News starting October 19, 2009
Pulpo: What a Little Conservation Can Do
Usually, pulpo (octopus) season begins in August and ends in December in Yucatan. For the past several years, there have been bans on pulpo fishing during certain times of the year to ensure the quality and quantity of the harvest. Well – it worked! The pulpo catch, only 2 ½ months into the season has almost reached the legal limit for the year! This means that the catch is approximately double what it was last year at this time! The result is that the state and federal fisheries folks have taken off the limit of how much pulpo can be fished this year. This is wonderful news for our more than 15,000 fishermen and their families, as well as for the tradesmen and merchants who depend on the fishermen’s pesos to keep their own businesses running. We would venture to say that an expected catch worth $22.4 million USD is going to be quite a shot in the arm for our coastal towns and villages this year. Congratulations to all who have respected the bans on pulpo fishing and to all who now benefit from just a little conservation right here on our own coast.
Mayans Getting “Fed Up” With 2012 Predictions
Mayan experts, both archaeologists and historians, have had enough and are beginning to appear in the media to deny that Mayans ever predicted the end of the world in 2012. As Yucatan Living has already reported, 2012 is simply the end of the Mayan long-count calendar series. The next day is to begin again with day 1 of cycle 1. One Mayan elder has called the predictions rubbish and a product of Western folklore. Experts say that the predictions are based on a faded picture of a Mayan god of war found on a partially-eroded monument ruin. The only things they seem to have been able to read were the year 2012 and the picture of a god of war. Somehow, that just doesn’t translate into Armageddon for us… how about for you? No doubt the end of an era will have certain consequences, but the complete end of the world probably isn’t one of them.
Mexico City Puts 1,300 Policemen on a Diet
Socialized medicine at its best… an ounce of prevention is worth saving a pound of health care pesos later. When Mexico City realized that 70% of its police force is overweight, and headed straight for strokes and heart attacks, they put on the brakes by consulting nutritionists and making those nutritionists available to the policemen. Mexico is a democratic “free” country, so they cannot force the policemen to go on a diet, but they can – and have – mounted a huge educational program designed to not only save the lives of the policemen, but save taxpayer dollars as well. Congratulations to all of the Mexico City policemen who take advantage of this program. We know they and their families will benefit from it.
Who Makes Up These Stories?
Here’s a new myth we discovered on the internet: The Cantarell oil field, when it produced 40% of the Mexican budget, paid to restore the churches in Yucatan. According to the article, because Americans bought – buy – oil produced from Cantarell, they were the reason for all of these wonderfully restored churches right here in Yucatan. Never mind that in actuality, the churches are being restored by a foundation, Adopte Una Obra de Arte of Yucatan, created for that purpose. Never mind that the State of Yucatan, wealthy Yucatecos, and even immigrants to the U.S. fund that foundation – and continue to do so.
Foundations just like this now exist throughout Mexico and are doing a wonderful job of restoration on many of the finest churches in the world. The largest contributor to this effort, nationwide, is the Cathedral in Mexico City.
And yet, the other day, we found an article that claimed it was the Americans, through their purchase of oil from Cantarell, who actually paid for the restoration of our churches. The story in question was actually a fairly decent one until the writer just couldn’t resist embellishing it with “facts not in evidence.” For those who are not aware of the activities of the foundation that is restoring churches throughout Yucatan, please know that restoration continues – even without Cantarell money and even without American oil purchases. In fact, the beautiful church at Uayma and the one at Mani are both beneficiaries of this program.
Who makes up that stuff? …and who prints it without fact-checking?
Looking for a Campground or a Hostel?
We opened our e-mail to read about a hostel in Piste and cannot help but laugh, remembering a few years ago when a friend’s college age daughter decided to take off through southeastern Mexico – alone – riding the bus and staying in hostels. She scared her parents half to death, but e-mailed daily and had the time of her life for two solid weeks.
For any of our readers whose children announce that they need $4 a night to stay in a hostel in Piste, plus a couple of bucks a day to eat, take heart. They are not headed off into the “jungles” of Yucatan. Piste is near Chichen Itza and has at least two very nice hacienda/spa resorts nearby. They will be just fine in Piste – really. Let them go. Better they should get their wanderlust out of their system in a place where you know they are safe and will be well taken care of. Read about Posada el Carrousel on TravBuddy.
Conspicuous By Their Absence
When we first came to Yucatan, there would be an occasional story in the papers about snakes and other wildlife wandering into the villages. This was a danger to children, who tended to want to play with whatever creature they found. Less than a decade later, we just realized that we never hear such stories anymore. Does this mean that the animals are gone? – or does it mean that they have simply moved farther from civilization? We don’t know but, as we read National Geographic’s story about the effect of the Chicxulub asteroid incident’s effect on the growth and habitat of the largest snake in the world (in Colombia), we cannot help but wonder about the fate of our own snakes and other wildlife that used to wander into villages all the time.
Wanted: Piano Noodler
A group of local extranjeros is wanting to start a singing club. We feel we need someone who can accompany us on the piano. Does that sound like something you want to do? If so, please contact Lorna Gail Dallin at lg5050 [at] hotmail [dot] com. Want to sing? Contact Lorna Gail if you want to do that too!
International Regatta to End in Progreso
The mayoress of Progreso, Reina Quintal, has gone to the port of Saint Nazaire, in France, to participate in ceremonies on the opening day of the International regata known as La Ruta Solidaria del Chocolate. The regatta will end in Progreso with all kinds of sporting events and celebrations. This is the reason so many Yucatecos have been so busy taking crash courses in French. At one time, it was estimated that over 600 French people will arrive in Progreso to see the end of this 30 boat race. Look for more next week in our Events. We hear it is going to be quite an occasion!
First Real Norte of the Season
As temperatures drop and the winds of winter begin to blow, it is brought home to us, once again, that Yucatan most certainly does have "Winter." It may be only for 2 or 3 days at a time and it may not happen very often, but our blood has, as the old timers say, "thinned out" and we perceive the cool air as if it is freezing. Our friends in the city are blogging about freezing to death. Our friends at the beach are blogging about blowing sand and freezing wind off of the water. …We check the weather and discover that it is 84 degrees and only going down to 64 degrees tonight. So – does this mean that we’re really not freezing to death? You couldn’t prove it by us! We think the end is near!