Page:Travels in Mexico and life among the Mexicans.djvu/43

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35
A GLIMPSE OF YUCATAN.

development of the country. He has a salary of $4,000, with an appropriation of $16,000 for himself and staff, in which this is included. The Lieutenant-Governor gets $1,500, the Vice-Governor and Council, $5,000, total. Other salaries are:—

Judicial body (twelve members) $16,500
Clerks, etc 13,500
Remaining officials, about 35,000

The appropriations for the year 1881 were:—

For public schools, about $50,000
Public improvements, railroads, roads, etc. 43,000
Police 14,000
National Guard 25,000

Every man, from twenty-one years to fifty, is subject to military duty, and may at any time be drafted. He then gets the extraordinary pay of six cents per day, and finds himself in food.

The total budget for 1881 was about $300,000, of which the officials absorbed such a portion as seemed to them best for the public good—and themselves. It is a noteworthy fact, that, out of the various sums appropriated, but $300 was set aside for the Museum: this in a country richer in archaeological remains than any other known portion of America. But a fact still worthier of comment is, that they should have established a museum at all. The Museo Yucateco is not large nor well conducted, and its few specimens are poorly arranged; but it contains many a prize that our archaeologists would like to secure.

There are several newspapers here, the Eco and the Revista being the commercial papers. The former is published three times a week, the latter daily, and both are very well edited. There are also a semi-weekly official organ, and two religious papers, one Catholic and one independent. There is a bank in Merida, and drafts can also be obtained on New York and Europe from the hemp exporters, who are the heaviest business men of the city. Premium on drafts about fifteen per cent, at sixty days' sight. The rate of interest here is from