The new leaves behind the old. The construction of new highways implies faster travel, but it will no longer be voyage, but just going from… to… The numerous towns that used to survive due to the passage of travelers, little by little will witness the collapse of their fragile economies, small business will close their doors, restaurants, dining rooms, small convenience stores, tire and mechanic workshops; the social dynamic as well as the traditions will change, the inhabitants will lose their live hood way and that shall result in an increase of the migration flow to the United States, especially from people from Oaxaca, state that occupies the third place in migration after Chiapas and Tabasco.
There are previous records of this dynamic in Oaxaca. Back in 1993, as the highway Oaxaca-Cuacnopalan opened -which decreased travel times from 10 hours to 6 Mexico City-Oaxaca- both tourists, carriers, shippers and in general all the people, quit using the old 190 Pan-American highway and preferred the new faster highway. As a consequence, many small businesses located along the old Route 190, closed their doors, especially in the area of La Mixteca and their inhabitants migrated to the northern states of Mexico or to the US, reinforcing the migration trend of the zone.
The same tendency is expected to happen for the towns located along the routes Oaxaca-Tehuantepec and Oaxaca-Pochutla with the opening of both highways in the years to come.
Through this project special attention is being given to the economic and social reality of the villages located along these two routes: Oaxaca-Pochutla and Oaxaca-Tehuantepec. Specifically, I provide the photographic documentation for the 175 Route Oaxaca-Pochutla, since the opening of the new highway is forseen to be in less than two years now, and it’s likely that the towns along the route, shall vanish from the map and their inhabitants will have to migrate to bigger towns in Oaxaca, to other states in Mexico or even to the US, as an escape valve to solve their precarious conditions, nevertheless the inherent suffering.
The scope of the present Project is to document visually the current situation of these towns, to provoke a debate among different government entities as well as among the society through conferences in order to try to offer a different chance to this people.
Five years after the opening of the new highway, I shall return to the old route’s towns to witness the new reality of them.