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jennifer rose

May 10, 2009, 6:17 PM

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Have the economy and swine flu affected you?

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Have you changed plans to visit or move to Mexico because of the above? How have the economy and swine flu affected your relationship with Mexico?



MazDee

May 10, 2009, 7:26 PM

Post #2 of 23 (5664 views)

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Re: [jennifer rose] Have the economy and swine flu affected you?

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Since I live here, my response is not what you are asking for, but I will tell you anyway! First, let me mention that Sinaloa state has not had a single reported case of the swine flu. The situation hasn't affected me personally, but it has upset the plans of a number of friends. And, very seriously hurt our economy. Friends had return tickets to Canada on Westjet, which suddenly cancelled all its México flights, leaving them to scramble for alternatives in order to get back for a job. Another friend was looking forward to seeing her son, who was on a cruise to Mázatlan, when all the cruise lines cancelled their Mexican port calls. Two other friends had tickets to the Russian National Ballet (as I do), but they rescheduled for June, when those 2 will be away. I saw photos in the paper of people in masks, but I saw very few when I was out and about. I understand all the hospitals and clinics were jam-packed for a day or 2 when the frightening news came out, but that was very temporary. People just seemed to return to normal. Except, of course, for anyone in the tourist business, from beach vendors on up. It is very sad. The cruise ships alone bring so much money to all their ports! I have not yet heard of ANY cases of that flu in Mázatlan, Vallarta, Cabo, or Cancun.


santiagostan

May 11, 2009, 6:45 AM

Post #3 of 23 (5613 views)

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Re: [MazDee] Have the economy and swine flu affected you?

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I live here full-time and my answer won't be helpful, but I couldn't help myself. The biggest impact so far came yesterday when the doors to our local professional, 2nd Division, soccer team were closed for a playoff game. So I spent the afternoon with 50 - 100 others hanging out in Mango trees, standing on ladders & scaffolding drinking beer so we could watch the game. That was in lieu of sitting in the bleachers like normal!

Stan


HarryinNM

May 11, 2009, 7:28 AM

Post #4 of 23 (5603 views)

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Re: [MazDee] Have the economy and swine flu affected you?

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You betcha!

The US economy and the soft real estate market here has definitely delayed our move to Mexico. We are not comfortable moving until we have sold property here.

The flu situation is a temporary condition which, I believe, has been handled quite well by the Mx government. While it has had created crisis in the Mexican tourism sector, it would not hold us back from moving for more than a few days.


morgaine7


May 11, 2009, 8:42 AM

Post #5 of 23 (5582 views)

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Re: [jennifer rose] Have the economy and swine flu affected you?

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Similar to SantiagoStan, I live here full time, and the biggest effect from the flu is that I need some Vitamin C and the stores are still sold out of it. I'm not sure how greatly tourism has suffered, as it's the end of our season anyhow.

Economy-wise, I retired and moved in 2007 just before the bottom dropped out, so I simply have to deal with it. Finances are tight and always will be, but I'm grateful to be living in a beautiful, friendly, affordable location with a paid-for house and car. Not to be working makes me feel wonderfully free, and I'm very happy not to have been faced with the possibility of delaying retirement.

Kate


TlxcalaClaudia

May 11, 2009, 9:10 AM

Post #6 of 23 (5569 views)

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Re: [jennifer rose] Have the economy and swine flu affected you?

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Economy: I'm back in the US and my ability to make income in the education sector hasn't been affected. I have more work than I can deal with. I've turned down work and have plenty more offers. Hubby too has been busy; he is the greencard holder doing electrical work and has been working overtime every week. Financially, we are good.


