Boats in a Street in Chelem
One cannot help but feel sorry for residents who experience street flooding. Some actually need a boat to get out of their street. Chelem is a beach town and we are in the middle of rain, rain, and more rain. There are no ditches or canals to drain the water because, as we all know, Yucatan is sitting on a limestone shelf. The water percolates slowly through the limestone and/or out to sea with the outgoing tides. Either way, living at sea level, under these circumstances, suggests that at least a few streets are going to be wet for a few days each year. Would you not move to Chelem because of one or two streets flooding during one or two weeks a year? Before you answer, remember that there are about 350 perfect days of the year remaining in Chelem, so don’t strike the coast off of your list quite yet.
Yes, the 10-day weather forecast shows rain at least every afternoon and only once or twice all day. With the Caribbean to our east, the Gulf of Mexico to our north and west, and the Pacific to our west and south, we have little hope of avoiding rain for very long during this time of year. However, we are able to escape the horrific mudslides faced by other states due to Yucatan’s limestone shelf location and the fact that the Yucatan Peninsula is as flat as a pancake. As long as the winds of hurricanes don’t blow, and all we get is a few thunderstorms, we’re all fine in Yucatan, even if it is a bit of a sauna for a few hours a day.
La Solidaire du Chocolat Postponed
Every other year, in even numbered years, Class 40 sail boats set out from France, and race to Progreso, Yucatan. Sadly, this year, citing the worldwide economic situation, not enough boats registered to give accreditation to the race. In light of this temporary situation, the race has been postponed until 2016. All other cooperative social and educational projects between the French and Yucatan are doing well on both sides of the ocean.
San Marcos: An Intra-Urban City in Merida
The development of intra-urban cities seems to be an idea that is growing around the world. As large cities become too unwieldy to manage and too costly to operate, the notion of building smaller cities within the larger cities has taken root. There are currently twelve such projects underway throughout Mexico, but it looks as if one in the southern part of Merida will be the first to be certified as environmentally and economically sustainable. San Marcos will have all of the bike paths, parks and green spaces everyone dreams of, as well as 12,000 brand new homes. The homes look a little close together, but professionals say that new design technologies are going to surprise us all. We can hardly wait to take a tour of San Marcos when it is finished!
The Pope Will Visit Mexico
The President of Mexico has been to see Pope Francisco and the Pope has agreed to visit Mexico. Now we wait for a date and a list of the places in the country he will visit. Of course, all fingers are crossed for Merida and Izamal, a city and a town that were both beloved destinations of Pope, now Saint, John Paul II. This pope has the potential to give a worldwide voice to Latin Americans that they have never had before. Thus far, he is leading by example and is showing the world a new view of Latin Americans and their cultures.
Merida English Library to Get New Administrator
Irving Cool has traded in his role as administrator of the Merida English Library for a new career in property management. Everyone wishes him well in his new career! Dan Karnes, MEL Board President, recently announced that a search for a new administrator has begun. In the meantime: “Lorna Gail Dallin, who was the library’s administrator from 2000 to 2006, has agreed to serve as part-time interim administrator. We appreciate immensely her dedication to MEL and her willingness to help.” For more information about requirements for this position, or to apply for the position of Administrator for the Merida English Library, go by the library (Calle 53 #524 x 66 y 68) or call (999) 924-8401. It is expected that a decision will be made within three to four months.
Progreso: This-N-That Consignment Shop
If you are looking for great “good stuff,” gently used and at reasonable prices, there’s a new consignment shop in Progreso. It is owned by Ramona and Connie, two expatriates, who are filling a need that every expat has longed for at one time or another. They take anything — clothes, household items, you name it. They assign you a number that then becomes your number for whatever you bring in from then on. You set your own prices for your goods and their commission is 10% of that. The consignment store is located at Calle 25 y 34 in Progreso, Yucatan. To get there, go East on Calle 27 toward Chicxulub. Turn left toward the beach on Entrada 34 (Look for the SHAMBALA sign at Entrada 34 (since the town forgot to number the street) and turn left again on Calle 25. The house and shop will be on your left at that corner. For now, the store will be open Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM.
Isla Mujeres & Cozumel: Swimming With Manatees
Even in Yucatan, with all there is to see and do, we eventually all want something new and different to experience. Our find for this week is swimming with Manatees at the Dolphin Discovery Center, with locations on both Cozumel and Isla Mujeres. If you have a few extra dollars and, if the grandkids are coming for the summer, put Dolphin Discovery on your list and take a chance to see these animals up close. We hope (and assume) that the animals are well cared for and believe that this kind of encounter will educate future generations to take care of and preserve these and other species.
Kaxil Kiuic: Education, Research and Preservation
The Helen Moyers Biocultural Reserve is privately owned and managed by Kaxil Kiuic, A.C. It was developed and is managed by Millsaps College, where the professors and students continue to do research. They are conducting archaeological, biological and other research programs. The reserve consists of 4,000 acres of tropical forest that includes the ancient Maya center of Kiuic, as well as the remains of the historic community of San Sebastian. The State of Yucatan is continuing to work with INAH to develop this area as an internationally acclaimed ecotourism site while, at the same time, providing research and educational opportunities to scientists from around the world. Kaxil Kiuic has offices in Merida and private tours can be arranged for a day or for longer stays. For more information, go by Kaxil Kiuic, A.C. Their address is Calle 10 No. 66 por 7 y 9, Colonia San Antonio Cinta, Mérida, 97139, Yucatán, México. Or you can email them at callagja [at] millsaps [dot] edu. When you contact them, be sure to ask about joining the Amigos de Kiuic.
Yucatan’s Mangroves and Seagrass
The State of Yucatan now is home to between 50 and 70% of all of the sea grass that grows along the coasts of the Yucatan Peninsula, as well as 55% of the mangroves. This gives the state unique status as Cinvestav scientists work to develop a symposium that will showcase the importance of Yucatan’s coastal resources in terms of carbon mitigation and climate change. Cinvestav is a national research and university system that boasts at least 55 graduate and post-graduate degrees, and has a campus right here in Merida. To learn more about this project, and about Cinvestav itself, visit the Cinvestav website.
Africanized Bees in Ucu
Sadly, an elderly gentleman was killed by Africanized bees as he worked his small plot of land behind a primary school in Ucu. The first question most people ask about these kinds of bees is how to recognize them. In reality, “killer” bees look much like their non-aggressive counterparts. If they are actually Africanized bees, they will be extremely aggressive and there will be little doubt as to what they are. These bees do not like movement or noise, so please do be careful. Do not attempt to fight these bees alone. Call the police immediately if you suspect that there are “killer bees” on your property.