I love Mazatlán, don’t get me wrong. But I truly can’t believe that I’m the only person here who thinks that priorities are a bit out of whack. What’s going on, you ask?
Well, in the news recently the Fabulous – Will put us on the map – Designed by a famous architect – Museum and Central Park project that will cost A LOT OF MONEY. The museum is the anchor of the Fabulous Central Park project that is expected to make us a world class city or something like that. Lots of people are excited about it, but I’m not – not because of the project plan itself but for the reasons I outline below. Tourism’s picture of the museum is at the top of the post.
I don’t mean to be too cranky about it, but doesn’t it seem strange that we’re all excited about another new project when the five year old Shark Tank project is still not functional and the revitalization of the malecón also seems to have run out of gas (or are those barrels going to stay our garbage cans)?
I wonder whether there is a clear vision (maybe a mission statement) of what the city is and where it wants to head. How can they decide anything without defining that? Here’s how I would define that vision:
Mazatlán is a unique city with a working port, lovely beaches, malecón, and historic center. It is our vision that the City’s purpose is to provide for the basic infrastructure needed by its citizens and to provide a safe environment for all. In order to maintain and improve our standing as a tourist destination and for our citizens, we will provide for orderly enjoyment of special events and take care to maintain and improve the beaches, malecón, and historic center. We commit to preserving and protecting our outdoor environment.
Something like that.
But you know what? The infrastructure here continues to crumble and it’s a chasing game to keep it minimally functional. Traffic is horrible. The bus system is in bad shape. There are lots and lots of issues needing attention – believe it as I just deleted several paragraphs of examples.
I love Centro and I live here. But that doesn’t mean I don’t see how bad it is, just like tourists who visit here who have been to Durango, or Oaxaca, or Queretaro. In those cities you feel a sense of a plan, like a real vision was implemented. Maybe the thinking is this project fulfills the City’s vision. I just don’t see it, though. Seems like it would take away money, energy, and focus from everything that currently needs attention here.
I’m sure people who disagree with me would say that big projects take big vision and sacrifice – that without it there wouldn’t be subway systems or men on the moon. I agree… but is this project going to take away from things Mazatlán needs to focus on now?
I know that the gap between rich and poor is wide here in México but shouldn’t someone be thinking about those who live in colonias with erratic water service or streets that flood because the drainage clogs or is non-existent. I wonder how they feel about spending on a project like this?
There are a lot of groups working on these various issues, and they’ve made some progress in the last couple of years. I just wonder if a great new museum and Central Park project is in the best interest of the city when there are endless pending projects already. I worry about the sensitive estuary environment they’ll be putting at risk. I worry that if this project happens it will be a glittering jewel in the middle of a malecón dominated by crumbling structures behind fences promoting tourism, dirty beaches, and by our decaying Golden Zone and Centro. Well, that is until it starts crumbling, too.
It felt good to get that off my chest. Back to happier topics next time!