News in Merida: Moving, Marching & Marigolds
Totally Unsubstantiated Rumor
Please don’t quote me – because I don’t really know for sure… But… I heard that Working Gringos “might” be moving in their new house soon. Stay tuned for updates and remember that you heard it here first !!! (Working Gringos Note: Our humblest apologies for getting the news and events up late this week. It’s been Carnaval week, as you know, AND we are indeed moving this week! More on that subject later…)
Merida Named Most Beautiful Colonial City in Mexico
SFGate.com has published a list of their choices for the 10 Most Beautiful Colonial Cities in Mexico and Merida is first on the list. For those of us who drive down along the east coast, Veracruz (#10) and Campeche (#3) are also listed. Mexico was International Living’s Number One retirement destination in 2007, and now Merida has been named the Most Beautiful Colonial City in Mexico. We feel truly blessed that Merida and Yucatan have chosen us to live here and hope that everyone who comes here will feel the magic like we do.
Proper Documents for Crossing into the U.S.
The last time I crossed back into the States, the nice lady in the booth on the Mexican side smiled and said “That will be two dollars please.” I paid her, we chatted a bit and I was on my way. When I reached the Border Patrol / Homeland Security station, all they did was ask if I am an American citizen and I was on my way again. Now, the rules have changed – at least on the American side. In order to get back home, you must actually present your driver’s license and birth certificate. However, we understand from the San Jose Mercury News that inspectors are flexible and you will receive a reminder slip if you forgot your birth certificate. This has only added about 10 minutes to crossing times, so not to worry. At this point, land crossings into the U.S. are not expected to require passports until at least Summer 2008.
Keep Your Eyes on Valladolid
There’s an awful lot of activity going on out in the direction of Valladolid, especially since Chichen Itza was named one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. They’ve got a new international airport, they’re fixing streets, building a new mall, and there’s a health fair every time we turn around. This week, the focus of health in Valladolid is on cardiology and vision clinics. House hunters might want to take a little ride in the direction of Valladolid and check out this up and coming area.
Restoration of Sacred Art Continues
Restoration of the image of Our Lady of Tetiz has begun, utilizing the talents of restoration expert Lilia Sigüenza Vega. Touring “old churches” is no longer the sad experience it once was. One by one, over almost a decade now, the churches and sacred art of Yucatan have been restored to their original splendor, complete with gold overlay. Whether you are an expat who lives here or someone planning a visit, it is time to take a second look at the prospect of touring some of the churches that have already been restored. These include the churches at Techo, Uayma, Tabi, Yaxcaba, Cholul, and Sotuta. In all, there are more than 60 church and/or sacred art projects that are included in an ambitious program to restore all of the sacred locations in Yucatan.
Farmers Protest in Mexico City
While everyone thinks that “free trade” between the U.S. and Mexico is a good idea, the concept of “fair trade” reared its head, once again, in Mexico City this week. Somewhere between 50 and 100 thousand farmers marched on the capital to protest the dropping of tariffs on corn. They claim they simply cannot compete with American farm subsidies and machinery. The unfortunate result will be that even more Mexicans will feel driven to go to the U.S. in an effort to provide for their families. Given the ethnic and political climate north of the border, those who go will lose twice – once in Mexico, from the inability to compete with imported American corn, and then again, from an unknown and uncertain social climate in the U.S. (New York Times, Feb.1)
Home Mortgage Crisis for Illegal Immigrants in U.S.
Oddly enough, there are no U.S. laws about giving illegal immigrants a home loan. In fact, several states and many home loan companies have actively courted this market in an effort to stave off a home loan crisis situation north of the border. After all, this is a population group that is known for being willing to work long hours, seven days a week if necessary, to put a roof over their families’ heads. Unfortunately, as the U.S. recession deepens and layoffs begin, illegal immigrants are losing their jobs at the same time their monthly subprime loan house notes are going up by as much as 500%. This is a sad situation, considering that illegal immigrants have, until now, been one of the most trustworthy groups in the home loan market. In fact, in some areas, cities have actually encouraged giving illegal immigrants home loans because they know this group will work hard to revitalize inner cities and other less expensive areas. It is sad to know that these individuals and families crossed the border after losing their ability to make a living in some of the most economically disadvantaged areas of Mexico, only to face losing their investments in their new homes. (Yahoo News, Jan. 30)
Catch 22 for Indian Women in Oaxaca
Traditional Indian forms of government were given legal status in Mexico six years ago. Unfortunately, in some communities, this meant that women lost all rights as citizens. Now, in the village of Santa Maria Quiegolani, Oaxaca, a young woman has run for mayor and won. The reaction of the men was to tear up the ballots and declare the election illegal, since women can neither legally hold office nor vote. The lady has complained to the National Human Rights Commission and is determined to win basic civil rights for all Mexican women. We have to smile as we think of the eventual outcome of telling this 27 year old Mexican woman that she cannot do whatever she sets her mind and heart to do. No one need ever underestimate the determination, skill, or potential power of any woman born within the borders of Oaxaca. We are certain that Eufrosina Cruz will soon become a political force to be dealt with throughout the indigenous culture of the entire nation, as well as in the national arena of women’s rights.
175th Anniversary of the School of Medicine at UADY
With a new motto of 'History, Institutional Identity, and Social Pertinence', the School of Medicine at UADY celebrates its 175th birthday. We are the beneficiaries of some of the finest medical care in the world here in Yucatan, and Yucatan Living congratulates the School of Medicine at UADY on not only its 175th anniversary, but also on a job so well done!
UADY: Access Available to 18,000 Online Journals
You do not have to be a UADY student to gain access to the 18,000 online scientific, technical, and academic journals held in the university’s more than 60 databases. This is wonderful news for anyone who is interested in finding documentation about a topic that interests them, or information about a new topic. As soon as we find out the exact process for accessing these journals, we will be sure and put the directions in our very next issue of Yucatan Living’s News. If you want to go ahead and take a look, just surf on over to the UADY Library Website.
Effectiveness of Mexican Marigold as Organic Pesticide
I just couldn’t resist sneaking a peek at the online journals on the UADY library website. Being a country girl at heart, I headed straight for the Veterinary and Animal Husbandry School section. Within minutes, I found something we all can use. Here is an article from Tropical and Subtropical Agroecosystems (2004) with the results of a study in Zimbabwe – about using natural herbs, fever tea, and Mexican marigolds as a substitute for synthetic pesticides. They tell us how to make it, how to store it, and how to use it. Not bad for a couple of minutes of surfing. Thanks to UADY for providing anyone anywhere with free access to their online journal databases.