Yucatan News: Music Palace and Butterflies
The New Music Palace
Merida is soon to have a brand new Palace of Music in the heart of Centro. What we love most about this architectural marvel is that it is not a new, slick, shiny creature rising in the midst of the Colonial heart of the city. Instead, it takes over and expands on the building that formerly housed the State Legislature, so it will have all of the newest performance technology housed in surroundings that are in keeping with the cultural flavor of Merida’s colonial heart. Already, there are new contracts between hoteliers and travel agencies in China, Argentina, Colombia, and Canada based on the coming availability of such a magnificent space. It looks as if 2016 is going to be a very good year for Merida and for all of Yucatan!
Merida 2017: International Convention Center
The new Palace of Music, coming in 2016, isn’t all that Merida is getting. The City is getting a brand new International Convention Center that will not be replacing Siglo XXI Convention Center. The good news is that there is enough international interest in holding conventions of all kinds and by many countries right here in Merida. The very first press release tells us that no less than three events have already been booked for after the 2017 opening of the new Convention Center. The new Convention Center will be approximately the same size as Siglo XXI, so look for many more domestic and foreign visitors to our fair city. It is amazing how valuable simple commodities such as a welcoming culture, along with peace and security, actually are in the world today. Well done, Merida!
Sharp Increase in Butterfly Numbers
Crisis in Butterfly World: Last year, the Monarch butterfly migration covered 1.3 hectares in Michoacan and Estado de Mexico sanctuaries. This year, 160 million Monarchs turned up and occupied more than four hectares, and these little money makers are set to draw 115,000 tourists to the area for 2015. Unfortunately, the sanctuaries are seeing only two to three percent of the money that comes in from this sector of tourism. The rest goes to NGOs, such as the World Wildlife Fund, Alternar, Biocenosis and Pronatura. Now, as tourists are learning about the situation, they are opting out of visiting. It remains to be seen which side will win, the butterfly sanctuaries or the NGOs, but our hopes are with whatever best benefits these beautiful animals.
Did You Hear? New Gasoline Pump Law
It is now official throughout the nation. Mexico’s Senate has approved a new Federal law designed to prevent and punish those who would cheat their customers. Fines and imprisonment levels are historically high, some as high as 15 years. Unfortunately, the delivery of said gasoline from the pump to the consumer is allowed to have up to a 1.5% margin for error. If the error was unintentional, then nothing happens. If the error is deliberate and between 0.5% and 1.5%, then it is an administrative offence. After deliberately hitting and/or exceeding 1.5%, they go to jail for three to six years, and pay a fine of between 3,000 and 6,000 minimum wages. The law that covers stationary and natural gas delivery has a 3.0% margin of allowable – unintentional – delivery. Their fines can run as high as four years in jail and $8,000 minimum wages. Other offences, such as tapping lines, carry up to 15 years in prison. Everyone will be waiting to see how this all turns out and whether consumers are really being helped or not.
We Love This House! How About You?
Everything else is organic these days, why not architecture? This is a real house near Mexico City (more photos here). We would love to vacation there, but living there might take some getting used to. At any rate, we love it and thought we would share it with you.
Posadas in Merida
If you want to experience Merida at Christmas, you can come any time during the nine days before Christmas and see a very special evening procession by children. This procession is called a posada. Posadas are held for nine nights because it is said that it took Joseph and Mary nine days to walk from Nazareth to Bethlehem. Upon arrival, all inns were full and their baby, Jesus, had to be born in a barn. Today, posadas take place in several Catholic countries around the world and we are lucky to have them throughout Yucatan.
Unsung Hero: Charity for the Poorest of the Poor
There are precious few human beings who go about their altruistic work with absolute love and humility. Eduardo Seijo Gutierrez is such a man. He was born into a wealthy family, but felt the call, as a layman, to help those in need. He finally, officially founded Caritas in Yucatan when Hurricane Gilberto hit the state so hard. Today, Caritas in Yucatan has joined the St. Francis of Assisi Charity Center, where they continue their work. They still need volunteers, so if you have a little extra time – or a little extra cash – this is one charity we can guarantee you is doing good work and should be supported. Please visit the Caritas de Yucatan website.
Merida Marathon: January 10, 2016
This annual 10K run begins at 6:00 AM on January 10, 2016. This year, it helps to celebrate the 474th Anniversary of the founding of the City of Merida, Yucatan. All times, rules, and costs can be found on the Volare website. Prizes include tons of cash and several cars, so do come out and participate. Remember, any profits left at the end will be donated to altruistic purposes.
Classic Volks & Tuning Show
Well – we just don’t know what to say about this. One thing is certain – if you are in Yucatan, there is a wonderful club just for you and your interests. Yes, Harley people, you too. However, this event is a car show, hosted by Club Zero Oxide and other auto clubs in the area, and it is all about Classic Volkswagens and cool ways they have been tuned. The object of the show is to collect toys for children in the hospitals in Merida, but we know it’s really to show off those VW Beetles. On Sunday, they had a little competition out at Xmatkuil’s drag-strip and handed out the prizes there. So, if you love VW Beetles, now you know that there will be an event just for you next year during the Christmas holidays.
Great News: 46 Adoptions in Yucatan in 2015
There is more exciting news coming out of this announcement than just 46 adoptions. The title of this news should include “Big Kids Get Homes Too!” Of the 46 adoptions in Yucatan in 2015, 21 were children over the age of five. Last week, the last four of Yucatan’s adoptees for 2015 were delivered to their new families and then a grand party was held for them all. This is light years ahead of the days when extended family members were so hesitant to allow their orphaned relatives to be adopted, and all sorts of part-time and full time shelter situations were constructed. Now, these children have real homes and real parents. Yucatan’s DIF is responsible for many miracles every year, including supporting the adoption programs that have helped these children and their families. Yucatan Living sends a very special Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to every adoptive family and child in the state.