MID-POINT Magazine Ed. #20, Nov. 15, 2018

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WELCOME…. Merida's growing community of American expatriates, along with rising numbers of U.S.tourists, has led the U.S. State Department to plan a new and expanded consulate to be located in the city's northern suburbs. Read about these plans on page 5. Mid-Point Yucatán Staff


Alberto Buenfil Valero

EDITORIAL DIRECTION Alejandro Fitzmaurice C.



Nazaria Ortiz


Raúl Mendoza (Rulos Bar)

On page 4, read about the peso's recent fluctuations vs. the U.S. dollar and what they mean for the exchange rate. Check out pages 8-9, where Alison Wattie writes about the changing face of retail shops in Merida and how "experiential retail" is coming into vogue. Please enjoy this edition of MIDPOINT, and tell us what content you like and would like to see more of. Thanks for reading!


Robert Adams Content Manager / Editor



Carolina Barrera Paul Alfaro M.

Editorial/Advertising/Circulation Offices Calle 64 #436 between Calles 49 and 53 Colonia Centro, Merida, Yucatan, Mexico

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Mid-Point Yucatán is a free twice-monthly news magazine. All rights reserved. Any reproduction of content through any means without previous permission is prohibited. Certificates of ownership and title in process. Certificates of legality and content in process. Opinions expressed herein are those of their authors and do not necessarily represent the editors or publishers of Mid-Point Yucatán. Advertisements are responsibility of the advertisers.



With recent slide, peso is undervalued vs dollar

The Economist’s Big Mac Index is a comparative exercise with which it measures the undervaluation/ overvaluation of a currency against the dollar, taking into account the price of a Big Mac hamburger...//

Mexico's El Economista newspaper reports that with the recent depreciation of the peso against the dollar, which some analysts said was due to the increase in the rates of the U.S. Federal Reserve, and others attribute to the reaction of the markets after the cancellation of the new mega-airport in Mexico City by President-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador, the Mexican currency now presents an undervaluation of 44.48%, if the Big Mac Index is valid. Last July, The Economist (UK) published the results of the Big Mac Index, a comparative exercise that measures the undervaluation or overvaluation of a currency against the dollar, taking as a reference

the price of McDonald’s Big Mac hamburger. At the time of publication of the Big Mac Index, the The Economist exercise put the undervaluation of the peso against the dollar at 53.3 percent. With recent local and international events, and an average quote recently of 20.15 pesos per dollar, the undervaluation rate can be calculated at 44.48%. This is the percentage by which the Mexican peso is below what should be its real value. Based on the cost of this hamburger in the US, the Big Mac Index is used as a simple and informal reference to calculate the purchasing power parity (PPA), a measurement system used by institutions such as the International Monetary Fund to compare the standard of living between different countries. The theory of purchasing power parity states that the exchange rates between the various currencies should be such that they allow a currency to have the same purchasing power anywhere in the world. Under the logic that the ex-

change rate should move towards a rate that equals the prices of an identical basic basket and services (in this case, a hamburger) in any country, if the price of the hamburger is below the price of the one that is sold in the United States, this would be a sign that the local currency is undervalued with respect to the dollar. The current price of the Big Mac in Mexico is 50 pesos. In the United States, its cost is $5.51 USD. With an exchange rate of 20.15 pesos per dollar, the price of the Big Mac should be 111 pesos. Of the difference between the price of the product in a country against which it should have if the exchange rate is taken into account and taking as a reference the cost in the United States, the proportion between both currencies is obtained. Thus, the Big Mac in Mexico is 44.48% below the price of that sold in the United States, which extrapolates what should be the relationship between the value of the peso and the dollar. Source: El Economista (Mexico)




U.S. plans new consulate at Via Montejo complex in north Merida Consul General and Chief US Officer in Merida, Courtney Beale, announced that her country will build a new, larger consular facility on the Vía Montejo site because there is a high demand for diplomatic services in this region. She said more than 10,000 Americans live in Mérida, and a large number of Yucatecans travel to the United States for different reasons, so they need larger consular offices. “This modern building will be the symbol of bilateral relations with the Peninsula,” said the US official. “It’s a pleasure and pride to be part of this wonderful project.” No dates were announced for starting construction or projected opening of the new consulate, which would replace the current facility on Calle 60 near Merida’s northern hotel zone. Beale made the announcement at a grand opening ceremony held recently for the Via Montejo mixed-use project. Present at the event were

