On Sunday November 6th, Merida residents had the opportunity to tour ten of the city’s most splendid homes. The owners graciously received 350 visitors between 2 and 6 pm, in support of “Fundación BAI A.C.”
Also known as Brazos Abiertos, this not-for-profit organization is dedicated to spreading knowledge about HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. Founded in 2007, BA has held many information systems in the rural areas of the state and has conducted workshops around the city. A cadre of volunteers is the backbone of the organization, and yesterday they were out in force, keeping everything running smoothly.
I did not get the opportunity to visit all of the houses because my knee still won’t allow me to walk much, but Jorge and I did get to the home of Marianne and Jim Kehoe, an elegant Porfiriano two story town home. While there, I spoke with several architectural students. Brazos Abiertos has hosted the Merida Showcase of Homes three times now, and the students always take advantage of the chance to see the designs of some of the city’s finest architects. On this occasion we saw examples of the masterful hands of Henry Ponce, Roger Gonzales Escalante, Paul Lindermuth, Juan Uribe Capetillo, Victor Cruz, Josh Ramos, Javier Sánchez, and Steven Cheroske. “I am inspired by these homes, I aim to be one of the best architects in Merida, and in ten years, I hope one of my houses will be included in the BA House Tour event,” said a young woman from the University of Yucatan’s School of Architecture. “Oh so you think that the tour will still be going strong a decade from now?” I asked her. “Are you kidding? Of course,” she gave me a confident wink, “They have to give me time to get my career going!”
The day’s finale was a cocktail party hosted by Sean Hennesey, the owner of Hennesey’s Pub. He and his staff did an absolutely excellent job of looking after the 350 backers. Sean has always been a staunch ally of Brazos Abiertos. Making our way through the crowd, Jorge and I got to speak with Dr. Carlos Cabrera May, the general director of BAI, A.C. He introduced us to his mentor Dr. Gordon Crofoot from Houston Texas. “I’m having a great day!” the good doctor told us. Yes indeed; it is gratifying when important efforts flourish.
I wish I’d asked the student her name… I hope all her dreams come true and that in the future, I’ll tour one of her homes. I’m confident that the Merida Showcase of Homes will be around for many years, providing a wonderful afternoon for all of us, and enabling Brazos Abiertos to continue their important work.
OTHER PHOTOS: Top right Marianne and Jim Kehoe , Me next to one of their magnificent works of art, Jorge and I with BA’s general director Dr. Carlos Cabrera May