The July 29 Action Line, “‘Durango Bag’ sends clear message about local priorities,” was a fun and light-hearted look at our town and its residents. However, I noticed that like most descriptions of Durango, it completely ignores a huge swath of our population. It focused on and poked fun at PUPPIES, “Perpetually Underpaid People Into Extreme Sports,” but did not mention the chronically underpaid working class made up of natives, immigrants and poor whites who clean the hotel rooms, wash the dishes, cook the food and generally keep the local tourism industry – and thus our entire local economy – in working order.
This group of people works so hard for such low wages that it does not have the luxury of free time or disposable income to spend on extreme sports.
And yes, it is true that many of Durango’s PUPPIES choose not to have children, but many working people do have children, and they run into brick walls at every turn with a complete lack of affordable prenatal care in town, long wait lists and extremely high costs for day care and “affordable” housing and indifference and even ignorance from the other sectors of our society who depend on the work of low-wage workers to maintain their skiing/kayaking/climbing habits.
It is time to refocus the lens and make this sector of society part of our daily discourse when we discuss this great town that we all call home.