News Starting June 27, 2011
EducaTE Video Wins Telly Award
Last week, we told you about the education support project in Cholul, but a picture is worth a thousand words and a video, especially one of award winning quality, brings reality home in a way that no other media form can possibly do. Why not take ten minutes out of your busy schedule to watch the video about EducaTE Yucatan then pass the link on to everyone you know? Your time and consideration are deeply appreciated.
Cruise Ship Moves Home Port from Havana to Progreso
Tropicana Cruises, a relatively new, London-based company with links to Russia, will begin offering cruises from Puerto Progreso, Yucatán to ports in Cuba, Jamaica and the Cayman Islands on July 2, 2011. The company’s cruises to Cuba are being marketed in Russia, Great Britain, Germany and Spain. As of now, Tropicana Cruises plans on a format in which they break down cruises into language groups, such as a Russian week, an English-speaking week, and a German or Spanish-speaking week. Time will soon tell what the languages of the majority of their customers will be. Tropicana is currently offering a seven-night cruise from Progreso to Havana, Trinidad and Grand Cayman for €720 Euros, and a 12-night cruise from Progreso to Grand Cayman, Trinidad, Santiago, Cayo Saetia and Havana for €1,260 Euros.
Two Young Mayans Will Attend Leadership Seminar in the United States
Gregory Segas, U.S. Consul in Merida, and Claudia Chapa Cortés, an educational consultant in Yucatan, have announced the names of the two young people who will represent the peninsula at a bilateral leadership seminar in North Carolina. The two young people on the left in the photo are two very remarkable human beings, both of whom are majoring in alternative tourism in college. Marco Antonio Poot Cahun, age 21, maintains a 95% grade average while he directs plays, sings, writes, recites, acts, and teaches workshops on gender equality and dating violence. In addition, after six years of contributing to the Museum of the Caste War, he has just directed "The Confederacy of Xinum", a film about the original fight between the indígenas y hacendados (the indigenous Indians and the hacienda owners). Gelma Liliana Acosta Gómez (in the center) also has an excellent grade point average and is working on building a rural tourism project. In addition, she has founded an eco-friendly NGO that is soon to be launched, called Lluvia Verde (Green Rain). One of the purposes of this seminar is to promote the capacity for growth in indigenous communities. We cannot think of two more competent representatives to represent the Yucatan Peninsula than Marco Antonio Poot Cahun and Gelma Lilaina Acosta Gómez.
Twenty Twiteros Win Trip to Yucatan
As part of a plan to increase domestic tourism, Mexican Twitter and Facebook Fans of Yucatan were encouraged to enter a contest called Quiero ir a Yucatán (I Want to Go to Yucatan) by sending in pictures of tourist destinations where they live. All of their pictures were posted online and the social network fans voted for the ones they liked best. The winners came from Acapulco, Puebla, Guadalajara, Mexico City, Oaxaca and even Yucatan. What they won was round trip transportation, hotel accommodations, meals and tours of the main tourist destinations in Yucatan. Their trip is to last all of this week. We like the idea of this contest but have to wonder: If a twitterer is called a twitero in Spanish, what is a Facebooker called? You can read about the group in Spanish here on the Diario website.
New State Traffic Laws
The newest State of Yucatan Traffic Laws are now online. The document is 288 pages in length and contains a few ambiguous statements but there are some very clear changes. All children under the age of five must be in the appropriate car seat. If the vehicle has State of Yucatan license plates, it must carry a sticker for the plates, a sticker certifying that the car is not emitting harmful contaminants, and a sticker guaranteeing it at least has liability insurance. Each sticker has a corresponding hologram and they are placed, in order, on the top left portion of the rear windshield. Plates, stickers and holograms are to be renewed every 3 years. Tinted windows are regulated, as are headlights and seat belts. Additional lights of other colors are prohibited. Also prohibited are any devices that obstruct the driver’s view or distract the attention of the driver, including anything with a screen (except GPS). For motorcycles and bicycles, helmets and reflective vests are mandatory and carrying more than one passenger is forbidden. The law strongly suggests, but does not make mandatory, that drivers carry signaling equipment for day and night, just in case of a breakdown. The law is now in effect, but has a 180 day extension to get changes made to vehicles. However, the SSP has already begun to make stops and hand out fines for those who are not in compliance with many of the rules, such as stickers and insurance for cars and trucks and helmets for bicycles and motorcycles. Speed limits for bicycles and motorcycles are being strictly enforced, as well as the "only one passenger" rule.
