Orchids, Oranges and... Cruisers?
Each week, we bring you our readers synopses of the most interesting articles we've read in the local papers. There is a LOT going on here...we're just skimming the surface of the cenote, so to speak...
FREE Wireless Internet!
How wonderful! In fulfillment of a campaign promise, Mayor Caesar Bojórquez Zapata is going to install free wireless internet service in 50 locations in the Municipality of Merida . The first 10 will go into effect in 10 parks on Sunday, Sept. 16. The 10 locations will be chosen by Meridano voters from a list of 31 parks. The voting “pedestals” will travel around the municipality between now and the 15 th . The State of Yucatan , and Merida especially, has been a leader in internet technology for years and this is just one more step that will keep Yucatan in the forefront of every phase of business and quality of life well into the future.
Please keep an eye on your radar. We have tropical storms off of every coast of Mexico and Felix headed on almost the same path Dean took. It looks as if Felix will be a little farther south, but one never can be sure with a hurricane. They are notorious for changing course at the last second. Best not put away the emergency gear quite yet. Looks like the next couple of weeks are going to get interesting.
Yucatan 's Hurricanes and Sun Spots
Has anyone been monitoring sun spots this year? From what we understand, the worst hurricanes happen, in Yucatan , when there are few or no sun spots; or when there is a sharp increase and then very sharp decrease in the number of sun spots. We fully admit this is not our strong suite, so any of you astronomers out there feel free to chime right in on this one. If there is a way to predict the severity of these storms, we sure would like to know!
400 Additional Cruise Ships in Progreso
Hurricane Dean destroyed the port of Majahual and, for the next few months, Progreso will have to be the alternate port for all of the 400 cruise ships that were destined for that area. Yes – you read that correctly – 400 extra cruise ships are coming to Progreso! Additional support is being provided for the entire area. For those of you who will be coming to visit, not to worry. Progreso is up to the task of receiving your ships and everyone in the State of Yucatan will make certain that you have a wonderful trip. There will be cultural events provided on three new stages and much to see at the Casa de la Cultura. Who knows? You might even meet a few local gringos while you're there! So – come on along and cruise to Progreso. Be careful of the sun (even in the shade) and you'll be treated to the time of your life.
Keep Your Eyes on Ticul
We have long thought that the southern part of the State of Yucatan is woefully under-recognized for its beauty and promise. Certainly this is the case with municipalities such as Ticul. No more! Many of the towns and villages in the southern part of our state are beginning to enjoy a degree of economic success. This is resulting in improvements in water quality, as well as in roads and schools. Look for great things in the future from Yucatan Sur (South) and, for those of you who are considering a move – if you aren't that interested in living in the city or at the beach – we strongly recommend that you take some time and visit the southern part of Yucatan, especially if you have ever found yourself humming a few bars of “I'm a little bit country…” This old country girl has done just that and I am here to tell you that you will find exactly what you are looking for in Yucatan Sur.
We Grow Smart Students in Yucatan !
We don't know if its in the air or in the water – but we have brilliance abounding in the State of Yucatan ! It is on the loose and seems to be pervasive throughout the population! This summer, the Eighth International Olympic Games of Mathematics was held in Hanoi , Vietnam . Over 500 students from 96 nations were locked in fierce competition for months. Four students from Mexico won Bronze Medals. One of the four is none other than Yucatan 's own Cristian Manuel Oliva Avilés. But Yucatan didn't stop there. Yucatecos Marco Antonio Ávila Ponce de León and Manuel Jesús Novelo Puc earned outstanding honorable mentions. All three of these young men are pre-university students, but UADY has taken the time to shepherd them to their current glory. The officials of the Mathematics Olympics commented on the fact that Yucatan is unique in her love for mathematics and the combined effort of the mathematics faculty of UADY and the Education System to help these students reach their goals. Our congratulations go out to these young men, to their families, and to their teachers, to their schools, and to the Mathematics Faculty of UADY for a job well done! Now – on to Spain for the next Mathematics Olympics in 2008!
UADY Hosts 23 Foreign Students this Semester
Yucatan Living would like to welcome all 23 of the foreign students who are studying at UADY this semester. We hope your stay is enjoyable and that you take home not only an excellent academic experience, but a fond memory of our state as well. These students are from France , Spain , Germany , Canada and the United States and we know there is something in Yucatan that is special for each of them.
Orchids in Yucatan
Our readers ask the most interesting questions – and, sometimes, on the inside pages of an academic website, we find the most surprising answers. So – when a reader e-mailed us to ask about orchid growers in Yucatan , we went “on the hunt.” Of course, orchids are quite easily grown here in Yucatan and have been known to volunteer themselves without even the need for a purchase. However, we wanted to know if we could buy them here and if someone knows a little something about them so they can give us newbies instructions. A web search showed that there are 300 species of wild orchids in Yucatan , but we are asked to leave them alone and only purchase commercially grown orchids for our gardens. Then our resourceful Beatriz called the Secretary of Rural Development and Fishing and found two growers. The first is Teresa Martin Castañeda at Yotolin, Ticul. The Secretariat's office does not have a telephone number for her, but assures us she can be easily found simply by going to Yotolín and asking for her. The second grower is Jesus Guevara at Chocholá. His Merida telephone number is 944-2554 and his cell is 910- 0474. In the meantime, I discovered that we also have an extremely accomplished scientist, Andrew C. James, who has been a Plant Research Scientist at the Scientific Research Center of Yucatan since 1996. He works mostly with bananas, but also works with “mass propagation, in vitro, of commercial orchids for the Yucatan Peninsula . ” So – dear readers, there you have it. Just one more topic on which the State of Yucatan , with very little fanfare, has excelled yet again. I suspect that Teresia Martin Castañeda and Jesus Guevara are about to have a run on orchids, don't you?
We have Oranges !
Once again, Yucatan 's protective geography has saved the day for our orange growers. Sadly, the growers of Veracruz were not as lucky. Since it is Veracruz that supplies most of the orange fruit and juice to Mexico City , our growers will not only have to meet their regular customers' needs, but pick up that slack as well. Felix is on the way. Our growers lost 40% of their crop to Dean. If Felix stays well to the south, we may be able to finish the season with a good profit. Our thoughts and prayers are with those states that are not so lucky. It is going to be a long hurricane season this year.
Success for Pulpo Fishermen!
The catch is increasing in the second month of the season, in spite of Hurricane Dean. Prices are holding well, at $42 to $43 pesos per kilo. For those of you back home, this means $1.78 per pound. Right now, U.S. market prices are running around $5.00 USD and up per pound. The least expensive dish containing pulpo I have found on a menu in the States is $7.50 USD. But hang onto your hats – lobster fishing comes alive this month and next… and the prices are going to knock your socks off. If ever there was a reason to move to Yucatan , shrimp, lobster, and pulpo are a knock-em-outta-tha-park triple that can't be matched!