Yucatan News: Maya Food and Cow Computers
First Encounter of Maya World Traditional Cooking
Once a year, as part of a cultural exchange, traditional Maya chefs take Yucatan’s food to Germany. This time, they are keeping it at home and inviting cooks from all five nations (Mexico, Belize, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras) and the five Mexican states (Yucatan, Quintana Roo, Campeche, Chiapas, and Tabasco) that have the greatest numbers of Maya. With no fewer than 60 chefs on hand, plus 15 craftsmen, between February 4th and 7th, this new annual event will help support tourism for the State of Yucatan, as well as help strengthen cultural ties throughout the Mundo Maya.
The meeting, to be held in the Yucatán Siglo XXI Convention Centre, will be moderated by Lourdes Pina Soria. The program includes academic activities, among others.
And speaking of cooking, Rick Bayless was back in Yucatan these last weeks, filming his next season which will entirely center around food in the Yucatan. Follow him on Twitter... he's been talking about Roberto Solis at Nectar, David Sterling from Los Dos and more!
Rheumatoid Arthritis Congress To Be Held in Merida
Yucatan holds the dubious honor of being the state with the highest incidence, worldwide, of rheumatoid arthritis. The last six months of 2015 gave researchers the opportunity to document the effect of chikungunya on patients with rheumatoid arthritis in the population of Yucatan. Findings will be presented at this International Congress that will be held February 10 – 14, 2016. Although Yucatan has a high incidence of rheumatoid arthritis, the state also has a shortage of rheumatologists. This Congress will begin with a “pre-Congress” course designed to bring physicians up to speed on epidemiology issues and rheumatic diseases in Yucatan, rheumatoid arthritis, the use and abuse of anti-inflammatory medications, vascular risks involved in rheumatic diseases, extra-articular rheumatism, rheumatic manifestations and emerging diseases. The topic of the effects of chikungunya on rheumatoid arthritis will be covered, along with much more, in the conference itself. The full conference program is available on the Mexican College of Rheumatology website. www.reumatologia.org.mx Those interested can obtain more information by calling: (999) 458-7429.
Local group, Oasis de San Juan A.C., cares for adults and children that are victims of HIV and AIDS. On Saturday January 16, children (and also adults) from Oasis spent a memorable morning at Centro Cultural la Cúpula. They played, learned and they made art! Abril, age 14, was the winner of an art contest, taking home a fabulous book of sculptures by Kimiko Yoshida, whose show is open at La Cúpula until January 31st. Carlos Mendez, the director of Oasis, says that the kids loved the Japanese art and the artist's personal story made a big impact on them.
On Sunday January 17, Patron of Oasis Frank Walton treated the Oasis kids to a plane ride in his private plane. The kids did not know where they were going when they left Oasis…they thought they were going to the zoo! Imagine their faces when they realized what was really happening; they had never been in an airplane before. They flew over Merida, Conkal (they could see Oasis from the air), Telchac Puerto, Chicxulub, Progreso, and Chelem. Angel, age 13, said, "When I die, I want to come back as a bird!" Afterwards they went with Frank and his co-pilot Juanito, as well as John Devine and Rick Murphy who treated them to lunch at Johnny Rockets airport diner. Deluxe burgers for everyone! Later they celebrated Petrona's 3rd birthday with a cake and festivities donated by Sean Hennessy. What a weekend!
For more info, you might enjoy this excellent article about Oasis , written by Mary Durran, who divides her time between Montreal, Telchac Puerto, and the countries she visits as part of her work with an international aid organization.
Natasha Paloma has passed away. She was a beloved member of the community in Chicxulub and Progreso. Many, if not most, expats at the beach had their way smoothed by Natasha’s advice, friendship and great food. Her friends throughout the community came together to remember her life and her great contributions to the community. A religious ceremony will be held at 7:00 PM on January 25th in Immaculate Conception Church in Progreso to pray for her eternal rest. Our deepest sympathy to Lupe, and to her family and friends as they move forward into life without Natasha.
Poverty Level Decreasing in Yucatan
In 2012, poverty in Yucatan affected 48.9% of the population. By 2014, poverty levels had fallen to 45.9%. Plus, the three levels of government (local, state and federal) shared the expense of providing the poor with ecological stoves, ecological toilets, backyard birds, gardens and fruit trees. This is in addition to help with school supplies, uniforms and shoes for school children. The government also made loans to the poor, 80% of which have already been repaid. Dining halls have been built in 25 neighborhoods in Merida, where they are especially needed for children and the elderly. Yucatan is now number one in the nation for reducing the number of people who lack access to food. All of these improvements are dedicated to improving the infrastructure of the home and, with that, the quality of life for almost a million people. Since 2014, poverty levels have continued to drop and it will be interesting to see the outcomes of the next set of official figures.
