Yucatan News: Sustainable Tourism
News Starting December 13, 2010
Hacienda Chichen Resort One of 6 Sustainable Tourism Sites
The Green Living Project partnered with the Mexico Tourism Board, the Rain Forest Alliance, Conservation International, Alliance for Climate Education, and Sustainable Travel International at the U.N. Climate Change Conference 2010 to document six leading examples of sustainable tourism in the Southeast region of Mexico. These six sites scored well on partner verification, along with utilizing the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria. The Southeast region of Mexico was selected due to its exemplary examples of sustainable tourism, diverse geography, adventure travel opportunities, unique Mayan heritage, community-based tourism, and leading eco-lodges/resorts that embrace sustainable tourism practices (phew!). The Six Southeast Region examples include: Pueblos Mancomunados (Oaxaca), Finca Argovia Coffee Plantation (Chiapas), Hacienda Chichen Resort (Yucatan), Fairmont Mayakoba (Quintana Roo), and Huatulco (Oaxaca). We are very proud of Hacienda Chichen Resort's latest honor and we know that they walk-the-walk on all issues related to the nourishment and repair of our planet.
Under-age Drinking and DUI Warnings in the News Again
As holiday parties and deaths on the highways begin to pick up speed (we do love a good pun, don't you?), the SSP is again warning the public that the legal drinking age in Mexico is 18. So, if you are having young guests for the holidays, please be aware that this law is going to be enforced. In addition, there is the entire issue of driving and drinking, coupled with all of the new breathalyzer checkpoints. Some are unaware that, according to Article 107 of the Traffic Laws of Yucatan, it is illegal to drink alchol and drive... period! Please be aware that there is no breathalyzer wiggle room, such as 0.1 or 0.8. If alcohol registers AT ALL on your breathalyzer test, then you are drinking, driving, and breaking the law. The police officer will then become part of the process that determines whether you are driving drunk. The holidays are not a time to test their patience. Under that same law, they also will make no exceptions for someone taking prescription medication. If you are impaired, do not get behind the wheel of a vehicle... there are lots of alternatives here in the Yucatan.
Chicxulub Snowbirds and Expats Support Nursing Home
The annual breakfast fundraiser that helps to support the San Joaquin Nursing Home, between Chicxulub and Progreso, enjoyed an attendance of approximately 150 people this past Saturday. They met at Flamingos Restaurant, on the Malecon, and enjoyed music played by a local group. Yucatan Living would like to congratulate everyone who helps to support this worthy cause, whether with their money or their time. We know that many expats and snowbirds do give volunteer time to the nursing home, but we think that Linda and Don Thomas should get special recognition. For the entire six months they are in Yucatan, they volunteer every day with the seniors, doing exercises and crafts with them. They also work with the Chicxulub Food Bank and will be helping at the Spay Neuter Clinic in January. Thanks for all you do to all of the expats and snowbirds. A special thanks to Linda and Don, and thanks as well to Flamingos Restaurant, that has always been so nice whenever there is an expat/snowbird event. (Source: Progreso Hoy)
The Beach Gals Need Help
As many of us know, the Beach Gals is an organization of women along the coast of Yucatan that is involved in a number of projects that benefit the coastal area. These projects include caring for animals,feeding the hungry, and providing a means for needy families to send their children to school. This year, they are restructuring, in an effort to get more women involved and get the word out about their projects to all who might be interested. Membership dues of $200 pesos per year per person will all be donated to a charity chosen by the paying members. This year, that charity is the Red Cross. To further this cause, the Beach Gals have developed a 2-sided brochure, much like a prospectus. However, since all of their membership dues must go to charity, they need to raise the $3,500 pesos necessary to print the brochure. If you can underwrite this printing, or if you would like to make a donation toward this printing, please contact Diane Mize Prewett. From the States: 478-345-6982 (Magic Jack) or at either of the following cell numbers: 999-262-8561 or 999-993-1253 (011 + number if calling from U.S.)
The Beach Gals meet at Buddy's on the Malecon the first Wednesday of every month at 9:30 AM
Children's Christmas Art Contest in Hunucma
The Megamedia Group has sponsored a children's Christmas art contest among students in eight primary schools in Hunucma. The final word from the City Clerk was that every piece they created was just precious. A winner was chosen, but all of the figures were set up around the city's outdoor Christmas Tree in the plaza civica section of the parque principal so that everyone had opportunity to have a souvenier photo made. Now that Santa and his reindeer have come early to Hunucma, even more energy is being devoted toward making Hunucma one of the best decorated towns in Yucatan throughout the holidays.
