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Yucatan News: Cats, Christmas and Chili

News starting September 14, 2009

Save the Big Cats of CancunSave the Big Cats of Cancun
This week, there has been a great flurry of activity related to the fact that there are 15 exotic big cats (lions, tigers, and jaguars) living in deplorable conditions in Cancun. This situation has existed since the 2005 hurricane Wilma. A wonderful home has been found for these animals in the Wild Animal Sanctuary in Colorado. At first, it was believed that PROFEPA could authorize a rescue led by Gente por la Defensa Animal (People for Animal Defense). Unfortunately, it was discovered, at the last moment, that PROFEPA does not have the legal authority to conduct or allow such a mission.
According to Procurador Ignacio Loyola Vera, … "There is no illicit association, no conspiracy, nor any powerful and hidden force that is preventing the transfer of these exotic animals to a better site. The center of the conflict is in the lack of the necessary laws that allow the Procurador to act properly.”  Since a change in the law seems to be what is needed to save these animals, we ask that all of our readers write to the Office of the President of Mexico,  to the Senate of Mexico  and to the Mexican Embassy in Washington, D.C. Time is of the essence, as the condition of these big cats continues to deteriorate. Please send your requests for an immediate change in the law and relief for these animals today!

Yucatan by Andrew XeniosYucatan Mexico by Andrew Xenios
Andrew Xenios is a fine art photographer, teacher, and photography tour operator here in Merida. This group of 20 black and white photographs were taken over a period of several years and are just outstanding. Visit Andrew Xenios’ website to see Yucatan in Black and White. We hope you enjoy them.

The Ecological Concept House
We haven’t heard from Bicycle Yucatan in a while and wondered what they have been up to. Now we know! The Grimsruds have been expanding their Eco Living Yucatan website and have now published an entire article, with many pictures, on the evolution of their own eco-friendly home. We know everyone will enjoy the Grimsruds’ Ecological Concept House. There are loads of ideas there that anyone can use to make their own impact on the environment just a little bit lighter. Well done!

New Development on Isla Holbox?
This week, Novedades Quintana Roo reported that there is soon to be a proposal to build an upscale tourist resort on Isla Holbox, complete with golf course, marina, and a small airport. They say that the plans will be presented to the environmental authorities by the end of this year and the project will be complete by the end of 2010. Reaction to the proposed plan was swift and negative. The company says they have a plan to improve, rather than damage the environment. Time will tell. Read the article and local comments here.

Christmas in ChuburnaChristmas in Chuburna
Plans are currently underway for the expat Christmas effort in Chuburna. The “big present” will be a playground for all of the children of Chuburna to enjoy year-round. Feedback would be appreciated and donations for the Kids of Chuburna Christmas would be absolutely GRAND. Please contact one of the following: granny806[at]gmail[dot]com, roymelchior[at]hotmail[dot]com, or martadequesada[at]yahoo[dot]com to find out more. Thank you so much from the Children of Chuburna.

Chuburna Apoyo Program for Students
While we’re on the subject of Chuburna, the Chuburna Apoyo Program for Students, also known as "Education is the KEY", is listed as a "Cause" on Facebook. This program has many sponsored children but many more are on the waiting list. There is also a need for money for the general fund for incidental things, i.e. other school supplies, outgrown/damaged/lost uniforms, outgrown or worn out shoes, additional bus fare to help them get to school, etc. 100% of any donations go directly to meet the needs of the children. Bev, Nancy, and Marta receive no compensation for their many hours of service, etc. Any donation of any amount is gratefully accepted.

First Annual Chili Cook Off in Chelem
This event is to benefit the Christmas projects in Chelem and Chuburna. Last year, at the Christmas Party, Santa was able to distribute over 500 gifts to the children of Chelem and Chuburna, but even that was not enough. There were more kids than there were presents. The expats in Chelem are hoping to avoid that situation this year. See more about this event in the Coming Soon section of our Events page.

Chelem Toy DriveChelem Christmas
Chelem is a little fishing village of about 5,200 people, not counting the expats. The people of Chelem have welcomed the expats who live there as if they are family and the lives of the expats have been greatly enriched by their kindness. Because the men of Chelem are fishermen, their incomes depend on weather, water, and economic conditions over which they have no control. As a result, they may not be able to feed their families, much less buy such extras as toys. In 2008, having seen the need for toys, the expats determined to provide a Christmas for the children in their village. One of the men was an old hand at playing Santa back home, so he dug out his Santa suit and the expats started a toy drive. In only 2 weeks, they collected over $1,000 USD and were able to provide over 200 toys and bags of candy to local children, but still came up short and some children were turned away without a gift.
This year, the expats of Chelem are starting earlier and trying harder so that, maybe, every child in Chelem will walk away smiling and holding a brand new toy that was given to them by Santa. If you would like to donate to the Santa in Chelem program, there is a Donate Now button on the blog for this event, so be sure and visit “A Special Christmas.”

