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Yucatan News: Women in Yucatan

News Starting September 05, 2011

The Torch of the 2011 Pan American GamesPan American Games in Merida

By the time most of our readers get this news, the torch of the 2011 Pan American Games will have come and gone from Merida; but we think this was an important event for several reasons. First, the fact that Mexico is a participant in the Pan American Games shows that Mexico is very interested in and involved with the other 41 American and Caribbean nations involved in these games. These sorts of events go a long way in building national and international bridges ensuring peace well into the future. The other reason we think this event was important was that this torch will eventually make its way to 38 cities in Mexico. Merida is the only one of these cities where the torch will actually be run by athletes who will be participating in the games, as well as local athletes and sponsors. The reason for that is simple. Our highways and streets are safe. The torch of the 2011 Pan American Games will be run – at night – from Dzibilchaltun, 23 km into Merida, with a total of 73 relays. While this seems perfectly normal to those of us who live in Yucatan, we all need to stop and realize just how lucky we really are to be living in Yucatan.

The Bici-Ruta is Growing!Bici Ruta in Merida

Five years ago, the Bici Ruta began as a Sunday morning activity for families with children. Several of the main streets through Centro are closed to vehicle traffic so that families can enjoy a variety of activities along the route. Activities include dance, music, soccer, art, and other handicrafts, all held under tents at regular stopping points. There’s food and cold drinks along the way too. In honor of the 5th anniversary of the Bici-Ruta, this event has been opened in San José Tecoh and is soon to open in Opichen. There are even plans to eventually open another Bici-Ruta route in the north east section of the city. Several other cities around the state have opened their own version of the Bici-Ruta and are enjoying the benefits of at least one healthy, family fun day a week. To see what Merida’s Bici-Ruta is all about, visit the Bici-Ruta website.

Traditional Medicine Workshop a Success

Many are unaware that Yucatan actually has an INDEMAYA DIF, whose focus is on traditional medicine. This past week, they held their very first traditional medicine workshop in Oxkutzcab and were able to demonstrate the healing properties of over 450 plants. Most of those who attended were researchers and midwives and the most common topic was traditional pediatric care. As more information about the plants comes to light, we find that they have been under cultivation in Yucatan for up to 15 years and some come from as far away as Italy, Cuba, Miami, Central America, France, Brazil and Africa. Look for much more, coming soon, from traditional medicine groups and practitioners right here in Yucatan.

Ten Women Graduate From Military CollegeMilitar Women in Mexico

For the first time in Mexico’s 200 year history, there are ten women who have graduated from El Heroico Colegio Militar. Each is now a second lieutenant in the Quartermaster Corps, where they will keep the troops supplied with food, uniforms and all of the equipment necessary to do their jobs. Many of these ladies will grow to become tomorrow’s officers in the Army and Navy. This is especially momentous with respect to the Navy because they traditionally only support the upward mobility of women in medicine. Now, they are saying that a woman might actually become Secretary of the Navy someday! Whatever they choose to do in their personal careers, these ten ladies will be role models for young women for generations to come.

Campeche: Justice and Public Administration Seminar

This group will meet on several occasions throughout the month of September in Campeche. The purpose is to point out the fact that there still exists a very wide gender gap for women in Campeche, with respect not only the ability to participate in public administration, but to access basic human rights as well. This is in stark contrast to the State of Yucatan, where women make up 70% of the judicial administration of the state. To its credit, Mexico is on hand and working hard to encourage the closing of the gender gap in Campeche. We hope this seminar ends with women in Campeche being able to enjoy the same success enjoyed by the women of Yucatan.

