News Starting November 07, 2011
Progreso Police Information
We are sad to report that several beach houses have been broken into along the beach in Yucatan. The local police are working hard to catch those responsible, and they are keeping a very active expat beach community in the loop. There are regular meetings between the administration and the local community improvement committee, and the Municipality of Progreso has provided a flyer that details what should be done in case something like this happens again. A translation of the flyer appears as an article on the front page of Yolisto. Please copy Progreso Police Information into a document you can save on and print from your own computer. In a perfect world, we would hope that no one ever has a need to use the information found on that flyer. Sadly, this is not a perfect world.
Cancer: Get Out of That Chair!
New findings just published by cancer researchers in Alberta, Canada, tell us that sitting for long hours is directly related to an increase in breast and colon cancer. The other side of that coin is that an increase in exercise can reduce one’s risk for breast and colon cancer. This is important as a factor to consider in the expat lifestyle, since many of us now work on a computer, get our news on a computer, and visit with friends and family on a computer. This adds up to an outrageous number of hours spent, daily, in front of a machine that is now proven to be a health hazard. Unfortunately, many of us cannot quit our jobs or leave our grandchildren’s e-mails to flounder, so the thing to do is be sure to get out of that chair and get as much exercise as possible. Things to do in Yucatan include join a club, take a class, take up yoga or one of the many dance classes available, find a community service project, and work in your house or garden. Whatever you do, don’t let retiring to Yucatan equal sitting in front of your computer any more than is absolutely necessary.
A Christmas Bow in Merida
When we were children, any store that showed the first sign of a Christmas decoration before the first of December was accused of commercializing Christmas and all but boycotted by local communities. Time passed and Christmas decorations in stores and malls began easing their way back on the calendar. Today, almost all of the larger NOB stores have a Black Friday discount event on the day after Thanksgiving. Merida is no different from any other city of its size. This past week, Christmas officially came to Chapur with a fireworks show, a theater presentation on the meaning of Christmas, and with the lighting of a huge Christmas bow on top of their North Merida location. Look for all of the other malls and larger stores to soon follow, if they haven’t already. With each mall trying to outdo the others, we suggest that anyone who likes Christmas might want to put mall visits on your “to do” list for the weeks leading up to Christmas in Merida.
Mexico Scraps Nuclear Power Plans
Two things have happened, over the course of the past year, that have resulted in Mexico’s decision not to build at least ten nuclear power plants. The earthquake in Japan has given many earthquake-prone countries pause for thought, including Mexico. However, it was the discovery of at least 300 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in Coahuila that ended Mexico’s need to even consider nuclear power. CFE is on its way now to building six new electric plants and to reconfiguring others to accept the use of natural gas. This is not a perfect “green solution” for the environment, but at least natural gas only produces half the carbon dioxide produced by coal. In the meantime, alternative means of producing electricity in Mexico are still being explored.
A Foreigner’s View of Merida
Merida had some north-of-the-border visitors for Dia de los Muertos and one of them was Niagara Falls Reporter’s Mike Hudson. His article is already online. Down in Merida, a Chance to Get Lost and Figure Out What Really Matters is charmingly stereotypical, so many expats will likely get a chuckle or two from it. We suspect too that Mr. Hudson believes most, if not all, of the Yucatecos in Merida are Maya. Regardless of that and other assumptions, Mike Hudson did get it right in one paragraph. If we change the word Mayans to Yucatecos, the following is one huge reason for visiting and/or living in Yucatan: “Maybe because their culture is so old and ours is so young, the Mayans/Yucatecos have figured out what really matters in life and have set their goals accordingly. Maybe laughter, the joy of family and a fatalism that causes one to live for the day are what life is really all about. Love and the expectation of love. Happiness.” We couldn’t have said it better.
Congratulations to Ceiba Del Mar
Conde Nast Traveler has announced their Editors’ Gold List for 2011 and Ceiba Del Mar,in Puerto Morelos, has been named to the Gold List for the third year in a row. We don’t know their exact scores for this year yet, but for 2009 and 2010, Ceiba Del Mar earned a perfect 100 in the categories of Best Rooms and Best Services in Mexico. Yucatan Living would like to add our name to the long list of those who appreciate the added value that Ceiba Del Mar brings to the entire Mayan Riviera. The area is growing rapidly and new tourists and expats are discovering its wonders daily.
The Economy: Growth is Slow But Steady
Last year, Mexico’s economy grew 5.4%, even though the global economic recession had already begun. This year, that figure will drop to an expected 3.77%. This week, it was announced that Mexico’s economic growth in 2012 will probably be around the 3.5% mark. One of the reasons for this is that Mexico depends so heavily on foreign investment. If other countries are in financial trouble, their problem trickles down to affect economic growth in Mexico. With luck, the European Union will pull out of its current problems and Mexico’s economy will improve dramatically. In the meantime, slow but steady still wins the race and we are very proud of what Mexico has done with the resources she has.
Peto: Woodcarver or Sculptor?
Marcos Dzul Santamaría, a talented woodcarver turned sculptor, spent 14 years of his life in the United States, working construction, before coming home to Peto to be with his family and return to the craft he loves so well. With no other tools but a knife, Marcos can turn out anything from a mask to the figure of a Mayan god that is as tall as he is. At the present time, the order he is working on is a 2.5 meter tall Hawaiian. In just three years, Marcos has done work for clients from Playa del Carmen, Puerto Aventuras, Chetumal and Merida. Not bad for a young man who spent 14 years of his life working construction! We are so glad that Marcos Dzul Santamaria came home and that his art is making a living for him.
First Salt Almost Ready for Export to the United States
Yucatan is the leading producer of both table salt and salt for industrial use in the southeast region of Mexico. The first barge of 5,000 tons has made its way to Progreso from Las Coloradas. As soon as the transfer of the entire 35,000 tons is made, the salt will be on its way to the United States. This will not only provide new jobs in Progreso, but keep an eye on Las Coloradas too. They are getting a new bridge out there and you just never know what kind of growth might come with that.
Bike Tours Direct Coming to Mexico
Bike Tours Direct is a European tour company with 200 different tour routes in 40 countries in Europe. Now, they are coming to Mexico with four tours, two of which are in the vicinity of the Sian ka’an Biosphere Reserve in Quintana Roo. The third is in Oaxaca and the fourth in Chiapas. For more information, visit the Bike Tours Direct announcement. Bike riding is a growing activity among expats and we have one of the best bike riding resources anywhere right here in Yucatan. If you or your group would like to organize your own trip – or maybe even ride along with the masters on one of their trips, do hop over and visit Bicycle Yucatan. There are not many other places in the world where you can ride so far and never have to climb a hill!