Looking for Homes
Sweet Dog in Desperate Need of HomeSweet Dog Looking for a Home
This beautiful 2 year old was found huddled under a car. An expat’s vet was able to get her out and take her back to his office where it was determined that she is in fairly good condition, except for ear mites and anemia. She is being treated and should have a clean bill of health in a week or so. The expats who found her are searching for a kind, patient person who may be interested in adopting her. This dog needs work, as she is very distrustful of people. She will not come to you and cowers if you get close. The expats who are fostering her have made some progress with her and are able to pick her up and cuddle her, but she is still very fearful. A kind friend is taking her in for a week to get her more accustomed to people and work with her, but she cannot take her long-term. She has agreed to keep the dog until Wednesday. If you are interested, please send an email to Jill: snjbenson[at]yahoo[dot]com. If you think you might want her, but don’t live in the Yucatan, don’t despair. It is EASY to bring dogs home from Mexico… you help them find a healthy and happy home, and they bring a little bit of Mexico to your life. If you are interested in bringing home a pet from the Yucatan, contact us at info [at] yucatanliving [dot] com to find out how.

Almita In Search of a One Cat Home
Almita was found by expats in 2 years ago, in Santiago. It was thought that she had a forever home in May, but the young lady now does not want a pet at this time. Almita is afraid of other cats, but did take to a rescued kitten before he found a permanent home. She is healthy, spayed, and up to date on her shots. She is affectionate, but not yet a lap cat. She needs to be watched when outside, since she cannot protect herself. If you can provide a home for Almita, please contact Karen: KarenFerguson[at]compuserve[dot]com


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9 Responses to “Yucatan News: Cats, Christmas and Chili”

  1. I was so happy to hear about Santa in Chelem Beach. I know some friends and family who live here in the states who perhaps would like to contribute for your toys and good cause. I would like to know how to go about in donating. I looked for the A Special Christmas Blog, and just couldn’t do it. Help please.

  2. I know people who have found memories of “Chelem Beach” when they will spend their summer vacations when they were young and perhaps would like to make a donation for TOY DRIVE. Please tell me how to do it. I follow your instructions, but it didn’t work.

  3. Thank you for making available for viewing the wonderful photos of Andrew Xenios. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing them, they are absolutely exquisite! And they make me homesick for the Yucatan…. to which I thankfully plan to return this winter!

    Also, just “thanks” for “being there.” I am grateful for your existence and really appreciate your regular updates on what’s going on in Merida and Yucatan.

  4. I love the idea of the eco house. Recently, I read an article saying that stone and cement houses were likely the lowest energy footprint homes over time – both to build and to live in – and were the most ecological choice. The constant repairs, termit treatments, upkeep and replacement of asphalt shingles, siding, etc on other homes really raises their energy footprint.

    So, the stone and cement houses everyone has in Yucatan are really the cats’ meow.

  5. Requesting date, time and place for Chili Cookoff.

  6. The “sweet dog” looks a lot like our puppy Gina who my daughter and I rescued from our street in Col. Esperanza in June. We nursed her back to good health with the help of our Vet Julio and flew her back to NY in July on Continental. She had mites and a bacterial infection and no fur on her body, now she has a beautiful brown coat with white and tan markings just like this dog. It was surprisingly easy to bring her back after all our paperwork was in order. Gina is a wonderful dog who loves getting attention from almost everyone on the street, on our frequent walks, she is the toast of Soho, NYC! She is housebroken, very smart, loving and gets along with every dog she’s met. In short, Gina is a treasure.

    I encourage anyone with a loving home and an empty spot in their heart to adopt this sweet dog in need of a home. You won’t regret it.

  7. Chelem Chili Cook Off
    Location: La Playa del Chelem Restaurant in Chelem, Yucatan
    Time: 6:30 PM
    Admission: Admission: $150 pesos, optional additional $100 will be charged if you choose to eat the wonderful buffet. $100 pesos of every admission goes to the fundraising charity and $50 pesos of every admission goes to the prize winners or a charity in their name. Drink tickets will be sold separately.
    Contact: Katie at Sand Castle Inn: SANDCASTLEINN[at]aol[dot]com

    Chelem Toy Drive Info – if the page I listed doesn’t work, check back here tomorrow. I will have a contact e-mail for you by then.

  8. The PayPal address for the Chelem Toy Drive is: patience2[at]yahoo[dot]com

    In addition – CasiYucateco… if you like concrete houses – google “Flying Concrete”… now THAT’s the “cat’s meow”

  9. Those houses at “flying concrete” are really something! wow…. I wish I had such a good eye for appealing forms. Just the shape itself is all the design you need. Any decoration would only detract. I wonder if we can get that guy to come visit Yucatan sometime? Well, San Miguel de Allende isn’t all that far away, I guess.

    The NY Times had an interesting article about Yucatan Sunday — a visit to a Mayan healer: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/20/magazine/20lives-t.html?ref=magazine

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