News Starting January 09, 2012
Are you an extreme sports type? Or do you have guests coming into town that want to do something a little different? Aventura Maya is a program that is designed to connect visitors to some of the attractions in the Yucatan that are run by local villagers and might be a little more exciting than usual. Check out the website and find out ways to take a cenote tour with a local. Or maybe go kayaking, or hiking. This group is affiliated with the National Commission for the Development of the Indigenous People in the Yucatan, and is a good way to see the sights of the Yucatan, while helping to support and promote the people in the pueblos.
The Daily Yolisto Trivia Quiz
For the last couple of years, Dave_in_Ont (a long-time Canadian Snowbird to Yucatan) has been participating in a daily trivia challenge set up by a friend from Isla Mujeres. From all accounts, we hear that this daily trivia challenge is fun and interesting and goes great with a morning cup of coffee. The daily questions are in various categories and of different levels of difficulty. These are not Yucatan-specific nor are they specifically about Mexico, although some questions might be. The Categories are chosen by Dave_in_Ont, as administrator but the individual questions are randomly provided. If you are interested in seeing how you do, please check it out at YoListo Trivia Challenge You have to register to participate but there are no costs, no pop-ups, no malware or any other threats. If you do register, it would be nice if you used the same nickname that you use as a member of Yolisto, so people can see who they are competing against. For those who are unaware of the many kind things that Dave and Shirley have done for Yolisto members, including maintaining one of our best resources: Driving Through Mexico. We hope that everyone will take a look at the Yolisto Trivia Challenge and then meet your friends on Yolisto to discuss your obviously superior levels of intelligence. Thanks again to Dave and Shirley for this great addition to the Yolisto family.
As North America Adjusts, Immigration Changes Too
There are odd bits of news about immigration this week, especially near the U.S.-Mexico border. Quite a few Mexican villages have lost population as migrants look to Chile and Brazil for new jobs, instead of the usual countries to the north. On the other hand, there is good news concerning the so-called drug war, in that night life in Juarez is said to be coming back, along with the tourists. Sadly, also this week, a very young American teen ran away from home, gave police a false name and ended up being deported to a Colombian prison. There are good, bad, uplifting and heartbreaking aspects of each of those situations. We hope that everyone’s issues will be resolved in 2012 and that all of North America, as well as all of Latin America, can move forward together.
Monique Duval: Inquiring Minds Want to Know
We cannot tell you how many inquiries we get, each week, asking for how to get in touch with Monique Duval, her bakery, her newsletter, or the Slow Food Market. We have recently posted Monique’s contact information on Yolisto, but want to be sure and get it to our Yucatan Living readers as well. Monique’s Bakery is located at Calle 31 #70 con Calle 12 in colonia Chuburna de Hidalgo on the brink of Colonia Malaga, kitty corner from the old store El Super Farahon. To Reserve Your Bread, Call: 195-6413. To email Monique and start getting the newsletter, contact her at moniqueduval [at] aol [dot] com. There’s lots more associated with that email newsletter, including the Slow Food Market, Dance classes, Language classes… so do get it started as soon as you can.
As we type this, Planned Pethood, all of the dog shelters in the area (AFAD, Evolución and others), many local veterinarians, a significant number of foreign volunteer veterinarians and many local and expat volunteers are working long hours to spay or neuter as many domestic animals as possible between January 8 and January 14. The goal for this third spay/neuter campaign is 1,500 animals. We hear that they have worked on 700 animals so far, as of Monday night (2 days so far). So far, each year, these tireless volunteers have exceeded their goal and we can hardly wait to find out how many pets and owners are guaranteed a stress free and healthier life because these procedures are available. We will get a number for you and we will add the update to the comments as soon as the last surgeries are over and the count is complete. Or if you want to know more up-to-the-minute news, come to our Facebook page.
Cruise Passenger Numbers Growing
Although the actual number of cruise ships arriving in Progreso did not grow in 2011, the number of passengers grew from 284,611 in 2010 to 290,000 in 2011. Some consider the size of Progreso and wonder where they put them all? The Director of Tourism explained that many, if not most, of Yucatan’s visitors come to see archaeological sites and the City of Merida, passing through Progreso on their way to those attractions. Even so, there are plenty of beach lovers left to enjoy a short trip to the end of the pier, a leisurely meal of pescado frito, guacamole and chips and a cold Sol with the sand between their toes, while watching the world go by. Sounds wonderful, doesn’t it?
From the Author’s Desk: a New Expat Newsletter
Over the course of the past few years, Merida has become a Mecca for expat writers. Many are bloggers, but some author books. At least one has mastered the secret of successful self-publishing and is willing to pass on tips and even to offer a few badly needed services to other writers. Malcolm Massey writes action-adventure books and publishes them online. He has given several local seminars and has found that there is a need for not only assistance with publishing, but for editing as well. His seminars are quite affordable. The next one is in Progreso, on Thursday, January 26, 2012 from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon, at the Centro de Idiomas y Especialidades Progreso (CEIP) in Progreso, Calle 31 No. 142-A between 76 y 78 Centro. Just one block off of 78 as you drive into Progreso from Merida, this location is easy to find. Class size is limited, the cost is $100 pesos. If you are interested, send Malcolm an e-mail (malcolmmassey [at] hotmail [dot] com) with Seminar in the subject line. If you are a writer, there are quite a few items of interest in From the Author’s Desk, so be sure to let him know that you want to be put on his mailing list.
Helping Children and the Elderly
This week, we learned about an organization that is new to us but that has been helping children and the elderly, around the world, for enough years – and has been open and honest for long enough – to earn a four star rating from Charity Navigator. Four stars are the highest rating given by Charity Navigator. This charitable organization is called Christian Foundation for Children and Aging. What we like best about this organization is that it is helping people right here in Merida. This is a sponsorship program ($30 USD per month), but sponsors are encouraged to form relationships with the individuals and families they sponsor. If you are looking for a way to give back to the community, we have done the research and can recommend the Christian Foundation for Children and Aging.
Iowa Teachers Donate Musical Instruments
There has long been a strong bond between the educational systems of Iowa and Yucatan, especially at the university level. Each year, there are quite a few exchange students between the two states and we have had the pleasure of meeting several of them. This time, however, it is the teachers of Central Iowa College, in Pella, Iowa, who have outdone themselves. They have donated 18 musical instruments to the Youth Orchestra System of Yucatan. For those who are unaware of the origins of the Youth Orchestra System in Yucatan, this is not a part of the formal education curriculum. Instead, it is a social program, designed to teach discipline and teamwork at the same time that it discourages delinquent behavior. If you heard these young people in their concerts during the Christmas season, you know that the program is a smashing success. The teachers of Central Iowa College are deeply appreciated for their efforts to assist this wonderful program.
Kenyan Wins Merida Marathon
It seems that Merida has hit the big time with its annual Merida Marathon. This year, the race that helps to mark the opening of the Anniversary of the City drew over 3,500 contestants. This puts the Merida Marathon in the same class with annual marathons in Torreon, Monterrey and Mexico City, especially when we consider that the winners (1st and 2nd place for men, 1st place for women) split about $800,000 pesos and each got a brand new car. Our congratulations to not only the winners, but to all who have worked so hard to put the Merida Marathon on the map as one of the biggest and best in the country.