Governor Mauricio Vila Dosal, the mayor of Mérida, Renán Barrera Concha, the founding partners of Inmobilia, Emilio Díaz Castellanos, Roberto Kelleher Vales and Oswaldo Millet Palomeque; and investors Elías and Jaime Fasja, and Jimmy Arakansi, general mana-

gers of Grupo Inmobiliario GFA, The Harbor and Thor Urbana. These officials led a tour of the gardens of Vía Montejo, cut the ribbons of The Harbor and Gran Chapur and were the main speakers. The builders and investors of The Harbor reported that this modern three-level building will feature 120 commercial premises, with 55,000 square meters of commercial areas. Construction cost more than $2 billion pesos, generated 3,000 jobs in its construction phase and now will employ 1,000 and 1,200 indirect workers. Sources: yucatan.com.mx Desde El Balcón puntomedio.mx





Sotuta de Peón

Re-creation of henequén plantation reflects Yucatan history The Lübcke family writes a chapter of rebirth for the long Yucatan hacienda saga…// Text/Photos: Robert Adams

The story of Yucatan’s henequén haciendas is one of decline and abandonment. But for Hacienda Sotuta de Peón, that story has another chapter: rebirth. Established in 1858, Hacienda Sotuta de Peón, located about an hour’s drive south of Merida, produced henequén for rope manufacturing until closing in 1965 with the advent of synthetics like nylon that devastated the henequén industry. Largely abandoned for years, Sotuta de Peón was acquired in 1979 by Don Adolfo Lübcke, who had a vision for another chapter in the saga of the venerable hacienda: a chapter centered on tourism. With the help of his sons,

Don Adolfo set about the demanding task of converting Hacienda Sotuta de Peón into a living museum of Yucatan’s henequén industry and the associated plantation way-of-life of the hundreds of haciendas that produced this “green gold” for more than a century. While locating and acquiring all the various types of machiery used in a typical henequén hacienda, the Lübckes undertook the arduous restoration of the hacienda buildings, which were rotting and overgrown with jungle vegetation. This painstaking process finally bore fruit, when, in 2005, Hacienda Sotuta de Peón opened to the public as a “living museum” of Yucatan’s


henequén industry and the hacienda lifestyle. William Lübcke, one of Don Adolfo’s three sons, is CEO of Hacienda Sotuta de Peón, bringing extensive travel- and hospitality-industry experience and training to the task of managing the extensive operations that now involve more than 140 employees. “The history of Yucatan’s haciendas is one of beauty, but there is sadness in how they ended up,” says William Lübcke. As CEO, William Lübcke oversees the day-to-day operations of Sotuta de Peón, which include two daily public tours 365 days a year, a 30-room hotel opened in 2014, two restaurants, horse stables, a cenote for swimming, a wedding chapel and 20 hectáreas of henequén cultivation. Besides managing the tourism and agricultural operations of the hacienda,

William has also embarked on an ambitious program aimed at improving the lives of residents of the adjacent indigenous community. Along with their families, most of these residents have been or are connected directly to the hacienda, and William feels a sense of responsibility to try to help them better their lot. “I have a social conscience, and I am very committed to trying to help rescue the Mayan communities that were abandoned with the end of the hacienda agricultural system,” says William. Among the various programs Lübcke has launched in the adjacent community are skills-training classes and health and sports activities. While reaching out to the Mayan community, William continues to focus on projecting Sotuta de Peón into new tourist markets, ranging from the United States and Canada, to France, Germany and



other European countries, and even into China and Japan. One of William’s focuses is spreading the word about the excellent cuisine in Sotuta’s two restaurants, which are managed by Chef Florencio. Another project in the works is creating a trail for bikers, horseback riders and hikers to traverse the extensive hacienda grounds and visit all the high points. William also plans to add a music and entertainment component to the hacienda’s tourist amenities. “To relax and to learn about the haciendas are the main reasons to visit Sotuta de Peón,” William comments. “We are always looking for new ways to enhance these experiences.” --Robert Adams (This article is paid content written by Mid-Point for Hacienda Sotuta de Peón.)




