Travel to Rosarito, Mexico and the Casa Estrella Orphanage Part Three

Updated May 21, 2011

Rosarito remains a culturally significant travel destination. The common symbol of a family unit is historically important and treasured in Mexican society. Taking care of the weak is another important ideal preserved at Casa Estrella though largely overlooked by the cash strapped government and aid organizations in the region. The values of love and caring for each other are immediately evident to visitors as the girls laugh, study, and play without regard to the relative fortune of neighbors to the North American border.

To combat the negativity of attention from foreign media outlets, organizations have been established in the government bureau to establish campaigns to increase tourism. Baja Now is one such tourist group founded as a travel leisure group that presents stories and media from travelers to the area to share their pleasant travel stories. The hope of Baja Now is that the power of word of mouth advertising is the best foil to the terrible press and fear of American tourists to travel to Baja. There are tens of thousands of Americans living in Baja California and many more cross the border each day and leave their mark on culture and day to day interactions of the locals.

Some tension has resulted because of the demands placed by some of these organizations like the opening of natural wildlife preserves for fishing by tourists. Author Emily Young has devoted a lot of time to studying the encroachment on resources of Baja California Sur. Two key fishing grounds in Laguna San Ignacio and Bahia Magdalena are key marine resources that are being turned into inshore fishing communities. While developers are claiming to be stewards of the marina the locals are disagreeing over the control of these national landmarks slipping away to a fishing development (Young, 284). The disagreement over meaning of tradition and development of future economy are common struggles in Baja California. The value of land against economic productivity is a constant struggle in the region which often leaves organizations like Casa Estrella to fend for themselves. Still the belief in the good of what Joe and Esther are producing leads them to dedicate their lives to helping the future generations of girls at the orphanage.

In 2009 the National Science Foundation in association with the National Academy of Science collaborated with several research institutions to explore the social demography. Roger Owen synthesized the results finding Baja California defined by its language and culture predominately before outside influences (Owen).

These influences however have expanded significantly since Mexico controls United States land. I crossed this theory and found supporting evidence from a study by Homer Aschmann conducted in 1965. At that time the Indians that inhabited the Peninsula that used little technological progress in their subsistence farming and were still easily found in the northern three-fourths of Baja (1). Now the area has been further developed and is home to markets and casinos that have become a hot stop for spring break college students. Stories from visitors to Casa Estrella which is located near many of the resorts bring donations and visitors from other countries who have assisted Esther and Joe from time to time.