Yucatan News: Adios, Calderon...
News Starting November 26, 2012
President Calderon's Farewell Visit to Yucatan
Over the weekend, President Felipe Calderon Hinojosa visited Merida and the new Governor of Yucatan, Rolando Zapata Bello. The goal of the farewell visit was to ensure that social programs will continue to be put into place and funded. The overall goal, of course, is to establish government and business policies that will strengthen all of society and expand the tax base by creating good jobs. This week the new President Enrique Peña Nieto will take office on December 1, having also visited with US President Obama on Tuesday of this week.
Notice: Carnival Comes Early in 2013
Imagine our surprise to see that activities related to the choosing of the children's king for Carnival "Xlapachito" 2013 have already begun. This particular competition includes boys from ages six to ten and they must be a resident of the municipality of Hunucma. The major vehicle of competition will be the collection of aluminum containers. We thought this was mighty early to be starting these activities, and then realized the children's king will be crowned on February 9, and Carnival (Fat Tuesday) is February 12 in 2012. We will barely get through Christmas and New Year's when Carnival week will be here. Yucatan Living wishes all of the young contestants for the children's Carnival king in Hunucma, the best of luck and we can hardly wait to see what the first Carnival of the new era of time itself will bring to Yucatan. We will keep you posted on Carnival events as they are announced.
Another Municipality Adds Distance Learning Degrees
Ixil, Chapab, Dzan, Huhi, Kopoma, Tekom, Samahil, Mani, Muxupip, Sanahcat, Xoccel, Hunuku (Temozon), and Ucu (Hunucma) are all now slated for the beginning of Distance Learning. Enrollment for classes ends on December 5. The classes are in both Spanish and Mayan, and the program is set up so that a student can graduate with a bachelor's degree and a professional certification in informatica (computer) or productive community projects in a span of three to five years. Both day and evening classes are available. We first saw distance learning in Yucatan with the foresters, now it is spreading across the state. We applaud the government for bringing education to some of the areas that need it the most.
Progreso: Foreigners Introduced to New Police Officials
On Friday, November 23, approximately fifty members of the foreign community met with the Commander of the Municipal Police and with new members of the tourist police and their Commander. It was noted that the Municipal Police already have a working relationship with the foreign community in Yucatan, and have had for some time. They are always on call to support the foreign community in case of accident or theft, or for other needs. Members of the U.S. Consulate's Office were also on hand for the event. Foreign residents are always ready to work with the police to insure the safety of their adopted communities and look forward to working with the new tourist police in Progreso.
Lionfish Impact on Yucatan Fishing
Lionfish are not native to the Atlantic Ocean or to the Gulf of Mexico. However, after 1992's Hurricane Andrew smashed a tank and released six into the Atlantic, almost all of the coast of the United States is now infested with these predators, as are countries as far south as Honduras. Lionfish were first reported off of Cozumel in January 2009. In what amounts to four short years, they have become a major player in the coastal ecosystem of Yucatan, all the way to the Alacranes Reef National Park off the shore of Progreso in the Gulf of Mexico. The problem is not only that lionfish eat other, more valuable species of fish. Lionfish are also squatters, and their home of choice includes the nooks that were formerly used by lobsters. When this happens, the lobsters just keep walking and Yucatan's economy takes a hit. Specialists say that fishermen have another four to eight years before they are hit hard enough to really do permanent damage to the economy, so that buys everyone time to figure out how to control one of the most invasive and destructive fish in the sea.
Sisal Fiber Shoes
The Artisans of Ticul and students from Universidad Modelo have joined forces to create a new line of sisal fiber shoes. The young entrepreneurs are Ana Cecilia Escalante Canto and Estefani Hernancez Perez. These two have designed shoes of superior quality in twelve models (so far!) of sisal fiber shoes. The regular price of these new shoes will be $310 pesos, but the introductory price will be $250 pesos. Look for them at bazaars in the Yucatan and through advertising on social media. These young entrepreneurs came straight out of the XVIII Young Entrepreneurship Business Fair which we reported on earlier. These particular young ladies started out with only $12,000 pesos investment and made that back, plus profits sufficient for reinvestment, almost immediately. Congratulations to everyone involved in this project, and especially to the young ladies who were smart enough to come up with a product that uses a natural fiber that grows in abundance in Yucatan.
Autistic Children Make First Communion
When we choose stories for the news, we are always on the lookout for news items that tell potential expats what kind of place Yucatan really is. This is one of those stories. This past week, nine autistic children made their first communion in the Church of Mary Queen of Angels in Fraccionamiento Terranova. Their parents, godparents and other family members were all there to support them. These children attend classes supported by a group called Mira (The Movement for Integration and Recovery of Personswith Autism AC), and are only nine of the approximately 100 children who take advantage of the services provided there. The goal of Mira is to promote communication and behavioral rehabilitation, as well as social development. Mira is a joint effort between professional medical specialists in the area of child psychiatry at the Psychiatric Hospital of Merida, parents and even the children themselves. Their classes are from 7:00 AM to 2:00 PM, five days a week, and there are already plans for expanding the program. Over more than a decade, we have watched as Yucatan has become more and more inclusive of all members of their society and, because of programs like this, have made Yucatan a destination of choice for increasing numbers of expats.
War of the Bands Competition Begins
Are you, or have you ever been, a Band Parent? If so, then you know what life is like when the War of the Bands is going on. This week, across the Yucatan Peninsula, local school war bands begin the run up to a national competition in January. These events are getting more complex every year (think River Dance with instruments), so they are wonderful entertainment for the whole family. If anyone would like to get a taste of what is going on here, the IDEY Dogs War Band is apparently hard at work every afternoon these days over at Kukulcan Sports Complex.
Special Forces Training in Quintana Roo
There are nine Special Forces Training Centers in Mexico and one just happens to be off the coast of Cozumel. The island is scheduled for ten courses per year, with three at the advanced level and aimed at training future Special Forces instructors. This is the group from which the men who guard the President of Mexico are chosen and the courses are so difficult, physically and psychologically, that only 50% manage to graduate. Most of the work done at Cozumel has to do with scuba diving. Most of the work in these dive courses is done at night. If you are staying in Cozumel and encounter soldiers in the sea on an evening beach stroll, now you'll know what they are doing. We like knowing that the Mexican Army is well trained, as they are always the first responders in case of national emergencies.
Thanks to Holiday Inn Express, Henderson, LA
With Khaki's computer in the shop, we are deeply indebted to Holiday Inn Express, located in Henderson, LA, for making it possible for our news to be on time this week. Now, we know what's behind their top three rating in the nation! Good people hardly comes close to describing how genuinely nice and helpful the entire staff and management are. If anyone is traveling I-10, between Texas and Florida, plan on visiting Holiday Inn Express: Breaux Bridge / Henderson, (Exit 115)...and yes, they are pet friendly.