By Working Gringos

El Último Esfuerzo: Chapter Four

This recent conversation bothered the clerk, and he was constantly going over doña Raimunda’s powerful words, examining them in all possible lights and giving his deliberations food for thought.

Get married! He who had entertained so many illusions of sweet family pleasures, who had resigned himself, defeated by Luck’s setbacks, to passing through the world never having walked arm in arm with a woman he loved. Get married, when he had further resigned himself to dying in complete solitude, without a desolate wife piously closing his eyelids in sorrow and loving children dampening his deathbed with tears. . . ! So, is there anyone who, in spite of his poverty, not only shows him respect, but does so to the point of caring about Hermenegildo López’s happiness? One who might in matrimony help him see his way to the end of his perpetual misfortunes?

But who is about to marry him? Who is about to receive as her husband a man who was rejected as such when he was young? He wasn’t old, no señor, but neither was he a boy. If only he could marry Lupita! She was so beautiful and so gracious! Hadn’t he seen older men marry young girls every day? No. He wouldn’t do this. No matter how much he might like a very young wife, he could win from her heart nothing more than respectful esteem, not the kind of overpowering love that would be for him and him alone. He had, then, to think of someone whose age better matched his own.

Bringing this reflection to a close, another name leaped into don Hermenegildo’s mind: doña Prudencia! After his last disaster, he once thought of declaring love for her, but without doing anything, he fearfully resolved to completely renounce the idea of marriage.

Doña Prudencia must be thirty-seven years old, and a woman of that age would ordinarily not attract the clerk’s attention. Would the widow who was in a comfortable position, if not rich, accept him who lived in misery with his meager salary and modest employment? It’s true that their friendship was bolstered by the esteem he enjoyed, and this, too, is a form of wealth. Although he was poor, his name was respected, which she knew perfectly well, judging by the appreciation and considerations with which she favored don Hermenegildo, and that was encouraging to him.

Without a doubt, doña Raimunda’s suggestions had fallen like rain on dry ground. Not only did her companion not dismiss a single one of those suggestions, despite arguing against them, he received them with quiet satisfaction. So it was that, from that point on, the idea of marriage was firmly fixed in his mind. And in order to concentrate on it and on who would be the object of his affections, he had continued talking with doña Prudencia, heeding the urgency of his desire in order to keep his timid nerves from making him more reticent, those wicked nerves that vibrated as if they would burst when their owner approached a woman with amorous intentions.

Occupied with these thoughts, he was going down the street one night after departing from the usual get-together when he was interrupted by a voice calling out to him.

It was Luis Robles.

The young man was somewhat short in stature, of sturdy build, fair-haired, with smiling face and blue eyes. Always good-natured, he was a famous party-goer, witty and charming. Carefree like few others, he never thought ahead and all his effort had been toward living life as happily as possible.

In school he was always trying to find out at the last moment what the day’s lesson was, the end result being that his name could be found on the detention list, either for bad conduct in class or for not knowing the assigned material.

During exams, he was saved many times by the daring gift of gab with which he responded to the reviewers, saying everything he knew, even though it wasn’t what they had asked him about, spilling out not a few uncertain dates from his abundant supply.

When the time for finals was nearing, he would resign himself to staying in his room in order to master the course materials. But these were many and it was impossible to recover in so short a period all the time lost in a year. His Latin teacher repeated to him and others non valet studere sed studuisse. There is no value in studying without having studied. But he had too much self-confidence to face the truth of this proposal, presenting himself before the good-humored review board like one destined for a triumph and behaving like a brave warrior about to acquit himself well in battle.

After one of these experiences in the subject of World History, one of his classmates said to him:

“Do you know that you’re shameless under fire?”

“Why?”

“You’ve named more dates than a chronology text.”

“It’s always a good idea to name the dates of related events that occur.”

“But they were completely absurd!”

“I went in there absolutely sure of myself. Do you think the reviewers have memorized all those numbers? Not one of them dared to contradict me, and instead they admired how knowledgeable I was.”

“To say that Constantinople fell to Mehmed II in 1506…”

“It wasn’t in 1506? Well, look; I remember something very important that happened in 1506.”

“You must be talking about the discovery of Yucatán.”

“Exactly.”

And he remained just as unperturbed.

He had yet another trait that gave a better idea of his character.

The third-year Latin professor, who was a priest, gave his students daily assignments to train them in composition and translation, exercises which were to be presented in written form. Luis, who thanks to his good memory could regularly respond to a lesson when he studied it at the last minute, never thought to bother his head with this new work. So it was that when the professor collected their notebooks to make corrections, our hero, when it came to his turn, calmly replied:

“I didn’t bring the assignment, father.”

“Well, you know you still have to do it.”

And the following day the invariable declaration from the student and the same reminder from the professor until, exasperated, the latter exclaimed:

“Listen, son. From now on, I’m not going to ask for your composition again, because it’s useless. Every day, after class, you will stay here to write it. Now you know.”

And so on it went. The priest, upon calling on the students one by one to present their notebooks, skipped Luis Robles. But one time, forgetting to do so, or better yet, probably believing that the lazy student had mended his ways, said to him when it came to be his turn:

“Your assignment, Robles.”

“But, father,” answered the one addressed, getting to his feet, “haven’t we agreed that I would stay every day to write it after class?”

Needless to say, general laughter resulted in the boy’s leaving the classroom.

And so he managed to get by until advancing to professional studies and embarking on the study of Jurisprudence. He found no more pleasure in the celebrated institutions of Justinian and the depths of P. Taparelli than in Naquet’s formulas or De Candolle’s observations. He wasn’t lacking, however, in the virtue of perseverance and, still rubbing his eyes, he would load up his books and march off to the class which he tried to entertain by putting forward some point he claimed to find questionable and engaging the instructor in discussion for as long as possible.

Before long came the first year exam, on which he received a grade that barely permitted him to go on to the second year. And it was said that it was thanks to some discreet and opportune gifts to the professor and the school’s director that he didn’t fail. After that, he was very happy to spend his vacation in his hometown, delighting his poor father with news of the encouraging results and managing to get his permission to prolong the break… necessary, he said, to rest his overburdened intellectual faculties so that once refreshed, he could embark anew on his studies with more spirit and to better benefit.

Having these facts, and knowing him better, we can follow along with Luis in company of don Hermenegildo, with whom he walked toward the latter’s home. As soon as the bachelor saw the younger man, he felt come to his lips the string of affectionate questions he kept ready to unload on the first person he happened to run into.

“Hello, Luis. Good to see you. How are you?”

“Pretty good, don Hermenegildo. And you, how’s it going?”

“Bad, my boy. But how is it that you always want to turn the conversation back around to me? And your papá? I hope he’s just as strong and healthy as the last time I had the pleasure of greeting him. Don’t forget to give him very kind regards when you write to him. And the rest of the family, all’s well?”

“Fine, with the exception of an elderly maid we love very much and who for several days, according to what they write me, has had a very high temperature. “

“You don’t say! Such a good woman.”

“Do you know her, don Hermenegildo?”

“No, but I can imagine. Those elderly maids are generally good. Believe me, I know what I’m talking about. So she’s sick! You have to wonder why some things happen!”

“What do you want? People in small towns get sick just as they do in Mérida.”

“I don’t say they don’t; but it’s sad . . . and what are they giving her for it?”

“Listen, don Hermenegildo; I want to ask you a favor.”

“With much pleasure. Let’s hear it.”

“I’m in love.”

“Ah, yes! The young men’s sickness. And what, is this about asking a young lady to be your girlfriend?”

“No, sir. What I want is to have you ask permission for me to visit her at home.”

“That’s no inconvenience at all, as long as her parents are open to the idea…”

“That’s precisely the question. If her parents were open to the idea, I would go there alone. But that’s not the case and for that reason I need you.”

“But if they’re opposed to you, they’ll say no.”

“With that in mind, I want the one who asks for the permission to be none other than you, who are very esteemed and respected in their house and besides that, you like me and claim to be a great friend of my father. You can give me a good recommendation.”

Don Hermenegildo felt his vanity flattered by the young man who sought his respectability and influence in order to win over the girl’s parents, but forewarned as they were against Luis. How could he tell them that their daughter’s suitor was responsible and hard-working, with excellent prospects for the future and other favorable characteristics, if on the contrary he had the reputation he had, giving no thought to the fact that he hadn’t a penny to his name? But how could he decline the young man’s request? Embarrass him by letting him know he didn’t want to recommend him due to his less than spotless reputation? He, incapable of displeasing the most wicked man in the world? Never in his life! Accept the assignment? Considering the prudence and respectability of that “highly distinguished family” that has opened its doors and honored him with their confidence, how could he suggest that they warmly welcome a young man who has little to recommend him as nothing less than their daughter’s future? Wouldn’t he be contributing to the unhappiness that could befall the girl?

He was continuing to walk along in this perplexed state when Luis asked him:

“Will you do it?”

“But, Luis. Keep in mind that you haven’t even told me the girl’s name.”

“Lupita. As if you don’t already know.”

“Lupita?,” exclaimed don Hermenegildo in amazement.

“Lupita Fernández, doña Prudencia’s daughter.”

“But haven’t I heard that she’s going with Fermín Dorantes?”

“Yes. She talks with him sometimes, but everyone knows she doesn’t really like him.”

“Well, then, she’ll talk with you, too.”

“No, she won’t, because I never get the chance. But she laughs, and you’ll see that this is a good sign.”

“But even if you can make her smile, as long as you don’t have an understanding, what good will permission to enter her house do you?”

“That’s it precisely! If we had an understanding and we could have a conversation when I approach her, the rest would not matter much to me. But since she goes inside without listening to what I have to say, I want the visits as a way to take that option away from her. Anyway, that’s my plan and I know women. I have my reasons to believe that Lupita, in spite of everything, likes me.”

Don Hermenegildo heard the determined young man with envy. What he wouldn’t have given to be half as daring! He was afraid to accept the delicate and serious assignment proposed to him and he thought about changing the subject, but Luis was a crazy man and there would be no way to dissuade him.

There was no other recourse, and in the end he had to agree to the venture cast upon him, but with the saving condition that he was doing so because the request had been made and for no other reason.

Luis departed giving him repeated thanks and a strong and painful handshake, demonstrating his hope that a recommendation like don Hermenegildo’s would not fall on deaf ears. And the bachelor went on to his poor home where his widowed sister and the nighttime crying of his little nephews awaited him, rubbing his bruised hand and feeling uneasy about the pressures placed upon him by Luis’s request.

By Scott Wallace

Editor’s Note: Those of us in the expatriate community of Merida are enjoying a growing set of attractions and entertainment that is becoming richer all the time. Restaurants, music, B&B’s, small hotels, large hotels, shops… Merida today is not the Merida that the Working Gringos “discovered” in 2001. But we are not basically city people, and Merida is most definitely a city, with all that entails. On a regular basis, we like to get out of the city and breathe a bit. We have been hearing more and more about Bacalar, a beautiful lake and growing community that is just four hours away. In fact, we’ve published other articles about the paddle marathon at Bacalar and about Bacalar history. So here is our final story, an inside look at Bacalar, from resident Scott Wallace, who offers some tips to help our readers enjoy their next visit to Bacalar.
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Laguna Bacalar, Beautiful Freshwater

Laguna Bacalar is one of the most beautiful freshwater bodies on the planet. Bacalar also happens to be a comfortable gateway to the fascinating history of Quintana Roo and southern Campeche. Map to Lake Bacalar in YucatanFortunately for Merida residents planning a visit, the same maturing of the business community to meet broader tourist and resident expectations occurring in Merida is also happening in Bacalar. Still, Bacalar is not a major city nor a capital city. Visitors to Bacalar will find an interesting, small pueblo on a spectacularly colorful lake in an area rich with unspoiled nature and complicated history.

The lake and pueblo offer a history, beauty, and engagement of the senses that is every bit as intense as Merida, but definitely not urban and decidedly Quintanaroensis. Forget about the recent alignment with Eastern Time. Somewhere quite early in the four hour drive from Merida to Bacalar, visitors will find themselves squarely in tiempo mexicano.

Visits to Bacalar usually focus on the lake, the town, the history nearby, and the remarkable nature that surrounds it all. Laguna Bacalar has been a vacation destination for nationals for generations and established hotels and restaurants have been serving locals and vacationers for many years. But you still won’t find a spicy tuna hand roll, an extensive wine list, or a Ritz Carlton-level wait staff. What you will find in and around Bacalar is open and genuine hospitality, a stunningly beautiful lake, incredible history and archaeology, and a wide array of options for staying, eating, and enjoying the town and the area.

Start With The Lake

Laguna Bacalar, the hands-down winner on the beauty, activity, and nature front, is not a budget-buster. In fact, it’s free! Six public access points and several public balnearios (public swimming establishments) make hanging out on the beautiful shore or swimming in the clear-blue, soft water simple and easy. Chose from more than a dozen lakefront restaurants and hotels that serve Lake Bacalar on Yucatan Peninsulaup the spectacular colors of the lake all day long. And there are dozens of other pleasant restaurants and hotels to explore. Around Bacalar, as in many places on the Yucatan Peninsula, being flexible and opportunistic navigating the day can gain one much. But even more so in Bacalar, the pace is slow and easy.

Laguna Bacalar is 55 kilometers long and relatively narrow, running more or less north-south with a dogleg on the way. This deliciously-fresh laguna (lake) is Mexico’s second largest sweet-water lake. The east side of the laguna is mangrove shore and low jungle with no houses or development. The west side has development, but also long stretches that remain jungle shore. The north end of the lake is fed by several jungle streams and runoff from seasonal flats. The south end of the lake is fed by a number of cenotes. The lake drains nearly all of this flow out the Pirate Cut and down to the Rio Hondo. Bacalar Pueblo lies on the west side of the laguna about three-quarters of the way south down the lake, directly across from the Pirate Cut. One of the best ways to appreciate both the layout and the beauty of the lake’s remarkable coloration is to check it out on Google Earth.

Bacalar Pueblo

Bacalar Pueblo covers about ten square kilometers with 13,000 or so inhabitants. The older part of the pueblo with the main square, most hotels, restaurants, and shops is east toward the lake. The newer and mostly residential development is to the west. Merida travelers are likely to enter Bacalar Pueblo coming south on Highway #307. As you approach town, just after the fort-shaped tourism center and just before the Pemex station (both on the left), turn left toward the lake. In 200 meters at the “T”, turn right onto 7th Avenue and continue straight into town for eight blocks. On your right you will see the Iglesia de San Jaoquin. Continue one block more and turn left. At the stop sign (you cannot turn right!), you will see the town square. There is plenty of parking around the square, and ATM kiosks ahead and just to the left. Diagonally across the square is the Fuerte de San Felipe (the old fort) and the Tourism Bureau. Along the square are a small collection of restaurants and shops.
The fort at Lake Bacalar on the Yucatan Peninsula Mexico
The 18th century fort (in 2015 it celebrates 32 years as a museum) is a definite vale la pena (it’s worth it!). From atop Fuerte de San Felipe the view of the lake and the Pirate Cut is very, very photogenic, as is the fort itself. And the museum includes many family-friendly exhibits with considerable information on Bacalar’s and the region’s history. The remaining local attractions — the Iglesia de San Jaoquin, the Casa de Cultura, and the Casa de Escritor — are more low key and may merit a visit while you are in town. Unlike the fort, they would probably not warrant making a stop in Bacalar just for them.

Get Outside in Bacalar

If you have a passion that involves nature, you will find friends in Bacalar to help you enjoy birding, paddling, sailing, swimming, hiking, biking and boarding.

Birding in Bacalar

This past January, a group of birding clubs from around the Yucatan converged for a two-day birding jamboree. January and February are great birding months in Bacalar, as some trees lose their leaves making it easier to see birds. Nesting season makes for lots of activity, and many northern species are down for the winter, nearly doubling the population compared to summer months. The Bacalar area Motmot bird on Yucatan Peninsulais well-known for its avian diversity; over 240 species live in the jungle surrounding the Laguna. This event, hosted by Green Jay Mayan Birding (a non-profit in Cancun), was attended by passionate birders from ten clubs.

Over 65 attendees came from Campeche, Yucatan and Quintana Roo. They specifically came to see a number of endemic species (Yucatan Jay, Yucatan Fly Catcher, Rose Throated Tanager) that were of particular interest. Day One started in the jungle and proceeded along the shore of Laguna Bacalar, a meandering walking tour of companions sharing a common passion. Day Two saw the gathering split into many groups. Some explored quiet roadways and agricultural selva (jungle) nearby. Others, returning north toward home in Cancun, went east to explore salt water species an hour away on the Costa Maya shores near Mahajual or went a bit further down the Xcalak Peninsula toward the Xcalak National Park. Campeche-based birders headed south and west to the Rio Bec area to explore Calakmul, Becan, Kohunlich and other jungle ruins readily accessed by car. Merida-based birders toured Chacchoben ruins and nearby jungle on their way home. A number of birders took Kayaking on Lake Bacalar Mexicoadvantage of fair weather for a full-day, guided kayak tour of the remote backwaters.

Water Sports in Bacalar

While the backwaters definitely require the knowledge of a guide, it is easy to explore the shores of the town-side of the lake if one has fair weather. The waters are typically calm with some chop during normal seasonal afternoon wind. And Laguna Bacalar’s breezes are reliable enough and often brisk enough to make for very happy sailing. In February, the Quintana Roo state Olympic team qualification races were held over two days for prams, lasers, and wind surfers. Competitors, principally from Playa del Carmen and north, traversed a course in fair weather and fine wind. On almost any sunny, breezy day in Bacalar, it is common to see a half-dozen or more sailboats scooting along the water. A variety of places on Laguna Bacalar shores offer smaller day sailboat tours and rentals by the hour or the day.

Visitors will find it easy to get on the lake with kayaks, canoes and SUPs (stand up paddleboards) from several adventure outfits as well as hotels and hostels on Laguna Bacalar shores. Waters on the Sailing on Lake Bacalar in Mexicotown side of the lake are shallow and clear. Within minutes of most rental locations, you will find wonderful flat water paddling or swimming, a pleasant shoreline, a deep-water cenote or two, a mangrove waterfront, and, for those with lucky, fair winds or in very good physical condition, islands with larger nesting water birds. A little farther afield, there is a “hidden” jungle cenote with turquoise-clear waters, and still further on, the stromatolite rapids. Guided kayak and canoe tours (1/2 day to three days) into the lake’s very extensive, shallow backwaters and watershed can be arranged in advance for seekers of the ultimate in solitude or extreme birding.

To look at the shore from the lake, a boat tour is the lazy man’s way and, unless you care to paddle for half a day and the wind cooperates, the only way. A dozen or more motor launches offer lake tours that typically take 90 minutes and cost $200 pesos per person ($3000 pesos for a four hour private tour). The town has a cooperative of tour boats and many of the boats and pilots belong. Most tours leave from one of the three balnearios not far from the town square. Typically, these are ponga-style boats with sun covers and life vests. Pilots sometimes seem a Boatrides on Lake Bacalar in Mexicobit more interested in hastening back to the dock for the next customers than in showing the lake at its best, but it is still a nice way to see the lake. Several hotels offer comfortable, shaded pontoon boats with snacks, beverages, and swimming stops and more flexible routes and trip duration.

Bicycling Bacalar

Bacalar Pueblo has a short bike path leading onto town streets from highway #307 at the North end of 7th Avenue. Generally, the pueblo’s streets are in good condition with slow traffic and most make for good-enough cycling. There are definite exceptions and no streets in town are truly 100% kid-ready. The town square is a comfortable, open area just one block from the lake edge. The Costera, which runs along the lakefront, is a very pleasant walk or bike but there is enough traffic to make biking not safe for kids by themselves. The portion north of the main square and the Fuerte de San Felipe (a must see with a surprisingly good small museum) has been recently paved and has smooth sidewalks.

The Costera south of the square is in poorer condition. This route makes for quite decent daytime walking and biking that offers several really nice views of the lake, public access points, and a variety of options for drinks, snacks, or meals. Cenote Azul, a large, deep cenote, is set only meters away from Laguna Bacalar at the opposite end of the Costera from the Fort and makes a nice destination. Four slightly-rolling kilometers from the town square, the cenote has fine swimming, pleasant shady hangouts, and a moderately-priced, large restaurant with a bar. Cenote Azul is unusually beautiful with clear water, vertical-walled 90 meter depths, and a jungle-lined perimeter.

Bacalar Races

Bacalar hosts an annual five and ten kilometer footrace starting and ending in the town center and running along the Costera with a midpoint of Cenote Azul. Later in the year are a half-triathlon and a full-triathlon centered on the town and the lake, with running and biking segments nearby. Want to get out on the lake for some serious paddling? In the first week of May, Bacalar hosts Swimming race at Laguna Bacalar Mexicothe second Paddle Marathon and Festival. The weekend includes a Saturday and Sunday 47 kilometer race, open to any class of paddle watercraft: canoe, kayak, SUP, outrigger canoe or the like. It also includes two days of Adventure Exposition on the lake, two nights of a kayak film festival, a variety of paddle-related workshops and demonstrations, and cultural/musical events for the whole family.

One of Bacalar’s most popular water events is Aguas Abiertas, the open water swim competition that is held each June. In 2014, there were 1200 racers and more than 500 spectators. In 2015, the tenth year of the event, as many as 2000 swimmers are expected. Scheduled for the 19th, 20th and 21st of June 2015, the event includes 5000, 2500, and 1250 meter heats. The swim course finishes at the balneario and large park just two blocks from the main square, making viewing the event simple. The sight of so many swimmers crossing the lake is impressive. In prior years, entrants have come from across Mexico and abroad and the winning times have been extremely competitive.

And There Are Archaeological Zones Too

Within two hours of Bacalar there are various wonderful and infrequently-visited INAH archaeological wonders. It is quite common to find oneself alone in an entire old Maya city or a section of a site. Just north and east of Bacalar lies Chacchoben, a nicely maintained and easily toured site with a collection of restored monuments and buildings. In the southern arc of Quintana Roo and Campeche lie a string of archeological sites that were once cities of varying size or city-states. Kohunlich, Dzibanche, Kinichna, Becan, Hormiguerro, Chicanna, El Ramonal, Xpujil are all in the Rio Bec region and each is an easy day trip from Bacalar. Add in the sites in southern Campeche and there are more than two dozen options!

Calakmul, the largest and most influential of the city-states in southeastern Mexico, lies three-plus hours away near the southern border with Belize. This area along Belize and Guatemalan is a transition zone between low-jungle vegetation of the Yucatan Peninsula and the rainforest jungle of the Peten. Further south in northern Guatemala lies El Mirador and another set of difficult-to-explore Maya sites.

Kohunlich and Dzibanche are the Rio Bec sites closest to Bacalar (more or less an hour by car) and they are also two of the more interesting ruins. They are quite different in their scale and ambience, but each offers the visitor a ready portal into the Mayan past. Both these sites, and the whole area to the west toward Escarcega, are an easy drive. Head south on #307 then west on #186, which are both good roadways. At about Kilometer 215 on Highway #186, you will see the large, overhead sign pointing left to Kohunlich. You will see it shortly after you pass under a similar sign to Dzibanche and Morocoy, pointing you to the right.

300-mask on Yucatan PeninsulaKohunlich was a Mayan center from approximately 300 BC until about 1200 AD, with its peak 600 AD to 900 AD. To get to Kohunlich (an Anglicized name referring to the cahoon palms that abound in the site), turn left just after the large, overhead Kohunlich sign. Travel nine kilometers down the single-lane road into the parking lot. Restrooms are at the guard/payment desk on the right. Parking farthest away (along the forest near the pathway into the site) will ensure your car stays in the shade for the longest time. As with most INAH sites, there is a sparse map showing the monuments and pathways. You might want to snap a quick photo of the map for use along the way.

Entry to the site is through a short pathway surrounded by high jungle and into a large “acropolis” with residential and ceremonial ruins overlooking it. Birds and occasionally small mammals are seen here. Make sure to check the tree canopies for monkeys! At the far end of the acropolis and up a hill is the Templo de Mascarones (Temple of Masks). Originally eight painted, highly-unusual stucco masks, each perhaps two meters tall, decorated this temple. Color and detail can still be seen on several of the roof-protected remaining masks by climbing up the steep staircase.

One can exit the acropolis by passing around and to the rear of the Templo de Mascarones, where a trail leads to the right. This continues downhill until it joins another trail. Head left to Los 27 Escalones (the 27 Steps), a residential complex providing great visibility and breezes from the top. From there, you can get a great view of the ten-square mile site. Returning from Los 27 Escalones brings you back to the acropolis near the ball court, which is not that far from the parking lot.

The Dzibanche site was named for the Maya word for “carved in wood”, referring to carvings on the original temple lintels, which have since been replaced. This very large site covers nearly thirty square miles, including the sister site Kinichna, and was occupied from 600 BC until the Spanish invasion. Hieroglyphs tell of a powerful city or city-state that was successful at war and trade. Dzibanche population peaked between 400 AD and 700 AD. The site has several main areas (again take a picture of that entry map), most with tall forest and large areas of grass or dirt with jungle surrounding.

To get to Dzibanche, head west on Highway 186 and turn right at the signs for Morocoy and Dzibanche. Continue past the pueblo of Morocoy. Not long after, at a storage shed, you will see the one and only one sign pointing to the right to Dzibanche. Take that turn. In another eight kilometers or so, you will reach the Dzibanche parking area. Before you get there, you will see the park station on the right with parking and remarkably clean restrooms. Pay your fee here and then follow signs to the Dzibanche site. The slow drive there is quite picturesque on the single-lane road (caution!), with flowers and trees on both road sides trimmed neatly by passing vehicles.

The path from the parking area into the site is a bit rocky but settles down soon. An early day visit (before 9:00 or 10:00 AM) will almost surely mean you have great portions of the site to yourself. There are lots of birds and several families of howler monkeys live on the site and nearby. One or more of the troops often can be seen in the canopy or, later in the afternoon, heard from afar. You might inquire of the park guard if he has seen one that morning.

Here you will see spectacular trees, with roots cascading down ruin pediments and branches reaching high into the air. Giant termite nests hover in the branches. Tree roots ooze copal sap and occasionally small, present-day Maya offerings are found on the temple steps. It is easy to spend several hours here and the site offers some of the best (still allowed!) pyramid climbing in the area. 300-chac site on Yucatan PeninsulaFrom the top, one can almost see where the network of sacbes (white roads) crossed the jungle to connect the population centers of the area. And it is not hard to imagine a visual, instant communication network across the southern Yucatan Peninsula.

Chacchoben is one of the smaller INAH archeological sites open to the public, but that does not mean it is dull or boring. Not one hour from Bacalar and right on the route to and from Merida, this is a good morning diversion for the trip back. In variable use from as early as 300 BC until the Spanish invasion, most restored areas are likely from the seventh century AD. The site meanders over nearly 100 acres, many with barely-manicured jungle and tall, lush, nut-bearing cahoon palms. The site lies in the “lakes region” (an area of plentiful groundwater and, in Maya times, canal-transport of building wood and stone building materials) and Chacchoben exhibits both the Rio Bec and Chenes architectural influences.

There is ample parking, though not much in the shade. Pay at the entry desk, where you will find restrooms, snacks, and souvenirs. Chacchoben’s paths are clearly marked and lead to sections of the ruin that have been excavated and are well tended. Very pleasant low forest surrounds the monuments of this smaller Mayan city. Parts of the site are accessible to wheelchair visitors but it is often very limited touring for those with walkers or canes. Fruits and flowers are seen in trees and on the edges of the clearings. Raucous parrots, smaller songbirds, and the (very) occasional toucan fly overhead, and leaf-eater ant trails and nests as well as arboreal termite nests are evident during much of the year. Unless you have the great misfortune to overlap with one or more tour buses, Chacchoben is likely to be an enchanting and private site to explore.

Not far to the north and east of Dzibanche — some fifteen kilometers west of Bacalar — lies the all-but-unexcavated city of Xcabal. It is reported to be larger than any other ruin in Quintana Roo and the Rio Bec area, with the exception of Calakmul. Xcabal boasts a pyramid taller than El Castillo at Chichen Itza and its size suggests a very large population at one time.

While a very exciting find and surely an attraction for future Bacalar visitors, Xcabal is not yet open to the public. This may be the one of the few outright failures of hospitality the patient visitor to Laguna Bacalar and Pueblo Bacalar will encounter. But, chances are, Xcabal will become a major attraction soon enough. And, as Bacalar becomes a more hotly promoted and popular Costa Maya destination, the area’s businesses will continue their inevitable march toward their clients’ expectations. That march, one imagines, will proceed not at breakneck pace, but at that decidedly Mexican tempo that those of us who live in Yucatan know well.

Enjoy!

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RESOURCES

The Bacalar Mosaico website has useful information on hotels, restaurants, tours, and local Bacalar businesses as well as maps of the lake and pueblo.

Google Earth is an excellent way to understand where Laguna Bacalar lies in the Yucatan Pensinsula and to observe one moment of the Laguna Bacalar and associated water system’s remarkable coloration. Google Streetview is a resource for exploring and planning remotely. Chacchoben and Dzibanche ruins have Google Earth streetviews, as does much of the town of Bacalar and the Fuerte de San Felipe.

The INAH website has info (in Spanish) on almost all archaeological sites in Quintana Roo and Campeche, including Chacchoben, Kohunlich, Dzibanche and many more of the Rio Bec string. Information is organized by state. Scroll down to the section on Campeche and further down for Quintana Roo.

Facebook Bacalar page (in Spanish) is not very well organized or comprehensive but it is one of the few web resources for Bacalar events.

What’s a stromalite?

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PHOTO CREDITS
Photo of Aguas Abiertas: Turismo Bacalar Facebook
Photo of Sailing Competition: Turismo Bacalar Facebook
Photo of Blue-Crowned Mot-Mot by Green Jay Mayan Birding
Satellite imagery of area: Google Earth
All other photos by author

By Khaki Scott

This Week… starting March 30, 2014

Yucatan Living Festival of Trova: Merida Yucatan – March 22 – 31
All the best of Yucatan’s trova groups and individuals will be in Merida this week. These are the groups that will be singing for you during this week-long celebration of Trova, Yucatan’s signature style of music. They are the best of the best, and some of them are legends in Yucatan’s music world.
Tuesday, March 31: Orquesta Tipica Yukalpeten, 8 PM, Teatro Daniel Ayala
Location: All performances are in Teatro Daniel Ayala
Time: All performances are at 8:00 PM except Sunday March 29 includes a 12:00 PM performance.
Admission: All performances are Free!

Yucatan Living Semana Santa at the Cathedral
All activities and masses are officiated by Excmo. Sr. Arzobispo de Yucatán Mons. D. Emilio Carlos Berlié Belaunzarán.
Holy Thursday: Last Dinner and Feet Washing: 5:00 PM
Holy Friday: Liturgy: 12:00 PM; Christ’s Passion: 3:00 PM; March of the silence: 8:00 PM
Holy Saturday: Liturgy: 9:00 AM
Holy Sunday: Resurrection Sunday
Location: Cathedral of Merida, Calle 60 x 61
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Easter Closing Notice at MEL
The Merida English Library will be Closed on Friday, April 3 (Good Friday), and Saturday, April 4. They will reopen on Monday, April 6. As usual, Merida has taken to the beach for the week. You can expect all sorts of activities along the Malecon in Progreso. Beach soccer teams from all over Mexico will be practicing every day for the big tournament that begins on Thursday, April 2.

Yucatan Living Mark Your Calendars for 2015
These dates are all governed by the cycles of the Sun and/or Moon and most are associated with major holidays and celebrations in Yucatan.
April 4: Total Lunar Eclipse
April 5: Easter Sunday
June 21 at 11:38 AM: Midsummer Equinox
July 2 & 31: Blue Moon
September 23 at 3:20 PM: Fall Equinox
September 27: Super Moon
September 28: Total Lunar Eclipse
December 21 at 10:48 PM: Winter Equinox

Yucatan Living La Expresión del Barro (Expression in Clay)
We have not found out how long this art exhibit will continue, but it certainly looks worth checking out. Pieces of barro worked by maestros from around Latin America, collected by the always discerning Fomento Cultural Banamex.
Location: Museo de Arte Popular in Parque Mejorada (Calle 50 x 57), and the Casa de Montejo on Paseo de Montejo
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Salsa for Gringos
If you are in the mood to dance, you can be certain that Anny is organizing a class just for you! Two new salsa classes are beginning in Merida. We are listing them once here, then moving them to Yucatan Living’s Ongoing Events and Classes page.

For the next two weeks, starting this week…Tuesdays and Thursdays
Location:Hennessy’s, Paseo de Montejo
Time: 10:30 AM Reoccurs weekly on Tuesday and Thursday
Admission: $400 pesos per month

Mondays and Wednesdays
Location: Liberdanza Dance Studio, Calle 24 #95-A x 13 y 15 in Chuburna de Hidalgo, Merida, Yucatan
Time: 7:00 PM Reoccurs weekly on Monday and Wednesday
Admission: $350 pesos per month
For More Information: call Anny at 923-3736 or (999) 125-0466 or e-mail: animex [at] prodigy [dot] net [dot] mx

Monday (Lunes) March 30, 2015

Yucatan Living No Events Planned for Today

Tuesday (Martes) March 31, 2015

Yucatan Living Tuesday of Trova: Los Tres Yucatecos
This trio is a member of the association that protects and passes on traditional trova in Yucatan.
Location: Auditorium of the Olimpo, Calle 62 x 61
Time: 8:30 PM Tuesday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Movie: Person
(Mexico 1966) A nurse is put in charge of an actress who can’t talk and finds that the actress’s persona is melding with hers. In Spanish.
Location: Cairo Cinema, Calle 20 #98A x 15 y 17, Colonia Itzimná
Time: 9:00 PM Tuesday
Admission: Free

 

Wednesday (Miercoles) April 01, 2015

Yucatan Living Movie: Life Itself
(USA 2014) Documentary about the life of Roger Ebert, one of the most influential US film critics of all time, died in 2012. Ebert wrote most of his life for the Chicago Sun-Times, published numerous books on cinema and was the first critic who received a Pulitzer Prize for his movie reviews. In English with Spanish subtitles.
Location: LA 68, Calle 68 at Calle 55, centro of Merida
Time: 6:00 PM Wednesday
Admission: $35 pesos, $15 pesos students

Yucatan LivingMovie: Last Days Here
(USA 2011) Bobby Liebling was the charismatic singer of 70′s hard-rockers and doom pioneers, Pentagram. Today dying in his father’s basement smoking crack and heroin, a zombie with overwhelming sores and skin mottling, toothless and disjointed infections, he flirts with death daily. The film begins with the encounter between Liebling and Sean “Pellet” Pelletier, friend and manager who will try to revive the career of the late metal myth. In English with Spanish subtitles.
Location: LA 68, Calle 68 at Calle 55, centro of Merida
Time: 9:00 PM Wednesday
Admission: $35 pesos, $15 pesos students

 

Thursday (Jueves) April 02, 2015

Yucatan Living Second Yucatan Beach Soccer (Futbol) Cup
Soccer Competition on the beach for the rest of the weekend.
Location: Malecon in Progreso
Time: TBA
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Ultra Marathon Fe
This race is from Chelem to Telchac Puerto. Length of Race: 50 km and 100 km
Location: Departure: Church of Chelem
Time: 6:00 PM
Registration: $600 pesos.
Registration: Salvador Alvarado Stadium, Monday – Saturday, 7:00 AM – 10:00 AM.
Online Registration: http://manivelasst.com/Grupoee/

Yucatan Living Movie: Stella Cadente
(Spain 2014) The film narrates the brief reign of Amadeo of Savoy in Spain, who in 1870 tried to tidy up and modernize the country which was ungovernable. The king was misunderstood abroad and quickly took refuge inside his palace. Outside his palace, the country was collapsing, and within it, he plays his court games with love, pleasure, beauty and melancholy. In Spanish with English subtitles.
Location: LA 68, Calle 68 at Calle 55, centro of Merida
Time: 6:00 PM Thursday
Admission: $35 pesos, $15 pesos students

Yucatan LivingMovie: Mommy
(Canada 2014) A widowed single mother, raising her violent son alone, finds new hope when a mysterious neighbor inserts herself into their household. In French with Spanish subtitles.
Location: LA 68, Calle 68 at Calle 55, centro of Merida
Time: 9:00 PM Thursday
Admission: $35 pesos, $15 pesos students

Yucatan Living Movie: Side Effects
(USA 2013) A young woman’s world unravels when a drug prescribed by her psychiatrist has unexpected side effects. Stars Rooney Mara and Channing Tatum. In English.
Location: Cairo Cinema, Calle 20 #98A x 15 y 17, Colonia Itzimná
Time: 9:00 PM Thursday
Admission: Free

 

Friday (Viernes) April 03, 2015

Yucatan Living Movie: Lucio
(Spain 2007 ) Lucio was a bankrobber. Now he is 76 years old. This is a documentary about him. In Spanish with English subtitles.
Location: LA 68, Calle 68 at Calle 55, centro of Merida
Time: 6:00 PM Friday
Admission: $35 pesos, $15 pesos students

Yucatan Living Movie: January
(Mexico 2013) After murdering his wife, Horacio flees with his lover, Lucrecia. Refugees in a cottage in the countryside, they look to continue the love that is no longer possible to sustain. Despair and guilt will lead them to face their own limits. In Spanish with English subtitles.
Location: LA 68, Calle 68 at Calle 55, centro of Merida
Time: 9:00 PM Friday
Admission: $35 pesos, $15 pesos students

 

Saturday (Sabado) April 04, 2015

Yucatan Living Opera at the Movies: Adriana Lecouvreur
Opera in four acts with an Italian libretto by Arturo Colautti , based on the play ” Adrienne Lecouvreur ” by Eugène Scribe and Ernest Legouvé. Release date: November 6, 1902, Milan. Enrico Caruso attended the premiere.
Location: Sala Mayamax in Gran Museo del Mundo Maya
Time: 12:00 PM Saturday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Movie: Exit Through The Gift Shop
(USA 2011) A documentary about the social grafitti artist, Banksy. Still being debated whether it is authentic, a commentary on authenticity or a complete hoax. In English with Spanish subtitles.
Location: LA 68, Calle 68 at Calle 55, centro of Merida
Time: 6:00 PM Saturday
Admission: $35 pesos, $15 pesos students

Yucatan Living Chelem: Lizard Joe’s Monthly Birthday Bash
This is a birthday party for all of Lizard Joe’s patrons who have a birthday in April. Look for loads of expats here, along with the #1 Yucatan Party Band: Ayudantes de Caska.
Location: Lizard Joe’s in Chelem, Calle 17 #75 x 24 y 26
Time: 8:00 PM to 11:00 PM
Admission: No Cover

Yucatan Living Movie: Inside llewyn Davis
(USA 2013) A week in the life of a young singer as he navigates the Greenwich Village folk scene of 1961. In English.
Location: Cairo Cinema, Calle 20 #98A x 15 y 17, Colonia Itzimná
Time: 9:00 PM Saturday
Admission: $35 pesos

Yucatan Living Movie: Leviathan
(Russia 2012) A documentary shot in the North Atlantic and focused on the commercial fishing industry. In Russian with Spanish subtitles.
Location: LA 68, Calle 68 at Calle 55, centro of Merida
Time: 9:00 PM Saturday
Admission: $35 pesos, $15 pesos students

Sunday (Domingo), April 05, 2015

Yucatan LivingEaster Sunday
Mass at the Cathedral in downtown Merida (and throughout the city) is well attended on this day.

Yucatan Living Music: Chamber Sundays: Dances of Europe
This is a performance by the International String Quartet of Yucatan. They are under the direction of Pawel Marek Blaszkowski. If you have not heard them, the city is quiet now and this is a perfect opportunity to do so.
Location: Auditorium of the Olimpo, Calle 62 x 61
Time: 6:00 PM Sunday
Admission: General: $50 pesos, Students and INAPAM: $25 pesos

Yucatan Living Chelem: Lizard Joe’s Fun in the “Sun” Day
Classic Rock by Nota Negra.
Location: Lizard Joe’s in Chelem, Calle 17 #75 x 24 y 26
Time: 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Admission: No Cover

Yucatan Living Movie: Margin Call
(USA 2011) Follows the key people at an investment bank, over a 24-hour period, during the early stages of the financial crisis. In English with Spanish subtitles.
Location: Cairo Cinema, Calle 20 #98A x 15 y 17, Colonia Itzimná
Time: 9:00 PM Sunday
Admission: Free

 

Monday (Lunes) April 06, 2015

Yucatan Living No Events planned for Today, yet! !

 

Coming Soon

Yucatan Living OPERA YUCATÁN, A.C. – May 02
Opera Yucatan, A.C. is a non-profit civil association, created to promote the art of opera in the Yucatán. Their objectives are purely educational and cultural. In collaboration with the Gran Museo del Mundo Maya they continue their Sixth Season of Opera at the Movies.
Location: Sala Mayamax del Gran Museo del Mundo Maya.
Time: Brief opera talk at 11:30 AM, performance video begins at 12:00 PM
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Yucadanz: Monthly Contra Dance in Merida
When is a square dance not square? You’re just going to love this new dance in town. Contra dance is a community “barn dance”, where everyone socializes and dances with everyone else. We love their energy and hope that everyone will give contra dance a whirl. Everyone is welcome!
Location: Tumaka’t Dance Studio, Calle 51 #475-A x 52 y 54 (blue building, middle of block), Centro
Time: Beginner Class: 7:15 PM in English and Spanish, Contra dance: 8:00 PM – 10:30 PM
Admission: Bring your own refreshments and water, no alcohol at the dance. $50-$100 pesos donation requested. Proceeds benefit Tumaka’t, a nonprofit arts group, and to establish a fund for live music. Read this great page on the Yucadanz website!
Last Scheduled Meeting: Saturday, April 11

Yucatan LivingThe International String Quartet
This much-loved group features excellent musicians from all over the world. Don’t miss at least one of these performances!

16 April: Hacienda Xcanatun – $200 pesos. Call for reservation 930-2140. 8 PM performance.
Mozart – String Quartet No. 21 in D Major, K575 – OR – Tansman – String Quartet No. 3, Smetana – Quartet in E minor ‘From My Life’

21 May: Hacienda Xcanatun – $200 pesos. Call for reservation 930-2140.
8 PM performance. Program to be announced

18 June: Hacienda Xcanatun – $200 pesos. Call for reservation 930-2140. 8 PM performance.
Gliere – Quartet in A Major Op 2 and Shostakovitch – Quartet No. 2

“The String Quartet in the Romantic Period”
20 June : Palacio Canton y Museo de Antropologia de Yucatan – 2 PM performance
20 June : Centro Cultural de Merida Olimpo – 6 PM performance

Yucatan Living Tournament: Yucatan Polo Open – Saturday and Sunday, May 2 and 3
This tournament will be the last of the 2014/15 season. The host, of course, will be the Yucatan Polo Club. Players from throughout Mexico and from abroad will be participating and this will be the highest level of competition in the history of the club. In addition to polo, there will be several excellent restaurants on hand, a mixed drinks bar, wine tasting and beer. For entertainment, they will have a DJ, a fashion show and, on Sunday, a ladies hat competition. As always, entry is free.
Location: at the Yucatan Polo Club. However, they have a new road that reduces travel time from the Periferico by eight or nine minutes so, if you would like to attend, do be sure and look at the map on the Yucatan Polo Club website.
Time: 4:00 PM on Saturday and on Sunday
Admission: Free
For More Information: Call Ralf at (999) 127-2394 or e-mail ralf [at] leszinski [dot] com

Have an event you want to promote? Email us at info [at] yucatanliving [dot] com and we’ll be happy to list it in our Events listing and our Month-at-a-Glance Calendar

By Khaki Scott

Children and Dogs Costume Contest Held in Progreso

One of the most popular events anyone can host is a costume contest that includes children and their dogs. No location for such an event is better than Progreso because of the energy that port city brings to such a day. The entrance fee was affordable (only $25 pesos), and the only requirement was for the child and their pet to wear costumes with coordinating themes. Of course, there could be no injury to the dog, such as hair dye or glue. The day was a great opportunity for families to interact with children and pets, which leads directly to a strengthening of cultural ties. We cannot resist a plea to A.F.A.D., the host of this wonderful event in Progreso, to organize the same thing for those of us who live in the city!

New Yucatan Sports Hall of Fame Now Open

This past week, Yucatan finally opened their long awaited Sports Hall of Fame with a wonderful event at Salvador Alvarado Stadium. The first 20 inductions to the Hall of Fame were announced and, then, there was a calesa parade for the ones who are still living. Among their number were boxers, weightlifters, and ball players from baseball to soccer and basketball. Those inductees who have passed away were represented by family members, for whom this ceremony meant so much. There were several exhibitions throughout the day, including weightlifting and boxing. Sergio Esquivel Cortes, one of Yucatan’s treasures in his own right, sang Gloria, one of his own compositions, during the closing ceremony.

Inauguration of Chuburna Puerto’s Fishing Pier

Yet another place in Yucatan leaves the ranks of “way out in” (name). At one time or another, we have seen places like Uman spoken of as way-out-in-Uman. Until quite recently, it was way-out-in-Chelem. We even remember Progreso and Chicxulub when they didn’t meet in the middle. Now, its Chuburna. Their long-awaited fishing pier, complete with an energy saving lighting system, a 200 meter platform and 43 meters available for birthing boats. Of course, the shipping and cruise companies are thrilled to have the new distributer road to their Progreso docks, and we are as well, but that fishing pier in Chuburna has been a long time coming and we are more than pleased and excited for those who live in the area. We also ask that our readers take a few minutes to see what the Chuburna Student Support Program has been up to lately. They have two sites that tell their whole story. The separate blog has great photos.

Water Monitoring on the Coast

It’s Semana Santa and the crowds along the beaches of Yucatan are bigger than they have ever been. Some of the people are tourists. Many have come on cruise ships that are larger and arrive more frequently than before. Others are new and returning renters and homeowners. Quite a few of the homes have just been completed. This crush of people makes it absolutely necessary that the waters along the coast of Yucatan are safe for any interaction they might have with people. That means that people in the water must be safe, as well as people who are eating the seafood captured in Yucatan’s waters. Toward that goal, state laboratories are monitoring the entire coast for any hint that a red tide may be developing, and they are monitoring the catches of the fishermen for any toxins that might be present. Thus far, no problems have been found and visitors to the beaches of Yucatan can dine and swim with no fear of getting sick.

Water in the City

There’s a new buzz term in the news this week: “culture of sanitation.” This means that the pressure of population growth, in Merida, has reached the point where citizens are going to have to become better stewards of the water they are allowing to return to the ground. Using private wells to obtain water for one home and adding many more septic tanks are not a suitable replacement for full fledged sewage and water treatment plants. Reference was made to the fact that the city has the equipment necessary to put in proper drainage, and has done so in some of the newer neighborhoods. Reference was also made to the extremely low cost to the consumer of water at this time. It looks as if these are the first discussions on raising water prices, as well as developing a drainage plan for the city. Perhaps it is time for a reality check, on the topic of water, for everyone, whether they live in Yucatan or not.

Creating Harmony and Security with Paint

This is the revival of a program that was widespread several years ago. In that first version, the buildings in the historic, central districts of colonial cities were given enough paint to cover the front of their buildings. The city with the biggest change, in our estimation, was Campeche. Now, Yucatan has some outlying fraccionamientos that are a beginning to be a bit run down. The State is providing homeowners with a gallon of vinyl sealer and a 20 liter bucket of acrylic paint. They say this is “critical care for harmony and security.” In fact, the name of the program is “Painting Your Wellness.” This rather reminds us of our mothers admonishing us to “Get up. Get dressed. If you look better, you’ll feel better.” In reality, it’s true! It will be interesting to see if this clean up, fix up, paint up campaign makes a difference for this first neighborhood of 2,500 homes.

Merida Takes Aim at Colon Cancer

Analyzing medical numbers often turns up problems that might be affecting large groups of people. Such was the case, recently, when it was discovered that a number of cases of colon cancer had been misdiagnosed as colitis. Further inquiry showed that there are only eight Colo-proctologists currently practicing in Merida. There has never been a medical area of practice in this city that was not addressed by its Board Certified physicians and this will certainly not be the first. Initial efforts are going into training all medical personnel in those skills and techniques necessary to make a proper diagnosis or referral. It is up to the patient to make certain to have any and all recommended tests for the possibility of colon cancer and see a specialist as quickly as possible if they have a problem. Look for Merida’s shortage of Colo-proctologists to soon be a thing of the past. Please be aware that this is not a cause for alarm, or that Yucatan has had an increase in its colon cancer rate. It is simply pointing out a shortage area and informing the public as to what is being done to change the situation. Many thanks to the pro-active specialists in Merida who saw this need and moved immediately to rectify the problem.

Solar Irrigation: New Maya History in the Making

It’s official. The Governor of Yucatan attended the beginning of solar irrigation in the Family Farm Program in a pumpkin field in the rural Municipality (County) of Cacalchen. Gone is the need for government subsidies to provide gasoline for the generators necessary to bring up and deliver water to these fields. Gone is the need for government supplied food pantries when irrigation equipment failed or gasoline was slow in arriving. Gone is the worst of the backbreaking labor farmers faced when trying to harvest crops that were drying out too fast. It’s a new day for farmers in rural Yucatan. They already have secure markets for every crop they produce, so the only way to go now is up into the sunshine of the future. When we get questions about whether the children of these farmers will stay on and farm, the answer is easy. Some do now, but others already obtain degrees in marketing, engineering, and international relations. With these degrees, they will be the international negotiators of the future and their families’ success will be assured. Congratulations to all of Yucatan for embracing solar energy in this very practical way.

Exhibition and Sale: Crafts Made in Cancun Prison

On Saturday, March 28, 2015, the best work of 150 artisans who currently reside in the Center for Social Readjustment (prison) in Cancun was for sale at the “Magic Hands” flea market, located in Cancun’s Hotel Zone. The handicrafts available for purchase included both woven and embroidered hammocks, natural beauty products, accessory creations, jewelry, and carved and painted figurines. It seems that this is the first time the prison in Cancun has allowed prisoners to put their work for sale outside of the prison walls. This led us to remember visiting the prison in Merida, where some crafts and art objects were for sale. It was a pretty dingy shop at the time, and hard to find. But we do know that the hammocks made by Merida prisoners are famous for their quality.

By Working Gringos
Maya DBN Architects and Builders in Merida Yucatan Mexico

Educated in the USA, Experienced in the Yucatan

Maya DBN Architects, led by Carlos de la Barrera, offers integrated architectural, interior design, construction, remodeling and restoration services in the entire Yucatan Peninsula. We have over fifteen years experience in a variety of projects.
Architect, Contractor and Builder in Merida Yucatan Mexico
Carlos de la Barrera grew up in Merida, Yucatan. After attending the School of Architecture at UADY in Merida, he went on to obtain his B.S. degree in Architecture from the University of Cincinnati, Ohio, USA. After spending time working in architecture and interior design in Ohio and Florida, Carlos returned to his hometown of Merida and began working with English-speaking clients to design, build or renovate homes in Merida and throughout the Yucatan Peninsula. Carlos and his team at Maya Architects and Builders have worked with many happy clients from the USA, Canada and other countries on Kitchen built by Maya Architects and Builders in Merida Yucatantheir first and subsequent homes here in Mexico.

Carlos says his mission is to “offer an integration solution to your project through a comprehensive and close collaboration between the client and the architect. We offer our talent and experience in design and construction, ensuring the correct use of the diverse regional materials in both traditional and avant-garde ways. Our final goal is to enhance the quality of life through the creation of architectural spaces that have their own unique identity, while existing in harmony with the natural and social environment.”

Client Testimonials

Carlos and his team have designed and/or built many homes in Merida and along the Yucatan Gulf Coast. Here is an example of a happy customer…

“We purchased and then renovated a home in Merida. We completed the project in June of 2010. We worked with Carlos de la Barrera on our project in Merida. The completed house is beautiful and more than we could have hoped for. We found working with Carlos to be easy and easy to manage through email, pictures, etc, as we were in the States for almost all of the project. We trusted Carlos completely and he came through. He went the extra mile and took us all around Merida to show us homes and what could be done. He even helped us get appliances… and a mattress! We would recommend Carlos to anyone looking to build or renovate in Merida.”
Swimming Pool built by Maya Architects and Builders in Merida Yucatan Mexico-Joel & Shawn, May 2011

“Renovating in Merida was new to my wife and me. We obtained half a dozen rough estimates for construction ranging from $350 USD per square meter to $600 USD per square meter. As a designer I wanted to work with an architect who had excellent communication skills. We visited Carlos Barrera on an existing jobsite and were immediately impressed with how thorough his renovation process was. I asked Carlos many questions about the construction process. On seeing my interest in the construction process, he went the extra mile to explain all aspects of the building process so that Architect from Merida Yucatan featured in Elle MagazineI could better understand exactly how things were done and how to get the best result with our limited budget. Upon awarding him the job, he commenced construction promptly and his crew worked tirelessly (including Mondays) to complete the build. I could tell that, to Carlos, building our house was as much a passion for him as it was for me. As my design inevitably evolved to incorporate new elements, Carlos made adjustments to the built process without any fuss. He sent videos and pictures regularly so that I was able to chart the progress from New York. As a local Meridano with strong ties to the community, he knew who to talk to get things done, whether it be a hardwood deck, or the specific variety of grass we requested. His financial dealings were completely transparent and we never felt we were being taken advantage of. On the contrary: on several occasions Carlos rejected a higher priced supplier in spite of the commission it would bring him. We are very pleased with the house and are building a second one with Carlos.”
-Adam, May 2011

Bathroom built by Maya Architects and Builders in Merida YucatanIn addition to many happy clients, Carlos and Maya Architects and Builders have had one of their most recent homes built in Merida featured in both the New York Times and in Elle Magazine, pictured on the right.

Design, Renovate, Build, Contract in Merida Yucatan

Whether you are looking to design a new home from scratch or renovate an existing structure, Carlos and his team have the knowledge, experience and creativity to help you achieve your goals within your budget and within your timeframe. Because Carlos trained and worked in the United States, he is familiar with the customs and expectations of Americans and Canadians, which makes it easier to communicate your needs and desires to him.

Contact Carlos de la Barrera

Give Carlos a call or drop him an email to begin the process of estimating your job with Maya Architects and Builders.

Call Carlos and get started on your house in the Yucatan today!
Phone: 999-252-3616
Swimming pool built by Carlos de la Barrera in Merida YucatanCel: 999-277-2312
Email: maya [dot] dbn [at] hotmail [dot] com

For more info and to see more photos in our photo gallery, please visit our website at www.mayadbn.com

 

 

 

 

This is a paid advertisement.

By Working Gringos

2015 Summer Internship

Location:Teabo, Yucatan, Mexico

Type: Full Time, Unpaid. 12 Week program

About Fundacion Cielo

Fundacion Cielo is a non-profit organization established in 2014. Our mission is to develop socioeconomic strategies that revitalize the local economy, enhances skills and breaks the cycle of inter-generational poverty in the Mayan communities in the Yucatan. Visit out website to learn more about Fundacion Cielo.

In 2014, Fundacion Cielo launched its first Summer Internship and hosted 4 incredible volunteers who worked to advance Fundacion Cielo’s efforts in the community. To learn more about their experiences, visit Fundacion Cielo’s Blog.

For the 2015 Summer Program, interns will be expected to work in several activities, based on interest and skills. We expect interns to plan, organize and execute activities aimed at advancing education, preventive healthcare, environmental conservation and entrepreneurship. Activities will be developed and tailored for specific age groups including children, teenagers and adults. Below is a list of main topics under each pillar:

  • Education: mentorship program, math regularization courses, English for beginners, arts and crafts, book club, etc.
  • Preventive Health: nutrition classes, delousing, dental care, addictions, exercise, etc.
  • Environmental Conservation: waste management, recycling, etc.
  • Entrepreneurship: Business plan development, basic financial analysis, etc.

Interns will also assist in monitoring and updating all social media outlets including Facebook, Twitter, website, keeping a summer blog and a weekly update to our donors.

From May 18th to May 29th interns, individually and in small teams, will work virtually in planning and developing the specifics of the summer program to be held in Teabo, Yucatan, from June 1st to August 7th.

Qualifications

  • Ability to work independently
  • Very organized and detail oriented
  • Demonstrated interest in development and/or entrepreneurship
  • Excellent written and communication skills
  • Spoken Spanish is a plus but not mandatory

Interns will be directly supervised and coached by a Fundacion Cielo representative in Teabo.

The entire program will be directed to Josefina Urzaiz, Co-founder of Fundacion Cielo.

www.hammockboutique.com | @hammockboutique
www.fundacioncielo.org | @cielofoundation

About Teabo

Our interns will be based out of Teabo, Yucatan, a small Mayan village of 7,000 people in the Yucatan Peninsula. For reference, Teabo is located 83 km south of Merida, the capital of Yucatan. Teabo is a developing town with challenging levels of poverty and marginalization. The Mayan language is widely spoken together with Spanish and living conditions have not changed significantly for the last 500 years. Teabo and the neighboring towns are however, very rich in Mayan history and traditions. People are very welcoming and are already excited to participate in all of our summer events. In this region, Hammock Boutique employs hundreds of families in our network of hammock weavers. To learn more about Hammock Boutique, visit our website.

The Mayapan Ruins are only a 15 minute drive and there are several cenotes – unique water formations in the Yucatan peninsula – where you will enjoy swimming in fresh water inside a cave.

Housing and Expenses

Fundacion Cielo is a young organization with limited funds. We are currently raising funds to build a Community Center in Teabo, where we can increase our impact and expand our reach to neighboring villages. Therefore, we expect our summer interns to raise at least US$400 that will be used to cover, housing, boarding and materials for the various activities throughout the summer.

Travel Arrangements

All interns are expected to arrive to Merida, Yucatan on before June 1st. Fundacion Cielo will facilitate transportation to Teabo. Merida Airport (MID) is the best option. Alternatively, Cancun (CUN) airport is 360Km from Merida. Buses from CUN Airport to Merida run frequently. For more information visit:

www.ado.com.mx

APPLICATIONS:

Submit application to info [at] fundacioncielo [dot] org on or before April 27th. Include CV and Cover Letter. Include any special qualifications, previous experiences or interests (i.e. yoga teacher, play an instrument, graphic arts). Candidates will be notified of their acceptance no later than May 1st.

By Working Gringos

Security Message for U.S. Citizens: Semana Santa Holiday Travel Precautions

With the approaching Semana Santa holiday season, the U.S. Embassy and Consulates in Mexico want to alert U.S citizens of the possibility of highway robberies and carjackings on popular transit routes into the interior of Mexico, including on toll roads (“cuotas”). Criminals are aware of increased travel in Mexico around the holidays and monitor highways to identify potential targets. Both private vehicles and commercial bus lines have been targets of highway robbery. Most criminal activity occurs after dark.

While U.S. citizens have, in the past, been murdered in highway robbery and carjacking incidents, in recent reports most victims who complied with robbers’ demands have reported that they were not physically harmed. In some cases, robbers have shot at vehicles that have attempted to flee. Robbers have used a variety of techniques, including roadblocks, bumping/moving vehicles to force them to stop, and running vehicles off the road at high speeds. While violent incidents can occur anywhere and at any time, they most frequently occur after dark and on isolated stretches of roads. To reduce risk when traveling by road, we strongly urge you to travel between cities throughout Mexico only during daylight hours, to avoid isolated roads, and to continue to use toll roads (“cuotas”), which are generally safer, whenever possible.

The Government of Mexico’s Programa Paisano provides support to U.S. residents returning to Mexico for the holiday season, including providing security information.

The current Travel Warning for Mexico provides more specific information by Mexican state. Travelers traveling by road are urged to review the sections on each state they will transit, as well as their final destination.

Maintain a high level of vigilance and take appropriate steps to enhance your personal security.U.S. citizen victims of crime in Mexico are encouraged to report incidents to the police and to the nearest U.S. consular office. We strongly recommend that U.S. citizens traveling to or residing in Mexico enroll in the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) at www.Travel.State.Gov. STEP enrollment gives you the latest security updates, and makes it easier for the U.S. embassy or nearest U.S. consulate to contact you in an emergency. If you don’t have Internet access, enroll directly with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.

Regularly monitor the State Department’s website, where you can find current Travel Warnings (including the Travel Warning for Mexico), Travel Alerts, and the Worldwide Caution. Read the Country Specific Information for Mexico. For additional information, refer to “A Safe Trip Abroad” on the State Department’s website.

Contact the U.S. embassy or consulate for up-to-date information on travel restrictions. You can also call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays). Follow us on Twitter and Facebook, and download our freeSmart Traveler iPhone App to have travel information at your fingertips.

Embassy
Mexico City: Paseo de la Reforma 305, Colonia Cuauhtemoc, telephone: +(52)(55) 5080-2000.

Consulates (with consular districts):
· Ciudad Juarez (Chihuahua): Paseo de la Victoria 3650, telephone. (011)(52)(656) 227-3000.
· Guadalajara (Nayarit, Jalisco, Aguas Calientes, and Colima): Progreso 175, telephone (011)(52)(333) 268-2100.
· Hermosillo (Sinaloa and the southern part of the state of Sonora): Avenida Monterrey 141, telephone (011)(52)(662) 289-3500.
· Matamoros (the southern part of Tamaulipas with the exception of the city of Tampico): Avenida Primera 2002, telephone (011)(52)(868) 812-4402.
· Merida (Campeche, Yucatan, and Quintana Roo): Calle 60 no. 338-K x 29 y 31, Col. Alcala Martin, Merida, Yucatan, Mexico 97050, telephone (011)(52)(999) 942-5700 or 202-250-3711 (U.S. number).
· Monterrey (Nuevo Leon, Durango, Zacatecas, San Luis Potosi, and the southern part of Coahuila):Prolongacion Ave. Alfonso Reyes No. 150, Col. Valle Poniente, Santa Catarina, Nuevo Leon, 66196, telephone (011)(52)(818) 047-3100.
· Nogales (the northern part of Sonora): Calle San Jose, Nogales, Sonora, telephone (011)(52)(631) 311-8150.
· Nuevo Laredo (the northern part of Coahuila and the northwestern part of Tamaulipas): Calle Allende 3330, Col. Jardin, telephone (011)(52)(867) 714-0512.
· Tijuana (Baja California Norte and Baja California Sur): Paseo de Las Culturas s/n Mesa de Otay, telephone (011) (52) (664) 977-2000.

Consular Agencies:
· Acapulco: Hotel Emporio, Costera Miguel Aleman 121 – Suite 14, telephone (011)(52)(744) 481-0100 or (011)(52)(744) 484-0300.
· Cancún: Blvd. Kukulcan Km 13 ZH Torre La Europea, Despacho 301 Cancun, Quintana Roo, Mexico C.P. 77500, telephone (011)(52)(998) 883-0272.
· Los Cabos: Las Tiendas de Palmilla Local B221, Carretera Transpeninsular Km. 27.5, San José del Cabo, BCS, Mexico 23406 telephone, (624) 143-3566 Fax: (624) 143-6750.
· Mazatlán: Playa Gaviotas #202, Zona Dorada, telephone (011)(52)(669) 916-5889.
· Oaxaca: Macedonio Alcalá no. 407, interior 20, telephone (011)(52)(951) 514-3054, (011) (52)(951) 516-2853.
· Piedras Negras: Abasolo #211, Zona Centro, Piedras Negras, Coah., telephone, (011)(52)(878) 782-5586.
· Playa del Carmen: “The Palapa,” Calle 1 Sur, between Avenida 15 and Avenida 20, telephone (011)(52)(984) 873-0303 or 202-370-6708(a U.S. number).
· Puerto Vallarta: Paradise Plaza, Paseo de los Cocoteros #1, Local #4, Interior #17, Nuevo Vallarta, Nayarit, telephone (011)(52)(322) 222-0069.
San Miguel de Allende: Centro Comercial La Luciernaga, Libramiento Manuel Zavala (Pepe KBZON), telephone (011)(52)(415) 152-2357.

By Working Gringos
English speaking periodontist and orthodontist in Merida Yucatan

HD Odontólogos… The Picture of Your Smile

The offices of HD Odontólogos are located on a quiet side street in Colonia México, north of the downtown area of Merida. In these sunlit, clean and airy offices, you can find the expert services of a dental periodontist, Dr. Arelly Carrillo, and of an orthodontist, Dr. Ruben Herrera.

Dr. Arelly Carrillo, English-speaking Periodontist in Merida Yucatan

Dr. Arelly Carillo is a dental surgeon who specializes in Periodontics. She is certified by the Mexican Board of Periodontology and is a graduate of the very well-regarded Autonomous University of Yucatán (UADY) in Merida. Now, Dr. Carillo is a Professor on periodontal subjects at UADY, teaching in both the undergraduate and postgraduate programs.

The office also provides the services and expertise of Dr. Ruben Herrera, an orthodontist. Dr. Herrera graduated from the Autonomous University of Nuevo León with a Fellowship in Advanced Orthodontics granted by the University of Texas. He is also additionally certified by the Mexican Board of Orthodontists.

Periodontal Dentistry

The American Academy of Periodontology describes a periodontist this way:

A periodontist is a dentist who specializes in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of periodontal disease, and in the placement of dental implants. Periodontists are also experts in the treatment of oral inflammation. Periodontists receive extensive training in these areas, including three additional years of education beyond dental school. They are familiar with the latest techniques for diagnosing and treating periodontal disease, and are also trained in performing cosmetic periodontal procedures.

When your dental needs are beyond the scope of your regular dentist, you need a specialist. Dr. Carrillo can communicate with you in English about your dental problems and how to solve them as quickly Dr. Arelly Carrillo, English-speaking Periodontist in Merida Yucatanand economically as possible. Your treatment will take place in her spacious and lovely offices, surrounded by views of gardens. If you want to listen to headphones, or need other ways of handling your anxiety about being at the dentist, please speak with her about alternatives and choices. Your comfort and care is her top priority!

Offices of Dr. Arelly Carrillo, English-speaking Periodontist in Merida YucatanDr. Arelly Carrillo provides the following services for her clients:

  • Personalized report about the health of your mouth
  • Professional teeth cleaning and tips for improving your oral health care routine
  • Scaling and Root Planning for Gum Disease (non-surgical periodontal therapy)
  • Surgical scaling and root planning. (performing a periodontal flap)
  • Placing dental implants
  • Surgical procedures such as: Crown lengthening, gingivectomy, lengthening of buccal mucosa for rehabilitation purposes
  • Osseous and soft tissue regeneration if needed (depending on the analysis of particular features and health status of the patient)

In addition, Dr. Carrillo will pay close attention to any complaints associated with periodontal tissues such as bad breath, dry mouth, mouth sores, signs of gum disease, infections or others. She will analyze your dental and general health, and work with you to create your healthiest mouth!

 

Hours and Contact Information

Hours: Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 5 to 9 PM and Saturdays from 9 to 2 PM.
Address: Calle 13, #113 between Calle 18 and 20, Colonia Mexico Norte, Merida, Yucatan C.P. 97128.
Office Phone: (999) 948-9943. Receptionist speaks perfect English.
Email: arelly [dot] hcodontologos [at] gmail [dot] com

 

 

 

 

This is a paid advertisement.

By Working Gringos

Can You Hear Me Now?

We sometimes wish there had been a video camera trained on us the first time we tried to use a cellular phone in the small town of Dolores Hidalgo in Mexico. It could have been a comedy hit on YouTube. We had bought a new cellular phone package and a pay-as-you-go card, called an Amigo card. This was a new concept to us at the time, having come from the land of two-year, ten-page contracts. We were excited to use our new purchase.

Our complete lack of both speaking and understanding Spanish made it totally impossible to activate the Amigo card in order to use our newly purchased cell phone. We must have listened to that Spanish recording ten times before finally, with much exasperation and embarassment, we employed our best charades skills to ask the teenage girl at the cash register of a restaurant to do it for us. That was a moment of intense powerlessness, and we have never forgotten it, though we can certainly laugh about it now. Eventually we figured out how to activate the “English” setting on the phone as well, which certainly helped. And then finally, seven or so years later, we know enough Spanish that we can figure it out (or not) in either language.

We wrote this original article years ago, and it has been a helpful resource for many people… even ourselves! We use it all the time. Now, in March 2015, we updated it and took out all the information about the prices for each type of phone call. Phone call prices have been coming down, they change all the time, and that’s not even figuring in the exchange rate changes! In addition, you can make free calls now, through Skype, WhatsApp or Google Hangout, among others. So when it comes to prices, you’re on your own… but keep in mind that as a rule, it is getting cheaper all the time!

Still Confused After All These Years

Despite our familiarity with our adopted home, we still are puzzled when it comes to telephones at times. The options keep multiplying, and they were confusing to begin with. We have a suspicion that we are not the only ones who struggle with this, so we researched the different protocols and we present them to you here.

A few notes. Most people in Mexico write their phone numbers differently. They tend to memorize and repeat phone numbers (and other numbers too) in groups of two or three. Americans and Canadians remember their numbers in the XXX-XXX-XXXX format. In Mexico, you might hear XXXX-XX-XX-XX or XX-XX-XXX-XXX. We use all of the different formats below so you can get used to the chaos. It’s amazing how just switching where the space goes in a number can confuse a person!

The instructions below are for phones purchased in Mexico. There are also, of course, calling cards that can be used at quickly-disappearing public phones. And there are of course, US or Canadian phones that can be activated now to work in Mexico for a low monthly cost. In our case, we have used a US phone with Verizon, which in 2015, charges $50 a month for coverage within Mexico, and some additional fees for data. With the ubiquity of Wifi connections now, those data download fees can be kept to a minimum.

In the instructions below, we had previously quoted costs, but now the costs are pretty much the same. There are other companies for land lines (Cablevision, Axtel, Nextel) and for cel phones (Iusacel, Movistar, Nextel) but costs do not vary much anymore. Of course, change is the name of the game in the phone industry, so take whatever prices are below with a grain of salt.

If you have anything helpful to contribute or if we have made a mistake, please tell us in a comment. We intend for this page to be a good reference for all who need it.

 

How To Dial A Phone in Mexico – From Anywhere to Somewhere Else

From a Land line to a land line in the same city in Mexico(example: Merida to Merida)

Prefix needed:  No prefix, no area code
Complete dialed number:  123-4567

This is the simplest option anywhere. The caller pays $1.5 pesos per minute plus IVA.  A house Telmex phone line will get the first 100 calls per month free. A business Telmex phone line pays for every call.


From a Land line to a cell phone in the same city (Merida to Merida)

Prefix needed:  044
Complete dialed number:  044-99-91-234-567 (US Format: 044-999-123-4567)

When asked, a person will usually give you his/her cellular phone number with the area code (in the case above “999”). Thus, “Mi numero celular está ‘99 91 234 567’.


Dialing a phone in Mexico

From a Land line to a cell phone in another town (Progreso to Merida)

Prefix needed: 045
Complete dialed number: 045-99-91-234-567

This will be a long distance call from your landline and the calling phone will pay the entire cost of the phone call.  The cell phone will not get charged for the long distance call.

For example, if the Progreso land line is (969)123 45 67 and you are calling a cell phone based in Merida,  you will dial 045 999 123 4567. You will use the same protocol, even if the person you are calling happens to be in Progreso at the time, if their phone is usually based in Merida (you’ll know by the Merida area code 999).

If you are calling from Progreso to a Progreso-based cell phone and the person happens to be in Merida for the afternoon, you dial 044 969 123 4567.

From a Land line to a land line in another town (Progreso to Merida)

Prefix needed:  01
Complete dialed number:  01 (999) 123 4567

This is larga distancia automatica nacional (automatic national long distance) and you will dial 01 before the area code and the phone number.


How to dial a phone number in MexicoFrom a Cell phone in Mexico to a cell phone in Mexico

Prefix needed:  None
Complete dialed number:  999-123-4567

To call a cell phone from another cell phone, regardless of where the person is located at the moment, just dial the area code and the numbers without a prefix.  The caller pays, by the way.


From a cell phone in Mexico to a cell phone in another town (Merida to Playa del Carmen)

Prefix needed:  None
Complete dialed number:  984-123-4567

Again, dial the numbers of the cell phone including the area code. The cost of this call will be paid by the caller.

From a cell phone to a land line in the same town (Merida to Merida)

Prefix needed: None
Complete dialed number:  999-123-4567 or 123-4567

You can either dial the area code and the 7 numbers or just the seven numbers. The caller pays.


From a cell phone to a land line in another town (Merida to Playa del Carmen)

Prefix needed:  01
Complete dialed number:  01-984-123-4567

Treat the number being called as a national phone number. The price depends on the plan you have, and will be paid by the caller.


From a cell phone to a US or Canada cell phone or land line

Prefix needed:  001
Complete dialed number:  001-408-123-4567

To dial an international phone number from Mexico to the United States or Canada, dial the prefix 001, followed by the area code (408) and the phone number. There is no difference in dialing protocol for dialing a landline or a cell phone number.

The price will depend on the plan you have, and will be paid by the caller in all cases. (In the US and Canada, the cell phone user may also pay to receive the call).

From a US or Canada phone to a cell phone in Mexico

Prefix needed:  011-52-1
Complete dialed number:  011 52 1 999 1 23 45 67

You will dial 011 to make an international call. Then dial Mexico’s country code, which is “52”. Follow this with a “1” to indicate that you are dialing a cell phone in Mexico. Then dial the area code and number.

If you are in the city where you have contracted for and/or purchased your cell phone in Mexico, you will not be charged for an incoming phone call. If you bought your phone in Merida, but are receiving this call on a weekend in Playa del Carmen, you will be charged something per minute (depending on your plan) for mobility (what we used to call ‘roaming’).


From a US or Canada phone to a land line in Mexico

Prefix needed:  011-52
Complete dialed number:  011 52 999 1 23 45 67

You will dial 011 to make an international call. Then dial Mexico’s country code, which is “52” and then the area code and number.


Dialing a Toll Free Number in US or Canada from Mexico

Sometimes you really need to call a toll free US number from Mexico. It won’t be toll free anymore but being able to do it still comes in very handy! Dial 001 and then dial 880 if your toll-free number begins with 800. Dial 881 for an 888 number. Dial 882 for an 877 number and dial 883 for all 866 numbers. For instance, if the number is 1-800-555-5555, you would dial 001-880-555-5555. That’s it… magic!

 

Think You Can Remember All That?

That’s it! Easy, right? If you are anything like us, we suggest you bookmark this page. Happy dialing!

*****

For information about buying a cell phone in the Yucatan, check out our article Shopping For Cell Phone Service in Merida.

By Working Gringos

Name: Brigitte Serrano
Contact email: brigitte_serrano [at] hotmail [dot] com

LOOKING FOR NANNY POSITION IN MERIDA YUCATAN
Having recently retired from the Airline Industry after 30 years, I am looking to secure a position as a live-in-nanny. I have experience teaching English in Mexico City at Conacyt and would welcome the opportunity to be a loving caregiver to your children, having raised 3 children of my own. I come with excellent references and any other information you may require. I am available May 1st, 2015.

Please feel free to contact me for further information.

By Working Gringos

El Último Esfuerzo: Chapter Four

It was quite something to see how doña Raimunda enjoyed the narration, bursting out in laughter from time to time as don Hermenegildo gave some account of his rejected advances. And she had more than enough cause to do so: the pained grimace, the wistful look on his face, the timidity that rendered him childlike, and above all, the hesitant and solemn intonation he often gave to his words… all were triggers for the señora’s laughter.

He fell in love with a neighbor of his who had many admirers. What happened to him upon seeing that woman? He turned red when he passed by her house and he trembled upon greeting her while she blindly laughed at him.

Mexican love lettersIt seemed he might be her favorite, but those traitor nerves, that blood so restless that it rose to his face, caused him to decide it would be madness to speak to the charmer of his intentions.

Paper doesn’t tremble or blush. So there were letters and more letters.

That, however, couldn’t continue, and in fact did not continue, but for a reason very different from what he would have wanted. A friend of his revealed to him that everything he had written to the neighbor was now in the possession of a young man already accepted by her and who was regaling his buddies with don Hermenegildo’s stolen love letters.

“Laugh, señora, go ahead and laugh, as it was well deserved thanks to my foolishness. Everyone on the street except for me knew that they were kissing and cuddling at the shutters. You must agree, however, that a man who sets out to conduct himself with honor doesn’t deserve that treatment. As for me, he added shaking his head, it makes me feel bad all over. Believe me, I know what I’m talking about.”

The second fortress he tried to conquer was the heart of a brunette with a maddeningly sweet gaze, daughter of a lieutenant colonel famous in the political revolutions and then aligned with the Government. Her house was on one of the streets that don Hermenegildo took on his way to court. He had been walking that way for a little more than a month when one night, the father, who had a sour temperament, came fuming at him, and after calling him a vagabond and other things that made him feel lower than dirt, ended up threatening to take a shot at him if he came anywhere near the house again.

Doña Raimunda was holding her belly, which was hurting from laughing so much.

“Just to go to the office I had to change streets!”

“But you had the consolation of knowing that this girl liked you”, the señora pointed out, looking at him and preparing to continue laughing.

“She never got around to telling me that, because I didn’t even ask her. The chance to talk never came up.”

“You didn’t talk to her, don Hermenegildo? And what were you doing for more than a month? Was she dissatisfied with you?”

“No, on the contrary. But the truth is that I’m no good at those things. Believe me, I know what I’m talking about.”

“That’s understood. Being so shy. . . . Certain matters call for resolution. But didn’t you finally get a girlfriend, don Hermenegildo?”

“Get, yes. I got one.”

“Aha! What do we have here? And why didn’t you marry her? Could it be that her parents didn’t approve?”

“No, to be honest, not that. I have no complaint in that regard. But the misfortune that doesn’t seek me out from one side, comes from another. Since I become extremely agitated when I speak of love to a woman, I arrived at an understanding with her because a cousin of hers helped and encouraged me, knowing that my intentions wouldn’t be poorly received. I had to explain to her parents the Mexican gentlemenhonorable purpose of my frequent visits to the house because they told their daughter: serious matters must be handled formally. I complied with their request. When they asked me about the length of the engagement, it gave me a chill. I hadn’t thought about that. I set it at one year. I had hopes of bettering my situation, but the days and months flew by and I was continuing at the same level as far as my finances were concerned. She was as poor as I, so I couldn’t hope for anything more than my own resources. Many things could happen in six months and I asked for extra time. But what happened was that, in a very refined way, they dismissed me from the house, reminding me that I was going there to marry their daughter, and I was unable to do so. I could hardly prove myself so heartless as to take her from her home to kill her of hunger, and here you find me as single as I was born. This happened almost nine years ago. Convinced that he who was born to weep should not be tickled, I have renounced loving any woman because that is what my luck comes to, doña Munda. Believe me, I know what I’m talking about.”

Don Hermenegildo was shaken, and when he took out his handkerchief to wipe the perspiration from his brow. The señora was certain that he also furtively dried a tear that escaped from his eye.

“Come now, don Hermenegildo, I won’t tell you that you’ve been very fortunate in these things, but let’s agree that to a great extent, you yourself are to blame.”

“I to blame, my señora!”

“You. Just why haven’t you taken much of a liking toward marriage?”

“I can swear to you that there were very few men of my age more inclined to consider marriage a man’s most perfect state.”

“Well, then, the fault, in the first place, is with your timidity; then…”

“But how would you want me to fix that? I can’t help it and, in fact, it torments and weighs on me.”

“And the last one, why didn’t you marry her? You say it’s because of your lack of resources. But although scarce, there were some, and others that God would surely have given you as he never fails those who need him. One thing that could have helped her, you would not have been so lacking in judgment as to snatch her from one poverty to place her in another. Look, perhaps that very thing would have bettered your situation, because it wouldn’t be the first time a person saves himself by paying attention to family responsibilities.”

Don Hermenegildo sat thinking about what he had just heard and, as if interrupting the train of thought that was absorbing him, he replied after a moment:

“All that is very nice, señora, but if those plans had fallen apart, what would have become of us?”

“Fine. You would have been poorer. Others have it worse.”

The señora’s words seemed to trouble her guest. She, encouraged by the apparent success she had obtained, dared to spring this question:

“And today, why don’t you get married?”

“But, señora, with the extra years that I’ve added on…”

“With those added years, you’re still not old.”

“And with such a low salary, I’d be crazy to think about that.”

“Come on. Cheer up and look for a girlfriend and I promise you that Felipe will help me see to it that you improve your possibilities.”

Her husband, who was just then arriving and who heard his name mentioned, asked:

“What’s this about? How are you, don Hermenegildo? A very good evening to you.”

“And to you, sir. How has your day been? You must be tired from all your business affairs.”

“The usual. The heat is what tires me more than anything. Today at noon, I felt a headache coming on.”

A Yucatan headache“You don’t say!” exclaimed the good gentleman with heightened interest. “And what did you take to get rid of it?”

