Friday, December 29, 2017

Isla Mujeres Daily News & Events Friday, Dec. 29

This is the live webcam at North Beach / Playa Norte.  HERE is a timelapse version, that you can set to slow or fast (fps-frames per second). It takes a few seconds to load.
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From the Municipal Facebook site.....  (  FB page link)

Everything is ready to receive the New Year and the City invites you to join the celebration which begins on the Town Square at 11pm. VIDEO   LINK    
        Isla Mujeres has become on of one of the most visited beach destinations in the Mexican Caribbean, receiving more than 2 million tourists annually, therefore, the municipal government will close 2017 with a flourish, providing a great celebration that will undoubtedly increase the number of visiting tourists and  generate great economic benefits for all the island families. 
      Mayor Juan Carrillo Soberanis said, "The islanders love festivities, and the New Year is one of our most important celebrations, because we have the opportunity to come together as a family and to join all our friends on the Town Square to have fun, celebrate and enjoy a great party." 
       He  said, "Isla Mujeres is not only a destination with beautiful beaches, but also has important awards that guarantee the quality and care of its waters, as well as the important distinction of being a Pueblo Magico, and the privilege of being the place of Mexico which receives the first rays of the sun." 
       The entertainment this year will feature the music of "Nelzon Kanzela" and "Mega Boom", starting 23:30, who will entertain the islanders and tourists receiving 2018 at  "El amanecer of Mexico"  (Mexico's Dawn), the name given to Isla Mujeres for being the first place in the country where the sun's rays touch the land every morning. 
       For this reason, the City of Isla Mujeres City invites tourists and islanders to receive 2018 in this Pueblo Magico, in an atmosphere of excitement and complete security thanks to the work of the Department of Civil Protection and Firefighters, as well as the Department of Public Security and Municipal Traffic, who will intensify their patrols to ensure the protection of all attendees. 
       One of the most important objectives for the municipal government is to ensure that this destination is recognized worldwide, not only for its natural beauties, but for the warmth of its people and the realization of first class events that attract a greater number of visitors and represent an important economic benefit for those who live in this Pueblo Magico, so it is committed to continue the work of promoting and caring for Isla Mujeres.

Isla Mujeres, with its unequalled clean beaches, continues to be the preferred destination for thousands of tourists. VIDEO   ARTICLE
In Isla Mujeres, everything is ready to enjoy the last weekend of the year
   This article is very similar to the one above, from yesterday, and lists all the municipal departments that are actively ensuring a clean, safe experience for islanders and visitors, to this popular destination which has earned national and international designations, and is the first place that the rays of the sun touch Mexico each morning. It says the City government is committed to working so that the municipality continues to be one of the most visited in the country through the reinforcement of the work of security, cleanliness and the continuous promotion of the destination, providing the island families with the great economic benefits that result from tourism.


From Tvisla Mujeres ( link to photos & articles)

There's a photo taken by the Town Hall of tourists on the pedestrian street that joins Hidalgo & Rueda Medina with a caption saying the entrepreneurs expect/hope the hotel occupancy improves & surpasses last year.

The VIDEO caption says: The use of pyrotechnics can cause serious damage, we are sharing this important information provided by Civil Protection.  The first firework he shows is permitted for sale, but he warns it can cause damage if held in a hand & the caption says it can cause loss of fingers, extremities and burns. The rest of the demonstrations are of fireworks whose sale is prohibited, followed by captions explaining the damage they can cause, which mostly say loss of extremities and burns/serious burns. For the "Devil's Face" it said these fireworks have cause deaths in Sinaloa, and they can cause loss of hands, extremities, and serious burns. It says fireworks are fire, are uncontrollable, a simple cherry bomb or 'cebollita' can cause death. The explosives use a powder that is very risky. Take care of your children and don't let them out of your sight during these festivities. 

TVIM reports: SINTRA continues its operations to detect 'irregular' vehicles. This time it was the Coco's rental agency. (There's a photo)
Note: SINTRA is the Ministry of Transportation & Infrastructure & it's their responsibility to ensure that taxis and golf carts have the correct license plates & documents. If a cart lacks plates, or appears to have a tourist driving but private plates, they may ask to see your documents. While the tourists may be inconvenienced if their cart is impounded, it is the agency who gets in trouble for this, not the tourist. Commercial plates say T++ (one of the most common is TRY), and carts should have two plates.

