Yucatan News: Cubans and Biker Fest
Merida Loses Top Spot for Safety
The Mexican Institute for Competitiveness has just published its annual ranking of cities and states in the nation. Yucatan is number two, behind Hidalgo, and ahead of Queretaro, Campeche, Tlaxcala and Chiapas. Merida did not even rank in the top five safest cities in Mexico. Those include, in order of rank, Orizaba, Veracruz; Pachuca, Puebla; Campeche, Campeche; Los Cabos, Baja California Sur; and Pachuca, Hidalgo. If you still feel as safe as you ever did in Merida, you are! What has our numbers skewed in this listing is the growing list of hit and run, high profile robberies in Merida. The police think the criminals are coming from Cancun. They pick businesses that have a lot of cash on hand, maybe at the end of the week, and where the owner is fairly well isolated when he leaves work with the cash, at night. They swoop in fast, grab the cash and take off. They did that 10 times in 2015 and have already done it five times in 2016. To date, no one has been arrested for these robberies, but the police say they do know where they are coming from, that several groups are involved, and that arrests will come soon. At the very least, we wanted to be sure that everyone knows Merida is still as safe, for most folks, as it always has been. If you own a business and carry lots of cash at closing time, you might want to rethink your schedule and take precautions until this is over.
Young Business Executive in D.C. From Tekax
Osiris Hoil is 33 years old. He was born in and grew up in Tekax, Yucatan, and has been working since the age of 9 or 10. At 18, he moved to Denver, Colorado, to visit a friend and one of his brothers. He fell in love, married, and moved to his new wife's Northern Virginia hometown. With financial help and encouragement from a neighbor and friends, he started a taco cart. Today, he is the proud owner of seven restaurants (soon to be nine) and employs over 300 people. Yucatan has more than a few successful young people in business and the arts around the world and everyone congratulates them all. A special “well done” has to go out to their parents as well. You can read the full story of the success of Osiris Hoil in the Washington Post.
The Cuban Migrant Community in Cancun
Rather than focusing on headlines of how many Cuban refugees were picked up at sea today, perhaps it is time to look and see the effect they are having on the local economy and society as a whole. Cancun is currently home to approximately 5,500 immigrants. In the past three months, 31 new migrants have been rescued at sea. From there, they are taken to a detention camp, where it is decided whether to give them a visa or send them back to Cuba. In large part, the Cubans are being easily absorbed into the Cancun population. Much of their culture and food is the same as found in Quintana Roo, and their language and values are much the same as well. The Cubans are also hard workers, with 90% currently employed. This adds to the health of the local economy and insures a smooth transition into the fabric of Cancun’s social order. All of the Yucatan Peninsula is welcoming those Cubans who do obtain their visas.
Xcaret Recognized as Best Water Park in the World
Now celebrating the year of its 25th Anniversary, Xcaret Park is sharing First Place with Blue Diamonds Resorts and Dolphin Discovery in the 2016 Travvy Awards. This honor is presented at a New York City convention of the most important travel agents in the United States. More specifically, Xcaret was recognized as the best international park and the best water park in the world. Congratulations all around to everyone who has worked so hard to make this dream a reality.
Dengue Vaccine Probably Available Only This Year
Yes, there is a dengue vaccine. Unfortunately, it is still undergoing some clinical trials to see how effective it is against all four strains of the disease. This is where the public comes in and why the vaccine will probably not be available in 2017. We know it works, but for how long and, more specifically, for how long against each strain of dengue fever? If you want to participate in the trials trying to answer these questions, contact your Yucatan physician to see if you are a candidate for inclusion. In the meantime, doctors stress that all residents of Yucatan should continue to police their gardens religiously for anything that could give a mosquito a place to breed.
First Feria Canina Held in Merida
If you are an expat in Merida, there is no way you could have missed the recent high levels of activity among Yucatan’s dog shelters, training groups, and dog clubs. Everyone is amazed at the number of Yucatecos who have come out in support of all categories of animal aid in the state. This has led to the first ever Dog Show in Yucatan. This dog show actually included a “selfie” contest for dog owners and their pets. These clubs and contests help get the word out that adopting a pet, rather than buying one, plus religious attention paid to having them spayed or neutered, are the best ways anyone can contribute to this very worthy goal. Keep your eye on the dogs and cats of Yucatan. Next year’s Dog Show will be spectacular!
First Merida Biker Fest
Potential expats often ask us if there are any motorcycle clubs in the Merida area that they can join if they move to Yucatan. We knew there are motorcycle clubs here, but never expected that there are over 40 in the state, with well over 1,000 members. These are all altruistic clubs who work hard to have a positive effect in their communities. This past weekend, they met on the Periferico in Merida and eased their way down the highway to the Magical Town of Izamal. If you love motorcycles and are looking for a place to live in Yucatan, you will find the most like-minded folks in Merida, Valladolid, Tizimin, and Seye, as well as in Campeche, Cancun and on Cozumel.
New Nissan Sales Plan
Here’s a deal that may be too good to get involved with. The Nissan automobile company realized that there are 34.7 million Mexicans living abroad and 70% send verifiable remittances to their families. This means that the families have a verifiable, fixed income and can afford a car loan. So – with 15% down and at interest of 18%, and notes on automatic withdrawal from the accounts that accept the remittances, Nissan is working on granting new car loans to as many of these families of migrants as possible. The auto company is having a little trouble getting the project off the ground, but they insist that they will keep trying. What say you? Good idea? Or recipe for disaster?
Driving in Merida
If you have occasion to drive – or ride – on the Periferico, please be aware that the police attend approximately 8 accidents there per day, and they issue an average of 200 tickets per day. Thirty percent of the fines are for speeding and the other 70% are split between cell phone use and not wearing a seatbelt. The most dangerous places seem to be near potential obstructions, such as the foundations of overpasses or signs, and at entrances and exits. There is an intrinsic art to driving in Merida. If you are fearful of it, don’t be shy. Take a taxi or a bus and, either way, please do what you can to arrive safely at your destination.
Justin Bieber Removed from Tulum Ruins
Justin Bieber was escorted out of a section of the ruins in Tulum after using the excuse of being drunk, he climbed one of the ruins and showed off his backside for the cameras. This came after his demands that all other tourists be removed from the area so that only his group would be present. His demand was not approved. It is interesting to note how much difference a day can make in the world of public relations. Now, Justin Bieber has been swimming with dolphins, exploring the jungle, and learning what he can do to help with the concept of sustainable eco-tourism. One is left to decide for one’s self how to view this entire scenario.