Written by students of San Pedro High School, Form Three. Dilcia Trejo Regina Gonzales, Sandra Gutierrez, Felipe Sansores, Ricky Verde, and Jacqueline Valladarez.

The Open Forum focuses on a question posed to them in their English Language Texthook, 'What changes have you noticed in your immediate environment (your village or town) over the past few years. Are they permanent or, temporary? How do you respond to these changes, with joy or sadness? '

There have been many changes taking place in our community over the past few years. Naturally, these changes have affected us the citizens of this community, and some changes have affected us negatively, while others have affected us positively. Unfortunately. some of these changes are permanent and we will have to live with them and tolerate them for the rest of our lives

Many American people, or other foreigners, have bought beach front lots and act as if the beach is part of their property too. Now they don't allow anyone to pass through. They have also constructed by the beach and we can no longer advertise our beautiful beaches to tourists because there are no public beaches; they are all private. So when our tourists arrive looking for the lovely beaches. they are all private properties.

The violation of the breeding season for lobsters, shrimp and fish. etc. Is a temporary change. All of us are affected because the tourists come here looking for these things and we don't have nay to offer them because some greedy people interfere with their breeding cycle, not giving them a fair chance to reproduce and grow.

The introduction of more and more vehicles is a permanent change which causes pollution of air and land, and moreover, causes the erosion of the sand from our streets. roads. and even our beaches. Whenever it rains, the streets get full of big, deep puddles and our people, who walk to work or school, cannot arrive on time or arrive with muddy shoes and clothing that have been splattered with mud by some inconsiderate driver, especially the taxi drivers

Due to the introduction of bars. prostitution houses, and gambling places, more young people and adults too are involved in crimes and drugs. This creates a very unhealthy situation for our town. We are receiving a very poor reputation and it is not safe to be carefree any longer.

The cutting down of mangroves for construction is another negative change. The mangroves which provide protection against hurricanes are no longer there to protect us. Due to this reckless act. the habitat of many fishes an other marine organisms is destroyed and we are losing a very important re source. We must not only plan for today, but for the generations to come.

There are also more boats and fishing vessels in our seas and some careless drivers are destroying our coral reef. The destruction of our reef, causes us to be unprotected during a hurricane, because believe it or not, the reef is a powerful barrier that protects us from the raging seas. Furthermore the reef too is another habitat for thousands of marine organisms and their existence is also being put in danger. With no reef, and no sea life, there will be nothing for tourists to appreciate and enjoy. This will cause a decline in tourism and guess who will be affected?

Now, look at the positive changes which have taken place over the year; and for which we are proud and glad. First of all, there has been great progress in education. More schools have been opened and more opportunities are offered to the people. The more educated people we have, the more our community will benefit from this. This is a permanent change to which we respond with happiness because education is the key to success. And education is for everyone - not just whites, or males, or for members of one religion. It is for everyone, and we get to respect one another in the classrooms.

The museum is a permanent change which we accept with great joy. The museum is a means of having our culture and heritage alive. We will be able to learn more about our ancestors and our culture and teach the youths and our visitors about it. A museum can be the lifeblood of a community because it can open the doors of opportunities by reminding us of the past and helping us to set our goals for the future. We are very proud of our museum.

The health center is a place which offers services to the people and they get a chance to get inexpensive medication and services. They may choose to give a small contribution or not. This helps our town because not all the people can afford to consult a private doctor. We hope this is a permanent change and one which can be improved.

The police training organization for children is a temporary change in which children are taught how to keep healthy and are prepared to be future policemen or leaders in the community. This program helps them to keep out of drugs and to find useful alternatives.

The introduction of computers in our community is a permanent change which everyone welcomes because it saves a vast amount of time, feeds us with vast amount of information and makes our work a lot more interesting and pleasant. With it we also get to have more leisure time which we can put to good use. The society benefits because we can get more information and the people can spend more time with their loved ones because the computer gets the job done a lot faster.

Finally, there is the library. This library was built with individual effort and a lot of pride and dedication. We all approve of the library because the students can get help there to do their research home-works. It provides a peaceful environment where students can do serious concentration in their work. Thts will defimtely improve the standard of education and our community stands to benefit.

All in all, San Pedro has seen vast changes in the past few years. Let us preserve the positive changes and try to do something about those that affect us negatively.

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