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Events: Resting up for Carnival

This Week… starting January 25

Municipal Fiestas This Week

This week sees the beginning of Candelaria fiestas throughout the State of Yucatan. The biggest of these are listed here. These six fiestas are some of the best you will find anywhere and the areas they represent are no longer off the beaten path but still well worth visiting. Each is special, so read and then investigate on your own. You’ll be glad you did!

Yucatan Living Valladolid Candelaria Fiesta  9 Day EventJanuary 26 through February 3Valladolid Fiesta
This fiesta is one of the most important fiestas in the state. It is held in honor of Mary, mother of Jesus, to confirm that, for Catholics, Jesus is the Light of the World. It also marks the time when the chicle workers returned from months of hard work in the forests, and it honors the beekeepers and other farmers. All events focus on the community and the family unit. The fiesta eventually grew so large that it began causing damage to the city itself, so it was moved to a commercial area, Los Gavilanes, which is in the outlying suburbs of Valladolid. Candles are still lit to the Virgin in the annex of the Church of the Candlemas. While no one was paying attention, this sleepy little rodeo town grew into a commercial and industrial giant and, with the elevation of Chichen Itza to the status of One of the Seven New Wonders of the World, Valladolid is quickly becoming a tourist mecca.

Yucatan Living Tekal de Venegas Candelaria Fiesta  4 Day EventJanuary 28 through January 31
Tekal de Venegas is a tiny municipality in the north-central part of the state. It is south of Temax and Dzoncauich, north of Izamal and Tunkas, west of Tunkas and Cenotillo, and east of Tepakan (got that?). (See Maplandia) Only about 2,300 people live there and half of them are indigenous. Their languages are Spanish, Mayan, and Nahuatl. More than half of the population works in agriculture, cattle ranching, or fishing. We found some pictures of this municipality online and they showed a high level of poverty. Tekal de Venegas is only 11 miles northeast of Izamal, on the road to Temax. Ox Watz is an ecotourism area owned by 56 partners who are native citizens of Tekal de Venegas. What a wonderful idea! We are sure this fiesta will be well worth attending – and please don’t pass up a chance to visit Ox Watz!

Yucatan Living Tzucacab Candelaria Fiesta  4 Day EventJanuary 28 through January 31
“Way down South” – Yes – we’ve got a South here too, so ya’ll come on down! Its even (relatively) cool in the summer! Tzucacab is located on the southern border of Yucatan, just east of the point. It lies between Tekax and Peto, and shares its southern border with the State of Quintana Roo. Approximately 12,600 people live in Tzucacab, about 7,000 of whom are Mayans, for whom Mayan is the principal language. This is farming and cattle country, so look for lots of leatherwork here. But the extreme southern part of our state also happens to produce artisans of fine jewelry, so be on the lookout for jewelry here too. Remember that there are volunteer farming opportunities in Tzucacab as well. …and Tzucacab, through Rancho Hobonil  is home to one of our favorite programs, the International Veterinary Medicine program,  sponsored by the University of Florida. One of last year’s students was kind enough to post about her time in Yucatan. There are some wonderful things in the interior of our state and we hope everyone takes the opportunity to find that out, especially at these fiestas.

Yucatan Living Hunucma Fiesta  4 Day EventHunucma FiestaJanuary 28 through January 31
This fiesta is in honor of Corpus Cristi. Hunucma is the poster child for “Change Has Come.” Visit the Hunucma Website and notice that even the banner conveys the sense of excitement that exists today in this rapidly growing area. This municipality extends from just east of Merida, all the way to the coast. To help you get your bearings, Sisal is in the Municipality of Hunucma. Hunucma (the city) has a newly refurbished gateway into the city, a new addition to their municipal mercado, and a brand new concha acústica (acoustic shell). The entire municipality is looking forward to new highways and leaving no stone unturned in their efforts to improve the quality of life for everyone in the municipality. Lots of agro-products are made here, but the shoppers among us go for the shoes! Artisans produce works from coconut shell and henequen, as well as jewelry and leatherwork. On the coast, there are flamingos and great seafood! Hunucma is close to the city and a day spent there is well worth the time. 

