Merida Yucatan Best Place to Live in the World


Lonely Planet ranks Mérida among world’s best cities

Those are Lonely Planet’s four best cities in the world, the places they urge their readers to visit in 2017.

Dismissing Cancun’s “party culture,” the U.S.-based travel guide noted that “Mérida’s cultural offering is like no other on the Yucatán Peninsula.”

“On any given day you’ll find a dizzying array of live music, art shows and dance performances, and the booming culinary scene is hotter than a Habanero pepper,” writes Lonely Planet. “This year Mérida has been designated the American Capital of Culture, meaning visitors can expect a ginormous cultural extravaganza as organizers stage a series of large-scale events throughout 2017.”

Lonely Planet also admires Mérida’s “well-preserved colonial architecture” and it’s reputation for safety in Mexico. Cities were judged for cultural richness and the warmth of its people, among other criteria.

Yucatán’s tourism secretary, Saúl Ancona Salazar, said that belonging to the Top 10 list helps “sell” the city internationally, with Mérida keeping company with heavy-hitters such as Moscow, Seoul and Lisbon.

The editors also ranked countries around the world, and this year, Canada comes out on top. Thanks to a great tourism infrastructure and a weak Canadian dollar, Lonely Planet named the country the best travel destination for 2017.

Only two U.S. cities made the list: L.A. and Portland, Ore.

“So, whether you’re looking for a new home post-Nov. 8 or just want an outdoorsy getaway, it is time for some poutine and Justin Trudeau,” Forbes magazine wrote to its U.S. audience, referring to the presidential election.

Mérida is on a prestigious list of Top 10 places around the world for travelers. Photo: Sipse

A Guide to the Breads of Mexico


Tortillas are undoubtedly a staple of Mexican cuisine, but anyone who’s visited our neighbors to the south know that griddled masa doesn’t replace bread. In fact, the two share table space.

When sixteenth century Spanish conquistadors brought wheat to the New World during their conquest of the Aztec empire, it was to create the sacramental bread necessary to Holy Communion. According to Iberia and the Americas: Culture, Politics and History, both Iberians and indigenous people found the taste of the grains initially disagreeable until bakers began improving techniques and enhancing breads with native ingredients like maiz (corn), piloncillo (unrefined brown sugar), and chocolate. During the nineteenth century, French nationals began immigrating to Mexico, bringing with them more European baking techniques and recipes. The union of all these cultures resulted in baked goods that have become a huge part of Mexican tradition—and everyday life.

By the nineteenth century, hundreds of pastelerías (pastry shops) and panaderías (bakeries) had opened across Mexico. Today, street vendors can still be seen selling bread from baskets and off bikes, and panaderías buzz with regulars purchasing savory rolls and pan dulce (sweet yeasted breads) which come in countless shapes, sizes and flavors. Historically, these breads are dipped into coffee or drinking chocolate and enjoyed for breakfast or as a late afternoon meal called merienda, which is sometimes enjoyed in lieu of a larger dinner.

“Bread is a very important piece of every meal,” says Iliana de la Vega, the chef and owner of El Naranjoin Austin, where dinner begins with a delicate ciabatta roll served with smoky salsa. “We eat just as much bread as we do tortillas, which is something people don’t realize.”

De la Vega grew up in Mexico City with two brothers, which meant she had to stake claim on her favorite breads: lighty sweet, shell-shaped conchas and little pound cakes called garibaldis, which were slathered with apricot jam and coated in nonpareils (she has yet to find the latter in the States).

“You fight for the pan dulce you like most,” remembers de la Vega with a smile. “You lick it and say ‘it’s mine!’ so nobody touches!”

De la Vega learned to bake from her mom, but labor-intensive pan dulce was still something they purchased at the bakery, where a wide variety of options was available each day. These baked goods played a big role in her life, and she remembers the marked decline of Mexico’s bread as bakeries began using additives, processed flour and margarine in lieu of butter.

“We used to have very good bread everywhere, but in the 1970s the government subsidized tortillas and bread when we were having problems with the economy,” recalls de la Vega. “So it became more popular to make a lesser quality bread… but now there is a new wave of bakers going back to all those old breads and making them finer, with better quality ingredients.”

Elena Reygadas is one of those bakers. The chef and owner of Rosetta and Panedaria Rosetta in Mexico City, she fell in love with bread at a young age while growing up in Mexico City, where she ate pan blanco loaves with tamales and pastries her grandmother called bizcochos. She took an active interest in learning about alternative grains like rye and millet as a teenager and went on to study at the Culinary Institute of America.

