Trip to Merida, Mexico

Answering a call to serve in Merida, Mexico, three brothers from Dallas set off a week from their schedule to serve there – Brothers Munawar Ahmad, Tariq Malik and Naseer Tahir. Here is a brief report from their trip. Pictures from the trip are here.
We set off to Merida, Mexico in a group of four people – three from Dallas and one from Houston. The flight was about 2.5 hours long and Merida is in the same time zone as Dallas.
We had out stay arranged at the Mission House in Merida. The Mission House is located in the downtown in the corner of Calle (stands for street and pronounced ka-ye) 61 and 51 [map]. Apart from the prayer hall, there are two guest rooms in the mission house and each has 2 beds. The rooms have A/C and there are two bath rooms for men and one for ladies. The doors of the Mission House always remained open during the day so some people would just drop by as they walk down the street.
We rented bicycles to move around the city streets. Our main activity was to distribute fliers. We set off with 1000 fliers each in the morning each day and it took us around two hours to distribute them all in the downtown area. People are very friendly and very receptive for the fliers. In the evenings, we went door to door to distribute fliers. The local missionary dropped us in the residential areas and after distribution we used to walk back to the mission house. It took us typically an hour to reach 100 homes.
Overall in one week we distributed around 15000 fliers. On Thursday, there was a Cafe, Pastel e Islam (Coffee, Cake and Islam) meeting hosted by the missionary. Its a regular event and when we were there, there were around 18 guests for the meeting.
Best time to visit Merida is Nov-Feb, when the weather is cool. City is closed on Sundays. Bikes are the best way to commute in the city. Thera re a lot of traffic and people on the street – so need to be careful to remain on the narrow side walks and not to step on the streets. Merida city is very safe. There are a lot of mosquitos and ants. Not all restaurants serve bottle water.
There is a beach at around 45 minutes from the downtown. Chechin-itza is another interesting place. Its a UNESCO World Heritage site and marks an important history of the Mayan people in the area. Chichen-Itza was established during the Classic period close to two natural cavities (cenotes or chenes), which gave the town its name “At the edge of the well of the Itzaes”. The cenotesfacilitated tapping the underground waters of the area. The dates for this settlement vary according to subsequent local accounts: one manuscript gives 415-35 A.D., while others mention 455 A.D.
The local Mayan people are very friendly people. They are short with average height around 5 feet. It was a challenge for a tall person to distribute fliers among some short people!

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