Thousands of seasonal banana workers in Cihuatlán in the Mexican state of Jalisco face months of unemployment as a result of the damage to farms caused by Hurricane Patricia.
Antonio Morán, former mayor of the town, has warned that this could lead to unrest among the local community.
“Cihuatlán’s economy was based on the cultivation of bananas,” he told Mexico News Daily. “The 2,600ha of bananas ruined by the storm will not be replaced for seven months – the 4,000 people who depend on them for money are not going to have an income.”
He urged the government to help by providing alternative employment for the workers, claiming a failure to do so would lead to social problems.
The government has already implemented a Temporary Employment Programme to help the thousands of families affected by the hurricane through the provision of part time jobs, but Morán said this would not be enough to tackle the area’s job shortage.
He suggested that providing more jobs for women and reviving Cihuatlán’s tourism industry would help alleviate the situation.