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Entry ticket to the GalacticZone. University of California Press, one of the most distinguished universitypresses in the United States, enriches lives around the world byadvancing scholarship in the humanities, social sciences, and naturalsciences. Its activities are supported by the UC Press Foundation and byphilanthropic contributions from individuals and institutions. For moreinformation, visit www. Making History in Times of Struggle andHope, ed. Lynne Hume and Jane Mulcock.
Reprinted with permission of the publisher. Includes bibliographical references and index. It is like an unnecessary postscript to Chiapas, which should be all wild mountain and old churches and swallowed ruins and the Indians plodding by. Graham Greene, Anthropologists and other social scientists have been at work in Chiapasfor more than half a century.
Chiapas is all these things, but it is also urban, ladino nonindigenous , and for some, a place to seek economic prosperity. Thisaspect of Chiapas has received less attention from Western anthropolo-gists, who historically have come to southern Mexico to study indige-nous peoples. Located in the hot lowlands of Chiapas, Tuxtla, home to theGalactic Zone, is a city of nearly half a million people.
Rabasa played a key role in the politicalmodernization of Chiapas. Tuxtla is like that, it is a very new city, itsancient traces having disappeared with modern urbanization and itwould be useless to hope to still find here an atmosphere of centuriespast. But in , the capital of Chiapas stilllacked both a drainage system and paved roads; only the central blockhad running water, and only four medical doctors were available toserve the entire population of Tuxtla and its hinterlands.
Theimage of the city was changing. Yet not until the middle of the twentieth century did Tuxtla trulybegin to develop the infrastructure characteristic of a modern city. By thes, the city had a new airport and its first automatic traffic lights. Fountains and monuments, symbols of the consolidation of state power,were built throughout the capital.