“Nothing,” responded don Felipe as he came in to take a seat. “It left the same way it came. So then, what were you talking about?”

“I’m encouraging don Hermenegildo to get married. I’ve promised him that we’ll help him better his situation, and even, if he wants, be the godparents.”

“With much pleasure,” agreed the licenciado, seating himself in the chair and pushing it toward the wall to turn it sideways.

They went on talking about a variety of things and a little later the bachelor bade them farewell, wishing the entire family a good night, that the licenciado’s headache wouldn’t return and prescribing, in case it should, sweet marigold leaves.

****

Read Chapter One, Two and Three of One Last Effort (El Ultimo Esfuerzo).

By Khaki Scott

This Week… starting March 23, 2014

Yucatan Living Festival of Trova: Merida Yucatan – March 22 – 31
All the best of Yucatan’s trova groups and individuals will be in Merida this week. These are the groups that will be singing for you during this week-long celebration of Trova, Yucatan’s signature style of music. They are the best of the best, and some of them are legends in Yucatan’s music world.

Sunday, March 22: Night of Trios, featuring: Trio Ensueño, Trio Trovanova, and Trio Trovenia, 8 PM, Teatro Daniel Ayala
Tuesday, March 24: Los Juglares in Concert, 8 PM, Teatro Daniel Ayala
Wednesday, March 25: Songs of the MAYAB: Maricarmen Perez and Jesus Armando, 8 PM, Teatro Daniel Ayala
Thursday, March 26: Las Maya Internacional, 8 PM, Teatro Daniel Ayala
Saturday, March 28: Yahalkab in Concert, 8 PM, Teatro Daniel Ayala
Sunday, March 29: 12:00 PM: Orquesta Tipica Infantil, the Children’s Choir, 12 Noon, Teatro Daniel Ayala
Sunday, March 29: 8:00 PM: Cantores de Yucatan in Concert. Performers include: Beatriz Cervera, Marilu Basulto, Lenny Sanchez, Cony Ancona, Angelica Balado and Trio Trovanova, 8 PM, Teatro Daniel Ayala
Tuesday, March 31: Orquesta Tipica Yukalpeten, 8 PM, Teatro Daniel Ayala
Location: All performances are in Teatro Daniel Ayala
Time: All performances are at 8:00 PM except Sunday March 29 includes a 12:00 PM performance.
Admission: All performances are Free!

Yucatan Living Mark Your Calendars for 2015
These dates are all governed by the cycles of the Sun and/or Moon and most are associated with major holidays and celebrations in Yucatan.
March 29: Palm Sunday
April 4: Total Lunar Eclipse
April 5: Easter Sunday
June 21 at 11:38 AM: Midsummer Equinox
July 2 & 31: Blue Moon
September 23 at 3:20 PM: Fall Equinox
September 27: Super Moon
September 28: Total Lunar Eclipse
December 21 at 10:48 PM: Winter Equinox

Yucatan Living La Expresión del Barro (Expression in Clay)
This art exhibit opened this week. We have not found out how long it will continue, but it certainly looks worth checking out. Pieces of barro worked by maestros from around Latin America, collected by the always discerning Fomento Cultural Banamex.
Location: Museo de Arte Popular in Parque Mejorada (Calle 50 x 57), and the Casa de Montejo on Paseo de Montejo
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Salsa for Gringos
If you are in the mood to dance, you can be certain that Anny is organizing a class just for you! Two new salsa classes are beginning in Merida. We are listing them once here, then moving them to Yucatan Living’s Ongoing Events and Classes page.

Class #1 Begins on Tuesday March 17
Location:Teatro Felipe Carrillo Puerto, Calle 60 x 57
Time: 10:30 AM Reoccurs weekly on Tuesday and Thursday
Admission: $400 pesos per month

Class #2 Begins on Wednesday March 18
Location: Liberdanza Dance Studio, Calle 24 #95-A x 13 y 15 in Chuburna de Hidalgo, Merida, Yucatan
Time: 7:00 PM Reoccurs weekly on Monday and Wednesday
Admission: $350 pesos per month
For More Information: call Anny at 923-3736 or (999) 125-0466 or e-mail: animex [at] prodigy [dot] net [dot] mx

Monday (Lunes) March 23, 2015

Yucatan Living The Choir of the City of Merida: Gloria, Gloria
As we draw closer to the end of Lent, look for many more of these wonderful performances at churches throughout Yucatan.
Location: Iglesia de San Juan, Merida, Calle 64 x 69
Time: 8:00 PM Monday
Admission: Free

Tuesday (Martes) March 24, 2015

Yucatan Living Tuesday of Trova: Trovadores del Mayab
This will be a special performance of Trova by Trovadores del Mayab.
Location: Auditorium of the Olimpo, Calle 62 x 61
Time: 8:30 PM Tuesday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Movie: The Tenant
(France 1993) A bureaucrat rents a Paris apartment where he finds himself drawn into a rabbit hole of dangerous paranoia. This is a psychological horror film, directed by and starring Roman Polanski. In French with Spanish subtitles.
Location: Cairo Cinema, Calle 20 #98A x 15 y 17, Colonia Itzimná
Time: 9:00 PM Tuesday
Admission: Free

 

Wednesday (Miercoles) March 25, 2015

Yucatan Living Movie: Cantunis
(Spain 2007) In 1978, Barcelona launched a social program for Can Tunis, a neighbourhood where people hovered between life and death. Twenty years later, things are not going well. The movie shows how they fight the utter deterioration and indifference of inhabitants and authorities. A teacher tries to motivate his students. He knows that education makes them aware of their reality and offers them the only opportunity. In Spanish with English subtitles.
Location: LA 68, Calle 68 at Calle 55, centro of Merida
Time: 6:00 PM Wednesday
Admission: $35 pesos, $15 pesos students

Ruth Bennett plays in Valladolid, Yucatan

Yucatan Living Ruth Bennett Performance
Ruth Bennett, the principal harpist for the State Symphony of the Yucatan is returning to perform another concert in Valladolid. Only 140 seats are available!
Location: Casa de Los Venados, Valladolid, Yucatan
Time: 9:00 PM Wednesday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Movie: Life Itself
(USA 2014) Documentary about the life of Roger Ebert, one of the most influential US film critics of all time, died in 2012. Ebert wrote most of his life for the Chicago Sun-Times, published numerous books on cinema and was the first critic who received a Pulitzer Prize for his movie reviews. In English with Spanish subtitles.
Location: LA 68, Calle 68 at Calle 55, centro of Merida
Time: 9:00 PM Wednesday
Admission: $35 pesos, $15 pesos students

 

Thursday (Jueves) March 26, 2015

Yucatan Living Movie: The Tiniest Place
(Mexico 2011) This 2011 Mexican documentary is described this way: “This is a story about mankind’s ability to arise, to rebuild and reinvent himself after surviving a tragedy. A story about a people that have learned to live with their sorrow; an annihilated town that re-emerges through the strength and deep love of its’ inhabitants for the land and the people.” In Spanish.
Location: LA 68, Calle 68 at Calle 55, centro of Merida
Time: 6:00 PM Thursday
Admission: $35 pesos, $15 pesos students

Yucatan Living International String Quartet of Yucatan
Corelli – Concerto Grosso No. 8, Purcell – Chaconnem Albinoni – Concerto Grosso No. 1 and Mozart – String Quartet
Location: Monjas Church in Centro, Calle 63 x 64
Time: 6:00 PM Thursday
Admission: $200 pesos

Yucatan Living Classic Movie: Pandora’s Box
(Germany 1928). Director: G.W. Pabst. Starring: Louise Brooks. The rise and inevitable fall of an amoral but naïve young girl whose careless eroticism inspires lust and violence in those around her.
Location: Videosala of the Olimpo, Calle 62 x 61
Time: 7:00 PM Thursday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Foro Cultural in Merida YucatanForo Cultural at Escuela Modelo
A student of the school reached out to us to invite our readers to participate in this annual event. “Basically it is an event where students from prepa participate in things like poetry (kind of reading it out loud to the audience), there’s live music, photography from the students is displayed, there will even be some students selling art, and a book exchange as well. In the past there have also been some food stands (marquesitas, esquites, etc) and this year that’s likely to happen again. On behalf of the school, I’d like to invite any of your readers who would be interested in this event.”
Location: Escuela Modelo, on Paseo de Montejo just north of Walmart
Time: 8:00 PM Thursday
Admission: Free, but feel free to bring a book to exchange.

Yucatan Living Movie: Despertar el Polvo
(Mexico 2013) This is the story of man who has suffered the transgressed living a life of crime and corruption. The neighborhood is the stage where he roams the streets invisible, ignored, lonely, lost in his misery. In Spanish.
Location: LA 68, Calle 68 at Calle 55, centro of Merida
Time: 9:00 PM Thursday
Admission: $35 pesos, $15 pesos students

Yucatan Living Movie: This Ain’t California
(Germany 2012) The “found footage” in this movie is not real Super 8. Instead it is from the 1980s and it is mocked up. In German with Spanish subtitles.
Location: Cairo Cinema, Calle 20 #98A x 15 y 17, Colonia Itzimná
Time: 9:00 PM Tuesday
Admission: Free

 

Friday (Viernes) March 27, 2015

Yucatan Living Movie: Made in Mexico
(Mexico 2011) This movie, Made in Mexico, is a recent documentary/music video about the creative life and citizens of Mexico. In Spanish with English subtitles.
Location: LA 68, Calle 68 at Calle 55, centro of Merida
Time: 6:00 PM Friday
Admission: $35 pesos, $15 pesos students

Yucatan Living Movie: I Don’t Want To Talk About It
(Argentina 1993). Director: Maria Luisa Bemberg. Starring: Marcello Mastroianni and Luisina Brando. Leonor, a widow in a small South American town, gives birth to Charlotte, a dwarf. Although the mother provides a rich childhood for her daughter, she erases any clues her daughter might see that would lead her to think she is different, i.e. burning books like “Snow White,” and destroying garden gnomes. In short, she simply doesn’t want to talk about it. The sheltered daughter grows up and captures the heart of a local boy, but then the circus comes to town. Probably in Spanish.
Location: Videosala of the Olimpo, Calle 62 x 61
Time: 7:00 PM Friday
Admission: Free. Also, this is an Adults Only film.

Yucatan Living Choir of the City of Merida: Gloria, Gloria Viernes
This will be yet another wonderful choir performance.
Location: Auditorium of the Olimpo, Calle 62 x 61
Time: 8:00 PM Friday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Movie: Stella Cadente
(Spain 2014) The film narrates the brief reign of Amadeo of Savoy in Spain, who in 1870 tried to tidy up and modernize the country which was ungovernable. The king was misunderstood abroad and quickly took refuge inside his palace. Outside his palace, the country was collapsing, and within it, he plays his court games with love, pleasure, beauty and melancholy. In Spanish with English subtitles.
Location: LA 68, Calle 68 at Calle 55, centro of Merida
Time: 9:00 PM Friday
Admission: $35 pesos, $15 pesos students

Yucatan Living Movie: Night on Earth
(France 1991) An anthology of 5 different cab drivers in 5 American and European cities and their remarkable fares on the same eventful night. In English with Spanish subtitles.
Location: Cairo Cinema, Calle 20 #98A x 15 y 17, Colonia Itzimná
Time: 9:00 PM Friday
Admission: Free

 

Saturday (Sabado) March 28, 2015

Yucatan Living Movie: The Substance
(Germany 2011) In 1943, the year in which the first A-bomb was built, Albert Hofmann discovered LSD, a substance that was to become an A-bomb of the mind. In English with Spanish subtitles.
Location: LA 68, Calle 68 at Calle 55, centro of Merida
Time: 6:00 PM Saturday
Admission: $35 pesos, $15 pesos students

Yucatan Living Movie: Better Than Chocolate
(Canada 1999). Director: Anne Wheeler. Starring: Wendy Crewson, Karyn Dwyer, Christina Cox, Ann-Marie MacDonald and Marya Delver. Two attractive young lesbians, Maggie and Kim, meet in Vancouver, develop a romance and move in together. Soon, Maggie’s naïve mother gets a divorce and moves in with them. Then, a transsexual friend of theirs who is getting ready for a sex change operation also moves in and the mother learns the truth about all of them.
Location: Videosala of the Olimpo, Calle 62 x 61
Time: 7:00 PM Saturday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Yucadanz: Monthly Contra Dance in Merida
When is a square dance not square? You’re just going to love this new dance in town. Contra dance is a community “barn dance”, where everyone socializes and dances with everyone else. We love their energy and hope that everyone will give contra dance a whirl. Everyone is welcome!
Location: Tumaka’t Dance Studio, Calle 51 #475-A x 52 y 54 (blue building, middle of block), Centro
Time: Beginner Class: 7:15 PM in English and Spanish, Contra dance: 8:00 PM – 10:30 PM
Admission: Bring your own refreshments and water, no alcohol at the dance. $50-$100 pesos donation requested. Proceeds benefit Tumaka’t, a nonprofit arts group, and to establish a fund for live music. Read this great page on the Yucadanz website!

Yucatan Living Movie: This Is the End
(USA 2013) While attending a party at James Franco’s house, Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel and many other celebrities are faced with the apocalypse. In English.
Location: Cairo Cinema, Calle 20 #98A x 15 y 17, Colonia Itzimná
Time: 9:00 PM Saturday
Admission: $35 pesos

Yucatan Living Movie: Leviathan
(Russia 2012) A documentary shot in the North Atlantic and focused on the commercial fishing industry. In Russian with Spanish subtitles.
Location: LA 68, Calle 68 at Calle 55, centro of Merida
Time: 9:00 PM Saturday
Admission: $35 pesos, $15 pesos students

Sunday (Domingo), March 29, 2015

Yucatan Living Documentary about Nature
Always a great documentary aimed especially for children.
Location: Museum of Natural History, Calle 59 Next to the Zoo
Time: 12:00 PM Sunday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Sunday Chamber Music: Dances of Europe
These performances are by the Chamber Orchestra of Merida. Today’s performance is directed by Pawel Marek Blaszkowski.
Location: Auditorium of the Olimpo, Calle 62 x 61
Time: 6:00 PM Sunday
Admission: General: $50 pesos, Students and INAPAM: $25 pesos

Yucatan Living Dance: True Passions
A dance performance “to the rhythm of Jazz and Tango”.
dance in YucatanLocation: Teatro Armando Manzanero, Calle 62 x 61
Time: 8:00 PM Sunday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Movie: Dallas Buyers Club
(USA 2013) In 1985 Dallas, electrician and hustler Ron Woodroof works around the system to help AIDS patients get the medication they need after he is himself diagnosed with the disease. In English with Spanish subtitles.
Location: Cairo Cinema, Calle 20 #98A x 15 y 17, Colonia Itzimná
Time: 9:00 PM Sunday
Admission: Free

 

Monday (Lunes) March 30, 2015

Yucatan Living No Events planned for Today, yet! !

 

Coming Soon

Yucatan Living Muelle Market-Bazar del Muelle
First and Third Thursdays in February and March 2015. Local and Foreign Artisans Market: to benefit the Chicxulub Food Bank. Attractions include Slow Food Market Vendors, Jewelry by Jorge, Carvings by Martine, Olga Cuevas: Clothing Designer, Mano de Nano (aka Naomi Murphy): homemade mustard, salad dressing, marinades, granola, meat rubs, baked goods, and a variety of pickles, Anita’s Salchichones (German Sausage) and many many more !!!
Location: D’Mar Salon de Eventos, Calle 28x21y23, Chicxulub Puerto
Time: 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Admission: Free to shoppers. Vendors contact for more information.
More Information: Call Nola (English): (999) 109-6319 or e-mail: muellemarket [at] gmail [dot] com or keep up with new announcements on the Muelle Market-Bazar del Muelle Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/MuelleMarket

Yucatan Living OPERA YUCATÁN, A.C. – April 4th
Opera Yucatan, A.C. is a non-profit civil association, created to promote the art of opera in the Yucatán. Their objectives are purely educational and cultural. In collaboration with the Gran Museo del Mundo Maya they continue their Sixth Season of Opera at the Movies with Adriana Lecouvreur in Cilea. Preview this performance.
Location: Sala Mayamax del Gran Museo del Mundo Maya.
Time: Brief opera talk at 11:30 AM, performance video begins at 12:00 PM
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Yucadanz: Monthly Contra Dance in Merida
When is a square dance not square? You’re just going to love this new dance in town. Contra dance is a community “barn dance”, where everyone socializes and dances with everyone else. We love their energy and hope that everyone will give contra dance a whirl. Everyone is welcome!
Location: Tumaka’t Dance Studio, Calle 51 #475-A x 52 y 54 (blue building, middle of block), Centro
Time: Beginner Class: 7:15 PM in English and Spanish, Contra dance: 8:00 PM – 10:30 PM
Admission: Bring your own refreshments and water, no alcohol at the dance. $50-$100 pesos donation requested. Proceeds benefit Tumaka’t, a nonprofit arts group, and to establish a fund for live music. Read this great page on the Yucadanz website!
Additional Scheduled Meetings: Saturday, April 11

Yucatan LivingThe International String Quartet
This much-loved group features excellent musicians from all over the world. Don’t miss at least one of these performances!

16 April: Hacienda Xcanatun – $200 pesos. Call for reservation 930-2140. 8 PM performance.
Mozart – String Quartet No. 21 in D Major, K575 – OR – Tansman – String Quartet No. 3, Smetana – Quartet in E minor ‘From My Life’

21 May: Hacienda Xcanatun – $200 pesos. Call for reservation 930-2140.
8 PM performance. Program to be announced

18 June: Hacienda Xcanatun – $200 pesos. Call for reservation 930-2140. 8 PM performance.
Gliere – Quartet in A Major Op 2 and Shostakovitch – Quartet No. 2

“The String Quartet in the Romantic Period”
20 June : Palacio Canton y Museo de Antropologia de Yucatan – 2 PM performance
20 June : Centro Cultural de Merida Olimpo – 6 PM performance

Yucatan Living Tournament: Yucatan Polo Open – Saturday and Sunday, May 2 and 3
This tournament will be the last of the 2014/15 season. The host, of course, will be the Yucatan Polo Club. Players from throughout Mexico and from abroad will be participating and this will be the highest level of competition in the history of the club. In addition to polo, there will be several excellent restaurants on hand, a mixed drinks bar, wine tasting and beer. For entertainment, they will have a DJ, a fashion show and, on Sunday, a ladies hat competition. As always, entry is free.
Location: at the Yucatan Polo Club. However, they have a new road that reduces travel time from the Periferico by eight or nine minutes so, if you would like to attend, do be sure and look at the map on the Yucatan Polo Club website.
Time: 4:00 PM on Saturday and on Sunday
Admission: Free
For More Information: Call Ralf at (999) 127-2394 or e-mail ralf [at] leszinski [dot] com

Have an event you want to promote? Email us at info [at] yucatanliving [dot] com and we’ll be happy to list it in our Events listing and our Month-at-a-Glance Calendar

By Working Gringos

Name of Company: Ensisal Development Marketing Company
Job Location: Merida
Name of Contact: Daniel Bershad
Phone Number: 999-233-4236
Email Address: daniel [at] ensisal [dot] net
Job Description: Graphic design, full time; 9-2, 4-7 m-f
Job Requirements: Create brochures, images, ads, plat plans, etc. English is required.
Any Additional Information: Photoshop abilities, etc. ideally the Adobe suite.
Company Website: ensisal.com
Pay offered: 8000 pesos per month

By Khaki Scott

Spring Equinox Numbers Were Huge!

More than 200,000 people braved the risk of rain to see if Kukulcan, the Great Feathered Serpent, would have enough sun for his shadow to descend the staircase of the Castillo at Chichen Itza, or if the Rain God Chaac would be able to muster enough bad weather to obscure Kukulcan’s shadow. Kukulcan won the day and it was thrilling. Other archaeological sites also had larger than usual crowds. Oxkintok, one of our favorite, and rather out-of-the-way, sites, was open for the Equinox at dawn for the second time this year. Apparently, it too was built with the Equinox in mind. The site was opened at 5 am for anyone interested (and likely will be next year as well, so make a note!). Also, the price of admission at Oxkintok is only $47 pesos (as opposed to Chichen Itza, see below), and on Sundays it is free to Mexican nationals and anyone who can prove residency in Mexico. It looks as if much of the world is ready for spring and Yucatan is a great place to find it.

Spring at Yucatan’s Busiest Archaeological Sites

Rates have changed this year at two of Yucatan’s busiest archaeological sites: Chichen Itza and Dzibilchaltun.

At the Maya Ruins of Chichen Itza, the ticket price for domestic visitors is $145 pesos. The ticket price for foreign visitors is $216 pesos. Exempted from paying are pensioners and retirees over 60, individuals under 13, those who are disabled, as well as students and teachers with accredited documentation. Parking lots are available for vehicles and buses, as well as a heliport for those who arrive by air. Free transportation is available to move tourists from parking lots to the main section of the site. The hours of operation are the same at many of the archaeological sites in Yucatan state, i.e. 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM on a normal schedule. The light and sound show (Chichen Itza Kukulcan Nights) is usually available through a night tour. This past weekend, because it was the beginning of Spring, there was a weekend special that gave visitors the light and sound show without having to purchase the tour.

At Dzibilchaltun, the ticket price for domestic visitors is $101 pesos, and $130 pesos for foreigners. Exempted from paying are pensioners and retirees over 60, individuals under 13, those who are disabled, as well as students and teachers with accredited documentation. Parking is available for individual vehicles and for busses. The hours of operation for Dzibilchaltun are usually from 8:00 AM to 1:00 PM. This can change during both the Spring and Fall Equinox.

ADO Special “Coins” Program

The ADO bus system is again advertising its domestic bus tours known as “Coins.” Last year, after being encouraged to save the change in their pockets, on a daily basis for a year, Mexicans who never thought they could afford to travel were in the busses and gone on vacation. The program was so successful that ADO is promoting it again. We think this is a great idea for everyone. Start saving those coins and see Mexico!

Water Quality in Yucatan

One of the most common questions visitors to Mexico ask is about whether they should drink bottled water or trust tap water. New statistics still imply that bottled water is the best choice. Yucatan has 30 wastewater treatment plants in the entire state and, unfortunately, many are only able to treat one to five liters per second. Some larger treatment plants are treating 400 liters per second, but they are in the minority. The biggest offenders continue to be pork farms, corn mills, open landfills, and underground oil. When populations grow as rapidly as they have done in urban Yucatan, there are bound to be water problems. Yucatan has more water than any state in Mexico… enough to carry the state for 30 more years in fact. But for now, bottled drinking water is still recommended. Please support any and all water conservation programs.

Yucatan Loses Last Hero of WWII

Sometimes, we Americans forget that World War II touched families around the world, including here in Mexico. The legendary Squadron 201 of the Mexican Expeditionary Air Force fought its battles over the Far East. Three of their number were from the State of Yucatan: Resendil Varguez Magaña, Ricardo Quintal Pinzon, and machine gunner Lt. Ramiro Bastarrachea Gamboa. For their heroic actions during time of war, all three of these fine soldiers were awarded the Medalla Servicio el Lejano Oriente (Medal of Service in the Far East). Don Ramiro died, at the age of 93, just this past week. A large family, many friends, a proud state, and a grateful nation are left to mourn his passing.

Punishable Crime: Cutting the Ears and Tail of Pets

For many years, animal rights activists tried to talk to the owners and veterinarians of some pet breeds about the dangers of cutting the ears and tails of pets. Finally, their numbers were sufficient to pass animal abuse laws and veterinarians are bound to warn owners who request such services now that it is a punishable crime. Evidently, it has been a crime under animal abuse laws for some time but, without the specific language it has now, some pet owners and veterinarians simply ignored the law. Veterinarians have also finally begun to advise against the declawing of cats. Hopefully, this specific legal language is present in Yucatan’s animal abuse laws and, if not, perhaps it will be soon.

Migratory Health Issues

The IV Global Congress of Qualitative Health Research was held in Merida this past week. Representatives of seventeen nations where on hand, seeking proposals for offering quality health care as a human right. Notable among the nations represented were Brazil, Chile, the People’s Republic of China, Colombia and South Korea. As the population of the world continues to migrate, it is an error to ignore the fact that migrants bring health issues with them. Some of those health issues are related to economy and environment, and their new home nations must be prepared to take them on at that point. Universities and social groups around the world are working together to develop a global system that will ensure the basic human right to appropriate health care for everyone, no matter where they migrate in the world. That is a monumental project and everyone working on it should know how deeply appreciative the world is of their willingness to dedicate themselves to this cause.

Bus Drivers in Training for New Transport System

There will soon be 40 new buses in Merida, all connected to a central dispatcher. There are 90 bus drivers, who have been divided into three groups of 30 so they can learn the new system. These will be the buses of the new Metropolitan Circuit and a huge leap forward for Merida’s transit system. There will be more bus stops now too. With luck, the bus drivers will enjoy their new system as much as we hope the people will. We haven’t heard if these buses are the same combustion engine designs that now ply the streets of Merida, but we are hoping they might be powered by something cleaner. Vamos a ver! (We’ll see!)

Ministry of Education Fights Childhood Obesity Online

After being presented with the fact that Yucatan is first in the nation of Mexico in its rate of obesity, the State Government departments of education and health partnered with UADY to develop the Comprehensive Care Program to Combat Obesity in the State of Yucatan (PIAOY). This is an excellent program that is all online, and it is also being taught in schools. The online program helps parents to take charge of their own obesity issues so that they can work with their children to build a new and healthy lifestyle. To learn more about this program and to share it with friends, please visit the PIAOY website.

Expat Passed Away in Progreso

On March 15, Richard Wilson died of a heart attack in his home in Progreso, Yucatan. He was affectionately called “Dickie” by his friends and was only 66 years young. The entire expat community mourns his passing and many have remarked that beach life will never be as much fun again without Dickie’s antics. Although we did not know Dickie, it speaks volumes when his friends laugh out loud at the mention of his name and then begin their next sentence with “Now – you have to understand – Dickie was a character…” Hopefully, someone will be able to laugh at memories of each of us after we are gone. Rest in Peace, Dickie.

By Working Gringos

Hotel Caribe in Merida Yucatan - Colonial hotel in downtown Merida

Hotel Caribe… Step Back in Time in Downtown Merida

Do you want to stay in a hotel in downtown Merida where you are surrounded by history and authentic architecture? Do you want to stay in the historic centro of Merida for a reasonable price?

Hotel Caribe is just that place… a place where, for just a moment, you can forget the world outside… step back in time, enjoy the tranquility and grace of a former Merida convent school with all the conveniences of a modern hotel.

The beautiful musical notes of authentic Yucatecan trova singing and guitar will delight you every afternoon at their restaurant and bar, where you can enjoy Yucatecan cuisine from the extensive variety on the menu. If you would rather eat in your room, room service is available from 7 AM until 10 PM daily.

Swimming Pool at Hotel Caribe - Colonial hotel in Merida centro YucatanStay there, and enjoy sitting by the swimming pool, a drink in hand and enjoy a spectacular view from the third floor… you can see the rooftops of downtown Merida, including the domed roof and towers of the Catedral. Hotel Caribe is in the perfect downtown Merida location, surrounded by the Plaza Grande, the Catedral san Idelfonso, the MACAY museum, the Olimpo museum and cultural center, the Jose Peon Contreras theatre and much more. You can walk just a few blocks to the Luis Galvez main mercado, or to parks like Santa Lucia, Mejorada, Santiago and others.

Hotel Caribe has 53 lovely hotel rooms. All the rooms are equipped with air conditioning, wireless Internet, satellite color television, safety deposit boxes, hair dryers and telephones with extensions.

For reasonable extra fees, guests can also enjoy laundry services, medical assistance, car rental, tours, in-room massages, irons and ironing boards and parking. Parking is free from 7 PM to 7 AM. During the day, parking costs only $10 pesos per hour (about $10 USD per day). The parking lot is located one half block from the hotel, on Calle 59, between Calle 58 and 56.

In the lobby, there is an English-speaking concierge who loves to help guests find their way around Merida, including finding the best day trips, tours, restaurants, shopping, museums and more.

Hotel Prices

Effective rates from 3rd March 2015 to 14th December 2015. Taxes are included in the prices below.

Standard Room
Standard room at Hotel Caribe, colonial hotel in Merida centro Yucatan MexicoSingle or Double beds

  • Monthly Rate: $1500.00 USD, American breakfast included
  • Weekly Rate: $400.00 USD, American breakfast included
  • Daily Rate: $57.14 USD, No meals included

We accept cash, credit cards and bank deposits.

Special Complimentary Offerings

Superior room at Hotel Caribe, colonial hotel in Merida centro Yucatan Mexico

  • One child under 12 years old is free of charge in a room shared with 2 adults.
  • If there is a free Superior class room available, they will upgrade you for free!
  • American breakfast included for weekly or monthly guests.
  • Free wireless Internet everywhere in the hotel.
  • Free parking service from 7 PM to 7 AM. During the day, parking is only $10 pesos per hour.
  • Swimming pool open from 8 AM to 8 PM, for guests only.

Our Policies

Deposits for Reservations
A first night deposit or a credit card number is required to hold your reservation. They require this deposit 30 days in advance in case of groups and 72 hours for individuals.

Cancellations
There is no charge for cancellations if you cancel more than 72 hours in advance (for individuals) or 30 days in advance (for groups). If you cancel after that, or do not show up for your reserved room, you will be charged for one night.

Dining at Hotel Caribe in downtown Merida Yucatan

Exclusive Offerings For Yucatan Living Readers

For 20% of your meal at the restaurant in Hotel Caribe (not including liquor…), print out this page and bring it to Hotel Caribe. (To print the page, just “right-click” anywhere on the page. You probably don’t want to print all the pages, so just print the first page with this offer).

Contact Hotel Caribe

Address:
Calle 59 x 60 no. 500, on the corner inside Hidalgo Park. Just a half block from the Plaza Grande. Col Centro C.P. 97000, Mérida Yucatán México
Tropical Evenings at Hotel Caribe in Merida Yucatan Mexico

Toll Free USA & Canada:
1 888 8226 431 or (+52 -999) 924-9022.
Ask for Cuxtali Cetina (Pronounced “Coosh-tahl-ee Set-teen-ah”)

Email:
reservaciones [at] hotelcaribe [dot] com [dot] mx

Website:
www.hotelcaribe.com.mx/

****

This is a paid advertisement.

By Working Gringos

Yucatan and The Love of Reading

If you take a poll, in Mexico, and ask young people how often they read a book, your view of the educational level of the next Mexican generation is going to be on life support. However, if you ask the right question, i.e. how often do you read a book online?, then you will see that Mexicans are reading more than ever before and have a love for reading that is truly unlimited. This week, we learned a new word that describes an entire new category of bloggers. A booktuber is a videoblogger who uses their blog to promote books and generate interest and new readers. Booktubers are, most often, young and masters of using social networking to promote their blogs. We are pleased to report that the booktuber species has begun to develop a strong presence right here in the State of Yucatan. During the recent literary festival in Merida, they were accepted as part of mainstream literature and interest is growing by leaps and bounds. This is wonderful news and we want to thank every booktuber and congratulate every book-reader in Mexico!

Merida Hack Day: I Am a City Changer! March 20 – 22, 2015

One Hundred young people from the ages of 18 to 29, who are interested in applying innovative, entrepreneurial and social action through software development, program design, and communication and marketing have been invited to form teams and compete to see which team comes out on top. The jury is composed of recognized experts and the committee includes representatives from the authorities, academics, NGOs and private companies. Each member of the winning team will receive a scholarship for 6 months in order to make their project a reality. As software designers ourselves, we will be watching to see what Yucatan’s talented young people come up with on Merida’s Hack Day!

When Is Semana Santa 2015?

For those who are trying to make plans for the Easter Holidays, it is important to know the dates of Semana Santa (Holy Week). This is the week when people are on vacation and families usually get together for reunions. Expect most government offices to be closed during this entire week, and don’t be surprised if some businesses are closed as well.
• March 29, Palm Sunday
• March 30, Easter Monday
• March 31, Holy Tuesday
• April 1, Holy Wednesday
• April 2, Holy Thursday
• April 3, Friday
• April 4, Easter Saturday (or Holy Saturday)
• April 5, Easter Sunday (or Easter Sunday)
• April 6, Easter Monday, a holiday in some communities

Tianguis Turistico de Mexico 2016: Merida Strong Contender

The Tianguis Turistico de Mexico is the largest tourism and trade fair in Mexico. Whatever city is chosen as its host can expect a huge shot in the arm of its local economy due to the many attendees from around Mexico and the world. At this point, Merida is the strongest contender to host this event in 2016. Merida has the infrastructure and it has the security. With private and governmental supporters already on board, everyone is holding their breath to hear the final decision.

Job Requirement: Three Hours of Exercise or Sports Daily

In the course of a week, we read a mountain of material sent to us by various news agencies. This story struck our eye because it is about the firemen of the Fire Department of the Maritime Rescue Base. The Municipality of Progreso has delivered sports equipment for volleyball and soccer to these professional firemen who are required to spend three hours of every shift either doing exercise or playing sports. It was explained that, in this way, the firemen seek to maintain dexterity, agility and the quick reactions required by their work. We have a hard enough time managing to walk a mile or two once or twice a week. We can only imagine having a job that requires three solid hours of hard exercise or sports day in and day out. For all that our firemen do for us, we are deeply appreciative of their service.

Where in the World is Naturalist Jim Conrad?

It dawned on us this week that we haven’t heard from Naturalist Jim Conrad in a while. That usually means that he is off on yet another exciting new adventure somewhere in Yucatan. Then, as we opened the website for Hacienda Chichen, there was Jim, in a beautiful photo at the very top of their Hacienda Chichen Activities page! Jim Conrad is currently living and volunteering in Hacienda Chichen’s Nature Reserve. He continues to write his Naturalist Newsletter, but now includes conducting eco-tours. For anyone who wants to know more about the flora and fauna of Yucatan, we highly recommend reading all of Jim Conrad’s web pages, as well as signing up to receive his newsletter.

Kiteboarding and Kitesurfing in Yucatan

This past weekend, the Third National Kiteboarding Tournament was held in Progreso, Yucatan. In mid-March, you can expect to see Kitesurfing Tournaments as well. This is a great time to go back and take a look at these two sports and at the opportunities to take kiteboarding and kitesurfing vacations here in Yucatan. There are three destinations to choose from: Progreso, El Cuyo, San Felipe and Rio Lagartos. If you are a beginner, classes are available. We’ve got the wind, now all we need is you!

Ornamental Fish Trade Up 250% in 10 Years

The First National Expo Aquarium Fair has just been held in Mexico City. There, it was learned that over 60 million ornamental fish are produced in aquaculture programs in Mexico each year. The State of Morelos produces about 32 million of these fish. The next largest producer is the State of Yucatan, which produces about 15 million ornamental fish per year and exports about 70% of production to the United States. This industry has grown so large now that it has attracted the support of the Federal Government. It now has a national market that collects the fish and exports them from a central location in Mexico City. It is wonderful to note that the ornamental fish industry in Mexico is also associated with the veterinary departments of the various UNAM campuses, which speaks to the health of this very successful aquaculture project. This is another case of Yucatan taking a small resource (bees, citrus trees, pumpkin seeds, ornamental fish found in cenotes, etc), taking care of that resource, and going on to become one of the premier producers in the world.

Pumpkin Seeds: Working Hard to Meet Demand

Speaking of pumpkin seeds, as of the end of 2014, one of the most important small, sustainable agricultural products of Yucatan turns out to be pumpkin seeds, which are now marketed as snacks to casinos and hotels in Las Vegas, Nevada. The six women’s groups in Chemax, Yucatan, have used a government grant to get them well on their way to a goal of being able to cultivate 100 hectares of pumpkins so that the seeds will provide a boost to their rural economy. Knowing the women’s agricultural groups in Yucatan, plenty of other projects will soon be devised to handle the rest of all those pumpkins. Chemax is the municipality that lies between Valladolid and Quintana Roo on the far eastern border of the State of Yucatan. Chemax is actually a diamond in the rough – just a short drive to most of the major tourist destinations on the Yucatan Peninsula and now billed as the location of low mountain trails for hiking, ATV activities, and motorcycle riding. To download GPS information about the Best Trails in Chemax, visit their website.

SAGARPA and Livestock in Yucatan

We often miss the fine points when we read the news in a foreign language. Recently, it was reported that SAGARPA has invested 300 million pesos in the livestock industry in Yucatan. That is incorrect. SAGARPA has invested 260 million pesos in productivity programs and 40 million pesos in other components for all of the Yucatan Peninsula. That includes Campeche, Yucatan and Quintana Roo. The productivity process programs are not just for raising cattle either. As you will remember, Yucatan has been long on raising cattle but short on slaughter houses, which causes a significant increase in costs as beef must be shipped to the north to be processed. This new SAGARPA investment is to benefit small and medium sized farmers through the incorporation of new technologies, training and funding for equipment, and money to purchase capital goods to make raising cattle more profitable. With the world population growing as it is, increases in the production of protein (specifically meats) is also growing, with Mexico standing in 7th place in world production of beef cattle and, last year, all previous export records for the exporting of Yucatan’s beef were broken. This is an opportunity this state has no intention of wasting.

By Khaki Scott

This Week… starting March 16, 2014

Yucatan Living Festival of Trova: Merida Yucatan – March 22 – 31
All the best of Yucatan’s trova groups and individuals will be in Merida this week.

Yucatan Living Mark Your Calendars for 2015
These dates are all governed by the cycles of the Sun and/or Moon and most are associated with major holidays and celebrations in Yucatan.
March 20 at 4:45 PM: Spring Equinox
March 29: Palm Sunday
April 4: Total Lunar Eclipse
April 5: Easter Sunday
June 21 at 11:38 AM: Midsummer Equinox
July 2 & 31: Blue Moon
September 23 at 3:20 PM: Fall Equinox
September 27: Super Moon
September 28: Total Lunar Eclipse
December 21 at 10:48 PM: Winter Equinox

Yucatan Living Special Photographic Exposition: Women of the Mountain March 6 – 19
Photographs by Pedro Tee, award winning Mexican photographer. These photos look beautiful and a visit here makes a great ending to a day spent at Uxmal.
Location: Salon Kabah & Lobby of Hotel Hacienda Uxmal Plantation & Museum in Uxmal, Yucatan, Mexico.
Time: During Museum hours
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Salsa for Gringos
If you are in the mood to dance, you can be certain that Anny is organizing a class just for you! Two new salsa classes are beginning in Merida. We are listing them once here, then moving them to Yucatan Living’s Ongoing Events and Classes page.

Class #1 Begins on Tuesday March 17
Location:Teatro Felipe Carrillo Puerto, Calle 60 x 57
Time: 10:30 AM Reoccurs weekly on Tuesday and Thursday
Admission: $400 pesos per month

Class #2 Begins on Wednesday March 18
Location: Liberdanza Dance Studio, Calle 24 #95-A x 13 y 15 in Chuburna de Hidalgo, Merida, Yucatan
Time: 7:00 PM Reoccurs weekly on Monday and Wednesday
Admission: $350 pesos per month
For More Information: call Anny at 923-3736 or (999) 125-0466 or e-mail: animex [at] prodigy [dot] net [dot] mx

Monday (Lunes) March 16, 2015

Yucatan Living National Holiday
It is Benito Juarez’s birthday today. Benito Juarez was the first Mexican president who was of indigenous origin… and the last. He is almost universally revered in Mexico.

Tuesday (Martes) March 17, 2015

Yucatan Living Film Forum: Screening of “Leaving No Footprint”
(Mexico 2000). Director: Maria Novaro. Starring: Aitana Sanchez-Gijon, Tiare Scanda, Jesus Ochoa, Martin Altomaro, Jose Sefami and Silverio Placios. This film won Best Latin-American film at the 2001 Sundance Film Festival, plus awards for the best aerial photography and special effects. Synopsis: Aurelia, a single mother, who works as a make-up artist in Ciudad Juarez, is determined to change the fate of her children. Ana is an international trafficker of pre-Hispanic art who is fleeing a policeman who is obsessed with her, and requests that Aurelia helps her by transporting the stolen art in her car.
Location: Centro Cultural Jose Marti / Parque de Las Americas
Time: 8:00 PM Tuesday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living The International String Quartet
This much-loved group features excellent musicians from all over the world. Don’t miss at least one of these performances! Elgar – String Quartet in E minor Op. 83 and Haydn – String Quartet in D minor Op. 76 No. 2.
Location: Hacienda Xcanatun
Time: 8:00 PM Tuesday
Admission: $200 pesos. Call for reservation 930-2140.

Yucatan Living Tuesday of Trova: Trio Ensueño
The Trio of Dreams is one of the signature trova trios in the State of Yucatan.
Location: Auditorium of the Olimpo, Calle 62 x 61
Time: 8:30 PM Tuesday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Movie: My Life in Pink
(France 1997) Ludovic is a transgender girl who is coming out. She talks of marrying her neighbor’s son and can not understand why everyone is so surprised about it. Her family and neighbors struggle with her actions. In French with Spanish subtitles.
Location: Cairo Cinema, Calle 20 #98A x 15 y 17, Colonia Itzimná
Time: 9:00 PM Tuesday
Admission: Free

 

Wednesday (Miercoles) March 18, 2015

Yucatan Living Movie: Twenty Feet From Stardom
(USA 2013) This is a tribute to the background singers, who are on stage, but are secondary compared to the famous singers they support. Their voices provide harmony to the best bands in popular music. In English.
Location: LA 68, Calle 68 at Calle 55, centro of Merida
Time: 6:00 PM Wednesday
Admission: $35 pesos, $15 pesos students

Yucatan Living The International String Quartet
This much-loved group features excellent musicians from all over the world. Don’t miss at least one of these performances! Elgar: String Quartet in E minor Op. 83 and Hayden: String Quartet in D minor Op. 76 No. 2.
Location: Hacienda Xcanatun on the road to Progreso
Time: 8:00 PM Wednesday
Admission: $200 pesos. Call for reservations 930-2140.

Yucatan Living Movie: Life Itself
(USA 2014) Documentary about the life of Roger Ebert, one of the most influential film critics in the United States of all time, died in 2012. Ebert wrote most of his life for the Chicago Sun-Times, published numerous books on cinema and was the first critic who received a Pulitzer Prize for his movie reviews. In English with Spanish subtitles.
Location: LA 68, Calle 68 at Calle 55, centro of Merida
Time: 9:00 PM Wednesday
Admission: $35 pesos, $15 pesos students

 

Thursday (Jueves) March 19, 2015

Yucatan Living Movie: Back to Nadia
(Spain 2011) Nadia was an 11-year-old girl In the Taliban Afghanistan. To be able to survive, Nadia had to dress up as a boy. She did that over the next 11 years; until 4 years ago, when an NGO took her out of the country and she was established in Cataluña, Spain as a woman. Last summer, Nadia went back to her country for the first time and the cameras joined her. In Persian with Spanish subtitles.
Location: LA 68, Calle 68 at Calle 55, centro of Merida
Time: 6:00 PM Thursday
Admission: $35 pesos, $15 pesos students

Yucatan Living Classic Movie: Queen Cristina
(United States 1933). Director: Rouben Mamoulian. Starring: Greta Garbo and John Gilbert. Synopsis: Set in 17th century Sweden. During the 30 Years War (1618 – 1648) Sweden’s King Gustabo Adolfo died in battle, leaving his infant daughter, Cristina, with all of the problems and responsibilities of the throne. When she grows up, she is under pressure to marry Prince Carlos Gustavo, a national hero. However, Cristina has fallen in love with Don Antonio, Count of Pimentel and Ambassador of the King of Spain to Sweden.
Location: Videosala of the Olimpo, Calle 62 x 61
Time: 7:00 PM Thursday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Public Safety Lecture at V.E.L.
You are cordially invited to attend a Public Safety Lecture at the Valladolid English Library. The lecture will be given by Carlos Marsh Ibarra, Director of Public Security in Valladolid.
Location: Valladolid English Library
Time: 7:00 PM Thursday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Art Opening: Gestational Spaces by Lorraine Toohey
Come enjoy this fascinating exhibit, “an exploration in drawing and sculpture of the nature and meaning of gestational space”. Food and drinks provided.
Location: Galleria la Eskalera (Calle 70 #474-B x 57, Centro Merida)
Time: 7:00 PM Thursday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Movie: The Great Beauty
(Italy 2013) Jep Gambardella has seduced his way through the lavish nightlife of Rome for decades, but after his 65th birthday and a shock from the past, Jep looks past the nightclubs and parties to find a timeless landscape of absurd, exquisite beauty.
Location: LA 68, Calle 68 at Calle 55, centro of Merida
Time: 9:00 PM Thursday
Admission: $35 pesos, $15 pesos students

 

Friday (Viernes) March 20, 2015

Yucatan Living Mamma Mia’s Donation to Chicxulub Food Bank
Mama Mia’s Pizza and Seafood Restaurant will be donating a percentage of all its sales during this event to support the Chicxulub Food Bank. If you feel the need for a great pizza, or burger or even ceviche, please drop by and give them a try. Their food is good and their offer to support the Chicxulub Food Bank is for a very worthy cause. They are fully licensed to sell alcohol AND if it is a warm day, they are also fully air-conditioned with free Wifi.
Location: oOn the street that goes to the Chicxulub pier, on the east side of the street, just before you get to the pier.
Time: 1:00 PM – Until…
Admission: Prices are affordable and part of every purchase will go to support the Chicxulub Food Bank

Yucatan Living Movie: David Wants to Fly
(Germany 2010 ) In search of enlightenment young David follows his idol David Lynch and uncovers the billion-dollar industry behind Transcendental Meditation. In English with Spanish subtitles.
Location: LA 68, Calle 68 at Calle 55, centro of Merida
Time: 6:00 PM Friday
Admission: $35 pesos, $15 pesos students

Yucatan Living Movie: Life Begins Today
(Spain 2010). Director: Laura Mana. Starring: Pilar Bardem, Rosa Maria Sarda, and Mariana Cordero. Synopsis: A group of elderly people attend a course in sex, which tries to help them understand that their body is still alive. This is an adults only film.
Location: Videosala of the Olimpo, Calle 62 x 61
Time: 7:00 PM Friday
Admission: Free This is an Adults Only film.

Yucatan Living Exhibition: FACES
This event is an exhibition of Alison Palmer’s Masks and Photographs. Some of the masks made by students in the February mask-making workshop will also be shown. Music will be by Steve Katz of Blood, Sweat & Tears.
Location: SoHo Galleries, Calle 60 # 400-A x 41 y 43
Time: 7:00 PM
Admission: Free, with selected pieces for sale

Yucatan Living Movie: Stella Cadente
(Spain 2014) The film narrates the brief reign of Amadeo of Savoy in Spain , who in 1870 tried to tidy up and modernize the country which was ungovernable. The king was misunderstood abroad and quickly took refuge inside his palace. Outside his palace, the country was collapsing, and within it, he plays his court games with love, pleasure, beauty and melancholy. In Spanish with English subtitles.
Location: LA 68, Calle 68 at Calle 55, centro of Merida
Time: 9:00 PM Friday
Admission: $35 pesos, $15 pesos students

Yucatan Living Movie: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
(US 2013) When his job along with that of his co-worker are threatened, Walter takes action in the real world embarking on a global journey that turns into an adventure more extraordinary than anything he could have ever imagined. In English with Spanish subtitles.
Location: Cairo Cinema, Calle 20 #98A x 15 y 17, Colonia Itzimná
Time: 9:00 PM Friday
Admission: Free

 

Saturday (Sabado) March 21, 2015

Yucatan Living Merida English Library Saturday Lecture Series
You are cordially invited to come to MEL to hear an update, from Jack Robinson, on the effort to transform a large tract of vacant land in central Merida into Gran Parque la Plancha.
Location: Merida English Library, Calle 53 x 68
Time: 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM Saturday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Movie: Waste Land
(USA 2010) An uplifting feature documentary highlighting the transformative power of art and the beauty of the human spirit. In English with Spanish subtitles.
Location: LA 68, Calle 68 at Calle 55, centro of Merida
Time: 6:00 PM Saturday
Admission: $35 pesos, $15 pesos students

Yucatan Living Fundraiser for AANY: A Taste of French Food Under the Stars
This event is a fund-raising hors d’oeuvres and cocktails party to benefit AANY (Artistas y Artesanos Nuevos de Yucatan). We do hope that everyone is able to attend.
Location: Calle 62 #367, x 43 y 45 Merida, Colonia Centro
Time: 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM Saturday
Admission: 190 pesos per person, 350 pesos per couple (in advance) + 10 pesos for late admission at the door. Contact Anne-Marie at mayee42 [at] gmail [dot] com for more information and reservations.

Yucatan Living Movie: Good Herbs
(Mexico 2010). Director: Maria Novaro. Starring: Ofelia Medina and Ana Ofelia Murguia. Synopsis. Dalia is separated from her husband and lives with her infant son Cosmo. She works at an alternative radio station and receives financial assistance from her father. Her mother is an ethnobotany biologist who works in UNAM’s Botanical Garden. Maria’s life changes when she has to deal with her mother’s premature Alzheimer’s disease. Good Herbs is a story about the chemistry of the brain, the chemistry of plants, and human emotions. Probably in Spanish.
Location: Videosala of the Olimpo, Calle 62 x 61
Time: 7:00 PM Saturday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Performance: The String Quartet in the Classical Period
This is a performance by the International String Quartet of Yucatan
Location: Canton Palace, On Montejo
Time: 8:00 PM Saturday
Admission: General: $50 pesos, Students and INAPAM: $25 pesos

Yucatan Living Ballet of the City of Merida: Suite de El Corsario
This is a love story between a pirate and a slave. 40 dancers will be on stage. This program was first presented in the Paris Opera in 1856.
Location: Teatro Armando Manzanero, Calle 62 x 61
Time: 8:30 PM Saturday
Admission: Tickets available at the box office. Purchase yours early!

Yucatan Living Movie: Great Expectations
(USA 1998) A Modernization of Charles Dickens classic story finds the hapless Finn as a painter in New York pursuing his unrequited and haughty childhood love. In English.
Location: Cairo Cinema, Calle 20 #98A x 15 y 17, Colonia Itzimná
Time: 9:00 PM Saturday
Admission: $35 pesos

Yucatan Living Movie: Last Days Here
(USA 2011) Bobby Liebling was the charismatic singer of 70′s hard-rockers and doom pioneers, Pentagram. Today dying in his father’s basement smoking crack and heroin, a zombie with overwhelming sores and skin mottling, toothless and disjointed infections, he flirts with death daily. The film begins with the encounter between Liebling and Sean “Pellet” Pelletier, friend and manager who will try to revive the career of the late metal myth. In English with Spanish subtitles.
Location: LA 68, Calle 68 at Calle 55, centro of Merida
Time: 9:00 PM Saturday
Admission: $35 pesos, $15 pesos students

Sunday (Domingo), March 22, 2015

Yucatan Living Documentary: The Amazing Earth
Explore oceans and mountains to understand the catastrophic past and violent present of our planet. Did you know that the summit of Mount Everest was once part of the ocean floor? This documentary answers this and other questions about our amazing planet.
Location: Museum of Natural History, Calle 59 Next to the Zoo
Time: 12:00 PM Sunday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Symphony Orchestra of Yucatan (OSY) in March
Visit the Czech Republic through music. From the land of the Bohemian, the orchestra presents the music, legends and landscape of the Czech Republic. Concerto for Violin by Dvorak is in the repertoire for violin and is composed of three movements, composed in 1883, and was first presented in Prague. On this occasion, it will be played by the Portuguese violinist Emanuel Salvador who is part of the Orchestra of North Portugal. Don’t forget… this month the performances are NOT at the Peon Contreras.
Location: Teatro Armando Manzanero, Calle 62 x 61
Time: 12:00 PM Sunday
Admission: Tickets available at the box office

Yucatan Living Chamber Sundays: The String Quartet in the Classical Period
This is a performance by the International String Quartet of Yucatan.
Location: Auditorium of the Olimpo, Calle 62 x 61
Time: 6:00 PM
Admission: General: $50 pesos, Students and INAPAM: $25 pesos

Yucatan Living Movie: Enemy
(Canada 2013) A man seeks out his exact look-alike after spotting him in a movie. In English with Spanish subtitles.
Location: Cairo Cinema, Calle 20 #98A x 15 y 17, Colonia Itzimná
Time: 9:00 PM Sunday
Admission: Free

 

Monday (Lunes) March 23, 2015

Yucatan Living The Choir of the City of Merida: Gloria, Gloria
As we draw closer to the end of Lent, look for many more of these wonderful performances at churches throughout Yucatan.
Location: Iglesia de San Juan, Merida
Time: 8:00 PM Monday
Admission: Free

 

Coming Soon

Yucatan Living Symphony Orchestra of Yucatan (OSY) in March
Note that performances of OSY in March will take place at Teatro Manzanero on Sunday, March 1st. During the month of March there will be NO Friday performances, thus /tickets/seating may be limited.
Sunday, March 22: Del Clasicismo al Romanticismo – Beethoven, Tchaikovsky and Liszt

Yucatan Living Muelle Market-Bazar del Muelle
First and Third Thursdays in February and March 2015. Local and Foreign Artisans Market: to benefit the Chicxulub Food Bank. Attractions include Slow Food Market Vendors, Jewelry by Jorge, Carvings by Martine, Olga Cuevas: Clothing Designer, Mano de Nano (aka Naomi Murphy): homemade mustard, salad dressing, marinades, granola, meat rubs, baked goods, and a variety of pickles, Anita’s Salchichones (German Sausage) and many many more !!!
Location: D’Mar Salon de Eventos, Calle 28x21y23, Chicxulub Puerto
Time: 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Admission: Free to shoppers. Vendors contact for more information.
More Information: Call Nola (English): (999) 109-6319 or e-mail: muellemarket [at] gmail [dot] com or keep up with new announcements on the Muelle Market-Bazar del Muelle Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/MuelleMarket

Yucatan Living Yucadanz: Monthly Contra Dance in Merida
When is a square dance not square? You’re just going to love this new dance in town. Contra dance is a community “barn dance”, where everyone socializes and dances with everyone else. We love their energy and hope that everyone will give contra dance a whirl. Everyone is welcome!
Location: Tumaka’t Dance Studio, Calle 51 #475-A x 52 y 54 (blue building, middle of block), Centro
Time: Beginner Class: 7:15 PM in English and Spanish, Contra dance: 8:00 PM – 10:30 PM
Admission: Bring your own refreshments and water, no alcohol at the dance. $50-$100 pesos donation requested. Proceeds benefit Tumaka’t, a nonprofit arts group, and to establish a fund for live music. Read this great page on the Yucadanz website!
Additional Scheduled Meetings: Saturday, March 28 and Saturday, April 11

Yucatan LivingThe International String Quartet
This much-loved group features excellent musicians from all over the world. Don’t miss at least one of these performances!

26 March: in a Centro church, Location to be announced – $200 pesos
Corelli – Concerto Grosso No. 8
Purcell – Chaconne
Albinoni – Concerto Grosso No. 1
Mozart – String Quartet

16 April: Hacienda Xcanatun – $200 pesos. Call for reservation 930-2140. 8 PM performance.
Mozart – String Quartet No. 21 in D Major, K575 – OR – Tansman – String Quartet No. 3, Smetana – Quartet in E minor ‘From My Life’

21 May: Hacienda Xcanatun – $200 pesos. Call for reservation 930-2140.
8 PM performance. Program to be announced

18 June: Hacienda Xcanatun – $200 pesos. Call for reservation 930-2140. 8 PM performance.
Gliere – Quartet in A Major Op 2 and Shostakovitch – Quartet No. 2

“The String Quartet in the Romantic Period”
20 June : Palacio Canton y Museo de Antropologia de Yucatan – 2 PM performance
20 June : Centro Cultural de Merida Olimpo – 6 PM performance

Yucatan Living Tournament: Yucatan Polo Open – Saturday and Sunday, May 2 and 3
This tournament will be the last of the 2014/15 season. The host, of course, will be the Yucatan Polo Club. Players from throughout Mexico and from abroad will be participating and this will be the highest level of competition in the history of the club. In addition to polo, there will be several excellent restaurants on hand, a mixed drinks bar, wine tasting and beer. For entertainment, they will have a DJ, a fashion show and, on Sunday, a ladies hat competition. As always, entry is free.
Location: at the Yucatan Polo Club. However, they have a new road that reduces travel time from the Periferico by eight or nine minutes so, if you would like to attend, do be sure and look at the map on the Yucatan Polo Club http://www.yucatanpoloclub.com/ website.
Time: 4:00 PM on Saturday and on Sunday
Admission: Free
For More Information: Call Ralf at (999) 127-2394 or e-mail ralf [at] leszinski [dot] com

Have an event you want to promote? Email us at info [at] yucatanliving [dot] com and we’ll be happy to list it in our Events listing and our Month-at-a-Glance Calendar

By Working Gringos

YL: Were you ever professional employed as a chef or in the food business before you came to Merida?
David Sterling: In the late ’70s I worked part time on a very low rung of the ladder (pantry) at a French restaurant in Southfield, Michigan. I did that to support myself while pursuing a MFA in design from Cranbrook Academy of Art. In just two years, I developed a loathing for hands-on work in the restaurant business and never went back. However, I did take my skills and apply them to my own little catering company, serving friends and acquaintances, which I operated casually for a couple of years after graduate school. Later, in my design and marketing business in New York, many of our clients were in the food industry; we designed identity, packaging, signage, even some interior spaces for restaurants and packaged foods enterprises. While the French training I received at the David Sterling With Yucatan Cookbookrestaurant has served me well, nothing could have prepared me for the lessons to be learned in the humble kitchens of Yucatecan women.

YL: What does it mean to be part of the William and Betty Nolin Series?
David Sterling: My publisher, the University of Texas Press, would be identified as an “academic publisher” rather than a “commercial publisher”. As such, they receive grants from various non-profits to publish many of their books. Mine was lucky enough to be sponsored by William and Betty Nolin whose particular area of interest is the art, history and culture of the Western Hemisphere. Diana Kennedy’s Oaxaca al Gusto is part of the same series.

YL: Did you enjoy the process of writing a book? What was the hardest part about it for you?
David Sterling: The process of writing the book was exhilarating, if at times exhausting. I was so obsessed with it (and harried by deadlines!) that I would often – almost daily – wake up at 4 AM and start clacking away at the keyboard. And the work continued until the early evening, weekends included. It is rather like dealing with a hurricane or some other force of nature: The Book loomed ahead of me on the horizon and I really could do nothing but write and think about it, not to mention the hours of historical research and all the interviews and travel it required. And let’s not leave out the recipe testing. In light of my obsession, it might not be surprising that the hardest part of writing the book was getting to the end. I developed a major case of postpartum depression on the day I submitted the final galleys. Thankfully, I was able to commiserate with Diana Kennedy, and she told me the same thing always happens to her, and that the only remedy is just to start writing another book. And that’s exactly what I did.

YL: It seems you traveled a lot around the Yucatan Peninsula to research this book. What was your most treasured experience that you remember from those travels?
David Sterling: There are so many, but the one that leaps to mind is the scene in Tetiz where doña Sara taught me how to make merengues. The process was absolutely fascinating: Italian meringue whipped by hand – in point of fact, the hand of the family patriarch! – is piped out in tidy little domes onto crude paper-covered tables, and then baked from above merengues from Tetiz in David Sterling's Yucatan Cookbookby placing red-hot coals atop a large steel drum that covers the merengues. But it wasn’t just the process… It was being welcomed by the family, and spending time with them. They prepared almuerzo (lunch) each time I visited. Like so many of the women and families I met, they were surprised to discover that a gringo could be so interested in their food, and beyond delighted and generous to share their stories and recipes with me.

YL: OK, this is just curiosity… you say that the panucho of today “bears only a faint resemblance to its predecessor of the 1950′s”… what would a 1950′s panucho have looked like?
David Sterling: The original panucho evolved in the early 20th century as a means of making use of leftovers. By Wednesday, Monday’s frijol con puerco had been stripped of all the meat, so creative cooks puréed and strained the leftover beans to make frijol colado – which then became the filling for panuchos. The creamy purée was put into the hollow of a fresh tortilla along with a slice of boiled egg, then fried and topped with our ubiquitous pickled onions. Behold! the Primal Panucho was just that simple! I’ve only seen them still prepared this way in the market in Tixcocob. As you might imagine, they are ridiculously inexpensive. By mid-century, the panucho had become so popular that panucherías – shops that sell panuchos – had sprung up across the city and into the pueblos. Naturally, competition increased. So, the next incarnation featured meat – in this case, pavo en escabeche, turkey cooked in vinegar and black pepper with lots of white onions. The invention was surely something to lure customers away from the plain ones with just beans! It is also rare today to find that 1950s version of the panucho, although I have prepared them myself and they are fabulous! Nowadays, folks put on just about any topping: fried shrimp, octopus in its own ink, grilled chicken or relleno negro (turkey in charred chile sauce). The one constant is that tortilla base filled with frijol colado. Even the slice of boiled egg has been lost somewhere along the way.

YL: Where can this book be obtained south of the border if you don’t want to spend to have it shipped by Amazon?
David Sterling: In Mérida, they are sold at LA68 gallery as well as at Casa Catherwood. But the only place I can guarantee a steady stock is here at my cooking school, Los Dos. The best thing is to contact us directly at info [at] los-dos [dot] com to ensure someone is here to receive you – and for me to autograph your book!

YL: This book is amazingly comprehensive… you seem to have thought of everything. Now that the book is printed, is there anything you wish you had included but did not? Anything you decided to leave out?
David Sterling: I submitted a document of 250,000 words. It was whittled down to just 180,000 words for publication. Yes, a lot hit the cutting room floor. A lot of it was best left out – just too much! – although there were quite a few recipes from Valladolid that I reconstructed that I wish could have been included. During my research, I was lucky enough to chance upon a vintage cookbook dating to 1910, full of Yucatecan recipes, mostly unique to Valladolid, entitled La verdadera cocina regional. Coincidental to your question, I have just uploaded two of those “outtake” recipes to our website: Pollos en alcaparrado, a heady stew of ham, chicken and chorizo with capers, raisins, olives and almonds in white wine. And Rosquitas de almendras… something like a marzipan “doughnut cookie” with Italian meringue glaze. I will probably add more of these as time goes on, too, since all of these recipes were fascinating historically, as well as delicious.

YL: I noticed one of the reviews said they wished you would do a book like this for every region of Mexico. I have a feeling you probably couldn’t live long enough to do that. Do you have any interest or plans to do another regional cookbook?
David Sterling: Hey, I’m only 35! Well, even if that were true, there is no way one person in a single lifetime could possibly focus as intensely on each region of the country as I did for Yucatán. Furthermore, while my publisher is extremely pleased with the sales of my book, I know from my own perspective, and what I know of Mrs. Kennedy’s book on Oaxaca, that broad public interest in these regions is quite limited. The hottest selling titles right now are books that “make Mexican easy” (think “crockpot cooking”) and that is not something that interests me. So my expectations of doing another deep, comprehensive regional book and attaining some kind of commercial appeal are quite limited. I was lucky with Yucatán, since it has been on many peoples’ radar for the past several years. That said, I do have a few tricks up my sleeve, and as noted earlier, I am hard at work on another book. This one will cover more regions of the country, looking at the cuisine through a special lens and writing in much the same “ethnographic” style as I did for Yucatán. (To say any more would be giving away the show!)

YL: You mention that maybe the key essence of Yucatecan cooking is ‘smoke’, and yet I have seen press releases about NGO’s going to Maya villages, replacing traditional smoky firepits with less smoky stoves. This is done for health purposes, one of which is to avoid asthma in children. Do you think this trend will have an effect on the taste of traditional Yucatecan cuisine in the future?
David Sterling: I applaud those efforts wholeheartedly. I have spent enough time around those fires and come home permeated with smoke to understand the hazards. I have yet to see one of those stoves in use here, but I did just see what must be something similar in Michoacán. They are really quite brilliant, because they are designed in such a way as to permit smoke to touch and flavor the food, and yet to direct the smoke up and away from the cook. The ones I saw were simple affairs made essentially of mud bricks, covered tightly with more mud, with a chimney going up and out. This kept all the delicious smoke where it belonged. But for our own health, if we are going to worry about smoke, we should perhaps worry about the carcinogens that are created during the process of grilling or smoking foods in the first place. I don’t worry about it. I just ate dinner at Hartwood in Tulum, where absolutely everything is cooked in a wood burning oven or over a wood fire. I felt that I must be savoring the flavors of 1000 years ago (talk about paleo!) when everything would have been cooked that way. It was the best meal I’ve had in years. And these new stoves, at least from what I saw in Michoacán, still achieve that lovely flavor. Finally, as I mentioned in that section of the book, a kind of smokiness is imparted to foods in Yucatán in other ways, too, simply because women use well-worn pots that are covered with grease and smoke accumulated during years of duty.

YL: Your book is practically a history lesson about the Yucatan… certainly one that is easily accessible for English speakers. And it is equally a tourist guide. Have you had any government support or overtures that they may help distribute or publicize your book to help grow Yucatan tourism?
David Sterling: I am not a cynical person, and yet I am a realist and have come face to face on many occasions with local bureaucracies. (The same would surely happen beyond Mexico.) In April of 2014, I had a launch and book signing event at Hacienda Xcanatún. We invited top-level bureaucrats in several levels of the government, including Turismo. Not one of them came or sent “regret” Yucatan Cookbook by David Sterlingmessages. We had sent copies of the book to all of them in advance to entice them to come, and to “prove” the seriousness of the event and the book. Recently, I learned that the governor only received a book about a week ago through some other channel. Who knows where that first one went? Word was that he loved it, but that is the last I heard. I do believe that the promotion of Yucatán as accomplished by SECTUR and local affiliates is pretty sophisticated and slick, but it is very standard, good old “Mad Men”-style advertising. They don’t really seem to think outside the box. Yucatán has just spent time in Germany and I don’t know what other countries at tourism fairs. In my view, boxes of my books should have been there for the promotional value implicit in it.

YL: I notice you mention Sian Ka’an and lobster, and the honey from Felipe Carrillo Puerto, but those seem to be the only mention of anything from Quintana Roo. Are there any other dishes that are native from that very popular area that you did not include?
David Sterling: During the final flickers of the Caste War, Quintana Roo became a refuge for the Mayas as they scattered east to escape the onslaught; Chan Santa Cruz still plays a big role in the region. However, there were two issues with the food that I found there: (1) even when it was really typical “Maya” food, it was rarely something you couldn’t find anywhere else in the peninsula, so repetition became a problem; and (2) the closer you get to the coast, the food has become strongly influenced by modern trends. Not that I have any problem with that, but it just loses its uniqueness and appropriateness for a book about Yucatán. But look closer, too! There are at least a couple of other recipes I can think of in the book that are from Quintana Roo: the huachinango in Tulum, and also if you check out the recipe for Queso relleno, you’ll see the inclusion of a variation that uses seafood instead of pork, which I found in Playa del Carmen and cite that.

YL: What are your favorite Merida cocina económica?
David Sterling: I have enjoyed so many through the years that it seems unfair to highlight just one. Still, I do have a personal connection with “La Cocina de Mamá” on Calle 70 at Calle 67. It’s the one I featured in my chapter called “The People’s Food.” Doña Elsy is one of the most warm and loving people I’ve ever met, and she brings a great sazón to her food. Like all cocinas económicas, it serves good, basic home style food with no frills. But doña Elsy is the real attraction.

YL: To which restaurant would you send a first time tourist to taste the best “authentic” Yucatecan food?
David Sterling: Without question, Hacienda Teya. I avoid the word “authentic” in favor of “typical”, however. (Is there such a thing as “authentic meatloaf”, as just one example?) Teya is totally typical and representative of the cuisine, but most important, it is consistent. That’s the unfortunate problem with so many restaurants here… they vary radically from one visit to the next. Teya, on the other hand, never disappoints. Readers should know, too, that the hacienda has a charming, small garden of unique local plants. Allspice, guanábana, achiote, and jícara can all be seen. When I take students there I always grab an allspice leaf from the tree (Pimenta dioica) and crush it. It smells exactly like allspice, and is sometimes used in our cuisine. And if you’re lucky, you’ll see a little native deer (Mazama species) that occasionally comes fearlessly close to the gate.

YL: Congratulations on winning the Art of Eating award… what do you intend to do with the prize money?
David Sterling: Thank you, it is quite an honor, especially considering one of my culinary heroes, Harold McGee, served as one of the jurors. I have earmarked every peso of the prize for research and travel on the next book.

****
Buy David Sterling’s Yucatan: Recipes from a Culinary Adventure here from Amazon.

David Sterling’s Los Dos Cooking School.

Hacienda Teya in Merida, Yucatan.

About Harold McGee on his blog about cooking.

Diana Kennedy’s website.

The Art of Eating Award.

By Working Gringos

El Último Esfuerzo: Chapter Three

For several days, don Hermenegildo had been anxious and uneasy thinking about a conversation he had had with doña Raimunda, the wife of the licenciado don Felipe Ramos Alonzo.

They were passing the time speaking of various matters and gradually got around to the subject of the love that parents feel for their children and the joys that these bring to the domestic scene when the señora, abruptly cutting to the heart of the matter, asked her partner in the conversation:

“And you, why don’t you get married, don Hermenegildo?”

The unexpected shot fired at him, as much as the missile it discharged, was for a moment unsettling to the prudish don Hermenegildo, who felt a sea of blood rush to his face.

“Señora, I don’t marry because . . . it’s been many years since I’ve thought of those things; believe me, I know what I’m talking about.”

Chapter Three El Ultimo Esfuerzo“But why don’t you think of those things?”, doña Raimunda put forth determinedly.

“Well, I don’t think of those things . . . for various reasons; age is one of them.”

“Age! But you’re still young. How many men much older than you get married every day?”

“It’s true, and for that they’re considered out of their minds.”

“Let’s get this clear, don Hermenegildo; let’s get this clear. Those considered out of their minds are those who marry when they’re ancient, and more so when it’s with a young girl who could be their granddaughter; but you, hombre, you’re capable of knocking down a wall with one punch.”

“I wish, mi señora. My hair has already started to turn gray; believe me, I know what I’m talking about.”

“One or two gray hairs don’t mean anything; and it’s easy to see that you’re not old but on the contrary, ruddy and healthy-looking.”

At the compliment wrapped in those last words, don Hermenegildo blushed and his voice caught in his throat. This mortified him even more and, making an effort, he observed:

“But who would you have marry poor don Hermenegildo López?”

“She who wants to have a good husband, attentive, affectionate, moderate.”

Don Hermenegildo, after bowing solemnly and ceremoniously to each one of these laudatory epithets, exclaimed:

“That concept honors me exceedingly and more so coming from you; but not all women believe the same, doña Raimunda.”

“But I’m guessing that you’ve never been in love. How do you know that others don’t think the same?”

“They don’t think the same, my lady, I know what I’m talking about. I was young and I also tried to get married; but God wants me to die single as I was born, and single I must die.”

“And where do you get this idea? Why would God have wanted you not to marry?”

“I don’t know the reason why, but in whichever of my ventures, I was very unfortunate. You laugh when I complain about my luck, but it is the truth. When I was born, my mother died. What worse could have happened to me? Nothing. But something worse did happen. Shortly after that, it seemed that I would die, too, because a wet nurse could not be found to feed me. I grew up without the pleasure Chapter Three El Ultimo Esfuerzoof the maternal care enjoyed by all children. My father did not have many assets and he wanted to provide my sister and me with an education, so he put her in a school and I went to the Seminary after having acquired the basics in a co-educational school. I was beginning the study of Latin language and culture when my father died. And don’t you want to believe that I was born under a bad star? Now if only I were a lawyer! Believe me, I know what I’m talking about.”

Don Hermenegildo had forgotten the point of the conversation in order to blurt out to the señora one more time the unhappy story of his life. She, desirous of continuing their interrupted exchange or, more probably, of abandoning her guest’s lamentations, diverted him from the important telling of yet more misfortunes that had befallen him upon the death of his father, saying to him:

“But you didn’t tell me why you didn’t get around to getting married.”

“Well, I was headed there, mi señora. I was saying that I am ill-fated, and it can’t be any other way. My arrival into the world was the death of my mother.”

“Now you’re back to leaving me without knowing why you haven’t married.”

“My bad luck, doña Raimunda. My bad luck. There has not been one woman who would love me.”

“Ah! If you’re waiting for them to come looking for you . . . “

“But I have gone looking for them, and they have not been interested. And not just one, but several. Believe me, I know what I’m talking about.”

“Frankly, I cannot make sense of it. Who knows if they would have gotten along with you, if you had expressed yourself clearly? When it comes down to it, those are things that women hold close and share only with persons in whom they have great trust.”

“Great trust, doña Raimunda! How much greater than that which you are kind enough to offer me without my deserving it? God would not forgive me if I were reserved with you.”

That was where doña Raimunda wanted him and there she led him, using her skillful knack to hear what for a long time she had desired to know and don Hermenegildo had escaped revealing.

Five years earlier, her husband called upon the clerk to make some copies for him and put some papers in order. This was work that he was to perform for two hours every day, and since then he had been a frequent visitor of the señora, and he apparently continued to be as unrepentant a bachelor as he was when she met him.

Never had she heard from him a romantic memory nor had she known of anyone who had been courted by him. Aside from one or another polite gesture, not unusual for a man who prided himself on being urbane, he showed no signs of being affected when he was near a beautiful woman. So it was that with this opportunity, and when don Hermenegildo let it be known that in his youth he wanted to get married, her curiosity was increasingly piqued to know if an unhappy love affair was keeping that earlier man a confirmed bachelor. For that reason she had besieged him with any and every observation, and she now knew that, in doggedly testing the close friendship that united don Hermenegildo with the family of the señor licenciado Felipe Ramos Alonzo, the victory was hers.

And in truth, aside from the obsession he had with his pompous connections, it was doña Raimunda who heard with patience, and even with affection, the constant history of his shattered existence. Her onslaught, then, was well-aimed, and don Hermenegildo began to shake the dust from his romantic recollections buried years before in the depths of his memory.

By Working Gringos

Relaxing Pool at Casa Pocito Vacation Rental in Merida Yucatan Mexico

Peaceful Sitting Area in Casa Pocito Vacation Rental in Merida Yucatan Mexico

Full Equipped Kitchen in  Casa Pocito Vacation Rental in Merida Yucatan Mexico

Comfortable Bedroom in  Casa Pocito Vacation Rental in Merida Yucatan Mexico

Central Courtyard at Casa Pocito Vacation Rental in Merida Yucatan Mexico

 

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Luxury Everywhere at Casa Pocito Vacation Rental in Merida Yucatan Mexico

Casa Pocito’s Kitchen

Merida, now known as the Gateway to the Mayan World, is the perfect place from which to visit colonial cities, Mayan pueblos, the beaches along the Yucatan Gulf Coast and the Mayan ruins, including Uxmal and Chichen Itza, one of the New 7 Wonders of the World.

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For the price of a hotel room, this privately owned townhouse is offered as a vacation rental to those seeking privacy, unstructured days and independent adventures in travel. This is not your typical B&B or hotel experience. Casa del Pocito offers an opportunity to immerse yourself into the local culture, color and richness of this undiscovered colonial Mexican city.

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Relax and Enjoy at Casa Pocito Vacation Rental in Merida Yucatan Mexico

Spacious Living Room at Casa Pocito Vacation Rental in Merida Yucatan Mexico

 

By Working Gringos

YL: When did you move to the Yucatan and from where did you move?
Joshua: I moved to Mérida in 2007, sight unseen! One of the big reasons we choose to come to Mérida was because we discovered YucatanLiving.com and read every article we could find on the website. It was a huge inspiration to us. Like finding a super insider guide to everything. Your website got us so excited to come to Merida and see everything we had read about for ourselves.

YL: Why did you move?
Joshua: The plan was to move to Mexico for six months so that my kids and I could learn a little Spanish and skip winter. What we didn’t expect was that we would end up staying! Our first six months went by in a blink of an eye and we hadn’t seen everything yet, so we couldn’t leave! I work online so deciding to stay was an instant decision.

YL: Why did you choose the city you now live in over other places in the world?
Joshua: We chose Mérida by typing into Google “Best tropical place for Canadians to live.” The very first result we found was an old forum website called “Merida Insider” (no longer online). I made a post on there asking questions and a bunch of very helpful expats replied. I ended up talking to a couple of people on the phone and they all pointed us to Yucatan Living. After reading everything on this website, we just decided to come. It took about two months from the moment we thought about it to make the final call and move to Merida. It all happened really fast.

YL: Did you buy a house right away or rent first? Do you think you made the right decision?
Joshua: Our very first home in Merida was a beautifully done colonial about a block from la Ermita. We stayed there about six months, and then rented a house around the corner for another year or so. After that we purchased a house in Santiago (Gringo Gulch).

YL: Are you doing now what you intended to do when you moved here? If not, why not?
Joshua Gatcke at Chichen Itza in YucatanJoshua: Yes, I have been a web/interface designer for about 16 years and I continued with my clients from Canada and the US when I arrived in Mexico. I am still doing a lot of design work, but I am now teaching people how to make online businesses and training people to build effective websites locally and online.

YL: What are the most interesting things about living here for you?
Joshua: By far the best part about living in Mérida is the people. It is impossible to be lonely here. All I have to do is walk out my door and I will run into someone I know. I love how friendly everyone is and how Mérida is a decent size city with everything you need, but still feels like a small town in a lot of ways. The location is perfect – close to the beach, easy for visitors and family to get to from Cancun, and a great home–base for visiting other parts on Mexico. We love going to D.F. (Mexico City), for instance. I love all the cultural events, art, music, & crafts that are here. There is always so much to do and see.

YL: What do you absolutely love about living here?
Joshua: That is a hard question because there are so many things… one thing that sticks out is that every day is summer! Being from Canada and living somewhere without 9 months of winter has a huge impact on how I live. I spend most of my time outside every day. I love the people. I have so many great friends here and everyone is just a phone call away. It’s not like Canada where you have to make a 2 week appointment to hang out with people. I see my friends almost every day for coffee or to have something to eat.

YL: What do you miss from your “former life”?
Joshua: The biggest thing that comes up is food selection. Calgary is so multi-cultural that you can eat just about any type of food you want, whenever you want. I miss Vietnamese food with a passion! Or any type of Mediterranean food. Or real Indian food. I would kill to get some more variety in Mérida, but it’s coming along. It seems that every week I hear about a new restaurant opening up with a new concept. There are a lot more choices now then even a few years ago… so I will just be patient. Plus, nothing beats tacos el pastor or a killer pozole!

YL: What don’t you miss from your “former life”?
Joshua: I think people are more open and nice here. I don’t miss winter. I don’t miss the cost of living in Canada. I don’t miss the fast pace of life. Really, I don’t find myself yearning for home… ever.

YL: What is your favorite local food?
Joshua: Tacos el pastor, relleno negro, pozole (even though it’s not local), poc chuc, all the botanas at places like Eladios. Micheladas!

YL: What is your favorite time of year here and why?
Joshua: Whenever it’s not 45 degrees Celsius! Seriously, pretty much all the time.

YL: Where do you take guests who visit you here to show them something really special?
Joshua: Parqué de Santiago is my favourite place in the whole city. Just to hang out or eat. It’s a really special place for me. Of course I take them to the Plaza Grande. There is a great cafe there called Cafe la Cabaña that you will find me at most days. Outside of the city I usually try to bring people to at least one awesome cenote, Uxmal or another ruin and Progreso is always a crowd pleaser.

YL: The last time you went out to dinner, where did you go and why?
Joshua: I really enjoy eating in the markets etc. But I also love places like Rescoldos, La Tratto en Santa Lucia, Piedra del Agua, etc.

YL: How is the city where you live different for residents than it is for tourists?
Joshua: I think people need time to adjust here, especially in centro where there is so much traffic, buses and people. As a tourist, I think you have to be a special breed of traveler to really enjoy all that Mérida has to offer. If you are looking for “all inclusive” style vacation, don’t come here. But if you want to dig in and meet some locals, have a good time and don’t mind walking everywhere, there is a lot to enjoy. I love the colonial buildings in centro and the art displays and music. About half the people that come to Merida love it… the other half hate it. I guess it just depends on Joshua Gatcke at Chichen Itza in Yucatanwhat interest you. If you live here, you eventually learn to relax and stop expecting everything to be like home. I’m not sure I answered this question properly, but I don’t think of Merida as a place you can really know as a one-time tourist. It takes time to find all the little details that make it so special.

YL: Do you have friends from the local community or do you pretty much hang with the expat crowd?
Joshua: Both. It’s impossible not to make friends here. I think the expat crowd generally does a great job of assimilating into society. I think it would be hard for people to stick to hanging with just expats and I would be sad for them.

YL: If you are working or own a business, what is it like owning and running a business here or working here? How is it different from doing the same thing in your country of origin?
Joshua: Business in the Yucatan is a whole lot different than anywhere else. I’m not sure if I am ever going to figure that out! I have banged my head against the wall more than a few times. I find that there are very different sensibilities than I am used to working in Canada or the US.

