December 14, 2019
Every once in a while, we get fun news~updates from some of the minor (smaller) Maya sites. Consider recent reports offering beautiful insights into the founding & lifestyles of Paso del Macho … Think BOTH Jade & Chocolate.

There’s a fun article out describing fun jade (ritual?) items found under the plaza of Paso del Macho Puuc site, that describes

… an offering made when the settlement was founded between 900 and 800 B.C. It contains some of the earliest evidence of Maya fertility rituals. … (describing)  more than 30 artifacts made of greenstone, including small stones that symbolize maize sprouting from the underworld, represent events in the story of the maize god’s birth. ”

Paso del Macho jade

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This latest article fits nicely with past fun    chocolate   findings from Paso del Macho, from a separate-but-related article on chocolate found at Paso del Macho:

2,500-year-old Cacao Residue Discovered in the Maya Puuc Region of Yucatán.”

“Traces of cacao – or chocolate – have been found for the first time in an archeological context in Yucatán; the chemical residues of the seed (usually called “beans”) were found adhered to two fragments of 2,500-year-old Mayan ceramic pottery, recovered from the Paso del Macho archeological site.”

“One of the fragments discovered is a plate, which suggests to scientists that the pre-Hispanic Mayans may have used it for their food as a sauce having a consistency similar to that of mole*.

“The discovery is of relevance to archaeology, because it indicates that the use of cacao may go as far back as 600-500 B.C.,

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Jade,  mole   and   Chocolate !

Our Puuc Maya knew how live !

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

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What Actually Happened in the UK Election ?

December 14, 2019

Data driven worlds …

or … Get swept along by the hype?

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Lots of US Lefties are moaning that the UK election of Boris (with an 86 vote majority) … somehow magically predicts a big Trump win in 2020…

Is that a reasonable conclusion?

The actual UK election results say a resounding …. ” No ” …

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Why-how did UK-ites lose their minds, electing Boris the Goon with an “86 vote” majority?

When the vast majority of the British public believes that their deep complex problems (of failed-collapsed Empire) should be solved by easy feel-good solutions … (falsely-easy solutions offered by all sides) …

When pretty much all talented leaders leave-the-field (years ago) due to over a decade of intractable messes … leaving only very low-talent options … Who (or what) do they vote “for” ?

… or … Do you vote “against” ?

Notice that it’s the same as the USA where millions of votes “for” Trump… were actually just votes “against” the arrogant more-of-the-same Washington-insider Hillary.

Then notice that UK’s “first past the post” election rules too often guarantee non-democratic results … where Boris (ab)used  the UK Parliamentary system to    steal  an 86 vote majority (56% of Parliament),    with just 43% of the vote …
UK Parliament seats.png
Notice that Tories’ vote share only increased by a paltry 1.2%, even though they LOST over ½ their seats in Scotland – ( getting a WEAK 43% of the total UK vote).

while … Labor votes FELL by 7.8%
… (led by the repulsive, dithering, bland Labour leader Corbin)

The election results were NOT a resounding “YES” to Boris-the-Goon (a paltry 1.5% gain to just 43%) … Instead, they were a rejection of Corbin & Labor’s weakness & confusion.

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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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Need to Notarize a Document when Abroad?

December 6, 2019

For all the people who don’t have a US Consulate nearby,  or whose Consulate makes them wait 2 – 4 weeks for an appointment … note that there’s now another legitimate option to get US documents notarized while abroad:  the app “Notarize”.

A good US attorney notes that US law dictates that several basic requirements be met for properly Notarizing a document:
~  The Notary must see you during the Notarization, to establish that you are the actual person who signs the document.

~  The Notary almost always has to be licensed in the jurisdiction of the document being Notarized.

Because “Notarize” does this through a video chat, it should be legal in all states since they appeared to be licensed in all states  … because the “Notarize” Notary actually sees you at signing.

“Notarize” is at:

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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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Adventures into Yucatan Plumbing & Electrical (Desafios)

December 4, 2019

For everyone who “has seen it all” …

I just returned from a very peculiar gas-leak job … where electric current was passing along the metal mesh covering on the gas hose to the stove … due to electric current leaking from the copper GAS LINE in the wall – looking for ground – running through the wire mesh covering on the rubber gas hose – getting hot … and ARC-ing .. where the metal touched metal … MELTING through two different gas hoses …

~ Electrical Short ~ Burnt Gas Hose(1)

This is what the 2 day old “new” hose looks like – from the Yucatecan plomero-electricista … “plumber-electrician”‘s installation on Monday.

