Yucatan News: Turtles and Treasures
Seven Cultural Heritage Treasures of Merida
This past weekend, almost 60,000 people in Merida and online, let the International Bureau of Cultural Capitals and the Municipality of Merida know what they believe to be the seven most important cultural treasures of Merida. The winners are: the Cathedral, Casa de Montejo, Paseo Montejo, the Monumento a la Patria, the Dzibilchaltun Archaeological Zone, Teatro Peon Contreras, and the Haciendas. Runners up included: the MACAY (Museum of Contemporary Art), the Plaza Grande, the Central Building of UADY, Canton Palace, Parque de las Americas, Yucatecan Trova, the General Cemetery, and Paseo de las Animas, among others. This is all in preparation for Merida’s second reign as the Culture Capital of North America in the 21st century in 2017. Merida is getting a lot of well-deserved attention these days!
Summer at the Beach in Yucatan
When school lets out for the month-long summer vacation, much of Yucatan heads for the beach. This past weekend, police reported that 32 vehicles per minute drove into Progreso and fanned out along the beaches. In addition, visitors came by chartered bus. They also came by sea, as evidenced by a massive concentration of yachts at the marinas and even along the beaches between Chicxulub Puerto and Uaymitun. The local Progreso economy shot up 60% the first weekend and it looks like it will be more when this weekend’s tally comes in. If you decide to venture out into the crowds, please do be careful! But more importantly, have a great time!
Coin Scam: Do Not Make Change for Strangers
This scam seems to be taking place, for the moment, only in Merida’s centro. However, it is never a good idea to make change for strangers. Every summer there is some variant of this kind of scam, either in the city or at the beach. It is always best to keep your money to yourself. Be kind to strangers, but direct them elsewhere if the subject of money comes up. We can't tell you exactly how the scam works, but if you are a tourist or just look like one, you might be a target.
First Bike Path Comes to Merida
As Merida works toward modernizing some of the older parts of the city, bike paths are now being included in the plans. Soon, there will be over 22 km of bike paths available not only for those who travel daily by bicycle, but for those who ride for exercise. We are happy to hear this... bicycles can be an important part of keeping traffic to a dull roar in Merida. And they are a healthy way to get around in a city too! In the future, we hope this might lead to Merida being able to host national and international races, and will add even more to the prestige of the White City.
International Music Festival in Merida: Welcome Indonesia
Not everyone has gone to the beach! There are a few very special things going on in Merida and this music festival is one of them. The First Festival of Traditional and Contemporary Music “ Between Yesterday and Today” is being held in Merida from July 24 through August 14. There are workshops, concerts, and lectures, plus videos will be made of all of the activities. Indonesia is the guest country, and because of that, the events will include gamelan concerts and performances of Indonesia's special form of shadow puppet theater. We'll put the events in our Calendar of Events as we learn of them!
Turtle Predation Down in Yucatan
Semarnat reports that turtle predation is low in Yucatan and continuing to drop. This is wonderful news, especially when other places in the world continue to have a problem with this issue. Yucatan actually has the best answer for this problem we have seen anywhere. First: Yucatan has laws with teeth that bite hard. When Yucatan says to leave those turtle nests alone, they mean it! However, we think it is the second answer to this problem that is the best. For a number of years, newly hatched sea turtles have been released by Yucatan’s toddlers. This is the best way in the world to create the next generation of environmentalists. Yucatan has always listened to the children and tried to create the best future for them. In Yucatan, baby humans AND baby turtles benefit.
The Woodcarvers of Dzitya Online
The Asociación de Artesanos de Madera Torneada de Dzitya, AC, have worked with the HEC Business School at the University of Montreal, Canada, and the Institute of Technology in Yucatan to put their products online in Spanish, English and French. Their brand is now called Maya-Che, and they are active on Facebook and Instagram in Spanish, English and French as well. This project was created by a group of 20 undergraduate and graduate International Business and Marketing students. Yucatan’s young business graduates are making a name for themselves around the world and everyone is very proud of them. This one project is already making an economic difference in Dzitya. And while we are on the subject of Dzitya, the next Dzitya Fair starts Friday July 29th.
3D Tourism Coming Soon
Mexico’s INAH is planning on creating a virtual 3D museum that will include a copy of Chichen Itza. The idea is to use 3D technology to allow those who cannot travel to at least visit a local copy of some of the most famous archaeological sites in the world. This may be a better idea than anyone thinks. As increasing numbers of tourists create environmental damage to major tourism sites, 3D tourism may just be the ticket to save at least some of the world’s greatest treasures. We can't wait to see this!
Air Travel to Merida Up 40% in Four Years
We’ll bet that many expats remember when it was easier to drive to Merida than fly. Those days are gone now. The past four years have seen almost steady expansion of air routes to and from Merida. Places like Havana, Cuba and Milan, Italy seem as if they are right next door now. Now, there are even direct flights to Mexico City, Monterrey and Guadalajara, making travel to Merida within Mexico easier too. This has not only been good for tourism, but for business as well. The future continues to look brighter for everyone who lives in and does business with Yucatan.
Yucatan: Where the Jobs Are
The most amazing jobs numbers are coming out of the 2016 Employment Expo. First, it is predicted that 2016 will see 30,000 new jobs coming to Yucatan state and Yucatan is ready with an educated workforce and more on the way. At the present time, there are 4,000 online jobs being offered to Yucatecos and more than enough young computer professionals to fill those positions. Yucatan’s education, industry, and science juggernaut is one of the most amazing economic phenomena in the world right now and it is exciting to watch.