Just how much does Air Conditioning Cost in Mexico?

March 23, 2014
What do chemists think about as they drift off to sleep

Merida’s heat has been building, and lately our upstairs bedroom/solarium has been getting hotter every night.    March in Merida generally kick’s-off the annual HOT season here, with temperatures rising through April,   to hit 104º – 115º F peaks in May.  Mid-June often brings a little relief with the start of Rainy Season – as the daily afternoon rains come in as ~ cool fronts ~  which is a great contrast to Washington DC and the Eastern Seaboard,   where afternoon summer showers mean steamy muggy nights of heat intensified by humidity.

Anyway, while lying in bed, sweating  …  trying to decide whether to turn on the clima, (AC),  I started running the number in my head for ~ how much “AA”  (“Aire Acondicionado“) costs to cool down our bedroom for a night.  electric meter~

Short Answer:  As little as $4 pesos a night . . . or   over $100 pesos a night, ~ depending on your bedroom, ~ your air conditioner, and ~your lifestyle

For better or worse, figuring out your PPN ($pesos por noche) means we have to know:

~  How many hours will you run the AA por dia?

~  How cool do you want your room?    a.k.a.  What temp to set the A/C?
. . .continue reading here . . .

… And now you know what  chemists   think about   as they  drift off to sleep

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Full Article can be read at:    Just how much does it Cost to Cool a Room in Mexico?
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© Steven M. Fry

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Monsanto’s Broken Promises and Impacts on Mexico

March 22, 2014
As we troll internet forums across Mexico, interesting topics pop up. Apparently, there is a documentary film making the rounds reporting Monsanto’s adventures in GMO agricultural products and Monsanto’s abusive practices of suing neighboring farmers when Monsanto’s GMO products jump to neighbors fields and enter our food supplies.

As a scientist, I am left wondering if Monsanto’s 3 decades of promises are valid or hollow**.

Before diving into the science and data, there’s also an interesting loose-end about Mexico supposedly banning GMO corn in Oct. 2013. The claim of a ban is not broadly true.

Note: Hawaii legally banned GMO corn in 2013, and France just banned Monsanto corn on March 15, 2014. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ocean-robbins/huge-gmo-news_b_4129311.html and http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/03/15/france-monsanto-idUSL6N0MC0BR20140315

Mexico? Internet searches report country-wide “bans” that: “suspend all activities involving the planting of transgenic corn in the country and end the granting of permission for experimental and pilot commercial plantings”.

junk food eater2Unfortunate reality: There is no ban of GMO corn in Mexico. There was a fairly narrow judicial ruling by Amparo (similar to a Temporary Restraining Order), issued by a single judge, ordering only the temporary suspension of planting GMO corn in Mexico, to allow a group of other lawsuits to make their way through the Mexican judicial system.

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Back to our regularly scheduled program:
In gringo internet discussions, some people are still believing that GMO corn and GMO products work.
Does Monsanto’s GMO corn deliver on Monsanto’s broad promises?

**Decades of reliable evidence says each and all of Monsanto’s GMO promises are false:

Reality: “In the 20 years since GMO crops first came on the market, studies have found that they have led to higher pesticide use, and no meaningful improvement in flavor, nutrition, yield or water requirements. Instead, what they’ve created are plants that are engineered to withstand massive dosing of toxic herbicides, and plants that function as living pesticide factories. Monsanto’s Bt. corn, for example, is actually registered with the EPA as a pesticide.

Why report this?     It explains why governments are finally recognizing the real risks of GMOs,  and    it supports governments rejections of Monsanto’s decades of inflated false promises.

GMO corn does   not   use less water.    GMO corn does    not    give higher yields.    Other than GMO corn’s pesticide properties and its resistance to Monsanto herbicides,   GMO corn (like Monsanto’s GMO cotton et al) does   not  ultimately provide    any   of the promised benefits.

