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Jeunes Sommeliers Competition
Further Information
Jeunes Sommeliers Competition 2018
Mexico City, September 18-23, 2018



Congratulations on being a winner and therefore selected to represent your National Bailliage at the 2018 International Final of the Jeunes Sommeliers Competition!

The following list should enable you to come to Mexico well prepared.

Personal

Competition Manual
It is in your best interest to read and understand the sections of the Official Manual for the Jeunes Sommeliers Competitor which relate to the competitor. The manual is found on the Chaîne’s competitions website: https://competitions.chainedesrotisseurs.com


Translator
The competition is conducted in English and does not supply translation services.


Dress code
For the Competition and the Awards Ceremony the attire for the female competitors is a business suit or “after-five”/evening attire appropriate for a Professional Sommelier. Attire for the male competitors is a business suit or tuxedo (black tie) appropriate for a Professional Sommelier.

Equipment
Remember to bring your favourite corkscrew, a Sommelier’s apron and any other items of equipment appropriate to your profession which you think you might need.


Passport validity
The maximum period of time that a visitor may stay in Mexico without a formal visa is six months. Therefore your passport, regardless of country of origin, should be valid for a minimum period of six months, however long you intend to stay to avoid any potential problems at the port of entry.


Visa
With the purpose of facilitating and promoting travel to Mexico, effective May 2016, foreign nationals, regardless of their nationality, visiting Mexico for tourism, business or transit are NOT required to obtain a Mexican visa if they hold a valid (non-expired) Visa or Permanent Residence of any of these countries: United States of America, Canada, Japan, United Kingdom or Schengen area (European Union).Those from countries outside these should check with the appropriate government agency regarding the need for a visa.


Mexico Visitor’s Permit (FMM)

For foreign nationals who do not need a formal visa, a Mexico Visitor’s Permit (FMM) will need to be filled out in place of a visa. This is a simple form: airlines pass these out aboard flights and should be filled out on the airplane before you land, or you can acquire one at all airports, as well as land border crossings and sea ports of entry. If the airline you are travelling with does not have any forms at the check-in desk or on-board the plane, don’t worry, you can get one when you land in Mexico and fill it out before you line up to have your documents checked and stamped by the officials at the airport.

Mexico charges a fee to all tourists and business visitors arriving in the country. The fee is approximately US$22, and the money collected is passed to the Tourism Ministry to promote Mexican tourism. If you fly in to Mexico, airlines normally collect the permit fee on behalf of the Mexican government and include the cost within the total airfare (under ‘taxes and surcharges’), so in the majority of cases, there will be no need for you to pay the fee separately.

Important! KEEP YOUR VISITOR’S PERMIT SAFE!

If you do not have your FMM (Visitor’s Permit) with you when you leave, you will need to undergo some Mexican Immigration red-tape and apply to get a replacement at one the country’s immigration offices or at the airport. The fee to replace the permit is about US$30, A lost permit, especially if you only notice at the airport when you are ready to leave, will delay your exit and may cause you to miss your scheduled flight!!

Electrical
Mexico has the same electrical plugs as the US and Canada, albeit at a higher voltage (127V compared to 110V), but the same frequency 60Hz AC. See photos below. If you bring appliances from Europe, Australia or Southeast Asia, you'll need an adaptor and if you do not want to take any chances, you will need a transformer too.

Type A: This socket has no alternative plugs
Type B: This socket also works with plug A

Mobile/Cell Phone
During your time in Mexico the Jeunes Sommeliers Competition Committee may need to communicate with you through email or text. Please ensure that the email you have provided on your application is your personal email that you are able to access in Mexico. Klaus Tritschler, the Committee member with responsibility for competitor liaison will be contacting you prior to the competition to confirm the programme of events during your time in Mexico. He will be asking you to verify your email and phone number. If you need to contact Klaus, his email is klaus.tritschler@gmx.de and his mobile/cell phone is +49 151 2526 7198.

Currency:
Mexican (Nuevo) Peso
At the time of writing (early June 2018) these were the exchange rates …
1 US$ = 20 pesos
1 GB£ = 26.5 pesos
1 euro = 23 pesos

NB. The “dollar sign” $ is used to designate pesos, which can be confusing to visitors who may be unsure whether prices are quoted in US dollars or pesos (this symbol was actually used in Mexico to designate pesos before it was used in the United States).

