Yucatan News: Nortes and Carnival
News Starting February 15
Click NOW for Peanut Pet Shelter!
The Peanut Pet Shelter in Playa del Carmen has an opportunity to receive funds (up to $10,000) from The Animal Rescue Site. They are presently in First Place for the International competition and in seventh for the big prize of $10,000. Can you please help them by clicking on the link below voting daily for Peanut Pet Shelter in Mexico? It is so easy!!!.....and they are so close! They also have the opportunity to win $1000 as a weekly winner.
Please click on this link to vote Daily.......and click on this link to learn more about the Peanut Pet Shelter.
This shelter has done so much good for so many years. They truly deserve this grant. Won't you help them get it? Don't forget - Click the link above daily (ou can click the logo too...)!
Norte Number 31
Even as we type, Norte # 31 is headed down the coast toward Yucatan from Veracruz. That would not be so bad if the effects of Norte # 30 were not still with us, and if we hadn’t heard that Norte # 32 is already on the way. While news like this only means that expats just get out our nice warm blankets and fuzzy slippers, we must also remember that this will have a tragic effect on the economy for our fishermen and their families. We suspect that this would be an excellent time to contribute to the Chicxulub Food Bank.
Carnival Numbers Are Huge!
It looks as if a “few” people showed up for Carnival in Merida this year. In the first 2 days, the merrymakers numbered approximately 150,000. Then came the Fantasy Parade and another 150,000 parade-goers showed up just for that. Some of these folks are trying to make it to all of the parades, but most are choosing just one because of the traffic. Curiosity is running high here on just what the actual end count will be on Wednesday. We will be sure and let you know! We will post the address of the website for the 2011 Carnival in Merida as soon as it goes online. May we suggest that you check it often and buy a box and all the tickets you think you might need on the day they go on sale? Who in the world would ever have thought that these kinds of crowds would be in Centro? And isn’t it nice that there have been no problems at all? See a past Carnival article and a Carnival video for an up-close-view of Sunday’s Bachata Parade, which is expected to be bigger than the Fantasy Parade!
Citrus Growers’ Workshops
While, to our constant amusement, some NOB friends and family members still lament that we have moved to a Third World country, life for Yucatecos just keeps right on getting better. First, it was Mayan tree growers taking modern, university forestry classes online! Now, the members of the Citrus Growers’ Union are committed to learning all they can about modern citrus operations. These classes are being held in Oxkutzcab and are part of a 6 month course to help growers and technicians improve their citrus farming knowledge base. Students included 6,000 citrus growers, all ready and willing to learn how to get the most out of their citrus farms with better crops and better distribution. The demonstration product is the Persian lime because that is the crop that has the most impact on the economy in our state. Congratulations to all of the “students” who are taking advantage of all of the educational and developmental programs provided by Yucatan and by Mexico.
Electoral Silence… What a Novel Concept
We don’t know how elections are run in your country, but we can tell you how they are run in ours (the U.S.). In the beginning, usually about a year before elections, campaigns begin on a not-very-nice note and become increasingly disgusting as time goes on. The last feeding frenzy – even as the election begins – is bloody and totally uncivilized. In Mexico, on the other hand, we have a period of pre-campaign, a period of electoral silence, a period of campaigning, another period of electoral silence, and then finally the election. February 15th begins the editorial silence of 40 days between pre-campaigning and campaigning. The candidates and their parties have the first 15 days of that time to go around and collect all and take down any of their propaganda. To fail in this duty, or to be caught campaigning in any way during an electoral silence, is a serious crime and is punishable by serious consequences. In this manner, Mexico and Yucatan are able to prevent some of the outrageous confusion factors that keep people from calmly considering the positions of all of the candidates and choosing the one they honestly believe is best for the job.
Have You Visited CIVS “San Bartolomé Tekax”?
There are only six Centros para la Conservación e Investigación de la Vida Silvestre (CIVS) in all of Mexico and we just happen to have one of them right here in Yucatan! San Bartolomé is located at km 3.5 on the Tekax-Tixmehuac highway. It is over 30 years old and is comprised of 276 hectares in area in which the animals roam freely in large, enclosed spaces. The goal is to preserve and restore native animal populations throughout the region. The cultivation of forests and fruits is also a big part of the focus of this government supported organization. If you have always wanted to see a white-tailed brocket deer, this is the place to visit. They have a herd of over 40 and are sure to have babies on view to the public. They also have spider monkeys, wild hogs, pumas, and ocelots, as well as representatives of almost all of the birds, reptiles, sea creatures, and even flora found in Yucatan. School tours take place regularly, as do tours for tourists, some from as far away as Ireland and Italy. Tekax is a great place to visit and if you haven’t been to San Bartolomé, then its time you made that trip!