“In big bakeries, a lot of the breads taste very much the same,” says Reygadas. “This homogenization process really took off when supermarkets started selling bread. At the same time, quirky, delicious breads from small-town bakeries—breads that also happen to be nutritious—have really been in decline.”

Reygades is attempting to reclaim Mexican bread, reviving traditional recipes and recreating them using natural yeasts and high quality grains. She’s become known for a pan de pulque, created using the milky alcoholic beverage made from the fermented sap of maguey leaves. As a child, her family would stop by a wood-fired bakery outside the city of Pachuca for these loaves, which were baked in empty tuna fish cans.

“We Mexicans like eating (bread) and I don’t think that’s going to change,” says Reygadas. “But it is going to evolve, and in addition to creativity and innovation, I hope that evolution includes rediscovering recipes and improved quality.”


It is said that up to two thousand types of Mexican breads exist, many of them unique to specific villages, so it would be nearly impossible to capture them all here. But the following twenty-five baked goods are likely to be found in most panaderías throughout Mexico and the States—though they are often known by different names depending on the region.

Banderilla

This long pan dulce is named after the dart-like instrument used to kill a bull in a bullfight. Flakey sheets of puff pastry are brushed with butter, stacked and cut into long pieces, which are then sprinkled with sugar.

Barquillos

Though the name translates to “wafers,” this type of pan dulce is actually made of puff pastry formed into a cone. The pastry dough is cut into strands, which are wrapped around a cone form. They are brushed with butter and baked, then filled with pastry cream and sprinkled with powdered or granulated sugar.

Beso

Sometimes called yo-yos, these yeasted cookies get their name (meaning “kisses”) because the two pastry domes kiss each other through a layer of strawberry or pineapple jam. They may also be dusted with powdered sugar and sprinkled with coconut flakes.

Bisquets

This variation on the biscuits of the American South was invented by Chinese immigrants, who added egg and sugar, resulting in a sweet and savory bun with a touch of chew to it. The shape is made by using a donut cutter but leaving the center in tact. These are popular for breakfast and still served at Chinese cafés throughout Mexico.

Bolillo

Also known as pan francés, this roll is a variation on a French baguette and most likely a result of French influence in the late 1800s. Bolillos are crusty on the outside and soft on the inside, and typically used to make tortas and molletes. There is a drier variation of this roll in Jalisco called a birote which is used for making tortas ahogadas, the spicy “drowned” sandwiches from Guadalajara.

Borracho

“Drunk” is the name given to the pan dulce with a distinctive red swirl in the center and a crystalline sugar coating on top.

Buñuelo

Though buñuelos are found in Mexico all through the year, they are most popular during the holidays, when they are thought to bring good luck. After the yeasted dough is kneaded and rested, it is rolled into balls and flatted into small circles. Then each one is fried in hot oil and topped with cinnamon and sugar or served with piloncillo syrup, honey, jam, or cream.

Cemita

The cemita is a type of roll from the city of Puebla. It is typically large, round and eggy, sprinkled with sesame seeds and filled with meat, cheese, beans, avocado, onions, and red sauce.

Chamuco

The chamuco is made using the same ingredients as a concha roll (see below), but it is stretched and flattened into the shape of a Danish pastry, and often filled with cream cheese or fruit.

Churro

While the exact origin of churros is debated, it is known that the pastry came to Mexico by way of Spain. Modern Mexican churros are made using a churro-making machine that releases star-shaped tubes of the dough into a vat of oil. The fried dough is then rolled in cinnamon and sugar or piped with fillings like cajeta or chocolate.

Concha

The shell-shaped concha, likely influenced by French brioche, is the most ubiquitous type of pan dulce. It consists of a lightly sweetened, yeasted dough, which is kneaded and allowed to rise before it is cut into individual rolls and topped with scored cookie dough, which becomes crystalline when baked. Conchas may be topped with chocolate cookie dough and occasionally (typically in Mexico City) they are split in half and filled with custard or cream.

Cuerno

This crescent shapes pastry, which translates to “horn,” is also called a bigote (moustache). The Mexican answer to a croissant (but not as delicate or rich), these are made from rolled puffy pastry and showered with sugar after they’re baked.

