News: A Perfect Time to Donate
Expat Needs O+ Blood Donors
Gary Neal Brownstein is an expat who lives in Cancun and is covered under IMSS through his wife’s workplace. Mr. Brownstein was sent by ambulance from the IMSS hospital in Cancun to the IMSS UMAE hospital in Merida on Dec. 28th, where it was discovered that he needs a quadruple bypass in order to survive. IMSS is requiring that he provide his own blood donors and open-heart surgery requires, in his case, 10 donors. Four have been accounted for in Cancun and one in the office of Yucatan Living. A total of six must be located in the same city as the hospital where the surgery is performed, with 2 of those at the hospital on the day of the surgery so that plaquetas extracted from the blood will be fresh for use during surgery. Mr. Brownstein has been given a date of January 21(this coming Thursday) to meet with the UMAE team and have his pre-surgery lab work done. He will be informed of his surgery date at that time. We will be meeting with him in the afternoon to pick up copies of all instructions and documents that must be filled out by donors. If you have O+ blood, won’t you please consider becoming a donor for Mr. Brownstein? Once he is given a surgery date, he must have his donors ready or risk losing his date and having to begin again. Since this is life-saving surgery, Mr. Brownstein’s future depends on your willingness to volunteer to be a blood donor for him. If you are willing to become a donor, please leave us a comment with your name and telephone number. We moderate all comments individually and will simply extract the information we need and delete the post without publishing it - so not to worry about privacy. Mr. Brownstein will be giving us a list of restrictions and requirements for donors on Thursday and we will pass them on to those who express an interest in volunteering. Let’s just get this man the surgery he needs. …and thanks.
Carla Dirlikov Returns to Merida as Carmen in June
This young lady is one of the nicest and most talented people we know and we are just thrilled to see that she is headed back to Merida to perform with the Symphonic Orchestra of Yucatan in June. Last year, Carla was named the U.S. Cultural Envoy to Mexico and has spent a great deal of time touring the country, teaching music to orphaned and poverty stricken youth. She has also performed in concerts in almost all of the major cities in Mexico and her fame is growing in Europe, but we hope she will think of Merida and Teatro Jose Peon Contreras as her second home. Carmen will run for 6 nights in June (11, 13, 15, 18, 20, and 22). We don’t know if they sell tickets 5 months in advance or not – but now’s the time to get in line for these. They’ll be the hottest tickets of the season! Are any of you expats out there from Michigan? Carla is from Ypsilanti, so be sure and be on hand to see her as Carmen in Merida in June! For more about Carla Dirlikov, visit her website Here and read Yucatan Living’s Interview with her Here.
Yucatan Living’s Updated List of Schools
We have updated our Schools article and added some new schools based on reader suggestions and recommendations. We would like to thank all of our readers who send us detailed information, such as this. The average age of expats in Yucatan seems to be dropping and we have a significant number here now who are raising families. Having up-to-date information to give them will make adjusting to life in a different country easier for parents and children alike. If you have other schools you would like to recommend, please feel free to leave us a note in the comments and we will be happy to check them out.
3 x 1 Update
It has been more than 5 years since Mexico instituted several programs related to remittances and/or money sent back home by Mexicans who have migrated permanently to other countries. The fundamental principle is that money sent by an immigrant to an individual family tends to not have a very long life span and doesn’t end up doing a whole lot of good for either the recipient or the community as a whole. However, if immigrants pool their money and send it home for use as a block grant (for lack of a better description), it can be used for community projects that improve the quality of life for all citizens and these improvements will, in turn, be used to attract new jobs and create a sustainable economy for the benefit of everyone. …and then they made the deal even sweeter. If migrants form formal migrant associations outside the country and send their money back to their home communities, the local, state and federal governments matches it 3 to 1. The projects started small, baseball fields and playgrounds seemed to be first, then parks and streets; and, before long, roads, water projects, electricity projects, plumbing projects – the sky is now the only limit to what these pooled immigrant pesos and matching funds are accomplishing in Yucatan and, indeed, in all of Mexico. This week, 40 Yucateco mayors are getting ready to head for the U.S. to make a presentation to the immigrant clubs there so they can see and understand the very real impact their contributions have had on the State of Yucatan. In 2009, 82 public works were performed in 44 municipalities in Yucatan. These included: street paving, construction of curbs and sidewalks, construction of roads, roofing of multipurpose fields, purchasing of ambulances, extension of electricity grids and water service, construction of a multipurpose stadium, and improvements to sports fields, among other projects that have a high social impact. We have many friends and readers among the members of the immigrant clubs in the U.S. and we would like to congratulate them for a job so very well done!