Ironically, even Monsanto’s top promise of lower herbicide usage is false.   In response to Bt Corn and other GMOs:   Nature has simply created  “super-weeds”  that require far higher amounts of herbicide spraying – leading to the highest levels ever seen of herbicide contamination in US and India’s rivers due to over-spraying required by GMO corn and GMO cotton.

Mexican Corn FarmerGMO corn and cotton simply do not deliver on Monsanto’s decades of false statements and false promises.

http://www.nature.com/news/case-studies-a-hard-look-at-gm-crops-1.12907 and


Conclusion: Since there is no long-term Mexican ban on GMO corn, there is still risk that Monsanto’s $$ payoffs to politicians can overturn the judges temporary amparo, resurrecting the risks of GMO corn to Mexican farms, farmers, and Mexican corn.

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© Steven M. Fry

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Healthy Economic Future Projected for Mexico’s Economy

March 19, 2014
Good economic news continues to roll in for the future of Mexico’s economy. After financial experts’ 2013 broad projections of Mexico as a top choice for personal investing for the next few years, Goldman Sachs and Nomura now predict that the Mexican economy will enter the top 10 largest economies in the world by 2020.

A combination of record exports,  growth of the US-Mexico trade relationship, plus commitments by Cisco, PepsiCo, Nestle, Pirelli, Vesta, and PEMEX to invest close to $10 billion in new operations in Mexico bolster expert opinions that Mexico has a bright healthy economic future.

A few facts:  Mexico’s record 2013 exports of $280.4 billion to the U.S. and imports of $226.1 billion from the U.S., point to a growing trade alliance that benefits both countries.  Automobile manufacturing, auto parts, and aerospace were the driving sectors for exports to the U.S.
Fiesta Mexicana Style
Mexico’s solid fiscal and monetary policies have not only stabilized MXN peso values, but Moody’s Investors Service has taken notice and has increased – improved Mexico’s debt rating to “A3″ from “Baa1″. This change ranks Mexico as second only to Chile in Latin America with this good rating.

Billions in heavy investment by in Mexico key international businesses have also been announced by a variety of industries.    Cisco, PepsiCo &  & Nestle plan over $7.3 billion expansions of their Mexican operations over the next five years – demonstrating further confidence in already robust Mexican consumer and industrial markets.

Specifics?    Over 50 Japanese companies have inked deals to expand operations in Guanajuato alone, resulting over $1.79 billion in planned investments to create 12,580 new jobs there.    Continuing to build Guanajuato’s manufacturing base:  Pirelli Tires is currently investing $1 million a week, of a planned total of $200 million, in its Guanajuato production plant based on strong demand.

High Tech, Aerospace & automotive industrial capacities also continue their already solid growth in states like Queretaro, bolstering Mexico’s economic future.   Vesta, a leader in wind power generators, declared investments of $400 million throughout Mexico in the next five years,  on top of their $60 – $65 million yearly investments in industrial plants in Queretaro’s industrial parks for the past 3 years.

The planned growth is not just from international players:    PEMEX plans 2 years of $600 million USD of investments to upgrade its ocean fleet, and    PEMEX has also announced service contracts for 42 ocean vessels for deep-water drilling and exploration to dramatically expand Mexico’s oil production over the next decade. Finally, Mexican companies ranging from Logistics to Foods and Mining plan $billions in capital investments to increase capacity.**

All in all:  Things look good for Mexico.

** http://bdp-americas.com/blog/2014/03/03/recent-and-upcoming-investment-in-mexico-24/#more-944





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Feel free to copy while giving proper attribution: YucaLandia/Surviving Yucatan.
© Steven M. Fry

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US Economic Recovery on Track to Boost Future Property Values in Expat-Mexico

March 13, 2014 RealtyTrac reported that US foreclosure filings fell 27% year-over-year in February to a new seven-year low. U.S. Foreclosure Activity Decreases to Lowest Level in More Than 7 Years


Why should we care?