Motoclub Caminantes del Mayab (Motorcycle Club)
One of the most common questions we qet, from potential expats, is “Will I be welcome in Yucatan with my motorcycle?” The answer is a resounding “yes.” This motorcycle club was organized in 1947 under the name Motoclub Mérida. The name was changed to Motoclub Caminantes del Mayab in 2005. They meet three times a week at the Gasolinería Gonzalo Guerrero (at the exit to Progreso, across from Sam’s Club) with the following schedule: Sundays 8:30 AM (with family), Tuesdays 8:30 PM (men only), Thursdays 8:30 PM (with family). On weekends, they usually ride to Progreso and back, a trip they have been making for 15 years. Once a month, they get together and take a more extended trip. They have additional special rides on all major holidays. If you ride motorcycles, please know that you and your family are encouraged to join Motoclub Caminantes del Mayab. Please visit the website of Motoclub Caminantes del Mayab for more information. We also found a video of an early Sunday morning swing through Progreso as they head back for Merida. Take a look! We hope everyone who rides motorcycles will come on down and join this great group.
Innocent Beef Farmers Suffer With the Guilty
Unfortunately, panic over the use of clenbuterol has caused an immediate drop in beef purchases in Yucatan, which is causing great hardship among those who never used the growth enhancer. The farmers of Tizimin are asking for help identifying those beef producers who do not use any kind of growth enhancers so that people can be sure to purchase their beef, rather than simply giving up beef completely. Their State Representative and their SAGARPA delegate have already visited them and we hope they can tell us soon where we can get organic Yucatan beef on a consistent basis.
Beer Girls: A Universal Phenomenon
This week, we saw a complaint about the young ladies who are called either hostesses or cheerleaders in Mexico. These young ladies appear, usually scantily clad, mostly at sporting events and at conventions that are sponsored by the beer companies and at industrial conferences where beer is served. The complaint was that there are usually young girls in the audience who then try to emulate everything from the way the hostesses wear their hair to some of their risqué costumes. The article we read said it is a waste of smiles, glamour and sympathy. While most women feel exactly that same way, we somehow doubt that we will see the end of the Beer Girls any time soon.
Congratulations to the King of Speed: Daniel Manrique
This young man is an inspiration to us all. We expect great things from him throughout his life. In whatever career he chooses, Daniel will be an asset to his family, to Yucatan and to Mexico. This is what the King of Speed accomplished this past week:
Gold Medal: 200 meter run (25.32 seconds), winning the medal for the 2nd year in a row
Gold Medal: Long Jump (5.06 meters)
Daniel was quoted as saying, “I dedicate this victory to my parents, to my coach and to Yucatan. Be assured that I will achieve more!”
Daniel accomplished all this in the 2011 Para-olympics in the category of Older Youths who are Blind and Visually Impaired
Yucalpeten to Chuburna: The Road! The Road!
The long awaited road from Yucalpeten, through Chelem and to Chuburna is finally going to be a reality. It is scheduled to be completed before vacation (mid-July to beginning of August). This is the best news we’ve heard for the people who live out that way in a long time. It certainly makes it easier to get back to Progreso and on to Merida for major shopping trips. Congratulations to everyone who lives in Chelem and especially to those who live in Chuburna.
Best Take-Away from Clubes de la Tercera Edad
Quality of Life. What exactly is that? Can you have quality of life in Yucatan? As senior citizen clubs continue to grow in Yucatan, we found something this week that they use as a sort of checklist for assessing quality of life for elderly adults in Yucatan. We think it should be used by everyone, especially those who are considering becoming expats.
Here is the list of things that the government encourages their senior citizens to do. Join a club, especially if the club has a noble purpose. Make new friends. Spice up your family life. Strengthen friendships. Invite others to join you, at home or in your clubs. Take a class. Take up art, dancing, singing or crafts. Find the free events in your area. Take a local cultural tour. Strive to develop healthy habits. The goal is to have a lifestyle that is active, dynamic and participatory.
That having been said, we will also post this warning. Once you move to Yucatan, within just a few months, you will have every second of your schedule filled with your new life and stress will begin to mount. At this point that you will realize that you really don’t have to be involved in everything that comes along. Pick what’s fun for you, then relax and enjoy your new life.
Please Donate: Tzucacab Needs Pledge of $3,500 USD in 30 Days
This is a project we heard about that is asking for funds through Kickstarter.com. If the project doesn’t get pledges that add up to $3,500 USD in 30 days, then none of the donations will be processed. The project is called Semillas. It is a participatory photography project in Tzucacab, in the southern part of our state. Coordinators are educator Chelsea Wills and doctoral student Devon Sampson, both from the Environmental Studies Department at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Both are presently working in Tzucacab with the CAN Network Community: México. We are very interested in what Chelsea and Devon are doing in Tzucacab and will bring you more very soon. To learn more about this fundraiser, please visit Semillas-Tzucacab’s page on Kickstarter.