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Valentine’s Day, Fencing and Chili!

There’s not a lot of news this week. Everyone is still napping after Carnival. But now we are in Lent and headed first toward Semana Santa (Easter Week) and then toward summer sporting events. We’re looking forward to our spring visitors, and hope they’ll enjoy Yucatan as much as we do. The really nice thing about Semana Santa this year is that it’s early, so our Snowbirds will still be with us for all the festivities.

Volunteers and Cooks Needed

The Merida English Library Chili Cook Off is going to be March 9. They are looking for both cooks and volunteers. If you want to be part of this “must attend” annual expat event, call M.E.L. at 924-8401 between 9:00 AM and 1:00 PM to put your name in the hat.

Happy Valentine’s Day (with chocolate)!

This Thursday is Valentine’s Day and chocolate is the traditional gift of choice around the world – but did you ever wonder where chocolate originated? The Mayans have enjoyed chocolate for at least 3,000 years and introduced it to the rest of the world, via the Spanish, in the 1500s. (The word “chocolate” comes from two Mayan words: choco, which means “hot” and ha, which means “water”.) What we find quite interesting is that the phenylethylamine in chocolate produces a feeling of euphoria, and cheese has more phenylethylamine than chocolate. Have you been in a grocery store in Yucatan lately? If so, then you are well aware of at least two reasons Yucatan is the place to live!

A Shark, A Crocodile, and A Snake!

It has certainly been a week for wildlife in Yucatan! Not to worry about the shark caught near Sisal this week. It was a Caribbean shark that evidently got lost and then caught in the nets of one of our fishing boats. By the time the fishermen saw it, it was dead. Since it was too heavy (660 lbs) to pull into the boat, the fishermen just towed it back with them, still trapped in their nets. For those of you who are concerned about risks for shark attack in the area, there was one nonfatal attack – in 1941 – over near Sisal. The waters off of the coast of the State of Yucatan are too shallow (hence the long pier in Progreso), too warm, and don’t have enough wave action for these mighty critters of the deep. It seems that sharks only come into shallow water to rest and need plenty of wave action to help them breathe. Lucky us! But we do understand that a few sharks (we don’t know what kind) hang out near the pier in Yucalpeten. Then, there was the crocodile caught near Progreso – but it was a just a lost baby, so not to worry there either. It was rescued and turned over to the proper authorities so it wouldn’t accidentally bite someone or get run over by a car. However – the boa constrictor that was caught in Tixkokob was 6 ½ feet long and weighed 66 pounds! The snake now resides in the zoo in Merida.

Tabasco Flood Relief

Please do not forget the victims of the floods in Tabasco. This week, students at the Hoctún campus of the Colegio de Estudios Científicos y Tecnológicos del Estado de Yucatán began a new program in which they have committed to ensuring that their counterparts in Tabasco receive the relief they need. If you, or anyone you know, can help by purchasing products produced by the artisans of Tabasco, please visit their online catalog. Returning successful commerce to the artisans is as important as is sending food and supplies.

Members of UADY Fencing Team Compete for Olympics Spots

After the second round of competition for positions on what will eventually become Mexico’s fencing team attending the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, a number of UADY’s students, both male and female, are still in the game. Two of our men are in 4th place, one woman won a bronze medal, and 2 students were designated as outstanding. Look for fencing matches to come to Merida as competition heats up.

La Universidad del Valle de México Coming to Merida

This new university will be located next to the Chrysler dealership at the Periferico’s exit to Progreso. Construction will be ongoing for the next three years, but the first two classes working toward degrees in Engineering in Enterprise Management and Environmental Engineering will begin classes this August. This is a very exciting addition to Yucatan’s already superb network of universities and is sure to draw even more opportunities for young professionals to our area.

25th Anniversary of UADY’s Folkloric Ballet

Congratulations to one of the most beautiful of all the folkloric ballets in Mexico. This is the group that has the costumes that have won worldwide praise and attention. This particular ballet group has consistently presented one of the best shows in the city and throughout the nation. We are certain they, and the ballets that come after them, will continue to be a continuing source of pride for UADY and for Yucatan.


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