The organizers of MEL Talks are working on an exciting season for 2022 - 2023. Each presentation begins at 7:00 pm at the library.

Many of the lectures for the previous two years are available online. Scroll to the bottom for more information. While the lectures are free for library members and nonmembers alike, your donation help supports the library's programs. Make a donation here.

9 Nov 2022 – Lita Hunter Krohn: From Invasion to Nation: The History Of Belize.. Araceli "Lita" Hunter Krohn was born in a very colonial British Honduras to a Belizean father and Costa Rican mother.  She became interested in Belizean history during her Jesuit education at St John’s College and, later, at the University of Belize.  She has a degree in English literature from The Incarnate Word College in San Antonio.  Lita compiled the anthology “Readings in Belizean History” which has been used for many years as a textbook in secondary school and junior college. She was a member of the National Institute of Culture and History, Belize's premier cultural institution, for ten years and was the director of The Museum of Belize for five years.  Today she is semi-retired and spends her time painting and writing in the Belizean beach resort town of Placencia.  Her most recent work is the biography “The Man Who Wore Khaki”, an in-depth look at the life of her father Alexander 'Sandy' Hunter, a former Minister of Trade and Industry.

16 Nov 2022 – Erich Briehl: Energy Changes, CFE & You.  Erich will present an overview of happenings in the energy world and provide some clarity to the changes at CFE.  This will be of interest to all homeowners and residents who are looking at cutting energy costs,  Erich is the owner of Bulldog Solar and has been installing solar panels in the area since 2015.  There will be plenty of time for questions!

23 Nov 2022 – No Lecture Scheduled

30 Nov 2022 – Joanna Van Der Gracht Rosado: How Has Merida Changed Over The Past Decade?  In 1990, Joanna and Jorge Rosado founded Tecnologia Turistica Total (TTT), a tourism, languages and multimedia college for local and international learners. She is the author of several books, including two that explore the dynamic of Merida's international community. In this talk, Joanna will address the many differences between Merida as she first knew it, and the city it is today. She also hopes to stimulate some discussion about the expectations of international residents living in and around Merida. in this city. 

7 Dec 2022 – Jorge Rosado: What We Can We See And Not See At Chichén Itzá? Jorge Rosado is a true son of Merida. He grew up in Santiago and attended law school at the University of Yucatan, just two blocks from his home. After a brief stint practicing law in Mexico City, he returned to his native Yucatan and accepted an offer to work as a guide, where his fluency in five languages made him much in demand. History is Jorge’s great passion and nothing delights him more than the discovery of some obscure secret from the past.  He has years of experience as a tour guide at Chichén Itzá and will present some of the inaccessible highlights of this archeological site.

14 Dec 2022 – Jonathan Harrington: The Art of Translation: Mayan, Mexican and American Literature in Translation. Jonathan Harrington has lived in Yucatán for over twenty years. In addition to fifteen books (novels, essays, short stories and poetry), Jonathan has published non-fiction in everything from the New York Times to Metro Magazine.  He published five novels in his popular Danny O’Flaherty mystery series, three of which are on the shelves of the Merida English Library.  His latest book is Lift Up the Stone: The Gospel According to Jonathan, a book of original poetry. In this discussion, Jonathan will look at three recently published books translated into English and Spanish. He will discuss the challenges and rewards of the translation process and seek audience feedback concerning their experiences reading literature in translation. The books are Seven Dreams by Feliciano Sánchez Chan (written in Mayan) translated by Jonathan Harrington, Praise for My Land by José Díaz Bolio (written in Spanish) translated by Jonathan Harrington, and Lift Up The Stone: The Gospel According to Jonathan (written in English and translated by Fer de la Cruz). Books in English translation will be available for purchase

21 Dec 2022 – Marina Aguirre: TOPIC TBA. Dr. Marina Aguirre is an archaeologist, ethnohistorian, and doctor of history. Check Marina's complete bio on her website

28 Dec 2022 – Tariq Sattaur: Mindfulness: A Beginner’s Guide to Meditation and Self-Hypnosis. Tariq was the Director and principal facilitator at the Ontario Hypnosis Centre. He taught and certified other health & holistic care practitioners to use hypnosis techniques to help clients with a wide range of applications, including stress management, behavior changes, sleep improvement and more. In this presentation, Tariq will discuss the basics of self hypnosis to start or augment your mediation/self-hypnosis practice, including some simple self-care techniques you can practice during the presentation. You can lean more about Tariq and his work on YouTube.

4 Jan 2023 – Tony Sherrin: A Chat About Churches. Tony Sherrin has traveled throughout Yucatán, depending almost exclusively on public transportation, to document every colonial church in the state. He has selected some highlights for this talk, focusing on less well-known churches and some of his more interesting experiences.

11 Jan 2023 – Diego Nevárez: Museums Changed my Life.  Diego Nevárez is the founder of Exhibiscopio, a company devoted to creating museums, twice distinguished with the INAH Award "Miguel Covarrubias" for Museography in the category of "Best Planning Work and Museum Project Open to the Public." 