Yucatan Living Tunkas Fiesta  4 Day EventTunkas FiestaJanuary 30 through February 2
This is the Tunkas County Fair. Tunkas is 86 km southeast of Merida, almost in the exact center of the state. It has just under 4,000 inhabitants, about half of whom are Mayans. This too is farming and cattle ranching country, so look for huipiles, hemp hammocks, and pottery here. The food is great, but watch out for the habaneros. Tunkas suffers from a high level of poverty and, as a result, has a high rate of migration to the U.S. The municipality is one of three sites in Mexico that are being studied by the University of California at San Diego in their International Migration Studies program. We hope everyone will visit this fiesta and support the people of Tunkas.

Yucatan Living Kantunil Fiesta – strong>January 31 through February 4.

This fiesta is in honor of the Virgen de la Candelaria. The hallmark of this fiesta is its many religious and union processions. Kantunil is between Izamal, on the north, and Sotuta, on the south. The Kantunil exit from the Merida to Cancun toll road (autopista de cuota) is a little under 40 miles from Merida. There is currently a big push on, by the Municipal Council in Kantunil, to improve the cultural experience of children, with a focus on Mayan tradition, so this should be a trip everyone will enjoy. 


In the City of Merida

This week will begin rather slowly. The 468th Anniversary of the City of Merida has ended. At the end of this week, the Kings and Queens of Carnival will be crowned. Next week will be Dia de la Candelaria. Closely following that event, Carnival will swing into action and there will be non-stop fun from February 6th through February 17th. But that doesn’t mean there are no events this week. To the contrary, there are excellent concerts, Women’s Dances, and MELL’s Annual Chili Cook Off! This is just another week in Merida, with more to do than anyone can keep up with. We hope you have loads of fun. Don’t forget to save some room for that chili on Sunday!


Monday (Lunes) January 25, 2010

Yucatan Living Check our ongoing events page for events on Monday


Tuesday (Martes) January 26, 2010

Yucatan Living Café Pena K’aay T’aan
Location: Café Pena K’aay T’aan in Casa de la Cultura del Mayab, Calle 63 x 64
Time: 8:00 PM Tuesday
Admission: FreeJudit Perez Romero

Yucatan Living Anniversary Concert: Judith Perez Romero
She is the director and pianist of the Maya International group. An event not to be missed!
Location: Teatro Peon Contreras, Calle 60 x 57
Time: 8:00 PM Tuesday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Cairo Cinema Café: Cul-de-Sac
This is a 1966 Roman Polanski movie. A wounded criminal and his dying partner take refuge at a beachfront castle.
Location: Calle 20 No. 98A x 15 y 17, Itzimna
Time: 7:00 PM Tuesday
Admission: Free


Wednesday (Miercoles) January 27, 2010

Yucatan Living Check our ongoing events page for events on Wednesday


Thursday (Jueves) January 28, 2010

Yucatan Living Cairo Cinema Café: “Woyzeck”Woyzeck
This is a 1979 Weiner Herzog film. Franz Woyzeck (Kinski) is a hapless, hopeless soldier, alone and powerless in society, assaulted from all sides by forces he cannot control.
Location: Calle 20 No. 98A x 15 y 17 Col. Itzimna
Time: 7:00 PM Thursday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Film: TBD
We never know what they are going to show here when we publish this list, but we update it later in the week. The films are usually documentaries, and always good. The chairs are hard, though… bring a pillow!
Location: LA 68, Calle 68 at Calle 55
Time: 9:00 PM Thursday
Admission: $20 pesos


Friday (Viernes) January 29, 2010

Yucatan Living Slow Foods Farmer’s Market
This organic farmer’s market will launch on Friday, January 22, 2010, and will be held every Friday after that. Vendors who wish to sell their products at the Farmer’s Market must send a solicitation describing the product and retail prices to David Sterling Los Dos Cooking School, Calle 68 No. 517, Colonia Centro. You may also e-mail chefsterling [at] los-dos [dot] com
Location: Calle 31 # 70 x 12 y 14, Col. Chuburna de Hidalgo
Phone: 999-928-1116
Time: 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM every Friday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Jan. 29: Women’s Dance in Progreso
If you have never been to a Women’s Dance, this is an experience you can’t afford to miss! This dance is a pre-Carnival event hosted by the Ladies’ Volunteer Trust for the San Joaquin Nursing Home. Trejo Yenely Nadal will be crowned Queen and there will be a costume contest after she is crowned (yes – you wear a costume). …and then there will be the performances by the 46 “Divas” – and you have not seen anything like this outside of Las Vegas! (except that some of these dance lines have 2 and 3 generations in them). The main thing here is to have a wonderful time – no men allowed – and all proceeds go to help support the nursing home. If you cannot attend this Women’s Dance – there will be several in Merida. We will try to find them and let you know when and where.
Location: Local Office of the MLC, located on the west side of El Playon.
Time: 9:00 PM (why so early?) “until”
Admission: $100 pesos. Tickets and table reservations can be requested at the home of Mrs. Elda Manzano, located on Calle 33, opposite the main park.The Transporter

