Yucatan News: Smiles and Rabbits
Many Thanks: All For A Smile
The “New Generations” Merida Rotary Club, along with Yucatan’s DIF System and the State Health Secretariat, have joined together to bring fifteen specialists to Yucatan from Florida, to repair the harelips and/or cleft palates of up to 40 patients. This group of specialists is part of a larger group known as Shares International. Harelip and/or cleft palate affects approximately one in 600 live births in Yucatan and O’Horan Hospital reports that they have approximately 1,500 patients who suffer from this condition. The surgeries will take place in the Unidad Mérida Ambulatoria del Hospital General Agustín O’Horán. Patients will be assessed from August 4 through August 11. Those chosen for surgery will be scheduled on August 17 for surgeries to be held from August 18 through August 22. Many thanks to all who have made it possible for these patients to lead normal lives, and especially to the organizations that have supported this program for 14 years.
Yucatan Adoptions Growing in Age
The numbers of adoptions, in Yucatan, has dropped slightly, but the ages of the children have increased remarkably. In the past, it seemed as if everyone wanted a baby, but that has changed now that the rules for what constitutes a household and family have been revamped. Today, single and older individuals are considered as suitable parents. These are often people who want a child who is old enough to help them create a home and family, rather than a baby that comes with responsibilities for a little one that they may be unable to meet. They still have to meet all of the psychological, economic and emotional requirements necessary to be considered as parents in this program. For 2014, Adoption Day saw 40% of the children at or above seven years of age. This is an amazing percent that bodes well for the over 300 children who are still searching for adoptive parents. All of the children who are placed for adoption are monitored for three to five months prior to the adoption and for two years after the adoption to make certain that the child and his or her new family are happy and developing well. The 2015 adoption process will begin again in September and December. It is expected that a new system of assessments will speed the process along and even more children will have a home at last.
National Museum Summer Promotion
From July 20 to August 17, this project wants to get people into the museums, many for the first time. All activities, including performances, are free in participating museums throughout Mexico. Beat the heat! Spend the day (or a few days) in wonderful museums wherever you are in the country. The participating museums in Merida include:
- Museo de Historia Natural
- Museo Coordinador
- Pinacoteca del Estado "Juan Gamboa Guzmán”
- Museo de la Canción Yucateca A.C.
- Museo de Arte Contemporáneo Ateneo de Yucatán (MACAY)
- Casa de Cultura BANAMEX Museo “Casa Montejo”
- Museo de la Ciudad de Mérida
- Planetario "Arcadio Poveda Ricalde"
- Centro Cultural de Mérida "Olimpo"
- Museo Conmemorativo de la Inmigración Coreana a Yucatán
- Museo de Historia Natural
Free New Light and Sound Show at Chichen Itza
When the new light and sound show opens, at Chichen Itza, in September, it will cost $198 pesos. However, they do have to test all of that equipment and make sure the show is working properly, don’t they? So you get to go and see the show for free beginning August 11. They don’t give any times for these shows. It sounds rather loose with “how ever many times it takes to get it right” being the only criteria for how long these shows will continue. With all sorts of new technology going on, including 3D-animations and disembodied voices, this is really going to be something to see! If you want to see for free and don’t mind waiting while they tweak the equipment, this really is a cool thing to do in August.
Merida Addresses Regulatory Reform
In May, just a little over two months ago, Mexico and the World Bank might as well have waved a red flag in front of a bull. Mexico said that Merida is the 4th best city for investment in the nation and the World Bank said that Merida is the 18th best city of the 32 best cities for investment in the world! Their only complaint about doing business in Merida was “red tape.” Within the month, the City of Merida had created the Municipal Council for Regulatory Reform and, this week, the members of that new council were installed. As Merida hacks off red tape and moves forward, this council will promote, coordinate, monitor and evaluate the actions of regulatory reform. The council includes representatives from the Chambers of Commerce, Services and Tourism, industry development, housing, the Bar Association of Yucatan, the Merida Business Center, the Yucatan Strategic Plan Foundation, the Board for the Preservation of the Historic Center, the schools of Architects and Civil Engineers throughout the state, as well as financial and urban development offices. Look for Merida to be rapidly moving up in rank, world wide, by the time the new list of best cities in which to invest is published next May.
