Sustainable Pyramids and Flowers
News Starting November 15, 2010
ISSTEY's Costa Resort Club Opens to Public
There was recently an international tourism fair held in London, England. Over 50,000 tourism professionals attended the 4-day event and Yucatan's own Costa Resort Club was featured by the Mexican Tourism Department (Secretariat). This is the spa-hotel that was built to serve the needs of government workers in the State of Yucatan. They've got 2 deals right now that we thought our readers might like to hear about. First, there is the Semana Grande Maya, which includes 7 days and 6 nights in a room or suite with a view of the sea. It includes a welcome cocktail, continental breakfasts, and a 10% discount on food and parking. The cost is $2,940 pesos for a double room, $2,040 pesos for a triple room, and $1,590 pesos for a room for a quadruple room. Their second special is just during the State Fair at Xmatkuil. During this time, rooms are $480 pesos for a double room that sleeps 4, $660 pesos for a triple room that sleeps 6, and $900 pesos for a quadruple suite that will sleep up to 8. This hotel is all about families. Look for an ala carte restaurant, recreational activities and programs for children – especially environmental programs. The guest children here are often the ones who set the baby turtles free when they hatch. The club has health services, showers, a hammock area, snacks for kids, a children's pool with palm-type showers and a playground. We are particularly proud to be able to say that Yucatan's Costa Resort Club is the only hotel in Mexico that has an accessible beach that offers special services to people with disabilities, with special attention given to children with disabilities. Whether its rolling one's wheelchair all the way to the water's edge (yes you can!) or taking in the sea sights in a floating wheelchair, Yucatan's Costa Resort Club is the answer to one of the most difficult questions we have always been asked: “I am disabled... or my child is disabled. Is there anyplace we can vacation in Yucatan?” Now, we can just send them a link to ISSTEY's Costa Resort Club. For more information, visit ISSTEY's Costa Resort Club Contact page, where you will find e-mail, phone, fax, and 1-800 numbers. This resort is located at km 4 Yucalpeten, Progreso, Yucatan.
Expat's Promotion - until Dec. 22
This is a Christmas treat designed with expats in mind... just a little something from The Haciendas Luxury Collection to you. What a great gift to be able to relax in luxury before jumping into the stress of the holidays.
- $150.00 US dollars plus 16% government tax, 2% lodging tax and 5% service charge per room per night.
- Booking window: From 3 to 7 days prior arrival
- Identification will bre required at the check in (FM2, license)
- One complimentary 15 minutes of shoulder massage per person per stay
- 25% off is food & beverage
- 25% off in Spa services
Bookings can be made directly to their reservations department at firstname.lastname@example.org, telephone 924 74 11 or toll free number 01 800 837 1970 but be sure to use the reservation code EX02-1110
Visit their websites at: www.thehaciendas.com and www.luxurycollection.com
Merida To Get New Sustainable Residential/Office Building
Not a lot leaves us speechless, but this did. Here is a link to the new LAR building that will be going up somewhere in Merida in the not too distant future. Its called the Pyramid Project and is really rather amazing when you consider all of the eco-friendly bells and whistles its going to have. We will admit that it was a bit surprising when we first looked at it but, overall, it grows on you when you sit and think about it for a few minutes. Do visit the website of LAR to find out more about this award winning architect and to see his other projects.
The Prem Rawat Foundation in Yucatan
Having never even heard of this foundation, we were prepared to take a few grains of salt with their claims of feeding children in Yucatan, at least until we could do a little investigating. However, we soon discovered that they have a 4 Star rating with Charity Navigator and, for now, that's good enough for us. We like the concept of a charity organization that is not affiliated with any particular religion or philosophy except those of peace and dignity. They have had a breakfast program in Kunche, Yucatan, since 2008 and are now beginning a lunch program that will feed 200 school children per day. The small children are fed early in the morning and older children are fed at midday, before afternoon classes begin. We will be watching the work of the Prem Rawat Foundation and bringing you more about them as more becomes available.
Icebreaker in Progreso
The Artic Sunrise briefly docked in Progreso over the weekend, with its next stop reported to be Cozumel. The icebreaker is a research vessel belonging to Greenpeace and is on an expedition for a research project that is based in Veracruz. Their job is to document any negative effects of CO2 emissions on the reefs of Mexico. As researchers continue to identify areas in which current data does not exist, it is up to researchers such as these to give us the documentation to move forward with new programs and to spend environmental dollars and pesos in places where they will be the most effective. Many thanks to Greenpeace for supplying the ship for this project. If you would like to visit this icebreaker and meet the researchers, they will be back in Progreso on Nov. 21 and 22. The ship will be open to visitors on both days.
