Thursday, August 6, 2020

Isla Mujeres Daily News & Events Thursday, August 6

  Here's the webcam LINK, which also has time lapse of the past 24 hours.
~Please visit our sponsors~

Edit...Our northern region of the state continues in the Orange status August 10-16. The southern zone is upgraded to Orange.
Our hospital availability is up to yellow but the cases status is not...but he said it's getting close. In the southern zone, they moved up to Orange because of improvement in hospital availability.

Today the municipality of Isla Mujeres reports 3 more cases of C-19 for a total of 98, with six deaths and 47 recovered. 

On the national map for 8/5, the municipality of Isla Mujeres reports 6 suspicious and 47 negatives with 95 confirmed and 6 deaths.
For 8/5, the state geoportal reports 22  active cases by colonia as: La Gloria-4, Salina Chica-2, Meteorologico-2, Ampl la Gloria-2, Colonia #6-2, Caridad del Cobre-2,  Lol-Beh-2, Guadalupana-1,Salina Grande-1, Colonia #5 (Sac Bajo)-1, 23 de Noviembre-1, Miraflores-1, Canotal-1, and zero on the mainland.

Here's yesterday's...

An historical article...

      Long before Mexican politicians turned the coasts of Quintana Roo into an international mecca for tourists, our regional economy was fueled by the chewing gum industry. Harvesting "chicle" was a major source of employment, whose workers were often at the mercy of large American companies. The boom also funded Mayan rebels, who received arms and ammunition from Belizean black marketers in exchange for bricks of chicle.
     For centuries, the Maya extracted chicle sap from huge sapodilla trees, which grow over 30 feet into the jungle canopies of Yucatan peninsula. They wrapped the sticky resin in corn husks or plant leaves to harden and used it in religious ceremonies, to quench thirst and to clean their teeth. They also exported it to other regions. Aztec prostitutes chewed the white substance to distinguish themselves in public, according to a Spanish historian of the 1540's, who described the sound as 'clacking like castanets'. He said the Aztecs disapproved of chewing gum in public otherwise, although some children and old women practiced the habit. The word "chicle" is derived from its Maya name "tsictle " or "sicté", which means "essential fluid" or "sticky stuff".

       Remember Santa Ana, who was the victor at the Alamo & a frequent President of Mexico? When he was imprisoned in Texas by Sam Houston, it's said he chewed chicle to relieve stress. Three decades later, he played a key part in the birth of the chewing gum industry.
      In 1869, Santa Ana was in exile on Staten Island, New York, looking for someone to develop chicle into rubber as a means to bankroll an army to defeat Maximilian, then-Emperor of Mexico, and allow him to regain the presidency for a 12th term. He was introduced to amateur-inventor Thomas Adams, who tried to make tires, toys, masks, and rain boots, but every experiment failed. Santa Ana returned to Mexico penniless, leaving his chicle behind with Thomas, who added flavoring & created "Adams New York Gum" a couple years later. The gum was marketed to drug stores for its medicinal properties, making Thomas the first of three American "Chewing Gum Millionaires". The second was William J White who began manufacturing "Yucatan Gum" flavored with peppermint in 1880, which he created with his wife in their kitchen, after he returned from a visit to Mexico with some chicle.
      In the municipality of Isla Mujeres, between Cabo Catoche to our north and Tulum to the south, two companies began exploiting chicle for the burgeoning gum market in the US. After demand increased with Wrigley's success, systemic exploitation expanded to the southern area of Q Roo, while avoiding the central part of the Territory, which was occupied by Mayan rebels.

