News Starting March 19, 2012
Issue # 3: In Other Words: Merida
Yucatan’s only online literary magazine in English announced Issue #3, the March 2012 issue, of In Other Words: Merida. It’s their biggest issue ever, featuring such writers as Kelly Cherry, currently the poet laureate of Virginia; Andrew Taylor, author of The Lights will Inspire You; Cynthia Atkins, author of Psyche’s Weathers; Don Cellini, author of Approximations/Aproximaciones and Inkblots, Alex Pruteanu, author of Short Lean Cuts; some new (to us) local expats: Alice Jennings of Oaxaca, Janet Phelan, of Progresso, and Daniel Torres, of Merida and Athens, Ohio. This issue features an interview with playwright Jill Benson, artwork by Mel Fleming, and photos by Dan Griffin and Julie Stewart. After reading all three issues ourselves, we can assure you that there is something for everyone in In Other Words: Merida.
25th Anniversary of Sports Medicine at UADY
The Sports Medicine specialty is a post-graduate degree at UADY that boasts small classes with big results. There have been 50 graduates of this specialty over the past 25 years and they have had the best training and education there is. As technology, science and medicine take giant steps forward, so does Sports Medicine. Today, Sports Medicine at UADY sees its students and graduates working with some of the finest athletes in the world. Their skills extend from the realm of orthopedics to nutrition and education. There can be little wonder at the fact that students from all over Mexico come to UADY to study Sports Medicine. Happy Anniversary to UADY’s College of Sports Medicine, to its faculty members and to all of the students lucky enough to study there.
Handy International and Artisanal Fish
Handy International, America’s oldest seafood processor, has just announced its Artisanal Fish Program. How many times have you ordered a particular species of fish in a restaurant and wondered if it came from an area where its numbers are sustainable or endangered, or even if the fish that arrives on your plate is the species you actually ordered? From Handy International’s own website: “Small community-based fishermen in day boats catch all of Handy’s fish in the pristine waters off the Yucatan Peninsula using hand-line fishing techniques that have been passed down from generation to generation and date back to the Mayans.” This is otherwise known as ocean-friendly fishing. Handy International provides further details about its artisanal fish by DNA testing them so that restaurant owners can be sure that the fish they serve is the same species they purchased. We invite everyone to visit the Handy International website and encourage all of our readers to support these kinds of projects wherever they are found. We also congratulate Yucatan’s fishermen for preserving the art of ocean-friendly fishing.
Michigan State and D.I.F. Partnership
There are two great pieces of news this week that come out of a partnership between the Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine and Yucatan’s Department of Health (D.I.F.). First, we learned that 22 undergraduates from MSU just spent their Spring Break on a study abroad trip to Merida, where they had time to observe public health and environmental practices, especially with respect to HIV-AIDS, and communicable and non-communicable diseases. This is an annual event that is scheduled every year during MSU’s Spring Break. We also learned that MSU’s college-affiliated osteopathic physicians were able to do a bit of work at O’Horan Hospital and that the leaders of the program donated 12 hemodialysis units to O’Horan – which, by the way, is the future site of MSU’s first international osteopathic medical clinic. Yucatan already has quite a few expats from Michigan, so we are certain that any Wolverines who arrive in Yucatan as part of this project will feel right at home.
Public Service Announcement Re: Fake CFE e-mails and Website
It has come to the attention of CFE that some customers are receiving e-mails that have the appearance of being from them but, in reality, direct the customers to a fake website with the promise of getting a discount on their electric bill if they pay by credit card. Once there, the customers are then asked for more information than just the card number, the security code on the back, the due date and the security key from Master Card or Visa. CFE does offer online bill pay, but only through www.cfe.gob.mx, the official websites of banks, the BANAMEX portal and clickypaga.com. If you have any questions, you can call 071 (customer care) or you can pay your bill in person at any of the CFEmáticos in branch banks or a variety of other locations. Please remember that CFE does not discount electric bills if they are paid by credit card. This means that any e-mail or website that offers a discount like this is fraudulent.
