News Starting September 3, 2012
Valladolid Named Pueblo Magico
The City of Valladolid is well over 400 years old (469, to be exact). It is known for it’s rich history, as a colonial beauty, for preserving traditions, for archaeological attractions, and for the quality of its crafts, cuisine, and service. Over the past few years, Valladolid has distinguished itself as not only a center of tourism worthy of note, but also as an up-and-coming international marketplace and export center. On August 30, 2012, Valladolid was named one of Mexico’s 56 Pueblos Magico, which automatically made Yucatan one of the few states with two magical towns. However, Valladolid is not stopping there. The next honor on Valladolid’s list is to become one of UNESCO’s World Heritage sites. No longer thought of as existing out on the frontier, Valladolid is earning its place as one of the world’s premier destination cities, all thanks to the hard work and dedication of the people of one of the finest cities in Mexico.
Mexico: Shifting the Conversation
Here at Yucatan Living and Yolisto, we have long maintained that what an individual says can alter their own perceptions, as well as the perceptions of those around them. This is the main reason we have always been such staunch supporters of authentic journalism. We are Americans and are watching as our country is ripped apart by negative slings and arrows. We have all seen the international damage that can happen when one country literally wages war against another in the press. One of the best blog posts we have ever seen is on teamleadership.org this week. The blog talks about a new book by Jorge Flores-Kelly, as well as his blog in both English and Spanish. It is Flores-Kelly’s belief that what we say about ourselves influences what others perceive us to be, and that we can change reality simply by changing the tone and context of the conversation. We hope that everyone will read not only The Change Agent: Shifting the Conversation of Mexico, but that we all become regular readers of Jorge Flores-Kelly’s blog: the catalyst.
Apparel Industry Jobs in Merida
According to the President of the local chapter of the National Chamber of the Clothing Industry, this year began with 12,000 jobs and quickly rose to 13,000, then rose again to 13,700 by the end of July. It is expected that the number of apparel industry jobs in Merida will continue to rise through the end of the year. Although there is somewhat of a threat from Chinese imports, the U.S. economy continues to recover and difficult times seem to be ending. With a strong domestic and overseas market for guayaberas, as well as Mexico’s lucky (in this case) proximity to such a large market, it is safe to assume that the apparel industry in Merida is stable and moving ahead nicely.
Merida: Student Restaurant Opens for New Season
The 5th semester students at Glion-U.V.M. are once again working hard as they operate this semester’s restaurant concept. The winning idea is Mexico City street food. Competition for the winning restaurant concept was very stiff, with other concepts like a Japanese restaurant, a Jukebox Joint, a Cuban restaurant and an Italian bistro. La Marchantita is located in the Glion building at the University Del Valle de Mexico, just past the Periferico on the highway to Progreso. Their Grand Opening was on Wednesday of this past week and they had a record crowd (for Merida Glion) with over 200 people served. Even though the students were only expecting 100 guests, they made it through and did a great job. There are always areas for improvement but, overall, student operators and patrons were very happy. La Marchantita will be open until September 28th and the hours are 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM. There is a small breakfast menu available until noon. Come join the students as they continue to master service, cuisine and finances of the restaurant industry. They will be very pleased to serve you.
At the Mercado in Progreso
We read a short article in Progreso Hoy this week and found several bits of information that might be of interest, one of which we are pleased to pass along. It seems that the vendors in the Progreso mercado have given the Canadians quite a compliment. They say that the Canadians who retire to Progreso, or come to spend the winter, make an effort to learn Spanish, which means they have fewer problems when shopping. Although quite a few vendors speak some English, some say they are holding off until they see whether the cruise ship tourism is going to be of benefit to them. If it is, or if it isn’t, the Canadians, Snowbirds and other expats can always find friendly faces in the Progreso mercado.
New Administration in the City
New mayors and a new governor have been chosen in Yucatan and, by week’s end, the new mayor will be installed in his new office. The new State government will be installed on October 1st and the new president on December 1st. New city council members, new legislators and new department heads will be in place and the business of new policies and new projects will be underway. Yucatan Living would like to congratulate everyone who won their elected office; and we do look forward to the new energy and excitement that comes with fresh eyes and a fresh heart for the work that is ahead.
