News starting October 12, 2009
The Daily Show Films in Merida
This week, Comedy Central’s The Daily Show decided to come to Merida to film a correspondent’s report about healthcare in Mexico, and the expats that benefit from it. The Daily Show team filmed on Saturday at the Merida English Library, on Sunday at Star Medica (with Brazos Abiertos‘ own Dr. Carlos and Areli Piña (la novia of Yucatan Living’s Joseph Sabido) and at Uxmal, and on Monday again at the Merida English Library and in Progreso. The Daily Show correspondent Wyatt Cenac was filmed in a skit about marrying a Mexican in order to get healthcare (You can see a prior segment with Mr. Cenac in this Daily Show excerpt). This involved filming the marriage proposal at Uxmal, which miraculously they were able to shoot, although filming is verboten usually in archaeological zones without prior permission. We are told the segment will air in about two weeks, so keep on the lookout. As soon as we find it on the internet, we’ll publish a link.
Yucatan’s Produce To Be Sold in the UK
50 Mexican fast food restaurants are set to open in England, using produce imported from Yucatan! This past week, a group of businessmen came to Yucatan to meet with the Secretary of Agriculture for the purpose of learning more about what Yucatan produces. This is because Mexican food seems to be second only to Indian food in popularity in the UK and throughout Europe. They were particularly interested in the chile habanero and the pitahaya, but also saw presentations on honey, aloe, papaya, maradol, limón persa, pink grapefruit and other fruits. The chain of restaurants that Daniel Houghton is opening in England has the “catchy” little name of Chilango, which we all know is a name for people from Mexico City. The restaurant may be from D.F., but the produce (ojala!) will be coming from the Yucatan.
Yucatan’s Poor Receive Hearing Aids
The State of Yucatan has just provided 172 hearing aids to 90 Yucatecos who will benefit from their use. This is the third time this year that such a gift has been brought to the people, who say that the deaf and hearing impaired community has never been recognized by any other government in Yucatan. These hearing aids are doubly important because, we have just learned, Yucatan seems to have a rate of deafness and hearing impairment that is higher than the national average, especially among children. The reason for this is something we will be looking into. In the meantime, 90 people now have a chance to enter society’s mainstream, get a good education and a good job, and live a happy and productive life. In the past 2 years, the State of Yucatan has given hearing aids to 2,500 individuals, with the assistance of the McDonalds Foundation.
Prediction: Snow in Yucatan in November
…and its true!!! Well – not really – but there will be an area of snow at the State Fair at X’matkuil. There will be an ice rink, with ice shows. There will be a roller coaster, and a 15,000 sq. meter area of snow. The ice shows will be every day at 10:00 AM and will be geared for the enjoyment of children. The roller coaster will have 3 cars and will reach a maximum height of 40 feet. The area of snow will feature a number of activities, such as: a slide covered in snow, an area for snow wars, and an area for making snow figures. The equipment is coming all the way from Holland and the $10 million peso price tag is being covered by Telcel, Telmex, Grupo Bepensa, Cerveceria Cuauhtemoc-Montezuma, and the State of Yucatan. They are going to make 20 tons of snow and ice every single day during the fair, and we are willing to bet that this will be the busiest area of the entire fair! They also want everyone to know that every available resource is being used to ensure the safety of the public on these icy surfaces.
$140 Million Dollars for Research in Yucatan!
…and that is dollars, not pesos. This unprecedented award is being given, by the State and by the National Council for Science and Technology to support 24 projects in Yucatan. In many cases, they are working in a triple alliance between academia, entrepreneurs and government institutions to move Yucatan and Mexico forward in areas such as the environment, ways of developing the indigenous population, renewable energy, livestock production, and communication. It is this national spirit of determination that is driving Mexico forward today and, with it, creating a new world for tomorrow’s Mexicans.
