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Yucatan News: Solidaire Arrives!

The Race is Over!Solidaire du Chocolat from Flickr
How exciting! Tanguy de Lamotte and Adrien Hardy on Initiatives-Novedia won the Ruta Solidaria del Chocolate, the transatlantic regatta from France to Yucatan! We can’t even imagine what their anxiety levels must have been like during that last night – as they drifted along our shore at between 2 and 3 knots. They came in at 8:25 AM on Saturday and the next closest boat didn’t arrive until 5:25 AM on Sunday. These are 40 ft. monohull boats that had locks put on their engines at the beginning of the race. They could only break the locks in case of emergency but, should they arrive with the original lock broken, they would be immediately disqualified. This is part of a series of regattas that France is undertaking to show solidarity with the Hispanic Nations. The regatta is sponsored by 24 corporations and the boats are bringing humanitarian aid for a number of projects, including helping to care for those who suffer from HIV-AIDS, as well as housing assistance for the poor and ecotourism projects. Read all about the Solidaria del Chocolate regatta here.

 

The Winners of Ruta Solidaria del Chocolate
We couldn’t leave this topic without telling our readers a bit about the winners of this regatta and giving you an opportunity to read an interview with them. Tanguy de Lamotte is not only a young sailor, enjoying traveling the world and doing the thing he loves best. He also sails for a cause. In his few short years as a professional sailor, he has paid for heart operations for 8 children. Visit Tanguy de Lamotte OnlineAdrien Hardy is the skipper of his own boat, the Figaro AGIR Recouvrement. Read a great interview with these two young men.

Tanguy de LamotteWhat we really love about them is how deeply appreciative they were of the treatment they received when they pulled in at Progreso. All the way from France, they had sailed for the podium – and made it! Their reaction to the celebration and presents they received was absolute awe, which endeared them to the hearts of all Yucatecos from this point forward. Everyone talks of this as the first Ruta Solidaria del Chocolate. We hope that Tanguy de Lamotte and Adrien Hardy both know that everyone in Yucatan will be cheering them on if they choose to sail in the next Ruta Solidaria del Chocolate.

 

Sometimes You Just Have to Make a Law


It seems that, in one nearby municipality, a company has been quarrying stones – although why anyone would want to quarry stones in Yucatan is beyond us. They could just ask permission to pick them up out of people’s yards and we are sure that millions of folks would oblige. But – back to our story.

When the company’s blasting began to cause serious damage to nearby homes, the people of said municipality tried to revoke the company’s permission to quarry through the Public Works Department,  but the company’s attorney got an injunction that allows them to continue blasting. When the residents finally had enough, they went to their Municipal Council and got a law passed – no more stone quarrying in their municipality – and they made it permanent so that no new administration can come in and change it later. Don’t you just love it when homeowners win?

 

Valladolid Weightlifter Wins Mérito Deportivo Vallisoletano 2009
And she’s a girl! For the second year in a row, Cecilia del Carmen Gómez Dzib has won Valladolid’s Mérito Deportivo Vallisoletano. This is the same young lady who brought home 3 silver medals in the Pan American Games. Her prize is $3,000 USD and she will lead the Civic Sports Procession in the CIX Anniversary of the Revolución Social Mexicana. This young lady is a role model for so many girls today and has brought great honor to her municipality and to our state. We too would like to congratulate Cecilia del Carmen Gómez Dzib, and wish her all the best for next year!

 

Weather: Pan Dulce (Sweet Bread) Sales Up 100%pan dulce in Merida Yucatan
Several venues, such as the State Fair, lost quite a bit of their traffic over the past couple of weeks due to nortes and hurricane Ida… but everybody isn’t losing. Believe it or not, bakery sales are up 100%. It seems that, in cold or dismally rainy weather, people like to cook hot things that call for French bread or sweet bread. While it is great that sales are up in our bread industry, the sad part of this story is that the 800 bakeries in Yucatan began 2009 with 6,000 bakers and are going to end it with only 3,000 bakers. Estimates are that over 200 bakeries have closed and others have laid people off. It isn’t long until a new year is upon us. We hope for a better 2010 for us all!

