News Starting November 05, 2012
The Merida English Library is busier than ever these days and their news tops the charts for this week.
MEL House and Garden Tour Special Prices
The new MEL House and Garden Tour’s October member discount ($100 pesos) has been such a success that it has been extended through the entire season. Plus, there is now a nifty new discount in place as well. If members bring a guest to the MEL House and Garden Tour, the guest receives a discounted price of $150 pesos! This season, the House and Garden Tours take place every Tuesday, with Registration (plus coffee and pastries) from 9:00 AM to 9:30 AM, October through April. Remember, all proceeds go to the library to keep it a vital part of the community, and tours will be led by knowledgeable locals.
Call for Writers: January “Show Us Your Stuff” Expo
The Writers’ Gathering will be hosting a Writers Expo called “Show Us Your Stuff” at MEL on January 19, 2013. All writers are invited to showcase their books, bloggers are urged to bring their laptops and show off their sites, and the invitation is even extended to editors, publishers, agents, computer technical assistants, writing coaches and anyone else who has anything to do with writing. It is hoped that, from this Writers Expo, a committee will develop to raise the profile of writers living in Merida and throughout the Yucatan Peninsula. A publication of short pieces, by local authors, is also in the works for 2013, so writers are urged to participate in this event. The only requirement for participation in the expo is registration, which can be done at meridawriters2012 [at] gmail [dot] com or with LG at lg5050 [at] hotmail [dot] com As of now, “Show Us Your Stuff” is scheduled for January 19, 2013, from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM. The public is invited to come and meet the writers as well.
Harley Davidson “Before The End of the World” Merida
This past weekend, if you were in Merida and thought you heard the unmistakable sound of 1,200 Harleys, you were right. Mexico’s national Harley Davidson Owners club held their 14th annual rally in Merida this year. The name of the event was “Before the End of the World” and the object was to explore Yucatan’s cultural, archaeological and culinary wonders. It was fun to see (and hear!) hundreds of motorcycles roaring down Paseo de Montejo… that’s an experience to remember! The guys we talked to told us the participants were from all over Mexico (the two pictured here were from Mexico City) and that there were over 1000 bikes participating in the events. The Harley Davidson owners donated $80,000 pesos to the Merida DIF, which was much appreciated. If you are a Harley lover and/or owner and wondering what Yucatan holds for you, as an expat, we are pleased to tell you that the Harley community is alive and well throughout the Yucatan Peninsula. There are plenty of opportunities for tours, community service, poker runs, and even a springtime Blessing of the Helmets. Visit the Peninsular Harley-Davidson website to learn more.
Thefts from Beach Homes Begin
When Snowbirds come back to Yucatan, there seems to be a corresponding increase in thefts from homes along the beach, and this year is no exception. These are usually crimes of opportunity: a beach resident leaves a door or window open and/or unprotected and becomes the victim of a smash-and-grab robbery. In some cases, potential target homes are identified by would-be thieves, who walk the public beaches during the day and come back by boat at night to complete their goal. The target merchandise for these thefts seems to be cash left in plain sight, cell phones, laptops, televisions and any number of other electronic devices that are easily carried away. The beach community of expats is fairly well organized and work closely with each other and with the police to contain this sort of crime. If you live at the beach, or would like to live at the beach, do join Yolisto and connect with several Facebook groups of beach residents to keep on top of current information on this topic and to find out more about what you can do to protect your own home from these sorts of crimes. It might also be noted that these sorts of opportunistic crimes also take place in the city, so do join with other expats to ensure the continued security and tranquility in Yucatan. We once heard a tip from a third-generation Yucatecan whose family has a home at the beach. Whether they are in the house or not, they never leave anything of value on the bottom floor of the house. All members of the family know to keep all phones, computers, cameras, cash and anything else of value upstairs in their bedrooms. Probably good advice for everyone.
Weather: It May Not Sound Cold to You….
One norte after another seems to be hitting the Yucatan Peninsula these days, with temperatures dropping to 50 degrees or below in the early morning hours. Fifty degrees may sound like spring to many of our readers who live in far northern climates, but it is no laughing matter in Yucatan. Here, homes are constructed of concrete and tile, with no means of heating them. Cold is magnified for children who do not have the footwear or heavier clothing necessary to stay warm. In remote villages, some still live in houses made of sticks and the wind blows across the Yucatan Peninsula 24 hours a day. Imagine being a barefoot child in a house like that at 4:00 AM. Here in the tropics, the State Health Department is giving free flu shots to vulnerable populations. Throughout the winter, there will be coat, hat and blanket donation opportunities. We would even go so far as to suggest that as a new expat project if someone is looking for one. In the meantime, for those of us who do have an electric blanket, socks and sweats, enjoy the break from the heat. It’s been a long time coming and it won’t last long.
