Christmas Tree Collection Continues
The Municipality of Merida will continue to accept Christmas trees until the end of January. Until January 21, trees were picked up at both curbside and collection centers. From the 21st through the end of the month, the trees will be received at the East and West collection centers. Those addresses are Calle 63 x 6 y 8, Colonia Emilio Portes Gil, and en la 116 con Avenida Jacinto Canek, next to Preparatoria No. 2. The hours are 8:00 AM to 2:00 PM and there is no fee to drop off trees at the collection centers. This year, the compost made from these trees will be used to make improvements to city parks. It should also be noted that waste collection firms will also continue to take Christmas trees, but they charge the customer $20 pesos to do so.
Hunger Still Haunts Parts of Yucatan
Even as sustainable farming grows by leaps and bounds, there are pockets of hunger still scattered throughout Yucatan. This week, the National Crusade Against Hunger targeted 400 municipalities to be included in the first stage of the fight against hunger in Mexico. Two of those, Tahdziu and Merida, have been included in the first stage of this national crusade. The ten municipalities in Yucatan with the highest risk for food shortages, along with the percent of the population that is at risk for hunger, include: Tahdziu (52.3%), Chemax (48.7%), Dzilam de Bravo (46.4%), Chikindzonot (44.8%), Uayma (41%), Mayapan (39.7%), Dzemul (31.7%), Chacsinkin (33.6%), Espita (32.1%), Tixcacalcupul (32.6%). One might ask why Merida would be included in the first stage of the National Crusade Against Hunger. After all, only 18 % of Merida’s population is at risk for food shortages. Merida is a city of over a million people. Eighteen percent translates to 180,000 people in need of food supports. Yucatan Living is pleased to support educational and feeding programs, and we encourage others to do so as well. Please visit our Volunteering Opportunities to learn more about some of the ways you can help.
Peto Struggles with Street Dogs
It is the law! When small towns, such as Peto, become overwhelmed by the number of street dogs, they can no longer just start killing dogs. Today, by law, they must first obtain permission for two campaigns. First, they must put on a free spay/neuter campaign and, second, the actual campaign to euthanize the dogs. The UADY Veterinary School will provide the medical services. Yucatan Living supports as many shelters as we can, as well as spay/neuter and adoption programs. Almost every expatriate we have ever met does so as well. We also understand that stray dogs reproduce so rapidly that they can overwhelm a small town in a very short amount of time. In years gone by, every dog in a small Mexican town would have been poisoned from the back of a truck passing in the dark of night. Today, towns like Peto follow the law and give as many second chances as possible before having veterinary professionals euthanize the dogs as humanely as possible. There is a free spay/neuter campaign going on in Peto that will last until the end of the January. If you know anyone who lives there, please make certain to pass the word. And while euthanization programs still seem unfortunate to us, we recognize that the way companion animals are treated today is so much better than it was just five or ten years ago. Education of how to treat animals and the value of sterilizing them can be done by every one of us, every day. We encourage you to do your part.
Request to Complete an Expat Survey
If you are an expat or snowbird in Yucatan, we would like to give you an opportunity to participate in a survey. The researcher is Jillian van der Gracht. Jillian is currently in her fourth year at Capilano University, in the Bachelor of Tourism Management program. She lived in Merida in 2008 – 2009, where she attended Technologia Turistica Total. Joanna Rosado is her aunt. At this point in Jillian’s academic career, she is conducting her graduating research project. Her focus is on expatriates in Merida and in other expat destinations in Yucatan. Jillian has asked the members of Yolisto to help by completing her online survey and we would like to help her by extending that invitation to other readers who might not have heard about her research. If you have approximately 10 to 15 minutes, we hope you will visit Jillian’s Expat Life in Yucatan Survey. The survey asks for no personal details. If you have any questions, you can contact Jillian by e-mail at jillianvandergracht [at] capilanou [dot] ca or send a private message to Jillianvdg on Yolisto.com.
U.S. Company Expands in Yucatan
Who is ‘Baldesigns de México’? You might not know that name, but how about Balfour, Artcarved, Keepsake and Taylor? Baldesigns de Mexico is part of the American Commemorative Brands Company and we would be willing to guess that most of our readers have at least one graduation ring manufactured by at least one of those companies. We are also willing to bet that most of our readers have at least a few other pieces of graduation, commemorative, or championship jewelry made by them at some point in time. This company first came to Merida with 120 jobs. Their investment was so successful that they have now come back with another $1.4 million pesos of investment, and boosted employment by 180 additional jobs. The parent company has nothing but praise for the quality of workers found in Yucatan and plans on being here long enough for this relationship to turn into tradition.
