Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Monday, September 19, 2016

San Quintin

Many years ago, I visited the small town of San Quintin in Baja California Norte with my then-girlfriend. There is, or was, a small resort there catering to United Statesian surfer bums and retirees. Pensioners would live there because it's cheap and the weather is always sunny and warm. They never bothered to learn Spanish and would order the staff around arrogantly. (Of course.)

We visited the town which consisted of a few cinder block shacks, a Pemex station, and a fly-infested general store. The people had a few wilting cabbages and starving cows. One guy owned the whole place, he had a farm down the road where the women and old men who hadn't gone north labored in the dust to fill trucks with tomatoes for the journey up the peninsular highway. He had all the water rights so the peasants couldn't irrigate their pathetic gardens. There was a big field with a fence around it and a sign saying "no cazar." (No hunting.) There was a guy sitting on a horse with a rifle to make sure nobody did. Mostly though there was nothing to hunt. More than a mile or so from the ocean was high desert, just coarse sand and the meanest cacti you ever saw.

Oh yeah. The farm had pumped out so much groundwater that salt water was intruding into the aquifer and the water in the resort was spoiled, so they had to use bottled water. It hardly ever rains there. It looks like that's about to change:

The storm is taking dead aim at San Quintin. When we were there I found some old cattle bones sticking out of the sand. The people told me the beast had drowned in a storm some years ago. So, once every thirty years or so they get a tropical storm. I imagine the desert blooms.

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