News from the Fishermen
Unfortunately, pulpo season is turning out to be the worst it has been in many years. Since this is the major cash catch on the coast of Yucatan, we hope that this soon turns around for the benefit of all who depend on the fishermen’s spending capacity for their incomes as well as for the fishermen themselves. Sadly, a poor pulpo season only encourages the illegal capture of sea cucumbers, a species that is prized in Asia and, because of that, is endangered now around the world. We do hope that conditions for pulpo fishing improve soon so that the local economy at the beach will no longer be under this kind of stress.
Baby Turtles Released near Telchac Puerto
Children, as usual, released 42 baby turtles this past week from a turtle camp near Telchac Puerto and a long-standing question we’ve had was finally answered. We knew that CETMAR has a camp for the protection and conservation of turtle nests but, sometimes, the people who come to the rescue come from not only farther away, but from a completely different direction! We wondered if there are other turtle camps in Yucatan – and now we know. Sedum has turtle camps at Telchac Puerto, Dzilam Bravo, and Sisal; CETMAR has the turtle camp at Yucalpeten; and Pronatura has turtle camps at Celestun and El Cuyo. In all, that adds up to six camps working constantly to protect and conserve the endangered sea turtles. As usual, employees and volunteers at all of the turtle camps are asking that citizens and visitors do their best to not put anything on the beaches that might get in the way of the baby turtles making their way to the sea, and that all outside lights are turned off at night so as not to confuse the baby turtles.
It seems that the long awaited, newly surfaced road from Chelem to Chuburna is now 50% complete and is expected to be finished sometime in November. We know this is great news for the expats who live in Chuburna and for the Snowbirds who will soon be on their way to their winter homes there. We are sure that this brand new ribbon of highway will be a great boon to the local economy of Chuburna and especially to the artisans who live there.
Organic Gardening Comes to Chuburna
The new road between Chelem and Chuburna couldn’t have come at a better time. There is a new program supporting organic gardening in Yucatan that will begin in 20 different municipalities throughout the state. In the Municipality of Progreso, it will begin in Chuburna. It is supported by federal, state and local agencies and has goals of not only feeding the families of the organic gardeners, but helping them grow enough extra to sell as well. This is a wonderful idea and the ladies of Chuburna look as if they are ready, willing and able to swing into full production as soon as upplies arrive.
Every year, throughout the month of August, crowds on the Malecon in Progreso grow bigger as the month wears on. It really hasn’t been too bad this year. It began with only 30,000 visitors the first weekend. The second weekend saw 50,000 visitors on the Malecon and the third weekend boosted that number to 80,000. If past numbers hold, and we are certain they will, the Malecon in Progreso can expect well over 100,000 visitors both this weekend and probably the next as well. No wonder so many beach residents rent out their houses and take a month’s vacation elsewhere during August!
Nauti-Cup Traffic Jam
In Mexico, there is a competition called the Nauti-Cup, which consists of contestants following what is called the Nauti-Cup Trail to compete in such events as rowing and canoeing. One of the stops is in Progreso and they manage to make it here at least twice a year. The problem with holding the Nauti-Cup in Progreso is that there is not a parking lot large enough to hold everyone who wants to watch the event. To make matters worse, this year, there was a 5 hour traffic jam on the highway between Merida and Progreso because no one told the Federal Highway Department that all of those cars would be on the road that day. When attempts were made to drive to Progreso en mass, the would-be spectators found that one of the lanes of the highway was closed because it was being repaved. If ever there was a commercial for riding the bus from Merida to Progreso, this is it. No worries about parking when you get there! We also suggest that you book a room (well in advance) and go the day before so you’ll be fresh to really enjoy whatever event you intend to attend.
Garbage Garbage Everywhere!
Can you imagine the volume of trash generated by almost 100,000 extra people in an approximately 17 block area? How does 50 tons of garbage per day sound? We often hear complaints about the amount of trash at the beach from people who only go there on holidays. We wonder how they would cope with 50 tons of trash a day in their neighborhood for 30 days in a row. If you go to the beach, please make sure that you leave no trash behind and you might even consider taking along an extra garbage bag to help a little in the effort to keep the beaches clean. Since there are almost 100,000 people at the beach every weekend, imagine what a help it would be if almost 100,000 extra bags of garbage were simply taken away from the beach each week. The relief would be immediate for municipal employees, as well as on the overtaxed landfill. Our thanks to all who try to leave no footprint when they leave our precious natural resources.
