News Starting June 06, 2011
Weather Report: Is It Rainy Season Yet?
Its that time of year again. Hurricane season officially began on June 1 and will run through Nov. 1. At the present time, there are no systems located in the Atlantic that are capable of generating a hurricane. However, there are two low pressure systems, both moving to the west, that are expected to bring 20 mm to 50 mm of rain. The first few raindrops have fallen after weeks of dry and hot weather. Its been a long time coming, but the rainy season is here (almost), so be sure to clear up any places on your property where mosquitoes can breed. We hope everyone has a wonderful, healthy and mosquito free, summer in Yucatan!
Kenyan Won Progreso’s 24th Annual Maratón de la Marina 2011
Three Kenyans and athletes from around all of Mexico came to compete in Progreso’s 24th Annual Maratón de la Marina 2011, but it would be Kenyan Isaac Macharia Waweru who finally took first place, followed closely by his team mates. Carmen Mendez Cervantes, of Progreso, won the ladies division. We honestly don’t know how these athletes manage to compete in this kind of heat, but we suppose that’s because we spend much of our lives sitting in front of computers. Maybe, next year, we’ll get out and join the crowd in one of the short routes. In the meantime, our congratulations to anyone who is not from Yucatan and still has the stamina to compete in a summer marathon and win!
Have you noticed? There is just something about Yucatecos that seems to cause them to rise to the top of their professions no matter where they roam. Such is certainly the case with a young mother of two, who lives in Long Grove, Illinois. Rosy Hugener is descended from a long line of accomplished political and literary Meridanos. Her new book, written with husband Carl as linguistic editor, has hit the Top 100 list in Latin American Fiction on Amazon.com. She is now focusing on having the book read by book clubs, which sounds like a fine idea to us. As with most fiction writers, Rosy’s characters are a mixture of fact and fiction, drawn from people she has known or been told about by her Meridana grandmother. It will be interesting to read a fictional work by someone who is two generations removed from some of the actual events in Yucatan’s history. Here are two links: One where you can read more about Rosy Hugener and one where you can purchase her book, Xtabentum: A Novel of Yucatan. We can’t wait to read it ourselves!
Whale Shark Picnic
Four hundred and twenty whale sharks were photographed at one of their annual picnics off the northeast coast of the Yucatan Peninsula recently, and another smaller such gathering was found off of the northern tip of the peninsula. When scientists sampled the menu, they discovered that the whale sharks, who normally thrive on little more than zooplankton, had come together to dine on dense clouds of little tunny eggs. This was wonderful news, on several fronts. Not only did it prove that whale sharks may not be the solitary creatures they were once thought to be, but it also identified previously unknown little tunny spawning grounds. At a time when Asia is rapidly killing off its whale shark population, we are doing everything possible to protect and grow the whale sharks that visit the Yucatan Peninsula. If you haven’t been to see them, be sure and go. Licensed boatdrivers will take you out to where they swim (at the appropriate times of the year) and you can swim with them. It is an amazing experience!
Progreso: Matrimonios Colectivos para Concubinatos 2011
This early June event, with the marriage of 342 couples, was the largest of any collective marriage ceremony since the practice came into being just four years ago. This brings the total number of couples married through collective ceremonies to 2,620. Weddings are huge events in Yucatan and, all too often, are out of reach financially for people who have fewer resources. While cohabitation, usually with a small ceremony in the church, has become socially acceptable, it is still far better for couples to also be legally married, with a civil ceremony at least, so that they will have their assets protected, as well as for the security of their children. In Progreso, this latest event included the marriages of two families of grandparents, parents and grandchildren. We would like to offer our congratulations to all of the brides and grooms and offer our best wishes for a wonderful future.
The people of Tekax, and their physician, are enjoying all of the latest advances in medical technology without having to build a new hospital and without having to talk specialists of every discipline into moving there. No more do the people have to find a way to get their sick and injured to O’Horan because, through the magic of top-notch telemedicine technology, O’Horan has come to them. The care covers everything from lab work to major surgery and all on screen, up close and personal. We think this is just wonderful for the people of the Tekax area, a major center of population a few hours to the south of Merida. It also crossed our minds that, in many cases, expats never settle far from access to excellent health care. With this kind of health care innovation, it will now be easier than ever for expats to look toward the Southern Cone of Yucatan as a potential area for retirement.
In nations where universal health care has been successful, it has long been recognized that providing the tools and skills to prevent disease is a whole lot cheaper than having to pay for the chronic and debilitating effects of those same diseases. Such is certainly the case with obesity, since coronary disease and diabetes are the two biggest categories of chronic illness in the world. One by one, the elementary schools in Yucatan are introducing their parents and students to proper nutrition and exercise. This time, we read about 100 elementary students in Hunucma, a town about half an hour outside of Merida on the way to Sisal. They are entering a brief introduction to a program that will be in full swing when they come back to school in August. We are amazed at the depth of caring among teachers and parents as they lead Yucatan’s children to a far more comfortable life than they otherwise would have experienced. Well done!
Senior Citizens Gone to National Dance Contest
We can’t think of a thing that young folks do that isn’t being done by senior citizens in Yucatan, and that includes folkloric dance. The folkloric group Lol-be (sponsored by IMSS) is off to Oaxtepec, Morelos, to compete in a national contest to choose the best folkloric dance team to represent Mexico’s artistic groups. This is proof positive that snow on the roof most certainly does not mean that there is no fire in the furnace – and certainly not in Yucatan. Yucatan Living wishes Lol-be all the luck in the world and we’ll be waiting for the results when they come home!
White Tiger Visiting at El Centenario
There is an exchange program of animals between a number of zoos in the region and Yumka, in Villahermosa, Tabasco. This time, El Centenario has gotten the loan of an 8-month-old white tigress for between 30 and 40 days. There is another white tiger in the group that makes its rounds of various zoos and zoological parks. His name is Alex and everyone hopes that, someday, this young lady and Alex will provide us with more of their gorgeous species. Even if you are not in Merida, you can still visit El Centenario and you can still visit Yumka in Villahermosa through the magic of the internet.
Speaking of tigers, we read recently that the Tigers of Cancun have all been rescued except for one. The man who is trying to hold on to his land, using the tigers as an excuse, is having the full power of the law brought against him in an effort to get even the last tiger brought to a safer place where his or her well being will be maintained. A large email campaign was waged last year, bringing these neglected tigers to the attention of various officials around Mexico. Who knows? Maybe it worked?
What Do Those White Ribbons Mean?
If you are in the area of the planned underpass on Paseo Montejo and see white ribbons tied around large trees, you may be wondering about their significance. The Facebook group “A favor de Mérida” has tied white ribbons around each tree that will be sacrificed to build the new traffic tunnel. This past Sunday was World Environment Day. Please keep Merida in mind and plant a tree wherever you are, but especially if you are in Merida. Trees are the lungs of the world, and even though they grow a lot more quickly here than in other parts of the planet, cutting down a full-grown tree should never be a trivial decision.