Thousands Still Arriving To Honor La Virgen
And still they come. It will be some time before we have an accurate count, but one thing is certain, the torches are growing in number and each has a story to tell. One man ran over 90 miles with no shoes in hopes of a miracle for his child, who needs a kidney. A lady came to thank La Virgen for helping make a success of her business after she was widowed, so that she could feed her children. She has been coming for years because she promised La Virgen that she would. Sadly, one man lost his life when he was struck by a passing vehicle. The destination of these torch runners is the parish of San Cristobal in Merida, but the flow of pilgrims goes in both directions. There are outlying municipalities, as well as parishes in Campeche, Tabasco, and Quintana Roo that are opening their doors and hearts to torch runners from Merida. Whether one is a believer or not, it is evident that this is one day in the year when all of Mexico is one, in kindness and in love for each other and for La Virgen. Read more about this event in Yucatan Living's article on La Virgen de Guadalupe and watch our video.
Caxayché Valladolid: White-tail Deer and Eco-tourism
Private investment, a vision for the future, and a great business plan has kept the Management Unit for the Conservation of Wildlife (AMU) on course for success for two years of a planned 10 year development program. At this point, they have just under 60 deer, with the goal of 200 in sight. They are also building unobtrusive cabins so that people can go out and watch the deer and butterflies from within the compound, but without upsetting the animals. They are working with conservationists and with vets, so that all of these wildlife professionals will be able to gain much more knowledge about how to maintain and grow a herd of deer. They even have recipes and cooking demonstrations for how to cook deer meat. There was once a time when deer was a staple in the lives of Yucatecos. With farms like this, that could easily become a reality once again. New tourism like this is wonderful for Yucatan because it not only brings in tourist dollars, but it makes great strides toward making the best use of land. With now five of these kinds of farms in operation, Yucatan is on its way to a brighter future.
Employment: Yucatan In 3rd Place Nationally
Its hard to believe that the Yucatan we know today was ever in 23rd place in employment in Mexico. Then we remember what it was like when we first came here. Everyone was in school! We had never seen such a thing. Most were working long hours and still making time to squeeze in a class or two, even if it meant giving up sleep. Colleges ended classes late at night so students could catch the last bus home. Then, as if by magic (also known as education), Yucatan leaped from 23rd place in employment to 10th place and almost flew to 3rd place. This is a testament to the collective will of the people of Yucatan. Well done! The top 10 states in employment include: Jalisco, Sinaloa, Yucatan, Veracrus, Chiapas and San Luis Potosi (tied), Oaxaca, Queretaro, Michoacan, Nayarit and Campeche.
Tizimin: Shelter Needs Help
The Hostel Todo por amor (All for Love) is a shelter that serves the relatives of patients who are in a nearby hospital. During hurricanes, it also serves as a shelter for storm victims. The shelter is open 24 hours a day, and provides family members with a place to eat, shower, and sleep for a few hours. This is especially important for the elderly, and for the mothers of sick babies and children. In cases where there is an inability to pay, services are freely given. The shelter has two large bedrooms, one that can sleep 10 ladies, and one that has 2 cots and, at this time, 5 mattresses that have been given to 5 elderly ladies. The most urgent need is for hammocks and mattresses for the men but, as an ongoing shelter, they also need any other kind of support anyone can give them. In fact, if anyone has something they do not use and it is in good condition, please consider donating it. To donate to the hostel "Todo por amor," you are invited to visit the shelter, which is next door to the San Carlos Hospital, or call (986) 107-8465.
Ticul: When Does Carnival Really Begin?
Carnival preparation has already begun and will go into full swing the day after Christmas, especially in little Ticul. They are a Carnival-loving town and each krewe has to provide its own float and its own costumes. That costs big money but, they will be having a dance and election for Carnival royalty on January 15. The winner will get enough money to pay for everything. From now until then, everybody will plan as if they are going to win and work as if they are not. This is a story that will be played out in small towns around the state. One can already feel the Carnival mood building as old friends get in touch and ask "What are you doing for Carnival this year?" Well – we might opt for a small town Carnival celebration and take along a few friends to enjoy it with us. How about you?
More Ticul: Have You Been There?
Ticul is known for two things – shoes and pottery – and absolutely everybody goes there to shop, but no one ever brings back any pictures... until now. Our friend, Annemarie went shopping for ceramics in Ticul and brought back pictures! Now, new visitors and residents will be able to see what's to be found in Ticul, as well as get a little advice on where to look. Check out Annemarie's blog: Life's a Beach in the Yucatan.