YL: Do you find it more or less difficult to make a living here than in your country of origin?
Joshua: I work online, so the answer is no. I would be doing the exact same thing in Canada. The difference in the cost of living makes a big difference for the lifestyle that I am able to afford, and I am really grateful for that.

YL: Are your work habits different here?
Joshua: Yes! I work a lot less here than I used to back home. A lot of that has to do with the cost of living, but I have also adopted the habit of taking long lunches or coffee in the middle of the day with friends and family. I am not as wound up and stressed out. The pace of life is slower and more enjoyable. I also take more holidays. It seems that every second day is a holiday here, and who am I to argue with all of Mexico? “when in Rome” !

YL: Did you speak Spanish when you moved here? Where did you learn Spanish (if you did)? Is the language barrier a problem for you in your daily life?
Joshua: I came here with 2 Spanish words: “hola” and “cerveza”. I learned the rest here. It was a wonderful experience learning a new language as an adult. I feel like knowing Spanish really adds to my creativity. I still have a lot of learning to do!

YL: What interesting Spanish word or saying have you learned lately? What does it mean and how did you learn it?
Joshua: When someone says “gracias” to you, you can say “no hay de queso (caso), no mas de papa…” it’s a line from a famous comedian “Chaparron” (I have been told…). It’s just a funny way to say thank you. It is a play on words… hard to explain in English. Another famous saying that I really like is from Frida Kahlo… “Te amo mas que a mi propio piel…” (I love you more than my own skin), a portion of a poem by her. I am always finding romantic or beautiful sayings and quotes… they go well with all the beauty here.

YL: Are you a Mexican citizen? Do you plan to become one?
Joshua: I am not. But I would love to be… maybe if I keep studying my romantic Spanish quotes, I can find a way to be come a citizen!

YL: Have you traveled much within Mexico? If so, where and what has been your favorite location to visit? What did you see there that you liked so much?
Joshua: I am in love with D.F. (Mexico City). There is so much to see and do there! I will be going back as much as possible. There is a lot of art and culture there. Too much to write here. I recommend everyone goes there.

YL: How are you treated by Mexicans? Do you feel resented or welcome?
Joshua: I love the people here. Everyone is so nice and welcoming. I have felt a couple of times that some people maybe feel resentful of the expat community sometimes, but that is a rare case. I think people are amazing here and as a Canadian I have learned a lot about being genuine and caring from my Mexican friends.

YL: How do you feel about the economic prospects of Mexico? Of the Yucatan?
Joshua: There is so much opportunity in Mexico… this country has everything. Especially online, I feel like there is so much that hasn’t been done yet. I am very excited about the economic prospects of Mexico. I feel like there are huge business opportunities in service markets and manufacturing. There is a lot of innovation and creativity in Mexico and every day I see new opportunities. I constantly hear a lot of people grumble about how Mexico is on the brink of falling into total collapse or complaining about the economy, when in reality there is so much to be optimistic about. Mexico is doing great things and will continue.

YL: What are some changes you are hoping for in the city in which you live? Do you see any progress towards these changes?
Joshua: Mérida is growing fast! A lot of people from other parts of the country are moving here and I feel like the diversity is fantastic for the city. I think we will continue to see an expansion of services and business that are available here as the city grows.

YL: What are your plans for the future here?
Joshua: I’m not 100% sure. I would like to continue to do more personal teaching around business and design. I am working on a course right now to teach people to start their own online business. I would love to use my training as a platform for less and less client work and transition to full time teaching.

YL: What is the one most important piece of advice you would give someone buying property and/or planning a move to the Yucatan?
Joshua: Work with a local real estate agent. There are a million great deals here. I am always finding properties for amazing prices. Buy downtown. Like all major cities in Canada and the USA in the 70’s, they expand outward but then eventually contract… that is when you start seeing urban living concepts. I am seeing that happening now. The centro is slowly transforming from the ghost town of grandparents to the hip new place to be and it will pick up speed. Imagine if you wanted to own downtown in any major USA or Canadian city now! A lot of local people look at me like I am crazy when I say that… “why would anyone want to live in centro?!” they ask with a semi confused look on their faces. I just smile ;)

YL: If you could say something to all the people of Mexico, what would you say?
Joshua: Thank you from the bottom of my heart! Mexico has changed my entire outlook on life and filled my heart to the brim. Every day I wake up thankful that I have the chance to live here. Thank you for welcoming me into your world and teaching me so much. Also, thanks for tacos el pastor!

YL: Is there anything else you would like to add for our readers (people interested in or considering moving to the Yucatan, former Yucatecans, people planning to visit for an extended tour…)?
Joshua: Just come here. It’s the best choice I ever made in my entire life.

****

Joshua loves helping people turn their ideas into real business online and off. He also offers design/communication and web design training, perfect for beginners all the way to seasoned professionals. If you are interested, contact him at joshua [at] 99lime [dot] com or 999-910-7350 (Merida Cell). You can see his website at 99lime.com.

By Working Gringos

For the introduction and beginning of this story, please click this link: Intro and Chapter One of One Last Effort.

****

El Último Esfuerzo: Chapter Two

Next to the lawyer’s house, there lived a federal second lieutenant, married for a few months; next, and due west, a doctor. Then there was another building inhabited by a proprietor of rental coaches and after this, the corner store. Facing the store lived the widow to whom we referred when speaking of doña Raimunda’s gatherings, in a zaguán-style house with four windows, two of which were on the same street and two around the corner.

That corner was a meeting place every night for five or six youths who whiled away the hours conversing happily, just as likely to be seated on the bench in front of the store as standing on the sidewalk across the way, or strolling down the street one by one or two by two, and not infrequently in a group.

And just as many as not came with romantic intentions. The daughter of the carriage owner had her boyfriend. Two of the four sisters, fruit of a carpenter’s marriage, weren’t lacking theirs, either. And it is worth noting that one no less than Guadalupe, the daughter of the widow doña Prudencia, besides belonging to the most well-to-do family on the street, was like a woman, the most beautiful you could meet there.

It’s true that she was still little more than a child, but her femininity was already manifesting itself elegantly, rounding her figure and imparting to her eyes that expression they acquire as they forget childish pastimes and envision other horizons. More premature in manifesting itself, however, had been the vanity of dressing up and adorning herself, as even when she was still in school, the widow’s daughter had become scrupulous in dressing, and she would not leave for class unless she had powdered her face in front of the mirror, gracefully arranging the part of her hair that fell to the front and smoothing her dense, dark eyebrows that were arched so artistically. And in keeping with that, when she noticed that some man was watching her, she turned her face aside, smiling in spite of herself and displaying the pretty dimples that adorned her cheeks.

Doña Prudencia made her abandon her studies in light of her age and because, so they say, she had learned enough. Lupita, as she was generally called, had been in a high school of modest pretensions in which the girls were instructed in Christian doctrine, needlework, and a few more courses, enough only for the woman to learn to take care of herself, take care of her house, and acquire the knowledge necessary for life. This didn’t satisfy the good señora, and desirous of taking pains to give her daughter the best instruction, she enrolled her in a school in which were taught literature, world history, French, etc., etc.

Doña Prudencia was beside herself with satisfaction when her daughter said ma mere or something similar to her.

“And what does that mean?” she asked her the first time she heard it.
“My mother, mamá; hey! don’t you know that?”
“How can you expect me to understand that nonsense? If you don’t speak to me in Castilian . . .”

She never ceased to admire the way in which the girls of the times studied so many subjects. She herself had barely learned to read poorly and to write even more poorly. As a result, it was not unusual that upon seeing for the first time the geographic atlas she bought for her daughter, she was amazed that at such a young age, the girl was taught with such a big book.

In truth, Lupita had not learned much of anything in either of the two establishments. Not for any lack of intelligence, but because she did not study, and her mother did not try to make her do so, figuring, without a doubt, that it was the instructors’ responsibility to inspire in her the knowledge available to her only in school.

And that proved to be true. It was rare that Lupita did not figure among those who had to recite some poetry during awards ceremonies, because if her talents at the podium were not admirable, on the other hand, neither the place nor the occasion was bad for allowing one of the most beautiful ornaments of the school to show herself off to good advantage.

door in Merida YucatanAfter leaving this school, Lupita had remained at liberty to indulge her every whim at any hour of the day except for the few times she was pressed into service as her mother’s secretary. Her piano class, which was every other day, was not very demanding, and she entertained herself with the instrument at times, more setting out to learn dances or other danceable pieces than to grudgingly study the lesson. Housework is a gift from God. The maids knew that and, to some extent, so did the mother, who once in a while put in an appearance in the kitchen and scolded if some piece of clothing had gone without mending. The rest of the time, the good señora never thought of the good she could have done her daughter by getting her used to understanding domestic chores, something indispensable to the good education of a woman. And she left her to languish in perpetual idleness that allowed her to spend the dead hours falling in love with herself in the mirror, pondering in which house of a friend her age she would spend the afternoon or the next Sunday, or what is worse, gorging herself on whatever novel she could get her hands on, the more romantic, sinister, or filled with gallant adventures, the more greedily read.

Manuel, doña Prudencia’s other child, had a different life. Upon his father’s death, he insisted on going to run the plantation, and there he spent the better part of the year, becoming more dull than he already was, which was no small amount, and working for his family without neglecting in doing so the cultivation of land bordering on his mother’s land, which he bought with savings from what he working at a hacienda in Yucatanearned as manager. A worker like few others, he spent up to a month without coming to Mérida.

In the afternoon, after eating, Lupita opened the window nearest the zaguán that faced the aforementioned street, which was more densely inhabited and busier than that on the other side of the house.

In a rocking chair set in one of the doors, she seated herself with a novel in her hand and didn’t take her eyes off it except to change position, turning her beautiful bust to the street, with the intention of seeing if someone was coming. When such was the case, feigning attention to the book, she watched out of the corner of her eye to see if the passerby had noticed her and if so, with interest.

In the evenings, Asunción, the daughter of the carriage owner, used to go to converse with Lupita until the arrival of the young men on the corner, when she would return home to better attend to her own affairs, as she was at the point of finalizing an understanding between herself and a young mechanic, with whom she had celebrated some preliminaries in the doorway of her house.

Lupita, for her part, was not neglecting her own interests. At various times she leaned out the open window, played a little on the piano or seated herself in the parlor to talk with her mother when the latter had not gone to doña Raimunda’s house, and not infrequently she would go to one of the shutters facing the other street.

From this location, she could see the group on the corner. In it was Fermín Dorantes, who for her and only for her spent so much time every night waiting for the opportunity to talk with her. She could downtown scene in Merida Yucatanalso hear the voice of Luis Robles. Poor Luis! How in love he was! And he was a good boy, and very nice, although a little crazy. But Fermín had beat him out and Luis knew it. Still, it did not matter. Every night, there among the first arrivals, and very resolutely, when he saw her in the window, he approached. The poor boy! Naturally, Lupita went inside.

“Go ahead, my dear, go inside,” Luis then exclaimed. “I like the ones who make me work” and he continued his fresh remarks.

One night, she was caught off guard and while she looked unawares to one side, he approached from the opposite.

“Listen, Lupita, do you want me to throw myself down from the cathedral tower? Just so you can see how a man fractures his skull?”

And without answering him, the girl went inside because she couldn’t contain her laughter.

“Even that, my dear, just the pleasure of seeing that little mouth smile.”

And all in a loud voice, even though the neighborhood was within earshot. That Luis!

yucatantalize me foreverWhen Fermín was at the shutter talking with her, the things that happened to him! It was unbearable! He began to sneeze, to cough, to wheeze. Naturally, the conversation didn’t last long and Fermín became furious and demanding. One of these days they would kill each other. Poor Luis! The truth is, a man cannot help but be sad upon seeing another man talking with the one he loves.

Lupita had similar reflections. At times she wondered if she might like the slighted suitor as a boyfriend better than Fermín. But Fermín was a good boy, very responsible and a hard worker, and although a little gangly, not a bad guy and she liked him very much.

Luis didn’t show himself to be less enthusiastic, but it was said that he loved all women. For this reason, Lupita would have responded to him only to see if, as her boyfriend, he would dare to love another.

And he has a reputation . . . What a shame! because he is very bright and likable.

In reality, the young woman loved neither one nor the other. The two glorified her vanity about being beautiful and nothing more. Fermín arrived at that stage when Lupita was dying to hasten the time when she could lengthen her dresses and find herself old enough to flaunt and be found dazzling with her beauty. It would not be long after first having a boyfriend that she would be elevated to the status of woman, and so it happened after a prelude of only a few days. Later Luis Robles appeared on the scene, and from that time on, no one on the street other than she had two suitors. What pleasure!

By Working Gringos

Hello there! We are a responsible British couple in our 30s looking to housesit in Merida over the coming months.

We are available immediately (March 2015) and are planning on being in Merida up until November 2015. We are here in Merida volunteering and improving our Spanish.

We are happy to do short term or long term house sitting. It goes without saying that we would pay all bills during our time at the property. Happy to tend to plants/animals!

We have positive references from colleagues/previous landlords if you would like.

Please get in touch if you’d like to have a chat.
Email: margaretoleary [at] hotmail [dot] com
Phone: 999 197 25 21 or +447708548253 (Whatsapp only)

Hope to hear from you!

Maggie and Richard

By Working Gringos

Comfortable Living Room at Casa Granada Vacation Rental in Yucatan, Mexico

Living Room at Casa Granada Vacation Rental in Yucatan, Mexico

Casa Granada Vacation Rental in Yucatan, Mexico
Kitchen at Casa Granada Vacation Rental in Yucatan, Mexico

Bedroom at Casa Granada Vacation Rental in Yucatan, Mexico

Master bedroom at Casa Granada in Merida Yucatan Mexico

Master Bedroom at Casa Granada Vacation Rental in Yucatan, Mexico

Elegant Bathroom atCasa Granada Vacation Rental in Yucatan, Mexico

Sitting Area at Casa Granada Vacation Rental in Yucatan, Mexico

Refreshing Pool at Casa Granada Vacation Rental in Yucatan, Mexico

 

 

Casa Granada

Casa Granada is a two bedroom, two bath colonial vacation rental in the heart of Merida’s historic centro.

Tucked away behind a beautiful facade on Calle 62 just north of Calle 47, this Merida vacation rental is only a two block walk from Santa Ana Park, a lovely grassy city square with flamboyanes trees that bloom in the spring, shading park benches that look out to a central fountain. Many events are held in Santa Ana Park during the year, and it is the site of the Santa Ana Mercado. The mercado sells fresh fruit and vegetables, as well as sundry items, gifts and clothes. Half of the mercado is a lively food court, ringed by a handful of local cooking establishments who serve up delicious Yucatecan food daily. Just one block beyond Santa Ana is Paseo de Montejo, with all its attractions. Walk five blocks in the other direction down Calle 62, and you will find yourself in the Plaza Grande, the center of Merida.

Casa Granada is an airy, open house with the sound of water from the central courtyard fountain that can be heard in every room. The living room, dining room and kitchen are bright with skylights, open to the courtyard or enclosed with glass doors to be air conditioned for comfort.

The two spacious bedrooms look onto the back garden, where original hand-built stone walls surround an inviting swimming pool. A patio equipped with outdoor furniture is the perfect place for enjoying a coffee in the morning or dining al fresco on a tropical night. And there are plenty of those here in Merida! You are sure to enjoy them in Casa Granada.

Romantic Getaway at Casa Granada Vacation Rental in Yucatan, Mexico

The following amenities are available to guests of Casa Granada:

  • 2 bedrooms, with a king bed in the master bedroom and a full bed in the guest room
  • 100% cotton sheets
  • All linens provided
  • 2 bathrooms, one with indoor shower
  • 1 outdoor shower
  • Salt water swimming pool
  • Professionally landscaped courtyard & patio
  • Washer and drier
  • Fully-equipped kitchen with gas stove and oven
  • All rooms open to courtyards
  • Ticul stone floors, Mexican Talavera tile counters
  • Ceiling fans in every room
  • Air conditioning throughout
  • 20-foot beamed ceilings
  • Beautiful and comfortable designer furniture
  • Dining room that seats six
  • Internet connection
  • Cell phone provided with minutes included
  • Wine, flowers and breakfast food provided upon arrival
  • Bilingual property manager
  • Weekly maid service

Prices

All prices are in USD

May 1, 2014 – October 31, 2014 = $125/night; $800/wk

November 1, 2014 – December 13 = $150/night; $950/wk

December 14, 2014 – January 4, 2015 = $200/night; $1,250/wk

January 5, 2015 – March 31, 2015 = $170/night/$1,000/wk; $3,300/month

April 1, 2015 – April 30, 2015 = $140/night; $850/wk; $2,200/month

May 1, 2015 – October 31, 2015 = $135/night; $900/wk

All dates have a 4 night minimum.
Monthly rates upon request.
Rates include all utilities except electricity.

Contact

If you are interested in renting Casa Granada, please contact Delphia Lamberson at hokeholt [at] earthlink [dot] net. She will return your email promptly!

Casa Granada Vacation Rental in Merida Yucatan

Courtyard at night at Casa Granada Vacation Rental in Yucatan, Mexico

 

By Working Gringos

Name of Applicant Jacob Lieberman
Email Address jacob77 [at] inbox [dot] com
Phone Number 321-215-7176 (USA)
Type of Work Desired sales
Job Location Desired Yucatan area
Resume or Qualification Description 20+ years of sales experience
Any Additional Information B.A. in psychology

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE
Sales Representative – Redesign by Goodwill, Gilbert, AZ 2013 – Present
• Responsible for the sales of new and donated furniture, and overseeing product placement in store.
• Orders all new furniture for the store and ensures current orders are fulfilled satisfactorily.
• Verifies delivery dates, condition of shipments received and maintains quality customer support.

Travel Agent – Sunlover Travel Destinations, Melbourne, FL 2011 – 2013
• Specialized in all lodging and accommodation reservations for cruise ship packages.
• Responsible for providing accurate itineraries to customers, answered all concerns expeditiously.
• Provided cost-effective accommodation packages, maintaining a high customer satisfaction rating.

Loan Officer – Foundation Title, Melbourne, FL 2006 – 2011
• Responsible for refinancing loans and providing short-term notes for construction projects.
• Analyzed and reviewed financial / credit history, in order to make determination of final approval.
• Answered client questions on application process and policies governing approval / disapproval.

Sales Representative – Pruitts Furniture, Phoenix, AZ 2003 – 2006
• Recommended products based on customer needs and interests, and explained product features.
• Consulted with customers about prices, availability, usage, credit and contract terms, and delivery.
• Ranked in the top five for overall sales revenue in the sales department.

Store Manager – Metropolitan Mattress, Phoenix, AZ 2002 – 2003
• Ensured merchandise was inventoried, priced / displayed effectively to maximize potential for sale.
• Assisted customers in finding what they were looking for while promoting merchandise.

Store Manager – W. Simmons, Los Angles, CA 1992 – 2002
• Supervised three direct reports, monitored overall store sales and customer service performance.
• Created positive team environment and motivated employees to succeed.
• Assigned duties / responsibilities, diligently worked on promoting a strong public relations image.
• Ensured 100% resolution of all customer complaints. Recognized for managerial ability.
EDUCATION
University of the State of New York, Albany, NY, Psychology (1984)

By Working Gringos

My name is Maggie O’Leary, I’m from England and my email address is margaretoleary [at] hotmail [dot] com. My phone number is 999 197 25 21.

I am looking for work giving private English lessons, from individual classes to group lessons tailored to the student. I am happy teaching English to all ages! I am a qualified teacher (Postgraduate Certificate in Education) with 3 years experience teaching in a Primary School, and in addition I have taught English to adults and teenagers in Uruguay.

I am a dynamic and creative teacher, to be flexible with location and times in line with what suits my students.

By Khaki Scott

Green Gold Recovery On the Way

Since December, the State of Yucatan has been distributing the money necessary to clean old fields and get new crops of sisal growing. Major sisal municipalities include Acanceh, Baca, Bokobá, Cacalchén, Cansahcab, Chicxulub Pueblo, Cuzamá, Dzemul, Dzidzantún, Hocabá, Hoctún, Homún, Huhí, Hunucmá, Izamal, Kinchil, Mocochá, Motul, Muxupip, Seyé, Sinanché and Sum Hidalgo, as well as Tahmek, Tekal Venegas, Tekantó, Telchac Pueblo, Temax, Tepakán, Tetiz, Teya, Tixkokob, Tixpéual, Xocchel, Yaxkukul and Yobaín. Thousands of rural workers will see jobs return and local economies flourish. The return of this natural fabric to the international market is exceptionally good news in rural Yucatan.

Bringing Prosperity to the Rest of the Municipality of Merida

We often think of Merida, the city, and Merida, the municipality (county) interchangeably. But nothing could be farther from the way it really is. In fact, Merida (the city) is the capital of both the State of Yucatan and the Municipality of Merida. It recently became abundantly clear that many in the outlying towns and villages of the Municipality of Merida felt that they had to move to into the city in order to make a better living for their families. This phenomenon was creating pressure on Merida’s city services and depopulating the rural areas of the municipality. As it turns out, the people whose homes were in the rural areas really wanted to stay there, so a new program was begun. Now, the Municipal Government of Merida has invested in rural public works, community gardens and in the development of irrigation for grasslands so that rural families will be able to enjoy a stable and sustainable economy.

New Hostel for Cancer Kids and Families

Merida, Yucatan has recently been listed as one of the best places in Mexico with respect to the treatment of cancer. This includes the treatment of cancer in both adults and children. With advances in medical technology come changes that must be made in how treatment is delivered. This means that children with some forms of cancer are now required to remain in Merida for longer periods of time, which requires family members to also remain in Merida. Hotels are out of the question, but the Mexican Association of Aid to Children with Cancer, A.C. (Amanc) is stepping up and providing the solution. Within two months, the doors of a new hostel will open in Merida. They will serve three meals a day, and mothers can rest, bathe, wash clothes and return to the hospital on a free shuttle. Amanc serves children with cancer who are being treated in all local hospitals and provides a wide range of services, including airfare if a child needs to go to D.F. for special treatment. To learn more about Amanc, visit the Amanc website .

Cleantech Challenge Mexico 2015

This is a contest between sustainable entrepreneurial proposals. It is open to students, entrepreneurs, researchers, professions and society in general. The contest is in search of the best projects that have social, economic and environmental impact, regardless of the age or condition of the participants. Previous Cleantech Challenges have had participants as young as 13 and as old as 86, so come one, come all. Winners receive huge cash prizes, along with investment from private equity funds that have the capacity to co-invest millions.
Deadline to Apply: April 4, 2015
Regional Winner Award: May 18, 2015 in TECNIA Park Anahuac University

Yucatan Hosting IT Seminar in Florida

For the past decade, the IT industry in Yucatan has been growing at a rapid rate. Today, there are over 200 IT development companies in Yucatan and they are responsible for approximately 5,000 jobs. Yucatan already has software marketing relationships in Colombia, Peru, Brazil, and Los Angeles, California. The next three most important IT markets are Boston, San Francisco and Florida. This week, Yucatan will be hosting its first seminar in Florida, reaching out to the 30,000 companies there that are linked to technological developments, 13,000 of which work in software development. Software development leaders of global markets will also be on hand. Look for even greater accomplishments in the field of IT software development coming from Yucatan from this point forward.

Yucateca Heroine: Danilu Vales Gamboa de Rosel

This lady is the President of Asociacion Yucateca Pro Deficiente Auditivo (Ayproda), A.C., a civil organization dedicated to working with local, national and international resources for the sole purpose of improving the lives of not only deaf Yucatecos, but of their families as well. Twenty-seven years ago, this daughter of one physician and young wife of another was informed that her first-born son was deaf. This young psychiatric nurse and mother momentarily hit bottom, then rose up like a Grecian Goddess of War to travel as far as was necessary to learn as much as necessary and to meet as many specialists as necessary to bring back help for the deaf children of Yucatan and their families. She formed Ayproda, whose members are all the family members of deaf children and they slowly began to make advances. Today, Ayproda is able to serve all of the children who are born deaf in Yucatan. Programs include diagnostics, prevention, parental education, education for teachers, distance learning, rehabilitation, and audioverbal therapy. To learn more about Ayproda, visit the Ayproda website.

Davis Cup (Tennis) Elimination Round in Merida Ends in Tie

On Friday, March 6, 2015, an elimination round in the run up to the Davis Cup was played in Merida, Yucatan. It was attended by members of the Mexican Tennis Federation, as well as the International Tennis Federation. One topic that did come up was how the heat was possibly going to affect the outcome. At the present time, temperatures in Bolivia are 50 F lower than they are in Merida. Not to be discouraged, the Bolivians spent the days leading up to the matches practicing in Merida’s weather and they say the heat was not a factor for them. It is events like this that are putting Merida on the map as a preferred destination for international sporting events and that is not lost on the Departments of Tourism in Merida, in Yucatan, or in Mexico. In a cliff-hanger of a match, this Davis Cup regional match ended in a tie!

International Day of Women March 8, 2015

This year, the number of women and girls in Yucatan supercedes that of men and boys by approximately 40,000 individuals. This means that 50.71% of the population is now female, as compared to 1990, when only 48.78% of the population was female. Women vote and women often hold the purse strings, especially to household expenses, so the race is on to finally finish granting them all of the human rights due them. Even then, some say it will still be another 80 years before women’s rights are gained worldwide, but Yucatan might get there first. Look for more girls than ever before to gain access to excellent educational opportunities, as well as access to more reproductive health options. From there, the young ladies and women of Yucatan have already shown themselves to be superior in every way and we expect no less in the future.

An Amazing Walker in Cancun’s 5K for Women’s Day

Four years ago, señora Guadalupe Labrada viuda de Torreda came to Cancun to visit her children, fell in love with the city and moved to Cancun on the spot. Lupita (her nickname) loves anything that has to do with health, wellness, exercise, joy and happiness. Obviously, the Yucatan Peninsula is the place for her! Oh! Did we forget to say that Lupita was 96 years of age when she moved to Cancun? – or that she finished the Cancun 5K for Women’s Day at the age of 99? – and 3K of the Cancun 5K for Women’s Day now at 100 years of age? If Lupita can, anybody can! So get up, get out, and get busy.

Second UFO Alert Report: No UFO’s Spotted

People from 43 towns in Yucatan, Campeche, and Quintana Roo stood outside, in the middle of the night, for hours, and watched for UFO activity. Some were desperate to see alien crafts in the night sky, while others were desperate to see nothing (which is what happened). One or two individuals watching from Campeche and Quintana Roo had stories of previous sightings, as did the members of a police patrol who came out to see what was going on. Otherwise, it was an uneventful (and completely tongue-in-cheek) evening that we expect will be happily repeated soon.

By Working Gringos

Living Room at Casa Marina Vacation Rental in Merida Yucatan

Cozy Living Room for a Wonderful Vacation in Yucatan

Dining Room at Casa Marina Vacation Rental in Yucatan

Main Bedroom at Casa Marina Vacation Rental in Merida Yucatan Mexico

Guest Bedroom at Casa Marina Vacation Rental in Merida Yucatan Mexico

Bathroom at Casa Marina Vacation Rental in Merida Yucatan Mexico

Art Studio at Casa Marina Vacation Rental in Yucatan Mexico

Lush, Tropical Garden at Casa Marina Vacation Rental in Merida Yucatan Mexico

 

 

 

 

 

Casa de Los Artistas

This wonderful two-bedroom artist’s house is just one and one half blocks from Plaza Santiago, a bustling city center with a daily market, cocina economica restaurants, a fountain, children’s playground, church and open square. Every Tuesday night, Santiago comes alive with music, as a live Big Band serenades the neighborhood and the neighbors come out to dance under the stars.

Casa de Los Artistas provides a lovely space, with living quarters centered on a beautiful, intimate patio with a seating area with a marble bistro table. The back patio is planted with splendid bougainvillias, a fig tree, three orange trees, papaya, cacti… all provided with substantial shade from a copse of ramones trees. The patio is especially inviting during the heat of the day, providing a place to lie swaying in the hammock by the pool with a pina colada as the fresh catch purchased earlier from Santiago market simmers on the barbecue.

The house is furnished with many marble and ironwork tables and a mahogany bed. The bedroom and kitchen face the patios, each with French doors providing excellent cross ventilation. There is a small swimming pool for cooling off in the tropical air and a fountain that fills the patio with the sound of water.The scent of the orange trees in bloom might remind the visitor of the poetry of Garcia Lorca and maybe even forgotten corners of the gardens of the Alhambra.

From Casa de los Artistas, it is just a ten minute walk to the Plaza Grande, the José Peón Contrera Opera House, the Merida English Language Library, the Merida Centennial Zoo, multiple museums and central shopping. The house is also close to Clinica Mérida, one of Mérida’s leading hospitals.

 

 

Amenities

  • 1 double bed
  • 1 single bed
  • floor fans
  • ceiling fan
  • full kitchen
  • marble dining table
  • marble coffee tables
  • patio tables
  • patio
  • hammocks
  • WIFI
  • pool and tropical garden
  • washing machine
  • CD-radio
  • original pasta tile floors
  • A/C in master bedroom
  • iron protectores throughout

Relax in the Pool at Casa de los Artistas Vacation Rental in Yucatan

Prices

$750.00 USD per month April-November
$250.00 USD per week
$1200.00 USD per month December-March
$375.00 USD per week
Utilities and cleaning services not included

 

Casa de los Artistas  Vacation Rental in Yucatan Mexico

 

Contact

E-mail us at goldencalf [at] mindspring [dot] com

 

By Working Gringos

This Week… starting March 09, 2014

Yucatan Living Mark Your Calendars for 2015
These dates are all governed by the cycles of the Sun and/or Moon and most are associated with major holidays and celebrations in Yucatan.
March 20 at 4:45 PM: Spring Equinox
March 29: Palm Sunday
April 4: Total Lunar Eclipse
April 5: Easter Sunday
June 21 at 11:38 AM: Midsummer Equinox
July 2 & 31: Blue Moon
September 23 at 3:20 PM: Fall Equinox
September 27: Super Moon
September 28: Total Lunar Eclipse
December 21 at 10:48 PM: Winter Equinox

Yucatan Living Special Photographic Exposition: Women of the Mountain March 6 – 19
Photographs by Pedro Tee, award winning Mexican photographer. These photos look beautiful and a visit here makes a great ending to a day spent at Uxmal.
Location: Salon Kabah & Lobby of Hotel Hacienda Uxmal Plantation & Museum in Uxmal, Yucatan, Mexico.
Time: During Museum hours
Admission: Free

Monday (Lunes) March 09, 2015

Yucatan Living No Events Planned for Today… yet!

Tuesday (Martes) March 10, 2015

Yucatan LivingTuesday of Trova: Trio del Sureste
The Trio of the Southeast is one of a group of trova trios that keep this traditional music alive and relevant to the times. They are always crowd pleasers.
Location: Auditorium of the Olimpo, Calle 62 x 61
Time: 8:30 PM Tuesday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Movie: Fantastic Planet
(France 1973) This futuristic story takes place on a faraway planet where blue giants rule, and oppressed humanoids rebel against the machine-like leaders. In French with Spanish subtitles.
Location: Cairo Cinema, Calle 20 #98A x 15 y 17, Colonia Itzimná
Time: 9:00 PM Tuesday
Admission: Free

 

Wednesday (Miercoles) March 11, 2015

Yucatan Living Ceremony in a Sacred Mayan Cave
Join Astrea and a local cave guardian in exploring one of Yucatan’s sacred caves, and participate in a ceremony there. Reserve your spot now by emailing mundoastrea [at] gmail [dot] com or call/WhatsApp 999-357-9172.
Location: Meeting places in Merida and Progreso.
Time: 9:00 AM in Progreso, 9:30 AM in Merida. Return by 5:00 PM
Admission: $450 pesos. $100 pesos for lunch following ceremony, provided by local villagers.

Yucatan Living Movie: El General
( Mexico 2009) Past and present collide when the filmmaker Natalia Almada gets some recordings of his great-grandfather Plutarco Elias Calles , a revolutionary general who became president of Mexico in 1924 . In Spanish.
Location: LA 68, Calle 68 at Calle 55, centro of Merida
Time: 6:00 PM Wednesday
Admission: $35 pesos, $15 pesos students

Yucatan Living Contemporary Dance: Good Intentions at 01:19:00
This is the work of Argentinean choreographer Luis Biasotto. It is an international award winning production.
Location: Auditorium of the Olimpo, Calle 62 x 61
Time: 8:00 PM Wednesday
Admission: $50 pesos General, $25 pesos students and INAPAM

Yucatan Living Movie: Heli
(Mexico 2013) Heli must try and protect his young family when his 12-year-old sister inadvertently involves them in the brutal drug world. He must battle against the drug cartel that have been angered as well as the corrupt police force. In Spanish.
Location: LA 68, Calle 68 at Calle 55, centro of Merida
Time: 9:00 PM Wednesday
Admission: $35 pesos, $15 pesos students

 

Thursday (Jueves) March 12, 2015

Yucatan Living International T’oh Festival Kickoff
The next amazing T’oh Bird Festival will kickoff at a conference today.
Location: Universidad Marista de Merida, Auditorio Vicente Victoria Herrera FMS
Time: 10:00 AM
Admission: Free. More information at www.festivalavesyucatan.com

Yucatan Living Movie: Club Sandwich
(Mexico 2013) Hector and his young mother Paloma go on holiday. Out of season their hotel is deserted. In Spanish with English subtitles.
Location: LA 68, Calle 68 at Calle 55, centro of Merida
Time: 6:00 PM Thursday
Admission: $35 pesos, $15 pesos students

Yucatan Living Contemporary Dance: Good Intentions at 01:19:00
This is the work of Argentinean choreographer Luis Biasotto. It is an international award winning production.
Location: Auditorium of the Olimpo, Calle 62 x 61
Time: 8:00 PM Thursday
Admission: $50 pesos General, $25 pesos students and INAPAM

Yucatan Living Movie: Trance
(UK 2013) An art auctioneer who has become mixed up with a group of criminals partners with a hypnotherapist in order to recover a lost painting. In English with Spanish subtitles.
Location: Cairo Cinema, Calle 20 #98A x 15 y 17, Colonia Itzimná
Time: 9:00 PM Thursday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Movie: Life Itself
(USA 2014) Documentary about the life of Roger Ebert, one of the most influential film critics in the United States of all time, died in 2012. Ebert wrote most of his life for the Chicago Sun-Times, published numerous books on cinema and was the first critic who received a Pulitzer Prize for his movie reviews. In English with Spanish subtitles.
Location: LA 68, Calle 68 at Calle 55, centro of Merida
Time: 9:00 PM Thursday
Admission: $35 pesos, $15 pesos students

 

Friday (Viernes) March 13, 2015

Yucatan Living Fourth Annual Festival Alas de Yucatán (Wings of Yucatan) 2015
The headline proclaims that Sisal is “Decorated with Wings” during this fourth annual festival. While many associate Sisal only with flamingos, we are learning that Sisal is far more than that because of its proximity to lush mangroves. Activities available this year will include: Bird watching, cycling, walking in the swamp, craft workshops, Mayan ceremonies and even Cuban music and other Latin rhythms. Specialists in all of the areas of natural resources of the area, including ornithology, will be on hand to answer questions, as well as will be residents of Sisal and its neighboring areas. This is a great chance to see Sisal as you have never seen it before.
Location: Former City Hall in Sisal
Time: 9:00 AM to 12:30 PM
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Movie: The Bastards
(Mexico, 2008). Director: Amat Escalante. Starring Kenny Johnston, Jesús Moisés Rodríguez, Rubén Sosa and Nina Zavarín. Fausto and Jesus, two undocumented Mexicans living in Los Angeles, are hired to carry out the well-paying job of killing a woman. This movie examines why different people, all in the same circumstances, behave so differently. In Spanish with English subtitles.
Location: LA 68, Calle 68 at Calle 55, centro of Merida
Time: 6:00 PM Friday
Admission: $35 pesos, $15 pesos students

Yucatan Living Concert: Rock and Blues
The Merida English Library presents its Music in the Gardens concert series. This concert features Steve Katz, formerly of Blood, Sweat & Tears, on guitar and vocals.
Location: Merida English Library, Calle 53 between 66 and 68, Centro
Time: 7:30 PM
Admission: $100 pesos. Tickets are sold out.

Yucatan Living Gastronomic Festival from the Lombardia Region
This is the first time this has been held, so we don’t know much about it. But the owners of this restaurant have recently emigrated from Italy, so we’re sure that whatever is going on will be very authentic!
Location: La Casona Della Nonna (Calle 43 #496 x 58 y 60, Centro Merida)
Time: 7:30 PM
Admission: $230 pesos per person
Reservations Necessary: Cell: (999) 209-4205 or Whatsapp: (967) 130-9395

Yucatan Living Movie: Winter Dream
(Turkey 2013) Aydin, a retired actor, has a small hotel in Central Anatolie with his young wife Nihal, from whom he is emotionally distant, and his sister Necla suffering from her recent divorce. In winter, as snow covers the steppe, the hotel becomes their refuge but also the focus of their distresses. In Turkish with Spanish subtitles.
Location: LA 68, Calle 68 at Calle 55, centro of Merida
Time: 9:00 PM Friday
Admission: $35 pesos, $15 pesos students

 

Saturday (Sabado) March 14, 2015

Yucatan Living Merida English Library Saturday Lecture Series
Merida English Library presents Jack Robinson talking about the Gran Parque la Plancha.
Location: Merida English Library, Calle 53 x 68
Time: 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM Saturday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Night Tour to Izamal
This tour will take you to the Magical Town of Izamal, the Casa de la Fundacion (a private and beautifully renovated colonial home), and the Light and Sound show at the Izamal Convent, plus giving your support to Impulso Universitario, A.C.
Location: Begins at Impulso Universitario, Calle 62 #383 x 45 y 47, Centro. Free parking is available.
Time: 2:00 PM to 10:00 PM when the tour returns to its starting point.
Admission: $80 USD or $1,200 pesos. Deadline to register: March 6
Register at: contacto [at] impulsouniversitario [dot] org [dot] mx or call (999) 928-4727

Yucatan Living Workshop: Paper-Mache Mask Making
This workshop will be both days, Saturday & Sunday March 14 & 15
Location: SoHo Galleries (Calle 60 #400-A x 61 y 43, Centro Merida)
Time: Saturdays 1:00 PM to 6:00 PM, Sundays: 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM
More information: info [at] sohogalleriesmx [dot] com or call 928-5710
Admission: $25 USD per class

Yucatan Living Movie: Maria’s Clouds
(Germany 2014) During her visit to Sils Maria in Switzerland, Maria Ender, a veteran actor looks back to examine her life. Emotionally recalling her years of success, she longs for the time in which everyone loved and recognized her. Envy takes hold when she meets Jo-Ann, a young talent who will play the role that made her a star. In English with Spanish subtitles.
Location: LA 68, Calle 68 at Calle 55, centro of Merida
Time: 6:00 PM Saturday
Admission: $35 pesos, $15 pesos students

Yucatan Living Yucadanz: Monthly Contra Dance in Merida
When is a square dance not square? You’re just going to love this new dance in town. Contra dance is a community “barn dance”, where everyone socializes and dances with everyone else. We love their energy and hope that everyone will give contra dance a whirl. Everyone is welcome!
Location: Tumaka’t Dance Studio, Calle 51 #475-A x 52 y 54 (blue building, middle of block), Centro
Time: Beginner Class: 7:15 PM in English and Spanish, Contra dance: 8:00 PM – 10:30 PM
Admission: Bring your own refreshments and water, no alcohol at the dance. $50-$100 pesos donation requested. Proceeds benefit Tumaka’t, a nonprofit arts group, and to establish a fund for live music. Read this great page on the Yucadanz website!
More Scheduled Meetings: Saturday, March 28, Saturday, April 11

Yucatan Living Contemporary Dance: Good Intentions at 01:19:00
This is the work of Argentinean choreographer Luis Biasotto. It is an international award winning production.
Location: Auditorium of the Olimpo, Calle 62 x 61
Time: 8:00 PM Saturday
Admission: $50 pesos General, $25 pesos students and INAPAM

Yucatan Living Movie: Mr. Nobody
(Belgium 2009) A boy stands on a station platform as a train is about to leave. Should he go with his mother or stay with his father? Infinite possibilities arise from this decision. As long as he doesn’t choose, anything is possible.. In English.
Location: Cairo Cinema, Calle 20 #98A x 15 y 17, Colonia Itzimná
Time: 9:00 PM Saturday
Admission: $35 pesos

Yucatan Living Movie: Stella Cadente
(Spain 2014) Narrates the brief reign of Amadeo of Savoy in Spain , who in 1870 tried to tidy up and modernize the country ungovernable . King misunderstood abroad and quickly refuge inside: outside his palace, the country is collapsing , and within it , abandons his court games , love , pleasure , beauty and melancholy. In Spanish with English subtitles.
Location: LA 68, Calle 68 at Calle 55, centro of Merida
Time: 9:00 PM Saturday
Admission: $35 pesos, $15 pesos students

Sunday (Domingo), March 15, 2015

Yucatan Living Documentary: Six Degrees That Could Change the World
Global warming had long been a controversial topic – was it real? Was it not? Then, in 2000, scientists discovered that the ice at both poles is melting and causing a series of natural disasters.
Location: Museum of Natural History, Calle 59 Next to the Zoo
Time: 12:00 PM Sunday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Symphony Orchestra of Yucatan (OSY) in March
Visit the Czech Republic through music. From the land of the Bohemian, the orchestra presents the music, legends and landscape of the Czech Republic. Concerto for Violin by Dvorak is in the repertoire for violin and is composed of three movements, composed in 1883, and was first presented in Prague. On this occasion, it will be played by the Portuguese violinist Emanuel Salvador who is part of the Orchestra of North Portugal. Don’t forget… this month the performances are NOT at the Peon Contreras.
Location: Teatro Armando Manzanero, Calle 62 x 61
Time: 12:00 PM Sunday
Admission: Tickets available at the box office

Yucatan Living Movie: Leon : The professional
(France 1994) Mathilda, a 12-year-old girl, is reluctantly taken in by Léon, a professional assassin, after her family is murdered. Léon and Mathilda form an unusual relationship, as she becomes his protégée and learns the assassin’s trade. In French with Spanish subtitles.
Location: Cairo Cinema, Calle 20 #98A x 15 y 17, Colonia Itzimná
Time: 9:00 PM Sunday
Admission: Free

 

Monday (Lunes) March 16, 2015

Yucatan LivingNational Holiday
It is Benito Juarez’s birthday today. Benito Juarez was the first Mexican president who was of indigenous origin… and the last. He is almost universally revered in Mexico.

Coming Soon

Yucatan Living Symphony Orchestra of Yucatan (OSY) in March
Note that performances of OSY in March will take place at Teatro Manzanero on Sunday, March 1st. During the month of March there will be NO Friday performances, thus /tickets/seating may be limited.
Sunday, March 22 – Del Clasicismo al Romanticismo – Beethoven, Tchaikovsky and Liszt

Yucatan Living Muelle Market-Bazar del Muelle
First and Third Thursdays in February and March 2015. Local and Foreign Artisans Market: to benefit the Chicxulub Food Bank. Attractions include Slow Food Market Vendors, Jewelry by Jorge, Carvings by Martine, Olga Cuevas: Clothing Designer, Mano de Nano (aka Naomi Murphy): homemade mustard, salad dressing, marinades, granola, meat rubs, baked goods, and a variety of pickles, Anita’s Salchichones (German Sausage) and many many more !!!
Location: D’Mar Salon de Eventos, Calle 28x21y23, Chicxulub Puerto
Time: 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Admission: Free to shoppers. Vendors contact for more information.
More Information: Call Nola (English): (999) 109-6319 or e-mail: muellemarket [at] gmail [dot] com or keep up with new announcements on the Muelle Market-Bazar del Muelle Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/MuelleMarket

Yucatan Living Yucadanz: Monthly Contra Dance in Merida
When is a square dance not square? You’re just going to love this new dance in town. Contra dance is a community “barn dance”, where everyone socializes and dances with everyone else. We love their energy and hope that everyone will give contra dance a whirl. Everyone is welcome!
Location: Tumaka’t Dance Studio, Calle 51 #475-A x 52 y 54 (blue building, middle of block), Centro
Time: Beginner Class: 7:15 PM in English and Spanish, Contra dance: 8:00 PM – 10:30 PM
Admission: Bring your own refreshments and water, no alcohol at the dance. $50-$100 pesos donation requested. Proceeds benefit Tumaka’t, a nonprofit arts group, and to establish a fund for live music. Read this great page on the Yucadanz website!
Scheduled Meetings: Saturday, March 28 and Saturday, April 11

Yucatan Living Art Opening: Gestational Spaces by Lorraine Toohey – March 19, 2015
Come enjoy this fascinating exhibit, “an exploration in drawing and sculpture of the nature and meaning of gestational space”. Food and drinks provided.
Location: Galleria la Eskalera (Calle 70 #474-B x 57, Centro Merida)
Time: 7:00 PM
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Fundraiser for AANY: A Taste of French Food Under the Stars – Saturday March 21, 2015
This event is a fund-raising hors d’oeuvres and cocktails party to benefit AANY (Artistas y Artesanos Nuevos de Yucatan). We do hope that everyone is able to attend.
Location: Calle 62 #367 x 43 y 45 Merida, Colonia Centro
Time: 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM
Admission: 190 pesos per person, 350 pesos per couple (in advance) + 10 pesos for late admission at the door.
Contact Anne-Marie at mayee42 [at] gmail [dot] com for more information and reservations.

Yucatan LivingThe International String Quartet
This much-loved group features excellent musicians from all over the world. Don’t miss at least one of these performances!
March 18 & 19: Hacienda Xcanatun – $200 pesos. Call for reservation 930-2140. 8 PM performance.
Elgar – String Quartet in E minor Op. 83
Haydn – String Quartet in D minor Op. 76 No. 2

26 March: in a Centro church, Location to be announced – $200 pesos
Corelli – Concerto Grosso No. 8
Purcell – Chaconne
Albinoni – Concerto Grosso No. 1
Mozart – String Quartet

16 April: Hacienda Xcanatun – $200 pesos. Call for reservation 930-2140. 8 PM performance.
Mozart – String Quartet No. 21 in D Major, K575 – OR – Tansman – String Quartet No. 3
Smetana – Quartet in E minor ‘From My Life’

21 May: Hacienda Xcanatun – $200 pesos. Call for reservation 930-2140.
8 PM performance. Program to be announced

18 June: Hacienda Xcanatun – $200 pesos. Call for reservation 930-2140. 8 PM performance.
Gliere – Quartet in A Major Op 2
Shostakovitch – Quartet No. 2

Pending approval from the City of Merida:
“The String Quartet in the Classical Period”
21 March: Palacio Canton y Museo de Antropología de Yucatán – 8 PM performance
22 March: Centro Cultural de Merida Olimpo – 6 PM performance

“The String Quartet in the Romantic Period”
20 June : Palacio Canton y Museo de Antropologia de Yucatan – 2 PM performance
20 June : Centro Cultural de Merida Olimpo – 6 PM performance

Yucatan Living Symphony Orchestra of Yucatan (OSY) in March
Note: During the month of March there will be NO Friday performances, thus /tickets/seating may be limited.
Sunday, March 22 – Del Clasicismo al Romanticismo – Beethoven, Tchaikovsky and Liszt

Yucatan Living Exhibition: FACES – Friday March 20
This event is an exhibition of Alison Palmer’s Masks and Photographs. Some of the masks made by students in the February mask-making workshop will also be shown. Music will be by Steve Katz of Blood, Sweat & Tears.
Location: SoHo Galleries, Calle 60 # 400-A x 41 y 43
Time: 7:00 PM
Admission: Free, with selected pieces for sale

Yucatan Living Festival of Trova: Merida Yucatan – March 22 – 31
All the best of Yucatan’s trova groups and individuals will be in Merida this week.

Have an event you want to promote? Email us at info [at] yucatanliving [dot] com and we’ll be happy to list it in our Events listing and our Month-at-a-Glance Calendar

By Working Gringos

I am looking for a job in the Hospitality field. I am employed at a Five Star Five Diamond Resort as a switch Board Operator. I also have some concierge experience.

Contact Pamela Carrasco at eagleriver5147 [at] hotmail [dot] com“>eagleriver5147 [at] hotmail [dot] com

Professional Summary

Friendly and enthusiastic [As well as professional] with [5+] years of specialization in [Five Star Service with in the hospitality industry]. Able to learn new tasks quickly and proficient in growing key customer relationships. Represent establishment with friendly, professional demeanor at all times.

Skills

Critical Thinking
Active Listening
Social Perceptiveness
Speaking
Judgment and Decision Making
Time Management

Experience

Switch board operator: The American Club – Kohler, Wi
Transmit and receive messages, using telephones or telephone switchboards. Answer inquiries pertaining to hotel services, guest registration, and travel directions, or make recommendations regarding shopping, dining, or entertainment. Contact housekeeping or maintenance staff when guests report problems.

Mail Clerk: Advocap – Fond du Lac, WI
Stamp dates and times of receipt of incoming mail. Fold letters or circulars and insert them in envelopes. Remove from machines printed materials such as labeled articles, postmarked envelopes or tape, and folded sheets. Accept and check containers of mail or parcels from large volume mailers, couriers, and contractors. Add ink, fill paste reservoirs, and change machine ribbons when necessary. Answer inquiries regarding shipping or mailing policies. Seal or open envelopes, by hand or by using machines. Affix postage to packages or letters by hand, or stamp materials, using postage meters.

Sales: Sears – Fond du lac, WI
Answer customers’ questions about merchandise and advise customers on merchandise selection. Itemize and total customer merchandise selection at checkout counter, using cash register, and accept cash or charge card for purchases. Take inventory or examine merchandise to identify items to be reordered or replenished. Pack customer purchases in bags or cartons. Stock shelves, racks, cases, bins, and tables with new or transferred merchandise. Stamp, attach, or change price tags on merchandise, referring to price list. Receive, open, unpack and issue sales floor merchandise. Clean display cases, shelves, and aisles. Design and set up advertising signs and displays of merchandise on shelves, counters, or tables to attract customers and promote sales.

Education
Bachelor of Arts : Social Work, Marian University – Fond du Lac, WI

Community Service
Advocate for Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Victims at ASTOP, Fond du Lac WI
2009-2012

By Working Gringos

Company: Red Wing Shoes
Location: Merida, Yucatan
Position Offered: Accountant Administrator
Contact in the U.S.: Laurie Groteboer
Phone: 651 354 9095 (USA)

We prefer that all applicants apply on our website (link below) or contact me by email at: laurie [dot] groteboer [at] redwingshoes [dot] com

Job Summary
Responsible for all the finance and administrative functions within the RWSC Merida, MX garment manufacturing facility

Job Responsibilities
· Manage the daily plant accounting processes and system transactions to ensure accurate recording of materials, labor and overhead for the units that are produced in the facility
· Understand and create the reports for all transactions for VAT, IVA, IMEX, payroll and other tax related transactions.
· Purchase production supplies and trim items from suppliers to support the day to day operations
· Produce accurate and timely financial reporting. This includes monthly operating statement, balance sheet and various analysis reports.
· Complete balance sheet reconciliations.
· Create annual budget and quarterly forecasts.
· Develop a thorough knowledge of accounting software support and company IT systems Analyze system transactions errors and partner with appropriate functions to create solutions. Train plant personnel on the MOVEX system and operational transactions.
· Prepare monthly reporting of raw material at the Merida facility, as well as other sub-contractor locations in Mexico

Required Education and Experience
Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting or related degree and 5-10 years of experience; 5 years of experience in accounting and two years of experience in inventory management; or equivalent combination of education and experience.
Thorough knowledge of and experience with VAT/ IMEX tax rules, as well as accounting, budgeting and administrative skills. Excel is a must. Requires good organizational skills and the ability to multi-task. Knowledge of ERP systems a plus.
Public accounting experience and experience in an operational/Manufacturing environment are beneficial
Candidates must have appropriate work authorization for Mexico and be able to speak and write fluently in both Spanish and English.

Applicants must apply directly to our website found on this link: Merida Accountant Administrator

By Nadine Calder

Editor’s Rather Lengthy Introductory Note: After seeing a plaque in Valladolid marking the birthplace of Delio Moreno Canton, Nadine Calder began reading about this journalist, poet, novelist, playwright. While some of his poems had been translated into English, to the best of her knowledge, his two novels set in Merida had not. Neither Nadine nor this editor imagine that either of these novels would have a large audience nowadays. They represent the time in which they were written, at least as much as the place, so most contemporary readers may find the stories overly sentimental. The fact that they offer a glimpse of old Merida is the reason that Nadine was interested in translating Canton’s works, and the reason that we are interested in publishing them here for our readers.

Nadine Calder was a college English teacher, and her undergraduate degree was in Spanish. She has studied in Mexico, and therefore has some background in Spanish and Mexican literature. The translation was painstakingly slow and aided by multiple references, including Spanish-teacher friends in California.

What follows is the first chapter of the translation of Moreno Canton’s earlier novel, El Ultimo Esfuerzo (One Last Effort). Written in the third person, the story includes a variety of characters, situations, and street scenes (for example, one prominent señora takes every opportunity to mention that her home features a zaguan). A second edition was published in 1947 by the University of Yucatan, whose library made a copy for Nadine so that she could make the translation. As far as we can determine, the novel is unavailable for sale, even in Spanish. A public-domain copy of the 1896 original is on Google books, and it is available free online. If, like Nadine, you want a bound copy, you can place an order for one with the Harvard Bookstore rather than print it out yourself. Moreno Canton died in 1916, so it is our understanding that there are no copyright issues. In deference and out of respect for Nadine’s hard work, we request that these translations not be reproduced from these pages without Nadine’s permission.

So here begins our experiment. We will publish one chapter per week here in Yucatan Living, until the entire book is published on our website. We hope that our readers who are interested in the history of Merida and its literature will enjoy the fruits of Nadine’s hard work.

****

The Author

Delio Moreno Cantón was born in Valladolid, Yucatán on March 11,1863. He attended school there until the age of fourteen, when he was sent to Mérida to enroll in the Catholic High School of San Ildefonso, Delio Moreno Canton, authorwhere the Hotel Caribe is now located. He would go on to study law while writing poetry and beginning a career in journalism. He eventually wrote a thesis arguing in favor of the legalization of divorce, which was then indissoluble in Yucatán. He became a lawyer in 1890 and participated in politics, continuing to write poetry, novels, and plays. He unsuccessfully ran for governor of Yucatán as a progressive reformer in 1909 and 1911 and he died in Mexico City in 1916.

Introduction to One Last Effort

Moreno Cantón’s academic, literary, social, and political backgrounds merge in his first novel, One Last Effort (El Último Esfuerzo), which was published in 1896. An introduction to the book’s second edition in 1947 calls it an “enchanting amusement, brimming with Yucatecan, rather Meridano, humor.” It goes on to describe the book’s quixotic bachelor, don Hermenegildo López, as “a fully realized character, almost a portrait” of a type still walking the streets of Mérida half a century later.

Other characters caught up in the mischief, gossip, and ambiguities of love and marriage include doña Raimunda, the neighborhood’s self-appointed social director, doña Prudencia, widow of a plantation owner, and her daughter Lupita, and the young men vying for Lupita’s affections. There are lavish preparations for the celebration of doña Raimunda’s saint’s day and the intrigues of a political campaign. There are hopes, ambitions, and disappointments. Treating his characters with humor and affection, Moreno Cantón’s vocabulary is carefully chosen and his sentences complex as he attempts to convey the intricacies of human behavior that he so precisely observed in Merida many years ago and preserved so we could read about them today.

We hope you enjoy this window back to another time in Merida!

****

El Último Esfuerzo: Chapter One

The street is neither narrow nor wide. It can’t be said to be in the center of the city but neither is it on the outskirts. Some people who live on it enjoy some degree of social standing and as there’s no Title Page of One Last Effortshortage of young women who, in addition to being young, are beautiful, it is free of the air of desertion that reigns on many other streets since, from the early evening hours, it is visited with considerable frequency by suitors. Several are the doors that open then, allowing the houses’ interior light to pass into the street, and it is not unusual to hear the sound of a piano with which an enthusiastic student tries the patience of the neighbors.

The house of Señor Licenciado Felipe Ramos Alonzo is similar to the street: neither good nor bad. Its design is that of a zaguán, the wide central hallway that leads from double front doors all the way through to the patio, a feature much to the liking of his wife, who takes care to mention it whenever the opportunity presents itself; but the house isn’t especially graceful, with few bedrooms in addition to the parlor which, although not much different from the other rooms, boasts yellow-colored walls painted with white rosettes. The licenciado would have had wallpaper installed, but upon hearing what it would cost, he decided that it was too great a luxury for the current times, and his doña Raimunda agreed with him, even venturing the opinion that paint is better and more elegant.

The chairs were unremarkable, but the mirror, oh! The mirror was undeniably the best in the neighborhood; and it could not have been otherwise, because as the señora firmly maintained, it had cost one hundred and fifty pesos, and to a cousin of hers, she even once claimed more than two hundred.

Not many more months would pass before a piano, on a par with the mirror, would arrive to complete the furnishings, when Felipito, already twelve years old, would complete the music theory class he was studying at school upon his father’s recommendation and his solicitous mother’s insistence.

Facing the mirror, covered with gauze to protect it from fly specks, was the seating area, carpeted and composed of two pairs of rocking chairs and a sofa; but usually the only people received there were those of some importance or with whom the family was not well acquainted, as ordinarily, friendly visits took place in the doorway, spilling out onto the sidewalk to the extent that during the rainy season, passersby bad-mouthed the poor upbringing of those who thereby obliged them to step down into the muddy gutter.

Woman in YucatanAs the licenciado was usually out, doña Raimunda’s visitors were doña Prudencia, widow of a plantation owner, at times her daughter Guadalupe, one or another of the remaining neighbors, principally married women, and almost always, don Hermenegildo López, a character in his fifties, given to complaining about his misfortunes but the model of courtliness.

It was rare, upon the bells’ ringing the angelus, that good old don Hermenegildo would not show up at the end of the street in search of his seat at the traditional gathering at the house of Señor Licenciado Felipe Ramos Alonzo. It seems I can still see him coming with his tall stature, his step careful and measured, leaning on a gnarled walking stick.

Upon arriving at the doors, already wide open——although before early evening only one of the zaguán’s doors stood open——he would knock lightly to announce himself, and then entering the parlor, inquire in detail about the family, if Felipito’s health continued to be good, and about everything else that could possibly show his attentiveness. Then putting down his hat, he would take a chair and go out to seat himself irreproachably in it, without ever crossing his legs or striking a pose for which he might be accused of abandoning or forgetting the most exquisite of social graces. There he would remain until doña Raimunda should come out or one of his fellow visitors show up, his scant tuft of hair exposed to the elements, frequently killing time by smoking his holoch cigarettes, rolled in corn husk, the only ones he liked, to satisfy his modest taste for tobacco; but that did not mean he would not accept, always if it were offered, one rolled in paper or a cigar, which regularly received his praises in grateful compensation for the gift.

His suit was his everyday suit, a garment of venerable antiquity that in every one of its parts showed the faithfulness and prolonged service they had given their owner. Pants that must have once been dark-colored, threadbare and frayed on their lower edges from rubbing against his shoes, and with big, thick patches on the seat. In truth the latter could not be seen unless don Hermenegildo bent over, as ordinarily they were hidden by the tails of his frock coat, no less honorable for its age, olive-colored today but black in its better times. Such a condition would not have befallen it, however, nor its accompanying vest and pants, due to the indifference of the appreciative owner as it was essential that he, before going out, give all of them a good brushing to get rid of any stains and dust, robbing them of the already scant nap that remained on them.

This is not to say that the situation had come to the point that don Hermenegildo’s trunk would have remained empty with the absence of the suit the good gentleman habitually wore. He had one other that he conserved like gold dust for grand occasions and that was not very new, but it was certainly the best that he had. The frock coat was a bit out of style and the buttons placed at the base of the tails were different from those in front because it was not possible to find identical replacements when the originals were lost. But in any case, with the better suit or the other one, he went down the street magnanimously, bowing ceremoniously to greet everyone, an action always accompanied by uncovering his head with the subtle gesture of his tipping his hat to the person to whom the greeting was directed, earning him points for his respectability and no little credit as a courteous man.

And for good reason. He had been born unlucky relative to other matters. He was left defenseless upon the death of his father just when he was going to begin the study of Latin in the seminary in order to later acquire the title of lawyer, which would have given him an honorable profession in the arts. And he was now living in poverty, suffering from extreme scarcity which his meager salary as a court clerk could not relieve, but…

“I can’t complain,” he used to say to a certain friend to whom he repeated the same thing for the hundredth time. “You are my witness that I have nothing, that my luck couldn’t be worse, still, everyone loves me; believe me, I know what I’m talking about.”

And he spoke of his rewarding friendships and of the attentions they showered on him. When they saw him arrive at the house of señor so-and-so, the wife would ask him about his health. If it was the dinner hour, the daughters would together insist that he take part in the meal. In the home of señor someone-or-other, it was worse. Whenever they saw him pass by, they would call out, sweetly reproaching him for the fact that it had been two days since they had seen him. What! If in the most distinguished houses, the señor, the señora and the children all went completely out of their way for don Hermenegildo when he walked by, it is that they know very well that while he may be without resources, for his part he gives his all for each one of those persons.

“That’s why you see that when something has to do with señor so-and-so, there is Hermenegildo López as the one who most… well he is among gentlemen the grateful one. Believe me, I know what I’m talking about.”

****
Continue reading with Chapter Two of El Último Esfuerzo!

For those who like to follow along in Spanish, you can find the Spanish version on Google in Google Books here.

By Working Gringos

Handyman

Merida · Yucatan

Maintenance, Repair and Building Services for homeowners
in Merida, Yucatan

Service (in English!) With a Smile

Services provided include (but are not limited to..)

  • Ironwork (repair, building, painting, installation, & much more)
  • Electricity (fixtures, outlets, troubleshooting, & much more)
  • Plumbing (repairs, installations of toilets, sinks, & much more)
  • Gardens (landscaping, installing water features, & much more)
  • Painting (including impermeabilizante for roofs, & much more)
  • Air Conditioning (service, repair, installation, & much more)

Call Handyman When You Need Something Done

NO JOB IS TOO SMALL… just call us!

We have worked with many expatriates here in Merida, doing everything from building a wall to a house, fixing a faucet to fixing a fosa septica. WE even accept Mastercard and Visa!

Do You Need a Handyman?

You hire an architect to design your house, a contractor to build it. But who do you call to maintain it? To fix a problem? Who do you call to install a gate or fix an air conditioner? Who do you call when you find a leak and don’t know a plumber? Who do you call when a door sticks or a lock won’t turn? Who do you call to fix a hole in the roof or a whole lot of little things?

About Handyman

Jorge Sosa worked in the maquiladora industry in Merida for over 18 years, building and maintaining factories and businesses for US corporations in Merida. Now, he has brought his best workers to his new business, making their skills, experience and expertise available to the homeowners of Merida!

No Job is Too Small!

Call Handyman
999-920-4163
044-999-947-0944 (cel)
Or email
handyman [at] prodigy [dot] net [dot] mx

By Working Gringos

This Week… starting March 02, 2014

Yucatan Living Mark Your Calendars for 2015
These dates are all governed by the cycles of the Sun and/or Moon and most are associated with major holidays and celebrations in Yucatan.
March 20 at 4:45 PM: Spring Equinox
March 29: Palm Sunday
April 4: Total Lunar Eclipse
April 5: Easter Sunday
June 21 at 11:38 AM: Midsummer Equinox
July 2 & 31: Blue Moon
September 23 at 3:20 PM: Fall Equinox
September 27: Super Moon
September 28: Total Lunar Eclipse
December 21 at 10:48 PM: Winter Equinox

Monday (Lunes) March 02, 2015

Yucatan Living No Events Planned for Today… yet!

Tuesday (Martes) March 03, 2015

Yucatan LivingTuesday of Trova
As the annual Festival of Trova begins, try not to miss any of these performances.
Location: Auditorium of the Olimpo, Calle 62 x 61
Time: 8:30 PM Tuesday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Movie: Forbidden Zone
(USA 1980) The bizarre and musical tale of a girl who travels to another dimension through the gateway found in her family’s basement. In English with Spanish subtitles.
Location: Cairo Cinema, Calle 20 #98A x 15 y 17, Colonia Itzimná
Time: 9:00 PM Tuesday
Admission: Free

 

Wednesday (Miercoles) March 04, 2015

Yucatan LivingMovie: Cuates de Australia
(2011 Mexico) The stark landscape of a remote stretch of plains in Coahuila, Mexico is as harsh as it is spectacular. The inhabitants of Cuates in Australia – rancheros, mostly – work from dawn ‘til dusk every day to eke out their survival, as their water supply dwindles and clouds drift by yielding not a drop of rain. In Spanish.
Location: LA 68, Calle 68 at Calle 55, centro of Merida
Time: 6:00 PM Wednesday
Admission: $35 pesos, $15 pesos students

Yucatan Living Movie (Goya): Pan’s Labyrinth
(Mexico 2006) No, you should not let your children watch this movie. It is a soulful film, but due to graphic violence, lots of blood and fantastical but terrifying creatures, this film is not suitable for children under 13 years in age. This is truly an R rated film – a beautiful, imaginative fantasy yet brutal and quite violent.
Location: Recinto Rendon Peniche (Calle 42 x 44 y 46, Colonia Industrial)
Time: 8:00 PM Wednesday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Movie: Nomadak TX
(2009) A documentary that follows a globe-hopping musical due from the Basque Country in Spain. In Spanish.
Location: LA 68, Calle 68 at Calle 55, centro of Merida
Time: 9:00 PM Wednesday
Admission: $35 pesos, $15 pesos students

 

Thursday (Jueves) March 05, 2015

Yucatan Living Movie: Club Sandwich
(Mexico 2013) Hector and his young mother Paloma go on holiday. Out of season their hotel is deserted. In Spanish with English subtitles.
Location: LA 68, Calle 68 at Calle 55, centro of Merida
Time: 6:00 PM Thursday
Admission: $35 pesos, $15 pesos students

Yucatan Living Movie: A touch of Sin
(China 2013) Four independent stories set in modern China about random acts of violence. In English with Spanish subtitles.
Location: Cairo Cinema, Calle 20 #98A x 15 y 17, Colonia Itzimná
Time: 9:00 PM Thursday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Movie: Maria’s Clouds
(Germany 2014) During her visit to Sils Maria in Switzerland, Maria Ender, a veteran actor looks back to examine her life. Emotionally recalling her years of success, she longs for the time in which everyone loved and recognized her. Envy takes hold when she meets Jo-Ann, a young talent who will play the role that made her a star. In English with Spanish subtitles.
Location: LA 68, Calle 68 at Calle 55, centro of Merida
Time: 9:00 PM Thursday
Admission: $35 pesos, $15 pesos students

 

Friday (Viernes) March 06, 2015

Yucatan LivingMovie: Ilo Ilo
(China 2013) Ilo Ilo chronicles the Lim family as they adjust to their newly arrived Filipina domestic helper, Teresa, (Angeli Bayani) who has come, like many other Filipinas, in search of a better life. In English.
Location: LA 68, Calle 68 at Calle 55, centro of Merida
Time: 6:00 PM Friday
Admission: $35 pesos, $15 pesos students

Yucatan Living Movie: Her
(USA 2013) A lonely writer develops an unlikely relationship with his newly purchased operating system that’s designed to meet his every need. In English.
Location: Cairo Cinema, Calle 20 #98A x 15 y 17, Colonia Itzimná
Time: 9:00 PM Friday
Admission: $35 pesos

Yucatan Living Movie: Leviathan
(Rusia 2014) Kolya lives in a small village on the Barents Sea, north of Russia. It has a garage next to his house, where he lives with his young wife Lilia and her son Roma, from his previous marriage. The village mayor want to steal his land, his home and his workshop for their projects. In Russian with Spanish subtitles.
Location: LA 68, Calle 68 at Calle 55, centro of Merida
Time: 9:00 PM Friday
Admission: $35 pesos, $15 pesos students

 

Saturday (Sabado) March 07, 2015

Yucatan Living Merida English Library Saturday Lecture Series
“Caribbean Flamingo Conservation Success in Yucatan and Future Challenges” . Presenters from Ninos y Crias, a local non-profit, will provide fascinating facts about “our flamingos” and more.
Location: Merida English Library, Calle 53 x 68
Time: 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM Saturday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Opera at the Movies: Macbeth
Location: Sala Mayamax in Gran Museo del Mundo Maya
Time: Opera Talk: 11:30 AM, Opera Begins: 12:00 PM
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Workshop: Paper-Mache Mask Making
This workshop will be both days, Saturday & Sunday March 7 & 8. A second workshop will be held Saturday & Sunday March 14 & 15
Location: SoHo Galleries (Calle 60 #400-A x 61 y 43, Centro Merida)
Time: Saturdays 1:00 PM to 6:00 PM, Sundays: 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM
More information: info [at] sohogalleriesmx [dot] com or call 928-5710
Admission: $25 USD per class

Yucatan LivingMovie: H2O
(Mexico 2012) Mexico City grows unchecked. Before an area surrounded by lakes, now supplying water to this city is a real problem. H2Omx records shortages, waste and serious water pollution problems. In Spanish.
Location: LA 68, Calle 68 at Calle 55, centro of Merida
Time: 6:00 PM Saturday
Admission: $35 pesos, $15 pesos students

Yucatan Living Movie: The Rocky Horror Picture Show
(USA 1975) A newly engaged couple have a breakdown in an isolated area and must pay a call to the bizarre residence of Dr. Frank-N-Furter. In English.
Location: Cairo Cinema, Calle 20 #98A x 15 y 17, Colonia Itzimná
Time: 9:00 PM Saturday
Admission: $35 pesos

Yucatan Living Movie: Life Itself
(USA 2014) Documentary about the life of Roger Ebert, one of the most influential film critics in the United States of all time, died in 2012. Ebert wrote most of his life for the Chicago Sun-Times, published numerous books on cinema and was the first critic who received a Pulitzer Prize for his movie reviews. In English with Spanish subtitles.
Location: LA 68, Calle 68 at Calle 55, centro of Merida
Time: 9:00 PM Saturday
Admission: $35 pesos, $15 pesos students

Sunday (Domingo), March 08, 2015

Yucatan Living Documentary about Nature
Location: Museum of Natural History, Calle 59 Next to the Zoo
Time: 12:00 PM Sunday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Symphony Orchestra of Yucatan (OSY) in March
Concierto Didactico – Mozart, Prokofiev, Britten and Tchaikovsky. This week features a program called A la Eslava with music by Dvorak and Tchaikovsky. Don’t forget… this month the performances are NOT at the Peon Contreras.
Location: Teatro Armando Manzanero, Calle 62 x 61
Time: 12:00 PM Sunday
Admission: Tickets available at the box office

Yucatan Living Merida Music Festival
Bands included are: CopyPaste (with an added Tribute to Amy Winehouse), Los Twangs (with old fashioned Rock-n-Roll), Lanugo, Lasgori, Maydel and her Cuban Band, atcada Do Fogo (all percussion), Divas (a tribute to the rock of the 80s) and more. This is a great way to spend a lovely day at a beautiful hacienda listening to great music… don’t miss this!!
Location: Hacienda Dzibikak, Carretera Uman-Hunucma, Km. 5 C.P. 97393 Uman, Yucatan
Time: 1:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Admission: $300 pesos for general admission ($350 pesos at the door the day of), $1000 pesos for VIP tickets which include all food and drink in the Hacienda, $50 pesos for round trip bus from Hennessy’s every half hour starting at 1:00 PM. Tickets are available at several places in Merida. More info on the website. Tickets are also available at the beach by calling Jeff or Judy at 969-935-7700 or 9999-91-29-43.

Yucatan Living Movie: The Trial
(USA 1962) An unassuming office worker is arrested and stands trial, but he is never made aware of his charges.In English.
Location: Cairo Cinema, Calle 20 #98A x 15 y 17, Colonia Itzimná
Time: 9:00 PM Sunday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Ringo Starr and his All Starr Band
An icon of the music comes to Merida. Do not miss the opportunity to listen live to one of the musicians who marked an era, accompanied by some very accomplished artists in their own rights. This is a unique and unrepeatable concert not to miss.
Location:Coliseo Yucatan, on the road to Progreso
Time: 8:00 PM
Admission:from $425 pesos to $1825 pesos . Buy your tickets in advance here.

 

Monday (Lunes) March 09, 2015

Yucatan LivingNo events planned for today… yet!

Coming Soon

Yucatan Living Ceremony in a Sacred Mayan Cave: Wednesday, March 11, 2015
Join Astrea and a local cave guardian in exploring one of Yucatan’s sacred caves, and participate in a ceremony there. Reserve your spot now by emailing mundoastrea [at] gmail [dot] com or call/WhatsApp 999-357-9172.
Location: Meeting places in Merida and Progreso.
Time: 9:00 AM in Progreso, 9:30 AM in Merida. Return by 5:00 PM
Admission: $450 pesos. $100 pesos for lunch following ceremony, provided by local villagers.

Yucatan Living Concert: Rock and Blues – Friday March 13, 2015
The Merida English Library presents its Music in the Gardens concert series. This concert features Steve Katz, formerly of Blood, Sweat & Tears, on guitar and vocals.
Location: in the Garden of the Merida English Library
Time: 7:00 PM
Admission: $100 pesos. Seating limited. Beverages available.

Yucatan Living Night Tour to Izamal: Saturday – March 14
This tour will take you to the Magical Town of Izamal, the Casa de la Fundacion (a private and beautifully renovated colonial home), and the Light and Sound show at the Izamal Convent, plus giving your support to Impulso Universitario, A.C.
Location: Begins at Impulso Universitario, Calle 62 #383 x 45 y 47, Centro. Free parking is available.
Time: 2:00 PM to 10:00 PM when the tour returns to its starting point.
Admission: $80 USD or $1,200 pesos. Deadline to register: March 6
Register at: contacto [at] impulsouniversitario [dot] org [dot] mx or call (999) 928-4727

Yucatan Living Symphony Orchestra of Yucatan (OSY) in March
Note that performances of OSY in March will take place at Teatro Manzanero on Sunday, March 1st. During the month of March there will be NO Friday performances, thus /tickets/seating may be limited.
Sunday, March 8 – Concierto Didactico – Mozart, Prokofiev, Britten and Tchaikovsky
Sunday, March 15 – Republica Checa en la musica – Dvorak and Smetana
Sunday, March 22 – Del Clasicismo al Romanticismo – Beethoven, Tchaikovsky and Liszt

Yucatan Living Muelle Market-Bazar del Muelle
First and Third Thursdays in February and March 2015. Local and Foreign Artisans Market: to benefit the Chicxulub Food Bank. Attractions include Slow Food Market Vendors, Jewelry by Jorge, Carvings by Martine, Olga Cuevas: Clothing Designer, Mano de Nano (aka Naomi Murphy): homemade mustard, salad dressing, marinades, granola, meat rubs, baked goods, and a variety of pickles, Anita’s Salchichones (German Sausage) and many many more !!!
Location: D’Mar Salon de Eventos, Calle 28x21y23, Chicxulub Puerto
Time: 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Admission: Free to shoppers. Vendors contact for more information.
More Information: Call Nola (English): (999) 109-6319 or e-mail: muellemarket [at] gmail [dot] com or keep up with new announcements on the Muelle Market-Bazar del Muelle Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/MuelleMarket

Yucatan Living Yucadanz: Monthly Contra Dance in Merida
When is a square dance not square? You’re just going to love this new dance in town. Contra dance is a community “barn dance”, where everyone socializes and dances with everyone else. We love their energy and hope that everyone will give contra dance a whirl. Everyone is welcome!
Location: Tumaka’t Dance Studio, Calle 51 #475-A x 52 y 54 (blue building, middle of block), Centro
Time: Beginner Class: 7:15 PM in English and Spanish, Contra dance: 8:00 PM – 10:30 PM
Admission: Bring your own refreshments and water, no alcohol at the dance. $50-$100 pesos donation requested. Proceeds benefit Tumaka’t, a nonprofit arts group, and to establish a fund for live music. Read this great page on the Yucadanz website!
Scheduled Meetings: Saturday, March 14, Saturday, March 28, Saturday, April 11

Yucatan Living Merida English Library Saturday Lecture Series: October – March
• March 7: Merida English Library presents Xi Chocolatl: The History of Chocolate in Mexico.
• March 14: Merida English Library presents Jack Robinson talking about the Gran Parque la Plancha.
Location: Merida English Library, Calle 53 x 66 y 68, Merida centro.
Time: 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Admission: Most lectures are free, some have a nominal fee

Yucatan Living International T’oh Festival Kickoff – March 12
The next amazing T’oh Bird Festival will kickoff at a conference today.
Location: Universidad Marista de Merida, Auditorio Vicente Victoria Herrera FMS
Time: 10:00 AM
Admission: Free. More information at www.festivalavesyucatan.com

Yucatan Living Concert: Rock and Blues – Friday March 13, 2015
The Merida English Library presents its Music in the Gardens concert series. This concert features Steve Katz, formerly of Blood, Sweat & Tears, on guitar and vocals.
Location: Merida English Library, Calle 53 between 66 and 68, Centro
Time: 7:30 PM
Admission: $100 pesos. Tickets on sale now at the library. Seating limited. Beverages available.

Yucatan Living Gastronomic Festival from the Lombardia Region – Friday March 13, 2015
Location: La Casona Della Nonna (Calle 43 #496 x 58 y 60, Centro Merida)
Time: 7:30 PM
Admission: $230 pesos per person
Reservations Necessary: Cell: (999) 209-4205 or Whatsapp: (967) 130-9395

Yucatan Living Workshop: Paper-Mache Mask Making – March 14 & 15
Location: SoHo Galleries (Calle 60 #400-A x 61 y 43, Centro Merida)
Time: Saturdays 1:00 PM to 6:00 PM, Sundays: 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Admission: $25 USD per class
More information: info [at] sohogalleriesmx [dot] com or call 928-5710

Yucatan Living Art Opening: Gestational Spaces by Lorraine Toohey – March 19, 2015
Come enjoy this fascinating exhibit, “an exploration in drawing and sculpture of the nature and meaning of gestational space”. Food and drinks provided.
Location: Galleria la Eskalera (Calle 70 #474-B x 57, Centro Merida)
Time: 7:00 PM
Admission: Free

Yucatan LivingThe International String Quartet
This much-loved group features excellent musicians from all over the world. Don’t miss at least one of these performances!
18 & 19 March: Hacienda Xcanatun – $200 pesos. Call for reservation 930-2140
8pm performance
Elgar – String Quartet in E minor Op. 83
Haydn – String Quartet in D minor Op. 76 No. 2

26 March: in a Centro church, Location to be announced – $200 pesos
Corelli – Concerto Grosso No. 8
Purcell – Chaconne
Albinoni – Concerto Grosso No. 1
Mozart – String Quartet

16 April: Hacienda Xcanatun – $200 pesos. Call for reservation 930-2140
8 PM performance
Mozart – String Quartet No. 21 in D Major, K575 – OR – Tansman – String Quartet No. 3
Smetana – Quartet in E minor ‘From My Life’

21 May: Hacienda Xcanatun – $200 pesos. Call for reservation 930-2140
8 PM performance. Program to be announced

18 June: Hacienda Xcanatun – $200 pesos. Call for reservation 930-2140
8 PM performance
Gliere – Quartet in A Major Op 2
Shostakovitch – Quartet No. 2

Pending approval from the City of Merida:
“The String Quartet in the Classical Period”
21 March: Palacio Canton y Museo de Antropología de Yucatán – 8 PM performance
22 March: Centro Cultural de Merida Olimpo – 6 PM performance

“The String Quartet in the Romantic Period”
20 June : Palacio Canton y Museo de Antropologia de Yucatan – 2 PM performance
20 June : Centro Cultural de Merida Olimpo – 6 PM performance

Yucatan Living Symphony Orchestra of Yucatan (OSY) in March
Note: During the month of March there will be NO Friday performances, thus /tickets/seating may be limited.
Sunday, March 15 – Republica Checa en la musica – Dvorak and Smetana
Sunday, March 22 – Del Clasicismo al Romanticismo – Beethoven, Tchaikovsky and Liszt

Yucatan Living Exhibition: FACES – Friday March 20
This event is an exhibition of Alison Palmer’s Masks and Photographs. Some of the masks made by students in the February mask-making workshop will also be shown. Music will be by Steve Katz of Blood, Sweat & Tears.
Location: SoHo Galleries, Calle 60 # 400-A x 41 y 43
Time: 7:00 PM
Admission: Free, with selected pieces for sale

Yucatan Living Festival of Trova: Merida Yucatan – March 22 – 31
All the best of Yucatan’s trova groups and individuals will be in Merida this week.

