News Starting September 10, 2012
Lobster Season is Going Well
This year, the lobster fishermen in Yucatan are doing quite well. Barely into the second month of lobster season, they have brought in 30 tons of lobster tails (80 tons of whole lobsters), with the price of tails having just risen from $350 pesos per kilo to $370 pesos per kilo. This is the “at port” price. Once the lobster tails leave the port and enter the realm of exports, the price goes to $700 pesos per kilo of lobster tail, due in large part to shipping costs. Even so, there has been a $12 million peso infusion into the local economy in Yucatan and that kind of event is going to have a significant impact on quality of life for fishermen and for their families.
Citrus Prices Double in a Week
Until last week, a 20 kilo box of Persian limónes (limes) sold for between $10 and $15 pesos per box here in Yucatan. Now, with the arrival of buyers from other Mexican states and the United States, the price of a 20 kilo box of Persian limónes (limes) is now $30 pesos. Years ago, Yucatan had a corner on the market with Persian limónes and sweet oranges. Then, seeing their success, other states began to grow and sell them too. That cuts into the profits of Yucatan’s growers unless, for some reason (such as drought), other states face a shortage of these fruits. While we are sorry for the losses of other states, we are thrilled to know that Yucatan’s citrus growers are not only surviving, but are also well ahead of the game this year!
New: Pottery Fair in Ticul
We don’t know of any woman in Yucatan who doesn’t wait to hear the dates of the next Ticul Shoe Fair. Then, almost as an afterthought, someone says “They sell pottery there too,” which necessitates trying to cram two shopping trips into one. This is a real problem for the potters of Ticul because they actually outnumber the shoemakers. The town’s answer to that is to hold not one – but two – pottery fairs in Ticul this Fall. The first of these events is a Craft Fair that will begin on September 16. (That’s just next week!) The second will be in December, with the Shoe Fair between the two. During both fairs, there will be a cookout in the main plaza, with all proceeds going to benefit the Guild of Potters. If these two smaller fairs are a success, the two will be combined into one large Craft Fair. So far, everybody is already going to Ticul for shoes twice a year. Now we will have yet another occasion for great shopping in Ticul.
Peto: 15 Days to Helmet Laws
One by one, towns in Yucatan are passing and enforcing helmet laws for motorcycle riders. They are all having motorcycle riders watch a film in which death and disability are the outcome of not wearing a helmet. The film also shows incidents where a helmet has saved the life of the rider. Realizing that motorcycles are the main mode of family transportation in many places in Yucatan, rather than insist that the children not be passengers, the small towns are threatening to charge four or five minimum wages for each person not wearing a helmet on a motorcycle. In Peto, these new laws go into effect in fifteen days and there will be no mercy shown. We recently learned that more than one American motorcycle club is trying to figure out the best way to travel through Mexico and into Central America. We hope this reminds them that helmets are now the law in most areas of Mexico and they would do well to pay attention when they do come to Yucatan, even if they are only passing through. The local police in Peto are also reminding riders that they issue the tickets but the City Council will decide the amount of the fine. We encourage everyone to be safe and be careful when riding a motorcycle in Yucatan.
Tizimin Staffs Ambulances, Hires Lifeguards
Congratulations to the people of Tizimin and to their quite innovative new administration for the manner in which they are attacking an old problem with a new solution. They have recognized the unfortunate truth that in many cases, inexperienced individuals who come upon a vehicle accident, or even some first responders, manage to do more harm that good because they don’t know how to stabilize an injured person. The answer, in Tizimin, is to hire trained lifeguards to go ahead of police, ambulances and paramedics, so that aid can be rendered quickly and safely. The ambulances themselves will now be staffed around the clock, with personnel trained even to keep family members of the injured person from becoming hysterical and getting in the way. All of this comes at the same time that streets are being repaired and additional police patrols are, one by one, being put onto the streets. Tizimin has needed so much for so long. It may be their turn in the sun this time. We hope so.
