News starting June 29, 2009
First Things First – Then the News: Free Puppy to Good Home
One of these little fellows is the last puppy left in Lola’s litter. Lola, as some may know, belongs to Claudette Flury, the owner and operator of Casa Esperanza B&B in Centro, as well as Yucatan Discovery Tours and Folk Art Mexico. The young fellow who is up for adoption was sold, but the potential owners backed out at the last minute, so he is now FREE. All they ask is that he has a good, decent home. He has his Pedigree, parents are registered & from champions, 1st vaccinations, de-wormed, & weaned. If you know anyone that would give him an excellent home please call Sergio in Merida 999-924-7517.
President Obama To Participate in Travel Mexico Initiative
This week, we were so pleased to learn that President Barack Obama, along with other political leaders, will be participating in the first of three phases of Mexico’s new travel initiative and incentive plan. The first phase is entitled "Believe It!" and it is running now in major markets throughout the U.S. (see the first video here).
The second two phases will take the initiative through the end of the year, after which, it is believed that the tourism industry, in Mexico, will be sufficiently repaired to move forward with greater success than ever before. Mexico is a land of wonders, beauty and historical interest, and the people of Mexico are some of the nicest to be found anywhere on the planet. There is something for every type of traveler. Thank you, President Obama, for your participation and for your support.
Americans for Medicare in Mexico
The time has come for Americans in Mexico to fight even harder to push through legislation that will allow eligible senior citizens, living in Mexico, to use their Medicare benefits where they live. This is especially true of the preventive care that is often much lower cost in Mexico than north of the border which will, in turn, result in a huge Medicare savings. The improved outcomes for seniors living in Mexico, who are more likely to seek care in the initial stages of an illness, will ensure a higher quality and longer life for those who are its beneficiaries. We ask that everyone – please – join in this struggle for eligible senior citizens to have access to the care they have earned by visiting the website of Americans for Medicare in Mexico.
Planning on Traveling? Check out the Health Map
Learn all about where swine flu really is and how serious it really is from Health Map. We particularly like that map system because it gives the reader the option to choose individual diseases, rather than only H1N1 or some other arbitrary disease. We are particularly impressed with the dramatically fewer number of cases of H1N1 in Mexico than in some other nations. We believe the immediate shutting down of cultural events, coupled with the immediate (and ongoing) disinfecting of the entire nation, as well as the strong program that teaches hand-washing as the best form of prevention, all went together to ensure that Mexico got through this crisis as quickly as it did.
What Can Expats Do to Help? Buy Local
Markets on the coast have survived much in recent months: a "drug war" that wasn’t, an influenza scare that turned out to be someone’s idea of what they needed to do to "practice their pandemic response," the global economic crisis, incidents of Red Tide, and bad weather. Taken together, these mean that the red meat sales on the coast are at about 50% of their normal levels. With luck, having survived long enough to get to Summer Vacation, this will all turn around now, as families arrive and begin to stock up with what they will need during their 6 to 7 week break from the city. Please do your part and try to make certain that your favorite vendors are doing better every time you see them.
July 1 Will Be a Glorious Day! Lobster, Anyone?
The ghost of the Red Tide is gone and there is an excitement building in the air. On July 1, more than 2,000 lobster fishermen will set out from the coast of Yucatan and their success will set the tone for the rest of the summer. If you are in the coastal area on July 1, keep an eye out for this one of a kind event. If you are religious, please say a prayer for their success. If you are not religious, then cross your fingers and wish them good luck. They really have had more of a burden to carry, this past year, than anyone should be forced to carry, but they have never abandoned their posts. We, and the lifestyles we have built for ourselves, are their beneficiaries. As an added note, we’ll just throw in Beach Bum in Chelem’s photos of her favorite seafood market. Can you hear me now?
Its That Time Again!
We are beginning to get reports of disorganized areas of tropical storms in and aroud our neighborhood. Here is one of those maps. These things blow up very quickly, so it is best to always be ready for whatever may come our way. If you haven’t made plans for yourself and your pets, now is the time to do so. Yucatan recovers at an amazing rate of speed after some of these stoms, so not to panic, just be ready.
Oh, and while we’re on the subject, it’s that time of year again for scorpions too. The rains and heat have started and that seems to bring them out of hiding. If you get bitten, we have it on good authority that you will not die (unless you are a chihuahua…), but it won’t feel good either. Keep alert when you are picking up clothes that have been lying around and think twice about walking around barefoot in the dark.
New Program: 1 + 1 = "Do Your Part"
Durig the Summer Vacation, both parents and students will be working on all of the schools. While this is a common practice, this year, it is a little bit different in that they will be disinfecting the schools an extra time, as well as building new sidewalks and finishing other construction projects that can be easily handled by families and students. It is the belief of Yucatecos that those who work on the schools will feel a sense of pride and ownership in them. Not only will these children not be likely to develop a habit of property crimes, but they will also serve as mentors for younger students and role models for older students. This is sound reasoning and has stood the test of time in Yucatan.
Summer class for children
This week, we received word that there will be a wonderful course taught at Habla for ages 7 through 13. The course is designed to help children understand the world in which they live through a multidisciplinary exploration of how we define and create spaces from our classrooms, to our homes, to our communities. At first, we passed over the topic because it is for children but, then, we thought better of our decision. There may be many expats who have children or grandchildren coming for the summer. This is a great course and lasts from July 13 through Aug., 4. You may contact the school for more information.
Last chance for new license plates
If you own a car here with Yucatan plates, then you need new license plates for 2009-2010. The deadline to get those placas without a penalty is June 30, 2009… so if you haven’t done it already, now is the time! The closest place to centro to get your new placas is the old penitentiary, that beautiful building on the west side of Parque de la Paz, at the beginning of Calle 59 by the zoo (You can also go to Siglo XXI where there is another place). You need to bring your old placas, your car registration, your passport and FM3, and your money. The new placas cost $350 pesos. At the same time, you will be asked to also pay the tenencia. The tenencia is unique to each car, and is based on the value and age of the car. (As an example, an almost new Volkswagon Crossfox has a tenencia of about $4500 pesos). If your car is more than 10 years old, you will not owe a tenencia.
Merida is going to be the subject of a new episode of Househunters International again. They will be filming sometime in the next few months. The previous episode that aired brought a lot of new extranjeros to the area, so we imagine this one will do the same.
Merida Finally Named as the Location for Wild9
The World Wilderness Congress will be sending up to 1,500 scientists and other professionals from 60 different nations to Merida, where they will meet to discuss the future of the planet. For more information on this November 6 through 13th, please visit their Wild9 website. This will be an excellent opportunity for Yucatan to show off the extraordinary lengths to which it has gone in the service of environmental protection.
Quiet Period Before Next Weekend’s Elections
Next Sunday the citizens of Mexico will be voting for federal diputados (deputies) who will be serving for two years in Mexico City. In Merida, on the west side of the city, Carolina (PAN) is running against Angelica (PRI). On the east side, Rolando (PRI) is running against Javier (PAN), who used to be in charge of the police department of Yucatan under former governor Patricio Patron. For the last few weeks, all the candidates have been holding large and small events in public places, hoping to attract voters. This last weekend at least two events were held in the park at San Sebastian, one of which was a batalla (battle) of neighborhood breakdancing teams. Other events at that same park over the last few weeks have included Cuban music and other various events… all in service to the election. The festivities are about to come to an end on Tuesday. Starting Wednesday, there is a quiet period before the election when campaigning is forbidden. And word to the wise: because of the election, NO alcohol will be sold in the country on Saturday and Sunday. If you want alcohol at your July 4 picnic, be sure to stock up BEFORE Saturday!