News / Yucatan News: No More OTC Antibiotics

Yucatan News: No More OTC Antibiotics

Yucatan News: No More OTC Antibiotics

6 September 2010 News 5

News Starting September 06, 2010


Planned Pethood Mexico to Host Second Spay/Neuter Clinic
The first spay/neuter clinic sponsored by Planned Pethood Mexico managed to spay/neuter 1,298 animals in 5 days.This campaign produced the largest number of animals operated on in only 5 days in the history of Latin America. As soon as the New Year rolls around, they are going to try to beat their record by trying to operate on more than 1,500 animals in just six days. Any vets who can volunteer to come and help will be deeply appreciated. Planned Pethood Mexico will provide accommodations and will feed you while you are here. Volunteers, get ready! This means a goal of 250 animals per day for almost a week, but there was never a more worthy project than this. Mark your calendars for January 9 – 15, 2010, with January 12 as the only off day.

Planned Pethood Mexico: Program CATNIP
September 26, 2010
As part of the 2010 Spay/Neuter Program, there will be a low cost clinic to spay/neuter cats only on September 26, 2010. This is not a free clinic and surgeries are scheduled by appointment only, since there will be space and time for only 30 cats. If you would like to take advantage of this program, please contact Planned Pethood Mexico
Location: Planned Pethood in Merida, Yucatan
For More Information: Phone: 944-2310. You will receive complete instructions when you register your cat for surgery.
Cost: The fee is $300 pesos for females and $200 pesos for males. Preregistration is required

Bicentennial Radio
Radio Universidad, at UADY, has a series of what will eventually be sixty-two programs dedicated to Mexico's Independence and Revolution. Currently, there are forty of the programs already online and available for download. They are being played on the radio, but have been put online for those who would like to access them that way. You can find the files at Just click on the button on the left hand side of the page to see the list of all available programs. The subjects of the programs range from specific personalities, like Zapata or Salvador Alvardo to a vast range of topics, including the Children's Hospital in Yucatan, the satiric press in Yucatan, Church and State between the Independence and the Revolution, Slavery in Yucatan in the 19th Century and a whole lot more. They are all in Spanish, and are a great way to practice your Spanish listening skills and learn Mexican and Yucatan history at the same time!

Progreso Has Ecotourism Degree
Yucatan's own Progreso now holds the distinguished position of having the only Baccalaureate degree in Ecotourism in all of Mexico. The school was intended to have an opening class of 35, but demand was so strong that 40 students have now been admitted. This is quite a feather in Yucatan's cap. We are proud of not only the students who will study in Progreso, but of their teachers as well. Congratulations to all. We will be looking for great things from these young people and their programs.

Understanding Octopus Shortage
The numbers for the third week of octopus season show that the catch is barely enough to sustain the fishermen and boat captains, and is certainly far below last year's bumper catch. Now, we have an explanation. According to the fishermen, when the water is too warm, the octopi head for cooler deep water. As soon as the nortes arrive, so do the octopi. It seems that the temperature of the shallow water off the coast of Yucatan is now above 30 degrees Celsius, which is considered very hot. This gives rise to the notion that, if the octopus catch makes a dramatic improvement in any one week, it is probable that we are headed for cooler weather.

Gone! OTC Antibiotics in Mexico
The worldwide abuse of antibiotics has led to a situation in which, without intervention, it won't be long before bacteria have developed an immunity to anything we have that might kill them. We hear reports from a number of places around the world where antibiotics are not only overused, but are dumped into local water systems and are even being found in local seawater. The overuse and abuse of antibiotics is now judged to be a worldwide crisis and Mexico, this past week, took steps to do its part to help resolve the issue.

No longer will anyone be able to obtain over-the-counter antibiotics in Mexico. From now on, customers must have a prescription for medications listed on a 51-page list of antibiotics. COFEPRIS is the Federal Commission for the Protection of Public Sanitation and they have some pretty stiff penalties waiting for pharmacists caught disobeying this law, so keep that in mind as we all adjust to these new rules.

Driving to Mexico? How Does 119.1 Miles Per Gallon Sound?
A man from Washington State, U.S., has driven a car all the way from the Canadian border to the Mexican border (1,384 miles) on only 12.4 gallons of gasoline! Craig Henderson and Bill Green developed the car in the 1980s, but the auto industry wasn't interested, so Henderson just kept on making it better on his own. The car is a cute little roadster that Mr. Henderson is planning to sell in a kit car. At 119.1 mpg, we would be willing to bet that this will be front page news the minute the Avion kits hit the market.

More Bad Weather for the East Coast of Mexico
With only weeks to go before the Snowbirds head down for the winter, the weather continues to be problematic along the east coast of Mexico. In Tabasco, six rivers are still out of their banks, with rain falling and more on the way. In addition, there is a low pressure area located in the Gulf of Mexico, right off of the coast of Veracruz. All five of its projected paths make landfall in Tamaulipas, one of the two worst hit states by Hurricane Alex just two months ago. For those who will be driving down, please keep an eye on tropical storm conditions in the states along the east coast and be prepared to detour around flooding if necessary. It must also be noted that Quintana Roo is on Blue Alert, which is the lightest of all possible hurricane warnings, because Hurricane Gaston may be strengthening and headed in their direction. Needless to say, the weather will certainly not be dull this coming week!

Proyecto Itzaes Awarded Grants, Joins Roots and Shoots
Proyecto Itzaes is a volunteer community service organization that has been operating in Yucatan for 10 years. Their programs include providing children's books and a family literacy program to six villages in Yucatan. They plan on adding one village per year from now on. This program has been so successful that they now have quite a few prepatoria graduates attending UADY on scholarships.