Swine Flu: Not going back to Hidalgo this August because of it. As a teacher, I would get stuck with monitoring sick kids and disinfecting classrooms and being cautious with my own little ones. The guy in Hidalgo who hired me via phone died 4 days after our phone interview (he was American). Over the phone he apologized for coughing so much and for having delayed the interview a week later until he felt better. He was trying to get rid of the lingering cough' and was sick with flu symptoms for weeks. I think I would take the chance and go if it were just me, but with my own kids in tow...not a chance. Schools and kids worldwide hold enough germs that I have enough on me keeping up with hygiene and my kids where H1N1 hasn't yet hit my community. And then a friend from Hidalgo emailed me that schools there were NOT opening back up right away. Not until May 18. Apparently, 3 new cases (death involved) appeared in Pachuca where I was to teach. Not sure my job is even available anymore. I got a note from the school that they are re-doing all interviews and assignments and that I would hear from them if they still wanted me. No thanks. I'm secure here.

*sigh*
I miss my friends and family there though ...maybe next year.


(This post was edited by TlxcalaClaudia on May 11, 2009, 9:12 AM)


Carron

May 11, 2009, 9:53 AM

Post #7 of 23 (5559 views)

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Re: [jennifer rose] Have the economy and swine flu affected you?

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Swine flu has not affected us here in the northern state of Coahuila. The only concession seems to be that many public servants (clerks, police officers, gas station attendants) are wearing masks. At home we have tripled our intake of Vitamin C (a standard precaution in our family when anything threatens) and stocked up on cold/flu meds, which we haven't had to use. We are also drinking lots more juices and other non-alcoholic fluids, especially spiced up with an extra squirt of fresh lime juice.

The economy is dead. Lots of mansions on the market. Many, many stores, clubs, and restaurants have gone out of business, especially in the tourist areas. We drove down the main tourist strip about 9:00 Saturday night and it was a ghost town. We went into a once popular restaurant near our house and we were the only customers there. Sad!!

We receive our social security benefits by direct deposit into our Mexican bank. We are still getting a very good exchange rate as our dollars automatically convert into pesos; and even with some obvious inflation (a large can of sardines here recently jumped from 11 pesos to 18 pesos), we continue to live comfortably within a limited budget.


Sunnyvmx


May 11, 2009, 10:41 AM

Post #8 of 23 (5545 views)

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Re: [jennifer rose] Have the economy and swine flu affected you?

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During our visit to Houston, my husband and I seriously discussed our happiness in the future and being absolutely honest we confessed that where he wanted to remain in Houston with family and travel the Western states, I wished to return to Catemaco and live my life in Mexico. I was miserable NOB. In the midst of the flu outbreak we returned to our RV in Tepetapan and separated his from mine so he could return leaving each of us to follow our dreams, still in love, but happy though apart.

From the flu standpoint: only workers dealing with the traveling public were wearing masks on the Gulf coast. In Catemaco and surrounding areas, little if any precautions were being taken although many stopped eating pork. This week all is normal and it is the carefree, happy town I enjoy. I saw no precautions in San Andres yesterday either.

On my limited income it would never be possible for me to live single in the States. Where could you take a bus to the next town for 6.5 pesos ($.50) or a taxi to anywhere in the town for 15 pesos ($1.15). In Houston, I brought home $100 worth of groceries on my bicycle. The grilled and rotisserie chicken have both reduced in price, I have no idea why, but it was a nice surprise. I must use A/C now and I'm seriously considering the building of a palapa over my RV to reduce the electricity that I use.

This life in Mexico and Catemaco to be specific is more stress free, liberating, healthful and enriching than any I had ever hoped to find and I will always be extremely thankful to my husband for making it possible. It is truly "living the good life."


BajaGringo


May 11, 2009, 10:50 AM

Post #9 of 23 (5541 views)

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Re: [jennifer rose] Have the economy and swine flu affected you?

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The swine flu has not really affected me directly although it has taken a toll on some of my clients here in Baja with reduced numbers coming down across the border this past week or so.

The economy has been the bigger impact, even more than the stories of narco-violence IMHO. I do believe in the long run though that the sliding US economy will push more of the coming retirees to look at options like Mexico, Costa Rica and Panama for retirement. Many in this current group of Baby Boomers have taken a huge hit in their proverbial nest egg and are looking for ways to make their money go farther.

Of course getting their homes sold in the US remains a factor and a lot of them are just considering renting out their homes in hope of the market recovering at some point in time later on.

