Merida, Yucatan — Recognizing a growing population of foreigners in Merida and along the coast, Yucatan’s civil protection department for the first time will issue emergency alerts in English and French.
The state is already bilingual when it comes to emergency orders: civil protection alerts are issued in Spanish and Mayan.
The head of the agency, Enrique Alcocer Basto, noted that snowbirds from Canada have a significant population at the beach during hurricane season. That is where officials most fear for citizen safety during powerful cyclones.
“During the months of July and August there is a significant number of foreign tourists for the holiday season, but we have also seen that Canadians mainly occupy their homes acquired in places like Santa Clara, Dzilam de Bravo and Progreso, among others, hence the importance of preventing them from harm,” he explained.
He said that the English language is widely spoken, so many of the tourists who visit the state will understand it, even if they are not native speakers. French is being added mainly to reach foreigners from Quebec.
The state has also held public meetings in Santa Clara, Cuyo, San Felipe, Rio Lagartos and Progreso to prepare residents for natural emergencies.