You should be aware that credit and debit cards are not accepted in all establishments in Mexico and when paying for small expenses on the go such as taxis, bottled water, admission fees for museums and archaeological sites, as well as when eating at local restaurants or food stands, you will need to pay in cash, and that means pesos.

An easy way to access money while travelling is to use your debit or credit card in an ATM or cash machine in Mexico: you will receive Mexican currency and your bank will withdraw the equivalent funds from your account plus a fee for the transaction. Most cities and towns in Mexico have an abundance of ATMs (cash
machines).

However, you may also wish to bring a certain amount of cash with you to exchange during your trip. You can change money in banks, but it is often more convenient to change currency in a “casa de cambio” (exchange bureau). There is a cap on the amount of dollars that can be changed per day and per month for each individual. This law was put into effect in 2010 to help combat money laundering. You will need to take your passport with you when you change money so that the government can keep track of how much money you change so that you don't go over the limit.

Temperature
Mexico City sits at 7382 feet (2271 metres) above sea level. The days are warm but the nights can be chilly.
Until the end of September the city is still experiencing its rainy season. The daytime temperature is in the low 20s Celsius.


Interesting and fun facts about Mexico

The official name of Mexico is Estados Únidos Mexicanos (United Mexican States).

The largest wildcat in North America is the jaguar, which can be found in Mexico's southern jungles.

The first printing press in North America was used in Mexico City in 1539.

The National University of Mexico was founded in 1551 by Charles V of Spain and is the oldest university in North America.

The Chihuahua is the world’s smallest dog and is named after a Mexican state. Relative to their bodies Chihuahuas have the biggest brain in the dog world.

The border between Mexico and the United States is the second largest border in the world (only the US / Canadian border is longer).

Mexican children do not receive presents on Christmas Day. They receive gifts on January 6, the day on which Mexicans celebrate the arrival of the Three Wise Men.

Mexico City is built over the ruins of a great Aztec city, Tenochtitlán. Because it is built on a lake, Mexico is sinking at a rate of 6 to 8 inches a year as pumps draw water out for the city’s growing population.

Mexico’s flag is made up three vertical stripes. The left green stripe stands for hope, the middle white stripe represents purity, and the right red stripe represents the blood of those who died fighting for Mexico's independence. The picture of an eagle eating a snake is based on an Aztec legend.

The red poinsettia (which the Aztecs called cuetlaxochitl) originated in Mexico and is named after Joel Roberts Poinsett, the first United States Ambassador to Mexico (in the 1820s).

Mexico City has the highest elevation and is oldest city in North America. It is also one of the largest cities in the world.

The first great civilization in Mexico was the Olmecs (1400-300BC) who established many cities along the eastern coast of Mexico, sculpted the famous Colossal Heads, and worshipped a mysterious, unnamed god that was part human and part jaguar.

Catholicism is the dominant religion in Mexico. The country is second only to Brazil in the number of Catholic citizens.

One unusual Mayan weapon was a “hornet bomb,” which was an actual hornet’s nest thrown at enemies during battle.

Snakes appear repeatedly in Mexican mythology, from the serpent god Kukulcan which can be found the side of the Chichen Itza pyramid to the feathered serpent god, Quetzalcoatl.

Mexico is located in the “Ring of Fire,” one of the earth’s most violent earthquake and volcano zones. The country is home to the world's smallest volcano, which stands just 43 feet (13 metres) tall.

The descendants of the Aztecs speak a form of the Aztec language called Nahuatl. Many of its words, particularly for types of food, passed into English … such as tomatoes (tomatl), chocolate (chocolatl), and avocados (ahuacatl).

When Spanish Conquistador Hernan Cortés arrived in 1519, the Aztecs believed he was their returning god, Quetzalcoatl, and offered him the drink of the gods: hot chocolate.

Spanish conquerors brought bullfighting to Mexico, and, second to Spain, Mexico now has the most bullfighting rings in the world. Bullfighting takes place from November to April, and the Plaza Mexico is the largest bullring in the world.

Mexico introduced chocolate, corn, and chilies to the world.

The Great Pyramid of Cholula is also known as Tlachihualtepetl, which means “artificial mountain”. It has also been acknowledged to be the largest monument ever constructed in the world.

The Chichen Itza Pyramid has been named one of the new Seven Wonders of the World.