Yucatan News: Goodbye, Junk Food!
Airlines: We Found the Cheap Seats - Too Late!
Many of us were sad to hear about Mexicana's troubles this past week. That was bad enough, but we were absolutely distraught when we learned that Viva Aerobus had a $48 peso sale for 3 solid days and we missed it! Of course, they were only selling 24,000 seats at that price, their travel dates were in September and October, and their destinations were severely limited – but - $48 pesos?! Isn't that as close to being free as one can get? We're going to bookmark Viva Aerobus and check back with them soon. In the meantime, don't forget that you can now book travel on Yucatan Living as well. Just look for the link... its on all of our pages.
Yes But... What About the Crime Rate in Yucatan?
We are pleased to report that USA Today has just published updated crime statistics for Mexico, including Yucatan. Their findings show that the State of Yucatan has the lowest murder rate in all of Mexico. Its murder rate of 2 per 100,000 is comparable to that of Wyoming and Montana. In fact, the murder rate in Washington, D.C. (31.4 per 100K), is nearly quadruple the murder rate of Mexico City (8 per 100K). Yes, if you factor in the murders at a few of the border cities, the murder rate of Mexico is higher than that of the U.S., but Yucatan is far removed from all of that!
The Bicentennial: Puzzles for Sale
Mexico has created a set of marvelous 3-dimensional puzzles commemorating the Bicentennial. The first puzzle is the Castle of Chapultepec. This first puzzle is only $59.90 pesos and can be purchased from newsboys, from the offices of Diario de Yucatan, at ServiDiarios, and at the Megamedia Center. There will be a new puzzle released every two weeks between August 27 and Oct. 22. Those puzzles will include: The Chamber of Juarez, the Granaditas Corn Exchange, Teatro Degollado, the Palacio Postal, and Casa Allende. Each will be $69.90 pesos. They can be purchased by credit card either online or by phone (942-2235 or 01-800-942-2222). Debit cards are not accepted. For the collectors among us, this would be a great addition to any collection.
New Book by “Mexico” Mike
Mexico is a vibrant and growing country, but to those “on the other side”, meaning the United States, Mexico an enigma to most and a threat to many. Anyone who appreciates life south of the border knows of “Mexico” Mike Nelson and has learned something valuable from his website at http://www.mexicomike.com.
Mike has been straddling the cultural divide between the United States and Mexico all his life. As a veteran journalist with the Associated Press, Mike’s beat was Latin America and especially Mexico, so you know you can depend on accurate and objective information from a trained writer. Mike has published a new book called Modern Mexico Through The Eyes of Modern Mexicans. This is not your typical book about Mexico. Mike interviews a score of middle-class Mexicans to paint a portrait of life in Mexico representative of the majority who do not wish to live in the United States and who keep the economy of Mexico growing. Along the way, Mike offers his insight and analysis to help the reader understand regional and cultural differences, as well as the conflicts Mexicans face by remaining true to traditional values while pursuing modern rewards. This book is a must-read for anyone who plans to live or work in Mexico, but only knows the country through the mainstream media or as a tourist. (350 pages. $19.95 on Amazon.com) Want to get this book and help Yucatan Living at the same time: Click here to buy Modern Mexico Through the Eyes of Modern Méxicans.
Gasoline: August PEMEX Prices
At the beginning of 2010, it was decided to raise the price of PEMEX gasoline at a projected annual average rate (on a monthly basis), rather than allowing big increases to hit consumers all at once. Each month, on the second Saturday of the month, gasoline prices are raised. As of now, magna is $8.44 pesos per liter, Premium is $9.94 pesos per liter, and diesel is $8.80 pesos per liter. Rates of increase seem to be holding at 8.2% for magna, 3.9% for premium, and 7.8% for diesel.
Crime of the Week
Committing a crime anywhere qualifies one, by definition, as not being one of the sharpest tacks in the toolbox. Drinking and driving in the State of Yucatan during vacation, knowing there are hundreds of breathalyzers between you and your destination, has to be positive proof of a burning desire to go to jail. However, drinking and driving in the State of Yucatan, during vacation month, with an illegal iguana in one's van is beyond belief “not bright.” SEMANART is on its way to pick up the green iguana found in the back of a drunk driver's van. It will go to their facilities in Los Reyes La Paz, Mexico, and the driver is off to wherever one is sent to try to figure out an answer to “What was he thinking!?”