Waiting for better weather to be able to put the new ferries in the water LINK 
      The cargo vessel Xiang Yun Kou, which was responsible for transporting the three new Ultramar ferries, was forced to retreat six miles further east-northeast due to weather conditions. An Ultramar spokesperson explained that the weather is expected to improve and they will proceed to disembark the three ferries when the winds calm down.  
        It is noted that the XIang Yun Kou displays a Chinese flag and is a semi-submersible vessel built in 2011, whose registrations are IMO 9483097 and MMSI 413055620. 
      The Harbor Master's office confirmed that until yesterday the ship remained about two miles east northeast of Isla Mujeres, but due to weather conditions it was decided to move it out another six miles.


From  por esto Link to their Isla Mujeres articles & photos

Planning cooperation within the taxi union  
Equipo plural al frente de los taxistas [+] Ver mas
     The new elected leader of the taxi drivers union of Isla Mujeres, José Magaña, has said he will include representatives from the groups who opposed him in the election, when his term begins on  January 5th.  His main rival, Miguel Chan Medina and his people are considering this offer to occupy various position, and seek a democratic process within the union. There are also plans to update the internal regulations that establish the voting procedures, and there were accusations of vote buying. 

Holiday period continues without incident
“Guadalupe-Reyes” marcha con saldo blanco. [+] Ver mas

Was driving while holding a beer  
Conducía con la cerveza en la mano.. [+] Ver mas
   Before the start of the holiday season, the 20+ agencies who rent golf carts were notified to advise their customers that all drivers should not drink alcohol and should not have containers in their hands, according to the municipal Traffic department. This is intended to prevent accidents involving these vehicles, which have had a high incidence during previous holiday seasons. So far this holiday season, there have been no accidents. The traffic police are punishing drivers who ignore this recommendation.
     Several employees of the agencies said they are diligent about giving this advice, because they consider the penalties to be excessive, and when the carts are detained, they are taken to the impound yard. More than 700 golf cars are in circulation daily, and they saturate the roads at certain times of day. Some drivers don't obey this recommendation and then the officers act.
      A visitor from Cancun complained on social media when he was punished for violating the regulations, alleging that the measure was 'partial' (parcial), with tolerance for tourists to drive while holding a beer. He said "Everyone is holding a beer in their hand" while driving golf carts. His arrest involved the officers from patrol car #6029 and the cart was taken to the impound yard.
      There were opposing opinions expressed in response, with some in favor of the regulations and others questioning the allegations that 'some officers' are taking personal advantage of this. One rental agency worker said, "We have heard of abuses by officers who allegedly, dishonestly took 200 dollars from a foreign driver as a fine, without giving a receipt."
    This measure applied by the authorities will be continued to avoid new accidents, because when the application of these regulations had been relaxed, the consequences were several rollovers and collisions by golf carts.
      Golf carts will not be rented to anyone who does not have a drivers license. The leasing companies have a document which requires a signature saying that the driver is completely responsible if they ignore this recommendation.

Erosion of Playa Norte: Response should not be postponed   
Erosión en Playa Norte, inaplazable. [+] Ver mas
- The issue of addressing the erosion of Playa Norte will remain pending for 2018, after the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (Semarnat) did not pay attention to the municipal government's request for assistance, according to municipal Urban Development department.
     It is said that at least 10 thousand square meters of beach needs to be recovered,  after its loss in 2005 due to hurricane "Wilma"; the majority of a dozen large geotubes that were installed in 2007 and 2008 were not maintained, they "deflated" a few years later and the sand that was already recovering in 2012 disappeared again.
     Several companies have invested in the installation of wooden breakwaters, including the 
Lima, Martínez, Cárdenas, and Briceño families; as well as the hotel Ixchel, among others. There are also others who want to participate because that represents more space in the federal concession area, including businessman Carlos Cervera who has invested his money to receive expert advice in recent years.
    The most affected section is near the end of the walkway from Rueda Medina, where tourist must enter Chichi's to move between Playa Norte and Playa Centro. During this period of 'norte' winds, they are not favorable to natural recovery of the sand. These winds will continue until February, when winds will begin from the south. Then the effects of the breakwaters placed by the Cardenas family should be seen, because until then, there is a great deal of sand that has added to Playa Centro, including a significant amount which has extended into the Navigation Channel. 

