Monday, August 30, 2010

Town Meeting Tonight at 6 p.m.

Important:  There is a town meeting tonight at 6 pm.  It will be held in the auditorium above the OXXO in the town square.  It is in regards to the plans for a new garbage disposal site in Puerto Morelos.  If you are able to make it, your input and participation are important!

If a new, larger site is needed in Puerto Morelos, then perhaps we can insist that it is done on healthy terms regarding run off and contents.  Wouldn't it be great if it could only organic garbage?? -- No plastic (#1&2 at least), glass, or aluminum  -- Which would force the municipality to start a curbside recycling program!!!  A great opportunity to make a real difference!

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Sunday, August 15, 2010

Mexico Remains the Top Location for U.S. Second Home Owners!

The International Property Journal's recently published article sites the 2010 Second Home Trend Report.  The Report's survey found that Mexico is still the #1 location for U.S. homeowners who own second homes.

Article Highlights:
  • Mexico was twice as popular as Central and South America
  • 45% of the Respondents believe that now is a good time to buy.  [And they are right!  Prices and Inventory have never been better!!]
  • Water View remains high on the priority list, with medical facilities and spas ranking high as well.

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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Ticul & The Dzitya Artisans Fair

Josh in Ticul's Zocalo
Recently the hubby and I, as well as our fantastic neighbors Ken & Kathy, made a quick overnight getaway to the Merida area.  

I really can't encourage you enough to EXPLORE the Yucatan!  Your options are endless, affordable, and fantastic!!!

We set out early Saturday morning and visited the town of Ticul.  Ticul is the Yucatecan Mecca of Leather Sandals and Pots.  In fact, they are so plentiful and reasonably priced, that we had to go back the following week with a truck to pick up our purchases!

Ken and Kathy: Our Ticul Bike Taxi Tour
In order to find "the good shops" we hired two local bicycle taxis to take us on a tour and show us the pottery shops.  If you are in Ticul (about an hour south of Merida) you want to find what I called "Pot Row".  It's a street full of family pottery shops with their wares on display in the front and their kilns baking their creations in the back.  Mixed in and between the smaller shops are also two larger shops worth visiting: Arte y Decoración and Arte Maya.  Arte Maya's creates detailed, museum quality replicas of Mayan Pottery and Carving.   Their shops is filled with plates and pottery; larger works can be commissioned.  It's definitely worth stopping in to have a look-see -- even if you only are browsing!

Hacienda Xcanatun
After Ticul, we visited Hacienda Xcanatun for a lovely dinner in an absolutely incredible location!  The Hacienda Xcantun is a refurbished, luxury hacienda with spectacular rooms, beautiful grounds, and a super scrumptious restaurant, Casa de Piedra.  We enjoyed peppers stuffed with cochinita pibil, tamarind chicken, and other dishes filled with Yucatecan flavor!  Then, we enjoyed dessert and the guys finished cigars out on their back terrace.  Super Great Night!  The Hacienda is on the outskirts of Merida, not far from the Centro -- and definitely worth it!

Casa Mexilio
After stuffing ourselves with the yummy delights of the hacienda, we turned in for the night at Casa Mexilio, a bed and breakfast located in the Historic Colonial Centro of Merida.  The quirky guest house features stairways and corridors arranged in the most outstandingly complex fashion that allows each guest their own entrance, privacy, and space.  I toured the place thoroughly and still couldn't grasp the floor plan.  The home is filled with colonial antique furniture and offers a simple but good breakfast to its guests.

Church Along the Way
After breakfast, we headed to the town of Dzitya to visit its annual Tunich Artisan Fair.  Wow!  The little town of Dzitya is just on the northern outskirts of Merida (quite close to Hacienda Xcanantun).  The park is surrounded by shops offering beautiful wood carved and stone carved pieces of art.  During the fair, the artisans display their best pieces.  Incredible, Beautiful, and Reasonably Priced Works of Art!  We brought home a beautifully carved decorative wooden vase and another vase painted in Mayan design.  And......I can't forget to thank the men at the 15 Peso Piña Colada Booth!!  You guys made the heat bearable.  We had SEVERAL --- 15 pesos?!?

Our Taxi :)

A Forgotten Treasure -- Just waiting for a crazy like me to buy it and restore it!
Church in the Ticul Square

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Remember the old ferry boat that washed ashore in Puerto Morelos?

Who remembers the old ferry boat that washed ashore, just south of the Puerto Morelos shipping pier, in the winter of 2007?

The ferry's name was M/V Arcangel, and it was removed for scrap metal by the Titan Salvage Company (See Company's June 2008 entry).  Its removal was quite involved and was filmed for a show called "Salvage Code Red" which is featured on the Discovery Channel.  The episode titled "Blown Away" contains the chronicle of the environmentally sensitive and complicated removal.

