Friday, July 19, 2019

Isla Mujeres Daily News & Events Friday, July 19

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Back to the regular translations manana...

Summary of upcoming events & recent news, courtesy of Maravilla Caribe Bed & Beach, who sponsor Isla Mujeres News & Events "Keeping English speakers informed about Isla Mujeres since 2011":

Tonight on the Town Square at 8p, you're invited to the 1st International Festival of Children's Folklorico Dancing featuring troupes from Mexico City, Veracruz, Baja California Norte, Nuevo León, Guerrero, Tabasco, Nayarit, & Jalisco, as well as from Colombia.
The 12th Annual Whale Shark Festival is next weekend, July 26-28 which usually includes a procession, sand sculpture competition, conferences & talks by specialists (in Spanish), exhibitions, and a dance troupe performance on the Town Square. Whale Shark tour season continues until mid-September.

The Isla Mujeres Cockteleros have already qualified for this season's final tournament, and will be playing the Bonfil Ejidatarios, who are still seeking to qualify, at the El Pescador baseball stadium on Sunday at 1pm (in front of Chedraui). Last Sunday, the Isla Mujeres Pescadores team won against the Chetumal Guerreros with a score of 6-4. In other sporting news, a school of Boxing and a school for Table Tennis are being opened in Isla Mujeres.

The Delta Aquarids meteor shower began last week, tho the full moon is currently making it hard to observe. The moon rises tonight at 9:43, tomorrow at 10:20, and Sunday at 10:54. The meteor shower peaks the last three days of July.

Readers of the international magazine "Travel & Leisure" have rated Isla Mujeres as #3 among the five best island destinations in Mexico and Central & South America. Earlier this year, Playa Norte was rated #9 best beach worldwide by TripAdvisor readers, which was recently featured by Forbes.
The City's "Isla Verde" (Green) campaign continues with City employees & volunteers conducting cleanups, painting & pruning around the island every Wednesday and Saturday, including the neighborhoods, mangroves, beaches, and seabed. Acción Isla has been organizing cleanups every Saturday 8a-10a for over a year & tomorrow's meetup location should be available at the link today.

An investigation is ongoing of Monday's robbery at the Garrafon de Castilla cart rental agency near the Town Square by four thieves who were armed, one of whom was a woman. It occurred at 7:15am as a cleaner was arriving, who was forced to let them into the house, where they allegedly stole $90,000 dollars and 400,000 pesos (~$22k), before running away down the Caribbean malecon.The woman of the house freed herself from the tape and notified the police.

The City ordered Aguakan to attend to the mess they've made of the Caribbean coastal road south of the Transfer Facility, where they are installing sewer lines in the area, including for the new complex "La Diosa".

Social media helped "Ciro's" rental agency recover a cart that was missing for several days, after it was rented on Friday afternoon for two hours by a woman from New Orleans. The agency filed a theft report, and employees & agents with the Prosecutor's office searched the mangroves, Sac Bajo, neighborhoods, etc, as well as checking with the car ferry managers that it hadn't left the isle. The blue "Wrangler Jeep" style cart had been left parked near ChiChi's (on North Beach at the end of Rueda Medina) whose employees notified Ciro's on Tuesday after seeing the photos and 'missing notice' on Facebook. It was undamaged & the theft charges were dropped.

Two new Ultramar ferries, with capacity for 450 passengers each (!), are en route from the UK on a freighter & scheduled to arrive in about three weeks. The President of Mexico has instigated an investigation by Federal Prosecutors & the Federal Economic Competition Commission (COFECE) into whether the Ultramar ferry company has benefited from illegal favoritism.

The two "Ultracargas" are the only ferries serving the Punta Sam cargo-vehicle route, now that Maritima has gone out of business after 27 years. On July 1st, Ultramar raised its rates on this route, with one way tickets increasing from 250 pesos to 295 pesos for private cars & pickups; and from 449 to 560 pesos for commercial pickups. Passenger rates were also increased for both residents and locals, with tourist tickets costing 150 pesos for adults and 100 pesos for children, one way.

