News starting November 02, 2009
Hotel Eco Paraiso Featured in Wild9 Congress
In the summer of 2009, a study was conducted by CAMBIOS of the impact of Hotel Eco Paraiso on the Celestun Biosphere Reserve. Results of that study will be presented at the 9th World Wilderness Congress that is to be held in Merida from Nov. 6th to Nov. 13. Read the entire press release to learn more about Hotel Eco Paraiso.
Lobster Market Failing in Yucatan & U.S.
This lobster season is not turning out well for the lobster fishermen of Yucatan or Maine. Our fishermen have been hurt by the unnecessary bad press that continues to damage our lobster market in Cancun. Maine’s fishermen are suffering because of diminished demand caused by the recession. In both cases, wholesale prices are lower than anyone can remember; $300 pesos per kilo in Yucatan and $2.25 per pound in Maine. Yucatan’s fishermen have cut their catch by 50%, even though there would have been a bumper haul this year. Maine’s fishermen continue to fish but some are actually selling lobster from roadside stands. Look for more hits to luxury products before the effects of this recession finally go away. Somewhere under the sea, the lobsters, however, are partying!
Merida Scores 2nd Place in Most Digitized Latino Cities
A digital city is a city that has both the infrastructure and level of technological services necessary to support the use of information technology to facilitate communication between citizens, businesses and public institutions. When Motorola conducted their latest study of the level of digitalization in Latin America, Sao Paulo, Brazil, and Chihuahua, Chihuahua, Mexico, tied for first place. Our own Merida, Yucatan, took second place. The remaining cities that placed in the top 10 on this list include: San Luis, Argentina; Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico; Florida, Uruguay; Santiago, Chile; Bogota, Colombia; Chacao, Caracas, Veneuela; and Las Condes, Chile. For those who are considering a move to Yucatan, this news is not news to us, but may help to explain the funny look on our faces when you ask us questions about such topics as whether we have access to the Internet. If you can live in a village and pay your water bill online, everything is probably going to be just fine if you move here – really. Congratulations to Merida! We’re looking for a 1st place win next year!
Study Says: Yucatan For Tourism & Medical Services
An investigation of resources by the Regional Development Group ITESM, has found that tourism and medical services are the two best areas of opportunity for investing in the State of Yucatan. This group, based at the Monterrey Institute of Technology, suggests that Yucatan move with all deliberate speed to further expand the educational and scientific structures that support these industries. We already know how good the medical care is here and that (ojala!) Americans will soon be able to use Medicare in Mexico. This promises more opportunities than ever for those who look forward to retiring in this area. Keep your eye on tourism, medical services, and medical support services as integral parts of Yucatan’s future.
Real Estate: Do Your Homework
The Internet can be your best friend or your worst enemy. Yucatan Living would like to take this opportunity to warn those who shop online for their dream home in Yucatan to please not only check references with the members of local expat boards, such as Yolisto, but also to not send deposits to agents you do not know. The wheels of justice grind slowly in Mexico, but grind they do and the bad guys always lose in the end. You just do not want to be among the victims. We have some excellent real estate firms here in Yucatan and many of them have English speaking staff. Do come and visit. Get to know them and check their references carefully. Every once in a while, someone comes to Yucatan with the notion that they can rip-off potential home buyers and get away with it. They have obviously chosen the wrong state because their new address soon becomes a local jail. We want you to be happy you moved to Yucatan, so – remember – no sending deposits to people you don’t know and have not checked out with local expats.
In The Mysterious Jungles of Yucatan
That phrase, “in the mysterious jungles of Yucatan,” is one we often hear and it never ceases to bring a smile. While there continue to be protected forests in our state, we want people to know that the people of Yucatan have not remained in some romanticized primitive condition. Several years ago, parents “in the mysterious jungles of Yucatan” singled out roaming charges on cell phones and MySpace as the two biggest problems they were having with their teens. Now, the D.A.R.E. program is in all of the schools, just like it is in your town. This week, we learn that a road safety course has been implemented in schools in Ticul because there are problems, just like in your town, with teen drivers and their high accident rate. We invite everyone to come and visit “the mysterious jungles of Yucatan,” but please understand that the people who live there buy their groceries in a big box store, have 24-hour convenience stores, have internet access, and cable television, all just like you do. The trick here is that the people of Yucatan seem to have found a way to keep the best of the old, while enjoying the best of the new – and that is worth a trip to see in and of itself.