What Ecotourism Means in Yucatan
The push is on and ecotourism is, once again, all the rage. The only problem is, you aren’t really sure what ecotourism actually is. Is it a trip to see plants and animals? Or to stay someplace with a compost toilet and no electricity? Is that a vacation? While those opportunities might be on someone’s ecotourism list, we are a little more organized here in Yucatan. In this state, there are 2 ecotourism goals: (1) to appropriately develop areas of natural beauty and (2) to do so with an eye toward sustainable human development. Translation: It takes hard work to restore and protect spectacular natural beauty and includes the efforts of everyone from the least to the most educated among us. Our natural resources include our beaches and our forests, plus the animals and plants that live here Our natural resources also include the spectacular Mayan culture that still exists today. Take a look at 2 catalogs that will give you an idea of just what sustainable human development means in Yucatan. Most of the products represented are made from local materials or crops and all were made by local producers. We hope everyone will come and see the State of Yucatan and become a participant, even if only as an eco-tourist, in this wonderful new way of enjoying Yucatan’s culture and employing her people.
Today In Your Community
Even with the help of lawyers and other professionals, expats often find the social and legal realities here are complex and confusing. We can only imagine the situation of some outlying Mayans who don’t speak Spanish and don’t have the funds necessary to help them negotiate the twists and turns of modern life in Mexico. This week, we were reminded about the program Hoy en Tu Comunidad. On Saturdays, the students at UADY volunteer to work with this program and, on those days, hundreds can be found, throughout the state, bringing volunteer help to our poorest villages. This help may be medical or legal services, or even nutritional and educational services. It also includes veterinary services. We wrote about Today in Your Community when it first began and then, like so many others, got busy and didn’t follow up. This week, we found that the program is alive and well when we stumbled upon a bittersweet article by Andrea Keating. We would like to recommend this article to those who live here, to let you know that someone understands. For those who do not live here, we recommend the article so that you might begin to understand. Many thanks to the State of Yucatan and to UADY for continuing support of Today in Your Community, and to the students who make it al happen.
An Employment During Unemployment Program
Yucatan’s fishermen sometimes go through long periods of time when they cannot fish. These times may be based on weather and they may be based on marine biologists decisions that the fish population is under stress and a given season has to be ended. Rather than simply passing out welfare and/or unemployment checks, Yucatan now has a program in which fishermen can work for the Public Works Dept. and draw a weekly salary, plus other benefits. Last year, just over 10,000 fishermen participated in this program. This year, more than 11,000 fishermen are poised to begin their employment during unemployment activities. This is a Win-Win situation, in that self-respect and the ability to feed one’s family has a great deal to do with quality of life for everyone concerned. Tourists see clean beaches and clean streets. Children see stress-free parents. Parents can relax with children who make better grades. As observers of the differences in societies, country to country, we cannot help but be impressed by this program’s success. While we hope that the fishermen are back on the boats soon, we’re glad for them and for the ports that such a program is available in their time of need.
The Role of IX Naval Zone in Haiti Aid
As of now, ships have left all major ports on the eastern coast of Yucatan multiple times, headed in the direction of Haiti. Each of the other ports has had things it held back, not knowing whether to send them or not. All of those items, 4 18-wheelers carrying 40 tons each, came to our Armada for a final determination and shipment. Thus, our arm of the Mexican Navy has been going through such items as medication that was collected in other parts of the country. When determined to be safe for use, i.e. not out of date or otherwise tampered with, then the merchandise was loaded and finally shipped to Haiti. We are very proud of the IX Naval Zone in Yucatan. They contribute much to the overall quality of life here through extraordinary community service, and now their effect can be felt as far away as Haiti. We would like to congratulate them on a very big job, very well done!
We are pleased to report that our fishermen have found only one lionfish near the Alacranes. This fish is a voracious predator and breeder and has the capability to completely decimate local fish populations. There has recently been a major campaign to rid the Caribbean side of the Peninsula of this pest, and concern was extended to include our coast as well. For now, it looks as if all is well and continued vigilance will keep our fish populations safe.