Nov 17 Week Ending News
The Roads in Tabasco
If you are driving down, please go to this website provided by the State of Tabasco. On each highway where there is a problem, there is a red dot. Put your cursor over the red dot and a box with current information will appear. For those of you who do not speak Spanish:
- cerrada = closed
- desalves = washed out
- profundidad = deep
- en un solo carril = only one lane
From all that we have heard lately, all roads are open, but it seems that a number of them now have excessive traffic on them which is contributing to their worsening condition. So even though the water is gone, please continue to be careful if you are driving down. Keep an eye on the conditions of the Roads in Tabasco using this website and make plans accordingly.
We are proud to report that Yucatan Living’s readers have donated $595 US to the victims of the floods in Tabasco. This money has been deposited into the local bank accounts designated for these victims and will no doubt be very helpful in their recovery. Thank you to our readers on their behalf. (And if you would still like to donate, you can go to this page about the Tabasco disaster and click on the Paypal Donation button at the end of the article).
State of California Sending Aid to Tabasco
During the recent fires in California, Mexico sent firefighters to help battle the blazes and help the people in that state. In return, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has said he would help the flood victims as an act of solidarity with Mexico. Among the resources sent by the State of California are inflatable rafts, flotation devices, tools to repair boats, fuel, wet suits, rubber gloves, sleeping bags, blankets and electrical generators. These are in addition to the ongoing relief efforts operated by individual communities and organizations throughout California. Gov. Schwarzenegger has also sent a letter to President George W. Bush, urging him to help Mexico and allow California National Guard airplanes to deliver aid to the flooded zones. The full story can be found here. The Working Gringos would just like to add that this week they are particularly proud to be from California.
Wal-Mart Makes Huge Donation to Tabasco Relief
With 22 locations in Tabasco, Wal-Mart is currently still out of touch with 430 of its employees in both Tabasco and Chiapas due to the recent floods. This week, Wal-Mart pledged $600,000 USD to post-flood relief in both states, in an effort to rebuild the lives of those who lost everything. Wal-Mart is trying to get the United Nations to donate a matching grant, which will bring the total up to $1.2 million dollars. It is interesting to note that the $600,000 donated by Wal-Mart is double the amount pledged by the United States Government. World Vision, a Christian charity, will manage the Wal-Mart account and they are actively seeking additional donations through any branch of Twin City Bank (NASDAQ:CTBK) for the account named ‘Ayuda Tabasco 2007′ For those of you back home, who may not really know how long Wal-Mart has been in Mexico, or how many forms of business venues it has here, you can get an idea at the Wal-Mart Mexico website. Just click on ‘English’ and then ‘Business Formats’.
“The Least of These”…
As we well know, there is not a lot of cash money in many of the towns and villages in Yucatan, so sending donations for disaster relief is a burden many citizens of the state find hard to bear. Yet, the generous hearts of Yucatecos continue to strive to do the best they can for those in need. Following the Tabasco disaster, the high school students of Calotmul have collected $3,021 pesos by taking up a collection along the highway. Through the schools, parents are cleaning out their pantries, and the smaller children are very excited because they get to drop in their donated canned food, milk, beans, rice, and other things. Even the students of Cobay each donated a liter of water. These are not wealthy people. Many often have barely enough for themselves.
But, it is through this type of generosity that the heart of Yucatan is nourished. This culture is the reason many of us have made the decision to live here, and the reason we are so proud of our choice.
Yucatan’s Disabled Children Ready and Willing to Help
On the South side of the City of Merida, in Colonia Delio Moreno Cantón, disabled children and young people participate in Programa Educativo y Recreativo de Niños con Algún Tipo de Discapacidad del Parque La Ceiba (that’s a mouthful!). They also work with Programa de Sensibilización en Pro de la Integración Social (PROSINS), which is a program administered by the students working toward a degree in Rehabilitation in the Department of Health Sciences at UADY. These disabled children and young people can contribute much to their state, and stand ready to do so – if only someone will ask. This past week, 60 of these disabled children and young people put on a musical show in the Merida Theater, with the admission price being a donated article of clothing, or food, or medicine for Tabasco Flood Relief. We wish we had known about this performance so it could have been on our events calendar. However, we do want to put our local readers on notice. These are willing hands, asking to help in any way they can to improve the community in which we live. We ask everyone else for help on a regular basis, and pass over these students without even knowing they are there. From now on, let’s see if we can find a way to include the disabled children and young people in more of the community activities we organize.
Breast Cancer Awareness
We already know what wonderful cancer treatment centers we have in Yucatan, and we are certainly getting it all together on the prevention end with this new push for a healthy lifestyle. Now, Breast Cancer Awareness has come to Yucatan! There are 2 mammography machines in the interior of the state. One is in Motul and the other in Umán – and Mayan women, over the age of 40, are being urged to call the hospitals in those two cities to make an appointment for their mammogram as soon as possible. Stories of lives saved are already beginning to come in. If you know of anyone who should go in for screening, please do pass this information along.
Successful First Health Fair at UADY
This past Thursday, the first Health Fair at UADY was held on the Central Patio of the University. We are not at all certain that the Nutrition and Health Departments at UADY were aware of just how much of an impact their “healthy lifestyle” campaigns have had on the citizens of Yucatan. They certainly found out when over 2,000 people showed up for the Health Fair, with 75% of attendees being members of the population at large. That day, UADY screened 600 people for diabetes, did 403 cholesterol tests, 440 general health examinations, 90 dental examinations and made 80 more appointments, 17 breast exams, and 200 vaccinations. Unfortunately, approximately 30% of the attendees were found to have either diabetes or cholesterol problems, but at least they now know they have a problem and were able to take advantage of all of the information provided at the Health Fair, as well as make appointments for follow-up care.
