Tuesday, December 9, 2014
Mexico by the numbers . . .
100 . . . the life expectancy in years of a “trajinera tecnoecológica,” made of PET packages, shampoo bottles and plastic bags, as compared to the five-year lifespan of the traditional trajinera. A prototype of the recyclable-built version, a joint project of the Mexico City government and the national university (UNAM), has already plowed the canals of Xochimilco. 0 . . . number of decent translations into English for trajinera, the flat pole-driven boats that carry tourists and tipplers through what’s left of the Valle de México’s lacustrine past. 5,000 . . . number of trees (pines and oyameles) that Mayor Miguel Ángel Mancera thinks could be saved if each wooden trajinera serving the Xochimilco pleasure cruise trade were replaced by what we might call a trashinera (better than “trajinera tecnoecológica,” don’t you think?). 50,000 . . . cost in pesos of a single traditional trajinera. 15,000 . . . cost of a trashinera.
1 . . . Ranking of Ecatepec — which sits at the top of the horseshoe that the State of Mexico forms around the Federal District — among the nation’s most populated municipios. 1,655,015 . . . Ecatepec’s population, according to the 2010 census by the INEGI, the National Statistics Institute. Mexico City’s bigger, of course, at 8.85 million, but it’s a Federal District, not a municipio. Iztapalapa, at 1.82 million, is also bigger — but again, it’s not a municipio. It’s a delegación, the borough-like political division into which the capital is divided, 16 times. 1,495,189 . . . population of Guadalajara, Jalisco, which is usually assumed (incorrectly) to be second to Mexico City in population and therefore the most populous municipality in Mexico. It’s not. Ecatepec is. So get your bar bets down. You’ll win. 1 . . . Ranking of Ecatepec nationally in car thefts, and among State of Mexico municipalities in homicides. Population has its price.
5,000 . . . number of Mexican grade school students who drop out each day on average throughout the school year. That’s one every 30 seconds, if you want to look at it that way, or more than a million a year. 580 . . . number of improvised trash dumps piling up on the streets and sidewalks of the Cuauhtémoc delegación in Mexico City, whose 33 colonias include the city center and the Roma, Guerrero and Doctores neighborhoods. 283 . . . number of garbage trucks operating daily in Cuauhtémoc, apparently not enough. Neighbors have resorted to putting up niche altars to the Virgin to make the trash heaps go away. It doesn’t seem to be working. 72 . . . percentage of Mexico City residents opposing legalized sales of marijuana, according to a poll earlier this year by the daily Reforma. These are the same folks who take progressive stances on abortion and gay marriage. But it seems potski is a no-ski. The following numbers might explain why: 78 . . . percentage who have not smoked marijuana in the last year nor know anybody who has. Even allowing for a certain amount of self-protective lying to pollsters, it’s clear that Mexico City is a long way from Denver. 71 . . . percentage who think that legal pot stores will increase “addiction to marijuana.” Reefer madness lives on, it seems. But keep in mind that the Mexican press uses the words “drogadicción” and “drogadicto” in contexts that clearly indicate “drug use” and “drug user,” and not necessarily drug addiction or drug addict.
5 million . . . number of Mexicans (out of 112 million) who are free of religion, according to INEGI, based on the 2010 census. That’s 27 times more than in 1960, nine times the population growth (which tripled in those 50 years). 84 . . . approximate percentage of Mexicans who say they are Catholics, down from 98% in 1950. There’s pretty good evidence that many are CINOs, Catholics in Name Only. Consider the following numbers from a 2009 study that you can consult here: 28 . . . percentage of Mexican Catholics who think their religion should be followed to the letter. That’s compared to 51% of non-Catholic believers. 15 . . . Percentage of Mexican Catholics who say their family life is highly committed to their religion. That’s about one out of seven.