Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Isla Mujeres Daily News & Events Wednesday, August 15

This is the live webcam at North Beach / Playa Norte. 
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News from the Municipal Facebook site.....  (  FB page link)

Festivities begin tonight commemorating the founding of Isla Mujeres as the Town of Dolores 168 years ago. See Events section below for a translation of this graphic

There is a video of Playa Centro that says Enjoy a beautiful beach with an incredible view, without being concerned about sargasso.  Isla Mujeres, Pueblo Magico, is waiting for you.

VIDEO which says Thanks to the work of the ZOFEMAT personnel, the Playa Centro beach has once again been awarded the Blue Flag designation
The caption with the video says: Thanks to the great work between the government and municipal agencies, the distinctive Blue Flag designation for Playa Centro has been renewed. We successfully complied with the requirements regarding environmental information and education, water quality, and environmental management, as well as security and services. We also thank all islanders for helping us keep the beaches of Isla Mujeres beautiful, always!

There is a video at sunset on Playa Centro of the Mayor and  the national director in Mexico of the environmental agency involved with the Blue Flag designation discussing the requirements and goals of the program, and the Mayor talks about being happy to receive this again, which has very strict criteria, and how the beach is free of sargasso. (I didn't catch the gentleman's full name, his first name is Joaquin.)

Youth Rally at the Posada Beach (aka Playa Centro) on August 18 at 9am with surprise prizes. Teams of three people. Commemorating World Youth Day


 FB News Sites about Isla Mujeres

  Tvisla Mujeres    

Installing 27 kilometers of barriers against sargasso starting in Cancun  LINK w photos
      The company Goimar Logística & Servicios will install a system of containment barriers for sargasso,  which will be placed along 27 kilometers of the coast, from Cancun to Chetumal Bay.
The barrier is non-polluting and resistant to waves, and is supported by non-invasive anchors in the seabed, as well as the placement of "dynamic vessels" to redirect the sargassum collected in the containment areas.
    This system and its operation for the management of the masses of sargasso was entirely designed by Mexican companies and is a combination of systems that represents an international benchmark in the development of techniques and devices to address this problem, which affects coasts in the Atlantic sea from Brazil to the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico.
    This project is being coordinated by the state government and the 27 kilometers of barriers will be installed in individual 100 foot-long sections (30.48 meters) in the sargasso flotation areas, before it reaches the shoreline. The containment barriers consist of three parts, with the first being an flotation system on the surface with a polyvinyl coated canvas barrier with additives for resistance to ultraviolet rays, with a height of 2 feet (0.61) meters. 
     The central part consists of polyester panels with a galvanized chain ballast, with a height of 3 feet (0.91 meters);  The lower section is composed of an anchoring system  of the "manta ray" type for each of the containment sections.
     The materials and methods are designed to avoid affecting the marine ecosystems in the area, since they don't interfere with the dynamics of the seabed, nor do they displace species in the containment areas.  
      The installation of the barrier system should prevent the arrival of mats of sargasso to the beaches already affected in the municipalities of Chetumal, Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Puerto Morelos and Tulum. 
      This effort will make it possible to address the problem that currently affects the coasts of the state of Quintana Roo, which could affect the economy of the state that is sustained by beach tourism activities, as well as affecting the ecosystem of the region, to the detriment of the future natural, social, and economic status of the state. 
       Preventing the arrival of more sargasso to the coast will also benefit the planning of the final disposal of the sargasso which has already accumulated on the beaches, and the problems involved with disposing of it without damage to the environment. Names are given of organizations involved with development of this system. 
       This phenomenon affecting the state of Quintana Roo and other areas of the Caribbean has no relationship with the so-called Sargasso Sea, according to a researcher based in Puerto Morelos (whose name and title are given). She said that review of satellite images has revealed that the origin of the accumulations of sargassum in ​​the Atlantic Ocean are from an area located between Africa and Brazil.
      The first event similar to this year's was in 2011, with the arrival of some minor accumulation, and which was atypical in this region. In 2012, it was determined that the masses of sargasso came from the area mentioned above, and the idea was discarded that they had come from the area known as the Sargasso Sea.
     The first massive arrival occurred in 2014, and in 2015 it reached the point where there were 10 tons accumulated per kilometer along the coastal beaches of the state, from the north to the south. The fast-growing floating microalgae can double its mass and weight in 18 days, if it has favorable conditions of temperature, light and nutrients.
      According to research that has been done, the increase in sea temperatures by almost two degrees Celsius, has added to the increase in nutrients and organic matter arriving in the sea via currents from the Orinoco and Amazon rivers, in Venezuela and Brazil, respectively, which have played an substantial part in this phenomenon.
 The increase in temperature also causes changes in marine currents, therefore these facts have led to the theory that certain seasonal conditions of temperature, plus the change of currents, have favored a massive development of sargasso and its displacement towards areas of Mexico, Belize, Honduras, Jamaica, Cuba and Barbados. 
       The immediate negative impact of the accumulation in the coastal area is centered around tourism activity, as well as fish mortality. The decomposition of the plant matter generates hydrogen sulfide, which causes bad odors and can affect human health. Likewise, the barrier created by the sargasso affects the nesting and hatching of the eggs of sea turtles along the coast of Quintana Roo. 
       Also, the lack of light reaching the seabed due to the sargassum cover, as well as the lack of sufficient oxygen, affects the life of the coastal marine "pastures" and with it the dependent ecosystems comprised of species of marine fauna and corals, which puts the natural balance of the area at risk.

