Earth Day Fair in Merida – Alternative fueled cars, composting, recycling

Earth Day event

Earth Day event

It was a lovely event. It was pleasantly crowded, spirits were good, there were lots of interested children, and a genuine variety of exhibits. This all took place at Casa Catherwood Norte, on Calles 17 and 20 in Garcia Gineres. Merida Verde and other organizations worked hard and pulled in both commercial an non-profit exhibitors, all of whom made a successful effort to make their displays and demonstrations educational and interesting.

Face painting

Fair trade products for sale

Don Emilio Chan, Maya priest and x'men

Don Emilio Chan, Maya priest and x'men

Avila Molina Recycling was at the fair. They are in Chuburna and will recycle your aluminum, paper, old iron, etc. Calle 21, #364.

There were organizations with instructive materials about recycling, people selling rich looking compost, and everything you need to get started on making your home green.



U Yits Ka’an had a small table where they sold some seeds, and some products, like balche, a traditional Maya drink. (Balche plays a large role in my novel, 2012: Deadly Awakening). UYK is a school for campesinos, where they learn how to compost, rotate crops, try new crops, etc. The farmers are housed there most of the week and on their days off , they go home to their own milpas. It’s just outside of Mani.

Indigenous products

Indigenous products


Amaro restaurant from Calle 59 is largely vegetarian. They’ve been there a long, long time. Between 60 and 62 on the north side.



A new German bakery, El Aleman Reposteria Integral on Calle 21 three blocks from Super Bodega on Montejo. He had multigrain bread, carrot pastry, croissants, etc, all from whole wheat flour.

German bakery

German bakery

There was a guy walking around dressed like a plumbing part of some kind. I felt sorry for the him wearing the outfit in the intense heat, but he didn’t seem to mind.

Very warm costume

Very warm costume

The Car

John Rogers, his wife and two children are New Yorkers who have moved to Merida. Recently, they  drove this huge vehicle here from the US. A gas guzzler? A polluting vehicle? Nope. They had it worked on in Miami, and it took the mechanic just a day to convert the engine from gas to oil fuel. They drove it down here fueled only on oil. They used all kinds of oil. Leftover from restaurants, throwaway used oil from car tune-ups, vegetable oil, you name it.  It gets about the same mileage per gallon on the oil as it did on the gas.

John Rogers and his oil eating car

John Rogers and his oil eating car at the fair

The truck is a 6 cylinder Dodge Ram 3500 Turbodiesel. They drove it to Merida while pulling a 1973 31 foot Airstream trailer.

John Rogers says, “With a conversion like mine you can get the oil from anywhere you find it.  Many restaurants will simply give you what they have. Some sell it to services that use it in animal feed or for the cosmetics industry.  Since we wanted a long-haul capability for trailer trips I had two of the company’s largest tanks installed.  Each one holds sixty gallons of oil.  I also had another free standing tank with 30 gallons in it.  The original diesel tank holds around 35 gallons.  So when we filled up in Miami we had a total volume of 185 gallons of fuel.  At around 18 MPG that gives you over 3000 miles range. That was enough to get us to Merida.  The oil I got in Miami was collected from restaurants and cleaned to remove water and food particulates.  I paid less than half the diesel price.  The onboard system includes a centrifuge and filtering system to clean dirty oil from restaurants itself.  But the cleaner the oil is before it goes in the better.”

The company in the US that did the conversion is Michael Lokey was John’s contact.

About BG

Beryl Gorbman is a writer and private investigator who divides her time between Seattle WA and Merida Yucatan Mexico. She has published two works of fiction, 2012: Deadly Awakening, and Madrugada. They are both available on Amazon and other outlets. Also at Amate Books, and Casa Catherwood in Merida. You can read about them in various articles on this site.
This entry was posted in General Blog, Merida Expat Life. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Earth Day Fair in Merida – Alternative fueled cars, composting, recycling

  1. Julie Hoover, Merida Verde President says:

    Thanks for the nice review. A key accomplishment was forming a coalition of 10 groups concerned with sustainability in Mérida, something we´re not sure has ever been done before. We are hoping to maintain and build upon this coalition for future events.

    Other popular features of the fair included exhibits on composting and Dengue, films all day long, a fascinating exhibit about and subsequent tours to Meridas ecological park, and numerous educational events for children in the morning including a puppet show provided by Niños y Crios.

    Casa Catherwood owner Louis Nevear estimated the crowd size to be at least 650, probably more. The event was registered as part of an international Earth Day undertaking.

  2. Soňa Králová says:

    I am so glad you documented this. Thank you, Beryl.

  3. LG says:

    I had to wipe a tear from my eye!
    So proud that people of this city supported the ideas of Earth Day and came out to learn more about what we all could be doing to please our Mother, Earth.

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