Red Cross Annual Fund Drive Begins
This year, the Red Cross hopes to collect a total of $6 million pesos. The State of Yucatan started the drive to raise funds off with a check for $1 million pesos and the promise of two ambulances. This will raise the number of Red Cross ambulances from 29 to 31. In the past four years, Red Cross medical services have increased 10%. This annual fund drive will continue from March 15 through April 15. As that time passes, there will be a number of events whose proceeds will go to support the Red Cross. If you can possibly attend, please do so. More than a few expats have been the beneficiaries of the fine health care services offered by the Red Cross, as well as of assistance when the weather emergencies occur. The Red Cross truly fulfills its mission to serve all of the people of Yucatan.
Walking and Running at the Beach
On Sunday, 1,200 walkers and runners participated in a huge event to support several organizations that care for the needs of the poor in Progreso. The big race was 10 km. The men’s race was won by Enrique Ceron Viana and the fastest woman was Arminda Partida Citalán. This event was billed as a family affair and that it was. In the walking part of the course, even children and pets got into the act. Registration cost each participant $100 pesos and a kilo of food. This is one of the best ideas we’ve seen for bringing a community together in a long time. Yucatan Living congratulates everyone who participated in this event and to its organizers, the City Council of Progreso, the State Institute of Sport and the Athletic Association of Yucatan!
Invitation to Tourists from Tekax
Tekax is open for business and do they have some surprises for tourists! They have a restored colonial church and archaeological ruins, but so do a lot of other places in Yucatan. There are two things, however, that set Tekax apart: an animal sanctuary and a crystal cave! The animal sanctuary even has ecological cabins where tourists can spend the night. It was the crystal cave that caught our eye. There are two ways to get to it: along trails through tunnels that lead deeper and deeper into the earth – or ratchet up your adrenaline and drop straight down by rope. For those who think that the interior of the state doesn’t have as much to offer as the coast, a trip to Tekax, as it is today, might be a great getaway weekend. Tekax is looking to Semana Santa to be one of their biggest tourism weeks ever and Yucatan Living wishes them all the best. For more information, email topaso_25 [at] hotmail [dot] com or phone (997) 979-3875.
The 2012 Fire Season Has Begun
Everyone in Yucatan is asked to please not throw bottles, cans or glass objects on roads or in vacant lots. They have the potential to magnify the sun’s rays and cause fires. Do not throw matches or cigarette buts out of cars when driving. Be careful with the storage and use of solvents and fuels. Be very careful with the use of candles, and matches and fireworks. Keep weeds out of your yard and please keep an operational fire extinguisher nearby. If you are traveling by road and enter an area where there is smoke, slow down and turn on your lights so that others can see you. If a fire gets too close to your home or community, call the fire department, gather all members of your family and send them to a safe place. Cover everyone’s mouth and nose with a damp cloth. Remove gasoline and other chemicals to a safe place. If you choose to stay and fight the fire with the authorities, do as they tell you. If they say to leave, please do so immediately. If you can stay, get organized with your neighbors. In all cases, do not risk your life to fight a fire.
IMSS Working With Midwives
There are a total of 179 midwives in the State of Yucatan, with more completing their education and training all the time. The IMSS Opportunities program coordinates with rural midwives and traditional healers to meet the health needs of residents in marginalized and rural communities. The midwifery courses are taught annually in different parts of Yucatan. Students practice in a hospital setting with hospital staff, gynecologists, and other physicians. When they return to their communities, they often accompany women to the hospital when their problems are beyond the scope of the midwife’s area of expertise. This has added to the level of trust placed in Yucatan’s midwives by both physicians and patients. Congratulations to Yucatan’s midwives who, along with the midwives in Chiapas, Campeche, Puebla, Veracruz, and Oaxaca, account for 80% of the midwives in all of Mexico.