Yucatan News: Maps, Votes and the Pope
Be Sure Your Vote is Counted in 2016
Voting in the 2016 United States Presidential election is something that is fundamental to the future of the country and, this time, every vote really does count more than ever before. If you live in Yucatan, or will be visiting during the voting periods back home, then you will need to visit the Federal Voting Assistance website. Be sure to read their FAQ page, as it speaks directly to the most frequently asked questions by expats.
Merida to Enforce Laws Against Dishonest Tour Operators
By now, everyone has heard about the Canadian tourists who were led to a shop in Merida's centro, where they were sold a sombrero for more than eight times its actual value. When the tourists complained to members of the Tourism Police, they immediately returned the tourists’ money to them. The City of Merida is well aware of the lasting power that negative incidents such as this can have on tourism as a whole. As it turns out, Merida has laws already in place to deal with these dishonest tour operators and, from now on, those laws will be enforced. If you or someone you know is put under pressure to follow a fast talking stranger to a store in the centro, that store may have inflated prices. Take your time when shopping, don’t allow yourself to be led by strangers, and go immediately to the next member of the Tourism Police you see if you feel you have been cheated. It has been a long time since anything like this has happened in Merida and everyone wants to see it stopped.
Dry Laws In Effect for Cancun Carnival
From February 6 through February 9, no alcohol can be sold from 2:00 PM until 1:00 AM within a one kilometer radius of the area where Cancun’s Carnival is held. This is only for the Cancun Carnival in the Municipality of Benito Juarez. Other carnivals in Quintana Roo are not affected. There are a lot of complaints from vendors, who make a significant portion of their annual income from Carnival alcohol sales, but this is also an excellent opportunity to see just how much of a difference in crime and injuries will result from the ban. We hope everyone goes to Carnival, wherever you are, and that you all have a wonderful time.
Merida’s Regional Military Hospital Expanding
The Hospital Militar Regional is located at Esquina (corner of) 90, Calle 61-A, centro, in Merida, just a block south of the Red Cross Cancer Hospital. Their latest great news is that the hospital is finally expanding to better serve the men and women who keep Mexico safe. For United States veterans, the last time we check on the different types of insurance available to you, we found that you may be covered in Mexico if you check in at a military hospital first. If they do not have what you need, they can then transfer you to the nearest hospitals with appropriate care. If you are interested in this type of coverage, call your health information center in the United States and ask for assistance, as we are certainly not experts on this topic. With this new expansion to the Regional Military Hospital in Merida, there will be new jobs, better services, and peace of mind for both Mexican and foreign patients who depend on them.
Knights of Columbus Invites New Generation
Many new and potential expats ask if there are local chapters of organizations that meet their interest. From Harley’s to community service, we can tell them that they are all here and more. This week, the Knights of Columbus Chapter 2109 (Don Francisco de Montejo) are holding an Open House on Thursday, February 11, from 7:00 PM to 11:00 PM, at Calle 14 #98 x 15 y 17 in Colonia Chuminopolis, next door to Casa de la Cristiandad. Those interested can phone (999) 200-8728 for more information. Although the Knights of Columbus is a religious organization, their main objective is to support vulnerable populations with programs such as the delivery of provisions, health campaigns, donating much-needed wheelchairs, support for hostel missions, and vocational support. Their social impact is staggering and young people would do well to become a part of this organization or any of the other well established community service organizations in the area.
Stronger Ties Between Michigan and Yucatan
While most Americans are busy watching the traveling political horror show, the business of business has continued to function quite well. Over the course of the past few years, Yucatan has developed closer import/export ties with the European Union, China and even Russia. Now, they have met with Michigan and the future continues to look brighter than ever. At the heart of these meetings are the local Chambers of Commerce that coordinate the strengths and weaknesses of each area and develop plans for moving forward together. As Detroit wins back its place in the automotive industry, Yucatan’s production of such things as electrical harnesses, air conditioners, and heat exchangers fits right in with their plans. This recent meeting will not be their last. The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, along with Wayne County, are preparing an agenda of what will turn out to be a very successful year for the relationship between Michigan and Yucatan. We can’t resist commenting on the fact that there is a growing expat community of folks from Michigan in Yucatan and we hope to see more as time goes on.
Zika Spread by Tourist
When the movements of a victim of zika in Mexico City were traced, it was determined that she had spent one day in Champoton, Campeche, traveled through Tabasco, six days in Telchac Puerto, Yucatan, and one day in Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz. Since she spent the most time in Telchac, officials are saying that this is probably where she contracted the disease. That is not necessarily scientific in its conclusion, and the federal authorities say it is not supported by any evidence of local transmission, so there is no need for panic in Telchac. It may be a long time before we can pin point the spread of zika with any degree of accuracy. The best thing to do is continue with all local efforts to get rid of any environment that provides breeding space for mosquitoes.
The Pope Comes to Mexico!
When Pope Francisco lands in Mexico, he will be greeted not only by adoring crowds in front of him, but by digital Internet citizens (netizens) throughout the nation. This is the first Pope who has had this level of social network coverage. Catholics throughout Mexico are encouraged to volunteer for a campaign of filling their social network outlets with messages of peace, justice, mercy, love and security. Look for the hashtag #PapaEnMex, as well as Twitter’s #ConElPapa. The ConElPapa hashtag network is extended to YouTube and Facebook, and linked to Instagram and Snapchat. The hope is that a global conversation will be generated by this visit of the most digital Pope ever. To honor the occasion, Twitter had developed several emoticons, as well as a logo with the face of Pope Francisco superimposed on the Mexican flag. This visit will make history and everyone is invited to watch as the events unfold.
Google Maps Bug is in Yucatan
Soon, it will be possible to virtually “drive” through Merida, Valladolid, Progreso, Uman and Muna on maps that have been recently updated. Maps of larger cities and capitals are updated at least once a year, with smaller cities and towns less often. The Google VW has a total of 11 cameras capturing 360 degree photos and three lasers determining the longitude, latitude and direction of the street. The mapping of Yucatan went on all during the month of January. After that, the data is sent to California for processing and will then be online within 15 to 20 days. Mark your calendars to start looking online for Merida, Valladolid, Progreso, Uman and Muna sometime after the 15th of February.
Lebanese Women’s Carnival Club Holds 40th Anniversary Dance
You would be amazed at the number of “all female” dance troops there are in Yucatan. Most are affiliated with women’s clubs from churches or large organizations. Once a year, groups of these troops come together and put on what can only be described as Las Vegas style performances. Members of the audience are all women and carnival costumes are encouraged. There will be a winning dance troop, as well as a Queen of the Dance. Plenty of police are on hand to keep the fellas away as they playfully attempt to see the show. Tickets and food are sold, with the money going to support the altruistic projects of the parent organization. If ever someone asks you to purchase a ticket to a Women’s Dance, grab it as quickly as you can. You will have a wonderful time and do some good for those who are less fortunate.