During a town meeting this week in the La Cruz translator and biologist, Daniele Tello told me the objective was to, “involve the community and spread the word that the government knows the 2002 urban development plan is outdated.” An initiative of our municipal president, Dr. Jaime Cuevas Tello, the goal of the workshop was to gather local input. The ‘boots on the ground’ technical team includes a biologist, architect, hydrologist and geographer.
Maestro Juan Francisco O’Connor, Director of Development and Social Welfare and Doctora Beatriz Martinez, Director of IMPLAN and head of the technical team, led the meeting with passion and concern. All present were included and heard with the translation much appreciated by those not fluent in Spanish. Given the short notice, the meeting was well attended by both nationals and expats. As with most Mexican gatherings, kids played in the background, dogs barked and iguanas visited… I love living here.
Dra. Martinez asked, “In ten to fifteen years, what do you want to see in La Cruz de Huanacaxtle? Our goal is to have La Cruz grow in an orderly fashion. We want to know specific problems, this is a diagnosis, and we are walking the streets and flying a drone to get first hand views of all areas.” Based on need they’ll create short, medium and long term plans for improvement. They’ll update the cartography and create accurate and current maps.
The mood was respectful and hopeful. Folks were passionate about their needs; taking turns at the microphone, sharing their concerns and wishes for their delightful pueblo of La Cruz de Huanacaxtle. These include, in no particular order:
- People selling unregularized “special title” [Ejidal] properties to uninformed expats. Many of La Cruz’ bare lots are still in this state of title and cannot be legally deeded as private property without an extensive (though doable and possibly expensive) legal process; buyer beware.
- Ownerless dogs running the streets.
- A public park for kids.
- Cultural space/recreation area for teens. (The team said this was super helpful info as in their records it says that we have two recreational areas and we have none).
- Soccer pitch for youth.
- Volleyball court.
- Park bench repair in the plaza.
- Better street lighting and security lighting near the middle school.
- Street signs.
- In colonia Gaviotas also know as Playa La Cruz, one street has four names, which one is official?
- Water was a big concern and came up many times.
- Potable water leaks running thru streets.
- In Gaviotas a pipe broke and black water was briefly spewing down the street.
- Flooding in front of Cava Martinez
- Expand sewer system.
- Expand potable water system; address hard water issues.
- Improve streets; everyone of course would prefer cobblestones or paved but would even support regular grading of streets.
- More police patrols.
- Programs to prevent crime.
- Home dwellers not placing trash for collection correctly; this can be unsightly and animals get into it.
- Extend public transportation hours enabling restaurant and hotel workers to safely get home at the end of their workday.
- Create a cycle path to Bucerias.
- Make all sidewalks walkable.
- Too many cars on the beach at times.
- Need public toilets on the beach.
- Beach patrols nightly to address noise concerns.
All agreed that children are our future and creating a healthy environment for them, which includes safety, good water, places to have fun with their friends, a good education and more is paramount.
It was stated repeatedly that all are proud of La Cruz and new people love visiting. Great appreciation was shown to Lina Bureau, the head volunteer of the recycling program and of Amigos de la Cruz who do so much. Fiona Clark was thanked for her involvement in organizing volunteers and teaching at the primary school. Folks were grateful for the extended police presence in the last year and for more street lighting.
The grace of all who stated their needs was overwhelming, proving great appreciation for those caring about our town. The meeting ended with a resounding “Vive Mexico”. The community leaders then took anyone who was interested on buses to view their needs first hand.