Yucatan News: Tourism & Global Rally
Yucatan Business & Industrial Research & Statistics
In case any of our readers might be considering going into the import/export business, they might be interested in the website of the Secretary of Industrial and Commercial Development. This is a great site that has statistics on such things as what products are exported, to whom, and how much. It also has a section on Market Research. The site is in Spanish, so you might want to load Babelfish before you begin. This site provides valuable information for anyone who wants to do business in Yucatan and well worth the time it takes to read all of the pages.
NEW Tourism Numbers
Looks like tourists are staying close to home and making all their dollars count. That means coming to Mexico! The new numbers are just in and they are blockbusters! Mexico's tourism revenue during the first quarter of this year totaled $4.24 billion, up 7.1% from the same period in 2007, the Tourism Ministry reported. The 5.7 million tourists who came to Mexico from January to March this year represented a 6.4% increase compared with the same period last year. Tourist spending also rose, by 3.5%, to an average of $830 per person during the first three months of the year. (From the Travel Mexico newsletter)
Just Passing Through: Panama to Alaska
The Global Rally Organization has begun its 2008 classic car ride and this year, they are driving their classic cars over the Inter-America Highway from Panama to Alaska. The participants are driving Jaguars, Mercedes Benz, Aston Martins, Austin Healeys, MGs and others. None of the participants are "younger" that 1970. They have already passed through Izamal and are currently headed west. At some point, they will turn north and pass through the central part of Mexico on their way to the U.S. This ride is not a race, just a way to put others in touch with many historical and interesting places that fans might not have known about, and to spread a little friendship among classic car lovers everywhere. Here's a map of their route all the way to Alaska.
TWO New State Tourism Sites
If you've been a little lost lately, trying to find tourist information for the State of Yucatan, yo might be interested in a site produced by the Secretary of Promotion for the State of Yucatan. That site is called Inventur and is a database that contains addresses and contact information for all kinds of tourist services, from airlines to artisans, and restaurants to rental cars. We are particularly impressed with the most comprehensive (and accurate) listing we've seen so far of hotels in the Yucatan. Click here to get to Inventur.
Yucatan has 30 Gold Medalists
Once again, Yucatan's young people are adding up their gold medals in the competition for spots on the national team that will attend the Summer Olympics in China. So far, our athletes have won 30 gold medals for Yucatan. You can keep up with what is happening in sports by regularly visiting Yucatan's Institute of Sports national website. To see some great pictures of a few of our local winners, go to the Yucatan notices page.
Public Works in Merida
Are there workmen in your street? Have you heard that there are going to be workmen in your street? Is the project taking forever? When will it be finished? Check out the Department of Public Works to find out not only what's going on in your neighborhood now, but what's been happening in your neighborhood since 2004. This is especially handy information for those who are thinking of buying or selling a home.
Merida has a Consejo de Tutelas
As of 2008, each municipality in the State of Yucatan is mandated, by civil law and in accordance with the Commission of Human Rights, to establish and maintain a Consejo de Tutelas. Merida's is the first to be completed and installed so we thought we would give you a definition of this now-formal governmental agency. The Consejo de Tutelas (Council of Trusteeships) is an organization that looks after the welfare of those who, for whatever reason, cannot care for themselves. These individuals include not only those who suffer from mental disease or disorder, but also those who are addicted to alcohol and/or drugs. The council also looks out for the rights of the illiterate and any other individual or group that lacks the power or ability to protect and care for themselves. Since Yucatan has never done anything halfway in all of its history, it will be interesting to see what changes are made as this mandate becomes reality throughout our state.
HIV/AIDS and TB in Yucatan
It has been 25 years since HIV/AIDS first came to the State of Yucatan. While much has been accomplished during that time, much is still left to do. There has also been a recent increase in the number of cases of TB. We understand that there is a budget deficit, with respect to both treatment and support programs for victims of these diseases and their families. This is an area in which expats are free to make a significant contribution as volunteers. If you have not already done so, please contact the shelter Oasis San Juan de Dios, Brazos Abiertos Yucatan or the Civil Association of Good Intentions.
For those of our readers who plan on moving to Yucatan with children, or who may already be here with children, we thought you might like to see an annual school calendar. As you can see, the school year begins in the 4th week of August and runs through the 1st week in July. This leaves children with only about 7 weeks of summer vacation. However, (so you won't feel sorry for their short summer) they are also on vacation from mid-week before Christmas to January 6th, 2 weeks in February, 2 1/2 weeks in March, and the week of Easter. Classes are also suspended for various teacher conferences throughout the year. School vacations are also times when the city and state offer more events for children. If you are traveling to Yucatan with children, bookmarking the School Calendar is a great way to ensure that there will be plenty for your child to do while they are here.