Empanada

Mexican-style empanadas are made with a soft, slightly sweet shortened dough, filled with any number of sweet ingredients, like guava, strawberry, sweet potato, pumpkin, cheese or cajeta.

Marranito

Also called a cochito or a puerquito, these darker pig-shaped pastries get their color from cinnamon and piloncillo, which is boiled into a molasses-like syrup. The syrup is added to the dough which is shaped like a pig and baked to a cake-like texture.

Niño Envuelto

This sweet, which literally translates to “wrapped up child,” is a jellyroll made with a slightly sweet cake rolled with strawberry jam, pastry cream or cajeta. The entire roll is typically coated in jam, then sprinkled with powdered sugar and coconut.

Ojo de buey

This “eye of the ox” is made from sweet biscuit dough, which is cut into a circle and then wrapped with several layers of puff pastry.

Oreja

French pastry flourished under the rule of Porfirio Diaz, who brought French bakers over to instruct Mexican panaderos. The palmier (meant to imitate the shape of a palm leaf) was one of the recipes they brought to the country, and this sugar-coated, ear-shaped puff pastry bears little difference from the original.

Pan de muerto

“Bread of the dead” is made to celebrate Día de los Muertos in October and November, and the round loaves are usually enjoyed at the gravesite of the deceased. The slightly sweet, brioche-like bread is enhanced with anise seeds and orange blossom water or zest, then sprinkled with sugar and decorated differently depending on the region. (In Mexico City, they are often decorated with a skull and crossbones, while Oaxaca puts a small face on each of their loaves, and the versions in Hidalgo are shaped like human figures and sprinkled with red sugar.

Pan fino

Pan fino (which means “fine bread”) is a soft pastry which comes in many different shapes and designs such as rings, bull’s horns, logs and pieces of corn. Each one shaped by hand and held together by a sugar paste.

Piedra

These pastries, made from leftover bread, are named “rocks” because they are truly that hard. As a result, they’re typically enjoyed after being dipping into drinking chocolate or coffee.

Polvorones

These cookies are named after the Spanish word for dust, and that’s exactly how crumbly they are. The versatile shortbread dough can be used to make a number of different shapes, including polvorones de nuez, or Mexican wedding cookies or galletas de boda, which are made with ground walnuts or pecans, then rolled in powdered sugar.

Rehilete

This is one of the creations that came from the French introducing puff pastry to Mexico. The name, which means “pinwheel,” describes the shape of this sweet made up of four crispy, sugared blades surrounding a jam center.

Rosca de reyes

This candied fruit-studded sweet bread (“king’s ring”), which is made in celebration of Epiphany (January 6), is formed into a ring and baked with a small baby doll inside to represent Jesus. The person who gets the baby in their slice must throw a party on the Feast of the Candelaria (February 2).

Telera

This bread is similar to a bolillo roll, but it is flatter and softer, which makes it a better option for making tortas.

Volován

This turnover is common in Veracruz, which was the fort of entry for French immigrants coming into Mexico. It is based on vol-au-vent, the layered and stuffed French puff pastry, and comes filled with a variety of savory ingredients, from chorizo and cheese to tuna with raisins.

GARDENING ON YOUR ROOF IN THE YUCATAN


Gardening in Yucatan: Planning & PlantingPlanters in Merida Yucatan <a href=></a>

24 September 2014 Daily Life 8

Planning your garden is always a good idea, but it is especially important especially in the Yucatan. In areas where there is ample space for a garden, just turning over the soil and digging a row, throwing in some seeds and fertilizer is a common way of gardening. But with all the knowledge and resources now available, garden can involve a lot more and but also can produce a lot more.

Poor Soil? You Are Not Alone

In the Yucatan, it helps to know that most of the area around Merida and much of the rest of the Yucatan has about four inches of poor soil. Beneath that is limestone… not an idea environment for growing vegetables. In fact, there are not many food plants that grow well under these conditions, so building a raised garden is almost a must in this environment.

The garden containers should be raised, and then filled with a mixture of compost, manure and vermiculite. You could also mix in some good soil which comes in plastic bags from Vigero or from one of the other name-brand soil producers. NEVER buy soil from the guys with the burros selling dirt from their carts door to door. It has almost no nutrients and is usually contaminated. If you are going to spend your time and money creating and nurturing a garden, you might as well start with a good growing medium. Building your growing medium can be costly, and it takes time too… but it pays off with more abundant harvests.

