|Here's the webcam LINK, which also has time lapse of the past 24 hours.|
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On the Road to Bus Service!
Friday, the City announced that it is seeking companies or individuals to provide bus or colectivo service via four routes, with quality, efficiency, effectiveness, regularity, continuity, security and strict adherence to the legal requirements. The concession will be for 25 years with annual reviews and verification of the corresponding payments.
The deadline for registration is today, August 12, and requires a payment of 50,000 pesos. There will be a meeting on August 16 at the City Council room and follow-up meeting to address any questions. On Tuesday, Aug. 27 at 9am in the City Council room, there will be a presentation of the proposals and a meeting. The decision will be announced around 3:30p.
>>We had bus service for 15 years, starting ~2001, tho the original agreement was modified, reducing it to one route and two buses & toward the end it became one bus & unreliable. It was most popular the year work was being done on Rueda Medina & they were allowed to use the smaller 'combis' which passed more frequently (which the taxistas disliked). The bus drivers had increasing difficulty as the roads become more congested & most people are hoping they'll go with the smaller collectivo-combi vehicles.
It's still undetermined how this service will operate. The primary motive is to provide transport for the workers, students & families who are being underserved by the taxi system, which also strains their budgets. We should have more info on the 27th. I don't know if it will be available to non-residents & whether it will have a tiered system of fares, like the taxis, which are different for students (in uniform) vs residents vs tourists, as well as varying by distance.
The basic resident taxi rate between the colonias & downtown will increase on Monday or Tuesday from 15p to 16p, although the union requested 18p. This is the first official increase in about a decade & they haven't made an announcement yet about tourist fares. BTW there are about 145 taxis on the isle (as of Jan.2018).
This year there is a new agency (Mobility Institute) overseeing public transportation, who did studies about the needs in the various municipalities. Then the City passed a bill in December that was approved by thestate legislature setting up the framework for the bidding and what sort of service the City will be contracting for...ie 4 routes and a 25 year contract. Now they're seeking bidders & will announce their decision on Aug 27th.<<
Taxi Union Bidding on Bus Service Contract
The Taxi union has expressed interest in answering the City's invitation for bids & proposals to provide urban transport service. The deadline is today to register for the opportunity to obtain the 25-year contract, which requires a 50,000 peso payment. The General Secretary for the Isla Mujeres Taxi union, José Magaña Galué, confirmed their interest in participating in the bidding for this concession.
The first meeting for participants is scheduled for Friday, Aug. 16 at 9am, and a follow-up meeting is planned for any questions that arise. The presentation of proposals, including the organizational, technical and economic aspects, is scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 27 at the Town Hall at 9am, and the decision will be announced around 3:30 pm.
The object of the concession is to provide public passenger autobus transportation service on an established routes in the municipality of Isla Mujeres. Four routes are planned, which will be bid upon as a package for the purpose of ensuring the provision of service to the public with quality, efficiency, effectiveness, regularity, continuity, security and strict adherence to the legal contract, with annual reviews and verification of the corresponding payments. Source: TV Isla Mujeres, my photo.
The new photo-op sign behind the Casa de Cultura. The Mayor said there's one planned for Punta Sur. There has been a proliferation of smaller versions popping up here & there outside stores & eateries recently.
Manta México Caribe
Acción Isla cleaning trash from a small section of mangroves. Every little bit counts. Remember plastics don't degrade; they just get smaller and smaller. Help by not using single use plastics!
Although the Social Security Institute reports there are only 6800 senior citizens working in Cancun, it is estimated that there are nearly 2000 elders working "informally" (unpaid--for tips only) as supermarket baggers. They are complaining that since the stores stopped giving out bags, they are earning half as much. Customers making small purchases carry them away in their hands, while others put their groceries in their own bags & backpacks themselves. LINK
Please consider tipping the workers who provide this service for you.
From the City.....
Events in honor of the 169th anniversary of the founding of Isla Mujeres as the town of Dolores will begin on Thursday, August 15th, giving locals and visitors an opportunity to learn more about our municipality and the history of this Pueblo Magico. The artistic and cultural events are all free and for the enjoyment of everyone.
On Thursday, Aug. 15, a photographic exhibition will open in the lower level of the Town Hall, followed by a conference by the town historian, Fidel Villanueva Madrid about the history of the municipality. That evening, as part of the "Night of the Assumption", there will be a special Mass by former islander Monsignor Fabio Martinez Castilla, and traditional, regional dances will be performed on the Town Square.
On Friday, there will be a special City Council meeting recognizing the founding families and awarding the medals of Citizen Merit and Tourism Merit on the Town Square at 7pm, followed by a Noche Bohemia (Bohemian Night) featuring Mexican singer-songwriter Nicho Hinojosa at 8pm.
On Saturday at 10am, a floral offering will be at the Cruz de la Bahía/Cross of the Bay. On the Town Square at 7:30pm, there will be a collection of culinary samples and the Art Fair, "Primera Feria del Arte”.
