News Starting June 011, 2012
Dzilam Bravo: In the Sky
What’s going on in the sky over Dzilam Bravo these days? It hasn’t been long since there was a report of a UFO and now they have pictures of a rainbow-like figure, with outstretched arms, hovering in the clouds overhead. While some say the figure was a sign from God, others have more practical, scientific explanations. Whatever it was, the sightings took place at about 1:00 PM and certainly caught the attention and imagination of everyone who saw it. Perhaps it’s time to take another trip out to Dzilam Bravo to see what’s happening out there these days!
Progreso Apoyo to CAPP Programs
Most of our readers know about the Progreso Apoyo Program. It was the first education assistance program, begun by Kitty Morgan, and is the fundamental role model for almost all of the volunteer-supported educational support programs in this area. Now, Kitty has begun a new program called The Career Advancement Program of Progreso (CAPP). The mission of CAPP is to provide partial financial aid to selected high school graduates of the Progreso Apoyo Program. Kitty will be on vacation for a while this summer but, if you are interested in either the Progreso Apoyo Program or the CAPP Program, you can contact Kitty at kbmorgan_99[at]yahoo[dot]com.
Honey Harvest a Success
For a little while, there was some concern about this year’s honey harvest because rain came very close to damaging the food sources for the bees. However, at the last minute, all was declared well and good. There was actually an increase in the amount of honey produced in the 2011 – 2012 season. Three years ago, a combination of factors, mostly weather related, served to almost crash the honey industry in Yucatan. However, no one gave up and the harvest has been steadily increasing every year. This year, Yucatan’s beekeepers produced between 8,000 and 10,000 tons of honey and sold it for between 26 and 30 pesos per kilo. Germany bought the lion’s share of the honey produced here and Yucatan’s beekeepers are ready to begin working on next year’s production. Of course, if you are lucky enough to live in the Yucatan, you can go to your local mercado and get a an old Coke bottle or a plastic bottle filled with this delectable nectar!
Vegetable Gardening in Yucatan
Over the past few years, individual producers of vegetables have been encouraged to start small, sustainable businesses selling their produce in local markets. Last year, the vegetable farmers were faced with drought. This year, it is storms that have produced damaging rains. The farmers say that at other times recently, they have faced pests of one kind or another. All of this has begun to wear on their ability to trust vegetable farming with too much of a share of their livelihood. To compensate for current losses and ensure against potential losses, many have now added the cultivation of flowers to their resume. With this kind of diversification, we have no doubt that the small vegetable growers of Yucatan will be successful, rain or shine.
Jatropha: Coming Into It’s Own
As the five year, 300 hectare experimental Jatropha farm shows amazing success as it nears the end of its trial run, plans are being made to plant 2,000 more hectares in the trees that produce seeds from which biodiesel and other biofuels are produced. Yucatan is emerging as a leader in this industry, expecting to eventually have about 10,000 hectares planted in Jatropha. The nice thing about this is that this tree grows well on land that is fit for nothing else. This makes it a perfect ground cover for barren areas along the coast or areas that are too rocky for other farming. With these trees in place, Yucatan will have a buffer against strong storms and about 500 permanent jobs on every large tract of Jatropha forest that is planted. We might also note that Michigan is again associated with yet another great project in Yucatan. Michigan Technological University is a promoter of the Pan American Network, which consists of researchers in several different projects related to jatropha throughout the Americas. Well done to all involved and our thanks to Michigan once again.
AA: 37 Years Young in Oxkutzcab
One of the questions we are often asked by expats concerns whether or not they can find English-speaking Alcoholics Anonymous meetings in Merida. There are, and those are listed on our Ongoing Events page. However, you might like to know just how firmly planted Alcoholics Anonymous really is in Yucatan. AA began in the United States 77 years ago. The first group AA group in the Yucatan formed in Oxkutzcab 37 years ago. After that first group, two more formed and, by 2006, Oxkutzcab became the location of a District Office for Alcoholics Anonymous. Congratulations to all AA members in the Municipality of Oxkutzcab for all the hard work and effort they put into making the southern cone of Yucatan a better place, one day at a time.
Kidney Failure Increasing in Yucatan
For a number of reasons, such as poor water quality in some areas to poor diet and/or inherited diseases in others, there have been 2,000 cases of chronic kidney failure in Yucatan already this year. The organization Dona Esperanza, AC works tirelessly to not only pay for the treatment of those who cannot afford it, but also to educate the public about organ donation and transplantation. Dialysis is only a stop-gap procedure on the road to transplantation if the patient is to survive long-term. Since many of these patients are children, it is vital that everyone becomes an organ donor as soon as possible. Check with your doctor or with any of the hospitals to find out what you need to do to become an organ donor in Yucatan.
Pet Hotels on the Rise in Merida
Recent weeks have been filled with the terrible news that most airlines flying into and out of the U.S. will no longer allow small pets in cabins and costs to fly a pet even in cargo have risen outrageously. It’s about time that pet owners had some good news and none could be better than to hear of the rapid increase in the number of pet hotel and spa rooms now (or soon to be) available in Merida. During the summer months, many expats go home to visit in cooler climates, often renting their homes to others who want to come down to spend the exciting summer months at or near the beach. In addition, as norms concerning pet ownership change in Yucatan, Yucatecos too are looking for a home away from home for their pets while they go on vacation. We know of one pet hotel and boarding facility called Perro Parraiso, north of Merida on the road to Progreso, where dogs can spend the day in their own park setting, complete with wading pools. We have also read about pet hotels and spas that are being developed locally, that will be full service facilities, with everything up to and including medical care, playgrounds, dog trainers and grooming services. Yucatan Living would like to congratulate everyone who is entering this new industry. We hope all of these wonderful facilities are successful, for the peace of mind of the pet owners and for the welfare of the pets.
Check Your Veterinarian’s Credentials
UADY has one of the oldest and most well respected veterinary schools in the nation and Yucatan is the happy beneficiary of that. However, as pet ownership and responsibility increase, so do opportunities for abuse. According to the Yucatan Association of Physicians Specializing in Small Animal Veterinary, AC (AMVEPEY), at least 17 locations have been identified where individuals providing treatment for pets are unqualified. They are currently working on getting this situation rectified, but it is slow going. In the meantime, what you can do to insure the safety of your pet is to double check the credentials of your veterinarian. This is especially critical in those instances where someone you don’t know is asking to provide mobile vaccinations for your animals. Most expats have found wonderful veterinarians here in Yucatan and all are happy to pass along their recommendations.
Valladolid Handbags Make FOX News!
This past week, there was a trunk show of handbags designed by Ariane Dutzi and handcrafted by Mayan men and women in Valladolid. All of the bags are made from recycled burlap, white raffia and leather, with either hand-woven cotton handles or leather straps. They are designed for the high-end market, so prices are rather high by the time they get to New York City, but they still represent Yucatan well. You can visit the Dutzi Design website to see these great bags for yourself.