Day of the Dead Draws Record Numbers
All of the tallies are not in yet, but Day of the Dead visitor numbers seem to be higher this year than ever before, especially in the outlying towns. Izamal has reported that more than 300 people a day are coming to clean their family graves and they expect over 2,000 visitors to their cemetery during the weekend. Tixkokob and Tahmek report the same level of increased activity. What this has done is, year by year, the municipal authorities have seen the value of these celebrations and have put a significant amount of money into helping the people with their annual cleaning and preparation of the cemeteries for this important event. This includes loaning them municipal employees to help with painting cemetery walls and hauling away debris. Their efforts are being rewarded with huge numbers of tourists visiting their small towns. So – while we all love the pomp and circumstance in Merida, please do not forget that there are excellent shows, and altars to be seen and experienced in all parts of our state.
Air Service: Mexico City to Cuba
Interjet now has 2 daily flights from Merida to Mexico City and Aerogaviota has flights from Mexico City to Havana on Thursday and Sunday. If you are looking for someplace different to go, or if you have always wanted to visit Cuba, this is an excellent opportunity to do so. We hear that a round trip ticket from Mexico City to Havana is only $2,300 pesos and “tourism packages” are available.
Need a Vacation? Visit Mexico!
This is for our expats in Yucatan, who might be looking for cooler weather for next summer. If you are looking for a “cool” (both literally and figuratively) place to get away from it all, why not look at Las Pozas? In 2007, Roberto Hernandez, with the help of the Pedro and Elena Hernandez Foundation, decided to restore the Surrealist Xanadu that was built in the Huastecan jungle by Edward James, the eccentric English poet and artist, and patron of the Surrealist movement. This week, we received a link to El Bable, the blog of a friend, and discovered this wonderland for the first time ourselves. Take a look. Then start planning your next vacation getaway and make those plans in the direction of visiting yet another of the wonders of Mexico!
Economy: Rally Quicker for Mexico & Brazil
There is something to be said for being the new kid on the stage of the world’s economy. When the U.S. fell, the world fell with it – but Mexico and Brazil, both with huge domestic economies, didn’t have far to fall because they were relatively new to the game. Now, with barely a mention that the U.S. economy is turning around, the economies of Mexico and Brazil are making astonishing rallies. They didn’t have far to fall, so it isn’t hard for them to catch back up and surpass gains made before the recession. Brazil has the 5th largest economy in the world and Mexico the 11th. This is a formidable economic duo – and they know it. Look for a Brazil and Mexico that are stronger than ever from now into the foreseeable future.
Factories Rehiring on the Mexican Border
After sweeping layoffs in the factories along the Mexican border, we’ve read that factories are rehiring. Although some say that the recovery is still weak, due to low demand for finished products in the U.S., the fact remains that Mexicans are working again and, given their determination, it won’t be long before “weak” will hardly be a word used in the same sentence with the economy of Mexico. Mexico’s market is now global and we doubt they will fall into the trap of depending on only one market again. Even those who use the term “weak” today admit that Mexico is still an attractive destination for the manufacturing industry world wide. Now, all that is needed is strong demand for the products they make and it looks as if that is on its way. Congratulations to all Mexicans for having survived yet another crisis imposed on them from outside their nation. Well done!
“The Girls” Go to Komchen
One of our favorite blogs is Beach Bum in the Yucatan, written by an expat who came here to retire and ended up in the real estate business. Along the way, she started one of the best blogs, with the best pictures of life at the beach that we have ever seen. Her latest blog entry is about the day that she and two other expats took off and went to Komchen to buy plants for their yards. The pictures of the plant nursery, as well as information on pricing of plants and a pretty fine lunch are more than reason enough to visit Beach Bum in the Yucatan’s Day off with the girls – Komchen. For those of our readers who are coming down for the annual Bird Festival, you surely don’t want to miss this opportunity to see this post because Komchen is the literal heart of bird-watching on all of the Yucatan Peninsula and will be one of your destinations.
Samuel Barrera Wins El Chile Contest
Merida’s own Samuel Barrera has won the El Chile painting contest at the Sixth World Pepper Convention held here in Merida a few weeks ago. His painting cleverly showed a $30,000 peso bill (the amount of the award) with a habanero pepper in the spot where the icon to a national hero would have been. Naomi Barrera Echeverria Noh won in the photography competition with the profile of a native woman with a striking headdress of peppers found only in this region. This is an important contest because Yucatan is now the official home of the habanero pepper (read more about the habanero here) and because it showcased 36 paintings and 28 photographs by artists and photographers from the State of Yucatan. Congratulations to Samuel and to all of his friends, supporters, and fans!