As we described back in 2009, foreclosed homes are the last big piece of the economic recovery puzzle.   Since it takes roughly 2 years for governments to process foreclosure requests,  when a homeowner loses their job and stops paying on their mortgage,   the home does not hit the foreclosure market until 2-3 years later.  A foreclosed home then takes another 400 days (2013 average).  This means that the Bush deregulation-caused 2008 Fiscal Crisis damage and Bush deregulation-caused job-losses are finally (logically) resolving in 2014,  just as we predicted back in 2009  Merida Real Estate Predictions

Just what does this have to do with us foreigners living in Mexico? 
If you look back at our past articles, you find that the big backlog of foreclosed homes  were the last piece keeping unemployment high and keeping a lid on the economic recovery.   This means that the last big piece of uncertainty about personal finances for people considering retirement & visiting or moving to Mexico,  will diminish with decreasing unemployment and increasing home values.    With low numbers of foreclosed properties,  potential Boomer retirees will be feeling the optimism from the  personal wealth effects of  a stock market at all time highs,  fully-recovered retirement accounts,  ~ and ~ higher home values .

Remember the Baby Boomers?
Baby Boomers: Retirement? Sufficient Savings? Their Likely Effects on Mexico?  pointed out that there are roughly 40 million Boomers who will be retiring with substantial savings and nice homes between 2014-2030, which takes us back to the point of this post:   The PREVIOUS backlog of foreclosed properties weighing down home values were the last item causing lots of retirees worries about the economic future.

Now that the backlog of foreclosed properties is back down to a manageable level, we should see a nice surge of retirees checking out Merida,   Yucatan,  and the beach areas over the next 5 years => good growth in both tourism   and   in our real estate and rental markets from relatively affluent new-Boomer retirees.

Let’s make them welcome.

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Feel free to copy while giving proper attribution: YucaLandia/Surviving Yucatan.
© Steven M. Fry

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CURP Information and CURP Helpline

Having issues or questions about CURP ‘s ?   Here’s a useful link.
Pasos a seguir para obtener o corregir tu CURP

Para mayor información comunicarse al Centro de Atención y de Servicios RENAPO al teléfono 01 800 911 11 11 (llamada sin costo).

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Feel free to copy while giving proper attribution: YucaLandia/Surviving Yucatan.
© Steven M. Fry

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US IRS Tax Issues for Americans Living and Working in Mexico

It is that time of year again. The time of year when our banks, employers, mutual fund companies send us notices of our income from last year (2013), which allows us to pay our annual tribute to the State and Federal Governments.

For CURRENT details, see our master article on taxes at: IRS Tax Issues for Americans Living and Working Abroad in Mexico – Master Article

money changing handsBrave readers who venture into reader’s Comments on other Yucalandia articles have noticed that there have been a spate of questions about tax issues for expats living and working in Mexico. This year’s questions have taken on more specific and detailed forms than ever, including Fideicomiso filing issues (3520 & 3520 forms), even to the level of requesting specific advice about their particular personal situations. Scary, nu ? Do we really have any business giving tax advice? … continue reading here

Full Article can be read at:
IRS Tax Issues for Americans Living and Working Abroad in Mexico – Master Article

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Feel free to copy while giving proper attribution: YucaLandia/Surviving Yucatan.
© Steven M. Fry

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The New CFE Cards and Listening to your Inner Curmudgeon

Feb. 27, 2014
I stopped by the CFE office on Reforma and Avenida Colon yesterday to check our balance on our apartments and noticed something new: The CFE “Automatic Teller” machine has a new option in its menu for accessing your account. You can now use your new “CFE card” to enter your meter information and get your balance.

~ “Pago Programado” ~ Sounds cool, huh?

Electronic cards, like credit cards, are obviously always more cool than old junk like paper-statements, paper cash, and coins.

Computers and electronics always make our lives better, faster, cheaper,     no?

Still, my inner codger hesitated. … continue reading here

Full Article can be read at: New CFE Cards (Listening to your Inner Curmudgeon)
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Feel free to copy while giving proper attribution: YucaLandia/Surviving Yucatan.
© Steven M. Fry

Read-on MacDuff . . .

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