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Home Letters “Belizeans don’t have a work ethic; they have a ‘recreation ethic.’”

“Belizeans don’t have a work ethic; they have a ‘recreation ethic.’”

Dear Editor,

In the midweek edition of Amandala, Mr. Colin Hyde, in his column, mentioned that roots Belizeans resent the Chinese and Mennonites’ economic success. It is true the Chinese have taken over the grocery business in Belize.

Why? Because the Chinese, the Mennonites and the Americans have a “work ethic.” If I can coin a phrase, I will say roots Belizeans have a “recreation ethic.” A case in point – this latest four-day weekend, National Heroes’ and Benefactors’ Day, every roots shop in Cayo was closed.

Not to worry, every Chinese shop was open for business and was being supplied with milk, chicken, eggs and butter by the Mennonites.

Last Easter holiday, the roots bakery was locked down solid for an entire two weeks. Thankfully, the Chinese bakery kept us supplied.

When I mentioned the roots folks’ laid-back attitude, a friend said “WE don’t want to work like ants.”
Sorry, but ants put away, while grasshoppers starve.

On a related matter, three weeks ago Amandala featured an article penned by the Zapatista Women of the mountains of southeastern Mexico, lamenting the fact that progress was threatening the Zapatista way of life.

The Zapatista women did not want a railroad built to bring tourists to their neck of the woods; they wanted to be “free” to live as they always had.

My mother was a Choctaw Indian woman from the mountains of southeastern Oklahoma, USA. She spoke of how difficult her early life was, walking to the community well to draw water, scrubbing clothes in the river, bathing in the river, going barefoot through the summer to save her shoes for school, and attending the one room Indian school where the same teacher taught grades one through eight.

She said it was a happy day when the United States Bureau of Indian Affairs, through the Tennessee Valley Authority, extended electric power to her people, but the happiest day of all was when they received indoor plumbing.

What I mean to say is, if those Zapatista women would just relax and let progress improve their lives, they, too, could have indoor plumbing.

Thank you,
Dean Wayland, Cayo

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