Yucatan News: Heat and Helmets
News Starting May 07, 2012
Call for Runners: June 3 Marathon
June 1 is celebrated in Mexico as Navy Day. This year Progreso will hold its 15th annual marathon in honor of Dia de la Marina. Last year, there were 600 runners registered for this race. This year, they would like to break that record and get to 1,000 registered runners. The full marathon is 42 kilometers in length and begins at the Monumento a la Patria. The half-marathon is 21 kilometers in length and begins at the Komchen bridge. Both races begin at 5:00 AM. There are a lot of great prizes and, as usual, there will be 20 Kenyans on hand to set the pace. If you are interested in running, please call 942-0050 or go to the Salvador Alvarado Stadium in the few days before the race. The registration fee is $150 pesos for the marathon and $100 pesos for other, shorter races that will be available as well.
Jewelry Fair in Valladolid is a Success
What better time of year to have a jewelry fair than right before Mother’s Day? Over the past two years, Valladolid has become an international center for the export of fine jewelry, much of which is created right here in Yucatan. If you know you have jewelry to purchase, this fair is well worth attending just to stock up and always be ready with a thoughtful gift for someone special. To get an idea of the quality you will find, visit this video of the Feria Joyera San Roman. Mark your 2013 calendar for the first weekend in May and we’ll see you in Valladolid next year!
A New Artisans’ Association
We don’t know the name of this new artisans’ association yet, but we do know that they are from the southern part of the state of Yucatan and they are a totally independent group that has already gone through the steps necessary to be a legally constituted association. They have artisans who produce a wide variety of products, including clothing, furniture, exotic plants, saddlery, shoes, paintings, and food and sweets. We have quite a few readers who put on a variety of handicraft markets and handicraft fairs. If anyone is interested in contacting this new association of artisans, they can be reached at (997) 102-7883 or (997) 104-7962. We wish them all the best as they launch this new project.
Helmet Laws Are Enforced
Lately most of the vehicular deaths we see involve a motorcycle and this has not been lost on the police. Summer seems particularly deadly for motorcycle and scooter riders in Yucatan. Motul is the latest city to enact and enforce its helmet laws. Police in Motul are now detaining an average of ten riders per day for not wearing a helmet. They actually confiscate the motorcycles until the owners can appear with ownership papers and a helmet, which will get them out of having to pay a fine. Motorcycle owners are complaining that they cannot afford a helmet. Frankly, that rather begs the question of whether they can afford to purchase and insure a motorcycle. The cost of treating a head injury from a motorcycle is a tremendous burden for family members and taxpayers. Our congratulations to Motul for enforcing the motorcycle helmet law and a little warning to expats that Yucatan may not be the place to feel the wind rushing freely through your hair as you ride (helmetless) down the highway on that brand new motorcycle.
Time Zone Confusion Factor
If you have heard a rumor that the Mexican state of Quintana Roo is going to change its clocks to coincide with the time zone in Miami, Florida, don't worry about it just yet. This is a proposal that is still far from becoming a decision. There are many factors still to be considered, including how this will affect business, banking and the other states on the Yucatan Peninsula. If Quintana Roo goes to the same time zone as Miami and Yucatan stays in the same time zone as New Orleans, it would be strange for a while, but we would adapt eventually. If we all changed to the same time zone as Miami, we would adapt to that as well. As of now, however, it looks as if this is a discussion between tourism and business and it is still in the “what if” stage.
The Asociación Mexicana de Agentes de Seguros y Finanzas A.C (Amasfac) has announced that Yucatecos who wish to sign up for hurricane insurance have until May 30 to do so. The cost of insurance for a home can range from $4,000 to $7,000 pesos per year. Hurricane season begins on June 1 and runs through November 1. Many expats feel as if their concrete house will protect them during a bad hurricane. While this may be true, to some degree, even a concrete house will not protect you from a tree falling on your car or from downed electrical lines causing fires. You might not be physically injured, but property damage can add up fast. If you do not have an insurance policy that protects you from damage caused by weather, now might be a good time to call your agent and discuss it. If you have a house on the beach, hurricane insurance may cost more or may not be available at all. We have heard that at the very least, you must have a cement wall of a certain depth and height between you and the sea to even quality for hurricane insurance on the Yucatan Coast.
Merida’s Canine Control Center Success
A few weeks ago, we were pleased to report that euthanasia had been stopped at Merida’s Canine Control Center while new management put together a plan for properly administering the site. If we were pleased then, we are ecstatic now! Homeless dogs who arrive at the shelter now can expect veterinary care, as well as grooming, regular walks, and beginning housebreaking. They also have the benefit of the new culture of sterilization and adoption. The shelter is now working with the local animal protection associations and university projects, especially when they are associated with intensive campaigns to promote the adoption and sterilization of dogs and cats. We admit to being absolutely speechless with gratitude... to the City of Merida, to the wonderful veterinarians who support and manage this project, to UADY’s Veterinary Department (students and faculty) and to all of the local and foreign volunteers who continue to work so hard to ensure that these helpless animals have a chance at happiness. Merida has come a LONG way in the treatment of companion animals and we are very proud of what has been done!
T20 to Hold Summit in Merida Next Week
We all know that the Finance Ministers of the G20 will be meeting in Mexico in June, but few are aware that the T20 will be meeting in Merida this very next week (May 14 – 16). The G20 is a group of industrialized nations made up of 19 nations plus the European Union. The T20 is a group of the Travel and Tourism Ministers from the G20 member nations. It is the goal of the World Tourism Organization, an arm of the United Nations, to facilitate the use of tourism to grow jobs and help in the worldwide economic recovery of all nations. Yucatan Living welcomes our visitors and we are confident that this is the beginning of a bright new era for all of the T20 nations.
Children Learn About Mayan Culture and Their Rights
We older expats often are unaware of the many activities of the children and young people here in Yucatan. Such is certainly the case with the recent Literary Contest for primary school children. The name of the contest was “There once was a law…” The winners received vouchers they could use to purchase age-appropriate toys. In each of several categories, first place brought a prize of $2,000 pesos, second place $1,500 pesos, and third place $500 pesos. More than 700 children from all across Yucatan participated in this Mayan culturally-themed contest. If children are a message we send to the future, then Yucatan has done her job well.
Heat and Health Warnings
The authorities are warning people in Yucatan to be particularly careful as temperatures continue to rise. Dehydration and heat stroke are potentially life-threatening. Sunburn can land you in the hospital as well. Don’t be fooled by a cloudy day, or even by a shade tree. It is possible to get a sunburn through clouds or in the shade of a tree. This week, we found a new CDC website called Extreme Heat: A Prevention Guide to Promote Your Personal Health and Safety. That guide covers most of the major health and safety issues anyone would run into in Yucatan during this kind of weather, so we thought we would pass it on. Its going to be a long, hot summer and we hope that everyone stays well enough to enjoy every second of it.