Merida As a Convention Center
Tourism is a good thing. But its always best to make use of all of one’s resources, and Yucatan is in a perfect location to do just that, with respect to conventions of all kinds. This week, over 600 tourism experts are meeting in Merida in their own National Tourism Conference. Soon, we will have the benefit of their take on how Yucatan can rise from being one of the top 10 places to visit in Mexico to first place. A bit of remodeling for efficiency at Siglo XXI, along with a few more facilities and technical equipment, should bring us there. Merida does need a convention venue that will hold more than 5,000 people. We saw this when Merida hosted the youth Olympics. However, now that Mundo Maya Museum is a reality, there seems to be a move to have it work together with Siglo XXI to provide as much convention space as anyone would need. We will be interested to see the suggestions that come out of this 2014 National Tourism Conference. Either way, Merida is bound for glory on the Mexican and international convention routes.
Yucatan: 10th State in Growth in Mexico
In the first trimester of 2014, the economy of Yucatan grew 2.8%, making it the 10th economy in growth in the nation. National average was only 1.8%. The good news is that formal jobs are growing, in Yucatan, at the rate of 2.9%. This includes an increase in the growth of industrial production (5.8%) and services (1.5%), and a decrease of less than 1.1% in agriculture. This gives Yucatecos a much smoother ride into the economic future of a nation with its economic star on the rise. Other states that made the top ten include: Aguascalientes, 9.8 %; Zacatecas, 8.8 %, Colima and Michoacan, 6.3 %, Baja California Sur, 6.2 %, Coahuila, 5.3 %, Chiapas, 5.2 %, Guanajuato, 5.0 %, Querétaro, 4.9 %, and Chihuahua, 4.4 %.
Land Degradation Reaching Critical Levels
Human beings seem to have some sort of strange love affair going on with concrete. They put it everywhere, then complain when the beautiful land they settled loses its biomass to the point of being worthless. The land they don’t denude for the sake of roads, parking lots, airports, driveways, and swimming pools, is often used for crops that are not properly rotated. All that does is speed up the loss of biomass and make matters worse at a faster pace. After an extensive analysis by the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (Semarnat), we learn that 90% of Yucatan’s soil has already been affected. They are asking, please, for everyone to do their part in planting trees on their property. Even if all you have is a yard in the city, even one tree would help. There are going to be a number of tree-planting campaigns coming up in the very near future. If you can help these programs, or if you can convince someone else to plant a tree, you can be a part of saving the soil of Yucatan.
Kids in Merida: Wellness on Holiday
About 5000 children are attending what amounts to a wellness summer camp in Merida. The day-camp is called Wellness on Holiday. Their program includes swimming, healthy food, and preparing for their version of a mini-Olympics, where they compete in all forms of competition, including weightlifting and chess! This camp is part of a program put together by the Governor’s Office and the Ministries of Sports and Tourism. Never underestimate the power of Yucatan’s children. If anyone can put Yucatan on the map for sports (of any kind) and healthy lifestyles, these kids can!
Ticul Shoe Fair
Unfortunately, we did not receive news that there would be a Summer Shoe Fair in Ticul until it was almost over. However, we have found something we think is just as good as driving down for a scouting trip. The footwear manufacturers of Ticul have a website! From the website, you can get an idea of which styles you like from each store, as well as locate your favorite stores on their map. They even give you the location of a great local restaurant. For the stores whose websites don’t have links to that common site, looking them up on Google Search is an easy matter: Karina’s Zapateria in Ticul. There’s a handy little place to sign up for notices of fairs, sales, etc. on the Zapaterias in Ticul website. I signed up so, hopefully, we won’t miss any more shopping opportunities in Ticul.
Uman: First Fair of Rabbits
About a year ago, through a foundation grant, a number of Uman’s producers were set on the path toward food freedom and financial solvency when they were given a male rabbit and four females. In one year, they have learned that one doe can actually produce more meat in her lifetime than a cow! The only problem they seem to have is making the leap from thinking of rabbits as pets to thinking of them as a source of meat and fur. This past weekend, in Uman, the First Fair of the Rabbit was held. Meat was sold for $85 pesos per kilo, and adult breeders for $200 pesos to $250 pesos, depending on breed. The biggest selling point to rabbit is that it is cholesterol and uric acid free. For some, this is the difference between being able to include meat in their diet or going strictly vegetarian. This fair included cooked rabbit, as well as handicrafts made from rabbit fur. If you are interested in purchasing rabbits for breeding, or if you want to know who to contact in Uman to purchase rabbit meat or fur, the corporations that donated the first rabbits include Las granjas Eli Rubén, la Farmacia Veterinaria Del Campo, Conejos Santa Cecilia, Granja Coral, Agropecuaria Yucatán and el CBTA No. 13 de Xmatkuil (Mérida). They should be able to get you to the right producers.