Yucatan News: Merida Launches Program for Merchants
More than 70 merchants are banding together and using a digital marketing tool managed by the National Chamber of Commerce, Services and Tourism of Merida. Giving these merchants a digital catalog that features all of their products and services keeps them out of the informal trade that takes place through social networks. Small merchants need to be included in the formal economy so they will have access to health, disability, retirement, housing and unemployment benefits.
Although these merchants will all be in one catalog, they will each have their own App or web page. Prices for participation start from 1,200 pesos. Interested parties should contact the National Chamber of Commerce Merida (999 942 8850).
Affiliated organizations, Creativos Practicos and Innovare Solutions, will be giving informative talks on July 6 and 20 for products at 10:00 AM and services at 11:30 AM. No location was given, so a phone call is necessary!
New Festival in Merida
There is a new annual fair in Merida called El Festival de la Chicharra de Xcalachen taking place the first Sunday of July (7/2 this year). There will be loads of games, food, and entertainment for everyone at the corner of Calle 64 x 95 (20.946388, -89.631992).
As a traveler from South Louisiana, the location made me feel right at home. It’s a wonderful little neighborhood filled with family owned shops; a place that makes pig skins, pork sausage, and stuffed pork belly, a bingo hall and car wash across the street, a big neighborhood bar on the corner, a smaller sports bar next door, a good size bakery around the corner - and now an annual Chicharra (pig skin) street festival… I felt like a bit of New Orleans was planted right in the middle of Merida. Be sure to make it to the newest festival this year, which is sure to be delicious!
Mexico & Canada LTE Wireless Speeds Faster than US
To be fair, the United States is number four in the world when it comes to the number of users provided with Internet service. Unfortunately, it does not make the top 50 when it comes to download speed; far behind Mexico and Canada. The full Open Signal Report for 2017 is available here.
Not having the fastest download speed in the world is no catastrophe, but it can be very important based on your communication requirements.
Nomadlist is another great resource for a broad view of how cities stack up in terms of cost of living, safety and internet. It can be very helpful when planning your next trip.
Heat, Rain and Planning
You know the weather is behaving badly when there are newspaper headlines suggesting that you consider both heavy rain and dangerous levels of heat when making plans for ordinary life, much less for travel and activities. Unfortunately, that is the case throughout the Gulf of Mexico region and even into the northern parts South America. This is not a hurricane, but it is a few days of brutal weather, so please try to lay low and don't hesitate to call Civil Protection if you are in trouble.
Icicles in Merida
If you thought you saw icicles as you were driving down Prolongacion Montejo (near the Gonzalo Guerrero Monument) or as you were driving on Francisco de Montejo (near the La Mestiza Roundabout) you were right!
The icicles aren't real, but the air conditioning is. It is part of an advertising campaign by Coors Beer. The air conditioning units are on motion sensors, so they only work when someone is waiting for a bus. So far, everyone is loving it and Coors is the talk of the town.
Chlorine Levels in Progreso
The fishing industry and food industries use quite a bit of ice and it was they who sounded the water alarm. Over the past two months, chlorine in Progreso’s tap water has been gradually declining. At this time, there is zero chlorine in the tap water, presenting a risk for disease. The public is being advised to drink only bottled water until the problem can be solved.
Archaeological Site Visits Up
In 2016, a total of 1,032,023 tourists visited Chichen Itza. That number is skyrocketing with nearly 7,000 daily visitors in 2017. More than a million tourists have already been to Chichen Itza already this year.
The most visited sites in Yucatan, for 2017, are: Chichen Itza, Uxmal, Ek Balam, Dzibilchaltun, Kabah, Loltun, Xcamboo, Mayapan, Izamal, and Labna. Most of the tourists who visit these areas are foreigners, but domestic tourism also continues to grow throughout Mexico.
Yucatecos are forming neighborhood watch groups, especially in high crime neighborhoods, called Neighbors Monitoring Units. Although, this can be a big responsibility for private citizens, these groups are in constant contact with the SSP. Volunteers are required to take addiction and guidance courses so that to prepare them for potentially difficult situations in their communities. If you know of anyone who would like to participate in this program, please have them call (999) 219-3697 to begin the process.
New Real Estate Law
The penalty for the dispossession of immovable property is now one to six years imprisonment and twenty to sixty days' fine. If the property is intellectual property, the punishment jumps to 12 years in prison and 120 days' fine. The State Penal Code defines this crime as “the occupation of another person's property or makes use of it or a real right that does not belong to him or materially impedes the enjoyment of one or the other or occupies a property belonging to another person or commits acts of domination that damage the rights of the legitimate occupant.”
Through the years, more than one expat has had need of a law like this, so this is a great day for property owners in the state of Yucatan.
Flooding and the Water Table
January, February, March and May were unseasonably dry and caused a significant drop in the Yucatan’s water table. April was a little better, but not wet enough to make a real difference. Then came June. By the time this latest rain filters down into the underground rivers and cenotes under Yucatan, the state's water table will have recovered completely.
The problem now is that this has been too much rain in a short period of time, causing floods in the Southern Cone that has drowned many backyard birds (chickens and turkeys) and gardens. The state will do its part to help, but there will be an ongoing need.
Members of altruistic organizations, please bring up the needs of villages in the Southern Cone of Yucatan and consider ways your group might be able to help.
CNN Interviews Expats in Mexico
CNN recently asked U.S. expats in San Miguel de Allende to voice their outlook on life in Mexico. Check out the video and accompanying article here. The reporters are Leyla Santiago and Traci Tamura, CNN. Updated 2119 GMT (0519 HKT) June 24, 2017.
We are always happy to hear stories of expats who went through similar struggles to ourselves. Please share the link with anyone thinking of moving to Mexico that has lingering doubts keeping them on the fence.