Oxkutzcab: Migrants Return to Education and Jobs
As migrants to the U.S. continue to return home, the State of Yucatan is now offering them free courses in carpentry, electrical, plumbing, welding, repair and maintenance of air conditioners and refrigerators, and other trades so they can open small businesses in areas where jobs are plentiful. This is a win-win situation because Oxkutzcab has 15,000 migrants now sending remittances that are in the program that matches those remittances three to one if they are dedicated to public works, such as street paving, expansion of electricity and water works, and public works projects that provide roads and irrigation to farming. Thousands have benefitted from these programs, 2,000 in the citrus industry in Oxkutzcab alone, and it is great to know that any migrant who decides to come home will have all of the resources necessary to get an education and a start in life that is sustainable.
IV Annual Spay & Neuter Campaign Results
This year, 2775 animals were sterilized in Yucatan, thanks to the efforts of Planned Pethood International, Planned Pethood Mexico, volunteer veterinarians from around the world, Evolución, AFAD, YAPA, Cinco Patas, and all of the incredibly giving and caring volunteers. We know that many pet owners are grateful now to have animals that will be healthier and happier. Planning for next year’s event will certainly begin in a few months and we urge you to participate however you can in this worthy cause. Spay and neutering and education about animal care is the ONLY way to end the suffering of unwanted companion animals. It’s great to see so many people working together to make the Yucatan a healthier and happier place for all of us!
Planning: First Carnival Parade of the Golden Age of Progreso
Congratulations to the citizens of Progreso, from the Board of Education to the children themselves, for setting their first parade date (February 15). This first Progreso parade will be the pre-schooler’s and children’s parade. In Progreso, that means lights, color, mambo and rumba! Management of the planning is on a school-by-school basis, which ensures that there will be no less than 2,000 pre-schoolers and children participating in the parade. One of the most charming characteristics of parades in all of Yucatan’s small towns and villages includes float-to-door delivery of the participating children after the parade is over. This means that quite a few of the floats travel neighborhood streets long after the parade has ended. There is plenty of time to see all of the parades, including those in Merida and Progreso, so we hope everyone will keep an eye on the events as time for the parades to begin draws closer.
Merida: Carnival Quality Improvement
It only takes a second to stop and think about all of the added expense a Carnival week loads onto any city’s budget, and Merida is no exception. However, there is a new Carnival Organizing Committee in town and what they have done is nothing short of a miracle. More participants are coming forward than ever before, as well as more companies that are willing to provide support for all of the facilities and supports necessary for a world class Carnival. Congratulations certainly have been earned by the Mayor, the City Council and the Carnival Organizing Committee. We hope that everyone finds their way to Merida’s Carnival between February 6 – 13, 2013.
Diabetes in Yucatan
A small article appeared in the papers this week, seeming very much like a catch-all collection of new IMSS facts about diabetes in Yucatan. Since many expats also suffer from diabetes, it is of value to know that the health care system in Yucatan is well versed in the latest treatments for this disease. Also, there are plenty of well-educated nutritionists here to help keep us all on the straight and narrow. One of the newly released facts is that diabetes now accounts for two IMSS consultations per hour in Yucatan. Diabetes is also now one of the top five reasons for hospitalization in the state of Yucatan, with diabetic foot disease accounting for most of those hospitalizations. There are approximately 1,200,000 cases of diabetes in our southeastern quadrant of Mexico and roughly 100,000 of those individuals have already been diagnosed with diabetic foot disease. The main problem with diabetes is that it goes undiagnosed and untreated until it becomes life-threatening. Caring for those with diabetes is extremely expensive for any form of health care system, and the earlier it is caught, the better.
Valladolid: Winter Clothing Drive
The Asociación Civil Jóvenes con Actitud Solidaria held a clothing and blanket drive in Valladolid this weekend, to benefit fifty needy families. This group of students and young professionals works to improve living conditions for all of the families in their area. There are Associations of Jóvenes con Actitud Solidaria throughout Yucatan that have made a world of difference in quality of life for the communities they serve and they are all to be congratulated. They are the future of Yucatan and, if their performance in their youth is any indication, Yucatan will be in good hands for a very long time to come. If you would like to contribute to the Asociación Civil Jóvenes con Actitud Solidaria clothing drive in Valladolid, you can reach them on Facebook (in Spanish). Their e-mail address is: jovenes_lideres_ac [at] hotmail [dot] com It should be noted that this is a non-governmental organization.
