News Starting November 08, 2010
Merida: Safe for Presidents and Journalists
During the past few days, we noticed that the President of Mexico was in town… well, we read about it and we saw the suspicious Army trucks and police cars at the airport a few mornings. President Calderon is meeting with the three Attorneys General of the peninsula (Campeche, Yucatan and Quintana Roo), as well as with Juan Manuel Santos, President of Colombia, and with executives from all major newspapers in the U.S., England and Spain. The host for this summit is Gerardo Garcia Gamboa, President of the Inter American Press Association and Director General of SIPS Print Media Group. The topic under discussion is the need to ensure freedom of expression in all countries, to ensure the integrity of reporters, and to work closely with Federal Authorities to take swift and decisive action when there are threats against journalists, attacks on journalists or when journalists are killed. It is interesting to note that the two immediate past-Presidents of the U.S. came to Merida for their meetings with the Presidents of Mexico and that at least one of our local hospitals has been certified as capable of handling any health emergency that might arise for a visiting U.S. President (Star Medica). Yucatan Living welcomes all of the attendees at this summit because we are deeply committed to responsible journalism. We also want our readers who sometimes get cold feet because of the scary headlines about Mexico to stop and think about where organizers decided to hold this summit when this calibur of attendee needed to be safe. Here’s what one of the attendees had to say about Yucatan as a place to hold this summit. We vote for Merida too!
Merida: Latin American Bloggers’ Conference
When Presidents and print journalists wind up their summit, writers who blog about Latin America will just be getting started. This coming weekend will see the 3rd Annual Latin American Bloggers’ Conference, to be held in Merida. Although the Conference is certainly not limited to just bloggers from Merida and Yucatan, if you are interested in the Yucatan Peninsula, we can certainly recommend the Blog Roll on the Latin American Bloggers’ Conference website. If you are a blogger and write from or about any location in Latin America, please do get in touch by leaving a comment on the Conference website. If you can’t make it this year, we know we’ll see you next year!
Freediver Makes Record Swim in Cave
Dos Ojos is a colossal network of caves that snakes its way under 31 miles of the Yucatan Peninsula. On November 3, 2010, Carlos Coste dove into a pre-selected tunnel and began to swim a course that would take him – with no breathing apparatus – through 150 meters of underwater caves. This was double what he needed to make it into the Guinness Book of World Records, but he wants to make free-diving in caves of interest to more athletes. This world record should do the trick. Watch a short video on YouTube about cave diving in Dos Ojos with air and then take a look at Carlos Coste in the same caves, as a freediver. Congratulations to Carlos Coste, of Venezuela, for setting quite a high bar for future free-divers to reach.
More Big News from an Underwater Cavern
It seems that the underwater caves are finally beginning to give up their secrets, one by one. This week, Guillermo de Anda Alanis and his dive team from UADY found the skeletal remains of 4 bears and 5 human beings in one of the underground caves. The bears are of particular interest because they have never been thought of as having lived anywhere else except South America. To find them in Yucatan is a huge stroke of luck and will make big changes in the biogeography of the Americas. The human bones will be tested to see when they went into the cave. This is excellent work on the par of both Guillermo de Anda Alanis and his dive team!
Progreso: First Gay Marriage
On October 17, 2010, Nahum Arjona Rosas married Rafael Rodriguez Garcia in Mexico City in the civil ceremony part of their wedding. This past weekend, a priest came to Progreso from Cuenavaca, Morelos, to complete the religious part of the wedding. The only thing that has changed dramatically in all of this is that Nahum’s first name is now legally Naomi. The couple has been presented to family, friends and society – and, beyond that, this hard working pair is no different from any other young couple, working hard and climbing the ladder ever upward. Congratulations to Naomi and Rafael, to Mexico, and to Yucatan!
Yucatan’s Citrus Industry Booming!
If we ever get around to writing a 101 Reasons for Living in Yucatan, good health and Vitamin C would be one of the first things on our list. For those of our readers who are not familiar with the interior of our state, we are blessed with more and better citrus groves than just about any other place in the world. This year, just since June, Yucatan’s processors began the season with a purchase of 3,800 tons of Persian lemons. That juice went mostly to Germany and the U.S. They ended the season by supplying an Italian soft drink company with the juice from 10,000 tons of limes. Now, they are busy with 300 tons of green mandarins. This week, as soon as those are out of the way, it will be sweet orange season and our processing plants will be rocking along at a nifty little clip of 600 tons per week. The really great news is that exports are booming! The processing plant managers won’t even try to predict how many tons of sweet orange juice Yucatan will produce this year. On top of that, our processing plants are becoming well known for their quality products and for their ability to export everything they produce, so – for the first time in 30 years – producers from other states are beginning to come and ask if they can send their fruit here for processing. We do believe that sound we hear is the sweet sound of new jobs for Yucatecos in our rapidly growing citrus processing and export sector. Well done to all of the organizers, promotors, and especially to our very talented farmers!
Pulpo: The Fine Art of Added Value
We’ll just bet that there is a huge price differential between a box of quick-frozen, tightly packed, unsorted pulpo and a box of half a dozen beautiful, sorted for size and color, and turned into a center with 8 legs cut, shaped, and curved back as petals on a pulpo flower. That kind of food art is in high demand in Europe and draws a pretty peso when exported by the piece, not by the kilo. A group of talented Yucatecos have decided that if food art is what the world wants, then food art it shall be – and we can’t wait to see what comes next.
Intelligent Topes Come to Ticul
Lives needlessly taken by individuals who run stop signs have always seemed more than tragic because the situation could have been avoided “if only” the driver had either slowed down in time to stop, or paid attention to where they are, or – more often in today’s world – put down the cell phone. The small town of Ticul had 3 stop signs with far too many accidents associated with them. This week, they took action and installed 3 Intelligent Topes. The topes won’t stop a car but, if a car’s front tires are approaching a stop sign at too high a rate of speed to make a safe stop, the back tires get enough of a bump to get the attention of the driver. All eyes will be on Ticul and their 3 Intelligent Topes. For a preview of how these topes work, visit Decano Industries brief video. Please note that Ticul got a great deal on three Intelligent Topes from a company in Monterrey.
Boxing: …and the Winner Is…
This past weekend in Merida, Gilberto Keb Baas, a Yucatecan from HunucmaB, took the WBC Light Flyweight crown from Omar Nino Romero by dominating the fight from Round 1, all the way through Round 12. When the decision was read, it was clear that Keb Baas won every round except one, and even that one was deemed to be a tie. In Ladies’ Boxing, Hollie Dunaway attempted to take the Female Super Flyweight belt from Ana Marie Torres and only made it as far as Round 6. This means a new men’s light flyweight champion, Gilberto Keb Baas, and no change in the female champion. To keep up with future boxing events, visit Boxing.com’s website.
Millsaps College’s Else School of Management in Merida
Because the places we go and the lifestyle we lead is filled, mostly, with people our own age and older, it is easy for us to forget that there are several thousand foreign university students in Merida at any given time. Some are spending a semester here, mostly for the adventure of it all. Some intend to stay. One friend became a young teacher at UADY and stayed until he retired. Some come here for graduate school, or to play in the Symphony, or for any of a number of reasons. Finally, some come for continuing education. This will be the case for management students in the Spring. According to an announcement from Millsaps College’s Elsie School of Management, students will be able to pick up 12 hours of Continuing Legal Education over a 5 day period at the end of March / beginning of April, 2011. To learn more about this program, please visit the Elsie School Yucatan Experience page on Millsaps’ website.