News: Construction, Hammocks & Oranges
According to a recent issue of La Revista Peninsular, the Yucatan Peninsula's business and economic magazine, the amount of construction (as measured in pesos) increased this past July by 13% over the previous year. This included all three kinds of construction: commercial, vivienda (housing) and obras publicas (public works). There was also an increase of 15% in construction purchases during the same period.
The magazine went on to report that 59.1% of all construction during that period was private and 40.9% was public development. There were 23,583 workers officially working, as reported by IMSS (Mexico's Social Security equivalent), which represents a 13.8% increase over the same period in 2006.
Have You Voted?
You might not know (or remember) that Yucatan Living is conducted various Reader's Choice Polls this year. So far, the polls that are open for voting are the Best Small Hotel in Merida, Best Little Taco Stand in Merida, Best Hacienda Experience and others. If you haven't weighed in already, we invite you to do so. It means a lot to the businesses involved to know how people feel about them. And the polls are a great service to our readers, especially the newest members of our community that maybe aren't sure yet where to go for a good taco. If you haven't voted already, go to our Reader's Choice Polls and give us your opinion. Polls are open until the last day of 2007, and winners will be announced in January 2008.
A Kindness Remembered…
Currently, there is a Mayan lady conducting an expo of hammocks at a large trade fair in Switzerland, and there is a contract to sell 1,300 hammocks a year to the company owned by a wealthy Swiss industrialist, who is a retailer of Latin American crafts. All of this is because, many years ago, 2 young men, on foot and with no money, stopped at a Yucateco Mayan home and asked for food and water. The Mayans were gracious and fed them, asking nothing in return. One of the young men would grow up to become this very same industrialist. He and his friends had been on holiday, evidently did not budget their allowance well, and ended up walking out of Guatemala and across Yucatan. They bought hammocks and slept wherever they could because they could not afford a hotel. He has never forgotten the kindness of the Mayan family who fed them and this contract, which will help so many of the rural hammock makers, is a direct result of that kindness.
Air Europe Comes Overland to Merida
For the past four years, Air Europe has been flying between Cancun and Madrid, Spain, six days a week. They have been bringing in 75,000 passengers per year on planes that hold 263 passengers each. If you want to visit Europe, now is your chance. These planes use Madrid as a hub for reaching every major city in all of Europe. Air Europe has just opened an office in Merida, at Calle 30 # 109 x 23 in Colonia Buenavista. They are not going to land in Merida, but are working on a project to bring their European passengers from Cancun overland to Merida and back. Looks as if we can expect many more new faces to be visiting and falling in love with Yucatan!
More Natural Wonders Found in Yucatan
At the present time, there are at least a dozen archaeological sites, in Yucatan, that have been found, but not extensively explored or restored. These we all knew about. Now, word comes from UADY that a site has been found that is probably from the Pleistocene Age. Much of the site has been under water, but cave paintings have been found there, as well as ceramics and species of animals that lived between 10,000 and 12,000 years ago. As you can well imagine, the location of this site is not being divulged at this time, but UADY suggests that there are probably many more of these sites in Yucatan and they are now “on the hunt” for them. Thanks to archaeologist Guillermo de Anda Alanís, head of the Program of Subaqueous Bioarchaeology of the Faculty of Anthropological Sciences at UADY, this is an exciting time to be an archaeologist in the State of Yucatan! Archaeologist Guillermo de Anda Alanís is working with the National Institute of Anthropology and History to ensure that all antiquities, and the sites at which they have been found, are cared for properly.
Centro: Living History To Get Facelift
Have you seen the City Council's new plans for Centro? Negotiating one's way through Centro is going to be made significantly easier for tourists and residents alike. There will be bike lanes, and urban lighting, and just wait til you see the sidewalk in front of the Cathedral! The project will be completed in three phases and the drawings are all online inside of the City of Merida website. To take a look, first Click Here to go to the website, once there, click on Sala de Prensa (on the left Index). Look in the list of links on the right side of the next page and click on “acceso” for the bulletin entitled CENTRO HISTÓRICO ORGULLO QUE VIVE: Nuevo programa del Ayuntamiento. You'll find the plan for development in three phases, with diagrams for each and a description of the areas they cover. Looks as if all of Centro is going to lose some of its clutter. It's certainly going to be “pretty” – but I wonder if some of its charm might be lost as well. If you don't read Spanish, try Bablefish for help in translation. The Working Gringos want to add that they highly prefer plans that would include turning the streets around the zocalo into walk streets, and getting rid of those cars altogether. We're investigating the issue and hope to get back to you soon with more information on that subject.
