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Yucatan News: Hippos and Turtles

News Starting August 08, 2011

Economic Development Seminars for Migrants

This past weekend, there was a seminar held for migrants in the Los Angeles area. The purpose of the seminar was to explain the different economic development programs available to migrants who are members of migrant clubs and associations. In the 3 x 1 Program, the funds of clubs and federations of migrants are matched by the three branches of government to increase the development of community projects in the migrants’ home towns. The 4 x 1 program is reserved for mega infrastructure projects and require both a business plan and the ability of the construction company to show solvency. Program 5 x 1 is designed to expand the coverage and quality of drinking water and sanitation, mainly in rural areas. There is even a 1 x 1 program when the cooperation of local government is unavailable. One of the most important factors in all of these programs is membership in a migrant club or association. These organizations, as well as these economic development programs, serve to bolster the migrants’ sense of self – as a person and as a Mexican. We hope every migrant is able to participate in all of these programs.

How to Beat the Heat in YucatanCenotes in Yucatan

When its hot in Yucatan, you can always turn on your air conditioner. But what if you don’t have an air conditioner or don’t want to run up your electric bill? Well, you can always go to the mall – maybe go out to eat or take in a movie. But what if eating out doesn’t strike your fancy in the middle of all this heat and what if there’s nothing on at the movies that you want to see? As you can tell by now, heat does tend to leave one with a rather lackadaisacal attitude. But Yucatan has a secret weapon for beating the heat and for beating the blahs that come with the heat. Find a cenote and get in it as quickly as possible. Kelly McLaughlin (A Canuck in Cancun) recommends cenotes on hot days and so do we! Take a look back at our Secret Cenote video to see more. Or tell us, which is YOUR favorite cenote?

Road Rules Book Requirement

By December, every car on the road needs to have a copy of the official book of Road Rules published by the state of Yucatan. To read more about the rules and find out how you can get a copy of the book, read our article called Road Rules of the Yucatan. Don’t say we didn’t warn you!

District Lions Club Meeting in Progreso

Over the weekend, Progreso’s Lions Club was the host for the first cabinet meeting of District B-8, of the International Association of Lions Clubs. The festivities got underway on Friday and a grand time seems to have been had by all. Clubs represented came from the five southeastern states of Oaxaca, Chiapas, Campeche, Quintana Roo and Yucatan. It is the mission of the Lions Club to always be there to help those in greatest need and, through the years, all of Yucatan can certainly testify to their having met and exceeded that mission. We hope all of the Lions Club visitors had a wonderful time while they here in Yucatan.

Teatro Jose Peon Contreras Set to Reopen Soon Teatro Peon Contreras to Reopen Soon

Jose Peon Contreras is the crown jewel of theaters throughout the southeastern part of Mexico. In recent months, the theater, which is now a little more than a century old, has been undergoing major renovations. These include replacing everything from mechanical gear to the wood flooring on the stage. In its latest incarnation, ICY (Institut Cultura de Yucatan) wants Teatro Jose Peon Contreras to be a safe environment for workers, for performers and for the general public. A very special thank you must be given to The Sherwin-Williams Company. When the paint in and on the Teatro was tested, it was found that, in some places, there were up to ten layers of paint. This much paint deforms moldings and other architectural features and needs to be removed. Sherwin-Williams donated all of the paint necessary to repaint the Teatro Jose Peon Contreras properly. All the State of Yucatan had to do was provide the workmen. That was a wonderful gesture on the part of Sherwin-Williams and we are more than happy to recommend them to our friends and readers. Work on the theater is 90% complete and we can hardly wait to see it!

Novel Concept: Unity and Peace

Last week, the annual Fiesta in honor of San Telmo, patron saint of the fishermen, was held in Progreso. The last of the Forty Holy Hours of this fiesta are especially important and special activities take place in the Church Annex. One of these special events is a mass for all of the children who have recently received their First Communion. The night procession is particularly pretty, including the car carrying the priest, which displays sculpted sea life leaping from painted waves, all under the glow of pale blue lights. But this is not a piece about Catholicism. Instead, it is about peace and unity. When mass is over and the Catholics come out through the front doors of the church, they are met by the apostolics (aka Protestants and others) and the entire group sets out on a massive procession throughout the parish. The procession ends with a rally back at the steps of the Church in Progreso – a united rally dedicated not to religious dogma, but to the importance of spending the time necessary to know our neighbor’s needs, so that we may be of service. The procession is also dedicated to the importance of inner peace for self, family, and community. In a world where religion has become a violent dividing point between people, the procession that ends the Fiesta of San Telmo in Progreso is a sign of hope and of pride that there are no such difficulties here in Yucatan.