Personally I am not a big believer in the idea that we will see that anytime soon and any recovery in real estate (if it happens) will be in baby steps. I don't foresee any "boom".

I have talked to several folks who are just cutting down their expenses and simplifying their lifestyles. Seems to make a lot of sense to me in light of the current state of affairs and economic forecast and will make certain regions of Mexico more attractive to many who find themselves in that boat.

Not a lot of market out there right now for $400K+ luxury condos but there is a growing market down here for affordable housing that is set up right to appeal to the retiring ex-pat market I believe.

Time will tell...


YMMV


Our House Building Project in Mexico...
Lomas de San Martin
Loving Life on the Baja Peninsula


ken_in_dfw

May 11, 2009, 11:56 AM

Post #10 of 23 (5525 views)

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Re: [jennifer rose] Have the economy and swine flu affected you?

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The H1N1 virus has been a non-event for my partner and I. Although we are being careful when out in public places and we're trying to stay well-rested, eat right, stay hydrated and dose up on vitamins A, C and E.

The economy has been a much bigger issue, however. I'm with BajaGringo - I think the economic meltdown far overshadows any news about the narcos. Over the last 6 months, we have watched as dozens of our friends and co-workers get walked out the door - some having been employed at the same company for 20 or 30 years. Both of us have managed to escape the pink slip epidemic, but we have taken very significant pay cuts. Including the lost bonuses, our income is down about 30 percent in one year's time! That has been the number one and only reason why we haven't been making any trips to Mexico (or anywhere else).

That said, the meltdown in the economy will have the strange effect of getting us to move to Mexico sooner, rather than later, and permanently, instead of part-time, as we had envisioned. Because of that, and because we feel that Mexico needs all the help it can get from the tourism business, we are going to scrape our pennies together and make a trip later in the year. If we're going to move to Mexico full-time, we want to thoroughly explore the locations that have made our short list. Might as well get started and help out the local economy in the process.

Ken


roni_smith


May 11, 2009, 1:23 PM

Post #11 of 23 (5505 views)

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Re: [jennifer rose] Have the economy and swine flu affected you?

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Not yet. Our last trip was in December 2008. We do not have the next one planned at this point. We both work in public community colleges and feel relatively secure job-wise, but the state revenue forecast on which the next two year budget will be based is coming out on Friday. If it if far worse than April's forecast, then things could be more uncertain for one of us.

Our current target date for retirement and a move south is the summer, 2011. That still appears to be on target. If we both were to lose our jobs, we could sell out, both take early retirement, move to Mexico and make it all right until Social Security rolls around for me in 4.5 years - but that would not be our preference.
------
Planning for Mexico Move Blog



Rolly


May 11, 2009, 1:43 PM

Post #12 of 23 (5501 views)

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Re: [jennifer rose] Have the economy and swine flu affected you?

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I don't know if it's the virus, divine intervention, or what, but the Zetas and the drug wars have been conspicuously absent lately here in the Lerdo area.

Old fashioned common criminal activity continues unabated. The sudden surge in robberies, etc seems to be related to the economic conditions. Perhaps also, it may be partly the result of many unemployed guys coming home from the USA.

Thus far none of this has touched me or mine.

Rolly Pirate


HhowieE

May 11, 2009, 9:41 PM

Post #13 of 23 (5434 views)

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Re: [jennifer rose] Have the economy and swine flu affected you?

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I just got back into White Rock yesterday, the flight home was nice, lots of empty seats. That was a very possitive effect. The tourism sector is taking a beating in Tulum, Mahajual and Xcalak.
The petty crimes are on the increase in PDC, friends were robbed in the Sam's parking lot. Not that robberies do not happen but these people are living near Tulum year round and know the lay of the land so to speak. Unfortunate because this was the end of the season, all the cash is needed for awhile and bookings are off, considerably.
The violence, strong arming, threats and extortion will increase until the economy turns.
This is all good news for Por Esto, these types of stories are their bread and butter.
Personally, I hope things come back to normal quickly. I have families who depend upon the work our guests provide. They have become accustomed to the tips and may not be able to send as much home as the rest of the families need.
Saludos,
Ron


TlxcalaClaudia

May 13, 2009, 7:02 PM

Post #14 of 23 (5316 views)

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Re: [jennifer rose] Have the economy and swine flu affected you?