Up On The Roof

Since we did not have space in our yard, we put our garden on the roof. Rooftop gardening has the advantage of using previously-unused space, while helping to insulate your roof and has become very popular all over the world. Container gardening is a good choice in general, as you only have to spend money for the growing medium in the place where you are going to plant. If you raise your container to the height of a table, you eliminate the bending and squatting normally associated with planting, tending and harvesting your garden. Another important advantage of raised containers is that you get the plants up and away from many of the insects that prefer to hide in the damp and shady areas of your garden. Container gardening also conserves water, which may not be an issue in the Yucatan, but should always be considered. In containers, you are only using water where the plants are and not in walkways and other unplanted areas. Well water is preferred over city water in Merida, by the way. City water has many chemicals added to it to make it drinkable, but these are not always ideal for your plants.

Location Is Key

Select your garden location so your plants will get a minimum of six hours of sun per day, keeping in mind that the attitude of the sun changes over time. (The unobstructed exposure to sunshine is one of the advantages of planting on the rooftop). The same area for sun in the summer may not be the same in the winter. A location that is easily accessible makes the garden more enjoyable for you, the gardener. If you are located near the ocean, it is best to select a spot that is shielded by a building or other object that keeps the winds from bringing the salt mist ashore and damaging your plants. We do not know of any salt tolerant vegetable plants, so this is really an important consideration. And most plants do not like constant wind of any kind, so be sure to plant somewhere on the roof that does not encounter constant wind.

What To Plant?

When planning your garden we suggest that you make a list of the vegetables you would most like to eat and grow. Review this list and select the ones that grow best in a tropical climate. If you are planting for the summer, you will want things like melons, beans, okra, corn, eggplant, cucumbers, lettuce, kale, Swiss chard, peppers and tomatoes. For the fall and winter you can add squash, broccoli and about any other vegetable you want. Most of the oriental vegetables, like bok choy, do very well in the tropical summers. Also, keep in mind that it is never a good idea to plant the same plant in the same space year after year. If you planted tomatoes in this container or space last year, this year you should plant corn or peppers in that same space. You may also want to consider whether a crop grows vertically or along the ground. Melons grow along the ground and are perfect to plant next to corn, which grows straight up. And also, consider when plants are harvested. If plants are harvested at two different times of the year, perhaps they can be grown in the same space.

It All Begins With A Seed

I like to study the seed catalogs. The selections are good and the descriptions tell you information on so much, including how long from planting to harvest, the height and size of the plants, the flavor of the fruit or vegetable, etc. In our experience, we get a better selection of heat-tolerant plants from seed companies in the South of the United States, where they have similar weather in the summer. Pictured to the right are Chinese long beans which taste delicious and tender, and grow very well in the hot tropical climate of Yucatan. We use mostly the catalog from The Otis Twilley Seed Company in South Carolina and Tomato Growers in Fort Myers, Florida. There are many good, informative seed catalogs; these are just two with whom we have had success. And our experience also shows that time spent selecting seeds is well spent. People are breeding seeds that produce heat-tolerant characteristics, various wilt, mold, and virus resistances and even resistant to nematodes (and yes, we do have nematodes here in the Yucatan). In this climate, we need all the help we can get to resist so many things that want to attack our plants and reduce our yields.

We suggest that you plant your seeds in sterilized soil expressly made for seedlings, and use one of the types of planters pictured here. Each section gets one to two seeds, and the seedlings therefore grow up separately. To water just set your seed flat into a container with 2” of water large enough for the seed flat to sit in. The flats are pictured here and purchased from Jesus Angulo Aldana at Agrocampo, Calle 54- A #501 – J por 65 y 67 in Merida centro (tel 999 923 3333 ext 105.) Water by seating the seed tray in the water bath for a couple of minutes, then removing it and setting it aside in the shade or filtered sun. This will moisten the soil but not damage the tender seedlings as they come up. Watering from the top often disturbs tiny plants and seeds, but this avoids that problem.

Once your seedlings are about 3” or more tall, you can put just where you want them in your garden. This makes for nice even rows with no skips. When possible, transplant the seedlings to their garden spot just before a rain and or after the sun has set. Shade them and keep them well watered for a couple of days to give them their best chance to survive. We find that many vegetables such as tomatoes, melons, peppers, broccoli, and cucumbers do better planted in seed flats and then transplanted carefully to just exactly where we want them.

