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MACAY – Mérida’s Contemporary Art Museum »« A Rainy Day on Isla Mujeres

Meet the Meridians

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After one month in our new homes, we always review our initial impressions with a self-interview. We figured it would be interesting to do another interview after two months… but this time with locals. So over the course of an entertaining day, we went out into the streets of Mérida and introduced ourselves to some random people. There’s nothing scientific about the survey which follows, of course, but it was a fun way to meet some Meridians.

We met Jorge in the Plaza de San Cristóbol, where he was leading a group of boy scouts in some outdoor activities.

Where do you work, or what do you study? I’m in college studying Administration and Information Technology.

What’s your favorite Yucatecan food? Cochinita Pibil

What’s your favorite place in the Yucatán? I love the cenotes. If I had to chose one, I would say Peba, near Yaxcopoil.

What about the Yucatán makes you most proud? The ancient Maya archaeological zones.

And what makes you least proud? Mérida’s cleaning service… there’s just too much trash in the streets here!

What kind of music do you like, and who’s your favorite artist? I like rock, and one of my favorite Mexican groups is El Tri.

If you could visit one spot in the entire world, where would it be? Two countries really have always appealed to me: the USA and Germany. [note: we hadn’t told Jorge that we were from these exact two countries!]

Father and daughter José and Maria were enjoying a sunny Sunday on a bench in San Cristobal, when we approached and introduced ourselves. José did most of the talking, and everything we said seemed to make María Victoria giggle.

Where do you work, or what do you study? [José] I’m retired, but I used to work in a factory. [María Victoria] I clean the house of a doctor.

What’s your favorite Yucatecan food? Relleno Negro

What’s your favorite place in the Yucatán? The Plaza Principal, here in Mérida.

What about the Yucatán makes you most proud? I suppose the statues.

And what makes you least proud? It’s hard to get help from the government. They promise things and you can ask, but you’ll never get any assistance.

What kind of music do you like, and who’s your favorite artist? Marco Antonio Solís… listening to him always makes you feel good.

If you could visit one spot in the entire world, where would it be? Cancún! We’ve never been, and would love to see it.

We intercepted Abel in the Plaza de San Juan, on his way to meet his family. He was in a hurry, but agreed to take a few minutes and chat.

Where do you work, or what do you study? I’m 12 years old, so I’m still in school.

What’s your favorite Yucatecan food? Tamales

What’s your favorite place in the Yucatán? Tizimín

What about the Yucatán makes you most proud? I think we have a really great culture.

And what makes you least proud? In Mexico, there’s just too much violence.

What kind of music do you like, and who’s your favorite artist? I like American music, and I suppose my favorite is Usher.

If you could visit one spot in the entire world, where would it be? The USA.

Enrique was in the gorgeous Plaza de San Sebastián, when we approached him. Very enthusiastic about Mérida and knowledgeable about its history, he was eager to talk with us about it.

Where do you work, or what do you study? I work at a decorations store.

What’s your favorite Yucatecan food? Hmm… Pavo en escabeche. Also queso relleno, although this only for special occasions. Also, I love zic de venado (shredded deer in sauce), but it’s hard to find this nowadays.

What’s your favorite place in the Yucatán? The ports. Progreso and especially Sisal, which used to be the main port.

What about the Yucatán makes you most proud? The importance of family in the culture here. Also, I love how tranquil the Yucatán can be.

And what makes you least proud? There can be a lack of manners among the people, and the city is too dirty. Mérida’s called “The White City”, but let me tell you… it’s not because it’s so clean!

What kind of music do you like, and who’s your favorite artist? I most enjoy tropical or Caribbean music, but my favorite artist is Armando Manzanero.

If you could visit one spot in the entire world, where would it be? It’s not very likely that I’ll get there, but I would love to visit Australia.

Leticia was hard at work in the market near San Sebastian, making and selling tortillas. It was amazing to watch her hands continue to work automatically, while her mind was busy with our questions.

Where do you work, or what do you study? [We skipped this question, since we interrupted her at work, making tortillas!]

What’s your favorite Yucatecan food? Relleno Negro

What’s your favorite place in the Yucatán? Chelém, a beach near Progreso.

What about the Yucatán makes you most proud? The people and our customs.

And what makes you least proud? I suppose the politicians. Probably nobody is proud of their politicians!

What kind of music do you like, and who’s your favorite artist? I love ballads, and especially Marco Antonio Solís.