August 27: Audition for New Voices of the Mayab 2010
Preview New Voices del Mayab 2009: 9 videos
Each week, we list who will be singing at Cafe Peña K’aay T’aan in Casa de la Cultura del Mayab. The New Voices of the Mayab perform there often. These are the best of the best young voices in the State of Yucatan and they add three new members, using this contest, every year. This year, the first round of auditions will take place at the Casa de Cultura in Progreso. The municipalities represented will be: Progreso, Abala, Acanceh, Baca, Ixil, Chicxulub Pueblo, Conkal, Mococha, Seye, Tahmek, Techo, Timucuy, Tixcocob, Tixpehual, Ucu, Yaxkukul and Kanasin. The finalists will advance to competition in Merida where first place will win $30,000 pesos, second place will win $20,000 pesos, and third place will win $10,000. After that, with lots of hard work on their part, their careers are headed for the stars.
Location: Applicants must be between the ages of 16 and 35 and must apply to audition by August 27 at the Casa de la Cultura.
More Information: For more information, please contact Felipe Manzano Frias, Municipal Director of Culture and Education, at the House of Culture of the Municipality of Progreso at 935-5972.
Miss Elegance Wins Miss Grandmother Title
We have a new Miss Abuelita 2010 in Yucatan! She won after being elected Miss Elegance – and elegant she is! She claims to be 68 years of age, but we would have guessed at least 10 years younger. She works with Doctors of Humor, operated by a group of doctors who believe a smile can make all the difference when treating those who are ill. After seeing the photos of Sra. Norma Bonada y Hernandez, we might have guessed movie star as her career, but Doctors of Humor sounds like a wonderful thing to be doing when one is 68, Miss Elegance and, now, Miss Abuelita 2010.
Blah, Blah and Blah from Monique Duval
Once again we bring you some of the random creative thoughts from Monique Duval, our bread-baking blessing here in Merida. You can read her musings here, and of course, if you want to meet Monique in person, get yourself down to the Slow Food Market on Saturday morning. You can find information and directions on our Events Calendar (linked in the upper right hand corner of every page) or on the page of Ongoing Events and Classes in Merida here.
What do you think of when you hear the word “Hydraulics.” What do you think of when you hear this: “Sunday in the park.” Can you find it in your heart to combine those associations and still feel at peace? Hydraulical Sundays in the Park?
That cacophonic collision of pastoral and mechanical zooms me — body and soul — way back to Brackenridge Park in San Antonio, Texas. It is a densely wooded park with streams, walking paths, horse paths, kissing couples and, twittering birds. And every Sunday, a day of rest and transcendence, these tranquil nature paths become jammed with miles and miles of bumping, grinding, vibrating, souped-up Low Riders who sit nestled deep inside the incomparable plushness of these firey sex- machines. Their bright cars parade slowly down the narrow paths like overgrown hydraulic birds. They strut past the miles and miles of Chicana-Texana girls in platform shoes and hot pants and mini-skirts and hair-sprayed heaps of curls that defy the Texas heat. Its a dance of hydraulic hype and petroleum products. The girls in their high-shine lip gloss reflecting the dappled sunlight right back into the mirrored shades of the low-riders. Its techno-nature lingo.
There is a natural exchange of light here, messages tucked inside the flash of chrome and patent leather. I used to go to these Sunday events. Me, a Chicana girl: Roots in Mexico, feet in Texas, head in the vast sky. How do we manage to bring it all together: Roots, place, dreams? We find a way we think is ours and then and those ways change.
Right now, thirty years later, I live in Mexico. I am making bread and food and hoping that it´s serving those who eat it and share it. Bread-making and cooking is the physical act of joining earth and sky, dreams and real life to the present moment. What does this have to do with Sundays in the park? I suppose not very much. It was a long, long time ago . What I did then to mark my place in the world was different than what I do now. If you took a rock and tossed it into my pool of existence the waves would have been stopped by my own young shores. But now, older and with that priceless sense of vastness and connectedness that age brings, that same toss of a rock creates infinite waves moving out and out and out mingling and coming back again to me in a different form, a saturated light of being.
I am feeding my little family (and anyone else who happens to stroll into my bakery) and finding meaning through the preparation of food. I am hydraulic Chicana girl turned into mother and wife and bread-maker. For now, its my way of bringing it all together: roots, place, dreams.
I wish you a slow, beautiful week here in Merida.
Oxkutzcab: A Young Yucateco Entrepreneur
Wilberth Hernandez Puch’s father went away to work in the United States, but leaving Yucatan was never in this young man’s plans. However, if he was to remain in Oxkutzcab, in the southern part of the state, he would have to find employment that would earn him enough money to justify staying. Then, Wilberth’s father sent him a Sony Handycam and, as they say, the rest is history. Wilberth began to film any local event that brought people together. He found that he particularly likes special social events, such as birthdays, weddings, and school graduations. Soon, StudioFX was born and Wilberth was on his way to success. His quinceanera videos match the theme of the event and several are online at YouTube. Wilberth is also an accomplished DJ, so his commercial videos are right on target for making him one of the most successful videographers of the 21st century in Yucatan and beyond. Wilberth Hernandez Puch is one more reason we believe that the people of Yucatan have more natural talent than any other population we have seen in a long long time.