Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Blog Action Day- Poverty in Mexico

Today is "Blog Action Day", a day when bloggers around the world are invited to use their blogs to discuss the issue of poverty. Poverty is not a new problem, nor is it isolated to selected countries in the world, it is a global crisis that can be resolved. If everyone did one little thing today to contribute to the life of someone less fortunate, then we can think about doing it tomorrow and the next day and eventually we can put a stop to the starvation of families around the world. Everyone must contribute, even in a small way like writing about the issue and raising awareness!

Poverty in Mexico is an epidemic. More than 44 million Mexicans live in poverty, with poverty being described as living on less than 1625 pesos per month ($128 USD by today's exchange rate). About 15 million live in what would be described as extreme poverty. These are people with nothing, no food, nothing to sustain them, no access to clean water, no sanitary living conditions, nothing. The southern states of Mexico are in dire straits, living in extremely poor conditions and with very little to sustain them. The state of Quintana Roo (where Cancun is located) has a high level of poverty, but nothing compared to Chiapas and Oaxaca. The "lucky" ones have minimum wage jobs, minimum wage being 46 pesos per day. Yes, that's right, about $3.63 USD per day.

Levels of Poverty by State in Mexico

So, what can be done? Well, fellow blogger Wayne on Isla Mujeres has started what he calls "Project Warm Hands", with the goal of assisting the impoverished in Veracruz who have nothing to keep them warm in the cold days that are coming. In trying to do a good thing, he discovered just how many barriers there are to accomplishing that goal, so the best thing to do is visit the blog Viva Veracruz and use the Pay Pal donation button to send even a little something to help out.

Aside from donating through John and Wayne's programs, there are little things you can do. When you come on vacation, tip, tip, tip! Remember how little your service staff is making and give them a hand up. Get away from your all inclusive resort and see what else is out there in the world, spend some money in the pueblas and buy from the artisans. Bring school supplies to donate to the local children. There is an excellent program here in Cancun called "Give a Toy, Get a Smile" which has been helping local kids for a couple of years now with great success. Use that link to see how you can help, there are suggestions for things to bring down with you and there is a PayPal link as well for monetary donations. The City of Joy is yet another charitable institution in Cancun that can always use your help, their website has suggestions on how you can contribute, either with much needed items or a financial donation.

While this blog has been about what's happening in Mexico and Cancun, you don't need to look further than your front door to see the effects of poverty. If you don't contribute to one of the charities in Mexico, do so at home! Educate your children about the issue, instill in them a sense of global responsibility and respect for everyone's right to food and shelter. Smile at the homeless man you usually ignore, donate food to the local shelter or just send a cheque to your favourite organization. Count your blessings, remember that while there may be an economic crisis happening, you are still better off than millions of people around the world. Your stock portfolio may be a bit slimmer than last month, but you've got a roof over your head, food to eat tonight and many things to be grateful for.

Peace to you all, may you enjoy the bounties of your life today and be thankful for them.


K.W. Michigan said...

Well said .. this is not the time to be greedy .. if you are able to give (even a little).. please do so!

Anonymous said...

Great post, 100 % agree, I myself wrote one at: and the action has not stopped. Would you share your thoughts by a comment there as well?

Sue said...

Great blog. I hope it's ok I linked to your blog from mine - wanted people who might not have known about your blog to read it.

Anonymous said...

great post Kel

CancunCanuck said...

Thanks all, I think the day was a big success all over the net, I read lots of eye opening blogs and it was a good reminder that though we live poor, we are better off than so many in the world.

thanks for your comments!

Fned said...

This is why I love coming to your blog Canucka: you not only raise awareness on important issues: YOU SUGGEST WAYS TO ADDRESS THEM AS WELL!!

That's way more than some of our so called representatives do!!

Great work girl!!

Anonymous said...

I discovered Blog Action Day -Poverty on Sunday. I emailed the link to several people who have blogs hoping that they would blog about poverty as well. My blog post was about what I feel I am doing to help poverty and I gave some ideas to others as to what they could do that day.
Thanks for this is a great post.

tacogirl said...

Greta post - Cheers girl.

CancunCanuck said...

Fned- You are so kind, your comment made me all warm and fuzzy! There is a lot to be done, here and all over the world, I hoped only to raise un poquitito de awareness and to offer some simple ways to help. Thanks amiga. :)

Tacogirl- Nice to see you round these parts, hola from Mexico! I've been reading your blog but have been lame in terms of commenting, so lazy with the readers! Thanks for coming by and reminding me to get out and comment with you too!

Anonymous said...

this is really great, but how do you cite it?
(I don't mean to pry, but I need your name for MLA standards)

CancunCanuck said...

Mark- Feel free to send me an email at cancuncanuck at gmail dot com, I prefer not to post my full name online. Thanks for checking me out!

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