They have a Read to Me program and a wonderful group of environmental programs that include reforestation and traditional gardening. Children are introduced to the sciences and to the activities associated with beach cleanup. Their cultural preservation programs are outstanding and feature such activities as having the children trace their genealogy and write about it. Emphasis is placed on preventive health care, as well as introducing the children to traditional foods and nutritional information gleaned from their elders. Proyecto Itzaes now also provides volunteers to work with children who need special education services in Chicxulub Puerto, and with the blind children who attend school in Ixil.

So far, in 2010, Proyecto Itzaes has been awarded grants by Los Altos, CA Rotary, Palo Alto, CA Rotary and Club Rotario Nuevas Generaciones of Mérida, Yucatán. Grants were funded to implement classes and training for bio-intensive gardening and permaculture as well as developing a village based farmers’ market. Proyecto Itzaes has also received a grant from the Foundation for Global Community, which makes it possible for them to continue essential services.

As if all of the above has not been enough good news about Proyecto Itzaes, we are also pleased to announce that the children of Proyecto Itzaes have now formed their own chapter of Roots and Shoots, which is a worldwide organization of young people who are dedicated to making the world a better place in which to live for people and for animals. Roots and Shoots was founded by Dr. Jane Goodall. 

Flu: What a Difference a Year Makes
Last year, we had the H1N1 flu scare that was fueled by an already rabid foreign media run of Mexico-bashing, in concert with worldwide health organizations that either wanted their name in the paper or wanted to try out their rapid response scenarios. The result was worldwide panic. This year, the flu is back but is barely a blip on anyone's radar. What we know is that it is Influenza (type A) H3N2. It began in Australia, hopped over to Europe and South America – then came up through Central America to southeastern Mexico. Symptoms include a garden variety of complaints, from coughing to sore muscles, but it does not seem to be life-threatening unless someone is already ill. Individuals who are in advanced age, very young, or have respiratory problems should see a doctor immediately if they show symptoms of the flu. Otherwise, eat well, sleep well, get plenty of exercise, and have a great winter.

Another Bike Path Adopted in Yucatan
This past weekend saw the 4th Anniversary of the Bici-Ruta in Merida. Since its inception, one town after another has begun to view bike riding as an at least weekly event in the fight against obesity and coronary disease. We have seen bike paths open in Tizimin, Valladolid and Motul. Now, there is a bike path in Peto, 135 km southeast of Merida. Read more about Peto on Bicycle Yucatan.

Blah blah blah: Flavor Flashback...from Monique Duval

My mother drove me to school. We drove down Woodlawn Avenue in her 1970 Buick Riviera. At the intersection of Zarzamora Street we would pull into the convenience store and put $2.00 of gas in the tank. Then we turned right down Zarzamora and we passed the panaderia - the one with the mural of the Virgen de Guadalupe in full color, arms extended, holding out a canopy of roses protecting the low-riders from hail. We passed the Lebanese store where the ancient clerks, all brothers and sisters, were all dressed in black cloaks all year round. They would follow closely behind us children when we went to buy our salty Chinese plum candy and liquid chamoy and pop-rocks, trying to catch our larceny in the hollow of their scary eyes. We passed three used car lots. A gazillion pawn shops. Then we arrived at Little Flower, my school. I was greeted by that September smell of clean, starch, fresh chalk and the perfume of pencil shavings. The smell of a new beginning. I would kiss my mother goodbye and my friends would say how beautiful my mother was, and was that the real color of her red, red hair? I had a strawberry red imprint of her lips on my cheek all day long.

Today I packed a lunch for my children. We take the same route to school that we will take for the next nine years. They will remember the smell of the waffles I make in the morning and I might just start wearing lipstick so I can imprint on their little cheeks, I love you.

Sourdough Waffle Recipe
the night before:
400 g levadura madra
400 g whole milk
200 g. flour
90 g. olive oil
25 g. honey
1 tsp. salt
cover and let it ferment over night

In the morning, as your waffle iron heats, add:
2 eggs
1/2 tsp sodium bicarbonate

Mix well and bake until golden brown. Serve with honey, maple syrup, cut fresh fruit, nutella, peanut butter .... whatever your children love!

If you want the full Monique experience, go see her at her bakery on Saturday mornings at the SLOW Food Market (information on our Ongoing Events page).


  • Working Gringos 7 years ago

    Yes, this should be for all of Mexico. We don't know how they will be handling it in Playa del Carmen... perhaps someone can report their findings after going there.

  • CasiYucateco 7 years ago

    Meant to add that Proyecto Itzaes is a wonderful organization and we've donated to them for a while now. Supporting people who do this kind of work is one of the best ways of helping those who are less fortunate in Mexico. A program like Roots and Shoots can make a lasting difference.

  • CasiYucateco 7 years ago

    The effective date appears to have been August 31, 2010, a week ago.

    I really feel is a good move on their part. The use of OTC anti-biotics for self-diagnosed problems only leads to bacteria becoming immune, leading to ever more dangerous infections. Most who self-diagnose don't know the difference between 3 a day (meaning every 8 hours) or (taking 3 at once, every day). And various other combinations of taking drugs improperly or not long enough, and then creating anti-biotic resistent bacteria.

    Anti-biotics do absolutely nothing for viral infections and they've been commonly -- shockingly commonly -- used for colds, flu, etc, where no effect will be found other than a possible placebo effect.

    Proper diagnosis is the key, followed by proper use of the proper anti-biotic, if necessary.

  • Sacbe 7 years ago

    What is the starting date that we will not be able to buy OTC antibiotics in Mexico? Does this include Playa Del Carmen, an area I usually visit while on vacation.

  • Debi 7 years ago

    The Cat-Nip spay/neuter clinic sponsored by Planned Pethood I believe is scheduled for September 26, not January 26.

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