Oxkutzcab's Health Fair
Deep in the heart of the Mayan Jungles.... Well, ok. They've got a few Wal-Marts and they host the State Orange Festival every year. They're building several new hospitals in the area, and are known as the capital of Yucatan's now internationally known citrus industry.... They have cenotes and restored temples, plus a few haciendas still sprinkled about... They also seem to be producing an astonishing number of young radio and music artists, as well as graphic artists who can compete on the world stage... but we digress. As we were saying... Deep in the heart of the Mayan Jungles, small town Yucatan (Oxkutzcab) hosted its first State sponsored health fair this past week. It was wonderful! The people were treated to free diabetes and cholesterol tests, free dental exams, free haircuts, and free recipes for vegetarian foods. They even got to try some of the soybean products that are going to be made in Yucatan now that soybeans are included in Yucatan's new agricultural diversity program. When people had other questions, they had experts on hand to answer them, including HIV / AIDS prevention information from Yucatan's Health Services, and other information from Espacio de Cultura del Agua, the Centro de Bienestar Social del IMSS, and the Academia de Belleza D'Martha. Students from the Jose Dolores Rodriguez Tamayo Nursing Education Center, in Ticul, were on hand to do the hard work it took to take care of the more than 1,000 people who came to the first Health Fair in Oxkutzcab. It is this kind of community service that helped us decide that there is no better place in the world than Estado de Yucatan.
Yucatan's New Poinsettia Industry
According to legend, a poor Mexican girl was crying as she walked to church on Christmas Eve because she had no gifts to leave on the alter of the Virgin Mary and the Baby Jesus. An angel appeared and told her to collect weeds along the road. When she placed the weeds on the alter as a gift, each branch sprouted beautiful red flowers. This is supposedly how the poincettia was born on Christmas Eve. The flower may or may not have been born according to that legend. What is suspected is that the name is in honor of U.S. ambassador to Mexico and botanist Robert Poinsett, who so admired the plant that, in 1825, he took it home to his native South Carolina and began giving it to his friends as a Christmas gift. Today, Yucatan is blessed to have the nursery at Flores Finas of Teya to provide us and the world with the best quality poinsettias to be found anywhere in the world. This year, they have over 20,000 poinsettia in perfect condition for the holidays. Do visit Flores Finas of Teya and let them give you instructions on how to get the best performance from your poinsettias during the holiday season. However, if you do not have a green thumb, we suggest you try a poinsettia or two anyway. We have one friend who kept hers on a brightly lit kitchen counter where it performed beautifully for years. We have another friend who tossed one out the back door at the end of the season and it grew into quite a large and very well performing bush with no special care at all! While we do not recommend such abuse, we do suggest that these beautiful plants, now grown commercially at Flores Finas of Teya, are not so fragile that you cannot give them a try.
Good Morning Glory!
Through the years, many of us have looked fondly back at our grandmothers' gardens, and have even attempted to recreate them on occasion. One of the first plants we tend to cultivate is the morning glory, a vine that grows thick with beautiful, long-lasting, shades of blue flowers. Grandmother should have told us that once started, this lovely little plant is intent on taking over the world! Now, however, we are told that the seeds of the morning glory are 40% oil that can be turned into biofuel, the flowers help the bees, and the plant itself can be used in animal feeds. Who would ever have guessed that each hectare planted with morning glories can produce a thousand liters of oil per year? Yucatan is already growing and/or researching getting fuel from Jathrofa curcas, coconut, sisal pulp, citrus and banana peel, organic waste, algae, and micriobial fuel cells. Yucatan Living highlighted the Jathrofa in the news last year. It can produce 4,000 liters of oil per hectare, but the tree, unlike the morning glory, has no other uses. With the addition of Thevetia peruviana (morning glory), Yucatan is set to be a player on the world stage of alternative fuels in the very near future.
Cattle Farmers Flocking to Yucatan
Unrest in Mexico is creating a situation in which cattle ranchers from Chiapas, Tabasco and Veracruz are moving their herds to Yucatan. They have given up on battling insecurity and unfavorable climate conditions. Instead, they prefer the greener pastures of Yucatan, our warmer weather, and our system of Corralea that is used to guard herds. Using this system, cattle are turned out to eat at certain times. This gives the cattlemen an opportunity to count their herd, as well as giving the grassland time to recover between feedings. Even dogs are monitored so that cattle are not harrassed by loose animals. Overall, the cattle produced in Yucatan are of higher quality and breeders from both South America and Europe are in Yucatan now to obtain semen to use with their cows to improve their herds. Yucatan Living would like to welcome all of the new cattle ranchers to our state. We know you will be happy and successful here.
Tizimin: Battle of the Bands Nov. 20
This parade and contest is to be part of the Centennial Celebration, but the more we read about it the more it looks like a perfect opportunity, next year, for a little cross-cultural visiting between American and Yucateco high school bands. Just one small town in the Municipality of Tizimin has a rhythmic percussion group that is 100 strong, and all of the marching bands and drumlines of the Municipality are participating! Given the talent of these young people, we can only imagine the hip hop steps they will employ to go along with the creation of each of their schools' signature performances. If anyone knows a high school band director back in your home country who might be interested in a little cross-cultural battle of the bands and rhythmic percussion groups, please leave us a comment and we will do our best to put you in contact with those who are involved with this program in Yucatan. Our sympathies are extended to the residents of the Municipality of Tizimin during the next week when streets will be filled with marching bands, drumlines, and volumes that know no bounds. To the parents and teachers of these young people: Well Done!
Accident in Playa del Carmen
Our sympathies go out to the families of the six people who lost their lives when a gas tank exploded in a hotel in Playa del Carmen. For all of us who use gas in our homes, now might be a good time to check and make certain that our fittings are in good working order and that we have no leaks. In all the years we have lived in Yucatan, this is the first accident of this kind that we know of. We hope it will be the last.