Mérida is the new black

The changing face of retail


n October 19th, Mexican fashion designer and social entrepreneur Carla Fernández debuted her newest collection of “slow” fashion at the V&A Museum in London, England. A forerunner in the ethical fashion movement, Fernández is one of a new breed of textile, jewelery and product designers from Mexico who are re-inventing ancient techniques and bringing the work of Mexico’s indigenous communities to the world. Alongside these slow fas-

hion influencers are concept retailers who want to change the experience of retail to go beyond commodification of fashion and design. Much like Airbnb redefining hospitality and Cirque de Soleil reinventing the circus, experiential retail will soon become the new standard. Here in Merida, there are two new change-makers on the block, whose goal is to marry the worlds of gastronomy, art, fashion and design with consumers who want an experience

that goes beyond bricks and mortar. Casa T’HŌ (T’HŌ was the original Mayan name for Merida) opened its concept house in 2017. Once a grand colonial, Casa T’HŌ was conceived by creative minds Jimena Rosado, Julian Malleville and Connie Estrada. “When I first came back to Merida from Mexico City”, said Jimena, over cappuccino at their own Guillermina, “there was nowhere to shop for anything unique in Centro. The north had its malls, and other than Coqui Coqui, Centro was shop after shop of mass marketed crafts. I love the grandeur of Paseo Montejo, and when this 19th century colonial became available, we had our opportunity to bring a new brand of retail to Merida.” From the moment you walk up the staircase, Casa T’HŌ invites you to explore a world of Mexican design and craft unique to Yucatan. “Every piece we sell has a story”, Jimena shared. “Santiago and his team from Yucabanos are making Guayaberas hip by incorporating ultra fine linen with french cuffs and cool details.


Sandovalis have created an exquisite line of soap, perfume and candles derived from historical reference and indigenous wax and botanicals. Our best seller is a fragrance called ‘Cicle Club’, inspired by citrus and rosemary that grew around the racing field of Chuminopolis. We have bespoke stockists from Monterrey, Argentina, Spain, America, Mexico City, Guadalajara and Chetumal, and this month we launched botanicaromática Xinü and ethical clothier Casilda Mut from San Cristóbal de las Casas.” At the Latin American Fashion Summit in Playa del Carmen this month, local textile designer Angela Damman will help promote Yucatan as a key player in luxury handcrafted fashion. Attendees will come from all over the world to discover not only the designers, but also the business of ethical fashion here in Yucatan. “When the slow fashion movement is given more respect and recognition, consumers will give the brands promoting these values and techniques more respect,” said Angela. “Being aligned with retailers who believe in the value of slow fashion means I can take risks in refining and using the materials I work with. My clientele from other parts of Mexico appreciate products with aesthetic and cultural value so I see a real opportunity for Meridanos to discover this for themselves.” Around the corner on Calle

56 near Calle 47 is Lagalá, another lavish colonial renovated with passion by FMT Estudio and owners Ana Carolina Leyva Peralta, Jenaro Mier and Terán Medina. The space has been re-imagined as an interactive experience incorporating art, food and design. “It was important to us that we create a retail environment that brings people together”, said Ana. “Whether you are a single enjoying a day off or a group of friends from the north meeting for lunch, we want to connect people with each other, and with the vibrant international community who are travelling to Merida.” A window into the preparations of young chefs with serious international cred, begins the gastronomic experience at Lagalá. Te Extraño, Extraño is an intimate space with tables both indoors and out. The menu is unexpected, with ingredients co-mingling like a perfectly curated dinner party. Off the central corridor are three different gallery spaces that will change every few months. “El Encuentro” features tintas by Carlos Martínez, “El Encanto" showcases American artist Jason Kriegler, while Beto Díaz can be enjoyed at “Arte Emergente". Upstairs, boutique IMOX features over 60 contemporary designers like Audette, Ziiropa, Georgina Treviño, all from Mexico but unique to Lagalá, “I believe”, said Ana, “that creativity can cure the soul,



be it through food, art, design, books, or music, and we hope that Lagalá can feed the soul of all who pass through our doors.” --Alison Wattie




