The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 54, July 1950 - April, 1951 Page: 135
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sought better economic opportunities and more personal free-
dom. Like the North American pioneers, they were frugal, be-
lieved strongly in the value of hard work, and in time came to
regard increase of capital as an end in itself. Shortly after the
Revolution of 1917 Chan Kom decided to transform itself from
an Indian bush settlement into a full-fledged Spanish pueblo
or town. This was a fateful decision, for Chan Kom had com-
mitted itself to progress. This decision was soon to be followed
by significant changes in its way of life.
Today Chan Kom believes it has achieved its goal. Its success
is due to able local leadership, aid from the revolutionary na-
tional government, advice from North American scientists work-
ing at nearby Chichen, plus hard work and a certain amount of
good fortune. Recently Chan Kom has been rewarded by being
chosen as a governmental administrative center, the head of a
Physically Chan Kom has undergone striking change. Stone
masonry houses have replaced many of the older thatched struc-
tures. There is a plaza, around which are clustered important
public buildings and the houses of leading families. Numerous
modern gadgets are in evidence, and the old Maya costume is
being replaced by European styles of clothing. The economy has
also undergone extensive change. Milpa farming is still basic,
but it is not so important or so productive as it once was. The
livestock industry (cattle and hogs) has shown tremendous de-
velopment. There are several locally owned stores, and special-
ized handicrafts have shown a rapid growth. Wealth has accu-
mulated and individual property rights are emphasized over
communal property rights. A number of men buy and sell live-
stock and corn for profit; the people are price conscious; loans
are made at interest; in short, Chan Kom is becoming a capitalist
society, though no social classes can yet be distinguished.
These are the things that the people of Chan Kom wanted-
the material benefits of civilization. They wanted to live more
like the people of the cities. But this progress has been achieved
at a cost which is only now beginning to be realized by the
people of Chan Kom. The young people are coming to have a
different view of what constitutes the good life. The social organ-
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 54, July 1950 - April, 1951, periodical, 1951; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101133/m1/163/: accessed April 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.