Yucatan News: Credit Cards and Lionfish
More About Lionfish
As we previously reported, lionfish have been found off the coast of our state. These fish are a particularly serious problem for several reasons. First, they are prolific breeders and voracious eaters. It does not take long for them to decimate local fish populations. Second, their spines and bones are poisonous, which is a danger to divers and to those who attempt to eat them without proper cooking. In the February 4, 2010 issue of Cozumel 4 You, it is reported that over 1,500 lionfish have been captured and registered with the government and it is believed that another 600 have been taken out of the environment without being registered. Please read Treatment of Lionfish Stings and Cozumel 4 You’s Lionfish Recipes. It seems that hot water aids in the treatment of lionfish stings and proper cooking destroys the poison. Please be careful and do not attempt to remove a lionfish from the water with your hands. The stings are not life-threatening, but pain, burning and swelling are not the best end to a day on the water.
Mexico Considers Banning Twitter
First Spain gave judges the power to shut down – or out – sites that facilitate crime. Now, Mexico is considering the same, beginning with Twitter. The main concern here is the speed with which information travels on social networking sites. The example given was the rapid attack on a Marine after he was part of a team involved in the killing of one of Mexico’s druglords. His murder was traced to information passed along through Facebook. In addition, Twitter is being used to avoid drunk driving checkpoints in Mexico, which is leading to an increase in alcohol related accidents. Mexico is already monitoring social networking sites so the government is well aware of the speed at which use of these programs can move information and contribute to increases in crime at all levels.
Los Leones Baseball Season Beginning Soon
“Play Ball” has never been more enjoyable than in Mexico and, specifically, right here in Yucatan! The first game this year will be on March 18th and will be a contest between Yucatan’s Los Leones and Quintana Roo’s Tigres. In 2010, Los Leones will have new equipment, new people, and more passion than ever before. To print a copy of ticket prices and game schedules, visit the website of Los Leones. Just click on Calendario at the top to go to the Game Schedules. If it is too small for you to read, not to worry, it is too small for us as well, but we are working on getting the entire season schedule ready for you before the season begins!
A Yucateco Goes to San Francisco
This week, we read a blog written by a young lady with one of the best grasps of the situation of migrants we have seen. Her name is Alexandra Early. In her blog post, she describes the plight of three Yucatecos as they attempt to cross into the U.S. night after night. Two give up and return to Yucatan, one finally makes it to San Francisco, where he and Alexandra renew their friendship. The details of his life there serve to underscore the need for immigration reform, as well as the need for jobs that are worthy of the skills of young professionals like Alexandra Early. We do hope you will take a few minutes to read Jose Naranjero’s Long Walk to Work. Both Jose’s story and Alexandra’s are important to the way we move forward into the future.
Bancomer Offers Mortgages in Euros
Although these mortgages are specifically for the purchase of property in the new golf and marina resort in Campeche, Bancomer is offering mortgages, for the first time ever, in Euros. Mortgages in US dollars have been available in Mexico for some time now. It must be remembered that requirements for these mortgages are stricter than would be the case in the individual’s home country and the interest rates are higher. Nonetheless, the funds are available and the mortgages are being made. This further expands the options for those who wish to relocate to Mexico and helps to ensure the stability of the real estate market throughout the Yucatan Peninsula.
More Credit Cards in Mexico
U.S. Bancorp, through its payment-processing division Elavon, has teamed with Spain’s Banco Santander to introduce themselves into Mexico’s growing credit card payment market. Not that we would want to deprive the growing middle class in Mexico of the ability to manage their finances through the responsible use of credit cards – but, one would think that they could look northward and see that this is probably not a road they want to travel. We do wish them well and hope their new financial freedoms do not end the same way such dreams are ending elsewhere.
Clements International Expat Youth Scholarship 2010
If you know of an expat student, of any nationality, who has lived in a foreign country for at least 2 years, please pass this scholarship information along to them. Clements International is a leading provider of expat insurance and has decided to return part of the money they have made to expat students in the form of scholarships. Last year, they gave $10,000 USD in scholarships and hope to expand the program this year. Six scholarships will be awarded in two age groups between the ages of 12 and 18. For more information about how to apply, visit the Clements International 2nd Annual Expat Youth Scholarship page.
Maya Classic Auto Rally
This auto rally takes place every year. This year’s dates are February 12 to March 5. The first section begins in Panama City, then passes through Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, and Belize, before ending in Cancun. The second half of the event goes on through Mexico City and ends in San Diego, California. All participating vehicles are vintage classics. If it is at all possible, you will want to see them when they pass through. They will arrive in Merida on Feb. 28, and leave on March 1. If you haven’t seen the cars that will be participating, you really must visit the website of the Maya Classic Auto Rally. When they are in Merida, they'll be staying at Hacienda Temozon, so they will probably not pass through downtown.
Vendor Butane Safety
Can you imagine how dangerous it would be if unregulated, unlicensed, and untrained vendors were allowed to roam through Carnival while cooking with butane? Such was the case not too many years ago and it is a miracle there were not more deaths and injuries than there were. Today, however, times and circumstances have changed. Butane bottles and cooking equipment is safer than ever before and Civil Protection makes certain that all vendors have safe equipment and the proper education on how to use that equipment prior to every major holiday, including Carnival. If any irregularities are found, the vendor is given a notice and time to fix the problem. If he or she does not return with the problem resolved, their licenses to do business are immediately lifted until they do. This takes one more worry off the minds of those who want to enjoy the crowds and merriment during Carnival time.
Progreso Getting Work Training Center for the Disabled
There are many disabled individuals who want to work and earn their own way in the world. Over the years, we have seen one municipality after another in Yucatan build everything from bakeries to restaurants in order to give these deserving individuals an opportunity to achieve their dreams. Now, Progreso is building its own workshop to train disabled individuals in skills that will earn them a living wage. The first workshop will be a bakery. After that, direction will be led by the needs of the workplace. All training programs will be approximately 6 to 7 months, with workers learning at their own pace. This topic also reminds us that the disabled citizens in Merida have asked to be invited to volunteer in community service projects, so please do keep them in mind when extra sets of caring hands are needed.