Return to Argentine Middle School
Return to Web Page for Saturnino Alvarado
Return to Alvarado Newspaper and Publications Index
October 18, 1918
THE INFLUENZA SITUATION
THE MEXICAN SITUATION IS ONE OF THE MOST ALARMING IN THE CITY
POORLY HOUSED AND IGNORANT, DISEASE TAKES BIG TOLL
A PROBLEM FOR THE CITY FATHERS TO DEAL WITH - NOT JUST THINK ABOUT
The Mexican population in Argentine has been increasing rapidly the past few months, there being a steady offer of employment on the railroad work. The box cars the Mexican population has been occupying along the Kaw River dyke have been filled to overflowing and many families have sought and found housing facilities elsewhere. In some parts of the city where they have entered, there has been strenuous objection made but the other residents have been only partially successful in dealing with the situation.
These Mexicans are making big money and are able to provide themselves with good houses could they be found. This Mexican housing problem is becoming a difficult problem to handle and one that must have the attention of the city's interested citizens.
1st. It is not fair to demand that the children of white parents, coming from clean and well kept homes go to school to enter a room partially filled with Mexican children that are not clean, and who have come from the disease ridden shacks that are provided as housing facilities for these people. This is the condition, however, that exists at present and one that grows worse with the constantly increasing Mexican population. This condition has been rebelled against but each objection has been met with the assertion that it cannot be helped. There is nothing else to do.
Two remedies have been suggested, either of which is worthy of consideration.
In any spread of contagion the people who suffer most are the people who know little about sanitation and the proper care of the sick. This is the condition in these Mexican settlements today if rumors and reports have any foundation. The number of sick among the Mexicans seems to be very large and the deaths are numerous.
One proposition of most vital concern to us, however, is the question of how we are going to assure ourselves of protection again disease when the schools reopen and these children from the Mexican homes come with the white children to school. The bringing on of a single death from such a source must be laid directly at our doors. What are we going to do about it?
The two remedies that are open to us are these:
1st. It is possible to act securing in some manner better housing conditions for these people. With this must go the proper sort of health supervision making it necessary for them to live in reasonably clean conditions. This could be done and is the only real solution for the Mexican difficulty.
2nd. It is possible to provide separate school facilities for these children. If there is not a separate building that they can have they be given a separate room or rooms and the protection given to the bulk of the student body. Such a relief of this kind is possible and should be demanded by the parents of the children concerned. This is not a color question but it is a moral and a sanitary one and should be dealt with firmly. The writer speaks with experience having had the same problems to deal with for a period of _?__ years.
The time to take action is now. We should not wait for disaster to befall us before we decide to act. These boys and girls of ours must attend the schools that we provide. That is compulsory. That being the case, the responsibility that is ours is the greater and we must bear the blame if death comes as the result of our negligence.