News Starting December 19, 2011
Drive Carefully: Children at Play
When the children of Yucatan came home from school on Friday, December 16, they began their holiday vacation. They will not return to school until January 3. During these seventeen days, expats should drive as if children and pets will appear in the street at any moment. They are usually having a grand time and moving at the speed of light. Toys in the street can also be a hazard. This is especially true in smaller neighborhoods and in Yucatan’s villages. From now until January 3, just continue to drive safely and all will be well.
Pulpo Season Most Successful in Five Years
Throughout the pulpo season, every time the weather doesn’t cooperate, we hear dire warnings that pulpo (octopus), one of the biggest cash crops in Yucatan, may not reach levels that will support the fishermen. Then, there were the years when everyone was adjusting to the rigid dates for the opening and closing of pulpo fishing. The rest of the world was fishing nonstop, but Yucatan was looking toward the future. Today, the latest casualty of pulpo overfishing is South Africa, leaving Yucatan to supply much of Europe and driving the price up in the process. To make the situation even sweeter, the weather turned good and Yucatan’s pulpo fishermen ended their season with 17,000 tons of catch, compared to a catch last year of only 4,000 tons. More pulpo, plus higher prices, equals a very happy Christmas and New Year for the families of the fishermen of Yucatan. Our sympathy to the pulpo fishermen of South Africa. We hope they are able to recover and fish again for many years to come.
Yucatan’s Cheese Production Growing
This past week, there was a conference held in Tzucacab. Those in attendance were the dairy farmers from throughout the area. Their goal was to gain as much knowledge as they could about new technology associated with the production of cheese. Given the drought that plagued more than a few countries this year, farmers also watched videos about grasses known to be drought resistant, as well as excellent for dairy production. This is one more step toward self-sufficiency for the State of Yucatan and we wish our dairy farmers a Merry Christmas and a very prosperous New Year.
Yucatan To Support Elderly Poor, Over 70
As is the case in many other countries, there are some Yucatecos who have slipped through the cracks and arrived in old age with no income at all. However, the social structure here is such that these individuals are cared for by either members of their families or through the charity of others. This has the potential to put a good deal of stress on those who carry such a burden, even if it is lovingly and willingly carried. To help ease the way for 7,500 people who are elderly and over 70 years of age, the State of Yucatan will soon provide them with a small, monthly pension. We hope this helps to make 2012 the beginning of a new and better life for them all.
41 Companies, 4,000 Jobs
The State of Yucatan has many programs to help new businesses and we are constantly amazed at the resourcefulness and determination to succeed that we see all around us. Over the past few years, the State has invested millions in ensuring that businesses that provide new jobs have a positive environment in which to grow. The majority of state investments in business have gone to 41 companies in a variety of fields. The result is the creation of 4,000 new jobs for Yucatecos. This is no small accomplishment. The world will be watching Yucatan throughout 2012. We are so glad we can show them a well-rounded, successful state. Yucatan Living sends congratulations to all of the new businesses in Yucatan and our best wishes to their employees.
Volkswagen Production for the Year
In 2008, the Volkswagen plant in Puebla was the talk of the news for producing 450,000 cars that year. This year, they broke their record when a Tempest blue new style Jetta numbered 500,000 rolled off of the assembly line. Needless to say, there was great rejoicing throughout the plant. This facility produces approximately 2,500 vehicles per day, mostly the new Jetta models, the Classic Beetle, and the Golf Sport Wagon. Approximately 80% of these vehicles are destined for export, while the other 20% are snapped up quickly in Mexico. With these accomplishments, the Volkswagen plant at Puebla is the number one automotive plant, by production, in all of North America. Our congratulations to Volkswagen and special wishes for Happy Holidays for everyone who has worked so hard to make this plant a success.
Mexico’s HOMEX Building in Brazil
HOMEX is a Mexican company that builds both commercial buildings and private housing. Between 2009 and 2012, HOMEX expects to have increased its activity in Brazil from 1% to 6% of its total business. In 2011, HOMEX built almost 800 homes, in the $553,000 peso range, in Brazil. The company currently has three more projects with an average of 2,000 units each to be built in 2012. It is expected that in 2012 alone HOMEX’s revenue will grow by up to 39%. Looking to the South has spelled success for many Mexican companies in the past few years and more Latin American networks are proving beneficial for all.
Can You Find Naturalist Jim Conrad?
There was a paragraph in Jim Conrad’s Naturalist Newsletter this week (Dec. 18) that caught our eye. Its all about the bananas in the garden where he lives. His last sentence is about a picture of some of his bananas and he says “with me peeping from the shadows.” We looked at the picture several times and can’t find him anywhere. If you see Jim Conrad in this picture, please leave us a comment and let us know where you found him.
World Record: Mexico City Nativity Scene
The latest nativity scene, in Mexico City, is now in the Guinness Book of World Records. Its a mini-town that covers a parking lot that is the size of four football fields. It won two spots in the record book: one for largest area and one for greatest number of figures. We are told that some of the figures actually move. They have everything from the Three Kings to camels, an elephant and a burro, along with the residents of Bethlehem. As visitors go through the Town of Bethlehem, they see a total of 57 different scenes, including the nativity. With the Three Kings included, the entire town will remain on display in Mexico City until the 15th of January.
Spay & Neuter Campaign 2012
Merida: January 8 – 11
Progreso: January 13 – 14
This event is one of the biggest of the year in Yucatan, and is certainly one of the most appreciated by the animals and pet owners it serves. Local veterinarians will donate their time to this project and additional veterinarians will be traveling from all over the world including the US, Slovakia, and Baja California. This campaign is designed to target lower income families who otherwise could not afford to sterilize their animals, as well as the abandoned animals that so many of us rescue from the streets. Please donate anything you can to this most worthy of causes. Time, supplies and food will all be deeply appreciated. Thanks as well must go to every expat who has adopted a pet in Yucatan or who has helped an animal along the way. Let’s make “Esterilización 2012" the most successful spay/neuter clinic ever!
Donations Needed: Drinks and snacks, restaurant sponsors, 40 meals a day (10 of which must be vegetarian meals), cash and volunteers.
To Donate Cash: To donate in person, go to the offices of Planned Pethood. (just off Avenida Tecnologica between Costco and Sams Club). Donate Online: through Just Give. IMPORTANT: You must notate in their electronic donation "For Yucatan Spay/Neuter Clinic" to ensure the money is used for the clinic.
Merida: January 8 – 9: Calle 57 x 46, Col. Fidel Velazquez
Merida: January 10 – 11: Calle 88B x 161 y 163, Col. Emiliano Zapata Sur II
Progreso: January 13 – 14: Local Social El Ejidal (across from the agua potable)
Volunteer: Hang posters or help in the clinics. Volunteers are needed in both Merida and Progreso.
Mérida: Jill Benson snjbenson [at] yahoo [dot] com
or Mimi Babcock: mimi [dot] babcock [at] gmail [dot] com
or Silvia Cortes: slv_cc [at] hotmail [dot] com
Progreso: Cindy Wagner: cindywagner1023 [at] gmail [dot] com
or Karen Cloutier: klcloutier [at] hotmail [dot] com
or Maura Garcia: maugatos [at] hotmail [dot] com