What Good Is A Road (Part 5 of 5…por fin!)

In the final installment of my posts and photos about the roads of Mexico, it seems fitting to have a photo of a pilgrimage. These are common in Mexico and at times only take up the shoulder of a highway or one side of a road. When they come into town, they typically take up the entire road as you see here. Sadly, the pilgrimages are a part of a misguided faith wherein those who are walking (and sometimes cycling) believe they are earning merit with God through the sacrifice of their journey. Pilgrimages are one of the saddest observances we often make here on the roads of Mexico. Somewhere in that category of sad sights are the dozens of roadside prostitutes we observe every frequent trip we make to nearby Querétaro. Nothing like the many blocks upon blocks of them seen in certain parts of Mexico City which I’ve never seen personally but have heard about. I don’t need to see it to believe it.

Bicycle rickshaw taxis are common in Mexico City. I even rode in one once. It is quite the experience. I’m not sure if this guy was waiting for another passenger, mesmerized at the thought of an ice cold Coca-Cola or just taking what appears to be a very well-deserved if not necessary break, or perhaps all three were true.

Yes…I can’t say I understand it nor can I explain why…but the people in Mexico just love playing Frogger. I always thought that the video game was based on frogs jumping across floating logs and lanes of heavy traffic. Obviously, the creator of that game was inspired not by our green, jumping friends but by the roads here in Mexico.

And finally…sometimes people store stuff on the roads of Mexico. Construction materials like sand and gravel are often dumped into heaps on the roads of Mexico. In fact, we were tooling down a nice road this past Monday evening on our way back from Amealco, and as I came down a slope in the roadway, I found myself navigating around a huge pile of dirt that took up about 3/4 of the roadway. No sign…no warning…just a normal, routine, unpredictable Mexico road hazard. Here in this photo, they aren’t just storing gravel and sand and adding mix and water, they’re making cement in order to construct a building. How convenient! They use a lot of nails in cement construction (believe it or not)…those nails are used in the wooden forms and for leveling lines.

A little-known fact is that eventually every one of those nails is removed from those forms and lines and tossed into a nearby street or highway for good luck. At least…that’s all I can figure. I really have no idea why the roads are littered with nails otherwise, but when I see concrete construction on one side of a street, if possible, I veer to the other side of the street just to avoid potential nail punctures in the tires.

While I’m handing out free tips, if you should ever drive in Mexico, remember this: When crossing or entering a one-way street…look BOTH ways before proceeding. Doing so may save your life!

I hope you enjoyed a little walk…or drive…or life-threatening experience on the roads of Mexico with me. I hope I haven’t scared anyone from wanting to come down and minister here or even simply visit us here. Sometimes people ask me if they can drive down here rather than fly and if you’re ever one of those people and my instant reply is to gulp and make an odd hemming and hawing noise, you’ll now know why. The first part of the answer of course is “yes.” The second part of the answer is…”and do you intend to return home with this same vehicle in one piece and yourself being alive and well?!?”


Well…I guess when we say…”pray for safety in our travels”…you’ll recognize that as a genuine prayer request and not just a trite statement. Thanks for following the blog and feel free to pray for us! We’ll be driving today!


About alanbeth

What’s up? or rather, ¿Qué pasa? Hola, I’m Alan. I’m a missionary living in Mexico. We have a heart for MK Education and so we teach at a local Christian school with MK students as well as nationals and foreign students as well. I occasionally write or have a pic to share with you at my blog, Knowing Your ABCDs, which you can read with a click on the button above. You can read my blog with a click on the button above.
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1 Response to What Good Is A Road (Part 5 of 5…por fin!)

  1. You have gotten some great pictures of all these things! Great series!!! I had to laugh about mixing the cement in the street…one time in Venezuela there was a pile of sand/gravel mix right on one of the main interstates through Caracas…quite a risk to be mixing it up out there! I’ll have to let Miguel know why they throw the nails in the streets…that is one of his pet peeves for sure! haha!


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