Removal of accumulated trash from the Transfer Facility has slowed due to Ultramar imposing more restrictions, saying that passengers complain about the odors. Last month 1300 tons of trash were removed from the Transfer Facility, of the estimated 7000 accumulated tons. Daily garbage collection has increased by 30%, to 60 tons daily, now that it's summer vacation season. The City is conducting a campaign reminding residents to separate organic & inorganic garbage & asking them to compact their trash & put it out at the correct time (8p).

Although the sea turtles will continue laying on the eastern beaches of Isla Mujeres for the next three months, the number of nests protected at the Tortugranja has already exceeded last year's total, which was 354. So far this season, 369 nests and about 38,000 eggs have been collected. The majority of the turtles are Greens, with Loggerheads in #2, and the Hawksbills have finished their laying season.

On Monday, the Navy evacuated a 92 year-old American woman (with her family) from the cruise ship "Norwegian Breakaway", who was in stable condition with hypertension & symptoms of a cerebral vascular event. The ship was headed to Honduras & the evacuation took place 3.5 miles east of the island. A private ambulance met them in Puerto Juarez to transport her to a Cancun hospital.
A foreign film crew has been shooting scenes on Isla Mujeres this week, who were seen at Punta Sur & their vehicles have been parked at the airfield. Progress has stalled on the building there for the CFE (Federal Electrical Commission)'s emergency generator, and two fuel tanks were installed earlier this month.

A 34 year old tourist from Mexico City drowned after he went beyond the buoys near Luxury & Chichi's, where there are strong currents. His family witnessed the unfortunate event, who were here celebrating the young daughter's birthday. It occurred after the lifeguards were off duty, whose posted hours are 9a-4p. Tourists attempted to resuscitate him, as did paramedics with the Red Cross, but he had already passed away.

Owners of small hotels claim officials are inflating occupancy rates, while the municipal Tourism department says rates may be higher than reported since not all rentals are providing statistics. Additionally, tourists who stay at illegally rented houses and apartments whose owners don't contribute to the 3% lodging tax aren't counted in the statistics. Occupancy on the island was reported as 53% on July 10th.

On Wednesday, July 24th, "Blue Flags" will be raised over three beaches of Isla Mujeres that have been certified for 2019-2020. Playa Centro has been recertified, and North Beach and Playa Albatros received the designation for the first time. A crew of 15 workers cleans the downtown beaches daily from 5a to 10a, removing trash, raking & sifting sand, and getting rid of sargasso, which has only arrived very few times, in small quantities. This international designation involves meeting 33 criteria associated with cleanliness, safety, accessibility and environmental concerns & education.

A first aid station has been set up in the Maritime Terminal providing services from noon to 7pm which include checking blood pressure or glucose levels, providing injections & minor treatments, hydration with electrolytes and free condoms & folic acid.

How much do workers in Isla Mujeres make? You'll find the surprising answer here:.
On the 4th, I wrote an article about the war fought in the Caribbean between France & the US that followed the Revolutionary War, called the Pirate War or the Quasi War. LINK   

The municipal Fiscalizacion Department is monitoring the mobile vendors to ensure that unlicensed outsiders aren't selling to tourists. The Director said there are about 280 licensed vendors and no new permits are being issued.

The Parks & Landscaping Department removed 8 tons of brush from several colonias recently. The agency has two crews of six people who are responsible for pruning, mowing and sweeping the green areas, parks, schools, sidewalks and streets. They ask that the residents help take care of the environment by cleaning up feces of their pets, not littering and taking out their trash for collection at the appropriate time.

The massage therapists at the beach say they are operating at 50 percent so far this summer season,which is less than last year at this time.They are aware that there is only a little over a month left to the vacation period, and then there will be three months with little or no income in September, October & November. Small hotels report low occupancy & various businesses are complaining that while many tourists are arriving, they aren't spending much money.

At Punta Sur, the remaining metal sculptures have been removed, which were badly corroded, and the pergola is receiving maintenance. The Ixchel & iguana sculptures recently received maintenance from the artist who created them, who also attended to his fish sculptures at the entrance of Playa Centro.

The municipal Director of Tourism Promotion said they are planning to promote bird watching on the island as a tourism activity. He said there are 56 species, including migratory birds, so different birds can be observed on every visit.