Words of Caution

Sometimes, you can find starter plants for sale. These can be great, as they get you started in a fast and easy way. There again, care should be taken to know what you are buying and how and where it was grown. Many of the flower seedlings in Mexico are grown in the Cuernavaca area and when they get to the Yucatan they can only stand a few days of the heat before they just wither up and die. Always make sure the plants you are buying were grown in a similar climate area so they do not go into shock. Also, it helps if they were produced in sterilized soil or you may get plants that contaminate your garden.

Especially for container and raised container gardening, pay attention to size and height of plants when you are choosing seeds. Determinate tomatoes for example grow to only four feet tall, but indeterminate tomatoes just keep growing…well, indeterminately. The space plants take is important, especially when space is limited. The book “Square Foot Gardening” by Mel Bartholomew is an excellent reference book as is ”Minifarming” by Markham. We think that the Merida English Library may have both these books, but certainly they are available through Amazon. Google has an enormous amount of information on all aspects of gardening and it is so easy! We have not had a single question that Google did not have the answer to.

Gardens Help Build a Community

When buying seeds keep in mind your planting plan and how many seeds you will need. For example there may be 25 seeds in an eggplant packet but you may want to plant only four. Buy small packets because seeds lose their ability to germinate over time, and are difficult to keep. Here in the Yucatan it is necessary to store seeds in an air tight container in the refrigerator if you want them to remain viable.

If you end up with more seeds than you need, share or exchange seeds with a fellow gardener! Get to know others who are gardening here in Merida and the Yucatan and exchange information and ideas. And when harvest comes, exchange fruit and vegetables too! Exchanging seeds, harvests and ideas with other gardeners is one of the joys and rewards of gardening.

Yucatan Mexico…NO CRIME…


Yucatan maintains lowest crime rates in Mexico

Yucatan achieved the lowest rates of high-impact crime in Mexico in February 2017, according to results published by Semáforo Delictivo Nacional. These results reflect the high level of security and the climate of social peace prevailing in the state, according to the citizens group.

According to the state-by-state study by this citizens initiative, Yucatan obtained a total of six green lights when registering the levels of least impact of all Mexico in items like abductions, extortions, robberies of vehicles and houses, injuries and rapes.

Based on official sources and analysis of specialized firms such as Lantia Consultores, Yucatan was ranked last with the lowest number of homicides with an average of 2.4. In the first three places are Colima with 84.4, Guerrero with 62.4 and Sinaloa with 39.2.

In the section on kidnappings, it was specified that Yucatan did not record any such events during the second month of 2017. In contrast, Tamaulipas, Tabasco and Zacatecas had indicators of 4.4, 3.6 and 2.4, respectively.

On a monthly basis, Semáforo Delictivo Nacional measures the standards related to peace in Mexico, fueled by citizen denunciations. Likewise, it draws on the transparency efforts of the authorities, with the purpose of promoting good governance through organized and informed community pressure.

seguridad_Yuc

MAYAN FOOTBALL…


THE HISTORY OF WHY WE PUT CANDLES ON BIRTHDAY CAKES


 

 

 

Birthdays are great! Every year, the day we were born on becomes the day we get to blow candles, receive presents and party with our loved ones.

Celebrating birthdays is common today but this wasn’t always the case. In ancient times, although birthdays were mentioned and noted, their celebration was a rare practice. They were reserved only for the gods and the nobles, but even they didn’t make annual parties as often. Birthday parties accompanied with blowing candles on a cake, as we know them today, appeared much later in history. These rituals, however, are rooted in some ancient traditions, so let’s trace their origin.

birthday_candles

The earliest known account of a ceremony that resembles a classic birthday celebration comes from the Greek historian Herodotus (5th century BCE). He wrote about the Persians and how they loved to celebrate their birthdays which were presumably accompanied by cake eating.

“Of all the days in the year, the one which they celebrate most is their birthday. It is customary to have the board furnished on that day with an ampler supply than usually. The richer Persians are served with a whole-baked ox, horse, camel or an ass.

 

The lower social ranks have the smaller kinds of cattle. They hardly ever eat full-course meals but an abundance of side dishes, set on the table in few dishes at a time. This is the reason for the saying that “When the Greeks eat, they leave off hungry and nothing is worth mentioning to them after the meats; If someone keeps on putting more food in front of them, they wouldn’t stop eating”.