Naveganto ferry company plans to operate in 2018 
Naveganto esperará llegada del 2018an.. [+] Ver mas
    According to Naveganto company manager Guillermo Rosas, the ferry company plans to begin operation on the Isla Mujeres-Puerto Juarez route in 2018, since they were unable to complete the project in 2017. It is noted that Marinsa ferry company began operations two weeks ago, two months behind schedule, after APIQROO, the Port Authority, had announced they would begin service in October.
     According to the head of APIQROO in Puerto Juarez, Manuel Garcia, setbacks are usual, but everything is going well. He said Naveganto plans to provide two mono-hull ferries and compete with Ultramar and Marinsa on the Isla Mujeres-Puerto Juarez route.

Interruption of electrical service in part of colonia La Gloria
CFE suspende servicio en la colonia La Gloria+] Ver mas
   The CFE, Federal Electrical Commission sent out notices a week in advance regarding a planned suspension of services in a sector of colonia La Gloria, for the safety of the workers who were doing maintenance work involving the replacement of a pole for the medium voltage lines, because it had become damaged by salt and corrosion. The power was cut at 8a and resumed at 2:30pm, after a little more than 6 hours of interruption. This causes some annoyance among consumers, particularly those who did not pay attention to the notice, or thought the interruptions would be sporadic, and were concerned about their food spoiling.

Competition at last for the Punta Sam-Isla Mujeres route  
Por fin tendrá competencia [+] Ver mas 
  Dec. 27  Competition is expected to begin in mid-January for the passenger-cargo ferry route between Punta Sam and Isla Mujeres, after an Ultramar ferry arrived this morning with a capacity for 300 passengers and 50 cars. The freighter "Xiang Yun Kou" also brought two ferries for Cozumel, after a 22 day trip from Greece.
     By the end of 2017, a million visitors will  have been transported from Punta Sam, where there are currently four new luxury hotels under construction and two undergoing expansion, for a total of 3599 new rooms there in 2018. This will give the municipality a total of 7685, which nearly doubles the current amount of 4086.
        In January the RIU hotel is planning to begin operations of 753 luxury apartments. It is projected that the Punta Sam-Isla Blanca hotel zone will have 25,000 rooms in the next two decades.
   The Maritima vehicle-cargo ferry has served this route for three decades, and is expected to raise its rates in 2018, since during all of 2017 it absorbed the cost of the 20% increase in gasoline prices.
     According to Arturo Baez, manager for Ultramar, a ferry for Isla Mujeres is being built at a shipyard in Louisiana, USA, to be added to the Isla Mujeres-Puerto Juarez route, which could occur in the first two months of 2018.

Amount of trash has nearly doubled during the holidays   
Se recolecta 70 toneladas de basura por día [+] Ver mas

 Jose Rios, Director of Municipal Services said, "On a normal day, the garbage trucks collect an average of 35 tons, but these days they are picking up about 60 tons of trash from the streets of the island, which they transport to the Trash Transfer Facility, to be taken to the mainland." The intention is that trash does not accumulate at the transfer station, which is why every day nearly 70 tons are transported to the mainland, with two trips by tractor-trailers via the ferry.
   He said they are trying to make this service more efficient with the vehicles and personnel they have available, and he requested cooperation from the residents to avoid putting trash out after the trucks pass, to avoid the garbage being spread around by  stray cats and dogs. 
    Residents who recognize that there is no street cleaning staff at this time, say there are also irresponsible people who put their trash out in the street without using containers, and it is not long before it is littering the streets and sidewalks. 
   But generally, the problem of trash in the public streets is not as dramatic as it has been in the past, and assistance is necessary from the general public to help the island become cleaner. In addition, both the vehicle fleet and the staff of the Public Services department will be expanded in 2018, according to officials. 

