News Starting October 22, 2012
Dengue Fever and “Together We Clean the City”
The Governor of Yucatan, Rolando Zapata Bello, has just announced that the removal of opportunistic mosquito breeding places in and around homes and public spaces has resulted in a 97% decrease in the number of dengue fever cases. He is asking everyone in Yucatan to include these cleanup activities as part of their permanent property maintenance activities. Each of us has a responsibility to not only protect our own families, by keeping our property clean, but we also have a responsibility not to create a dengue hazard that has the potential to do serious harm to our neighbors. Today’s big push is in Kanasin and tomorrow they will be in the north of the City of Merida. Thanks so much to Yucatan’s new Governor for continuing to support “Entre todos ¡limpiemos la ciudad!” (All of us will clean up the city!).
Yucatan Living in the News
In this recent article about getting the most out of your travel to Mexico, writer Carol Pucci mentions YucatanLiving.com as being the place to get “useful information” when traveling to Merida, Chichen Itza or anywhere on the Yucatan Peninsula. She especially liked an article we wrote quite awhile ago, the Yucatan Primer, a tongue-in-cheek but rather informational riff on those old primers that used to teach kids to read. You know, “A is for Apple” and like that. We appreciate the shout-out, of course. And if you haven’t read the article, you might like to! You can find The Yucatan Primer here.
Daylight Savings Time: Fall Back
It’s time again for clocks in Yucatan to Fall Back one hour. The change will take place at 2:00 AM on Sunday, October 28, 2012. Be sure to turn your clocks back one hour before going to bed on Saturday night.
Free Flu Vaccine
The Department of Public Health in Yucatan is providing free flu vaccines for those who fall into high risk categories. This includes everyone who is more than 60 years old, individuals who have an underling disease, such as diabetes, cancer or any other sickness that puts their health in danger, as well as pregnant women and children under the age of nine. If expats have IMSS and meet these criteria, they are certainly included in this program. If they do not have IMSS, it still might be a good idea to go to the health unit and ask. For those who speak Spanish, click here for details of the program.
Yucatan’s Chinese Population is Growing
With respect to ethnic demographics, Yucatan is one of the most interesting, true Melting Pots in the world. While most think of Yucatecos as either Maya or non-Maya, people from around the world have been immigrating here for centuries. Asians first came to Yucatan in the 1800’s to work in the henequen fields. Now, according to INM, there are 400 Chinese people living within the borders of the state. They come with money and are investing, opening businesses, working with Hacienda and paying taxes, and meet all of the requirements to open their businesses. Thus far, the Chinese are most visible in the restaurant industry. And of course, these are not just people who simply show up to make a quick profit. These are entire families, who arrive with extended family members, all of whom work hard to master Spanish. Due to the increasing numbers of Chinese residents in Yucatan, Yucatan may someday soon have a Chinese consulate and a greater economic and cultural exchange with China. We already have the Confucius Institute at UADY and a thriving academic exchange student population. A huge wholesale shopping complex called The Dragon Mart has just been announced on the other side of the Yucatan Peninsula, in Puerto Morelos, which will serve all of South America. Many students in Yucatan are learning Mandarin Chinese at the Confucius Institute and will likely do well in the business and cultural exchanges that are on the very near horizon. If you speak Spanish (and even if you don’t), the following video gives us a bird’s eye view of Chinese immigration to Yucatan.
How Many Foreigners Live in Yucatan?
A question we are often asked is “How many expats live in Yucatan?” The question is difficult to answer on many levels. One reason it is difficult is that the population of expats is so diverse and, it often seems, no two expats are here for the same amount of time each year. Expats are here on a variety of visas and for a variety of reasons. However, the number of foreign residents living in Yucatan, as registered by INM, refers to those who live here full time and have applied for residence. The count now stands at 11,238 individuals from 85 countries. According to INM, the United States, Cuba, Canada and China have the largest number of official migrants living in Yucatan, but China, Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Colombia are the nations with the fastest growth rate among new residents.
An Interesting Development Meeting in Valladolid
This meeting is designed for all entrepreneurs who are currently living in Valladolid but who are not actually from there. This includes both Mexican and foreign entrepreneurs. They are being invited to the meeting by Doña Elsy Mendez and the Fundación Valladolid so that they can be given information about a major regional development project called Oriente Maya. This project is intended to promote the entire area, from Rio Lagartos and San Felipe to Tixcacalcupul in a comprehensive, orderly and sustainable manner. Plans are to promote culture, health, education, training, tourism and environmental services. In order to bring the foreign and Mexican entrepreneurs on board, there will be translators available who speak English. If you live in Valladolid and would like to attend this meeting, you are encouraged to e-mail Raúl Rodríguez (raul_chucho [at] yahoo [dot] com) or Elsy Mendez (elsynmendez [at] gmail [dot] com) to RSVP. This is an excellent opportunity for expat entrepreneurs to become a part of their new community so that they can grow with their adopted home. The meeting will be held on October 23, 2012, in the Boardroom of the Chamber of Commerce (CANACO) in Valladolid at 7:00 PM. We wish everyone who attends the best of luck and a very bright future in Valladolid.