 

Elton John and Paul McCartney Will Sing At Chichen ItzaElton John at Chichen Itza
Official news has it that Elton John will sing at Chichen Itza in 2010 and Paul McCartney will sing there in 2011. While we are thrilled that these wonderful voices will be heard live in Yucatan, we do wonder what happened to the warnings of the professionals that damage to the great pyramid from the mere presence of lights and that level of sound is a very distinct possibility. Perhaps we will hear more about this issue as time draws closer. Perhaps one of the performers would like to work with the professionals on how close is too close? We wish both singers even more success than ever in their long and prosperous careers, but hopefully not at the expense of one of the Seven New Wonders of the World.

 

Chichen Itza Airport News
Prior to the beginning of the H1N1 scare, flights between Cuba and Kaua, the airport between Valladolid and Chichen Itza, had been going on for about a month. At that point, Cuba canceled all flights to Mexico. When the Cuban planes began flying to Mexico again, the flights were between Merida and Cuba. This is being questioned in Valladolid, but everyone is assured that there will be a continuation of the day trips between Havana and Chichen Itza. However, there has been not even a hint of when they will resume.

 

Concerns Again Over Tizimin ZooLa Reina in Tizimin Zoo
This is not the first time that PROFEPA has suggested closing the zoo in Tizimin. Every time, the Municipal Council promises to do better, but then forgets about the animals as soon as PROFEPA is out of sight. The people of Tizimin are terribly upset at the thought of losing their zoo. In reality, they love “The Queen,” (their only lioness) but it is the welfare of the animals that must come first, not the enjoyment of the people. If they cannot – or will not – take care of the animals, then the zoo needs to close so that the animals can have a chance for a better life elsewhere. We hope that this zoo can be saved, but more than that, we wish the animals in the Tizimin Zoo the best life possible and a better home somewhere. If you want to know more about this, click on the photo for a link to a blog (in Spanish) or this article in the Diario (also in Spanish).

 

Yucatan and Forensic Science
The State of Yucatan now has the lowest crime rate in the nation. One of the reasons for this, it is believed, is that Yucatan has worked hard to link forensic science and police work so that criminals can be certain of not only capture but a speedy trial and, if found guilty, just a short trip to begin serving their sentence. Soon, Merida will have not only a Forensic Chemistry Laboratory, but a Center for Forensic Medical Services. This last center will house DNA services for the entire southeastern part of Mexico. International experts will be on hand to teach everything from professionalism to specialty forensics. We have all seen television shows and movies where they have one really smart forensic investigator who is an expert on some obscure type of evidence. Well – these are the kinds of places that train those kinds of forensic investigators. Well done, Merida and Yucatan!

 

Historian Talks Medicine
David Sowell, Ph.D., lectures on the history of medicine in Latin nations and one of his specialties is the history of medicine in the State of Yucatan. According to Dr. Sowell, “over the course of the 20th century, medical practices in Yucatan were completely transformed"-from ritual to biomedical, a feat that Dr. Sowell calls a "fantastic change." That change, according to Sowell, especially the nationalization of health care in Mexico, allowed Mexico to respond to quickly and effectively to the outbreak of H1N1 and prevent an epidemic there. At every step of the way, health care in Yucatan and in all of Mexico has been connected to politics. This article about Dr. David Sowell and the history of medicine is worth a read.

 

Americans for Medicare in Mexico


We received an e-mail this week, asking us to ask our readers to fill out a survey for Americans for Medicare in Mexico A.C.. We are providing our readers with the information found in the e-mail, as well as a link to the survey itself. If you are comfortable with the questions asked, then fill out the survey and send it. If not, then at least you know the kinds of questions that were asked.

Here’s what they say: Americans for Medicare in Mexico, A.C. (AMMAC) is working to get the U.S. Congress to authorize a Medicare Demonstration Project (pilot project) to benefit eligible seniors in Mexico.  Part of the effort involves gathering more detailed demographic information about Americans living in Mexico.  We believe that reliable demographic data about the US expat population in Mexico will help us make a powerful argument in favor of the Medicare legislative proposal.
To that end, AMMAC is assisting The International Community Fund in a survey of American expats.  Please take a few minutes to fill out this important survey.   And please forward this to your friends and ask them to fill out the survey, too!

 

Money Changing Direction

A friend of Yucatan Living sent us this interesting article from the New York Times this week. It seems that the economy is getting worse up in the United States… maybe not for the "captains of the universe" on Wall Street, but for the dishwashers and gardeners of the world, many of whom are from Mexico. The article chronicles how many families in Mexico now find themselves sending money to their relatives in the United States, reversing a decades-long trend. We like the point they make about how they may be poor here, but they own their home and no one can put them out… a point well taken. Take a minute and read the article here.


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