Diego was born in the northern state of Sonora and has been in the museum's world for more than 20 years. His designs include the Interactive Museum at the Palacio de la Música in Mérida, the Interpretation Center at the Sierra de Alamos in Sonora, the Museo Sonora en la Revolución in Ciudad Obregón, Sonora, the Academia y Museo Interactivo del Beisbol de Sinaloa, the Cotton Museum in Torreón, Coahuila, and the Interpretation Center of the Don Vasco Route in Michocan, among others.  

Even as an eclectic practitioner, he enjoys the academic world and the multidisciplinary educational approaches. Initially earning a Bachelors’ Degree in Electronic Engineering, he received an M.B.A., a UNESCO's Graduate Degree in Sustainable Tourism, and a Master's in Architecture. He has recently enrolled in a Strategy and Sustainable Development Ph.D. program. He is also interested in giving new use to historic houses and buildings, the cultural, innovative, and creative side of business administration, and the social dimension of sustainable development. Currently, Diego is working on a dissertation about entrepreneurial education for kids incorporating the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. He strongly believes in giving kids a toolbox to face a world with increasing uncertainty.  Visit his website for more information.

18 Jan 2023 – Don Ellison: Exotic Phenomena in Astrophysics.  The advent of modern telescopes has revealed a changing universe filled with explosive phenomena. The seemingly serene, unchanging sky of the ancients has been transformed, with radio, X-ray and gamma-ray telescopes, into a tumultuous sea of objects far more energetic and chaotic than normal stars. This talk will describe some of these high-energy objects such as supernovae, gamma-ray bursts, and massive black holes, along with their place in our modern view of the universe. Don Ellison is a Physics Professor Emeritus at North Carolina State University, For some years, he has been giving science talks (mainly astrophysics) for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes (OLLI) at North Carolina State University and Duke University in North Carolina.  His talks are geared to non-scientists, avoiding unnecessary jargon and presenting technical subjects in understandable language. No formal background in physics or astronomy is assumed.

25 Jan 2023 – Fernando Abreu: Home Maintenance 102. Fernando continues his wildly popular series on home maintenance. He holds a Bachelors degree in Architecture and a Masters of Construction Management. Leading the design-build firm CENTRO architects, he has more than ten years of experience remodeling and renovating homes in Merida’s Centro. With a concentration on residential work, renovations in the downtown area now make up the majority of the studio's projects. Fernando has a series of DIY advice videos on YouTube, and you can also visit them on Facebook or their website.

1 Feb 2023 – No Lecture Scheduled

8 Feb 2023 – Lance Hastings: I Am Mayan: The Making of a Documentary. Lance Hastings and filmmaker Brady Skye are documenting the life of traditionalist Mayans in a small village near Valladolid. They will discuss the process of their research and filmmaking. You can learn more by visiting their website.

15 Feb 2023 – Tod Hardin: Plastic Oceans International. Tod Hastings is a co-founder and former Chief Operating Officer of Plastic Oceans International, a US-based 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization whose goal is to end plastic pollution and to foster sustainable communities worldwide. Learn more about Tod and his accomplishments at his IMBD profile and the Plastic Ocean's website. He lives part of the year in Campeche.

22 Feb 2023 – Carlos Rosado van der Gracht: Urban Archeology. Yucatán’s countryside is well known for being home to some of the most spectacular Mayan archaeological sites in Mesoamerica. But few are aware of the extent of ancient remains still observable within Mérida’s city limits. From pyramids, temples, burials, and carvings on stones used in the construction of colonial churches to a Mesoamerican ballcourt and countless other treasures, the richness of Mérida’s Pre-Columbian past is truly astonishing. During this talk, Carlos will present images and the most recent scholarship regarding this topic. He will also engage in a discussion of the place of T'Hó / Ichcanzijó (ancient Mérida) in the context of power politics in northern Yucatán.

Born in Mérida, Carlos Rosado van der Gracht is a Mexican-Canadian writer and editor of Yucatán Magazine. He is an avid explorer of Mesoamerican archaeological sites and has conducted extensive research on topics ranging from migration patterns during antiquity to the interplay between Mayan identities and tourism. Carlos is also the author of the “Archaeology Monday” series for Yucatán Magazine and has consulted and been featured on international productions on diverse topics related to the Maya and Yucatán.

1 Mar 2023 – Cecilia López Vázquez: A Brief Historical Tour Through Mérida Architecture. Born and raised in Mérida, Cecilia has a degree in Anthropological Sciences (Social Anthropology) from the Autonomous University of Yucatan (UADY). She has worked in Mérida and surrounding villages as a social researcher for UADY investigation programs and also for her thesis subject - Family Relationships in Former Henequen Haciendas.  As a certified tour guide, she has been working in the Yucatán Peninsula for the last six years, mostly in archeological sites and colonial cities. 

8 Mar 2023 – 

15 Mar 2023 –

22 Mar 2023 –

29 Mar 2023 –

You can view recordings of lectures from the last two seasons on the library's YouTube channel. A more complete description is here.