What's Going On In This Country?

October 2, 2017 Edition
BY: SANTIAGO VERDUGO

Haven’t we had enough already?  First it was Lidia and the 8.2-magnitude earthquake in Oaxaca that killed 90 people. Then it was Hurricane Max, a Category 1 storm that hit the state of Guerrero (think Acapulco). An estimated 3,500 families were affected and homes, highways, farmlands and water and electrical service have all sustained damages. Authorities are still evaluating the extent of the damage, and aren’t sure when reconstruction will start.

And as if those three weren’t bad enough, another earthquake hit Mexico City and the surrounding area. This had a 7.1 magnitude and hit on the 32nd anniversary of another massive earthquake that killed thousands of people in Mexico City in 1985.

So far, the death toll from this most recent earthquake is at 291, and an estimated 600 people are still missing. At least 44 buildings collapsed and almost 5 million people were left without power immediately after the quake.

Ok, Mother Nature, we give! We’ve had enough, please take some pity on us!

Locals lends a hand A group of firefighters and a rescue team was sent from Cabo to Mexico City to help search for earthquake survivors. Among them was one very special team member. Ludoviko, a Jack Russell Terrier trained as a rescue dog, made the journey to help assist clearing collapsed buildings.

Although the most common breed of dog used for these jobs are Labradors, Ludoviko did just fine while working in the area of Mexico City known as the Coyoacan, and gained support on social media. It’s good to know our canine friends here in Los Cabos were working hand in hand (paw in hand is more like it) to help following the tragedy in Mexico City. Us cats would help out too, but we’re much more suited for providing comfort after a traumatic event. A purring kitty curled on your lap is a great stress reliever.

In happier news… Plans are being made for an $840-million USD Mayan-themed park that will be built near Playa del Carmen.

The amusement park is going to be called “Amikoo”— which means friend in Mayan — and will boast 24 attractions spread over almost 300 acres.

Attractions are the park will include an archaeology and anthropology museum, a 320-room hotel, a panoramic flight simulator called “Fly over Mexico” and another simulator where passengers can take a virtual submarine journey. There are also plans for a convention center, shopping area, restaurants, concert hall and wave pool, all of which are expected to be completed by November of next year.

At a ceremony announcing the park, Mexico’s President Enrique Peña Nieto said the park is expected to attract between 4 and 4.5 million visitors annually.

Amazon expanding in Mexico Just two years after the retail supersite launched in Mexico, Amazon has announced that it will open a mega-warehouse (1 million square feet) warehouse outside of Mexico City.

The new warehouse will triple the size of the company’s current distribution space. It will be able to store about 15 million products including bulky items such as furniture. One million deliveries a day could be made and it would likely employ 2,000 to 3,000 people, according to Amazon execs.

Despite being so new to Mexico, Amazon is now the third largest online retailer in the country, recording sales of US $253 million last year.

Now this is something we could use School students over on the mainland have developed a household generator that’s powered by… a bicycle! And you, of course. Someone has to pedal the thing.

The teens combined old bicycles and discarded auto parts together, then rigged them up with a brand new Volkswagen alternator. The result is a pedal-powered generator that can create eight hours of electricity with just two hours of pedaling. So not only will this save people money, but it’ll help them get their exercise in too.

Assuming people already have an old bike, the cost of a new alternator runs about $340 USD. Pretty good deal, considering one of these bicycle generators can last for up to two years.

Avocados with just one click Thanks to a partnership between ProMexico, a federal agency that promotes international trade and investment, and e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, guacamole lovers in Chinese can now buy fresh avocados online.

The avocados became available last month through Alibaba’s business-to-consumer fresh produce platform, Tmall Fresh. To kick off the Alibaba-ProMexico collaboration, Tmall ran an avocado sale, selling 500,000 avocados, or 80 tons, in just two days.

Avocado consumption in China has been growing at an annual rate of more than 200%. According to ProMéxico, three-quarters of consumers are women, who like the Mexico’s “green gold” because of its nutritional and skin-care properties.