Saturday, March 28, 2020

Lies, damned lies and...

In a video address from outside his big, second floor office at the Ayuntamiento yesterday, Victor Hugo reminded us that 80% of Antigua’s economy is tourism-dependent which means, he added, that 80% of the population is directly affected by the current downturn. 

Well, no it doesn’t. The two proportions may well be semi-accurate after all, but the one does not follow from the other. 

I do hope our mayor understands this, because a grasp of statistics like this was always going to be an integral part of the job, and now it could almost be a life and death matter. 

It’s quite possible that 60% of panza verdes could live quite comfortably on 30% of the tourist revenue seen in the past, for example. (Off the top if my head, with no claim for accuracy.) 

For local GDP, as elsewhere in Guatemala, was never particularly evenly spread. 

And yet, there’s a case to be made that as near as dammit to 100% will be directly affected, if not equally so. 

On the plus side, the Muni have indeed been analysing the needs of the population against some rather crucial metrics, and have concluded that 1200 families fall into the urgent need of assistance category.*

* UPDATE: This has in fact been delegated down to the alcaldes auxiliares, so here at least, we’re probably fucked. This was a job for conscientious professionals, not rank amateurs. Like any of the surrounding villages, we have numerous households that tend to be a rather complex mix of cases: struggling small business owners, the newly unemployed, the old and infirm, longer-term indigents, bottom feeders and so on. Sorting out who gets the despensa will not be an easy task. 

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