Health Care and Neighborhood Watch
News Starting November 22, 2010
If you love tennis, you don't have to leave it behind to move to Yucatan. Today, the 24th Yucatan World Cup is being played at Club Campestre. Why not go by and ask questions? Find out who plays where and where you can find a great coach. In fact, if you check out the Sports Department at UADY, you might find that there are many different sports you can become involved in by living here, even fencing and chess have their Yucateco devotees. Even if you don't play tennis, do go by and support the players. It always means so much to those who work so hard to reach higher and higher levels of skill.
Hunucma: Canine Control is Permanent
We are sad to report that the Municipality of Hunucma has made its canine control program permanent. From now on, all loose dogs in areas such as in or near markets and in or near parks will be picked up and taken to the collection center in Merida. If they are not claimed by their owners within 3 days, the dogs will be euthanized. The program began on Monday, November 15, and 27 dogs were picked up in that one day. The Ayuntamiento suggests that people spay or neuter their animals and keep them confined at home so that they do not run the risk of being picked up in the streets. For our readers who do not yet live in Yucatan, please consider a donation to any or all of the animal welfare organizations listed on every page of Yucatan Living's Adopt a Pet section. For those who live here, if you are not already a volunteer, won't you please consider either volunteering at one of the animal shelters or opening your home as a foster home for one or more of Yucatan's deserving dogs and cats? Current volunteers are, as the saying goes, dancing as fast as they can right now and would deeply appreciate any help you can give.
Caucel to Get Sports Complex
We have been wondering about the new Super Dome-type soccer stadium coming to Ucu. Its been a long time since we heard anything about it and Los Venados is still playing in Carlos Iturralde Stadium. However, the new stadium wasn't due to be finished for another year, so it may still be on track. Keeping that in mind, we were surprised to hear that there is going to be a new sports complex built in Caucel. We still thought of Caucel as a little town just on the western outskirts of Merida. Imagine our surprise to learn that the greater Caucel metropolitan area now serves 104,000 people! The new sports complex will be home to a running track, a soccer field, a multipurpose gym with wood floors and a steel roof, parking, bleachers, a parking lot, and it will all be fenced. In the end, it will also have a sound booth, a weightlifting gym, two squash courts and a dining room. They will also put in bike paths in the area and close the roads twice a month for bike races and other such activities. As expats look to places other than the city to put down roots, we have it on good authority that the Caucel area fits that bill quite nicely these days. Congratulations to all of the folks who live out that way. They begin construction late in 2011, so you should be having fun in your new sports complex early in 2012.
A New Habanero Comes to Yucatan
Thus far, Yucatan has become internationally known for her Chile Habanero and the product was rocking along at 20 to 22 tons per hectare, but grown in hydroponic greenhouses. Now, we have a new variety of chile habanero. Its name is Mayapan. This thing is scary. It grows in the field and produces 35 tons of product per hectare. Neither bugs nor diseases bother it in the least. Thankfully, there are no reports of the Mayapan being hotter than we are ordinarily used to, but it sure does look like a chile on steroids to us. We think we'll pass and let Europe and Asia have the first exports of the Mayapan chile. In the meantime, congratulations to all of our chile farmers for having brought this industry so far so fast. They have done their research and now is the time to, literally, enjoy the fruits of their labors.
15 New Science Teachers in the South
While there may be a hiccup or two in the development of the southern part of the State of Yucatan, no one can ever say that the great strides forward in that part of the state have ever been stopped or even slowed down. This past week, Regional del Sur Technological University graduated 15 teachers with a Masters in Science in the 2 year graduate program known as the Masters in Educational Innovation. In this program, the candidates for the degree have completed all of the requirements for their degree except the writing of their thesis. Yucatan needs teachers in the classroom and these young people need jobs. This program allows them to teach while they complete their thesis. What a wonderful win-win situation for the students in their classes. Our congratulations and best wishes to all of the new science teachers in Tekax and surrounding areas – and to their parents for a job well done.
Teenagers, Cars, and Wide New Roads
That's a math equation, isn't it? Teenagers + Cars + wide new roads = Radar (in any language). The roads that are being watched by the SSP now include: the highway from Merida to Progreso, the road to Dzibichaltun, and the back roads around through Conkal. The radar is on both ends of all of those roads but, on one end, it is what's called fine-radar. It takes a picture of the offending vehicle's license plate and a warning is sent to the home of the owner of the vehicle. There was no mention of what will happen the second time a picture is taken of the same vehicle. We are glad to hear this news, especially as we enter the holiday season. Some places in Mexico have roads that are not so good and accidents are often fatal. In Yucatan, it is just the opposite. The wide open ribbons of new concrete (plus speed) in Yucatan have been the cause of many fatal accidents and this time of year is the perfect time to send our young speedsters a wakeup call. Thanks to the SSP for making the roads safer for all of us.