Progreso's Cetmar de Yucalpeten
There are so many schools in our state that it often seems as if everyone in all of Yucatan is on their way to class at all hours of the day and night. We tend to think in terms of UADY because they are such a huge, worldwide research organization and are constantly in the news. We often forget that there are plenty of specialized schools throughout the state that are turning out some of the finest professionals in their fields. Such is certainly the case with Centro de Estudios Technologicos del Mar (Cetmar). This technical school is graduating its first students in two specialties: Technology of Captures and Technology of Aquaculture. Graduates are experts in weather instrumentation and even in the legal aspects of fishing and aquaculture. These are interesting certifications that will place Cetmar graduates squarely on the front lines of the future of any business activity associated with coastal Yucatan. Congratulations to the first graduating classes in Technology of Captures and Aquaculture in our own Yucalpeten.
Valladolid: A Degree in Derecho
At the University of Valladolid, it is possible to get a degree in Rights (as in Human Rights), but what can one possibly do with such a degree? This past week, students were able to explore some really exciting options. Not only can these students take their degree into law enforcement, they can also branch off into forensic medicine, prison management, court translations, and the management of other types of shelters. They are all well educated in civil and legal rights procedures and communication; and most are bilingual, if not trilingual. As we read more about the specialist degrees throughout our state, we are more impressed than ever by the next generation of Yucatecos. Congratulations to all of the graduates in the degree known as Derecho in Valladolid.
Valladolid: Office Space Pretty in Pink
It has been 20 years since Valladolid got its new market and, for 20 years, the second floor has been empty. Now, they are renovating it for office space, some governmental and some private. The facade is beautifully arched and fits right in with the concept of "pretty streets" that seems to be sweeping the state. We are so happy to know that existing space will be used for these offices, rather than possibly spoiling a wonderful Colonial city with a garish new office building. Congratulations to the City Council of Valladolid for recognizing the value of this unused space and finally finding an exceptionally good use for it.
Izamal To Get New Parish
Its the little things that let us know how much and how fast we are growing. Izamal is getting a new parish and it is 75% complete already! The new priest is yet to be named, and a date of completion has not yet been announced, but this is a sure sign of growth, as well as a sure sign of the stability of the population in the area.
More On "Supports"
Last week, we explained the concept of the giving of "supports" by the government. This is a very effective means of helping those who have been marginalized in society. We have just learned that, in one town, women were having to take turns using the few local sewing machines (job sharing) in their effort to try to make a living. Now, the State has delivered enough sewing machines for everyone, as well as frames for making hammocks, and the people are able to take care of themselves. It is almost summer and there will be many groups coming to all parts of Mexico on any number of volunteer and mission programs. If you are coming to volunteer, anywhere in Mexico, please consider the concept of "supports" and try to come up with ways you can help - not to feed a person for a day... but to give the people something that will allow them to feed their families for a lifetime. The concept of giving supports is also a pretty good idea for those of you who want to come to Mexico and start your own businesses. The more people you help, the more successful you will be.
Cable and Internet: Sometimes Its Ugly
The Internet, violent video games and cable television were wonderful things for Yucatan. With instant access to the rest of the world, many of the previously limited areas of Yucatan were able to burst into the 21st century full-grown and running with the fastest nations in the world. Unfortunately, everything that is lamentable about cable, videogames and the Internet content and risk in other places is now a reality in Yucatan as well. The two greatest offenders on the Net seem to be MySpace and YouTube because of their appeal to children. We love those sites! They host some wonderful videos of cenote dives, beach vacations, and some of our favorite trova performers. But we are adults and our searches tend to be only for legitimate purposes. Sadly, there are also sexual predators on those sites, and others whose sole purpose it is to lead child victims astray. Parents and teachers are now aware of the situation and are working quickly to deal with it before permanent damage is done to the culture of Yucatan. We wish them well and are certain that the strength of Yucateco culture will prevail.
The Net for Children
If you have little ones in your home or in your neighborhood, you might be interested in a few sites in Spanish that are appropriate for children. Look them over and see if the children in your life might like them.
Mexico para Ninos
Discovery Kids Latino