Have an event you want to promote? Email us at info [at] yucatanliving [dot] com and we’ll be happy to list it in our Events listing and our Month-at-a-Glance Calendar

By Khaki Scott

Local Expatriate Wins Big Award!

Expatriate David Sterling runs the popular Los Dos Cooking School, one of the first places in Yucatan to offer cooking classes in the local cuisine. Since he came to Merida in 2002 (and before from New York Art of Eating best book of the year, YucatanCity), David Sterling has been researching and learning about Yucatecan food and cooking. Last year, he published a very comprehensive book about the cuisine of Yucatan, called Yucatán: Recipes from a Culinary Expedition (The William and Bettye Nowlin Series in Art, History, and Culture of the Western Hemisphere) (click on that link to order it from Amazon and support Yucatan Living…). We are happy to announce that Chef Sterling’s book today won a very prestigious award, the Art of Eating Prize for best food book of the year. You can read more about David’s book and the wonderful accolades it has received at the Art of Eating article announcing the $10,000 cash prize. Felicidades, David Sterling!

Maine University Students Absorb Mayan Culture

Programs of Cultural Immersion in Yucatan (PICY) has just held its First Yucatan Intercultural University Forum. The students who shared their experiences are from Maine. One worked with an educational project for two years. The eleven others lived with local families throughout the state, and worked on gathering data for a number of cultural studies. One student lived with the family of a midwife, another lived with a family that faces communication issues with returning migrant relatives, and another went to live with a family in the smallest village in Yucatan. At the end of the 12 weeks, they came away with a treasure trove of stories that will help intercultural relationships far into the future for everyone involved.

Italy and Yucatan Join Hands in Both Places

Things can happen fast when all of the pieces of a potential project are already in place, and that’s just what has happened between Yucatan and Italy. Between the 12th and 15th of February, Italy and Yucatan both participated in an International Tourism event in Milan. Plans were already in place to increase flights between Merida and Milan, so the necessary money for upgrades was approved and those round trip flights will begin on April 13. Yucatan has invested $400,000 Euros to support the Yucatan in Italy program in that country for 2015. The Mexican Embassy will have free guides to “20 Wonders of Yucatan,” along with a free book on colonial churches in Yucatan. In the meantime, the Italian expat community has grown to such numbers in Merida that they now have formed their own group (la Sociedad Italomexicana Dante Alighieri de la Península de Yucatán) in Merida. Opening with 60 members in Merida, they are not simply all about being Italian. This group is truly dedicated to supporting cultural exchanges and to supporting a culture that has been kind enough to make room for all of us, no matter our expat nationality. Not to be left out, the Municipality of Merida is currently conducting courses in the Italian language for tour guides and will soon be offering tours in that language. Congratulations to Italy and to Yucatan, fast developing into intercultural role models for nations around the world.

Amazing Numbers for Health Week in Yucatan

This week is the First National Health Week in Mexico and Yucatan, as usual, is leading the way in planning and organization of the delivery of 195,000 doses of vaccines to the children of Yucatan state. Vaccinations against preventable diseases, such as polio, as well as education about diarrheal diseases and respiratory infections for those who are responsible for the care of children under five years of age, are expected to bring health information and health care delivery to over 600,000 contact points this week alone. Some of us have never seen a case of diphtheria, whooping cough or tetanus. Those of us who are old enough to remember all of the diseases mentioned above know the value of a week that will change the future for an entire generation of Yucatan’s children.

Invitation to Illegal Foreigners from INM

The National Institute of Migration (INM) has opened a program that will both regularize extranjeros (foreigners) and exempt them from fines of up to $7,000 pesos. The invitation is for anyone of any nationality. The only people who cannot get their visas straight under this program are those who knowingly attempted to obtain legal immigration status fraudulently, or who are subject to criminal prosecution, or those who have been convicted of a felony. Mexico is interested in regularizing as many foreigners as possible so that they can receive basic human rights benefits that are freely available throughout the country. The program will run from now until December 18, 2015.

Twenty New Tourist Paradores Coming to Yucatan

Ecotourism is here to stay, and Yucatan will soon be home to 20 new paradores to prove it. Paradores are partially owned and/or financed tourism areas that showcase local natural resources, such as cenotes, walking or biking trails, or areas that are breeding grounds for exotic or rare animals. These areas include restaurants, perhaps small, eco-friendly hotels or hostels, and areas where local food and crafts can be purchased. As of now, we know about new paradores coming to Rio Lagartos, Homun, Tecoh and Valladolid. We should hear something about the rest soon. Funding for these projects in Yucatan will also provide a sales catalog that will be distributed throughout the tourism industry.

Progreso Breaks Cruise Passenger Record

Progreso received 7,881 visitors in one day to break all past records for daily cruise ship visitors. The two ships both belonged to Carnival Cruises and both came to Progreso from Cozumel. One of the ships was headed back to Galveston, Texas, and the other was headed home to New Orleans, Louisiana. Cruise ship tourism has been on the increase for the past six months, supported by the hard work of the current administrations of the State of Yucatan, the cities of Merida and Progreso, and the state and federal ministries of tourism.

Childhood Rate of Obesity Down 5%

Well, this is certainly good news. The rate of childhood obesity has been addressed on two fronts. First, the provision of health services for those children who already suffer from obesity. Then, attention was turned to educating families and children so that they never have to face the high blood pressure and diabetes that, all too often, comes with childhood obesity. Between both of these sets of aggressive attention, the rate of childhood obesity has fallen 5% in Yucatan. It is expected that this rate will continue to fall and will pick up speed as it does so. Information is power and Yucatecos treasure their children above everything else, so everyone hopes that continued attention to stopping childhood obesity will result in a healthy society overall. In the meantime, congratulations are surely in order for those parents who have created an environment in which their children need never fear childhood obesity in the first place.

Chichen Itza: Second Most Visited Tourism Site

As new tourism numbers continue to come in for last year, it has just been learned that Chichen Itza was the second most visited site in Mexico for 2014, even though its numbers were down by 91,542 visitors since 2013. This means that Chichen Itza recorded 2,111,875 visitors for 2014. The number of visitors to Chichen Itza, accompanied by the numbers of visitors to Teotihuacán, Monte Albán, Palenque and Uxmal, accounted for 47% of all visitors to Pre-Columbian cities. The new Chichen Itza Light and Sound Show is part of the reason for people to come and visit this Wonder of the World again and again.

Rolly Brook, Our Online Friend

Rolly Brook was 68 when he became an expat in Mexico and 83 years of age when he died just last week (February 25). By that time, Rolly Brook had shared the last 15 years of his life with expats and potential expats. He was the leading resource person for information concerning all forms of visas, as well as all forms of insurance, especially health insurance in Mexico. Rolly was a mentor to other forum administrators who watched in awe as he dealt with the difficulties of administering and monitoring a forum. … and Rolly, along with two friends, wrote “the book” on Moving to Mexico. All of us – even those of you who are only considering becoming an expat in Mexico – have lost more than we can imagine. Please take some time to go back through Rolly’s blog My Life in Mexico and read about what daily life as an expat was like for him.

Don’t Forget to Talk About the Good Things

Merida, Yucatan, Thursday, February 19, 2015. An article in SIPSE talked about a recent meeting in which we think you might be interested. The representative, in Mexico, of Safe Communities for Latin America and the Caribbean, Maria Isabel Gutierrez Martinez called for the dissemination of information concerning successful government programs, and for the preserving and improvement of successful government programs, in order to raise the quality of life for citizens.

When verifying the certification process of 21 programs in the Municipality of Merida, the Director of the Institute CISALVA, the certification center for Safe Communities for Latin America and the Caribbean, spoke of the need to show successful government programs to the world, as well as to continue talking about social conflicts.

“We have to show the good things we have, to demonstrate to the world that not only bad things happen in Mexico. We have to show the world the good things that are done in Mexico as a result of government actions, and the impact of those good things on the lives of the people who live in the communities… We must show the success stories of leadership and governance of a mayor, [leadership and governance] for his team, and also for civil society in the community where they do many good things,” she said.

The movement for safe communities – which was born in Colombia – is recognition of good deeds and the sustainability of those good deeds that are done by a government to their community. She recalled that some 350 communities in the world are part of Safer Cities, “a comprehensive security movement,” which the councilors can access electronically for free, to hear cases of successful safety programs, good governance, and budget transparency, among others.

In regard to the difference between the programs available in the Safer Cities Program vs. other cities worldwide, the Mayor of Merida, Renan Barrera Concha, acknowledged that one of the problems of municipal governments in Colombia, Mexico and the world “has been the lack of permanence of many programs that have permeated positively in society and must be reinvented or redesigned every three years.”

We are happy to hear that some of the problems have been acknowledged and that people in government are working to keep Merida and the Yucatan safe for all of us.

By Working Gringos

Since we first wrote about dentists in Merida, we have had even more dental experiences here. We have had to go beyond simple cavities and checkups, though of course, we still do those. We have developed dental problems which have resulted in everything from root canals to implants to gum surgery. And we have come to appreciate even more the increasingly professional cadre of English-speaking dentists who are available to serve all our dental needs here in Yucatan.

Root Canals and Crowns

Most dentists who discover that you need a root canal will refer you to a specialized dentist who makes it his (or increasingly here in Merida, her) business to do root canals. Something you might find a little Dental XRays in Merida Yucatandifferent here in Merida is that most of the time, your dentist will bring the specialized dentist to his office for your convenience. In our experience, each time we have needed a root canal, the dentist doing the root canal has been scheduled to perform the task under the watchful eye of our regular dentist. And after the surgery is done, the regular dentist takes over with the temporary and permanent crown. Of course, the crowns are created by one of the many dental crown providers here, many of whom also provide crowns for dentists in the United States.

Dental X-Rays

Once you need something other than a dental cleaning, or maybe even as part of your checkup, you may need either a full or partial X-ray of your mouth, or your dentist might request a panoramic X-Ray of your mouth. While your dentist in Merida may have the ability to take a few X-rays on the spot in their office, full and more complicated X-Rays are performed by various service providers throughout Merida. Most recently, we went to a dental services office located near the hotel zone just off of Avenida Colon. The waiting room was full, but people moved in and out quickly. There seemed to be only one room for service, and a number of professionals providing those. In the lobby was a small retail section, selling some hard-to-find types of dental floss and other teeth care products. We went in for both a panoramic X-ray and a full mouth X-ray, with each tooth being X-rayed individually. The entire process took about 75 Dental supplies in Merida Yucatanminutes, including re-shooting about six teeth to make sure each print was perfect. The entire set of X-rays cost $1200 pesos (about $80 USD at today’s exchange rate).

Dental Implants

As we age and as the technology becomes more prevalent, we hear more and more about implants. And we’ve even been the lucky recipients of one, with all the work done here in Merida.

When our regular dentist found out we needed an implant, she first sent us to a maxillofacial surgeon who operates out of the Star Medica Hospital in the Alta Brisa section of Merida. Dr. Rodrigo Flores Flores specializes in everything from dental reconstruction after an accident and surgery for facial deformities to tooth extraction and implants. His clean and fairly standard office overlooks the Alta Brisa Shopping Center from the fifth floor, but that is little distraction when he is yanking on your mouth extracting a tooth. Trust us on this.

We spent many an hour in Dr. Flores’ office during the (what turned out to be…) twelve month process of extracting a bad tooth, growing bone around an implant and being pronounced “ready” for the crown on top. Not once in those many hours were we in pain. We may not have liked the sensation of having our tooth pulled, but it was amazingly never painful. Dr. Flores proved himself to be a very patient, careful and sensitive dentist, and since the implant was done, we have not spent another moment thinking about that tooth. We were very happy with Dr. Flores’ services, and we have heard from friends in Merida about other successful implant stories from other dentists as well. And of course there is the matter of cost. In the USA, we’ve heard prices ranging from $1500 USD to over $4000 USD per tooth. The entire process for us was $18,000 MXN, about $1400 USD at the time.

Recently, we met with another dentist in Merida who wanted us to know about the availability of a new technology here in Yucatan. Dr. Ricardo Peniche Rodriguez operates his office out of another Merida hospital, CMA (Centro Médico de las Américas, located just south of the Walmart in Merida). This hospital is much older than Star Medica and therefore, seemingly less modern. But in this office, Dr. Peniche performs some of the most advanced dental services available in the world. The technology that he specializes in (he’s actually one of Latin America’s experts on implants) is a brand new one called All on Four.

All on Four

Having gone through a dental implant process as well as having a large number of teeth crowned, we were interested to hear about this All in Four process which appears to be sweeping the dental world. After hearing about it from Dr. Peniche, we researched it on the internet of course. Reading about the ease of the process, the speed with which it can be accomplished and the naturalness of the results almost made us want to save up all our money and get both arches done immediately!

The All on Four procedure is an implant procedure that replaces an entire arch of your mouth at once. Instead of removing all your teeth and getting dentures or multiple implants, this procedure creates four implants into your arch, and fastens to those anchors an entire set of teeth. These are permanent teeth that never have to be removed, replaced or, as far as we can see, paid much attention to anymore. The link we provided below with frequently asked questions says that this technology is 98% effective… those are pretty good odds.

Dr. Peniche showed us how the All on Four technology works. It is a process that makes use of very modern technology, including 3D modeling of your mouth. The dental surgeon actually performs the All on Four Implantssurgery on a model of your mouth in the computer, making adjustments as he or she goes along. Once the procedure is perfected, an actual 3D model of your mouth is created, with holes where the surgeon needs to operate. The time spent in your mouth, therefore, is minimal and programmed so there are no mistakes. The other advantage is that it takes a lot less time than multiple implants. If you live out of town, Dr. Peniche says, two visits within a six month period is all that is needed to get an entire arch replaced.

Did we mention that Dr. Peniche speaks perfect English and travels around the Americas lecturing about and teaching this new technology? He works with the finest suppliers, including Nobel Biocare (as do others in Merida). His office may not be a large, swanky place like some of the dentists we have visited in cities in the United States, but apparently his care, along with many of the dentists in Merida, is just as professional.

Gums Matter

Of course, no further discussion about teeth and dentistry can proceed without addressing the issue of gums and gum disease. Unfortunately, gum disease strikes many people and as we have learned, must be attended to if you do not want to lose all your teeth. (Although, if you’ve already lost them, it is good to know about that All on Four technology, isn’t it?)
Reception at Arelly's Office in Merida Yucatan
When gum disease struck our household, we were not looking forward to dealing with it. But we were assured that taking care of it was more important than filling any cavities or replacing any faulty crowns. So one of us (we will not mention WHICH one…) acquiesed to going under the knife. Because that is what gum surgery entails… knives and other torture devices. We hesitate to make too big a deal about this, but one person we talked to who had had gum surgery described it as “being worse than childbirth”. We are not sure we agree, but we are not sure we do NOT agree either.

As luck would have it, we were sent to a periodontist in Merida that looked like something out of a dental brochure. The offices, located in Colonia México, were spacious and spotless in what appeared to be a renovated private home on a very quiet street (lots of parking). The receptionist at Dr. Arelly Carrillo Avila’s office speaks perfect English, having spent many years in California. Dr. Arelly is an intelligent, professional and beautiful dentist, trained and raised in Merida. The room in which the dental torture takes place looks nothing like a dungeon… it is bright, exceedingly clean and has a view of a lovely backyard garden through floor to ceiling windows. Who would suspect what goes on in there?
Arelly Carrillo Avila in Merida Yucatan
In our case, the gum surgery took place on a Saturday. Dr. Arelly spent over three hours anesthetizing, cutting, scraping and stitching gums. It was not a pleasant experience for the patient, but headphones, audio books and music helped. Afterwards, prescribed medications against pain and swelling also helped. Within a week, all was well again and the gums were saved, as were the bones and teeth. We were not glad we had to go through that process, but we were happy to have found such a professional provider, setting and such good results. The fact that the cost was closer to $800 USD than the $3000 USD the procedure would have cost in the United States did not hurt either.

Dentistry in Merida

You remember that expression, “You’ve come a long way, baby?”. That is how we feel about dentistry in Merida. In early 2002, most dentists were still older men and the offices we visited were less professional than we were used to. Now, in 2015, we realize that all our dentists are at least twenty years younger than we are, and many of them are female. We have heard that the dentistry classes at UADY, the local dental university, have more females than males graduating. There are many dentists now that speak English, where that trait was a rarity ten or so years ago. Every expat we know gets their dentistry done at home in Merida, and we have met many people who travel to Merida just for dental work. And they save enough money doing it that they can pay for their trip!

If you need dental work of any kind, and you are worried about doing it in Mexico, look no further. Merida has quality dental care at reasonable prices. And, like us, you might find that the savings you realize from getting your dental work done in Mexico takes some, but not all, of the pain away. Probably a few margaritas, a visit to a beautiful hacienda and a swim in the pool will take care of the rest!

****
All on Four technology described in Wikipedia

Star Medica Hospital

Centro Médico de las Américas

FAQ about All in Four dental implants

Nobel Biocare All on Four technology

By Khaki Scott

Weather: Cold and Wet

During this past week, over a period of approximately four days, the weather in Yucatan went down, in some places, to as low as 5 C (41 F) and 9 C (48.2 F), with scattered rain. This might not sound so bad to someone who lives in Canada or the northern United States, but they might have a different take on it if they tried those temperatures in houses built for the tropics, sleeping in hammocks with just a rebozo (shawl) to keep you warm. This was Norte # 36, complete with strong winds, and the winter is not over yet.

Progreso’s Impressive Carnival Numbers

We always have to laugh when we see old travel pages online that describe Progreso, Yucatan, as a “sleepy little fishing village.” Progreso has probably come farther, faster, than any other small city we can think of in the Yucatan. This year, 300,000 visitors attended Carnival in Progreso! We would imagine that some of that crowd live in Merida and drove up on a daily basis, but the crowds were definitely large and varied. With increasing numbers of local participants, plus domestic and foreign tourists, Progreso’s Carnival is ready to enter competition with those from other beach towns on both a national and international level. In the meantime, Progreso also produced 39 young athletes headed for the Mexican Youth Olympics, four young ballerinas who just participated in a dance contest and workshop in Merida, and hosted a group of foreign podiatrists who came to provide services to those who cannot otherwise afford them. If you are looking for a sleepy little fishing village, Yucatan still has them, but Progreso graduated from that category and never looked back.

Yucatan Classical Ballet Company Comes Home

The Yucatan Classical Ballet Company has been on tour in North Carolina, where they danced at the BeBe Theater. Asheville and Yucatan have a long history together. It often feels as if there is always a flow, in both directions, of cultural events between Asheville and Yucatan. Asheville is an official Sister City to Valladolid and, several times every year, we have cultural productions from Asheville performed in Merida. Merida is also home or a vacation destination for many residents of Asheville. Now that Yucatan’s Classical Ballet is back here at home, look for regular performances to begin again.

Second UFO Alert: What Did You Do Last Weekend?

Saturday, February 21, 2015. Carnival was over and all was quiet. Everyone was supposed to rest in preparation for the festivities that will happen during upcoming Semana Santa. And it was quiet, but no UFO aficionado was sleeping. Instead, they were all outside, at official locations throughout the Yucatan Peninsula, watching the sky for UFOs. This began as a fun little event that was only going to take place in Merida, Ticul, and Valladolid… but it did not take long for the news to spread throughout Yucatan, Campeche and Quintana Roo. The only requirement for joining was to let the organizers know where the group would be and how many they expected to be watching. The hours were 9:00 PM until midnight or 1:00 AM, but some vowed to keep looking for UFO’s until dawn. There was no fee for adding a location and no fee for attending at any of the more than fifteen locations, and no special equipment to buy. The organizer simply wanted the stories of anyone who saw something odd in the sky that night. Findings of this event will be made available through a short film and at the Paranormal Museum in Merida (Calle 63-B #230 x 8 y 10, Colonia Cortes Sarmiento. Admission: $30 pesos adults and $20 pesos children, students and ISEN). For those of our readers who are not familiar with newspapers in Yucatan, the people here (including the expats) love a good mystery or legend and almost every major paper has an Enigma column. If you would like to participate in the next UFO Alert, e-mail the organizer at misterios03 [at] hotmail [dot] com.

Marriage of Mars and Venus

Sunday, February 22: Yucatan is strategically located so that star gazers were able to see any number of wonderful events in the night sky. This time, it was the coming together of the images of Mars (the man) and Venus (the women). Although this event began at 5:00 PM, the angle here in the Yucatan made it visible for two hours.

Africanized Bees Attack Again

Since the beginning of this year, there have been three attacks on people by Africanized bee swarms that were growing in public buildings. These attacks occurred in the Atrium of the Cathedral in Merida, at Rogers Hall College, and now at the Merida Psychiatric Hospital. Several victims had to be hospitalized due to anaphylactic shock. Please keep an eye out for bees whenever you visit large public places and call the authorities if you have bees at your home.

City Council of Child Participation in Merida

There is to be a new arm of the City Council in Merida, made up of 19 sixth graders. Their job will be to consult with the City Council on issues that are important to young people. They will submit proposals and ideas on the problems they encounter in their family, school, environment and community. Merida, and all of Yucatan, has a long history of including children in government in this manner. This is part of what makes this state so stable when others are not always so. The City Council of Merida will also be working with the Municipal institute for women to find grant money for women and children who are victims of domestic violence. It looks as if we are off to a great 2015 in Merida!

New Culture of Urban Forestry in Yucatan

Through the years, residents of towns and cities have planted trees that ended up being in the wrong place or the wrong species. In other cases, residents have moved away and trees have either grown wild, grown through building walls, or become diseased. Many urban trees have been injured when their roots were cut so that new streets could be opened. Now, in a joint action by civil agencies, universities, industries and society at large, urban trees throughout the state will be cared for, removed or, in some cases, replaced with the proper species. This is yet another important step in successful urban planning. The new urban forestry activities will begin in Merida, so don’t be surprised if traffic is slowed in places because of tree work.

Congenital Heart Defects in Yucatan

National statistics show that Yucatan has approximately 300 babies born with congenital heart disease every year. But the good news is that the babies born with this in Yucatan have world class health care available to them. The babies who have congenital heart disease are identified at 16 weeks gestation through ultrasound. After that, the Augustine O’Horan General Hospital, ISSSTE and IMSS in Yucatan, Quintana Roo, Campeche, Tabasco, and Chiapas, plus the Cardiology Department of the Regional Specialty Hospital in Merida, all swing into action. Approximately a quarter of these babies will need surgery in the first year of their lives. All of the cardiology departments in Merida have a working relationship with the Division of Cardiology at Children’s Hospital in Mexico City, and the Regional Specialty Hospital has a 30-year relationship with Mercy Hospital of Iowa in the United States. The children’s cardiology program is called Cable Lifeguard and assists in the comprehensive care of up to 20 children with complex cardiac problems per year. With no identifiable cause for congenital heart disease, the children who suffer from it in Yucatan have a safety net of world class care to support them as they overcome all of their obstacles. As an aside, we wondered about care for children not covered by insurance. As it turns out, these hospitals and their foundations are not without hearts. Costs for the care of uninsured babies, especially surgical costs, are absorbed by the hospitals ISSSTE and IMSS, and that also includes Mercy Hospital of Iowa.

Dengue Fever Numbers Down 70% in Yucatan

Two factors are affecting the dengue fever numbers in Yucatan. First, temperatures have been low this winter, slowing the breeding of mosquitoes. Second, the people are working hard to clean not only their own property, but any vacant properties nearby, which also denies mosquitoes a place to breed. Health officials request that anyone with symptoms of dengue fever (headache, intraocular pain, fever of 39 C (102.2 F), nausea and vomiting) please do not self-medicate. Immediately begin oral hydration and seek medical attention.

Chicken Pox Cases Doubled

The number of cases of chicken pox, in January 2014, was 126. This year, for the same month, there were 234 cases of chicken pox in Yucatan. This disease is spread through the air and by touching the lesions on an infected person. While the rash is usually a benign viral disease of childhood, it remains in the human body, near the spine, and can reappear as painful and sometimes deadly shingles in adults. Some child care centers are closing due to high numbers of chicken pox. This results in more children in public places. Hand washing, covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze, and staying out of crowds of children will help stall this outbreak.

Merida: “Safe City” Designation

For the past year, Merida has been going through the long process necessary to achieve certification as one of the Safe Cities of Latin America and the Caribbean. This is a program that began in Colombia in 1989 and is gaining ground now around the world. This is an honor earned by a rigorous certification process. The name does not mean that a city has no crime. What it means is that a city has zero tolerance for situations within their culture that stifle success for some groups but not others. Instead of working from the outside to simply bring down numbers of crimes, this program’s focus is on creating a sustainable cultural environment, supported by permanent governmental programs, that makes it possible for every group in a society to grow and flourish. Mexico’s only stumbling block was starting government social programs over with every new election. But that has changed and Merida now has 26 government programs of social support that are completely sustainable, permanent and under review. It is expected that, within four short more months, Merida, Yucatan will become one of the few certified Safe Cities of Latin America and the Caribbean. To learn more about this program, please visit the parent organization’s website: Institute Cisalva.

By Working Gringos

This Week… starting February 23, 2014

Yucatan Living Mark Your Calendars for 2015
These dates are all governed by the cycles of the Sun and/or Moon and most are associated with major holidays and celebrations in Yucatan.
March 20 at 4:45 PM: Spring Equinox
March 29: Palm Sunday
April 4: Total Lunar Eclipse
April 5: Easter Sunday
June 21 at 11:38 AM: Midsummer Equinox
July 2 & 31: Blue Moon
September 23 at 3:20 PM: Fall Equinox
September 27: Super Moon
September 28: Total Lunar Eclipse
December 21 at 10:48 PM: Winter Equinox

Monday (Lunes) February 23, 2015

Yucatan Living No Events Planned for Today… yet!

Tuesday (Martes) February 24, 2015

Yucatan Living Movie: Road to Guantanamo
(United Kingdom 2006). Directors: Mat Whitecross and Michael Winterbottom. Starring Riz Ahmed, Farhad Harun, Wagar Siddiqui and Afran Usman. Part documentary, part drama. This is the story of three British young men of Pakistani descent who travel to Pakistan to attend a wedding. They end up in Guantanamo, accused by the U.S. of being terrorists. This is an extraordinary film on the topic of one of the most terrible products of the American invasions of the Middle East. Probably in English, probably with Spanish subtitles.
Location: Centro Cultural Jose Marti / Parque de Las Americas, Av. Colon x Calle 20
Time: 8:00 PM Tuesday
Admission: Free

Yucatan LivingTuesday of Trova: Trio Los Andariegos
As the annual Festival of Trova begins, try not to miss any of these performances.
Location: Auditorium of the Olimpo, Calle 62 x 61
Time: 8:30 PM Tuesday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Movie: Jodorowsky’s Dune
(USA 2013) The story of cult film director Alejandro Jodorowsky’s ambitious but ultimately doomed film adaptation of the seminal science fiction novel. In English with Spanish subtitles. This has universally been hailed as an amazing and wonderful documentary, so do try to see it!
Location: Cairo Cinema, Calle 20 #98A x 15 y 17, Colonia Itzimná
Time: 9:00 PM Tuesday
Admission: Free

 

Wednesday (Miercoles) February 25, 2015

Yucatan Living Concert: AnimeFest by the Chamber Orchestra of Merida
This is a wonderful event, addressing a growing interest in Animé among the people of Merida for quite some time now. Do come and enjoy!
Location: Universidad Tecnologica Metropolitana, Circuito Colonias x 46
Time: 6:00 PM Wednesday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Movie: Navajazo
(Mexico 2014) An imagined apocalypse is presented to us through portraits of characters struggling to survive in a hostile environment, where the only thing they have in common is the desire to live, no matter the cost. In Spanish.
Location: LA 68, Calle 68 at Calle 55, centro of Merida
Time: 6:00 PM Wednesday
Admission: $35 pesos, $15 pesos students

Yucatan Living Concert: Silly Love Songs by the Choir of the City of Merida
We don’t get to hear nearly enough from this wonderful choir. And everyone loves a silly love song or two, right?
Location: Auditorium of the Olimpo, Calle 62 x 61
Time: 8:00 PM Wednesday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Movie: A Band Called Death
(USA 2012) A documentary on the 1970s punk trio Death, and their new-found popularity decades after they disbanded. In English with Spanish subtitles.
Location: LA 68, Calle 68 at Calle 55, centro of Merida
Time: 9:00 PM Wednesday
Admission: $35 pesos, $15 pesos students

 

Thursday (Jueves) February 26, 2015

Yucatan Living Movie: Bad Hair
(Mexico 2013) A nine-year-old boy’s preening obsession with straightening his hair elicits a tidal wave of homophobic panic in his hard-working mother. In Spanish with English subtitles.
Location: LA 68, Calle 68 at Calle 55, centro of Merida
Time: 6:00 PM Thursday
Admission: $35 pesos, $15 pesos students

Yucatan Living Cinema Classics: Documentary: Koyaanisqatsi
(United States 1984). Director: Godfrey Reggio. There are no spoken words in this movie, but it does not need them. Amazing photography and videography. If you have not seen it, do!!
Location: Videosala of the Olimpo, Calle 62 x 61
Time: 7:00 PM Thursday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Concert: Joan Sibila
This is a presentation of the singer’s new CD, Album Rosa.
Location: Auditorium of the Olimpo, Calle 62 x 61
Time: 8:00 PM Thursday
Admission: $50 pesos

Yucatan Living Movie: Back to the Future
(USA 1985) A young man is accidentally sent 30 years into the past in a time-traveling DeLorean invented by his friend, Dr. Emmett Brown, and must make sure his high-school-age parents unite in order to save his own existence. In English with Spanish subtitles. A classic!
Location: Cairo Cinema, Calle 20 #98A x 15 y 17, Colonia Itzimná
Time: 9:00 PM Thursday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Movie: Mommy
(Canada 2014) A widowed single mother, raising her violent son alone, finds new hope when a mysterious neighbor inserts herself into their household. In French with Spanish subtitles.
Location: LA 68, Calle 68 at Calle 55, centro of Merida
Time: 9:00 PM Thursday
Admission: $35 pesos, $15 pesos students

 

Friday (Viernes) February 27, 2015

Yucatan Living Movie: Shakespeare and Victor Hugo’s Intimacies
(Mexico, 2008) Twenty years ago, Rosa met Jorge, a young tenant in her lodging house at the corner of Shakespeare and Victor Hugo streets in Mexico City. But after Jorge’s sudden death, Rosa began to discover a darker side of the man who had become her closest friend. In Spanish with English subtitles.
Location: LA 68, Calle 68 at Calle 55, centro of Merida
Time: 6:00 PM Friday
Admission: $35 pesos, $15 pesos students

Yucatan Living Latin American Movie Anthology: Frio Sol de Invierno (Cold Winter Sun)
A young man gets out of a psychiatric hospital and returns home to find a devastated neighborhood. He forms a relationship with a prostitute and her young son. Probably in Spanish, no guarantees about subtitles.
Location: Videosala of the Olimpo, Calle 62 x 61
Time: 7:00 PM Friday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Art: Art Alive
A show including art by Maestro Juan Pablo Bavio and his students. Participate in the raffle of an art piece of 100 x 80 cm.
Location: Juan Pablo Bavio Gallery, Calle 59 x 70
Time: 8:00 to 11:00 PM Friday
Admission: $50 pesos including ticket for the raffle.

Yucatan Living Arab Dance: Maktub “It Was Already Written”
This is a performance by the Padme Magusha Dance Company.
Location: Auditorium of the Olimpo, Calle 62 x 61
Time: 8:00 PM Friday
Admission: $50 pesos

Yucatan Living Concert: Silly Love Songs by the Choir of the City of Merida
We don’t get to hear nearly enough from this wonderful choir.
Location: Centro Cultural Jose Marti / Parque de Las Americas,Av. Colon x Calle 20
Time: 8:30 PM Friday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Movie: Be Kind Rewind
(UK 2008) Two bumbling store clerks inadvertently erase the footage from all of the tapes in their video rental store. In order to keep the business running, they re-shoot every film in the store with their own camera, with a budget of zero dollars. In English.
Location: Cairo Cinema, Calle 20 #98A x 15 y 17, Colonia Itzimná
Time: 9:00 PM Friday
Admission: $35 pesos

Yucatan Living Movie: Maria’s Clouds
(Germany 2014) During her visit to Sils Maria in Switzerland, Maria Ender, a veteran actor looks back to examine her life. Emotionally recalling her years of success, she longs for the time in which everyone loved and recognized her. Envy takes hold when she meets Jo-Ann, a young talent who will play the role that made her a star. In English with Spanish subtitles.
Location: LA 68, Calle 68 at Calle 55, centro of Merida
Time: 9:00 PM Friday
Admission: $35 pesos, $15 pesos students

 

Saturday (Sabado) February 28, 2015

Yucatan Living Merida English Library Saturday Lecture Series: Mexican Wines
Discussion of Mexican wines and limited tasting. Presented by Elliot Diaz, owner of local wine store, Taninos Por Todos.
Location: Merida English Library, Calle 53 x 68
Time: 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM Saturday
Admission: $ 100 pesos. Attendance limited.

Yucatan Living Movie: Waste Land
(USA 2010) An uplifting feature documentary highlighting the transformative power of art and the beauty of the human spirit. Top-selling contemporary artist Vik Muniz takes us on an emotional journey … In Portuguese with Spanish subtitles. Especially inspiring if you are an artist of any kind!
Location: LA 68, Calle 68 at Calle 55, centro of Merida
Time: 6:00 PM Saturday
Admission: $35 pesos, $15 pesos students

Yucatan Living Yucadanz: Monthly Contra Dance in Merida
When is a square dance not square? You’re just going to love this new dance in town. Contra dance is a community “barn dance”, where everyone socializes and dances with everyone else. We love their energy and hope that everyone will give contra dance a whirl. Everyone is welcome!
Location: Tumaka’t Dance Studio, Calle 51 #475-A x 52 y 54 (blue building, middle of block), Centro
Time: Beginner Class: 7:15 PM in English and Spanish, Contra dance: 8:00 PM – 10:30 PM
Admission: Bring your own refreshments and water, no alcohol at the dance. $50-$100 pesos donation requested. Proceeds benefit Tumaka’t, a nonprofit arts group, and to establish a fund for live music. Read this great page on the Yucadanz website!

Yucatan Living Movie: Beetlejuice
(USA 1998) A pair of young lovers flee their New England town, which causes a local search party to fan out to find them. That hardly begins to describe this amazing movie classic starring Michael Keaton. In English.
Location: Cairo Cinema, Calle 20 #98A x 15 y 17, Colonia Itzimná
Time: 9:00 PM Saturday
Admission: $35 pesos

Yucatan Living Movie: Leviathan
(Rusia 2014) Kolya lives in a small village on the Barents Sea, north of Russia. It has a garage next to his house, where he lives with his young wife Lilia and her son Roma, from his previous marriage. The village mayor want to steal his land, his home and his workshop for their projects. In Russian with Spanish subtitles.
Location: LA 68, Calle 68 at Calle 55, centro of Merida
Time: 9:00 PM Saturday
Admission: $35 pesos, $15 pesos students

Sunday (Domingo), March 01, 2015

Yucatan Living AFAD Open House
Come see the dogs and cats and get ready to adopt one!
Location: AFAD Animal Shelter in Periferico
Time: 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM Sunday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Documentary about Nature
Location: Museum of Natural History, Calle 59 Next to the Zoo
Time: 12:00 PM Sunday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Symphony Orchestra of Yucatan (OSY) in March
Note that this performance of OSY will take place at Teatro Manzanero on Sunday, March 1st. During the month of March there will be NO Friday performances, thus tickets and seating will be limited.
Sunday, March 1 features a program called A la Eslava with music by Dvorak and Tchaikovsky.
Location: Teatro Armando Manzanero, Calle 62 x 61
Time: 12:00 PM Sunday
Admission: Tickets available at the box office

Yucatan Living Movie: Poltergeist
(USA 1982) As a family moves into their new home, they notice strange events that mostly affect their young daughter. One of Stephen King’s most famous ghost stories brought to film. In English.
Location: Cairo Cinema, Calle 20 #98A x 15 y 17, Colonia Itzimná
Time: 9:00 PM Sunday
Admission: Free

 

Monday (Lunes) March 02, 2015

Yucatan LivingNo events planned for today… yet!

Coming Soon

Yucatan Living Musical Performances
La Escuela Superior de Artes de Yucatán will be performing three events in honor of the music teacher who was recently abducted and killed, Luis Luna Guarneros. The suspects have been apprehended (see article here), and these events are being held to commemorate his life and his dedication to the musical life of Merida. Certainly attendance by the expatriate community would be appreciated.
• Wednesday, February 25: At the Armando Manzanero Theatre (Calle 62 x 61), 8 PM, Quod stellae in caelo (Stars in the Firmament) with chorus, band and orchestra. The program will include some pieces from Carmen Burana.
• Thursday, February 26: At the Centro Cultural Pro Historia Peninsular (ProHispen at Calle 19 #94 x 18 y 20 in Colonia México), 8 PM, Battalia à 9 (Chamber music)
• Friday, February 27: At Templo Expiatorio de Nuestra Señora de la Consolación (Monjas) (Calle 63 x 64), 8 PM, Memoriam Concilium Musicae with Band and Organ. There will also be a mass in the Monjas church which the music will accompany. The music on this evening will include music by Bach, the Coronation Mass and Hallelujah Chorus by Mozart. It should be a pretty amazing evening.
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Merida Music Festival: Sunday March 8
Bands included are: CopyPaste (with an added Tribute to Amy Winehouse), Los Twangs (with old fashioned Rock-n-Roll), Lanugo, Lasgori, Maydel and her Cuban Band, atcada Do Fogo (all percussion), Divas (a tribute to the rock of the 80s),
Location: Hacienda Dzibikak, Carretera Uman-Hunucma, Km. 5 C.P. 97393 Uman, Yucatan
Time: 1:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Admission: $300 pesos for general admission ($350 at the door the day of), $1000 pesos for VIP, this includes all food and drink in the Hacienda, $50 pesos for round trip bus from Hennessy’s every half hour starting at 1:00 PM. Tickets are available at several places in Merida. More info on the website. Tickets are also available at the beach by calling Jeff or Judy at 969-935-7700 or 9999-91-29-43.

Yucatan Living Concert: Rock and Blues – Friday March 13, 2015
The Merida English Library presents its Music in the Gardens concert series. This concert features Steve Katz, formerly of Blood, Sweat & Tears, on guitar and vocals.
Location: in the Garden of the Merida English Library
Time: 7:00 PM
Admission: $100 pesos. Seating limited. Beverages available.

Yucatan Living Night Tour to Izamal: Saturday – March 14
This tour will take you to the Magical Town of Izamal, the Casa de la Fundacion (a private and beautifully renovated colonial home), and the Light and Sound show at the Izamal Convent, plus giving your support to Impulso Universitario, A.C.
Location: Begins at Impulso Universitario, Calle 62 #383 x 45 y 47, Centro. Free parking is available.
Time: 2:00 PM to 10:00 PM when the tour returns to its starting point.
Admission: $80 USD or $1,200 pesos. Deadline to register: March 6
Register at: contacto [at] impulsouniversitario [dot] org [dot] mx or call (999) 928-4727

Yucatan Living Symphony Orchestra of Yucatan (OSY) in March
Note that performances of OSY in March will take place at Teatro Manzanero on Sunday, March 1st. During the month of March there will be NO Friday performances, thus /tickets/seating may be limited.
Sunday, March 1 – A la Eslava – Dvorak and Tchaikovsky
Sunday, March 8 – Concierto Didactico – Mozart, Prokofiev, Britten and Tchaikovsky
Sunday, March 15 – Republica Checa en la musica – Dvorak and Smetana
Sunday, March 22 – Del Clasicismo al Romanticismo – Beethoven, Tchaikovsky and Liszt

Yucatan Living Muelle Market-Bazar del Muelle
First and Third Thursdays in February and March 2015. Local and Foreign Artisans Market: to benefit the Chicxulub Food Bank. Attractions include Slow Food Market Vendors, Jewelry by Jorge, Carvings by Martine, Olga Cuevas: Clothing Designer, Mano de Nano (aka Naomi Murphy): homemade mustard, salad dressing, marinades, granola, meat rubs, baked goods, and a variety of pickles, Anita’s Salchichones (German Sausage) and many many more !!!
Location: D’Mar Salon de Eventos, Calle 28x21y23, Chicxulub Puerto
Time: 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Admission: Free to shoppers. Vendors contact for more information.
More Information: Call Nola (English): (999) 109-6319 or e-mail: muellemarket [at] gmail [dot] com or keep up with new announcements on the Muelle Market-Bazar del Muelle Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/MuelleMarket

Yucatan Living Yucadanz: Monthly Contra Dance in Merida
When is a square dance not square? You’re just going to love this new dance in town. Contra dance is a community “barn dance”, where everyone socializes and dances with everyone else. We love their energy and hope that everyone will give contra dance a whirl. Everyone is welcome!
Location: Tumaka’t Dance Studio, Calle 51 #475-A x 52 y 54 (blue building, middle of block), Centro
Time: Beginner Class: 7:15 PM in English and Spanish, Contra dance: 8:00 PM – 10:30 PM
Admission: Bring your own refreshments and water, no alcohol at the dance. $50-$100 pesos donation requested. Proceeds benefit Tumaka’t, a nonprofit arts group, and to establish a fund for live music. Read this great page on the Yucadanz website!
Scheduled Meetings: Saturday, March 14, Saturday, March 28, Saturday, April 11

Yucatan Living Merida English Library Saturday Lecture Series: October – March
• March 7: TBA
• March 14: TBA
Location: Merida English Library, Calle 53 x 66 y 68, Merida centro.
Time: 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Admission: Most lectures are free, some have a nominal fee

Yucatan Living Ringo Starr and his All Starr Band: March 08
An icon of the music comes to Merida. Do not miss the opportunity to listen live to one of the musicians who marked an era, accompanied by some very accomplished artists in their own rights. This is a unique and unrepeatable concert not to miss.
Location:Coliseo Yucatan, on the road to Progreso
Time: 8:00 PM
Admission:from $425 pesos to $1825 pesos . Buy your tickets in advance here.

Yucatan Living Concert: Rock and Blues – Friday March 13, 2015
The Merida English Library presents its Music in the Gardens concert series. This concert features Steve Katz, formerly of Blood, Sweat & Tears, on guitar and vocals.
Location: Merida English Library, Calle 53 between 66 and 68, Centro
Time: 7:30 PM
Admission: $100 pesos. Tickets on sale now at the library. Seating limited. Beverages available.

Have an event you want to promote? Email us at info [at] yucatanliving [dot] com and we’ll be happy to list it in our Events listing and our Month-at-a-Glance Calendar

By Working Gringos

vacation rental Hacienda Sac Chich in Yucatan Mexico

Vacation rental Hacienda in Yucatan

Vacation rental Hacienda in Yucatan

Dining area in the loggia for Hacienda Sac Chich

Sunbathing by the loggia at Hacienda Sac Chich in Yucatan

Bedroom in Casa Nueva at Hacienda Sac Chich in Yucatan

Bathroom in Casa Nueva of Hacienda Sac CHich

Casa Sisal vacation rental Yucatan

Casa Sisal vacation rental Merida Yucatan

Casa Sisal vacation rental Merida Yucatan

Casa Sisal vacation rental Merida Yucatan

 

Contact Us!

For information about renting Hacienda Sac Chich’s Casa Antigua, Casa Nueva or Casa Sisal, check our website

www.haciendasacchich.com/

 

 

Hacienda Sac Chich

Hacienda Sac Chich has three unique and amazing sections that can be rented for your next vacation to Yucatan. Each of the areas is unique, beautiful designed and decorated and probably unlike anywhere you have ever stayed on vacation! Rent either the Casa Antigua or Casa Nueva of the Casa de Maquinas (the original Machine House of the working hacienda), or rent the completely new and modern Casa Sisal.

 

Swimming pool vacation rental Hacienda Sac Chich

 

Get Away From Everything

Hacienda Sac Chich gives you the opportunity to get away from almost everything you know, while still being in the lap of luxurious comfort. All your needs are taken care of, while providing you with an environment of complete and total relaxation, tropical indulgence and peaceful and secure isolation. All this, only a half an hour south of the city of Merida, the capital of the Yucatan.

The Casa Antigua features the most authentic building of the centuries-old hacienda, with thick mamposteria stone walls, original arches and high ceilings and renovated bathroom and a traditional Mexican kitchen. The Casa Nueva adds three bedrooms, three bathrooms, a sunken community living area and an outdoor private plunge pool and terrace. The Casa Nueva maintains the grandeur of the original building, with its height and large spaces, but provides you with a total modern and renovated environment. Find out all the room details by clicking here. Other amenities of these two Casas include:

  • Ceiling fans throughout
  • Bikes and helmets- 3 adult, 1 child
  • Volleyball, Badminton, Croquet
  • Football, Soccer, Frisbee and other family games
  • Pool volleyball, Trampoline
  • Swimming pool at both Hacienda and Casa Sisa
  • Regulation size bocce ball court
  • Wi-Fi internet connection
  • iPod connections for stereo, CD player, CD and DVD library
  • Blue Ray DVD player at Casa Sisal
  • Flat screen TV at Casa Sisal
  • Reading and research library
  • A/C in Casa Nueva and Casa Sisal
  • Fireplace in loggia and in Casa Sisal
  • Washer and dryer
  • Barbeque grills at both houses/briquettes provided
  • Daily housekeepers and gardeners
  • All bedrooms at the hacienda have side tables, 600 count cotton linens, down pillows.
  • All bedrooms have large private double hacienda doors that lead to private gardens
  • All bathrooms have showers, milled soaps, towels, paper products and hair blower

Here’s what one guest had to say about Hacienda Sac Chich:

Dream Mayan Vacation Retreat
Wow — we had seen the pictures but they paled in comparison to Hacienda Sac Chich in person. We were blown away by every luxurious detail from the exquisite colonial and modern architecture of both buildings and the fabulous appointments of every room on the property to the drop-dead beauty of the pools, gardens and grounds. We felt like Kings and Queens since we had the entire Hacienda to ourselves. We relaxed by the pool, savored candlelight dinners in the magic of the loggia, climbed to the rooftop viewing area for star-gazing, played a little bocce ball, read in the soaking tub, and enjoyed huevos ranchos and other delights prepared by the lovely Yucatacan ladies in the comfort of the traditional mayan kitchen. Everything was perfect.

Read more glowing reviews here…

Prices

 

Casa de Maquinas

Hacienda Sac Chich (Casa de Maquinas) is available two ways:
Casa Antigua (2 BR/1 loft BR/2 baths) with the grounds, the loggia and pool.
Casa Nueva & Antigua: (6 BR/5 baths) The hacienda in its entirety, and both Casa Antigua and Casa Nueva

Low Season, May – October
Casa Antigua $400 per night
Casa Nueva & Antigua $650 per night

High Season, November – April
Casa Antigua $500 per night
Casa Nueva & Antigua together $900 per night

Holiday Season, December 15 – January 6
Casa Antigua and Casa Nueva (must be rented together during this season) $1400/night

For more detail on pricing, please see our website:

www.haciendasacchich.com/

 

 

Vacation rental Hacienda in Yucatan

 

 

 

Award Winning Vacation Rental: Casa Sisal

Casa Sisal was built completely new in what used to be henequen drying fields on the old hacienda grounds. The house was designed by architect Salvador Reyes Rios to be completely constructed of polished cement, giving it an authentic but modern feel. In addition, Casa Sisal takes complete advantage of the ability to enjoy indoor/outdoor living in the Yucatan. At Casa Sisal, you can roll back large glass floor-to-ceiling windows to open up the complete living and dining area to the environment outdoors, resulting in one large living area that extends from a peaceful lily pond surrounded by a grass lawn, through a complete modern kitchen and sunken living area to a back patio that overlooks the swimming pool and a soccer-field sized lawn, with the buildings of the Casa Antigua in the distance.

Casa Sisal has two completely separate master bedrooms, each with their own ensuite bathrooms, featuring both polished cement and marble resulting in a peaceful living environment that is both private and open to the world of tropical nature just outside. Find out all the room details by clicking here.

What People Say About Us

Design in paradise….

The house’s pictures attracted us and when we arrived at Casa Sisal, what a shock! It was even better! The combination of the luxuriant nature, the old walls around, the grass so green and this beautiful design house was magic! Everything in the casa and outdoor was well thought and it was great to live there! The caretakers were helpful and so kind, they made our stay easier. Casa Sisal isn’t so far from Merida,and it’s very pleasant to come back home, after walking in this crowded town, to enjoy the peace of the house. the country around is beautiful, with many old deserted sisal factories to see and cenotes to go swimming.. Our stay in Casa Sisal was a fantastic experience!!!! We’ll come back! Sure! Guest: Pasval, France
Date of stay: 8/13

Read more glowing reviews here…

Prices

 

Casa Sisal (2 BR/2 BA)

Low Season, May – October
$250/night

High Season, November – April
$300 per night

Holiday Season, December 15th – January 6th
$400 per night

For more detail on pricing, please see our website:

www.haciendasacchich.com/

By James Dayton Gunn, PhD

El Filibustero by Eligio AnconaEditors Note: This article is another well-researched review of a book in Spanish called El Filibustero (1864) by Eligio Ancona (available as an Amazon Kindle edition, February, 2012).

Pirates of the Caribbean

A “filibustero” is a freebooter or pirate, a variant of the French word fribustier derived originally from the Dutch word vrijbuiter. Our word filibuster, of course, comes from these words as well, as evidenced by its alternative meaning, “a person engaging in unauthorized warfare against a foreign country”. During the 17th century, a filibustero was a specific type of pirate who operated in the West Indies, attacking ships servicing the Spanish colonies. One of the most famous of them was Sir Francis Drake who spent so much time in the Caribbean that the main channel between the Virgin Islands is named after him. This era of Caribbean piracy began in the 16th century and ended in the 1830′s, but the era reached its height during the years between the 1660′s to the 1730′s. These pirates not only captured ships, but frequently attacked and plundered Spanish colonial cities, towns and haciendas along the Gulf and Caribbean coasts. Campeche was so plagued by them that it eventually built a protective wall around the city.

Governor, Author, Statue

In 1864, Eligio Jesus Ancona Castillo (1835-1893) wrote his third novel entitled El Filibustero. Ancona was born in Merida. He was an important political figure in his time and was several times Eligio Ancona from Merida Yucatanthe governor of Yucatan. Ancona’s importance is evidenced by a commemorative bust which sits where Avenida Reforma (Calle 72) meets Avenida Cupules. Along with Justo Sierra O’Reilly, he is also the best known Yucatecan writer of the 19th century. The flowery and exaggerated style of writing popular in the 19th century is no longer to modern taste and so these books are not read much anymore, but both of these authors made a serious attempt to capture the feeling and the way of life of colonial Yucatan, and especially of Merida. Because of their efforts, we can attempt to understand the circumstances in which people lived here in Yucatan 300 years ago.

Ancona also wrote a four-volume history of Yucatan. His historical interest is strongly reflected in his novels. This third novel is a good example of his historical bent, and also something of a record of life in Yucatan in the early 1700s.

A Yucatecan Romance Novel

A filibustero makes an excellent protagonist for a work of romantic fiction. In the hands of both Justo Sierra and Eligio Ancona, the protagonist becomes a daring adventurer, totally free of allegiance to any authority and a law unto himself, a rebel who survives by strength and cunning. And, of course, because he is starring in a novel of romance, this hero must somehow be a virtuous pirate, a physically and morally attractive Robin Hood of the Sea, and there must also be a virtuous and lovely young woman upon whom he can focus his curiously chaste but manly passion.

Ancona’s hero is called Leonel and the heroine is Berenguela. Leonel is the adopted son of Berenguela’s wealthy parents, and the two young people are raised together. At the age of 18, Leonel declares his love for Berenguela but is cruelly rejected by the girl’s parents and exiled from their home. He becomes unwittingly involved in a political intrigue and the murders of Fernando Hipolito de Osorno y Pedro cathedral in Valladolid YucatanGabriel de Covarrubias who had taken asylum in the Church of San Servacio on the central plaza of Valladolid. It might interest our readers to know that this gruesome murder is a true historical event known as El Crimen de los Alcaldes (The Crime of the Mayors). Though Leonel attempts to defend the victims from their attackers, he is wrongly accused of the murders themselves and is condemned to prison. He eventually escapes, only to discover that Berenguela, who had once sworn undying love for him, has married someone else.

When our persecuted hero reaches his most desperate and despairing moment, he comes face-to-face with a group of pirates. He says, in typical romantic fashion, “So you are the famous filibusteros who travel the oceans on a fragile wooden craft, defying nature’s storms and the power of men… who are free like the wind, going wherever you want or wherever the waves take you… who live outside that perverse society in which brother sells brother, in which those who should protect you sacrifice you to their disgusting passions, and in which the sweetest and most holy affections yield to the insatiable greed for gold or to the vile influence of power.” (Author’s translation) After this mouthfull of admiration and accusation has been delivered, Leonel joins this outlaw group and begins his new life as an infamous and feared pirate captain called Barbillas, raiding with his violent multinational crew along the Gulf Coast of Yucatan.

After many twists, turns, surprises, unexpected events, and overwrought emotions, this novel ends in tragedy for one set of lovers and happiness for another. I am not going to spoil it by telling you the details!

Political Undertones

It is interesting to note that the story told is in reality a vehicle for a political agenda. Ancona was a confirmed liberal, a supporter of Benito Juarez and an opponent of Maximilian and of Porfirio Diaz. Much of this novel is an attack on the injustice, intolerance and oppression of the traditional ruling classes–the Spanish administrators, the church officials, the wealthy hacendados–and it favors those who honestly work for a living, and those who are compassionate and generous toward the unfortunate and the poor.

In the hands of writers like Sierra and Ancona, literature was primarily an instrument for social and political change, and in their time these two Yucatecans were masters in the use of this instrument.

By Working Gringos

Type of Food/Restaurant: Coffee, wine & snacks
Name: Door 54
Neighborhood: Centro
Telephone: 999 289 3973
Address: Calle 54 X Calle 35, SE Corner
How to Get There from the Centro: Go north on Paseo de Montejo to Calle 35. Turn right to Calle 54. Turn right on Calle 54, and it will be on your left.
Air Conditioned: No
Outdoors: No
Wifi: Yes
Drinks: Wine and beer
Payments: Cash please.
Hours: 10 AM to 5 PM until March 1. After March 1, 8 AM to 10 PM.
Website: Facebook Page and their website, door54merida.com/
Notes: Besides selling food and drink, Door 54 sells pre-owned furniture that is sourced from the USA and shipped to Merida. Parking is in a lot two doors down on the right.

By Working Gringos

I have a small production company in Film, Photography & Design based in Playa del Carmen.
I would like to put on your website if is possible on the section job wanted?

Job wanted anywhere in Yucatan Peninsula

Contact: Faik Geci
Email: info [at] sunflowerproduction [dot] net
Phone: +52-554-019-1364

By Khaki Scott

Weather at Dawn Headlines: “Almost Frozen”

Yes, the Wednesday morning temperatures were (according to local papers) terrible, especially at the beach. As dawn broke, Progreso’s temperatures were “almost frozen.” By 7:00 AM, the temperature was only 17 C (62.5 F), with a misty rain and 60 km/hr (37.3 mi/h) winds. Residents wore heavy coats with hoods and hugged their steaming hot mugs of hot coffee as they rushed to work and school. However, the weather in Montreal, Canada, was -12.2 C (10 F), with snow predicted for overnight. The noon weather in Milwaukee, on Wednesday, was 2 C (36 F) with snow all day and temperatures predicted to be -11.1 C (12 F) by night. Somehow, we suspect that most expats in Yucatan won’t really need one of those heavy coats after all. By the way, even with a slow morning start, temperatures, for Yucatan, should rise to about 25 C (77 F) Wednesday afternoon and 27.8 C (82 F) by noon Thursday. It’s winter (however brief the nortes may be) in Yucatan. Enjoy!

Yucatan to Export Pork and Beef to China

The first two, of three, agreements with China have been completed. Yucatan will be exporting pork and beef to China. As soon as turkey production can be increased, China will be importing turkey meat as well. This is in addition to the seafood that is already being exported to China. Poultry will not be exported to China because Yucatan is at its limit on how much the poultry industry can expand here and still maintain Yucatan’s food security. The current limit already is under contract, so there is no room for dealing with the Chinese on poultry. What this will do to food prices in Yucatan is unknown. In the United States, exports of beef to China have driven beef prices out of reach for many Americans, but Yucatan has a different form of government with different controls that are specific to food prices, so this will be an economic exercise worth watching.

Mexican Air Force: 100 Years Strong

The expats who have been in Yucatan a decade or more might remember when, every once in a while, clandestine airstrips and marijuana fields were uncovered in our state. During the week of the 100th anniversary of the Mexican Air Force, it was announced that it has been seven years since the last of any sign of the clandestine drug infrastructure was found here, and daily military surveillance flights over Yucatan make certain that those kinds of situations do not come back to Yucatan. This kind of daily vigilance is a significant contributing factor to the safety and security of the state, and help to bolster Yucatan’s reputation as the safest state in Mexico. Yucatan Living, along with the entire expat community, sends a hearty thank you to the Mexican Air Force, along with our best wishes for what we know will be their next 100 years of success.

AFAD Celebrates 2014 Adoptions with Open House

Albergue Franciscano del Animal Desprotegido (AFAD) opened its doors a little more than twelve years ago, determined to not only help abandoned dogs and cats, but dedicated to educating the public about the need for pet sterilization. It seemed as if this concept was crawling along for the first few years. Then, little by little, all of Yucatan began to develop a passion for responsible pet ownership but, just five years ago, AFAD could only report that 50 animals were actually adopted during an entire calendar year. That is all changed now. The children who were exposed to AFAD in their schools are growing up and establishing homes of their own. They are young adults now, with influence in their extended families. It is no accident that AFAD can now happily report that more than 365 pets were adopted from their shelter in 2014. That is more than one pet adoption per day, in a culture that continues to grow in its passion for responsible pet ownership and sterilization. Through it all, Lidia Saleh Angulo, President of AFAD, has been the pioneer who insisted that this work would be successful. Now, Lidia, along with her volunteers, adopters, and students deserve many thanks and best wishes for the future. You can stop by and wish them well (and maybe adopt a pet of your own http://www.afad.org.mx/index.php/principal/Galerias/11 ) at the AFAD Open House on Sunday, March 1, from 11:00 AM until 5:00 PM.

Chicken Pox Rate Rising in Yucatan

Last year, Yucatan reported a total of 184 cases of chicken pox in January. This year, that number has risen to 340 for the same month. That is an increase of 45%. While this disease is relatively mild in children, it has a number of risks and potential long-term effects that can be life-threatening. The disease is airborne and presents with mild flu symptoms, including a fever of 100.4 F (38 C) and pearl-like skin blisters. It is contagious for about ten days, or from the time the symptoms appear until they finally erupt and crust over. Children should be monitored during this time because of the risk for secondary infections if they further injure themselves by scratching the blisters. In addition, this virus does not simply go away. Instead, it lodges near the spine and can appear as shingles in later stages of life. Shingles are extremely painful and can be life-threatening. Please be sure to wash your hands often and stay away from anyone who may not feel well until this outbreak of chicken pox is over.

Drug Testing: Who’s Driving You?

You go to a foreign country, maybe on vacation, maybe to live there, and you decide to take a bus, a combi-van, or a taxi instead of renting or buying a car. Did you ever wonder, about halfway to your destination, whether your driver might be impaired? You pride yourself with being pretty much able to spot someone who has been drinking alcohol and side-stepping that ride in favor of the next bus, combi or taxi. But what about drugs? Plus, what about the driver of that 18-wheeler that’s coming toward you? This past week, the Municipality of Progreso drug tested 320 bus, combi and taxi drivers, as well as truck drivers, all in the name of public safety. This is an important step because of the thousands of people who are on the road, literally at the mercy of these drivers, several days each week. Merida’s 2,400 commercial drivers have already been drug tested and all were drug-free. However, in the first five weeks of 2015 (January), six Merida public transport drivers were caught smoking marijuana on the job. They were fired immediately. Now, drug testing of commercial drivers of all kinds is to be made randomly, at least twice per year. Those who test positive will be given a warning and told they will have another random test soon. If it happens a second time, they will lose their licenses. If they get their job back and it happens a third time, they go to prison. While everyone is sympathetic to the need for rehabilitation for drug users, the safety of the traveling public, local and foreign, must take precedence in this case. We hope that every municipality takes the time and dedicates the resources necessary to carry a project like this out in their area.

Dragon Mart: Profepa Calls For Suspension and Investigation

Residents of San Benito, Quintana Roo, claim that, when Dragon Mart first made their application for permits, they claimed they are owned by the government of China. They also gave a detailed description of the size and scope of their environmental impact on the area. Now, it has been discovered that Dragon Mart is a privately owned megaproject that is continuously increasing its size and impact on the local environment. The people say they brought this to the attention of their current state government and were ignored. Profepa has called for a suspension of all work on Dragon Mart and a full investigation, by SEMARNAT, of any and all state and federal civil servants associated with the prior approval of Dragon Mart’s permits for construction and their environmental impact statements. Since there is an extensive list of both documents and civil servants to be investigated, this process is expected to take some time. SEMARNAT is Mexico’s Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources, and Profepa is Mexico’s Federal Attorney for Environmental Protection.

Celebrating Salvador Alvarado’s Arrival: 100 Years Ago

Yucatan’s State Congress has announced that, throughout 2015, there will be a number of official events celebrating the 100th year anniversary of the arrival of General Salvador Alvarado as Governor of Yucatan. Although he ruled the state for only three years, his programs – especially the schools he founded – are still alive today. The following paragraphs were distilled from autobiographical interviews with Elvia Carrillo Puerto, younger sister of Yucatan’s beloved Felipe Carrillo Puerto.

Salvador Alvarado was a strange breed of governor, especially for Yucatan. He had been an unwanted child and was forced to grow up in a home that was not his own. He got mixed up with Adolfo de la Huerta, who helped him in his youth and actually helped him get his first job. They became lifelong friends. Yet, Alvarado grew up to become a liberal pharmacist, who had actually participated in rebellion and, for a time, had to stay across the border in Arizona. He wanted rights for the people, but still fully backed capitalism as an economic system. This means he would do things like give women more rights, but still stand up for the rights of landowners who were abusing their husbands.

Alvarado and Elvia became fast friends because of Elvia’s reputation during the Rebellion. She and her feminist friends not only influenced him to institute a number of women’s rights programs, but also to hire one of her friends as a military nurse. Another strange situation, at that time, was the fact that Alvarado’s own troops were made up of soldiers who were affiliated with “batallones rojos” de la Casa del Obrero Mundial (the red battalions of the House of the Worldwide Workers). Alvarado even allowed the formation of almost 500 workers’ unions in Yucatan!

Governor Alvarado visited with the Carrillo Puerto family on at least one occasion, perhaps more, in Motul. We now know that Alvarado, a widower, was falling in love with a lady who was known to Elvia, and would soon marry her. Shortly after his visit to Motul, in October of 1815, Governor Alvarado gave Elvia, little brother Eraclio, and their friend Frank Augustin, jobs with the government. Then he approved the First Feminist Congress in Mexico, to be held in Merida under the direction of Elvia’s friend Hermila Galindo, and he let Felipe out of jail. Alvarado didn’t stop there. He also appointed Felipe President of the Agrarian Executive Committee of Motul. At this point, the nearly 500 workers’ unions began to stir to life and would form the foundation of Felipe Carrillo Puerto’s Socialist Working Party in June of the very next year.

In 1917, Felipe Carrillo Puerto was elected to the Legislature. Alvarado was still straddling the fence, trying to do good for the workers, but standing up for the rights of the landowners. Felipe and Elvia begin to ease their organizations and disciples away from him. The Haberman brothers, Roy and Robert, quietly appeared in Yucatan, as so-called advisors to Felipe and his Socialist Working Party.

In 1918, along with Ceferino Gamboa, Felipe presented a law initiative, for the closing of the distilleries, before the Congreso Local. He organized the I Congreso Obrero Socialista (First Socialist Working Congress) in Motul. Together with Ceferino Gamboa, Manuel Berzunza (who would die with him less than 5 years later) and Manuel González, Felipe Carrillo Puerto founded the periodical Tierra, as an organ of the Partido Socialista (Socialist Party). For a brief moment in time, Elvia stepped back from the limelight and found herself a spot in the gallery from which to watch the political star of her brother finally rise.

Then, in the Fall of 1918, Governor Alvarado was recalled by Carranza. While he was in Merida, Alvarado actually accomplished a great deal. It was under his governorship that the first Montesorri School opened, under the direction of Elena Torres, another of Elvia’s feminist friends. Alvarado believed the way to change society was to begin at the primary level and did much for schools, but he still believed in the same capitalistic economic system. Alvarado, in a stunning move, saw to it that the Law of Cancellation of Debts was passed, so that the debts of the laborers would no longer be passed on to their children. It is as if he wanted to make the leap toward Elvia and Felipe, and their disciples, but just did not have the courage to do so. Instead, Governor Alvarado, friend of the Carrillo Puerto family, did the best he could and, for that, the women and the workers of Yucatan have always been very careful to give him the respect that he has earned.

By Khaki Scott

This Week… starting February 16, 2014

Yucatan Living Mark Your Calendars for 2015
These dates are all governed by the cycles of the Sun and/or Moon and most are associated with major holidays and celebrations in Yucatan.
March 20 at 4:45 PM: Spring Equinox
March 29: Palm Sunday
April 4: Total Lunar Eclipse
April 5: Easter Sunday
June 21 at 11:38 AM: Midsummer Equinox
July 2 & 31: Blue Moon
September 23 at 3:20 PM: Fall Equinox
September 27: Super Moon
September 28: Total Lunar Eclipse
December 21 at 10:48 PM: Winter Equinox

Monday (Lunes) February 16, 2015

Yucatan Living Rides, Snacks, Crafts and More!
Come early and enjoy the Carnival fair! Plus, it doesn’t hurt to beat the traffic and have plenty of fun and food waiting for you when you get to the fairgrounds.
Location: Carnival Plaza at X’matkuil Fairgrounds
Time: 4:00 PM to 1:00 AM Monday and Tuesday
Admission: Only the cost of your own purchases

Yucatan Living Regional Parade
Since every region of Yucatan has some history and association with the Caribbean, it will be interesting to see how this parade plays out. Usually, various groups of residents join the parade dressed in traditional dress of Yucatan, making this one of the most charming parades of the week.
Location: Carnival Plaza at X’Matkuil Fairgrounds
Time: 8:00 PM Monday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Concert of the Guest Country: Cuba
This is to be a Grand Concert, so it will certainly be well worth attending.
Location: Dais Candela, Carnival Plaza at X’matkuil Fairgrounds
Time: 10:00 PM Monday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Concert of the Guest Country: Panama
This concert features Daphne Sweet Princess, an international Reggae and Urban Pop star.
Location: Tarima Playa Diversion (Beach Fun Stage), Carnival Plaza at X’matkuil Fairgrounds
Time: 11:00 PM Monday
Admission: Free

Tuesday (Martes) February 17, 2015

Yucatan Living Battle of the Flowers Parade
The Battle of the Flowers Parade is the biggest parade of Carnival week. This year, Africa Zavala and Lenny de la Rosa will be on hand to participate in this parade. Africa Zavala is an actress from Mexico City who admits to coming to Yucatan for the food. Lenny de la Rosa, also described as “eye candy,” is a Cuban actor, singer, model and dancer who currently lives in Mexico.
Location: Carnival Plaza at X’Matkuil Fairgrounds
Time: 1:00 PM Tuesday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Concert of the Guest Country: Cuba
Come dance to some great music!
Location: Tarima Grupo Rivas (Rivas Group Stage), Carnival Plaza at X’matkuil Fairgrounds
Time: 3:15 PM Tuesday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Movie: The Thing
(USA 1982) Scientists in the Antarctic are confronted by a shape-shifting alien that assumes the appearance of the people that it kills. In English with Spanish subtitles.
Location: Cairo Cinema, Calle 20 #98A x 15 y 17, Colonia Itzimná
Time: 9:00 PM Tuesday
Admission: Free

 

Wednesday (Miercoles) February 18, 2015

Yucatan Living Movie: Mommy
(Canada 2014) A widowed single mother, raising her violent son alone, finds new hope when a mysterious neighbor inserts herself into their household. In French with Spanish subtitles.
Location: LA 68, Calle 68 at Calle 55, centro of Merida
Time: 6:00 PM Wednesday
Admission: $35 pesos, $15 pesos students

Yucatan Living The Burial of Juan Carnival
Today is Ash Wednesday. Juan Carnival is the (straw man) personification of the spirit of Carnival. His mock death signifies that Carnival has ended and Lent has begun.
Location: In front of the Municipal Palace in Merida centro
Time: 8:00 PM Wednesday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Movie: El Cielo Abierto
(Mexico 2011) First there was the word, then the bullets and then silence. So this vigorous documentary Everardo González about Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero, the voice of the voiceless in El Salvador, the shepherd who in the middle of one of the crudest civil wars on the continent, dared start saying that the mission of the Church is the identification with the poor. In Spanish with English subtitles.
Location: LA 68, Calle 68 at Calle 55, centro of Merida
Time: 9:00 PM Wednesday
Admission: $35 pesos, $15 pesos students

 

Thursday (Jueves) February 19, 2015

Yucatan Living Muelle Market-Bazar del Muelle
First and Third Thursdays in February and March 2015
Local and Foreign Artisans Market: to benefit the Chicxulub Food Bank. Attractions include Slow Food Market Vendors, Jewelry by Jorge, Carvings by Martine, Olga Cuevas: Clothing Designer, Mano de Nano (aka Naomi Murphy): homemade mustard, salad dressing, marinades, granola, meat rubs, baked goods, and a variety of pickles, Anita’s Salchichones (German Sausage) and many many more !!!
Location: D’Mar Salon de Eventos, Calle 28x21y23, Chicxulub Puerto
Time: 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM Thursday
Admission: Free to shoppers. Vendors contact for more information.
More Information: Call Nola (English): (999) 109-6319 or e-mail: muellemarket [at] gmail [dot] com or keep up with new announcements on the Muelle Market-Bazar del Muelle Facebook page.

Yucatan Living Movie: Marley
(USA, 2012) A documentary on the life, music, and legacy of Bob Marley. In English.
Location: LA 68, Calle 68 at Calle 55, centro of Merida
Time: 6:00 PM Thursday
Admission: $35 pesos, $15 pesos students

Yucatan Living Movie: Gloria
(Chile 2013) A story set in Santiago and centered on Gloria, a free-spirited older woman, and the realities of her whirlwind relationship with a former naval officer whom she meets out in the clubs. In Spanish.
Location: Cairo Cinema, Calle 20 #98A x 15 y 17, Colonia Itzimná
Time: 9:00 PM Thursday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Movie: Club Sandwich
(Mexico 2013) Hector and his young mother Paloma go on holiday. Out of season their hotel is deserted. In Spanish with English subtitles.
Location: LA 68, Calle 68 at Calle 55, centro of Merida
Time: 9:00 PM Thursday
Admission: $35 pesos, $15 pesos students

 

Friday (Viernes) February 20, 2015

Yucatan Living Movie: Fogo
(Mexico 2012) The deterioration of a small community on Fogo Island is forcing its inhabitants to leave and resettle. Places once occupied by humans are now becoming part of the tundra landscape. In Spanish with English subtitles.
Location: LA 68, Calle 68 at Calle 55, centro of Merida
Time: 6:00 PM Friday
Admission: $35 pesos, $15 pesos students

Yucatan Living Movie: Pulp Fiction
(USA 1994) The lives of two mob hit men, a boxer, a gangster’s wife, and a pair of diner bandits intertwine in four tales of violence and redemption. In English.
Location: Cairo Cinema, Calle 20 #98A x 15 y 17, Colonia Itzimná
Time: 9:00 PM Friday
Admission: $35 pesos

Yucatan Living Movie: Leviathan
(Rusia 2014) Kolya lives in a small village on the Barents Sea, north of Russia. It has a garage next to his house, where he lives with his young wife Lilia and her son Roma, from his previous marriage. The village mayor want to steal his land, his home and his workshop for their projects. First try to buy the land, but Kolya not stand the thought of losing everything you own, not only the earth, but the beauty around him since birth. Given the negative, the mayor will begin to be more aggressive. In Russian with Spanish subtitles.
Location: LA 68, Calle 68 at Calle 55, centro of Merida
Time: 9:00 PM Friday
Admission: $35 pesos, $15 pesos students

 

Saturday (Sabado) February 21, 2015

Yucatan Living The Artist Studio Tour
This unique self-guided tour is a yearly fundraiser for the Merida English Library and gives important exposure to local, national and international artists living and working in Merida. Many of our 24 artists are represented in galleries and museums around the world, but the MEL Artist Studio Tour is the only time their studios are open to the public. One day, 24 great artists! The Artist Studio Tour allows you to spend quality time discussing the creative process with each artist and if, the mood strikes, you can pick up a piece for your home. You’ll find sculptors, painters, printmakers, photographers, papermakers and more in this talented group. Visit www.meridaenglishlibrary.com for updates on the tour, ticket sales locations and artist profiles.
Location: Downtown Merida. Map made available to ticket holders.
Time: 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Admission: Tickets are on sale now! Buy your tickets before February 21 and pay only 200 pesos. Tickets are 250 pesos the day of the tour so get them early!

Yucatan Living Movie: Navajazo
(Mexico 2014) An imagined apocalypse is presented to us through portraits of characters struggling to survive in a hostile environment, where the only thing they have in common is the desire to go live, no matter the cost. In Spanish.
Location: LA 68, Calle 68 at Calle 55, centro of Merida
Time: 6:00 PM Saturday
Admission: $35 pesos, $15 pesos students

Yucatan Living Movie: Moonrise Kingdom
(UK 2012) A pair of young lovers flee their New England town, which causes a local search party to fan out to find them. In English.
Location: Cairo Cinema, Calle 20 #98A x 15 y 17, Colonia Itzimná
Time: 9:00 PM Saturday
Admission: $35 pesos

Yucatan Living Movie: Maria’s Clouds
(Germany 2014) During his visit to Sils Maria in Switzerland, Maria Ender, a veteran actor looks back to examine her life. Emotionally recalled her years of success, longs for the time in which everyone loved and recognized her, but that time is past, and now she is an actress on the verge of retirement. Envy takes hold when she meets Jo-Ann, a young talent who will play the role that made her a star. In English with Spanish subtitles.
Location: LA 68, Calle 68 at Calle 55, centro of Merida
Time: 9:00 PM Saturday
Admission: $35 pesos, $15 pesos students

Sunday (Domingo), February 22, 2015

Yucatan Living Documentary: Cosmic Collisions
A look at the constant collisions in our solar system and beyond.
Location: Museum of Natural History, Calle 59 Next to the Zoo
Time: 12:00 PM Sunday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Soldier, Come Home
Award winning play based on real letters written during the Civil War will be presented in the garden. It is interesting to note that two of the main characters, depicting Civil War soldiers, will be played by local Yucatecans! Read here for more information.
Location: Merida English Library, Calle 53 x 66 y 68, centro
Time: 4:00 PM
Admission: Tickets on sale at MEL

Yucatan Living Movie: Before Midnight
(USA 2013) We meet Jesse and Celine nine years on in Greece. Almost two decades have passed since their first meeting on that train bound for Vienna. In English.
Location: Cairo Cinema, Calle 20 #98A x 15 y 17, Colonia Itzimná
Time: 9:00 PM Sunday
Admission: Free

 

Monday (Lunes) February 23, 2015

Yucatan LivingNo events planned for today… yet!

Coming Soon

Yucatan Living Musical Performances
La Escuela Superior de Artes de Yucatán will be performing three events in honor of the music teacher who was recently abducted and killed, Luis Luna Guarneros. The suspects have been apprehended (see article here), and these events are being held to commemorate his life and his dedication to the musical life of Merida. Certainly attendance by the expatriate community would be appreciated.
• Wednesday, February 25: At the Armando Manzanero Theatre (Calle 62 x 61), 8 PM, Quod stellae in caelo (Stars in the Firmament) with chorus, band and orchestra. The program will include some pieces from Carmen Burana.
• Thursday, February 26: At the Centro Cultural Pro Historia Peninsular (ProHispen at Calle 19 #94 x 18 y 20 in Colonia México), 8 PM, Battalia à 9 (Chamber music)
• Friday, February 27: At Templo Expiatorio de Nuestra Señora de la Consolación (Monjas) (Calle 63 x 64), 8 PM, Memoriam Concilium Musicae with Band and Organ. There will also be a mass in the Monjas church which the music will accompany. The music on this evening will include music by Bach, the Coronation Mass and Hallelujah Chorus by Mozart. It should be a pretty amazing evening.
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Muelle Market-Bazar del Muelle
First and Third Thursdays in February and March 2015
Local and Foreign Artisans Market: to benefit the Chicxulub Food Bank. Attractions include Slow Food Market Vendors, Jewelry by Jorge, Carvings by Martine, Olga Cuevas: Clothing Designer, Mano de Nano (aka Naomi Murphy): homemade mustard, salad dressing, marinades, granola, meat rubs, baked goods, and a variety of pickles, Anita’s Salchichones (German Sausage) and many many more !!!
Location: D’Mar Salon de Eventos, Calle 28x21y23, Chicxulub Puerto
Time: 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Admission: Free to shoppers. Vendors contact for more information.
More Information: Call Nola (English): (999) 109-6319 or e-mail: muellemarket [at] gmail [dot] com or keep up with new announcements on the Muelle Market-Bazar del Muelle Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/MuelleMarket

Yucatan Living Yucadanz: Monthly Contra Dance in Merida
When is a square dance not square? You’re just going to love this new dance in town. Contra dance is a community “barn dance”, where everyone socializes and dances with everyone else. We love their energy and hope that everyone will give contra dance a whirl. Everyone is welcome!
Location: Tumaka’t Dance Studio, Calle 51 #475-A x 52 y 54 (blue building, middle of block), Centro
Time: Beginner Class in Spanish: 7:00 PM, Beginner Class in English: 7:30 PM, Contra dance: 8:00 PM – 10:30 PM
Admission: Bring your own refreshments and water, no alcohol at the dance. $50-$100 pesos donation requested. Proceeds benefit Tumaka’t, a nonprofit arts group, and to establish a fund for live music. Read this great page on the Yucadanz website!
Last Meeting: Saturday, April 11, 2015

Yucatan Living Merida English Library Saturday Lecture Series: October – March
• February 28: Mexican wines – discussion and limited tasting. Elliot Diaz. Attendance limited. Admission 100 pesos.
• March 7: TBA
• March 14: TBA
Location: Merida English Library, Calle 53 x 66 y 68, Merida centro.
Time: 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Admission: Most lectures are free, some have a nominal fee

Yucatan Living IWC Tour: The Amazing Archaeological Tour – February 24 to March 1, 2015
This tour includes:
• Five nights accommodation
• Bilingual guide service
• Transportation by motor coach for the duration of the tour
• Breakfast each morning
• Entrance tickets to all specified attractions
• Donation to IWC Charity Committee
You will visit the archaeological sites of Edzna, X/puji, Balamku, Becan, Chicana, Calakmul, Kohunlich, and Coba, as well as a visit to Laguna Bacalar. Contact Joanna at http://writingfrommerida.com/2014/10/26/off-the-beaten-trail-tourism/ for more info on this trip.

Yucatan Living Ringo Starr and his All Starr Band: March 08
An icon of the music comes to Merida. Do not miss the opportunity to listen live to one of the musicians who marked an era, accompanied by some very accomplished artists in their own rights. This is a unique and unrepeatable concert not to miss.
Location:Coliseo Yucatan, on the road to Progreso
Time: 8:00 PM
Admission:from $425 pesos to $1825 pesos . Buy your tickets in advance here.

Yucatan Living Symphony Orchestra of Yucatan (OSY) in March
Note that the next performance of OSY will take place at Teatro Manzanero on Sunday, March 1st. During the month of March there will be NO Friday performances, thus /tickets/seating may be limited.
Sunday, March 1 – A la Eslava – Dvorak and Tchaikovsky
Sunday, March 8 – Concierto Didactico – Mozart, Prokofiev, Britten and Tchaikovsky
Sunday, March 15 – Republica Checa en la musica – Dvorak and Smetana
Sunday, March 22 – Del Clasicismo al Romanticismo – Beethoven, Tchaikovsky and Liszt

Yucatan Living Concert: Rock and Blues – Friday March 13, 2015
The Merida English Library presents its Music in the Gardens concert series. This concert features Steve Katz, formerly of Blood, Sweat & Tears, on guitar and vocals.
Location: Merida English Library, Calle 53 between 66 and 68, Centro
Time: 7:30 PM
Admission: $100 pesos. Tickets on sale now at the library. Seating limited. Beverages available.