Parks, Parks and More Parks
It would not surprise us in the least to, one day soon, see the State of Yucatan billed as the “Land of Parks.” Yucatan's answers to some of the world's most complex problems: Global warming? Cool down by building more parks and green spaces. Crime? Strengthen culture by building more parks and holding more cultural events in them. Federal money is available? Build many more parks for all of the reasons above. Now, the State of Yucatan is almost finished with 28 new parks in Merida, Kanasin, Valladolid, Tizimin and Uman. Nine new parks have already been completed in Merida and 8 more are 80% complete. These 8 parks are expected to be complete by the end of the year. In addition to the cultural activities available in all of these new and/or remodeled parks, the number of cultural events will also be increased in 7 additional parks. We can literally feel the building of excitement and activity in Yucatan as we get closer to the year-long celebrations of 2012. Every park is going to be busy with non-stop programs and the people of Yucatan are going to be gracious hosts to a world that is hungry for the peace and cultural characteristics they will find in the Parks of Yucatan.
Wind Power in Yucalpeten
Everybody talks about it but nobody ever tries it. Isn't that a common refrain for many unfamiliar technologies? Well, someone in Yucalpeten finally installed wind power at his house and had a presentation when the project was done. It cost him $200,000 pesos ($16,300 USD) to do the entire job. When the system produces more than 100% of the electricity his house uses, it automatically runs back into the CFE network and is applied to future billings. Currently, the homeowner's CFE bill is only about 25% of what it used to be, insuring that he will be able to recover what he spent on installation in the medium-term. The CEO of the Secretariat of the Economy, as well as CFE managers attended the presentation and were quite impressed. Look for more wind power to be encouraged in Yucatan, especially now that the people and the authorities have a successful first project to experience for themselves.
Neighborhood Watch Comes to Yucatan
A version of what Americans know as Neighborhood Watch has come to the southern part of Yucatan. The name of the program is Neighborhood Police (Policia Vecinal) and its purpose is to report abnormalities to the police. A committee has been set up in Oxkutzcab to train the people, making sure they know they are not policemen and that they must call the police when they see or hear something amiss. This is such a badly needed program in Yucatan, especially as the population ages. So many Yucatecos are getting older and living alone. If the Neighborhood Police have a duty to report when water is leaking, when they see a dead animal or uncollected garbage, or when they see evidence that there has been an act of vandalism, there may be someone in the home who has become ill or who is injured. This will get them the help they need as quickly as possible. With more eyes to see, the police also hope to be able to keep an eye on people from other states who sometimes come to Yucatan solely to commit crime. Yucatan is a safe and peaceful state and Yucatecos intend to keep it that way.
Attention All Foreigners in Mexico: Health Care
We are pleased to report that, as of today, November 22, 2010, the following decree has been published in the Official Journal of the Federation and by every major media outlet in Mexico:
By Decree: Health Care for All Foreigners in Mexico
The Interior Ministry has published a decree that no foreigner may be denied or have health care restricted in case of illness or accidents, as well as in cases involving human rights and law enforcement.
This decree adds additional paragraphs to Articles 67 and 113 of the General Law of Population, with regard to the attention of foreigners with respect to human rights and the sanctions that will be applied to public servants who fail or violate those individual rights.
The paragraphs added to Article 67 state that in no way is health care to be denied or restricted for foreigners regardless of their immigration status, the focus of complaints concerning human rights issues, or by law enforcement at any level.
There is a phrase that we will look into a little more closely, however. That phrase is “provided they meet the requirements of applicable laws,” that are set in the decree that is being released today, Nov. 22, 2010, in the Official Journal of the Federation.
This new decree specifically states that foreigners are entitled to assistance in disasters, as well as when they require medical attention due to sickness or accidents that endanger their lives, regardless of their immigration status.
Public servants who attend foreign patients are not required to notify the government of the patient's presence or status.
Article 113 sets out the punishment if it is found that a public servant willingly did not provide health care services to any foreigner who needs them. This punishment begins with a 30 day suspension or, if the employee committed acts or omissions that violate the human rights of people who are subject to this law, then dismissal will be the punishment.
Our take on this new decree is that Mexico continues to provide us with wonderful surprises and still continues to grow as one of the best places we can think of to live, work, play and retire. This decree is a great humanitarian move and we would like to thank the Mexican Legislative system for their concern for all people within their borders.