El Niño: Could We Still Have a Hurricane?
The arrival of an El Niño usually slows the formation of hurricanes. However, weather experts at UADY warn us not to let down our guard quite yet. They are still predicting a total of eleven significant weather events for this 2014 hurricane season and remind us that it still only takes one to cause a hurricane disaster. Since they warn that we can still have a hurricane that is a Category Three or higher, please make certain that you and your neighbors are prepared.
Migrants Fund Breast Cancer Clinic in Conkal
Everyone wonders what happens to all of that money sent home by migrant workers in the United States. There are several different programs that provide matching funds if migrants send their money home in groups. One is the 3 x 1 Program, in which the Federal Government provides 50% of the funds for a special project and the rest is divided between migrants and the municipality. Migrants from Caucel have banded together and, by using the 3 x 1 program, have now funded a state-of-the-art Breast Cancer Clinic. The clinic will be the first of its kind in Southeastern Mexico and will be located in San Pedro Nohpat, Conkal. Services provided will include: pathology, endoscopy, ultrasound, mammogram, x-rays, four clinics for care and prevention, a waiting room, health services and a general administrative area. The clinic will be affiliated with O’Horan Hospital. More than 1,000 women will initially benefit from the building of this clinic.
Official NBA Game to be Played in Mexico (November 12)
Its official! The Minnesota Timberwolves vs. the Houston Rockets will be played on November 12, 2014, in Mexico City. This is the first NBA game to be held in Mexico. One was planned in 2013 but, after an explosion at the campus light plant an hour before game time, the game was canceled. Not to worry, however, because this game is on and everyone will be watching! Considering the significant numbers of expats in Yucatan from Minnesota and Texas, local sports bars should be standing room only by game time. May the best team win!
Come to the Center and Win: Program On Again for 2014
During the months of November and December, raffle tickets will be issued with shopping receipts. During that time, there will be great holiday sales and two raffles, ultimately giving away two brand new automobiles. Last year, 362 prizes were given away and this year it looks as if everyone is ready to make those purchases and rack up their free tickets. One perk for this year is that even receipts for less than $100 pesos will still earn tickets, so do make plans to shop in Merida’s Centro during November and December!
Growth Brings Political Change
How fast is Merida growing? From July 1, 2012, until now, the City of Merida alone has registered 15,339 new voters. This is primarily due to the growth in Ciudad Caucel and in the Comisaria de Opichen. This has created almost 50 new polling districts and rapid increases in the need for local police. Growth in these two areas, along with growth in outlying cities and towns, is changing the political geography of Yucatan. Since the people of Yucatan take an active role in local government, look for interesting changes throughout the state in the future.
Mexicans Join International Lawsuit Against Facebook
Over 300 Mexicans have joined tens of thousands of others from across Europe and Latin America to stop Facebook from participating in the United States-based program of, what they term ‘mass espionage’. In effect, they claim, the United States, through Facebook, is legally free to violate the privacy of its own citizens, but not to violate the privacy of the citizens of other countries. The American program is called Prism and has been in place since 2010. This lawsuit, based in the courts of Vienna, follows a similar lawsuit that was filed in Ireland a year ago. Those bringing this lawsuit are asking only minimal damages per person since the goal is to stop Facebook from participating in this program.
Robbery on a Bus
A week ago last Thursday, two young men boarded a bus and robbed the driver, using a pair of scissors to threaten him with. During the robbery, they hit the driver in the face. The entire incident lasted less than three minutes. What the young men did not know was that buses in Yucatan now have closed circuit video recorders. The videos were leaked to social media. By Wednesday night, these two young men were in night court, standing before a judge. Crime does happen in Yucatan, but the modern, well-trained police are more than capable of handling it and the court system is quick to respond. We suspect that it will be a long time before anyone attempts so foolish a crime as this again.
Recycle For Your Well-Being
Two years ago, Merida held a recycling event that went on for a number of weeks. If people turned in old tire rims, tires, batteries, and used cooking oil, they received vouchers for food and basic consumer goods. This was a very successful program and came during dengue fever season, so it was doubly powerful as a community health project. Now, this program is being repeated, beginning August 16. Additional dates will be announced. This program is being extended to the entire City of Merida, as well as nine municipalities. It is estimated that Merida alone discards 322 old tires per day, and cleaning those up represents a whole lot of mosquito breeding relief. Keep an eye out for announcements of recycling locations in your area, as well as for trucks that may be coming to pick up recyclable materials.
First 2014 Dengue Death in Yucatan
The first dengue fever death in Yucatan for this year has brought the number, for the entire country of Mexico, to eight. Although there were no deaths from dengue fever in Yucatan during the same period last year, there were a total of 33 deaths in the country. In 2013, there were 685 cases of dengue fever in Yucatan at this point in the year, and that number has been reduced to 553 cases. Statistically (per 100K population), Yucatan is in third place for dengue fever numbers, behind Colima and Sinaloa. In total number of cases, Yucatan is in seventh place, behind Sinaloa, Guerrero, Chiapas, Nuevo Leon, Veracruz and Oaxaca. Please close your screens, as well as windows and doors, if possible. Remember that mosquitoes look for a cool place to hide from the heat of the day and the inside of your house just might fit the bill. In addition, stick to the clean patios program and make sure there is no standing water available for breeding. See a doctor immediately if you feel unwell. Better safe than sorry!
Programs for the Hearing-Impaired at the Zoo
Parque Zoologico del Centenario joined the Integrazoo Program in December, 2013. Since then, the program has continued to grow and expand. Today, guided tours are available with explanations in sign language, and hearing-impaired youngsters from outlying municipalities just finished their very first guided tours at the zoo. Beginning with just one signing guide, this program has resulted in eight more guides being trained in sign language. What a wonderful way to include these bright young people in the experience of a zoo like Centenario.
New Website for History Teachers: Maya at Mexicolore
While a good bit of the Maya at Mexicolore website is devoted to their in-class presentations in schools in England, the body of this wonderful work is now making its way around the world via savvy history teachers who recognize the enormous historical and cultural value of studying 4,000 years of Mayan history. The site is very well written, with plenty of resources available for downloading. You will also find details on the History of Chocolate, The MesoAmerican, Ritual Ballgame, the Mayan calendar, and loads of great links to even more information about the Maya. This is real history, about real people – who they were and who they are today. We even spied some authentic Mayan design motifs and feel a spate of handicrafts coming on. We hope everyone, not just teachers and students, enjoys Maya at Mexicolore as much as we did, and that you will share it with as many others as possible.