If you could visit one spot in the entire world, where would it be? Egypt.

Andrés was walking through the Plaza de Santa Ana with his guitar, when we approached him with our questions.

Where do you work, or what do you study? I’m in school, studying Communication.

What’s your favorite Yucatecan food? Cochinita Pibil… I love sushi the most, but I suppose that’s not really Yucatecan.

What’s your favorite place in the Yucatán? Progreso

What about the Yucatán makes you most proud? I think the state does a great job supporting the arts. There’s a lot of culture here.

And what makes you least proud? Honestly, I can’t think of anything negative. I love it here, it’s so peaceful.

What kind of music do you like, and who’s your favorite artist? I’m into jazz-fusion, and one of my favorite musicians is Lee Ritenour.

If you could visit one spot in the entire world, where would it be? England.

Yanin had just finished participating in a half-marathon, when we cornered her in the Plaza de Santa Ana.

Where do you work, or what do you study? I’m a veterinarian, working in Progreso.

What’s your favorite Yucatecan food? Tamales

What’s your favorite place in the Yucatán? Cuzamá

What about the Yucatán makes you most proud? The people here, and the lack of crime. It’s wonderfully safe.

And what makes you least proud? I suppose people don’t know how to treat animals very well. Especially in the rural communities, there’s a lot of abuse, which is sad.

What kind of music do you like, and who’s your favorite artist? I love listening to ballads, and one of my favorite singers is Alejandro Sanz.

If you could visit one spot in the entire world, where would it be? Spain.

Rafael was selling ice cream in the Plaza de Santa Lucia. It was a sunny day, and he was doing good business, so we waited for a quiet moment before approaching.

Where do you work, or what do you study? I sell ice cream, and my wife is also here in the plaza, selling homemade crafts.

What’s your favorite Yucatecan food? Cochinita Pibil

What’s your favorite place in the Yucatán? I would say the capital. And to be specific, right here in Santa Lucia… it’s the best spot in the best city.

What about the Yucatán makes you most proud? I’m just proud to have been born here.

And what makes you least proud? There’s really nothing I can think of. Everything here is great.

What kind of music do you like, and who’s your favorite artist? I love the classics of the Trova Yucateca, especially the music of Guty Cárdenas.

If you could visit one spot in the entire world, where would it be? [This one took him awhile… his eyes kind of drifted off while he deliberated; either he had never put much thought into this, or he had thought about it a lot and had too many options.] France.

There was a public dance going on in Santa Lucia, and these three sisters were just taking their leave, pushing along their mother in a wheelchair. I correctly suspected that chatting with them would be fun…

Where do you work, or what do you study? [Right away, the sisters were talking and laughing and teasing us a little. Caught up in the fun, we forgot to ask this initial question!]

What’s your favorite Yucatecan food? Guadalupe: Cochinita Pibil, Tere: Frijol con Puerco, Paula: Papadzules

What’s your favorite place in the Yucatán? Mérida and Izamal

What about the Yucatán makes you most proud? How friendly everyone here is. You’ve noticed this, haven’t you? Of course you have! The food, naturally, and the culture.

And what makes you least proud? The heat, and the mosquitoes. These can really be a problem.

What kind of music do you like, and who’s your favorite artist? The Trova Yucateca. Armando Manzanero is the best. [I started serenading them with Manzanero’s “Somos Novios“…] Not yet we aren’t!

If you could visit one spot in the entire world, where would it be? Ancient Rome and Jerusalem.

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January 13, 2014 at 11:30 pm
7 comments »
  • January 13, 2014 at 11:59 pmNora

    I really like this new feature! It’s a great way to get a better feel for the locals. I hope you can keep it up in your future trip reports.

  • January 14, 2014 at 4:19 amHenry

    Hey that’s my mom with my aunties and grandma. I’m very proud of this. Thanks for the interview very nice of you to take the time to know other countries lives. Greetings

  • January 21, 2014 at 4:09 amJeff

    Abel is super cute! This is a nice idea for a post series. You talk to locals more than we do. I wish we did it more but I’m a pretty shy person with strangers.


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Meet the Meridians After one month in our new homes, we always review our initial impressions with a self-interview. We figured it would be interesting to do another interview after two months... but this time with locals. So over the course of an entertaining day, we went out into the streets of Mérida and introduced ourselves to some random people. There's nothing scientific about the survey which follows, of course, but it was a fun way to meet some Meridians.
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