Exchange Rate Hits Free Zone Prices
Yucatan, Quintana Roo and Belize all do a booming business around Valentine’s Day, as well as during Carnival. The Free Zone in Corozal, Belize, at the border between Belize and Quintana Roo, has traditionally been the place to find high quality merchandise at rock bottom prices – until the dollar began to sell at greater and greater numbers of pesos. Now, with the dollar selling for 18.77 pesos, merchants in the Free Zone have had to raise prices so they can be assured of being able to replace their merchandise. This also hurts families because most visitors come for family clothing and household items. Merchants are currently on a wait and see watch, but are seeing sales drop to the point of worrying about their future.
Yucatan Now in Second Place in Manufacturing
The states with the highest levels of manufacturing growth in Mexico are Guanajuato (12.9%), Yucatan (11.2%), Colima (10.5%), Baja California (10.2%) and Tlaxcala (10.1%). With Guanajuato the only fully industrialized state in Mexico, these figures have even more meaning for the growth of this sector in Yucatan. Most of the 2015 manufacturing numbers came in the first nine months of the year as business and industry moved into Yucatan and opened their doors for business. Since then, Yucatan’s manufacturing industry has continued to flourish, providing jobs and an improved standard of living for a significant part of the population. This could not have happened if Yucatecos had not been willing to take advantage of educational opportunities that prepared them for work in the manufacturing sector. With more resources allocated to technical education, the future looks brighter than ever in Yucatan.
Exporting: Livestock Computerized
A total of 18 computer centers have been put in place, around the State of Yucatan, to facilitate the logistics of moving cattle so that the needs of exporters are met. With all herds in the state entered into the computer, it has, technically, created one state-wide herd that makes it possible to quickly identify the location of animals and get them on the road to the proper ships. The system is also capable of identifying any areas in which there is sickness in the herds and keeping those animals out of the line for exportation. With the additional connection, via the Internet, to the central bank, all areas of the exporting process are covered and Yucatan’s position as a major livestock exporter is guaranteed.
Merida’s Transplant Hospitals
There are three hospitals in Merida that have excelled, on a national level, in organ transplanting. Agustin O’Horan General Hospital leads the state grants and promotes other transplant programs by supporting and designating bodies or tissues. This hospital is the only one in the state that performs pediatric renal transplants. The High Specialty Medical Unit of IMSS does adult kidney transplants and has done so for over 27 years. Finally, the Medical Center of the Americas (CMA) is the only hospital licensed to do liver transplants in Yucatan. Thus far, 100% of their surgeries have been successful. These hospitals also support the needs of transplant hospitals in other states by being part of the network that sends donated organs where they are needed. This success is the culmination of a long road that involved cultural changes, as well as legal changes. All of the people of Yucatan can take pride in the outcome.
Cancun: 10% of Hotels Uninsured
Ten percent of the hotel rooms in Cancun are either uninsured or under-insured. Most have liability insurance, in case of injury or loss, but they do not have catastrophic insurance, such as is necessary to handle damage by a hurricane. These hotels are taking a chance that either they will not be hit by a hurricane or flood, or that they can handle the cost of repairs themselves. Little by little, the concept of carrying full coverage is being brought in by the insurance industry, but Cancun isn’t there quite yet.
Chicxulub Food Bank
The Chicxulub Food Bank is far more than its name implies. Yes, they do feed quite a few families in the Chicxulub area, but they also volunteer and do maintenance at the local nursing home, and they teach English too. Their mission for service to the community expands and diversifies all the time. Please visit the Chicxulub Food Bank website to learn more about this wonderful organization and to find your own place of service there. In the meantime, one of the local volunteers is putting on his annual Pig Roast at the beach and you are invited.
FEB 18, Thursday. PIG ROAST
It's that time of year when Manuel Sanchez sets his Mayan mojo on high. His 12th annual all-you-can-eat pig roast will get off to a rockin' start Thursday, Feb. 18. After feasting on pork, rice and beans, salad and a dessert of coconut ice cream with Kahlua, guests will be entertained by traditional dancing of Yucatan and Jalisco, as well as a mariachi band. This year Manuel has generously offered to donate a portion of his proceeds to the Chicxulub Food Bank.
Location: It will be held at La Lupita Restaurant (his mother's name) in Chicxulub Puerto, Calle 34 x 129 y 29.
Admission: Cost is $230 pesos. It includes free round trip transportation and ticket delivery upon reservation.
To reserve call 999 163 2326 or e mail Manuel at email@example.com. Be sure to ask for the time of this event when you call.