News Starting May 02, 2011
Shakira Concert Update
The Shakira Concert will be held in Merida on July 16, 2011. The cost of bringing the concert to Merida will be approximately $2 million dollars. The City of Merida will shoulder approximately ¼ of the cost, with eleven local entrepreneurs sharing the remainder. Admission will be free. Hotels and ADO are advertising heavily in twenty-five southeastern cities, so we can only imagine what the turnout will be. In an effort to entice visitors to arrive early and stay late, the city will be holding trova recitals, regional dance performances, vaquerias, and a tremendous arts and crafts festival in the main streets and parks, beginning on Thursday, July 14. If you are a shopper, it looks as if July 14 through July 17 will provide the best shopping in Yucatan for the entire year!
Merida Moving Toward Medical Tourism
Over the past few years, health care in Merida has easily moved into the category of world class. Constant inquiries to hotels, hospitals and individual physicians and dentists have impressed on them all that Merida is missing out on a market that, by rights, it should be leading. That, however, is soon to change. Hotels, hospitals and physicians are beginning to work together to develop medical tourism packages that will not only save domestic and foreign travelers money, but that will also give them a medically safe and luxurious environment in which to recuperate. This is wonderful news and we are looking forward to seeing the medical tourism packages soon to be available in Yucatan.
Every year, we are amazed at the increases in numbers of visitors to the beach towns in Yucatan. This year is certainly no exception. Can you imagine 5,000 people in 500 cars and 40 buses in Sisal? How about 40,000 people and about 100 buses in Progreso? There were another 5,000 visitors in San Felipe and, in El Cuyo, 2,000 tourists arrived after hotels were full. By Saturday afternoon, the visitors to El Cuyo had polished off all of the food, water and beer in town and were having to drive to Tizimin for food and something to drink. The cars and buses at the beach this year were from as far away as Puebla, Veracruz, Mexico, Queretaro, and Hidalgo. What it looks like to us is that Mexico’s Year of Tourism, with its special emphasis on domestic tourism, is a grand success.
New News From MELL
There’s great news from the Merida English Language Library this week. First, the numbers are in for the Chili Cook-Off and the major fundraiser for the year brought in $67,250 pesos, with over $40,000 pesos going directly into the MELL Library Fund. Second, Saturday morning Children’s Story Time is back with new features that make it more like a grown-up book club. This event is still evolving and you can read all about it (and learn how to participate) by going to the MELL website and downloading the latest newsletter. Finally, if you would like to donate books, feel free to check out Amazon.Com. Enter “Merida English Language Library” where it says to Find a Wish List to see MELL’s list of wishes for new books and feel free to make a suggestion at the library if there is something you would like to see in the collection! MELL wants to grow their collection to suit their patrons!!!
The Beatification of Pope John Paul II
An estimated 10,000 people made their way to the Church of San Pablo in Colonia Juan Pablo II to celebrate the beatification of the pope they loved, under a 30 meter tall lighted cross. People gathered at churches and in parks throughout the State of Yucatan to celebrate the beatification of the man they consider “their” Pope and a saint from the moment of his death. There was a special relationship between Pope John Paul II and Yucatan because he was a follower of the patron saint of Yucatan, La Virgen of Guadalupe, whose statue is housed in Izamal.
Emergency Button for Senior Citizens
The School of Engineering at UNAM in Mexico City is testing 100 emergency buttons in the homes of senior citizens. When a senior citizen has an emergency, they press the help button, which then sends a signal to Cecatel, which then transfers the call to a medical, legal or psychological specialist. If the senior citizen’s emergency is not life-threatening, a social worker provides advice and counseling. If there is a risk to the life of the senior citizen, then an ambulance is dispatched to the home and, if necessary, a psychologist is called. Early intervention has been shown to reduce the cost and degree of almost all emergencies, especially with respect to senior citizens. This is a wonderful tool for DIF and we hope it comes to the general public soon.
Valladolid’s Mother’s Day Jewelry Sale
Some folks know Valladolid for its beautiful buildings, or its convent and monastery. Some know Valladolid for its cattle and agricultural fairs. But some of us know that Valladolid is also home to a Jewelry Expo that is an international wonder. Whether you love costume jewelry or fine jewelry, Valladolid is the place to find it. It looks as if May 6th through 8th are the days you want to be in Valladolid because not only will the Sultana Jewelry Fair be there to see, but there will also be a clothes fair. They say the prices will be unbeatable!
Weather and Sun Warning… It’s HOT!
Authorities are warning that temperatures will continue to soar to 104 degrees (40 C) and above until the rains begin. They are advising that people drink extra water to stay hydrated and stay out of the sun during the heat of the day. Protective clothing and sun screen are strongly suggested. There is nothing more miserable than a bad sunburn, if you are lucky and don’t have a heat stroke on top of it. If not, a bad sunburn and/or a heat stroke can rapidly turn deadly. Please take care to practice basic preventive behaviors and all should be well.
8,000 Hectares and Still Burning
It will be at least two to three more weeks until the rains come again to Yucatan. In the meantime, more than 8,000 hectares have burned, with over 4,000 of those being forest land. During these next few weeks, fire fighters are asking that people continue to avoid burning grass and trash. If you see a fire, please call 066 or your local police immediately. Fire fighters have also noticed that some trash thrown out by motorists, such as cold drink cans, becomes a mirror that magnifies the strong sunlight and sets the rest of the trash on fire. This leads to an unattended grass fire that no one knows about until it is a full-blown emergency. So, in addition to not setting fires of any kind, people are asked to please! please! not litter along the highways.
All of the greatest cities in the world have known the value of their beginnings and have made an effort to rescue and maintain the architectural evidence of their past. From the French Quarter of New Orleans to Le Marais in Paris, the facades of historical districts are managed and regulated by boards whose sole purpose is to ensure that these often grand old neighborhoods remain a testament to the value of the best the history of these cities has to offer. Now that Merida is seeking a United Nations degree that will add Merida to Chichen Itza and Uxmal as a World Heritage Site, the City Council of Merida is moving forward with the project to rescue the facades of Centro. We think this is great news and look forward to the results of their efforts!