News as Merida Waits for Dean
Its All About Dean
The news of the week is, of course, Hurricane Dean. Those of us who have been through a category 4 hurricane in Yucatan know how to prepare and what to expect. But if you are new in the area, we want to make sure that you will be okay. We are not so worried about the people who live in the city. But we are more worried about those on the beach. Secure everything you can and then either come to friends in Merida or to one of the many shelters provided by the Department of Civil Defense. The shelters for the entire state are all listed here. In addition, you can see in the photo to the left that the local Army is ready and waiting to do what needs to be done. There are army transport vehicles, ambulances, police cars and the governor's SUVs are waiting in the Plaza Grande as the hurricane approaches. The government storehouses are almost empty now, having had all their stores already sent out to outlying villages across the state. Signs are being taken down all over town by crews working overtime and large plate glass windows are boarded up all over town.
Check back with Yucatan Living often, as we will post anything new that we find out.
No Shortage of Gasoline
PEMEX assures us that there is not going to be a shortage of gasoline or diesel fuel during this coming week. There is plenty of gasoline and diesel on hand now and more is on the way. There is a ship, unloading in Progreso today and tomorrow: 85,000 barrels of Magna, 21,500 barrels of Premium, and 41,500 barrels of diesel. Sounds wonderful – as long as there is electricity to operate the pumps. It is probably best to keep your vehicles full for the next few days. Please do not store gasoline in your home or vehicle. That is a bomb – and we don’t care who you know who has been doing it for a million years and nothing bad ever happened...it is STILL a bomb! However, make sure you have plenty of propane for your house and grill – and make sure your tinacos are full. If you can think of anything we have forgotten, do leave a comment and let us know!
Tourists from Quintana Roo
As in the last hurricane, there are going to be somewhere in the neighborhood of 80,000 tourists in Cancun all trying to get a flight home at the same time. (The number of tourists in Merida has already increased... you can tell just by driving or walking around downtown). Yucatan, as always, will assist in seeing to it that the tourists are safely brought to our state and put on flights to their homes. Our governor urges tourists not to panic. Just keep up with what is going on and let Quintana Roo and Yucatan see about their own people in the countryside first. If you need to, come on over to Merida now, so you can be certain of having a hotel room. Everything will be fine. As expats in Yucatan, this sort of rescue and assistance is something we have watched with a deep sense of pride. Yucatan sees a job that needs doing and its done immediately. Read about the Working Gringo's experience during Hurricane Isidore here.
Mama Turtle and the Dog
Strange things happen on our beaches at 3:00 in the morning. This past week, it was a dog barking on the beach at Chicxulub at 3:00 in the morning. When a resident went to check and see what the problem was, she discovered Mama Turtle headed up onto the beach, with a dog barking at every step she took. Unperturbed, Mama Turtle completely ignored the dog and went right on about her business. After Mama Turtle headed back out to sea, the lady watched over the nest until morning and called the authorities. They found 134 eggs in that nest, and only 7 were broken. The eggs were taken, for safety, to Cetmar de Yucalpetén, a refuge for found turtle eggs. From what we understand, it was a grand morning and all the neighbors and officials had a wonderful time rescuing the soon-to-be baby turtles.
Like kids with a new toy and a whole pile of money…
We hear that Lourdes Toscano Hernández and José Guadalupe Huchim Herrera, Directors of the Archaeological Zones of Kabah and Uxmal, respectively, can’t seem to stop grinning these days because the government has given them what they deem to be “a whole pile of money” for restoration projects at Kabah and Uxmal. Bless their hearts, they really were not given all that much money, but they love their work dearly and are so genuinely thankful for anything that helps to preserve these sites. The two seem unable to stop talking about how wonderful their respective sites really are and how glorious they will be when finally restored. The reporter was as entertained, by their enthusiasm, as he was educated by their knowledge. We would like to thank Reporter Martiniano Alcocer Álvarez, who captured the essence of these two men and brought their innocence and sense of wonder to us. It is so good to read about new heroes of Yucatan, written by a Yucateco who has the heart to recognize them.
Monkey Captured and Safe in Campeche
It seems that a spider monkey got into Centro in the City of Campeche and was running around on the roofs of the downtown buildings. No one could catch him and he wasn’t eating or drinking – and then it started to rain. Fearing for his safety, residents called the Fire Department and the monkey was soon led safely away.
More Foreigners Choose Merida As Their Home
If you read our Interviews section, you’ll see that there are plenty of extranjeros in Merida, but this is the first time we have seen an article in el Diario about why we move here, where we live, and how many of us there are. They have it quite right when they say we move here for the peace and tranquilidad (tranquility). They are also correct in assessing just how much we appreciate history and the fact that we want our historic homes returned to their own glory. We know these Centro buildings can be remodeled into modern showplaces but, if that’s what we wanted, we probably would have stayed in the States. There is no way to describe the feeling you get when you walk through your own 100+ year old “little piece of history.” As for how many of us there are? When one architect, in a city that can probably boast many hundreds of architects, has restored 40 historical homes in only 4 years… my dear – that’s a whole lot of Americans. But no one seems to know the exact number.
From the newspaper, we also learn that we like to have neighbors and that we prefer having Yucateco neighbors, rather than living in American compounds, as is common in other parts of Mexico. We also learn that we prefer to live in Santa Ana, Santa Lucía, and Mejorada. Our other favorite places to live include García Ginerés and Itzimná, both of which are quieter than the first three areas, which are in Centro proper. We love Merida because – there’s that word again – tranquilidad… plus excellent hospitals, climate, and location. Most of us are older, retired folks – but the new crowd is getting younger. This comes after several publications, including the New York Times, named Merida as one of the five best places in the world to live and invest. We have been declared to be pretty nice folks and everybody seems to like us – but isn’t being nice one of the few requirements that Yucatan has ever had for any of her residents?
We hope that all of Yucatan knows how much we appreciate the opportunity to live here and that we will do all we can to help Yucatan continue to be one of the best places on Earth to live.
Population, In Many Places, To Double in 10 Years
We understand that the population of many cities on our peninsula will double in the next 10 years. Some towns will not be affected, like Progreso, because there is simply no place to grow. But other places are out in the countryside and located on some of these wide new highways. This invites everything from new business to folks who are trying to escape the urban sprawl of cities. They say that Cancun is going to pass Merida and will have almost a million people living there by 2017, while Playa del Carmen is going to grow to over 365,000 people. Having known and loved a smaller, quieter Yucatan, we can only hope that tranquilidad continues to be the mantra of all who decide to make their home here.