On Sunday, there will be an 8 kilometer race, and in the evening there will be a performance by the comedian "Chiquilin Hooch", as well as cultural dances.
Next weekend, the City will hold an Art Fair ("Primera Feria del Arte") on the Town Square at 7:30p on Friday, Saturday & Sunday featuring more than a thousand pieces. There will be 29 local artists and 20 from other parts of the state.
An invitation is extended to visitors & locals to attend & to become familiar with, appreciate, and acquire artisan products that preserve techniques learned from previous generations, which strengthen the economic, social, cultural and environmental sustainability of the island.
On Friday, the winners of the XXII Artisans Competition 2019, "Let my hands speak to you", will be announced at the special City Council Session for Founders Day.
Improving the appearance of the colonias with the Green Verde campaign LINK
From Por Esto :
Lack of resources to install security systems
Guillermo Rentería Zúñiga, operations manager of the Integral Port Administration of Quintana Roo (APIQRoo) who manage the ferry terminals, said there is a lack of resources to improve security at the facilities. In 2019, five million passengers passed thru the Gran Puerto facility of Ultramar, where there is a manual traffic light. With up to 30,000 passengers on peak days during Easter week, they are adverse to causing bottlenecks with walk-thru metal detectors, but want a system with high technology that will prevent incidents and ensure the safety of passengers. Many island residents support the installation of two walk-thru metal detectors to prevent the entry of weapons.
Increased efforts to conserve the reef
María del Carmen García Rivas, director of the Isla Contoy National Park, has been leading week-long campaign sowing of corals at the Ixlaché reef, located south of that reserve, in an effort to conserve the reef. Volunteers and organizations are assisting with this massive effort including the Asociación Amigos de Isla Contoy, el Centro Regional de Investigación Acuícola y Pesquera (CRIAP), the government of Quintana Roo, and nautical tourism services providers & tour guides.
The Mesoamerican coral reef, the second largest in the world, is suffering from coral bleaching, which has been detected in Puerto Morelos, where this official is also responsible for conservation work.. The reef runs between Isla Contoy and Honduras.
According to the Management Program for the Contoy National Park, Ixlaché Subzone, classified as a public area, covers 8.3 hectares including a portion of the sandy areas of the reef lagoon and the rear face of the Ixlaché reef, which is part of the Mesoamerican Reef System. It is a bordering reef with abundant patches of massive coral growth. The diversity of hard and soft corals of this subzone is high compared to those around the rest of the island. Among the soft corals, there is an abundant presence of the genus Eunicea, star coral (Siderastrea siderea) and mustard coral (Porites astreoides).
This area attracts many visitors who wear flotation devices while enjoying it, with vessels traveling and anchoring in areas designated for this purpose. To avoid contaminating the marine environment, it is necessary that only biodegradable sunscreens and suntan lotions be used.
The International Year of Coral Reefs was declared by the UN in 2018, who said that these ecosystems provide resources valued at about $375 billion dollars yearly, worldwide. They are the natural habitats to 25 percent of marine life and feed millions of people, as well as contributing to the discovery of now pharmaceutical products and providing work via the tourism and fishing industries.
Mexico is recognized by the UN for its contribution to the use of biodegradable sunscreens in some of its main marine parks, however; María del Carmen García Rivas, together with several specialists, have urged that this substance also be banned for users of national parks, due to the progress of coral disease. Tourist guides who are familiar with this problem request that tourists wear clothes with sleeves while enjoying the underwater beauty.
Quintana Roo won the regional Children's Baseball Tournament
Ready for the "First Art Fair"
Also on Friday, the winners of the XXII Artisans Competition 2019, "Let my hands speak to you", will be announced at the special City Council Session for Founders Day.
Concerns about former hospital property
There are also concerns about the archives from 2012, 2013, an 2014 left in an abandoned area that is full of garbage. There is also an area of the facility that is used by personnel with the Vectors Department.
The property is owned by the state government, and many have requested that it should be made into something useful, such as a parking lot. It is noted that this property was acquired as a result of donations from many community-spirited individuals several decades ago, for a hospital. The Rios-Magana family were the main donors, and its members agree with this idea and don't want it sold to a company.
The property was officially vacated on December 16, 2015 to occupy the facilities of the Community Hospital in colonia La Gloria.
New ferries for Ultramar
At the end of last year, Naveganto said they would acquire a lighter boat with a capacity for 200 people for the Isla Mujeres-Puerto Juarez route. There has been no update on this. There have also been no updates from the Marinsa company.
Invitation to bid on providing urban transport
Concerns about losing access to the sea
There are half a dozen accesses to the sea at the southern point of the island, Punta Sur. The first is on the west side of the entrance of what was formerly the Sculpture Park, which is also used to park vehicles. This doesn't have access to the sea, but rather to the cliffs. Nearby, is an access to Garrafon-Punta Sur.