 Noticias de  Diario de Quintana Roo's Isla articles & photos LINK
  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 & free 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, outdoor shower, portable beach chairs & beach towels, washer, loungers. Breathtaking panoramic views from the rooftop terrace. Upstairs room also available.   Downtown is  ~ a mile away; if you don't feel like walking or biking, 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 traditional neighborhood eateries a couple blocks farther. Within ten minutes walk are the restaurants Mango Cafe, Brisas, Manolitos,  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.


December Events
Provided by MaraVilla Caribe & Isla Mujeres Daily News & Events

Nov. 28-Dec. 8 Annual Festivities honoring the Patron Saint: Our Lady of Immaculate Conception
  Which include a small carnival, a bullring, nightly performances on the Town Square (which start at 8p), and a boat procession on Dec. 8th, as well as private celebrations by the 20+ groups involved in the festivities.  The horse procession is scheduled for Dec. 2, starting at 1p going to the colonias & the Sacred Heart Church, and finishing at the ring at the north end of the runway, where there will be cowboy-horse performances. Events at the ring begin at 6:30 except Nani Namu.

 The comic bullfights with matadors of diminutive stature are Tues. 5th & Tues. 12th. There's a Lasso tournament on Sun, Dec.10th. All events at the ring at the north end of the runway start at 6:30p, except Nani Namu & the horse procession.

Fri & Sat. Dec 1 & 2  M.C. Mala Noche will celebrate their first anniversary this weekend at the Casa de la Cultura starting at 11 am on Saturday and at Playa Centro on Sunday with live music, competitions, and other fun activities.

Sun. Dec. 3 Noches Magicas 8p Town Square with the DIF Senior Citizen Dance Troupe and singers Rebens Garcia and Aldahir Davila

You can drop off donations of toys at Rueben's restaurant, across from the Mercado on Guerrero. Kids in Mexico receive presents on King's Day/Dia de los Reyes on Jan. 6

Full moon Sun. Dec. 3
                                                                    Sunset ~6p
Dec. 3  6:30
Dec. 4  7:30
Dec. 5   8:33
Dec. 6   9:37
Dec. 7  10:39
Dec. 8  11:39
 Wed, Dec 6 at 5:00 p.m. Casa de la Cultura   Zumba class for 1 Billion Rising to Prevent Violence Against Women

 Thurs. Dec. 7 Artist Fair Casa de la Cultura 3-8p

Fri. Dec. 8 at 4:30pm Christmas Youth Lightning Tournament on the Comex soccer court for Futbol Rapido soccer, in colonia Salina Chica.

Thurs. Dec. 14  at 9am Public Audience with the Governor at the El Pescador baseball field

 Sun. Dec.10 Noches Magicas 8p Town Square

Mon. Dec.11  There will be a gathering in the evening at the coastal chapel dedicated to Guadalupe in Salina Chica, probably with Mariachis, to sing Las Mañanitas and honor her. 

Mon. Dec. 11 Town Square 6p. Lighting of the Christmas Lights and performance by the Academy of Jazz, Passion, & Dance

Tues. Dec. 12 Dia de Guadalupe, the Patron Saint of Mexico.There is usually a run in the morning from the downtown church to Punta Sur to the Guadalupe Chapel.There is usually a procession in the afternoon with children dressed up as Juan Diego, shepherds, and shepherdesses, probably between the Chapel Guadalupana and the downtown church,

The holiday period in Mexico from Dec. 12 to Jan. 6 is called Guadalupe-Reyes (from Dia de Guadalupe to Dia de los Reyes/King's Day). 

Thurs. Dec.14 Artist Fair Casa de la Cultura  3-8p

Dec, 16-24 Posadas Navidenas
During the Posadas, there is usually a dance on the Town Square, featuring regional dances & costumes from different states of Mexico. The schools may have Posada plays, which are reenactments of Mary & Joseph being refused shelter. Posada means 'inn'.

