Yucatan News: Chichen Itza & Cell Phones
News Starting April 12
Let's Do Lunch... in Playa del Carmen!
Even though it is Spring and absolutely everybody seems to have left for points north of the border, there are a significant number of expats who still live here on the Yucatan Peninsula and, on occasion, some of us come up with some pretty good ideas. In the Roo is a comprehensive online business directory for Playa del Carmen, Q.R. This week, we found a post in their forum that is priceless! John, owner of the site and administrator of their forum, has set out to eat in 30 different restaurants in Playa del Carmen. So far, he has posted the first 8 and will complete the list as time allows. This is a great resource for anyone planning on visiting Playa del Carmen and, one of these days, we hope we have time to consider such a project right here in Merida. In the meantime, read the first 8 reviews as described by John.
Notice: Boomer Movement Named
Update your vocabulary! First, we were the Baby Boomers... then we became Active Adults... and now we are part of the Silver Surge. We don't mind being Baby Boomers because that's a term we've heard and defined ourselves with all of our lives. We do mind being called Active Adults. There's something not quite right and a little condescending about that term – as if they don't really mean it when they say it. But Silver Surge? Do we like that? Hmmm... maybe the Silver Surge of Baby Boomers? Last week we participated in a state-sponsored conference on how the peninsula can better accommodate retiring Baby Boomers... uh, Silver Surgers? We'll see how this plays out, even as the surge picks up speed in a southerly direction.
X'canatun Creates “Girlfriends” Package
This week, Travel Weekly announced that X'canatun has rolled out a new “Girlfriends Renewal” package. Since this particular hacienda is the home of one of our favorite restaurants, we were interestred to read all about it. The price is $615 USD per person and the program lasts until Dec. 15. Before you blanche at the cost, what you need to know is that X'canatun is an internationally known, award winning hotel and restaurant. This program includes a welcome cocktail, three nights in a deluxe suite with private terrace and hydrotherapy tub, daily breakfast, a three-course dinner with wine, two massages or one massage with manicure and pedicure, airport transfers from Merida, hotel taxes and service charges. Might be a great way to get a long-loved girlfriend to come visit you in Merida! To learn more about this great deal, visit the Hacienda X'canatun Website.
Private Owners Sell Chichen Itza to Estado de Yucatan
Its official. For just under $18 million dollars, Hans Jurgen Thies Barbachano, representing the Barbachano family, allowed the State of Yucatan to purchase the 83 hectares of land that includes the archaeological site of Chichen Itza and all of the public places around it. Chichen Itza is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that has also been dubbed as one of the New 7 Wonders of the World. Since it is estimated that there could be as many as 24 million visitors per year to Chichen Itza by 2012, we alternately see this as a boon for the state and a tragedy for the fragile ecosystem of the area. Only time and a significant effort at planning will tell whether Chichen Itza survives either its fame or its change in ownership.
Michelle Obama Heads to D.F. On Tuesday
Michelle Obama has chosen Mexico City as the location for her first solo trip abroad. This 3 day trip is expected to be as exciting as was the visit of the Kennedy's to Mexico City during the early 1960s. Michelle Obama is viewed as a role model and as proof that diversity and hard work leads immigrants to advancement earned on merit. Once Mrs. Obama sees Mexico City, perhaps she will find time later for a trip to Yucatan. We certainly hope so and wish her all the best on this first solo trip abroad.
Cellphones: Can You Hear Me Now?
Mexico decided that all cellphones have to be registered to an individual in order to help in the fight against drug trafficking. We have had months of instructions and information related to this event. Yet, the day has arrived and 30 million of 84 million cellphones in Mexico are going to have to be disabled by the government for noncompliance. This will be at a loss of approximately $10 million dollars per day, 71% of which comes out of the pocket of America Movil (aka Carlos Slim). Needless to say, Mr. Slim is working hard to get an extension and, by the time you read this, it is fairly certain that he will have it and 30 million Mexicans will have a little more time to register their phones. In new news, there is now some talk that the U.S. won't be far behind Mexico in registering cellphones in order to assist in combating crime and drugs. We'll soon see how that plays out NOB.
CURP & Cellphones
An issue related to the protection of personal information has come to light this past week, as an outgrowth of the move to register cellphones. Obtaining a CURP card requires the individual to give the government quite a bit of personal information and it was never suspected that this information was not secure... until... hundreds of cellphones were registered, in Oaxaca, with the CURP numbers of current and former Mexican politicians and lawmakers. Only then was it discovered that CURP information was available to anyone. Obviously, a move is being made to close this loophole immediately. While we know of no incidents such as this in Yucatan, it just serves to remind us that we need to take all situations seriously if we are asked for personal information.
Welcome Yucatan Society Maxillofacial Implants, AC
We have a new board of specialists in Merida, the first of its kind in southern Mexico! They are the Yucatan Society of Maxillofacial Implants, AC, and are open to dentists and dental students for the purpose of disseminating information and training for dental implantology. We are all very proud of the fabric of the healthcare community in Yucatan and this just adds strength to it. Congratulations to all of our dentists and dental students who work so hard to improve their skills and the health of all of their patients.
Mexico City Pollution Cut in Half
Over the past two decades, Mexico City – once dubbed the most toxic city on Earth - has managed to cut its air pollution in half by using a staggering combination of heroic measures. Leaded gas is gone, as are smoke belching government vehicles and public transportation. All new buses will soon be hybrid buses and a new suburban train system is in the works because the sheer volume of vehicles on the road in Mexico City is almost beyond belief. They have taken other measures into consideration as well, such as moving a number of factories away from the city itself. Part of the problem with pollution in Mexico City is its geography. Like Monterrey, Mexico City is in just the wrong place, in relation to their surrounding mountains. Prevailing winds are unable to reach them and they end up sitting in what amounts to a pool of pollution. However, that doesn't matter so much as the fact that the people of such cities, including Mexico City, are determined to move into the future with everything possible being done to help future generations inherit a place that is worthy of its history and of being passed on. Congratulations to Mexico on a job well done and a journey on its way to being completed.
Valladolid: Nice Ladies, Nice Policemen
Over the weekend, a lady lost her purse in Valladolid. It didn't have much cash in it, but there was a cellphone in it – along with some personal documents. The lady was devastated. Another lady and her daughter found the bag and turned it in to the police. Instead of just throwing it in the lost and found bin, the police went through the bag, found a phone bill and contacted the owner of the purse. Since the finder wanted to remain anonymous, a reward was passed to her through the police. We don't know where you live, or if the culture in your city still has a “help your neighbor” focus. What we do know is that we see daily evidence that we made the right choice in moving to the State of Yucatan.
Spring Has Sprung in Yucatan!
Drive anywhere in the Yucatan Peninsula these days and you will see flowers and flowering trees everywhere. The Teya Museum of Fine Flowers nursery is open for business and for tours – and the orchids are all in bloom! In fact, 57 varieties of orchids, loads of bromeliads, and plenty of bonsai will all be available at their new market in about 15 days. The new market will open on the Merida-Cancun highway. We can't wait to go see what they have!