Published On: Sat, Feb 22nd, 2014

Random Musings

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MERIDA, YUCATAN.  Recently, I’ve been wondering. I’ve been wondering about the cost of the ‘1er Informe’ (1st yearly state government report), which was featured in TYT last month here: Specifically, the cost of the ‘advertising’ (i.e. propaganda) plastered on every available billboard, bus, bus shelter, taxi, etc., plus constant spots on the radio, TV and in print media.  For a couple of weeks before the ‘Informe’ you couldn’t go 50 meters without being assaulted by another billboard ‘informing’ you of the miracles the state government has performed in its first year. Then of course, there was the event itself, which featured entertainment and other diversions for the adoring crowd. How much, exactly did this cost? Was it, in the government’s opinion, a good use of funds?

While thinking about the state government and its ‘achievements’, I also wondered why, when Yucatán is already the safest state in the country, the government felt it necessary to hire hundreds of new police patrols? What, exactly, will they be used for?


Yucatan Gov Logo









While thinking about the new police, I wondered why we currently have vehicular ‘retenes’ (checkpoints) all around the city, manned by the state police, most of whom can be found either sitting in their cars, sitting under nearby trees for shade, or standing around playing with their mobile phones, rather than paying any attention to the passing vehicles? Will the new patrol officers be performing this same valuable function?

Keen to obtain answers to these questions, I contacted Governor Rolando Zapata’s press office, and sent them over. More than two weeks later, I am yet to receive a response, and I am not holding my breath for one.

As one of the other political parties is currently ‘advertising’ on billboards around town “Yucatán escuchará el informe, pero tambien preguntará” (Yucatan will hear the report, but will also ask). Good luck with asking.

* * *

Have you been to Sisal to see the new face of the town, as reported in TYT here: On a recent Sunday afternoon, we took a trip over there. It is indeed, lovely. Unfortunately, while the town looks beautiful, the same poor standards of service prevail at its restaurants and eateries. We intended to have lunch at ‘El Muelle de Sisal’, generally considered to be the best place in town. We arrived, and took a seat at one of the few vacant tables. There were still dirty items on the table from the previous guests, along with the leather folder containing the tip for the server. We waited. And waited. Several servers passed us, none acknowledged us or endeavored to serve us, or indeed clear the detritus from the table. After 15 minutes, we stood up and left. Apparently, no one cared.

The "New Face" of Sisal

The “New Face” of Sisal

Next stop was the restaurant right at the base of the pier, in a previous incarnation known as ‘Corsarios’, however without any current identifying name painted on the outside. It was busy, with most tables occupied. While wondering where to sit, we spoke with some customers already in the restaurant. They told us they had been seated for 45 minutes, and apart from their drinks, had yet to receive anything else they had ordered. This did not sound auspicious, so on we moved.

Sisal Pier

Sisal Pier

Hoping for third time lucky, we stepped inside ‘Restaurant Juanita’, a block from the base of the pier. Tables were available, and we were greeted relatively fast, although the waiter gave the impression he really didn’t care if we were there or not. The food was good (especially delicious was the fried fish in garlic sauce), the ‘botanas’ generous, the beer cold, and the prices reasonable; service speed declined however as the restaurant got busier.

Sisal Beach

Sisal Beach

Overall, I would recommend a visit to Sisal to see the newly painted buildings, and the beach of course is still beautiful. You might want to take a picnic with you though.

By Stewart Mandy

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Stewart Mandy

Stewart Mandy


Born in Europe, raised in the Middle East, and a long-time resident in the Americas, Stewart has been based in Mérida, Yucatan since 2010, and has lived and worked worldwide in the media, travel, tourism and transportation industries for well over 20 years. His local contacts and global knowledge provide him with unmatched access to the stories ‘behind the stories’ and he likes to take you to the places that others don’t or won’t go. From the Arctic Circle to Tierra del Fuego, from Moscow to Melbourne, from Bergen to Buenos Aires, Stewart has been there. Chances are, wherever you are heading, he knows the score.


In addition to The Yucatan Times, Stewart contributes (or has contributed) to “The Examiner” (, “Business Briefings”, “Cruise & Ferry Magazine” and “The Apollo Magazine”. He is a former editor of “rolling pin CRUISE” magazine.

He can be contacted by email at or

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