Yucatan News: Yucatan Loses First Place in Security
Foreign Investment in Mexico is Booming
Happy days, in the form of foreign investments, have come to Mexico in a big way, and there seems to be no end in sight. As of now, 500 foreign companies, that already have plants in Mexico, have committed to reinvesting and/or expanding their operations. In addition, 300 new foreign investors have made agreements to move all or part of their operations to Mexico over the next one to two years.
Mexicans Get a Visa “bye” in 133 Nations
Mexicans can now get access to 133 nations with only a passport. There is no longer the need for a visa for Mexicans to remain in the 133 nations for up to 90 days. This number of nations has grown by 14 since 2008. The expensive and cumbersome process of obtaining a visa to many nations was stopped because the rising exchange rate encouraged Mexicans to vacation at home, rather than abroad, and created a 20% drop in international travel by Mexicans. Without the expense of obtaining a visa, foreign countries hope to entice increasing numbers of middle class Mexicans to begin purchasing international travel packages again.
Extreme Sports Tourism Arrives in Yucatan
The First Adventure Tourism Congress was held in Merida and we now have a list of just what is available to tourists who are looking for a little more punch in their vacation activities. Yucatan has kayaking in the mangroves, kiteboarding, motorcycling, diving (in the Gulf of Mexico as well as in cenotes), ultralight flying, and standup paddle boarding, also in mangroves. In Yucatan, Tekax has been crowned the Capital of Yucatan’s Extreme Sports. This is mostly because of the amazing cenotes found there, (more than 200!) one of which even has a zip line. Go to Tekax a couple of weeks before Easter and in October and you will get the biggest bang for your tourism pesos because the Spring and Fall Shoe Fairs will be in full swing. Shoe shopping is an extreme sport – honest.
New Brewery in Hunucma: That’s a Whole Lot of Beer
The numbers are hard to wrap one’s mind around. The new plant will produce five million liters of beer per year and export up to 450 million cans of beer. The cans will also be made in Hunucma and the two businesses will bring in 55 thousand direct jobs and more than two million indirect jobs. Yucatan gets a little extra from these workers because Grupo Modelo employees volunteer on projects such as reforestation, which is dear to the hearts of every Yucateco. Mexico is now in fourth place in the world in the production of beer and exports beer to more than 180 countries. One can only imagine the changes that will take place, beginning with test operations toward the end of this month, in the entire Municipality of Hunucma. If you know of anyone who is looking for a good job, the brewery is hiring.
Hepatitis C on the Rise in Yucatan
In Mexico, Hepatitis C is the fourth leading cause of death and Yucatan is one of the top 14 states with the highest rates of this virus. Hepatitis C is transmitted mainly by contaminated needles and syringes. In 2015, by this time of year, there were 12 cases of Hepatitis C reported in Yucatan. This year, 2016, there have been 32 cases reported in the same time frame. Hepatitis C leads to cirrhosis of the liver, as well as liver cancer, so this is one virus that needs to be eradicated as quickly as possible. The key to that is information and prevention. This is an excellent topic for expat organizations to explore because Hepatitis C is a danger to every section of the population. It is also a virus that can be managed, so do get an expert on your lecture circuit and get yourself and your friends protected.
First Local Transmission of Zika in South Texas
The first “home grown” case of the zika virus turned up in a non-pregnant woman in Cameron County, Texas, near the Mexican border. This comes just weeks after the World Health Organization declared that the zika virus is no longer a worldwide threat. It may not be a worldwide threat, but there is a huge population of people living on the entire coast of the Gulf of Mexico and no wall ever conceived can stop the mosquitoes from migrating from one nation to another. Please continue with all activities necessary to deprive mosquitoes of a place to breed on your property and take precautions against being bitten by mosquitoes, especially at dusk and dawn. Keep yards and patios clean, and even dispose of soft drink caps you might find in the street near your house. It only takes a few drops of water to breed mosquitoes, so just make policing your property a part of your daily routine. So far, we have been lucky. Let’s keep it that way.
Best News of 2016: Corner Stores End Year with Profit
For the past few years, everyone has worried about the future of one of the hallmarks of Yucatan’s economy, its corner stores. Overall, the growth in these small stores is expected to be 2.5% for the year but, during one quarter, it was as high as 7%. This is such good news for Yucatecos and expats alike. These small stores, often in the front room of a home, are a lifeline for Yucatecos and expats alike. The owners are often the first neighborhood friends we make when we relocate to Yucatan. They certainly save us when we miss the water truck deliveries, or need just a little of this or that to tide us over until we do a big grocery shopping at some super store in the city. They will order our brand of whatever we need, and will give us instructions on how to do almost anything. From one stamp to one stick of butter, your neighborhood corner grocery store is the place to go. Please continue to support your local tiendita as much as you possibly can. The world is rushing by us, but this is one part of gracious living that we can keep as comfort food for the soul.
Holiday Security Has Begun
In the Historical Center, around banks and ATMS, around all markets, and anywhere that tourists from cruise ships go, holiday security will be in effect until January 7, 2017. The police advise anyone who is confronted by any type of offender not to attempt to take matters into their own hands. Instead, dial 066 or 9420060. Both numbers are available 24 hours a day and will dispatch help immediately upon receiving your call. Don’t forget that Yucatan’s patience with driving under the influence gets thinner every year, so don’t underestimate the security police. Yes, they are awfully nice, and they will continue to be awfully nice when they take a drunk driver off to jail.
Catch 22: Alcohol Sales Hours Extended on Sundays in December
The hours of sale for alcoholic beverages on December 4, 11, 18, and 25, will be extended by five extra hours, until 10:00 PM. This move is to benefit convenience stores that are open 24 hours a day and offer national and international brands that are not accustomed to the limited alcohol sales hours often imposed in the State of Yucatan. Please do not forget that increased breathalyzer check points come along with increased hours of sales of alcohol, so please do not drive if you have been drinking.
Christmas Begins in Yucatan
On December 2, 2016, the Governor of Yucatan, Rolando Zapata Bello lit a Christmas tree in the courtyard of the Government Palace in Merida. The tree is a 6 meter tall, artificial pine, decorated with more than 5,000 lights. The ceremony was attended by children of two local orphanages and by Santa Claus himself. The children got to tell Santa what they want for Christmas and he gave them each a pre-Christmas present from his sleigh. Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer was also on hand to meet the children. Christmas decorations will remain up through Three Kings’ Day, also known as Epiphany or the 12th Day of Christmas, which always falls on January 6. Between now and Christmas, look for the entire State of Yucatan to be decorated for the holidays.
Yucatan Loses First Place in Security – But Only For One Month
Yucatan has been the safest state in Mexico for so long that it was a shock to see it listed as only the second safest state in the nation for the month of October. In Yucatan’s defense, Nayarit won in seven of eight categories, while Yucatan won in five. Not to worry, Yucatan will soon take back the crown as the safest state in Mexico and all will be well again.