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Merida English Library Chili Cook-off

The Merida English Library was established many years ago (honestly, we’re not sure how long ago… but it was an institution when we arrived in 2002) to provide English language material in all formats to meet the informational, educational and recreational needs of the residents of Merida. In practice, the library is used not just by native English speakers, but also by many Spanish-speaking residents looking to improve their English skills. It’s a great place to meet people and enjoy the convergence of cultures that makes living in Mexico such an interesting learning experience.

Two of the library’s most important events have been combined this year into one big day. This year, the Seventh Annual Chili Cookoff will be held on the same day as the English Library Garage Saleannual Garage Sale.

For starters, instead of having the Chili Cookoff at an empty school, as in years past, this year the coordinators have met with the Mayor and talked with the Police Department of Merida and they are going to block off the entire street in front of the library and have a block party. Calle 53, between Calle 66 and Calle 68 will be blocked to traffic all day on Sunday, March 18 for the local gringos. What fun!

There are other changes in store as well. Instead of having the Garage Sale in the library garden, tables and booths will be set up in the street. The library has invited 7 or 8 local antique dealers to sell their goods at the event as well. We all know how much extranjeros love antiques, so this is bound to be a big draw and a good opportunity for all newcomers to get to know the local antique vendors. There will also be Guatemalan artisans selling their crafts, including yardage of handwoven cloth. And of course, there will be booths of local residents selling used items as well.

Booths are still available for a $300 peso donation if you would like to sell your household items. Donations are also being accepted for the library’s own booth. The proceeds of any items you donate (household items but no clothes or shoes) will go to the library. If you would like to donate items or rent your own booth, please call Paul Ziegler at 925-0425. Let him know what you have to donate and he will arrange to have the goods picked up.

Werner and Fritz have no more chilil!The Chili Cookoff will begin at approximately 1 pm and will feature 10-12 different chilis. In the past, we have tasted everything from New York Chili to Vegetarian Chili. Some are spicy, some are sweet. They are all delicious and the best ones disappear quickly, so don’t be late! A $100 peso ticket will let you taste all the chili you can eat ($50 pesos if you are a kid). Tasters vote on the best chili and the winner is announced at the end of the event. Tickets can be bought early at the library or the day of the event. If you want to enter your chili in the Cookoff, call Sandy Sweet at 924-3722. She and Paul are also looking for volunteers to help on the day of the event.

The event begins at 10 am and ends by 4 pm. We think the idea of a block party is a great one… there is something so deliciously fun about playing in the street! This promises to be the best Merida English Library event ever, so don’t miss it!

Date: March 18, 2007

Time: 10 AM to 4 PM

Location: Calle 53 between Calle 66 and 68, Centro

Info on Chili Cookoff: Sandy Sweet at 924-3722

Info on Garage Sale/Bazaar: Paul Ziegler at 925-0425

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12 Responses to “Merida English Library Chili Cook-off”

  1. Hey:
    I am happy to see all local gringos are getting together for a good cause. I wish I was there to meet you all. Good luck and have lots of fun for me. When I move back to Yucatan I will definitely stop by one of your get-together sometime.

  2. Strange. I walked all around the area that the tourism booth told me where the English Library was. I could not find the place. I look for a sign on the houses in the area, but, did not find any thing that said: English Library. So, I gave up. I see the US Consulate Office has changed it’s location in Merida. It’s no longer accross the street from VIPS? There is a show on PBS featuring Yucatecan cooking. A Chicago chef named: Rick Bayless on his show Frontera Kitchen on PBS.

  3. The English Library just got its beautiful sign about two years ago… it might have been after you left, Carlos. Other than the sign, it looks just like a regular colonial home.

    As for the Consulate Office, yes, it is now on Calle 60 north of the Hyatt and Fiesta Americana.

    And thirdly, we did hear that Rick Bayless was going to be featuring Yucatecan cooking. We’re lucky to be able to go down to the corner and have delicious Yucatecan food!

  4. Uh… Chilli… must go… eat… drink… pass out… eat again…

    I think I’ll go!

    Maybe I’ll take some of my “secret hot sauce” ;-)

  5. The fact that the chili cookoff is happening on the same day we leave for a weekend in Cozumel makes me want to stab. Not only am I pretty convinced my White Bean Chicken affair stands a chance, I am going to HATE missing out on other people’s creations. We may have to change our dates.

  6. hey there, looks pretty cool. I love my hot chilli sauces too.

    It’s not a good chilli unless it has your nose running and the rest of you sweaty :)


  7. Great article – I am saddened by the fact that I will miss the events arriving on the 23 of March :( . Is there an article on antique dealers in the Yucatan Peninsula or do you have a listing? On my trip, I would like to get some contacts for antiques dealers (as well as spend some of my money). Thanks for always providing such great information.

  8. We don’t have an article on antique dealers…yet! We’ll get the scoop at the Merida English Library Chili Cookoff and write one!

  9. [...] Awhile ago, friends of ours had a medical emergency in the middle of the night and didn’t know who to call. We ourselves have needed to call to report something unusual on the street (in our case, an alarm system that refused to shut up) and didn’t know how to contact the police. The number in our Paginas Amarillos (Yellow Pages) wasn’t correct. And frankly, even when we are not rushed or in a panic, we find the Paginas Amarillos puzzling at best. When you are hurt or in trouble or just plain annoyed, but you don’t know the language, information you may need is a lot harder to find. So Yucatan Living has printed up bookmarks which will be available at the Merida English Library on the day of the Chili Cookoff. The bookmarks are free, just like the website. Keep them handy in case of an emergency. Keep one in your book or in your car or on your refrigerator. And if you can’t find one when you need one, come to the website and we’ll keep the numbers here for you too: [...]

  10. [...] Merida English Library Cookoff Information [...]

  11. The Library had another Chili Cookoff this year also. I was not able to go. However one of the best things that the Library has is on Monday nights is a get together for folks both native and expatriates either living there or just visiting. I met some really nice people their.

  12. This sounds like such a great event and I cant wait to experience it next year! A garage sale and chili all in one! Gringos must have conjured this up for sure! love it


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