Satellites Monitor Mexico’s Crops, Fisheries
In September, Astrium, a French company, will put a satellite into orbit for the purpose of processing information on climate, soil, seas and crop location. Mexico is going to take full advantage of access to this new source of information. The best part of this is that it is all paid for by the Mexican Agricultural and Fisheries Information Service and Mexico’s Secretariat of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food. All information will then be sent to any number of national, state and local agencies at no cost. This is huge news for researchers as they track the impact of climate change on agriculture and fishing. This information will, in turn, be used to make public policy that will guide Mexico forward into a much brighter future.
Pondering Global Economics
In a Bloomberg Businessweek article this week, there are quite a few interesting takeaways. First, there is the fact that China is under pressure to continue raising wages. Along with rising oil prices to transport goods to North America, Asian companies are beginning to cut out the middle man and just come to Mexico to manufacture their products. In addition, as those same Chinese labor costs and increases in shipping raise the cost of doing business in China, many American manufacturing jobs are coming home and purchasing parts from manufacturers in Mexico. Mexico is in the perfect position to take on these new manufacturing jobs because, for several years, there has been a big push for vocational education in Mexico, and because the Free Trade Agreement has resulted in U.S. companies now purchasing 80% of Mexico’s manufactured goods. As of now, Mexico is on track to have a larger economy than their Latin American rival Brazil for the second year in a row. With the economy growing and inflation going down, it looks as if Mexico will be an economic rising star for some years to come.
Mexico Discovers Large Oil Field
Over the past six years, Mexico has discovered natural gas in the Perdido deep water area off the coast of Tamaulipas, but now they have made a huge oil find. At the present time, PEMEX expects to certify (proved, probable and possible) reserves of as much as 250 to 400 million barrels of crude, with some estimates as high as a potential total of 10 billion barrels. The oil is of excellent quality, which will make it less expensive to refine and more profitable than the heavier varieties that make up Mexico’s current proved reserves. With this find, Mexico’s outgoing president just shot from a reserve replacement ratio of less than 50% to more than 100% during his administration. This discovery will do much to help keep the country moving ahead while Mexico moves toward greater use of alternative energy sources.
Pittsburgh, PA: First Orchestral Contemporary Ballet
As we continue to receive almost weekly notices of the amazing orchestral career of Merida’s own young Alejandro Pinzon, we cannot help but think of the young people, throughout the State of Yucatan, who are waiting to begin their own orchestral careers. This week, we learned that, right on the heels of conducting the prestigious Camerata Cattaruzzi, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Maestro Pinzon will be the guest conductor for one of two orchestral contemporary ballets to be presented by OvreArts in Pittsburgh, PA, on September 8. These are the first two ballets of their type to be composed and premiered in Pittsburgh. The OvreArts’ young composer, choreographer, conductor, musicians, dancers and choir are funded by the Heinz Endowments and private donations. According to Teresa Heinz, “the greatest thing Pittsburgh has going for it is it’s young, innovative artists.” In less than ten years, we have watched hundreds of young, new voices emerge from every corner of Yucatan. The same has happened with young, Yucateco chess players. Now, as we stand on the eve of a movement toward giving all of Yucatan’s children and young people a chance to develop their orchestral talents, we hope that everyone will not only support their performances, but go the extra mile to see to it that they have this opportunity in the first place.
Where Are They Now? Expat Lilian Bern
Lilian Bern has been coming to the coast of Yucatan for many years. In fact, she is one of the original members of Progreso’s Protecciòn de Perros y Gatos, a.c. Today, Lilian operates a private, holistic therapy practice on Beaver Lake in Rogers, Arkansas. Lilian offers a number of workshops throughout the year, and we thought our readers might be particularly interested in the fact that Lilian is completely bilingual and also offers Spanish classes. Since Lilian can teach the nuances of Spanish in Yucatan, those who are planning to move here in the next few years might do well to get in touch with Lilian. For more information and to contact Lilian, visit Lilian Bern Holistic Therapy online.