National Geographic : 1961 Oct
local varieties. In the State of Jalisco, for example, native Indian corn yields about 20 percent more than it did in 1944." Cornfields cover most of the arable land of Mexico and provide the basic food for two-thirds of the population. Now new va rieties, plus fertilizer, have suddenly made the country self-sufficient in corn production, except in years of severe drought. Near Ciudad Obreg6n, in Sonora, Mexico is raising another kind of crop-a bumper harvest of young agronomists (page 523). In the wheat field of an experiment station, I phrased some Spanish questions for several young Mexicans. Then one sunburned chap stopped me cold. "Sorry," he said in English. "I don't under stand. I come from Afghanistan." He and dozens of other specialists from all over the world had been sent here by the United Nations Food and Agricultural Or- Eating a roasted mackerel like an ear of corn, a boy from Puerto Vallarta smiles, "Bueno." Like Lollipops Stuck in the Sand, Skewered Fish Bake Over Coals Fresh from the sea, the mackerel sell for 2 pesos, or 16 cents, at Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, on the mountain-girt Pacific coast. Virtually unknown to vacationers a decade ago, the village promises to become one of Mexico's most popular resorts. Pelicans patrol the palm fringed beach; jaguar and deer lure hunters to wooded hills; offshore waters teem with game fish. "Houses and hotels are popping up everywhere," reports photographer Ross. "Land values have risen enormously in the last few years." ganization to learn new farming techniques. Mexican scientists are also speeding up wheat research for their northern neighbors. Each fall, experimental seed harvested in the United States and Canada is flown to the station near Ciudad Obreg6n. There a new crop is raised and harvested in time for spring planting in the north again. Thus a dozen years' work can be done in six. International cooperation marks another food project in the State of Michoacan. There, beside Lake Patzcuaro (page 524), a United Nations group called CREFAL trains teach ers, farm experts, and public health work ers in community development. Tarascan In dian villages provide the laboratory. Patzcuaro fishermen's butterfly nets are older than the conquest, but recently the fish population has declined. To help the Tarascans find new sources of income, CREFAL workers in 1956 got a small bank Y KIP ROS5. NATIONALGEOGRAPHIC STAFF C NG.S .