Isla Mujeres Al Dia    

Personnel with the Department of Civil Protection & Firefighters dealt with a swarm of bees that was in one of the corners of the Isla Mujeres Town Hall (photos).

Isla Mujeres al Dia reports that hotel occupancy remains at 90 percent, compared to 70.5 percent at during this same period last year. Restaurants and nautical service providers reported increased sales during this holiday period, but vendors of souvenirs and crafts say their sales remained stable.

There is an article claiming that the noise of the Naveganto and Marinsa ferries could be causing noise pollution for the whale sharks, since these boats are adapted from oil vessels and have loud engines. It quotes information from the Whale Conservation Institute about increasing noise pollution underwater from increasing numbers of ships. A comment in response mentions that the Yucatan Channel is just a few miles from the island (and near the whale shark congregation area), where many large, noisy ships travel including freighters and cruise ships, which have huge engines and propellers. 

Photos of sunset

There is another article about the young man who traveled to Mexico City to train to compete in Handball at a national level with the state team.

There is an article about renewal of the Blue Flag beach designation for Playa Centro. and a VIDEO  and a VIDEO with the Mayor.

VIDEO whose caption says a golf cart invaded the sidewalk on Juarez Avenue, and ran into some merchandise, and there was only material damage.

Boxing match on Friday at 7pm ..Eight rounds For the 168th anniversary of the founding of Isla Mujeres at the Pescador Beach Club, just inside the entrance to Sac Bajo

Noti Isla Mujeres   

Renewal of the Blue Flag designation for Playa Centro VIDEO

An interview with town historian Fidel Villanueva Madrid VIDEO 

VIDEO of the bee removal at Town Hall by personnel with the Department of Civil Protection and Firefighters.

VIDEO of an interview with the supervisor of School Area 039, Guadalupe Briceno, who said that although school begins in a few days, on Monday, August 20th, the primary schools of Isla Mujeres lack all of the textbooks required for the first and second grade classes. The books should be arriving tomorrow by truck, according to promises from the State Education agency.
 She says they lack 37 teachers in the municipality, "which is too many", particularly at the new primary school on the mainland "Victoria", which doesn't have a single teacher. On the island, all the schools have at least 50 percent of their teachers, but they need the other half to begin the school year without problems.  She says they have been promised 15 more teachers by tomorrow, August 16th, and they are hoping/waiting to see.

VIDEO of a large boa by the middle school.

IM Noticias   

Photos & article about the interview with Ms. Guadalupe Briceno about the lack of 37 teachers in the municipality and the lack of primary school textbooks for the first and second grade students, with classes beginning on Monday.

In upcoming weeks, a mega generator is expected to arrive in Isla Mujeres, from Baja California, to be used in the event of suspension of the electrical supply, taking into account the events of recent weeks.  The generator of the same capacity that was previously on the island, is currently responding to an emergency on Isla Holbox.
    This announcement about the mega generator coming from Baja California confirms suspicions that there are no immediate intentions to solve the problem that has caused the outages, while business owners and residents want answers from the CFE (Federal Electrical Commission) about the status of the submarine line.  (photos & article)    


From  por esto Link to their Isla Mujeres articles & photos

Erosion at the "El Riito" beach
Erosión en playa de “El Riíto” [+] Ver masFull article at this link
 This article is about erosion of the El Riito beach, (across from the Mia hotel & islote Yanque), which exposing the roots of the palm trees and causing concern among tourists, as well as residents. This area is popular with local families, especially when they visit with their children, because the water is very shallow and very clear, and they enjoy the shade from the palms.
    Residents who were born here or have lived here for some time are aware that the erosion problems are cyclical, and occur year afer year when the winds come from the south and southeast, and then the sands recover in October or November when the winds are from the north, which also favor the lobster fishermen, causing the crustaceans to migrate. The residents are aware that the sand will return to cover the palm roots, but there are concerns about what could happen if a hurricane hits in the meantime.
    In contrast,  a 'tongue' of sand has grown considerably on the other side of this little 'bay' known as El Riito (which means "little river", because there's often a current thru the area), which is bisected by the wooden bridge that gives access to MIa and the islet of El Yunque.    