Progreso’s Grandparents Go Out for BreakfastGrandparents in Progreso Yucatan

Now, here’s an idea whose time has come! Beginning last month, all of the Yucateco grandparents (looks like age 80 and above) are taken out for dinner by the Municipality of Progreso on the month of their 80th birthday. This time, they were treated to breakfast at St. Bonnet and the door prize was a 21-inch color television! Who’s keeping a list of all the things we permanent expats want when we reach advanced age? Please put this on the list. It isn’t that we are wishing the next few decades away but, when we do arrive at the golden age of 80, we’d like to be taken out to dinner once a month ourselves. How about you? 

Sisal: Release of Baby Turtles

The Committee for the Protection and Conservation of Sea Turtles in the State of Yucatan has its hands full with 195 nests of eggs having been brought back to rescue centers for incubation and 56 turtle nests incubating in place. So far, they have been able to release 2,778 baby turtles, which sounds like a lot until you realize that the total number of eggs in their care is 30,690! The three places that are now used to release baby turtles are Dzilam, Sisal and Telchac. So, if you live in those areas, keep an eye out for what looks like an unusual event beginning to take place. This past weekend, with 300 people in attendance, 30 children released 30 more baby turtles in Sisal. Since only one out of every one thousand baby turtles reaches adulthood, it is important to release as many as possible. Do keep an eye out for nests when you are on holiday at the beach and call the authorities if you find a nest.

For Kids: Name That Baby – HippoHippo Born at Merida Yucatan Zoo

Its a BOY! This is a naming contest for children 5 to 12 years of age. Each child needs to bring a piece of paper with the following information: the child’s full name, age telephone number, address, name of father or mother, and the name they propose for the baby hippo. There will be plenty of mailboxes at the main entrances of Animaya and the Centenario Zoo. There are specific dates for this contest as well. The call for names has already begun and will continue through September 11. The winner will be announced on September 17. In fact, the top 10 finalists will be announced on that day and will all go to lunch with the mayor. At lunch, the top three will be given very nice gifts. The winner will get a Notebook, second place will receive a Wii playstation, and third place gets an iPod. If you have children, grandchildren, or neighborhood children who would like to participate in this contest, now is the time to brainstorm names for the baby hippo and get those suggestion pages in the mailboxes at Animaya and Centenario!

City of Caucel: An Evergreen GardenYucatan Lots - beach lots at reasonable prices in the Yucatan Mexico

As Merida spreads west, places like Animaya have been created and the Centenario Zoo has been remodeled. At the same time, there has been an active reforestation project that has been ongoing throughout Merida and beyond. None of this was lost on the residents of Caucel, especially the newer residents in the newer subdivisions. They want to live together in communities that are in harmony with nature and are putting their volunteer work to good use. They have planted grass and trees to the point where Caucel is now attracting the kinds of young Meridians who cherish a green lifestyle. They have just completed another planting of 80 trees and they say there is more to come. If you are looking for a younger, greener lifestyle, Caucel, which is only about ten minutes from the center of Merida, is certainly well worth consideration.

City of Oxkutzcab: Green Spaces

Caucel is not the only municipality that is focusing on green spaces this year. There is a new program that will begin later this month to help rescue public spaces with trees and plants as well. But look at Oxkutzcab! That municipality is way ahead of the game! Oxkutzcab, known as the breadbasket of the Yucatan, now has a Director of Parks and Gardens who is quite knowledgeable about plants, landscaping and caring for it all when its done. This means Royal Palms, Cuban and Caribbean coral trees, ficus, and tulips are now all a part of the new image of Oxkutzcab! We get the distinct impression that the home of Yucatan’s Orange Festival has hit the big time and it won’t be long before absolutely everybody will be headed to Oxkutzcab to see the tulips bloom in the spring! Congratulations to Freddy Martin Trujeque, Director of Parks and Gardens in Oxkutzcab. This is his vision and it is moving forward faster every day.

With Our Deepest Sympathy

On July 26, Valentín Góngora Canul began his third journey across the Arizona desert in his quest to improve the life of his family. By August 7, the account of his having been found dead of dehydration was confirmed and the family was notified. On Valentin’s first trip north, it took five years to save enough to build his family a decent home. After that, his only goal was to educate his sons so they wouldn’t have to struggle the way he did – and he almost made it. This last trip home was to see his son Jario graduate from secundaria. With their father’s help, Jario wanted to study in the Normal Superior, Damian wants to continue in prepa and Marvin is already out of secundaria. Now, Ligia Chan Balam’s husband is gone and there is no means of support to keep the boys in school. If anyone would like to go by and check on this family, their address is Calle 14 x 71 y 17-A, Colonia Obrera, in Merida.

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2 Responses to “Yucatan News: Hippos and Turtles”

  1. Do vehicles rented in Cancun need a copy of the road rules? We’re in Canada right now but will be in Progreso for the month of Nov and back in Feb. What’s the best way for us to get a copy? Can we have one sent to us up here?

  2. Barb, the road rules book should probably be included in the car by the rental agency. We dont know for sure, but we imagine the rule applies to rental cars as well. Contact Adriana at and she can probably send you a copy (for $50 pesos plus shipping). YES is stocking copies of the book to make it easy for people to go by their office and pick one up.


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