Specialty Rural Tourism in Yucatan: Village Maya
‘Off the beaten path’ is the perfect description of a group of specialty rural tourism destinations in Yucatan. They are scattered through the countryside in the south and east of the state, usually owned by a group of individuals who live in the area, and among their number you might find something that will make your vacation dreams come true. Whether you want to live in a Maya house, spend some time at a small, all natural spa, or spend your vacation volunteering, someone along these rural routes can help you turn your dreams into reality. To see if there is a cabin for you in rural Yucatan, visit the Aldea Maya website. To find great deals on specialty vacations, keep an eye on Aldea Maya’s Facebook page. Watch for the deals (up to 50% discounts) on Facebook, then pick them up at Turismo Solidario at the Siglo XXI Convention center. It is encouraging to see that ecotourism is thriving in Yucatan.
Here Come the Maya Women Producers!
Traditional cultures have their good points, such as strong family and community traditions that serve to hold them together in hard times. However, those same cultural prescriptions can, on occasion, work against them. Such has been the case with many Maya women, who are wonderful artisans and producers, but have been hesitant to leave the security of their own towns and villages to sell their wares. This reluctance has left the world unaware that they exist and unable to support their work. Well – no more! This past week, with the assistance of a program designed to organize and showcase the work of indigenous women throughout the country, 70 of Yucatan’s Maya women found their voice, their market and their value in a trade show at the Siglo XXI Convention Center. Women came from 35 different municipalities in Yucatan and brought sisal handicrafts, textile painting, hammocks, hand and machine embroidery, shawls, piñatas, horchata, honey, bread, pastries, organic vegetables and more. This is one genie that is out of the bottle and we know we will be blessed with the opportunity to support these ladies and their work from now on.
Small Pork Producers Face Closure
A decade ago, Yucatan had 15,000 small pork farmers. Today, there are barely 5,000 and 300 of those are facing closure due to the rising price of grain and lack of governmental support. The situation has grown out of complex global and national economics. It is easy to throw up one’s hands and say that it is a shame but there is nothing we can do about it. That may be somewhat true for those who live in the city and purchase their pork in large chain grocery stores, but many expats live in smaller towns and villages. If you live in a small town, you know the elderly ladies who raise chickens and turkeys to supplement their incomes. You know the gentleman who raises a few hogs or goats to help send his children and grandchildren to school. You know the fishermen whose families have a thriving little fresh fish market in their backyards. If at all possible, we hope that every expat, no matter where they live, will purchase as much of their food as possible from local producers and help to spread the growing number of farmers’ market venues. We can make a difference. And besides, the locavore (eating food grown locally) movement is worldwide.
Meridano A Success in Social Networking
We always love a good story about any young person who hits it big just by being themselves and doing what they do best. Such is certainly the case with Ricardo Sanchez, author of “Twitter for Companies in 4 Steps.” In the beginning, he was just another young man with a passion for Twitter. Then he wanted to know (and had the skills to find out) what would be the best recreational promotions advertised for his area on the weekends. He wrote the program and his Twitter account took off like a rocket. The next step was to patent the tool in the United States. After that, all of his time was taken up babysitting his Twitter account and his exploding numbers of young followers. Something had to change. How could he make money by compiling information that was free on the Internet? He was having fun, but living isn’t free …and then a major hotel came calling and asked him to advertise on their site. The rest is history. The book is written and we are very proud to say that one of the Internet’s best and brightest young entrepreneurs is a native of Merida, Yucatan. This is just one example of the quality of young people who exhibit at the Expos at Siglo XXI Convention Center. Do stop by to see what’s new whenever these Expos are taking place.
Sustainable Energy: Headlines Side-by-Side
In much of the world, when governments or agencies cannot collect enough taxes to pay for the increasing costs of energy, it becomes necessary for energy delivery to be cut back. This actually happened in rural, southern Yucatan last week. It is a temporary situation that will be resolved when the community’s federal grant arrives, but the news headline was still a bit of a shock. The very headline was about the physics students, in that same area, coming together to work on a sustainable energy project. These students came from different grades and schools, and their projects included everything from the use of recyclable materials to lemons and salt – all of which Yucatan has in abundance. The most emphasis was placed on wind and solar energy. Our take-away from this was: Dim the lights in Yucatan and the young people will turn them back up by creating their own lights. We think the next generation of energy entrepreneurs will, without a doubt, include young people from Yucatan and they will be coming to an Expo near you very soon.