Money destined for La Plancha Park sent back to feds: park promoter The president of the Gran Parque de La Plancha Association, Félix Rubio Villanueva, decried that, just days before its end, the administration of Gov. Rolando Zapata Bello did not accept 13.9 million pesos and the project stopped. “I simply believe that in a fraudulent and rogue way they returned the 13 million 900 thousand pesos to the federation so that the new administration does not have the resources. They delivered the money three days before the end of the term of Rolando Zapata Bello,” denounced the president of the Gran Parque La Plancha Association, Fe-

lix Rubio Villanueva. This means there is no recourse for the construction of the public park that was announced with great fanfare eight months ago. Rubio told Punto Medio that the previous state authorities, either by orders of former governor Rolando Zapata Bello or former technical secretary of Planning and Evaluation, Guillermo Cortés González, directly, or the Secretariat of Agrarian, Territorial and Urban Development (Sedatu), “for their pistols”, they “unduly” returned the money that had been agreed for La Plancha, 13 million 900 thousand pesos.

It is worth remembering that this amount would be equalled by the state government for the project near downtown Merida that today remains in total abandonment and strewn with discarded rails and other debris. Rubio alleged that the state funds had already been spent in an unauthorized manner. “I think that in a rogue way, the Secretary of Planning, to prevent the new administration from finding out about this situation, they returned the money on September 27, three days before the official delivery of the change of government,” he added. The federal and state funds were supposed to be devoted to the work of tree planting, irrigation, lighting and pathways for the bicycle route that was to connect with the park. Text: Jesús Gómez




Pasaje de la Revolución:

A public space for pedestrians and exhibitions With the triumph of the Mexican Revolution in 1910 and the presence of General Salvador Alvarado in Yucatan from 1915 to 1917, a series of reforms occurred, highlighted by restriction of the power of the church and the loss of some of its properties and possessions. Such is the case of Merida’s Cathedral of San Idelfonso that adjoined the Episcopal Palace, today the Museum of Contemporary Art of Yucatan (MACAY). In 1916 the altarpiece of the high altar was destroyed and two chapels, of San José and del Rosario, annexed to the south side, were demolished, leaving an empty space and passage between the two buildings. The architect Manuel Amábilis was in charge of converting the passage into a space for recreational, pedestrian and public use. Therefore, at both ends neoclassical arches were constructed as symbolic doors and virtual boundary between

the street, the atrium of the church and the newly created passage. Celestino Ávila was entrusted with the preparation of the roof with iron structure and glass cover, for climatic protection of pedestrians and other users. The site was the scene of concerts by the band Alvarado created to perform martial music and a series of exhibitions that reinforced the achievements of the revolution, in whose honor it was named: Pasaje de la Revolución. In 1948, Vicente Erosa, municipal president, promoted the passage to be named Calle de la Revolución General Salvador Alvarado, official name to date, although Meridanos simply call it the Pasaje de la Revolución. At the turn of the twentieth century, the Passage of the Revolution was deteriorating. The lack of maintenance made the site dangerous for pedestrians due to the constant falling of glass. Consequently, the roof was

dismantled, followed by the demolition of the entrance arches. In 1959, it gave way to the growing demand for public transport, being used as a station for urban lorries until 1977, when it became a site for taxis and vans of the Plaza Grande. It was equipped with some flowerbeds, benches and shrubs. The 21st century has seen restoration of dignity and recreational use to the space. The access arches were reconstructed, and it is used as an anteroom and extension of the MACAY and also as the seat of public exhibitions. --Dra. María Elena Torres Pérez, Architect, UADY



Saludos, --RULO

Welcome to the Pasaje de la Revolución, adjacent to Merida’s cathedral that is now used mainly for arts exhibitions and events. The tall passageway's long history starts with its dedication shortly after the Mexican Revolution. Check out the sculptures and catch a concert. You’ll feel the pride Meridanos take in their heritage!