Proposal to issue Temporary Drivers Licenses for golf cart rentals  
Proponen licencias de manejo provisionales. [+] Ver masFull article at this link
 Entrepreneur Enrique Lima Zuno is promoting a proposal that tourists who rent golf carts pay 100 pesos for a temporary license which is good for five days, with the idea that the money could be used to provide decent salaries to attract specialist doctors to work at the Community Hospital of Isla Mujeres. 
    He said that service is terrible at the hospital, where he says there are no specialists and most of the doctors are interns, and that urgent medical needs are not always attended to quickly, even if there are no other patients. He said that there are many deficiencies and three infants have died at different times in recent months, which is worrisome since the hospital is there to save lives. He notes in the case of the pediatrician, he left after a short time due to low wages.
     He said that if 100 carts were rented daily, that would be about 10,000 pesos per day, so in a month this would exceed 300,000 pesos, and he says, "I think this would be enough to pay a good salary to specialists, who are very much needed here."
     He explained that the licenses could be issued by the City and delivered by the rental agencies, and the municipality would be responsible for the collection of the fees, and then the resources could be used to provide decent salaries for the specialists, to provide excellent medical services.
     He also spoke about the deficiencies of the IMSS clinic on the island, which only provides services on Monday thru Friday from 8am to 3pm. He said that IMSS beneficiaries can  receive medical care at the Naval Hospital, thanks to an agreement signed between the agency and the Navy, but the agreement doesn't apply to beneficiaries of Seguro Popular, who are left out in the cold.
Sanctions for cabbies who deny service to residents  
Sanción a taxistas por negar servicio a la ciudadanía [+] Ver masFull article at this link
  Much of the information has already been translated, and Por Esto notes this policy could be of especial benefit for the students, who are systemically ignored by the cabbies, because of the discounted rate they pay. There have been many complaints in social media for several weeks about the taxi drivers who pass by residents to pick up tourists, even when they are just a few meters further down the street.
    Por Esto says in the case of the complaint about the taxi driver who chastised the mother of a young man with Down syndrome, telling her to quiet the boy or cover his mouth because his yelling was unbearable, the cabbie received a sanction of four days suspension. PE also notes that "everyone on the island knows perfectly well that this is the young man's way of expressing himself." (He was excited and happy about going to the beach.)
   Por Esto offers criticism to the taxi union leader, claiming it is wrong that he is unavailable to respond to questions such as what will be done, especially during high seasons, to ensure that contracted drivers don't ignore the locals and only provide service to the tourists. PE questions the morality of the union asking for an increase in rates when they know that the islander are captives of their services, whether they are good or bad, with no other option, since the problem of public transportation has not been solved, which would probably be used by many people if it were available.
   Por Esto also criticizes the published statement from the taxi union about immediate sanctions for taxi drivers when complaints are made regarding denial of services, saying it lacked a signature, a date, and wasn't very well written. PE says the community is opposed to the request for an increase in rates, saying that many of the drivers provide terrible service, especially those who only want to benefit from the tourism market, which is where their interest lies, and who disparage the local residents.

Baseball league competition begins Sunday  
Preparan juegos inaugurales de beisbol[+] Ver masFull article at this link
  Both teams from Isla Mujeres, the "Cocteleros" and the "Pescadores" plan to participate in the baseball league of the northern zone of the state:  Liga Estatal Tecnológica Zona Norte, with the season opening on Sunday. There are six other teams participating in the league, although Bacalar and Puerto Morelos waiting for a response to an appeal to the government for financial support.
      The Director of the Cocteleros, Hector "Picuna" Gil Chable, explained, "The team from Puerto Morelos will play their inaugural game against the Bacalar team in Puerto Morelos, but we are seeking government al support for transportation, because it is very expensive to travel to Bacalar. When you play there, leasing a vehicle costs ten thousand pesos, which the players obviously can't pay out of their own pockets, their resources do not reach that far." His said if support for travel to Bacalar isn't obtained, those two teams will leave the league, but if the government offers assistance, that inaugural match will be counted in the League statistics. 
     The season will begin on August 19, with games at four different locations, including at the El Pescador field in Isla Mujeres where the Cocteleros and the Pescadores will open the season, and the other games will be played in Puerto Morelos, Leona Vicario and Lázaro Cárdenas.


