Yucatan News: Castro, Lobsters and Bees
Fidel Castro is Dead
There are not many people who have no opinion of Fidel Castro, but – love him or hate him – he was one of the men who contributed much to history. Today’s young people would do well to read a biography of Fidel Castro. Barely out of college, he and his young Cuban friends showed a level of bravery and courage that has rarely been seen, even in well-organized, mature governments. Those who disliked him are celebrating. Those who loved him are observing nine days of mourning; one for each decade of his life. History will judge whether he was right or wrong, but no one can deny his courage and love for his country and his people. Yucatan Living offers its deepest sympathy to his family and to those who loved him.
Growing Organ Donation Culture in Yucatan
There was a time, not so long ago, when organ donation was unheard of anywhere in Latin America. Today, Merida, Yucatan, is a Latin leader in changing perceptions that have now saved thousands of lives. New reports show that there are now 50,000 drivers in Yucatan who have checked the box on their driver’s licenses to be organ donors. Yucatan has always been a leader in medicine, science and technology and we are proud to see that our adopted state is leading the way in organ donation as well. If you have not yet checked the organ donation box on your driver’s license, no matter where you live, please consider doing so as soon as possible.
Weather Continues to be Wet and Cool
It often seems that there are no breaks between nortes in Yuctan anymore, and it is not surprising to see headlines advising Yucatecos to break out the hot chocolate because cold weather is on the way again. What makes this weather so deadly is the swing from below 70F at night to almost 90F in the day. Add wind and rain, and this is a recipe for respiratory diseases of all kinds. Hopefully, altruistic organizations will find a quick way to ensure that every child has a coat and that something is done, quickly, to help those who live in substandard housing stay warm. The first death of the year from influenza happened this past week in Merida. Children and the elderly are especially at risk for respiratory diseases and need attention as soon as possible.
Izamal Restaurant Wins Award
“Way out there” continues to become internationally well known in Yucatan. Such is certainly the case with Izamal. Now, the Kinich restaurant, in Izamal, has been chosen as one of the 120 best restaurants in Mexico and is listed as such by the influential Mexican Culinary Guide. Congratulations to owner Miriam Azcorra Rejon for this wonderful honor. We know there will be many more in the future.
4,200 Lobster Shelters Now on Yucatan Coast
Yes. In order to increase lobster production, 4,200 predator proof houses for lobsters have been placed on the coasts of San Felipe, Rio Lagardos, El Cuyo and Celestun. This is a project that was created by the lobster fishermen of Yucatan. Once the shelters were sunk, divers went down to see if anybody was interested in moving in. What they found brings new meaning to the term “immediate occupancy.” Evidently, the lobsters love their new homes and could hardly wait to move in. Yucatan’s lobster fishermen are now taking classes and attending symposiums on how to increase production. This is a “Well Done!” if ever there was one!
Kickstarter Funded Documentary: Maya vs Monsanto
Mexico has banned Monsanto’s transgenic corn, but Monsanto can still plant transgenic soybeans and wants to do so in Yucatan. After watching millions of bees die due to agrochemical pesticides from Monsanto, the Maya are not willing to risk one of the premier honey industries in the world on the off chance that the Maya bees will not be harmed. This has led to the making of a documentary that records the history of the fight the campesinos have waged in order to defend their territory. The Maya have learned the fine art of taking their grievances to court, so this is going to really be a documentary that ends with the Maya vs. Monsanto. This is Yucatan and there is no doubt that the Maya bees will be the clear winners.
Merida: Dengue Down 76.5% Over Last Year
What a difference a little cooperation and a shared purpose can make when the entire population of a municipality the size of Merida makes up its mind to deny a deadly mosquito a place to live and breed. That is exactly what has happened this year. Through the cleanup efforts of the people, supported by the current administration, the number of cases of dengue fever in Merida have declined 76.5%. That is absolute incentive to continue supporting these mass cleanups, and even to document the success for the benefit of other cities that might like to follow in Merida’s footsteps.
Yucatan Positioned for VIP Tourism
VIP tourists look for destinations where they can stay in unique colonial hotels and where access to culture and history is readily available. This past week, Hacienda Xcanatun received the award as the Best Historical Hotel in the Americas, promoted by the wo16 Historic Hotel Awards of Excellence. Xcanatun was built in 1789, first as a henequen hacienda and later as a hotel. It is equal in recognition to Switzerland’s Hotel Schweizehof Luzern, made famous by favorite guests Mark Twain and Winston Churchill.
Tourists Robbed in Progreso
A 32 year-old man, under the influence of drugs and alcohol, robbed a foreign couple in the tourist section of Progreso. The lady gave him the bag that held her purchases. Waiters in a nearby restaurant called 911 for them. The thief was captured before he got out of the tourist area of Progreso and all of the lady’s possessions were returned. Many thanks to the waiters who helped them and to the police, who were so quick to apprehend the criminal.
Yucatan’s Environmental Laws Have Teeth
Of course you can land your helicopter or your boat, without permission, on any of the islands on the Arrecife Alacranes, but there is a price to pay. The latest fine for landing a helicopter was $1,277,104.04 pesos. The latest fine for landing a boat there was $851,281.2 pesos. It might not have been so bad if both offenders had not been warned not to land. The Arrecife Alacranes is home to 116 bird species, 136 fish species, 24 species of sharks and 34 species of coral. To protect these valuable resources, only snorkeling and scuba diving, fishing and hiking are allowed. Please follow the environmental laws of Mexico.