Consider this


Yesterday I wrote about residents’ concerns over the noise level in downtown Merida. From the comments on social media, I conclude that a number of people do not fully understand the situation. Some wrote that the residents who are complaining are “intolerant” and  “un-cool”.

Fine, I guess that everyone has the right to an opinion. But, consider this scenario…

I know a young man (born in Merida) who purchased a derelict carpentry shop on a beautiful lot… 10 meters by 52 meters. It is located in Santa Ana, about 12 blocks northeast of the main square. When he took possession of the property, it was overgrown with 20 years of weeds, piles of rubble, and old shacks; there was no septic tank…  He has spent the past 8 years cleaning, repairing, planting trees and a garden. He built a 2 bedroom home. He is now married and has a child. The young family LOVE their home, especially because so much of their own hard work (and all their money) went into creating it.

Then a huge empty building, right next door to them, was bought by a group of wealthy investors from Mexico City. They are turning this property into a multi-venue eatery, with live music every night. The developers claim it will be a “happening” place… a great “attraction” for Merida.

The young man’s home and the restaurant share a 52 meter common wall. He asked the new owners to somehow soundproof. They said this would be “impossible”… a synonym for “expensive”… The restaurant complex is currently under construction, and jack hammers pound all day. The dust makes it impossible to go outside to the garden or open the windows. The toddler has a cough that won’t go away.

And once the business is up and running, the young family can expect typical restaurant prep noise all day long… kitchen banging, cooks swearing, delivery trucks coming and going, tables being dragged into place… Not to mention the vermin that propagate wherever food is stored.

And at night there will be live music, people whooping it up… it will be IMPOSSIBLE to live in the home they love.

This couple does not have the money to move, and they can’t sell. Who will buy their property with the monstrosity next door? They have been completely SCREWED – OVER.  Sorry, but there is no polite way to put it.

The one hope they have is the meeting to be held today at 4 PM in San Sebastian. The authorities have promised to show up and listen to the residents’ side. The young couple is praying that someone will help them out of this mess.

The residents who are complaining about noise are not just “whining expats”. They are also Meridanos whose families have lived in El Centro for generations, and they are not asking for anything outlandish. They are not “intolerant and un-cool”. They are people who have rights and they need to be heard. We should show them respect and support… not dismiss them.

Because think about this… if proper zoning and noise ordinances are not enforced, anyone’s home could be the next to be invaded. I don’t think anyone would like that.

Published by Changes in our Lives

I am originally from Canada but have lived in Mexico since 1976. My husband is from Merida, Yucatan and we raised our family here. We both worked for many years at Tecnologia Turistica Total (TTT), the tourism, language and multimedia college we founded for local and international students. Now retired, we enjoy spending time with family and friends, My other interests include reading, painting, cooking and travel.

12 thoughts on “Consider this

  1. My wife and I bought our home 5 years ago. Last year La Mentecata opened next to us blasting loud music until 3 am from their outside patio. Our life has been hell. My wife spoke to one of the owners about the noise. She asked him how would his mother like living next to this noise. He responded that “My mother would never live in Centro”.
    Yesterday at lunch our neighbor asked the person sitting at the next table who lives on Calle 51 if the noise bothered him he said it didn’t. When I commented that a bar might open next to him he responded “Oh you’re that person”. If you don’t live with the noise night after night then you can have that holier than thou attitude. We have tried everything to reason with them, we are just asking them to obey the city’s own ordinances.
    We can’t live here like this and won’t be able to sell our house.


  2. Ahh, I’m so glad I chose wisely seventeen years ago when I chose a house with a family on side, a canyon on the other and a kinder and a primary school on the back and front. No development ever. It is so quiet that I can hear the sound of the wings of the ibis in the morning and evening. Or the children singing and laughing. I treasure it and am grateful every day……….truly.


  3. I fully intended on attending this meeting today, but now I cannot. And that’s sad because I’ve been vocal on this topic and now disappointed that I can’t attend. I think my main concern is for anyone who lives by a school that uses amplification to address the students all day long. It can be heard for blocks. And the loud speakers on trucks, patrolling the neighbourhoods. If it is possible, could you do a followup article on today’s meeting and outcome? tia


  4. I have been a “victim” of noisy, obstreperous neighbors several times in the many years I’ve lived in Merida. Sometimes loud music all day, sometimes 3 Labrador Retrievers under my bedroom window barking all night, sometimes a Mariachi band once a week until 2 am. I wasn’t able to attend today but I certainly will sign any petition to simply ask the Municipio to actually enforce the already standing maximum decibel laws and regulations regarding what kind of businesses can operate in residential areas and at what hours. Santa Ana is clearly a residential area, by the way. In my Merida neighborhood “up north”, we quashed the opening of an open-air, rooftop bar by getting signatures from residents about 4 blocks all around it. The investor had already spent a great deal of money, I think, in preparations. He eventually enclosed it and turned it into a children’s party place which has been perfectly acceptable.


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