Yucatan Living Cairo Cinema Café: The Transporter 2.
Mercenary Frank Martin, who specializes moving goods of all kinds, surfaces again this time in Miami, Florida when he’s implicated in the kidnapping of the young son of a powerful USA official.
Location: Calle 20 No. 98A x 15 y 17, Col. Itzimna
Time: 7:00 PM Friday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Documentary: TBD
Location: Casa de Cultura Elena Poniatowska: La 68, Calle 68 # 470a x 55
Time: 9 PM Friday
Admission: $20 pesos


Saturday (Sábado) January 30, 2010

Yucatan Living Movie: TBD
Location:Casa de Cultura Elena Poniatowska: La 68, Calle 68 # 470a x 55
Time: 9 PM Saturday
Admission: $20 pesos Merida 2010 Carnival Kings

Yucatan Living Coronation of the Kings and Queens of Carnival
Location: On the Archery Field of the Complejo Deportivo Inalámbrica
Time: 7:30 PM Saturday
Admission: Free


Sunday (Domingo) January 31, 2010

Yucatan Living Merida English Library Chili Cook Off
This is the biggest fundraiser for the year for M.E.L.L. This year, there will be a bazaar, selling antiques and crafts. The bazaar will begin at 10:00 AM. Hot dogs, beer and refreshments will be served all day or until they are sold out. Since the audience gets to vote, you can be a part of selecting the best chili in Merida!
Location: Calle 33 #378-A x 6 y 4, Colonia Montebello
Time: 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM, Chili tasting: 1:00 PM
Admission: $100 pesos adults, $50 pesos children under 12
Ticket Location: Merida English Language Library; Calle 53 x 66 y 68, Centro, or at the door on the day of the event.
Information: Call: 924-8401, e-mail: meridaenglishlibrary [at] hotmail [dot] com

Yucatan Living Cairo Cinema Café: Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead
This is a 2007 Sidney Lumet film. When two brothers organize the robbery of their parents’ jewelery store the job goes horribly wrong, triggering a series of events that sends them, their father and one brother’s wife hurtling towards a shattering climax. Starring: Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Ethan Hawke, Albert Finney, and Marisa Tomei.
Location: Calle 20 No. 98A x 15 y 17 Col. Itzimná
Time: 7:00 PM Sunday
Admission: Free


Coming Soon

Yucatan Living Carnival 2010: Merida, YucatanCarnival, Merida 2010
The following is a list of the official activities and parades in the City of Merida during Carnival. There will be others, including parades in all of the villages and outlying municipalities. We will add them as they are sent to us.

Saturday: Jan. 30, 2010: Coronation of the Kings and Queens of Carnival
Location: On the Archery Field of the Complejo Deportivo Inalámbrica
Time: 7:30 PM

Saturday: Feb. 6, 2010: Pre-Carnival: Grand Costume Contest
Location: Parque de la Colonia Aleman
Time: 6:00 PM

Wednesday: Feb. 10, 2010: Quema del Mal Humor (Burning of Bad Moods)
Location: Lower Floor of the Municipal Palace
Time: 8:00 PM

Thursday: Feb. 11, 2010: Pre-School Parade
Location: From the Municipal Palace to Parque Santa Lucia
Time: 4:00 PM

Friday: Feb. 12, 2010: Pirates Parade
Location: From the Monumento a la Patria to Parque de San Juan
Time: 7:00 PM

Saturday: Feb. 13, 2010: Parade of Fantasia
Location: From the Monumento a la Patria to Parque de San Juan
Time: 7:00 PM

Sunday: Feb. 14, 2010: Parade de Bachata
Well – its certainly shorter to say Bachata than “Laissez et la bon temps rouler!” – and easier to spell too! This is a parade to make some noise and have a good time!
Location: From the Monumento a la Patria to Parque de San Juan
Time: 12:00 PM

Monday: Feb. 15, 2010: Regional Parade
Location: From the Monumento a la Patria to Parque de San Juan
Time: 7:00 PM