Tourism service providers are concerned about heavy stress from the excessive number of boats from Puerto Juarez who are bringing large numbers of tourists to the area near Mia Hotel. Tourists enjoy observing the many multicolored fish located near El Yunque islet, but it becomes chaotic with 100 individuals in the area at the same time, which could cause the fish to leave.

A "Barcos Caribe" ferry has been moored at the concrete pier, generating speculation among residents, but the Port Authorities explained it will only be here for about two weeks and is for sale. The fleet of three ferries were owned by ex-Governor Borge, who is in prison, & are now property of a financial company. The third ferry, which was involved in an explosion last year at the Playa del Carmen dock, is still moored in Puerto Morelos.

Lobster catching season began on July 1st and there were eleven cases of decompression treated at the Hyperbaric Chamber during the first ten days. During the previous eight-month season, a record-breaking 74 cases were treated, & there were another 20 cases during the off-season. Although a class was recently held about avoiding decompression illness, which is caused by nitrogen dissolving in blood and tissues from ascending too rapidly, many lobster-divers aren't following the recommendations. Use of alcohol or drugs (including the previous day), overexertion/fatigue, dehydration, and poor physical condition cause increased risk of this illness, which can be fatal or cause permanent paralysis. Prices per kilo are 400-450 pesos for live lobster; and 580-600 pesos for tails (~$16/lb).

In July, fishermen in this region are banned from catching Octopus, Shrimp, & Conch. Eighty percent of the octopus caught locally are the Maya Octopus, aka Four Eyed Octopus. Their reproductive cycle is different from all other octopuses because it lacks a larval stage, giving them a unique potential to be farmed, which is being done experimentally, in Sisal, Yucatan, mostly by women of the small fishing village. With a relatively short lifespan of 12-18 months, they weigh two to four pounds at maturity. During the month-long egg incubation period, the female provides protection for the strands of eggs, while blowing jets of water over them so they stay clean and ventilated. She doesn't leave them to feed, so she dies shortly after her single batch hatches. Fishing them is banned seasonally from Dec 16 to July 31 in all three states of the Peninsula.

The date for the Women's Fishing Tournament, El Dorado del Caribe, hasn't been determined yet.
The 300 meter buoy line at Playa Centro was renovated last week, which is located about seven meters from shore, to protect swimmers from the Navigation Channel. The Playa Norte buoy line was recently maintained, which suffers from frequent breaks because boats anchor on it, which is discouraged.

Photos 3, 4, 5, & 6 taken from Maravilla Caribe B&B. The turtle nests pic is from Monday.. Two motorized paragliders zipped by last weekend. The "Turtle Selfie" is actually by Arturo Peña


  This blog is brought to you by....
View from the rooms.

MaraVilla Caribe   Bed & Beach    Three rentals with large glass doors overlooking our white sand beach and the beautiful Caribbean sea, with  kitchenettes & fast WIFI. In the coastal neighborhood of  Bachilleres, among upscale villas & boutique hotelitos, convenient to downtown or the colonias, yet separate.  Quiet & Private.   
 Kitchen in a large studio. (Sur & Norte are identical)
Kitchenette in small room, Medio. There's a table & chairs across from it & a double bed.
A large slider opens from each of the 3 rooms onto the patio where each has a table & chairs, hammock & clotheslines. The BBQ is behind the pole, and the outdoor shower is outa the pic at left.
Large studio (Norte), I'm standing in the kitchen. A queen & single bed.

Free amenities such as hammocks,bikes, BBQ grills, safes, portable beach chairs & beach towels, washer & dryer, loungers. Breathtaking panoramic views from the rooftop terrace. Large sliding doors open to a patio & our backyard-beach, overlooking the Caribbean sea. Upstairs room also available. Downtown is  ~ a mile away; if you don't feel like walking,  flag a $2 taxi. Parking. You can enjoy the music & crowds downtown, then come home our quiet neighborhood of Bachilleres where you'll  sleep to the sounds of the sea.$275/$325/$425 wk   $40/50/$65nt  Monthly Discounts

Large studio (Sur) with Queen & Single bed. Slider door & view are behind me.

