Merida News: Orchids and Apologies
Readers Choice 2007
In case it slipped by you somehow, the Readers Choice Awards for 2007 were announced finally and the results are here. Yucatan Living congratulates the winners… now on to 2008! The first poll for 2008 is to find the Best Fine Dining establishment in the Yucatan, and the voting is already hot and heavy! Put in your two cents here. These Readers Choice Polls are so informative, aren’t they? Not only do we get to tell you about five places, people or things that are valuable and worth experiencing, but we get to learn about new things... Everyone wins. If you have any ideas for polls you’d like to see in the coming year, leave us a comment with your suggestions.
New Forum for Expats
We've introduced everyone to Malcom and Jillian in their interview with Yucatan Living. They have a blog called DroppedIn and we've all seen their free classified ad site Yolisto. Now, Yolisto has been completely remodeled as a new forum for the expat community. Its got a great feel to it and is super easy to use. Members can share photos, videos, stories, and information. They can neet new friends and discuss topics of interest. Yucatan Living wishes Malcom and Jillian all the best with the new format for Yolisto.
Last year, Yucatan Living readers were asking about orchid growers. We found two and reported them here. Now, there is another orchid grower who has started a business in her home in Oxkutzcab and it is growing by leaps and bounds. Her name is Señora Míriam Yolanda Góngora Estrella. She lives in Oxkutzcab and her address is Calle 48 entre 53 y 55, just a few meters from the Municipal Palace. What we like is that she also grows medicinal plants but we're saving that topic for an article all its own. Sra. Góngora Estrella has 8 different varieties of local orchids which, mounted, sell for $150 MXP. On top of that, she has Carolina Japonesa, which is similar to a bougainvilla but without thorns and with parasol-shaped flowers, as well as a plant called Bigote de Conejo (Rabbit Moustache). These two are sold for $40 MXP each, and can't be found in Merida for under $75 MXP - so "drive a little, save a lot!" This grower has other plants, and even plant stands, but we are curious about her bonsai orchids. They are $1,000 MXP and we can't wait to see them!
Used Car Imports Into Mexico
Until this past week, it was legal for Mexican used car dealers to import U.S. used cars that were between 10 and 15 years of age. With Mexicans now having more disposable income than ever, demand is high and growing. This, according to some, threatened to turn all of of Mexico into little more than a dump site for older American cars. Dealers also warned that the importation of cars that are newer than 10 years of age would cut into their new car sales. The solution is that only cars made exactly 10 years before the current year can be imported into Mexico and sold here as used cars. This year, that annual date is 1998 and the vehicle of choice is the Ford F-150 pickup truck.
For those of our readers who either do not live in Yucatan or have never visited here, how long has it been since your community mounted an all out effort to support your culture and inspire your young people? Valladolid is a city in eastern Yucatan that is just now bursting onto the tourist scene, but that has always been one of the strongest of the cities of Yucatan. This past week, Valladolid Mayor Mario Peniche and Enrique Martin Briceflo, Director of Cultural Patrimony for the Cultural Institute of Yucatan, agreed to provide expanded opportunities for artists, musicians, craftsmen, and other cultural groups in the City of Valladolid. At the same time, the local Catholic church, San Gervasio, led young people on a 5 km penitential walk in preparation for Passover. During their walk, they were encouraged to think about the sacrifices that were made for them and the value of their own acts of charity. Between the recognition of the value of culture and the education of young people, whether that education finds its roots in religion or politics, Valladolid is a city that is on solid footing as it enters a new era of increased attention from tourists around the world.
Ticul and Preschool Soccer
Lest anyone think that it is only Valladolid that puts a great deal of effort into their children, we cannot ignore Ticul and their new preschool soccer matches. The Ayuntamiento (Council of the Municipality) has bought equipment and furnished uniforms so that the little ones can have a well rounded educational experience in both mind and body. The one expense that cities, towns, and villages across Yucatan will always support is anything that is in the best interest of Yucateco children.
Homes of the Future
This week, el Diario ran a little piece on Tomorrowland and the Houses of the Future at Disneyland. Those futuristic homes are full of gadgets to make life easier, but what about structures that are environmentally friendly and/or meet new codes we have in some parts of Yucatan? There are many alternative home-building ideas floating around and some of them have actually stood the test of time. For example, have you ever considered living in a yurt? Think concrete is more your style? Ever hear of Flying Concrete? Not your "style"? You might want to take a second look. Both yurts and flying concrete homes can be built "off the ground" - which just might peak the interest of anyone planning new construction on the beaches of Yucatan. While we are not advertising for either of the sites highlighted here, we do think it is important for all of us to keep informed about new developments in home building. You never know when these techniques just might come in handy.
China to Be Guest at Fall Cancun Film Festival
There is a notice, in the President Calderon's March newsletter, that China will be the invited guest at the 2nd International Cinema Festival in Cancun from November 3 to November 9 this Fall. It seems that China now excells in the production of contemporary dramatic films, as well as films about ecology and human development. It is currently believed that Japan will be the invited guest at the 3rd International Cinema Festival the following year.
University of Florida Students at UADY
Sunday, March 9, international students at UADY from the University of Florida were introduced to the program "Today in Your Community." That is a special program in Yucatan in which students from 11 different disciplines at UADY offer their services free to individuals and families in outlying communities. Health care, dentistry, and legal assistance are only a few of the services this group offers in rural communities in our state. We hope the University of Florida students enjoy their stay, as well as the volunteer work they are being asked to do.
New Metropolitan Zoological Park to be Built in Caucel
There will be a ground-breaking this week for the first stage of the new zoological park in Caucel. Keep your eye on this project because it will also house a botanical garden. The visionaries associated with several world famous zoological parks have been advising our mayor and this park has the potential to become a tourist destination all by itself.