Tuesday: Feb. 16, 2010: Battle of Flowers Parade
Location: From the Monumento a la Patria to Parque de San Juan
Time: 12:00 PM

Wednesday: Feb. 17, 2010: Burning of Juan Carnival
Location: Plaza Grande
Time: 7:00 PM

Yucatan Living Feb. 6: Box Azteca Presents Total Impact in MeridaBox Azteca in Merida
Likar Ramos vs. Jorge Solis
Ramon Maas vs German Meraz
…and we’ve got a dog in this fight. His name is Ramon Maas (aka La Cobra) and he is from right here in Merida, so if you love boxing, this is the place to be on Saturday, Feb. 6, 2010!
Location: Deportivo La Inalambrica
Time: 8:00 PM Saturday
Admission: Tickets Available at San Fransisco de Asis Centro and Juega Juega
VIP: $500 pesos, Ringside Dorado: $300 pesos, Ringside Gral.: $200 pesos, Gradas: $100 pesos

Yucatan Living Feb. 20: World Championship Boxing in Merida!
Guty Espadas (former champ) vs Elio Rojas (current champ)
With Espadas as the clear local favorite!
Location: Poliforum Merida, KuKulcan Stadium
Time: 7:00 PM
Admission: Tickets available at MegaMedia (Prolongacion Montejo in front Club Campestre) and Materama (Construction stores)

Yucatan Living The Symphonic Orchestra of Yucatan
Don’t forget to sneak a peek at the coming offerings from the Symphonic Orchestra this Spring. Stars we will see include: Christopher Collins (violin) in February, Robbin Blanco (classical guitar) in March, Alfredo Arjona (piano) in April, Luis Mora (clarinet) in May, and the big finale to the entire season is… Carmen (the opera) is back in June for six performances! …and you will never guess who is singing in the role of Carmen! Carla Dirlikov! Carla is a young friend of ours and the U.S. Cultural Envoy to Mexico… read more about Carla Dirlikov here. What a season!
Location: Teatro Peon Contreras, Calle 60 x 57
Time: Friday performances: 9:00 PM, Sunday performances 12:00 PM
Admission:$150, $100, $80 and $60 pesos. 25% discount for children and INAPAM
More Information: 923-1334 and 923-1335

Yucatan Living Keeping Up With the Yucatones
As though you just can’t get enough already… another way to keep up with The Legendary Yucatones.

Yucatan Living New Class: Yoga in English
Instructor: Pilar Guerrero
This class is a perfect way to either begin practicing or continue a forgotten yoga practice. Start today at the most beautiful colonial Meridan style yoga center. Feel welcome and relaxed in this multilevel yoga class.
Location: Semilla Yoga, Calle 11 # 206 x 24 y 26, Col. Garcia Gineres
Date: Class begins Jan. 19, 2010
Time: 9:40 AM Tuesday mornings
Cost: $150 per class

Yucatan Living March 7: Guiness Record for Cochinita Pibil
Fundación Produce Yucatán, AC, organizer of Expocampo Yucatán, invites you to come and be part of history! A Guiness Judge will be coming all the way from New York City to judge the world’s largest Cochinita Pibil. According to official reports, the entire Conchinita Pibil will contain more than 2,850 kilos of raw materials, including over 2,000 kilos of raw meat. This is a once in a lifetime event, so you can be sure that everybody is going to be on hand to celebrate! We’ll see you there!
Location: Siglo XXI, on the road to Progreso
Time: We suspect this will be an event that will be all day, at the very least, and more than one day if we know Yucatan’s hospitality like we do.
Admission: TBA – but probably Free!

Yucatan Living Saturday: April 3: Sir Elton John To Sing at Chichen ItzaElton John in Chichen Itza
This performance is one that many have been waiting for, but only a few will enjoy! This singer-composer-pianist has sold over 250 million records and has had more than 50 hit songs. There is not a generation in the past 40 years that has not had their age defined by one of his masterpieces. If you miss getting a reserved ticket, we are certain there will be other opportunities to get a ticket between now and the time of the concert. We will keep you informed with all the latest on this exciting event.
Admission: $10,000 pesos, $7,000 pesos, $5,000 pesos, $3,000 pesos, $2,000 pesos and $1,000 pesos.
Tickets on sale: and Siglo XXI Convention Center


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For Merida Month-at-a-glance Calendar, click here


For ongoing events and classes in Merida,
please click here for our Ongoing Events Calendar

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