Yucatan’s Entrepreneurs to Attend “The Apprentice” Workshop
The 30th Havana International Fair (FIHAV) will be held in Merida from November 4 through 10. Nearly 60 countries will attend with the intention of strengthening trade ties to Cuba. During that fair, more than two dozen of Yucatan’s entrepreneurs will take on 15 video-taped business problems. They will then attempt to analyze the situations and solve the problems. At the end of the prescribed time limit, their solutions will be compared to find out where each of their strengths and weaknesses are. The concept is taken straight from television’s “The Apprentice.” Yucatan has so many young entrepreneurs who blossom in the universities each year. This will give them even more of a chance to succeed than ever before and goes hand-in-hand with Harvard’s new Blue Ocean sales techniques that teach the way to obtain customers in a saturated market is to find an additional need and fill it. By making their businesses stand out from the crowd in that way, and by learning to analyze and solve problems “The Apprentice” way, only the sky is the limit for Yucatan’s entrepreneurs.
Cordoba, Argentina: Yucatan’s Golden Girls
A group of five young ladies, ages 12 and 13, often dubbed the Queens of Mayab, have brought home the gold in the Pan American Championships of Rhythmic Gymnastics, and they managed that feat while in competition with girls who were at least three years their senior! These young ladies had already become national champions and are expected to win gold again in 2013. The team includes: Mónica Ricalde Ortega (coach and former team member), Claudia Crespo Sáenz, Camila Nahuat Delgado, Tamara Furlong Limón, Silvana Combaluzier Millet and Daniela Río Camacho. Yucatan Living congratulates their coach, all five athletes and the parents of each and every one of them. We know it took a great deal of sacrifice, in terms of time, energy and money, for these young ladies to reach such heights, and it took everyone working together to get them there.
More Golf Than Ever in Yucatan
The Yucatan Country Club may have hosted the kick-off of the Latin America PGA Tour, but there’s more golf to be found right here in Merida. This month, the Club de Golf de Yucatan (also sometimes referred to as La Ceiba) will celebrate its 42nd Anniversary with both men’s and women’s tournaments. During the week of the anniversary, the Club de Golf de Yucatan will give a special award to the 96 players who have made a hole-in-one shot on the greens there. If you play golf and were worrying that you might have to give it up to move to Merida, then your worries are over. There’s golf, golf and more golf right here in Paradise.
September 13: Niños Heroes
Some think of this week as the week of Mexican Independence. Some think of it as the week of the Grito de Dolores. But there is another day of remembrance in Mexico this week. This day is September 13 and it is the day that Mexico remembers the Ninos Heroes. In the Summer of 1847, these Mexican Cadets were just babies, ages 13 to 16, and students at Mexico’s Military Academy in Mexico City’s Chapultepec Castle when their school was attacked by the invading Americans. Approximately 100 children were taken prisoner, but six fought to the death, with one, Juan Escutia, wrapping himself in the Mexican flag and jumping from the roof of the castle to keep the flag from falling into enemy hands. One hundred years later, President Harry Truman would lay a wreath at their graves out of respect for their courage and bravery. September 13 marks the day these children paid the ultimate debt of grown men and should be remembered and honored for it around the world.
September 15: Grito de Dolores
At the stroke of midnight, on the night of September 15, the Grito de Dolores (aka El Grito de la Independencia) is a cry that is now heard around the world. The first cry was uttered by a Roman Catholic priest in the small town of Dolores, near Guanajuato on September 16, 1810 and is the event that marks the beginning of the Mexican War of Independence. There is nothing as special as being in any Mexican town center as the cry of Viva Mexico! Viva Mexico! Viva Mexico! begins to make its way, literally, around the world in the 21st century. For those few moments, everyone who hears the cry is one with Mexico. Look for dancing in the street and fireworks, as well as the traditional grito. Remember, el grito is usually heard about 10 PM in the Plaza Grande in Merida. The following day, September 16, is Mexico’s Independence Day amd there is a military parade.
Location: Plaza Grande Merida or in the center of any town in Mexico
Time: Festivities begin around 10:00 PM