Yucatan News: 17 New Hotels
Armando Manzanero: Cultural Ambassador of Merida
Armando Manzanero has just been named the Honorary Ambassador of Merida, the 2017 American Capital of Culture, just one week after being honored with the Eligio Ancona Medal, which is the highest distinction bestowed by the State of Yucatan and UADY. Armando Manzanero is a composer, musician and singer who has written more than 400 songs, about 50 of which have achieved international fame. He also was presented with a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in the United States in 2014. His work has been performed by singers such as Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Elvis Presley, Paul Mauriat, Ray Conniff, Christina Aguilera, and many others. Armando Manzanero is truly one of Yucatan’s cultural treasures.
Merida to Get 17 New Luxury Hotels
The leader of Yucatan’s Mexican Chamber of Hotels, along with the Mayor of Merida, have just announced that Merida will have 17 new luxury hotels by the end of 2017, with a total of 14,500 new rooms. These hotels will vary in size from small boutique hotels in Merida's historic centro to large hotels in Altabrisa, one of which will include a supermarket and shopping plaza. This comes at a time when Merida will be getting several new hospitals, all of the universities are expanding, science, technology and industry are booming, a new convention center is being built, medical and environmental tourism are exploding and the new cultural venues are the stuff of dreams. Maybe the world really did begin again in 2012. It certainly feels like a new world in Yucatan! We are not sure if this is good news or bad news, but it certainly is news!
Yucatan’s New Organ Donation and Transplant Culture
Not only is Yucatan among the top organ donation and transplant states in Mexico, but Mexico is now among the top ten organ donation and transplant nations in the world. This high standing, worldwide, is due to wonderful Yucatecos such as Señor Miguel Alejandro Somohano Sosa and his widow, Emili Pinzón Cáceres. He was ill and the two of them had friends who needed transplants, so they had a long conversation about organ donation. When he passed away, his widow honored her husband’s wishes. To everyone’s surprise, counting the donation of his organs and tissues, Miguel Alejandro Somohano Sosa saved or significantly improved the lives of 102 people, and their families, throughout Mexico. Many thanks to Señor Miguel Alejandro Somohano Sosa and his widow, Emili Pinzón Cáceres; and to Yucatan and Mexico’s new culture of organ donation and transplantation.
AANY Exhibition at Currently at Altabrisa Mall
News from the new AANY Directora, Viridiana Lagunas, is that the next Arte A Mano will be December 2 – 4. However, the public is being treated to a preview exhibition called “Yo soy AANY” in Altabrisa Mall from September 20 – October 4. This event presents pieces by 15 artists as a preview to Arte A Mano in December. The goal of this preview is that more people will become interested in local art and artists.
Chicxulub Food Bank: Summer is Over
Summer is over and the Chicxulub Food Bank is back in full swing. It seems a little strange to call this organization “just” a food bank because it is so much more. There are programs that help to feed 55 families, but that isn’t all. There are educational support programs that range from providing school supplies to children to providing scholarships for college students. There is a program to help the nursing home and the senior citizens still living at home, and Christmas presents for every age. There is also a new School Psychology Program that is helping 4,400 students and their families in two states. As always, everyone wants to know what they can do to help. There are too many ways to list them all here, so we recommend spending a bit of time on the Chicxulub Food Bank website. There is something there for everyone.
What the Value of the Mexican Peso Means to Different Groups
As the exchange rate between pesos and dollars hovers around 20 pesos to one American dollar, there are winners and losers. American tourists, importers and investors are giddy with their increase in buying power. Ordinary Mexicans are not doing so well because their salaries do not increase as prices for goods and services continue to rise in Mexico. Not everyone in Mexico is feeling the pinch. Those who receive remittances from family members who are working in the United States are now able to purchase extras for the family and some are even able to purchase new homes. Everyone knows that this situation hinges on at least three factors: the price of oil, what happens in the Federal Reserve meeting this week, and the outcome of the United States’ election in November. No matter which group you fall into, the exchange rate between the peso and the dollar has implications for you, so watch and consider carefully before you make any financial decisions.
Federal Budget Cuts Filter Down to ISSSTE Hospital in Merida
Cuts in federal spending have begun to filter down to cuts in the budgets of federal institutions, such as ISSSTE regional hospitals, including the one in Merida. In the past, if there was a shortage of doctors, nurses, or orderlies, for whatever reason, the hospital simply called in temporary replacements. Now, everyone works a full shift with little, if any, time off and there is no budget at all for temporary replacements. Thankfully, this situation does not exist in the private hospitals in Merida. Many expats are retired from medicine and allied medical professions, so they completely understand the stress of these temporary budget cuts and hope for a quick solution to this issue.
Yucatan: Capital of Private Investment in Southeastern Mexico
Over the past three years, local and foreign companies have invested 10 billion pesos in Yucatan. That works out to approximately nine million pesos per day flowing into the economy and future of the state. The scope of these investments are far ranging, including a brewery, shopping malls, urban development projects, supermarkets, hotels and hospitals. It is always good to hear that infrastructure and social peace are important characteristics of Yucatan that attract both domestic and foreign investors to the state. Yucatan now has every attribute necessary to function successfully in the international business community at every level. This kind of activity may well insulate Yucatecos from any number of global problems. We certainly hope so.
Profepa Temporarily Closes Real Estate Development in Komchem
For the past six years, providing an environmental impact statement to the Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources (Semarnat) in most, if not all of Yucatan. If this is not done or if the environmental impact statement is not approved, then Profepa (the Federal Attorney for Environmental Protection) comes calling. The project is closed, either temporarily or permanently, hefty fines are assessed, and jail time may be involved as well. This past week, the real estate development “Yucatan Polo Club,” located in Komchem, was shut down, at least temporarily, because of land use changes on forest land and dredging in a national body of water without the authorization of an environmental impact statement. This was no small project and included the total removal of forest vegetation in 130,350 square meters. This is not an uncommon incident. We cannot stress enough that the investor is responsible for all penalties associated with their project and these could be considerable.
First Nature Tourism Expo in Merida Benefits 24 Municipalities in Yucatan
The first Yucatan Nature Tourism Expo held in Merida was attended by tourism representatives from Yucaan, Veracruz, Chiapas, Oaxaca, Campeche and Quintana Roo. The Governor of Yucatan presented 24 municipalities in Yucatan with certificates that will fund the development of nature tourism projects in their areas. The cenotes of Yucatan are no small natural resource, with nearly 2,000 visitors per month visiting those that have already been rehabilitated. Jobs created are in the areas of hosting services, restaurants, and swimming or touring in the cenotes. With domestic and international tourism on the rise, this is a tourism sector that Yucatan has no intention of passing by.