Mexican Christmas Tree Market
This story began with a report that Merida recently held a two-day, city-wide program that picked up and recycled Christmas trees as compost. We wanted to know where all those Christmas trees came from in the first place. As it turns out, Mexico has a total of 554 Christmas tree farmers in 24 states and they simply cannot keep up with demand. Mexican Christmas tree farmers produce approximately 600,000 trees per year. Demand is currently for 1.8 million trees per year and growing rapidly. In order to try and meet the demand, approximately 900,000 Christmas trees, mostly from Oregon, are imported annually. Even with aggressive expansion of the area under Christmas tree cultivation, farmers only managed to reduce imports by 100,000 this year. This is just one more indicator of growth and stability in the overall economic fabric of Mexico.
Progreso: Canine Euthanasia Program
This is the saddest news of the week. In spite of the wonderful spay/neuter programs supported by volunteers and shelters, the Municipality of Progreso is, once again, overwhelmed by stray dogs, some of which are sick and/or aggressive. Following several recent stray dog attacks on people, the Municipality of Progreso has decided to restart their Canine Euthanasia Program. To give readers an idea of how much of a financial burden stray dogs can place on a small town’s budget, consider that the Municipality of Progreso contributed $80,000 pesos to this year’s Planned Pethood Spay/Neuter Program and will still be obligated to the tune of $50,000 pesos per month to try to keep stray animal numbers under control. This is a terrible situation in which there are no winners. Animal shelters are working as hard as they can to both house strays and educate the public. Towns and cities are overwhelmed. To it’s credit, Yucatan has passed laws that strictly regulate the manner in which stray animals are euthanized, as well as who can perform the procedure. Everyone would rather that all of Yucatan can become a “no kill” pet animal zone, but that just is not possible yet. Hopefully, with continued education and more spay and neuter programs, an end to the Euthanasia program is in sight.
Merida: The Miracle of Electronic Babies
We are pleased to report that “behavior has consequences” is alive and well in a new program in Yucatan. This week, young people from 14 to 16 years of age were paired into couples for a pregnancy and parenting preview. First, during class, they had to wear one of those fake pregnancy harnesses. After a few days of that, rose-colored glasses seemed to be dimming. Then the students were given their very own electronic baby. The term of their care was only about a day and a half. At the end of their experience, the students pronounced caring for a baby to be “”unbearable!” There is something about these students’ reaction to pregnancy and caring for an infant that makes every parent in the world laugh out loud. Congratulations to the Municipal Institute for Youth for making this program, including classes on sexual responsibility, available to the young people of Merida.
Mandarin Chinese Classes and Meet China Expo
For those who are unaware, there has been a long relationship, between Yucatan’s UADY and China’s Sun Yat Sen University. This relationship has resulted in a branch of the Confucius Institute having a home at UADY. A total of 1,640 students have taken advantage of Chinese-related courses at UADY since 2007. Students are primarily in the schools of law and economics, with the specific intention to provide international skills for students studying for the Bachelor of International Trade. Classes at UADY this semester begin on Monday, February 18. Remember that date and mark your calendars for the day before, when all of Yucatan will be treated to the 9th Annual Meet China Expo in the Central Building at UADY. For more information, do visit their website at UADY.
Merida: New Park in Merida West
We first reported on this proposed 80 hectare “green” park about a year ago. Now, it looks as if it is going to finally become a reality. This past week, the first 20,000 trees were planted. As the park develops, they will be developing residential areas, but no above-ground electric wires or gas pipelines. This will, instead, be an area of bike and walking paths, that focuses on cultural, environmental and recreational use. There will be a Health Building located in the park that will encourage healthy living, peaceful coexistence and family values. The fun part is that there will be a contest to choose the name of the park and it’s logo. Everyone will be watching as this new green park and it’s residence move us into the new world of eco-living, right in the heart of Merida.