The before and after of a construction site

To the layperson observing a construction site, it’s often difficult or impossible to visualize the finished project. In Mexico, where most construction is by done by manual labor, the dichotomy is even more pronounced as evidenced in these pictures.

A friend who worked for Occupational Health and Safety, covered her eyes when she saw this. The ladder is actually 2 hand made ladders tied together.  The men carried five gallon pails of cement on their shoulders up that ladder.

Constuctioon & Comox 2006-07 013

The most commonly heard phrase at this point? “Uno mas de cemento, por favor.”

Constuctioon & Comox 2006-07 015

Another part of the site went from this

Constuctioon & Comox 2006-07 019

To this:


Yes, this will be a pool.

Constuctioon & Comox 2006-07 016

And the final result looks pretty darn good.



13 comments on “The before and after of a construction site

  1. This is reminiscent of most of building constructions here in my country. With the aid of make-shift ladders (made from bamboos or planks) masons and their helpers climb up ongoing building projects. I doff my hat for these men, both young and old, who climb up these buildings with heavy loads (headpan filled with cement, blocks, wood, or cement bags) on their heads, backs, or shoulders. An aspect I find a bit scary is the carpentry stage.

  2. Darlene, we recently visited Mexico one month after the two ferocious storms hit and knocked out the main highway (and several tunnels) between Mexico City and Acapulco. We were absolutely floored by the amount of work that had been completed in that short time. Hills were being rebuilt with stones and wire caging. The road was open to travel and the tunnels were passable. I didn’t see one worker standing around supervising either. The crews were hard at work in the blazing sun and probably not following safety standards either. I was impressed by the quality and speed at which they had completed this arduous task. Now I think I should have looked a little closer.

    • What? No leaning on shovels? No standing around? Pretty darn amazing really what the men do and how hard they work and you wouldn’t believe how little they are paid for all that labor.

      • Yes,that’s so very true, and to see the places where most of the them lived on the outskirts of the cities is truly appalling. I was so surprised to learn Acapulco alone had a population of 2 million. A taxi driver told us that most were grateful because it meant so many men were put to work in the aftermath.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.