News / Yucatan News: Ernesto, Fruit, Lobsters

Yucatan News: Ernesto, Fruit, Lobsters

Yucatan News: Ernesto, Fruit, Lobsters

4 August 2012 News 8

News Starting August 06, 2012

Tropical Storm Ernesto

By the time we publish, Tropical Storm Ernesto very well may be a hurricane. At this point in time, predictions have the State of Yucatan facing wind and rain, but not the full force of a hurricane. Nevertheless, Ernesto is expected to be a hurricane when it passes through the Yucatan Channel, so please make certain that you take all precautions, including stocking up on supplies, if you decide to shelter in place. Don't forget to make arrangements for pets and make contact with family and friends back home if you decide to leave your home and seek shelter elsewhere. There are several excellent weather sites from which you can get a bird’s eye view of Ernesto as he moves through our area. One of those sites is NOAA . Please also keep an eye on the Civil Protection website in Yucatan. There are regular bulletins on that site, so you can keep up if things change in a hurry. And there's always Jeff Masters, our favorite hurricane commentator.

Driving Through Mexico

Its that time of year again – when Snowbirds begin to try and decide whether to drive or fly back to Yucatan, and when new residents try to figure out what’s the best route to take to get all of their belongings down to their new homes in Yucatan. Working Gringos made the trip, by car, from Merida to California in 2011 and kindly posted their story on Yucatan Living. Quite a few members of Yolisto have also been kind enough to post their trips in the forum, where they can then answer any questions that others may have. However, as time goes by, those trip stories move down the list of posts and out of view, making them often inconvenient to find. In addition, it is more than helpful to have a recent report on travel routes and conditions. Not to worry about any of that anymore! Yolisto member Dave_in_Ont (Dave and Shirley) started a website Driving Through Mexico, last year and are currently in the process of updating and expanding it. All of the trip reports of those who post on Yolisto, as well as the trip reports of anyone else who would like to contribute their stories, will be archived on Driving Through Mexico. All routes will be covered, as well as driving with pets. Some of us have made the trip many times, but the ever changing highways and conditions make these reports extremely valuable to us all. We hope you stay tuned to Yucatan Living , Yolisto , and Driving Through Mexico, for up-to-date information on making your way to and through Mexico by land or by air.

Regeneration of the Urban Image of Centro

The before and projected after pictures of the remodeling and restoration of the corridor between the Parque de la Paz and Parque de la Mejorada are stunning. Highlights of this project will include:14 major intersections, 17,176.37 m2 of stamped concrete pavement, 10,760 m2 of new prefabricated benches, 1,638 new lights on architectural facades, 319 m2 of new green space, 64 new urns, 13 new benches, and 111 unsightly utility poles will be no more, thanks to new underground cables. This project, along with other continuing projects, will contribute to the graceful aging of the Historic Center of Merida now and well into the future.

You’ve Got M.E.L.L.

The August issue of You’ve Got M.E.L.L. has loads of updated information. For your convenience, we are listing their links and numbers here:
Official E-Mail Address:
Facebook page: (Note: you do not have to be signed in to Facebook to access that page, unless you wish to make a comment)
Twitter page:
Telephone: 999-924-8401
Summer Hours:
Monday – Friday: 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Saturday: 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Monday Evening: 6:30 PM to 9:00 PM
Book Renewal: At the library, by phone during open hours, by e-mail anytime

Lobster Season Has Slow Start

Yucatan’s lobster fishermen brought up only one ton of lobsters during the first month of the season, compared to six and eight tons in other years. One of the reasons for this low catch is attributed to waste left on the floor of the sea by last year’s red tide. The other reason is poaching in Quintana Roo. Since Yucatan’s lobsters migrate from Q.R., poaching in that state is bound to have a negative effect on the available lobsters in Yucatan. The season is still young and the fishermen have until mid-February to catch up. Whether they can or not remains to be seen.

Fruit Prices Lower This Year

If you have ever heard of someone literally working themselves out of a job, that is almost the case in the southern cone of the state. Sweet oranges are now $45 pesos per case in Oxkutzcab, which is a good price for consumers and for growers. Unfortunately, Persian lemons are $15 pesos per case and avocados are $25 pesos per case, which is not so good for growers who rushed into over-planting back when a case of Persian lemons was $400 pesos and avocados were $200 pesos per case. Valencia oranges and tangerines are selling at $70 pesos per case. Thankfully, Yucatan’s farmers were able to move approximately 240 tons of fruit in the wholesale market before prices hit rock bottom. The fact remains that local consumers are now the beneficiaries of falling fruit prices due to simple over-production. Since there are so many festivals in the southern cone of the state this month, check our events calendar to find a festival in or near Oxkutzcab. Then invite a few friends to share the trip and split a few cases of fruit. There is no reason to live in a garden of plenty if you don’t partake of all the fresh, healthy foods we have available in Yucatan.