~ Electrical Short ~ Burnt Gas Hose(2)… because another local Yucatecan electrician-plumber just slapped in a new metal mesh covered hose … that lasted just 2 days before burning through the rubber gas hose … again

Fortunately … they did not make the 10:00 o’clock News.
aka   … no BOOM

Repairs Part 1:     Make & install a high quality poly-hose that does NOT conduct electricity …

Repairs Part 2:     I bonded-the-shite out of all of it (gas pipe, stove & outlet) to 2 different earth grounds – using 2 fresh new copper wires. => Belt & suspenders …  AND a bungee-cord.

Disclaimer: For professionals only … Do not try this at home.

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November 20, 2019

Snow blowing

Our friends in Illinois have ~already~ been shoveling serious snow …

~twice~ …

… It’s not even Thanksgiving, yet.

~ Our Yucatan sidewalks ~   …  ??

In need of shoveling …     😉

uxmal double jaguar throne       Chichen Chac Mool


There are other reasons to visit here …

Uxmal Chaac2 

Uxmal Chaac1

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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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Drinking Water Quality in Merida and Yucatan

November 20, 2019
The issue of drinking water quality keeps coming up over & over on Expat web-boards, webpages, and Expat FB pages, for at least the past 14 years.

The common ~lurid rumor~ that many newbies propose is that our Merida City tap-water is somehow ~magically~ “bad” …

Fortunately, the opposite is true. … Merida City tap water consistently tests clean roughly 97% of the time, when tested before the water enters the home. … Sadly, so many Merida homes have contamination in their tinacos** and cisterns** that just 75% of Merida homes test clean at the kitchen sink tap. *  (See below for instructions on inspecting your home water system quality.)

Continuing… Why is Merida tap water so clean, but SO HARD??

Our Merida City Water (JAPAY) comes from 130 ft deep wells … and it’s from 10 million years ago. … Were there pesticides & herbicides 10 million years ago?

Since there is 100 feet of limestone between modern surface water and our 130 ft deep Merida City drinking water wells, there really is no practical way (route) for surface contamination to get down 130 ft to our drinking water supply. … Merida is not New Orleans whose Mississippi River contains the effluents & sewage & feed-lot & farm run-off from the Rocky Mountains to the Appalachians… like in the USA & Canada (tar sands & fracking) …

USA water??One of the earth's most polluted rivers

Not Merida … 😉

Fortunately, here in Merida … We have no tar-sands oil… We have no fracking .. We have no Mega-hog farms or Mega-chicken farms … No big chemical plants nor refineries …  and there’s NOBODY “upstream” from our drinking water …

=> Remember … USA-nians are justified to fear the over 5,000 USA water districts** who have been failing US EPA standards for years … But those fears simply do not fit Merida. … Seriously … It’s US drinking water that people should fear.


Image result for dirty refinery

Again … 40 years of Scientific Testing show … It’s USA water we should fear …   That’s the USA … Think Michigan ..  New Jersey ..  Texas … Louisiana … Chicago .. Pittsburgh

Fortunately, Merida City JAPAY water is proven clean at 97% of the homes tested***, when it enters our homes.

**The water for Merida City wells at 130 ft depths is very clean … but it is very hard (High calcium carbonate levels – which are NOT a health risk – but just taste a bit “off”)…   Why is Merida city water so clean? …. because that water is 10 million yrs old … and there were no pesticides 10 MILLION years ago.

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***Past independent studies show clean Merida city water 97% of the time, ~ENTERING~ the house … but that water entering the house … is not the same as water at the kitchen faucet … That means that roughly 25% of the water tested in Merida kitchen sinks had microbial contamination (fecal coliforms) FROM INSIDE THE HOUSE’s plumbing.


No dead birds … no dead ‘possums … no accumulated leaf litter … SERIOUSLY … people leaving the tops of their cisterns & tinacos open is THE REAL ISSUE, per 20 yrs of test results.

and yes, Virginia … You can test your own water!
~ Note that if you test the water coming into your Merida home  for free-Chlorine (swimming pool test kit) … and if you measure chlorine present – then your water is FINE !

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Next:  Are you unsure about the quality of your Merida City water in your tinaco or cistern ?

*Tinaco~Cistern Inspection & Maintenance:
For people on Merida City water (JAPAY) … Basically … LOOK in your tinaco~cistern    and  ~sniff~  it. 😉

If you see organic detritus (dead leaves, dead rotting vegetation, dead birds, dead iguanas, or roots) … then REMOVE all the detritus, rinse it out … and disinfect it with normal laundry bleach**.

If the tinaco~cistern water looks clear & clean, and smells OK, then it’s 97% likely OK … And yes,  some accumulated “sarro” … scale … is OK.

To ENSURE it’s OK, you can add enough ordinary laundry bleach** to disinfect it: … ¼ cup of bleach per 1,100 liter tinaco (300 gal) … completely eliminates bacteria, viruses, microbes. … This free-chlorine concentration is equal to a US public swimming pool … (for about the next 2 days). 😉

After adding the bleach, mix the water gently … and wait 15 minutes. … Then flush the toilets, run the sinks & showers … etc to fill your all of your home’s pipes with the nice free-Chlorine disinfectant (bleach) …
Image result for glass of clean water
Allow that water to stand for about 15 minutes … to kill everything that may have accumulated in the pipes.