President-elect announces extension of Tren Maya project
The original route for this "Mayan Train" was Cancun, Tulum, Bacalar, Calakmul and Palenque, but since the federal government holds an old railroad right-of-way, now it will include the states of Tabasco, Campeche, Chiapas, and Yucatan, adding another 900 km (560 mi) of tracks. The intention is to boost tourism throughout the region, and the project will generate jobs. It will begin Dec.1st, when Mr. Lopez Obrador takes office, and is expected to be completed in four years, at a cost of 120 to 150 billion pesos.($6.5 to $8 billion dollars)
He said that tourism tax funds will be used, which amount to about 7 billion pesos ($380 million dollars) annually and private investment will also be sought for this project, which intends to bring more cultural tourism to this Mayan region. 
The next head of the Ministry of Tourism, Miguel Torruco Marqués, said that the train will have both tourist class cars and luxury cabins, all with panoramic views. He said it will be fast, efficient, modern and punctual. Its main objective will be to promote the integration of the region and present a new range of services that will help increase overnight tourism and spending.
He commented that although the number of visitors has increased in recent years, and 21.3 billion dollars were derived from tourism activities in 2017, spending has not equaled those levels. He said they intend to develop and integrate tourism regionally, with the intention of responding to a very competitive international market.

In an article discussing pros, cons, and opinions about this project, Nacion 1-2-3 notes: "The route is dotted with low jungle, wildlife reserves, pre-Hispanic archeological sites, wetlands and underwater rivers that could yield without warning."

"The construction could take years and absorb scarce funds, in order to reach places like the ruins of Calakmul, which now receives just 35,000 visitors per year, the same number that visit more popular sites like Chichen Itza in a single week."

The article continues, "For those who like the López Obrador plan, it is largely a matter of getting people out of the Cancun-Riviera Maya-Chichen Itza-Xcaret tourist route, which attracts millions of tourists annually."

The article says that ecotourism has become very popular and visitors who interested in having contact with nature and seeing the jungles, lagoons, and mangroves could board a train at the Cancun International Airport and be at the edge of the Sian Ka'an nature reserve within two hours, where localities like Muyil offer tours of freshwater channels dug by the Mayans and visits to local pre-Hispanic ruins, as well as artisans and a sampling of the region's cuisine.

It says, "Few doubt that the first stretch of the railroad project-from Cancun to Tulum through the Riviera Maya-would have a lot of traffic. Nearly seven million tourists from around the world visit that stretch of the coast each year and most arrive at the Cancun airport and take buses or travel around the area by car.

"Although the hotel complexes have been built to the south of Cancun since the 1990s, most of those who work in that area still live in Cancun, which was founded in 1974. Therefore, a large part of this workforce could take the train to go to work, a journey that now takes them an hour and a half or more.

"But it is not clear if the train would have stops in Playa del Carmen or other popular resort areas, which would be the destination of both visitors and workers. The initial plan has the only stop in the Riviera Maya at Tulum, and then it would continue south.

"Some consider it costly madness. From the Bacalar lagoon onward, there is very little developed tourist infrastructure, and the route from there to the west is practically undeveloped. For Francisco Madrid Flores, director of the Department of Tourism and Gastronomy of the Universidad Anáhuac, the biggest doubt about that section is the profitability of the project in terms of tourist influx and income, given that there are few hotel rooms in the region. 

"This does not mean that the Mayan communities in the area have nothing more to offer the visitors, with places like Calakmul, an extensive city-state that is almost completely covered by the jungle. Five local communities already offer hikes, bike rides, bird watching, cave visits, kayak activities and craft workshops.
"Historically, the southern part of the Yucatan peninusula, populated mainly by Mayans, was left out of the tourist boom that enriched the northwest, around Cancun, an area that is now largely inhabited by non-indigenous Mexicans.
"This was partly due to the logic that this was where the white sand beaches and turquoise waters are located, which the tourists were seeking. In the south, this also exists also, but only at Costa Maya, a narrow peninsula between Mahahual and Xcalak, an area that the train would apparently not reach, although it can be accessed by those aboard a cruise ship."
 The article concludes by noting that in 2012, current president
Enrique Peña Nieto announced plans for a 1.5 billion dollar project to construct a rapid train connecting the Riviera Maya with Mérida, passing through the ruins of Chichen Itzá and the colonial city of Valladolid, which was canceled in 2015 due to lack of financing.

