News Starting July 04, 2011
Weather Report: Keep an Eye on the Radar
One look at the NOAA Caribbean radar loop will show weather watchers why Yucatan seems to have so few hurricanes. Watching the animated loop makes it seem as if weather comes at us from all directions, only to be turned back out to sea at the last moment. That doesn’t stop our almost daily tropical thunderstorms and it doesn’t mean we can stop paying attention to tropical weather activity, but it does mean that we are far more fortunate, especially with respect to hurricanes, than many other places in the world. There are reasons that the Mayans built the city of T’ho here, 30 miles inland, and after living here, we think this might be one of the biggest ones.
Proyecto Itzaes Needs Your Help
When we think of a flood, we often think of water that roars out of rivers and is deeper than houses are tall. Its hard to think of a devastating flood in Yucatan that is only a few inches deep. Tropical thunderstorms seems like such blessing. It has been so hot during the dry season this year, that grass fires and forest fires became a huge problem throughout the state. With the coming of the rain, the fires are under control but because Yucatan is virtually a limestone shelf, water doesn’t run off easily in some places. It has to percolate down through the limestone instead, which means that it often stands for days in unwanted places, like the vegetable gardens of the people. This year, many have already lost not only their crops, but also their investment in seeds and even their shade cloth structures. This is a time when Proyecto Itzaes families should be able to spend their extra resources on education for their children. Instead, they are asking for assistance to help them recover from the loss of their crops and to help pay for the books and educational materials necessary to continue to move their lives forward. Please visit the Proyecto Itzaes website to make a donation. From there, you can read all about Proyecto Itzaes and the programs they support.
Health Brigade Sweeping Rural Yucatan
With the coming of the rains, mosquitoes and flies are front and center in the news in Yucatan again. Happily we can report that these days the incidence of diseases related to these little creatures is on the decline. Several years ago, the more urban areas of Yucatan went whole-heartedly into a program called Clean Patios. Everyone was asked to remove anything on their property that could provide a home for mosquitoes to breed. In the very first season of this program, 201 tons of old tires, empty cans and buckets, plates and even bottle caps were removed from Merida alone! Positive results were immediate. Today, the Health Brigade, part of the state’s health department, is carrying the fight against mosquitoes into rural villages and communities. There, they not only help residents check their property for breeding places, but also provide education on this issue. Fumigation trucks are also on the job and success has been reported in locations as far away as Tekax. The State Minister of Health has asked that everyone please take the time to regularly police your property, making sure that there is nothing there that can provide a home for mosquitoes.
A Beautiful Floral Gift from the Sea
This week, Jim Conrad’s Naturalist Newsletter tells us about an amaryllis-like bulb that is spread by hurricanes in our area of the world. The bulbs can grow to weigh up to 20 pounds and the plants themselves can stand over five feet tall. A native of Southeast Asia, this “Queen Emma” Crinum Augustum lily made its way to Hawaii, picked up its name and then began to circle the globe. Watch for it in mangroves and care for it well if you own one.
July 1: National Day of the Engineer
UADY was proud to showcase their College of Engineering and Science on the National Day of the Engineer. There are a total of fifteen degree programs in the college, ten of them in various disciplines of engineering. There are 2,500 engineering students enrolled in UADY engineering programs. The newest of the engineering degree programs is in the area of Renewable Energy. UADY is very proud of all of its engineering students and graduates, who are all ambassadors for the quality education that is available in public universities in Mexico. Yucatan Living would also like to add our congratulations to the engineering students and graduates throughout our state. They form the backbone of the future for Yucatan and we all are trusting them with our future.
Progreso Hoy did a story, back in June, on the availability of rental homes in Progreso during the months of July and August. Evidently, they went from one end of Progreso to the other and actually counted the rentals with signs on them. At the close of the count, their best estimate was over 500 rental homes available in Progreso alone just for the months of July and August. For most visitors and potential expats, renting a house from no more introduction than a sign hung on a front wall may not be the best idea. However, once you live in Yucatan for a while, figure out how things work, learn a little Spanish, and get your courage up – this kind of rental is a great way to save a little money. According to Progreso Hoy, the rentals they found started at $1,500 pesos ($129 USD) per month. Admittedly, a rental for that price might not be what one is used to, but searching for a great deal in a temporary vacation rental is an adventure in and of itself.
