News Starting November 29, 2010
Naval Search and Rescue Heroes
Sometimes, more than beautiful beaches, whale sharks and sports fishing is to be found on tiny Isla Mujeres. Did you know that the Armada has a Search and Rescue Naval Station on the island? …and that it comes complete with helicopters, exceptionally well trained heroes, and a commitment from Mexico to safeguard the lives of human beings at sea? In this case, a 72 year old American had surgery and, evidently, left on a cruise before he was completely well. Complications set in and the Search and Rescue team was in the air immediately. The closest hospital and specialists were in Cancun, so off they flew. All accounts have the patient doing well and this is yet one more instance assuring the traveling public that they are safe on the Yucatan Peninsula.
Yucatan’s Police Take Giant Leap Forward in Professionalism
Safe policing is a big issue throughout the world. In many places, this simply means the occasional random drug test and all is well if a police officer passes it. Not so anymore in Mexico and not in Yucatan. From now on, the National System of Public Security has set forth standards for police officers in which local law enforcement will be tested with the same measures used for the SSP. This means medical examinations, psychological testing, psychometric studies and polygraphs. In addition, in order to continue in their positions, all police officers who have not completed their basic education will have to do so. Classes are being offered through the Education Department. Any police officer who fails any level of this testing will be dismissed from their position immediately. This is a tough situation. Some municipalities struggle to retain the officers they have because of low pay and even lack of funds for uniforms. However, this is also something that must be done in order to guarantee the tranquility of Yucatan and to retain the confidence of the people in an increasingly complex world. Our thoughts are with both the police officers and with the authorities. The changes are needed and Yucatan will be the better for it.
Yucatan Sends 3 to the World Special Olympics in Athens, Greece
After competing throughout Mexico, some in as many as 25 states, the Special Olympics Mexico is over for 2010 and our outstanding athletes have been announced. Two of our athletes, Edwin Vela Romero and Carmen Maria Maldonado Garza play the sport of bochas. Learn the rules on their Bochas Regulations website. We love the names of some of the regulations in this combination of bowling and a host of other games of dexterity. Our third athlete is a tennis star by the name of Victor Mukul Mendez. Paullada Dante Rodriguez will be traveling as an alternate. The part of this story that is so exciting is that Yucatan’s Special Olympic athletes won so many gold medals (35!) that they had to have a drawing to choose who would go to Athens! Yucatan’s Special Olympic athletes also won 17 silver medals and 6 bronze medals. Their winning events were all over the map – from overall athletics, to bochas, cycling, gymnastics, weightlifting, swimming, soccer and tennis. Congratulations to the athletes, to their parents, to their coaches, therapists, doctors, and to a state full of people who believe in the ability of Yucatan’s Special Olympians.
White Tailed Deer Farm & Eco-Tourism
About a year and a half ago, we reported on several sites around the state where farmers have begun to raise animals such as white tail deer. The object, of course, is to protect the species, but this renewed interest could not have happened at a better time. Now, within another year and a half, there will be large breeding herds on these family farms, along with eco-cabins, from which visitors can view the wildlife in Yucatan as always should have remained. Perhaps the tourism value of these beautiful creatures, along with a renewed interest in eating deer meat and quail, and sustainable farming practices will ensure the white tail deer’s place in the fauna of Yucatan for generations to come. The first of these sites should be in the Valladolid area, so keep watching the news for opening events.
Whatever Happened to Cachi Bol?
We remember the excitement when our elderly Yucatecos first took up Cachi Bol, a scaled down version of volleyball that was developed by senior citizens in California and exported to Mexico. That hasn’t been but two or three years ago, but then we heard no more about it. As it turns out, Cachi Bol is alive and well all over Mexico and the National Championship was held right here in Merida this past week. Yucatan participated in both men and women’s categories for ages 45 to 59, as well as in the 60 and older category for men and women. A team from Quintana Roo took home the gold, but we still want to congratulate Yucatan’s teams for an excellent showing and wish them all the best as they train for their next championship round of games. Thanks so much to Gonzalo Rizo Curiel, organizer of the event; Jose Novelo Flores, Director of IDEY; Leonel Aldama Manzanilla, head of Adaptive Sports and Adulto Mayor of IDEY; and to Yolanda Esther Bates, president of the club Lol Be de Yucatan. Through her tireless efforts, she helped to coordinate the National Cachi Bol event and bring the games to Yucatan.
Update: Opera Yucatan, AC
Yucatan is now home to a brand new non-profit cultural organization (Opera Yucatan, AC) whose purpose is to promote the art of opera in Yucatan. Their first activity is the Temporada de Opera en el Cine (opera season at the movies). They will be showing operas recorded on DVD the first Saturday of every month at noon in Sala 3 of the Siglo XXI Convention Center theaters. The movie theater is a comfortable, modern, stadium style venue that seats more than 200 people. The first opera presented was "La Boheme" and 70 people were in attendance, with many positive comments to the organizers. The next performance will be "Samson and Deliah," by Saint-Saens, on Saturday, December 4 at noon. This Met production was recorded in 1998, and stars Olga Borodina and Placido Domingo. There will be a brief talk about opera at 11:30 AM. Due to the way the holidays fall, Mozart’s “The Magic Flute” will be shown on Saturday, January 8th at noon. Because they will be presenting operas from previous seasons of the Metropolitan Opera, there will be no admission cost, but a donation is $40 pesos to Opera Yucatan will be very beneficial toward lending support to future plans to bring the “MetLive” program to Merida. You are cordially invited to visit the website of Opera Yucatan to read more about this wonderful new addition to the cultural offerings in Yucatan and to download the entire 2010-2011 Calendar for Temporada de Opera en el Cine.
Proyecto Itzaes: Urgent! Matching Funds On The Line!
This just in: The Book Drive for Proyecto Itzaes has a benefactor who will donate $1,500 USD for desperately needed new books IF they can find matching funds this week!