Yucatan News: Libraries and Earthworms
April at Evolucion Sanctuary
The Snowbirds have gone home, but the need goes on at Evolucion Sanctuary. The weekly dog walks are on Wednesday mornings, beginning at 9:00 AM. Saturdays are for cleaning the sanctuary and washing dogs. If you can volunteer, they would love to have you. Evolucion is also in need of foster homes and, of course, forever homes. We recommend spending a little time on Evolucions’s website, signing up for their newsletter, and even taking the opportunity to make a donation. You’ll be glad you did.
Update: Protección de Perros y Gatos A.C.
Its been a long time coming, but the end is almost in sight. The clinic that is being built by Perros y Gatos, Progreso’s Humane Society, now has its walls up, outside and inside, and the roof is on! The next projects will be finishing the plumbing, wiring, windows and doors. Thanks to everyone who continues to support this worthy project, especially through the annual fundraising breakfast and November’s annual Big Bazaar. Thanks as well to MVZ Beatriz Carvajal Garcia, President of Protección de Perros y Gatos A.C. This past year, she sterilized 425 dogs and cats; gave 391 free rabies vaccinations; 160 parasite treatments; 150 free consultations; 38 humane but necessary euthanasias and adopted out 120 dogs and cats. The Association meets at Le Saint Bonnet Restaurant on Progreso’s Malecón at 8 p.m. on the last Monday of every month (except December). The gatherings are open to the general public and everyone is invited to join them and share your thoughts and ideas, especially in the areas of public education and fund-raising.
Valladolid English Library Needs Books
Our friend, Denis Larson, is a long-time resident of Valladolid and one of the founders of the English Library in Valladolid. The Library is just getting started and needs book donations. They are especially interested in building a strong collection of material about the Yucatan Peninsula, the Maya and the history of the region. Anthropology and archaeology books related to the area are welcome. They would also appreciate local field guides about birds, reptiles, mammals, shells, etc. The Library asks that at least 50% of donated books be non-fiction. For more information, contact Denis Larson at Casa Hamaca.
Children’s Photography Show and Sale
We are putting this event in both the News and Events columns, just to ensure that everyone has a chance to see it. The event is called “Mirada de Angeles” and it is an exhibition of photos taken by children ages 4, 6, 7, 10 and 16. The photos are on sale to raise money for "Sueños de Ángel" A.C. This organization is integral in supporting children with cancer. Please attend this event. These children are more than deserving of our time, attention and support.
Location: At the Olimpo, Calle 62 y 61
Time: 8:00 PM Tuesday
Oxkutzcab: Señorita Preparatoria 2011
This week began the search for the next Miss "Arcadio Santoyo" High School in Oxkutzcab. There will be three phases of the contest. First, all of the young ladies were presented to the audience and they had a salsa contest. The evening ended with disco dancing. Next, in early May, they will appear on the regional stage. The “Most Elegant” will be elected in the second round. Finally, a week later, they will compete in stylized costume, swim suit, and evening gown categories. Again, there will be dancing and music to round out the evening and an announcement of the winner of Señorita Preparatoria 2011. What we particularly like about this story is that the public is cordially invited to come out and support these young contestants. We know there will be a packed house every single night.
First Ever Demostración de Escoltas de Bandera de Educación Especial 2011
Sixteen flag teams from around the state came together in Uman to demonstrate their routines. The event began with a military school band escort. In all, there were 160 students, 32 special education teachers and 32 physical education teachers involved in making this first ever Demonstration of Flag Escorts of Special Education 2011. As we have noted many times, one of the reasons we love the State of Yucatan as much as we do is their dedication to giving special education students as many opportunities as any other student. Our congratulations to all involved, especially to the students of CAM Tizimin. We hear that everyone thought they put on the best show in the entire event.
Merida’s Alejandro Pinzon: In the Local News
We are very excited about the fact that our young friend, Alejandro Pinzon, leader of Coro Latinoamericano-Pittsburgh, will be coming home to Merida to conduct three performances with the Chamber Orchestra of the City of Merida. For those who are not familiar with his work, Alejandro has worked as an orchestra conductor, violinist, translator, music columnist, music teacher, creator of music ensembles, and organizer of didactic concerts for university students. In his spare time, he has a passion for Tango dancing. The first of the local interviews was in El Diario and the second, a brief note, was in Merida Viva. We hope you enjoy them both. If you would like to attend Alejandro Pinzon’s concerts in May, he will be in Comisaria Cholul on May 22, in the Auditorium of the Olimpo on May 26, and at San Sebastian Church on May 29.
Indigenous Women Businesses Receive Huge Grants
Forty-two groups, representing 530 rural women in Yucatan, received a total of $5,867,859 pesos to either start a new business or continue one that already exists. Their products include: codzitos, panuchos and tostadas, handmade tortillas, purses, hats, sosquil jewelry boxes and folders (carpetas), cement vases in the shape of bats, geese and frogs, hammocks, and cross stitch embroidered traditional clothing. They own hardware stores, screen printing shops, and pizzerias. These amazing women somehow manage to do all of this and still care for their homes and families. Congratulations to each of these 530 business women as they move forward into what appears to be a future that is brighter than ever.
