Taking Back The Street

When I lived in the U.S. I didn’t lock my house. In fact my UPS and FedEx drivers both used to leave packages inside my house. And they would let my dog in or out depending on what she wanted.

But here in Cancun I hear stories all the time of break-ins. I have friends who tell me that being broken into is a regular event in their neighborhoods. I know several people whose homes have been robbed while they were home asleep. And I have one friend who was threatened with kidnapping by armed men when she came home and was opening her gate to bring her car inside (she got away safely and called the cops).

So I live in a house with a big iron gate in front of it and a high wall all around it. I always lock my house. I always check for lingering strangers before I open my gate. And my neighbors and I pay to have a big guard with a big billy-club walk our street night and day.

One of the reasons we bought our house was because, even though we live on a regular public street, the neighbors are united and all care about keeping the street safe.

But lately our main guard is flaking out. He’s been getting less and less reliable in recent months, he’s been working less ( I think his health is poor). And he’s been failing to make sure that the other guard, his relief, is being paid. And so the neighbors are up in arms now. They have had two meetings already. And they are now taking back the street.

There are all kinds of plans afoot to re-secure the street. But the best news is that mis vecinos (my neighbors) have agreed to pay the guards more money. For a long time I’ve thought we were underpaying, so I’m glad my neighbors have come around on this issue. Of course now we’ve got the problem of hiring new people to protect us. And we all know that committees, no matter how well-meaning, are not good bosses.

But I am glad to have it reaffirmed that the people on this street are united in their desire to keep our street safe. Now if I could just convince them to help pay to repave it…

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