Mexico Considers Increasing Compulsory Education

A new study, by economists from the universities of Yale, Stockholm and University College in London shows that increasing the number of years of compulsory education to nine results in a 5% drop in the probability that a student will ever be charged with a crime and results in a 2.5% reduction in crime in the next generation. These findings come not only from continuing to follow the results of a 1950 education reform project in Sweden, but from the replication of the experiment in different educational systems as well. In all cases, extending compulsory education to nine years resulted in a 5% decrease in crime in the first generation and a 2.5% decrease in the next generation. For the past decade or more, Mexico has been constantly expanding support for education. It will be interesting to see how these new findings affect future attempts to reform education in the country at large.

Valladolid: Opens A Second Telesecundaria

When demand exceeds supply, something has to give – and it isn’t going to be demand. When this situation happens in education, it normally triggers the building of a new school, with all of the expenses that come with construction and staffing. However, last year, Valladolid discovered tele-schools and opened its first telesecundaria (Middle school). This year, the demand is even greater from Valladolid’s young people who want to go to high school. This week, Valladolid will open its second telesecundaria with 32 students who have already pre-registered. We love this news. It shows that young people everywhere are interested in improving the quality of their lives and the quality of the lives for the young families they soon will build. Yucatan Living congratulates Valladolid for its willingness to venture into new means and methods of bringing education to as many of its young people as possible. This can only bring a brighter future for the students and for their municipality.

Congratulations Rotarians

Rotary District 4200 covers the states of Campeche, Chiapas, Oaxaca, Tabasco, Quintana Roo and Yucatan. In those states, there are 55 Rotary clubs involving more than 1,200 Rotarians. They are on a mission, throughout the world, to create peace through service. In that capacity, the Rotary clubs of Yucatan have a hand in everything from providing ambulances to outlying areas to literacy programs and sustainable gardening! This past week, a Rotarian engineer and insurance entrepreneur, David Gonzalez Dominguez, was named a Distinguished Citizen of Merida, and Ticul got its own new Rotary Club called “La Perla del Sur” (the Pearl of the South). This now brings the number of Rotary Clubs in Merida to four and outside of Merida to five (Motul, Progreso, Tizimin, Izamal and Ticul). We are constantly amazed at the stamina of Rotarians as they continue to find ways to serve the people of Yucatan.

Volunteer: Center of Canine and Feline Control of the City of Mérida (Ceccafe)

Tonight, we read about a nearby state that has no laws for the protection and control of dogs and cats. They seem to think that shelters are not the answer, or even part of the answer, to Canine and Feline control, labeling them as bottomless money pits. Then, we read about the Ceccafe, Yucatan's canine and feline control department, and about how at least 40 dead dogs per day are picked up from the streets in Merida. Approximately 60 dogs per week are brought to the Merida city dog shelter, now run by a young veterinarian. Dogs that have a chance for adoption go into foster care. The rest are well cared for until their 72 hours are up and they must be euthanized. While euthanasia is a terrible thing, humane euthanasia is far better than the deaths these dogs would surely suffer on the streets. Ceccafe is in need of volunteers, both at the shelter and to foster dogs. Even if you can’t spare the time, perhaps you could help support the volunteer effort. If so, please call (999) 267-9318. We are so proud of Yucatan for recognizing not only the value of pets in a civilized society, but also for having made great strides in recognizing the rights of animals! This is one more area where Yucatan is worlds apart from many other places in Mexico and, we think, one of the best places on Earth to live.

For Families With Children

We are going to end the News, this week, with an impressive list of classes offered by the City Council of Merida Ayuntamiento de Mérida at the various cultural centers throughout the city. Yucatan Living, like most other expat websites, tend to focus on the needs of older expats and tourists because they have traditionally been the population that we serve. However, as Yucatan’s international trade ties continue to grow, we have an increasing number of younger families looking at Merida with an eye toward what the city has to offer their children. This month, the Ayuntamiento sent a schedule of classes that will be opening for the 2012 – 2013 season, and we would like to share it with Yucatan Living’s readers who have children and are looking toward Merida as a possible new home.

Centro Municipal de Danza

  • Introduction to Dance: 5 years old by August.
  • Classical Dance: 6 to 10 years old
  • Tap Dance: 10 to 20 years old
  • Spanish Dance: 10 to 22 years old
  • Mexican Dance: 10 to 17 years old
  • Contemporary Dance: 10 to 20 years old
  • Jazz Dance: 13 to 20 years of age.

Auditions: from Monday 20 to Friday 24 August. Hours 16:00 to 19:00 hours. Limited auditions / birth certificate required
Re-enrollment of regular students: Saturday 25 from 9:00 to 12:00, Monday 27 and Tuesday 28 August. Hours 16:00 to 19:00 hours.
Classes Begin: Wednesday September 5, 2012.
Address: Calle 62 No.466 x 55 and 57 Centre / Tel: 923-84-77
Registration requirements of the Municipal Dance Center: Copy of birth certificate, CURP, last grade / record (regular students), 3infantil -size photographs black and white (front hair uncovered and collected)
Fees: Annual fee (from September to June) $ 300.00 M.N.

