I (don’t) HAVE THE POWER!January 5th, 2013 | Posted by in Mexico | Speedbumps | The Places We've Been
Note: This post was written yesterday, but couldn’t be posted until today because…
This morning we awoke to find that San Juanico’s electricity is off. Let us examine, for a moment, the factors leading to this:
- Power to the town is rationed. As with many things in an isolated locale, luxuries like electricity and water must be conserved to be sustainable. Thus, on most days the electricity is on from 5:00AM until noon, and then again from 4:00PM until 11:00PM. (This is not nearly as inconvenient as one might think; one of the “off” periods we use for sleeping, and the other we use for chores, beach bumming, and surfing.)
- Power to the town comes from large generators that run on diesel fuel. San Juanico’s power grid is entirely isolated and must be self-sufficient. For a town of roughly one thousand people, purchasing generators instead of building a more efficient power system was an economic decision, and one that seems to serve the place well. Uninterrupted electricity isn’t necessarily a huge need for a town that has only been wired for perhaps twenty years, and whose biggest industries (fishing and surfing) are powered hydrodynamically.
- Power to the town was on for all of the New Year’s Eve holiday. This included an all-night fiesta in the center of town, complete with loud music blaring from speakers and colorful lights illuminating a dance floor that was full until 6:00AM on New Year’s Day. This seems to have contributed to a faster than expected depletion of the diesel fuel supply needed to run the town’s generators.
- Yesterday evening, the local police truck drove through town, telling all the residents over a scratchy loudspeaker that this month’s electricity bill was due to be paid in the morning.
- The money from this month’s electricity bill is apparently needed to purchase more diesel fuel with which to power San Juanico for the coming month.
So there you have it. An all night party burned through the town’s fuel supply, and now we just have to wait until everyone pays their electricity bill so more fuel can be purchased and the lights (and internet!) will come back on. Our hosts seem to think we should be back online this afternoon. Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad if it stayed off just a little longer.