At 500 meters north along the western perimeter road, there is another access shown on the map, through the La Joya hotel, which has been closed, and authorities haven't reopened it, despite complaints in the media last year. In that area but on the eastern side, there are two sea-accesses shown, but there are concerns about them being invaded or blocked.
Farther north (on the western side), there is an access through the Maria Kan-Kin restaurant property, that isn't used by the public. In addition, a parallel street that connects from the Garrafon de Castilla hotel property is blocked a few steps away by La Joya, at the hotel "Unik" which hasn't finished construction, after more than a decade.
There are three more access to the sea by the Chiapaneca neighborhood (near the skate park) and across from Colegio Bachilleres that have not been developed and aren't used. (They are used by spearfishers, sea glass hunters, local families-artisans collecting marine materials for their crafts, and Tortugranja personnel.)
Along the Rueda Medina malecon, there is an access 'contemplated' at Abasolo street, behind the Casa de la Cultura, but some say it has already been closed. Accesses along the streets of Matamoros, Madero, and Adolfo Lopez Mateos have been blocked.
The objective of this week is to promote family-friendly policies that allow breastfeeding and help parents raise their children and establish bonds with them in the most important phase of development--early childhood. The WHO supports providing at least 18 weeks of paid maternity leave, as well as paid paternity leave, to foster the shared responsibility of caring for children equally.
Mothers also need to have a work environment that is supportive to continuing breastfeeding after they return to work, giving them access to breastfeeding breaks in a safe hygienic space to extract and store breast milk, and access to affordable childcare services, noting that breastfeeding promoted better health for both mothers and children. They say that increasing breastfeeding to nearly universal levels could save more than 800,000 lives yearly, mostly children under six months of age.
The WHO says, “Breastfeeding decreases the risk of mothers suffering from breast and ovarian cancer, type 2 diabetes and heart disease. It is estimated that the increase in breastfeeding could prevent 20 thousand maternal deaths per year from breast cancer. They recommend exclusive breastfeeding from one hour after birth to six months of age. Then supplementary nutritious foods should be added, while breastfeeding continues for up to two years or more. (The article continues with more breastfeeding advantages & recommendations.)
|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
August 15 7:42
August 16 8:20
August 17 8:55
August 18 9:29
August 19 10:03
August 20 10:37
Painting by Pamela Haase
Sunset ~7:25-7:05p (start-end/mo)
Sunrise ~6:20-6:30-a (start-end/mo)
Delta Aquarids Meteor Shower thru August 23, peaked in late July Perseids peaks Aug. 12, but nearly full moon will interfere.
Provided by MaraVilla Caribe & Isla Mujeres Daily News & Events
Wednesday nights at 8:45p, the bicycling group "Isla en Bici" invite people to join them for healthy recreation, meeting at Juarez & Abasolo. Lights required, helmet recommended. LINK
In August, fishermen in this region are banned from catching 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.
|Guests assisting Tortugranja worker collect from two nests on July 29th.|
Turtle nesting season continues throughout August. 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.
|Photo by Tony Garcia Whale sharks are filter-feeders who eat plankton.|
Thursday-Sunday August 8-11: At the children's baseball field "Ariel Picho Magana" Players age 11 & 12 from the states of Tabasco, Campeche, Yucatan and of course Quintana Roo, including some from Isla Mujeres will compete. About 100 players and their families are expected.
Monday, August 12: Perseids Meteor Shower peaks, but the nearly full moon will interfere.
Friday, August 16 Town Square 8p Nicho Hinojosa for the 169th Anniversary of the founding of the town.
Saturday, August 17: Commemoration of the founding of the town (of "Dolores") in 1850. There are events on the Town Square recognizing the founding families, reading the founding declaration, and folklorico dance troupe performances, as well as islanders attending in traditional clothing to dance to traditional live music.
Friday, Aug. 30 The 7th Lion Fish Culinary Contest at 5p on the Town Square. The City invites residents, restaurateurs, independent chefs & fishermen to participate. Registration deadline is Monday, Aug. 26. The dishes can be prepared with filets or a whole fish, and participants can compete in both categories. Recipes must by provided. BYOLF. Booths can promote your business or yourself & may feature menus, drink samples, and decorations. Winners are given recognition, a pass for two to Dolphin Discover, and 5000, 3000, and 2000 pesos for the top three.
They are an invasive species who eat many young lobster, grouper, and other commercial seafood. They are caught by spearfishing, and are a mild-flavored white fish. Asia Caribe has won awards in this competition ,as well as recognition for featuring them on their menu (when available), and will prepare them a variety of ways.
The Circuito Maya race will probably be held in August in Isla Mujeres, and is one of a series of four races held annually in four Pueblos Magicos in Q.Roo and Yucatan, named after the four elements. The race in Isla Mujeres is the "Air" (Iik') and the others are Fire (K'aak'), Earth (Lu'um), and Water (Ha'), for the races held in Tulum, Bacalar, and Valladolid.
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
LINK to NHC