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Merida News: Celestún, Hoctún & Honey!

Mayans in the YucatanPreservation of Mayan Culture and Language

Yucatan Living has been reporting for months that there seems to be a plot by the State of Yucatan to turn us into the Land of the Healthy. We have even more “evidence” this week! Did you know that in six municipalities (counties), there are programs going on, this very minute, to take advantage of the gardening and nutritional wisdom of the elderly? Yes. It seems that, in the Mayan culture, no one developed diabetes and coronary disease and the State has decided that we need their knowledge before we lose the older generations. If these “back to basics” programs are successful, they are to go statewide at the beginning of the year.

As part of these programs, the State working to rescue the Mayan language. Mayan is being worked into the vocabulary of the people in those six municipalities, including in the schools. We suspect that now would be a really good time to go back and take a second look at the free online Mayan language class from UADY. The address has changed since we last reported it, so be sure to bookmark the new free Curso de Maya Yucateco.

Casa de la Cultura de Yucatán in D.F.

In about three months, the new Casa de la Cultura de Yucatán will open in D.F. to serve the needs of Yucatecos who live there. But there are other reasons for developing a Casa de la Cultura de Yucatán in places other than Yucatán. According to the new Governor, this project will give those Yucatecos who do not live at home the opportunity to have their voices heard and to bring a different perspective to the table as Yucatán charts her course into the future. This sounds like a great idea. We’re not sure that a Casa de la Cultura de Yucatán could be built in another country by the Government of Yucatán or by the Government of Mexico – but a private one surely could. We know we have many Yucateco readers in the States, so let’s hear from you on this issue in the comments section. We know that there are groups in the United States that support towns here in the Yucatan… we are currently working with one of them to bring you more information about this. Tell us what you do to keep the Yucateco community and spirit alive in the towns where you are.

How Much is $800 Million Dollars?

Speaking of “really big numbers”… that’s how much tourism money came into Mexico between January and July of this year – up 8.2% ($600 million dollars over the same period last year). Most of the visitors are American and French, and cite cultural wealth and hospitality as major factors in their decision to visit Mexico.Sleepy fishing village of Celestun

Rumor of Large Tourist Area Coming to Ría de Celestún

There are some things about which we cannot help but feel ambivalent. This is one of them. Tourist money pays taxes that help to improve the environment and the standard of living for everyone – but, far too often – large tourist projects result in permanent damage to the very ecosystems they were designed to support. We hear rumors of a large tourist area planned near Ría de Celestún. This is exciting and frightening all at the same time. We’ll bring you more info when we hear more.

Congratulations to Hoctún on its 118th Anniversary

Hoctún is located almost in the center of the State of Yucatan, just far enough away from the city (30 minutes) to call it “country,” but close enough to come to town any time you like. The economy is fairly diverse, but most of it is based on tourism because there are several haciendas in the municipality. With fewer than 5,500 people in the entire municipality (county), Hoctún sounds much like that country retreat everyone has always dreamed of.

Hoctun cemetery in YucatanA visit to Hoctun makes a great weekend outing. If you go, be sure to visit the famous cemetery. The old section is fairly traditional, but the new section has some spectacular grave designs. There are several replicas of the Chichen Itza castle, painted all different colors and adorned with everything from flowers to cherubs and angels. There is also a 2.5 meter (or 8.2 ft) tall replica of the Latinamerican Tower in Mexico City. No crumbling cemetery here. Everything is beautifully painted, every year, and worthy of being a tourist destination all its own. You’ll want to see the church too. There you will find the Black Christ of the Transfiguration, San Miguel, and the Virgin Mary. We’d like to mention that Ginny (Peregrina), one of our regular visitors, is from Hoctun and no, the Working Gringos did NOT make it to the Vaquería that was held there last weekend. We hope she’ll forgive us and we’ll try to make it next year or just drop by soon to visit her beautiful little town.

Constant Rain Hurts Fishing and Agriculture

Constant rain and low catches of fish, shrimp, and squid have 1,500 of the 4,500 fishing boats finding it cheaper to stay in port than to gas up and head offshore. This has an impact throughout the coastal economy because it affects everyone with whom the fishermen do business. The same is true for the farmers in the southern part of the state. They are currently losing their crops to flooding. We are just a couple of weeks away from the end Fishing boat in Progreso Yucatanof rain for this year, so that will help the fishermen. How the farmers fare will be something we have to watch. At the present time, shrimp fishing is starting to improve and prices are holding at $46 per kilo (about $1.90 USD per pound). When next you feel like complaining about seafood prices, consider that it takes as much as $500 pesos per day for these fishermen to keep fishing, and that doesn’t even count the rest of their costs for maintenance, equipment, supplies, and personnel.

