News Starting December 20, 2010
Merida Airport Director Wins Medal for Safest Airport
The Director of Manuel Crecencio Rejon Airport, Navarrete Munoz, has been presented a medal following the designation of the airport as one of the safest in the world by the United Nations Institute for Training and Research. What tipped the balance was the training and education given to airport employees for hurricane preparedness, as well as the training necessary to deal with an influx of refugees during natural disasters in other places. Evidently, the ability to properly manage an airport during a humanitarian crisis is not a skill that all airports have mastered, but having a knowledge base that will allow employees to react quickly under extreme circumstances, such as natural disasters, is one of the U.N. requirements for an airport to receive this honor. Congratulations to Director Navarrete Munoz and to all of the airport employees who work and train so hard to keep us safe.
Tourism: Q.R. Expecting 90% to 100% Occupancy
Cancun International Airport is (quite happily) buried under a massive influx of tourists who are arriving in almost equal numbers for Mexicans and international visitors. Every terminal (gate) is reporting between 60+ national flights arriving and 80+ international flights arriving per day. This is amazingly good news for an industry that has been hit by everything from H1N1 to the global economic downturn. With this many folks venturing out to take vacations again, we are convinced that the economy has turned the corner and all will be well in the tourism industry throughout our peninsula again. We were very pleased to see that most of the international visitors were from the U.S., which will go a long way toward repairing any misconceptions Americans have about Mexico.
Albergue San Joaquin Christmas Party
Earlier this month, we reported on a group of expats and Snowbirds who volunteer at Albergue San Joaquin, the nursing home between Chicxulub and Progreso. Now, the volunteers have thrown a huge Christmas party for the nursing home residents and we hear that a marvelous time was had by all. It is through community service, such as this kind of volunteerism, that individuals become one cohesive entity and we have all been blessed not only that Yucatan accepts the foreign community’s efforts, but that we have attracted the quality of expats and Snowbirds who want to be a part of their adopted home. Yucatan Living sends its very best Christmas and New Year’s wishes to the residents of Albergue San Joaquin, and to the expats and Snowbirds who give their time and love to volunteer.
Santa Is In Motul for Almost a Week!
Santa has been spending an early Christmas in the Municipality of Motul. He arrived on December 18, and will be in town until he throws a big party on December 23. He is visiting approximately 3 towns and villages a day and the children of Motul are all getting their Christmas presents early. We hear that the sounds of Christmas can be heard throughout the city – in schools, businesses, homes and vehicles. Evidently, the community outreach that has been undertaken by the Municipality of Motul has been very successful and everyone is already having a wonderful holiday. For potential expats who may be looking for a home in Yucatan, we are very pleased to be able to recommend the lovely Municipio de Motul de Carrillo Puerto.
Sueños de Ángel in Yucatan
Santa must have slipped away from Motul for a little while because he put in an appearance at a party for 400 people at the home of the Lübcke Hernández family. Is an organization that provides assistance to children with cancer and their families. It is one of the finest charities in Merida and this is the third year in a row that the Lübcke Hernández family has opened their home to the Christmas party. Santa brought loads of toys and worked with clowns, puppets, dance groups, and other characters to get the giggles started. We have no doubt that the children were able to carry on the joy after that. There were young volunteers to watch them and they were given free rein to play and enjoy themselves. The parents of the children, as well as their siblings, were given presents that included blankets and food. Many of the children received bicycles and tricycles. Of the 400 people who attended this wonderful Christmas party, 100 were children who are receiving cancer treatment at O’Horan Hospital. We hope that their new year is the best year of their lives and that all of these children are able to go home well and happy. To donate and support the vital work of Sueños de Ángel, e-mail: donacionssangre[at]yahoo[dot]com[dot]mx or call 944-1166.
Tizimin: Mauricio Avila Signs with Philadelphia Phillies
Young Mauricio began playing baseball at the age of 9, with his father as his coach. Now, he is heading off to a training camp in Venezuela as the newest player for the Philadelphia Phillies. Keep an eye out for Mauricio Alejandro Avila Alvarado in the very near future. From what Sergio Attwell Viellendent, Director of Scouting and Development for the Acereros del Norte, says, Mauricio has “strong arms, strong legs, and his bat comes alive in every game.” Following training camp in Venezuela, Mauricio will play for Acereros del Norte through the remainder of the Spring and then will go on to take his place in Major League Baseball. We know his parents will miss him, but what a coup for Tizimin! Everyone is excited for him and we all wish him the very best of luck.
