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News: Yolisto!

News Starting May 14, 2012

You Heard it First on YolistoYolisto Website about Yucatan

This week, several of our news items came from Yolisto, our local message board and sister site. The best thing about having a message board with over 4,000 members is that we always have an extra 4,000 eyes and ears for news that is important to expats and, when emergencies come up, we have expats located in any number of nations who can pick up the phone and get on-the-spot information to pass on to the rest of the group. We are beaming with pride over the work our Yolisto members have done this week. If you are not a member of Yolisto, we invite you to join the conversation. If you are a member, but haven’t visited for a while, we invite you to come back and see us. Every day may not be a stunning news day but, when news breaks, it usually finds its way to Yolisto first.

Are You Safer in Mexico or America?

Finally! News we can use! This weekend, a member of Yolisto brought a news article to our attention. Robert Reid is the U.S. Travel Editor for Lonely Planet and he has been going to Mexico since he was three years old. In Are You Safer in Mexico or America? Mr. Reid uses United Nations statistics to give us five things to consider:

  • Mexico may be more dangerous than the U.S. overall, but not for Americans
  • Texans are twice as safe in Mexico than in Texas and three times as safe in Mexico than in Houston.
  • And it isn’t just Texas. New Orleans has a higher murder rate now than Ciudad Juarez. The murder rate in New Orleans is 10 times the U.S. homicide rate and almost three times the national murder rate of Mexico.
  • Most of Mexico is NOT on the State Department’s travel warning.
  • Rick Santorum had some snide remarks about Malia Obama’s parents ignoring the travel warnings and allowing their daughter to spend her Spring Break on a class trip to Oaxaca. Perhaps Mr. Santorum is unaware that Malia was safer in Oaxaca than she would have been in his home state of Pennsylvania. It seems that Oaxaca has a murder rate of 4.39/100K, while Pennsylvania has a murder rate of 5.2/100K.

Are You Safer in Mexico than in America? is an excellent resource and, while we are not normally fans of FWD e-mails, a link to this article should go to everyone in all of our address books.

The New United – Continental Airline Pet PolicyNew Airline Pet Policy

This week, a Yolisto member received a call from a representative of United Airlines, informing her that she was being refunded the fee for bringing her two cats back to Yucatan with her at the end of the summer. She could, however, fly them as cargo for twice the price; but that wouldn’t work either because of her short layover versus the three hours in advance that the cats would have to be at the cargo area prior to being loaded. She was told that this “No Pets in the Cabin” policy is industry-wide and is in response to a new directive by the Mexican Government. Yolisto members waited anxiously as she called other airlines.

Westjet, Air Canada and American Airlines all said they have heard of no such directive from the Mexican Government. Since United only sent a one-line directive, written in Spanish, Yolisto members went on the hunt for the original Mexican Government document and found it. It is not new. It is a policy change from 2007. It states that on domestic flights within Mexico, only guide dogs will be allowed in the cabin. However, on international flights, small pets will still be allowed to travel in the cabin with their owners so long as they are registered with the airline and have up-to-date health papers. At this point, Yolisto members began finding people around the world who have been seriously impacted by this issue. Many are members of the American Armed Forces and employees of American government offices in other nations. They were asked to move their families (which include pets) abroad while they serve their country and are now facing huge fees to bring those pets home again. No one knows why United-Continental has instituted such a policy, nor why they blamed it on the Mexican government when, clearly, there is no such Mexican directive.

However, when emails to the president of the airline were diverted to the Cargo Department, Yolisto members found the physical address of the president of the airline and are writing to remind him of his company’s claim that it conducts business in an ethical manner. In the meantime, Yolisto members gathered the names of airlines that do accept pets, along with the names of hotels in Cancun that accept pets and the name of a car rental agency that will allow pets to be driven from Cancun to Merida. If you would like to follow this story as it develops over the summer, or if you would like to write a letter and need the address of the president of the company, we invite you to follow the Yolisto thread entitled: Pets Coming to Mexico? New Changes!

Other Important Issues Resolved On Yolisto This Week

  • Where to find Heineken been in 5 liter kegs.
  • How to make a chimney style charcoal lighter.
  • Where to find a skateboard park in Merida.
  • The Spanish name for cream of tartar and where to find it.
  • Where to find Ezekial bread in Merida.
  • The Evolution of Traditional Yucatan dress, translated from el Diario by an expat.

Best of all, someone needed a vet in a hurry and quickly got the information they needed.

Arte Esencial Mesoamericano, A.C.

You are invited to visit the website of AEMAC to keep up with the latest activities of a program that brings support to the traditions of indigenous Maya across the Yucatan Peninsula, with a special focus on traditional medicine. They publish the online Jornadas Populares de Medicina Tradicional and their blog is one of the most informative sites we have seen. We hope everyone visits the AEMAC blog to learn just how much is being done to rescue traditional medicine throughout the Yucatan Peninsula. For those who are interested in learning more, AEMAC also has bilingual teaching tours, so please do visit their blog and find out how you can participate in the rescue of Traditional Medicine in Yucatan. 

How Far Can Your e-Book Travel?

The world of hard-copy publishing will never lose its place in the hearts of book lovers, but e-books are here to stay and many expats have written (or are writing) their own. This week, we learned that a ladies’ ebook club in the Royal Melbourne Country Club area, in Australia, read and enjoyed "Xtabentum: A Novel of Yucatan" by Rosy Hugener with Carl Hugener. If you are working on your ebook, or contemplating starting one, we hope that knowing it has the potential to be read around the world will inspire you to keep on writing! Many thanks as well to the members of the Royal Melbourne Book Club for including your opinion of a book about Yucatan in your interview with the Chicago Tribune’s Printer’s Row.

