News Starting November 14, 2011
Great News In Tourism to Mexico
The numbers for 2011 are beginning to roll in and there is good news for every sector of Tourism to Mexico. These numbers are from January through the end of September and are compared to the same period for the previous year. First, overall tourism is up 2%, with 16,736,000 international tourists visiting Mexico during the first three-quarters of 2011. For the month of September, the rate of tourism was up 2.8% over last September, with 457,000 tourists coming in that month alone. But what kind of tourists are they? Now the numbers really begin to mean something, because we discover that medical tourism has increased 5.6%. The amount that tourists are spending is also increasing. International visitors increased their spending by 4% in September, while spending by tourists who simply cross the border increased by 13.5% in that same month. Overall, international visitors have increased their spending 4.7% and those tourists who just cross the border have increased their annual expenditure by 6.7%. At a time when everyone expects to hear bad news and blame it on the global recession, this is great news for Mexico. Tourism may be slow, but slow and steady has very often been known to win the race.
Yucatan on Bird Forum
We admit that we love pretty birds, but we are not avid birdwatchers. We had no idea that 20% of the American population now identifies themselves as active birdwatchers, nor did we really understand the magnitude of the birding economic boon to many developing countries. Americans take as many as THREE million foreign birding trips a year and spend in excess of $32 billion USD on those trips. We were astounded! We were also very proud to see, on birdforum.com that talk of birding on the Yucatan Peninsula has more threads dedicated to it than any other area of Mexico. With non-stop birding activity between now and Christmas, we want to welcome all of the birders who choose to come to Yucatan. We think you made the right choice!
Prolonged Droughts + Freezes = Famine
A little bad weather is one thing. Drastic environmental changes that result in textbook famine is something else entirely. Recently, it has been found that, unless things change dramatically – and soon – rural areas in the states of Durango, Zacatecas, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Estado de Mexico, Oaxaca and Guerrero will see a total of 26 million Mexicans living not just in poverty, but in a state of famine. This is not just Mexico’s problem. No matter where in the world we live, this is an issue that is happening near us all. The next time you are asked to participate in a “Green” program of any kind, in Yucatan or wherever you live, please consider joining. One person’s efforts may not help much; but together we can make a difference.
Progreso: Blankets and Coats for the Needy
This year, the Enlazados Progreso ladies’ group is getting an early start on winter. While cooler temperatures are little more than a brief inconvenience for those of us who have solid homes, warm clothes and plenty of blankets, the same cannot be said for the poor in any tropical climate. The constant wind off of the water chills them to the bone. Children and the elderly are particularly hard hit. If you would like to donate coats, sweaters, pants, socks, shoes, raincoats, jackets, blankets, sheets, or anything else that might make cold weather a little easier to handle, you can do so by contacting the Enlazados Progreso ladies’ group on their Facebook page.
10,000 Chicks to 2,600 Families
Four little yellow chicks may not seem like much to many people, but to poor rural families, those same four chicks can turn into an entire flock of chickens that have the potential to feed their families for years to come. This past week, through a special government program, 2,600 families in the area of Tixkokob received a total of over 10,000 chicks. Its hard to think of having to start that small, but Yucatan’s rural and farming families can accomplish great things from very humble beginnings. We hope to see later reports of what transpires as the flocks of these families grow to support them both personally and commercially.
Motul: Two More Women-Owned Businesses
For those who live in Yucatan, women-owned businesses are nothing new. Others are often amazed at the courage of many indigenous women as they brave the world of grants and loans to start and maintain strong businesses. Add to that the fact that they often share ownership among a dozen or more women and some of these businesses seem more like miracles than flesh-and-blood partnerships. This time, ten women in Motul have opened a papelería (stationery store) and ten more have opened a business that rents tables and chairs for events. Both have received assistance from the Commission for the Development of Indigenous Peoples (CDI). These businesses are so well researched and administered that we know they will be successful from their beginnings. We would like to congratulate all of the ladies of the Municipality of Motul and wish them much success in the New Year.
Motul Wins Second Municipal Quality Award
When 33 indicators were rated, the Municipality of Motul won a Certificate of Quality for the second time in a row. This award is a quality of life and government award that includes such indicators as Civil Protection leadership, availability of the Internet, the effective rule of law, transparency, innovative economic alternatives, promotion of agriculture, industrial development, and availability of basic training opportunities. Motul is not a flashy tourist town. Instead, Motul is a relatively quiet college town that just keeps on gaining on the larger cities in the region. Motul is an often overlooked jewel that is not far from Star Medica and the Periferico. It makes a great day trip and we encourage everyone to go out and take a look at one of the nicest cities in Yucatan.
The Red Deer Market is Growing
For the past 17 years, there has been a breeding program for red deer in Tzucacab. Little by little, the ranch has been allowed to market venison to higher end restaurants, especially in Quintana Roo. Now, demand has exceeded production and local customers are being pushed out as marketing continues to grow on the Mayan Riviera. With this in mind, Profepa and Semarnat are controlling the sales in an effort to prevent poaching. The herds are being increased and we think it won’t be long before red deer just might be as common a food animal as cattle. They’re big, lean, healthy and a venison chili be a smashing hit at either of the two expat chili cook offs in Yucatan.
Bakeries Inspected and Certified Monthly
Remember the days when the best advice was that its okay to order a Coke, just be careful of the ice? Then, all of the ice houses had to have their water inspected, as well as their final product, and no one thinks twice about ordering a drink with ice in the Yucatan anymore. Now, the same scenario has come to Yucatan’s bakeries. Their organizational standards come from the National Bakery Industry (Canainpa). The water they use, as well as their facility and their final products are inspected and are now certified on a monthly basis. For those of our readers who haven’t been to Yucatan yet, the sweets here may not be the Crisco and sugar mixture you’re used to, but they are in a class by themselves and now we know they are safely made as well.
30 Mayors Will Go to Long Beach, California
December 3, 2011, will mark the 10th anniversary of the “3 x 1 Program” in Mexico. This is a program in which migrants to the U.S. pool their remittances, which are then matched by funds from the Federal, State and Municipal governments in their home towns. In this way, their remittances are quadrupled and the money is applied to community projects, such as roads, parks, and utility upgrades. This year, the “3 for 1″ event will be held in Long Beach, California, and will be attended by at least 30 Mayors from the State of Yucatan. Our ties to California and Yucatan make us doubly proud to see this event held in Long Beach and we want everyone involved to know how very proud we are of them all.