News Starting May 3, 2010
Just a Reminder…
In one week, it will be Mother’s Day in Mexico. May 10 is always Mother’s Day in Mexico, and this week it falls on a Monday. Next Monday to be exact. It is NOT a national holiday, so banks should be open. Of course, there are Mother’s Day specials in a lot of places… one we thought seemed like a nice gift. All this month, Nuada Beauty + Wellness has specials on a Spa Pedicure and Manicure Package ($430 pesos) and a Chocolate Therapy Session ($1400 pesos). They are located at Calle 16, 204 x 21 y 23 in Colonia Mexico. If your mother (or the mother of your children) doesn’t want pampering, at least take her out to dinner!
If you do plan to go out to dinner that night, make your reservations early, because everyone will be taking their mother out for a meal.
Happy Birthday, MACAY!
The MACAY is Yucatan’s Museum of Contemporary Art. We encourage everyone to visit the MACAY’s website. This fine old art museum opened its doors on April 29, 1916 in the old Armory building, and now provides services to over 70,000 visitors per year as one of the premier museums in all of Mexico. In fact, it is the only museum of contemporary art in all of Southern Mexico. There are 15 exhibition halls in the MACAY, as well as an outdoor space in the Pasaje by the Cathedral, and showings are changed every three months. This means that visitors have the opportunity to see the work of no less than 45 contemporary artists throughout each and every year, plus any number of outdoor sculpture exhibitions. The programs the MACAY provides for school children leave little doubt as to how the State of Yucatan manages to come up with so many wonderful new artists. They are encouraged from childhood into advanced age and we are all their beneficiaries. So – for all you do, MACAY, we thank you and wish you a very happy birthday!
Direct Transport To and From Cancun Airport
Worried about making the plane on time? Flying in to Cancun and trying to decide between a long bus ride and renting a car? Finally! ADO has a new service that will see to it that your Merida-Cancun trip, in either direction, is as painless as possible. There are 6 departures from Merida each day, 2 each from the airport, Fiesta Americana, and the ADO station at Altabrisa. There are two departures per day from Cancun to Merida. For more information, phone ADO: ADO Plaza Bonita (999) 920-5523, Aeropuerto de Merida (999) 946-4780, or ADO Altabrisa (999) 196-0259. The trip, according to their website, takes 5 hours and costs $438 pesos. That may seem like a lot, but it’s actually a savings compared to a similar trip to the Cancun bus station with a taxi ride to the airport. Not to mention that there is no hassle of that extra stop. We think this will be a much-used service!
National Holiday: Mexico Open or Closed?
This past long weekend and up to mid-week marks both National Worker’s Day (El Día del Trabajo) (May 1) and Cinco de Mayo (May 5). (Did you see the huge rally on Paseo de Montejo on Saturday morning in honor of May 1?) Traditionally, all public buildings, government offices, banks, and many other businesses are closed. This year, however, we have reports that some banks and many businesses are open for your convenience, though we can attest by experience at 7 am this morning that the schools are indeed closed. While we call this a 3-day Weekend, in Mexico it is called Un Puente (a bridge).
Yucatecans in the USA
According to the Institute for the Development of Indigenous Peoples (CDI), Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Rafael, Portland OR and Denver CO are the cities in the USA with the most Yucatecan inhabitants. It is estimated that between 100,000 and 150,000 Yucatecans live in those cities. According to the CDI, despite an increase in immigration restrictions, the flow of migrants is still quite active and they tend to stay longer, not wanting to risk going home to Mexico and taking the chance that they might not be able to return. The CDI, a US-based commission, has therefore had to increase and strengthen their programs for migrant families.
According to this commission, the majority of Yucatecans who brave the border-crossing are from southern parts of the state, including the cities of Oxkutzcab, Tekax, Peto, Cenotillo, Tzucacab, Tahdziú and Muna. They tend to find jobs as waiters, working their way up to kitchen assistants and chefs, gardeners, car washers and other menial labor. Those who used to make the trek every year are now tending to return only every three years, citing the difficulty of the crossing and the longer time that it takes to achieve residency in the USA. This longer time period, of course, puts a greater strain in the families left behind, mostly women, children and elders. This in turn has created a greater need for social services here in Mexico. Just one example, according to the article we read in this great blog, is the area of health, where healthcare providers are now facing social problems like alcoholism and drug addiction, problems brought back when the migrants return.
Pemex Magna with Diesel Claims
If you bought any of the magna that was contaminated with diesel and accidentally delivered to Progreso, PROFECA is now taking complaints. For more information, please contact PROFECA Delegate Rafael Castilla Peniche, Calle 49 #479-A x Calle 54 y 56 Col. Centro, Merida. Phones: (01 – 999) 928-5966, 923-6320, or 924-2466. You may also call toll free: 01 800 468-8722. Office hours are between 9:00 AM and 3:30 PM. For easy reference concerning this and other consumer protection issues you may have, please bookmark PROFECA’s Website.
