News Starting February 21, 2011
Merida’s Alejandro Pinzon Leads Coro Latinoamericano-Pittsburgh
According to their official public relations, Coro Latinoamericano was founded in 1997 in Pittsburgh.”Coro Latinoamericano is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization — a rather unique multi-national choir — composed of people of Latin American and North American heritage — and one of only a few choirs of its kind nationwide. Coro sings in Spanish and other Latin American languages, performing at regional festivals, botanical gardens, public halls, outdoor spots such as llama farms, social events — and we even represented the USA at an international music fest in Quito Ecuador. We’ve been honored by city and state — and we’ve presented annually our own COROLA Award to outstanding citizens. Most recently, we introduced to the region the Pantheon of the Americas — a touring exhibit of the flags of the Americas. Our motto is to "build bridges among the Americas" through choral expression, community service, cultural education and good will. We have applied for grants over the seasons and are striving to find a way to conduct a musical/cultural exchange with el Coro de la Ciudad de Merida.” We are just thrilled to hear from Michele and to read all about young Maestro Alejandro Pinzon’s adventures since leaving Yucatan for graduate school in the U.S. Visit Alejandro Pinzon’s Website to learn more about this young conductor, and take a look at an e-mail interview he gave to the Late Starter Musician blog. In addition to his professional accomplishments, Alejandro Pinzon shows himself to be a well grounded young man who has a bright future ahead of him. Michele Rothert, the group’s PR person, is going to keep us posted on the dates of the Coro Latinoamericano-Pittsburgh events and we will be sure to post them so that anyone who lives near enough to one of their performances can hear them. You can also visit the choir’s website: ♪♫ CORO LATINOAMERICANO-PITTSBURGH .
Kancabchén, Baca: All The Pretty (Quarter) Horses
This is for all of our horse loving readers who live in the country north of the border and are wondering if Yucatan has something for you. This past week, on the Ponce Garcia Family Ranch, the Sixth Great Kancabchén Equine Auction saw an influx of buyers from all over Mexico. Prices ranged from $10,000 pesos to $41,000 pesos for the nine quarter horses. They also sold three donkeys and one mule. To round out the festivities, there was a tournament, featuring the Asociación de Charros "Los Conejos," and a night charreada, which is a traditional rodeo with nine events for men and one for women. For those who still wonder about the quality of the horses in Yucatan, the filly that sported the greatest selling price was a 16 month old, quarter horse that was bred through artificial insemination from U.S. stock. If anyone thinks they might want a burrito, look to pay between $5,000 and $8,000 for one at an auction.
The Cenotes of Merida
We often think of Merida as a cosmopolitan city with a symphony orchestra, a magnificent cathedral, and an opera house with a marble staircase, among many other monuments to civilization. In the next sentence, we then talk about traveling outside of the city to marvel at Yucatan’s natural resources, such as cenotes. In the not too distant future, visitors and residents alike will be able to see and do all of those activities right in the heart of Merida itself. In a world where water is rapidly becoming a scarce resource, the 25 cenotes, caves and community wells of Merida have now been documented, the rules of cenotes put in place, and a program designed to develop them both as a natural resource for the use of the people and as a tourist attraction is moving forward. We can hardly wait to see the end result… and of course, we’ll let you know when we find out more.
Of course you know there are organic vegetables sometimes for sale at WalMart. There are also locally grown veggies available at the Saturday SLOW Food Market. A third option you might want to know about is the newish organic store called Ya’axtal. Hacienda Cuch Balam grows delicious organic vegetables and brings them into Ya’Axtal each Tuesday. Their goodies include “everything from six types of lettuces, chives, bell peppers, chiles, 2 types of raddishes, 7 types of tomatoes, different types of chard and spinach, micro greens and much more.” Ya’axtal is located on Prolongación de Paseo Montejo just south of Office Depot on the other side of the street.
Tulum: Found! Skull of Oldest Human in the Americas
Hoyo Negro is the Holy Grail of Cave Diving Archaeology and it is right here on the Yucatan Peninsula. We have all read about the discovery of the 20,000 year old skull in a cave in Quintana Roo, but you have to actually read the National Geographic account of the dive. It is guaranteed to leave you holding your breath! Who in the world hikes in through the jungle, carrying diving equipment – then dives through 4,000 feet of tunnels, only to drop down another 200 feet to the floor of a black pit? Much like astronauts, the retelling of the tale by the men who made the dive is absolutely amazing. Be sure to visit National Geographic’s website to read all about how these divers found the remains of the oldest known human in the Americas.
Spring rains have encouraged the growth and flowering of plants throughout Yucatan to the point that Héctor Navarro Samperio, the manager of Yucatan Honey Bee, feels confident in announcing that he is all but certain that the honey producers of Yucatan will be able to meet demand this year in both domestic and international markets. That translates to at least 600 tons of honey, with the exports headed mostly for Germany and the U.S.! When it rains in Yucatan, always think of the honey producers and their contribution to the growing economy and reputation of the region.
Speaking of vegetables, the Whole Food Market in Progreso has announced that local organic produce farmers have a surplus of carrots, beets and radishes, so they will be selling the surplus for the same price as the non-organic ones found in local grocery stores. The Progreso Whole Food Market would also like its customers to know that they will be closed on Monday, February 28, 2011, so they can attend the Third Funky Market at TacoMaya in Chelem (see our Coming Soon Events for details). Progreso Whole Food Market wants to work with as many organic produce farmers in as many communities as possible, so if you are growing veggies, let them know! The address of the Progreso Whole Food Market is Calle 56 #138 x 21 y 25. Their telephone number is (969) 935-7875 and their hours are normally 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
Beach Crime: Police Take Charge
Following the Feb. 11 meeting between beach residents (both Yucatecos and foreigners), the municipal administration, and the police – plus the Feb. 14 meeting between Canadians and their Consular Staff – police have vowed to keep up regular patrols of beaches where homes are at risk for becoming the target of thieves. We saw one report where the police said that these patrols will continue through the Easter holidays but will become permanent if necessary. Everyone is deeply appreciative of the assistance of the police and all are looking forward to a peaceful Carnival and Semana Santa.
Grand Hammock & Artesanias Auction: Feb. 15 through March 2
Save 30% to 70% on a large variety of hammocks and other products, all at promotional prices. The locally made products that make it into Casa de las Artesanias are some of the finest handicrafts in the Mayan World. This is a great opportunity to get a few really fine things that might not have fit into your budget when they were full price. Find them at Casa de las Artesanias, Calle 63 #503-A x 64 y 66, in the centro.
2011 Expat Youth Scholarship Competition Now Open
Watch Us Draw!
For the months of February and March, art students from the ESAY school (located in the Mejorada district in the old train station) will be working in the MACAY museum where anyone can come and watch them. The program is called El Artista Está en la Casa (The Artist is in the House). On Wednesdays and Fridays, from 5 til 5:45 PM, bring yourselves and especially your children to watch the students draw and paint. This is a great opportunity to see how people work, a must for any budding artist!
Clements International is a global insurance provider serving the expatriate community for over 60 years. February 14 was the official launch of Clements International’s 3rd Annual Expat Youth Scholarship, a unique contest exclusively for expat students who spend their childhoods moving between different countries and cultures. In fall 2011, the company will award a total of $10,000 to six students from around the world. This year’s theme asks participants to create a video explaining their favorite thing about their host country and its culture. The 2011 Expat Youth Scholarship is open to students ages 12-18 of any nationality who have resided in a foreign country for at least two consecutive years. The entry deadline is Friday, May 13, 2011. For more information, please visit the 2011 Expat Youth Scholarship Competition website.