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Here is a recent update of how H1N1 affects me personally. I am going to be creating and posting English lessons on a Hidalgo elem. school website for students as they are having to do work at home still. From Florida I will be more involved with this school all of a sudden. I spoke with the director...they are not at all feeling more relaxed. This town in Hidalgo is still having cases and deaths turn up thus schools are still closed until May 18th.


Papirex


May 13, 2009, 11:11 PM

Post #15 of 23 (5293 views)

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Re: [Rolly] Have the economy and swine flu affected you?

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The swine flu has affected us a little, and we have actually benefited from the economic downturn. My wife's best friend since childhood is a physician in México City. She tells us that she is treating newly diagnosed confirmed cases of the swine flu every day in the hospital where she works there. I don't know if the federal government is falsifying the numbers of newly diagnosed cases they are releasing every day, but they don't match the new cases our friend is treating every day.


She convinced my wife and her mother to postpone a trip that they were going to make to México City earlier this week. My wife had an illness about a month ago that really knocked her for a loop. It was not the flu. Her friend told her that she thinks her immune system is not strong enough yet to risk a trip to México City, and she doesn't think her 82 year old mother should go there yet either.


She believes that México City is too dangerous for anyone that does not need to go there to risk a trip there yet. Although health authorities are beginning to gain control of the epidemic, she believes the infection rate will get much worse in México City and the entire nation before it is eliminated.


Our friend is engaged to marry my wife's brother. He lives in Tacoma, Washington. He had reservations to fly to México City today, but as much as she would love to see him, she convinced him to reschedule his flight until July.


I believe the odds of being infected with the new flu strain are small, but it is one lottery that I don't want to win. We are taking common sense precautions, avoiding crowds, etc. We do carry face masks with us. The face masks are not primarily to prevent the infection of the wearer, but to prevent an infected person from infecting other people. You are safer in a large crowd of people when the majority of them are wearing masks than you are where most people are not wearing them. Not wearing a mask in public is ignorant and inconsiderate at this time.


The incubation rate for most strains of flu is only 24 hours, for this new strain it is 7 days so an infected person may feel perfectly healthy while he is infecting his family, coworkers and strangers on the street or in stores.


The falling Peso has so far been in our favor. Two months ago. We were getting 50% more Pesos for every Dollar we exchanged. Lately, we have been getting a little over 30% more Pesos per Dollar. Due to the falling value of the Peso, some prices have been raised, but not too much, not enough to seriously affect us. Prices can't be raised much more without seriously affecting sales volumes since most Mexican workers are on fixed salaries. I have never heard of a cost of living wage increase in México.


I don't expect our retirement incomes to be reduced in the foreseeable future. I earned three union pensions in my life. They are all defined pensions not subject to the every day vagaries of the stock markets. The annual reports for all of them this year show that they are all 50% above the point where any adjustments will need to be made in the benefit payments to remain solvent.


I receive a fairly high monthly Social Security benefit too. In spite of what the investment industry has been trying to convince the public for the past 15 years or so, Social Security has been and is, very solvent ever since President Reagan repaired it in 1982. If the sharks had succeeded in privatizing it a few years ago and turning those billions of Dollars over to the Wall Street investment brokers, I would probably be lucky to get $18 Dollars per month rather than the $1,800 Dollars I receive now.


As the old saying goes, “Life's a bitch, then you die.” We will just have to ride this one out to see where we end up.


Rex
"The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved" - Victor Hugo


BajaGringo


May 14, 2009, 4:43 AM

Post #16 of 23 (5279 views)

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Re: [Papirex] Have the economy and swine flu affected you?

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Papirex posted:

"Social Security has been and is, very solvent ever since President Reagan repaired it in 1982."

Not sure where you are getting your information but the News Reports out just a few days ago state quite the opposite.