Kids: Is It Back To School Time Already?
This past week saw the annual Back to School Fair at Poliforum Zamna. The fair brings products directly to buyers from manufacturers on many items, with a corresponding discount of up to 30%, then gives parents a list of stores where those and other products can be purchased. There were a total of 50 exhibits to show everything from computers to clothing, and even cars and furniture! Just in case anyone is confused about all of these products, PROFECA actually has a form on their website to help parents navigate the mysterious and expensive path to getting their children back in school after summer vacation on August 30th.
Mexican Schools: Goodbye Junk Food
Soon, there will be no more junk food available for purchase in Mexican schools. Instead, school stores are to become an educational tool that will be used to help in the fight against childhood obesity and diabetes throughout the nation. Our hats are off to Mexico for having the foresight to step in at this critical juncture in the lives of children and help ensure a long and healthy life for them and for the children they have someday. This is a lasting gift to the future of Mexico and we are happy to see it at last.
Gardening: Growing and Rescuing Plants
Did you ever buy a gorgeous plant, only to get it home and have to watch it wither and die for no apparent reason? In most cases, this is due to the change in environment for the plant itself. For example, an outside plant that has been propagated and raised in a greenhouse, would not survive being immediately introduced into its new owner's yard, and the new owner – totally unaware of the plant's background – would have no clue why it died. There is a teacher, Professor Cetina Bacelis, in Oxkutzcab, who operates her own plant refuge and who has plenty of advice to offer, as well as quite a collection of plants. She owns the El Pequeño Nursery (Calle 55 x 48 y 50) in Oxkutzcab and has a number of rare species of orchids and even cacti that she rescued when forests were burned or when other habitat was destroyed. It won't be long until its time for the Orange Festival in Oxkutzcab, so jot down a note to yourself to put the Little Eden Nursery and Professor Cetina Bracelis on your list of things to see and do while you're there. By the way, here's a hint from Professor Bracelis: To propagate bougainvillea, use dechlorinated water and just let the cutting sit in it. It should begin to sprout within 8 to 15 days.
Pets: Law in Mexico City: Dog Feces on the Street
We saw it with cigarette smoking in public buildings and with biodegradable plastic bags. If it becomes an environmental law in Mexico City, we can almost be certain it will be the law in Merida within the year. Mexico City calculated that the pets that live there produce almost half a million kilos of animal feces per year. All of that must be disposed of properly in order to protect the health of its citizens. Now, after 9,200 dog bites in one year, Mexico City has had enough. The fine for not picking up and disposing of dog feces, or for not keeping one's dog on a leash, is 10 minimum wages and 6 to 12 hours of arrest. Keeping dogs on a leash and cleaning up after them is part of being a responsible dog owner. We hope that everyone in Yucatan will take this to heart before it has to become a law and before anyone has to pay a fine or go to jail.
Guatemala: Why Do They Come Here?
Every once in a while, we hear complaints about migrants who enter Yucatan illegally from Guatemala. For the most part, as long as they behave responsibly, these migrants are left alone. Many marry and create new Yucateco families. If problems occur, it is when they are sick or elderly and in need of social services. This week, we discovered one of the reasons they leave Guatemala specifically to enter the State of Yucatan. In Guatemala, the Maya have little to no access to education and health care. For the Maya in Guatemala, racism is alive and flourishing. With no opportunity to change their situation at home, imagine how the Maya of Guatemala feel when they enter a state that, through Indemaya, encourages the Maya to be not only politically active, but economically active as well. While we do not advocate illegal migration either into or out of Mexico, we can certainly understand how the State of Yucatan can be viewed as a haven of rest by people who have not been treated as they should have been. We can offer no solutions to this problem – only our observations concerning at least one of the reasons why they continue to come.
Mexico: Beach Bill Introduced in Congress
It seems that there have been several instances of foreign corporations, all around the inland and coastal tourist destinations of Mexico, buying ejidio land, sometimes legally, sometimes not; and simply appropriating the beaches and land for the exclusive use of their resort guests. The first the indigenous people know of this is when the fishermen and farmers attempt to enter the land or beach to work. Now, someone has introduced a bill in Congress to allow foreign corporations to claim exclusive use of beaches that adjoin their property. The response has been swift and sure thus far. The people of Mexico do not favor such a bill and the foreign corporations that have already begun construction are facing stiff fines and extremely difficult days ahead. This is a situation we will be monitoring over the months and weeks to come.