News starting December 8, 2008
German Colony in Sisal
We are history buffs and know that many of our readers love the history of Yucatan as much as we do. This week, we discovered that there were two German colonies at Sisal in the 1860s. Both failed, but left their DNA (along with a few blonde, blue-eyed descendants) in the gene pool of Yucatan. Read the whole story HERE.
Hunucma: Asilo de Ancianos Bajo la Mirada del Señor (Nursing Home)
This past week, the employees of Bodega Aurrerá gave a breakfast for the residents of the nursing home in Hunucma (map) Everyone had a wonderful time, but we wanted to know more about the nursing home, since this is the first time we have heard anything about it. We found that this particular nursing home is completely supported by the Parish of San Francisco de Asis Church. We also learned that, although the physical needs of the residents at the nursing home are well taken care of, many of them are alone and need someone to talk to. Why not go by and see if there is something you can do to help? For more on this subject, you might want to see our recent article on retirement home choices in Merida.
Cross-Border Mortgages: Business is Booming
According to Matthew A. Miller, President of ConfiCasa Mortgage Company, “the Company continues to see strong demand for its Mexico loan products, despite the U.S. and global economic turmoil. In fact, the turmoil has boosted demand as buyers (who in prior years had first looked to purchase Mexico real estate with cash) are now looking to hold onto their cash by obtaining an affordable cross-border Mexico mortgage.” For those of our readers who are still hesitating about even coming to look in Mexico, we invite you to come and visit. Rent a house. Look around. Meet a few of the expats. You may be pleasantly surprised at how quickly and how deeply you can fall in love with Estado de Yucatan. The mortgage process is getting more familiar and faster. And we have a local mortgage broker, Mortgages in Merida, that can help you find the right loan to help you buy your Mexican home.
Chicago: AeroMexico Launches Non-Stop Holiday Flights to Michoacan
Throughout the holidays, Dec. 4 through Jan. 11, AeroMexico will operate daily, non-stop flights between Chicago, Illinois, and Morelia, Michoacan. They already have three daily flights between Chicago and Mexico City or Guadalajara. Chicago is home to the 4th largest Hispanic community in the U.S. and these flights will make it easier for everyone to come home for the holidays. AeroMexico and its subsidiary, AeroMexico Connect, operate more than 300 daily flights through the airline’s Mexico City International Airport hub to 40 destinations in Mexico, 14 U.S. locations as well as major cities, (including Shanghai, Paris and Buenos Aires), in 12 other countries worldwide.
Future Gringo: Merida is Clean and Classy
We found the Future Gringo on a Tips from the T-List article in which someone asked him 10 questions,about himself and his travels. Question # 6 was “Your top 3 accommodations you’ve ever stayed at and why.” Merida’s own Luz en Yucatan was one of the three. This is what Future Gringo said: “I love the colonial architecture and culture of Merida. The arches seen throughout the city and thick limestone walls are a reminder of the centuries they’ve been standing there. I haven’t seen this style anywhere in Mexico; small towns don’t have grand architecture save for the town church, and in Mexico City the buildings are a hodgepodge of different styles. Merida is clean, classy, and like Mexico the people are welcoming and friendly. Located a few blocks from the Zocalo, (town plaza,) the Luz is located on a quiet street next to an old church. Inside the Luz is a stately dining room and hall leading to a lush tropical courtyard. Spacious guest rooms and suites are tucked into three floors overlooking the pool, while flowers and banana trees rise to the roof. The staff is friendly, and you can see by their humorous website that they’re good natured people who go out of their way to please.” Then, we went looking for Future Gringo’s blog and discovered an article about his visit to Merida and that our own Yucatan Living is one of his favorite websites. We are going to bookmark Future Gringo and hope he comes back to Merida soon.
DUI Patrols Already in Force
Those who are coming to Yucatan for fiestas in honor of the Virgin of Guadalupe often stay until the festivals in honor of the Three Kings. Over all, that’s about six weeks of straight partying… from the first of December to the 6th of January. This year, the police are already parked around the next curve and at the bottom of every slope. Anyone driving drunk is “busted.” There are things in life worth dying for, but a party night isn’t one of them. Yucatan Living wishes everyone a happy holiday season – sans DUI tickets or worse.