The financial health of the Social Security system has eroded more sharply in the past year than at any time since the mid-1990s, according to a government forecast that ratchets up pressure on the Obama administration and Congress to stabilize the retirement system that keeps many older Americans out of poverty.

The report, issued yesterday (05/12/2009) by the trustees who monitor the government's two main forms of help for the elderly, shows that Medicare has become more fragile as well and is at greater risk than Social Security of imminent fiscal collapse. Starting eight years from now, the report says, the health insurance program will be unable to pay all its hospital bills.

The findings put a stark new face on the toll the recession has taken on the two enormous entitlement programs. They also intensify a political debate, gathering strength among Democrats and Republicans, over how quickly President Obama should tackle Social Security when health-care reform is his administration's most urgent domestic priority.

In announcing the results of the trustees' annual forecast with other Cabinet members, Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner said, "The president explicitly rejects the notion that Social Security is untouchable politically." Still, he reiterated that the administration intends to "work to build a bipartisan consensus to ensure the long-term solvency of Social Security" only after it collaborates with Congress to slow health-care spending and enable more Americans to obtain medical insurance.

Congressional Republicans and some Democrats seized upon the findings to argue that the administration should work rapidly to ward off the looming insolvency of Social Security and Medicare. Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.), who withdrew from nomination as Obama's commerce secretary, said yesterday's report shows that the recession is "accelerating the arrival of a massive, trillion-dollar entitlement crisis on our doorstep." He added: "Trying to kick the can down the road will not make it go away. We need to take meaningful action now."

Specifically, the trustees' report predicts that the trust fund from which Social Security payments are made will be unable to pay retirees full benefits by 2037, four years earlier than forecast a year ago. In particular, the trustees single out the financial weakness of the part of the program that subsidizes disabled Americans, saying that fund will run out of money in 2020.

Only three times in the past 15 years have the trustees predicted that Social Security would run out of money sooner than previously expected. Last year, they forecast no change from the 2007 prediction, and in 2007, they predicted that the fund would last a year longer than they had previously thought.

Yesterday's report also said the Social Security trust fund will begin to spend more money than it takes in through tax revenue in 2016, one year sooner than predicted a year ago.

Administration officials said that if Congress were to act immediately, the impending gap could be filled three ways: by raising workers' Social Security payroll taxes by 2 percentage points, from 12.4 percent to 14.4 percent; by reducing benefits by 13 percent; or a combination of the two approaches. The officials briefed reporters on the condition of anonymity on the technical aspects of the trustees' findings.

Medicare's financial health, the report shows, deteriorated less sharply in the past year than Social Security's, but it remains the more urgent problem. The trust fund that pays for hospital care under Medicare is now predicted to run out of money in 2017, two years earlier than forecast a year ago. That fund does not involve the parts of Medicare that cover doctor's visits or coverage for prescription drugs.

The nation's economic downturn has added to the fragility of Medicare and Social Security because worsening unemployment means that fewer workers are contributing to the two trust funds through payroll taxes. Since the recession began in December 2007, the country has lost 5.7 million jobs.

But even if the economy were stronger, the programs would be facing pressure in coming years as the large baby-boom generation reaches old age and people tend to live longer, leaving comparatively fewer workers to pay benefits for a large cadre of retirees.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius sought to use the report to build momentum for health-care reform, reiterating the administration's contention that the best way to strengthen Medicare's finances is to, as she put it, "fix what's broken in the rest of the health-care system." If Americans have health insurance and receive adequate medical care when they are younger, she said, they will be healthier and less expensive patients when they become old enough to join Medicare, usually at age 65.

Some key lawmakers in both parties have said they want to devise a plan to keep the retirement program solvent by increasing the retirement age, slowing the growth in the size of retirement checks to wealthy Americans and bringing in new revenue.

Several Democrats and Republicans would prefer to create an independent commission to propose Social Security reforms, but congressional leaders, particularly in the House, have balked, saying the matter should be handled by Congress's regular committees.