Two Revered Elderly Yucatecos Pass On
Community leaders are the same the world over. Back home, we all knew an elderly fellow who was part of the heart of the neighborhood or small town. He probably had a store and maybe had a job that allowed him the luxury of letting a few customers have credit now and then. Many of these rare gems cooked a specialty or two (complete with secret recipes) and the people never stopped to consider that life would be different when these older fellows passed away. This week, Motul lost just such a man, Don Balta… King of the Roast Pig, and Hunucma buried Don Enrique, who wrote the history of that city from 1925 until today. The book is called “Fragments of History.” We extend our sympathy to not only the families of these unsung heroes, but to the citizens of their communities as well.
Solar Powered Plant Nursery in Teya
Every once in a while, there is a report that CFE will buy back any extra electricity anyone generates and apply the buy-back to future electric bills. Now, we have just such an enterprise up and running. The Teya Museum of Fine Flowers is a nursery that has 57 varieties of orchids for sale and is opening a roadside shop on the Merida to Cancun Highway. We can only imagine the electric bill for a nursery of this size. We didn’t hear anything about selling energy back to CFE, but its great to know that the vivero has not only cut their electric bill by 50%, but will also be keeping 4 tons of CO2 out of the atmosphere each year. Our congratulations to Vivero Flores Finas de Teya for a job very well done!
New first quarter earnings just came out so there is lots to report. One of the more interesting announcements is that TELMEX International’s 1st quarter profits are up 18%! …and that’s with revenue growing at the same pace! Rather reminds one of the “now can you hear me?” advertising campaign, doesn’t it? While some will find every reason in the world to criticize anyone or any company that is successful, we know that Mexico is a rising star that cannot be stopped and we are very proud of all of her accomplishments.
When Arizona’s new immigration law was announced, television cameras panned to a group of “obviously Hispanic” teenagers who were crying. That immediately proved that racial profiling can and will take place! When asked why she was crying, one young girl said that her family has always lived in New Mexico. They have always been Americans, but – through her tears – she now talks about being afraid because of how she looks and how she talks. Ok. That’s enough for us! Don’t want to hear anything else. Don’t care about who did what to whom in the adult world. Arizona just knowingly struck fear into the hearts of its own children and deliberately made them cry. We know we’re straying into political waters here, but terrorizing children in their own home [state and country] is absolutely unacceptable! This is America! – and that law has got to go.
U.S. Wants to Avoid “New Katrina”
Editor’s Note: As many of you know, our News and Events editor, Khaki Scott, has lived somewhere around the Gulf of Mexico all her life. Born and raised in Louisiana, she spent 12 years here in the Yucatan, and at the moment (well, since Katrina…) she is back in Louisiana. We’re all concerned about the recent and growing BP oil spill, but Khaki is seeing the effects of it firsthand. The spill may currently be on the other side of the Gulf of Mexico from here, but "there but for the grace of God…" and all that. Here is her first report.
Louisiana’s fisheries supply nearly one-third of the fish harvested in the lower 48 states (by weight) and the harvest is valued at more than $2.85 billion a year. This BP disaster is going to be bigger than the Exxon Valdez spill. The Exxon Valdez spill is not yet over – even after more than 2 decades. Now, 6,000 members of the National Guard have arrived on scene with no prior planning or training, and no one knows what they are supposed to be doing. They don’t even know where they are supposed to sleep or eat. One headline screamed, “U.S. Wants to Avoid ‘New Katrina.’”
Upon hearing that, South Louisianians just laugh, shake their heads and say “Too late.” Call it Katrina PTSD. Call it whatever you want to call it. The cost of the fisheries is a drop in the bucket compared to what will eventually be the human cost. Maybe, this time, help will come… although, in spite of government claims to the contrary, help has never come before. Does this tragedy have any implications for people who live in other places in the world? You bet your bippy it does! Take a look at Oil-Slickonomics.
Feeling helpless? We can relate. We’re not sure there really is anything we can do at this point, but the Huffington Post has a few suggestions. For help on where to send your money, you might check out this website called Charity Navigator, though sadly they don’t seem to have updated their information with anything related to the BP Oil Spill.
Fires on the Yucatan Peninsula
And last, but not least, we leave you with this… NASA’s photo today is of fires on the Yucatan Peninsula. These are largely controlled fires, set by farmers doing their slash-and-burn thing, as well as a few wildfires. May is the hottest and driest part of the year, as those of us who are here now will attest to. The temperature has been in the 100s daily for at least a week, but no rain. When the rains finally come, it’s such a relief! We can’t wait!