Teen Pregnancy and Alcohol Abuse
The State of Yucatan was never totally a “Third World” nation, but it did (and still does) have small pockets in the interior that have managed to protect their culture from the onslaught of what passes for improvements in lifestyle. Unfortunately, many other places in the state leaped into the First World with glee and gusto – a thriving business for every house, a chicken in every pot (as the old U.S. saying goes), and a cell phone bill as high as any north of the border …But that lifestyle comes with a cost that is proving to be far too high to pay. There are now 2,978 teen mothers (between 12 and 18) in the State of Yucatan. In addition, there are 300,000 known Yucatecos (between 12 and 65) who abuse alcohol, with 7.7% (23,100) of those individuals under the age of 14. Since Progreso has the highest rate of teen pregnancy, Instituto Tecnológico Superior de Progreso has hosted a meeting of DIF groups from Progreso, Baca, Celestún, Conkal, Chicxulub Pueblo, Chocholá, Dzemul, Hunucmá, Ixil, Kanasín, Kinchil, Mérida, Mocochá, Samahil and Tetiz. Plans for implementing prevention programs are underway.
Chuburná Has a Mototaxi! Cost: $3 pesos
The citizens of Chuburná have “arrived.” It seems that Jesús Pérez Castillo, aka Don Yuan has gotten himself an adapted motor scooter (looks more like a golf cart – red, of course!) and has gone into business carrying passengers to and from destinations such as schools and health clinics. He even has a thriving business taking fishermen to and from Yucalpetén. Yucatan Living wishes both Don Yuan and his passengers fair weather and a safe winter.
60 Illegal Cuban Migrants Sent Home
This past week, the first illegal Cuban migrants were sent home under the new accord between Cuba and Mexico. They were taken to Cancun, where they were put on a boat bound for Cuba. Approximately 12,000 Cubans per year have been attempting to reach the United States by landing in Mexico and traveling north, where they would cross the border under the wet-foot/dry-foot rule. If caught in Mexico, their only punishment was a fine. Now, they will be sent home. This should significantly reduce the number of illegal Cuban migrants in Mexico. These migrants, because of their illegal status, all too often either turned to petty crime to survive or became the victims of human traffickers. Either is a tragic situation for anyone so far from home.
Wal-Mart Mexico News
At this point in time, all eyes are on retail sales in the U.S., but what about in Mexico? Wal-Mart Mexico has just released its November statistics. Same store customer sales are down by 0.1 percent from a year ago. However, since same store customer traffic rose by 5.7 percent, Wal-Mart in Mexico was able to end the month of November with a net increase in same store sales of 5.6 percent over the same period last year. This indicates two things about the middle-class in Mexico: First, it is still growing and second, the people are learning to make every peso count.
Mexican Economy in 2009
While Wal-Mart’s numbers are up now, that does not mean that everything is rosy for the 2009 economic health of Mexico. According to the Mexican Institute of Financial Executives, “Both the manufacturing and non-manufacturing indicators suggest a recession in the Mexican economy.” This is due to the global economic slowdown that is impeding the ability of Mexico to expand, especially in the area of exports. Predictions are that economic growth could drop to as low as to end up between 0.4 and 0.6 percent. Hopefully, this trend will turn itself around and we will not see the recession that is now being predicted.
Oxkutzcab: Citrus Growers Barely Break Even
The problems associated with the worldwide financial crisis are trickling down to the interior of the State of Yucatan. This week, citrus growers in Oxkutzcab announced that their export markets are handicapped by the financial crisis and they are being inundated with their own fruit. To add to the problem, the selling price – plus rising costs of fuel – now have them at the point where it is not profitable to even bring in the crop. This weekend, the Orange Festival began in Oxkutzcab. If at all possible, please attend this event (see our events page) and do whatever you can to support the citrus growers in our state.
Placido Domingo’s Chichen Itza CD
Sometime in 2009, a CD of Placido Domingo’s concert at Chichen Itza will be released. At the present time, the material is in the process of being approved by the tenor and decisions are being made as to what else should be included in the set. No matter the final decision, we will all have an opportunity to enjoy this concert for many years to come. Yucatan is especially proud that the first performance of Placido Domingo was as a boy, right here in Yucatan, on stage with his mother. By the way, we suggest that you put aside at least $300 pesos for this set because they are talking about adding all kinds of photos, flyers, and other memorabilia associated with the event.
Companions to None
There is a new DVD that speaks to the tragic circumstances in which dogs and cats find themselves in Mexico. There is a trailer HERE. We will warn you that Companions to None is difficult to watch, but something must be done for the dogs and cats who depend totally on people for their health and safety around the world. Please, hug your own pet and then do something to help a pet in need. Where to start? Volunteer, adopt a pet (don’t buy one from a store!) or donate to AFAD. If you can’t donate to AFAD, Yucatan Living has and will take donations in Paypal to pass on to them. Contact us at info [at] yucatanliving [dot] com to find out how.