Each week, we bring you our readers synopses of the most interesting articles we've read in the local papers. There is a LOT going on here...we're just skimming the surface of the cenote, so to speak! Here's what we came up with this week...
The World Mourns Luciano Pavarotti
Luciano Pavarotti, dear friend of Yucatan, lost his fight with pancreatic cancer on Thursday, September 6, 2007. His voice was a gift to us from God and he has returned to lead the Heavenly Choir of Angels. Luciano Pavarotti's performance at Chichen Itza will always be remembered by those lucky enough to be there, and was a definite highlight in that location's long eventful history. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Pavarotti family and to all those who mourn him around the world.
Construction will begin on the town that is to be called New Majahual in the next three weeks. Majahual was a major tourist port before its destruction by Hurricane Dean. New construction will be done with protection from hurricanes as a driving force, including the building of a levee before any other construction is completed. The reconstruction of Majahual will be part of a plan for the complete redevelopment of the Mayan Riviera. This is something that we want to watch closely, because of the ecological implications. We are well aware that the beaches of Yucatan are in the sights of many developers, so it is important that we all remain watchful to see that the ecology of Yucatan is protected.
Pilot Trucking Program
On Sept. 2, 2007, the first two Mexican trucks crossed the border and headed into the United States. One was enroute to New York, the other to South Carolina. Their cargo was construction equipment. By the end of the year, there will be 1,000 Mexican truckers on the roads of the United States and the trucks of 100 American companies on the roads of Mexico. Truckers of both countries fought this move. However, if the two countries are to successfully implement free and fair trade practices, they are going to have to allow companies to move goods to destinations on both sides of the border.
100,000 Visitors per Day to Lucas de Gálvez Mercado
Now also called El Mercado Grande, our new main market in Merida has over 1,800 vendors and you can find just about anything you could possibly imagine for sale by at least one of them. This is the kind of place where you can find live birds, fine jewelry, and fresh foods from almost 800 vegetable, meat, and seafood vendors. Clothes, shoes, baskets, pet food... you name it and it is in El Mercado Grande. We are glad to hear that the latest reincarnation of this wonderful old market is doing so well.
Oh Mercy! New Directives from Nutre y Mueve Tu Vida
For those of you who are just now considering retiring in Yucatan – we offer you this warning: if you are considering kicking back, sitting around and eating pizza in your retirement, you might want to rethink moving here. Yucatan has one of the healthiest populations in the world, and now she has decided to make us “better!” Nutre y Mueve Tu Vida just had its 4th Anniversary and they are here to stay! Check out their website. Yucatan has never done anything half-way, so … if you decide to move here… you had better be prepared for an entire society that is increasingly focused on healthy living habits. We're laughing because we know what that really means… it means that you walk and ride bikes, and pretty much forget about junk food (whose price is going up even as I type). But if you want to feel good and look great, then come on along.
The New City Center Mall
Plans have changed for the New City Center Mall: No movie theaters and no skating rink. Instead, it will be more along the lines of one of the mega-malls that we think of “back home.” It will include: A Wal Mart Supercenter, a Big Home (our version of Home Depot), restaurantes (restaurants), farmacias (pharmacies), bancos (banks), cafeterías, pastelerías (pastry shops), a tintorería (a dry cleaner), tiendas de ropa (clothing stores) and others. Did I tell you that Yucatan never does anything halfway? The initial investment in this mall is $50 million dollars – yes, dollars! It will include 101 stores and 1,500 parking spaces. The location is at the corner of Anillo Periférico and Calle 32, with the entrance in El Pocito. Construction begins this week, so it won't be long before we have yet another super-mall, worthy of being a tourist destination all its own.
Super Wal-Marts Everywhere!
The new Supercenter de Pensiones has just opened its doors. After that, will come the Polígono 108 Itzimná. Next will come the Super Wal-Mart in the new City Center Mall. We gringos who live here think often of the folks back home, many of whom are still convinced that we are probably all living in huts and only Heaven knows where we get our groceries! Bless your hearts. Don't worry about us. We'll struggle along with only one ice skating rink but, otherwise, we're doing just fine.
Free Rabies Vaccinations in Umán
Between now and the 29th of September, there will be free rabies vaccinations given at the Municipal Palace and at the Community Center in Col. San Francisco in Umán. If you live in any of the municipalities, please get involved with your local animal welfare organizations. If you don't have one, start one. Get in touch with us and we will be happy to introduce you to others who have done just that. Caring for the pets of Yucatan is the right thing to do as human beings and it is one way that we, as extranjeros, can help to improve the quality of life in the place we now choose to call home. If you live in Umán, do get involved in this latest effort to improve the quality of life for pets in your municipality.
Look at Umán! A Cultural Mini-Merida!
A collaboration between the Instituto de la Juventud de Yucatán and the City Council of Umán has resulted in the development of a new Youth Program at their Casa de Cultura. Looks like they have their own form of the Bici-Ruta now and are moving forward with many new cultural activities for the young people in the municipality. It won't be long now before we have to include what's going on in Umán in Yucatan Living's weekly Calendar of Events! We cannot tell you how pleased we are to see formal cultural development in the smaller cities of Yucatan. Their activities have always been there, but woefully under-reported and certainly not supported to the degree that we now see. Yucatan is moving toward “Glory Days” that have not been seen in over 100 years – but this time, everyone is included and that can only serve to make the best place on Earth an even better place to live! Congratulations to the young people of Umán for a job well done! We look for great things from you in the future.
Temax: Seven New Lady School Crossing Guards
Mayoress Olivia Ku Crespo has decided to do something about the fact that motorists seem indifferent to the safety of children going in and out of schools here. She has hired seven ladies from Temax as school crossing guards. The Mayoress decided that the ladies needed a job and the motorists needed a wakeup call.
For those of you who do not live in Yucatan, it may seem a bit odd that these school crossing guards work from 6 to 8 in the morning; from 11 AM to 2 PM, and then from 6 to 7 at night. How strange that must seem to folks whose children go to school from 8 AM until 3 PM. You see, school here is in two shifts. In most places, younger children go to school from 7 AM until around 11 or 12 o'clock. Then, the older children go to school from 1 PM until 6 PM. The times may vary a little, from place to place, but that is the general setup. In the case of the younger children, mothers walk their entire little families to and from school, with the trip there and back used as a daily community activity. From a pragmatic, sociological point of view, this is one of the main reasons Yucatan has as little crime as it does. This kind of morning, noon, and night interaction between all members of the local community creates a social fabric that very rarely cracks and is all but impossible to break.
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