Last week, House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) said Congress could start work on the retirement program this fall if it passes health-care legislation by late summer -- a timetable that others called unrealistic. Yesterday, Hoyer said he was encouraged that Geithner, the Treasury secretary, "stated the administration's support for moving forward with Social Security reform after health-care reform has passed."


Our House Building Project in Mexico...
Lomas de San Martin
Loving Life on the Baja Peninsula


(This post was edited by BajaGringo on May 14, 2009, 6:03 AM)


jennifer rose

May 14, 2009, 5:15 AM

Post #17 of 23 (5274 views)

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Re: [BajaGringo] Have the economy and swine flu affected you?

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Please keep the focus upon Mexico. There are other venues to discuss the Social Security system.

This post appears to be taken entirely from an AP story without attribution.


BajaGringo


May 14, 2009, 5:24 AM

Post #18 of 23 (5273 views)

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Re: [jennifer rose] Have the economy and swine flu affected you?

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Sorry Jennifer - I hate it when folks hijack threads but I only added this one in as Social Security is a very important issue to a lot of folks retired in Mexico and the topic was on how the economy affected us.

I will make a postem note to slap hand...




Our House Building Project in Mexico...
Lomas de San Martin
Loving Life on the Baja Peninsula


yucatandreamer


May 14, 2009, 2:22 PM

Post #19 of 23 (5230 views)

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Re: [jennifer rose] Have the economy and swine flu affected you?

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We have just received a cry for help from friends who own Hacienda Chichen, The people of the towns of Piste and Xcalacoop are in desperate need of employment. These towns are not well off to begin with and rely on the tourism industry to keep afloat. Most of the hotels have closed around Chichen Itza and the employees let go. Belisa and Bruce are keeping the Hacienda Chichen open in order to keep their employees employed. They are making a special offer to all expats in hopes that they can fill some rooms. They want to target expats because we are not afraid of the flu, unlike the tourists that have deserted the Yucatan Peninsula.

The owners of Hacienda Chichen are offering the family and friends rate to all expats who book through the Hacienda. They are also including some meals. I have stayed at the Hacienda and it is a treat. I also know Bruce and Belisa personally and know that they care deeply for the people and communities around the Hacienda.

I am posting the rates and contact information in the Business section and hope that anyone who can, can take this opportunity to visit Chichen Itza. If you can't get to the Yucatan, try to book a room near you in a hotel that is staying open.


wendy devlin

May 15, 2009, 2:20 PM

Post #20 of 23 (5156 views)

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Re: [yucatandreamer] Have the economy and swine flu affected you?

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Your friends' situation is likely echoing all over the republic.

Or so. Am reading.


DonaldEug44


May 19, 2009, 9:50 AM

Post #21 of 23 (5070 views)

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Re: [jennifer rose] Have the economy and swine flu affected you?

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Neither the Swine Flu nor the economy have upset or changed my plans. I just returned from a week in Ajijic and had the best vacation I have taken in years. I had doctors and friends warn me not to go and I am glad I did not listen.

I actually think that I had a better chance of getting the Swine Flu here in Snohomish County, WA than where I was in Mexico.







Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe. - Albert Einstein


waltw

May 26, 2009, 4:52 PM

Post #22 of 23 (4970 views)

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Re: [jennifer rose] Have the economy and swine flu affected you?

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Just to show how far the affects of Swine Flu have traveled, in the retirement community in NC where my parents reside, there's a posting at the front entrance that states anyone who's traveled to Mexico in the last 30 days should not come in.

The US CDC had, until recently, advised against all non-essential travel to Mexico.
That, however, has been lifted.

http://travel.state.gov/...a_tw/pa/pa_3028.html

The only Swine Flu ban left that I'm aware of is for this retirement community in NC.


morgaine7


May 26, 2009, 8:44 PM

Post #23 of 23 (4942 views)

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Re: [waltw] Have the economy and swine flu affected you?

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Turns out that I'll be traveling to the US next week. Though my area (Baja California Sur) had no flu cases reported, I'll be flying through Mexico City. No idea what to expect on the US side, but I'll try to report if there is anything interesting or useful.

Kate
 
 
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