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News: Obama comes to Mexico

News starting March 23, 2009

Clinton & Obama Coming to MexicoObama and Calderon Meeting in Mexico
It has recently been announced that both Secretary of State Clinton and President Obama will visit Mexico in April. We have high hopes for these visits in the wake of the recent troubles and unfounded Mexico bashing. If this President can discard the term "war on terror" as inflammatory and undiplomatic, we hope that Mexico bashing and the terms "war on drugs" and "trade war" can be discarded as well. Please visit The Truth About Mexico and Mexico Trucker for updates on these issues. As for the war on drugs, to Mexico’s credit, they have not retaliated with inflammatory and undiplomatic talk of a war on illegal arms merchants or a war on the seemingly unending drug market, both of which originate north of the border and out of their control. With well over 1.2 million Americans living in Mexico as legal residents… and


probably several times that number living in Mexico on tourist visas at least part of the year… and well over 23 million regular American visitors and tourists to Mexico… and 29.2 million Americans of Mexican descent living in the U.S…. it looks as if that adds up to close to 70 million votes. Perhaps that surprising number will serve as a reminder of the close ties between the people of these two great nations and ease the way toward returning to a cordial relationship between the two. We are holding our collective breaths in anticipation of great success for both these visits.

Census Facts: As Cinco de Mayo Approaches
As May 5, a national holiday in Mexico that is now also widely celebrated in the U.S., draws near, we thought we would give our readers a link to a Press Release from the U.S. Census Department. This Press Releaseprovides us with the historical events associated with Cinco de Mayo, a list of facts about the Mexican-American population in the United States, and dollar amounts for the importance of trade and business between Mexico and the U.S. Perhaps these facts will help to dispell some of the rumors and myths that have, of as late, been disturbing the peace.

Immigration: Its All A Matter of Perspective
Sometimes, we just can’t resist buying into the admittedly juvenile game of "gotcha!" just for a minute or two. A rather conservative website The m3report that reports only on crime in Mexico (thus fueling a hefty share of the current Mexico bashing) could not resist reporting that, between 2010 and 2050, 334,000 persons are expected to leave Mexico each year. That’s not a "gotcha!" because, during that same time, over 70 million American Baby Boomers will retire and a minimum of 23 million are expected to move TO Mexico. When we first reported on that story last year, we calculated that to be over 300,000 new American residents per state in Mexico! But we aren’t going to congratulate ourselves with a "gotcha back" because we know that this migration is actually a function of what is known as a population bulge. Mexico has more working age people than it can employ and the U.S. did not have enough children during the 60s, 70s, and 80s, to fill all of the jobs they need filled. The end result is moving Mexicans into the U.S. to fill those jobs, while our huge population of retirees (which we cannot afford) wraps around and take their place in Mexico. So – who’s doing the immigrating? We both are – because we need each other! We hope as time goes by, more and more Americans and Mexicans and politicians realize that.

Finding The American Dream – In Mexico!
You might be interested in this article! by one of our expats about some of our friends here in Merida. It is a good read for anyone – of any age – who thinks they might want to move to Mexico, and specifically to Yucatan.

Merida: La Expo Construccion YucatanExpo Construccion Yucatan
In difficult times, grand opportunities are born – so say the organizers of Yucatan’s Construction Expo, which will take place on March 27 and 28 at the Convention Center. …and they know what they are talking about because they have delivered grand opportunities in the construction business in Yucatan for well over a decade. This expo will give those in the construction industry new opportunities to negotiate business finance and strategy, to expand markets, and to form relationships with new clients. It is the most important event of its kind in all of southeastern Mexico. Watch the clock on their website to keep informed about how long it is until Yucatan’s La Expo Construccion begins. So far, Yucatan has escaped the financial difficulties that are hurting construction in other parts of the world. We wish these companies all the best as they gear up to continue building and remodeling in our little corner of the world.

Mosaicos La Peninsular Celebrates 40 Years in Business
For those of our readers who love the old pasta tiles, you don’t have to purchase an aging colonial home to get them and you don’t have toMosaicos La Peninsular Anniversary take whatever is available when you do find them. At La Peninsular, the tiles are still made by hand (read our article and see photos of the process here), just as they have been for over 100 years, using hydraulic pressure, instead of mechanical pressure to finish the tiles. This not only brings down the price but also makes the entire process easy enough to allow customers to design their own pasta tile floors. In addition, La Peninsular handles ceramic floors, but they are made in another part of the country and last only approximately 12 years. That isn’t much of a bargain when compared to the 50 years an ordinary pasta tile floor will last. La Peninsular also sells quarry tiles, concrete tiles, tinacos, lattice windows, balustrades, and several other products. The folks at La Peninsular just happen to be friends of Working Gringos since their first renovation project over seven years ago. Everyone at Yucatan Living would like to congratulate Ignacio Duran and  La Peninsular on their first 40 years of success and wish them many more!