Another early mentioning of a ritual similar to a birthday party comes from the Book of Genesis (40:20-22)

20 And it came to pass the third day, which was Pharaoh’s birthday, that he made a feast unto all his servants: and he lifted up the head of the chief butler and of the chief baker among his servants.

21 And he restored the chief butler unto his butlership again; and he gave the cup into Pharaoh’s hand:

22 But he hanged the chief baker: as Joseph had interpreted to them.

The event described above refers to the Pharaoh’s coronation and his rebirth as a god instead of his actual birth. Whatever the case, this sounds like a bad party, with the baker being hanged, probably because he didn’t make a cake…

The fire has always contributed to rituals. No wonder birthday candles have been attributed with granting wishes. Candles are often used during meditations, in general.

The Ancient Greeks used to give the goddess Artemis a cake with candles as an offering. Artemis ruled over the Moon, so the cakes were often shaped like this celestial body. They believed that the candle smoke would help Artemis hear all the prayers while they ascended to her domain.

schokoladentorte_buttercreme_tulpen_dritter_geburtstag_001

In Ancient Rome, birthday celebrations were nobles’ privilege. When somebody from the higher ranks of the Roman society turned 50, considered as a significant milestone in life, it was common for his friends and family to throw that person a party (feast) and surprise them with a nice, sweet cake. However, in Rome, the cake was served without candles.

During the Middle Ages, birthdays weren’t celebrated mostly because of the early Catholic beliefs that these celebrations are pagan and pose a threat to Christianity.

Besides all of the above-mentioned ancient rituals which are similar to birthday celebrations, here’s an actual reference to modern birthdays and birthday cakes! German bakers from the 15th century started selling special one-layer birthday cakes, mostly to parents who were celebrating their children’s first birthday.

girls_with_birthday_cake-_postcard_from_1920
A girl celebrating her birthday. A postcard from 1920

Further evidence shows that this tradition continued up until 18th-century Germany when candles were also added to the cakes. This version of the birthday celebration was called Kinderfest (children’s festival). This tradition was the predecessor of modern children birthday party.

During Kinderfest, children were taken to a ceremony hall where they were free to celebrate their birthday. Germans believed that evil spirits could steal people’s soul during birthdays.

To protect the person celebrating, they used to make a circle around him and carouse. Gifts were not a birthday tradition back in those days. It was enough if the guests expressed their good wishes for the person that was celebrating. In case somebody brought a gift it was considered as a good sign for the upcoming year of the birthday person.

ludwig_knaus_-_ein_kinderfest_1868
Kinderfest

Now let’s get back to the cake and candles. One of the earliest records of candles used on a birthday cake dates from 1746 when a large celebration was held for Count Ludwig von Zinzendor’s birthday. One of his guests described the following:

“There was a cake as large as any oven to bake it in, and holes made in the cake according to the years of the person’s age, each one with a candle stuck into it, and one in the middle”.

Almost 50 years later, Prince August of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg described his own birthday party:

 

“…a generous-size torte with colorful flaming candles – amounting to some fifty candles – that began to melt and threatened to burn down, instead of having enough room for candles which indicate upcoming years, as in the case with children’s festivities”.

These notes show that according to the old tradition, there were candles for each year of the person’s life. Besides this, more candles were added to mark the upcoming years of the person.

La Plancha acreage legally released, cleared for Gran Parque MERIDA YUCATAN


The La Plancha field is thought to be perfect for a park. Photo: David Stansbury


Mérida, Yucatán — After several years of litigation, the state government has finally won the rights to railway yards controlled by the Chiapas Mayab train company. The property has been seen as a last-chance opportunity to build a world-class “Central Park” in the Centro.

Guillermo Cortés González, secretary for planning and evaluation, told Diario de Yucatán that these eight hectares known as La Plancha can now be handed over to the state.

The state official said that there is no longer any legal risk for the government to take over the property once the Ministry of Communications and Transportation switches railway operations to a new site. The state and federal government is building new rail yards in Poxilá, Umán, closer to industrial sites that rely on freight trains. That project broke ground three weeks ago.

A 60-acre green space in place of the rail yards behind the defunct train station has been the dream of community groups for years.

The new rail yard is expected to be completed this year, diverting freight trains from the Centro and clearing the way for the park project.

Repair and maintenance operations would continue at La Plancha, however, until the Uman site is expanded next year, reports Diario. The new site is 15 km southwest of Mérida.

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