Yucatan News: Biospheres and Tangos
Ticul Trade Fair: Began April 5 - No End Date Given
One would think that the Ticul Shoe Fair is the most important event in Yucatan and, depending on who you are, you just might be right. This fair runs in the Spring and in the Fall. Since there are so many marvelous artisans in the Ticul area, the “Shoe Fair” is now known as the Ticul Trade Expo and all sorts of wonderful crafts are presented to the public. There is no end date given for this festival. It used to run during the week before Semana Santa but, for the past few years, that end date seems to have been sliding over into the beginning of Holy Week so that more visitors could come to shop. While this is an opportunity to get in on some great sale prices, we suspect that any time you visit Ticul is a good time to buy shoes and pottery.
Tianguis Entrepreneurs: UADY Chemistry Students
Everyone is, by now, used to quite regular contests for recognition and start-up money between Yucatan’s young entrepreneurs. The local universities get involved and teach young business hopefuls how to not only create their products, but also how to market and manage their ideas. This past week, in the new chemistry building of UADY, the third annual Tianguis Entrepreneurs featured seniors in the in pharmaceutical, chemical, and biological specialties within the chemistry department. The 100 participants were divided into 15 teams, where they then were trained in every aspect of creating a product and bringing it to market. This included quality control, packaging, labeling, presentation of the product or service, and treatment of the public after the product is on the market. Products created and presented by the students included insect repellents, soaps scented with natural ingredients, lotions, hair gels and juice. This kind of encouragement is all too often reserved for entrepreneurs who provide services and products that do not require a technical or scientific degree. We are so pleased to see that these hard working students are now receiving their fair share of attention and praise.
Casting Call: Can You Tango and/or Sing?
We know of quite a few excellent tango artists in Merida who need to make an appearance at the casting call for the operita that is being taken on as a new project by the Department of Culture in Merida. The name of the project is “Maria de Buenos Aires, Operita Tango.” If your dancing and/or singing skills are of professional quality, please attend this casting call on Monday, April 14, in the auditorium of the Olimpo, at 7:30 PM. The requirements to participate are to be between 25 and 40 years old. Dancers, male and female, must present a tango of your choice (may dance alone or with a partner) and bring the selected track. The casting for singers is for women. Contestants have to submit a piece of your choice and a tango (required), score of the selected pieces or piano (tracks not accepted), and a text or poem of not more than one minute. The jury will be composed of professionals from culture, music and theater. In total the protagonist and four dance couples will be chosen. Best of luck to all who participate and all who go to cheer them on.
Permits and Permission: Be Careful in Biosphere Reserves
The quickest route to jail is not having your permission bracelet to visit the Biosphere Reserve of Arrecife Alacranes and Ria Lagartos. The organizers of fishing tournaments have their own list of requirements and, if they don’t follow them, they too will be in big trouble. Poaching of such endangered species as queen conch and pink snail can get you in trouble with rangers, the staff of the Navy, and Profepa, who can all board your boat at will. It is going to be a long, hot summer and there will be more visitors at the beach than ever before. There will also be more law enforcement and safety personnel on hand than ever before. Please follow the rules, get all of your permits and work with the people who are trying to serve the best interests of the environment and visitors alike.
Visit Ria de Progreso!
Several years ago, when they first cleaned out and began to restore the mangroves in Progreso, the project was seen as one that was being pushed by the children who, in turn, enlisted the help of a few good Navy men. The work then took on a life of its own. We recently wrote about a new hostel they will be building, as well as a new fishing pier. For now, there is still plenty to see and do in this environmental wonder in Progreso. At this point, it is an estuary and natural tourist site with plenty planned for Easter tourists. For those who wonder if Nature can recover and thrive with tourism, Ria de Progreso is the best example we can offer. Congratulations to everyone associated with this wonderful project.
New Water Park Coming to Merida
While reading the list of all the wonderful things Merida will enjoy with the remodeling of the Siglo XXI Convention Center, it was exciting to find that there will be a brand new water park installed right next to Animaya Zoological Park. There will be a total of fifteen “wet areas” with waterfalls. Animaya took a bit of time to come into its own and now is one of the best zoological parks in Mexico. Since Merida is now the busiest convention center in Mexico, we can expect plenty of business to support both Anymaya and the new water park.
Telchac Puerto: Yucatan Riviera
Telchac’s mayor has reported that officials from the National Fund for Tourism Development visited him and presented plans to develop the “Yucatan Riviera” to include Telchac Puerto. This is not, it seems, a long-range goal that may or may not be funded or completed. According to officials at Fonatur, Telchac has already been included in the development of medium-range tourism projects. What really caught our eye about this project is that an urban revitalization project has already been commissioned from the Architecture Department of UADY. It looks as if this is one tourism project that is actually starting at the right point. Congratulations to everyone who takes part in this project and those who will benefit from it.
Second Johnny Rockets Opens in Merida
Two months ago, Johnny Rockets opened their first restaurant in Yucatan in the Merida International Airport. Now, it has opened a second restaurant in Galerias Merida Mall. This gives customers access to hamburgers to their individual order, crispy American fries, hand-spun shakes and signature sandwiches. Johnny Rockets is growing fast and so is the economy of all of Mexico. Yucatan Living wishes both all the best in Merida. Now we know where to go when we get that urge for a real hamburger.
Invitation: Blogging for Partners of the Americas
We recently received a newsletter from a group called Iowa-Yucatan and discovered that they are a chapter of an online group called Partners of the Americas. We were already impressed when we then discovered that any group involved in improving lives anywhere in the Americas is invited to join Partners of the Americas and to blog for them. If you have a community service project and would like to broaden your reach, please visit the Partners of the Americas website and join them in improving life for everyone in the Americas.
Editorial: Tourists: Know Thy Destination
Someone just sent us a news story with an exciting – to us – headline that promised wonderful shopping and dining experiences in Yucatan. What we found inside was an article in a major online newspaper that they had gotten from another online travel magazine, and that had been written by a British girl who now lives in New York. By now, we were wondering if the author had ever really been to Yucatan but – she did say “Yucatan,” so we continued to read – only to discover that the entire piece was about places to shop and eat in Tulum. Suddenly, the words Yucatan and “the Yucatan” were swimming in our heads. We wanted to add a comment that “Tulum is not in Yucatan” but it was too much trouble to register for an account and hope we could find our way back to the article. So – we will let it go with an FYI for both writers and tourists who have never been here: “the Yucatan” refers to the entire Yucatan Peninsula, while “Yucatan” is the State of Yucatan. Best of luck to the young author and we hope she gets to see Yucatan soon.