Adoption News in Yucatan

One in six women in Yucatan find that they cannot conceive. Before we find that number shocking, we need to remember that, in more developed societies, we have the same problems. We go to our doctors and get a prescription for infection or hormones, or make a quick trip by their office for a little out-patient procedure. If all else fails, we simply visit the nearest fertility clinic and, in most cases, that solves the problem. Many couples in Yucatan, who have only recently gotten on the upwardly mobile track, do not have that kind of money yet. Recently, IMSS has begun to provide fertility procedures for its members for a small fee. Even so, many can still not afford to resolve the problem and choose adoption instead. Now that single mothers can adopt in Yucatan, our state is one of the premier adoption states in all of Mexico! Last year, 73 children were adopted in Yucatan, with 41% of the children over the age of five. In fact, so many couples are applying for adoptive children in Yucatan that they have been given an entire half-day, every Wednesday, to put their names on the list and begin the process of qualifying. The result is that there is usually no waiting for an adoptive child in Yucatan, once the prospective parents are cleared to adopt. It is wonderful to learn that Yucatan is far ahead of the other states on the Yucatan Peninsula, and even throughout Mexico, in the effort to ensure that no Mexican child grows up without a family who loves him or her. We especially want to congratulate all of the single women who have adopted older children. They are true heroines in Mexico.

Visiting Progreso (Municipality)El Corchito Progreso Mexico

This is for those of our readers who are not familiar with Yucatan and may need a little help with some confusing place names. You can visit the City of Progreso, which has grown up around the Port of Progreso – or you can visit the entire Municipality (county) of Progreso, which includes the towns of Chuburna, Chelem, Yucalpeten, Chicxulub, and San Ignacio. In either case, it will all be called Progreso. If you choose to visit the Municipality of Progreso, there are now local tours available. They can be booked from the local municipal tourism office. The tours last from 10:00 AM until 6:00 PM and cover the salt ruins (ruinas de sal) and the flamingo zone, both near Uaymitun. The tours also include the ruins of Xcambo and the area known as El Corchito, a small mangrove and ecological reserve. The cost of the tour for foreigners is $200 pesos. This is an 8-hour tour, which comes out to $2.00 USD per hour for a service that includes not only a guide, but transportation as well. The tour costs cover a boat, with gasoline, insurance and licenses. No matter what, we figure anywhere you visit in Progreso is well worth the time you spend there!

Yucatan Ranks 1st in Kidney Stones

Well! That doesn’t seem like a “1st in all of Mexico” that we want to keep! Unfortunately, Yucatan does rank higher than any other state in the nation in the number of patients who suffer from kidney stones. Since diet is the key to the prevention of kidney stones, we strongly recommend that everyone increases the amount of water they drink and visit the National Institute of Health’s website on this topic.

Yucatan’s Got Muscles and Medals! Sports in Yucatan

And the prediction is… There is no way that anyone can knock Yucatan out of overall fifth place going forward in the National Olympics and that is thanks to our weightlifters. We’ve never seen such an array of gold medals! In fact, we’re actually in first place in gold medals for weightlifting. There’s a great site online that will let you follow along as Yucatan’s young competitors continue their march toward the International Olympics in 2012. You can click here for Olimpiada Nacional Yucatan 2011 Medallero. We hope you enjoy the races! To follow all of the state supported sports in Yucatan, you can visit the IDEY website, where you can get back-stories and press releases.

Peninsular Motorsports is Back!

There used to be stock car races at the Fair Grounds every Friday night here in Merida, but we haven’t seen them advertised in a long time. However, that seems as if it will be changing soon. We’ve already seen the resumption of stock car racing in Cancun, just a week or two ago. Now the Secretary of Tourism from Quintana Roo is in London to negotiate the terms that will bring Formula 1 back to Cancun. He’s brought the plans for a fabulous new autodrome with him, so we suspect that it won’t be long before many of us will be spending a few more weekends in Cancun every year. This meeting will take place on Tuesday, so we should know something concrete by next week. 

Interesting Headlines

  • Mexico surpasses Peru to become world leader in silver production.
  • Mexico and U.S. in formal talks to share and regulate oil in reservoirs that straddle the border.
  • Mexico prosecuting cartel members as terrorists.
  • Two Mexicans who caused a panic by tweeting a rumor about children being killed at a school are being charged with domestic terrorism in Veracruz.
  • U.S. Immigration arrests at a 40 year low.