  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, BBQ grills, outdoor shower, 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 
Aug  1  10:45
Aug  2  11:23

Aug 26   7:32
Aug 27   8:10
Aug 28   8:46
Aug 29   9:24
 Aug 30  10:02 
Aug 31  10:42
Painting by Pamela Haase
Sunset  ~7:25 to ~7:05 (beginning vs end of month)
Sunrise ~6:20 to ~630
August Events
Provided by MaraVilla Caribe & Isla Mujeres Daily News & Events

 It's whale shark tour season (thru mid September) and turtle nesting season (thru mid October).

Saturday, August 4 The Plogging volunteers will meet at the Mundaca Hacienda at 8am, and clean up from there until they reach Zama Beach Club, where they will enjoy soft drinks and fruit. A reminder to bring you reusable water bottle and to wear gym shoes.

Sunday, August 5 on the Town Square at 8p Dance troupes and singers from Isla Mujeres and Cancun....Noches Magicas!   Cancelled and you are invited to enjoy Noches Magicas next Sunday at 8p on the Town Square

Tuesday, August 8 Inauguration of the Dog Friendly Beach at 4:30p, below the cell tower and municipal slaughterhouse.

Sunday, August 12 Noches Magicas on the Town Square at 8p

(See August 15-19 Founder's Festivities below)

 Friday, August 17 at 7pm ..Eight rounds For the 168th anniversary of the founding of Isla Mujeres at the Pescador Beach Club, just inside the entrance to Sac Bajo

Saturday, August 18 Youth Rally at the Posada Beach (aka Playa Centro) at 9am with surprise prizes. Teams of three people. Commemorating World Youth Day

Saturday, August 18: at  Muelle Azul is Orquideas Pasarela Isla Summer 2018 Fashion Show which will feature designers from Cancun, Merida, and Isla Mujeres, as well as spotlighting new talent in the fashion industry from Estudio Creativo Cancún. It begins with a Cocktail Party at 7:30 and the Runway show starts at 8:30.Pre-Sale Tickets are available for $200 or $250 pesos at the door. and a portion of the proceeds are going to help a local woman who is battling cancer. Get your tickets at Muelle Azul, by messaging Jul Isla or calling 9981176871
Note: Muelle Azul is on the wooden pier formerly known as the Magana dock, next to the taxi stand.

 Festivities for the 168th Anniversary of the Founding of Isla Mujeres

 Wednesday, August 15 at 8p: Night of the Assumption on the Town Square at the conclusion of the Parish program. Dance troupe performances featuring Las Mestazas de Agua Salada, Al Son Del Corazon, Anoranzas de Isla Mujeres, and Ballet Folklorico de Isla Mujeres

Thursday, August 16 at 2p Conference with the town historian: Fidel Villanueva Madrid at the Casa de la Cultura (Guerrero at Abasolo)

Friday, August 17 at 8:45a: Wreath offering at the Cross in the Bay commemorating 24 years since its submersion, departing from the dock at the Maritime Terminal at 8:45am, limited capacity.
At 7p: Special City Council meeting recognizing the descendants of the founders and presenting the annual awards for citizenship and tourism, as well as a youth prize, on the Town Square

Saturday, August 18 at 8p:  "Danzarte" dance encounter featuring troupes from around the state on the Town Square

Sunday, August 19 at 8p: Noches Magicas of Isla Mujeres featuring performances by Grupos Artisticos and the comic "Madame Yaxchilan" on the Town Square.
Sunday, August 26  The Circuito Maya race in Isla Mujeres will take place on Sunday, August 26, starting at 6:30am, with registration limited to 300 participants, and there will be 5k, 10k, and 15k categories. The kits will be available Saturday, August 25 from noon to 8p. The cost is 250 pesos for residents who present a voter registration card with an Isla Mujeres address and 400 pesos for others.

      The Circuito Maya race in Isla Mujeres is the "Air" (Iik') element of the four races, which take place in four Pueblos Magicos in Quintana Roo and Yucatan. The other elements are Fire (K'aak'), Earth (Lu'um), and Water (Ha'). The other races are in Tulum, Bacalar, and Valladolid.
See website for more information:

Last year the Gastronomic Competition for Lionfish was held at the end of August.

Plogging events to clean up the island are held on Saturdays LINK  and here's the Accion Isla LINK  who are having events associated with project RESCATE.

  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")
 LINK to GOES East Band 16 GIF (animation)
LINK to a private weather station on Isla Mujeres     
LINK to Tropic Watch (in English)
LINK to NHC in US (in English)
LINK to Tropical Tidbits (in English)

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