Have an event you want to promote? Email us at info [at] yucatanliving [dot] com and we’ll be happy to list it in our Events listing and our Month-at-a-Glance Calendar! <

By Working Gringos

Name: Manuel Maldonado

Contact: manuel_abundio [at] yahoo [dot] com

Information: I would like to manage a farm. I am fully bilingual english and spanish. I am a retired pilot and have managed a farm for many years. I can travel for interview. At the present time I am living in Guatemala. I am familiar with the Yucatan, Campeche and Quintana Roo area.

By Khaki Scott

Armando Manzanero to Receive Award

Yucatan has more treasures than just its Maya archaeology. One of these Mayan treasures is Armando Manzanero, one of the few remaining composers of 20th century music in Yucatan. On March 3, 2015, Armando Manzanero will be presented the 2015 Silvio Zavala Medal for Culture and the Arts. Even that prestigious award is not enough to thank this great composer, pianist, singer and cultural ambassador. Armando Manzanero received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in the United States in 2014 and his career continues to provide the world with a vision of the romantic heart of Merida and all of Yucatan. One of our favorite Armando Manzanero performances is a duet of “Adoro” with Placido Domingo in concert at Chichen Itza. That performance can be watched here .

What Happens to the Recycled Christmas Trees?

For the past three years, Merida has carried out a program that provides free collection points for Christmas trees when the season is over. In January 2013 and 2014, there were only two collection points, with a combined total of just under 3,000 trees each year. This year (January 2015), the number of collection points doubled and the number of trees collected rose to over 4,000. Residents can still put their trees out by the street to be picked up, but there is a $20 peso fee. Bringing the trees to the collection points costs nothing. The question then becomes one of the final destination of the trees. The used Christmas trees are put through a wood chipper and turned into mulch for trees and plantings in public spaces. This keeps them from becoming fire hazards and/or the cause of environmental contamination. This is one of the most successful programs in the city and we hope everyone will participate in it.

Cancer Treatment News in Yucatan

It is a given that the earlier breast cancer is diagnosed, the more likely it is that it can be cured and now Yucatan is equipped to provide the latest in medical skill and technology to do just that. Hospital General Agustín O’Horán is now equipped and staffed to provide the latest advances in chemotherapy, Nuclear Medicine and radiotherapy, including a linear accelerator, teletherapy and brachytherapy. These were formerly only available at the Red Cross Cancer Center. Now, O’Horan will be able to provide up to 60 or even 90 sessions per day, meaning that many more forms of cancer can be stopped in their tracks. Between the resources of the Red Cross Cancer Center and O’Horan Hospital, it looks as if Yucatan’s ability to diagnose and treat cancer has just taken a giant leap forward.

Poinsettia Industry Blooming and Booming!

Whatever happens to those little businesses the state supports? We see loads of articles about officials coming to small, interior towns, with money for, usually, local ladies to start sustainable businesses; but then what? Well, we would ask the six producers of poinsettia’s in Yucatan; but we doubt they would have the time to tell us. Last year, six producers, with greenhouses in Hoctun, Homun, Kanasin, Conkal, Mococha, Dzununcan and Teya, hit a home run for Christmas Eve! They actually couldn’t keep up with demand and are currently expanding their operations. They do have the money because, in just two years, they have grown their client base to the point where their association is free and clear. They are adding three more producers and taking on more contracts than ever before. They’re even exporting cut flowers, in the off season, to Canada. What a wonderful story of blooming success!

Spring Break Travel for Yucatan’s Students

The American Consulate in Merida issues 40,000 visas per year for Yucatecos headed north for business, school, and vacations. In order to get this done, they have a system for students and exchange students that starts online, 30 days before the applicant comes to the office. Merida is one of seven Mexican cities participating in this program. This takes well over 15,000 students and exchange students out of the long waiting lines and ensures that they can come and go on the dates they need to leave school and return to school. What a relief to have that kind of stress taken off of students! If this program works for them, maybe it will be in the future of the traveling public soon. We can only hope.

Street Dogs Headed North of the Border

Evolución Animal, a local shelter for dogs and cats, with the help of some of their volunteers, has been in contact with a number of animal shelters in Canada and the United States. It seems that those shelters have certain requirements in order to remain open, one of which is to be of service to a certain number of animals. If they fall below that number, they are in danger of being closed and the employees losing their jobs. Enter the overpopulation of dogs and cats in Yucatan. Sylvia Cortes Castillo, founder and director of Evolución Animal, and her volunteers have made arrangements to send some of their dogs north to underutilized shelters in Canada and the United States. With three success stories under their belt, they are ready to send six more dogs in search of new homes. What a wonderful opportunity! Many thanks to Sylvia Cortes and to each and every one of the volunteers!

Fire Season Comes Early This Year

Agricultural burning will take place this year (2015) from February 15 through May 30. Since there will still be strong winds during this time, please be on the lookout for smoke and fire when driving in rural areas and do not hesitate to call the fire department if you see a wildfire or a fire that is out of control. If you see smoke ahead, do not drive into it. If you have no choice, turn on your lights so that others can see you. Civil Protection has not yet issued the burning calendar for 2015, but we will watch for it and post it in the News when it comes. Last year, due to late rains, Yucatan had fewer wildfires than ever before. Hopefully, by moving the dates for the burning season, that will be the case for this year as well.

Merida Vies for Inclusion in Select Group of Cities

“Cities and Local Governments” Group, in association with UNESCO, is developing a list of the 500 most important local governments and cities in the world. Merida wants to be on that list and has an excellent chance of being accepted. This is all about power – cultural power – and Merida has been steadily increasing its visibility through contacts and networking with international partners to facilitate the mobility of artists and the sharing of culture. Merida also works hard to ensure that all aspects of culture have a sustainable foundation and her unique cultural characteristics are well known worldwide. Hopefully, it will not be long before Merida is named as one of the 500 most important cities in the world.

Center for the Development of Women: Izamal

We cannot help but remember the opening of the first senior citizens’ center outside of Merida in Yucatan. It didn’t take long for every town to have their own and for senior citizens to find their active and engaged place in the late 20th century. Now, centers for the development of women are springing up everywhere. Domestic violence is on the run. Women are getting more educational opportunities than ever before, and they are taking full advantage of the opportunity to own and operate their own businesses. With the opening of the new Center for the Development of Women in Izamal, this northwest corner of the state joins a network that will ensure the success of many more families in rural Yucatan.

Gasoline War on the Belize Border

It isn’t really going to be a gasoline war because Belize is simply going to beat the socks off of PEMEX from the word “go.” As the price of oil continues to drop, Belize has decided to pass the savings on to customers. This means that, in the Free Zone, with no taxes to pay, gasoline is now 12.76 pesos per liter and is expected to drop to 10 pesos per liter within a couple of months. The demand is already so great that Belize has built new gas stations with up to 12 pumps. Illegal gasoline outlets are already developing in rural areas on the Mexican side of the border, so we will just have to watch as this situation plays itself out.

By Khaki Scott

This Week… starting February 09, 2014

Yucatan Living Mark Your Calendars for 2015
These dates are all governed by the cycles of the Sun and/or Moon and most are associated with major holidays and celebrations in Yucatan.
February 17: Fat Tuesday (the Last Carnaval Parade… events start on February 11)
March 20 at 4:45 PM: Spring Equinox
March 29: Palm Sunday
April 4: Total Lunar Eclipse
April 5: Easter Sunday
June 21 at 11:38 AM: Midsummer Equinox
July 2 & 31: Blue Moon
September 23 at 3:20 PM: Fall Equinox
September 27: Super Moon
September 28: Total Lunar Eclipse
December 21 at 10:48 PM: Winter Equinox

Monday (Lunes) February 09, 2015

Yucatan Living No events planned for today

Tuesday (Martes) February 10, 2015

Yucatan Living Movie: Kurt Cobain: About a Son
(United States 2006). Director: Al Schnack. Stars Kurt Cobain, Michael Azerrad (interviewer), and Courtney Love. Previously unpublished interviews from 1992/1993 in which Cobain tells the story of his rise to fame and the problems he encountered. Most likely in English with Spanish subtitles.
Location: Centro Cultural Jose Marti / Parque de Las Americas, Av. Colon x Calle 20
Time: 8:00 PM Tuesday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Music: Mo’Mojo! Is in the Park!
What a way to begin Carnival week! Mo’ Mojo is a hard driving, high energy, Zydeco-based “Party-Gras” Band. The female fronted group features three-part harmonies, accordion, fiddle, guitar, rubboard, sax, trumpet, harp, bass, percussion, and drums. Don’t miss this!
Location: Parque de Santa Lucia, Calle 60 x 55
Time: 8:00 PM Tuesday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Movie: Phase IV
(USA 1974) Desert ants suddenly form a collective intelligence and begin to wage war on the desert inhabitants. It is up to two scientists and a stray girl they rescue from the ants to destroy them. In English with Spanish subtitles.
Location: Cairo Cinema, Calle 20 #98A x 15 y 17, Colonia Itzimná
Time: 9:00 PM Tuesday
Admission: Free

 

Wednesday (Miercoles) February 11, 2015

Yucatan LivingQuema del Mal Humor (Burning of Bad Moods)
This event is the official beginning of Carnival. Entertainment will be by Los Super Lamas and will most likely include fire and fireworks.
Location: In front of the Municipal Palace
Time: 7:00 PM
Admission: Free

 

Thursday (Jueves) February 12, 2015

Yucatan Living Children’s Carnaval Parade
This parade is probably the most charming and photogenic of all the parades in the next week. It begins in front of the Municipal Palace, makes its way around the Plaza Grande and then up Calle 60. Visit the Map of the Children’s Parade.
Location: Merida Centro
Time: 4:00 PM Thursday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Movie: Donnie Darko
(USA 2001) A troubled teenager is plagued by visions of a large bunny rabbit that manipulates him to commit a series of crimes, after narrowly escaping a bizarre accident. In English with Spanish subtitles.
Location: Cairo Cinema, Calle 20 #98A x 15 y 17, Colonia Itzimná
Time: 9:00 PM Thursday
Admission: Free

 

Friday (Viernes) February 13, 2015

Yucatan Living Latin, Mexican & Yucatecan Music with Maricarmen Perez
Check the performance details at the Merida English Library website. The Merida English Library presents its Music in the Gardens concert series. This concert features Maricarmen Perez (vocals & guitar), Juan Palacios (electric piano), Darwin Valencia (acoustic bass), and Julian Lopez (percussion).
Location: Merida English Library, Calle 53 x 66 y 68.
Time: 7:00 PM Friday
Admission: $100 pesos. Seating limited. Beverages available for purchase.

Yucatan Living Corso Parade
This parade will showcase the theme of this year’s Carnival: Caribbean Voyage, and it is going to be beautiful. Do try to get out to the fairgrounds to see it. There will be a special concert by the Banda El Recodo.
Location: Carnival Plaza at X’Matkuil Fairgrounds
Time: 8:30 PM Friday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Movie: Dazed and Confused
(USA 1993) AThe adventures of incoming high school and junior high students on the last day of school, in May of 1976. In English. If you lived in a small town in the 70′s, you might just love this film.
Location: Cairo Cinema, Calle 20 #98A x 15 y 17, Colonia Itzimná
Time: 9:00 PM Friday
Admission: $35 pesos

 

Saturday (Sabado) February 14, 2015

Yucatan Living Yucadanz: Monthly Contra Dance in Merida
When is a square dance not square? You’re just going to love this new dance in town. Contra dance is a community “barn dance”, where everyone socializes and dances with everyone else. We love their energy and hope that everyone will give contra dance a whirl. Everyone is welcome!
Location: Tumaka’t Dance Studio, Calle 51 #475-A x 52 y 54 (blue building, middle of block), Centro
Time: Beginner Class in Spanish: 7:00 PM, Beginner Class in English: 7:30 PM, Contra dance: 8:00 PM – 10:30 PM
Admission: Bring your own refreshments and water, no alcohol at the dance. $50-$100 pesos donation requested. Proceeds benefit Tumaka’t, a nonprofit arts group, and to establish a fund for live music. Read this great page on the Yucadanz website!
There will be one more meeting this season, on Saturday, April 11, 2015.

Yucatan Living Fantasia Parade
Actress and former model Ariadne Diaz, originally from Puerto Vallarta, will be on hand to participate in this parade, which will showcase Yucatan’s love affair with fantasy floats. We can only imagine how grand they will be when coupled with this year’s theme of Caribbean Voyage. There will also be a concert by Merenglass, the most popular merengue group in Mexico, as they celebrate 20 years on stage with a brand new CD.
Location: Carnival Plaza at X’Matkuil Fairgrounds
Time: 8:30 PM Saturday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Dinner for Two in Cairo
3 course dinner for two for $350 pesos, includes one drink.
Location: Cairo Cinema, Calle 20 #98A x 15 y 17, Colonia Itzimná
Time: 9:00 PM Saturday
Admission: $350 pesos

Sunday (Domingo), February 15, 2015

Yucatan Living Bachata Parade: Sunday February 15, 2015
The heart throb of this parade is Jose Ron, award winning telenovela actor from Guadalajara and internationally well known animal rights activist. The Bachata Parade is always defined by its Dominican Republic ancestry with African roots. With this year’s theme of Caribbean Voyage, look for this parade to step it up a notch and be one of the best of the week.
Location: Carnival Plaza at X’Matkuil Fairgrounds
Time: 1:00 PM Sunday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Movie: Fight Club
(USA 1999) An insomniac office worker looking for a way to change his life crosses paths with a devil-may-care soap maker and they form an underground fight club that evolves into something much, much more… In English.
Location: Cairo Cinema, Calle 20 #98A x 15 y 17, Colonia Itzimná
Time: 9:00 PM Sunday
Admission: Free

 

Monday (Lunes) February 16, 2015

Yucatan LivingRegional Parade
Since every region of Yucatan has some history and association with the Caribbean, it will be interesting to see how this parade plays out. Usually, various groups of residents join the parade dressed in traditional dress of Yucatan, making this one of the most charming parades of the week.
Location: Carnival Plaza at X’Matkuil Fairgrounds
Time: 8:00 PM Monday
Admission: Free

Coming Soon

Yucatan Living Muelle Market-Bazar del Muelle
First and Third Thursdays of January, February and March 2015
Local and Foreign Artisans Market: to benefit the Chicxulub Food Bank. Attractions include Slow Food Market Vendors, Jewelry by Jorge, Carvings by Martine, Olga Cuevas: Clothing Designer, Mano de Nano (aka Naomi Murphy): homemade mustard, salad dressing, marinades, granola, meat rubs, baked goods, and a variety of pickles, Anita’s Salchichones (German Sausage) and many many more !!!
Location: D’Mar Salon de Eventos, Calle 28x21y23, Chicxulub Puerto
Time: 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Admission: Free to shoppers. Vendors contact for more information.
More Information: Call Nola (English): (999) 109-6319 or e-mail: muellemarket [at] gmail [dot] com or keep up with new announcements on the Muelle Market-Bazar del Muelle Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/MuelleMarket

Battle of the Flowers Parade: Tuesday February 17, 2015
The Battle of the Flowers Parade is the biggest parade of Carnival week. This year, Africa Zavala and Lenny de la Rosa will be on hand to participate in this parade. Africa Zavala is an actress from Mexico City who admits to coming to Yucatan for the food. Lenny de la Rosa, also described as “eye candy,” is a Cuban actor, singer, model and dancer who currently lives in Mexico.
Location: Carnival Plaza at X’Matkuil Fairgrounds
Time: 1:00 PM Tuesday
Admission: Free

The Burial of Juan Carnival: Wednesday February 18, 2015
Today is Ash Wednesday. Juan Carnival is the (straw man) personification of the spirit of Carnival. His mock death signifies that Carnival has ended and Lent has begun.
Location: In front of the Municipal Palace in Merida centro
Time: 8:00 PM Wednesday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Yucadanz: Monthly Contra Dance in Merida
When is a square dance not square? You’re just going to love this new dance in town. Contra dance is a community “barn dance”, where everyone socializes and dances with everyone else. We love their energy and hope that everyone will give contra dance a whirl. Everyone is welcome!
Location: Tumaka’t Dance Studio, Calle 51 #475-A x 52 y 54 (blue building, middle of block), Centro
Time: Beginner Class in Spanish: 7:00 PM, Beginner Class in English: 7:30 PM, Contra dance: 8:00 PM – 10:30 PM
Admission: Bring your own refreshments and water, no alcohol at the dance. $50-$100 pesos donation requested. Proceeds benefit Tumaka’t, a nonprofit arts group, and to establish a fund for live music. Read this great page on the Yucadanz website!
Last Meeting: Saturday, April 11, 2015

Yucatan Living Merida English Library Saturday Lecture Series: October – March
• February 21: MEL Artist Studio Tour. No lecture.
• February 28: Mexican wines – discussion and limited tasting. Elliot Diaz. Attendance limited. Admission 100 pesos.
• March 7: TBA
• March 14: TBA
Location: Merida English Library, Calle 53 x 66 y 68, Merida centro.
Time: 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Admission: Most lectures are free, some have a nominal fee

Yucatan Living The Artist Studio Tour – February 21
This unique self-guided tour is a yearly fundraiser for the Merida English Library and gives important exposure to local, national and international artists living and working in Merida. Many of our 24 artists are represented in galleries and museums around the world, but the MEL Artist Studio Tour is the only time their studios are open to the public. One day, 24 great artists! The Artist Studio Tour allows you to spend quality time discussing the creative process with each artist and if, the mood strikes, you can pick up a piece for your home. You’ll find sculptors, painters, printmakers, photographers, papermakers and more in this talented group. Visit www.meridaenglishlibrary.com for updates on the tour, ticket sales locations and artist profiles.
Location: Downtown Merida. Map made available to ticket holders.
Time: 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Admission: Tickets are on sale now! Buy your tickets before February 21 and pay only 200 pesos. Tickets are 250 pesos the day of the tour so get them early!

Yucatan Living Soldier, Come Home – February 22
Award winning play based on real letters written during the Civil War will be presented in the garden. It is interesting to note that two of the main characters, depicting Civil War soldiers, will be played by local Yucatecans! Read here for more information.
Location: Merida English Library, Calle 53 x 66 y 68, centro
Time: 4:00 PM
Admission: Tickets on sale at MEL

Yucatan Living IWC Tour: The Amazing Archaeological Tour – February 24 to March 1, 2015
This tour includes:
• Five nights accommodation
• Bilingual guide service
• Transportation by motor coach for the duration of the tour
• Breakfast each morning
• Entrance tickets to all specified attractions
• Donation to IWC Charity Committee
You will visit the archaeological sites of Edzna, X/puji, Balamku, Becan, Chicana, Calakmul, Kohunlich, and Coba, as well as a visit to Laguna Bacalar. Contact Joanna at http://writingfrommerida.com/2014/10/26/off-the-beaten-trail-tourism/ for more info on this trip.

Yucatan Living Ringo Starr and his All Starr Band, March 08
An icon of the music comes to Merida. Do not miss the opportunity to listen live to one of the musicians who marked an era, accompanied by some very accomplished artists in their own rights. This is a unique and unrepeatable concert not to miss.
Location:Coliseo Yucatan, on the road to Progreso
Time: 8:00 PM
Admission:from $425 pesos to $1825 pesos . Buy your tickets in advance here.

Yucatan Living Symphony Orchestra of Yucatan (OSY) in March
Note that the next performance of OSY will take place at Teatro Manzanero on Sunday, March 1st. During the month of March there will be NO Friday performances, thus /tickets/seating may be limited.
Sunday, March 1 – A la Eslava – Dvorak and Tchaikovsky
Sunday, March 8 – Concierto Didactico – Mozart, Prokofiev, Britten and Tchaikovsky
Sunday, March 15 – Republica Checa en la musica – Dvorak and Smetana
Sunday, March 22 – Del Clasicismo al Romanticismo – Beethoven, Tchaikovsky and Liszt

Yucatan Living Concert: Rock and Blues Friday March 13, 2015
The Merida English Library presents its Music in the Gardens concert series. This concert features Steve Katz, formerly of Blood, Sweat & Tears, on guitar and vocals.
Location: Forum Cine Colón (72 street by Colon Avenue)
Time: 7:30 PM
Admission: $100 pesos. Seating limited. Beverages available.

Have an event you want to promote? Email us at info [at] yucatanliving [dot] com and we’ll be happy to list it in our Events listing and our Month-at-a-Glance Calendar! <

By Working Gringos

Tax Filing Guidance for 2015

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has provided the following guidance for U.S. citizens abroad preparing for the 2015 tax filing season. This IRS guidance is posted under Federal Benefits and Obligations on travel.state.gov. U.S. embassies and consulates cannot mail tax returns on behalf of U.S. taxpayers living abroad.

1. Who Must File?

All U.S. citizens and resident aliens must file a U.S. individual income tax return, even if they permanently live outside the United States and may not owe any tax because of income exclusion or tax credit.

2. When is the 2014 Federal Tax Return Due?

Due date for Form 1040: April 15, 2015

Extensions:
· An automatic extension to June 15, 2015, is granted for taxpayers living outside the United States and Puerto Rico. No form is required; write “Taxpayer Resident Abroad” at the top of your tax return.
o Caution: This extension applies only for filing your tax return, not for payment. If you owe any taxes, you’re required to pay by April 15, 2015. Interest and penalties will generally be applied if payment is made after this date.
· To request an additional extension to October 15, 2015, use Form 4868.
· Caution: This extension applies only for filing your tax return, not for payment. If you owe any taxes, you’re required to pay by April 15, 2015. Interest and penalties will generally be applied if payment make after this date.
· Other extensions may be available on IRS.gov.

3. Can I Mail My Return and Payment?

You can mail your tax return and payment using the postal service or approved private delivery services. A list of approved delivery services is available on IRS.gov. If you mail a return from outside the United States, the date of filing is the postmark date. However, if you mail a payment, separately or with your return, your payment is not considered received until the date of actual receipt.

4. Can I Electronically File My Return?

You can prepare and e-file your income tax return, in many cases for free. Participating software companies make their products available through the IRS. E-File options are listed on IRS.gov.

5. What Forms May I Need?

· 1040, U.S Individual Income Tax Return
o Instructions to Form 1040
o 1116, Foreign Tax Credit
o 2013 Instructions to Form 1116 – 2014 instructions will be available soon, please check on www.irs.gov
· 2350, Application for Extension of Time to File U.S. Income Tax Return (for U.S. citizens and residents abroad)
o 2350 in Spanish
· 2555, Foreign Earned Income Exclusion
o Instructions to Form 2555
· 2555-EZ, Foreign Earned Income Exclusion
o Instructions to Form 2555-EZ
· 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time To File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return
o 4868 in Spanish
· 8802, Application for United States Residency Certificate
o Instructions to Form 8802
· 8938, Statement of Specified Foreign Financial Assets,
o Instructions to Form 8938
· 14653, Certification by U.S. Person Residing Outside of the United States for Streamlined Foreign Offshore Procedures

6. How Do I Pay My Taxes?

You must pay your taxes in U.S. dollars.

· Direct pay. You can pay online with a direct transfer from your U.S. bank account using Direct Pay, the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System, or by a U.S. debit or credit card. You can also pay by phone using the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System or by a U.S. debit or credit card.

· Foreign wire transfers. If you have a U.S. bank account, you can use the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System. If you do not have a U.S. bank account, ask whether your financial institution has a U.S. affiliate that can help you make same-day wire transfers.

· Foreign electronic payments. International taxpayers who do not have a U.S. bank account may transfer funds from their foreign bank account directly to the IRS for payment of their tax liabilities.

7. Other Reporting?

You also may have to file FinCEN Form 114, Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR), by June 30, 2015.

8. Does the IRS Provide Help in Other Languages?

The IRS provides tax information in Chinese, Korean, Russian, Spanish, and Vietnamese. Go to www.irs.gov and use the drop down box under “Languages” on the upper right corner to select your language.

9. Where Can I Get Help?

Contact the International Taxpayer Service Call Center by phone or fax. The International Call Center is open Monday through Friday, from 6:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. (Eastern Time).

Tel: 267-941-1000 (not toll-free)
Fax: 267-941-1055
You may also contact the IRS office in London, Paris, or Frankfurt. For addresses and telephone numbers, contact my local office internationally.

10. I Received a Notice from the IRS – What Do I Do?

If you receive a notice from the IRS and need to contact the IRS, call the number listed on the notice or the International Taxpayer Service Call Center (see above).

11. Where Can I Get More Information?

For information on the IRS website about international taxpayers,see this page.
For general information about international taxpayers, see Publication 54, “Taxation of U.S. Citizens and Residents Abroad.”
For information on the Affordable Care Act and taxpayers outside the United States, see Publication 5187, “Health Care Law.”

12. I Haven’t Filed All My Tax Returns – What Can I Do?

If you have not filed all the returns required of you and want to catch up on your filing obligations, see this announcement: IRS makes changes to offshore-programs.

By Tom Kuhn

Editor’s Note: We heard about this quest to find the best hamburger in Merida. A few of our friends had been looking for the best burger for months. So when we heard that they had ended their quest and come up with a winner, we felt it was a great idea to share this with our readers. Enjoy!!

How It All Started

We all know how different subjects come up in conversations with your friends when you’re just sitting around shooting the breeze. This happened to John, Barry, and I while we were were sitting at a downtown coffee house, sipping our ground beans of choice one lovely but rather warm Friday morning in July. We had been meeting for coffee almost every Friday morning, feeling it was a good thing for us, especially since the women in our lives seemed to think so too. On this particular coffee outing during one of the few lulls in conversation, someone posed the question “Who do you think has the best burger in Merida?” It was at that point that we decided that we would go on a quest to find the best burger in Merida.

Half the Fridays

Our Burger Quest started on July 18, 2014 and ended at the end of January 2015, which means out of 28 possible Quest Fridays, we actually ate hamburgers on half of those days. Not a bad average considering that we are all retired, we like to travel and we have wives or significant others. Add to that the occasional medical thing or two that comes along from time to time at our age!

Looking for the best hamburger in Merida YucatanSo who says that we are qualified to determine the best burger? After all, I may not like what you like and how do you compare taste? In the end, we decided it came down to the fact that it was our quest, so we got to choose! Additional questing is open and available to all who have the time.

The Hamburger Quest Process

After some discussion, we decided that to play it this way: each Friday afternoon, one of us would choose a place to go and that person drove and picked everyone else up around 1:00 PM. There would need to be three of us in attendance. We have been hanging out together for many years and we knew that we may very well need a tie breaker! That rule became easier when our mutual friend Reg came down for the winter from the big “D” (Detroit), because then we had four people, making it easier to create a quorum of three each time.
The quest for the best hamburger in Merida Yucatan
Upon arrival we would order one burger, medium rare with nothing on it and have it served only with the bun. We referred to this as a “naked” burger. We then cut the hamburger into three equal pieces and we each ate a third. During the eating process, we would discuss, comment, judge and share our opinions.

Next, we would each order a burger the way we like to eat a burger. There was no sharing this time, as we could not seem to agree on the best toppings for a burger. We ate our burgers and made comments as necessary. This second tasting was for our own decision making process and carried no weight with the other judges, nor would it be a major part of the overall evaluation and rating. The second tasting was just lunch!

Burgerteers!

The Burgerteers of Merida YucatanOn or around the second restaurant visit, the term “Burgerteer” was coined. It seemed fitting since we were three friends, like the Three Musketeers, on a quest. So we adopted the name and wore it with pride.

Even We Have Limits

As the weeks passed, we came to the realization that we had taken on a daunting task. This led us to decide to stop our Burger Quest after twelve restaurant visits. Those twelve visits took us up until Thursday the 22nd of January 2015. On that date we revisited our top four favorite burger restaurants and that marked the end of our quest.

The Final Four

The final four, in no particular order, were La Rueda Parrilla Gaucha Norte, La Cabaña Sonorense Steak House, La Recova Sharing hamburgers in Merida YucatanMontejo Parrilla Argentina & Contemporanea and La Pamplona Steak House by Salamanca. The aforementioned names are the full names of each restaurant.

On the last day, we went to each restaurant in that order… not by preference but by time constraints and ease of flow from one to the other.

It is interesting to note that every quest in life changes the way we look at things. I like rare meat. Most of my compatriots liked their burgers less rare, but over the course of our quest, my fellow Burgerteers started to lean towards the rarer side of things and found themselves rewarded by the flavors they experienced. Don’t get me wrong… there is nothing wrong with having a burger or a steak cooked well done (or bien cocido, in Spanish), but… ah… uh…choke….yes there is! It just ruins the flavor! There, I said it.

The Final Analysis

Our final analysis was based on numerous factors that we agreed should be considered. The flavor of the meat and the Cabana Sonorense Steakhouse in Merida Yucatanbun were paramount! Other major factors included the quality and type of meat to be compared, the burger-to-bun ratio, the consistency from the first to second visit, and the wallet effect or, as it is better known, the “bang for the buck”! This last consideration had to be included, since we did not have a sponsor with deep pockets. Maybe next time!

And The Winner Is…

Our final choice for the best burger in Merida was…. envelope, please!

The winner of the Burger Quest in Merida Yucatan(drum roll….)

La Cabaña Sonorense Steak House!

Please stop by when you get a chance and tell Pedro that the Burgerteers and Yucatan Living sent you. He and his family will appreciate your business and your taste buds will be glad you did!

In the End…

Our top four restaurants would not have been chosen as the final four if they had not previously impressed us. Setting aside the inconsistencies that we all know arise in many of the restaurants in Merida, we Burgerteers felt that all of our Final Four restaurants are very good places to have a burger and each one offers their customers a different dining experience.

In addition, the Burgerteers want everyone to know that our Burger Quest was not meant to be, nor is it, the final word on burgers here in Merida. Needless to say we did not frequent any of the burger places that are open only in the evening, Looking for the best burger in Merida Yucatanand certainly we did not eat at every restaurant where burgers are sold. However, we stand united in our belief that our findings will tickle your taste buds and give you reason to smile! And maybe, this will even start you on your own quest!

We have been asked by many if there will be another quest. We have discussed what a future quest might be and in the top spot right now is a Pizza Quest. But at this writing, no definitive plans have been made.

In closing, the Burgerteers are pleased to be able to pass on the information about various restaurants that serve burgers here in Merida. We hope that you find our information useful and that we helped you find a great burger!

“All for one burger and a burger for all”!

****
The Burger Quest went to the following twelve Merida restaurants:

Boston’s
La Rueda
Acqua
Hennessy’s
La Recova (Prolongacion Montejo)
Pamplona Steak House
El Tio Ricardo
Union Jack’s
Canada Burger
The Roadhouse
Salamanca Grill and Lounge
La Cabaña Sonorense

The details and links of all the Burger Quests can be viewed at Tom Kuhn’s Blog.

By Working Gringos

Type of Food/Restaurant: Steakhouse
Name: La Cabaña Sonorense
Neighborhood: Colonia Aleman
Telephone: 999-926-4055
Address: Circuito Colonias #297 x 17 y 19, Colonia Miguel Aleman, Merida
How to Get There from the Centro: Go north on Paseo de Montejo to the Walmart intersection (Avenida Colon). Turn right (north-east) and continue past two stoplights. Turn right at the third stoplight, Avenida Aleman. Continue to Circuito Colonias (also known there as Calle 20). Turn right and the restaurant will be on your right.
Air Conditioned: Yes
Outdoors: No
Wifi: TBD
Drinks: Wine and beer
Payments: Accept Mastercard and Visa.
Hours: Monday to Saturday, 1 PM to 11 PM, Sundays 9 AM to 7 PM
Website: www.lacabanasonorence.com.mx

By Khaki Scott

Transpeninsular Train Canceled

Mexico has announced the cancellation of the proposed new train that would eventually travel between Mexico and Quintana Roo, passing through Merida. The reason given was that there are no federal resources available for the project and it cannot continue now that the contract with China Railway has been canceled. This move is alternately described as a cancellation and an indefinite suspension of the project. Only time will tell.

Koreans Came to Yucatan as Tourists

Knowing the sad story of how the original Korean immigrants came to Yucatan, we were thrilled to see that a group of Korean tourists visited the state just this past week. They are part of a documentary called “Atlas and Walk to the World.” The Korean tourists came to see all of our major tourist attractions, along with trips to markets and even small towns. While we are thrilled that they came, we are even happier that they love the food and culture and they want to come back. For a short history of Koreans in Yucatan, read Korean Yucatecos: 100 Years of History in our 2008 Yucatan Living News.

Real Estate Warning from Profeco

One of the oldest tricks in the book: selling a lot that cannot be sold to someone who either is not physically present or does not know what they are looking at, and who does not have sufficient legal representation to protect themselves. This is the case with a number of lots that are actually under water in the mangroves along Yucatan’s coast. Potential buyers are stuck for between a deposit of 10,000 and 20,000 pesos for these lots and told that the water will be filled in prior to construction. Sooner or later, Profeca steps in and stops the construction at whatever stage it is found. Owners are outraged that they have bought land that is actually public property. Unfortunately, “Buyer Beware” is about all that anyone can say. If you are purchasing property anywhere in Yucatan, please check with other expats for recommendations and make certain that you have your own legal representation in place before your real estate adventure begins.

Female Entrepreneurs Receive Recognition

Every week, there is at least one story in the news about entrepreneurs in Yucatan and we wonder if our readers really know how important this much support and publicity has been for our adopted state. Now we know. Most entrepreneurs in Yucatan are women. Banks and government lending institutions show that these women are better administrators and better at repaying investments in their businesses than are their male counterparts. These women-owned small businesses may not create massive numbers of jobs in the state, but they are credited with creating an environment that attracts those companies that do. It was noted at a meeting of the Mexican Association of Women Entrepreneurs this week that the State of Yucatan has one of the lowest rates of unemployment in the nation. This is wonderful news and congratulations are in order for everyone in the Yucatan.

Traffic Chaos in Merida’s Centro

It all started with 115,000 visitors to Merida’s Plaza Grande for events related to the three week Anniversary of the City. Keep in mind that more Yucatecos than ever now have cars and everyone wants to attend the festivities. Then came the “streets closed to vehicular traffic” with no way to turn around and get out. Ah! The answer, of course, is to travel into Centro by bus. Well, not really. When the streets filled with cars, the buses couldn’t get in, so they just remained where they were. When the festival ended, at the end of January, traffic problems continued because the city is now doing what is called “major surgery” on all of the most traveled streets in Centro. This results in random street closures, as well as temporary changes in the direction of traffic.

Merida’s Busy Airport

Not only does Merida’s airport now serve 4,000 passengers per day, but it is also the third busiest import/export freight airport in all of Mexico. The two airports that handle more freight than Merida’s airport are Mexico City and Guadalajara. Merida’s airport handled 17,953,770 pounds of freight in 2014, of which 40% was exports and 60% were imports. The top trading partners included countries in Europe and the United States, Japan, China and South America. The countries Yucatan dealt with, in large part and on this side of the world, included the United States, Nicaragua, Barbados, Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Brazil and Ecuador. Those items most shipped included various industrial materials, parcels of documents, airplane parts, car parts, flowers and fish. This all comes after a 48% increase in Merida’s airport freight industry that came about after airport management throughout the Caribbean and South America graduated from a special program taught by experts from Madrid, Spain. We see how rapidly every industry is growing in Yucatan and can hardly wait to see what 2015 brings for Aeropuerto Internacional de Merida (MID).

In Yucatan, Trilingual Now Recommended

Yucatan’s young people are making their mark around the world and their dedication to learning foreign languages is one of the main reasons they are so successful. Today, Spanish and English skills are almost universal among Yucatan’s school age population because both languages are mandatory in school. Soon, it may be that a third language will be added. Choices there include Japanese, Mandarin Chinese, French, Russian, Portuguese or German. Add all of these to the new requirement for some of Yucatan’s school children to master the Mayan language and what you get are young people who can hold their own in any nation or industry in the world. For those who think this cannot be true at all levels of employment, we can tell you that we have actually seen an advertisement for a boat mechanic, in Quintana Roo, that required all applicants to be trilingual. The world really is much smaller than it was when we were young(er) and young Yucatecos are ready to compete with the best of them.

Guadalajara to Try to Beat Merida’s Guinness World Record for Cochinita

In 2010, Yucatan earned its place in the Guinness World Record for the World’s Largest Cochinita. Now, Yucatan is a guest in Guadalajara, along with Yucatan’s native chef David Cetina, as they try to cook over four tons of meat and serve more than 18,000 tacos. That would beat Yucatan’s record by a mere 76 kilos and open the door to a rematch.

Classic Cars: Rally Maya: May 3 – 7

As we are all aware, a new case of diabetes is diagnosed in Yucatan every two hours. This disease is a huge burden on the families of diabetic patients, and more so on the families of children with diabetes. This rally will bring classic cars together to tour Quintana Roo, Yucatan and Campeche, with the proceeds going to help pay for a camp that teaches diabetic children about food and the treatments they need. The last rally of this kind saw 1,120 cars on the tour. Hopefully, this one will be even bigger. This event is one of the best of the year, so do try to attend. Visit the Rally Maya Mexico Facebook page to learn more.

Handicapped Parking Comes to Yucatan

This past week, the handicapped citizens of the state received not only the familiar blue and white sign that will hang from their rear view mirrors when their vehicles are parked, but they also got word that 12 transport vans have been purchased to help those who do not have their own transportation. The general public has been asked to watch for parking spaces marked as reserved for handicapped citizens and to respect their human rights by leaving those spots open for them.

University Gerontology Graduate Institute of Yucatan Expands

This new graduate degree adds three new tracks to the standard Master in Social Gerontology degree: physical and emotional health, technology education, and entrepreneurship. From computers to dancing, and from advanced English to basic auto mechanics for women, these new graduate degrees are recreating a world in which age really is nothing but a number. Personally, we rather like growing older; but I do have to admit to being more than a little bit interested in taking a class in basic auto mechanics for women. How about you? The school is located in calle 21 número 371 colonia Miguel Hidalgo, interior Plaza las Palmas local 12. and the website http://www.inugey.mx/

By Working Gringos

This Week… starting February 02 , 2014

Yucatan Living Mark Your Calendars for 2015
These dates are all governed by the cycles of the Sun and/or Moon and most are associated with major holidays and celebrations in Yucatan.
February 17: Fat Tuesday (the Last Carnaval Parade… events start on February 11)
March 20 at 4:45 PM: Spring Equinox
March 29: Palm Sunday
April 4: Total Lunar Eclipse
April 5: Easter Sunday
June 21 at 11:38 AM: Midsummer Equinox
July 2 & 31: Blue Moon
September 23 at 3:20 PM: Fall Equinox
September 27: Super Moon
September 28: Total Lunar Eclipse
December 21 at 10:48 PM: Winter Equinox

Monday (Lunes) February 02, 2015

Yucatan Living Holiday for Mexico’s Constitution Day. Banks and other places will be closed.

Tuesday (Martes) February 03, 2015

Yucatan Living Merida’s Got Murder – February 3-7
Once again, a troupe of intrepid actors (murderers?) gather to solve a murder mystery… and you have front row seats. Join your neighbors and friends for this exciting murder mystery theatre with dinner! Find out more at the Merida Mystery Theatre Facebook page.
Location: Feb 3, 4, 5 at Hennessy’s, Feb 6 at Lizard Joe’s in Chelem, Feb 7 at Villa Martine in Merida
Time: 7:00 PM
Admission: Tickets on sale at Hennessy’s, Robert Abuda Salon in Merida and Lizard Joe’s Restaurant in Chelem. Include show and dinner. Do not include beverages and gratuities.

 

Wednesday (Miercoles) February 04, 2015

Yucatan Living Movie: Stranger by the Lake
(France 2013) Summertime. A cruising spot for men, tucked away on the shores of a lake. Franck falls in love with Michel. An attractive, potent and lethally dangerous man. Franck knows this, but wants to live out his passion anyway. In Spanish.
Location: LA 68, Calle 68 at Calle 55, centro of Merida
Time: 6:00 PM Wednesday
Admission: $35 pesos, $15 pesos students

Yucatan Living Merida’s Got Murder
Once again, a troupe of intrepid actors (murderers?) gather to solve a murder mystery… and you have front row seats. Join your neighbors and friends for this exciting murder mystery theatre with dinner! Find out more at the Merida Mystery Theatre Facebook page.
Location: Hennessy’s, on Paseo de Montejo
Time: 7:00 PM
Admission: Tickets on sale at Hennessy’s, Robert Abuda Salon in Merida and Lizard Joe’s Restaurant in Chelem. Include show and dinner. Do not include beverages and gratuities.

Yucatan Living Movie: Festival of Shorts
(Mexico 2014) 6 shorts produced by the Escuela Veracruzana de Cine Luis Buñuel. In Spanish.
Location: LA 68, Calle 68 at Calle 55, centro, Open Air Cinema
Time: 9:00 PM Wednesday
Admission: $35 pesos, $15 pesos students

 

Thursday (Jueves) February 05, 2015

Yucatan Living Muelle Market-Bazar del Muelle
First and Third Thursdays of January, February and March 2015, enjoy the Local and Foreign Artisans Market that benefits the Chicxulub Food Bank. Attractions include Slow Food Market Vendors, Jewelry by Jorge, Carvings by Martine, Olga Cuevas: Clothing Designer, Mano de Nano (aka Naomi Murphy): homemade mustard, salad dressing, marinades, granola, meat rubs, baked goods, and a variety of pickles, Anita’s Salchichones (German Sausage) and many many more !!!
Location: D’Mar Salon de Eventos, Calle 28x21y23, Chicxulub Puerto
Time: 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Admission: Free to shoppers. Vendors contact for more information.
More Information: Call Nola (English): (999) 109-6319 or e-mail: muellemarket [at] gmail [dot] com or keep up with new announcements on the Muelle Market-Bazar del Muelle Facebook page.

Yucatan Living Movie: The Upsetter
(USA 2008) The definitive life story about Jamaican musical legend Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry. In English.
Location: LA 68, Calle 68 at Calle 55, Centro
Time: 6:00 PM Thursday
Admission: $35 pesos, $15 pesos students

Yucatan Living Merida’s Got Murder
Once again, a troupe of intrepid actors (murderers?) gather to solve a murder mystery… and you have front row seats. Join your neighbors and friends for this exciting murder mystery theatre with dinner! Find out more at the Merida Mystery Theatre Facebook page.
Location: Hennessy’s on Paseo de Montejo
Time: 7:00 PM
Admission: Tickets on sale at Hennessy’s, Robert Abuda Salon in Merida and Lizard Joe’s Restaurant in Chelem. Include show and dinner. Do not include beverages and gratuities.

Yucatan Living Movie: Ilo Ilo
(China 2013) Ilo Ilo chronicles the Lim family as they adjust to their newly arrived Filipina domestic helper, Teresa, (Angeli Bayani) who has come, like many other Filipinas, in search of a better life. In English.
Location: LA 68, Calle 68 at Calle 55, Centro
Time: 9:00 PM Thursday
Admission: $35 pesos, $15 pesos students

Yucatan Living Movie: Eat, Drink, Woman, Man
(Taiwan 1994) A senior chef lives with his three grown daughters. The middle one finds her future plans affected by unexpected events and the life changes of the other household members. in French with Spanish subtitles.
Location: Cairo Cinema, Calle 20 #98A x 15 y 17, Colonia Itzimná
Time: 9:00 PM Thursday
Admission: Free

 

Friday (Viernes) February 06, 2015

Yucatan Living Movie: Canicula
(2011 Mexico) An engrossing ethnographic work, Canicula is a study of the rich cultural heritage and traditions of the Totonac people of Veracruz, Mexico, who have resided in this region for thousands of years. Beautifully photographed, this documentary features rare footage of the Totonac’s voladores ritual (“the flying dance”), named an Intangible Cultural Heritage by UNESCO. In Spanish.
Location: LA 68, Calle 68 at Calle 55, Centro
Time: 6:00 PM Friday
Admission: $35 pesos, $15 pesos students

Yucatan Living Two Movies: Anthology of Latin American Cinema Series
Strawberry and Chocolate (Cuba 1993) and Azucar Amarga (Bitter Sugar) (Cuba 1996).
Strawberry and Chocolate: Directors: Tomas Gutierrez Alea, Juan Carlos Tabio. Starring: Jose Perugorria, Vladimir Cruz, and Mira Ibarra. The story of two men who are total opposites: one gay, the other straight; one a fierce communist, the other a fierce individualist; one suspicious, the other accepting; and how they came to love each other.
Bitter Sugar : (Cuba 1996). Director: Leon Ichaso. Starring: Rene Lavan, Mayte Vilan and Miguel Gutierrez. Gustavo is a young Havana Communist who believes in the revolution and hopes for a scholarship to study aeronautical engineering in Prague. But his faith in the new Cuba is tested when his father, a psychiatrist, can make four times as much by playing piano at a hotel for foreigners. His sweetheart, Yolanda, wants a career as a dancer and longs for the riches of Miami. His younger brother Bobby just wants to play rock music, so he is always in trouble with the authorities. Bobby joins the revolt and Gustavo is refused service at a foreigners-only bar. The contradictions in his resolve to become a “new man” push him to the breaking point.
Location: Videosala of the Olimpo, Calle 62 x 61
Time: 7:00 PM
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Merida’s Got Murder
Once again, a troupe of intrepid actors (murderers?) gather to solve a murder mystery… and you have front row seats. Join your neighbors and friends for this exciting murder mystery theatre with dinner! Find out more at the Merida Mystery Theatre Facebook page.
Location: Lizard Joe’s in Chelem
Time: 7:00 PM
Admission: Tickets on sale at Hennessy’s, Robert Abuda Salon in Merida and Lizard Joe’s Restaurant in Chelem. Include show and dinner. Do not include beverages and gratuities.

Yucatan Living Movie: Siesta Time
(Mexico 2014) Documentary about the ABC Day Care and the 43 children who died there. In Spanish with English subtitles.
Location: LA 68, Calle 68 at Calle 55, Centro, Open Air Cinema.
Time: 9:00 PM Friday
Admission: $35 pesos, $15 pesos students

Yucatan Living Yucatan Symphony Orchestra: Mozart Splendor. Robert Carter Austin as Guest Director and Nikolay Dimitrov on the Viola. The Opera Norma by Italian Composer Vincenzo Bellini has one of the most famous arias of history for sopranos. Nikolay Dimitrov will present the Concert for Viola by Composer Cecil Forsyth.
Location: Teatro Jose Peon Contreras, Calle 60 x 57
Time: 9:00 PM Friday
Admission: $60, $80, $100 and $150 pesos

Yucatan Living Movie: Stoker
(UK 2013) After India’s father dies, her Uncle Charlie, who she never knew existed, comes to live with her and her unstable mother. She comes to suspect this mysterious, charming man has ulterior motives and becomes increasingly infatuated with him. In English.
Location: Cairo Cinema, Calle 20 #98A x 15 y 17, Colonia Itzimná
Time: 9:00 PM Friday
Admission: $35 pesos

 

Saturday (Sabado) February 07, 2015

Yucatan Living Merida English Library Saturday Lecture Series
Eldercare Choices in the US. Catherine Hawes & Charles Phillips.
Location: Merida English Library, Calle 53 x 66 y 68.
Time: 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Admission: Free

Yucatan LivingVI Full Moon Jazz Festival – February 7
This event is the major fundraiser for Telchac Education. This program continues to sponsor children in school in the Telchac area and they are thriving. Three fabulous bands, dancing, the food court and full bar await you on the beach. Many thanks to all of the sponsors and to everyone who participates in this Jazz Festival.
Location: Villas Wayak, km 25.5 Progreso – Telchac Road
Time: 3:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Admission: Tickets are $250 pesos, $300 at the door. Please come prepared to purchase food and drinks, and – we hope – to make a donation and/or sponsor a child in the Telchac Education Program.

Yucatan Living Party Girl
(France 2014) An aging nightclub hostess decides to settle down and get married. In French with Spanish subtitles.
Location: LA 68, Calle 68 at Calle 55, Centro
Time: 6:00 PM Saturday
Admission: $35 pesos, $15 pesos students

Yucatan Living Merida’s Got Murder
Once again, a troupe of intrepid actors (murderers?) gather to solve a murder mystery… and you have front row seats. Join your neighbors and friends for this exciting murder mystery theatre with dinner! Find out more at the Merida Mystery Theatre Facebook page.
Location: Villa Martine in Merida
Time: 7:00 PM
Admission: Tickets on sale at Hennessy’s, Robert Abuda Salon in Merida and Lizard Joe’s Restaurant in Chelem. Include show and dinner. Do not include beverages and gratuities.

Yucatan Living Movie: Mommy
(Canada 2014) A widowed single mother, raising her violent son alone, finds new hope when a mysterious neighbor inserts herself into their household. In French with Spanish subtitles.
Location: LA 68, Calle 68 at Calle 55, Centro
Time: 9:00 PM Saturday
Admission: $35 pesos, $15 pesos students

Yucatan Living Movie: Frances Ha
(USA 2012) A story that follows a New York woman (who doesn’t really have an apartment), apprentices for a dance company (though she’s not really a dancer), and throws herself headlong into her dreams, even as their possibility dwindles. In English.
Location: Cairo Cinema, Calle 20 #98A x 15 y 17, Colonia Itzimná
Time: 9:00 PM Saturday
Admission: Free

Sunday (Domingo), February 08, 2015

Yucatan Living Documentary about Nature
Great documentaries, especially for children. In Spanish.
Location: Museo de Historia Natural, Next to the Zoo on Calle 59.
Time: 12:00 PM Sunday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Yucatan Symphony Orchestra: The Magic Flute
Robert Carter Austin as Guest Director and Nikolay Dimitrov on the Viola. The Opera Norma by Italian Composer Vincenzo Bellini has one of the most famous arias of history for sopranos. Nikolay Dimitrov will present the Concert for Viola by Composer Cecil Forsyth.
Location: Teatro Jose Peon Contreras, Calle 60 x 57
Time: 12:00 PM Sunday
Admission: $60, $80, $100 and $150 pesos

Yucatan Living Movie: TBD
Location: Cairo Cinema, Calle 20 #98A x 15 y 17, Colonia Itzimná
Time: 9:00 PM Sunday
Admission: Free

 

Monday (Lunes) February 09, 2015

No events to report at the moment.

Coming Soon

Yucatan Living Muelle Market-Bazar del Muelle
First and Third Thursdays of January, February and March 2015
Local and Foreign Artisans Market: to benefit the Chicxulub Food Bank. Attractions include Slow Food Market Vendors, Jewelry by Jorge, Carvings by Martine, Olga Cuevas: Clothing Designer, Mano de Nano (aka Naomi Murphy): homemade mustard, salad dressing, marinades, granola, meat rubs, baked goods, and a variety of pickles, Anita’s Salchichones (German Sausage) and many many more !!!
Location: D’Mar Salon de Eventos, Calle 28x21y23, Chicxulub Puerto
Time: 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Admission: Free to shoppers. Vendors contact for more information.
More Information: Call Nola (English): (999) 109-6319 or e-mail: muellemarket [at] gmail [dot] com or keep up with new announcements on the Muelle Market-Bazar del Muelle Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/MuelleMarket

Yucatan Living Merida Carnaval: February 11 – 18
Location: Xmatkuil Fairgrounds
Time: Depends on the Day
Admission: To watch the parade $25 pesos for the chair, access to the fair is free.
This year, the theme of the Carnival season is all about the Caribbean, from costumes to music, from colors to music. Caribbean culture is one of the cornerstones of the culture of Yucatan and nowhere is that any more evident in the sights and sounds that can be experienced throughout Merida during the 2015 Carnival season.

Comparsa Contest Saturday February 7, 2015
A comparsa (conga de comparsa) is the band that plays a conga during a Latin American Carnival celebration. It consists of a large group of dancers dancing and traveling on the streets, followed by a Carrosa (carriage) where the musicians play.
Location: Parque de la Aleman, Calle 21 # 292-C entre 24 y 26, Colonia Miguel Aleman
Time: 6:00 PM
Admission: Free

Quema del Mal Humor (Burning of Bad Moods) Wednesday February 11, 2015
This event is the official beginning of Carnival. Entertainment will be by Los Super Lamas.
Location: In front of the Municipal Palace
Time: 7:00 PM
Admission: Free

Children’s Parade Thursday February 12, 2015
Location: Begins in front of the Municipal Palace, makes its way around the Plaza Grande and then up Calle 60. Visit the Map of the Children’s Parade.
Location: Centro
Time: 4:00 PM
Admission: Free

Corso Parade: Friday February 13, 2015 This parade will showcase the theme of this year’s Carnival: Caribbean Voyage, and it is going to be beautiful. Do try to get out to the fairgrounds to see it. There will be a special concert by the Banda El Recodo.
Location: Carnival Plaza at X’Matkuil Fairgrounds
Time: 8:30 PM
Admission: Free

Fantasia Parade: Saturday February 14, 2015
Actress and former model Ariadne Diaz, originally from Puerto Vallarta, will be on hand to participate in this parade, which will showcase Yucatan’s love affair with fantasy floats. We can only imagine how grand they will be when coupled with this year’s theme of Caribbean Voyage. There will also be a concert by Merenglass, the most popular merengue group in Mexico, as they celebrate 20 years on stage with a brand new CD.
Location: Carnival Plaza at X’Matkuil Fairgrounds
Time: 8:30 PM
Admission: Free

Bachata Parade: Sunday February 15, 2015
The heart throb of this parade is Jose Ron, award winning telenovela actor from Guadalajara and internationally well known animal rights activist. The Bachata Parade is always defined by its Dominican Republic ancestry with African roots. With this year’s theme of Caribbean Voyage, look for this parade to step it up a notch and be one of the best of the week.
Location: Carnival Plaza at X’Matkuil Fairgrounds
Time: 8:00 PM
Admission: Free

Regional Parade: Monday February 16, 2015
Since every region of Yucatan has some history and association with the Caribbean, it will be interesting to see how this parade plays out.
Location: Carnival Plaza at X’Matkuil Fairgrounds
Time: 8:00 PM
Admission: Free

Battle of the Flowers Parade: Tuesday February 17, 2015
The Battle of the Flowers Parade is the biggest parade of Carnival week. This year, Africa Zavala and Lenny de la Rosa will be on hand to participate in this parade. Africa Zavala is an actress from Mexico City who admits to coming to Yucatan for the food. Lenny de la Rosa, also described as “eye candy,” is a Cuban actor, singer, model and dancer who currently lives in Mexico.
Location: Carnival Plaza at X’Matkuil Fairgrounds
Time: 1:00 PM
Admission: Free

The Burial of Juan Carnival: Wednesday February 18, 2015
Today is Ash Wednesday. Juan Carnival is the (straw man) personification of the spirit of Carnival. His mock death signifies that Carnival has ended and Lent has begun.
Location: In front of the Municipal Palace in Merida
Time: 1:00 PM
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Yucadanz: Monthly Contra Dance in Merida
When is a square dance not square? You’re just going to love this new dance in town. Contra dance is a community “barn dance”, where everyone socializes and dances with everyone else. We love their energy and hope that everyone will give contra dance a whirl. Everyone is welcome!
Location: Tumaka’t Dance Studio, Calle 51 #475-A x 52 y 54 (blue building, middle of block), Centro
Time: Beginner Class in Spanish: 7:00 PM, Beginner Class in English: 7:30 PM, Contra dance: 8:00 PM – 10:30 PM
Admission: Bring your own refreshments and water, no alcohol at the dance. $50-$100 pesos donation requested. Proceeds benefit Tumaka’t, a nonprofit arts group, and to establish a fund for live music. Read this great page on the Yucadanz website!
Dates:
Saturday, February 14, 2015
Saturday, March 14, 2015
Saturday, April 11, 2015

Yucatan Living Merida English Library Saturday Lecture Series: October – March
• February 14: Valentine’s Day & Carnival weekend. No program.
• February 21: MEL Artist Studio Tour. No lecture.
• February 28: Mexican wines – discussion and limited tasting. Elliot Diaz. Attendance limited. Admission 100 pesos.
• March 7: TBA
• March 14: TBA
Location: Merida English Library, Calle 53 x 66 y 68.
Time: 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Admission: Most lectures are free, some have a nominal fee

Yucatan Living Merida English Library Music in the Garden Concert Series
Check the performance details at the Merida English Library website:
• February 13: Latin, Mexican & Yucatecan Music with Maricarmen Perez
• March 13: Rock and Blues with Steve Katz
Location: Merida English Library, Calle 53 x 66 y 68.
Time: 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Admission: Most lectures are free, some have a nominal fee

Yucatan Living The Artist Studio Tour – February 21
This unique self-guided tour is a yearly fundraiser for the Merida English Library and gives important exposure to local, national and international artists living and working in Merida. Many of our 24 artists are represented in galleries and museums around the world, but the MEL Artist Studio Tour is the only time their studios are open to the public. One day, 24 great artists! The Artist Studio Tour allows you to spend quality time discussing the creative process with each artist and if, the mood strikes, you can pick up a piece for your home. You’ll find sculptors, painters, printmakers, photographers, papermakers and more in this talented group. Visit www.meridaenglishlibrary.com for updates on the tour, ticket sales locations and artist profiles.
Location: Downtown Merida. Map made available to ticket holders.
Time: 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Admission: Tickets go on sale January 22nd! Buy your tickets before February 21 and pay only 200 pesos. Tickets are 250 pesos the day of the tour so get them early!

Yucatan Living Soldier, Come Home – February 22
Award winning play based on real letters written during the Civil War will be presented in the garden. It is interesting to note that two of the main characters, depicting Civil War soldiers, will be played by local Yucatecans! Read here for more information.
Location: Merida English Library, Calle 53 x 66 y 68, centro
Time: 4:00 PM
Admission: Tickets on sale at MEL

Yucatan Living IWC Tour: The Amazing Archaeological Tour – February 24 to March 1, 2015
This tour includes:
• Five nights accommodation
• Bilingual guide service
• Transportation by motor coach for the duration of the tour
• Breakfast each morning
• Entrance tickets to all specified attractions
• Donation to IWC Charity Committee
You will visit the archaeological sites of Edzna, X/puji, Balamku, Becan, Chicana, Calakmul, Kohunlich, and Coba, as well as a visit to Laguna Bacalar. Contact Joanna at http://writingfrommerida.com/2014/10/26/off-the-beaten-trail-tourism/ for more info on this trip.

Yucatan Living Ringo Starr and his All Starr Band, March 08
An icon of the music comes to Merida, do not miss the opportunity to listen live to one of the musicians who marked an era, this is a unique and unrepeatable concert not to miss.
Location:Coliseo Yucatan, on the road to Progreso
Time: 8:00 PM
Admission:from $425 pesos to $1825 pesos . Buy your tickets in advance here.

Yucatan Living Concert: Rock and Blues Friday March 13, 2015
The Merida English Library presents its Music in the Gardens concert series. This concert features Steve Katz, formerly of Blood, Sweat & Tears, on guitar and vocals.
Location: Forum Cine Colón (72 street by Colon Avenue)
Time: 7:30 PM
Admission: $100 pesos. Seating limited. Beverages available.

Have an event you want to promote? Email us at info [at] yucatanliving [dot] com and we’ll be happy to list it in our Events listing and our Month-at-a-Glance Calendar! <

By Khaki Scott

Harlem Globetrotters Make Stop at Merida Orphanage

Nearly 300 children, who live at Merida’s center for the care of homeless children (Centro de Atención Integral del Menor en Desamparo (Caimede)), were treated to not only a performance in the courtyard of the orphanage, but to an extended visit after the performance. It seemed like a dream to the children and they could not stop talking about it. The Globetrotters went on to give four sold-out performances in Merida but, one thing is certain, their day at Caimede will be remembered and cherished for a lifetime by the children they befriended. The Harlem Globetrotters have played more than 20,000 games and there is a reason that, apart from fancy tricks with basketballs, they are one of the best loved entertainment groups in the world. No one is nicer to their audiences than the Harlem Globetrotters!

January Pet Sterilization Project Numbers In

For the sixth year in a row, the January Pet Sterilization Project has expanded its reach. This year, it took place in Valladolid, Progreso and Merida. Twenty five vets from Denver, California, Slovakia, Colombia, Mexicali, San Miguel de Allende, Puebla, Guadalajara, Quintana Roo and the Federal District came together to conduct 2,381 free sterilizations on pet dogs and cats. There were over 700 sterilizations in Progreso, over 1,000 in Merida, and 600 in Valladolid. This annual program is a combined effort between the State Ministry of Health, Planned Pethood Mexico, Albergue Franciscano del Animal Desprotegido (AFAD), Evolución A. C, UADY, and a number of local and expat supported organizations. Many thanks to everyone who volunteered their time, and their donations of financial support and supplies for this worthy event. Because of this one program, it is estimated that – in the course of just the next three years – 42,858 unwanted dogs and cats will not be born into a life of fear, hunger, pain, sickness and early death. As a public health measure, the fact that these unwanted pets will never be born insures fewer diseases transmitted from animals to humans, and even reduces the number of traffic accidents and fatalities. The best thing that comes out of this program is that the poor are given an opportunity to own a pet that is going to be part of their family, instead of growing into a burden. Happy pets and happy families who love them.

Running: Rock ‘n’ Roll Merida Half Marathon

Rock ‘n’ Roll International already includes races in Canada (Montreal and Vancouver), Portugal (Lisbon), Spain (Madrid), the United Kingdom (Liverpool), and Ireland (Dublin). Now, this international marathon has come to Mexico, with a hugely
March 15: Rock ‘n’ Roll Mexico City: 10,000 runners already registered (sold out)
October 31: Rock ‘n’ Roll Merida Half Marathon: 5,000 runners expected
These are night runs, with entertainment along the route. Early registration, with a special rate of $65 USD, will be open for 24 hours on January 30. From February 6 on to race day, the registration fee will be $75 USD. For more information, visit Rock ‘n’ Roll Merida.

Police Use Social Networks to Find Runaway Teens

Puppy love may not be real, but its real to the puppy. Such is the case with a growing number of teens who meet online and decide to run away together. Those who choose Yucatan as a destination are doing so on the basis of safety and the opportunity to earn a living. Their problem is that they either can’t manage to stay off of social media sites, or they can’t manage to keep their location secret from friends. This past week, the police picked up a 16 year old girl who had run away from home in Monterrey to be with her 18 year old boyfriend in Merida. Then, they picked up another 18 year old boy and his 17 year old girlfriend in Progreso. She is still a minor and he had been reported as missing by his family, so both were returned to their parents in Merida. With great pride, Yucatan can boast that their police departments, at every level, have a stellar reputation when it comes to responding to Amber Alerts and to the use of social networking to find missing teens.

Quintana Roo Physicians to Study Specialty Medicine in Merida

Expats from around the world take superior quality health care in Merida as a given, but such has not been the case for the rest of the Yucatan Peninsula until the signing of a training agreement just last week. The Hospital Regional de Alta Especialidad de la Peninsula de Yucatan is a resource that could not be used by physicians from Quintana Roo until the agreement with the official medical association of that state. This hospital was designed to serve not only as a specialty hospital for the people, but as a training hospital for specialty physicians. With this new agreement, it will not be long before the quality of health services across the Yucatan Peninsula will be on a par with the services found in Merida itself. Merida will certainly welcome the physicians of Quintana Roo and will take great pride in having had a part in creating an excellent health care system throughout the state.

2015 Annual Arms Exchange Underway in Yucatan

This program allows citizens to exchange guns, ammunition and/or explosives for household items, including appliances and even bicycles. In 2013, 70 guns were turned in and, in 2014, 45 guns made their way out of the hands of citizens to be safely disposed of. Throughout the month, the program will make its way through the municipalities of the state and will do so again at some point in the last half of the year. Many of these guns are old and unstable, having been passed down from one generation to the next. They were never disposed of because having unregistered firearms is against the law. This program bypasses that law and, as a result, prevents in-home accidents, as well as crimes. At any time, anyone can turn an unwanted weapon in to the military camps of 42 Sur or Valladolid.

Minimum Wage Going Up in Yucatan

Sadly, the minimum wage increase in Yucatan, set to begin March 1, will amount to just under two pesos. This will bring the daily minimum wage to barely over 70 pesos per day. Yucatan’s daily minimum wage has, traditionally, been one of the lowest in the nation. However, there is currently a national effort to standardize minimum wage across Mexico so that there will be less of a gap in with the lowest income families are able to earn nationwide. Although expats may not become involved in political topics in Mexico, we all are well aware of what things cost here. All we can ask is that everyone please take those costs into consideration when engaging the services of household and gardening help.

Happy 21st Anniversary Cecuny!

The Centro Cultural del Niño Yucateco (Cecuny) opened its doors January 24, 1994. Since then, this cultural center has become a model for early artistic education for children. The benefit to Yucatan is a steady flow of young authors, artisans, musicians, and voices who will be the new cultural face of Yucatan as their generations inherit the land and culture of their ancestors. Over the years, it has become evident that many places in the world train their children to play to an audience of tourists. The opposite is true in Yucatan. Here, these children would be studying the same artistic curriculum whether anyone outside of the state would be watching or not – and that makes all the difference. That is what defines authenticity and it is what allows true talent to shine. So, again, Happy 21st anniversary to Cecuny and congratulations to all of her students, past, present and future.

XXIV Expo Feria Valladolid January 23 – February 4

When this fair began, it was a cattle sale/horse show in what many thought of as still a frontier town. But there is something to be said for talent and location. Today, you can still find the cattle sale, but the horse shows have grown to be stunning. Add to that the fine jewelry from artisans across the Yucatan Peninsula, beautiful fashions by designers from Yucatan and Mexico, and this expo was already shaping up to be an international “must attend” event. The final touch came with imports and exports. Today, the Valladolid Expo and Fair combines a religious holiday with world class attention from business and tourism around the world. Valladolid’s location, between Cancun and Merida, near Chichen Itza, and close to beaches guarantees the future of this Magical Pueblo of Mexico for generations to come. To learn more about this fair, visit Expo Feria Valladolid 2014 on Facebook.

Tourism Goal: Unite the Yucatan Peninsula

A tourism delegation from Campeche is currently touring Merida and a similar delegation will soon arrive from Quintana Roo. A tourism delegation from Merida has already visited Campeche. The goal is to develop a combined tourism program that will showcase the best of activities, museums, and archaeological tours of Yucatan. Since these three states were once united, this is an idea whose time has come, especially with renewed interest in all things Maya. If we stop and think about it, there is no other place in the world with as rich and varied opportunities for tourism than the Yucatan Peninsula. Tourists need to keep an eye on this area for what will surely be some of the finest experiences to be found in the world and at some of the best prices. We hope everyone comes to the Yucatan Peninsula, even if it’s only for a visit.

By Working Gringos

This Week… starting January 26 , 2014

Yucatan Living Mark Your Calendars for 2015
These dates are all governed by the cycles of the Sun and/or Moon and most are associated with major holidays and celebrations in Yucatan.
February 18: Mardi Gras
March 20 at 4:45 PM: Spring Equinox
March 29: Palm Sunday
April 4: Total Lunar Eclipse
April 5: Easter Sunday
June 21 at 11:38 AM: Midsummer Equinox
July 2 & 31: Blue Moon
September 23 at 3:20 PM: Fall Equinox
September 27: Super Moon
September 28: Total Lunar Eclipse
December 21 at 10:48 PM: Winter Equinox

Monday (Lunes) January 26, 2015

Yucatan Living Movie: Orson Welles Series: The Lady from Shanghai
(United States, 1947). Director: Orson Welles. Starring: Orson Welles, Everett Sloane, and Rita Hayworth, with a cameo by Errol Flynn. Fascinated by gorgeous Mrs. Bannister, seaman Michael O’Hara joins a bizarre yachting cruise, and ends up mired in a complex murder plot.
Location: Videosala of the Olimpo, Calle 62 x 61
Time: 8:00 PM
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Inauguration of the Exposition: The Body: The Treasures of the Soumaya Museum
Come and see this wonderful exhibition!
Location: The Salas of the Olimpo, Calle 62 x 61
Time: 8:00 PM
Admission: Free

Tuesday (Martes) January 27, 2015

Yucatan Living Movie: Orson Welles Series:The Immortal Story
(United States 1968). Director: Orson Welles. Starring: Orson Welles, Jeanne Moreau and Roger Coggio. The Portuguese colony of Macao in the 19th century. Mr. Clay is a very rich merchant and the subject of town gossip. He has spent many years in China and is now quite old. He likes his clerk Levinsky to read the company’s accounts to him at night for relaxation. Tonight, Mr. Clay recounts a true story he heard years before about a rich man who paid a poor sailor 5 guineas to father a child with his beautiful young wife. Levinsky says that is a popular old sailor’s legend and not true. Mr. Clay has no heir for his fortune and no wife either. He resolves to make the story true. First they engage the potential wife and mother, then go on the hunt for the sailor.
Location: Videosala of the Olimpo , Calle 62 x 61
Time: 8:00 PM Tuesday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Music: Pepe Arevalo and His Mulatos
Music in the parks is one of Merida’s finest signature events. Come out and enjoy!!
Location: Parque de San Sebastian, Calle 71 x 79
Time: 8:00 PM Tuesday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Inauguration of the Exposition: Exposicion Acervo Merida
This is a beautiful setting and should be a lovely evening.
Location: Municipal Art Gallery of Merida in the Museum of the City of Merida, Calle 65 x 56
Time: 9:00 PM Tuesday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Movie: Nowhere
(USA 1997) The third film in a trilogy by writer-director Gregg Araki. Described as “90210 on acid”, the film tells the story of a day in the lives of a group of high school kids Los Angeles and the strange lives they lead.
Location: Cairo Cinema, Calle 20 #98A x 15 y 17, Colonia Itzimná
Time: 9:00 PM Tuesday
Admission: Free

 

Wednesday (Miercoles) January 28, 2015

Yucatan Living Movie: Good Bye Nobody
(Various 2010) The mysterious world of the sleepless. Four insomniacs from around the world invite us to spend a night with them. While the rest of the world sleeps, they’re awake. In German with Spanish subtitles.
Location: LA 68, Calle 68 at Calle 55, centro of Merida
Time: 6:00 PM Wednesday
Admission: $35 pesos, $15 pesos students

Yucatan Living Movie: Orson Welles Series: Don Quijote
(Portugal, 2005). Director: Orson Welles. Starring: Francisco Reiguera, Akim Tamiroff, Orson Welles. After reading too many novels about knights and heroic stories, Don Quijote and his servant Sancho Panza decide to wander the roads of Spain to protect the weak and to accomplish good deeds.
Location: Videosala of the Olimpo , Calle 62 x 61
Time: 8:00 PM Wednesday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Music: Troikal Forever
What an end to the Anniversary of the City! There is something for everyone in this concert. Come to the Plaza Grande to celebrate!
Location: Plaza Grande, Calle 62 x 61 centro of Merida
Time: 9:00 PM Wednesday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Movie: Siesta Time
(Mexico 2014) Documentary about the ABC Day Care and the 43 children who died there. In Spanish with English subtitles.
Location: LA 68, Calle 68 at Calle 55, centro, Open Air Cinema
Time: 9:00 PM Wednesday
Admission: $35 pesos, $15 pesos students

 

Thursday (Jueves) January 29, 2015

Yucatan Living Movie: Radio La Colifata
(Spain 2007) LT22 Radio La Colifata is a radio station run entirely by the patients of the J.T. Borda Psychiatric Hospital in Buenos Aires. In Spanish.
Location: LA 68, Calle 68 at Calle 55, Centro
Time: 6:00 PM Thursday
Admission: $35 pesos, $15 pesos students

Yucatan Living Immigration Communication: Questions, Procedures, and Concerns
This meeting is for all foreigners living in the region and anyone interested in learning more about the immigration services and requirements. A group from Merida will be presenting the information. The Valladolid Director of Tourism, Noe Rodriguez Cervera, will also be present. Francisco Hernandez will serve as the interpreter for the evening.
Location: Casa Hamaca Palapa in Valladolid
Time: 7:00 PM Thursday
Admission: We think this is free

Yucatan Living Benefit Concert for educate Yucatan, A.C.: Steve Katz
Steve Katz is a founding member of Blood, Sweat & Tears, and a member of the original Blues Project. We hope you will be there for an acoustic evening of story and song.
Location: Forum Cine Colón (72 street by Colon Avenue)
Time: 7:00 PM
Admission: Donation of $250 pesos
Tickets: Available at www.educateyucatan.org and at cells: 999 995-3769 & 999 260-1922

Yucatan Living Movie: Ilo Ilo
(China 2013) Ilo Ilo chronicles the Lim family as they adjust to their newly arrived Filipina domestic helper, Teresa, (Angeli Bayani) who has come, like many other Filipinas, in search of a better life. In English.
Location: LA 68, Calle 68 at Calle 55, Centro
Time: 9:00 PM Thursday
Admission: $35 pesos, $15 pesos students

Yucatan Living Movie: TBD
Location: Cairo Cinema, Calle 20 #98A x 15 y 17, Colonia Itzimná
Time: 9:00 PM Thursday
Admission: Free

 

Friday (Viernes) January 30, 2015

Yucatan Living Movie: Cumbres
(Mexico 2013) Due to a tragedy, two sisters abruptly flee from their hometown. Miwi, the younger one, with no clear idea of what happened, drives untiringly to save her sister Juliana, implicating her in the misadventure. Their journey creates a bittersweet relationship marked by pain, guilt and love. In Spanish with English subtitles.
Location: LA 68, Calle 68 at Calle 55, Centro
Time: 6:00 PM Friday
Admission: $35 pesos, $15 pesos students

Yucatan Living VEL Cuba Night Celebration
Details coming soon…
Location: Casa Hamaca Palapa in Valladolid
Time: 7:00 PM Friday
Admission: TBA

Yucatan Living Movie: Mommy
(Canada 2014) A widowed single mother, raising her violent son alone, finds new hope when a mysterious neighbor inserts herself into their household. In French with Spanish subtitles.
Location: LA 68, Calle 68 at Calle 55, Centro, Open Air Cinema.
Time: 9:00 PM Friday
Admission: $35 pesos, $15 pesos students

Yucatan Living Yucatan Symphony Orchestra: The Magic Flute
Robert Carter Austin as Guest Director and Joaquin Melo on the Flute. The Magic Flute Overture and Concert for flute by Mozart and Symphony number 7 by Beethoven. The first program devoted to Mozart!
Location: Teatro Jose Peon Contreras, Calle 60 x 57
Time: 9:00 PM Friday
Admission: $60, $80, $100 and $150 pesos

Yucatan Living Movie: TBD
Location: Cairo Cinema, Calle 20 #98A x 15 y 17, Colonia Itzimná
Time: 9:00 PM Friday
Admission: $35 pesos

 

Saturday (Sabado) January 31, 2015

Yucatan Living Merida English Library Saturday Lecture Series
Mexican history: A hero and a villain: Juarez and Diaz. George Ashley.
Location: Merida English Library, Calle 53 x 66 y 68.
Time: 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Movie: The Substance
(Germany 2011) In 1943, the year in which the first A-bomb was built, Albert Hofmann discovered LSD. In English.
Location: LA 68, Calle 68 at Calle 55, Centro
Time: 6:00 PM Saturday
Admission: $35 pesos, $15 pesos students

Yucatan Living Joseph STOP in Merida, YucatanArt Opening: Joseph Kurhajec
Opening of an art exhibit featuring the amazing and ever-fascinating Joseph Kurhajec.
Location: Galeria Merida, Calle 59 #452 A x 52 y 54, Centro
Time: 8:00 PM Saturday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Movie:The Bastartds
(France 2013) Marco returns to Paris after his brother-in-law’s suicide, where he targets the man his sister believes caused the tragedy – though he is ill-prepared for her secrets as they quickly muddy the waters. In French with English subtitles.
Location: LA 68, Calle 68 at Calle 55, Centro
Time: 9:00 PM Saturday
Admission: $35 pesos, $15 pesos students

Yucatan Living Movie: Micmas
(France 2009) A man and his friends come up with an intricate and original plan to destroy two big weapons manufacturers. In French with Spanish subtitles.
Location: Cairo Cinema, Calle 20 #98A x 15 y 17, Colonia Itzimná
Time: 9:00 PM Saturday
Admission: Free

Sunday (Domingo), February 01, 2015

Yucatan Living Documentary about Nature
Great documentaries, especially for children. In Spanish.
Location: Museo de Historia Natural, Next to the Zoo on Calle 59.
Time: 12:00 PM Sunday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Yucatan Symphony Orchestra: The Magic Flute
Robert Carter Austin as Guest Director and Joaquin Melo on the Flute. The Magic Flute Overture and Concert for flute by Mozart and Symphony number 7 by Beethoven. The first program devoted to Mozart!
Location: Teatro Jose Peon Contreras, Calle 60 x 57
Time: 12:00 PM Sunday
Admission: $60, $80, $100 and $150 pesos

Yucatan LivingDance: 2015 National Yousef Constantino Tour in Merida
This is a Grand Gala that features both soloists and groups.
Location: Teatro Armando, Calle 62 x 61
Time : 8:00 PM Sunday
Admission: $60 pesos

Yucatan Living Movie: TBD
Location: Cairo Cinema, Calle 20 #98A x 15 y 17, Colonia Itzimná
Time: 9:00 PM Sunday
Admission: Free

 

Monday (Lunes) February 02, 2015

No events to report at the moment.

Coming Soon

Yucatan LivingVI Full Moon Jazz Festival – February 7
This event is the major fundraiser for Telchac Education. This program continues to sponsor children in school in the Telchac area and they are thriving. Three fabulous bands, dancing, the food court and full bar await you on the beach. Many thanks to all of the sponsors and to everyone who participates in this Jazz Festival.
Location: Villas Wayak, km 25.5 Progreso – Telchac Road
Time: 3:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Admission: Tickets are $250 pesos, $300 at the door. Please come prepared to purchase food and drinks, and – we hope – to make a donation and/or sponsor a child in the Telchac Education Program.

Yucatan Living Muelle Market-Bazar del Muelle
First and Third Thursdays of January, February and March 2015
Local and Foreign Artisans Market: Benefits Chicxulub Food Bank
Includes: Slow Food Market Vendors, Jewelery by Jorge, Carvings by Martine, Olga Cuevas: Clothing Designer, Mano de Nano (aka Naomi Murphy): homemade mustard, salad dressing, marinades, granola, meat rubs, baked goods, and a variety of pickles, Anita’s Salchichones (German Sausage) – and many many more !!!
Location: D’Mar Salon de Eventos, Calle 28x21y23, Chicxulub Puerto
Time: 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Admission: Free to shoppers. Vendors contact for more information.
More Information: Call Nola (English): (999) 109-6319 or e-mail: muellemarket [at] gmail [dot] com or keep up with new announcements on the Muelle Market-Bazar del Muelle Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/MuelleMarket

Yucatan Living Merida Carnaval: February 11 – 18
Location: Xmatkuil Fairgrounds
Time: Depends on the Day
Admission: To watch the parade $25 pesos for the chair, access to the fair: Free

Yucatan Living Merida’s Got Murder – February 3-7
Once again, a troupe of intrepid actors (murderers?) gather to solve a murder mystery… and you have front row seats. Join your neighbors and friends for this exciting murder mystery theatre with dinner! Find out more at the Merida Mystery Theatre Facebook page.
Location: Feb 3, 4, 5 at Hennessy’s, Feb 6 at Lizard Joe’s in Chelem, Feb 7 at Villa Martine in Merida
Time: 7:00 PM
Admission: Tickets on sale at Hennessy’s, Robert Abuda Salon in Merida and Lizard Joe’s Restaurant in Chelem. Include show and dinner. Do not include beverages and gratuities.

