> >> We get between 100 and 150 inches per year here in the hills west of Ceiba.
> >That's still quite a bit compared to Western Mexico.
> Yup. Your bananas there probably did well mainly along the river where
> they were well watered unless you did a bit of irrigation.
When the rainy season ends and the river ceases to run wild (which it will do
after it rains heavily up in the hills), those of us who shared an irrigation
canal would each clean our own stretch and join in to clean a few common
stretches. These canals run behind the irrigated land (called "playas", or
beaches); and tap the river upstream. We'd build a seasonal dam out of rocks,
branches & banana leaves to plug holes - although I also found sandbags and a
sheet of plastic to be quite effective, to channel the current int the canal.
These canals drop more slowly than the river bed, so that the longer the canal,
the wider the beach area - the area between the canal and the river. Where the
river would take a turn and flat land was found in the bend, then you get a wide
but often less long irrigated plot. Those that share a canal divide the weeks
water by the day or half day, so much for each owner, depending on a number of
> We had a couple of dry years here recently (94 and 95) and many of my
> bananas and all but two stands of plantain died back. Those that were in
> the areas of more shade survived. I have since replanted a most of the
> bananas and am making progress getting more plantains in.
> --Dan in Sunny Puerto Rico--
Those in the shade had it made (in the shade - it dried out less). There were
times the river was too low for the current to enter and travel the length of
the ditch. The current would rise some during the night and sometimes that was
the only time you could irrigate. Also, people up stream were taking water out
of the river too. There were very few upstream from me though, and their playas
Even so, there were years that the river got so low just before the rainy season
began again (and swept all the dams away), that I'd tie boxes on my donkeys or
mules saddles (donkeys were best since they're shorter) and lead them into the
middle of what was left of the river, fill up 5 gallon cans that fit the boxes
and water my trees, maybe 10 gallons each. These canals were originally dug by
the spaniards that came soon after Cortez. People have lived self sufficiently
for many hundreds of years (maybe thousands) there. When I arrived there was no
road - not even dirt (although a dirt road did go as far as the village, a 40
minute walk away) - no doctors, electricity, police, telephones; nice place.
Very united people.
The villagers would put chairs and kerosine lamps out into the streets at night
in the summer (which wasn't excessively hot due to the rains cooling everything
off), and talk about the things their lives were made up of. No national or even
state politics, no television, movie, sports or millionaire celebrities, none of
the garbage that leads people to live lives that never, ever get to be their
own. Facsimile lives, where people can no longer tell the difference between
what's real (and original) and what's not. Where all the tree fruit is from
grafted trees, and no one know the difference (after all, it looks the same, and
above all, it sells).
When electric power and satelite dishes got there, people began to stay in their
houses glued to the tube. Utterly disgusting! Don't even want to think about
Douglas M. Hinds Centro para el Desarrollo Comunitario y Rural A.C. (CeDeCoR) (Center for Community and Rural Development) - (non profit) Cd. Guzman, Jalisco 49000 MEXICO e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
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