Rulo's bar





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Officials kick off facelifts for Progreso homes and businesses

The municipal president Julián Zacarías Curi and members of the City Council inaugurated renovation of facades, which includes scraping and painting of homes and businesses...//

With the aim of renewing the image of the heart of Progreso, the mayor Julián Zacarías Curi together with members of the City Council cut the ribbon to start the work of scraping and painting of facades of houses and businesses covering streets 31 and 33 with 78, 80 and 82 of the center of the port. The mayor commented that these tasks are necessary to give the port a new image. "I want you to know that

what moves these initiatives are merely the needs of the citizens and the needs of the municipality. I do not remember that there was an administration in many years that had the objective as nailed as Julian Zacarias has at this moment along with all his team of aldermen to move forward the municipality," he said. For his part, the director of Catastro and Zomafat, Ali Dib Muñoz, commented that almost all the ow-



ners of properties and businesses in the area have agreed to have their façade painted, however, some did not agree, so that the mayor said they will have to have a firm hand to advance the image of the port. The colors that were approved by the city council in collaboration with well-known painting company are light colors ranging from blue, yellow, green, lilac and others. The work of scraping and painting will be done during the coming weeks by workers of public services. In terms of buildings such as the Catholic Church, they will not apply paint, only the cross will be varnished, however, the other facades including schools and banks will be painted. Text and photo: David Correa




Merida’s arts

thermometer climbs As Merida’s biggest arts event of the year approaches with the tenth Noche Blanca on Dec. 8, the arts climate is heating up throughout the city with various gallery openings, exhibitions and related shows. The city’s Culture Directorate is busily preparing the slate of events that will be offered during the next Noche Blanca Saturday Dec. 8, said the director of the municipal office, Irving Berlín Villafaña. The previously scheduled

showcase for Merida’s artists, galleries and other cultural venues was suspended by the elections of last July 1. The Dec. 8 event, reportedly with a budget of three million pesos ($150,000 USD), is expected to draw thousands of participants and spectators to downtown streets. "The mayor wants to make an extraordinary night for which we are using all the resources of imagination and creativity to facilitate that in the public spaces, there is a coexistence between citizens and that the unity of families can be seen in all the streets and spaces where the artistic shows take place," Villafaña told local reporters recently. City officials are considering expanding future Noche Blanca events far beyond Merida’s Centro Historico district, but this year’s festival will continue to be centered on the picturesque colonial downtown of Yucatan’s capital city. While officials’ attention is focused on next month’s


Noche Blanca, Merida’s arts scene is already heating up with a spate of gallery exhibition openings that feature both well-established and emerging artists. Two of the stellar galleries that have recently unveiled new shows are Galería Nahualli and Centro Cultural La Cúpula. At Nahualli, artists/proprietors Melva Medina and Abel Vázquez are featuring the debut exhibition of their daughter, Alma Citlalli. Citlalli’s colorful and distinctive paintings and prints drew a large and enthusiastic crowd to the Oct. 27 opening at the gallery on Calle 60 between 43 and 45. At the opening, Citlalli said her personal self-taught artistic style soon will be augmented by extensive formal training, as she plans to enter the visual-arts degree program at UADY's Faculty of Architecture.. Meanwhile, Centro Cul-

tural La Cúpula currently features an impressive display of the idiosyncratic style of established artist David Serrano. Interviewed recently at La Cúpula, the Mexicali-born Serrano said he has been a Merida resident for the past four years after moving from Los Angeles, California, where he was based for nearly 30 years. Serrano’s current La Cú-



pula show features 27 acryllic-on-canvas paintings that form a series that was produced over the full 12 months of the past year, the artist said. “I tell a story in all my shows,” said the enigmatic Serrano as he gave a tour of the exhibition at La Cúpula, Calle 54 between 41 and 43. “I watch a lot of movies, so my thinking has a storyboard quality. All the characters in this show are involved in prediction or sortilege. Some of the characters have been with me since I was a child.” The haunting, dreamscape-like images in Serrano’s paintings prompted one viewer to ask the artist, “What drugs do you take?” according to Serrano. Serrano, who is not formally trained but clearly accomplished as an artist, did not reveal how he replied to the questioner. --Robert Adams




Colorful offerings greet souls...

Day of the Dead During the first two days of November, the dead arrive to Mexican homes guided by the light of candles and the petals of the cempasúchil flower, to drink, eat, rest and live with their families. Making a colorful ritual that evokes memories are the offerings that are placed on the Day of the Dead in Mexican homes, which represent a way to meet again with the deceased and share with them culinary delights, bread, water, salt, sugar, fruits and, if they were

adults, wine and cigars. According to the National Commission for the Development of Indigenous Peoples (CDI), these altars are a type of scenery in which our dead participate, coming to drink, eat, rest and live as a way to dialogue with their memory and their life.