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19 Responses to “News: Yolisto!”

  1. Appreciated this info very much. Thanks for all your efforts.

  2. Thanks! i shared this on my FB page and sent it to friends.

  3. We also were impacted by Continental/United’s wimsical pet policy. I say whimsical because originally they were going to allow us to bring our standard poodle then reneged when a different clerk said we would have to use an import/export company that was on Continental’s list of accepted companies. The import company explained this was usually done with large animals like horses, not dogs. They said they would help us for free with details like putting the dog’s kennel on the conveyer belt along with other luggage. The Continental clerk kind of went ballistic when she heard that idea. No amount of working with Continental would alter the situation. Frankly, the other airlines were not helpful either. We’re considering driving down but that’s a long way from N. Mt. Any other ideas or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

  4. thank you for news Yolisto,
    Continental used to care about Customer service, never thought United really cared at all, and now am sure. Will definitely try to write new president of “largest airline in the world”. many former Continental customers very unhappy. thanks for bringing this to my attention.

  5. I just did my “homework” and called and tried to book a trip with United/Continental….. (Jacksonville Fl. to Merida ) and it’s a no way, no how. I have taken our Jack Russell “Judy” so many times to our home in Merida….so this is a relatively new policy.
    I then tried with AeroMexico (who we really like to fly) , AND they have a direct Miami to Merida flight, No luck. The AeroMexico information man was VERY helpful, polite, etc. , but did explain that we would have to check “Judy” at the modest fee of 80 u.s. dollars each way.
    The United/Continental information lady was rude, abrupt, and downright nasty…
    Let’s get that Ferry up and running SOON!!!!

  6. I just booked my next trip using Westjet – no problem at all booking the dog in cabin. They have not changed their policy and havent heard anything. The requirements are the same as they have been for years, proper vaccines and documentation.

  7. I could not find this article on the Yolisto website. Could you provide a link? Or let me know how to locate it? “The Evolution of Traditional Yucatan dress, translated from el Diario by an expat”

  8. Good to know, Louise. Thank you! If only Westjet flew from the West Coast…

  9. “W.Neko”

    Actually, there are two sets of articles translated by an expat this past week or so – and both are just great! One is about Evolution Of Traditional Yucatecan Dress and the other is about the History Of Mayan Last Names. Both came from el Diario. The link to the Local Culture and Customs Index is here:
    That should get you to both of them (and more).

  10. This news about Continental/United and pets is truly frightening. My teenage sons and I are moving from Montana to Merida in September, along with our terrier X. The airline web sites have all along said we could take him in the cabin with us, so the question is now what? Do we get a hard crate in case he has to go in cargo? Do we line our pockets with extra cash in case we run into unexpected hurdles? If Westjet is more amenable to pets, do they fly from major cities in the US as well as Canada? We had already planned to do the flight over two days to make it easier on the dog and so we wouldn’t arrive in Merida late at night. Maybe we should do it through two airlines? Any input would be most appreciated!

  11. Ayn,

    Come over and join us on Yolisto ( That’s the best place to keep up with the newest developments on this issue, as well as seek information about alternative plans. Yolisto members are more than willing to help and it sounds as if you have some good ideas of your own. “Mix and match” airlines? Might not be a bad idea.

  12. I am very unhappy about this United Airline new policy! They are trying to blame the Mexican Govermment! well, here you have the Presiden Felipe Calderon email addres.
    felipe [dot] calderon [at] presidencia [dot] gob [dot] mx I wrote to him a letter to asked him for his help with this matter. I have writting to him before and I have gotten an answer. I think he needs to know how this new policy will affect all of us. Please write to him for help!!!

  13. Hello,

    I will be flying in to Cancun with my dog. I will be renting a car to travel to Merida. Which car rental companies accept dogs to travel from Cancun to Merida? I will also like to know which hotels in Cancun/Riviera Maya accept dogs?


  14. Patricia, if you rent a car, you can transport anything in it that fits in it. If you return it damaged, they’ll charge you. Other than that, no problem. As for hotels that accept dogs, there is a La Quinta Inn near the airport in Cancun and they accept dogs.

  15. Patricia,

    The recent experience of an expat driving from Cancun with dogs can be found in post #109 on this page of Yolisto: Two hotel recommendations, plus a car rental recommendation.

  16. Hello,
    Just to follow-up about United Airline’s new regulation. I wrote to the President of Mexico! I got an answer from his office in which they said they will look into this matter. Maybe if we all wrote his office we can get this regulation changed. Here you have the article that United Airlines is using to misrepresent Mexico’s regulations about flying with dogs.” United Airlines amongst others are using a 2007 directive which refers to flights INSIDE OF MEXICO! Airlines are using article 2.1.2 of this 2007 Mexican directive as a basis for their decision: The directive clearly indicates that the restriction applies only to Mexican domestic flights. THIS is the rule as it is now and as it was then in 2007:” You can also vote to change the United Airlines regulation here:! Please vote to make the change!


  17. We also have traveled with our Min Pin with Continental for 3 years. We come every year for 5 months and WILL NOT leave her. We have had no problems and a lot of people dont know we have a dog with us because she is so good. The thought of her in cargo terrifies me. also we come in Nov. and there is no heat in cargo. We will fly to Cancun , then drive to Merida, which I hate. It is such a long drive. We will not be flying Continental again!!!!!

  18. I am looking for information on the Casaecomaya being built at the Country Club with Omni block. Can you help me?

  19. Alice,

    The press release of the story behind Casa Ecomaya can be found online here:

    Omni Block has its own website here:

    Hope that helps.


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