Non-biodegradable Plastic Bags Banned in Mexico City!
Plastic bags banned in Mexico CityIf we were jig dancers, we’d be dancing on the table right now! Mexico City has just passed a law that gives everyone ONE YEAR to get rid of its non-biodegradable plastic bags in stores! After that, store owners or operators can be hit with a day and a half in jail and $77,400 in fines. The alert we read was in English and did not specify whether that fine is in dollars or pesos but, either way, it is a hefty amount and the end result will be the same. (Now, if only something could be done about those disposable baby diapers! But they’re working on it – Click Here to see Nature Babycare Diapers. We can’t wait until we are old and gray and tell stories to our grandchildren about "way back when" the world was full of plastic shopping bags and the forever kind of baby diapers!) Congratulations to Mexico City for its forward looking stance against non-biodegradable plastic bags! We’ll be looking for that law in Yucatan soon. The best part about this news? Where goes Mexico City, there goes Mexico. It’s only a matter of time before plastic bags will be outlawed all over Mexico. Why not get a head start? Either use the traditional Yucatecan plastic or henequen sabucanes (shopping bags) or purchase one of Yucatan Living’s shopping bags and do your part to save the planet? The link  to buy a Yucatan Living shopping bag is HERE.Grouper fishing in Yucatan

Grouper Season Expects Bumper Year
Some 22,000 fishermen headed out for the 2009 Grouper fishing season, after a month-long ban to allow the population to grow. Last year, the final harvest came to 5,500 tons. This year, it is expected to be about 7,000 tons. Yucatan’s populations of grouper, octopus, and lobster are now protected, in order to ensure the health of the fishing industry here for many years to come. The ban on Grouper fishing ended March 15. The ban on octopus fishing is from Dec. 15, 2008 until Aug. 1, 2009. The ban on lobster fishing is from March 1 through June 1. These measures have been undertaken in a collaborative agreement between the Mexican Navy, interested federations, fishing cooperatives, and other agricultural, fishing, and environmental entities.

Save the Children Celebrates 6th Anniversary
For the past six years, Save the Children has worked with the Save the Children in YucatanRegional Patronage to assist approximately 3,000 children on the south side of Merida and in five communities in Tixcacalcupul. Save the Children is an international organization devoted to helping children in poverty and children in need. The major focus of Save the Children is directed toward helping parents and the community provide an environment in which children and children’s rights are protected. Children themselves are taught the precepts of what it means to be a good citizen and to continue to improve their communities after they are adults. We are deeply appreciative of the work of both the Regional Patronage and Save the Children and wish them many more years of success to come.

7th Parlamento de las Niñas y Niños de Mexico
There are 5 Federal Districts in the State of Yucatan, which means that our state is sending 5 children to D.F. to sit in the House of Representatives for a day. There, they will be able to voice their opinions through civil and democratic participation. They each won this honor by drafting concrete proposals for building a better country. Mexico believes this is an important exercise that will produce a continuous supply of young, interested, well educated, and responsible citizens who are free and independent thinkers, able to decide and act within the principles and values of their democratic nation, as well as to be able to behave responsibly in their relations with other nations. Congratulations to all of the children who were selected for this great honor, and to the adults who rightly see the need for such a program.

Proyecto Itzaes Asks For Your Help
This year, fundrasing for Proyecto Itzaes is a huge challenge because of the global economic slow-down. Proyecto Itzaes, based in Service Projects in YucatanChickulub, has an annual budget of $100,000 USD that is necessary to support their programs in six towns and villages in Yucatan. Their programs include: Books Without Borders, Scholarships, Biointensive Gardening, the Oral History Project, Diabetes Prevention, and Computer Literacy. They may not get one large donation for the entire amount they need but, if everyone posts a link to Proyecto Itzaes from their Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, etc, it wouldn’t be so hard to get 1,000 donations for $100 – or 10,000 donations for $10. If you will do that for them, they will not only reach their budget goals, but will also make many new friends for Proyecto Itzaes. The link is here. Cindy thanks everyone in advance and promises to let us know how well this turns out.