IV Annual International Business Symposium at UADY
During this past week, UADY also hosted the IV Annual International Business Symposium. It is the purpose of these symposia to expose business students to as wide a variety of important business topics as possible, including communication, marketing, and even the value of airports. Successful industrialists from across Mexico come to speak to the students and share their expertise. It is activities such as this that set UADY graduates apart from the crowd later on in their careers. In this era, they are beginning to embrace what is called the "culture of change" so that Mexican businesses can compete on a global level.
New Terminal at Mexico City Airport
The new MXN 8.6 billion ($786 million USD) terminal at the Mexico City Airport just opened last week and will increase the capacity of the airport by up to 13%, raising the number of annual passengers that go through the airport to 32 million. The new terminal was built to accommodate growing passenger traffic that has increased at the rate of approximately 5% per year for more than 5 years. We all have to travel through Mexico City at some point, and have been pleased that the experience of layovers there is getting better all the time. It can also be confusing and when something is added (like a new terminal), chances are procedures will change, so be sure to leave yourself enough time between connections.
The Need for Job Creation in Yucatan
If ever anything brought home the fact that we need to provide good jobs for Yucatecos here in their own state, the following observation is it. For a long time, Yucatecos did not attempt to go to the States, but that has changed in recent years. There is a large community of Mayans from the Yucatan in the San Francisco area, and there are many others around the country (some of whom, we are proud to say, are loyal readers of Yucatan Living!). Unfortunately, Indemaya reports that the bodies are beginning to come home. Some of these young people were killed in accidents, one by the jealous boyfriend of the young lady he was seeing, and one hit-and-run. But two died of suffocation in the attempt to cross the border. With modernization, good jobs are coming to Yucatan. We can only hope that the young people here don’t succumb to the pull of the States before they are able to find good jobs at home.
Canine Search and Rescue Unit of the SPV
This past week, members of the Canine Search and Rescue Unit of the SPV visited school children in Motul to “show and tell” just what it is that they actually do. It seems that this unit is called upon on a fairly regular basis to find folks who have gotten lost or simply gone missing. They also do drug interdiction work, in which the dogs participate in the search for and discovery of drugs and other contraband. When someone is missing, these are often the last folks to be called in, long after a trail has gone cold for human trackers. As was demonstrated to the school children of Motul, hope is never lost when the Canine Search and Rescue Unit of the SPV is on the job!
Animal Control and Adoption in Merida
It is often difficult for us to give credit to a “kill center,” but the Animal Control Center in Merida has got some pretty good programs going on that not a lot of people know about. Faced with a tremendous workload and few resources (under 40 kennels serving a municipality of more than a million people), they still manage to provide free spay and neuter programs in all of the less fortunate areas of the municipality. They also have an active Adopt a Mascot program, in which they evaluate animals they have picked up for health and aggression, then put them up for adoption. When the animals are chosen by a new owner, they are vaccinated and sterilized (free) before leaving for their new homes. When an animal does need to be put down, it can be taken to the Animal Control Center, where they will render the service and cremate the body for a fee of $100 pesos. Sadly, not all animals can, will, or should be adopted. In these cases, the animals are now put down humanely, another big concern of ours, under the care of a licensed veterinarian. One of the best features of this modern Animal Control Center is that it provides education in schools and other community meeting places so that old attitudes about sterilization can be changed.. Their address is: Centro de Control Canino, Km 34.5 Periférico, on the site of the old municipal basurero and they can be reached through the main number of the City Council: 924-4000.
What is a Varamiento? And Don’t You Want to Volunteer?
REVAY (Red de Varamiento de Yucatan, A.C.) is an organization, right here in Merida, that takes care of marine mammals when they are beached due to illness, injured by boats or trash in the water, caught in nets, attacked by sharks, or when a bunch of excited young males simply get turned around and accidentally come ashore. The term varamiento covers everything from dolphins to whales. There have been between 10 and 15 incidents per year needing volunteers since their beginnings in 1945. They do warn you, however, that volunteering for this job is not nearly as romantic as it sounds. These animals are often badly injured or quite ill, and many do not survive their ordeal. This can be a heartbreaking experience if the outcome is not good. If they do survive, then they will be bonded to their volunteer and he or she will need to remain with the animal while it is treated and help to work with it until it can be released. That’s a tall order that requires time, commitment, and stamina. If you can’t volunteer with the marine mammals, there are other ways of helping listed by REVAY. From that volunteer page, you can also click on a link that will take you to a membership page and to an “Adopt A Species” page. These are great for folks back home and especially for families or school class projects because of the personal updates they send out on exactly how individual donations are being used. In the meantime, they still need volunteers here in the Yucatan, so give them a call at 946-5558, 948-3610 or 948-4577; or go by their office at Calle 53-E No. 232 entre 44 y 46 Fracc. Francisco de Montejo
All of the links below have the words to the songs and their Spanish translations. Since we are going to have to learn at least some Mayan eventually anyway, we might as well get started now.…and the best way I know to learn to pronounce anything is to learn it for fun… just click on the name of this song: U meeyjil ich (The Work of Milpa). The website has everything except Mitch Miller and a bouncing ball!
If you want to learn to really pronounce words correctly, what better teacher than Antonio Mediz Bolio, singing to the music of Guty Cárdenas Pinelo right here with Mayabil Ajxíinbal (The Traveler of the Mayab). There are tons of songs on UADY’s Mayan site, but not all have the music to go with them. And do you remember that concert (in the events column) that had “wind instruments” at the close of a performance? There is something about them online! Its an old form of Mayan music and there’s a whole album of it on UADY’s Mayan site. The name of the album is Wayak’. We hope you will cllick on the links and enjoy the music!