Yucatecos in the United States Restart 3 x 1
The best news we have heard in a long time is that there are currently 185,000 Yucatecos living in the United States and many have begun filing for the 3 x 1 economic program back here at home. Several years ago, Mexico realized that immigrants to the United States were not improving the lives of families back home when they sent them a few dollars here and there. Why not send that money to local communities so that the quality of life for the entire area could be improved? In the 3 x 1 Program, every $1 sent home is matched by the municipality, the state and the federal governments. Many times, well traveled roads leading to the city push those repairs and projects to the top of the list, leaving smaller rural towns and villages with no improvements. The 3 x 1 Program bypasses all of that and provides many community centers, sports fields, water and sewage systems, parks and road repairs to these communities, giving them a giant leap forward in terms of quality of life, job creation and tourist attraction. This is all thanks to the 185,000 Yucatecos who have migrated north of the border and carried a love for their home with them. There are 18,500 Yucatecos in San Francisco alone! Many thanks are due to the people of San Francisco, Los Angeles, Oregon, Arizona, Texas, and Chicago for being so gracious to the Yucatecos back home.
Welcoming Valladolid to Internet Tourism
Valladolid has done an amazing job of bringing their city and municipality to the attention of the world and now they have burst onto the Internet tourism scene with a tremendous level of savvy and professionalism. What does one do when your city is a magical place and nobody knows who you are, where you are, or even that you exist? That’s simple. You master the Internet, hold an international tourism festival, invite the world, and then write a book about how you did it. Then, you get a huge media group to publish and market your book and you’re on your way to worldwide fame. There are a few names that stand out along this path, such as: Armando Geded Lope, who organized that tourism fair and is the Economic and Project Coordinator for the area, Jorge Rivas Cantillo, who wrote the book Valladolid: Capital de Oriente Maya, and Megamedia Group, who is bringing the book to the world. If you haven’t been to Valladolid lately, we suggest that you take a ride over and see all that is new and improved in this brand new Magical Town in Mexico.
Schools Teach Poultry Breeding
The Yucatan Peninsula has a long history of less than optimal nutrition in some areas, especially in rural southern areas. Over the past few years, several sustainable projects have started to help combat this problem. The evidence of the success of these projects can be seen today in the recent proliferation of local farmers’ and artisans’ markets. Now, 400 young chickens have been given to four primary schools and students are being taught to breed chickens to combat malnutrition and obesity. While in school, the children are given a balanced diet to make certain they understand the direction in which their education is taking them. This program brings up the old adage of give a man a fish vs. teaching a man to fish and we all know the answer to which of those is more likely to make a long-term difference for the individual and for their community as well. Our congratulations to all of the children who are now standing on the first step to not only good health, but to a viable future business as well.
Latin America: Online Entrepreneurship and Business Incubator
Yucatan’s Valladolid isn’t the only one turning to the Internet to take great strides forward. It seems that all of Latin America is going to be logging on and moving on up in 2013, even primary schools in Quintana Roo! The Organization of the Americas for Excellence (ODAEE) will have an educational model online that teaches entrepreneurship and gives students access to a number of business incubators. Major universities and high schools will facilitate access to the programs and, we think, many stars will rise throughout the Yucatan Peninsula and all of Latin America because of this opportunity. What amazes us is the confidence of the young people who will be taking the courses. They’ve grown up in a tech-savvy world and, of course, they will be successful. It is their new normal and we are so glad they have this chance to prove themselves in whatever business they choose. You can read more about this organization at www.odaee.org.
Recycle Merida to Begin Again in December
It seems that, for some time now, recycling efforts have been ignored in Merida and now this is causing pollution problems at the local landfill. This is about to end. A new Recycle Merida program will be rolled out in early December and, from then on, organic and inorganic wastes will have to be separated. It is being suggested that all residents of Yucatan, no matter where they live, begin now to separate organic and inorganic garbage and start making it a habit. Sooner or later, it will be a requirement throughout the state. They are also asking that everyone compact trash as best you can. The rate of growth in housing alone is creating a problem with trash in the city, so it is better to address the issue head on and do everything possible to simplify this very complex issue. Many expatriates who come from places where recycling is more accepted and institutionalized will see this as a welcome advancement in the way that Yucatan deals with garbage.
Recycle Yucatan 2012: Recycle Electronics
As part of the National Program for Waste Collection and Recycling Education, there will be 16 Green Collection Points throughout the City of Merida (supposedly outlined in a map at Facebook “reciclonyuc2012″, but we have not been able to find that Facebook page. We have sent a message to get more information) during the week of November 12 through 17. Items will be accepted from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM, Monday through Friday (November 12 – 16) and then collected and sorted at a central location on the 17th. Please drop off computers, cell phones, laptops, set-top boxes, modems, routers, switches, hubs, monitors, printers, hard drives, power supplies and regulators, as well as scanners, electronic cards, phones, video games, chargers, stereos , faxes, recorders, computer mice and keyboards, VCRs, TVs and VCRs. Items that will not be taken include toner cartridges, kinescopes, white goods, light bulbs and lamps, batteries and televisions embedded in wood furniture. This is a wonderful program that everyone would love to see as a permanent part of waste collection in Merida. With this national education program in place, recycling electronics may soon become the norm throughout the city and state.