News Starting April 05
Animaya to Open in 2010
Sometimes, we have to catch facts as they pass by in conversations about other topics. This week, El Parque Zoologico del Centenario received 15 animals from African Safari. They will remain briefly in the Zoo and then will be moved to Parque Animaya, along with 3 tiger cubs that were born in the zoo in February. To learn more about Animaya, including photos and videos, please visit Revista Ciudad Caucel Hoy.
Quick Review of Organ Donation in Yucatan
Before we leave the Ciudad Caucel site, take a look at their article on organ donation.(If you do not read Spanish, Google Translate does a nice job of translating the page into English). Organ donation is a serious topic and rates of donation in the State of Yucatan are said to be lower than they should be. There is an excellent flyer posted on that site, detailing how many people could be helped by just one person donating their organs. It has the donation age cutoff years as well.
4th Increase in Gasoline Prices this Year!
It is official. Magna has gone to 8.12 pesos per liter, Premium is now 9.78 pesos per liter, and diesel is now 8.48 pesos per liter (everything went up $.08 in this price change). Overall, there will be 12 price changes in gasoline this year (some up, some down) because the Mexican Ministry of Finance has decided to adjust the price of gasoline on the first Saturday of each month, in order to reflect changes in the economy during the previous month. For those who do not live here, you may hear us weep and wail over these price increases but, please bear in mind that, in all of 2009, Magna (regular) prices only increased by 1.23%. So, no matter how much we complain, you are not likely to see anyone parking their vehicles over this news.
Sustainable Rural Development: Agribusiness & Energy
Over the past few years, the involvement of SAGARPA and the Shared Risk Trust Fund has significantly improved agribusiness in the State of Yucatan. So far, they have funded 45 of the 57 biodigesters and provided most of the solar panels our farmers use to save butane, provide electric power in poultry farms, and power to irrigation systems. Seventeen solar pumping stations went on line in 2009 alone – and, in 2008, they put in thirty-seven (37) biodigesters (septic tanks on steroids) and two huge motor generators.
These improvements have actually led to water from hog farms now being clean enough to use as irrigation for citrus trees, pasture land, and forests. Yucatan already has more organic farmers than any other state in Mexico and now we are moving forward in all phases of agribusiness, with SAGARPA investment set to double in 2010. If that news doesn’t tempt a few country folks to come and take a look, nothing will. Congratulations to all of those involved in agribusiness in Estado de Yucatan!
Saving Our Beaches Begins
This past weekend saw the first meeting between all levels of government and the homeowners who live on the beaches of Chelem and Chuburna. Everyone is working hard to get on the same page now and move forward with a concrete plan for saving and improving the beaches of Yucatan. Both sides consist of some very savvy folks who will not stop until the job is done. Congratulations to everyone involved in this project and, if there is anything we at Yucatan Living can do for you, just let us know. We would be happy to help.
New Restrictions on Prescription Medications
More warnings are coming for pharmacists who sell a number of medications without a prescription from a physician. They risk losing their licenses and closure of their businesses. While this is admittedly a hardship on the poor, as it places an extra layer of expense in health care, it is necessary for a number of reasons. The most important reason is that individuals are often taking so many antibiotics that they then are immune to the effects of antibiotics when they really need them. In addition, when strong medications are not stored and disposed of properly, they are a danger to the environment. And finally, perhaps this new law will stem the tide of individuals and groups coming across the border to stock up on some pretty dangerous medications. Finding a General Practitioner and developing a good relationship with him or her should now be priority one!
Two Robots and a Bionic Baby
We are all familiar with the teen classes that come complete with a crying baby. Those computerized babies can even record whether a baby has been abused or not. But – as technology marches forward, there are now bionic babies that can be programmed to exibit the symptoms of having been exposed to alcohol and drugs prior to birth. These babies have either or both physical and mental problems, including brain damage and cardiac problems that are often present in the children of smokers and drug abusers. The teenagers at the Health Fair in Motul are getting these babies now. It will be interesting to see if there is a difference in their attitudes toward drugs and alcohol once they really come face to face with one of these babies. Once again, thanks for this equipment goes to Rotary Motul, as well as Rotary International.
Note to Snowbirds: Books on MELL’s Wish List
Now that the Snowbirds are back home for the summer, we have a great project for you. Go to Amazon.com and enter "Merida English Library" where it says "Find a Wish List." MELL’s list will be there. If you can, try to bring back at least one of the books on their list when you come "home" to Yucatan in the Fall. Remember, it isn’t only expats who are reading books from MELL, so please do support the library with your membership and with a book or two from their wish list.
MELL: Conversations with Friends
Congratulations to all who participate in this ongoing program at the Merida English Language Library. From what we understand, there have been as many as 100 participants at these weekly meetups between English and Spanish speakers. Please continue your support and, if you have not been a part of this program before, please consider meeting for Conversations with Friends every Monday night at the Merida English Language Library, from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM.
Sunken Ship to Become Sea Life Museum
Years ago, lobster divers found a sunken ship off of the northeast coast of Yucatan. They got everything of value off of it, but still kept it a secret. When they recently revisited it, they found a marine life wonderland and there are plans to turn it into a tourist attraction as a sea life museum. They say it rivals anything to be found on the Caribbean side of the peninsula. We might take up diving to go see this new attraction! Many thanks to the fishermen who finally revealed their secret.
Yes – Unfortunately we are still experiencing Nortes. However, just because the wind is cool, that does not mean that the sun has lost its power to burn. People are being advised to avoid exposure to the sun now, especially between noon and 4:00 PM. And soon, very soon, those nortes will be just a fond memory!
This week, a number of Yucatan state government officials, experts from the United States and Canada and local business people will be meeting here in Merida to discuss the whys and hows of promoting the Yucatan as a place for Baby Boomers from North America to retire. Retirement is no longer the sedentary lifestyle that it used to be, so plans will have to include everything from outdoor and cultural programs to assisted living and inhome nursing programs. We look forward to bringing you a full report.