Then …. use the water as normal.  … Note that there will be a light chlorine smell (like a swimming pool) for the next 2-3 days => thoroughly disinfecting your home’s plumbing !

**Use ONLY normal plain dull household-laundry bleach .. Not scented bleach … Not “Gel-no-splash” bleach … Just normal household bleach.

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As long as you have a good top on your tinaco~cistern, this bleach treatment is likely needed only about twice a year. … If you get dead birds, dead possums, dead iguanas or dead leaves in your tinaco~cistern, in the meantime … then start over. 😉

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What if you are not on Merida City JAPAY water?

If you are drinking private well water from TOO SHALLOW wells across Yucatan – or drinking cenote water … then all bets are off. 😉

If you are drinking well water from a TOO SHALLOW well, dump a bottle of blue food dye into the toilet … flush the toilet … and turn on all the faucets in the house for about 10 minutes … collecting the water into white containers (like a white bowl) …  then wait 30 minutes,  and run your kitchen sink water again into a white bowl  (and flush the toilet) … and look for blue …

Image result for dirty full septic tank

The first 30 ft of ground water here ACROSS YUCATAN is often contaminated … most often by private homes septic systems.   … That means shallow wells are a problem, but GOOD wells drilled to 18m – 20m almost always have hard, but clean  water …    Why?? … Note that our BIG hard limestone aquatard between 30 ft to 60 ft (20m) ~blocks~ surface contamination from reaching even private wells drilled to 18 – 20m.

Final note … A literal 47 years of scientific measurements show there is very little horizontal (sideways) movement of ground water in Yucatan, with 2 exceptions.*   … Notice that there are NO mythical “underground rivers” flowing in almost all of Yucatan. … 47 years of measurements shows that most (95%?)  of our surface water moves vertically through our limestone.

Notice that if there was lateral-horizontal movement of water in the caves that connect cenotes … then the sediment in this channel would be stirred up by the flow of the mythical “underground river” …

No flowing river here… just quiet still water ..

*The 2 exceptions to “no under-ground rivers”:   

Near the coasts, the rainwater in the first 10 km – 15 km of rainwater does slowly move out towards the sea.   and … In the hilly areas of Yucatan – like Campeche & Bacalar – the rain water does move downhill underground …

But notice how slow the flow is … from how clear the happy diving-girl image is. 😉

Don’t worry …. Be happy …

You’re in Yucatan! ….. Enjoy!

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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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Mexico’s National Baseball Team into the Olympics !

Nov. 16, 2019

Mexico beats the USA in extra innings … to advance … as just 1 of 6 teams … into the 2020 OLYMPICS !!

Mexico Baseball into Olympics

Before we go to the official MLB recap … note that the USA was   ahead   the whole game … Going up 1:0  in the top of the 2’nd  …  then… finally Mexico tied,  1:1 in the bottom of the 6’th  … then  top of the 7’th …  Vaughn sped around third and made it home just ahead of the throw ….  2:1 …  staying @ 2:1 through the bottom of the ninth …

Bottom of the ninth … with their Olympic bid   slipping away 

Mexico’s Matthew Clark  (a Mexican-American professional of the Bravos de Leon)
CRUSHED ~ a   solo   HOME RUN … to  tie  the game.

I’ll leave it to the official MLB Recap to describe the ending … 😉

” … In the Bronze Medal Game of the Premier12 tournament in Tokyo, Mexico defeated USA, 3-2, in 10 innings to earn a spot in the 2020 Olympic Games.

The WBSC rules for the event called for runners on first and second to begin each extra inning. Red Sox prospect Bobby Dalbec, who drove in a run earlier in the game for the United States, opened the inning with a perfect sacrifice bunt, which was followed by an intentional walk. Mexico’s Carlos Bustamante, a 25-year-old pitcher who spent some time in the D-backs’ system, came up clutch with a strikeout and a popout to end the inning tied at 2-2 despite entering with a pair of runners on and no one out.

Mexico would not falter  with the same advantage presented to it in the bottom half of the frame, as a sacrifice bunt and an intentional walk were followed by a broken-bat single to center by former Angel Efren Navarro to plate the game-winning run to earn Mexico a spot at Tokyo 2020. ” **

A broken-bat bloop single    WINS THE GAME !!!

Here’s an official video of the highlights:

**The Rest of the Story …
The United States will have another chance to qualify for the Olympics via the Americas Qualifier, held in Arizona in March 2020, where the winner will advance to the Tokyo Games, and the second- and third-place nations will be placed into the Final Qualifying Tournament for … one last chance  … to earn a berth in the Olympics.


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

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