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Local Information

Is the Yucatan Safe?

Violent crimes in Mexico are very rare. Merida and the Yucatan are considered by most people to be one of the safest places on earth to live.

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. Therefore, people in Mexico tend to be more careful and concerned in their dealings with others and in their behavior.

In Mexico (especially in the Yucatan) it is a family and community oriented society and there is very little juvenile crime and delinquency. It is quite common to see multiple generations of family members enjoying festivals together. Guns are prohibited, and there is always a strong police presence. Most residents do not tolerate crime, thus making for safe communities. 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, the White City and capital of the Yucatan

Merida, the colonial capital of the Yucatan was founded by Francisco de Montejo (a Spaniard) in 1542. When the Spanish arrived, they conquered the Mayan city of T´ho or Ichcansiho, tore down the pyramids and used the huge stones to build the foundation for the Cathedral of San Idelfonso. The Spaniards enslaved the Indians and built grand houses, offices and cathedrals. Merida became the capital, trade center and seat of civil and religious authority of the Peninsula. The Indians finally rebelled in the 1840´s (the Caste War).

Today, Merida today has about 1,100,000 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, etc. The economy that was once based on the henequen industry is now based on tourism, agriculture and fishing plus Merida´s export business is increasing every day. Some of the items exported are honey, sisal rope, petroleum products, hammocks, fine jewelry, concentrated orange juice, fish etc.

Residents call Merida "the Paris of the West" because of the tree lined boulevards, colonial mansions and estates of the henequen barons of the 1800¨s. There are many things to see in and around Merida. It is an easy drive from Merida to beaches, Mayan ruins, haciendas, etc. One of the nicest things about Merida is its people. They are hospitable, honest, easygoing, hard working and make wonderful neighbors.

Lodging

There are many hotels and boutique hotels ranging from 5 stars to 1 star. There is something to fit all budgets. In Merida there are well know large hotel chains such as, Hyatt, Holiday Inn, Fiesta Americana and Intercontinental, as well as several luxury boutique hotels such as Hotel Hacienda Merida and Casa Azul Hotel Monumento Historico. In the beach area’s there is the Flamingo Inn in Chuburna, Mar y Rio beach apartments in Chelem, Playa Linda in Progreso and many numerous small inns and Bed and Breakfast establishments.

Food

In Merida, and the beach area’s you can find a wide variety of restaurants from fast food to five star. There is also a large amount of street vendors…all of which are safe. However, we would recommend you drinking bottled water.

Merida and the beach area’s have a variety of grocery stores and many local market places with a large selection of fresh fruits, vegetables and produce. The Mexican climate provides year round growing so that berries, melons, mangos, pineapples, avocados, bananas, lettuce, squash, etc. are picked for the market when fresh and are delicious.

Animal Care

Dogs and cats with a veterinarian´s certificate indicating updated immunizations can be brought into Mexico without any quarantine. The vets in Merida and the beach area’s are all well trained, inexpensive and some will even make house calls at no added cost. We would be more than happy to give you some phone numbers of confident vets.

Medical and Dental

Merida has numerous hospitals, and there is a hospital in Progreso. These are staffed by well trained physicians, many trained in the United States. The hospitals in the Yucatan are considered among the best in Mexico. Wonderful, inexpensive dental work is also available in Merida and Progreso. Many Americans and Canadians have been taking advantage of this for years. Also within the past five years, a growing number of Americans and Canadians have been coming to Merida for plastic surgery.

Gratuities

Transportation

It is easy to get around in the Yucatan, rental cars, buses, and Taxi’s are all readily available. The bus system is extensive. The roads are usually well maintained and the “Green Angels” patrol the main highways and provide assistance to travelers in need. The police units also have units to help travelers with mechanical issues.

Harmony

There’s a large number of ex-pats that live across the Yucatan. Many people from all over the world call the Yucatan “home”. They have found it to be a warm and welcoming. The Yucatecan people kindly embrace most into their relaxed and friendly lifestyle. If you are somewhat relaxed, willing to learn a new way of living, socializing and enjoy new experiences, this may be the place for you. We welcome you with open arms!

EMERGENCY NUMBERS

City of Merida General Emergency Number:  066 or 113 from cell

Red Cross Ambulance: 065 or 924-9813

Clinica de Merida & ambulance: 925-7398
Clinica de Merida is on Izaes 2 blocks South of the “Dondé” Glorieta (Miguel Hildalgo Glorieta on Circuito Colonias) – near Centro – they have their own ambulance service – and they offer the quickest transport to an ER for most of Merida ( Except NE & E Merida ).

Hospital: Star Medica, Calle 26 #199 x Fracc. Altabrisa , exit 5 for emergencies, 930-2880

Sami Ambulance Service: 925-4048 / Alfa Ambulance Service 924-1322 serves Star Medica

Police for problems inside Mérida Centro: 942-0060

Yucatan State Police for problems outside of Merida Centro: 930-3200

Merida Fire Dept: 924 – 9242 / 923-2971

GREEN Angels Roadside Assistance: 983-1184

Taxi Metro: 982-2250 or 168-0510

CFE ( Electricity ) 071

JAPAY (Water) 930-3450

Telmex (Phone) 01-800-123-0000

Municipality de Progreso Local Police 24 hours
Calle 37 s/n x 16 y 18 Colonia Héctor Victoria
Local phone 935 -0026 / Dialing from cell: 9699 35 0026

State Police & Fire Department
Calle 78, Entrada al Puerto
24 hours Local phone 935 - 0130
Dialing from cell: 9699 35 0130

Hospital Centro de Salud
Calle 25 x 76
24 hours Local phone 935 - 0053
Dialing from cell: 9699 35 0053

Hospital Centro Medico Americano
Calle 33 x 82
24 hours Local phone: 935 - 0951
Dialing from cell: 9699 35 0951

Red Cross
Calle 23 x 140
Centro Local phone 935-1624
Dialing from cell: 9699.35.16.24

Public Ministry
Local phone: 935-1218
Dialing from cell: 9699.35.12.18

Policia Judicial
Colonia Héctor Victoria
24 hours Local phone: 935 - 1076
Dialing from cell: 9699.35.10.76

Any part of the state
Dialing from cell: 066

Policia Judicial de Merida
Dialing from cell phone: 117

Secretaria de Seguridad Publica de Merida Dialing from cell: 113

Extranjero program: “NEIGHBORHOOD POLICE” policiavecinaldeprogreso@gmail.com
Extranjero phone number: 935 -0026

Direction of Public Security and Transit Puerto Progreso Direction de Seguridad Publica y Transito del Puerto Progreso Calle 37 x 148 y 150 s/n Progreso, Yucatán, México Phone Number of English-speaking Representative: 935 – 0026









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