Yucatan News: Solar, Spiders & Summer
Municipal Palace Going Solar in Merida
The installation of solar panels is almost complete and within a few days, 20% of the electrical needs of the Municipal Palace of Merida will be met with solar power. This is a huge investment. They estimate it is a 20-year investment that will pay for itself in 13 years. We love that this project will save 30 tons of carbon dioxide per year from being released into the atmosphere, and the city will hopefully benefit from the savings as well. Yucatan is definitely not anymore a stranger to solar energy. These 400 photovoltaic cells will join the 500 already saving 50% of the electricity demand of Japay’s Altabrisa plant, and 1,200 photovoltaic panels being used by the private company, Botanas La Lupita, at its plant in Caucel. Little by little, Yucatan and its inhabitants are turning to solar and wind power. Back in the beginning of the 20th Century, Merida was powered heavily by windmills... so maybe there really is nothing new under the sun.
Join Class of 2016 School of Authentic Journalism
The Class of 2016 School of Authentic Journalism will be held July 4 through 7, in Mexico City. The language of record is Spanish, so attendees must be fluent in that language. The deadline for submitting an application is May 22, 2016, at 11:59 PM. There will be 20 applicants chosen for full scholarships. The school is an intensive four-day training and is open to writers, reporters, communicators, bloggers, artists, filmmakers, photographers, editors, radio conductors & producers, investigative journalists, community organizers and webmasters who communicate about social movements and want to do it more effectively. So if you are or know someone like that, be sure to apply! The world needs more independent journalists! Apply or learn more about it here.
MEL: Summer Is Here!
As many expats either head for home for the summer, or take off on tours around the world to escape the heat, a growing number are actually staying in Yucatan year-round. This makes the English libraries in Merida and Valladolid all the more important as core elements of their respective communities. The Summer Hours for the Merida English Library have been announced. They are:
- Monday – Saturday: 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM
- Monday Night: 6:30 PM to 9:00 PM
- Wednesday: 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Learn more about the Valladolid English Library on their Facebook page.
Valladolid: Another Word for Dynamic
Valladolid has been busy and it shows! In the first quarter of 2016, six new hotels have opened in Valladolid, with even more new restaurants and companies that support tourism activities. Business leaders lay responsibility for the roots of this dynamic success at the feet of State and Federal governments that have invested heavily in physical and cultural infrastructures, saying that light shows and video-mapping at sights such as Chichen Itza and the Convent of San Bernardino de Siena had a massive impact on improving tourism numbers overnight. Valladolid is conveniently located between Merida and Cancun, close to Chichen Itza, and is a center for international jewelry artisans, as well as home to some of the finest cattle and horses on this side of the globe.
Yucatan: Grow Baby Grow!
We are entering an era in Yucatan in which sons grow up to be very much taller than their fathers and almost all children outweigh their counterparts of just a few years ago. If we didn’t know before, we certainly do now: You are what you eat – and Yucatan’s children are living proof of that. Over the past few years, as Yucatan’s educational system has improved and as the entire population of the state has become involved in trying to create a better nutrition-based quality of life, children have been leaping forward in height and weight. Now, we know that this is due to a diet that is rich in a variety of meats and vegetables, as well as an environment that provides opportunity for different types of exercise.
Yucatan: The Economy
Numbers for last year are coming together in a picture that bodes well for the State of Yucatan. The overall economy of the state grew by 4%, 70% of the citizens were able to pay their taxes on time, and all of the state’s 2015 entrepreneurs were able to pay their taxes and other employee obligations. This success comes at a time when families in at least one nearby state are struggling just to put three meals a day on the table.
Home Health Comes to Merida
The newest health and wellness program in Merida is called Doctor On Call. It is part of the Home Medical Program that provides home health nurses (and doctors when necessary) for those who, for whatever reason, are unable to come in to clinics. Most of the patients who are expected to avail themselves of this service are those who are paralyzed, otherwise disabled, sick and/or bedridden. Disability issues, as well as situations of neglect or other lack of resources will also be addressed. Find out more from the original SIPSE article here.
Cuba: Violin Spider Risk
We certainly do not recommend living in a constant state of panic, convinced that some deadly bug is about to jump out and hurt you. However, in the tropics and subtropics, it is prudent to be aware of one’s surroundings, especially when in areas where either plants or animals are sometimes dangerous, if not deadly. This week, Mexico’s Ambassador to Cuba attended the funeral in Havana of a politician who died from the bite of a violin spider, more commonly known as a brown recluse. The next morning, the Ambassador woke up with blood on his arm, and discovered that he too had been bitten by a violin spider. Thankfully, Ambassador Enrique Martinez, former governor of Coahuila, was diagnosed and received treatment soon enough that he is expected to only suffer from small places of necropsy. Find out more about the spider here on Wikipedia, which is also found in many places in the southern USA.
CRIA Merida: Hostel for Male Adolescents “Trendy Bazaar”
Since 2007, CRIA has been home to boys who came there as victims of domestic violence, child abuse, family neglect, or who have dropped out, joined gangs, or found themselves alone after their parents went to jail. Some of the institutions that support this community include: Colegio Peninsular Rogers Hall, Universidad Marista, Fundación Bepensa, Hotel Hyatt Regency, Qdesk, Calvary Chapel, Kemix Quimica, La Parrilla and la Junta de Asistencia Privada del Estado de Yucatán. This Thursday, May 5, everyone is invited to the annual “Trendy Bazaar,” to be held at the Lebanese Club and whose proceeds go to support the hostel. The doors will open at 10:00 AM and at least 3,000 people are expected to attend. Please do come and help continue the good work that this organization does for all adolescents in need.
Shopping Just Got Better: Special Economic Zones: No VAT
Everyone who travels is familiar with no tax zones, and usually takes full advantage when traveling. Now, the Legislature in Mexico has approved Special Economic Zones that will have no Value Added Tax in Yucatan. There have already been such zones in operation in Veracruz, Oaxaca, Chiapas, Guerrero and Michoacan. These will continue. These special economic zones are placed strategically in poorer sections of a state and offer local artisans a way out of poverty.