Akumal Library Needs Summer InternsVolunteers needed at Akumal's Library
From Ed Blume’s Eco-Yucatan we learn that the Hekab Be Library needs Spanish speaking interns during summer school (July 6 – Aug. 9). Applicants must be at least 18 years of age, fluent in Spanish, and must have at least 3 non-relative references. This is a great opportunity to spend some of the summer doing something productive, and it will look super on the old resume as well. Visit the library’s website to check out the environment and help decide if this opportunity is for you. If you, or someone you know, is interested in being an intern for about a month this summer, get in touch with the library by e-mailing akumallibrary[at]gmail[dot]com

 


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9 Responses to “News: Obama comes to Mexico”

  1. First let me start with saying how much I enjoy your website. As a Mexican I can say you get some of the subtleness of our culture that many people miss. However as I read everyones comments about their plans I cannot get over the inconsistency in the ease that US citizens are allowed to move to Mexico and the difficulty and danger which Mexicans are allowed to move to Mexico. First I would like everyone to know I believe it is good for the health of North America that it’s citizens are allowed to move north and south while always respecting the laws of the country they are in.
    Both groups are migrating due to economic reasons. The US citizens who are living in Mexico are in a unique position. You understand better than most US citizens what the values and culture of the Mexican people are. I would appreciate if you write your Congressman, Senator, or President and ask for reciprocal immigration policy.
    I thank you in advance,
    Juan-Manuel

  2. Thank you, Juan-Manuel. Your compliments mean a lot to us.
    We too feel that the immigration policies of both countries are unequal, and actually, we have written to the President on numerous occasions. You might also be interested in a website that we participate in, in an effort to dissuade the public of the bad reputation that Mexico is getting lately because of what we consider biased media.

    http://www.thetruthaboutmexico.com

  3. We are FM3 residents of Valladolid during winter months and of Asheville, NC, the rest of the year. Yucatan Living is wonderful reading – a rich and enjoyable source of information. My wife and I just returned to Asheville after our usual drive through Merida, Ciudad del Carmen, Villahermosa, Veracruz, Tuxpan, and south of Reynosa. We like to stay at the Hotel Rancho Viejo in order to have a fresh morning crossing at Pharr. All went well with our Mexican friends treating us “personas de la tercera edad” with much respect. There was one long “reten” (roadblock) south of Reynosa, hopefully accomplishing its purpose. We look forward to our return to Mexico. Tom and Kathie Jones

  4. There is an enlightening op-ed piece in March 24, 2009 NY Times regarding your point about “Mexico bashing,” written by Enrique Krauze, the editor of the magazine Letras Libres and the author of “Mexico: Biography of Power.” U.S. citizens (and vacation travelers) need to read more of this point of view to put their current perceptions of Mexico’s drug issues in context and in perspective.

    Here’s the link to the article:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/24/opinion/24krauze.html?_r=1&ref=opinion

  5. Thank you, Bill. We were just reading that article, and have of course read Krauze’s definitive (if somewhat biased) history of Mexico, Mexico: Biography of Power (for those of you who haven’t read it, we recommend it for a good overview of Mexican history… also because it is a classic and everyone refers to it.).
    There is a lot of reasons for the US and Mexico to work together to defeat this “enemy within”… we hope the powers that be see it that way too.

  6. Juan-Manuel,
    Speaking for myself, I couldn’t count the number of letters I’ve written, as well as donations to organizations fighting the Know-Nothing crowds in the US.

    Employment is not a zero-sum gain. Economies can expand as well as contract, but they are rarely static.

    The so-called “free trade” policies liberated Capital (cash flow) and Trade (flow of goods), but left out Labor. Labor always goes where demand is found. Economic demand is never stiffled by a mere law, regardless of demand for labor or products or drugs, etc.

    Just like most of Mexico is not involved in the drug wars, yet that’s all we read in the media; most of the USA is not opposed to reasonable immigration, yet all we see in the media are the foot-stompers and wall-builders. A recent poll showed over two-thirds of the US support a plan to allow people to become “regularized” through immigration reform. The problem right now is a very vocal minority who get the attention. The polls vary, but one was nearly 80% in favor:

    More than three-quarters of Americans (77%) favored allowing undocumented immigrants who have been in United States for more than five years to stay and apply for citizenship ifthey have a job, pay a fine and any back taxes. Twenty percent said they opposed such a measure.