Watch For Children During Christmas Vacation
In Yucatan, schools don’t end classes until almost Christmas, and then classes don’t resume until after January 6, which is Dia de los Tres Reyes or, for some, Epiphany. This year, Christmas vacation begins on December 23, and classes begin again on January 10. If you are a resident of Yucatan or a visitor, please drive carefully during this time. In many areas, especially in smaller towns and villages, children will fill the streets with bicycles, impromptu soccer games, puppies, and even a horse or two! Life itself is their playground during this holiday, as well it should be. So – keep an eye out for smaller children between December 23 and January 9, and we hope you enjoy your holiday in Yucatan as much as they surely will enjoy theirs.
Progreso Breathalyzer: Zero Tolerance Success
A week or so ago, we reported on the fact that, in Yucatan, if a driver’s breathalyzer test shows alcohol in any amount, they are considered to be driving under the influence. The data are in on two months of breathalyzer tests on over 3,000 drivers between Merida and Progreso and they show a 50% drop in the rate of driving under the influence of alcohol. We congratulate the SSP on a job very well done,(173 tickets, 67 impounded vehicles) and the drivers between Merida and Progreso who have seen the light. In other driving under the influence news, the Police Chief in Hunucma has stated that there will be progressive punishments for driving under the influence, with the third time being the loss of one’s license. While detainees are in jail in Hunucma, representatives of AA are on hand to speak with them every Sunday – and, in Hunucma, if someone is in jail for drunkenness (driving or not), the only way to get out without penalty is to pledge to rehabilitate themselves through AA. No one should have to drive as if every other vehicle on the highway is being driven by an impaired driver, especially not during the holidays. Remember – in Yucatan, zero alcohol is the legal limit for drivers and public drunkenness is not well received.
Campeche: How Much Does a Turkey Cost?
Many of the farmers on the peninsula make a sizeable portion of their annual income during the Christmas season. Such is the case with turkey growers. This year, they are reporting that turkeys are going for between $600 and $800 pesos. One can purchase a young turkey, 3 to 4 kilograms (6.6 to 8.8 lbs) for approximately $200 pesos. The turkeys that cost $600 pesos are just over 10 kilograms (22 lbs). They say that a lot of customers try to wait them out because, after Christmas, those big 22 pounders can be had for $400 pesos. However, on Christmas Eve, at the last minute, customers give in and pay the regular price of $600 pesos, which ensures a successful season for the turkey growers. When we do the math, one of those 22 pound turkeys costs approximately $48.27 USD, which is $2.19 per pound. If the cost of a turkey that weighs about 7 ½ lbs is $200 pesos ($16.09 USD), then that turkey costs approximately $2.14 per pound. This is in stark contrast to the $1.10 USD per pound in the U.S. this year, as grocers across the nation use turkey as a loss leader to draw people into stores. Many of Mexico’s turkey growers sell their birds fresh-dressed from their homes, leaving them unable to even contemplate such a thing as deliberately taking a loss on anything they produce. We certainly wish the turkey growers of Yucatan well and hope they have a very successful season.
Oxkutzcab: Orange Festival Unsuccessful
Sometimes, the news from Yucatan is not all good. This week, we extend our sympathies to the exhibitors and artisans in Oxkutzcab. They have about 10 days, in early December, to make most of their annual income. This year, during the Orange Festival, temperatures hovered between 5 and 8 degrees Celsius (41 and 46.4 degrees Fahrenheit), and kept festival visitors at home. Some are under the impression that this area can handle adversity easily because of remittances from the more than 10,000 area workers in the States, but has not been the case for some three years now. This year, remittances in the Oxkutzcab area have fallen by 60%. With this current cold weather situation, another 400 workers are depending on their end of the year bonuses just to get by. If anyone wants to take a day-trip, now would be a great time to head on down to Oxkutzcab. A bag of 100 sweet oranges is selling for $12 pesos to $15 pesos.