Discovery Channel has Parts 1-4 of the "Blown Away" episode posted for online viewing here.  Unfortunately, for those of us in Mexico, this link doesn't work :(

So, Puerto Morelians -- Check local Discovery Channel Listings for its next airing.  I have been searching on their site can't seem to find the next time this episode is showing.  If you happen to know, please comment on this blog for others!

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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Big Shout Out To Dot from Canada! Thank You!!

I dropped in the Mayan Riviera Property office and happened to meet Dot from Canada.  It was the first time that I had met her, but she's a self-professed avid reader -- in other words, a fellow Puerto Morelian with Puerto Morelophilia.

She appeared in our office, like an angel sent from above, with this gift of PURE CANADIAN MAPLE SYRUP!!

Three Cheers for Dot from Canada!!!!  

So, from the bottom of my tummy:  Thank you, Muchísimas Gracias, & Muy Amable, Amiga!!!!!!!!!  I am so glad that you enjoy the blog and MUCH THANKS!!!

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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Habanero Is Ours: If it isn't grown here, it isn't Habanero!

Photo Credit:
The term "Habanero" Chile was recently awarded to the following Mexican States: Quintana Roo, Yucatan, and Campeche.

The same protection that Champagne, Dijon Mustard, and Parmesan enjoys has been extended to our fiery Habanero via a Denominación de Origen from the The Mexican Institute of Industrial Property (IMPI) of the Ministry of Economy.

If they aren't grown in one of these states, they can't be called Habaneros!

Find Great Habanero Recipes on
See news article here.

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Coming Soon: Train to Chichen Itza??

This is the first that I have heard of this project, but here is a report regarding the possibility of a train route that would connect the Q. Roo Coast with Campeche -- with stations in Merida, Chichen Itza, and Uxmal along the way...

The blog link above references an article in the newspaper, Diario de Yucatan.  Here is an English translation of the article, brought to you by the fine folks at Google Translate:

Advances Fast Train: The construction of the work would begin in mid-2011

Federal officials and representatives of private initiative conducted yesterday in rail travel from Merida to Izamal, to monitor the right track towards building the Fast Train announced Peninsular.

According to a newsletter, Rapid Rail construction will begin in mid-2011.

In the journey of recognition of the right of track days attended by the technical secretary of the Executive Office, Ulises Carrillo Cabrera, the director of the Centre SCT Yucatan, Renan Canto Jairala, the Secretaries of Public Works, Francisco Torres Rivas, Economic Development, Diana Medina Castañeda and Urban Development and Environment, Batllori Eduardo Sampedro, as well as state transportation director, Henry Sosa Marrufo and business representatives interested in the project, the statement said.

"We need this type of transport and we will support the federal government will support the project and as with road and port projects, including intermodal terminals," said Renan Canto Jairala.

A federal official said, the fast train is presented as an important project for the entire peninsula but also in communications for the entire country, if we take into account that seek access to the center and north of the country.

Present on the tour, Aaron Dychter, coordinator of the enterprises that carry out the feasibility study, stressed that this is a unique project at the national level, similar to those in Spain, Scotland and India.

"Definitely is unprecedented in the country, so we are dealing with a plan of tourist infrastructure with economic and social sense that is totally doable," he said.

Dychter reported that according to the progress of the plan in October completed the feasibility study which will also be delivered to the appropriate authorities for endorsement and then initiate tenders for and therefore considered that the construction of Peninsular Fast Train by mid 2011.

Five companies are involved in the preparation of feasibility project: Independent Advisory Group, Emmatrons, MS Consultants, GEA and the company led by Aaron Dychter who coordinates the group involving experts in stroke, rolling stock, legal and environmental points.

It is intended that the Fast Train Peninsular, in its first phase, arrive at Chichen Itza, medium and long term Campeche, through the archaeological site of Uxmal and then to the heart of the Riviera Maya, to Calica, also known as Punta Venado content.

Under the project, the Fast Train Peninsular seeks to provide a rail service to transport passengers but also cargo, so that includes modern cars can move at a speed of between 120 and 130 kilometers per hour, with the terminal capital of Yucatan.

"This is a modern train, with diesel engines, whose work will be focused for the long term to use electric technology. It is a tourism project in which the speed will be needed to make it competitive, considering the large number of tourists who can use it to move to various points of interest in the state, "he said.

Present on the tour, Janet Rosado Novelo, technical secretary of the Fast Train, pointed out that rail is the first project of this quality in the country, as emphasized in the progress of the studies, which will allow the project for which require public and private resources.

Projects such as this, he said, require mixing of public and private resources, so it is good that is already finalizing the feasibility study, which will yield the preoperative tests.

As required, the existing right of way to Izamal is in good condition, so only require renovation work, while Valladolid to Calica it must be purchased right of way in various sections, to form the desired path.

We are talking of a major regional development, virtues for the growth of infrastructure, promotion of increased tourism, increased length of stay of visitors, but also good for job creation and welfare, agreed the specialists.

The journey by train from this day included a step-by communities as Tixpéual, Tixkokob, Euan, Cacalchén, Bokobá, Tekantó and Izamal.

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