What is Sosquil?
Sosquil is 100% sisal yarn. Sosquil wall covering can be vat-died and, even when it has been bonded to a wall with adhesive, it still passes a corner burn test and a Steiner Tunnel Test for flammability. It passes both acoustical and radiation tests, is 100% static free and has an R-2 insulation value. You can use it over concrete blocks and holes disappear once tacks are removed. It also reduces noise and is biodegradable. In Hoctun, children are learning how to make a variety of products using this extremely sturdy yarn in a project supported by La Casa de los Niños de Yucatan.
Great Headlines from Mexico
- Mexico and Britain to double bilateral trade by 2015
- Mexico’s economy grew 5.5% in 2010
- Mexico offers to buy $600 million in the market per month and has a stock of $122 billion
- HP Mexico signed a 5-year $100 million dollar technology outsourcing services contract with Coca-Cola FEMSA to set up a single data center for 348 locations, plus migrate applications and monitor and manage locations in Brazil and Argentina.
Yucatan’s Earthworm Fertilizer
We are constantly amazed at the ability of Yucatecos to develop what seems to be a never-ending list of eco-friendly products. This time, its fertilizer produced on Yucatan’s first earthworm farm. Our state is in the happy situation of not being in danger of running out of water for the foreseeable future – but – we also live on a limestone shelf and everything that happens above ground ends up in the underground rivers and cenotes. From this earthworm farm, we now have an organic fertilizer that will not pollute our soil or our water. Not only is this fertilizer eco-friendly, it is also being billed as the cheapest fertilizer in the world. The project is headed up by Juan Martin de la Cruz Campos, a science teacher at the Tizimin Institute of Technology, and has been recognized by such prestigious publications as Tierra fértil in Guadalajara. The fact that Yucatan’s earthworm fertilizer is cheaper than chemical fertilizers makes this fertilizer yet another product of Yucatan that will be greatly prized as an export to Europe and the U.S.
The Confederation of Mexican Pork, the Canadian Pork Council and the National Pork Producers Council (U.S.) met in Merida last month and have issued a joint statement. According to those official organizations, there are only approximately 20 days of feed grain supplies presently in reserve. Should there be a drought or crop disease that affects current crops, there would be a serious issue with feed availability in all three nations. They have now called on NAFTA agricultural officials to meet and seriously address this problem. As the population of the world continues to grow, with more agricultural resources constantly diverted to the biofuel industry, the issue of feed for food animals will become increasingly important. In addition, as ever increasing genetically modified crops span the globe, crops become more at risk for the evolution of one crop disease that has the potential to go viral and affect grain crops worldwide. Now is the time for NAFTA agricultural ministers to address this situation, not after the worst happens. Many thanks to the pork producers of the U.S., Canada and Mexico for insisting that attention is turned to this issue before there is a crisis.
2011 FIBA Americas U16 Championships – Merida & Leon
The FIBA AMERICAS (Pan-American Basketball Confederation ), is a non-profit organization that represents the International Basketball Federation (FIBA), on the American continent, with jurisdiction from Canada to Argentina. For the second year in a row, Mexico has been chosen as the location for the FIBA Americas Championship. This year, the 2011 FIBA Americas U16 Championship for Men will be played in Leon, Guanajuato, from June 21 through 25. Countries already qualified include: Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Mexico and USA. Two remaining countries - from the Central American and Caribbean sub-zone - will be announced later this spring. The 2011 FIBA Americas U16 Championship for Women will be played at the Ciudad de la Paz Stadium in Merida from June 13 through June 18. The countries already qualified to play in Merida include: Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, United States and Venezuela, with two countries from the Central American and Caribbean sub-zone also to be announced later in the spring. The top three placed teams from both championships will qualify for the 2012 FIBA U17 World Championships for men and women respectively. Next year, the men will play in Germany and the women in France. Congratulations to Mexico for renewing its dedication to youth basketball on a national and international scale.
A Special Thank You to Janet Napolitano & Mayor Cook
A little over a week ago, U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano said that security on the southern U.S. border is better now than it has ever been and there is a need to correct wrong impressions about the border region. Napolitano said border towns are safe for travel, trade and commerce. “There is a perception that the border is worse now than it ever has been. That is wrong. The border is better now than it ever has been.” The perception that the violence in Mexico has spilled over to bordering U.S. cities is “wrong again,” Napolitano said. Violent crime rates have remained flat or decreased in border communities in the Southwest. El Paso MayorJohn Cook said his city has been ranked the safest city in the country of its size, in spite of being across the border from Ciudad Juarez. He said that the lie about border cities being dangerous has been told so many times that people are starting to believe it and that it is time for the border communities to speak out. With respect to those who continue to complain about illegal migration, everyone should know that there has been a 36% reduction in the number of illegal immigrant detentions. Yucatan Living would like to thank Janet Napolitano and Mayor Cook for finally telling the world what we, as expats, already knew. We hope that this official announcement by the U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security and the Mayor of El Paso helps to tone down some of the negative rhetoric that has been poisoning public perceptions north of the border.