Those Amazing Yucatecos! Collections for Haiti
Every time there is a tragedy somewhere – flood in Tabasco, hurricane in Cuba, earthquake in Haiti – there is an immediate response from Yucatan and it is one of the most amazing things we have ever seen. In many of the outlying municipalities of this state, there is little money and the people often are unsure of their own ability to care for their families without assistance. Yet, whenever there is an emergency – there they are, pulling together, and somehow finding a way to give even when some are in need themselves. Now, they are mounting an all out, and very successful, drive to donate whatever they can to help the people of Haiti. These donations are being given to the Red Cross and to Civil Protection. We are always very proud of our adopted state and of the people who live here, but never more so than in times like these.
Haiti Collection Centers in Merida:
These places are all open 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM, except for the zoo, until Jan. 29.
Municipal Palace Calle 62 x 61 y 63
Municipal Public Services Ave. Jacinto Canek con 116 Col. Bjorquez
Ventanilla Unica de la Col. Mexico Calle 20 x 25
Centro de Superacion Integral Sara Mena Calle 57 x 46 Fracc. Fidel Velasquez
Centro de Superacion Integral Amapola Calle 105 x 64-J y 66 Col. Meliton Salazar
Centenario: Jan. 24, 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM
The Red Cross Needs Volunteers
The Red Cross is being overwhelmed with supplies that need to be packed and sent to Haiti. If you live near one of the Red Cross collection centers (Merida, Progreso, Tizimin, Valladolid and Tekax). If you are interested in helping actually get these supplies off of the mainland and headed for Haiti, you are encouraged to call 983-34-54 or 983-02-30, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org OR go directly to one of the collection centers.
We read a wonderful story this week. It is about a young lady who graduated from college in Tekax and was hired to manage a computer project for a Norwegian company. She took the job because she did not think it would require travel, never dreaming she would be made manager over the entire project and “some travel” (to Norway!) would be required. She knew her father would never let her go – but a teacher convinced him it would be ok and she will soon be on her way. We would like to congratulate this young lady, Francisca Amadea Chulim Cauich, but we would also like to congratulate her parents, María Lorenza Cauich Falcón y Jovito Gregorio Chulim, because she is not their only successful daughter. Their daughter Nelly is also a university graduate and she not only launched a water purification project, but is currently its manager. Well done, young ladies – and Mom and Dad!
On Being Unable to See the Forest for the Trees (Seaweed)
Well – how foolish we feel! For years, all of that seaweed on the coast of Yucatan has been a source of irritation and aggravation for the months during which it washes ashore. At the same time, coastal erosion is also becoming a problem. All the while, municipalities have been paying cleanup crews to collect that seaweed and take it to the municipal dump. Now, a young marine biologist, working on a different project completely, walks over and asks why we aren’t burying the seaweed as fertilizer for trees and beach plants and in dunes to stop erosion? Oh No! Surely the answer to all of our inconveniences hasn’t been right under our feet all this time! We’ve got some wonderful expats here who have the time and interest to follow up on this great idea. We are just amazed that we didn’t think of it before!
Merida Tourism Website
We have to admit that we very seldom go to the Merida Tourism website. Most of what is there, or what used to be there, is on our ongoing events page, and we have seen all of the major tourist attractions, so now we are about the business of simply living here and building an everyday life here. No need to visit a tourism website for that – right? Wrong. Take a look at the new and improved site for Merida Tourism. Someone asked us, just a few days ago, if we have a list of hostels. Now we know where to send them! Spend a little time on that site and especially take a look at the handicrafts. Yucateco artisans are very talented and you can find almost anything you want here. We hope you enjoy the new and improved Merida Tourism site!