SEATTLE — Mexico City is the core of Mexico, not only geographically but also economically. Every day, more than eight million people go to work and school, not counting the Mexicans who arrive from neighboring states. A regular morning is frenetic in the city: traffic lights changing fast, the subway transporting thousands of people and streets full of cars.
However, not all the cities in Mexico have the same infrastructure. Only Guadalajara on the west coast and Monterrey in the north have the same level of infrastructure as the capital. In the rest of Mexico, especially the south, several zones struggle with inadequate roads and inefficient public services.
Mexico’s three poorest states are Chiapas, Oaxaca and Guerrero. In these states, most of the people do not have running water or a concrete floor in their home, healthcare is not readily available, and the citizens have low levels of education. The south is one of the main areas where infrastructure in Mexico needs to improve.
Chiapas, on the southern border of Mexico, is Mexico’s poorest state. Over 76 percent of the population lives in poverty. This number is directly affected by the infrastructure. For instance, just 57 percent of Chiapas’ citizens have running water inside their home and 61 percent have sewer systems. Only 2.7 million of the state’s 5 million people have access to healthcare.
In terms of transport infrastructure, the local government has developed diverse projects in order to connect more people around Chiapas. The Sur Tuxtla Gutierrez road and the Villaflores-Tuxtla Gutierrez highway are the most important plans. In total, the state will add 20,000 kilometers of new roads.
The federal government is also trying to help the thousands of people who live in houses with dirt floors. Mexican officials have donated 650 concrete floors to homes and facilities that will provide aid to 2,500 people. It is expected that this project will be extended to install 50,000 solid floors throughout Chiapas.
According to the World Bank, Mexico has one of the best transport infrastructures in all of Latin American, just behind Chile and Peru. This feature of Mexico’s economy has allowed it to generate more business partners throughout the American continent. In addition, Mexico occupies an important location in the economic map since its northern neighbor is the most powerful nation in the world. Many goods have to pass through Mexico in order to reach the United States.
The federal government has announced important projects in the transportation sector. The new airport in Mexico City is the most impressive of them as it is expected to be the biggest airport in Latin America. Also, new rail services will connect Toluca and Mexico City, a project that will reduce the transportation time between the two cities.
It is clear that infrastructure in Mexico is advancing. However, the new projects focus on a few cities, forgetting states like Oaxaca, Chiapas and Guerrero, where thousands of people struggle to get basic services. Expanding infrastructure in Mexico equally across all states will have a major impact on the lives of people in these areas.
– Dario Ledesma