June 7, 2009

From the East Cape

Well, I have been down here one week now, and am getting things going on the summer project here. First, of course, Veronica and I had to take care of logistical issues like renting a Jeep, getting all the groceries we need, and other mundane and really fun stuff.

The good news is we have internet here, so I can keep posting on this site. The bad news--for today at least--is that the water around here is full of mal aguas--otherwise known as Portuguese man-of-wars (called Physalia physalis by the more scientific folks).

That means swimming is, well, not as fun. But at least it prompted me to read a good Stephen Jay Gould essay about them. The beaches may be littered with stingly little "suspicious bubbles," as one of my friends out here calls them, but at least they instill the desire to educate myself about the local marine biology, right?

In project-related news, I have found out that the project Cabo Cortez is not the only golf course/marina/hotel slated for the East Cape, there is also this one at Cabo Riviera. Development abounds. Now the question is this: how sustainable are these projects, who benefits, and what will the long-term social and environmental effects be?*

I have also spent a lot of time reading about the archaeology of the East Cape region. This site, which was put together by Don Laylander, has been pretty informative. As have the articles of William C. Massey, who worked around these parts in the late 1940s up through the early 1960s. He did his PhD at UC Berkeley, but I can't find much biographical information on him as of yet. Also, check out this short article by Tom Dillehay, and this one by Rolando González-José, Antonio González-Martín, Miquel Hernández, Héctor M. Pucciarelli, Marina Sardi, Alfonso Rosales, and Silvina van der Molen. It's always good to keep thinking outside of the established frame of thought, and folks like Dillehay have been doing a good job of doing so. I hope that I always remember to keep an open mind when it comes to my ideas about "how things really are." History and education are a process, not a contest, after all.

The inhabitants of the East Cape region where I am working are known as the Pericú (or Pericue). Wikipedia does a decent job of introducing the research about these people, who lived in this area for at least 10,000 years. Here is an interview with the archaeologist Harumi Fujita, who advocates for an even older occupation date. I'll read more about that and get back to you on that debate, however.

More news later...

* Ya, I know. That's actually three questions. Let's not get technical, ok?


Moisés Santos Mena said...

este reportaje ya tiene varios años pero sigue siendo pertinente para entender la complejidad del tema y los mecanismos que se echan a andar en el asunto de la especulación inmobiliaria y la pérdida de soberania por la venta de terrenos en la franja costera de Baja California.

Moisés Santos Mena said...

Hola Ryan:
Y... ya te dijeron cómo tratar una "quemada o picadura" de aguamala?? jejeje
En otro orden de ideas, te interesaría contactar a Harumi Fujita? Te podría facilitar su e-mail...
Un saludo, exito con tu proyecto y gracias por tus magnificos comentarios en el foro!!