Fine dining a few steps away at Da Luisa or try the neighborhood eateries a couple blocks farther. Within ten minutes walk are a variety of restaurants including Mango Cafe, Brisas, Manolitos, La Chatita, Green Verde, Kash Kechen Chuc, and the large department store-grocery , Chedraui. Visit marinas, bars, & beach clubs that are minutes away by bike or on foot. Attend Yoga classes a couple villas away at hotelito Casa Ixchel. Fresh juice, produce & tortillas a few blocks away in the village, as well as a variety of other stores and small local restaurants. It takes 20-30  minutes to walk downtown.
Full moon rising over the Caribbean 

July 16  7:35
July 17   8:22
July 18   9:04
July 19   9:43
July 20  10:20
July 21   10:54
Painting by Pamela Haase
Sunset  ~7:30p
Sunrise ~6:10a
July Events 
Provided by MaraVilla Caribe & Isla Mujeres Daily News & Events

On Saturdays at 8a-10a,  Plogging events to clean up the island are held,  meetup locations at this LINK . Bring your refillable bottle & they'll supply gloves, water, & bags,   Here's the Accion Isla LINK

Wednesday nights at 8:45p, a new bicycling group invite people to join them for healthy recreation, meeting at Juarez &  Abasolo. Lights required, helmet recommended. LINK   

In July,  fishermen in this region are banned from catching  Octopus, Shrimp, & Conch  LINK 

 The baseball games at the  El Pescador stadium in front of Chedraui are usually held on Sundays, starting around 1p, when there's a 'home' game.

The new date for the Women's Fishing Tournament "El Dorado del Caribe" hasn't been announced yet.

Turtle nesting season continues throughout July. The turtles nest along the eastern beaches in the wee hours of the night and Tortugranja staff and volunteers gather the eggs and incubate them in a pen outside the facility.  Three species nest annually in Isla Mujeres;  Greens, Loggerheads, and Hawksbills. The sex of the turtles is determined by the temperature of the sand, which is common in reptiles.

 Whale shark tour season continues throughout July, ending in mid-September. The eight-month lobster catching season begins July 1st, and this year's prices are: whole live- 400 to 450 pesos per kilo; whole dead-350 to 400; and tails- 580 to 600 pesos (~$16us/lb-tails).

 Delta Aquarids Meteor Shower July 12-August 23, peaking in late July

Saturday, July 6 Barracuda Fishing Tournament with a scooter for first prize, TV's for second and third, and cash for fourth and fifth places. It's sponsored by the political party PRI and will have a DJ & other activities starting at 11am.

Saturday, July 6th at 4p, Connor Williams, offensive guard for the Dallas Cowboys, will sign autographs & do photo-ops with fans at the soccer field in Salina Chica. Then the "Isla Mujeres Bowl 2019" will be held in two categories of players up to age 13; and those of 15 years and up in separate male & female teams. Free. This will be "touch football", played according International Flag Football rules.
Sunday, July 7 at 8p on the Town Square--Four Dance Troupes. The seniors & kids troupes of "Al Són del Corazon", a senior women's troupe & "El Corazon de Conchi". (Són is a style of dance & music, Corazon means heart. Conchi is a nickname of Isla's patron saint.)

Saturday, July 13 Plogging clean up 8a-10a Sac Bajo
Saturday, July 13 Town Square at 7p--Folklorico dancers from the state of Nuevo Leon. Free.

Firday, July 19 You're invited to the 1st International Festival of Children's Folklorico Dancing on Friday on the Town Square at 8p featuring troupes from Mexico City, Veracruz, Baja California Norte, Nuevo León, Guerrero, Tabasco, Nayarit, & Jalisco, as well as from Colombia.

Fri-Sun, July 26-28- 12th Annual Whale Shark Festival
   Usually includes a procession, sand sculpture competition, conferences & talks by specialists (in Spanish), exhibitions, and a dance troupe performance on the Town Square.

Sources for Weather Information:
LINK to Civil Protection Q Roo weather bulletin  (Spanish)
LINK to Mexico National Weather Service (Spanish)
 LINK to satellite images for the Mexico National Weather Service
 LINK to GOES East Band 16 GIF (animation)
LINK to a private weather station on Isla Mujeres

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