Monday, January 30, 2017

San Mateo

This morning we had a tour of San Mateo.  It is quite a contrast from San Pedro near Ruby's.  San Pedro is one of the cleanest cities I've ever seen.  Trash is picked up neatly, the sidewalks are swept regularly, and the sand is raked regularly.  However, in San Mateo, there are piles and piles of trash:

These trash piles are not because the residents don't care, or that they don't have anything to do with the trash.  No.  It is because they use trash as fill -- to fill in the swam so that it becomes "land" and they are able to build on it.  As the community keeps adding trash to the above area, it will become more and more solid and in a few years, homes or other buildings will be able to be built on this space.

The roads in San Mateo used to be all like you see in the picture above.  They call these 2x6 structures "London Bridges" and that is how everyone got everywhere.  But the community organized and worked together to make a solid main road in the town and also some solid side roads.

Even though the standard of living here is lower than in San Pedro, and much lower than where we live, the cost of living is high (because of the cost of transporting everything to/from the island).  In fact, the cost of living is so high, it is difficult to get teachers to come and work at Holy Cross even though Holy Cross is known as a very good school.

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