Saturday, November 1, 2008

A Canadian swimming pool in Mexico

This part of the peninsula Baja California in Mexico is called “the Eastcape”.

It was a peaceful and beautiful area but nowadays along the coast more and more houses are built for non-Mexicans.

Near the rancho of the Gonzales family as well we find these days large houses owned by non-Mexicans.

One peculiar aspect of these houses is that they have no water.
Because there is none.
However, the Gonzales have a well with what seems until now an unlimited amount of water.
Ismaël, the 24-year-old son of Gumaro and Lucretia, drives a water truck to supply the houses in the neighbourhood.

Yesterday Ismaël needed help.
A Canadian gentleman, who owns an impressive holiday house at about half an hour drive from the rancho, is supplied with water from the Gonzales well.
Some business matter between the Canadian and Ismaël had to be resolved and a translator was needed.

After living for months in the Fuso Szulc a real house was entered again.
It was on top of a hill with a spectacular view of the Sea of Cortez.
Built in a Mediterranean Spanish style with a well-tended garden.
Amazing luxury like a kitchen as big as would fit 4 Fuso Szulc’s.

Attracting much attention was the swimming pool.
Right on the edge of the hill so that when swimming one overlooks
180 º the Sea of Cortez.
Truly spectacular.

However, there was no water in the swimming pool.
And the Canadian owner, to return for Christmas, asked Ismaël if he could fill it before arrival.
No problem.
It would take 7 truckloads of water.
Each trip taking half an hour to get there and half an hour to return to the well.
On a very bad dirt road full of potholes and covered with ribs.

Ismaël charges for one truckload 700 Mexican Pesos ($ 55 / € 43)
Plus tip it costs € 306 / $ 390 to fill the swimming pool.
The official daily minimum wage in Mexico is currently 53 Mexican pesos per day, although the IMSS (Mexican Social Security Institute) showed that the average wage in June 2007 among its 14.5 million registered workers was 209 Mexican pesos per day.
Hence, the water alone in the swimming pool of the Canadian represents 24 days of work for a Mexican labourer.

To swim, or rather bath, comfortably in the Canadian swimming pool in Mexico the water must have a nice temperature, no?
This has also been taking care of.
There is a big water heater on propane only for the swimming pool.

Because the owner is coming and going between Mexico and Canada, on his property he has built a small separate house in which a Mexican couple is living.
They are paid to live there, clean the master house, take care of the garden and protect the property.

One must make a lot of money to be able to keep a place in Mexico as this Canadian gentleman is doing.
However, there are plenty of similar houses in this area that are managed in the same way.

Some have a lot.
Some have little.

After the visit, Ismaël and the translator went to the Crossroads bar and had a beer, a bag of potato chips and a chat.
Overlooking the beautiful Sea of Cortez, enjoying our friendship and the cool beer, we said: “But we have the largest swimming pool in the world”.


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