This week Kathy and I had a wonderful opportunity to give back, in a small way, to the beautiful Yucatan, our new home.
We participated in a Christmas tree party at the largest children’s shelter in the state. CAIMEDE currently houses 196 residents from newborns to disabled adults. The party was organized by Yucatan Giving Outreach, an amazing organization.
All 20 rooms at the shelter received a tree to decorate. Volunteers provided snacks, drinks and activities. Kathy and I had a room of 6 teen boys. They were delightful and we all had a great time!
Yucatan Giving Outreach provides critical support services to orphanages, shelters for the elderly and women, soup kitchens aiding children and additional rehabilitation centers in Merida and across the state of Yucatan. Kimberly Davin-DeGraff (Kimmy Suki) founded YGO in 2013. Through her passion and desire to help the severely poor and those in need in the community, with her energetic passion and selfless dedication, Kimmy has driven YGO to become the focal point of multiple efforts in many communities. As a leader Kimmy oversees all the volunteers and outreach programs on a daily basis.
Working with YGO is a wonderful experience. If you live in Mérida, I highly recommend reaching out to them. If you don’t live here, perhaps consider donating: https://ygo.mx/
Hanal Pixan is the name for the festivities which take place in the Yucatan which are similar to the Day of the Dead celebrations throughout Mexico. However, there are some Maya additions to the 3-day holiday which are specific to the peninsula and reflect the history and culture of the Maya people.
We were able to attend the Paseo de las Animas which is one part of this fascinating and beautiful holiday. You can read more about it in the article linked about. We hope you enjoy our pictures and videos.
We’ve been blessed with lots of visitors lately and were so proud to show them our beautiful city. So, it’s time for a top 5 list of what we suggest you see when visiting Merida.
1. El Zócalo
Also known as la Plaza Grande or Grand Plaza el zócalo is a must visit site. It’s a great spot for picture taking, it’s surrounded by historic colonial buildings and an ancient cathedral. There are lots of art galleries and street vendors in the area. At night el zócalo comes alive with music, light shows and a variety of activities.
2. El Museo del Mundo Maya
The Maya World Museum is a striking, modern Mayan cultural museum with many exhibits of art, handicrafts & history. It’s a great place to spend a cool air conditioned afternoon on a hot Merida day.
3. Biciruta on Sunday Morning!
Rent a bike and enjoy a ride down historic Paseo Montejo. The street is closed to car traffic on Sunday mornings and full of bikers, skaters, folks walking their dogs, babies in strollers and more. It’s a lovely way to take in Merida’s main street with beautiful old mansions and monuments.
4. Free Walking Tour
Every day at 10 am there is a great walking tour which starts at Parque Santa Lucia. You will tour central Merida, see lots of historic buildings and thoroughly enjoy a brief history lesson.
5. Take a Day Trip
With so much to see and do you may not want to leave Merida. However, at least one trip out of town shouldn’t be missed. You can visit the closest beach town or Progresso, spend a day at one of the many cenotes or visit the pyramids at the World Heritage Sites of Chichen Itza or Uxmal.
If you are planning a visit to Merida, please let us know. We’ll be proud and honored to show you our beautiful home city.
Uxmal is an ancient Maya city of the classical period located in present-day Mexico. It is considered one of the most important archaeological sites of Maya culture, along with Palenque, Chichen Itza and Calakmul in Mexico, Caracol and Xunantunich in Belize, and Tikal in Guatemala.
Uxmal is about one and a half hours drive from Merida. Today, cool and cloudy, was the perfect day for a visit.
I found Uxmal to be much less touristy than Chichen Itza, it’s also much smaller. Be prepared for walking and climbing some fairly challenging steps.
Uxmal is a beautiful place and a great uncomplicated way to spend a morning in the Yucatán. Thank you for reading our blog. Please reach out to us with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org