Honey Recipes and Beauty Treatments

After reporting on the 17 tons of sugar delivered to help Yucateco bees after Hurricane Dean, we went to the Honey.com website to see what is going on with bees and honey worldwide. Sadly, many U.S. hives are collapsing, even as consumption reaches record heights. However, on a brighter note, we found recipes for honey used both in cooking and as beauty treatments. We are at the beginning of the busy Fall and Winter social schedules, in Yucatan, so we can soon expect a whole lot of entertaining and backyard barbecues going on. Now is the time to try out these honey based barbecue sauces, and this is the brochure of honey based beauty treatments in PDF format. We hope you enjoy them.

UADY Partners with La Universidad de Antioquia, Colombia Universidad de Antioquia in Colombia

La Universidad de Antioquia, Colombia, is one of the premier universities in all of South America. Doctors Martha Nubia Velázquez Rico and Luz Stella Correa Botero, Deans of Human Rights and Social Sciences of the University of Antioquia visited UADY this week for the purpose of forming a partnership with UADY that will allow for the interchange of programs, students, and even teachers. How wonderful it will be if our students can enjoy an international learning experience without losing time or credits from their regular degree track.

Who Is Francisco Abreu Rosado?

Let’s see how many people can tell us who this man is and what he does for a living. If you have spent any time in Yucatan at all, we can guarantee that, on sight, you know him well. He is 45 years of age, born in Merida, married, and the father of two daughters. He has been in the public eye since 1981 in both Yucatan and Quintana Roo. What does he do that causes him to be such a celebrity in both states, but especially in Yucatan? …and make no mistake about it – this man is a true “celebrity.” The answer will be in next week’s News.

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13 Responses to “Merida News: Celestún, Hoctún & Honey!”

  1. Hola Amigos:
    Thank you for visiting my parents and grandparents hometown Hoctun, even though the W.G. couldn’t make it for the Vaqueria y la Fiesta de San Miguelito, I appreciate you mentioned the event, hopefully next year we will go together, there is a lot more.

  2. Oh – I know what WE need… We need for Genny to come home and act as our guide for a few days. We want to know all about “there is a lot more.” :)

  3. Hi Khaki,
    Thanks for your reply, you are right, I need to go back and play like you guys, however the person you need as a guide is Joaquin the Anthropologist, ask James how entertained he was for hours (This past August) in Chelem, Peregrina; en mi casa, Su casa tambien..and of course there is a lot more!!!…until then I will continue reading your awesome articles, news, comments, events, etc. Great job…and of course I will love to be a part of it.

  4. Working Grigos love your articles and some day we will meet.

    Peregrina, althought I have not had the pleasure of meeting you. I was fortunate to have rented your beach house during “la temporada” of August, 2006.

    My husband and children, loved “la CASA de CHELEM”! We have wonderful memories!

    I hope to meet you soon.

    Working Grigos your house is turning out to be just “BELLA”.

    CIAO! hasta pronto!

  5. Hi Maria del Carmen
    I am glad you enjoyed la casa de Chelem, are you sure you stayed at Peregrina? white house with brown tream, few steps from the water…anyway I hope to meet you too, I was at Chelem this past Aug. and Sep. It was really nice! I made more improvements to the house. See you someday.

  6. Yes, yes, Peregrina there is no question now. The house had a rock next to the white picket fence and read, “La Peregrina”, We did stay “en la casa de Chelem (La Peregrina).

    Every afternoon before the sun would set, we would pull out the chairs and our bottles of wine and we would just enjoy watching the sun go down!…it was our summer ritual while we were staying at house. While we were there we celebrated our daughter’s birthday!. Wonderful memories.

    Hasta pronto.

  7. Hi. I am looking for information about the Yucatan crippled childrens project. I think it was mentioned in one of your publications, but I’m not sure when. I’m a prosthetist/orthotist by profession and could provide materials/support products to those in need. I’m sure my fellow colleagues would offer to help. I will be staying in Chicxulub for the month of December. If you know of someone I could contact, I would be most appreciative. Regards Roger.

  8. Hola, Roger! They are going to be absolutely thrilled!

    The website is http://www.yucatankids.com and the organization is called PPPN for short: Patronato Peninsular Pro Ninos. I have been looking all over for the name of the woman in charge and haven’t found it yet. But their phone number is on the website.
    If you need help talking to them (I don’t think very many people (if any) speak English there), please just call our office (999-928-0727) and we’ll assist you. They really need materials for some of the children and I just know your services will be much appreciated!!

  9. Needless to say, Roger Beazley is going to be the star of the December show in Yucatan!

  10. [...] – Ginny (Peregrina). If you haven’t visited the cemetery in Hoctun, take a look at our pictures and you’ll see why a visit to Hoctun’s Fiesta for Santo Cristo de la Transfiguracion is [...]

  11. i’m doing a project on Yucatan….any help?

  12. KP, If you want specific help on a question, we’re sure all you need to do is ask. But you’ll have to be a little less vague…

  13. um..i need some info on the culture/customs, music, food, and clothing of yucatatan
    i want to know the typical foods of Yucatan.
    typical music of Yucatan
    and traditional clothing and costumes


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