Yucatan Living Yucadanz: Monthly Contra Dance in Merida
When is a square dance not square? You’re just going to love this new dance in town. Contra dance is a community “barn dance”, where everyone socializes and dances with everyone else. We love their energy and hope that everyone will give contra dance a whirl. Everyone is welcome!
Location: Tumaka’t Dance Studio, Calle 51 #475-A x 52 y 54 (blue building, middle of block), Centro
Time: Beginner Class in Spanish: 7:00 PM, Beginner Class in English: 7:30 PM, Contra dance: 8:00 PM – 10:30 PM
Admission: Bring your own refreshments and water, no alcohol at the dance. $50-$100 pesos donation requested. Proceeds benefit Tumaka’t, a nonprofit arts group, and to establish a fund for live music. Read this great page on the Yucadanz website!
Dates:
Saturday, February 14, 2015
Saturday, March 14, 2015
Saturday, April 11, 2015

Yucatan Living Merida English Library Saturday Lecture Series: October – March
• February 7: Eldercare Choices in the US. Catherine Hawes & Charles Phillips.
• February 14: Valentine’s Day & Carnival weekend. No program.
• February 21: MEL Artist Studio Tour. No lecture.
• February 28: Mexican wines – discussion and limited tasting. Elliot Diaz. Attendance limited. Admission 100 pesos.
• March 7: TBA
• March 14: TBA
Location: Merida English Library, Calle 53 x 66 y 68.
Time: 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Admission: Most lectures are free, some have a nominal fee

Yucatan Living Merida English Library Music in the Garden Concert Series
Check the performance details at the Merida English Library website:
• February 13: Latin, Mexican & Yucatecan Music with Maricarmen Perez
• March 13: Rock and Blues with Steve Katz
Location: Merida English Library, Calle 53 x 66 y 68.
Time: 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Admission: Most lectures are free, some have a nominal fee

Yucatan Living The Artist Studio Tour – February 21
This unique self-guided tour is a yearly fundraiser for the Merida English Library and gives important exposure to local, national and international artists living and working in Merida. Many of our 24 artists are represented in galleries and museums around the world, but the MEL Artist Studio Tour is the only time their studios are open to the public. One day, 24 great artists! The Artist Studio Tour allows you to spend quality time discussing the creative process with each artist and if, the mood strikes, you can pick up a piece for your home. You’ll find sculptors, painters, printmakers, photographers, papermakers and more in this talented group. Visit www.meridaenglishlibrary.com for updates on the tour, ticket sales locations and artist profiles.
Location: Downtown Merida. Map made available to ticket holders.
Time: 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Admission: Tickets go on sale January 22nd! Buy your tickets before February 21 and pay only 200 pesos. Tickets are 250 pesos the day of the tour so get them early!

Yucatan Living Soldier, Come Home – February 22
Award winning play based on real letters written during the Civil War will be presented in the garden. It is interesting to note that two of the main characters, depicting Civil War soldiers, will be played by local Yucatecans! Read here for more information.
Location: Merida English Library, Calle 53 x 66 y 68, centro
Time: 4:00 PM
Admission: Tickets on sale at MEL

Yucatan Living IWC Tour: The Amazing Archaeological Tour – February 24 to March 1, 2015
This tour includes:
• Five nights accommodation
• Bilingual guide service
• Transportation by motor coach for the duration of the tour
• Breakfast each morning
• Entrance tickets to all specified attractions
• Donation to IWC Charity Committee
You will visit the archaeological sites of Edzna, X/puji, Balamku, Becan, Chicana, Calakmul, Kohunlich, and Coba, as well as a visit to Laguna Bacalar. Contact Joanna at http://writingfrommerida.com/2014/10/26/off-the-beaten-trail-tourism/ for more info on this trip.

Yucatan Living Ringo Starr and his All Starr Band, March 08
An icon of the music comes to Merida, do not miss the opportunity to listen live to one of the musicians who marked an era, this is a unique and unrepeatable concert not to miss.
Location:Coliseo Yucatan, on the road to Progreso
Time: 8:00 PM
Admission:from $425 pesos to $1825 . Buy your tickets in advance here.

Yucatan Living Concert: Rock and Blues Friday March 13, 2015
The Merida English Library presents its Music in the Gardens concert series. This concert features Steve Katz, formerly of Blood, Sweat & Tears, on guitar and vocals.
Location: Forum Cine Colón (72 street by Colon Avenue)
Time: 7:30 PM
Admission: $100 pesos. Seating limited. Beverages available.

Have an event you want to promote? Email us at info [at] yucatanliving [dot] com and we’ll be happy to list it in our Events listing and our Month-at-a-Glance Calendar!

By Working Gringos

I am a 25 year old English teacher from England I have just arrived 5 days ago, and sorted an apartment. Now all I need is a job.

I would really appreciate it if you could include me on the job board.

So here goes:

Name of Applicant: Ione Murray
Email Address: ionemurray10 [at] hotmail [dot] co [dot] uk
Phone Number: 9993639379
Type of Work Desired: English Teacher (adults)
Job Location Desired: Merida
Resume or Qualification Description: CELTA-Qualified with over 2 years experience teaching adults English
Any Additional Information: available immediately

By Khaki Scott


Quintana Roo in New Time Zone (With Conditions)

At 2:00 AM on Sunday, February 1, 2015, clocks will change in Quintana Roo. At that time, the time in Quintana Roo will be the equivalent of Eastern Standard Time in the United States and Canada. However – this is a one-time-only shift forward in time. Quintana Roo is not going to use Daylight Saving Time. When everyone else turns their clocks back in the Fall, Quintana Roo will not be changing with them.

Yucatan Courting United States Business Investments

The State Government of Yucatan is putting together a plan to show American businessmen the advantages of investing in this state. These plans include guarantees, as well as information on attractions and public safety. There is an amazing array of areas of interest and all are now on the cutting edge of their fields. These include: education, science, technology, medicine, manufacturing, and import/exports. New railroad access, along with updated port facilities, bring Yucatan into the energy field, as well as do wind farms and renewed interest in solar energy production. Even agriculture, including horse and cattle ranching are growing industries in Yucatan. Overall, the future looks brighter than ever and everyone here believes that investments in Yucatan are some of the best in the world.

Tzucacab: Maya Ceremony May Disappear

Every sixteen years, a priest of the ancient Maya tradition officiates at a ceremony asking the gods to take care of the land, the animals, and the people who live in the area. This ceremony is called the “jetz lu’um.” The priests note that there are two reasons for a noticeable decline in the continuation of these ceremonies. First, the ceremonies are sixteen years apart and their story is not being passed down from one generation to the next. Second, the supplies for the ceremonies cost money that the rural poor cannot afford. When these situations are combined, we are lucky that there is renewed interest in all things Maya on university campuses. Modern research into the old ways may be what saves many of the customs of the ancient Maya, including the “jetz lu’um.” We certainly hope to be here for the next “jetz lu’um,” in January 2031.

Merida: Business Coalition Against Climate Change (CECC)

It is, indeed, a new millennium in Yucatan and the wonders we have seen in just the past few months are almost beyond belief. Legal representatives for companies in six industries have come together to form the Business Coalition Against Climate Change. In each of these industries, the companies that have signed as members of the CECC must already be doing business in an environmentally responsible manner, as well as being willing to contribute further to developing mitigation and adaptation strategies, as well as contributing to public education on the topic of climate change. These industries include: pork, cement, salt, wheat, Bepensa (Coca Cola), and electrical services. The coalition will be collaborating with environmental specialists from Universidad Marista. This is the first coalition of its kind in all of Mexico and we are extremely proud that it began right here in Merida. Estado de Yucatan, in the 21st century, has already defined itself as socially and environmentally responsible. This will let new businesses know to stay away if they don’t share those values, or that the welcome mat is out to those who do.

DNA Advances

The Genetics Laboratory of the Attorney General of the State of Yucatan has almost completed the genetic profile of the population born in the state and throughout the peninsula. The project only seeks to identify populations, not individuals. In fact, no individual information was even asked for from the participating subjects. The end result will be invaluable in the justice system, as well as in the field of health care. Comparisons between Yucatan’s population and that of other countries can provide a wealth of information for all branches of science. Missing persons can be brought home and genetic diseases can be caught early enough for treatment. There are so many ethnicities on this peninsula and understanding their minute fractional DNA has far-reaching implications. Every step we take brings us closer to understanding who the people of Yucatan are and how they came to be. Of course, there are fun facts in DNA as well. When Jessica Alba, the American actress, had her DNA profile done, she discovered that she is descended from the Maya!

Yucatan: Disease Statics are In and Down!

It seems that Yucatan is winning the war on more than a few diseases, not in the least of which is dengue fever. In 2013, there were 2,835 cases of dengue fever in Yucatan. That number dropped to 1,059 in 2014. According to authorities, much of this drop can be attributed to the efforts of the people to keep clean their patios, walkways, and the insides of their houses. The climate itself is having an effect on more common respiratory diseases. Overall higher temperatures seem to have significantly reduced the number of colds. Authorities still recommend flu shots to keep that disease at bay. Chlorination at water treatment plants and wells have significantly reduced the number of cholera cases in the state as well. This year, Mexico is making the polio vaccine mandatory. This is one disease that has not appeared in Yucatan in many years, but it is welcome news that, with vaccination, it never will again. While diabetes and obesity are still a significant health problem in Yucatan, the overall health report is positive and getting better all the time.

Cancun: 3D Pet Protheses

There is a company in Cancun (Impresiones 3D Cancun) that manufactures 3D printers. The owner, Alejandro Martin Canul, says that the market for 3D pet prostheses is greater in Monterrey, Guadalajara, and Mexico City because they have more pets and more people who can afford the $400 peso price for producing these prostheses but, since they are so far away, this idea might catch on in Cancun. $400 pesos!? Is that all? Never underestimate the love that Yucatecos and expats have for their pets, or what they are willing to pay to improve the quality of life for a disabled pet. Be sure and ask your vet if he or she has looked into getting a 3D prosthesis for any of their patients who need one, and ask at the shelters and animal aid organizations too. You can find Alejandro Martin Canul on Facebook.

Fundraiser for Medical Bills of Bruce Pit Bull

As evidence of how well loved Yucatan’s pets really are, we are passing on the story of Bruce the pit bull. Bruce has a curable cancerous tumor, but his family needs help to pay for the five rounds of chemotherapy he will need. A local pit bull club (El club Ko’okMeyajYetel le Pitbull) has decided to host an event as a fundraiser. The following information details what will be going on:
Fundraiser: Chemotherapy Expenses for Bruce the Pit Bull January 25, 2015
Competitions: Confirmation, Pulling Weights (up and level), vertical jump, and stalking prey.
Location: Parque “Los Cantaritos,” Calle 59 por 42, Fraccionamiento Francisco de Montejo
Time: This will be an all day event
Admission: Free to the public, donations deeply appreciated. Fees to enter for pit bulls (per event entered): $50 pesos until the 22nd, $70 pesos from the 22nd through the 25th.

Exciting Week in Hunucma!

This past Sunday, 5,000 people filled the streets of Hunucma as the Virgin of Tetiz made her annual pilgrimage the few miles from her home in Tetiz. She will remain in Hunucma for two weeks before making her way the 8 km back to Tetiz. Just two days prior to the arrival of the Virgin, the Ministry of Rural Municipal Development arrived in Hunucma, where they went house to house until they had given out 6,000 vouchers for 10 baby chickens each. The chickens themselves were distributed on Tuesday. These chickens will add 60,000 sources of food to families in Hunucma, either as food or as a source of eggs. Either way, this visit of the Virgin of Tetiz is beginning on a high note and more good things are to come.

By Working Gringos

Contact: Carlos Montes de Oca
DOB: January 23rd, 1986
Nationality: Mexican
Address: Mérida, Yucatán.
Email: ct [dot] montesdeoca [at] gmail [dot] com
Cel: 044 999 324 1625

Profile:
Detail oriented team player. Organized, flexible and able to meet deadlines in a fast paced environment. Excellent problem-solving skills and a background in Production, Quality and Creative Arts.

Education:
Universidad del Valle de México
Communication (Drop Out)
2005 – 2007
Paseo de Las Aves 1, San Mateo
Naucálpan Estado de Mexico, 53220
Tel: 01 55 52 38 73 00

Miami-Dade College
Interior Design
January, 2007 – May, 2010
300 NE 2nd Ave, Miami, FL 33132
Tel: 001 305 237 3000

- Design of a Louis XVI / Contemporary chair, showcased as part of the Architecture and
Design Museum of Florida International University. Miami-Dade College, Interior Design
Department. Professor Irina Mitina.
- Design of a Hotel Room showcased as part of the Architecture and Interior Design Fair
of Miami-Dade College. Miami-Dade College, Interior Design Department. Professor
Irina Mitina.

Art Institute – Miami International University of Art and Design
Digital Filmmaking and Video Production:
April, 2011 – December, 2013
1501 Biscayne Boulevard, Suite 100, Miami, FL 33132
Tel: 001 305 428 5700

Resume
- Dean’s honor roll, MIU Summer 2011-Spring 2012.
- President of the Film Club (2012-2013)
- Faculty’s honor roll for thesis project. Faculty of Miami International University of Art
and Design, Phezman Jatala.

Experience:
Freelance
Hotel Banyan Tree, Mayakoba. Playa del Carmen.
- Concept and production of twelve videos to help improve the training of their employees; working hand in hand with directives of the Training and HR departments. Eiffel School of Arts. Mérida.
- Theatre and Drama Classes.
- Production and Directing of five theatre plays.
- Social media, increasing likes and 400% exposure with web traffic
- Graphic design, web and print.
- Production of promotional videos for social media.
Bread and Cake House. Mérida.
- Interior and graphic design.
Isabel Puente. Miami, FL.
- Production of background videos for women’s boutique.
Deco Models. Miami, FL.
- Photoshoots for books.
- Graphic design.

Methustos Studio, Miami. (04/12 – 12/13)
Production company; Recruiting, contracts, budgets, payrolls, logistics, production
books, equipment.
- “ I Love Miami”, producer.
- “Dawn of the Sheriff”, producer.
- “According to Lola”, producer.
- “The Glass”, producer, designer.
Resume
- “ Apple Tart”, producer, designer.
- “ Valentine”, producer, designer.
- “Dipped in Chocolate”, producer, designer.
- “Dead Hearts”, producer, designer.

KAPZ Design, Miami (02/09 – 03/2012)
Real State and Interior Design company.
-Design and supervision of Luxury properties in Miami, FL.
- Construction Materials, fixtures, flooring, window treatment, walk-in closet design, light
design, furniture, textiles, and wall treatment.
- Marketing and Graphic design.

Instituto Cultural de México en Miami (2008-2009).
Mexican Consulate in Miami. SRE.
- Graphic design.
- Concept and design of “festival Mexico-Miami”, still in use.
- Production and logistics of events to help promote the art of Mexicans in Miami.
Tetra-Emos-Arte (2008). Obra Pictórica de Diego Rosales (2008). Obra Grafica Original
de Rufino Tamayo (2008). Mexico en el Mainly Mozart Festival: Concierto Inaugural de
Artenostra (2008) Alexey Sabido (2009). Festival Mexico-Miami (2009). Vestidos y
Piezas Couture de Maria Félix (2009). NSN: No Somos Nadie/Si Somos Alguien (2009).

MAD in Italy, Miami (2006 – 2008).
Designer’s forniture.
- Interior Decorator, In-store Sales.

Software:
Advance Skills in Microsoft Office Package, Apple iWork, Final Cut Pro 7, Final Cut Pro
X, Adobe Premiere Pro, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Lightroom, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe
After Effects, Final Draft.

Languages:
- Spanish, Native.
- English proficiency.

By Donna Martine

Editor’s Note: The following article was sent to us by a reader who wanted to share hers and her husband’s experiences of renting houses in the Yucatan. As you can see, they had a lot of experience in this, as they rented multiple times, in various areas around the city, looking for just the right place to settle down. They used our website, especially our article about the neighborhoods of Merida, to learn about and explore where they might want to finally live and build their own house.

We wanted to share this with our readers because we feel there is valuable information here… not only for people looking to rent a home in Yucatan, but also for those of us already living here who might have forgotten how people unfamiliar with the Yucatan experience it when they first arrive. All of us arrive with our north-of-the-border expectations firmly intact. We expect a certain minimum level of service in service providers, like we had back home. We are not prepared for a situation where lack of competition, clashes of cultures and the vagaries of history have created something subtly but completely different. We expect the same sort of amenities that we had back home, and are surprised to find such a huge range of offerings, from cutting edge technologies to centuries-old (sometimes literally!) solutions. We expect that the people we deal with, especially if they share our language, will think the same way we do about things and are surprised when something we think is unacceptable is perfectly fine with them. There are experiences in this story below that we can all identify with, no matter how long or how little a time we have spent in the Yucatan.

What we have seen here in the Yucatan is that gradually the realities of life in this climate and this culture wear away our rough edges and give us a sort of been-there-done-that patina that is the human equivalent of what we see in the houses, structures and establishments around us. We learn the ways of this world. We begin (just begin…) to understand that things are often not what they seem. We gain a perspective, not just on this unknown, puzzling culture, but we also see how much of our own culture we have taken for granted, assuming that cultures are all that way. It is one thing to visit another culture and be charmed by the differences we see. It is another thing altogether to live in another culture and be tripped up, confounded, stymied and puzzled by the differences we often cannot see.

****

Rent Before You Buy

“They” say it is always best to rent instead of buy when you first move to a new location, especially in another country. Renting allows you time to settle in, find out where things are located and explore the various neighborhoods you might be interested in living in when you finally decide to commit and buy (or build).

Each year more people come to the Yucatan on vacation, or to live for three to six months. Some of them even come as we did… to live here for a year and then decide what to do next. We did our research and made many trips to the area prior to our move here. However, when it came to renting a home in the Yucatan, we have had more adventures than we ever anticipated. We have learned a lot about realtors, property managers, owners and rental agencies. They are all different, with different strengths and weaknesses. In the end, they are people and some served our needs better than others. Here, like anywhere, there is a range of services and service providers.

Let’s Start in the Centro

As with many first time visitors to Merida, we initially wanted to live in the centro historico and experience the much-heralded Merida lifestyle, with its great colonial architecture, neighborhood mercados and centuries-old culture. A lovely man who owns a small boutique hotel in Merida gave us the names of some realtors for us to begin our rental home search. We decided upon one of these realtors and began a telephone relationship with her prior to moving down here. We felt it was important for the person we were doing business with to really understand our needs and how we operate. We thought this person had understood us, but in hindsight, we believe she was more interested in her commission than in finding us the right house.

Cel Phone Tower ViewWe moved down here with three cats. Crazy, we know… but our cats are family. Because of them, having a home to move into the moment we got off the airplane was very important to us. Our realtor put us into what appeared in the photos to be a lovely large home in the south centro part of Merida. At the time we knew nothing about locations and had to totally rely on this person to be honest in describing the neighborhood. We rented this home for six months beginning in December. Fortunately we came down three months prior to moving in and rented the house for three nights.

After the first night we broke the lease. We did not care for the neighborhood. The neighborhood was noisy, and there was a huge cell tower beaming directly into the master bedroom and living room. We felt uncomfortable with the neighborhood and were far removed from the life we were seeking. As always, however, the people in the neighborhood were very kind.

The next day, the realtor showed us another one of her homes that we liked very much. We agreed to rent the home in December. A month prior to our move from California, I thought it odd that I had not received any paperwork to sign regarding the house, so I called the realtor. I was surprised to learn that the home we agreed to rent was not available. The person currently renting it was not going to move out in time for our arrival. My first question, of course, was “and when were you going to tell us this”? For an answer, the realtor told us how busy she was, how everything is getting booked up and how little is available. Of course, that was why we began our communication and search in July. Oh, well. Moving on!

House #3 looked fine in the photos, although it was much smaller than we had wanted. In addition, we had to sign a two-month lease. By now we were desperate, as our departure date was only weeks House on Calle 62away. The realtor said the home was on a busy street, but that the noise was not too bad. Again, since we were not there, we had to trust her judgement. We arrived at the house after 10pm at night. She kindly had put food in the refrigerator so we did not need to run out for provisions first thing in the morning. What she failed to tell us is the “not too busy street” was a major North/South thoroughfare, Calle 62. This seemed to us a street crammed full of buses, taxis, trucks, and cars from 5 in the morning until 9 at night. The exhaust fumes alone about killed us, not to mention the noise.

Exploring Our Beach Options

After two weeks, we explored the VRBO (Vacation Rental By Owners) site and found what appeared to be a nice home at the beach in Telchac Puerto. Our intention was to stay for two weeks, regroup our Beach house not maintainedshattered bodies and decide what to do. We connected with the property manager who was delightful. Unfortunately the property was not well maintained.

These particular photos seemed about ten years old and the house was really showing its age. Cabinets in the kitchen were broken, knobs missing, there was a leak in the bathroom… after a walk through, we could come up with a long list of things needing attention. With all that said, we felt that being there was nicer than living on Calle 62. We had Internet, television, and a washer/dryer… three vital necessities for us. We stayed for three weeks and kept looking at homes along the beach, realizing at this point that this was where we wanted to live.

North Merida Rental

To establish our current living situation, we returned to our realtor in the city and told her we were not moving back to Calle 62. Having had some time to explore the colonial city center, we decided to The Streets of Montebello in Merida Yucatansearch for a home in the north-eastern part of Merida. This was not our realtor’s territory, so she helped us contact another realtor for help. The second realtor found a lovely home for us in Montebello II, very close to the Altabrisa Shopping Center. We lived in Home #4 for six months. During this time we took advantage of what the city had to offer and learned our way around the neighborhoods. We discovered that Merida is a wonderful city, as most of you already know.

Beach Rentals in Yucatan

Long-term rentals at the beach are not easy to come by. Almost all the homes there are vacation rentals. Yucatecan families own many of the homes and they usually stay at those homes during the three week Easter break, and for all of July and August. Other homes are owned by expatriates who come down only during the winter months, or when they have time off to enjoy the beach. Finding a six-to-twelve month rental seemed almost impossible. With the help of a property manager we had met, we were able to rent a new home that was available in July, six months away, and we agreed to take it.

While we were staying in our Montebello home in the city, we also came out to the beach and rented the home we were going to rent long term (five months) in July. We spent one to two weeks at a time in Home #5. This rental home was not large, but very comfortable. Also, it was clean and everything worked initially.

When some strong rain storms began in late May with very high winds, we discovered a very serious leak right over the master bed. Water came down the wall and went right under the mattress. At that time, we were only there for a short stay and told the owner and property manager of the problem. They brought the contractor out to the house and he felt he fixed the problem. After we moved into the house later on, House on the beach with a leakthere were things that needed to be fixed that the owner did not have time to attend to during their stay, which was just prior to our moving in. During our first month in the house, the air conditioner stopped working. It was July, it was hot and humid and we had no air conditioning in the living room. There were a number of other issues that needed repair, requiring a lot of time and disruption to our lives while we waited for workers and repairs to take place. It turned out to be five weeks before the air conditioner was fixed.

That October, during another rainstorm, the leak we had discovered in May reemerged again, soaking our bedding, pillows and the mattress. We then realized that the problem had never been fixed. Based on what we were told it would take to fix the problem, including a jackhammer, arrangements were made for us to leave the house a month early.

Back in March, our health insurance representative had recommended a friend of his who runs an agency in Progreso that is owned by a Canadian company. We contacted his friend to see if he had any homes along the beach we could rent from December – June 2015. At that time, we were not sure if we were going to stay in Mexico, or move back to the states. The agent showed us a home in San Benito that we rented for a week in June to see if we would like it. The beach was lovely, the home was okay, but the Internet did not work well. However, we felt we could live there and be happy for six months. The agent agreed to come up with a solution for the Internet issue. Unfortunately, we learned that we had to move out of the house for three weeks during the Easter holidays so the owner could come out and enjoy their home. We agreed and put down a deposit to secure the home for our upcoming six-month stay.

During our time in Home #5 at the beach, we decided to make the move to Mexico. We contacted the realtor who found us the city home and told her where we wanted to be located. She was great and found a property that we decided to purchase.

Preparing to Build, We Needed To Rent… Again!

In making this decision we realized we needed to line up homes to live in for the twelve-month period it would take to build our own home. We already had one home from December – June so we only needed another home for six more months. We contacted the Progreso agent to see if he had any homes available and to inquire if the home we were renting from him for six months in December might be available for a longer period of time. He said he had a meeting coming up with the owner and would be in touch soon. A few weeks passed and when he contacted us, we were informed the owner had double-booked the home. She had a renter who always comes out the month of February to rent her home. This year he told her he was not coming, and then he changed his mind and threatened never to rent her house again if she did not rent to him. The owner chose to go with the one-month renter and not with us. Even the agent was upset with her decision.

The agent then began looking for other homes and took us to see two homes. We decided upon one we felt would work for us. However, it would only be until Easter vacation in March. He knew our most important needs (washer/dryer, Internet, Television). When he gave us a tour of the home, he pointed out a unit he called a combination washer/dryer and the television, which was buried under outdoor furniture. We trusted it was there, as he said. He also told us he had purchased a special box for the Internet that he said would work.

Home Number Six

So, in November, we moved into Home #6. On moving day, we learned that our agent was on vacation and we were working with two staff members. One was a handy person, and the other a possible agent in the making.

When we moved into the house, we had some surprises. There was a television, but it did not have a power cord. When the cord arrived a week later, we discovered there was no cable box. The agent told us the owner’s son was taking the box in to be re-formatted for use at the beach and it would be delivered to us the following week. As I write this, it has been more than three weeks and we still have no cable box. Now we are told that we are responsible for paying the monthly service provider rental, something we were not told earlier.

Also, the washer/dryer was not a combination unit as promised. You wash clothes on one side of the unit and spin them on the other side. The dryer was, by default, a clothesline. This is not what we were promised. As for the Internet, it does not work most of the time. Instead, we frequent a cyber café about 15 minutes away. It is part of the adventure now to be on the computer, while ten-year old boys have a great time playing video games and make loud noises right behind us.

For three weeks after our move in, we made calls to the rental agency. Our agent was on a month-long vacation, and of course was not responding to our calls and e-mails. The agent in the making was changing her mind about the cable situation daily, and then she stopped taking our calls and would not respond to our messages. Emails were going back and forth, sometimes daily, but there was never a sender’s name on the email communication. We thought that was very odd because we thought we were working with a small local office staff. Finally, after more than three weeks we connected with our apologetic agent. We learned the rental agency he works for is so large that they have service centers in the United States and Canada. Our emails went to one of those centers and someone responded based on their limited knowledge of our situation. The multiple stories regarding the non-existent cable box went from “the box will be delivered next week”, to “there is no box”, and “you aren’t paying enough rent to have a box”, and lastly “you can rent a box from us but they are all taken for the next three months”.

We decided to never again rent from a company not based here in Yucatan.

Homes Seven and Eight

We did get our other Homes #7 and #8 lined up for the next twelve months through an outstanding realtor who lives in Merida. We have never met a person who goes so far out of her way to help clients. First, she found us the beachfront property we wanted. Then she began finding us beach homes to rent when she learned of our rental problems. We regret that we had already put a deposit down with the ‘vacation rental’ agency, because this realtor would have taken much better care of us.

This realtor showed us approximately six different homes. In some cases, we would try to make the potential home fit our needs. When she saw we were not 100% happy, she kept looking without us asking her to do this. We have been very impressed with her ability to find homes and to be of outstanding service to her clients.

Building Home Number Nine

Home #9 will be the home we are building. We are looking forward to not having to move again for some time!

There are excellent people down here to work with. If you are coming to this area, we know you will have a wonderful time and we hope this article gives you some insight into the process of renting a home here. Merida is a city and Yucatan is a state that is filled with wonderful, helpful and friendly people. Have fun and enjoy the adventure!

By Working Gringos

Name: Jonjon Cooper
Contact: +447463315795. Local number 999 139 7617
Email: jonjoncooper61 [at] gmail [dot] com

A hard worker with good practical skills and an all round knowledge of tools. Enthusiastic, sociable and always willing to learn. A good team player and also able to work on my own initiative. Full driving licence.

I am originally from the UK and I am currently living in Merida. I have extensive work experience as a property maintenance person and I am available to start immediately.

EDUCATION AND QUALIFICATIONS

NVQ Level 1 Plumbing and Heating & Level 1 Construction Built Environment: 2001 to 2002
Southampton City College, St Marys, Southampton

9 GCSE passes including Maths, English & Science: 1997 to 2001
Redbridge Community School, Southampton

WORK EXPERIENCE

Maintenance Man, Rent in Bournemouth, Bournemouth : 2014
I work in various rented properties across Bournemouth and carry out a wide range of tasks that need to be done to the properties. This includes; painting, plumbing, plastering, tiling (bathrooms and kitchens) and general repair work.

Plumber, Evermore properties: 2009 to 2014
Duties included fitting sinks, toilets, baths, waste pipes, copper pipes and pvc. I also carried out general repair work. Photos are available on request.

Laminator, BMG, Swanmore: 2007 to 2009
Contract worker for Sunseekers in Weymouth and Poole. Duties included laying up moulds for boat structures and component parts. This involved using polyester resin, vinylester resin and all types of combi cloth, foam and filling materials and basic finishing work.

Laminator, Catapult Catamarans, Itchen Marine, Southampton: 2005 to 2007
Duties similar to above and also included instructing new employees.

Painter, A & P / Muhlan, Southampton: 2004 to 2005
I worked in the dry dock and painted ships such as the Stella Line vessels and the Q.E.2.

Skilled Labourer, Potters Construction, Hedge End, Southampton: 2003 to 2004
Duties included painting and decorating, tiling floors and walls, fitting flooring, plumbing and other general tasks as required.

INTERESTS AND HOBBIES: I enjoy all types of sports including football, kickboxing and mixed martial arts to keep fit. I also enjoy music and can play the drums, guitar, piano and keyboard.

REFERENCES: Available on request

By Working Gringos

Yucatan Symphony Orchestra: 2015

The 2015 Fall Season for Orquesta Sinfonica de Yucatan

www.sinfonicadeyucatan.com.mx

Under the Direction of Juan Carlos Lomonaco (www.juancarloslomonaco.com)

January

Program 1: January 16 and 18
Waltzes and overtures by composers that include Ravel, Strauss and others.

Program 2: January 23 and 24
Romantic Germany.Prepare for an evening of romantic German music from the violin of Sebastian Kwapisz. Overture for King Esteban by Beethoven, Scotch Fantasy for Violin and Orchestra by Bruch and Symphony #1 “Spring” by Schumman.

Program 3: January 30 and February 01
The Magic Flute. Robert Carter Austin as Guest Director and Joaquin Melo on the Flute. The Magic Flute Overture and Concert for flute by Mozart and Symphony number 7 by Beethoven. The first program devoted to Mozart.

February

Program 4: February 6 and 8
Mozart Splendor. Robert Carter Austin as Guest Director and Nikolay Dimitrov on the Viola. The Opera Norma by Italian Composer Vincenzo Bellini has one of the most famous arias of history for sopranos. Nikolay Dimitrov will present the Concert for Viola by Composer Cecil Forsyth.

March

Program 5: March 1
To the Slovenian. Juan Carlos Lomonaco as Director and Cesar Martinez from the Mexico City Philarmonic in the Violoncello, Concert for Violoncello by Czech Composer Antonin Dvorak has American Jazz and folklore from his country in the notes.

Program 6: March 8 Didactic Concert with Gustavo Rivero Weber as guest director and Maria Jose Gil as narrator. This program aims to introduce the public to orchestral music, the concerts and the instruments. Pieces include Wedding of Figaro by Mozart, Peter and the Wolf by Sergei Prokofiev, the orchestral guide for young people and Slavic March by Tchaikovsky.

Program 7: March 15
Czech Republic through music. From the land of the Bohemian, the orchestra presents the music, legends and landscape of the Czech Republic. Concerto for Violin by Dvorak is in the repertoire for violin and is composed of 3 movements, composed in 1883, and was first presented in Prague. On this occasion it will be played by the Portuguese violinist Emanuel Salvador who is part of the Orchestra of North Portugal.

Program 8: March 22
This program takes us from classicism to romanticism. It will start with the first symphony of Beethoven that belongs to the classical period but shows elements of romanticism. In the second part, two works of the Romantic period will be presented, Capricho Italiano and Franz Liszt’s Preludes.

April

Program 9: April 17 and 19 Summer nights. Carla Dirlikov Mezzo-soprano and Juan Carlos Lomonaco as director. Carla is a Mexican singer who has work with the Orchestra on different occasions. She will interpret Summer Nights by Hector Berlioz and the Symphony Number 3 by Sergei Rachmaninov will be played for the first time in Merida.

Program 10: April 24 and 26 Nordic Charm. This program allows us to perform a musical journey through Norway and Finland. Hear the Piano Concerto and the Norwegian Dances by Grieg Edward performed by the Venezuelan pianist Edith Peña.

May

Program 11: May 15 and 17
Piano and Romance. Fernando Varcarcel as Guest Director and Dario Antonio Martin García on the piano. The first part is a tribute to the father of romanticism, Beethoven. It includes the Fidelio Overture and Piano Concerto no. 4. Also the young Cuban winner of the international Piano competition “Jose Jacinto Cuevas” will perform Symphony no. 101 by Haydn.

Program 12: May 22 and 24
Titan. As is traditional in every season, one program is intended for the soloists. In this occasion they will present two masterpieces. The Unfinished Symphony of Franz Schubert composed in 1822 and the Symphony no. 1 by Titan Gustav Mahler composed in 1888.

June

Program 13: June 19, 21, 23, 25 and 27 The Marriage of Figaro. Change is in the air and Figaro’s world is turning upside down. On the eve of the wily barber’s marriage to Susanna, Count Almaviva’s wandering eye has landed on the lovely bride-to-be. Servant and master go head to head, and even the Countess herself must spring into battle when she learns of her husband’s plans. Or is she embroiled in a liaison of her own? From the breathless opening notes of the overture to the touching final curtain, Mozart’s comic masterpiece brilliantly bucks the conventions of his time to deliver an ageless message of love and forgiveness.

All Concerts have this in common:
Location: Teatro Jose Peon Contreras, Calle 60 x 57
Dates and Times: Fridays at 9:00 PM and Sundays at 12:00 Noon
Admission: $60, $80, $100 and $150 pesos.
Admission for Program 4 and 9: $100, $150, $200 and $250 pesos.

Note: Programm 5,6,7 and 8 are in the Armando Manzanero Theater.

Buy your tickets starting January 13th at the Peon Contreras Theater.

By Working Gringos

This Week… starting January 19 , 2014

Yucatan Living International Film Festival of Merida and Yucatan: January 17-24
This is the first Film Festival in Merida, they will present movies and shorts made in Yucatan and about Yucatan. Different locations and times. For more information visit the website here

Yucatan Living Merida Fest: The 473rd Anniversary of the City of Merida (January 6 – 27)
Every year, three weeks in January mark a huge celebration in honor of the birthday of the City of Merida. This event is called Merida Fest and is designed to bring together all of the people and cultures in Merida. We are blessed to enjoy one of the most peaceful big cities in the world, with one of the most complex populations. No matter the topic: food, music, ethnicity, age and even religion, Merida has it all and manages, without discrimination, to continue to celebrate our complex society as one of our greatest strengths. What that translates to, for visitors and residents alike, is three weeks of cultural events and entertainment that is found nowhere else. Stay with us here at Yucatan Living as we bring you the dazzling array of events that will take place during Merida Fest.

Yucatan Living Mark Your Calendars for 2015
These dates are all governed by the cycles of the Sun and/or Moon and most are associated with major holidays and celebrations in Yucatan.
February 18: Mardi Gras
March 20 at 4:45 PM: Spring Equinox
March 29: Palm Sunday
April 4: Total Lunar Eclipse
April 5: Easter Sunday
June 21 at 11:38 AM: Midsummer Equinox
July 2 & 31: Blue Moon
September 23 at 3:20 PM: Fall Equinox
September 27: Super Moon
September 28: Total Lunar Eclipse
December 21 at 10:48 PM: Winter Equinox

Monday (Lunes) January 19, 2015

Yucatan Living Orson Welles Series: The Lady from Shanghai
(United States, 1947). Director: Orson Welles. Starring: Orson Welles, Everett Sloane, and Rita Hayworth, with a cameo by Errol Flynn. Fascinated by gorgeous Mrs. Bannister, seaman Michael O’Hara joins a bizarre yachting cruise, and ends up mired in a complex murder plot.
Location: Video Sala del Olimpo Calle 60 x 62 centro of Merida
Time: 8:00 PM Monday
Admission: Free

Tuesday (Martes) January 20, 2015

Yucatan Living Movie: Orson Welles Series: Macbeth
(France 1948). Director: Orson Welles. Starring: Orson Welles, Jeanette Nolan, Dan O’Herlihy, Roddy McDowall, and Alan Napier. In fog-dripping, barren and sometimes macabre settings, 11th-century Scottish nobleman Macbeth is led by an evil prophecy and his ruthless yet desirable wife to the treasonous act that makes him king. But he does not enjoy his newfound, dearly-won kingship… Although the play is restructure for the movie, all of the dialogue is Shakespeare’s.
Location: Videosala of the Olimpo , Calle 62 x 61
Time: 8:00 PM Tuesday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Music: Yucatan… My Version
Tonight’s invited guest performers include Monica Medina, Ana Laura Jorge, Mariana Correa, Beatriz Castro and Maria Rosa Becil. Yucatan produces some of the finest female vocalists in the world and these ladies certainly are living proof of that.
Location: Auditorio del Olimpo, Calle 62 x 61 centro of Merida
Time: 8:00 PM Tuesday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Movie: The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover
(UK 1989) The wife of an oafish restaurant owner becomes bored with her husband and considers an affair with a regular patron. That doesn’t BEGIN to describe this truly amazing film. If you have never seen it, be sure to see it. There are things in this movie that will stick with you forever.
Location: Cairo Cinema, Calle 20 #98A x 15 y 17, Colonia Itzimná
Time: 9:00 PM Tuesday
Admission: Free

 

Wednesday (Miercoles) January 21, 2015

Yucatan Living Movie: Klip
(Serbia 2012) Jasna is a beautiful girl in her mid-teens, leading a crude life of the postwar generation in Serbia. With a terminally ill father and dispirited mother, she is disillusioned and angry with everyone and everything, including herself. Having a huge crush on a boy from school, she goes on a spree of sex, drugs and partying, constantly filming with her mobile phone. Still, in that very harsh environment love and tenderness emerge. In Serbian with Spanish subtitles.
Location: LA 68, Calle 68 at Calle 55, centro of Merida
Time: 6:00 PM Wednesday
Admission: $35 pesos, $15 pesos students

Yucatan Living Movie: Orson Welles Series: The Third Man
(United Kingdom 1949). Director: Carol Reed. Starring: Orson Welles, Joseph Cotton, Alida Valli, and Trevor Howard. Pulp novelist Holly Martins travels to shadowy, postwar Vienna, only to find himself investigating the mysterious death of an old friend, black-market opportunist Harry Lime.
Location: Videosala of the Olimpo , Calle 62 x 61
Time: 8:00 PM Wednesday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Concert: Elena Duran, accompanied by Fernando Carmona
If you had to pick one event this week, this would be the one. Nowhere else in the world is the flute more magical than in the hands of Elena Duran. Tonight’s music is by Dvorak, Schumann, Milhaud, and Franck. To learn more about this international treasure, read Elena Duran’s Profile.
Location: Auditorio del Olimpo, Calle 62 x 61 centro of Merida
Time: 9:00 PM Wednesday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living International Women’s Club: Second Annual Whodunit Dinner
This year, the IWC will offer packets in either Spanish OR English, so you can choose for your group’s preference. There are eight characters, so you will need eight to fill your table. If you cannot fill a table, there will be extras who can fill in. Your admission includes a 3 course meal, plus a simple beverage. Bar service will be available on a pay as you go basis. Contact Beth Knepp for information in English smiles4beth [at] yahoo [dot] com or Cathy Harrison for information in Spanish OR English at cathyharrison [at] yahoo [dot] com or 999-926-0014.
Location: La Parrilla Restaurant, Calle 30 # 87 x 17, Prolongacion Montejo, Col. Mexico.
Time: 7:30 PM
Admission: $275 pesos per person

Yucatan Living Movie: Club Sandwich
(Mexico 2013) Hector and his young mother Paloma go on holiday. Out of season their hotel is deserted. They spend their days sitting on the edge of the swimming pool. Then attractive Jazmin arrives and we see how Paloma loses her son to a summer-fling. in Spanish with English subtitles.
Location: LA 68, Calle 68 at Calle 55, centro, Open Air Cinema
Time: 9:00 PM Wednesday
Admission: $35 pesos, $15 pesos students

 

Thursday (Jueves) January 22, 2015

Yucatan Living International Women’s Club: Buffet Breakfast Social
Come join women from around the world who live in Merida and get to know your community. Spouses are welcome.
Location: at the Hyatt’s Peregrina Restaurant, Ave. Colon, corner of Calle 60, 100 meters from Paseo Montejo
Time: 9:30 AM Thursday
Admission: $130 pesos covers everything

Yucatan Living Movie: The Man Who Lived in a Shoe
(Mexico 2010) This is the true story of a man, Jose Luis “El Guero” Robles Gil. It is also a story of reality versus imagination, love and madness, plus the opening and closing of the eyes: of a life poised almost at the border of fantasy. It is the story of a man who lived in a shoe, and the story of the woman who accompanied him, once upon a time.
Location: LA 68, Calle 68 at Calle 55, Centro
Time: 6:00 PM Thursday
Admission: $35 pesos, $15 pesos students

Yucatan Living Dance: ¿Y si la edad no fuera verdad?
Well – what about it? Are you defined by your age? As you grow older, do you have less fun simply because someone else wants you to “act your age?” Or, do you throw age to the wind and enjoy every day without a thought or care as to what your age actually is? This performance, by the State of Yucatan’s Alsur Dance Company, presents five different stories of people going through this process and how they reacted to it.
Location: Plaza Grande in Merida, Calle 60 x 61
Time: 8:00 PM Thursday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Movie: Orson Welles Series: Othello
(United States 1952). Director: Orson Welles. Starring: Orson Welles, Micheal MacLiammoir, Robert Coote, Joseph Cotton, Jean Davis, and Joan Fontaine. General Othello is manipulated into believing that his new wife has been having an affair with one of his officers when, in reality, it is all part of a scheme by a bitter lieutenant.
Location: Videosala of the Olimpo, Calle 62 x 61
Time: 8:00 PM Thursday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Music: Angelica Balado
This beloved Merida songstress sings lounge music like no one else.
Location: Remate de Paseo de Montejo, Calle 47
Time: 8:00 PM Thursday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Popular Gastronomic Fair: Taqueros and Food Trucks
These folks are taking their cooking to college, literally. They are working hard to become successful business people, and to present Yucatan in the very best light. With food trucks all the rage around the world, trust the vendors in Yucatan to turn it into an art as well as a business. Do come out and sample their wares.
Location: Remate de Paseo de Montejo, Calle 47
Time: 9:00 PM Thursday
Admission: Food and soft drinks available for sale

Yucatan Living Arab Dance: Maktub. It Was Already Written
This is a performance by the Padme Magusha Dance Company, under the direction of Karla Gomez Franco.
Location: Auditorium of the Olimpo, Calle 62 x 61
Time: 9:00 PM Thursday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Movie: When You’re a Stranger
(USA 2009) A look at the late ’60s and early ’70s rock band The Doors, including rare exclusive footage. In English.
Location: LA 68, Calle 68 at Calle 55, Centro
Time: 9:00 PM Thursday
Admission: $35 pesos, $15 pesos students

Yucatan Living Movie: Incendies
(Canada 2010) Twins journey to the Middle East to discover their family history, and fulfill their mother’s last wishes.
Location: Cairo Cinema, Calle 20 #98A x 15 y 17, Colonia Itzimná
Time: 9:00 PM Thursday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Fashion Show: Designer Gerardo Torres
This will be a showing of the designer’s Coleccion Pilar 2.0 collection and, if advance sneak peeks are any indication, it is going to be spectacular.
Location: Museum of the City of Merida, Calle 65 x 56
Time: 10:00 PM Thursday
Admission: Free

 

Friday (Viernes) January 23, 2015

Yucatan Living Movie: Bad Hair
(Mexico 2013) A nine-year-old boy’s preening obsession with straightening his hair elicits a tidal wave of homophobic panic in his hard-working mother. In Spanish with English subtitles.
Location: LA 68, Calle 68 at Calle 55, Centro
Time: 6:00 PM Friday
Admission: $35 pesos, $15 pesos students

Yucatan Living Jazz Night: This is an All Star Event
Appearing tonight will be international star Elena Duran and Trio, playing the Best of Claude Bolling, Along with the Merida Big Band, playing Jazz in Town by Pucheux and Patax, as well as flamenco jazz.
Location: Parque de Santa Ana, Calle 60 x 47
Time: 7:30 PM Friday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Dance: ¿Y si la edad no fuera verdad?
Well – what about it? Are you defined by your age? As you grow older, do you have less fun simply because someone else wants you to “act your age?” Or, do you throw age to the wind and enjoy every day without a thought or care as to what your age actually is? This performance, by the State of Yucatan’s Alsur Dance Company, presents five different stories of people going through this process and how they reacted to it.
Location: Plaza Grande in Merida, Calle 60 x 61
Time: 8:00 PM Friday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Dance: Rua do Lavradio or The Longest Distance Between Two Points
This is a performance by the Tumaka’t Contemporary Dance Company, with choreography by Fernando Melo.
Location: Teatro Carlos Acereto
Time: 8:00 PM Friday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Symphony Orchestra of Yucatan: Program Two
Prepare for an evening of romantic German music from the violin of Sebastian Kwapisz, directed by the fabulous Juan Carlos Lomónaco. Pieces played will be by composers Beethoven, Bruch and Schumann.
Location: Teatro Jose Peon Contreras, Calle 60 x 57
Time: 9:00 PM Friday
Admission: Tickets on sale

Yucatan Living Opera Tango: Maria of Buenos Aires
This is an opera by Astor Piazzolla and Horacio Ferrer. It is performed by the Compania Opera Viva, under the direction of Maria Eugenia Guerrero.
Location: Central Patio del Olimpo Calle 60 x 62 centro of Merida
Time: 9:00 PM Friday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Movie: Orson Welles Series: Confidential Report
(United States 1955). Director: Orson Welles. Stars: Orson Welles, Peter van Eyck, Michael Redgrave. An American adventurer investigates the past of Mr. Arkadin, a mysterious tycoon, and places himself in grave danger.
Location: Video Sala del Olimpo Calle 60 x 62 centro of Merida
Time: 8:00 PM Friday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Arab Dance: Maktub. It Was Already Written
This is a performance by the Padme Magusha Dance Company, under the direction of Karla Gomez Franco.
Location: Auditorium of the Olimpo, Calle 62 x 61
Time: 9:00 PM Friday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Movie: Siesta Time
(Mexico 2014) Documentary about the ABC Day Care and the 43 children who died there. In Spanish with English subtitles.
Location: LA 68, Calle 68 at Calle 55, Centro, Open Air Cinema.
Time: 9:00 PM Friday
Admission: $35 pesos, $15 pesos students

Yucatan Living Movie: Big Fish
(USA 2010) A son tries to learn more about his dying father by reliving stories and myths he told about his life. Fabulous and touching movie.
Location: Cairo Cinema, Calle 20 #98A x 15 y 17, Colonia Itzimná
Time: 9:00 PM Friday
Admission: Free

 

Saturday (Sabado) January 24, 2015

Yucatan Living Merida English Library Saturday Lecture Series
The history of the Yucatan-Cuba connection will be presented by Peter Johnson.
Location: Merida English Library, Calle 53 x 66 y 68.
Time: 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Movie: H20
(Mexico 2012) Mexico City grows unchecked. Before an area surrounded by lakes, now supplying water to this city is a real problem. H2Omx records shortages, waste and serious water pollution problems. In Spanish with English subtitles.
Location: LA 68, Calle 68 at Calle 55, Centro
Time: 6:00 PM Saturday
Admission: $35 pesos, $15 pesos students

Yucatan Living Movie: Orson Welles Series: Touch of Evil
(United Kingdom 1958). Director: Orson Welles. Starring: Charlton Heston, Orson Welles, Janet Leigh, Ray Collins, Dennis Weaver, Marlene Dietrich, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Joseph Cotton, and even Keenan Wynn with a bit part. This is a stark, perverse story of murder, kidnapping, and police corruption in a Mexican border town.
Location: Video Sala del Olimpo Calle 60 x 62 centro of Merida
Time: 8:00 PM Saturday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Music: Veronica Valerio (Harpist)
Tonight, the artist plays contemporary Mexican music. Do come and enjoy!
Location: Auditorium of the Olimpo, Calle 62 x 61
Time: 8:00 PM Saturday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living The Orpheus Group Presents: From the Classics to Rock
This masterful performance is under the direction of Amy Palma. And in such a lovely place, the walled garden behind one of the oldest churches in Merida.
Location: the Botanical Garden of La Ermita
Time: 8:00 PM Saturday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Dance: Rua do Lavradio or The Longest Distance Between Two Points
This is a performance by the Tumaka’t Contemporary Dance Company, with choreography by Fernando Melo.
Location: Teatro Carlos Acereto
Time: 8:00 PM Saturday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Opera Tango: Maria of Buenos Aires
This is an opera by Astor Piazzolla and Horacio Ferrer. It is performed by the Compania Opera Viva, under the direction of Maria Eugenia Guerrero.
Location: Central Patio del Olimpo Calle 60 x 62 centro of Merida
Time: 9:00 PM Saturday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Movie: Ilo Ilo
(China 2013) Ilo Ilo chronicles the Lim family as they adjust to their newly arrived Filipina domestic helper, Teresa, (Angeli Bayani) who has come, like many other Filipinas, in search of a better life. In English.
Location: LA 68, Calle 68 at Calle 55, Centro
Time: 9:00 PM Saturday
Admission: $35 pesos, $15 pesos students

Yucatan Living Movie: Delicatessen
(France 1991) Post-apocalyptic surrealist black comedy about the landlord of an apartment building who occasionally prepares a delicacy for his odd tenants. Odd doesn’t begin to describe it. In French with Spanish subtitles.
Location: Cairo Cinema, Calle 20 #98A x 15 y 17, Colonia Itzimná
Time: 9:00 PM Saturday
Admission: Free

Sunday (Domingo), January 25, 2015

Yucatan Living CHILI COOK OFF: Canceled
The annual Merida English Library Chili Cookoff has been canceled. Please support the library this winter by attending the upcoming Artists Studio Tour and the Music in the Garden series. Check out both at the MEL website, www.meridaenglishlibrary.com.

Yucatan Living Krispy Kreme Donuts in the Park
Krispy Kreme donuts in Merida YucatanDo you love donuts? Buy a box of Krispy Kremes and support a worthy cause, Construyendo Sonrisas. Email comunicacion [at] construyendosonrisas [dot] org or call 999-982-3858/59 with your order. Be prepared to tell them your name, your email and your phone number, how many boxes you want and if you want Glazed (glaseados) donuts (cost $150 pesos per box). Orders will be fulfilled from 9 AM to 1 PM. Come early in case they run out of your favorites!
Location: Avenida Campestre, No. 271 entre 5 y 7. In front of the Parque de San Juanistas.
Time: Orders will be fulfilled from 9 AM to 1 PM, Sunday. Come early in case they run out of your favorites!
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Documentary about Nature
Great documentaries, especially for children. In Spanish.
Location: Museo de Historia Natural, Next to the Zoo on Calle 59.
Time: 12:00 PM Sunday
Admission: Free

Yucatan LivingYucatan Symphony Orchestra
Prepare for an evening of romantic German music from the violin of Sebastian Kwapisz, directed by the fabulous Juan Carlos Lomónaco. Pieces played will be by composers Beethoven, Bruch and Schumann. Tickets at the box office.
Location: Peon Contreras Theater, Calle 60 x 57, centro
Time: 12:00 PM Sunday
Admission: Various

Yucatan Living Music: Songs and Dances of China
This is a performance by an Artistic Ensemble of China in Mexico.
Location: Teatro Fantasio, Calle 60 x 61, inside Parque Hidalgo
Time: 7:00 PM Sunday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living The Orpheus Group Presents: From the Classics to Rock
This masterful performance is under the direction of Amy Palma.
Location: Auditorium of the Olimpo, Calle 62 x 61
Time: 7:00 PM Sunday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Movie: Orson Welles Series: The Trial
(Italy 1963). Director: Orson Welles. Starring: Anthony Perkins, Jeanne Moreau, Elsa Martinelli, and an appearance by Orson Welles. An unassuming office worker is arrested and stands trial, but he is never made aware of the charges against him.
Location: Videosala of the Olimpo, Calle 62 x 61
Time: 8:00 PM Sunday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Music: Matute
This group plays music from the 80′s, we are told. Whatever.
Location: Plaza Grande, Calle 60 x 61
Time: 8:00 PM Sunday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Movie: 10 Things I Hate About You
(USA 1999) A new kid must find a guy to date the meanest girl in school, the older sister of the girl he has a crush on, who cannot date until her older sister does. In English.
Location: Cairo Cinema, Calle 20 #98A x 15 y 17, Colonia Itzimná
Time: 9:00 PM Sunday
Admission: Free

 

Monday (Lunes) January 26, 2015

Yucatan Living Movie: Orson Welles Series: The Lady from Shanghai
(United States, 1947). Director: Orson Welles. Starring: Orson Welles, Everett Sloane, and Rita Hayworth, with a cameo by Errol Flynn. Fascinated by gorgeous Mrs. Bannister, seaman Michael O’Hara joins a bizarre yachting cruise, and ends up mired in a complex murder plot.
Location: Videosala of the Olimpo, Calle 62 x 61
Time: 8:00 PM
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Inauguration of the Exposition: The Body: The Treasures of the Soumaya Museum
Come and see this wonderful exhibition!
Location: The Salas of the Olimpo, Calle 62 x 61
Time: 8:00 PM
Admission: Free

 

 

Coming Soon

Yucatan Living “My Sister’s Closet” 5th Annual Fashion Show: At the Hop – January 29
The Fashion Show Committee needs your gently used summer clothing for the Boutique. Even one outfit will help! Little by little we “fill the closet” from which they choose the 36 model outfits, selling the rest to the 180 women who attend. If you have clothing to donate, please contact these wonderful volunteers: Chelem: Frances Cummings cummings_fh [at] yahoo [dot] ca, Chuburna: Chris Parkin ucatanchris [at] gmail [dot] com, Progreso: Diane Clinton dminerdc [at] gmail [dot] com, Chicxulub: Karen Cloutier klcloutier [at] hotmail [dot] com. Without this clothing, the event, in support of El Programa de Apoyo Escolar de Chuburná Puerto, would not happen. Thanks on behalf of the students and their families!
Location: TBA
Time: TBA
Admission: TBA

Yucatan Living Benefit Concert for educate Yucatan, A.C.: Steve Katz – January 29
Steve Katz is a founding member of Blood, Sweat & Tears, and a member of the original Blues Project. We hope you will be there for an acoustic evening of story and song.
Location: Teatro Felipe Carrillo Puerto, Calle 60 x 59 y 57, Merida
Time: 7:00 PM
Admission: Donation of $250 pesos
Tickets: Available at www.educateyucatan.org and at cells: 999 995-3769 & 999 260-1922

Yucatan LivingVI Full Moon Jazz Festival – February 7
This event is the major fundraiser for Telchac Education. This program continues to sponsor children in school in the Telchac area and they are thriving. Three fabulous bands, dancing, the food court and full bar await you on the beach. Many thanks to all of the sponsors and to everyone who participates in this Jazz Festival.
Location: Villas Wayak, km 25.5 Progreso – Telchac Road
Time: 3:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Admission: Free but please come prepared to purchase food and drinks, and to maybe make a donation and/or sponsor a child in the Telchac Education Program.

Yucatan Living Yucadanz: Monthly Contra Dance in Merida
When is a square dance not square? You’re just going to love this new dance in town. Contra dance is a community “barn dance”, where everyone socializes and dances with everyone else. We love their energy and hope that everyone will give contra dance a whirl. Everyone is welcome!
Location: Tumaka’t Dance Studio, Calle 51 #475-A x 52 y 54 (blue building, middle of block), Centro
Time: Beginner Class in Spanish: 7:00 PM, Beginner Class in English: 7:30 PM, Contra dance: 8:00 PM – 10:30 PM
Admission: Bring your own refreshments and water, no alcohol at the dance. $50-$100 pesos donation requested. Proceeds benefit Tumaka’t, a nonprofit arts group, and to establish a fund for live music. Read this great page on the Yucadanz website!
Dates:
Saturday, February 14, 2015
Saturday, March 14, 2015
Saturday, April 11, 2015

Yucatan Living Merida’s Got Murder – February 3-7
Once again, a troupe of intrepid actors (murderers?) gather to solve a murder mystery… and you have front row seats. Join your neighbors and friends for this exciting murder mystery theatre with dinner! Find out more at the Merida Mystery Theatre Facebook page.
Location: Feb 3, 4, 5 at Hennessy’s, Feb 6 at Lizard Joe’s in Chelem, Feb 7 at Villa Martine in Merida
Time: 7:00 PM
Admission: Tickets on sale at Hennessy’s, Robert Abuda Salon in Merida and Lizard Joe’s Restaurant in Chelem. Include show and dinner. Do not include beverages and gratuities.

Yucatan Living Merida English Library Saturday Lecture Series: October – March
• January 31: Mexican history: A hero and a villain: Juarez and Diaz. George Ashley.
• February 7: Eldercare Choices in the US. Catherine Hawes & Charles Phillips.
• February 14: Valentine’s Day & Carnival weekend. No program.
• February 21: MEL Artist Studio Tour. No lecture.
• February 28: Mexican wines – discussion and limited tasting. Elliot Diaz. Attendance limited. Admission 100 pesos.
• March 7: TBA
• March 14: TBA
Location: Merida English Library, Calle 53 x 66 y 68.
Time: 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Admission: Most lectures are free, some have a nominal fee

Yucatan Living Merida English Library Music in the Garden Concert Series
Check the performance details at the Merida English Library website:
• February 13: Latin, Mexican & Yucatecan Music with Maricarmen Perez
• March 13: Rock and Blues with Steve Katz
Location: Merida English Library, Calle 53 x 66 y 68.
Time: 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Admission: Most lectures are free, some have a nominal fee

Yucatan Living The Artist Studio Tour – February 21
This unique self-guided tour is a yearly fundraiser for the Merida English Library and gives important exposure to local, national and international artists living and working in Merida. Many of our 24 artists are represented in galleries and museums around the world, but the MEL Artist Studio Tour is the only time their studios are open to the public. One day, 24 great artists! The Artist Studio Tour allows you to spend quality time discussing the creative process with each artist and if, the mood strikes, you can pick up a piece for your home. You’ll find sculptors, painters, printmakers, photographers, papermakers and more in this talented group. Visit www.meridaenglishlibrary.com for updates on the tour, ticket sales locations and artist profiles.
Location: Downtown Merida. Map made available to ticket holders.
Time: 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Admission: Tickets go on sale January 22nd! Buy your tickets before February 21 and pay only 200 pesos. Tickets are 250 pesos the day of the tour so get them early!

Yucatan Living Soldier, Come Home – February 22
Award winning play based on real letters written during the Civil War will be presented in the garden. It is interesting to note that two of the main characters, depicting Civil War soldiers, will be played by local Yucatecans! Read here for more information.
Location: Merida English Library, Calle 53 x 66 y 68, centro
Time: 4:00 PM
Admission: Tickets on sale at MEL

Yucatan Living IWC Tour: The Amazing Archaeological Tour – February 24 to March 1, 2015
This tour includes:
• Five nights accommodation
• Bilingual guide service
• Transportation by motor coach for the duration of the tour
• Breakfast each morning
• Entrance tickets to all specified attractions
• Donation to IWC Charity Committee
You will visit the archaeological sites of Edzna, X/puji, Balamku, Becan, Chicana, Calakmul, Kohunlich, and Coba, as well as a visit to Laguna Bacalar. Contact Joanna at http://writingfrommerida.com/2014/10/26/off-the-beaten-trail-tourism/ for more info on this trip.

Have an event you want to promote? Email us at info [at] yucatanliving [dot] com and we’ll be happy to list it in our Events listing and our Month-at-a-Glance Calendar!

By Working Gringos

My name is Dennis Azome. I am from Nigeria and I would love to work here in Merida.

I am 19 years of age, a student studying at the Universidad Autonoma De Yucatan‎.

I speak English as my first language, and also little Spanish.

I would love to work at any restaurant around Paseo de Montejo, any plaza, hotels and centro de cuidad and also any home service during ‎weekends such that it won’t affect my studies. I have experience in several areas, such as being a Secretary and working at a restaurant. My qualifications are my high school certificate with degrees from the universidad.

Here is my phone number 9992200033
My email is azomeboy3 [at] gmail [dot] com.

I would love to be at you service and start as quickly as possible so I could also support my daily needs.

Thank you!

By Working Gringos

Before we settled in Merida, we had traveled the world. We had been to Europe, at least, and Southeast Asia, and Nepal. We had seen communities of many kinds. And everywhere we had been, we had seen Christian churches, Jewish synagogues, Buddhist temples and Islamic mosques. One of our first impressions of Merida initially was how dominant the Christian, and mostly Catholic, religion was in the culture, to the seeming exclusion of almost every other world religion. We did find one small Buddhist gathering spot, but mostly what we saw were evidences of Christianity.

Over the years, we have seen the Church of the Latter Day Saints increase its presence in Merida’s centro in a big way (the Mormon tabernacle is on Calle 70, just south of Calle 65, and now takes up almost the entire block). We have seen various evangelical Christian sects expand in Merida as well, and now it seems that almost every religion is represented here in some way. What we still had not ever seen was any evidence of Islam.

Then the other day, we got this email:

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Dear Editor: Assalamo Alaikum – Greetings of Peace!

I am here in Mérida along with Imam Rana Noman, to open the first center in Mexico, Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. We would like to meet with you to enter the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community and discuss the objectives of our presence in Mexico. If possible, we would like to come during the next week at any time convenient to you.

Thank you and God bless. Was-salam – and peace!

A. Waseem Sayed, PhD
Member National Executive
Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, USA

We Asked Some Questions

After reading some of the articles to which Dr. Sayed referred us, we emailed back and explained that we could not conveniently meet for awhile, but could we do an online interview. In the light of all that has gone on in the news associated with Islam and the Muslim community, we thought it would be important to share what we have learned with our readers. A summary of our question/answer session, supplemented with information from various Spanish-language articles written about Dr. Sayed and his community, are below.

Muslim Community Arrives in Merida

Finally, the religion of Islam has come to Merida. In particular, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, “a dynamic international movement, reformist and fast growing within Islam. Founded in 1889, the Community has spanned more than 200 countries with membership exceeding tens of millions of followers.”

Last November, they announced their presence by having a booth at the annual fair at Xmatkuil. Muslim Community at XmatkuilThey have rented a space in Merida’s centro, and someday hope to build Merida’s first mosque. According to an interview they gave to polemicarevista.com, they said that they had tried to establish a presence in Mexico before with no luck. Now, they have opened a center, and they “currently have approximately 100 members throughout Mexico, distributed in Mexico City, Puebla, Merida and a community in Chiapas composed of 70 people.” In another interview, in this article, they mentioned that they are still in Mexico in a provisional status. After a few years, according to the law, they will be able to register as a religious association, at which point, they will be able to have all the rights that religious organizations have in this country. At the moment, they are registered as a civil organization. Dr. Sayed also mentioned that his group “opened the first mosque in Guatemala. I was in charge of that. In 1989 that mosque was opened by the Vice President of Guatemala and the head of our community.”

The Mission of the Ahmadiyya Community

In another article, Dr. Waseem Sayed, a theoretical physicist by trade, communicated that his group’s mission was to “spread the message of peace and brotherhood that must exist between all cultural groups in the world, and to eradicate misconceptions linking the practice of Islam with negative practices such as war, terrorism, and many other incorrect issues that people in general have about Islam.” (translation from this article).

In that article, he also explained that the Islam religion believes that all religions come from God, that all prophets, including Jesus, Buddha, Krishna, Zoroaster, Moses and others are all prophets from God.

He added that the concept of the Islamic faith includes “Every religion taught mankind how to live alone and in peace. And the recipe of all religions to establish peace, we believe, is to know and worship God and serve humanity, the creatures of God. Worship means that everything that God has bestowed upon us must be used in the best suitable way and the most appropriately. If a human being has knowledge of how to do surgeries and to serve humanity, then by doing so, he is thanking and praising God. In Islam the concept of worship is constant.”

Dr. Sayed shared that he had been asked about the status of women in the Islamic faith. “I explained the true teachings of Islam about women. Islam teaches that women have the rights of inheritance, for instance. In the Quran, it is written that women and men are equal before God spiritually, a statement made by Mohammed 1400 years ago. In the Islamic faith, women have the right to divorce, as well as many other rights that are not given to women in many other religions around the world.”

Dr. Sayed also said “Our community exists in more than 206 countries… We have no desire to conquer any land. We have, as a spiritual obligation, no funding from any government, group or interest. Everything is funded by donations from members themselves. We have been blessed with some really great opportunities since arriving here a few months ago to explain to all our neighbors here in Merida the beautiful message of true Islam, as we understand it, summarized in our motto, “Love for All, Hatred for None.” We believe this summarizes, in practical terms, the profound implications of the unity and Dr. Waseem Sayed and Noman Ranauniqueness of God who has created all of us. If we love God, then how can we hate anyone or not love every one of God’s creatures?”

YL:When was the Islam community first established in Merida?
Dr. Sayed: About six months ago a couple of our Imams came to do some exploratory work and get to know the town and found it to be wonderfully peaceful and secure place – so they looked for and found a suitable location for a center/mosque – a place that would serve as both a center of operations as well as a place where Muslims could meet and offer the five daily prayers.. During this time they also took the steps to register ‘Comunidad Musulmana Ahmadia’ as an organization.

YL:If you are the person who has established it, where did you move from? When did you move to Merida?
Dr. Sayed: I was sent in mid 2014 to help establish the center/mosque and to get the word out to the local population about the existence of our center and mosque. Imam Noman Rana will be the one who will be taking the helm of our organization here moving forward. He has been serving as Imam in the USA since he arrived there a few years ago from Canada. In Canada, he completed seven years of training in the Jãmia Ahmadiyya Canada (the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community’s Muslim Missionary Training College). He will be serving as Imam in Mexico once all the formalities are accomplished. Imam Rana has a wife and two young children currently in New Orleans. They will join him as soon as the necessary paperwork is finished.

YL:Does Imam Noman Rana speak English?
Dr. Sayed: His family and he speak English, and he is becoming very fluent in Spanish, by God’s Grace and his ongoing efforts.

YL:How did you announce your presence in Merida?
Dr. Sayed: I wrote to all consulates and governors of the Autonomous University and the Anahuac Mayab. The US Consul General (Sonia Tsyros) responded, and we went to talk to her. We spent almost an hour talking, explaining and telling her about our plans. We are the first Muslim community established in the USA in 1920. We are the oldest Muslim organization that exists there. We also have the oldest Muslim magazine in the United States. Our meeting with her very interesting and very informative and she was very grateful. One Sunday we went to talk with the Secretary General of the Yucatan Government, but as representatives of our sister organization called Humanity First, which provides humanitarian aid in 37 countries.

YL:How many people do you estimate are in the Islam community now in Merida?
Dr. Sayed: Since coming here we have been surprised by the number of calls and enthusiasm with which we have been greeted by people – Muslims and non-Muslims alike. I really have no concrete numbers but based on the number of calls and responses we have experienced to the very limited dissemination of info about ourselves I suspect there are many Muslims in the area maybe even in the hundreds. Several Egyptian students have come to our Friday prayers from UADY. So there are Muslims from abroad also here.

How does your community relate to the entire world of the Muslim religion?
Dr. Sayed: There are about 73 main divisions within Islam. We are the last to come, the youngest sect. We believe that our Holy Founder said there is no violence in religion. We don’t believe in jihad. Around the world, many other Muslims agree with us. The prophet told us that “only if you are attacked, then you have the right to defend.” Everything is happening with ISIS and others, that has nothing to do with Islam.

YL:What else can you tell us about your particular sect?
Dr. Sayed: The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community of Islam is the only Islamic organization to believe that the long awaited Messiah has come in the person of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (1835-1908) The PRophet, Muslim community in Meridaof Qadian, India. Ahmad claims to be the metaphorical second coming of Jesus of Nazareth and the divine guide, whose advent was foretold by the prophet of Islam, Muhammad. The Community believes that God sent Ahmad, like Jesus, to end religious wars, condemn bloodshed and to restore morality, tolerance, justice and peace. The coming of Ahmad has brought an unprecedented era of Islamic revival and moderation in relation to other faiths. He condemns Muslims fanatical beliefs and vigorously defends the truth of Islam and its essential teachings that emphasize the mandate: no compulsion in religion.

YL:Do you have one mosque here in Merida? more than one?
Dr. Sayed: I believe ours is the only one formally registered and advertised. I believe there are other places where Muslims have been gathering informally to offer their Friday prayers in particular.

YL:What is the purpose of establishing Islam in Merida?
Dr. Sayed: Our purpose is to disseminate the beautiful message of love and peace that true Islam teaches. Ours is a purely religious organization that was established in 1889 in Qadian, India by Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian, peace be on him. He claimed to be the Messiah in whose person the prophecies regarding the metaphorical second coming of Jesus were fulfilled. He came to put an end to religious wars, establish peace and unite humanity. Our basic message of, “love for all, hatred for none,” stems from this belief in the absolute unity of God. If we love God and He is the Creator of all of us, how can we harbor hatred towards any of His creatures and not love all of them?

YL:Were there already people of the Islamic faith in Merida? or have you come here to encourage people to join the faith?
Dr. Sayed: There are Muslims everywhere in the world. But even if there had been no Muslims here, we would have come for the reasons I just mentioned above… to spread the beautiful message of love and peace that true Islam teaches. We believe the universality, uniqueness, and unity of God is a message that needs to be conveyed to every human being. Through this we can all begin the work to recognize and accept the equality of all of humanity, which is the first step to peace. These are fundamental truths that we want to share with everyone. This is the extent of our work. The rest has to do with how people take our message and in the hand of God. The Holy Quran teaches clearly, “There is no compulsion in matters of faith.” [Chapter 2, verse 256]

YL:What brought Merida to your attention?
Dr. Sayed: A member of our community in the US has some business connections here and this was the reason why we came to Merida. It was a wonderful choice. It is such a beautiful and peaceful place and everyone is so very devoted to civic affairs and activities.

YL:What has been the reaction to your arrival in Merida so far?
Dr. Sayed: This has been truly amazing. We have been welcomed by one and all. Wherever we have gone we have found the people friendly and inquisitive and very receptive to our message of ‘love for all, hatred for none.” The nature of questions has been also very impressive. Many professionals have come to our meetings and all of the people have been asking us some very profoundly important questions that have to do with concept of God and modes of worship in Islam.

YL:Many Americans (and others), after 9-11, are wary of the Muslim religion. What would you say to them specifically in regard to the violence that is reportedly visited by Muslim fanatics upon the world these days?
Dr. Sayed: When I came here on November 4, 2014, the first thing I did was write to Sonya Tsiros, Consul General of USA in Merida. She very graciously invited me to come and meet her and we spent a good hour discussing our purpose here and all over the world – that of spreading the message of Islam of love and peace and our own Community’s basic understanding that the Unity of God and our love for Him demands that we practice ‘love for all, hatred for none.’ We believe our faith has been hijacked by terrorists who are abusing our faith for their own nefarious objectives. They seem to be working hard to try and influence our Muslim youth all over the world. We feel it is OUR responsibility to counter all such efforts and not just tell others about the peaceful message of Islam but also teach these values to our own children and youth. Much more than this, actually. We believe we must not just focus on speeches and sermons but also involve ourselves as Muslims in the service of God’s creatures. This is precisely what the Holy Quran teaches. The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community has been doing this since its inception 125 years ago and its record is not unknown to the world. The struggle to emphasize the prohibition against violence and to involve everyone in the doing of good is ongoing. By God’s Grace and Mercy, these efforts have not been without fruit. Now we are established in 206 countries of the world and winning the hearts of Muslims all over the world to these views of peace and love. We now number more than 160 million members. I could discuss this in an ongoing basis if anyone wants. Also, anyone who wishes can look at the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community and its writings, speeches and works the world over. They can easily do so by scanning their own country’s media going back 125 years. The Muslim Sunrise (linked below), the longest running Muslim Magazine in the US (established in 1921) provides a permanent record of our activities in the United States.

I have been interviewed by CNN en Espanol, Radio 104.9 FM EXA, Diario Yucatan, Por Esto, Libertad de Expresion, La Verdad Yucatan etc and all their reports are available on our Facebook page “Comunidad Musulmana Ahmadia de Mexico” if you would like to see these also.

YL:I notice that you have events inviting people to learn about the Islamic faith. Are these conducted in Spanish? English? Any other languages?
Dr. Sayed: We do everything in every country in the local language. So although our Spanish may not be very good we conduct everything in Spanish. Sometimes we do translate if there are people in the audience who cannot understand Spanish.

YL:I also notice that you are teaching Arabic to anyone who wants to learn. Do these lessons cost money? If so, how much?
Dr. Sayed: This has been the most popular program. And there is a cost. It is the person’s time and his or her attention. But we do not charge anyone any money for these lessons.

YL:Does someone need to accept the Islamic faith in order to attend the language classes?
No one needs to accept Islam to attend any of our programs. Our center/mosque is even open for anyone Muslims or not, so long as they wish to worship the One God.

YL:What plans do you have for the future for the Islamic community in Merida?
Dr. Sayed: It is too early for future plans. Of course we have a strong desire to build a mosque here and to move to our own permanent location but this is very early. We are currently focused on trying to get everyone to know we are here and we also want to involve ourselves in humanitarian work. We have made some good progress so far on both fronts and we ask everyone to pray for us. We do want to thank everyone for their help and their warm welcome. May God bless everyone.

****
Want to find out more yourself? The following are regular programs that take place at the Muslim Center in Merida located at:

Comunidad Musulmana Ahmadia de Mexico
Calle 60 No. 453A x 51
Cebntro, Merida
Yucatan CP 97000
Mexico

Every Day: Five Daily Prayers at the appointed times.
Every Friday: Jummua Prayers at 1 PM
Every Thursday: “Cafe, Pastel e Islam” at 7 PM
Every Saturday: ‘Basic Arabic Class’ at 4 PM
Every Sunday: “Mi Casa es Tu Casa” get together at 3 PM with light snacks.
Admission: All meetings are open to the public. The only cost for entry to any of our meetings is your time and interest.

Want a way to think about Islam in light of the news of recent weeks? Watch this video, where Reza Aslan explains Islam on CNN.

Read about the founder of this community, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad

The charity organization Humanity First.

Read about the Comunidad Musulmana Ahmadia in their own words on their blog.

Read the Muslim Sunrise magazine.

By Khaki Scott

Cenotes are Becoming Contaminated

As populations grow in Yucatan, and especially in Merida, so does the pressure on the clean water supply. While Yucatan has no above-ground rivers, there are approximately 400 rivers, with 2,660 cenotes, that run through and/or under the limestone shelf on which we all live. There are 85 cenotes in Merida alone. Until recently, a sparse population gave ground water time to percolate through the layers of limestone and what we ended up with was relatively good water even before water ran through the growing number of treatment centers. However, due to tourism and a staggering number of people moving to Yucatan to go to school, find work, or flee from violence in their home states, Yucatan has several municipalities that have more pressure from populations than do others. These include Merida, Valladolid, Tizimin, Progreso and Ticul. It must also be remembered that our crops and animal herds could soon be affected as well. Right now, the biggest source of pollution is coming from septic tanks, so a move is underway to have all new wells drilled to a minimum of 30 meters below the surface. Additional collaborative projects are going on at the Temporary Collection Center at the South Uu’um Tsil Metropolitan Ecological Park. The future value of a clean water supply is not lost on Yucatan, nor on expats. Look for more eco-friendly tourism and an even greater degree of cooperation among all of the residents of this state in the days to come.

Merida Collects Christmas Trees Again

Merida begins collecting Christmas Trees on the day after Three Kings Day (a.k.a. Epiphany). This program runs from January 7 through January 31. Residents are encouraged to donate their Christmas trees at one of twelve collection points throughout the city. They will then be processed into compost and given to families who need the compost for the sustainable backyard gardening programs. The collection points will be open Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM, and 8:00 AM to 1:00 PM on Saturdays. If you choose, you may have your tree picked up by your regular garbage collector, but the fee is $20 pesos.
Collection points for Christmas Trees in 2015 include:
Parque de la Xtabay
• Parque “Los Cantaritos” (del Fraccionamiento Francisco de Montejo)
• Sam’s Club Montejo
• Prolongación del Paseo de Montejo con calle 33 (de la Colonia Gonzalo Guerrero)
• Animaya
• Centenario
• Mercado San Roque (de la Colonia San José Tecoh)
• Servicios Públicos Oriente (Colonia Emilio Portes Gil)
• Servicios Públicos Poniente (Fraccionamiento Yucalpetén)
• Sam’s Club avenida Aviación (Colonia Obrera)
• Sam´s Club (de la Avenida Correa Rachó y Calle 31 de la Colonia Díaz Ordaz)
• Parque de Monterreal (en la Calle 22 con 37 de esa Colonia)
• Parque Recreativo Oriente (en la Calle 10 con 55 y 57 del Fraccionamiento Del Parque)

Africanized Bees

Rogers Hall College had an incident in which at least a dozen individuals were stung by Africanized bees last week. Only two had a reaction bad enough to be life threatening, but help was quick to arrive and all twelve are doing fine at home. If you find aggressive bees on your property, call the police immediately. These bees must be removed and this is not a safe do-it-yourself project. Pets and vulnerable human population groups will be at risk until the swarm is completely eradicated by professionals.

Eight Undocumented Cubans Land in Progreso

A pregnant woman was among the small group of Cubans who made it past the Mexican Navy and the Port Authority last week, and were only found when the woman needed medical attention. Once all were discovered, they were transferred to Yucalpeten, where they received medical checkups and any necessary vaccinations. INM (the National Migration Institute) was called and will handle the case from this point forward. This was an extremely dangerous voyage, across the open sea, in a small, homemade boat. This group of refugees is lucky to be alive.

Canton Palace Remodeling

Canton Palace was originally the home of General Francisco Canton, a former Governor of Yucatan. It was built around the turn of the 20th century. By 1959, this magnificent building had become the Regional Museum of Yucatan. Today, just during the Christmas holidays, more than 8,000 visitors passed through its doors, almost 3,000 of whom made their visit between January 1 and January 6. With this kind of interest and devotion, it is past time for this gracious old lady to have a facelift. For the next few months, it may be a bit dusty at Canton Palace, but the exhibitions will continue. We suspect that the remodel itself will be worth more than one visit along the way.

Chichen Itza Light and Sound Show

The light and sound show at Chichen Itza is set up for 300 a night, but apparently over 600 people have been arriving in hopes of getting in. Since the trip to see a night show at Chichen Itza means an overnight stay for most people, its best to go to the website and register for your seat before taking a chance on not being able to get in. Noches de Kukulkan has a website, but let this stand as a warning: if you look at the trailer and at the slideshow, you are almost certain to move Heaven and Earth to get there. It looks spectacular! Click on the white arrow in the top left corner of the page to make your reservation.

Focus of Tourism Changing

Russia, long a mainstay of tourism for the Yucatan Peninsula, has hit a snag. They have had a devaluation of their currency and Cancun’s tourism industry immediately lost 30% of its visitors. Western European tourism to the Yucatan Peninsula increased by 11% this year, but a new focus was necessary to keep tourists coming and jobs stable in that industry. Brazil and Colombia have proven to be invaluable new prospects if more destinations in Mexico can be offered in a tour package. Experts are working on this now and hope to have everything ready as the middle classes throughout South America finally come into their own.

When All Else Fails: Eat Them!

When the first alarm went out that lionfish were in the water on the east coast of the Yucatan Peninsula, it was noted that they are a voracious invasive life form and should be removed almost at any cost. The suggestion, even then, was to kill them and eat them. People were a bit nervous about that, since lionfish are known to also be poisonous. So, while chefs learned to cook this fish safely, the initial response was to pay a bounty for every lionfish caught. Today, this fish has spread even to the east coast of the United States and having regularized a way to safely cook and eat them is looking better all the time. In fact, today in Quintana Roo, the fishermen of Puerto Juarez, Cancun and Puerto Morelos are supplying more than 200 restaurants with lionfish and the safety of the product is all the talk of social networks. Although lionfish don’t seem all that interested in colonizing the coast of Yucatan, they are out there and can expect a swift end in any number of lovely restaurants in our fair state should they foolishly decide to make Estado de Yucatan a permanent home.

PROFEPA Comes to Playa del Carmen

In 2014, 70% of all of Quintana Roo’s complaints related to protected and indigenous species came from the northern part of the state. All sorts of jungle cats (and kittens) were included in that group and, in at least one situation, a hotel was the offender. Breaking any environmental law in Mexico will now result in a visit from Profepa (the Federal Attorney of Environmental Protection). Break those laws more than once and it looks as if Profepa is ready, willing, and more than able to put a new office in your neighborhood. The following penalties shall be assessed if the flora or fauna of Yucatan is disturbed or damaged:

Article 420 of the Federal Penal Code: A sentence of one to nine years’ imprisonment shall be imposed and the equivalent of 300 to 3,000 (minimum wage) days’ fine on anyone who damages a specimen of any species of flora and/or fauna, terrestrial or aquatic, considered to be endemic, threatened, endangered, or subject to special protection or regulated by any international treaty to which Mexico is a party. Furthermore, an additional penalty of three years in prison and up to 1,000 additional (minimum wage) days’ fine will apply when the conduct described takes place in or affecting a Natural Protected Area, or when undertaken for commercial purposes.

