Yucatan News: Family and Friends
Volunteers Needed for Nov. 23 Spay/Neuter Clinic
YAPA has issued a request for two or three volunteers to help load supplies for the Saturday, November 23, spay/neuter clinic onto the truck. They will be needed at Planned Pethood about 12:30 PM and only for about 30 minutes. We suggest that, if you would like to help in Merida or at the clinic itself, or if you would like to donate additional supplies, or sponsor a pet in need of spay/neuter services, please contact YAPA from their website.
The Yucatan Peninsula’s Best Golf Courses
In a recent USA Today article, the east coast of the Yucatan Peninsula is divided into three major sections and the best golf courses on the peninsula are identified in each section. The sections include: the Cancun Hotel Zone, the 80 mile coastline from south of Cancun to Tulum (a.k.a. Riviera Maya), and the island of Cozumel. The Cancun Hotel Zone has TPC Cancun, a Nick Price designed course that is Mexico’s only course that is part of the PGA Tour’s Tournament Players Club network. The Riviera Cancun course is a Jack Nicklaus design, the Iberostar Cancun Golf Club is the only course on the grounds of a hotel, and the Cancun Golf Club at Pok-ta-Pok is the only other public course in the area. Stepping up a bit in luxury are the five courses on the Riviera Maya, each designed by top designers in the field. These include: El Camaleon – site of the only PGA Tour event outside off the United States, Iberostar Playa Paraiso, the Moon Palace, the Dunes (9 holes), Grand Coral (Playa del Carmen) and the Riviera Maya Golf Club at Gran Bahia Principe Sian Ka’an Golf Resort & Spa in Tulum. Finally, Cozumel has the Jack Nicklaus-designed Cozumel Country Club. To find golf courses in Merida, visit the websites of Club de Golf de Yucatan and the Yucatan Country Club, which is also a Jack Nicklaus-designed course.
Polo Season is Here!
The Yucatan Polo Club is an often overlooked entertainment venue in Yucatan. Their Social Memberships are only $1,000 pesos per year, which entitles social members to all sorts of great perks, including tailgating space, invitations to all club events and palapa access during tournaments. This past week, they even had a free two-day event with participation by some of the best restaurants in Merida. You do not have to have a horse or be a polo participant to enjoy this beautiful setting. Anyone can enjoy a day spent outside, eating and drinking with friends and watching horses and people compete and have fun.
National Aquaculture Center Coming to Yucatan
The land for a National Aquaculture Center has been donated to Sagarpa and protocols have been initiated to begin construction. This comes on the heels of successful aquaculture projects in the municipalities of Uman, Merida, Halacho, Dzemul, Kinchil and Seye. The major focus of these projects is to further develop the cultivation of tilapia, pulpo and reef fish. This National Aquaculture Center also has the goal of developing medium and long-term projects that will assist in the diversification of Yucatan’s economy. For those who are concerned about the environment and health issues, stock breeders learned much from hurricanes that damaged the structure of ponds and led to contamination. This new center will feature prominently in developing protocols for handling those types of events.
Environmental Projects in the Southern Cone
In five municipalities in the southern part of the state, abandoned or chronically neglected land has been appropriated by the authorities and local residents are currently turning in applications to begin green projects dedicated for conservation and sustainable biodiversity. The five municipalities chosen for this project are: Tekax, Santa Elena, Muna, Ticul and Oxkutzcab. There are so many abandoned and neglected parcels of land in Yucatan and all of them invite either loiters or mosquitoes or both. If this project is a success, and there is certainly no reason that it shouldn’t be, this practice could become routine and all of Yucatan will be the better for it.
Progreso: New Youth Basketball League
It seems that, every week now, Progreso is getting something new that continues to make the municipality a better place to live and to visit. This week, the municipality has created a new basketball league for children and for teen boys and girls. They will be playing at Morelos Auditorium. If you live at the beach, going to a basketball game is the perfect way to support the kids in your town.
Fair at Xmatkuil Huge Success
Yucatan’s state fair at Xmatkuil has posted astonishing numbers this year. This past weekend, over 350,000 people visited the fair in just two days, 150,000 on Saturday and 200,000 on Sunday. The success of the fair has much to do with the fact that, by design, there is something there for every age and station in life. Whether one is old or young, looking for culture or looking for play, the organizers of the Fair at Xmatkuil made certain that there is something wonderful there for them all. For those who are planning a trip to Yucatan, between the Fall Cultural Festival and the Fair at Xmatkuil, November is one of the best times of the year to visit in Merida.
Hunucma Strengthens Family Bonds
There is a movement going on, throughout the State of Yucatan, that is aimed at strengthening the emotional bonds between children and their culture, as well as between children and their parents. For some time now, cultural activities have featured prominently in elementary schools, ensuring that the next generation knows not only who they are but what their cultural values are. Now, it is the bond between parents and children that has come into focus. This past week, mothers came to preschools in Hunucma and Sisal. They got to play teacher to their children and, best of all, they spent the morning playing games with their children. The day was a great success as more than 700 preschoolers and their moms took time to make memories together.
Shoppers Flock to “El Buen Fin”
“El Buen Fin” is a program in which all sorts of retail stores, restaurants and tourism businesses band together to hold a weekend sale with significantly greater than usual discounts. The program, supported by the Chamber of Commerce, was a success from the first event, but this one went far over the top, amazing shoppers and business owners alike. One of the biggest surprises was that a significant number of shoppers came to Yucatan from Quintana Roo, Campeche and Tabasco. Business owners were initially told they could expect a profit of approximately 20%. When the weekend was over, profits were a whopping 40%. The description sounds much like a polite version of the shopping stampedes in big-box stores this time of year because many shoppers already knew what they were coming for and were ready the minute the 6,000 participating merchants opened their doors. Since this is a national program, it will be another two weeks or so before we get the final tally as to how much this program has added to local economies but everyone feels confident in saying that “El Buen Fin” is here to stay.
Cookout and Telethon to Support Burned Child
Luis Ángel Canul Poot suffered burns in an accident in 2012. He is soon to travel to Shriner’s Children’s Hospital in Galveston, Texas, for treatment of his injuries. The cookout and telethon took place in Hunucma, but was well attended by people from nearby areas. It is worthy of note that it was the young people of Hunucma who provided much of the work and entertainment that was necessary for this event to take place. If you are an expat from Galveston, or the surrounding area, it might be a good idea to call the hospital and offer whatever support you can when Luis and his family are there. We know it would make them feel a little less like strangers in a strange land and certainly would help to ease the stress on this little boy.