 Sun. Dec. 17 You're invited to join the Christmas Caravan on Sunday with your decorated vehicle, starting in front of the kindergarten "Enriqueta Camarillo" at 6p. (That's where the road is very wide by Casa Ixchel hotelito prolongacion Aeropuerto, just north of col. Salina Chica. & just south of MaraVilla Caribe B&B & the Bachilleres dome.)

Sun. Dec. 17 Boxing Event Sunday at 7pm at El Pescador 

Sun. Dec.17 Noches Magicas 8p Town Square the final Noches Magicas performances for 2017. You are invited to enjoy Christmas dances performed by the students of the Women's Institute of Quintana Roo, live music by Hiraldo & his Cuban Big Band, and a comedy show. Free.
Thurs. Dec. 21 Artist Fair Casa de la Cultura 3-8p

Thurs. Dec. 21 Winter Solstice  

Sat. Dec. 23 5:30p - 8:30p Golf Cart Parade with residents tossing toys & treats to children

Sun. Dec. 24  Christmas Eve  Usually the last ferry is cancelled and some businesses may be closed, especially in the evening, while families celebrate together.Noches Magicas is suspended.

Mon. Dec. 25 Christmas Usually the first ferry is cancelled.

Thurs. Dec.28 Artist Fair Casa de la Cultura 3-8p

Thurs. Dec. 28 Wednesday  Dia de los Santos Innocentes A day of practical jokes, similar to "April Fool's Day"

Sun. Dec.31 New Year's Eve celebration on the Town Square. Tables can be purchased in advance, details TBA. The last ferry is usually cancelled.Noches Magicas is suspended.

Jan. 1 New Year's Day People observe the sunrise at Punta Sur The first ferries are usually suspended.

 Celebrating New Year's in Isla Mujeres
   To celebrate New Year's Eve, some families set up tables in the side streets with pinatas strung overhead, and dine on turkey stuffed with seasoned ground meat, while others crowd the Town Square for live music, dancing, and fireworks. Each neighborhood brings in the New Year with a bang, and the skies explode with color in all directions.
     During the NYE countdown, there is a tradition of eating twelve uvas de buenas suerte (grapes of good luck), each representing a month, with a toast of champagne or cider. The party on the town square continues all night long. At the other end of the isle, people gather at Punta Sur to greet the first rays of the sun at the eastern-most point in Mexico.  
     Other customs include cleaning your house on New Year's Eve & sweeping out bad luck. Wearing red underwear could bring you love in the New Year, or  your white undies may bring you peace, while yellow represents wealth. Those who hope to travel should grab an empty suitcase and carry it around the room or the block, and set it by the door. If you drop a shoe on New Year's morn and it lands "boca arriba" (face up)  you will enjoy good luck in the upcoming year. 
The old year is represented by a life sized character called El Viejo, The Old Man, who is later filled with fireworks and set ablaze. He may resemble a politician, and he is usually holding cigars & tequila. Fireworks are everywhere, and their names are metralletas (literally "machine guns" – but it means fire crackers), cañones (larger fire crackers), voladores (rockets in many different sizes), chifladores (whistlers), and barre pies ("foot sweepers", that spin on the ground & shoot sparks).
      Kids receive toys on Dia de los Reyes, January 6, when families, friends, and coworkers share rosca de reyes. King's cake, usually with hot chocolate. If you get the Baby Jesus,it means you'll be hosting a party & providing the tamales on Candlemas Day, Feb. 2.

 Wednesday, Jan. 3 at the Town Square at 8p: Ballet Folkloric Fuego Nuevo de Encarnacion Diaz Jalisco, with live music. Free. Special Noches Magicas performance.

Jan 7-17 Art Festival & Exhibition “Festival de Arte Mutuo” / "Mutual Art Festival". 17 artists creating six murals at various locations around the isle, children's workshops, and an exhibition at the Casa de la Cultura with art on sale.
  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 (Yucatan peninsula is under Satellite GOES Este, I recommend "Animacion" (it used to be in my blog margin, until Blogger became incompatible with it).
LINK to a private weather station on Isla Mujeres   

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