The dead altars as we know them today are a reflection of the syncretism of the old and the new world, a cultural mixture in which the Europeans put some flowers, wax, and candles; and the Indians added the incense with their copal, the food and the cempasúchil flower. THE OFFERING During the first two days of November, the dead are greeted with natural and intangible elements, plus smells and fragrances of flowers, incense and copal. The fragrances of copal and incense are used to cleanse the place of evil spi-


rits and avoid danger to those who return home. Water, salt, sugar, candles, copal, incense, flowers, bread, and mats are some essential elements that the offerings must include to preserve their spiritual charm. Each of them has its own meaning; for example, water represents the source of life, is offered to the souls to quench their thirst after the long journey and to strengthen their return, while salt serves to ensure the soul does not get corrupted on its return trip for the next year. The light produced by the candles represents hope and faith, a guide so that the deceased can reach their former places and light their return to their home. In several indigenous communities each candle represents a deceased, that is, the number of candles that the altar has depends on the souls that the family wants to receive. The copal was offered by the natives to their gods, as the incense was brought by the Spaniards; the fragrances of both sublimate the prayer, and are used to cleanse the place of evil spirits and avoid any danger to those who return home. For their colors and aromas, the flowers are a symbol of the festivity, adorn and aromati-

ze the place during the stay of the soul. The most traditional are the wallflower and the cloud, whose color means purity and tenderness and usually accompany the souls of children; as well the cempasúchil, which in many places it is customary to put paths of petals to guide the deceased from the holy field to the offering and vice versa. Among the multiple uses of the mat is as bed, table or shroud, but in this celebration it works so that the souls rest, or, as a tablecloth to place the food of the offering. The liquor is for you to remember the great pleasant events during your life and decide to visit us, while a large ash cross serves so that when the soul reaches the altar you can atone for your pending faults. Elaborated in different ways, bread is one of the most precious elements on the altar, it represents the fraternal offering; the



Church presents it as the "Body of Christ". In the offerings it is also customary to place photographs of those who are no longer there, the image of the souls of purgatory, images of saints, fruits, pumpkin candy, sugar skulls, liquor, a large ash cross and the deceased's favorite dishes. The móle with chicken or turkey is the favorite food that many Mexicans put on the altar, although they also add barbecue and consommé. You can also include liquid chocolate; the prehispanic tradition says that the guests drank that drink that the deceased used to bathe, so that the visitors were imbued with the essence of the deceased. To receive the souls, the altar is decorated with papel picado, silk and satin fabrics where clay figures also rest. Text: El Universal


SURVIVING YUCATAN In the first two parts of this three-part series, Lic. Rodrigo Rodríguez provided 17 humorous tips for adapting to Yucatecan life. Here is his concluding advice… 18. Be ready to become a great tourist guide. You will be visiting the Mayan ruins many times (more than you would like). With all relatives and friends taking advantage of your spare room you will become very popular, and you will have to take to the same places all your dearest friends and your beloved in-laws over and over, whether you like it or not. 19. Be ready to be impressed by Mexico’s vast cultural richness. Yucatan is only the




beginning of a never ending discovery of other regions of the country. 20. Try not to die here. Yucatan is the best kept secret of Mexico. Only 5% of the Mexican population has ever come to Yucatan, and we want to keep it that way. If we have been able to do so for 477 years we expect the same from you. If you die here many friends and relatives will come to the services and will be tempted to stay. So enjoy Yucatan alive and die abroad!!!! 21. Enjoy the peace and quiet of your beach home all year long. But summer is ours, be ready to meet all sorts of Yucatecans while we are blocking your ocean

view with the least sexy swimming suits. Then you will realize that the beach does not belong to you, and if you are not careful enough not even your terrace. 22. Do not try to understand or deal with Yucatecan politicians. No one cares for them. They are the most despicable part of our society. They are a national shame; Yucatan apologizes to you. But in order to keep cosmic balance, it is necessary good and evil, isn’t it? They are sadly necessary. We just do not dump them in the sea because we would cause the ocean an irreversible damage. 23. Do not fear Yucatecan police; it is a mystery for everyone their criteria for turning on their top roof lights, since it basically depends on the will of the cop responsible for driving. Some of them fancy their lights on, some others don’t. So if you have a patrol car behind you with its lights on you simply have to let them go, maybe it is lunch time and what he really wants is to get home fast. Now, if they do want to stop you, do not worry; they fear more

