Report and Photos from my trip to Mérida, Mexico

In Plaza Grande in Merida MexicoPosted photos as well.

A few weeks back, I headed to Mérida, Mexico (on the Yucatan peninsula) to attend the Latin American Crystallographic Association (LACA) meeting along with a colleague. We flew down Friday, arriving in town around 9pm. We had originally planned to attend the whole meeting, leaving the following Friday. However, due to some things going on at work, we ended up changing our plans a week or so before and headed back to the US on Tuesday morning. It was a short trip, but I really enjoyed it. I had only been to Mexico once before, and that was when I was four and was to Tijuana. For this trip, we stayed at the Holiday Inn Mérida, which was the conference hotel. This was a very nice hotel, especially the very large breakfast buffet. We ended up eating at the hotel’s buffet dinner Friday and Saturday night.

At Cinvestav in Merida MexicoOn Saturday, we headed to CINVESTAV (something akin to a national research lab) for a short opening ceremony, to check out the room for our Sunday workshop, and to get a tour of some of the labs. It was quite a nice place and decently equipped. After finishing and waiting a long time for a taxi, we headed to the center of town and Plaza Grande. We walked around a bit, visited the cathedral, and found somewhere to make the printouts we needed for Sunday. After lunch at Los 2 Toros Yucatecos for some very good regional cuisine, we walked some more, including a visit to the Mercato Portales, before making the trek back to the hotel. We spent a good chunk of the evening in the lounge with some other conference attendees. For dinner, we headed to the hotel’s buffet with some other attendees.

Sunday was our workshop day. We boarded the bus back to CINVESTAV, got set up, and got right to it. The workshop went really well. We finished a bit after noon when ICDD took over for their part. For lunch, we headed to Galierias M?rida (a local mall) all as a group and ended up at San Cerdito. Once the workshops were done, we boarded the bus back to the hotel and hit La Exquina for some excellent tacos. It was a good, but long day.

In Plaza Grande in Merida MexicoMonday was the first day at the conference. Some of the talks were good but many were in Spanish which made it not really possible to follow. For lunch, we headed out to Trattoria La Pasta for a change of pace from tacos. After I presented my poster in the evening, which also went well, we headed to Cubaro. We had tried to find this Sunday night but went the wrong way from the hotel. (Actually, Google or Yelp had it in the wrong location on the map.) This was an excellent meal and it was great to sit on the second floor deck overlooking the Mayan monument. Tuesday morning, we headed back to the airport for our flight back to NJ.

Overall, it was a really good trip. Our workshop, talk, and poster went over very well. I would have loved to see more of the area, the Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza are only 45 minutes away, but it was not to be this trip. I’m kind of glad we decided to head home early as I’m not sure I would have gotten much out of many of the talks given that many were in Spanish. It was also amazing how inexpensive food was. Our most expensive meal (Cubaro – steak, shrimp, beer, and tequila) was only the equivalent of $45 dollars for two. Most meals were much less. Perhaps I’ll make it back at some point for work or for a personal trip.

In Merida, Mexico