     At the turn of the century, a radical marketing ploy by the William Wrigley Jr Company launched their phenomenal success. They sent packages of spearmint chewing gum to each of the 1.5 million people in the US phone directory. Chewing gum was one of the first mass produced products of the 20th century, and one of the first to be featured on billboards (shaped like gum wrappers). It became a symbol for baseball, movie stars, adolescent rebellion, and "attitude". When William Wrigley died, he was one of the ten richest men in the US, and today his billionaire great-grandson is consistently included in the Forbes list of 50 richest Americans.
     During World War I, the US military began including gum in soldiers' rations, spreading the habit around the world. Gum chewing was said to reduce tension, help keep soldiers alert and distract them from thirst and hunger. Europeans quickly adopted the habit and US exports of gum to Europe soared from $200,000 before the war to nearly $2 million dollars afterwards.

     In 1918, American companies were given seven large land grants in the Territory of Quintana Roo, and three grants were given to Mexican companies. Production in Q Roo leaped from 50 tons in 1917 to 350 tons in 1918. Within four years, chiclero-workers were extracting over 1000 tons and chicle was one of Mexico's largest exports.
     Across the bay from Isla Mujeres, chicle was brought to Puerto Juarez from the jungle camps via a 30 mile-long railroad, in carts pulled by mules or horses. Twenty miles to the south, another railroad served Puerto Morelos, which was formerly part of the municipality of Isla Mujeres. That town was established in 1898 as "Punta Corcha' to provide an international port for shipping chicle. These narrow-gauge railroads were often built upon ancient Mayan roads. Their construction thru the dense jungle was expensive and difficult, and many of the political prisoners who were used as laborers succumbed to the harsh conditions or to bullets of rebel Mayan snipers. Quintana Roo lacked roads across most of the Territory.
     Fluctuations in price had a huge impact on local economies, leaving workers at the mercy of the American companies. Many small Mayan villages lacking other sources of income were also profoundly affected by politics & market vagaries. Chicleros lived in isolated camps, harvesting the sap from June to February by climbing the tall trees and slashing the bark with machetes as they ascended, leaving the trees permanently scarred. Their long days in the bug-infested jungle began before dawn, and they suffered from snake-bites and tropical diseases such as malaria, yellow fever and "chiclero's ulcer", which resembled leprosy and ate away their skin if left untreated.
     The chicle camps had a reputation for violence and fatal machete fights. After long, difficult periods of camping in the inhospitable jungle doing solitary, dangerous work, many chicleros traveled to local towns with pockets full of money and a need to blow off steam. Public drunkenness and disruptive behavior affected public opinion, and they were seen as people to be avoided. However, other chicleros had wives and children, stayed out of trouble, and made their living simply, in the solitude of the forest. In the camps, many laborers worked within a system of debt-servitude, where the chicle extraction companies purchased all of their food, clothing and equipment, and they were often unable to make enough money to cover these costs.

     By the boom years of the late 1920s, there were over 1500 chicleros working at Central Vallarta, which was just one of six camps along the 25 mile-long railroad line thru the jungle to Puerto Morelos. During the 1920s, more than 6000 chicleros came to Q Roo from other parts of Mexico and Central America. By comparison, the 1910 census reported there were only 9100 inhabitants in all of Quintana Roo. Isla Mujeres had a fairly stable population of ~1000 residents from 1920-1960, which had grown from 650 at the turn of the century.
     During the off-season, many chicleros returned to their places of origin or went to more developed areas in Campeche or Yucatan, while some stayed in Q.Roo to work cutting timber. It was difficult to accurately determine the true magnitude of their numbers, due to the inaccessibility of the camps & the Territory in general, as well as their migratory tendencies.

      During their explorations for untapped sapodilla trees, chicleros came across numerous Maya ruins covered by jungle growth. For nearly a century, archaeologists have hired chicleros as guides, who've led them to various important sites, including Banampak with its famous murals.

