News Starting September 17, 2012
From the Consulate: Mailing Absentee Ballots
Ballots may be dropped off at the Consulate General in Merida between 8:00 AM and 12:00 PM any day they are open for business. You do NOT need to make an appointment. Please ensure all materials are properly filled out and/or signed before dropping them off. In addition, be sure the piece you are dropping off either has U.S. first class domestic postage affixed or has a pre-printed indication that it may be mailed free of charge within the U.S (explained below). One person may drop off ballots on behalf of several Americans. Please bring your passport or valid photo ID with you. You should drop off your ballot at least three weeks to one month before your state’s deadline to ensure adequate transit time between Merida and the United States. All mail is subject to inspection.
Catherine (see end of this paragraph) has a template for a ballot envelope. You can print it onto a blank envelope and it will allow you to mail it without a US stamp… it is the aforementioned pre-printed indication. Your return address should be your address here in Yucatan. Make sure you carefully follow your County Clerk’s instructions and that your ballot is SIGNED. If you have any questions just email Catherine (yucatanforobama [at] gmail [dot] com) or give her a call at (999) 140-6339.
Weather: Norte Number Three
Summer is over and cooler winds are moving in. With one day reaching a high of only 89.96 F and a low of 73 F, the weather is perfect for all of the Fall activities that are gearing up across the state. This is not to say that there won’t still be occasional showers. There is a tropical storm in the western Caribbean, so thunder storms can still be expected. However, the sauna effect of summer rains is over for 2012 and the weather, overall, is just beautiful. Enjoy!
CFE Winter Rates Set to Begin
On October 1, CFE summer subsidies will end. Summer rates, which include subsidies, will begin again on April 1, 2013. There are many expats whose location and/or levels of consumption place them in a higher billing bracket. Yucatan Living’s Saving Energy in the Yucatan article will help to explain this process and how you, as an individual, can hold down your energy costs in this tropical paradise. The good news is that with the summer on its way out, temperatures will drop and we won’t be needing all that air conditioning!
Yucatan: Crime Down 20%
In every national crime report, Yucatan is the state with the lowest rate of crime in the nation when it comes to major crimes such as robbery, rape, murder and kidnapping. A new report was just issued from a study prepared by the national Center for Development Research AC. The eight crimes measured included kidnapping, homicide related to organized crime, malicious wounding with a weapon, extortion, pedestrian robbery with and without violence, vehicle theft and violence. Findings show that even Yucatan’s traditionally low rates of major crimes are down by 20%, and ranks Yucatan as the nation’s safest state. Of the eight crimes that are considered high impact, Yucatan has the nation’s lowest rate for five of them! It must be noted that Yucatan’s SSP was ranked in first place in the nation with respect to equipment and weaponry, training to combat crime and public confidence in the police force. The study also found that the safety and tranquility of Yucatan is currently drawing Mexicans from less secure areas of the country to resettle here. Overall, this was an interesting study that gives everyone in Yucatan much to be proud of and more to think about.
Agriculture Report: Fat Cattle and Fine Citrus
While much of Mexico labored under the stress of yet another year of drought, a summer of tropical rains has led to fat, healthy cattle and a booming citrus harvest that will begin in October. The rain was a little much for corn, sorghum and soybeans, leaving those harvests a little lower than in previous years, especially in the eastern part of the state. Overall, the sweet orange, grapefruit and tangerine harvests, averaging 300,000 to 360,000 tons, are expected to exceed the average and provide a huge boost to the economy of the state. Yucatan’s agricultural sector is quietly moving in the direction of food self-sufficiency for the state and consistently reducing the need for food imports. This is wonderful news and points to the skill and determination of Yucatan’s agricultural community, even in the face of adversity.
Progreso Lions Club: Call for Recyclables
The Lions Club of Progreso is currently asking for donations of newspapers, magazines, plastic bottles, cardboard, aluminum and other recyclable material to be used to raise funds for their altruistic work. Their latest project was the delivery of school supplies to children who live in the Oasis of San Juan de Dios HIV shelter in Conkal. If you would like to donate your recyclable materials, you can drop them off at the club headquarters. The address is Calle 78 x 27 y 29 in Progreso. This Lions Club has a number of projects that do much to help people with low incomes and we applaud their efforts, as well as the efforts of all who lend them support.
Population Growth Increases Needy Children
The Un Kilo de Ayuda Program reports that the State of Yucatan is currently supporting 12,000 children, trying to reduce malnutrition. The state expects that number to rise to 14,000 by the end of this year. In spite of these numbers, the overall rate of malnutrition and associated anemia has actually dropped by three percent. It is the increase in population that is driving the actual numbers of children in need of services. However, in the case of the 1,000 pregnant women who are being supported with milk, cereal and other foods beneficial to a healthy pregnancy, as well as six anemia fighting foods for their families, there has been an 11% drop in the rate of anemia. The national rate of child anemia is 23.5%, while the rate in Yucatan is 27.3%. Among participants in this program in Yucatan, the anemia rate is less at 21.7%. This is graphic evidence that it is not how much the people of Yucatan eat that affects this issue. It is what they eat. Hopefully, this pilot program will extend to all of the needy children and families in Yucatan and the state can finally leave childhood anemia behind as just a bad memory.
Photography Classes Beginning in Hunucma
With a Plan Habitat grant of almost $225,000 pesos, the director of Municipal Social Development in Hunucma bought a video camera, a projector, a camera, a lighting kit and an audio system for a new evening course in photography and photographic equipment at the Community Center in Colonia Fatima. The classes are set to begin on October 1 and the first class of 20 is already filled. Gone are the days when Hunucma was far from the amenities of life in the city. This area is coming into its own and opportunities for the people to broaden their horizons for potential employment in areas other than farming and fishing are beginning to take shape. As photographers ourselves, we know the joy of this profession and wish all of the new photographers of Hunucma a bright and beautiful future.
A State and National Treasure: La madre Aurora del Rivero Heredia
Sometimes, it just takes a determined (and powerful) nun to get the job done! When Mother Aurora del Rivero Heredia was named Mexico’s Premio Nacional al Voluntariado 2007, we learned just how determined she is to get help for farmers in the eastern section of Yucatan. When state agricultural funds run low, she is not above tapping the wallets of private individuals and, when all else fails, she has no qualms about going straight to the wife of the President of Mexico. Once again, Mother Aurora del Rivero Heredia has come through for her farmers with a $950,474 peso infusion from Fundación Ayuda para Ayudar, the foundation she administers. She got $437,103.75 pesos from the state and federal government and the rest came from donations from private individuals. The money has already purchased farm equipment and farming implements which are already in the hands of the farmers. Madre Aurora del Rivero Heredia is a strong, successful woman who knows how to get things done and keeps on keeping on regardless of adversity. Yucatan is blessed to have her and always look forward to hearing about her accomplishments.
Happy Birthday UADY School of Mathematics!
At the tender age of 49, the UADY School of Mathematics includes degrees in Mathematics, Mathematics Education, Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Software Engineering and Actuarial Science, as well as masters programs in Computer Science, Mathematics and the Science of Statistics. There is also an additional specialization in IT Security and Software Development with Java Technologies. Current enrollment is 943 students in 64 undergraduate and graduate programs, with a staff of 83 full-time teachers and two part time teachers. Of the latter, 16 scholars have been recognized by the National System of Researchers and 44 have met the requirements of the Teacher Improvement Program. We wish the UADY School of Mathematics, teachers and students alike, a wonderful Happy Birthday and can hardly wait for next year’s 50th Anniversary celebration! Congratulations too to Jesús Darío Loeza Uc, who is the winning designer for the 50th Anniversary logo.