    This administration seems capable of doing more than one thing at once so far. Let’s see how this issue plays out. A resolution cannot come too soon.

  7. Juan-Manuel, I agree with you completely! I live in Albuquerque, New Mexico, I hate the fence they are building on our border!! We all need one another in many ways. It is very short-sighted to believe otherwise. In perhaps 15 years I look forward to retirement and am considering very seriously the prospects of moving to Mexico for my retirement years. The economics and healthcare in the U.S. is in dire straits. I’ve worked in healthcare for the past 24 years and it has become consistantly worse over the years. I do believe we have a chance to hope with President Obama, but unfortunately there is still much small mindedness with some people who dont’ want change and a society that we can embrace other cultures and help one another for common good!!!

  8. Well, Juan Manuel, I find much to admire about Mexico. Let me point out to you that the individuals who retire in Mexico, for the most part, spend far more, as in two to three times what the average Mexican does, in Mexico. They must bring money into the economy of Mexico and spend that money there, creating jobs and opportunities for Mexicans in their homelands.

    I believe in legitimate guest worker programs for Mexican to work in the United States. However, our local school system spends almost twice as much per pupil for children of Mexican immigrants, the overwhelming majority of whom are here undocumented, than they do to educate children of American citizens. Then, those same children of Mexicam immigrants drop out of high school at more than 60%. Anyone who drops out of high school in the United States, whatever their race, color, or ethnicity is going to be a real problem for the economy here and will not be prepared to face the realities of educational ability which will be needed. That means they are more likely to get involve in crime and be unable to care for themselves and their families. Dropouts infuriate me, irrespective of what race, nationality, or ethnic background from which they arise.

    Additionally, here in this area in which I reside, our undocumented Mexican workers buy old vehicles and then drive them without insurance, and as a member of MADD, I can assure you that our statistics demonstrate that undocumented workers from Mexico are THREE times as likely as hispanics who are second or third generation and other citizens to DRIVE DRUNK. Personally, I am against importing drunks, since we have plenty of our own.

    The last part of the Mexican undocumented worker in America is that they send back to Mexico much of what they earn, meaning that it creates a foreign exportation of our money and our earnings paid to workers and since it is either the second or third highest source of income for Mexico, that is a tremendous drain on our economy. Enormous drain, especially when Texas and Texans citizens had to spend over $627 Million dollars last year for medical care for undocumented citizens of Mexico and Central America. That is not a positive for the United States, whereas having U. S. citizens emigrate, legally, to Mexico and bring a heavily positive cash injection into the Mexican economy is very different from what we see happening to the United States due to Mexican emigration.

  9. Denying undocumented workers a drivers license makes it pretty hard for them to obtain auto insurance.

    Forcing people into underground status makes it more likely they will feel the need to escape their condition, at least temporarily, with a bout of drinking. Welcome all people above ground and permit them legitimate status with recreational opportunities and divert energy positively.

    Repeat studies have shown that undocumented immigrants are much less likely to commit crimes than US citizens. That’s a settled fact, despite know-nothing cries to the contrary.

    The financial equation is complex, however, numerous studies and reports have shown that the positive influence on the economy far outweighs the remittances to home nations. After all, they must maintain households in the USA as well. And, starting from nothing, they are large consumers of clothing, food, household goods. The costs of medical care are cited, but not the positive growth in the economy which is much greater. Property taxes are paid by all renters and sales taxes are paid by all retail purchasers, regardless. Those two taxes are what supports medical care in Texas. There is no income tax in Texas.

    For over 200 years, Mexicans have been used by the USA for our dirty work, the difficult jobs, the jobs that our citizens won’t accept or won’t pay much for. Periodically, we try to toss everyone out in a huge fit of unfairness, inequity and hostility. We did it in during WWII, then “Operation Wetback” forcibly deported huge numbers of people including US citizens in the mix (yes, that was the actual name of the Federal operation). We do it again and again. Who is it that cannot make up their minds?

    Then, we welcome Mexicans back with our pocketbooks as soon as they are needed again. Every time.

    Of course, some have the attitude that we can “weigh” which humans of the earth are more deserving of going where they wish because some humans are better or worse than others.

    I submit that when it comes to putting food on the table, most any of us would do whatever it took, including taking an undocumented job in another nation, before we’d let our family starve to death. I hold no grudges against anyone who seeks to better themselves and care for their loved ones.

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