Chris Ross Will Return in 2010
This week, we received an e-mail from Chris Ross, telling us about his 25th anniversary trip early this Spring and about his planned 26th trip in the Spring of 2010. Chris is not an expat, nor is he a missionary. Chris is just a nice guy who, 26 years ago, saw a need and began to fill it. Chris brings school supplies to children in outlying villages around Valladolid. We are not talking about a few supplies to a token number of children. We are talking about a big bag of supplies to 3,000 children in 70 or more schools and in 20 or more villages. If anyone would like to help Chris with this important work, you can contact him at: cross10[at]windstream[dot]net
Valladolid to Develop Colonial Centro District
The success of upscale, furnished rental homes in Merida’s Centro has inspired Maruja Barbachano Herrero to begin work on at least 4 colonial homes in Valladolid’s Centro District. Although the homes will all belong to the concept of “Hotel Las Casas,” they are not designed to be competition for traditional hotels. Instead, they are designed to capture the cultural tourism market, in which the residents want to live in an old colonial for a time, but with all the modern amenities. They will certainly have them here. These homes will be mini-spas all their own. We know they will be a great success and can hardly wait to see the first one finished!
Teachers Retire in Tixkokob
This week, 7 teachers and a school administrator retired in the Municipality of Tixkokob. A speech was given by another retired school director, Luis Sabido Lara, who said: “If all accounts are drawn, each teacher will have influenced the education of a thousand people who have careers today.” This is something for every teacher to think about as they go about the day-to-day business of educating the next generation throughout the world. Congratulations to all of the teachers who spent so many years of their lives in this most worthy of occupations.
Hunucma Produces Actors and Musical Theater Groups
Hunucma is on the road to everywhere, but few take the time to stop and explore this rapidly developing city. It has recently come to our attention that more than a few of the actors and theater groups in Yucatan have their roots in Hunucma. The Hunucma Theater and Art Expression Group performs a Mayan Ritual of Death, that is instrumental in keeping the older Mayan culture alive. Younger groups develop full-blown musicals, such as ‘Joseph the Dreamer and his Coat of Many Colors,” which will be seen this Wednesday in Teatro Merida. Where do they find all of this talent? Remember, this is the same area when auditions were held for young people to replace band members in a young band, they found over 600 students who had enough talent to do so. They formed new groups with them and the rest, as they say, is history.
Scouts Take Reins of Government for a Day
Throughout the State of Yucatan, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts took over as Mayor for a Day this past week. We have watched this process carefully for years now because, after all, it will be this age group that is in power when we are very old and at their mercy. Who are they and what kind of world are they likely to create? We are happy to report that, from the Mayor of Merida to the Mayor of Dzilam Bravo, these young people took their responsibilities seriously. They are bright, active and engaged. They speak of the need to protect our environment with an ease that lets us know they will be well qualified to do so when their time comes. Overall, whether they were Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts, these young people are all winners. We would like to congratulate their parents and their communities on having done such a good job in their upbringing.
East Coast Boxers RULE !!!
On Oct. 30, there will be a Boxing Championship fight in Mexico City. The interesting thing here is that almost all of the contenders are from the east coast of Mexico and twice world flyweight champion Freddy Castillo, from the State of Yucatan, will be the guest of honor that night. Looks to us as if we need to take a second look at the sport of boxing in our fair state. Yucatan is a winner no matter what it sets its mind to do!
"On a Three Hour Tour"
Remember those lyrics? They’re from Gilligan’s Island. Well – there’s going to be a three hour tour from Progreso soon – but not to an island. This tour is on a pirate ship and visitors will learn the history of some of our own bloodthirsty pirates, as well as see shows and sword-fighting demonstrations. Kids will look for the lost treasure of Lolonis, hidden somewhere on the ship. The ship itself is a real Spanish galleon that is being built to hold 150 passengers and a grand time is expected to be had by all. The route will be from Progreso to Uaymitun and back. No word yet on when the tours will begin, but we’ll be sure to let you know!