All of that to say: If its alive (plant or animal), and if it’s not a common house or garden plant, or a dog or common house cat, it’s far cheaper (free!) to simply call your local Profepa office and ask if you can keep it.

Lobster: News We Can Hope For

The Pescadores de Banco Chinchorro y Langosteros del Caribe, a fishermen’s cooperative, has applied to SEMARNAT for permission to put in 3,000 artificial reefs, designed as shelters for lobster, off the coast of southern Quintana Roo. They seem to have all of their ducks in a row and approval is looking good. If this happens, we will be able to adapt the concept to the waters off the shores of Yucatan and bring in more stable fishing jobs here in Yucatan. It is not lost on us that this will also increase the catch to the point where maybe, just maybe, more of Yucatan’s annual lobster catch will remain in the state, rather than being sent to far away places. Our best wishes to the lobster fishermen of Quintana Roo!

By Working Gringos

Even in Mexico, it is hard to imagine life without a cell phone. Well, maybe especially in Mexico. Mexico is the poster child for how so-called third-world countries leap-frog over technologies and adapt new technologies faster than the their first-world neighbors. It is not uncommon anymore to see a Mayan woman in a huipile on her cell phone. Every teenager certainly has one. And Carlos Slim, the owner of both Telmex (land lines and Internet) and Telcel (cellular phones) is not only the richest man in Mexico, but last time we looked, is also the richest man in the world. Think about that!

One day, we set out to upgrade our cellular phone service (which by the way, in Spanish, is called celular (sell-oo-LAR) or just plain cel). For the previous three years, we had been using a Telcel pay-as-you go system called Amigo. With the Amigo system (and others like it, though Amigo is by far the most popular), anyone can walk into almost any tendejon in Mexico and buy a ficha or card. Scratch the back of this card like a lottery ticket to reveal the hidden code, then marca (dial) star-33 on your cell phone, enter the code, and your account is credited with the face value of the card. Easy! Even easier, just walk into your local Oxxo or other store that sells the cards, and give them your money and your phone number. They will automatically credit your account with the minutes you paid for. Amigo cards come in denominations between $30 and $500 pesos, but you can put any amount on your card electronically. Telcel sometimes has a sale on these cards where you can buy a $500 peso card that credits your account with $900 pesos. In general, calls in Mexico are now generally about $1 peso per call, with calls via WhatsApp or Skype costing nothing if you have internet service.

There are advantages to the Amigo system. You can buy a phone and a card the moment you get off the plane or drive over the border. No credit necessary, no address, nada. On the flip side, the cards are rather unforgiving. If you run out of time when you are in the middle of a call, the call is over and you need to buy another card. With no money on your phone, you can’t place a call, although you can receive calls and instant messages. On a recent cross-country roadtrip, we found out that the cards are coded by date and location. So if you buy a card in Yucatan, you can use it in Tabasco, maybe, but maybe not in Nayarit. And whatever time you buy with a card has an expiration date built into it. Also, if you have a business in Mexico, you can’t write off the cost for tax purposes unless you buy from a store willing to give you an official serial-numbered receipt, a factura. Tendejons and street vendors don’t provide facturas. After awhile, if you live here, the Amigo system becomes either inconvenient or expensive or both, so moving up to a "normal" cellular phone account makes sense.

There are five major cellular phone companies here in the Yucatan right now: Telcel, Nextel, IUSAcel, Axtel and Telefonica Movistar. Our first decision was which of these to choose. We chose to look into Nextel and Telcel, making sure that which ever company we chose, we could keep our Amigo phone number.

A very nice gentleman from Nextel came to our office and gave us a thorough and intelligent sales presentation in English about Nextel services. Once upon a time, Nextel phones acted more like normal phones and a Nextel cell phone number looks like a land-line number to other phones. The Nextel phones themselves had a walkie-talkie service that was available between Nextel customers. Nowadays, Nextel has become more like other cellular phone services, offering contracts or pre-paid plans. Nextel once had a very limited phone selection, but they now offer Blackberry phones and many other cel phones. And if they don’t have a phone you like, you can even buy a chip with a Nextel number and plan, and install it on any phone you bought elsewhere. Now they have plans where you can call numbers from other cell phone companies using your minutes (but once your minutes are up, those calls cost more than Nextel numbers). With the Nextel prepaid service, you can buy credit for your phone in stores (like OXXO, Extra, etc.). Nextel advertises now that “all your calls are local”. They have no national roaming charges and claim that there are no extra charges for calling to the USA. (We have not investigated this detail yet, but we plan to look into it).

Years ago, despite the great Nextel salesman, we went with Telcel. We may have been influenced by our past experiences with the Amigo service, which has wide coverage and exceptional reception. We may also have been influenced by years of watching those ubiquitous Telcel commercials with the big, blue hot air balloons imblazoned with the Telcel logo floating dreamily over various gorgeous landscapes of Mexico. In the end, we wanted to make sure that next time we went ballooning, we weren’t going to miss an important call. We can’t help ourselves… we want to Vive Libre con Telcel (Live Free with Telcel). Anyway, we do appreciate a good advertising campaign.

We visited the Telcel website to see what it would take to sign up for a normal account and made a list of the documents they required to establish our credit. Knowing the process would be a challenge, we prepared as much as possible ahead of time. Then we marched into one of the large Telcel offices with the following paperwork:

  • Copy of our company constitution (our cell phone is a company phone)
  • Comprabante (utility bill) for our company
  • Copy of our individual passport (just one for one phone)
  • Copy of a comprabante from our residence in our name
  • Copy of our business RFC (Mexican Tax ID)
  • Copy of the predial (receipt for property taxes paid by our company)

It used to be more difficult to get credit in Mexico as an expatriate, but it has become a lot easier now. Since we had all the paperwork, the process went very smoothly. When we entered the Telcel office on Avenida Itzaes (just north of the Bodega Aurera), there were two lines. The line to the right was for telling someone why you were there and receiving a ticket with a number. Once you had your ticket, you were to stand in the line on the left. On this day, both lines went smoothly and before we knew it, we were in front of a very competent young lady who answered all our questions, with the help of Beatriz (our silver-tongued assistant). She told us the costs of the service and the phones, took our datos (information), our documentos (paperwork) and told us to come back the next day to sign our contract and pick up our phone.

Let’s take a minute to talk about the structure of cellular phone charges here. These used to be more straightforward than the convoluted financial puzzles offered in the States. At Telcel, with which we are now most familiar, there are different billing levels depending on how many minutes you want included "free" with your service each month. There are no rollover charges, no free nights and weekends, no time differences. Just a set number of “free” minutes per month for an eighteen month contract. The minutes over your allotted minutes are charged the same on all accounts: $1.10 pesos (ten U.S. cents) per minute for anywhere in Mexico. Roaming charges are a thing of the past. There are separate charges for downloading emails from the internet, for getting a detailed bill with each phone number on it and for various other special services, none of which we felt we needed. We selected the National Plan with 160 minutes for $516 pesos per month, which includes administrative charges you don’t pay when using Amigo cards, but definitely saves money if you use your phone very much.

One day later, Working Gringa went back at 10 AM to sign the contract, following the hard-learned lesson that if you want to accomplish something official in Mexico, you start in the morning. Well, not so fast, gringita! Just when you thought you had it all figured out! No, the contract no esta lista (isn’t ready). Come back tomorrow. Upon hearing this, Working Gringa forgot everything she has learned in the past five years and lost her composure. Why did they tell her to come today? Don’t they realize she is a busy woman and doesn’t have time for this?

Lady, you want your phone? Then come back later.

(sigh)

On the way to the Telcel office the next day, Working Gringa took a deep breath, remembering what her good friend Georgia Charuhas told her. After living in Mexico for 30 years, Georgia says that the two most important things she has learned are patience and diplomacy. Patience and diplomacy. Patience and diplomacy. Reciting her new mantra, Working Gringa stepped into the Telcel office for the third time, hoping not to emerge without her new cell phone.

First the line on the right. A long line this time, with no one behind the podium. Determined to go with the Mexican flow, Working Gringa stood there, munching on a delicious coconut candy she had bought from the man just outside the front door. She looked around, enjoyed the photos on the wall. Tapped her foot to the music. Finally, a woman showed up behind the podium and the line began to move. When Working Gringa arrived at the front of the line, the woman took one look at her name and walked into the back to find something. More foot tapping. Humming to the music. Ah yes, 50′s music… How Sweet It is To Be Loved By You. La la la…. the woman came back, Working Gringa got her little ticket and went to the second line.

There was a Diario de Yucatan newspaper on the table next to the line. Working Gringa read all four sections, understanding what she read better than ever before. Plenty of time to parse each word.

Someone came to change the music. Now it was show tunes. "Oh, what a beautiful mooooooor-ning!" The line crept forward. Finally Working Gringa was the next in line. Four different representatives in the row of cajas went on breaks before finally one of them called Pase! and Working Gringa stepped forward.

Ten signatures. Three copies. Show the passport. Wait while they find the phone. Patience and diplomacy.

While she was waiting, Working Gringa thought that maybe they had switched the music to American Show Tunes just for her, the only gringa in the building! Oh, that would be too embarassing, especially because they were playing particularly obscure and awful showtunes from the Seventies. Finally it was even too much for them, and someone flipped the station to Mexican pop music, much better and much more foot tapping all around. Finally, the phone arrived. The woman in the caja put in the new chip, gave Working Gringa a copy of her contract, and she was fuera de alli (outta’ there)!

In retrospect, the whole process was quite efficient and ultimately successful. The people involved were not only incredibly knowledgeable and smart, but terribly patient and diplomatic. Patient and diplomatic. Patient and diplomatic. Once Working Gringa remembered to be that way too, a foot-tapping time was had by all!

March 2009 Update: Working Gringa made the unfortunate mistake of washing her cell phone in the washing machine, necessitating a new phone. Much to her surprise, the Apple iPhone turned out to be affordable ($1800 pesos after applying “points” earned for paying her bill on time for the last eighteen months). The two year contract gave her monthly phone service and unlimited internet for less than $75 USD per month. Sold!

Confused about how to dial a number in Mexico? Check out our explanation article, How To Dial a Phone Number in Mexico.

By Working Gringos

This Week… starting January 12, 2014

Yucatan Living Merida Fest: The 473rd Anniversary of the City of Merida (January 6 – 27)
Every year, three weeks in January mark a huge celebration in honor of the birthday of the City of Merida. This event is called Merida Fest and is designed to bring together all of the people and cultures in Merida. We are blessed to enjoy one of the most peaceful big cities in the world, with one of the most complex populations. No matter the topic: food, music, ethnicity, age and even religion, Merida has it all and manages, without discrimination, to continue to celebrate our complex society as one of our greatest strengths. What that translates to, for visitors and residents alike, is three weeks of cultural events and entertainment that is found nowhere else. Stay with us here at Yucatan Living as we bring you the dazzling array of events that will take place during Merida Fest.

Yucatan Living 2015 Sterilization Clinic update.
The January 2015 Spay Neuter Clinic has begun! This event finds two Yucatan Animal Rescue organizations joining with the cities to manage the non-surgical aspects of the campaign at 3 locations. And for the first time, this is an initiative primarily funded by the Secretaria de Salud (Secretary of Health) for the State of Yucatan which will provide the materials for the surgeries. (Wow!!!). The main organizers are Planned Pethood, City of Progreso, AFAD & AFAD Progreso & Evolucíon.
1. Saturday, January 10 & Sunday January 11 – Progreso organised by AFAD & AFAD Progreso – Lidia Saleh & Mau Garcia
2. Monday, January 12, Tuesday, January 13, Wednesday, January 14 – Merida (location unknown to me at this time) organized by Evolution – Silvia Cortez
3. Thursday is a day off.
4. Friday, January 16 & Saturday, January 17 – Valladolid organized by AFAD - Lidia Saleh Angulo

Yucatan Living Mark Your Calendars for 2015
These dates are all governed by the cycles of the Sun and/or Moon and most are associated with major holidays and celebrations in Yucatan.
February 18: Mardi Gras
March 20 at 4:45 PM: Spring Equinox
March 29: Palm Sunday
April 4: Total Lunar Eclipse
April 5: Easter Sunday
June 21 at 11:38 AM: Midsummer Equinox
July 2 & 31: Blue Moon
September 23 at 3:20 PM: Fall Equinox
September 27: Super Moon
September 28: Total Lunar Eclipse
December 21 at 10:48 PM: Winter Equinox

Monday (Lunes) January 12, 2015

Yucatan Living Outdoor Film Series: Morocco and Palestine
This film series is designed to go along with a number of international conferences being held in Merida this month.
Location: José Martí Cultural Center Calle 60 x 61 centro of Merida
Time: 7:00 PM Monday
Admission: Free

Tuesday (Martes) January 13, 2015

Yucatan Living Movie: We are the best!
(Sweden 2013) Three girls in 1980s Stockholm decide to form a punk band — despite not having any instruments and being told by everyone that punk is dead. In Swedish with Spanish subtitles. A fascinating and visually amazing film.
Location: Cairo Cinema, Calle 20 #98A x 15 y 17, Colonia Itzimná
Time: 9:00 PM Tuesday
Admission: Free

 

Wednesday (Miercoles) January 14, 2015

Yucatan Living Merida English Library Actor Auditions
“Soldier, Come Home,” the award-winning play by Frank W. Wicks based on his great-grandparents’ Civil War letters, will be performed at the Merida English Library in mid- February. Wicks, a graduate of The American Academy of Dramatic Arts and a theater professional, will direct the production. The play, performed as reader’s theatre, has been performed throughout the United States, including an Off-Broadway production in New York City. For additional information about “Soldier, Come Home” go to www.civilwarplay.com. Roles to be cast are one Woman, age 25 – 35 and five Men, ranging in age from 17 to 65. Interested actors please call Frank Wicks at 999-995-6722 or e-mail frankwicks [at] gmail [dot] com. Full story on MEL’s Web Page.
Audition Location: at the Merida English Library, Calle 53 #524 x66 y68
Time: 10:00 AM and 6:00 PM

Yucatan Living 1920s Gangsters’ Casino
Benefit for No Mas Perritos. Fundraising CASINO NIGHT! There will Blackjack, Roulette, Texas Hold’em. The theme is 1920′s Gangsters and Flappers, so dress the part if you would like! They have proper chips and games and this event is going to be BIG!!!!!
Location: The Bull Pen. Calle 1 #743 (Main St.), Chelem
Time: 6:00 PM
Admission: Tickets $100 pesos each which includes your starter chips. TEXAS HOLD ‘EM IS A BUY-IN GAME at 300 pesos per person. Please let them know in advance if you would like a seat at that table.
More Information: https://www.facebook.com/events/1613080098915789/

Yucatan Living Movie: Klip
(Serbia 2012) Jasna is a beautiful girl in her mid-teens, leading a crude life of the postwar generation in Serbia. With a terminally ill father and dispirited mother, she is disillusioned and angry with everyone and everything, including herself. Having a huge crush on a boy from school, she goes on a spree of sex, drugs and partying, constantly filming with her mobile phone. Still, in that very harsh environment love and tenderness emerge. In Serbian with Spanish subtitles.
Location: LA 68, Calle 68 at Calle 55, centro of Merida
Time: 6:00 PM Wednesday
Admission: $35 pesos, $15 pesos students

Yucatan Living Photography Exhibition & Book Presentation: Mandalas de Ciudad
The speaker for this presentation is Javier Barrera. You can learn more about this topic on its wiki: Mandala
Location: Centro Cultural Jose Marti, Calle 20 x Av. Colon
Time: 7:00 PM Wednesday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Movie: Journey into the Fear
(USA 1943). Director: Orson Welles and Norman Foster. Starring: Orson Welles, Joseph Cotton, Dolores del Rio, Ruth Warrick, Agnes Moorehead, and Hans Conried. Following a conference, a Navy engineer, returning to the United States with his wife, finds himself pursued by Nazi agents, who are out to kill him. Without a word to his wife, he flees the hotel the couple is staying in and boards a ship, only to find, after the ship sails, that the agents have followed him.
Location: Videosala of the Olimpo , Calle 62 x 61
Time: 8:00 PM Wednesday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Trova Kin tun – Yesterday and Today
Beatriz Cervera brings us one of the most romantic trova voices in Merida.
Location: Auditorio del Olimpo, Calle 62 x 61 centro of Merida
Time: 8:00 PM Wednesday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Dance: 58 Decent Women
This performance is by the Asheville (North Carolina) Contemporary Dance Theater (ACDT). The Producer is Roger Peche Sansores.
Location: Central Patio del Olimpo, Calle 62 x 61 centro of Merida
Time: 9:00 PM Wednesday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Movie: Pussy Riot
Three young women face seven years in a Russian prison for a satirical performance in a Moscow cathedral. But who is really on trial in a case that has gripped the nation and the world beyond, three young artists or the society they live in?
Location: LA 68, Calle 68 at Calle 55, centro, Open Air Cinema
Time: 9:00 PM Wednesday
Admission: $35 pesos, $15 pesos students

 

Thursday (Jueves) January 15, 2015

Yucatan Living International Women’s Club: Buffet Breakfast Social
Come join women from around the world who live in Merida and get to know your community.
Location: at the Hyatt’s Peregrina Restaurant, Ave. Colon, corner of Calle 60, 100 meters del Paseo Montejo
Time: 9:30 AM
Admission: 130 pesos covers everything

Yucatan Living Muelle Market-Bazar del Muelle
Local and Foreign Artisans Market that benefits Chicxulub Food Bank. Includes: Slow Food Market Vendors, Jewelry by Jorge, Carvings by Martine, Olga Cuevas: Clothing Designer, Mano de Nano (aka Naomi Murphy): homemade mustard, salad dressing, marinades, granola, meat rubs, baked goods, and a variety of pickles, Anita’s Salchichones (German Sausage) – and many many more !!!
Location: D’Mar Salon de Eventos, calle 28x21y23, Chicxulub Puerto
Time: 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Admission: Free to shoppers. Vendors contact for more information.
More Information: Call Nola (English): (999) 109-6319 or e-mail: muellemarket [at] gmail [dot] com or keep up with new announcements on the Muelle Market-Bazar del Muelle Facebook page.

Yucatan Living Movie: The Act of Killing
(Various 2012) A documentary which challenges former Indonesian death-squad leaders to reenact their mass-killings in whichever cinematic genres they wish, including classic Hollywood crime scenarios and lavish musical numbers. In Indonesian with Spanish subtitles.
Location: LA 68, Calle 68 at Calle 55, Centro
Time: 6:00 PM Thursday
Admission: $35 pesos, $15 pesos students

Yucatan Living Jazz Concert in the Garden at MEL
The Merida English Library presents its Music in the Gardens concert series. This first event is a Jazz Concert, featuring Naomi Murphy (vocals), Brian Richmond (saxophone), and Luis Romero Castellanos (keyboard).
Location: in the Garden of the Merida English Library, Calle 53 x 68
Time: 7:00 PM Thursday
Admission: $100 pesos. Seating limited… get your tickets now at MEL. Beverages available.

Yucatan Living Chocolate Blues
This performance is under the direction of Rainier Pucheux. Anywhere you find jazz, the blues won’t be far away and such is the case right here in Merida.
Location: Auditorium of the Olimpo, Calle 62 x 61
Time: 8:00 PM Thursday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living 50th Anniversary of Santa Lucia Serenades
The Director of this event is Yucatan’s beloved Luis Perez Sabido, award winning poet, composer, and cultural minister. This man’s resume is a volume of love and talent. If you haven’t been to a Santa Lucia Serenade in a while, this is the night to be there. To learn more about this beloved icon of Merida, read his resume at Trovadores-Yucatecos.
Location: Parque Santa Lucia, Calle 60 x 55
Time: 8:30 PM Thursday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Dance: 58 Decent Women
This performance is by the Ashville (North Carolina) Contemporary Dance Theater (ACDT). The Producer is Roger Peche Sansores.
Location: Central Patio del Olimpo, Calle 62 x 61 centro of Merida
Time: 9:00 PM Thursday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Movie: Winter Dream
(Turkey 2013) Aydin, a retired actor, has a small hotel in Central Anatolie with his young wife Nihal, from whom he is emotionally distant, and his sister Necla suffering from her recent divorce. In winter, as snow covers the steppe, the hotel becomes their refuge but also the focus of their distresses. In Turkish with Spanish subtitles.
Location: LA 68, Calle 68 at Calle 55, Centro
Time: 9:00 PM Thursday
Admission: $35 pesos, $15 pesos students

 

Friday (Viernes) January 16, 2015

Yucatan Living Movie: Post Tenebras Lux
(Mexico 2013) Juan and his urban family live in the Mexican countryside, where they enjoy and suffer a world apart. In Spanish.
Location: LA 68, Calle 68 at Calle 55, Centro
Time: 6:00 PM Friday
Admission: $35 pesos, $15 pesos students

Yucatan Living Music: La Vida Bohème in Concert
You just never know what kind of international stars might turn up at one of these ongoing events. Tonight’s performance is by a very famous Venezuelan Alternative Rock group by the name of La Vida Bohème. Do plan to see this one!
Location: At the head of Paseo de Montejo
Time: 6:00 PM
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Circus: Reflections
Performances by the Ilaii Company, a local circus performance company that worked with Cirque du Soleil. Don’t miss this!
Location: Parque de Las Americas, Av. Colon x Calle 20, Garcia Ginerés
Time: 8:00 PM Friday
Admission : Free

Yucatan Living Orson Welles Series: The Stranger
United States 1946). Director: Orson Welles. Starring: Orson Welles, Edward G. Robinson, Loretta Young, and Richard Long. An investigator from the War Crimes Commission travels to Connecticut to find an infamous Nazi.
Location: Videosala of the Olimpo, Calle 62 x 61
Time: 8:00 PM Friday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Music: Yucatan … My Version with Eduardo Vazquez
This is a concert to hear. Eduardo Vazquez is a guitarist from Merida, but his influences run from hard rock to jazz and blues, and from classical to oldies and country. His influences are equally diverse and include such greats as Dizzy Gillespie to B.B. King. You might want to take a second look at this one and keep an eye out for Eduardo Vazquez in the future.
Location: Parque de la Colonia, Alemán
Time: 8:00 PM Friday
Admission: Free

Yucatan LivingYucatan Symphony Orchestra: Between Waltzes and Overtures
Tonight’s performance marks the opening of this season of the Yucatan Symphony Orchestra. This performance includes performances of waltzes and more by Strauss, Dvorak and and Ravel. All directed by our very own Juan Carlos Lomonaco. Details on their website. Tickets at the box office.
Location: Peon Contreras Theater, Calle 60 x 57, centro
Time: 9:00 PM Friday
Admission: Various

Yucatan Living Interdisciplinary (music, dance, theater): Creation According to the Popol Vuh
This event is under the direction of Marcin Cristina and should be a wonderful performance of one of Yucatan’s most beloved Maya legends.
Location: Parque de Santa Ana, Calle 60 x 47
Time: 9:00 PM Friday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Music: Songs from Cuba
This is a performance by the Duet: Sonido Abierto (Open Sound), under the direction of Rudy Vallado. This group and this director are extraordinarily talented, and never fail to please their audiences.
Location: Parque de Santa Lucia, Calle 60 x 55
Time: 9:00 PM Friday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Movie: Bad Hair
A nine-year-old boy’s preening obsession with straightening his hair elicits a tidal wave of homophobic panic in his hard-working mother. In Spanish with English subtitles.
Location: LA 68, Calle 68 at Calle 55, Centro, Open Air Cinema.
Time: 9:00 PM Friday
Admission: $35 pesos, $15 pesos students

Yucatan Living Movie: The Five Obstructions
(Denmark 2003) A scientist in a surrealist society kidnaps children to steal their dreams, hoping that they slow his aging process. In English with Spanish subtitles.
Location: Cairo Cinema, Calle 20 #98A x 15 y 17, Colonia Itzimná
Time: 9:00 PM Friday
Admission: Free

 

Saturday (Sabado) January 17, 2015

Yucatan LivingMovie: The Artist is Present
(USA 2012) Seductive, fearless, provocative, Marina Abramović has redefined the concept of art for over forty years. Using her own body as a vehicle, going beyond the limits to risk her own life in the process, she has created performances that have challenged us, shocked and moved. In English with Spanish subtitles.
Location: LA 68, Calle 68 at Calle 55, Centro
Time: 6:00 PM Saturday
Admission: $35 pesos, $15 pesos students

Yucatan Living Music: Circus: Reflections
Performances by the Ilaii Company, a local circus performance company that worked with Cirque du Soleil. Don’t miss this!
Location: Parque de Las Americas, Av. Colon x Calle 20
Time: 8:00 PM Saturday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Night of Cultures
U Xiimbal eek’o’ob: The Walk of Stars: This event is under the direction of Miguel Angel Vazquez Tapia at 7:30 PM
Mexitanerias: The name of this group is Corazon Flamenco. Look for lots of rumbas and folk music from Seville, Spain. 9:30 PM
Carmane, Fado singer: Carmane is a Portuguese fado singer and the recognized first in his generation of a new life for this traditional music. Songs of ill-fated loves (fados) will always be with us and we are so lucky to have access to these talented international groups. 10:30 PM
Location: Plaza Grande, Calle 60 x 61
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Interdisciplinary (music, dance, theater): Creation According to the Popol Vuh
This event is under the direction of Marcin Cristina and should be a wonderful performance of one of Yucatan’s most beloved Maya legends.
Location: Parque de Santa Ana, Calle 60 x 47
Time: 9:00 PM Saturday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Movie: Tweny Feet From Stardoom
(USA 2013) This is a tribute to the background singers, who are on stage, but are secondary compared to the famous singers they support. Their voices provide harmony to the best bands in popular music. In English.
Location: LA 68, Calle 68 at Calle 55, Centro
Time: 9:00 PM Saturday
Admission: $35 pesos, $15 pesos students

Yucatan Living Movie: Edie & Thea: A Very Long Engagement
(USA 2009) After 42 years, feisty and delightful lesbian couple Edie and Thea are finally getting married. From the early ’60s to the present day, the tireless community activists. In English with Spanish subtitles.
Location: Cairo Cinema, Calle 20 #98A x 15 y 17, Colonia Itzimná
Time: 9:00 PM Saturday
Admission: Free

Sunday (Domingo), January 18, 2015

Yucatan Living Documentary about Nature
Great documentaries, especially for children. In Spanish.
Location: Museo de Historia Natural, Next to the Zoo on Calle 59.
Time: 12:00 PM Sunday
Admission: Free

Yucatan LivingYucatan Symphony Orchestra: Between Waltzes and Overtures
The opening of this season of the Yucatan Symphony Orchestra duplicates Friday night’s performance. This performance includes performances of waltzes and more by Strauss, Dvorak and and Ravel. All directed by our very own Juan Carlos Lomonaco. Details on their website. Tickets at the box office.
Location: Peon Contreras Theater, Calle 60 x 57, centro
Time: 12:00 PM Sunday
Admission: Various

Yucatan LivingDance Marathon in Plaza Grande
This event features Los Méndez, Chicken y sus Comandos, and will be closed with the music of Los Ángeles Azules. Fun, dance and music for everyone!
Location: Plaza Grande, Calle 60 x 61
Time: 5:00 PM Sunday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Night of Cultures: Camane, Fado singer
Carmane is a Portuguese fado singer and the recognized first in his generation of a new life for this traditional music. Songs of ill-fated loves (fados) will always be with us and we are so lucky to have access to these talented international groups.
Location: Plaza Grande, Calle 60 x 61
Time: 7:00 PM Sunday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Movie: Stranger than Paradise
(USA 1984) A self-styled New York hipster is paid a surprise visit by his younger cousin from Budapest. From initial hostility and indifference a small degree of affection grows between the two. In English.
Location: Cairo Cinema, Calle 20 #98A x 15 y 17, Colonia Itzimná
Time: 9:00 PM Sunday
Admission: Free

 

Monday (Lunes) January 19, 2015

No events yet

 

 

Coming Soon

Yucatan Living “My Sister’s Closet” 5th Annual Fashion Show: At the Hop – January 29
The Fashion Show Committee needs your gently used summer clothing for the Boutique. Even one outfit will help! Little by little we “fill the closet” from which they choose the 36 model outfits, selling the rest to the 180 women who attend. If you have clothing to donate, please contact these wonderful volunteers: Chelem: Frances Cummings cummings_fh [at] yahoo [dot] ca, Chuburna: Chris Parkin ucatanchris [at] gmail [dot] com, Progreso: Diane Clinton dminerdc [at] gmail [dot] com, Chicxulub: Karen Cloutier klcloutier [at] hotmail [dot] com. Without this clothing, the event, in support of El Programa de Apoyo Escolar de Chuburná Puerto, would not happen. Thanks on behalf of the students and their families!
Location: TBA
Time: TBA
Admission: TBA

Yucatan Living Yucadanz: Monthly Contra Dance in Merida – First Dance: Saturday, January 10
When is a square dance not square? You’re just going to love this new dance in town. Contra dance is a community “barn dance”, where everyone socializes and dances with everyone else. We love their energy and hope that everyone will give contra dance a whirl. Everyone is welcome!
Location: Tumaka’t Dance Studio, Calle 51 #475-A x 52 y 54 (blue building, middle of block), Centro
Time: Beginner Class in Spanish: 7:00 PM, Beginner Class in English: 7:30 PM, Contra dance: 8:00 PM – 10:30 PM
Admission: Bring your own refreshments and water, no alcohol at the dance. $50-$100 pesos donation requested. Proceeds benefit Tumaka’t, a nonprofit arts group, and to establish a fund for live music. Read this great page on the Yucadanz website!
Additional Dates:
Saturday, February 14, 2015
Saturday, March 14, 2015
Saturday, April 11, 2015

Yucatan Living Merida English Library Saturday Lecture Series: October – March
• January 17: Cancelled
• January 24: The history of the Yucatan-Cuba connection. Peter Johnson.
• January 31: Mexican history: A hero and a villain: Juarez and Diaz. George Ashley.
• February 7: Eldercare Choices in the US. Catherine Hawes & Charles Phillips.
• February 14: Valentine’s Day & Carnival weekend. No program.
• February 21: MEL Artist Studio Tour. No lecture.
• February 28: Mexican wines – discussion and limited tasting. Elliot Diaz. Attendance limited. Admission 100 pesos.
• March 7: TBA
• March 14: TBA
Location: Merida English Library, Calle 53 x 66 y 68.
Time: 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Admission: Most lectures are free, some have a nominal fee

Yucatan Living Merida English Library Music in the Garden Concert Series
Check the performance details at the Merida English Library website:
• February 13: Latin, Mexican & Yucatecan Music
• March 13: Rock and Blues
Location: Merida English Library, Calle 53 x 66 y 68.
Time: 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Admission: Most lectures are free, some have a nominal fee

Yucatan Living International Women’s Club: Second Annual Whodunit Dinner January 21, 2015
This year, the IWC will offer packets in either Spanish OR English, so you can choose for your group’s preference. There are eight characters, so you will need eight to fill your table. If you cannot fill a table, there will be extras who can fill in. Your admission includes a 3 course meal, plus a simple beverage. Bar service will be available on a pay as you go basis.
Location: La Parrilla Restaurant, Calle 30 # 87 x 17, Prolongacion Montejo, Col. Mexico.
Time: 7:30 PM
Admission: 275 pesos per person
Contact Beth Knepp for information in English smiles4beth [at] yahoo [dot] com or Cathy Harrison for information in Spanish OR English at cathyharrison [at] yahoo [dot] com or 999-926-0014.

Yucatan Living CHILI COOK OFF UPDATE Date: January 25
Invitation from MEL: Dust off your greatest Chili Recipe and sign up for the Premier Event of the Year when the competition is on for the Chili Cooking Crown at MEL’s Annual Chili Cook Off – 2015 Edition.
The event will take place on January 25, Sunday, 1 – 4 PM. Lots more details to come but don’t delay, Chili Chefs should register now to ensure your spot in the cook off. Competition is brisk! If you have a big pot and a good recipe, please sign up at the library or contact us at: MELchilicookoff [at] gmail [dot] com. Now’s your chance to show off your chefability. Also, HELP NEEDED! They also need about 15 people to be general volunteers the day of the event — setting up tables, selling beverages and helping keep things tidy. Go to www.meridaenglishlibrary.com to volunteer.

Yucatan Living Benefit Concert for educate Yucatan, A.C.: Steve Katz – January 29
Steve Katz is a founding member of Blood, Sweat & Tears, and a member of the original Blues Project. We hope you will be there for an acoustic evening of story and song.
Location: Teatro Felipe Carrillo Puerto, Calle 60 x 59 y 57, Merida
Time: 7:00 PM
Admission: Donation of $250 pesos
Tickets: Available at www.educateyucatan.org and at cells: 999 995-3769 & 999 260-1922

Yucatan LivingVI Full Moon Jazz Festival – February 7
This event is the major fundraiser for Telchac Education. This program continues to sponsor children in school in the Telchac area and they are thriving. Three fabulous bands, dancing, the food court and full bar await you on the beach. Many thanks to all of the sponsors and to everyone who participates in this Jazz Festival.
Location: Villas Wayak, km 25.5 Progreso – Telchac Road
Time: 4:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Admission: Free but please come prepared to purchase food and drinks, and to maybe make a donation and/or sponsor a child in the Telchac Education Program.

Yucatan Living The Artist Studio Tour – February 21
This unique self-guided tour is a yearly fundraiser for the Merida English Library and gives important exposure to local, national and international artists living and working in Merida. Many of our 24 artists are represented in galleries and museums around the world, but the MEL Artist Studio Tour is the only time their studios are open to the public. One day, 24 great artists! The Artist Studio Tour allows you to spend quality time discussing the creative process with each artist and if, the mood strikes, you can pick up a piece for your home. You’ll find sculptors, painters, printmakers, photographers, papermakers and more in this talented group. Visit www.meridaenglishlibrary.com for updates on the tour, ticket sales locations and artist profiles.
Location: Downtown Merida. Map made available to ticket holders.
Time: 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Admission: Tickets go on sale January 22nd! Buy your tickets before February 21 and pay only 200 pesos. Tickets are 250 pesos the day of the tour so get them early!

Yucatan LivingMerida’s Got Murder – February 3-7
Once again, a troupe of intrepid actors (murderers?) gather to solve a murder mystery… and you have front row seats. Join your neighbors and friends for this exciting murder mystery theatre with dinner! Find out more at the Merida Mystery Theatre Facebook page.
Location: Feb 3, 4, 5 at Hennessy’s, Feb 6 at Lizard Joe’s in Chelem, Feb 7 at Villa Martine in Merida
Time: 7:00 PM
Admission: Tickets on sale at Hennessy’s, Robert Abuda Salon in Merida and Lizard Joe’s Restaurant in Chelem. Include show and dinner. Do not include beverages and gratuities.

Yucatan Living IWC Tour: The Amazing Archaeological Tour – February 24 to March 1, 2015
This tour includes:
• Five nights accommodation
• Bilingual guide service
• Transportation by motor coach for the duration of the tour
• Breakfast each morning
• Entrance tickets to all specified attractions
• Donation to IWC Charity Committee
You will visit the archaeological sites of Edzna, X/puji, Balamku, Becan, Chicana, Calakmul, Kohunlich, and Coba, as well as a visit to Laguna Bacalar. Contact Joanna at http://writingfrommerida.com/2014/10/26/off-the-beaten-trail-tourism/ for more info on this trip.

Have an event you want to promote? Email us at info [at] yucatanliving [dot] com and we’ll be happy to list it in our Events listing and our Month-at-a-Glance Calendar!

By Khaki Scott

Welcome to 2015: The Year of Inclusion in Yucatan!

Merida: Property Tax Collections Soaring

One might think that, if property taxes are raised, as they were for 2014 in Merida, it would be a burden to middle and lower income property owners and collections would begin to lag. However, just the opposite has happened. In Merida, at the end of November, property tax collections were running 12% higher than the city’s goal, 17% higher than all of 2013, and 19% higher than last year in the same month. What would cause so many people to rush to happily pay their property taxes when this is traditionally the kind of tax that comes in slowly at best and, all too often, in arrears? The answer seems to be pride of ownership and value for their money. The citizens of Merida can take pride in the fact that they actually own a piece of this city and they are receiving value, in the form of both services and respect, in exchange for their hard earned pesos. The next stories are just a few examples of what the City is doing for its citizens.

The City of Merida: Citizen Services


You can call or visit whenever you need assistance from the City of Merida:
Call: 070 or 924-4000.
Chat:
www.merida.gob.mx
and select Citizen Services.
In Person: office located on the first floor of the Municipal Palace.
Hours:
Phones and Chat: Monday – Friday: 7:30 AM to 10:30 PM; Saturday: 8:30 AM to 6:30 PM; Sunday: 8:30 AM to 3:30 PM.
Office Hours: Monday – Friday: 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM and Saturdays from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM.
Citizens served in 2014: Phone and Chat: 150,000, In Person: 25,000
Examples of Average Resolution Times: Street light outages: 48 hours, Dead animals in street: 2 hours

Merida Joined Buen Finthrough Part of Plan de Apoyo a Deudores

This Buen Fin program is part of the national Plan of Support for Debtors, which is a cooperative program between the Government of Mexico and the Association of Mexican Banks. The program provides a variety of loans to property owners, including loans for down payments on homes and even loans to pay property taxes that are in arrears. If these property owners remain current on their payments, they get the additional benefit of discounted payments over the next five years. When Merida joined this program in 2014, the city collected over $8 million pesos in back taxes in four days and 3,000 property owners were caught up. While 3,000 may not seem like a lot when compared to the well over a million people who live in Merida, it is a great number when we realize that there are now 3,000 more families who, as homeowners in good standing, are now more willing than ever to contribute to the cultural and financial security and tranquility of life in Merida.

Diversity in Merida: “For Want of a Nail…”

Around the world, societies tend to divide themselves into the “haves” and the “have nots,” with the haves often blaming the have nots for failing to take advantage of all of the opportunities they have been given to better themselves. It is a recipe for cultural disaster that has just been thrown out of the window in Merida. Instead, there are now 33 centers, located in marginal areas of the municipality, each with neighborhood staff members who are asking the people what they need in order to change direction and make their lives better. The goal here is to bring marginalized populations forward and significantly decrease the social and financial gaps in society in the City of Merida. For many of Merida’s citizens, this hand up might just be the nail that saves the kingdom. The proverb “For Want of a Nail…” can be found here.

New Year’s Eve is Merida’s Biggest Night Out

Every year, we watch Yucatan’s holidays so we can give our readers an idea, far in advance, of what they should prepare for next year. New Year’s Eve is Merida’s biggest night away from home of the entire year. In fact, we would go so far as to suggest that New Year’s Eve is all of Mexico’s biggest night out. People want to eat in restaurants, see fireworks shows, and generally enjoy whatever is going on. All of this is fine, right up to the point where drinking and driving get involved. This year, the City of Merida alone had 60 new checkpoints with breathalyzers and the State of Yucatan took this issue just as seriously. Next year, we suggest you find a designated driver early, make a reservation at your favorite restaurant at least a month in advance, and then relax, knowing that you will have the best New Year’s Eve ever! To read more about this holiday in Merida, visit Yucatan Living’s Ring In the New Year… 12 Times!

Yucatan: The State of the State

Crime Statistics for 2014
The statistics for 2014 are coming in and Yucatan still rules as the safest state in Mexico. The following statistics were reported at year’s end:
Homicide: 2 per 100,000. National average was 21.8.
Homicides: 98 (59 culpable, 39 intentional)
Kidnappings: Zero. Also with zero: Aguascalientes, and Baja California Sur.
Kidnappings and journalists killed or disappeared: Zero. National average was two, but also with zero were: Aguascalientes, Baja California, Baja California Sur, Campeche, Chiapas, Colima, Mexico City, Guanajuato, Hidalgo, Jalisco, Morelos, Oaxaca, Quintana Roo, Tlaxcala, and Zacatecas.
Stolen vehicles: 10.4 per 100,000. National average: 160 per 100,000
Stolen vehicles: least reported crime (1%). National average: 8% of all reported crimes.
Complete results for these studies can be found at IMCO’s State Competitiveness website. IMCO provides information to be used by state governments to help accelerate the process of change. IMCO rates Yucatan as the safest state in Mexico and we agree whole heartedly.

Adaptive Buses Arrive for the Disabled

Six municipalities and the Center for Special Education and Rehabilitation in Merida each received a brand new bus with a lift for wheelchairs. Each bus has four docks for wheelchairs and space for 13 other disabled persons to sit. The goal is to make sure that disabled Yucatecos are able to get to and from work, school, and medical appointments, which will remove economic barriers for them and their families. The municipalities that received the adaptive buses included: Dzilam Gonzalez, Espita, Izamal, Progreso and Tekax. And the State of Yucatan did not stop there! They also delivered 50 adapted motorcycles, 176 pairs of eyeglasses, and 107 hearing aids. This is on top of the 1,100 hearing aids already delivered this month. Also, over 600 disabled Yucatecos received desperately needed prostheses in 2014 alone. The Governor insists that, before the close of his administration, all Yucatecos will walk together as equals and that includes those who are differently abled.

Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds

Children learn best when they have healthy food. Adults work best and care for their families when they eat well. In the past, being poor led only to malnutrition and life-long poverty. Yucatan has decided to close that road forever and embark on a nutritional campaign that includes every Yucateco in Yucatan state.
• LICONSA is a national program of support for dairies that supply low cost milk to the poor. Yucatan now has 225 Liconsa local dairies that supply excellent quality milk to 56,000 people in Yucatan. Soon, a dairy in Merida will receive its certification and 26,000 more citizens will have affordable milk. This program is growing in importance as the need is recognized in children, women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, and for those who are chronically ill, disabled or elderly.
• SEDESOL has joined with LICONSA to provide free breakfasts for 5,041 children who attend public kindergartens in Merida. There are 196 of these daycare centers in Merida, each serving the needs of the children of working mothers.

Cultural Adaptations: Who Adapts to Whom?

There is an amazing array of foreigners in Yucatan, each bringing their own culture with them. This is especially clear on holidays, when foreigners celebrate with their own traditions and often meet in restaurants that serve the cuisine of their home countries. It would not be surprising if 500 years of immigration were to change the culture of Yucatan, but that has not happened. Instead, Yucatan has absorbed these foreigners and they have adapted to the culture of Yucatan. It seems that thousands of years of history trumps the relatively short amount of time that foreigners have been in the land of the Maya. This does not mean, however, that foreigners have lost their cultural characteristics. Instead, foreigners are encouraged to keep the best of their cultures and integrate themselves into the fabric of life in Yucatan. This diversity is part of Yucatan’s strength and nowhere does that show more than in the celebrations on major holidays. It is a new year now in Yucatan and, on New Year’s Eve, all who were here were Yucatecos.

2015: Dates You Might Want to Remember in Yucatan

These dates are all governed by the cycles of the Sun and/or Moon:
February 24: Mardi Gras (festivities will begin the Wednesday night prior)
March 20 at 4:45 PM: Spring Equinox
March 29: Palm Sunday
April 4: Total Lunar Eclipse
April 5: Easter Sunday
June 21 at 11:38 AM: Midsummer Equinox
July 2 & 31: Blue Moon
September 23 at 3:20 PM: Fall Equinox
September 27: Super Moon
September 28: Total Lunar Eclipse
December 21 at 10:48 PM: Winter Equinox

By Working Gringos

This Week… starting January 05, 2014

Yucatan Living Christmas in “La Plancha” December 12 – January 6
This is a wonderful, “Viva la Navidad!” celebration for the family and kids. It includes mechanical games, live shows and a Christmas Village and it ends tomorrow!
Location: In the Old Train Station in Merida, Calle 43 x 48 y 46, Centro
Time: 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM, with special circus shows on December 25, January 1, and January 6 at 5:00 PM, 7:00 PM, and 9:00 PM.
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Merida Fest: The 473rd Anniversary of the City of Merida (January 6 – 27)
Every year, three weeks in January mark a huge celebration in honor of the birthday of the City of Merida. This event is called Merida Fest and is designed to bring together all of the people and cultures in Merida. We are blessed to enjoy one of the most peaceful big cities in the world, with one of the most complex populations. No matter the topic: food, music, ethnicity, age and even religion, Merida has it all and manages, without discrimination, to continue to celebrate our complex society as one of our greatest strengths. What that translates to, for visitors and residents alike, is three weeks of cultural events and entertainment that is found nowhere else. Stay with us here at Yucatan Living as we bring you the dazzling array of events that will take place during Merida Fest.

Yucatan Living Mark Your Calendars for 2015
These dates are all governed by the cycles of the Sun and/or Moon and most are associated with major holidays and celebrations in Yucatan.
February 18: Mardi Gras
March 20 at 4:45 PM: Spring Equinox
March 29: Palm Sunday
April 4: Total Lunar Eclipse
April 5: Easter Sunday
June 21 at 11:38 AM: Midsummer Equinox
July 2 & 31: Blue Moon
September 23 at 3:20 PM: Fall Equinox
September 27: Super Moon
September 28: Total Lunar Eclipse
December 21 at 10:48 PM: Winter Equinox

Yucatan Living Donate Toys for San Simon Children
Anytime before January 6 (Three Kings’ Day, aka Epiphany), bring new or like-new toys (no toy guns please!) or money to donate to the children of San Simon to the Hotel Hacienda Uxmal, right next to Uxmal Archaeological Zone. The toys and donations will help make Three Kings’ Day a happy event for the children of this tiny pueblo near Uxmal. If you go any other time to Hotel Hacienda Uxmal and want to donate, just ask for Enrique Valdes (he speaks English) or email him at enriquevaldes [at] mayaland [dot] com.

Yucatan Living Notice: Merida English Library Needs ACTORS/READERS
Audition: January 14
“Soldier, Come Home,” the award-winning play by Frank W. Wicks based on his great-grandparents’ Civil War letters, will be performed at the Merida English Library in mid- February. Wicks, a graduate of The American Academy of Dramatic Arts and a theater professional, will direct the production. The play, performed as reader’s theatre, has been performed throughout the United States, including an Off-Broadway production in New York City. For additional information about “Soldier, Come Home” go to www.civilwarplay.com. Roles to be cast are one Woman, age 25 – 35 and five Men, ranging in age from 17 to 65. Interested actors please call Frank Wicks at 999-995-6722 or e-mail frankwicks [at] gmail [dot] com
Full story on MEL’s Web Page
Audition Location: at the Merida English Library
Time: 10:00 AM and 6:00 PM

Monday (Lunes) January 05, 2015

Yucatan LivingThe Biggest Rosca de Reyes
The hotel zone’s chefs make the traditional bread. Money is to benefit vulnerable people in Merida.
Location: Calle 60 x Paseo de Montejo and Circuito Colonias
Time: 5:00 PM Monday
Admission: Buy a piece of bread and coffee to help people in need.

Yucatan Living Music: Alborada
Numerous Trios will be singing and playing for Merida’s Birthday.
Location: Calle 60 x 61 centro of Merida
Time: 10:00 PM Monday
Admission: Free

Tuesday (Martes) January 06, 2015

Yucatan Living 473rd Anniversary Mass
This event defines the opening of the 473rd Anniversary of the City celebration.
Location: Cathedral of San Ildefonso, Calle 60 x 61
Time: 8:00 AM Tuesday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Concert: Dixie Jazz Orchestra
This great little orchestra is under the direction of Jose Carlos Rodriguez Arreola.
Location: Parque de La Ermita, Calle 64 x 79
Time: 8:00 PM Tuesday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Documentary: Orson Welles in 100 Years: Interview in Paris
(Paris, 1960). Director: Allan King
A vintage interview captures the artist reflecting on Citizen Kane and expounding on directing, acting and writing and his desire to bestow a valuable legacy upon his profession. Not your everyday video!
Location: Videosala of the Olimpo, Calle 62 x 61
Time: 8:00 PM Tuesday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Movie: Too Much Johnson
(United States, 1938). Director: Orson Welles. Starring: Joseph Cotton, Virginia Nicholson, Arlene Francis, Orson Welles. Includes cameos by John Houseman and Judy Holliday.
Location: Videosala of the Olimpo, Calle 62 x 61
Time: 9:00 PM Tuesday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Armando Manzanero and Francisco Cespedes in Concert
A fabulous free concert by two wonderful and locally famous voices to celebrate Merida 473rd Anniversary.
Location: Calle 62 x 61 centro of Merida
Time: 8:30 PM Monday
Admission: Free

 

Wednesday (Miercoles) January 07, 2015

Yucatan Living Exhibition: Piece of the Month: Gabriel Ramirez
This monthly exhibition currently features the work of artist Gabriel Ramirez.
Location: Museum of the City of Merida, Calle 65 x 56
Time: 11:00 AM Wednesday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Movie: The Priest’s Children
(Serbia 2012) A young priest gets an idea to pierce condoms before they are sold in order to increase the birth rate of his island. In Serbian with Spanish subtitles.
Location: LA 68, Calle 68 at Calle 55, centro of Merida
Time: 6:00 PM Wednesday
Admission: $35 pesos, $15 pesos students

Yucatan Living Duet: Open Sound: Songs from Cuba
This performance is under the direction of Rudy Vallado.
Location: Teatro Felipe Carrillo Puerto, Calle 60 x 57
Time: 8:00 PM Wednesday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Nico Jimenez: Charcutero Emeritense (Master Ham Cutter)
Nico Jimenez is from our sister city, Merida, Spain. He is presented by acclaimed writer Maria Teresa Mendez Mezquita. Born in Merida, Yucatan, in 1969, she is known around the world for her writings on all of the cities of Merida.
Location: Parque de la Santa Lucia, Calle 60 x 55
Time: 8:00 PM Wednesday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Concert: Dixie Jazz Orchestra
This great little orchestra is under the direction of Jose Carlos Rodriguez Arreola.
Location: Parque de Santa Lucia, Calle 60 x 55
Time: 9:00 PM Wednesday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Central College Jazz Band
Under the direction of Gabriel Espinoza.
Location: , Auditorio del Olimpo, Calle 62 x 61 centro of Merida
Time: 9:00 PM Wednesday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Movie: Five Broken Cameras
(France 2011) This shocking documentary film shows the life of Emad, a Palestinian farmer, who in 2005 set out to document some of the major acts of resistance that his people held against the advance of Israeli settlements in the occupied territories. He used five cameras, which give rise to the title of the film, nominated for an Oscar in 2012. In Hebrew with Subtitles in Spanish.
Location: LA 68, Calle 68 at Calle 55, centro, Open Air Cinema
Time: 9:00 PM Wednesday
Admission: $35 pesos, $15 pesos students

 

Thursday (Jueves) January 08, 2015

Yucatan Living Movie: Bad Hair
A nine-year-old boy’s preening obsession with straightening his hair elicits a tidal wave of homophobic panic in his hard-working mother. In Spanish with English subtitles.
Location: LA 68, Calle 68 at Calle 55, Centro
Time: 6:00 PM Thursday
Admission: $35 pesos, $15 pesos students

Yucatan Living Dance: DueTango
Dance performance with Robbin and Julia. If you love tango, you’ll want to be there!
Location: Auditorium of the Olimpo, Calle 62 x 61
Time: 8:00 PM Thursday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Music: Central College’s Banda de Vientos
This great wind instruments band is under the direction of Gabriel Espinosa.
Location: Parque de la Colonia Aleman
Time: 9:00 PM Thursday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Movie: Amour
(2012 USA) Georges and Anne are an octogenarian couple. They are cultivated, retired music teachers. Their daughter, also a musician, lives in Britain with her family. One day, Anne has a stroke, and the couple’s bond of love is severely tested. Academy Award winning film.
Location: LA 68, Calle 68 at Calle 55, Centro
Time: 9:00 PM Thursday
Admission: $35 pesos, $15 pesos students

 

Friday (Viernes) January 09, 2015

Yucatan Living Movie: A Band Called Death
(USA 2012) A documentary on the 1970s punk trio Death, and their new-found popularity decades after they disbanded. In English with Spanish subtitles.
Location: LA 68, Calle 68 at Calle 55, Centro
Time: 6:00 PM Friday
Admission: $35 pesos, $15 pesos students

Yucatan Living Music: Ensemble “Karam Abdelhamid”
Arabic and Spanish music outdoors under the stars… how lovely!
Location: Parque de Santa Lucia, Calle 60 x 55
Time: 7:00 PM Friday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Dance: DueTango
Dance performance with Robbin and Julia.
Location: Auditorium of the Olimpo, Calle 62 x 61
Time: 8:00 PM Friday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Opening of the Exhibition: Mobile Museum: Morocco
This is a photographic and pictoral exhibition about Morocco.
Location: Centro Cultural Jose Marti, Av. Colon x Calle 20, Garcia Ginerés.
Time: 1:00 PM Friday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Music: Raul Di Blasio
Don’t miss this performance by Argentinian pianist Raul Di Blasio! He is famous for his rendition of Rhapsody in Blue, so maybe we will get to hear that piece tonight.
Location: Parque de la Colonia Aleman
Time: 8:00 PM Friday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Movie: Winter Dream
(Turkey 2013) Aydin, a retired actor, has a small hotel in Central Anatolie with his young wife Nihal, from whom he is emotionally distant, and his sister Necla suffering from her recent divorce. In winter, as snow covers the steppe, the hotel becomes their refuge but also the focus of their distresses. In Turkish with Spanish subtitles.
Location: LA 68, Calle 68 at Calle 55, Centro, Open Air Cinema.
Time: 9:00 PM Friday
Admission: $35 pesos, $15 pesos students

Yucatan Living Movie: The City of Lost Children
(France 1995) A scientist in a surrealist society kidnaps children to steal their dreams, hoping that they slow his aging process. In French with Spanish subtitles. A fascinating and visually amazing film.
Location: Cairo Cinema, Calle 20 #98A x 15 y 17, Colonia Itzimná
Time: 9:00 PM Friday
Admission: Free

 

Saturday (Sabado) January 10, 2015

Yucatan Living Merida English Library – Saturday Lecture Series
January 10: Popol Vuh – the Maya creation story and more, presented by modern-day shaman, Miguel Angel Vergara.
Location: Merida English Library, Calle 53 x 66 y 68
Time: 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM Saturday
Admission: free

Yucatan Living Movie: Opera Yucatan: Parsifal
PARSIFAL was the last opera composer Richard Wagner. He defined this work as a sacred scenic festival (Bühnenweihfestspiel). He began writing it in 1857 and premiered it 25 years later at the Bayreuth Festival Theater (July 26, 1882). The work is based on the medieval epic poem (XIII century) Parzival by Wolfram von Eschenbach, about the life of a gentleman of the court of King Arthur and his search for the Holy Grail or Holy Grail. The Holy Grail was the vessel that Christ used to eat and drink during the Last Supper and the same that was used to collect blood during the crucifixion.
Location: Sala Mayamax in Gran Museo del Mundo Maya
Time: 12:00 PM Saturday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living 2015 Sterilization Clinic
The January 2015 Spay Neuter Clinic begins today. This event finds two Yucatan Animal Rescue organizations joining with the cities to manage the non-surgical aspects of the campaign at 3 locations. And for the first time, this is an initiative primarily funded by the Secretaria de Salud (Secretary of Health) for the State of Yucatan which will provide the materials for the surgeries. (Wow!!!). The main organizers are Planned Pethood, City of Progreso, AFAD & AFAD Progreso & Evolucíon.
1. Saturday, January 10 & Sunday January 11 – Progreso Clinic organised by AFAD & AFAD Progreso – Lidia Saleh & Mau Garcia
2. Monday, January 12, Tuesday, January 13, Wednesday, January 14 – Merida Clinic (locations unknown at this time) organized by Evolution – Silvia Cortez
3. Thursday is a day off.
4. Friday, January 16 & Saturday, January 17 – Valladolid organized by AFAD – Lidia Saleh Angulo
More details to follow!

Yucatan Living Movie: Machete Language
(Mexico 2011) RAY AND RAMONA are a young couple (30′s) who spent many years together. They live in the DF. They are hyper aware of chaos and injustice of the social context of which they are part. Each in his own way, want to change that reality, fight for a fairer world. His life fluctuates between that world and excesses engagement party and night. She works for an NGO and she is a singer of a punk band. Their relationship is intense, often problematic. In Spanish with English subtitles.
Location: LA 68, Calle 68 at Calle 55, Centro
Time: 6:00 PM Saturday
Admission: $35 pesos, $15 pesos students

Yucatan Living Music: Good Vibes 3: Alika and Other Groups
This performance is under the direction of Jorge Carlos Cabrera Milan. Alika is from Buenos Aires, with Dancehall, Hip Hop, and Reggae Roots. Visit her website to learn more about this young lady and her causes.
Location: Parque de Las Americas, Av. Colon x Calle 20
Time: 7:00 PM Saturday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Dance: Kong Fuzi: The Intrinsic Journey of Corporeal Philosophy
This performance is under the direction of Abraham Joshua Palma.
Location: Central Patio of the Olimpo, Calle 62 x 61
Time: 7:30 PM Saturday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Movie: Citizen Kane
(United States, 1941). Director: Orson Welles. Starring: Orson Welles, Joseph Cotton, Agnes Moorehead, Ruth Warrick, Ray Collins, and Everett Sloane, with a cameo by Nat King Cole.
Location: Videosala of the Olimpo , Calle 62 x 61
Time: 8:00 PM Saturday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Dance: Night of the Cultures: Mayan Dances
Come watch the representation of the Mayan Dances in the main square of Merida. A lovely way to spend a Saturday evening!
Location: Plaza Grande, Calle 60 x 61
Time: 8:30 PM Saturday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Yucadanz: Monthly Contra Dance in Merida
When is a square dance not square? You’re just going to love this new dance in town. Contra dance is a community “barn dance”, where everyone socializes and dances with everyone else. We love their energy and hope that everyone will give contra dance a whirl. Everyone is welcome!
Location: Tumaka’t Dance Studio, Calle 51 #475-A x 52 y 54 (blue building, middle of block), Centro
Time: Beginner Class in Spanish: 7:00 PM, Beginner Class in English: 7:30 PM, Contra dance: 8:00 PM – 10:30 PM
Admission: Bring your own refreshments and water, no alcohol at the dance. $50-$100 pesos donation requested. Proceeds benefit Tumaka’t, a nonprofit arts group, and to establish a fund for live music. Read this great page on the Yucadanz website!

Yucatan Living Movie: Maria Sabina
(Mexico 2009) María Sabina was a Mazatec Curandera who lived her entire life in a modest dwelling in the Sierra Mazateca of southern Mexico. Her practice was based on the use of the various species of native psilocybe mushrooms, such asPsilocybe mexicana. In Spanish with English subtitles.
Location: LA 68, Calle 68 at Calle 55, Centro
Time: 9:00 PM Saturday
Admission: $35 pesos, $15 pesos students

Yucatan Living Movie: Amelie
(France 2001) Amelie, an innocent and naive girl in Paris, with her own sense of justice, decides to help those around her and along the way, discovers love. In French with Spanish subtitles.
Location: Cairo Cinema, Calle 20 #98A x 15 y 17, Colonia Itzimná
Time: 9:00 PM Saturday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Music: Ensemble “Karam Abdelhamid”
Arabic and Spanish music under the stars.
Location: Parque Principal, Calle 60 x 61
Time: 9:30 PM Saturday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Cultural Expressions: Culture for Peace
A dance show designed for the Plaza Grande that brings together cultural expressions ranging from the Maya to new, contemporary cultures, including the cultures that have influenced the city. These include the Lebanese culture, as well as the dances and songs of China and Portugal. If you love styles as different as jazz and flamenco dancing, this is the event for you.
Location: Plaza Grande, Calle 60 x 61
Time: 10:30 PM Saturday
Admission: Free

Sunday (Domingo), January 11, 2015

Yucatan Living Documentary about Nature
Great documentaries, especially for children. In Spanish.
Location: Museo de Historia Natural, Next to the Zoo on Calle 59.
Time: 12:00 PM Sunday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living 2015 Marathon of the City of Merida
This marathon is in honor of the 473rd Anniversary of the Founding of Merida.
Everyone over 18 is welcome to participate, including wheelchair participants. There will be great cash prizes and even a car for the lucky winner.
Events will include:
6:00 AM: a 42 km marathon
7:00 AM: a 10 km family run
7:00 AM: a 2 km family walk
Location:Remate de Montejo
Time:6:00 AM
Admission: Walk is free, race $ 100 pesos.
Download Registration Materials here from the Marathon of the City website. Further information will be given to registered participants.

Yucatan Living Opera: Chip and his Dog
Opera for children under the direction of Victor Gonzalez Perez.
Location: Central Patio of the Olimpo, Calle 62 x 61
Time: 1:00 PM Sunday
Admission: Free

Yucatan LivingMusic: Yuri Buenaventura
Colombian singer borned in Buenaventura city. Come listen and get ready to dance Salsa!
Location: Plaza Grande, Calle 60 x 61
Time: 8:00 PM Sunday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Dance: Kong Fuzi: The Intrinsic Journey of Corporeal Philosophy
This performance is under the direction of Abraham Joshua Palma. No idea what this is, but it sounds interesting!
Location: Central Patio of the Olimpo, Calle 62 x 61
Time: 7:00 PM Sunday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Movie: The Magnificent Ambersons
(United States, 1942). Directors: Orson Welles, Fred Fleck. Staring: Tim Holt, Joseph Cotton, Dolores Costello, Anne Baxter, Agnes Moorehead, and Ray Collins.
Location: Videosala of the Olimpo, Calle 62 x 61
Time: 8:00 PM Sunday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Movie: Return to Oz
(USA 1985) Dorothy, saved from a psychiatric experiment by a mysterious girl, is somehow called back to Oz when a vain witch and the Nome King destroy everything that makes the magical land beautiful. In English.
Location: Cairo Cinema, Calle 20 #98A x 15 y 17, Colonia Itzimná
Time: 9:00 PM Sunday
Admission: Free

 

Monday (Lunes) January 12, 2015

Yucatan Living International Women’s Club: Gorro Girls Knitting & Crocheting “bee”
Dates: Second and Fourth Mondays
This group makes caps for the Cancer Kids of Hospital O’Horan. Knitting and crocheting instruction is available from members. Possible that it will NOT be happening this week.
Location: Merida English Library (MEL) patio
Time: 10:00 AM Mondays
Admission: Free

 

 

Coming Soon

Yucatan Living 2015 Sterilization Clinic update.
The January 2015 Spay Neuter Clinic begins today. This event finds two Yucatan Animal Rescue organizations joining with the cities to manage the non-surgical aspects of the campaign at 3 locations. And for the first time, this is an initiative primarily funded by the Secretaria de Salud (Secretary of Health) for the State of Yucatan which will provide the materials for the surgeries. (Wow!!!). The main organizers are Planned Pethood, City of Progreso, AFAD & AFAD Progreso & Evolucíon.
1. Saturday, January 10 & Sunday January 11 – Progreso organised by AFAD & AFAD Progreso – Lidia Saleh & Mau Garcia
2. Monday, January 12, Tuesday, January 13, Wednesday, January 14 – Merida (location unknown to me at this time) organized by Evolution – Silvia Cortez
3. Thursday is day off.
4. Friday, January 16 & Saturday, January 17 – Valladolid organized by AFAD – Lidia Saleh Angulo
More details to follow as they are being organized.

Yucatan Living 1920s Gangsters’ Casino – Wednesday, January 14
Benefit for No Mas Perritos. Fundraising CASINO NIGHT! There will Blackjack, Roulette, Texas Hold’em. The theme is 1920′s Gangsters and Flappers, so dress the part if you would like! They have proper chips and games and this event is going to be BIG!!!!!
Location: The Bull Pen. Calle 1 #743 (Main St.), Chelem
Time: 6:00 PM
Admission: Tickets $100 pesos each which includes your starter chips. TEXAS HOLD ‘EM IS A BUY-IN GAME at 300 pesos per person. Please let them know in advance if you would like a seat at that table.
More Information: https://www.facebook.com/events/1613080098915789/

Yucatan Living “My Sister’s Closet” 5th Annual Fashion Show: At the Hop – January 29
The Fashion Show Committee needs your gently used summer clothing for the Boutique. Even one outfit will help! Little by little we “fill the closet” from which they choose the 36 model outfits, selling the rest to the 180 women who attend. If you have clothing to donate, please contact these wonderful volunteers: Chelem: Frances Cummings cummings_fh [at] yahoo [dot] ca, Chuburna: Chris Parkin ucatanchris [at] gmail [dot] com, Progreso: Diane Clinton dminerdc [at] gmail [dot] com, Chicxulub: Karen Cloutier klcloutier [at] hotmail [dot] com. Without this clothing, the event, in support of El Programa de Apoyo Escolar de Chuburná Puerto, would not happen. Thanks on behalf of the students and their families!
Location: TBA
Time: TBA
Admission: TBA

Yucatan Living Yucadanz: Monthly Contra Dance in Merida – First Dance: Saturday, January 10
When is a square dance not square? You’re just going to love this new dance in town. Contra dance is a community “barn dance”, where everyone socializes and dances with everyone else. We love their energy and hope that everyone will give contra dance a whirl. Everyone is welcome!
Location: Tumaka’t Dance Studio, Calle 51 #475-A x 52 y 54 (blue building, middle of block), Centro
Time: Beginner Class in Spanish: 7:00 PM, Beginner Class in English: 7:30 PM, Contra dance: 8:00 PM – 10:30 PM
Admission: Bring your own refreshments and water, no alcohol at the dance. $50-$100 pesos donation requested. Proceeds benefit Tumaka’t, a nonprofit arts group, and to establish a fund for live music. Read this great page on the Yucadanz website!
Additional Dates:
Saturday, February 14, 2015
Saturday, March 14, 2015
Saturday, April 11, 2015

Yucatan Living Merida English Library Saturday Lecture Series: October – March
• January 17: Writers’ Workshop. John Gray.
• January 24: The history of the Yucatan-Cuba connection. Peter Johnson.
• January 31: Mexican history: A hero and a villain: Juarez and Diaz. George Ashley.
• February 7: Eldercare Choices in the US. Catherine Hawes & Charles Phillips.
• February 14: Valentine’s Day & Carnival weekend. No program.
• February 21: MEL Artist Studio Tour. No lecture.
• February 28: Mexican wines – discussion and limited tasting. Elliot Diaz. Attendance limited. Admission 100 pesos.
• March 7: TBA
• March 14: TBA
Location: Merida English Library, Calle 53 x 66 y 68.
Time: 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Admission: Most lectures are free, some have a nominal fee

Yucatan Living Merida English Library Music in the Garden Concert Series
Check the performance details at the Merida English Library website:
• January 15: Jazz Concert
• February 13: Latin, Mexican & Yucatecan Music
• March 13: Rock and Blues
Location: Merida English Library, Calle 53 x 66 y 68.
Time: 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Admission: Most lectures are free, some have a nominal fee

Yucatan Living International Women’s Club: Second Annual Whodunit Dinner January 21, 2015
This year, the IWC will offer packets in either Spanish OR English, so you can choose for your group’s preference. There are eight characters, so you will need eight to fill your table. If you cannot fill a table, there will be extras who can fill in. Your admission includes a 3 course meal, plus a simple beverage. Bar service will be available on a pay as you go basis.
Location: La Parrilla Restaurant, Calle 30 # 87 x 17, Prolongacion Montejo, Col. Mexico.
Time: 7:30 PM
Admission: 275 pesos per person
Contact Beth Knepp for information in English smiles4beth [at] yahoo [dot] com or Cathy Harrison for information in Spanish OR English at cathyharrison [at] yahoo [dot] com or 999-926-0014.

Yucatan Living CHILI COOK OFF UPDATE Date: January 25
Invitation from MEL: Dust off your greatest Chili Recipe and sign up for the Premier Event of the Year when the competition is on for the Chili Cooking Crown at MEL’s Annual Chili Cook Off – 2015 Edition.
The event will take place on January 25, Sunday, 1 – 4 PM. Lots more details to come but don’t delay, Chili Chefs should register now to ensure your spot in the cook off. Competition is brisk! If you have a big pot and a good recipe, please sign up at the library or contact us at: MELchilicookoff [at] gmail [dot] com. Now’s your chance to show off your chefability. Also, HELP NEEDED! They also need about 15 people to be general volunteers the day of the event — setting up tables, selling beverages and helping keep things tidy. Go to www.meridaenglishlibrary.com to volunteer.

Yucatan Living Benefit Concert for educate Yucatan, A.C.: Steve Katz – January 29
Steve Katz is a founding member of Blood, Sweat & Tears, and a member of the original Blues Project. We hope you will be there for an acoustic evening of story and song.
Location: Teatro Felipe Carrillo Puerto, Calle 60 x 59 y 57, Merida
Time: 7:00 PM
Admission: Donation of $250 pesos
Tickets: Available at www.educateyucatan.org and at cells: 999 995-3769 & 999 260-1922

Yucatan LivingVI Full Moon Jazz Festival – February 7
This event is the major fundraiser for Telchac Education. This program continues to sponsor children in school in the Telchac area and they are thriving. Three fabulous bands, dancing, the food court and full bar await you on the beach. Many thanks to all of the sponsors and to everyone who participates in this Jazz Festival.
Location: Villas Wayak, km 25.5 Progreso – Telchac Road
Time: 4:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Admission: Free but please come prepared to purchase food and drinks, and to maybe make a donation and/or sponsor a child in the Telchac Education Program.

Yucatan Living The Artist Studio Tour – February 21
This unique self-guided tour is a yearly fundraiser for the Merida English Library and gives important exposure to local, national and international artists living and working in Merida. Many of our 24 artists are represented in galleries and museums around the world, but the MEL Artist Studio Tour is the only time their studios are open to the public. One day, 24 great artists! The Artist Studio Tour allows you to spend quality time discussing the creative process with each artist and if, the mood strikes, you can pick up a piece for your home. You’ll find sculptors, painters, printmakers, photographers, papermakers and more in this talented group. Visit www.meridaenglishlibrary.com for updates on the tour, ticket sales locations and artist profiles.
Location: Downtown Merida. Map made available to ticket holders.
Time: 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Admission: Tickets go on sale January 22nd! Buy your tickets before February 21 and pay only 200 pesos. Tickets are 250 pesos the day of the tour so get them early!

Yucatan Living IWC Tour: The Amazing Archaeological Tour February 24 to March 1, 2015
This tour includes:
• Five nights accommodation
• Bilingual guide service
• Transportation by motor coach for the duration of the tour
• Breakfast each morning
• Entrance tickets to all specified attractions
• Donation to IWC Charity Committee
You will visit the archeological sites of Edzna, X/puji, Balamku, Becan, Chicana, Calakmul, Kohunlich, and Coba, as well as a visit to Laguna Bacalar. Contact Joanna at http://writingfrommerida.com/2014/10/26/off-the-beaten-trail-tourism/ for more info on this trip.

Yucatan Living Muelle Market-Bazar del Muelle
First and Third Thursdays of January, February and March 2015
Local and Foreign Artisans Market: Benefits Chicxulub Food Bank
Includes: Slow Food Market Vendors, Jewelery by Jorge, Carvings by Martine, Olga Cuevas: Clothing Designer, Mano de Nano (aka Naomi Murphy): homemade mustard, salad dressing, marinades, granola, meat rubs, baked goods, and a variety of pickles, Anita’s Salchichones (German Sausage) – and many many more !!!
Location: D’Mar Salon de Eventos, calle 28x21y23, Chicxulub Puerto
Time: 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Admission: Free to shoppers. Vendors contact for more information.
More Information: Call Nola (English): (999) 109-6319 or e-mail: muellemarket [at] gmail [dot] com or keep up with new announcements on the Muelle Market-Bazar del Muelle Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/MuelleMarket

Have an event you want to promote? Email us at info [at] yucatanliving [dot] com and we’ll be happy to list it in our Events listing and our Month-at-a-Glance Calendar!

By Dr. Leroy Osmon, DMA & Dr. Cay Smith Osmon, EdD

Editor’s Note: Everyone we meet comes to Merida for their own reasons. And one of the wonderful things about Merida and the Yucatan is the wide range of places and people that you can find here… there is something for everyone, it seems! In this article, a couple of expatriates from Texas put into words why they love the part of Merida where they have chosen to live. Do you live somewhere else, and love that as much? Send us an email (info [at] yucatanliving [dot] com) and tell us why!

Merida’s Best Kept Secret

High rise in North Merida, YucatanWhen we started thinking about retirement, there were a lot of places that came to mind. We considered the places for the rich and famous… the kind of places you read about but most of us could never afford. In the past few years, we have been hearing more and more about places that the average hard-working person actually can afford and one of them is closer than you might think. The city of Merida, capital of Yucatan has made it to the top of several retirement and vacation home lists. More times than not, the article or video only talks about the ‘historic center’ or the centro historico. You know the type of article… talking about how Merida is filled with colonial homes just waiting to be returned to their original glory. As we know, those claims are true, and the centro is filled with beautiful renovated colonials, as well as many colonials still waiting to return to glory. But there is a secret about Merida, the City of Peace. The centro is not the only wonderful place to live here… the north/northeast section of Merida is a place where the living is easy and the prices are great!

Our Story

Leroy is a former public school band director in Houston, Texas and faculty member of the University of Houston School of Music. After retirement, he dedicated his time to composition and has become an Leroy and Cay Osmon in Merida Yucataninternationally-known composer nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, and the recipient of several national and international awards. Cay taught journalism in the Texas public school system, worked for Lady Bird Johnson’s Wildflower Research Center in Austin, was editor of an international music journal, and for 15 years worked as an administrator at the University of Houston.

We are like many other working-class Americans. We were both public school teachers, we owned a small business, and when we got closer to retirement, we started looking for a place with a good quality of life where we could live well on our retirement income.

Like a lot of North Americans we know here, we came to Merida on a short vacation and fell in love with the city. When we returned six months later, we bought a house. As we have gotten to know our neighbors and other expatriates in Yucatan, we have discovered that this was really not all that uncommon. Many others like us have discovered the beautiful weather, beaches, gardens, and houses that often sell for a fraction of the cost of what you would have to pay for anything similar in the United States.

Many of our friends chose to live in the historic center, but we decided to look at the north side of Merida. What we found were several residential areas (called colonias or fraccionamientos, the equivalent of neighborhoods) with beautiful houses that reminded us of Santa Fe or other vibrant suburban areas in the southwestern USA. We found every conceivable Inside Costco in north Merida Yucatanstyle of architecture for Merida, from Spanish hacienda style, to southwestern and contemporary.

We realize that this part of town does not appeal to everyone, but we have been more than satisfied with our decision. We want to share a few of our reasons why we love living on the north side of the Ciudad Blanca.

Convenience, Just Like Back Home

Convenience! Merida is growing very quickly and much of it is growing to the north/northeast. Because of this, there is a greater availability and accessibility of goods and services. We believe that being retired should bring with it a level of convenience and ease of living. Shopping on the north side offers retail stores such as Home Depot, Costco, Sam’s Club, Office Depot, etc. that we North Americans Wide boulevard in north Merida Yucatanknow and trust. This area of Merida features planned areas of growth and development to fit the needs of an educated and informed shopper.

Fifteen years ago, the housing market for foreigners appeared to be exclusively in the centro (downtown). Fifteen years ago, development on Prolongacion Montejo pretty much stopped at the Gran Plaza. Ten years ago, Altabrisa Mall and Las Galerias (or City Center and Macroplaza, for that matter) did not even exist. If you had a house in Cholul or La Ceiba, you felt like you lived in the country, far away from everything. In less than a decade, the north/northeast parts of Merida have exploded with housing, shopping, and entertainment venues, complete with wide boulevards, avenues, spacious lots, totally free parking when shopping or eating out, big beautiful trees and lots of parks.

Practicality and convenience were at the top of our retirement list! As we have gotten older, we have found that it is the little things in life that often have the biggest effect on our attitude. We love getting in our car and driving a couple of minutes on a nice wide boulevard to a store or a restaurant, having plenty of parking and easy access. We like convenience.

Medical Care

Dentist office in north Merida YucatanThe finest medical and dental care in this part of the country is located in the north. Merida has several fine medical facilities but only one hospital that is fully certified to treat the President of the United States of America and that is Star Medica Hospital. Also on the north is the new Federal high specialty hospital and one of the finest cancer treatment centers in the country. One of our favorite dentists is located in Altabrisa. Maybe the fact that he had an office in Houston, Texas for more than 15 years has influenced our decision as well, but it probably also influenced his decision to locate in the north. I always feel more comfortable talking about dental and medical issues in English and every doctor we have seen at Star Medica Hospital has spoken English. I have not found this to always be true in other parts of the city.

Entertainment Venues

Many of the best entertainment venues are located in the north. The new Maya Museum is there, as is the Coliseo, the ice skating rink, various golf courses and a number of high-quality movie theaters. Yucatan Country Club in Merida YucatanThe Via Montejo development complex will soon begin construction and the largest Costco in Mexico will open in the Spring of 2015, all in the north of Merida. Did I mention the golf courses being on the north side? The two big country clubs in Merida also have excellent tennis courts and swimming pools!

As for concerts and events that take place in the centro at one of the four concert halls, we have been able to enjoy those as well. We have found it is between a 15- to 20-minute drive from the north/northeast at peak driving times. We have left our home on some Sunday mornings to go to the Symphony Orchestra of Yucatan and we are parked and entering the concert hall in an amazing 12 minutes! Also, if we want to go in the other direction to enjoy the Yucatan Gulf Coast, with the wonderful new road to Progreso, it is a pleasurable drive on a four-lane highway to the beach.

Restaurants in North Merida

Many new restaurants featuring a wide variety of cuisine have opened in the north that offer more than the usual tourist fare. We love eating out and a variety of restaurants is at the top of our list of things we miss about the USA, and especially Houston. For many years here in Merida, you would be hard pressed to find any place to eat real Chinese food and now we have two of the best just a few La Recova in north Merida Yucatanminutes from our home in Montecristo. Great seafood, Lebanese, Thai, vegetarian or even vegan dishes are no longer difficult to find in Merida, but you will have to come to the north side of the city for such variety! We have found that the restaurant options in north Merida are beginning to cater to the discriminating palates of a growing middle class, as opposed to restaurants in the centro, which still focus mainly on tourists and traditional Yucateco cuisine.

North Merida Real Estate

In the northern area of Merida, residential developments have been planned and built since the late sixties and early seventies, continuing to this day. The residential areas are built with more parking, faster circulation, and easier access for automobiles. The homes are newer and the infrastructure available is newer and in better condition. Things like water lines, septic systems, street drainage, the electrical Real estate choices in north Merida Yucatangrid, cables for high-speed Internet access, etc. are relative new and up-to-date. This all translates for us to more leisure time to enjoy life (and play golf!). Newer homes have been built as free-standing structures, mostly, and many of those free-standing homes are on large lots (allowing for more landscaping options and shade trees to help cut down on electric bills). Many of the houses also have large pools and yards with more visually-aesthetic openness. And if you like living in a high-rise, condo, or an upscale apartment, those ONLY exist in the north.

Close to the Beach

Safety and tranquility are extremely important to us. If you are considering retirement to Merida, you probably already know that Merida has the lowest crime rate of any city of its size in all of North America. The neighborhoods in the north/northeast have lower crime rates than other areas of Merida, so that makes them doubly safe. Because of the types of businesses and property values in the north, Sailing off of the Yucatan Gulf Coastwe believe there is a greater and more professional police presence there as well. When we looked for and eventually found our perfect home, safety and tranquility had to be part of the package, and after living here for a few years, we have not been disappointed.

Of course, there’s the sun and fun factor. If you love to walk or lay on the beach, swim in the ocean, or just enjoy fishing or boating, living in the north of Merida puts you just about twenty-five minutes or less from the water! When we were looking for that perfect place to retire, living close to the beach was an important factor. Now, we keep a sailboat in Progreso. We love waking up, hopping in the car and finding ourselves on the boat in just a matter of minutes. Quality time! Isn’t that what retirement should be about? Isn’t that what LIVING should be about?

We think retirement should be about enjoying the rest of your life. And living on the north side, as one of our Yucatecan friends once told us, just “makes life easier.”

****
Dr. Osmon says that if you want more information on Merida’s best-kept secret, contact him at leroy [dot] osmon [at] gmail [dot] com

By Working Gringos

LIBRARY COORDINATOR WANTED
The Valladolid English Library (VEL) is seeking a Library Coordinator. This job will pay $2,000-$3,000 pesos a month, based on experience and qualifications. The coordinator will be responsible for managing library operations, including maintaining regular library hours, and participating in evening and weekend activities, as scheduled.

The VEL library coordinator will work under the direction of the VEL Board in organizing and maintaining a variety of library functions. He or she will coordinate communication and promotion of library events, including building and maintaining a VEL website and updating the library’s Facebook page. In addition, the library coordinator will be responsible for organizing and maintaining all library materials, including the collection, equipment, records, and facility. The coordinator will assist in the recruitment and development of a team of library volunteers, coordination of their schedule and tasks, and management of all aspects of library membership.