Valladolid: Just In Time
It looks as if the renewed interest in industry moving to the area around Valladolid, along the path of the new bullet train, could not have come at a better time. Jordache has decided to move from Valladolid to Morocco, Africa. They leave 1,200 Yucatecos jobless. This is a company with a long history of abandoning workers overnight when tax-exempt status runs out and the threat to relocate no longer works in their favor. However, do not feel sorry for the workers of Valladolid. They may need short term help, but certainly have hope on their horizon with new jobs created by the bullet train and tourism. Pity Morocco and hope the workers there save money against the day this happens to them as well.
The Pride of Yucatan
This past week, children in Motul and Ticul held parades to commemorate the founding of the United Nations in 1945. One of the primary schools in Motul is actually named UNESCO and was celebrating its own 48th anniversary. As part of the parades, the students carried a flag of each of the countries that holds membership in the United Nations. The children of Yucatan – these little boys and girls who sometimes make us crazy with their neverending soccer games in the street and their voladores (firecrackers) - know more about how the world works than most children in so-called “First World” nations. Yucatan's children travel the world, winning accolades and medals for academics, music, sports, art, and dance.
Where's The Beef?
Soon, Yucatan's beef is going to be plentiful and cheap, as retailers take advantage of the cattle ranchers who are going to have to begin slaughtering their cattle because of extreme and ongoing flooding in the southern part of our state. If you want beef, you'd better stock your freezer while the prices are down because beef prices will skyrocket once supplies are low. Its going to take a while to get over this flood. Our hearts go out to the cattle ranchers who are still having difficulty in reaching their herds due to high water.
The “Dead of Winter” in Yucatan
Well – probably not… but it sure feels like it at night. The first norte of the year arrived this week. High winds (40 km/hr) and night temps of 68 °F pretty much negate the fact that temperatures are in the mid-80s in the daytime. Children are bundled up for school in sweaters. Adults are on the malecon in coats. …and babies! You can't even find the babies in all the blankets and sweaters and hats! Thank goodness these little storms from the north only last a few days, and there are only a few of them each year! To you who are still up in Canada – or other places that really are cold, you must think we are wimps. But you just wait. You'll be the same way after you've lived here for awhile... seriously considering setting a roaring fire when the temperature even thinks about going down to 70 °F. Unfortunately, this norte took the lives of two fishermen. We extend our deepest sympathy to their families.
Harvest Time on the East Coast of Mexico
Many people are unaware that there are more kinds of oranges in the world than one will find in the ordinary American grocery store. This is the time of year for Yucatan's sweet orange harvest and an especially nice time to begin the drive here from the States. All through the next month, trucks will roll out of the orange, tangerine, and banana groves almost non-stop, sometimes 24 hours a day. All throughout eastern Mexico, you can buy fresh fruit and juice, including pineapple and coconut, under almost every Interstate overpass. The closer you get, the more sugar cane you see. For those of you who fly, you've really missed a great part of the value of your trip by not experiencing harvest time along the eastern coast of Mexico. The experience is well worth the extra time it takes. Well, there is also the everpresent over-loaded and precariously-leaning egg truck doing 20 miles an hour in front of you… and the Coke truck pulling a triple trailer who puts on his left blinker for you to pass him going up a hill into a curve in the rain. You decide not to pass him, so the triple trailer behind you passes both of you (and survives!). And then, there's the man with the goats, moving them from one side of the road to the other… but we digress! It is still a worthy trip and we heartily recommend it!
Halloween Games for All Ages
Contributed by Karen Hardee
- Halloween Hangman Game
- Halloween Bowling
- A Dozen Halloween Puzzles