Secretaria de Hacienda Announces New Location
You will find this electronic services unit in Plaza Cristal (Av. Paseo de Montejo # 454 x 27 “A,” Col. Centro, Local 7 y 8 Zona “B” (by the side of the Monumento a la Bandera). This location has two windows. One accepts State and Federal taxes, vehicle paperwork, and has a civil registry. The Municipal window takes Catastro paperwork, takes care of finance and treasury procedures and paperwork related to urban development. As Yucatan travels into the 21st century, these digitally supported services make it easier than ever for everyone, including expats, and they are deeply appreciated.
Mexico’s Mayan Tourism Campaign Through 2012
Mexico is now in tenth place in world tourism and headed for a place in the top five. At the present time, the Mayan region of Mexico hosts approximately 250,000 guests per month. That number is dwarfed by the 52 million guests who are expected between now and the end of 2012. Starting now, Mexico is pouring money into infrastructure and cultural events, as well as Mayan museums and cultural centers. What is known as the Mayan World covers the states of Campeche, Chiapas, Tabasco, Quintana Roo and Yucatan, with the region being home to six of Mexico’s 27 UNESCO World Heritage sites. That is the most World Heritage sites found in any one country! Thus far, Yucatan has taken the lead in preparation for 2012 and everyone is invited to come and see what a wonderful location and culture we are so blessed to have found.
It’s the Dog Days of Summer and all you want to do is stay in out of the heat. After about two days of wasting time, you’re ready to feel somewhat productive again. Now is the time to clean up and clean out your house. Set aside things you want to donate to the fairly regular garage sales that support animal welfare organizations. Sell whatever you need or want to sell by placing a note on the bulletin board at M.E.L.L. For everything you are willing to just give away, why not give Progreso FreeCycle a try? This is a Yahoo Groups message board where you can either post an item to give away or ask for an item you would like to pick up for free. Please do register with Progreso FreeCycle and participate in this very useful resource.
Local Expat Trainer Answers Questions
We often get questions from readers and always attempt to answer them as effectively as possible. This week, perhaps because of the heat, we received more than the usual number of questions concerning the availability of cardiac rehab, indoor swimming, and weight management in Merida. Since those are not our areas of expertise, we went straight to the expert source: expat Ed Redmond. What we learned was: (1) Ed is qualified to train those who have had a myocardial infarction, as well as those who are threatening one. His fees are negotiable, as he believes in health, not profit. (2) There is an indoor swimming pool at Sports Center Merida. Ed teaches anatomy, physiology, kinesiology, strength, cardiovascular, and flexibility training, as well as nutrition twice a week to their staff. Call Sports Center Merida and ask for “Special Ed” pricing.(3) Weight loss management, at any stage, is no problem. For anyone who might be hesitating about moving to Yucatan because you don’t know if wellness experts who speak English are available, please don’t let that stop you. Ed Redmond is an invaluable expat resource and can be contacted by calling Sports Center Merida (999) 911-0000, through his website, by e-mail (addresses on his site), or visit him on Facebook at Physical Ed’s Muscle Academy. Another popular English-speaking trainer in Merida is Phillip Geerts, better known as Merida Trainer. The best way to reach Phillip is through his website, www.meridatrainer.com, or his Facebook page. Phillip specializes in personal training, nutrition and martial arts conditioning and also works out of the Sports Center, which is located on the road towards Progreso, at the Xcanatun exit.
Street Construction on Paseo de Montejo
Please be careful if you have to go through the area where the new underpass is being built. There is heavy equipment at work and many additional workmen on site. They are also currently in the process of moving over 30 large trees to Animaya, which requires even more heavy equipment and workers in the area. As with major street construction projects everywhere, the situation will continue for the duration of the project so, once again, please do drive with care if you have to pass through this area.