News starting April 06, 2009
Is It Warm Enough For You?
We are expecting April temperatures to be over 40 C (104 F). According to our weather service, Yucatan is in a hotter and more aggressive drought that is a repeat of nearly the same conditions 25 years ago. Unfortunately, the aggressiveness of this heat wave is considered to be somewhat caused by changes in the environment. The heat will be building throughout the month of March (it has already hit 42 C (107.6 F!) and is not expected to abate until sometime in May. During that time, please eat well, wear a hat, get plenty of fluids and rest, and watch out for the elderly and children in your community. For those of our readers who do not live here, May has traditionally been our hottest month, but the heat seems to be coming earlier and staying longer every year.
Progreso Restaurant Owners Want Longer Hours
As we are all aware, our beach towns roll up the sidewalks at a relatively early hour when compared to tourist beaches in other states. Some of the restaurant owners are beginning to think about the money they may be losing by doing that and see the creation of a 24 hour tourist zone as the answer to the problem. Whether we like that idea or not, Yucatan is going to have to decide on whether it will be in the beach tourism business or not and, if that’s what it takes, then a 24 hour tourist zone will have to become a reality. Perhaps they could start with a little smaller project and try the 24 hour tourist zone during a holiday week. Whatever happens to this idea, we wish the beach towns and their residents well as they find their way through the growing pains of becoming a major tourist destination.
Yucateco Movie Star Wins Award
Sr. Hector Herrera Alvarez ("Cholo") has been awarded the Ariel for his performance in the movie "Lake Tahoe." He is the first Yucateco to win such an award and excitement is running high. He has been congratulated by the State and we are certain that local congratulations will continue for some time. We are a little smug ourselves because this means that not only has Cholo been rewarded for his hard work, talent and dedication, but Yucatan has now rounded out its own resume that includes internationally recognized stars in every area of the arts. Congratulations to "Cholo" and to Estado de Yucatan!
Chlorinated Water Making Its Way Through Yucatan
This time, it is the Municipality of Espita that has gotten chlorinated water for its citizens. For many, this is a dream come true, but we need to remember that chlorine only has an effect on bacterial organisms, it has no effect on bacterially-produced toxins, pesticides, or heavy metals that might also be in the water supply. Therefore, it is still important to filter tap water or continue to drink bottled water. We cannot help but feel relieved when we think of all of the people, especially in the rural areas, that will now be spared many of the old, all too common maladies caused by impure drinking water.
Mexico Real Estate License Requirements
Last year, it was announced that the real estate agents in Mexico will now be able to get a license to sell real estate through the Secretaria de Education Publica. The license is, at least in the beginning, voluntary. We all assumed that it would be "just a written test" and probably quite easy to get but that is turning out to be step one in a process that may not turn out to be so easy after all. Thomas Lloyd, founder of TOP mexicorealestate[dot]com, lives in Quintana Roo and reports that he had to come all the way to Merida to take a 5 hour written exam. He then had 45 days to provide documentation of his number of years of experience and examples of real estate transactions he has handled personally, plus other documentation. After that was approved, there was the need for even more documentation, part of which includes a process to ensure that licensed real estate agents will volunteer and participate with an approved non-profit organization that helps the community. This is an amazingly complex and comprehensive licensing process, but we must admit that we are impressed. Our hats are off to all of the real estate agents throughout Mexico, and especially in Yucatan, who value their profession and their clients enough to work through obtaining their real estate licenses.
Border Activity Update
It takes 3 things to have a war, and that includes a "war" on drugs. Those three things are: someone with something to gain from it, guns, and money. For the first time, the U.S. is addressing the fact that all three of those components lie north of the border; and they are taking steps to finally address the flow of guns and money into Mexico. We have great hopes that they are successful and that this situation will soon be resolved. Mexico is doing her part and it is high time that other nations did their part too. Our most pressing concern now is the threat of herbicides sprayed the length of the Rio Grande by the U.S. to kill plants and remove hiding places along the river. It is being claimed that the chemical to be used will not harm humans, but poison of any kind, on this level, is a natural disaster that will last for decades and there is no way to take it back if they have made a mistake. Cross your fingers and hope, as we do, that this idea dies on the table. And remember, if you or someone you know is feeling afraid to travel to Mexico, check out the reports of those who live here at www.thetruthaboutmexico.com.
What to Feed a Baby Turtle
Expats are notorious for rescuing all sorts of things that are alive – usually sick things – plants, animals, people, and usually ending up with a hefty price tag too, we might add. This week, we found an article in Sac-Be by a B&B owner in Mahahual who rescued a sick baby turtle. She fed it shrimp from her restaurant and, within a matter of days, it recovered and she was able to release it back to the sea. Read her story here (just in case you ever drag home a sick baby turtle and were wondering what to feed it).
Eagle Rays and Sharks Killed in Campeche
Evidently, the eagle rays and sharks that are being caught in the waters off of Campeche are destined for local consumption, but one would think that slaughtering them on the sidewalk, in front of a restaurant full of tourists, might be crossing the line of civility. In Belize, when nurse sharks and rays were killed in significant numbers, an investigation into the practice was begun. Evidently, there is not that much concern about it in Campeche so, when bloggers from Belize’s San Pedro Sun went to visit, they filed this story with pictures. This is a practice we hope becomes extinct in the near future.
Hey! That’s OUR bird!
In all reality, yes – the Cinnamon Hummingbird really is from Yucatan, but we honestly didn’t know it until we started reading bird forum. These little birds typically range from northern Mexico to Costa Rica, so as you plan your gardens, don’t forget that hummingbirds like red flowers and be sure to include hummingbird feeders in your plans.
The Origin of Cattle in the New World
Did you know that cattle first came to the New World in the mid-1500s and that the epicenter of all cattle production, throughout North and South America, is in Yucatan? The man who first brought cattle here decided that the peninsula was "good for nothing" other than the production of cattle, so he imported a hybrid of wild cattle and domestic cattle that dated back to Roman times. He was not a very nice man and died in prison, but not before building the largest herd of cattle in the New World. The story of how cattle came to here is tragic and you can read all about it on BelizeForum.