People, Turtles and Flamingos... Oh, My!
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...
Tourists Descend on Chichen Itza
Last week, we reported that, within 24 hours of being named one of the Seven New Wonders of the World, 1,000 Spaniards landed at the Chichen Itza Airport at Valladolid. By the end of that first week, 10,000 visitors had been to see Chichen Itza. In fact, so many came there that they ran out of parking space. Meanwhile, the Mexican Government and Estado Quintana Roo are courting Spanish industrialists, hoping to attract even more investment money for tourism in that state. The President of Mexico is promising new roads if the Spanish will invest more. Since the selection of Chichen Itza as one of the Seven New Wonders of the World, it seems as if all kinds of people, from all over the world, are suddenly interested in our little corner of the planet.
The New Airport on the Mayan Riviera
There is a new airport in the works for the Mayan Riviera, in our neighboring state of Quintana Roo. There was speculation that it would be somewhere around Playa del Carmen, but the Governor says it will be closer to Tulum. He isn’t saying exactly where, so as not to begin land speculation. That's very wise of him, since everyone and his brother here has been speculating about this airport for the past two years at least. Wherever it is, he says it will be finished within a year. If that's true, it's location won't be a secret for long!
Speaking of Airports...
Well – here’s how the new Merida airport issue stands now: We’re not getting a new airport. We’re getting a new airport. If we get a new airport, its going to be at St. Ignacio. If we get a new airport, its going to be at Hunucmá. If we get a new airport, and there’s no guarantee we will, that will be decided in 2009 and the airport won’t be finished until 2012. Hmmmm.. now, doesn’t 2012 ring a bell? Oh! I know! A lot of tourists will be coming to Yucatan that year, so that's good timing! In the meantime, the jury is still out on a new Merida airport.
The Flamingos Are Back!
Beginning at Chicxulub and extending down through Uaymitún and Telchac, the flamingos and herons have arrived in large enough numbers to stop traffic and workers just to watch them. Anyone headed to the Mayan archaeological zone of Xcambó should have the best views, since this is the final destination of these Flamingos. This is a good time to grab that camera and head for the beach. They say the opportunities to take wonderful pictures of these birds is excellent right now.
Yucatan: A Land of Differences
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in Yucatan has completed a study that shows this state to be a land of great cultural, social, and economic differences. Our state lies between two regions (Quintana Roo and Campeche) that are both developing faster than we are. In addition, we have marvelous universities but, when our graduates cannot find work here, they are leaving. It is true that we have superior health care available in Yucatan, but all the facilities and people providing that healthcare are concentrated in Merida. This makes the state, as a whole, an area in which there are extreme differences between the quality of life for urban and rural citizens.
Waves of People on the Beach
As we reported last week, La Temporada usually takes place in August, when Meridanos spend a month at their beach houses along the coast, and other visitors are in attendance during the weekends. Gradually that time has lengthened to include most of July as well. 15,000 visitors went to Progreso for the first official weekend of vacation and 15,000 more were expected the second weekend. Well – 25,000 showed up! They came in two waves. Some came at night, to open their summer houses, and were followed the next day by the rest of their families. However, it is still July and it is estimated that only 40% of the vacation houses are occupied, leaving many more to come! Needless to say, business owners are ecstatic. It is easy to suspect that year-round residents feel a bit as if someone has suddenly transported a good, old fashioned State Fair into the middle of their neighborhood. Ah… for the relative calm of Snowbirds. Now that we think of it - when La Temporada is over, can Snowbirds be far behind?
Progreso and Chelem can look for traffic problems throughout July and August, due to the making of a low-budget Mexican-produced movie there. Yucalpetén has already survived two weeks of it, but Progreso and Chelem seem to be in for the worst of the street closings.
No Beer Sales on the Malecon or Beach
Espectáculos Playeros.. what are they? They are parties that a company throws on the beach by setting up tables, tents and music to sell their brand and their products. Everyone is invited and encouraged to partake. By no longer allowing espectáculos playeros to sell beer on the beach and sidewalk of the Malecon, in Progreso, the number of people who had to go to jail a week ago Sunday dropped from an average of 80 to just 13. In addition, there were remarkably fewer accidents, both on land and on the water. At the close of the day, 43 people were stopped as they headed out of town, and most were found to be drinking and driving. And that weekend there were no accidents on the road from Progreso to Merida. The new mayors of all of the municipalities are charged with the life and safety of their citizens and their visitors. We applaud their courage and wish them well, for all our sakes.
Cancun: Too Much of a Good Thing?
We have been reading observations from around Mexico that Cancun is at risk of becoming Acapulconized – with too many tourists, not enough good roads, and beaches that are environmentally unsafe for swimming. This is on the verge of happening now, as some tourists have said they could have stayed home and endured this kind of congestion. The Mexican Government has said they are stepping up to the plate and will help Cancun develop socially, culturally, and economically before this situation becomes a real issue.
800 Turtle Nests on Cozumel
That’s right. They counted 800 turtle nests recently on Cozumel! In 52 days, Cozumel expects to have somewhere around 90,000 baby turtles headed for the sea. Between now and then, you can go to Cozumel and take a guided tour of the nests. Tours start at the Municipal Palace, at 9:00 PM, on Sundays, Mondays, and Tuesdays.
Beach Volleyball in Progreso
For the next 2 weekends, there will be Beach Volleyball on the Malecon in Progreso. The object is to promote good health and sports during the vacation season. This is sponsored by the City Council of Progreso and the State Volleyball Association of Yucatan. It looks as if everybody plays the first weekend (Aug. 4 th and 5 th) to pick a good team. Then, on the 11 th and 12 th, twenty four of Yucatan’s finest players will play a team of twenty four from Campeche. Come on down and see if you can make the cut. Even if you aren't playing, come on down and watch this age-old rivalry play out on the sand.
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