      This boom had a significant political effect in Q.Roo, where the Cruzob Maya had been rebelling against the whites, mestizos (people of mixed European and indigenous blood) and the Mexican government since the Caste war (1847-1901). After a half a century of maintaining their military and arms by trading hardwoods with the British in Belize, the rebel Maya quickly realized that chicle was more profitable and easier to smuggle.
      The Mexican government attempted to protect the lucrative chicle industry from within by appointing rebel Cruzob Maya leader Francisco May as a military commander in 1917. (That name may sound familiar because one of the main villages in the mainland part of the municipality of Isla Mujeres is named for him.) He was given 20,000 hectares of land, control of the railroads from Santa Cruz, and a monopoly on the lucrative aguardiente (cane liquor) sales in his area, as well as regional power to govern, tax and punish. He used his newfound authority to his advantage and became a liaison for several of the gum manufacturers, including Wrigley's. He controlled the local chicle trade, provided armed protection for the camps, and convinced the Governor to build several new schools. In 1929, due to abuses of power, his authority was revoked.
     Later that year, chiclero workers in Quintana Roo staged a revolt against the inhumane working conditions and a federal battalion of 350 men was dispatched from Veracruz to Cozumel to quell the rebellion, as well as military detachments to guard the chicle collection centers. Along the coasts, Belizean pirates were raiding the camps that were preparing to send their cargo to the United States.   Mexican government said the pirates were getting their information about where and when to raid from the chicleros, who were at war with their employers.
      By the early 1940's, the Mexican government had suppressed the Mayan rebels and began regulating the production of chicle through the use of cooperatives, which included 20,000 workers. The cooperatives were regulated by the government and their sapodilla trees were located on communally owned ejido land and on federal land. In 1943, representatives of the chicle cooperatives traveled to the US for negotiations to "discuss and defend the price of chicle, one of the most appreciated wartime materials in the United States".

As the popularity of chewing gum spread during World War II, when it was once again included with US soldiers' rations, chicle supplies became reduced due to chicleros over-extracting the sapodilla trees, causing them to die off. In addition, the U.S drastically increased import taxes on raw chicle, causing chewing gum manufacturing companies to seek lower-priced synthetics. The bottom fell out of the chicle industry by the 1950's, leaving a hole in the economy of Quintana Roo, which was filled by the arrival of tourism to the coastal areas several decades later.

The "Chiclero Pilot Program" began in 1994, when there were about 1000 chiclereos remaining, compared to 20,000 fifty years earlier. In 2003, the Chiclero Consortium was formed by a merger between coops & rural producers of Q.Roo & Campeche, After experimenting with recipes and ingredients, they opened a factory in 2007 and began manufacturing "Chicza" chewing gum.
The Chicza website says: The Chiclero Consortium, which oversees production, logistics. marketing and financing, has demonstrated that it is possible to have a sustainable chicle harvest, produce Chicza chewing gum, and build a profitable business. The ownership and exploitation of the forests is in the hands of the campesinos, with a well-defined section for each community. Mr. Piporro, a chiclero, explained, "This has created awareness among the community. We are interested in the conservation of the forest. My grandfather and my dad were both chicleros, and here I am in the same place making chewing gum. We have 108,726 acres of land in an area that is designated as a permanent forest reserve. Livestock raising and cultivation are prohibited. We make chewing gum from trees, but we must know how to do it correctly.”
Nowadays, most Americans chew gum made of a synthetic plastic, polyvinyl acetate, to the tune of nearly 300 sticks per person yearly. Internationally, chewing gum is a $22 billion industry.
Written by Ronda Winn Roberts

Before you put on a face mask, wash your hands well with sufficient water and soap, and avoid touching it while you're wearing it.

Yesterday there was a power outage & the Mayor posted--I am informed by the CFE (Federal Electrical Commission)  Superintendent that the service has been restored using the generators located on the side of the runway of the airport. 

The Municipal Department of Public Lighting continues to work
 8/5--On this day they installed 20 posts and 40 new lights on the avenue "Paseo de las Aves" in colonia La Gloria.

VIDEO of the Director of Public saying they are carrying out a pot hole repair program and if residents report any pot holes they will be repaired in the following 24 to 36 hours.  They have acquired 24 cubic meters of asphalt material with its respective emulsion sealant for Punta Sur and several colonias of the island, and  later they will work on the avenues and in the colonias,  with attention to the tourist areas now that tourists are visiting in the New Normality.  Work is also being done on the mainland.