Yucatan: Birds vs. Wind Farm
The Dzilam Bravo Wind Farm has been put on hold until the completion of a Pronatura Yucatan environmental study. The study is aimed at understanding the possible impact of the wind farm on migratory routes, food sources and resting places. It will also explore any mitigation measures that can be implemented. The problem here is that many of the migratory birds fly at a height of no more than 50 meters. Other migratory birds use the Mississippi Flyway. Some birds actually hop a high wind current and cross the Gulf of Mexico in one night. If the wind farm disturbs their natural flyways, or has a negative impact on their ability to feed and/or rest, the numbers of deaths could spell disaster for entire species. As of now, it looks as if the project is well on it’s way to completion. No irregularities have been found yet and mitigation measures to be implemented are minor. Academic and professional support for monitoring mitigation measures and for a monitoring program for both birds and bats will continue but, it is safe to at least suspect that wind power will soon come to Yucatan.
Revista de la UADY: Expanding Online at Age 90
There are very few magazines in the world that can claim 90 years of uninterrupted publication. You can be certain that not many of those are aimed at not only disseminating scientific information, but preserving identity and culture as well. This week, Revista de la UADY added 30 more issues to its already impressive online presence. We hope everyone will visit the UADY website and take a look at all of the Revistas en la UADY. This is a great way to learn more about Yucatan and we would love to see more expats and potential expats take the time to see what’s been happening, for the past 90 years, in the major academic disciplines of the state.
Mayor of Sisal Moves to Increase Tourism
Sisal is one of the off-the-beaten-path treasures of Yucatan. For more than three centuries, it was the major port of Spanish Yucatan, until it was replaced by the modern Port of Progreso in the early 20th century. Even before it was a Spanish port, Sisal was a major port for the Maya. The name Sisal is associated with the product produced by henequen around the world to this day. The current Mayor of Sisal has announced that it is his administration’s mission to restore the lighthouse, the church, the main plaza, and some of the strategic facades, as well as to install underground electrical wiring. He has already begun the process of seeking state and federal funding and pledges that this will be the major focus of his administration. It is wonderful to see not only places of historical significance rescued in this way, but to see people who love their town working hard to give them new life. We hope everyone takes the time to visit Sisal and watch this project unfold.
Garbage Pickup Coming to the Beach!
In a meeting with Canadian residents of Chicxulub, as well as several local pastors, the Mayor of Progreso announced that 70% of the proceeds from the collection of taxes from the Federal Zone are earmarked to be used for the benefit of the local community. This means that a new dump truck and a bobcat can be purchased and used for cleaning in the Federal Zone and on the streets near the beach. The bobcat will be satellite-equipped for the measurement of properties located on Federal land. In a temporary employment program, at least 30 new jobs will be created. This is welcome news to beach towns and villages. Since expats say they are willing to pay for garbage pickup at their homes, perhaps some, if not all, of the temporary jobs can be made permanent.
Theater in English to Benefit edúcaTE Yucatán A.C.
We have this performance listed in our Events, but wanted our North-of-the-Border readers to know more about some of the wonderful projects that expats become involved with here in Yucatan. On Jan. 31st, 2012, at 7:00 PM, at the Olimpo Cultural Centre in downtown Merida, Barbara J. Harris and Ken Funk will be performing the play LOVE LETTERS by A.R. Gurney. This production will raise funds for edúcaTE Yucatán A.C, a non-profit organization, registered in the USA and in Mexico, which is dedicated to helping disadvantaged children in Cholul and surrounding villages receive an education. edúcaTE Yucatán A.Ccurrently runs sponsorship, tutoring and breakfast programs for children in primary, secondary and high school, benefiting over 100 children and young people age 6 through 19.
LOVE LETTERS is a love story told through the written correspondence between characters Andy and Melissa throughout their lives. After hearing about the work of edúcaTE Yucatán A.C, Barbara J. Harris, a Canadian citizen and now full-time resident of Progreso, Yucatan, generously offered to perform the play as a benefit. She invited her partner, Ken Funk, to participate and he instantly agreed to fly in from Canada especially to perform the play. Barbara and Ken have performed the play in British Columbia several times, raising over $30,000 dollars benefiting different causes.
The production in Merida is a collaboration between the actors, Board Members of edúcaTE Yucatán and a team of dedicated volunteers. Paul Trotter, (owner of Trotter´s restaurant, La Tratto, Bryan’s and Pancho’s) will hold a reception for the play’s audience at the newly-opened Tratto Santa Lucía after the play, around 9 PM. A complimentary cocktail is included in the ticket price of $250 pesos per person.
Katrin Schikora, president of the edúcaTE Yucatán A.C, says making a difference in a child’s life through education is what their organization’s work is all about. Improving a child’s potential to have a better future by assisting him or her to reach their full potential is the motivation of the team. You can enjoy a night at the theatre and help this noble cause at the same time. Advance tickets can be purchased at the Merida English Library, at Trotter’s Restaurant and at the Slow Food Market. Or you can call Katrin Schikora at 999-924-8401.