News Starting January 30, 2012
Introduction to a Fine New Wine
Recently, Slavia Restaurant, Jesus Solorzano and MAKKEN (with their agent, Ana Hernandez) organized a luncheon at Slavia Restaurant, for the purpose of introducing an Argentine wine from San Juan Valley. The label is Graffigna, a line of wines that has strength, is flavorful and elegant, with good acidity, and is fresh and fruity. Special guest at the luncheon was Federico Lleonart, Global Wine Ambassador from Argentina, who introduced Graffigna. For those who might like to give this wine a try, it is now on the menu at Slavia’s Restaurant. If someone would like to purchase a bottle, it can be found at Wal-Mart, Covi and La Europea. For more on the Graffigna wine series, visit their website.
Beach: Rain! Rain! Go Away!
Be careful what you wish for. Yucatan is in the tropics and has two seasons: the rainy season and the rest of the year. We are obviously in the end days of the rainy season for the Winter of 2011/2012. So far, this winter, it hasn’t been overly cool in Yucatan, but the rain and nortes have been rather regular, often closing ports with high wind and water and coming with fog that causes reduced visibility. This interrupts the ability of over 1,400 fishing boats to do their jobs; but, at the same time, we have had no incidents of flooding, which is a blessing for farmers and cattle ranchers. The alternative is summer and no rain again until the wet stuff is just something you run across, every now and then, in your memory. The brush fires will come back and the smoke will come back, and we will all be wishing it was winter again.
Our Lady of Sorrows Sheds Real Tears
Over the past decade or so, there has been a movement, throughout the State of Yucatan, to rescue and restore historical and religious monuments of all kinds. This has been especially true in the case of colonial churches and figures of Jesus, Mary and the various local patron saints of the municipalities. It took five long years to restore the Virgen de los Dolores in the Municipality of Santa Elena; but she was recently able to be put on display during the celebrations in honor of Santo Cristo del Amor and San Mateo. As the ladies who were carrying the rosary approached the statue at Santo Cristo del Amor, the noticed that the she appeared to be shedding real tears. One of the ladies actually touched her face and, as witnessed by several hundred parishoners, the lady’s fingers were wet. All sorts of technical reasons for this phenomenon have been proposed, most having to do with how the statue was restored, but the local people are more interested in speculating on the reasons that Our Lady would be crying. If you would like to visit next year, you just might be a witness to this phenomenon. The celebration in honor of Santo Cristo del Amor takes place between January 10 and January 24, and what some are calling a miracle took place during the processions on the last day.
New Religious Pilgrimages Still Forming in Yucatan
While we officially do not support any one religion over another, or those who are religious over nonbelievers, we do observe society as it grows and develops in Yucatan. In this mode, we find it interesting that religion, in this state, is alive and well and still growing. All of the marvelous religious processions we see are not relics held over from the colonial era. This week, the Deanery of Eight: Abalá, Muna, Halachó, Maxcanú, Chocholá, Umán, Kinchil and Hunucmá celebrated its second annual procession to Hunucmá to pay tribute to the statue of Our Lady of Tetiz. Over 200 priests, seminarians and acolytes, from the eight sites in the deanery, walked in the procession. When it was over, a board of trustees was named and this procession has secured its place in the religious history of Yucatan in only two short years.
Yucatan: All About Sports
Ok, sports fans. This is for you! This week Yucatan was, literally, all about sports. For those who wonder if they will be leaving sporting events behind if they move to Yucatan, take a look at just some of the highlights of sports during this one week in Yucatan:
*** Yucatan’s Basketball All-Stars win 78 – 69 over Belize’s National Team to become the best team on the Circuito Peninsular de Básquetbol (CIPEBA). They played in Merida, at the Gimnasio Polyfunctional, in front of a crowd of 2,500 spectators.
*** The State Wrestling Association has chosen winners, in each of four categories, to start the final march toward the nation’s 2012 Olympic Wrestling team. Their next competition will be at the Greco-Roman Forum in Chiapas and then on to the Free Will Stadium in Villahermosa, Tabasco.
*** Mexico finished the Central American Table Tennis Championship in first place, with four gold, two silver and two bronze medals. The stars of this entire competition were the very young Yucatecos, Ricardo Villa and Angel Briceno, who teamed with Quintana Roo’s Damian Arce and Alberto Romo. Mexico’s performance was deemed “brilliant” and they are expected to dominate this sport, as they have in the past. Even now, Yucatan’s own Alejandrina Mendez Moguel is part of the Mexican table tennis team that is competing in Brazil in the Latin American Table Tennis Championship.
*** Yucatecos Certified as National Olympic Divers. Not only have four of Yucatan’s divers from Club Kukulcan been certified as national specialty diving champions, but Yucatan also turned up with medal winners who are very young and still too inexperienced to compete at the international level. One was little María Rufino, of Club Bancarios. Maria is only seven years old but still brought home a silver medal in the 3-meter dive and a bronze in the 1-meter dive. It looks as if Yucatan will have plenty to brag about in its divers for many years to come!
*** Amateur Boxing is alive and well in Yucatan. They have just finished the State Amateur Boxing competition and are getting ready for the Olympic Regional Boxing competition, which will be held in Merida beginning March 1, 2012. These contests are in every category, from children to young adults, and gyms all over the city are working hard to promote the sport.
*** Soccer: The Sharks of Progreso played the Technological College of Progreso and the Sharks won, 4 to 2. This was a fast and furious game between local rivals, but the Tiburones (Sharks) dominated all the way. This match is a parallel to what footballers know as bowl games. The name of this particular event is the Buenos Aires Classic, so look for it again about this time next year.
*** February 1, 2012: Happy Birthday Salvador Alvarado Stadium. Organized sports and a reverence for stadiums that have survived the test of time are nothing new in Yucatan. This year, this stadium’s birthday will include a running of a torch, at 5:00 AM, from the Plaza Grande to light the cauldron in Salvador Alvarado Stadium. The procession will be accompanied by a host of runners. An updated history of the stadium, in book form, is now complete and will be presented at this event.
Merida Judges Study Constitutional Changes and International Treaties
The wheels of justice grind exceedingly slow, they say. But sometimes the wheels of justice break loose and a society is catapulted into a new millenium with dizzying speed. Such is the case with the 2011 additions to the Mexican Constitution. Human rights are the hot topic here and, as is always the case with Mexico, when new laws are added to the Constitution, every judge in the country makes it their business to take the issues seriously and enforce the laws as they are intended. This week, there was a panel discussion, in Merida, designed to bring regional judges up to speed on the new laws on which they will be ruling, especially the laws that include human rights. These laws are not only in the Constitution now, but are also part of more than one international treaty signed by Mexico. This time, the reforms have changed the backbone of the entire legal framework in Mexico, making every judge a judge of international law, meaning that all of their decisions must take human rights into consideration. The interest shown by Yucatan’s judges, as well as their willingness to learn the new laws and apply them fairly, leaves little doubt that Yucatan has taken yet another leap forward toward solidifying her place as a leader in the 21st century.