VIDEO of the Director of the Tortugranja who says this is a "low" season (they alternate) for sea turtle nesting, but there are already twice as many nests protected as the last low season in 2018, by a margin of 258 nests and 26,998 eggs.  They have collected 623 nests with 69,918 eggs.

      The Greens lay the most, by far, and the Hawksbills are the least. The season officially ends Oct. 15, but monitoring usually continues two week longer for the stragglers. 

Avoid getting together with friends and family. The caption says meeting with friends and family members can expose you to contagion of Covid-19. Take care of your health and your family by avoiding them.

 The (new) Director of Fiscalizacion (Control) said they took a tour of businesses to cordially invite them to update their business licenses and other documents to avoid sanctions or fines, which could stop local economic activation.


  This blog is brought to you by....

MaraVilla Caribe   Bed & Beach    Four rentals with large glass doors overlooking our white sand beach and the beautiful Caribbean sea, with  kitchenettes & fast WIFI. In the upscale neighborhood of  Bachilleres, convenient to downtown or the colonias, yet separate.  Quiet & Private.   
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 out of the pic at left.

"Reverse Sunset" (looking east from MVC)
Free amenities include hammocks, portable beach chairs, beach towels, washer & dryer, loungers, shared bikes, BBQ grill, and safes.  Panoramic views from the rooftop terrace. Large sliding doors open to a patio & the white sand backyard-beach, overlooking the Caribbean sea.  Downtown is  ~ a mile away; we're on all four bus routes or  flag a $3 taxi. Off street parking. You can enjoy the music & crowds downtown, then return to the quiet neighborhood of Bachilleres and  sleep to the sounds of the sea.$275/$325/$425 wk   $40/50/$65nt  Monthly Discounts
Fine dining a few steps away at Da Luisa or try the neighborhood eateries a couple blocks farther. We provide a list of links & direction to over 20 eateries within ten minutes walk, including Mango Cafe,  Mike's Pizza, Brisas, Rosa Sirena, Coco Jaguar, Manolitos, La Chatita, Green Verde, Kash Kechen Chuc, and the large department store-grocery Chedraui & the local craft brewery.  Visit marinas, bars, & beach clubs that are minutes away by bike or on foot. Attend Yoga classes a couple villas away at Casa Ixchel. Fresh juice, produce & tortillas a few blocks away in the village, as well as a variety of other stores.
Full moon rising over the Caribbean 
 Just after Sunset--August 3 at 7:47
  August 4      8:29 
 August 5    9:07
August 6      9:42
August 7     10:16
August 8     11:22

 Sunset  7:25-7:03pm (beginning vs end of month)
Sunrise  6:21-6:30am
Painting by Pamela Haase at MVC
Turtles continue nesting in August. They can be observed mating offshore from Punta Sur during this month, and they nest along the eastern beaches. Tortugranja staff and volunteers gather the eggs and incubate them in the sand in a pen outside the facility. Three species nest annually in Isla Mujeres, Greens, Loggerheads, and Hawksbills, and very rarely, a Leatherback will attempt to nest, but generally the sand isn't sufficiently deep.

Swimming with the whale sharks takes place in August, which ends annually in mid-September. They congregate and feed on a 'buffet' of plankton and fish eggs from a type of tuna. Rays are also attracted to the feeding areas.  Photo by Tony Garcia

>>Meteors!! The Perseids are currently active & one of the most popular showers. They will peak in the early mornings of the weekend of August 11,12 & 13, but the moon will be at or slightly past its last quarter phase and interfering. However, the Perseids are bright & you may see 3 or 4 dozen when they are peaking, if you're patient. They continue thru the 24th. The Alpha Capricornids are going on now (thru Aug. 15) with only a few meteors per hour, but they are known for producing bright fireballs when active. (They peaked Tuesday & moonlight will interfere with visibility.)

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   

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.