Wednesday, May 31, 2006
Wow, I just realized that I haven't written anything about the teacher strikes yet! They just seem so normal to me that I didn't think of writing about them. Anyway, sometime starting in May each year the teachers go on strike. It's an annual event that occurs whether they have a legitimate reason to strike or not. For example, this year the teachers had just received a raise, but they still went on strike. That's one reason why the Mexican school year goes so long; they have a (pretty much) guaranteed vacation in May and part of June.
I don't think that most of the teachers strike out of conviction for their cause, but because their union leaders say they have, even if they teach in some village hours away up in the mountains. They all come down here and take over the Zocalo. This year I think there are about 70,000 of them all camping out on the streets near the Zocalo. They block off those streets, fouling up traffic, and sanitation is horrible since they don't have proper ways to deal with trash. Almost every day they go on marches, blocking off more major streets, blocking (closing down) big stores, and burning political posters. Needless to say, it's a big mess.
Yesterday afternoon, I took a full SAT practice test, well over three hours long. My only big break was for lunch. Most of the questions are pretty easy, but when you have over three hours worth all at one time, it's really tiring. We scored it and I got well above average, so we'll see how I do on the actual test. We leave this Friday to go to Mexico City to take it. We're going to stay until Monday, though, so we can have some fun and explore the city.
First pic: A 'bici-taxi' in Zaachila.
Second pic: Some other kind of taxi in Zaachila.
Third pic: If you enlarge the picture, you can see that the thing in the middle of the road is a 'moto-taxi'. It's just like the bici-taxi except with a motorcycle instead of bicycle.