What Is Merida Like Today?
Merida today has about 1,500,000 residents and is a very cosmopolitan city with Mayan and Spanish descendants and is an extremely cultural city with many museums, libraries, theaters, numerous universities, art galleries and some of the best restaurants etc. The economy that was once based on the henequen industry or known as green gold. Now based on tourism, agriculture, concrete and fishing plus with so many people moving to Merida for is lifestyle and beauty. Some of the items exported are honey, sisal rope, petroleum products, hammocks, fine jewelry, concentrated orange juice, fish etc. Pase de Montejo is Merida’s “the Paris of the West” because of it´s tree lined boulevards, colonial mansions and estates that were built by the henequen barons of the 1800¨s. At the turn of the century there were more millions per capital than anywhere in the world because of the Green Gold. There are many things to see in and around Merida both night and day. There are things planed each night of the week in one of the local parks. Merida is a easy and short drive to beaches, Mayan ruins, haciendas, etc. The nicest things about Merida is its people. The Yucatecan people are hospitable, honest, easygoing, hard working and make wonderful neighbors. You will not find a better place to live anywhere in the world.
There is no crime in Merida and the Yucatan is considered to be one of the safest places on earth to live. In this city of old colonial homes, you can walk down any street in Centro day or night without worrying about being bothered in anyway. WHY? First there is a different philosophy of law and order. The Mexican approach is based on the Napoleonic Code rather than English Common Law. Therefore, instead of being innocent until proven guilty, a person must prove their innocence or take the penalty. The people of the Yucatan are a gentle people and only want to live a peaceful life free from stress and crime in anyway. A second factor (especially in the Yucatan) is that it is primarily a family and community oriented society and there is very little juvenile crime and delinquency. For example: on weekends, instead of the youth driving around, drinking and looking for trouble; they go to many of Merida´s town squares with their parents and family. In Merida, you can see teenagers escorting their Grandparents and even dancing with them in the Zocolo. In addition, neighbors (both Mexican and foreigner) watch out for each other and keep an eye on each other´s property while they are away from home. Merida is the safest place in Mexico to live…come see what living a peaceful life is really like.
Merida has some of the best medical care anywhere in Mexico or even some places in the states. We have large state of the arts hospital and doctors that are trained all over the world. Going to a hospital here is more like going to a 5 star hotel. The doctors visit 3 or 4 times a day and the care is outstanding. A trip to the emergency room will cost you about $25.00. And that is for the visit, the doctors care and medicine if needed. Dental care is the best. There are people who come here for dental vacations. I had a friend who had total braces, top and bottom installed for less than $400.00. Plastic surgery is another big business here…some of the best doctor in Mexico or the world work their magic daily. There are even guesthouse that cater only to this need. If medical care is an issue…not to worry…we have you covered.
There are probably three reasons why it is called the White City:
(1) The local men at one time generally wore white guayaberas, a traditional shirt worn by men, and the huipiles the local dresses for women.
(2) There is a white mixture called cal that is used to spread on most of the roof tops to make them watertight. It was also used to paint the building around the turn of the century. Flying over the city the rooftops have a look of being brilliant white.
(3) Merida is one of the cleanest cities in all of Mexico. You will never see trash or garbage on the streets, they are cleaned twice a week. The locals take great pride in their city.
One always wonders how much to tip when traveling in another country. Most Mexican make less that $10.00 a day. So they look for tips to help make ends meet.
- Hotel and guest house help…. at least 10 pesos ($1 US) per day
- Strolling musicians…. 10 pesos or $1 US Dollar
- Parking attendants….. 5 to 6 pesos
- Bag boys and girls at the grocery store…. 5 to 6 pesos
- Gas station attendants….. 5 to 6 pesos… I usually tip more here. All the stations are full service, they pump your gas, check your oil and wash your window. It is nice to remember a time like this many years ago in the states.
- Always tip extra for exceptional service and know that the families can use the money.