News Starting October 18, 2010
Ki-uic del Mundo Maya Tourism Fair
There is currently a Maya tourism trade fair going on in Merida that features products and information on Maya-related tourism in Yucatan, Campeche, Quintana Roo, Chiapas, Tabasco, and Oaxaca. It is very important that the Maya, regardless of state and national boundaries, remain connected so that their culture and heritage will not only not be lost, but also so they will be able to move forward together. Tourists and others interested in everything from Mayan medicine to spirituality will benefit as much from this working fair as do the Maya themselves. Yucatan Living congratulates the Maya del mundo for having seen the possibilities in their future and claiming those possibilities as their own.
It doesn’t happen often on the Yucatan Peninsula, but when it does – it is certainly an experience! This past week, between a glancing blow from Hurricane Paula, just off the coast of Quintana Roo, and Norte #5 in Yucatan, both fishermen and tourist ended up rather damp and a bit worse for wear. The only good thing we can say about the weather right now is that sunshine always follows the rain in Yucatan, so we look for better weather from now on.
Hotels and Hostels Being Inspected for Registration
Hotels and hostels must register as businesses in the State of Yucatan. They are subject to a 2% tax that is used by the State to help draw tourism to the area. Thus, they directly benefit from paying that tax. The kinds of owners who avoid paying their taxes tend also to be the ones who do not pay benefits to their workers, which is against the labor laws of Mexico. Since many of these hotels and hostels are small and owned by foreigners, it is difficult for the authorities to make a case against them, but it is hardly fair for these businesses to take advantage of the benefits that are paid for by the tax money of their peers. In the future, the authorities will be watching closely and shutting down the hotels and hostels who are not legally registered, for the good of the tourism industry and for the protection of the traveling public.
Telmex Donates Newborn Equipment in Valladolid
The Telmex Foundation has just donated an incubator for preterm infants, a phototherapy system (billibed), a radiant warmer, a tococardiografo (to monitor fetal heart rate during labor), a standard fetal heartbeat monitor and computer equipment. As Valladolid continues to grow in importance, health care is also continuing to improve. Toward this goal, the Institute of Health and the Telmex Foundation have committed to providing 48 training scholarships for local medical personnel to use to improve their skills and increase their ability to render aid and assistance to the people of Valladolid and the surrounding area. How interesting it is to watch a relatively small, country town come into full flower as the city of note it has always been in the Mayan world. Congratulations to the babies of Valladolid and to their health care providers; and many thanks to Carlos Slim, the Telmex Foundation, and the Institute of Health.
Valladolid Honors Volunteer Doctors
A dinner of appreciation was held in Valladolid this past week, in honor of a group of physicians and nurses who came from the U.S. and Monterrey to San Lucius (St. Luke’s) Hospital. While the surgery that was received by 67 patients can be obtained in Merida, it is all but impossible for some of these folks to travel that distance – especially when they need family members to be with them. We hear that another group of doctors and nurses will be arriving (Nov. 7 – 12) to provide ear, nose and throat speciality services, as well as reconstructive plastic surgery, and cosmetic surgery. Doctors and nurses who volunteer their time and expertise are angels of mercy who can never be told enough how much they are appreciated.
Merida Miracle: Feels Much Better
A 40 year old painter, Edgar Mendez Bojorquez, married and the father of three, never thought much about the danger involved in his job – until he climbed a ladder to paint the front of a pharmacy in Acanceh and ran head-on into a power line. He fell from the ladder and cracked his skull wide open, went into a coma, and recovered 5 days later. Not only did he survive the accident, but actually says he feels much better than he did before it happened! Edgar Mendez Borjorquez could work in an office now, but says that would drive him crazy; so he has decided to return to his job as a painter. He does admit that he will be a bit more careful from now on. Congratulations to Edgar and to the medical team that set the stage for this Merida miracle.
Healthy Mexico: Walk 10 Miles a Week
A new study, published in the U.S., shows that walking 10 miles per week will significantly reduce the risk for cognitive impairment in the future. There are some other interesting findings associated with this study as well. First, walking more than 10 miles a week will not improve one’s odds against developing a cognitive impairment; and, second, walking today affects one’s cognitive ability up to a decade later. This means that if an individual is 50 years of age and wants to be mentally sharp at 60, today is the day to get out and start walking! When you think about it, that’s only 2 miles a day, 5 days a week. Now we know how and why the elderly ladies of Yucatan, who walk daily to the market for the very freshest of everything, are so often mentally sharper and in far better shape than most expats. We’ve already got the Bici-Ruta and Nutre y mueve tu Vida! Look for walking 10 miles a week coming to your street soon!
Tzucacab: Primary School Food Drive
The children of Emiliano Zapata Primary School have led their own students, their teachers, and even other schools in a food drive designed to send assistance to the flood and hurricane victims of Veracruz, Chiapas, and Tabasco. Each contributor was asked to bring a kilo of goods to the project and they have been successful beyond what anyone would have expected. They made their presentation of produce, beans, rice, sugar, toilet paper and canned goods through the Red Cross. We would like to congratulate the students involved in this project and to thank their parents for creating an environment so conducive to their children having this kind of heart for others who are in need.
Deep In the Mayan Jungle – Buckle Up
We are often amazed by the fact that some folks in other parts of the world still think of the Yucatan Peninsula in the same breath with the term “deep in the heart of the mysterious Mayan jungle.” While everyone in Yucatan is working hard to preserve the physical environment in our rural areas, the people who live there are also working just as hard to improve their standard and quality of living – and doing quite well at it, we might add. This week, we learn that the State of Yucatan and the governments of 13 municipalities (counties) have approved a new regulation requiring that all vehicles that interact with the public, in any way, must have insurance, as well as seat-belts and other safety equipment, and they will be subject to random checks. This includes all vehicles from the trucks of tradesmen to taxis. If Yucatecos can continue to re-grow and protect their environment the way they have in recent years, everyone can come to see the magical interior of Yucatan. However, a good rule of thumb, when visiting in a vehicle is: if you have to do it at home, assume that you have to do it here too – so please remember to bring proof of insurance and keep that seat-belt buckled up.
Uman: Red Fruit With Fur
Sooner or later, most of the oddities of the world end up at least passing through Yucatan and this week was no exception. It seems that a fruit-seller from Chiapas turned up in Uman, selling a furry little red fruit called rambutan. Upon further investigation, it has been identified as rather an important Asian fruit but, alas, its $80 pesos per kilo will probably not make it a huge hit in Yucatan. If you see this fruit anywhere, why not at least give it a try and let us know how you like it. Visit the Rambutan website for complete instructions on how to open this odd little red fruit with fur.