Wallis Cultural Center

  • Pre-ballet: 5 years old
  • Drawing: 8 and up
  • Solfege: 8 and up
  • Craft: 8 and up
  • Regional Dance Jarana): 9 and up
  • Piano: 8 and up (admission test)
  • Jazz Dance: 9 years old
  • Practice Choir (Choir Boys): 8 and up
  • Violin: 8 and up (admission test)
  • Painting: 12 years and over
  • Rondalla and instrumental guitar: 12 years and over
  • Popular Guitar: 10 years
  • Children's Theatre: 7 years and older
  • Theatre for Youth and Adults: 15 and older

Re-registration and pre-registration: Monday 20 to Saturday August 25
Registration: on Monday, August 27 (Limited space)
Classes Begin: Monday 10 September
Address: Calle 33 s / n x 14 and 16 Fracc. Wallis / Tel 922-26-55
Exempt from paying the following disciplines: Dance Regional Jarana): / Children's Theatre and Theatre for Youth and Adult / Children 's Choir / Music Theory / Advanced Guitar ): Rondalla):.
Registration requirements: 2 infantil-size photographs black and white, Copy of birth certificate, copy of the CURP, photocopy of house utility bill, Copy of Proof of previous year (if applicable), Copy of parent or guardian’s ID
Fees: $ 100.00 M.N. annually

Cultural Center Casa Mata

  • Dressmaking / Kitchen and Pastry
  • beautician / Regional Dance

Registration begins: from Monday August 20
Classes Begin: Monday 10 September
Address: Calle 12 s / nx 63-c 63-d Col. Cortez Sarmiento
Fees: Free courses

Cultural Center Cholul

  • Painting and Drawing / Popular Guitar / Jazz Dance

Registration begins: from Monday August 20
Classes Begin: Monday 10 September
Address: Calle 21 20 and 22 Cholul
Fees: Free courses

School of Regional Folklore

  • Regional Folklore: 8 years old and older

Registration: Friday 24 August to Friday 14 September
Classes Begin: Monday 10 September
Location: In the offices of the School of Folklore: Calle 64 No.486 x 57 and 59 Centre / Tel 924-80-66
Fees: Free courses
Registration requirements: Copy of birth certificate, 2 infantil -size photographs black and white, Photocopy of utility bills

Cultural Centers

Cultural Centers are open to the public from 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Check out their website: /capitalcultural


  • Dave Grundy 10 years ago

    Thanks for the comments Heather. I have been working on "Driving Through Mexico" for several years. It is rewarding to hear from folks who found it useful. I am constantly working on updating the site and adding links to other folk's routes and experiences, as I find them.

  • Khaki Scott 10 years ago

    Actually the Center for Canine and Feline Control in the City of Merida does have a website ( It is in Spanish, but many of our readers have limited Spanish skills and google translate doesn't translate most of the site. Even so, the site is worth a visit. If you live in Merida, use the phone number in the news (above) to call and see how best to help.

  • Working Gringos 10 years ago

    You're welcome!!

  • Heather 10 years ago

    The article 'driving through Mexico' is excellent. We drove the Brownsville to Merida route and back again for 5 years. The photos, the hints, the diagrams, the alternative suggestions are all right on. This is so good we relived our drives by reading it and are passing it on to people who are about to begin their first trek.
    Thanks so much.

  • Working Gringos 10 years ago

    Iris, the shelter probably does not have a website. We're fortunate it gets any resources at all. I would suggest you contact Lidia from AFAD ( Lidia is intimately involved with la perrera and she can tell you things that you can do to help. Thank you for caring and let us know how it goes!

  • Iris 10 years ago

    Hi! I wanted to post your Dog article on FB however, I noticed that there is no link for people to provide assistance. Does the shelter have a website? Also, I'm spending a month in Merida in October, I'm interested in helping out while I am there. I'm fluent in Spanish. Is there an email where I might write to coordinate this? Thanks for covering such an important issue.


  • Khaki Scott 10 years ago

    kantil - I totally agree with you. However - without enough people willing to adopt these animals, reality soon sets in. Evolucion is full and not able to take new dogs. This means dogs and puppies left on the streets to suffer. The city's shelter needs 60 new people to adopt dogs per week just to break even in numbers, let alone in costs. If some are not euthanized, more will be left on the streets to suffer. Volunteers who are able to provide foster homes for dogs and cats are saints - but there are not enough saints in the world. This is reality until education and resources for spay/neuter programs reach everywhere they are needed. ...and everyone recognizes that. Things are far better now than they were just 10 years ago. Low cost (and no cost) spay neuter programs are more available now than ever. Hopefully, euthanasia will soon be just a bad memory in Yucatan and beyond.

  • kantil 10 years ago

    "While euthanasia is a terrible thing, humane euthanasia is far better than the deaths these dogs would surely suffer on the streets."

    How many dogs you interviewed agreed with this conclusion?

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