The VEL library coordinator must be bi-lingual, with the ability to speak, read, and write in both English and Spanish. For a complete job description, or to apply, contact vel [dot] library [dot] 1 [at] gmail [dot] com.

All applications must be received by January 15, 2015.

By Working Gringos

* Job Description: Real estate sales, procure new listings, maintain correspondence with clients

* Job requirements:
Experienced real estate agent, currently licensed in the US or Canada
Must be able to re-locate or already be living in Merida Mexico, or surrounding area, Bilingual a plus
Self motivated

* Name of company: Yucatan Beach and City Property
Company website: www.yucatanbeachproperty.com
Contact: Elizabeth Rodriguez-Stacy
Contact info: Info [at] YucatanBeachProperty [dot] com / telephone: 999 112 8576 / 727 515 1303

By Khaki Scott

This Week… starting December 22, 2014

Yucatan Living Christmas in “La Plancha” December 12 – January 6
This is a wonderful, “Viva la Navidad!” celebration for the family and kids. It includes mechanical games, live shows and a Christmas Village.
Location: In the Old Train Station in Merida, Calle 43 x 48 y 46, Centro
Time: 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM, with special circus shows on December 25, January 1, and January 6 at 5:00 PM, 7:00 PM, and 9:00 PM.
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Merida Fest: The 473rd Anniversary of the City of Merida (January 6 – 27)
Every year, three weeks in January mark a huge celebration in honor of the birthday of the City of Merida. This event is called Merida Fest and is designed to bring together all of the people and cultures in Merida. We are blessed to enjoy one of the most peaceful big cities in the world, with one of the most complex populations. No matter the topic: food, music, ethnicity, age and even religion, Merida has it all and manages, without discrimination, to continue to celebrate our complex society as one of our greatest strengths. What that translates to, for visitors and residents alike, is three weeks of cultural events and entertainment that is found nowhere else. Stay with us here at Yucatan Living as we bring you the dazzling array of events that will take place during Merida Fest.

Yucatan Living Christmas and New Year’s Eve
The last two weeks of December and the first five days of January are relatively quiet in Yucatan, but the new year of almost non-stop festivals begins again on January 6 (Three Kings’ Day, aka Epiphany). So do keep watch on Yucatan Living’s Events pages to see what there is to do in Merida whenever you are here in 2015.

 

Yucatan Living Donate Toys for San Simon Children
Anytime before January 6 (Three Kings’ Day, aka Epiphany), bring new or like-new toys (no toy guns please!) or money to donate to the children of San Simon to the Hotel Hacienda Uxmal, right next to Uxmal Archaeological Zone. The toys and donations will help make Three Kings’ Day a happy event for the children of this tiny pueblo near Uxmal. For more information, check the website or email

 

In The City

 

Monday (Lunes) December 22, 2014

Yucatan Living No Events Planned for Today, everyone is busy with Christmas shopping!

 

Tuesday (Martes) December 23, 2014

Yucatan Living Movie: Liztomania
(UK 1975) A send-up of the bawdy life of Romantic composer/piano virtuoso Franz Liszt, with ubiquitous phallic imagery and a good portion of the film devoted to Liszt’s “friendship” with fellow composer Richard Wagner. The film begins during the time when Franz would give piano performance to a crowd of shrieking teenage fans while maintaining affairs with his (multiple!) mistresses. In English.
Location: Cairo Cinema, Calle 20 #98A x 15 y 17, Colonia Itzimná
Time: 9:00 PM Tuesday
Admission: Free

 

Wednesday (Miercoles) December 24, 2014

Yucatan Living Christmas’ Eve
For Christmas dinners and other events, check our listings here.

 

Thursday (Jueves) December 25, 2014

Yucatan Living Christmas’ Day

 

Friday (Viernes) December 26, 2014

Yucatan Living Movie: A Band Called Death
(USA 2012) A documentary on the 1970s punk trio Death, and their new-found popularity decades after they disbanded. In English with Spanish subtitles.
Location: LA 68, Calle 68 at Calle 55, Centro
Time: 5:00 PM Friday
Admission: $35 pesos, $15 pesos students

Yucatan Living Movie: Vuelve a la Vida
(Mexico 2010) The love story between a top model from New York, a Mexican scuba diver and a shark. In Spanish with English subtitles.
Location: LA 68, Calle 68 at Calle 55, Centro, Open Air Cinema.
Time: 9:00 PM Friday
Admission: $35 pesos, $15 pesos students

Yucatan Living Movie: Old Boy
(South Korea 2003) After being kidnapped and imprisoned for 15 years, Oh Dae-Su is released, only to find that he must find his captor in 5 days. In Korean with Spanish subtitles.
Location: Cairo Cinema, Calle 20 #98A x 15 y 17, Colonia Itzimná
Time: 9:00 PM Friday
Admission: Free

 

Saturday (Sabado) December 27, 2014

Yucatan Living Merida English Library – Saturday Lecture Series
• December 27: Christmas weekend. No program.
• January 3: New Year’s weekend. No program.
Location: Merida English Library, Calle 53 x 66 y 68
Time: 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM Saturday
Admission: free

Yucatan Living Movie: Deep Water
(USA 2006) A documentary about the disastrous 1968 round-the-world yacht race. In English with Spanish subtitles.
Location: LA 68, Calle 68 at Calle 55, Centro
Time: 5:00 PM Saturday
Admission: $35 pesos, $15 pesos students

Yucatan Living Movie: Like Father Like Son
(Japan 2013) Ryota Nonomiya is a successful businessman driven by money. When he learns that his biological son was switched with another child after birth, he must make a life-changing decision and choose his true son or the boy he raised as his own. In Japanese with English subtitles.
Location: LA 68, Calle 68 at Calle 55, Centro
Time: 9:00 PM Saturday
Admission: $35 pesos, $15 pesos students

Yucatan Living Movie: Exit Through the Gift Shop
(UK 2010) The story of how an eccentric French shop keeper and amateur film maker attempted to locate and befriend Banksy, only to have the artist turn the camera back on its owner. In English.
Location: Cairo Cinema, Calle 20 #98A x 15 y 17, Colonia Itzimná
Time: 9:00 PM Saturday
Admission: Free

Sunday (Domingo), December 28, 2014

Yucatan Living Documentary about Nature
Great documentaries, specially for children. In Spanish.
Location: Museo de Historia Natural, Next to the Zoo on Calle 59.
Time: 12:00 PM Sunday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Note: BiciRuta Montejo Route Temporarily Suspended. December 7 – January 11
All other BiciRuta routes will function as usual. Check here for more information.

Yucatan Living Movie: Click
(USA 2010) A workaholic architect finds a universal remote that allows him to fast-forward and rewind to different parts of his life. Complications arise when the remote starts to overrule his choices. In English.
Location: Cairo Cinema, Calle 20 #98A x 15 y 17, Colonia Itzimná
Time: 9:00 PM Sunday
Admission: Free

 

Monday (Lunes) December 29, 2014

Yucatan Living International Women’s Club: Gorro Girls Knitting & Crocheting “bee”
Dates: Second and Fourth Mondays
This group makes caps for the Cancer Kids of Hospital O’Horan. Knitting and crocheting instruction is available from members. Possible that it will NOT be happening this week.
Location: Merida English Library (MEL) patio
Time: 10:00 AM Mondays
Admission: Free

Tuesday (Martes) December 30, 2014

Yucatan Living Movie: TBD
Always a great movie.
Location: Cairo Cinema, Calle 20 #98A x 15 y 17, Colonia Itzimná
Time: 9:00 PM Tuesday
Admission: Free

 

Wednesday (Miercoles) December 31, 2014

Yucatan Living New Year’s Eve
Enjoy the party! Check our list of events for Christmas and New Years.

 

Thursday (Jueves) January 01, 2015

Yucatan Living Happy New Year

 

 

Coming Soon

Yucatan Living Yucadanz: Monthly Contra Dance in Merida – First Dance: Saturday, January 10
When is a square dance not square? You’re just going to love this new dance in town. Contra dance is a community “barn dance”, where everyone socializes and dances with everyone else. We love their energy and hope that everyone will give contra dance a whirl. Everyone is welcome!
Location: Tumaka’t Dance Studio, Calle 51 #475-A x 52 y 54 (blue building, middle of block), Centro
Time: Beginner Class in Spanish: 7:00 PM, Beginner Class in English: 7:30 PM, Contra dance: 8:00 PM – 10:30 PM
Admission: Bring your own refreshments and water, no alcohol at the dance. $50-$100 pesos donation requested. Proceeds benefit Tumaka’t, a nonprofit arts group, and to establish a fund for live music. Read this great page on the Yucadanz website!
Additional Dates:
Saturday, February 14, 2015
Saturday, March 14, 2015
Saturday, April 11, 2015

Yucatan Living Merida’s Marathon 2015, January 11, 2015
This includes a marathon, a race and a walk, so everyone can participate. For the race and marathon due date is January 10, the family walk 30 min before start.
Location:Remate de Montejo
Time:6:00 AM
Admission: Walk is free, race $ 100 pesos.

Yucatan Living “My Sister’s Closet” 5th Annual Fashion Show: At the Hop – January 29
The Fashion Show Committee needs your gently used summer clothing for the Boutique. Even one outfit will help! Little by little we “fill the closet” from which we choose the 36 model outfits, selling the rest to the 180 women who attend. If you have clothing to donate, please contact these wonderful volunteers: Chelem: Frances Cummings cummings_fh [at] yahoo [dot] ca, Chuburna: Chris Parkin ucatanchris [at] gmail [dot] com, Progreso: Diane Clinton dminerdc [at] gmail [dot] com, Chicxulub: Karen Cloutier klcloutier [at] hotmail [dot] com. Without this clothing, the event, in support of El Programa de Apoyo Escolar de Chuburná Puerto, would not happen. Thanks on behalf of the students and their families!
Location: TBA
Time: TBA
Admission: TBA

Yucatan Living Merida English Library Saturday Lecture Series: October – March
• January 10: Popol Vuh – the Maya creation story and more. Miguel Angel Vergara.
• January 17: Writers’ Workshop. John Gray.
• January 24: The history of the Yucatan-Cuba connection. Peter Johnson.
• January 31: Mexican history: A hero and a villain: Juarez and Diaz. George Ashley.
• February 7: Eldercare Choices in the US. Catherine Hawes & Charles Phillips.
• February 14: Valentine’s Day & Carnival weekend. No program.
• February 21: MEL Artist Studio Tour. No lecture.
• February 28: Mexican wines – discussion and limited tasting. Elliot Diaz. Attendance limited. Admission 100 pesos.
• March 7: TBA
• March 14: TBA
Location: Merida English Library, Calle 53 x 66 y 68.
Time: 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Admission: Most lectures are free, some have a nominal fee

Yucatan Living Merida English Library Music in the Garden Concert Series
Check the performance details at the Merida English Library website:
• January 15: Jazz Concert
• February 13: Latin, Mexican & Yucatecan Music
• March 13: Rock and Blues
Location: Merida English Library, Calle 53 x 66 y 68.
Time: 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Admission: Most lectures are free, some have a nominal fee

Yucatan Living CHILI COOK OFF UPDATE Date: January 25
Invitation from MEL: Dust off your greatest Chili Recipe and sign up for the Premier Event of the Year when the competition is on for the Chili Cooking Crown at MEL’s Annual Chili Cook Off – 2015 Edition.
The event will take place on January 25, Sunday, 1 – 4 PM. Lots more details to come but don’t delay, Chili Chefs should register now to ensure your spot in the cook off. Competition is brisk! If you have a big pot and a good recipe, please sign up at the library or contact us at: MELchilicookoff [at] gmail [dot] com. Now’s your chance to show off your chefability. Also, HELP NEEDED! They also need about 15 people to be general volunteers the day of the event — setting up tables, selling beverages and helping keep things tidy. Go to www.meridaenglishlibrary.com to volunteer.

Yucatan Living Benefit Concert for educate Yucatan, A.C.: Steve Katz – January 29
Steve Katz is a founding member of Blood, Sweat & Tears, and a member of the original Blues Project. We hope you will be there for an acoustic evening of story and song.
Location: Teatro Felipe Carrillo Puerto, Calle 60 x 59 y 57, Merida
Time: 7:00 PM
Admission: Donation of $250 pesos
Tickets: Available at www.educateyucatan.org and at cells: 999 995-3769 & 999 260-1922

Yucatan LivingVI Full Moon Jazz Festival – February 15
This event is the major fundraiser for Telchac Education. This program continues to sponsor children in school in the Telchac area and they are thriving. Three fabulous bands, dancing, the food court and full bar await you on the beach. Many thanks to all of the sponsors and to everyone who participates in this Jazz Festival.
Location: Villas Wayak, km 25.5 Progreso – Telchac Road
Time: 4:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Admission: Free but please come prepared to purchase food and drinks, and to maybe make a donation and/or sponsor a child in the Telchac Education Program.

Have an event you want to promote? Email us at info [at] yucatanliving [dot] com and we’ll be happy to list it in our Events listing and our Month-at-a-Glance Calendar!

By Working Gringos

Type of Food/Restaurant: Modern American Cuisine
Name: Soma Restaurante
Neighborhood: Fraccionamiento Malaga
Telephone: 9991-95-64-74
Address: Calle 21, 375 y 60 x 21
How to Get There from the Centro: Take Calle 60 North, first set of lights past Mega will be Calle 21 but you can’t turn left there. Go half a block to the retorno, take it to end up going South on Calle 60. Turn left at the next light, which is Calle 21. Soma Restaurant is on the right near the end of the block. Plenty of parking.
Air Conditioned: Yes
Outdoors: Yes
Wifi: Yes
Drinks: Licensed to serve alcohol.
Payments: Accept Mastercard and Visa.
Hours: 9 AM – 6 PM, Thursday through Monday
Facebook: somarestaurante

By Working Gringos

Name of Company – Yucatan Riviera Realty
Job Location – Merida
Name of Contact – Glen MacFarlane
Phone Number -999-298-8998
Email Address – glen [at] yucatanrivierarealty [dot] com
Job Description – sales/marketing
Job Requirements – Spanish or english
Any Additional Information -complete training and development for career in sales and marketing in fastest growing industry in Mexico!!

YRR has an unrivaled track record for the sale of homes and ocean front property in the Campeche/Yucatan Riviera.*** Construction is about to begin!

SALES EXPERIENCE IS NOT necessary. Honesty, trustworthiness and coachability are!
Hard working people are needed to follow up on the many leads from people all around the globe who want to know more about the area and how to retire in the sun!!
If successfull, you will be selling either ocean lots, or turn key homes on the ocean.

All calls will be in strictest confidence.

By Working Gringos

About this time of year, if you don’t already HAVE plans, you are wondering what to do for Christmas Eve and New Years Eve. Here’s our annual rundown of what the local hotels are doing (all prices are in Pesos). For sure there are more activities going on, so If you know of another special event for either of these two days, feel free to add it in the Comments area.

Christmas

Hyatt Regency Merida
Christmas Eve at Peregrina
Peregrina will be serving an International buffet Christmas dinner the night of the 24th. Price includes IVA, and la propina (tip) but no drinks. Live saxophone music 8:00 PM to 10:30 PM. Full deposit required to make a reservation.
Price: $565 pesos per adult, $280 pesos per child
Hours: 8:00 PM to Midnite
Location for both: Avenida Colon at Calle 60, in the Hotel Zone in Merida
Telephone for Peregrino: 999-942-1234 ask for the Christmas Dinner
Christmas Eve at Amuza
New Hyatt restaurant will be serving an eight course dinner. Drinks not included.
Price: $475 pesos per adult, $240 pesos per child
Hours: 7:00 PM to Midnite

Hotel Casa del Balam
Price: Call for more information
Location: Calle 60 x 57, Merida centro
Tel: (999) 924-8844 x 1702

Fiesta Americana Merida
Christmas at Cafe Montejo
Cafe Montejo will be serving an International buffet Christmas dinner on the 24th. Price includes IVA, and la propina (tip) but no drinks. 50% payment required for reservation.
Price: $625 pesos per adult, $280 pesos per child from 6 to 12. Children under 6 are free.
Hours: 7 PM to 11:30 AM
Location: Avenida Colon at Calle 60, in the Hotel Zone in Merida
Telephone: 942-1111

Soma Restaurante
Soma will be having a Christmas Day Lunch, with seatings at 11:30 AM or 2:00 PM. Reservations are required.
Price: $265 pesos per person
Location: Calle 21 #375 x 60 y 12, Frac. Malaga, Merida
Tel: 999-195-6474

Intercontinental Maria Mercedes Merida
Christmas with Family
An International buffet Christmas dinner on the 24th at the Gran Salon. Dance and dinner with live music and a special area for children. Price includes IVA, and la propina (tip) but no drinks. 50% payment required for reservation.
Price: $715 pesos per adult, $275 pesos per child from 5 to 10. Children under 5 are free. This includes dinner, dance, traditional toast and soft drinks.
Hours: 8 PM to 2:30 AM
Location: Avenida Colon at Calle 60, in the Hotel Zone in Merida
Telephone: 942-9000 Ext: 5400

Hacienda Xcanatun
A special Christmas Eve dinner will be served at their fabulous restaurant. Includes a four course dinner and a special dinner for children. Full payment in advance is required for a reservation. Service charge of 15 % and drinks not included.
Price: $720 pesos per adult, $250 pesos per child up to 11.
Location: Off of the road to Progreso in the town of Xcanatun
Telephone: 999-930-2140
Website: www.xcanatun.com

Rosas and Xocolate
An elegant five-course dinner will be served here. Dinner includes a complementary Christmas drink. All other drinks are a la carte. Live Chamber music from 9 PM to 11 PM.
Location: Paseo Montejo at Calle 41
Price: Call for prices
Telephone: 999-924-2992

Hotel Aluxes
Hotel Aluxes’ Christmas Eve dinner will be at the Popol-Vuh Salon and includes live music for dancing and an international buffet dinner. The price includes a Christmas toast, soft drinks and dinner, accompanied by a live musical group for dancing.
Price: $450 pesos per adult, $290 pesos per child 5-11 years. IVA and tip included. Additional $150 pesos for open bar, including national beer, brandy, rum, vodka and tequila.
Hours: 9 PM to 2 AM
Location: Corner of Calle 60 and Calle 49 in Merida centro
Reservations: Call 999-924-2199

Hotel Zamna
Traditional Christmas Dinner at Hotel Zamna on Thursday, December 25. This event includes a traditional five course Christmas dinner, which includes the complementary welcome drink of your choice and unlimited wine served with dinner.
Location: Hotel Zamna, Calle 53 #547, x 70 y 72, Barrio de Santiago, Merida Centro
Doors open at: 2:30 PM, Dinner served at 3:00 PM
Price: $350 pesos per guest. Please purchase tickets early as the event is limited to 30 guests. Tickets are available from the hotel reception and, due to catering timelines, are available only for purchase in advance.
Telephone: 999-924-0103

Valladolid: Xoco Loco Palapa at Casa Hamaca
Christmas Celebration
Santa will be visiting with gifts for the children following our dinner. Turkey, pork, pasta, and paper goods will be provided. Please bring something to share with our group. If possible, please prepare enough for 8-10 people. Thank you! We always need appetizers, side dishes, relish trays, and desserts. No outside beverages are allowed. Xoco Loco will be open for us to purchase drinks, profits from which help support the staff who will be working that day. There will be a silent auction to raise money for the Associacion Protectora de Animales de la Calle. If you would like to donate something for the auction, please be sure it is at Casa Hamaca by 3:30 P.M. on Christmas Day, so it can be on display throughout the social time when people will be making their bids. They are looking for anything you might not be using anymore and would like to see someone else enjoy! Homemade baked goods, candies, wine, whatever you have that you can live without! You can even wrap something up like a Christmas gift and we will bid on the unknown! All that is donated will help to raise money to provide food and services to the animals helped through APACCC.
Price: $625 pesos per adult, $280 pesos per child from 6 to 12. Children under 6 are free.
Hours: 3 PM to 5:30 PM, Drinks, Appetizers & Silent Auction. 5:30 PM Buffet Style Dinner.
Location: Casa Hamaca in Valladolid

New Year’s Eve at Hotels and Restaurants in Merida

Hyatt Regency
New Year’s Eve at Peregrina
New Years Eve celebration includes an international buffet dinner and live music. You can bring your own liquor and wine.
Price: $990 pesos per adult, $495 pesos per child, which includes IVA and tip.
Hours: 8:00 PM – 2:00 AM, Music from 9:30 PM to 1:45 AM

New Year’s Eve at the Regency Salons
New Years Eve celebration includes an international buffet dinner and live music. You can bring your own liquor and wine. This is the celebration everyone wants to attend! Kids club included.
Price: $1350 pesos per adult, $650 pesos per child, which includes IVA and tip.
Hours: 9:00 PM –4:00 AM, Live music and dancing from 9:30 PM to 2:45 AM

New Year’s Eve at Amuza
The New Years Eve celebration here includes a nine course dinner, drinks not included.
Price: $900pesos per adult, $450 pesos per child, which includes IVA and tip.
Hours: 7:00 PM –4:00 AM, Live music and dancing.

Location for both: Avenida Colon at Calle 60, in the Hotel Zone in Merida
Telephone for All: 999-942-12-34 ask for the New Year’s celebration.

Hotel Casa del Balam
Price: Call for more information.
Location: Calle 60 x 57, Merida centro
Telephone: (999) 924-8844 x 1703

Fiesta Americana
Candles and Lights
This will be a lavish affair in the Grand Salon of Hotel Fiesta Americana. International buffet, the traditional 12 grapes of midnight, national drinks are included and there will be entertainment by Montana, a great musical group. Full payment is required before the event. 20% discount on New Year’s brunch. IVA included.
Hours: 10:00 PM to 4:00 AM
Price: $1645 pesos per adult, $749 pesos per child 7-11
Location: Paseo de Montejo #451 x Avenida Colon, in the Hotel Zone in Merida
Telephone: 999-942-1123 or 942-1100
Email: banquetesfamd [at] posadas [dot] com

Hotel Aluxes – New Year’s Eve Dinner
Buffet dinner includes a glass of house wine, live music and a sparkling wine toast and 12 grapes at midnite. Open national bar and soft drinks. IVA and parking included. Dinner starts being served at 7 PM. The menu consists of four choices of salads and soups, main dishes (stuffed turkey, Pork with plum sauce, fish with shrimp, filet mignon, and chicken with cheese and herbs sauce). Desserts include Christmas chocolate cake, cheese cake, and others.
Price: IVA and service are included in the price of $750 pesos per adult and $390 pesos per child
Hours: Festivities start at 9:00 PM and end at 2:00 AM
Location: Calle 60 at Calle 49
Tel : 999-924-2199. Call for reservations and to put down a 50% deposit.

Holiday Inn
Call for details.
Location: Avenida Colon between Calle 60 and Paseo de Montejo, in the Hotel Zone in Merida
Telephone: 999-942-8800 ext. 609

LA68
Dancing and toasting under the stars at Merida’s most hip cultural center. $200 pesos per person includes a complimentary drink for a New Year’s toast. Find out more here.
Location: Calle 68 x 55, Merida centro
Telephone: 924-9540

Intercontinental Maria Mercedes Merida
London Style Party
An International buffet dinner with live music for dancing, and the traditional twelve grapes. Price includes IVA, and la propina (tip) but no drinks. 50% payment required for reservation. Parking included. Kids club available until 3:00 AM.
Price: $1100 pesos per adult.
Hours: 8 PM to 2:30 AM
Location: Avenida Colon at Calle 60, in the Hotel Zone in Merida
Telephone: 9429000 Ext: 5400

Hennessy’s Irish Bar
Join old and new friends for a champagne toast, a selection of appetizers including lobster bisques, raspberry salad and duck carpaccio, a main course (choose from prime rib, lamb curry or poached salmon) and marvelous desserts. Also, music and prizes… you know it will be fun! Call soon and make your reservations. Space is limited!
Price: $795 pesos
and additional $100 pesos to party with the crowd. This will give you a free drink.
Location: Paseo Montejo or Calle 56-A No. 486A x 41 y 43, across from the Archaeological Museum
Telephone: (999) 923-8993

Hacienda Xcanatun
Hacienda Xcanatun’s restaurant is having a special New Year’s Eve dinner. Enjoy a four-course dinner, sparkling wine and the traditional 12 grapes. There will be music, decorations and dancing as well!
Price: $1190 pesos plus 15% service per person. Full payment for reservations
Location: Off of the road to Progreso in the town of Xcanatun
Telephone: 999-930-2140

Trotter’s
Trotter’s will have a special four-course meal for New Year’s Eve. Call for more details.
Price: TBD. Drinks and service not included.
Location: Circuito Colonias, between Paseo de Montejo and Mega grocery store
Telephone: 999-927-2320 for reservations (50% deposit required)

Pancho’s
Pancho’s will have a special New Year’s Even dinner. Call for details or reservations.
Price: TBD. Drinks and service not included.
Location: Calle 59 x Calle 60 y 62, Merida centro
Telephone: 999-923-0942 (call after 6 PM) for reservations (50% deposit required)

La Tratto
La Tratto will have a special four-course meal.
Price: TBD. Drinks not included
Location: Prolongacion Montejo # 479 C between the Monumento a la Bandera in front of Centro Cultural Dante (the Dante Bookstore).
Telephone: 999-927-0434 for reservations (50% deposit required)

Bryan’s
Call for more information.
Price:TBD. Drinks and service not included
Location: Calle 20 # 116 x 5 y 7, Col. Montecristo
Tel: 999-927-0434 for reservations (50% deposit required)

Soma Restaurante
Soma will be having a New Year’s Day Brunch, from 11:30 AM to 3:00 PM. Chef Alberto will be serving special dishes, including Crabcakes Eggs Benedict, Tizimin Ribeye Steak & Eggs, Lobster Omelet, Soma’s Special French Toast with local honey & fresh berries, and much more. Reservations are required.
Price: Dishes cost between $89 and $200 pesos each.
Location: Calle 21 #375 x 60 y 12, Frac. Malaga, Merida
Tel: 999-195-6474

New Year’s Eve at La Barca in Chelem
You are invited to celebrate New Year’s Eve 2015 at La Barca Restaurant in Las Dunas Hotel in Chelem. Special dinner by reservation, New York New Year’s Eve Live on Big screen, midnight toast and one of the best bands to rock, Aneurisma is back! Reservations are recommended for the special dinner, but not required for the entertainment and celebration. Join the crowd for great drink specials and to enjoy live music.
Location: La Barca Restaurant in Las Dunas Hotel in Chelem
Time: Music begins at 9:30 PM
Admission: Please book your reservation online via La Barca’s inbox on Facebook

New Year’s Eve at Lizard Joe’s with Joe King Carrasco
You can’t have New Year’s Eve in Yucatan without Austin Music Hall of Famer Joe King Carrasco at Lizard Joe’s.
Location: Lizard Joe’s Beach Club in Chelem
Time: 8:00 PM to 2:00 AM

New Year’s Eve at Faces
New Year’s Eve with live music, an international buffet, a toast at midnight and a burning of the Old Man (traditional in Yucatan.) $375 pesos per person. Reservations required at 999-191-9510.
Location: Caras (Faces), Calle 23 #66 x 48 y 50, Progreso, Yucatan
Time: 8:00 PM to 2:00 AM

 

That’s everything we know right now! We will add in any new events we find out about when we know. We hope you all have a wonderful holiday season, and we look forward to more Yucatan Living in 2015!

By James Dayton Gunn, PhD

Editor’s Note: Since we first landed on the Yucatan Peninsula, we have been fascinated by its history. One visit to the Governor’s Palace with its magnificent murals by Fernando Castro Pacheco was all it took to fan the flames of that fascination. Just beneath the calm and tranquilo-seeming exterior of the Yucatan lies a tumultuous past. Jacinto Canek, after whom the Avenida Jacinto Canek that goes west from Merida’s centro is named, was one of Yucatan’s most amazing figures, rising as he did from relative obscurity to become a revolutionary leader. He made a name for himself that lives on to this day, and paid dearly for his subordinance. Guest writer James Gunn gives a glimpse into a book about Canek by a well-known Merida-born writer.

****

Yucatan-born Writer

Ermilo Abreu Gómez (Mérida, 1894 – México City, 1971) was a writer, university professor and literary critic. He had a particular interest in prehispanic and colonial times in Mexico, an interest that was Canek book by Merida author about Yucatan historic figureawakened in many writers with the social changes that occurred during and after the difficult years of the Mexican Civil War that lasted for a decade beginning in 1910.

Ermilo Abreu was a prolific writer, his works were varied and extended over most of this lifetime, but his best known work is a book called Canek, published in 1940.

Canek is a short book, only 75 pages long, about the life and brutal death of one of Yucatan’s most interesting historical characters, Jacinto Canek. It is written in poetic prose, in which a mix of allusion, metaphor, and imagination combine to develop the essence of who this 18th century Maya rebel leader was, or at least the person Ermilo Abreu imagines him to have been, and to memorialize a long-ago and long forgotten Maya rebellion.

The Story of Canek

The story develops using a series of very short vignettes, some as short as four sentences. The first half of the story describes a special and caring relationship between Jacinto Canek and a young boy named Guy, the nephew of the owner of the hacienda on which Jacinto Canek works.

…nobody loves him. He seems dumb. His family … have sent him to the country to get him out of the way. He’s so skinny, he says such things, such nonsense, that his presence annoys them. His siblings have started saying he’s not a member of the family. When Guy hears this his eyes water, but he says nothing.

At least one critic has claimed that Guy is really Ermilo Abreu himself. It is suggested that Guy is a sort of sad, poetic, autobiographical representation of the author as a young child. Whatever the case, Canek increasingly becomes the best friend and protector of Guy. The purpose of including this vignette, apparently, is to show Canek to be a sensitive, intelligent and caring Maya man, who befriends an outcast white boy. In that respect, the ploy is effective.

Jacinto Canek monument in MeridaThe second half of the book describes the reasons why Canek becomes the instigator and leader of a short-lived 18th century Maya rebellion against the white skinned oppressors who enslaved and brutalized the Maya people. It describes, too, the barbaric punishment he received from the white authorities after his capture. What it does not capture, perhaps, is what a larger-than-life figure Jacinto Canek became after his death. Since then he has been viewed as a martyr and a warrior of mythic proportions.

In his frequent musings in the book about the nature of life and of mankind, Canek notes that the Maya are satisfied with little but that the whites are greedy, they always want more. At one point he says

What is the difference that separates men from animals? Some say it is a soul. That is what people ruled by pride think. Some say it is reason. That is what philosophers think. But I think what separates men from animals is the faculty that the former have of repressing or eliminating appetite.

Fascinating History

As I read more of the many outstanding Yucatecan writers, I find repeatedly a return to the long and tragic history of the relationship between the white and the Maya population of the Yucatan Peninsula. Though I’ve been told by young Yucatecos that they hear little or nothing about these things in their schools, to this outsider who is trying to come to a better understanding of the thinking and culture of Ermilio Abreu Gomez statue in Merida Yucatanthis extraordinary place, it appears that there is a trauma under the surface and that terrible wounds and injustices from the past are not entirely forgotten, just as they are not in my own country of the United States.

****

Writer’s Note: translations to English are my own.

More about Jacinto Canek on Wikipedia

A little bit about Ermilio Abreu on Wikipedia in English and in Spanish.

A statue to author Ermilio Abreu is in Pensiones in Merida (Google map location here).

By Khaki Scott

School Holidays Begin Friday, December 19

When school lets out on Friday, there will be more than 590,000 children, teens, and college students out of school until Wednesday, January 7, 2015. They and their teachers will be getting steep discounts on everything from Christmas shopping to public transportation, so expect streets and stores to be busier than ever. And it doesn’t stop there. The students and their teachers are also getting discounts on national and international tours, so they are ready to see the world. We hope every student and every teacher has a safe and wonderful Christmas. Please drive carefully, especially in outlying areas where children often think of their street as a really great place to skate and/or play a game of soccer.

Visit the Zoos!

Children's Activities in Yucatan In 2014, Merida’s zoos had a population explosion and, now, there are over 100 new babies to see for over 40 different species. Included in the list are over 40 babies at El Centenario: ocelots, Bengal tigers, macaws, scarlet monkeys, Nile hippos, Capuchin monkeys, rufous-collared sparrows, and stunning guaiabero parrots. At Animaya, there are now over 60 babies less than a year old. They include: Barbary sheep, guanaco (a species of llama), spider monkeys, black neck antelope, European mouflon sheep (huge, curled horns), guar (the largest wild cow, native to India and South Asia), white tailed deer, deer that are actually all white, red deer, brocket deer, squirrels, antelope wildebeests (with white beards), emu, monkeys of several species, parrots and Tortuga jicotea (active both day and night).

Virtual Library of Yucatan Hits New Heights

The Virtual Library of Yucatan has been open since 2007. Since then, researchers have been allowed free access to over 500,000 scanned pages. At this point in time, the Virtual Library of Yucatan has 8,000 visitors per month, with access to over 20,000 books, documents, and audio/visual files that provide instant access to the history and culture of Yucatan. These are not ordinary files. They include books and manuscripts from as far back as the 16th century, as well as the work of at least 150 contemporary Maya writers. In addition, there are copies of the graduate and post-graduate work done by researchers housed in the Virtual Library of Yucatan. To date, over 400,000 visitors have used the library, many of them from Europe, and all totally free. Do pay a visit to the Virtual Library of Yucatan and see what marvelous documents, books, pamphlets, and videos they have available.

What Children’s Graves Tell Us

Over the past few years, as Merida remodeled older districts and constructed new ones, it seemed as if they were discovering a new archaeological site almost every month, and the rerouting of traffic created inconveniences that had everyone on edge. Today, of course, all inconveniences are forgotten and everyone is Yucatan is proud of the groundbreaking research that has taken place in Merida and was shared last week at the First “Ichkaantijo” Symposium of Maya Culture, held in the library of Yucatan’s branch of the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH). Who would ever have thought that, underneath a neighborhood in the city, there would be enough children’s graves to completely change our understanding of the degree of importance of children to societies? That is exactly what has happened in Fraccionamiento Los Heroes, now known in archaeological circles as Zona Oxmul. Babies were buried in urns, while older children were buried in a type of sarcophagus. In either case, the formerly neglected topic of the role of children in Mayan society is now being discussed for the first time. In addition, new methods of excavation and recovery of the remains of children has been developed, which will be of use around the world. This brings new meaning to the term “living history” in Yucatan.

Twelve Year Old Mayan Girl Wants to be Orchestra Conductor

Young Mayra Gabriela Medina Gonzalez wants to be an orchestra conductor and she is well on her way. Thus far, she has reached her goal of mastering three instruments (piano, saxophone, and clarinet), goes to a free form alternative school where she attends primary and secondary school at the same time (with stellar marks), and has spent two years training as a high performance athlete without neglecting her music or academic work. Assisted by the Jose Jacinto Cuevas Music Center, Mayra began with the piano at four years of age, then the saxophone at age seven, but then fell in love with the clarinet and has now dedicated herself to it. This past week, Merida’s Deputy to the State Congress was instrumental in seeing to it that Mayra received a new clarinet, something her family would find extremely difficult to afford. All eyes are on Mayra now, which is an odd thing to say because Mayra has flown through her twelve years of life, racking up one amazing accomplishment after another, and she is not only blind, but also a former victim of bullying. Will Mayra become the first female orchestra conductor from Yucatan? Our bet is on Mayra earning whatever she sets her mind to. How about you?

Two New Places to Shop Coming in Early 2015

For the shoppers among us, life is going to be better than ever in Merida in 2015. These are the new malls that are being built at break-neck speed:
(1) Costco: Construction is moving fast, but no opening date yet. Location: Next to Plaza Galerias, where the old henequen fabrics factory was. This will be a great shopping location for those who live at the beach and dread the drive all the way into the city.
(2) Plaza Aurea: two story mall with 21 stores. Location: at the entrance of Fraccionamiento Auria. It is designed to serve both the Aurea and Francisco de Montejo areas.
(3) There are also two new hotels already under construction: a Hampton Inn and a City Junior Hotel.

Mayan Language in Schools: Reading and Writing

With the Constitution being translated into Maya, this indigenous language is positioning itself to stand on equal footing with Spanish in Yucatan. Until now, the different dialects of the Mayan language have Photo courtesy of SIPSElargely been an oral tradition and almost impossible to teach in schools. With the recent standardization of Mayan grammar and spelling, courses in basic, intermediate and advanced Mayan will be compulsory in the schools of Yucatan, as are French and English now. Both reading and writing will be taught beginning in preschool. This is wonderful news and gives the next generation of Maya Yucatecos yet another tool with which to not only preserve their culture, but to meet the rest of the world on their own terms and with their own perspectives. We cannot, at times like this, forget the somber, young, East Texas plumber who, several years ago, informed us that “the Mayans are extinct.” Well, look out world, here they come! This next generation of Mayan children will not only out-write you, but will continue to beat you at chess as well. Our congratulations to every educator who has made this possible!

Need to See a Man about a Horse? Come to Yucatan!

Yucatan now has five new associations, incorporated and registered with Sagarpa, as being specialized in equine production, and every one of them has a membership of cattlemen! We have watched as these five groups of livestock producers spent almost the past decade moving past being just horse lovers to breeding and raising some of the finest horses we have seen. If you missed them at the municipal and state fairs, you really need to go looking for them next time you have an opportunity to do so. To add to the uniqueness of this occasion, the certification of these specialized horse breeders’ groups as associations is a first in all of Mexico. The five associations and their presidents are: Sucila: Isac Portillo Duarte, Uayma: Alejandro Ay Xooc, Buctzotz: Pedro Eduardo Castro Madera, Colonia Yucatan: Emir Perez Estrada, and Tizimin: Mario Alberto Romero Cervera. If you love horses, or know someone who does, spend some time in each of the municipalities listed above. One of them just might be where your expat dreams come true.

By Working Gringos

United States Mission in Mexico

Security Message for U.S. Citizens: Holiday Travel Precautions

LAST UPDATED: DECEMBER 19, 2014
The lone wolf attack in Sydney, Australia on December 15, 2014, resulting in the deaths of two hostages, is a reminder that U.S. citizens should be extra cautious, maintain a very high level of vigilance, and take appropriate steps to enhance their personal security.
This Travel Alert expires on March 19, 2015.

An analysis of past attacks and threat reporting strongly suggests a focus by terrorists not only on the targeting of U.S. government facilities but also on hotels, shopping areas, places of worship, and schools, among other targets, during or coinciding with this holiday period. ­U.S. citizens abroad should be mindful that terrorist groups and those inspired by them can pose unpredictable threats in public venues. U.S. citizens should remain alert to local conditions and for signs of danger.

December 12, 2014
With the approaching holiday season, the U.S. Embassy and Consulates in Mexico are receiving increasing reports of highway robberies and carjackings on popular transit routes into the interior of Mexico, including on toll roads (“cuotas”). Criminals are very aware that many travelers coming from the United States at this time of year are carrying gifts, often expensive electronic items and jewelry. The criminals monitor the highways to identify potential targets, and appear to be targeting individuals displaying valuable items or driving vehicles they believe likely to contain these items, including vehicles with U.S. license plates. Most criminal activity occurs after dark, currently between 6:00 P.M. and sunrise.

While U.S. citizens have, in the past, been murdered in highway robbery and carjacking incidents, in recent reports most victims who complied with robbers’ demands have reported that they were not physically harmed. In some cases, robbers have shot at vehicles that have attempted to flee. Robbers have used a variety of techniques, including roadblocks, bumping/moving vehicles to force them to stop, and running vehicles off the road at high speeds. While violent incidents can occur anywhere and at any time, they most frequently occur after dark and on isolated stretches of roads. To reduce risk when traveling by road, we strongly urge you to travel between cities throughout Mexico only during daylight hours, to avoid isolated roads, and to continue to use toll roads (“cuotas”) whenever possible.

The Government of Mexico’s Programa Paisano provides support to U.S. residents returning to Mexico for the holiday season, including providing security information. http://www.paisano.gob.mx/

The current Travel Warning for Mexico provides more specific information by Mexican state. Travelers traveling by road are urged to review the sections on each state they will transit, as well as their final destination.

Maintain a high level of vigilance and take appropriate steps to enhance your personal security.U.S. citizen victims of crime in Mexico are encouraged to report incidents to the police and to the nearest U.S. consular office.

We strongly recommend that U.S. citizens traveling to or residing in Mexico enroll in the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) at www.Travel.State.Gov. STEP enrollment gives you the latest security updates, and makes it easier for the U.S. embassy or nearest U.S. consulate to contact you in an emergency. If you don’t have Internet access, enroll directly with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.

Regularly monitor the State Department’s website, where you can find current Travel Warnings (including the Travel Warning for Mexico), Travel Alerts, and the Worldwide Caution. Read the Country Specific Information for Mexico. For additional information, refer to “A Safe Trip Abroad” on the State Department’s website.

Contact the U.S. embassy or consulate for up-to-date information on travel restrictions. You can also call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays). Follow us on Twitter and Facebook, and download our freeSmart Traveler iPhone App to have travel information at your fingertips.

Embassy
Mexico City: Paseo de la Reforma 305, Colonia Cuauhtemoc, telephone: +(52)(55) 5080-2000.

Consulates (with consular districts):
· Ciudad Juarez (Chihuahua): Paseo de la Victoria 3650, telephone. (011)(52)(656) 227-3000.
· Guadalajara (Nayarit, Jalisco, Aguas Calientes, and Colima): Progreso 175, telephone (011)(52)(333) 268-2100.
· Hermosillo (Sinaloa and the southern part of the state of Sonora): Avenida Monterrey 141, telephone (011)(52)(662) 289-3500.
· Matamoros (the southern part of Tamaulipas with the exception of the city of Tampico): Avenida Primera 2002, telephone (011)(52)(868) 812-4402.
· Merida (Campeche, Yucatan, and Quintana Roo): Calle 60 no. 338-K x 29 y 31, Col. Alcala Martin, Merida, Yucatan, Mexico 97050, telephone (011)(52)(999) 942-5700 or 202-250-3711 (U.S. number).
· Monterrey (Nuevo Leon, Durango, Zacatecas, San Luis Potosi, and the southern part of Coahuila):Prolongacion Ave. Alfonso Reyes No. 150, Col. Valle Poniente, Santa Catarina, Nuevo Leon, 66196, telephone (011)(52)(818) 047-3100.
· Nogales (the northern part of Sonora): Calle San Jose, Nogales, Sonora, telephone (011)(52)(631) 311-8150.
· Nuevo Laredo (the northern part of Coahuila and the northwestern part of Tamaulipas): Calle Allende 3330, Col. Jardin, telephone (011)(52)(867) 714-0512.
· Tijuana (Baja California Norte and Baja California Sur): Paseo de Las Culturas s/n Mesa de Otay, telephone (011) (52) (664) 977-2000.

Consular Agencies:
· Acapulco: Hotel Emporio, Costera Miguel Aleman 121 – Suite 14, telephone (011)(52)(744) 481-0100 or (011)(52)(744) 484-0300.
· Cancún: Blvd. Kukulcan Km 13 ZH Torre La Europea, Despacho 301 Cancun, Quintana Roo, Mexico C.P. 77500, telephone (011)(52)(998) 883-0272.
· Los Cabos: Las Tiendas de Palmilla Local B221, Carretera Transpeninsular Km. 27.5, San José del Cabo, BCS, Mexico 23406 telephone, (624) 143-3566 Fax: (624) 143-6750.
· Mazatlán: Playa Gaviotas #202, Zona Dorada, telephone (011)(52)(669) 916-5889.
· Oaxaca: Macedonio Alcalá no. 407, interior 20, telephone (011)(52)(951) 514-3054, (011) (52)(951) 516-2853.
· Piedras Negras: Abasolo #211, Zona Centro, Piedras Negras, Coah., telephone, (011)(52)(878) 782-5586.
· Playa del Carmen: “The Palapa,” Calle 1 Sur, between Avenida 15 and Avenida 20, telephone (011)(52)(984) 873-0303 or 202-370-6708(a U.S. number).
· Puerto Vallarta: Paradise Plaza, Paseo de los Cocoteros #1, Local #4, Interior #17, Nuevo Vallarta, Nayarit, telephone (011)(52)(322) 222-0069.
· San Miguel de Allende: Centro Comercial La Luciernaga, Libramiento Manuel Zavala (Pepe KBZON), telephone (011)(52)(415) 152-2357.

By Khaki Scott

This Week… starting December 15, 2014

Yucatan Living NEW: Free Light Show at Chichen Itza: December 11 – 19
These Nights of Kukulcan light and sound shows will feature a huge ceiba on the side of the pyramid, and will artificially bring the Feathered Serpent down the side of the staircase. There will also be a representation of the ball game, as well as the underworld filled with skulls. The show is free without passes from December 11 – 19, and will continue to be free with passes from Ticketmaster after that.
Location: The Castle of Chichen Itza
Time: 7:00 PM and 9:00 PM
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Christmas in “La Plancha” December 12 – January 6
This is a wonderful, “Viva la Navidad!” celebration for the family and kids. It includes mechanical games, live shows and a Christmas Village.
Location: In the Old Train Station in Merida, Calle 43 x 48 y 46, Centro
Time: 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM, with special circus shows on December 25, January 1, and January 6 at 5:00 PM, 7:00 PM, and 9:00 PM.
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Merida Fest: The 473rd Anniversary of the City of Merida (January 6 – 27)
Every year, three weeks in January mark a huge celebration in honor of the birthday of the City of Merida. This event is called Merida Fest and is designed to bring together all of the people and cultures in Merida. We are blessed to enjoy one of the most peaceful big cities in the world, with one of the most complex populations. No matter the topic: food, music, ethnicity, age and even religion, Merida has it all and manages, without discrimination, to continue to celebrate our complex society as one of our greatest strengths. What that translates to, for visitors and residents alike, is three weeks of cultural events and entertainment that is found nowhere else. Stay with us here at Yucatan Living as we bring you the dazzling array of events that will take place during Merida Fest.

Yucatan Living Christmas and New Year’s Eve
The last two weeks of December and the first five days of January are relatively quiet in Yucatan, but the new year of almost non-stop festivals begins again on January 6 (Three Kings’ Day, aka Epiphany). So do keep watch on Yucatan Living’s Events pages to see what there is to do in Merida whenever you are here in 2015.

 

In The City

 

Monday (Lunes) December 15, 2014

Yucatan Living Violin Recital: Students of Edwin Schrip of Centro Cultural Wallis
This is one of the best schools, we think, in the world! This should be a great performance.
Location: Centro Cultural Jose Marti / Parque de las Americas, Garcia Gineres
Time: 7:00 PM Monday
Admission: Free

 

Tuesday (Martes) December 16, 2014

Yucatan Living Tuesday of Trova
This week the trio will keep traditional trova alive and fresh for yet another audience.
Location: Auditorium of the Olimpo, Calle 62 x 61
Time: 8:30 PM Tuesday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Movie: Much Ado About Nothing
(USA 2012) A modern retelling of Shakespeare’s classic comedy about two pairs of lovers with different takes on romance and a way with words. In English.
Location: Cairo Cinema, Calle 20 #98A x 15 y 17, Colonia Itzimná
Time: 9:00 PM Tuesday
Admission: Free

 

Wednesday (Miercoles) December 17, 2014

Yucatan Living Movie: The Last Movie
(USA 2013) A famous American filmmaker travels to the Yucatán to scout locations for his last movie. The Mayan Apocalypse intercedes. In Italian with Spanish subtitles.
Location: LA 68, Calle 68 at Calle 55, centro of Merida
Time: 5:00 PM Wednesday
Admission: $35 pesos, $15 pesos students

Yucatan Living Movie: Upstream Color
(2013 USA) A man and woman are drawn together, entangled in the life cycle of an ageless organism. Identity becomes an illusion as they struggle to assemble the loose fragments of wrecked lives. This movie premiered at Sundance, and was shown at South by Southwest. And now you can see it here! In English
Location: LA 68, Calle 68 at Calle 55, centro, Open Air Cinema
Time: 9:00 PM Wednesday
Admission: $35 pesos, $15 pesos students

 

Thursday (Jueves) December 18, 2014

Yucatan Living Movie: Twenty Feet From Stardom
(USA 2013) This is a tribute to the background singers, who are on stage, but are secondary compared to the famous singers they support. Their voices provide harmony to the best bands in popular music. In English.
Location: LA 68, Calle 68 at Calle 55, Centro
Time: 5:00 PM Thursday
Admission: $35 pesos, $15 pesos students

Yucatan Living Movie: Suspected
(UK 2010) A young man awakes to find himself facing a real life nightmare. Accused of murder, he must fight to prove his innocence. In English with Spanish subtitles.
Location: Videosala of the Olimpo, Calle 62 x 61
Time: 7:00 PM Thursday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living An Evening with Christopher Collins Lee and His Violin
Tonight, you will have the opportunity to hear one of the great violinists of our time perform and talk about his life, his violin, and the music he will perform. The evening begins in the restaurant and continues in the small hall where the ISQY normally performs. Christopher travels around the world performing, but he always returns to Merida. A great opportunity… don’t miss it!
Location: Hacienda Xcanatun, on the road to Progreso
Time: 7:30 PM Thursday
Admission: $850 pesos per person: includes wine, meal and concert.

Yucatan Living Valladolid English Library: Los Cholombianos – Mexican Street Style from Monterrey
Amanda Watkins spent four years traveling between London and Monterrey to document this cultural subgroup. Now, this London designer’s work has been published in a book (Cholombianos). This should be a very interesting lecture.
Location: Xoco Loco in Casa Hamaca, Valladolid
Time: 7:45 PM Thursday
Admission: $50 peso donation, with both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks available for purchase at Xoco Loco in Casa Hamaca.

Yucatan Living Classical Music by the Baroque Music Company and the Ars Musicum Ensemble
This is the last performance of this wonderful event.
Location: Cathedral of Merida
Time: 8:00 PM Thursday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Movie: Party Girl
(France 2014) An aging nightclub hostess decides to settle down and get married. In French with Spanish subtitles.
Location: LA 68, Calle 68 at Calle 55, Centro
Time: 9:00 PM Thursday
Admission: $35 pesos, $15 pesos students

Yucatan Living Movie: Festen
(Germany 1998) At Helge’s 60th birthday party, some unpleasant family truths are revealed. In English with Spanish subtitles.
Location: Cairo Cinema, Calle 20 #98A x 15 y 17, Colonia Itzimná
Time: 9:00 PM Thursday
Admission: Free

 

Friday (Viernes) December 19, 2014

Yucatan Living Movie: Halley
(Mexico 2012) Alberto is dead and can no longer hide it. Make-up and perfume can no longer conceal his quickly decomposing body. Dismayed, he decides to withdraw from the world. But before surrendering to his living death, Alberto forms an unusual friendship with Luly, the manager of the 24-hour gym where he works as a night guard. In Spanish.
Location: LA 68, Calle 68 at Calle 55, Centro
Time: 5:00 PM Friday
Admission: $35 pesos, $15 pesos students

Yucatan Living Lizard Joe’s Christmas Party
From Lizard Joe: “Join us for a night of glamour and dancing at Lizard Joes. We would like to thank everyone who has supported us this year. Please join us for an evening of romantic music, think Frank Sinatra and the Big Band Sound. There will be a special guest appearence from Naomi Murphy who will sing some wonderful songs from back in the day. So put on your glad rags, break out the bling and get ready to be razzled and dazzled at our special Christmas dance. Snacks provided, also Lizard Joes will be offering a special menu for the evening. This is a ticket only event. Tickets just 50 pesos each. They will be on sale from Casa Rosa, Lizard Joes, Denise Wittman Hanson Cindy Morrissey and Dany Hibner Ream also from Paws on the Beach Vet Center. Tickets on sale from 6th December. There will also be a silent auction and a raffle.”
Location: Calle 17-I 24 y 26 Chelem, Yucatan Gulf Coast
Phone: 999 18 18 756
Time: 6:00 PM Friday
Admission: $50 pesos

Yucatan Living Christmas Party at La Barca in Chelem
La Barca’s official Christmas Party is on December 19, featuring Los Twangs. They will also have a night of Jazz with the one and only Cony Ancona on December 26.
Location: Calle 21 # 1049, 97233 Chelem, YUC, Mexico
Time: 6:00 PM Friday
Admission: No Cover
Phone: +52 999 199 5314

Yucatan Living International String Quartet of Yucatan
This wonderful quartet continues its fourth season with music by Corelli, Purcell, Albinoni, Britten and Mozart.
Location: Hacienda Xcanatun, on the road to Progreso
Time: 8:00 PM Friday
Admission: Please call Hacienda Xcanatun to make a reservation: 930-2140.

Yucatan Living Movie: Remember
(UK 1993) Directed by John Herzfeld. In English.
Location: Videosala of the Olimpo, Calle 62 x 61
Time: 7:00 PM Friday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Movie: The Priest’s Children
(Serbia 2012) A young priest gets an idea to pierce condoms before they are sold in order to increase the birth rate of his island. In Serbian with Spanish subtitles.
Location: LA 68, Calle 68 at Calle 55, Centro, Open Air Cinema.
Time: 9:00 PM Friday
Admission: $35 pesos, $15 pesos students

Yucatan Living Movie: The Big Lebowski
(USA 1998) “The Dude” Lebowski, mistaken for a millionaire Lebowski, seeks restitution for his ruined rug and enlists his bowling buddies to help get it. In English.
Location: Cairo Cinema, Calle 20 #98A x 15 y 17, Colonia Itzimná
Time: 9:00 PM Friday
Admission: Free

 

Saturday (Sabado) December 20, 2014

Yucatan Living Merida English Library – Saturday Lecture Series
• December 20 (Winter Solstice): What are labyrinths, how are they used? Offsite; attendance limited to 15 persons. Make your reservations by calling the library.
• December 27: Christmas weekend. No program.
• January 3: New Year’s weekend. No program.
Location: Merida English Library, Calle 53 x 66 y 68
Time: 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM Saturday
Admission: free

Yucatan Living Movie: Cutie and the Boxer
(SA 2013) This candid New York love story explores the chaotic 40-year marriage of famed boxing painter Ushio Shinohara and his wife, Noriko. Anxious to shed her role as her overbearing husband’s assistant, Noriko finds an identity of her own. In English and Japanese with Spanish subtitles.
Location: LA 68, Calle 68 at Calle 55, Centro
Time: 5:00 PM Saturday
Admission: $35 pesos, $15 pesos students

Yucatan Living Movie: Tormented
(USA 2011) Plagued by a series of apocalyptic visions, a young husband and father questions whether to shelter his family from a coming storm, or from himself. In English with Spanish subtitles.
Location: Videosala of the Olimpo, Calle 62 x 61
Time: 7:00 PM Saturday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living International String Quartet of Yucatan
This wonderful quartet continues its fourth season with music by Corelli, Purcell, Albinoni, Britten and Mozart.
Location: Hacienda Xcanatun, on the road to Progreso
Time: 8:00 PM Saturday
Admission: Please call Xcanatun to make a reservation: 930-2140.

Yucatan Living Spectacular Folkloric Dance Event
This performance includes both the adult and youth folkloric ballet companies of the Ayuntamiento de Merida, as well as two groups from Estampas Mexicanas: Nuevo Leon and Chihuahua. It is the purpose of Estampas Mexicanas to make certain that every state in Mexico is able to enjoy the folkloric traditions of every other state. So look for a wonderful performance here tonight.
Location: Esplanade of the Cathedral
Time: 9:00 PM Saturday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Movie: Bad Hair
A nine-year-old boy’s preening obsession with straightening his hair elicits a tidal wave of homophobic panic in his hard-working mother. In Spanish with English subtitles.
Location: LA 68, Calle 68 at Calle 55, Centro
Time: 9:00 PM Saturday
Admission: $35 pesos, $15 pesos students

Yucatan Living Movie: Pulp Fiction
(USA 1994) The lives of two mob hit men, a boxer, a gangster’s wife, and a pair of diner bandits intertwine in four tales of violence and redemption. In English.
Location: Cairo Cinema, Calle 20 #98A x 15 y 17, Colonia Itzimná
Time: 9:00 PM Saturday
Admission: Free

Sunday (Domingo), December 21, 2014

Yucatan Living Documentary about Nature
Great documentaries, specially for children. In Spanish.
Location: Museo de Historia Natural, Next to the Zoo on Calle 59.
Time: 12:00 PM Sunday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Note: BiciRuta Montejo Route Temporarily Suspended. December 7 – January 11
All other BiciRuta routes will function as usual. Check here for more information.

Yucatan Living December Gypsy Market
This could be the biggest Gypsy Market yet. It is being held in conjunction with Natural Thangs Garden Center, just 100 meters further west. Food will be served at either venue, Anita’s German sausage and Pablo’s famous breakfast burritos to name but two. Artists and artisans from everywhere will be there, as well as bazaar items to be sold to aid local charities.
Location: Graciela’s Secret Garden, midway between Chelem and Chuburna.
Time: 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM Sunday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Movie: Masculine-Femenine
(France 1966) Paul is young, just demobbed from national service in the French Army, and dishillusioned with civilian life. As his girlfriend builds herself a career as a pop singer, Paul becomes more isolated from his friends and peers (‘the children of Marx and Coca Cola’, as the credits announce) and their social and emotional politics. In English.
Location: Cairo Cinema, Calle 20 #98A x 15 y 17, Colonia Itzimná
Time: 9:00 PM Sunday
Admission: Free

 

Monday (Lunes) December 22, 2014

Yucatan Living International Women’s Club: Gorro Girls Knitting & Crocheting “bee”
Dates: Second and Fourth Mondays
This group makes caps for the Cancer Kids of Hospital O’Horan. Knitting and crocheting instruction is available from members.
Location: Merida English Library (MEL) patio
Time: 10:00 AM Mondays
Admission: Free

 

Coming Soon

Yucatan Living Yucadanz: Monthly Contra Dance in Merida – First Dance: Saturday, January 10
When is a square dance not square? You’re just going to love this new dance in town. Contra dance is a community “barn dance”, where everyone socializes and dances with everyone else. We love their energy and hope that everyone will give contra dance a whirl. Everyone is welcome!
Location: Tumaka’t Dance Studio, Calle 51 #475-A x 52 y 54 (blue building, middle of block), Centro
Time: Beginner Class in Spanish: 7:00 PM, Beginner Class in English: 7:30 PM, Contra dance: 8:00 PM – 10:30 PM
Admission: Bring your own refreshments and water, no alcohol at the dance. $50-$100 pesos donation requested. Proceeds benefit Tumaka’t, a nonprofit arts group, and to establish a fund for live music. Read this great page on the Yucadanz website!
Additional Dates:
Saturday, February 14, 2015
Saturday, March 14, 2015
Saturday, April 11, 2015

Yucatan Living International Open Chess Tournament “GM Carlos Torre Repetto” In Memoriam XXVI edition
This big chess tournament will be held from 18 to 22 December 2014, with the support of various institutions, including the Board of Carlos Torre Repetto GM Chess, Chess Players Association of the State, the State Government of Yucatan, Municipal Government of Merida, the National Chess Federation of Mexico, AC and various private companies. Not sure yet about location. More at their website here.

Yucatan Living “My Sister’s Closet” 5th Annual Fashion Show: At the Hop – January 29
The Fashion Show Committee needs your gently used summer clothing for the Boutique. Even one outfit will help! Little by little we “fill the closet” from which we choose the 36 model outfits, selling the rest to the 180 women who attend. If you have clothing to donate, please contact these wonderful volunteers: Chelem: Frances Cummings cummings_fh [at] yahoo [dot] ca, Chuburna: Chris Parkin ucatanchris [at] gmail [dot] com, Progreso: Diane Clinton dminerdc [at] gmail [dot] com, Chicxulub: Karen Cloutier klcloutier [at] hotmail [dot] com. Without this clothing, the event, in support of El Programa de Apoyo Escolar de Chuburná Puerto, would not happen. Thanks on behalf of the students and their families!
Location: TBA
Time: TBA
Admission: TBA

Yucatan Living Merida English Library Saturday Lecture Series: October – March
• January 10: Popol Vuh – the Maya creation story and more. Miguel Angel Vergara.
• January 17: Writers’ Workshop. John Gray.
• January 24: The history of the Yucatan-Cuba connection. Peter Johnson.
• January 31: Mexican history: A hero and a villain: Juarez and Diaz. George Ashley.
• February 7: Eldercare Choices in the US. Catherine Hawes & Charles Phillips.
• February 14: Valentine’s Day & Carnival weekend. No program.
• February 21: MEL Artist Studio Tour. No lecture.
• February 28: Mexican wines – discussion and limited tasting. Elliot Diaz. Attendance limited. Admission 100 pesos.
• March 7: TBA
• March 14: TBA
Location: Merida English Library
Time: 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Admission: Most lectures are free, some have a nominal fee

Yucatan Living CHILI COOK OFF UPDATE Date: January 25
Invitation from MEL: Dust off your greatest Chili Recipe and sign up for the Premier Event of the Year when the competition is on for the Chili Cooking Crown at MEL’s Annual Chili Cook Off – 2015 Edition.
The event will take place on January 25, Sunday, 1 – 4 PM. Lots more details to come but don’t delay, Chili Chefs should register now to ensure your spot in the cook off. Competition is brisk! If you have a big pot and a good recipe, please sign up at the library or contact us at: MELchilicookoff [at] gmail [dot] com. Now’s your chance to show off your chefability. Also, HELP NEEDED! They also need about 15 people to be general volunteers the day of the event — setting up tables, selling beverages and helping keep things tidy. Go to www.meridaenglishlibrary.com to volunteer.

Yucatan Living Benefit Concert for educate Yucatan, A.C.: Steve Katz – January 29
Steve Katz is a founding member of Blood, Sweat & Tears, and a member of the original Blues Project. We hope you will be there for an acoustic evening of story and song.
Location: Teatro Felipe Carrillo Puerto, Calle 60 x 59 y 57, Merida
Time: 7:00 PM
Admission: Donation of $250 pesos
Tickets: Available at www.educateyucatan.org and at cells: 999 995-3769 & 999 260-1922

Yucatan LivingVI Full Moon Jazz Festival – February 15
This event is the major fundraiser for Telchac Education. This program continues to sponsor children in school in the Telchac area and they are thriving. Three fabulous bands, dancing, the food court and full bar await you on the beach. Many thanks to all of the sponsors and to everyone who participates in this Jazz Festival.
Location: Villas Wayak, km 25.5 Progreso – Telchac Road
Time: 4:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Admission: Free but please come prepared to purchase food and drinks, and to maybe make a donation and/or sponsor a child in the Telchac Education Program.

Have an event you want to promote? Email us at info [at] yucatanliving [dot] com and we’ll be happy to list it in our Events listing and our Month-at-a-Glance Calendar!

By Khaki Scott

This Week… starting December 08, 2014

National Día de la Virgen de Guadalupe: December 12
This is one of the biggest fiestas of the year in Mexico. You can see some of the activities in Merida in Yucatan Living’s Virgin of Guadalupe Video.

Christmas and New Year’s Eve
The last two weeks of December and the first five days of January are relatively quiet in Yucatan, but the new year of almost non-stop festivals begins again on January 6 (Three Kings’ Day, aka Epiphany). So do keep watch on Yucatan Living’s Events pages to see what there is to do in Merida whenever you are here.

 

In The City

 

Monday (Lunes) December 08, 2014

Yucatan Living No Events planned for today

 

Tuesday (Martes) December 09, 2014

Yucatan Living Tuesday of Trova
This week the trio will keep traditional trova alive and fresh for yet another audience.
Location: Auditorium of the Olimpo, Calle 62 x 61
Time: 8:30 PM Tuesday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Movie: The Passion of Joan of Arc
Director: Dreyer. Starring: Renee Jeanne Falconetti
Location: Centro Cultural Jose Marti / Parque de las Americas
Time: 8:00 PM
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Movie: Trazing Aleida
(Mexico 2008) During the 1970s, Mexico engaged in a “dirty war” against left-wing dissidents and suspected “subversives,” resulting in the arrest and “disappearance” of hundreds of its own citizens. In Spanish with English subtitles.
Location: Cairo Cinema, Calle 20 #98A x 15 y 17, Colonia Itzimná
Time: 9:00 PM Tuesday
Admission: Free

 

Wednesday (Miercoles) December 10, 2014

Yucatan Living Movie: The Great Beauty
(Italy 2013) Jep Gambardella has seduced his way through the lavish nightlife of Rome for decades, but after his 65th birthday and a shock from the past, Jep looks past the nightclubs and parties to find a timeless landscape of absurd, exquisite beauty. In Italian with Spanish subtitles.
Location: LA 68, Calle 68 at Calle 55, Centro
Time: 5:00 PM Wednesday
Admission: $35 pesos, $15 pesos students

Yucatan Living Movie: Twenty Feet From Stardom
(USA 2013) This is a tribute to the background singers, who are on stage, but are secondary compared to the famous singers they support. Their voices provide harmony to the best bands in popular music. In English
Location: LA 68, Calle 68 at Calle 55, Centro, Open Air Cinema
Time: 9:00 PM Wednesday
Admission: $35 pesos, $15 pesos students

 

Thursday (Jueves) December 11, 2014

Yucatan Living Movie: The Artist is Present
(USA 2012) A documentary that follows the Serbian performance artist as she prepares for a retrospective of her work at The Museum of Modern Art in New York. In English, with Spanish subtitles.
Location: LA 68, Calle 68 at Calle 55, Centro
Time: 5:00 PM Thursday
Admission: $35 pesos, $15 pesos students

Yucatan Living Movie: Around Midnight
(USA 1986) In ‘Round Midnight, real-life jazz legend Dexter Gordon brilliantly portrays the fictional tenor sax player Dale Turner, a musician slowly losing the battle with alcoholism, estranged from his family, and hanging on by a thread in the 1950′s New York jazz world. Dale gets an offer to play in Paris, where, like many other black American musicians at the time, he enjoys a respect for his humanity that is not based upon the color of his skin. A Parisian man who is obsessed with Turner’s music befriends him and attempts to save Turner from himself. In English with Spanish subtitles.
Location: Videosala of the Olimpo, Calle 62 x 61
Time: 7:00 PM Thursday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Classical Music by the Baroque Music Company and the Ars Musicum Ensemble
There are only two more performances of this wonderful event.
Location: Itzimna Church, Colonia Itzimna
Time: 8:00 PM Thursday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Movie: Free Radicals
(France 2012) Pip Chodorov his work as a pretext to talk about the great artists of underground film and video art, the context in which they lived and the works they left for posterity as the free radicals that they were. Probably in French with Spanish subtitles.
Location: LA 68, Calle 68 at Calle 55, Centro
Time: 9:00 PM Thursday
Admission: $35 pesos, $15 pesos students

Yucatan Living Movie: La Piedra Ausente
(Mexico 2013) Focusing on the removal and subsequent replications of a colossal pre-Hispanic rain deity taken from a small Mexican town to the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City, this film explores struggles over heritage and artifacts, contrasting diverse perspectives within the contemporary debate about cultural property and the stewardship of the past. In Spanish with English subtitles.
Location: Cairo Cinema, Calle 20 #98A x 15 y 17, Colonia Itzimná
Time: 9:00 PM Thursday
Admission: Free

 

Friday (Viernes) December 12, 2014

Yucatan Living Movie: The Priest’s Children
(Serbia 2012) A young priest gets an idea to pierce condoms before they are sold in order to increase the birth rate of his island. In Serbian with Spanish subtitles.
Location: LA 68, Calle 68 at Calle 55, Centro
Time: 5:00 PM Friday
Admission: $35 pesos, $15 pesos students

Yucatan Living National Día de la Virgen de Guadalupe
This is one of the biggest fiestas of the year in Mexico. You can read all about it and you can see some of the activities in Merida in Yucatan Living’s Virgin of Guadalupe Video.

Yucatan Living Movie: East of Eden
(USA 1955) In the Salinas Valley, in and around World War I, Cal Trask feels he must compete against overwhelming odds with his brother Aron for the love of their father Adam. Cal is frustrated at every turn, from his reaction to the war, to how to get ahead in business and in life, to how to relate to estranged mother. In English.
Location: Videosala of the Olimpo, Calle 62 x 61
Time: 7:00 PM Friday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Movie: Persecution
(France 2009) Daniel has problems with his girlfriend, which prioritizes his career before their relationship. In the midst of this, a strange starts to pursue Daniel and persevering with unhealthy obsession. In French with English subtitles.
Location: LA 68, Calle 68 at Calle 55, Centro, Open Air Cinema.
Time: 9:00 PM Friday
Admission: $35 pesos, $15 pesos students

Yucatan Living Movie: The Darjeeling Limited
(USA 2007) A year after their father’s funeral, three brothers travel across India by train in an attempt to bond with each other. In English.
Location: Cairo Cinema, Calle 20 #98A x 15 y 17, Colonia Itzimná
Time: 9:00 PM Friday
Admission: Free

 

Saturday (Sabado) December 13, 2014

Yucatan Living Merida English Library – Saturday Lecture Series
Justo Sierra O’Reilly – 19th century Yucatecan writer with James Gunn.
Location: Merida English Library, Calle 53 x 66 y 68
Time: 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM Saturday
Admission: free

Yucatan Living Movie: Klip
(Serbia 2012) Jasna is a beautiful teenager living in the poor southern suburbs of Belgrade. She likes to burn everything around with a mobile camera phone. She makes videos, friends, family and Djole – the boy of her dreams. Jasna’s father is battling a terminal illness and desperate mother, accompanies him throughout this terrible battle. In Serbian with Spanish subtitles.
Location: LA 68, Calle 68 at Calle 55, Centro
Time: 5:00 PM Saturday
Admission: $35 pesos, $15 pesos students

Yucatan Living Music and a Movie
Music: Musike Quartet: Juan Mendez (viola), Francisco Granados (cello), Mahonri Aban (Oboe), Christopher Canche (piano).
Movie: Faust (Germany 1926). Director: Friedrich W. Murnau.
Location: Centro de Artes Visuales, Calle 60 # 411 x 47 y 45, Centro Historico
Time: 7:00 PM
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Movie: The White Shadow
(USA 1924) In Paris a wild girl becomes possessed by the soul of her twin who died to save her life. In English with Spanish subtitles.
Admission: Free
Location: Videosala of the Olimpo, Calle 62 x 61
Time: 7:00 PM Thursday

Yucatan Living Movie: Morbido Film Fest
Marathon of Morbido movies.
Location: LA 68, Calle 68 at Calle 55, Centro
Time: 9:00 PM Saturday
Admission: $35 pesos, $15 pesos students

Yucatan Living Yucadanz: Monthly Contra Dance in Merida
When is a square dance not square? You’re just going to love this new dance in town. Contra dance is a community “barn dance”, where everyone socializes and dances with everyone else. We love their energy and hope that everyone will give contra dance a whirl. Everyone is welcome! Tumakat has beautiful wood floors that we want to protect, so please bring shoes with clean, soft soles to dance in, or dance in socks or bare foot.
Location: Tumakat Dance Studio (blue building, middle of block), Calle 51 #475-A x 52 y 54, Centro
Time: Beginner Class in Spanish: 7:00 PM, Beginner Class in English: 7:30 PM, Contra dance: 8:00 PM – 10:30 PM
Admission: Bring your own refreshments and water, no alcohol at the dance. Volunteers needed to help set up for the band and clean up when the dance is over. Read this great page on the Yucadanz website!

Yucatan Living Movie: Scott Pilgrim
(USA 2010) Scott Pilgrim must defeat his new girlfriend’s seven evil exes in order to win her heart.
Location: Cairo Cinema, Calle 20 #98A x 15 y 17, Colonia Itzimná
Time: 9:00 PM Sunday
Admission: Free

Sunday (Domingo), December 14, 2014

Yucatan Living Documentary about Nature: Volcanoes
Observe the cataclysmic events that result in what are both tragic and beneficial events on Earth. In Spanish.
Location: Museo de Historia Natural, Next to the Zoo on Calle 59.
Time: 12:00 PM Sunday
Admission: Free

Yucatan Living Movie: Senna
(USA 2010) A documentary on Brazilian Formula One racing driver Ayrton Senna, who won the F1 world championship three times before his death at age 34. In English.
Location: Cairo Cinema, Calle 20 #98A x 15 y 17, Colonia Itzimná
Time: 9:00 PM Sunday
Admission: Free

 

Monday (Lunes) December 15, 2014

Yucatan Living Violin Recital: Students of Edwin Schrip of Centro Cultural Wallis
This is one of the best schools, we think, in the world!
Location: Centro Cultural Jose Marti / Parque de las Americas
Time: 7:00 PM
Admission: Free

 

Coming Soon

Yucatan Living Yucadanz: Monthly Contra Dance in Merida – First Dance: Saturday, January 17
When is a square dance not square? You’re just going to love this new dance in town. Contra dance is a community “barn dance”, where everyone socializes and dances with everyone else. We love their energy and hope that everyone will give contra dance a whirl. Everyone is welcome!
Location: Tumaka’t Dance Studio, Calle 51 #475-A x 52 y 54 (blue building, middle of block), Centro
Time: Beginner Class in Spanish: 7:00 PM, Beginner Class in English: 7:30 PM, Contra dance: 8:00 PM – 10:30 PM
Admission: Bring your own refreshments and water, no alcohol at the dance. $50-$100 pesos donation requested. Proceeds benefit Tumaka’t, a nonprofit arts group, and to establish a fund for live music. Read this great page on the Yucadanz website!
Additional Dates:
Saturday, January 17, 2015
Saturday, February 14, 2015
Saturday, March 14, 2015
Saturday, April 11, 2015

Yucatan Living International Open Chess Tournament “GM Carlos Torre Repetto” In Memoriam XXVI edition
This big chess tournament will be held from 18 to 22 December 2014, with the support of various institutions, including the Board of Carlos Torre Repetto GM Chess, Chess Players Association of the State, the State Government of Yucatan, Municipal Government of Merida, the National Chess Federation of Mexico, AC and various private companies. Not sure yet about location. More at their website here.

Yucatan Living “My Sister’s Closet” 5th Annual Fashion Show: At the Hop – January 29
The Fashion Show Committee needs your gently used, summer clothing for the Boutique. Even one outfit will help Little by little we “fill the closet” from which we choose the 36 model outfits, selling the rest to the 180 women who attend. If you have clothing to donate please contact these wonderful volunteers: Chelem: Frances Cummings cummings_fh [at] yahoo [dot] ca, Chuburna: Chris Parkin ucatanchris [at] gmail [dot] com, Progreso: Diane Clinton dminerdc [at] gmail [dot] com, Chicxulub: Karen Cloutier klcloutier [at] hotmail [dot] com. Without this clothing, the event, in support of El Programa de Apoyo Escolar de Chuburná Puerto, would not happen. Thanks on behalf of the students and their families
Location: TBA
Time: TBA
Admission: TBA

Yucatan Living Merida English Library Saturday Lecture Series: October – March
• December 20 (Winter Solstice): What are labyrinths, how are they used? Offsite, attendance limited to 15 persons. Dan Karnes.
• December 27: Christmas weekend. No program.
• January 3: New Year’s weekend. No program.
• January 10: Popol Vuh – the Maya creation story and more. Miguel Angel Vergara.
• January 17: Writers’ Workshop. John Gray.
• January 24: The history of the Yucatan-Cuba connection. Peter Johnson.
• January 31: Mexican history: A hero and a villain: Juarez and Diaz. George Ashley.
• February 7: Eldercare Choices in the US. Catherine Hawes & Charles Phillips.
• February 14: Valentine’s Day & Carnival weekend. No program.
• February 21: MEL Artist Studio Tour. No lecture.
• February 28: Mexican wines – discussion and limited tasting. Elliot Diaz. Attendance limited. Admission 100 pesos.
• March 7: TBA
• March 14: TBA
Location: Merida English Library
Time: 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Admission: Most lectures are free, some have a nominal fee

Yucatan Living CHILI COOK OFF UPDATE Date: January 25
Invitation from MEL: Dust off your greatest Chili Recipe and sign up for the Premier Event of the Year when the competition is on for the Chili Cooking Crown at MEL’s Annual Chili Cook Off – 2015 Edition.
The event will take place on January 25, Sunday, 1 – 4 PM. Lots more details to come but don’t delay, Chili Chefs should register now to ensure your spot in the cook off. Competition is brisk! If you have a big pot and a good recipe, please sign up at the library or contact us at: MELchilicookoff [at] gmail [dot] com. Now’s your chance to show off your chefability. Also, HELP NEEDED! They also need about 15 people to be general volunteers the day of the event — setting up tables, selling beverages and helping keep things tidy. Go to www.meridaenglishlibrary.com to volunteer.

Yucatan Living “My Sister’s Closet” 5th Annual Fashion Show: At the Hop – January 29
The Fashion Show Committee needs your gently used, summer clothing for the Boutique. Even one outfit will help Little by little we “fill the closet” from which we choose the 36 model outfits, selling the rest to the 180 women who attend. If you have clothing to donate please contact these wonderful volunteers
Chelem: Frances Cummings cummings_fh [at] yahoo [dot] ca, Chuburna Chris Parkin yucatanchris [at] gmail [dot] com, Progreso: Diane Clinton dminerdc [at] gmail [dot] com and Chicxulub: Karen Cloutier klcloutier [at] hotmail [dot] com.
Without this clothing, the event, in support of El Programa de Apoyo Escolar de Chuburná Puerto, would not happen. Thanks on behalf of the students and their families
Location: TBA
Time: TBA
Admission: TBA

Yucatan Living Benefit Concert for educate Yucatan, A.C.: Steve Katz – January 29
Steve Katz is a founding member of Blood, Sweat & Tears, and a member of the original Blues Project. We hope you will be there for an acoustic evening of story and song.
Location: Teatro Felipe Carrillo Puerto
Time: 7:00 PM
Admission: Donation of $250 pesos
Tickets: Available at www.educateyucatan.org and at cells: 999 995-3769 & 999 260-1922

Yucatan LivingVI Full Moon Jazz Festival – February 15
This event is the major fundraiser for Telchac Education. This program continues to sponsor children in school in the Telchac area and they are thriving. Three fabulous bands, dancing, the food court and full bar await you on the beach. Many thanks to all of the sponsors and to everyone who participates in this Jazz Festival.
Location: Villas Wayak, km 25.5 Progreso – Telchac Road
Time: 4:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Admission: Free but please come prepared to purchase food and drinks, and to maybe make a donation and/or sponsor a child in the Telchac Education Program.

Have an event you want to promote? Email us at info [at] yucatanliving [dot] com and we’ll be happy to list it in our Events listing and our Month-at-a-Glance Calendar!

By Khaki Scott

Casa del Cultura in Tizimin

As a project of the itinerant art program of the MACAY, Merida’s contemporary art museum, a new Casa del Cultura has opened to promote art and culture in Tizimin. On Saturday December 6, the House of Tizimin Cultural Center in YucatanCulture “Tizimín Kah” opened. It houses the first cultural space that Macay AC Cultural Foundation has created through the itinerant art school and it is open to the public.

Xíimbalarte is the name of the program, and it has as its objectives to bring art to all corners of the state. Each cultural space will include a temporary exhibition room, a library and reading room.

The opening ceremony of “Tizimín Kah” was chaired by CP María del Rosario Diaz Gongora, Mayor of Tizimín and Licenciado Roger Metri Duarte, Secretary of Culture and Arts of Yucatan State, who were joined by other special guests.

Playa Del Carmen, Q.R. to have Snow!

Yes, Playa del Carmen is going to have a Christmas Fair (December 12 – January 16), and they are going to have snow and an ice slide, and a place to make snowmen. Rides will be free to all citizens of the municipality, and the area to make snowmen will be open and free to everyone. Yucatan has a sizeable community of expats from Canada and the Northern United States. We think it would be a fine idea if they head over to Playa del Carmen, build a snowman, and show us how it’s done. Photos as proof will be gleefully accepted and posted right here on Yucatan Living!

Rain of Falling Stars of the Virgin, December 6 – 19

The annual rain of meteorites of the Virgin should be visible in the night sky over the Yucatan Peninsula between December 6 and December 19, and will probably drop about 100 meteorites per hour. It is so much more romantic to claim that these shooting stars are in honor of the Virgin, or that Geminids (the twins) are shooting at Virgo, than it is to report that all of that wonder is just the dust and debris from a partially disintegrated meteor that comes around and falls on us every year about this time. They tell us that the best nights to see the Falling Stars of the Virgin will be between 7:00 PM and midnight on December 11 through 13. What a wonderful way to begin the Christmas Season!

Merida Hosts IV Mexican Tourism Convention

An amazing number of tourism boards, agencies, and representatives are in the city this week for the fourth annual strategic planning conference for all of Mexico. We have 47 international representatives, 31 national representatives, 112 representatives from individual tourism destinations, 26 directors of the Mexican Tourism Board, 46 representatives from the Mexican central offices of tourism, and three representatives of the Mexican Tourism Board itself. They will be planning the national and international strategy for tou