HUMOR: SURVIVING YUCATAN an English speaker driver than a man carrying a gun. As soon as you say hello in English they would feel so shy that they would just let you go. If your Spanish is limited, do not attempt to greet the officer in Spanish, that way you will only provoke his hope that he could actually communicate with you that you were speeding or something else. Yucatecan police are relatively not as corrupted as other regions of Mexico. Police are usually nice people making really miserable wages. They will never be able to afford the police car they are driving. In case of a chase, you will be more likely to escape. In case they catch you let them lecture you, the crime rate is so low in Yucatan that if you break a rule they will feel actually useful. Get your ticket and thank them. 24. Remember, you are not at home, you cannot sue anybody here for anything. Actually you cannot sue people for almost nothing. We do not like courts. Enjoy life and its consequences. Learn to tolerate and negotiate with your neighbors. You cannot afford the time to wait for our legal system, we are on our own. If you fall somewhere accept it. It is no one’s but gravity’s fault. You live now in a country that has managed to survive all sorts of international pressures without pulling

a trigger. No matter how many expats are coming and living around you, you are in Yucatan and Mexicans will keep multiplying faster than you. Leave your anger behind, forget your personal conflicts, you are just creating a brand new beginning. Living in Yucatan is that time that God has finally given you to love yourself and love others. As far as Yucatecans’, you have no choice but loving all your surrounding brothers despite their flaws. 25. And if you insist on your bitter approach to life,


and you do not love Yucatan, and for whatever reason you live here, well, that is so sad. But if you ever go back home, when losing Yucatan, you will realize how much you really unconsciously loved it here. You will miss who you were here, and then you will understand that you were becoming Yucatecan yourself, with every step, with every rock, with every flower, with every bird, with every bug, with every breath, with every sunset, with every color, with every flavor, with every day. --Lic. Rodrigo Rodríguez




Reasons why it can take a while to sell a house in Merida I would like to try to explain why it can take a long time to sell homes here in this market. The biggest one is that a buyer must pay cash for the home. In the U.S. or Canada, you put little to nothing down, and the bank carries the home for fifteen to twenty-five years at a low interest rate. There are a couple ways to finance a home here in Mexico, but the paper work is long and drawn out. They require between 20 to 25% down payment and the interest rate can be from 12 to 20%. This turns off most buyers. The other thing is that the sellers bought a home that was not restored. They spent a lot of time and money to make changes. Then if they decide to sell they want to double their money. You can recover your investment if you have done your changes wisely, but if you have added too many extras, you may not find a buyer. So if you do not build two

more bedrooms, or baths, or add to the house on calle 66, you could recover your investment. The house would make a nice winter or vacation home for a couple or a single person. But like now you would want your cash up front to sell the home. Your taxes are going to be under fifty dollars a year. Your water bill will run about 72 pesos for two a month. Electric can run high, but also remember that the bill only comes every other month (why they do not change to once a month is beyond me). True, you will not want to run your air conditioning in December or January. So if you just leave a fan on your base bill for two months is under 50 pesos. Your Fideicomiso will run you 6,000 to 7,000 pesos a year. Telephone and internet can run you 389 to 400 pesos per month. My propane gas bill runs me about twenty dollars a month and I have two hot water heaters and do a lot of cooking and

baking. So if you moved out of the house your monthly cost for that home without phone or gas would come to 721 pesos. If you lived in the home and used a basic electric your monthly cost would be under 2000 pesos per month. (Try that in the USA or Canada for living expense). Over all the annual expenses are good, the weather is nice year around (ok it can be HOT in the summer). It is a safe city and with good affordable health care, shopping, and one can travel by bus or air easily. --Scott Wormwood

Scott Wormwood WHITE CITY PROPERTIES www.whitecityproperties.com scott@whitecityproperties.com

Calle 37 #519 x 62 y 62A Colonia Centro, Merida, Yucatan 97000 tel. 999 920 7644 (o) cel. 999 134 7885




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