Welcome Snowbirds and Residents to our first edition of the third year of Beach Area News. As of this issue, our Email is going out to 522 subscribers! If you know anyone who might benefit from this newsletter, please tell them to send a quick “Please add me” request to us at email@example.com.
Again this year, our E-newsletter and Website will focus on issues of security and safety for the expat community. Your Beach Area News team continues to have excellent relationships with officials in local and state government agencies; we communicate your concerns to them and report back on changes in policies, people or resources. We also keep in contact with the US and Canadian consulates to pass on any important information to you.
Start the fall season with this fun event sponsored by the Ayuntamiento of Progreso! The contest begins at 7:00PM on Dia de Muertos (November 2) on the International Malecon, west of the Progreso pier. For information, Email firstname.lastname@example.org
WELCOME SNOWBIRDS & EXPATS! EVENT
The Yucatan Office of International Affairs will hold its second Welcome Showbirds & Expats! event on November 21 from 4:00 PM till 7:00 PM at the Convention Center of the Hotel Costa Club ISSTEY in Yucalpetén. Those who got drenched in last year’s sudden downpour will be pleased to note that this is an indoor venue! And if you have never visited this beautiful state-owned public beach resort, allow some time to explore the facilities.
The Costa Club is off the main Progreso-Chelem highway, across from the Naval Station. Find it on Google Maps HERE: https://goo.gl/maps/QJrAwRab6RiTuCw27
Beach Area News team member Bob Rentz had a very productive meeting on Tuesday October 8 with the City of Progreso Public Services staff on everybody’s favorite subject, Basura. The focus for this meeting was Chelem and Chuburna, as this is an area that has steadily declined in service. At the meeting both short- and long-term plans were established. There will be requests for input from both expats and locals at various points in the plan.
Starting Monday, October 14th, there will be two daily pickups on Monday and Thursday, one in the AM and one in the PM. We are not under any illusion that this will be an immediate fix for everyone. We will ask for your feedback shortly.
For those that do not currently have a trash can, we ask that you seriously consider purchasing one. It does not take the dogs and birds long to tear through plastic bags and spread the contents through the streets.
As we progress through this process, we will provide greater detail on the plans. Please bear with us as the process will certainly be fluid. It took a while to get to this stage and will take a little time to get out of it.
Thanks to everyone for your support.
DEFENDING YOURSELF AT HOME OR IN PUBLIC
Our team recently met with representatives from the Yucatan Office of International Affairs, who updated us on some points of Mexican law. We will preface this section with the bottom line that she gave us: if you are ever arrested, get a good attorney immediately! Here are some other takeaways from that conversation:
- Pepper spray is legal to have in your home or to carry on your person. You can keep it in your pocket or purse, do not carry it visibly in a carrier on your belt.
- If you are assaulted (or you fear an assault) and feel you can defend yourself, your response must be in proportion to the threat. “In proportion” may mean brandishing a similar weapon (a knife vs. a machete, for example) or threatening the assailant with pepper spray. If you inflict serious bodily harm, be ready to explain why it was necessary. A surveillance camera in your home, with video being recorded, can help you.
- That previous paragraph suggests that, if the assailant is really just after money or other property, just get out of the way.
- “In proportion” also means that, if you truly feel the assailant means to attack you, you have the right to respond with greater force.
GETTING HELP IN AN EMERGENCY
As of last year, all of Mexico is covered by the “Dial 911” emergency call system. A call to 911 connects you directly to the monitoring and dispatch center in Mérida, and they can send police, fire or ambulance anywhere in the state. You may ask for help in English, but it may not be available at the moment you need it, so take note of the tips below.
- Please remember that in Mexico 911 is not just for Emergency situations. If you see something that does not look right, dial 911. This may be individuals roaming the beach or neighborhood looking into homes, windows or doors. Your call gives police a record of these incidents and they can react accordingly. Posting on a social network notifies your neighbors, but does little to deter the thieves. Don’t fear the “crying wolf syndrome,” the Police welcome the involvement.
- We cannot emphasize enough the importance of filing an official report at the Fiscalia if you are the victim of a break-in or personal attack. This report will get the detectives investigating and pursuing the offenders. It also gives the police information to schedule manpower in the case of multiple break-ins in the same area. Without the report it is as if the incident never happened. If you have any issues reporting at the Fiscalia, don’t hesitate to contact a member of the BeashAreaNews Team so we can contact the state authorities.
To get the best help from 911, there are things you can and should do NOW to ensure that you receive emergency help as soon as possible.
- KNOW YOUR ADDRESS IN SPANISH. You may not be able to “speak Spanish,” but you can certainly type your address into Google Translate in English and copy the translation. There is even a button on your screen that will say it out loud so you can practice it.
- KNOW A FEW CRITICAL SENTENCES like “I need the police” (“necesito la policia”) or “I need an ambulance” (“Necesito una ambulancia”). We have a list of useful sentences in Spanish, along with a downloadable script of probable questions and responses on our Website; download and print it.
- PLAN FOR FAST MEDICAL RESPONSE. A few minutes of faster response can have a life-saving impact on the situation. There are ambulances stationed here at the beach; you might get one faster by calling directly–Beach Area News is working to determine reliable numbers for doing this. But do you have a neighbor with medical training or who knows CPR? It is another good reason to
- GET TO KNOW YOUR NEIGHBORS. This may be the most important single thing you can do to enhance your safety and security, and you will be helping them as well. Anyone bilingual is a very special resource who can help with emergency or other phone calls or helping you explain what’s happening to the responders who come to see you.
NEW HOSPITAL TO OPEN IN MERIDA
The long-awaited Hospital Faro del Mayab is set to open before the end of October! This new facility is aimed at a high-end local and medical tourism market, so the facilities incorporate the latest in health care technology and services. More than half of their staff will speak English.
Three members of your Beach Area News team attended a tour for extranjeros on Friday October 11. The Hospital Administrator gave an opening presentation and we got to meet most of the department heads, including the Chief Medical Director. There was also a presentation by a representative from Amexcare, a US company that assists holders of US-issued health insurance policies in determining their Mexico coverage, and in filing for and receiving benefits at participating hospitals
There is too much detail go go into here, but you can find out much more at these Websites:
- Hospital Faro del Mayab (hospital Website–in español)
- Christus Health (US-based hospital network that includes Faro)
- Christus Murgueza (Mexico branch of that organization–in español
- Photo page (Pictures taken by us during the tour)
- Amexcare (company Website)
Welcome to the fall and winter season at the beach!
Your Beach Area News Team
Speranza Avram, Dave Bloch, Karen Cloutier, David Nevers, Bob Rentz