NY Times: Internal migration review

          http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/06/world/americas/migrants-new-paths-reshaping-latin-america.html?pagewanted=all

¬†¬†¬† This article is an illuminotry piece that highlights the fact that, south of the border, there has been a massive internal migration occuring. The name of the article is “Migrant’s new paths reshaping Latin America”

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Limepocalyse

Should you go to the bar and order a margarita? Should your chilled corona go with a slice of lime? You’re out of luck, because this is the limepocalypse. The 2014 shortage of lime is in full effect due to criminals and drug cartels hijacking truck vans of limes in Mexico, which produce 97% of limes to the U.S. A. ¬†A case of limes would sell about $30.00 but are now priced as high as $200.00! For all the Mexican food lovers, this is¬†a problem, being that the base ingredient for majority of Mexican plates is the lime. Who would have thought that limes would become such a rare delicacy?

Sobbing in tears yet because of the lime shortage? An article in the Mexican newspaper Vanguardia reported that the Knights Templar drug cartel has used kidnapping, murder, money laundering and terror to take over the avocado business in Michoacán, the top state for production and export of the fruit. No limes, no guacamole, a problem.

Local bars and restaurants are in bitter  defeat. Owners are either taking it up amongst themselves to absorb the cost, while others are passing it on for the consumer to squeeze it out of their wallet. So if you eat out or drink out, I feel bad for you son, I got 99 problems and limes are one.

 

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Welcome to my blog

Hello. The world is in constant change. This blog is meant to frame a certain “change” occurring in the United States, Mexico, and, to a lesser extent, the rest of Latin America. I refer to the shrinking share of farm laborers in Mexico and the United States. The CIA world factbook confirms the dwindling share of agricultural workers means that their economic priorities lie elsewhere. The United States has demonstrated a highly efficient system of harvesting that is commensurate with its first-world status, affording to feed its own population while exporting a handsome amount to boot.¬†Mexico, whose rocky and oft arid land complicates matters somewhat, is behind. Still, the fact remains that 13 percent of the Mexican labor force is involved in agriculture; compared to less than 1 for the United States.

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No country for farm men- US-Mex farmer shrinkage

 

There is an Aztec saying among the women.

Here, in this world, we travel by a very narrow, steep, and dangerous road, which is as a lofty mountain ridge, on whose top passes a narrow path; on either side is a great gulf without bottom, and, if you deviate from the path, you will fall into it.”

–Americas/ Genesis– ¬†A long time ago, many native Americans¬†opted for a sedentary, agricultural lifestyle.¬† Complex civilizations soon followed. Too many to list here, as a matter of fact. The greatest and most fearsome ones being the Aztecs, Mayans and Incans–all of whom consolidated and centralized¬†their power from weaker, but not necessarily smaller, groups.

There was a catalyst for all this.

A crop endemic to a valley south of Mexico City. It would quickly gain widespread worship and adoration, quickly becoming assimilated into whichever culture it was grown in. The most produced food in the world, surpassing both rice and wheat.

Corn.

Its existence is a godsend. With it, great cities could not just sustain themselves, but flourish and prosper. Still, ancient agriculture was a difficult process, requiring a great share of workers to tend the land.

Let’s skip to today, after most of these peoples were either eliminated, assimilated, or subjugated into the modern age.

Today, 0.7 percent (CIA Fact book) of the US labor force is involved in agriculture. Compared to around 65% (World Bank) for Africa  and 13% (CIA world fact book) for Mexico. Granted, our sheer number has also massively increased. The widespread use of monoculture (see agriculture), has caused a greater presence of urbanization.

Mexico, land of the sombrero and tequila, has a long history of exporting its rural agricultural laborers (nowadays coming from the impoverished south) for low-wage jobs to the United States. But even as Mexico exports, it continually imports Guatemalan seasonal laborers to work their farms.

However, even these workers are becoming something of a minority. Although the workforce employed in agriculture in Mexico and Central America is high relative to the United States, it’s¬†falling¬†like a waterfall. Why? Monoculture (see agriculture) has considerably maximized crop output, essentially shrugging off any huge demand of day laborers.

Yet¬†as young people in these countries obtain high levels of education, they increasingly seek employment opportunities beyond domestic agricultural work, migrating away from rural areas, and leaving farm jobs for employment in the service sector. Mexico and its middle class¬†is shifting gears, coming to resemble its northern workforce. And considering the predicted economic rise of Mexico in the coming years, this won’t likely change for a while.

Mexico recently usurped the United States to become the most obese nation in the world.

 

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