News from MELL

  • Friday Game Nights to continue (see ongoing events)
  • Saturday Morning Lectures planned for when Snowbirds return. (more later)
  • Banned Book Week is Sept. 24 – Oct. 1. There will be a list of all books that have been banned in the past. Be sure to read at least one of the books during Banned Book Week.

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7 Responses to “Yucatan News: Women in Yucatan”

  1. Hi,
    Do you have any information on foreigners trying to adopt in the area? If you could provide any advice or direction to a local website it would be greatly appreciated!
    Thank you,
    Sara Moen
    Playa Maya News
    Playa del Carmen

  2. Sara, we found this website:

    Numbers 15 and 16 are specifically for extranjeros (foreigners). If you know of anyone who wants help with adopting a child in Mexico, we believe that the people at Yucatan Expatriate Services may be able to help. (

  3. More info from other research: Yes – it is possible for foreigners to adopt in Mexico. This website explains the process: But it also reminds us that only 52 foreign adoptions were finalized in the entire country of Mexico last year. That isn’t many. The problem is that the extended birth families often do not want to let go of the children “forever.” …and they don’t have to in Mexico. We knew one set of siblings who, when both parents died, lived in an orphanage during the week and went home to relatives on weekends. During one steep economic downturn, volunteers took children from orphanages on weekends. So – as you can see, absolutely every effort is made to place Mexican children first with family, then with extended family, or with another Mexican family before a foreign adoption is considered. This is especially true with children of Native American heritage. Not saying it can’t be done… just that it rarely is done.

  4. We adopted our daughter in Guadalajara 18 years ago. It was done through Adoptive Parents Group in NYC. The whole process took less than a year including the daunting task of collecting and processing all the required documents which took 2-3 months. We had to stay in Mexico for 6 weeks, and basically most of the time was waiting for things to happen. Then we had a court date, trips to the US Embassy, then we had to go to Mexico City to get her Mexican passport, then Ciudad Juarez for her exit visa. Then we drove over the border to El Paso and flew back to NY. We had our daughter with us from the day we arrived, she was just one week old. The lawyer in Guadalajara was with us every step of the way. The only negative aspects were dealing with the US INS. They tried their best to block the adoption and tried to prove that she was not an orphan. But the Mexican part went very smoothly.

    Then there were about 150 Mexican adoptions a year from the US. I’m surprised to hear that the number has dropped.

  5. Regarding the orphanages… they are as you say for the youngest children. And they are fairly well cared-for from newborns to 12 or 13. At that age, it is time for a different orphanage. And, at that older age, around 14, the child could chose to leave the orphanage – run away or just walk off – and not much is done. It is noted in the records something like “The child chose not to continue under state care,” and the matter is closed.

    As WG’s explained, when there are hard times, local families do try to pitch in and help. Part of that is because some families may temporarily give up their children to the orphanage so they are fed and so the case load grows in a bad economy. So more help is needed. With the younger children, a lot of care and attention is given to trying to get the child placed with family members of some type. But as the children become older, they may chose to stay or go…

    I guess the best way to describe an orphanage in Mexico is that they are much more ‘fluid’ and flexible than those in the USA (which are mostly now group homes or foster care).

  6. Laurel – thank you so much for that first-hand account. The number of children adopted by foreigners hasn’t dropped for a negative reason. It has, instead, dropped because Mexico has developed a great road to adoption for Mexicans, including single mothers. The past few years have shown a marked increase in the celebration of adoption throughout Mexico and that is rapidly decreasing the number of children waiting for a home.


    I decided to do my own research about Mexican adoptions. Another informative website is above. Your link did not work for me. I feel really lucky that we were able to have our beautiful daughter when she was just one week old. She was with us in Mexico while we went through the entire 6 week process. It seems that the laws have changed in 18 years! Now they allow single women to adopt as well as married couples and they don’t seem to favor adoption by non-Mexicans of infants.


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