News starting August 17, 2009
The Zoo Has Some New Residents
El Centenario is closed on Mondays, so the Mayor of Merida took a few reporters on a little visit to meet some of the new residents of the zoo. In fact, he drove the train himself! The most important new animal at the zoo is a young tapir. This one is a rare species, born just last November and still taking a bottle. Then, there is the baby Bengal tiger who was recently born at the zoo. He’s still trying to perfect his “get tough” act but, because he is only a few weeks old, he tends to fall down before he can get his roar going well enough to scare anybody. There are also 4 newly hatched ball pythons at the zoo. One is an albino, so the crowds ought to really be looking forward to seeing that one. Overall, between El Centenario and Animaya at Caucel, Merida is going to be a must visit destination on the global zoo and animal preservation circuit.
La Feria de Dzityá 2009 A Huge Success!
It was just a little handicrafts fair in a tiny little town outside of Merida – nothing much… just 65 thousand visitors and a profit for the artisans of $2,700,000 pesos. Can you believe it? The really nice thing about this fair is that it has grown in size and importance to the point where the City Council is now providing free transportation to and from the city proper. Tourists are going to love being able to get out to this fair for free! These free rides begin at The Plaza Grande and make stops at Santa Lucia Park and Paseo de Montejo before going on out to Dzitya. The fair is a bigger success each year, with more and more importers coming to see the best that Yucatan has to offer. We can’t wait to see what’s at the fair in Dzitya next year!
Mayan Language to be Formalized
Teachers, linguists, and Mayan speakers from Campeche, Yucatan and Quintana Roo have formed a coalition for the purpose of formalizing the Mayan language and getting it into print so that it will not be lost. The texts will go to the school systems, as well as to the health and legal professionals who provide services to the Maya. In addition, billboards in Mayan will begin to appear in public places and at government supported events. Every child deserves a basic education in their own language and the Maya have, for far too long, been pushed to the back of the line. Now, they will finally have a formal alphabet and books of their own. Well done to everyone involved in this heroic endeavor!
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation in Yucatan
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation has, as its chief goal, improving the quality of life in communities in the United States, Latin America, the Caribbean, and southern Africa. Their new regional office for Latin America has been moved to D.F. and their representative made a special courtesy trip to Yucatan for a conference concerning some of the micro-projects our state is using to move us into the 21st century and beyond. Many of these projects fit under the guidelines for grants from the W.K. Kellog Foundation and Yucatan looks forward to working with them for many years to come.
Opichen: No Tinacos Necessary!
We thought that might grab your attention! Yes – in a brand new fraccionamiento in Opichen, they have their own water plant (with generator so they’ll have water during and after hurricanes) and no more need for tinacos at each house! They also have electric lines buried underground, plenty of street lights, and a park that surrounds a little area of Mayan ruins. So far, they have built 250 houses and expect to add an extension that will bring the area up to a total of 1,300 ecologically sound living spaces in an area where sustainability is the new mantra. This fraccionamiento has both one and two-story homes priced between $292,500 pesos and $466,000 pesos. As an added bonus, they were built with new and innovative building techniques that are far superior to the old ways of doing things. Congratulations to all of the builders and to all of the brand new homeowners!
Cash for Clunkers – in Mexico!
Yes! There is a new program, already implemented in Yucatan, in which cash of $15,000 pesos is paid, by the Federal Government, for abandoned vehicles that are then destroyed and sent on to the next phase of the recycling process. One company in Merida has two machines that can squash up to 80 cars per day each. Another company advertises that he will go anywhere to pick up these old clunkers. Needless to say, this program is a rousing success and should be for some time to come. However – we’ve been thinking…. New homes with no tinacos? No old junk cars by the side of the road? Even children speaking two or three “foreign” languages. What country did you tell me we’re in?
Pulpo: Need Wind in the Middle
It seems that there is a lot of seaweed just off the coast in the middle of the state, resulting in the pulpo fishermen only being able to bring in about half of the pulpo their counterparts on both ends of the states are bringing in. What they need, they say, is some really bad wind and weather to clean the bottom of the Gulf and improve their ability to capture pulpo. Somebody suggested that they go and fish where the fishing is good. Nothing doing! Too far away, they say. Bless them. We hope they get all of the specially targeted wind and weather they need real soon.
Call for “B” Negative Blood
Alberto Diaz is a patient at Ignacio Garcia Tellez del IMSS Medical Center and is in need of at least 2 pints of B negative blood. If you can help, please get in touch with his niece, Isabel Chi Dzul (cell: 999-236-1826) or go to the Oncology Department of the hospital.
Buckle Up & Don’t Drink and Drive
The police have had to attend several quite serious accidents recently, many caused by impaired drivers. Not wearing seatbelts is still a problem that results in more serious injuries than might have taken place otherwise. This will be the last week of vacation. Tens of thousands are expected to be on the roads leading both to and from the beach, as well as to and from Cancun. Please treat every car you meet as if its driver is impaired and try not to be the impaired driver yourself.
Army Nabs Fake Cops
It seems that the Army is watching some of what is going on with these fake policemen making a living by stopping tourists and locals alike. Friday, they stopped several of them in El Cuyo and asked for their identification. Of course, they had none. One of the reasons they were stopped was because some of the members of the Army actually knows the municipal police from El Cuyo and knew that these were imposters. Evidence against these fake policemen is to be put before the National Secretariat of Defense and justice will prevail.
Do You Have Citrus Trees?
If you have citrus trees, be on the lookout for dragón amarillo – a virus (Huanglongbing) that can kill your trees. This plague is already in citrus groves in Tamaulipas, Veracruz, and San Luis Potosi, so our farmers are taking steps now to see to it that it does not spread in Yucatan. They are currently investigating what type of chemicals they will use to fumigate our trees. If you have allergies, you might want to be extra careful about washing fruit for a while, since these chemicals will, undoubtedly, be with us for a while.
Med-Alert Coming to Merida
As we all know, there is a group beginning to talk about retirement issues, home health care, etc., for expats here in Merida. The belief at a recent meeting was that there is no MediAlert system here. However, it has recently been discovered that the equipment is available at the Star Net Computer Store in Centro. One’s medical information is loaded into it and just the touch of a button connects the wearer to the central office. They, in turn, dispatch whatever help is necessary. Look for more on this in the near future.