how to say it.

    I don't think I missed your point at all, especially as it relates to the importance placed on one's family. My comment about anthropology had nothing to do with shorthand for anything, especially for "you don't know what you are talking about". You certainly cannot put those words in my mouth.

    On the other hand, I cannot believe that you say you disagree with Steve, which I guess means that you believe that poor service is acceptable to certain cultures. I think anyone who interacts with any business or government agency has a reasonable expectation of an acceptable level of service. Whether they get it or not is another matter and if not, it is poor service if it fails to meet anyone's reasonable expecation. In government poor service in more common because it is hard for those workers to lose their jobs. But in commerce, particularly in our largest industry, TOURISM, owners and managers better By God expect and demand good service of their employees as the customers certainly expect and demand it of the establishments where they spend their hard earned dollars. Continual poor service will eventually lead to business closings and jobs lost. You can bet that the really successful restaurants and hotels would not put up with employees coming in late because they were talking to their mom. Give me a break.

    I had this half written when I went out to dinner (twice actually) and then to a movie, returning to find that this thread is still growing. I guess you have pretty much decided that this is not one of your better topics as far as getting your point understood. Maybe it's better to quit while you are ahead, and I say this lovingly. These threads eventually end.

    Let me remind everyone reading this, no matter where you are from, and no matter what is your cultural background, of the unbelievable contributions, that have been made for many generations, by immigrants to the USA. The very least those of us who are non-Mexicans can do, is to try to make some contributions to this country of loving and gentle people.

    Finally, I must report that these "family above all" Mexican folks failed to respond to my pregnant Mexican friend's plea for the huge sum of 2 volunteers to donate blood on her behalf. The hospital told her that they will not induce labor until the blood is in place.

    So Bundy and I are leaving our homes at 6:35 so that we are close to the front of the line when the windows open at 7 am and we are given our que numbers so that we can wait again to give our blood on behalf of this wonderful Mexican mom-to-be, whose own Mexican family and Mexican friends, including other Mexican Christians from her Mexican church, who have failed to come to her aid in what should be one of the most memorable moments of her young life. Something is horribly wrong with this picture.

    But at least two gringos think we can make something better, even if for only this one lady. May God bless us all. And what are we to do if one of our loved ones needs a blood transfusion and we cannot help them because it takes some time before a person can give blood another time. Who will we turn to? Certainly not most of the people that some of you folks seem to be talking about, and making excuses for.
     
  6. Steve

    Steve Administrator Owner

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    Well, I dont have the benefit of an anthropology degree to answer the nuances here, and my degree in Geology is not much help either :wink: If someone doesnt "give a shit" then I'll put it down to efficiency, attitude and competency, not a cultural "value".

    But answer me these:

    Why is it that 5-8 yr old Mexicans are the most perfect kids in the World when it comes to greeting people and being polite, yet add 15 years and put them behind a wheel of a car, or an interactive job and it all goes wrong?

    Have the indigenous Mayans (I hesitate to use that expresion as there are no Mayans from Cancun and those that migrated here are but a very small community) been "corrupted" in terms of lifestyle and values etc more by the large number of migrants from DF, Monterrey, Tabasco etc, or by us minority immigrants from other countries?
     
  7. RiverGirl

    RiverGirl Guest

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    I want to say that I agree with Steve that poor service is poor service anywhere. But look at the difference in the way restaurant checks are handled here and in the US, in the US it's normal for the wait-person to bring the check when you've indicated that you are done ordering. In Mexico you need to ask for the check.

    In the States it's not rude that the wait-person brings the check without you asking for it. But if they did that in Mexico my understanding is that Mexicans would feel they are being hurried out of the restaurant and that would feel rude.

    There are cultural differences in the way service is perceived. (I actually did study anthropology some.)

    On the other hand, if you ask our various Mexican spouses (mine and Steve's and others) if they think that the way Immigration here treats immigrants is good they will jump up and down screaming NOOO! I don't think that the problems we perceive with INM are anything that could be construed as us not getting the cultural differences!

    I think INM is poorly run, inefficient, inconsistent, over-worked, under-funded and probably many of the people working there are as sick of the stupidities as we are. And there is so much turnover at the top of INM that no one sticks around long enough to enact real changes in the way things happen there. Gene is right, Immigration Sucks!
     
  8. gbchayctca

    gbchayctca Guest

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    Very interesting!! Best of luck to you, TJ, this morning. Let us know how it turns out. And gbchayctca is simply shorthand for Gabacha Yucateca without vowels.

    I'm not going to quit while I'm ahead, TJ...I find this an interesting discussion, although I know that this thread, as all others, will eventually end. ;)

    All I'm trying to say is that different cultures have different expectations and different ways of doing things. That's why I think that Cancun is such an interesting place...people from all over the country and world bring their expectations and ways of doing things to one city. And it's dynamic and often messy, but always fascinating. And because of that, the code of conduct will change, but maybe not quickly. In Mexican cities without substantial foreign populations, life will go on as before.

    But I do think that Cancun will change, but it's a process of negotiation between the different groups of people who make their homes there.

    And I do agree with you, TJ, that hotels and businesses catering to tourists will suffer if they don't provide a certain level of service. People who come from places in Mexico where it might have been acceptable to come late to work because they were talking to their mom have to learn that this isn't acceptable in the larger sphere of international tourism, and some learn the hard way. But they're entering a different world with different rules, ones that they didn't grow up with.

    I really can't speak to why it has been so difficult for your friend to find people to donate blood, but I have seen people who have stayed in the hospital for an extra couple of days because their family members were too terrified to give blood. I don't know exactly why they were so terrified, but I do know that some of the things that I've seen and heard in the Mayan culture have been so out there for me that I feel like they must come from a different planet.

    Steve, I don't think that the Mayans have been "corrupted" at all by either Mexicans from other states or by foreigners. The culture certainly has changed, and in the past few decades has changed super fast because of outside influences, but definitely not corrupted. The mixture of old and new is one of the coolest things I've ever seen, and almost entirely due to the existence of Cancun. I'm not one of those people who bemoans the changes in Mayans villages because of the evil Cancun...but there have been some good things lost and good things gained in the process. But there have also been been bad things shed and bad things gained as well.

    And, I gotcha all about the Immigration thing...I certainly don't disagree!!
     
  9. eddie.willers

    eddie.willers Enthusiast Registered Member

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    RiverGirl makes a valid point but appears to forget that Kafkaesque bureaucracies exist primarily to provide employment for those within them, rather than any benefit to those forced to comply with their diktats!

    This is an interesting thread but there appear to be many posters of the "we're visitors and have no right to judge" mindset, and no one has made the obvious cultural point of the Ibero-Catholic worldview and its potential to retard change or growth.

    Mexico, despite its wealth of natural resources, needs a paradigm shift in culture (from 'change-resistant' to 'change-welcoming') if it is to make the kind of progress seen in its two northern neighbours.

    We who settle here and become citizens of these United Mexican States, have an obligation to do what we can to effect that paradigm shift. How one deals, as an individual, with an inevitable slew of disappointments will set the tone for one's enjoyment (or not) of life here.
     
  10. RiverGirl

    RiverGirl Guest

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    According to my Cancun airport spies there's a new INM boss (yet another one) who is going around pissing everyone off by changing small stupid things (uniforms, cell-phone use and tardiness policy).

    This person is missing the big picture and so is not addressing the real problems (corruption). Having any ability at all to manage people or to create lasting important change is not a requirement for being a boss there. Well, the good news is that INM bosses never last long so people are taking bets on how long this one will last.
     
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