Thursday, July 18, 2019

Isla Mujeres Daily News & Events Thursday, July 18

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Pardon the gap...There's been some WIFI problems since the electrical outage on last Thursday, that are hopefully resolved now!

Readers of the international magazine "Travel & Leisure" have rated Isla Mujeres as #3 among the five best island destinations in Mexico and Central & Latin America. The municipal press release notes that the City has brigades on the beach every morning removing trash, cleaning, raking and sifting, and the "Isla Verde" campaign by City employees is conducting cleanups around the island every Wednesday and Saturday, including the neighborhoods, mangroves, beaches, and seabed. Three beaches on the island have been awarded the "Blue Flag" designation.
   This magazine, whose headquarters are in New York, periodically surveys its readers about their best experiences at islands, beaches, or natural sites around the world. Isla Mujeres was among the top five and described as a peaceful place surrounded by coral reefs. Here is a link to the article

The City asks: Are you separating your trash now? Remember trash should be separated into Organic and Inorganic. The graphic says Separate your Organic Trash--Peels from produce, Leftovers & bones, Eggshells, Coffee filters, Plant prunings, and Used napkins.
Good season for nesting turtles  
The program for Protection of Sea Turtles continues during their nesting season. The Director of the Tortugranja said although it is the middle of the season, the number of nests collected and protected has already exceeded the total for last year, which was 354 nests. So far this season, 369 have been collected. (This was posted on Monday.)
     Although the official season is from May 15 to October 15, the protective work began fifteen days early and will conclude at the end of October. The Hawksbill nesting season has concluded and the Greens & Loggerheads continue laying.
    Participation by residents is important to protect the turtles, and it is requested that tourists respect the signs and areas of turtle conservation and protection. Boats should reduce their speed near the island and when they see turtles, who travel to the island to spawn. There are plans to include three turtle nesting beaches in the Continental Zone of the municipality in the protection program next year.

VIDEO of Isla Verde cleanup

TVisla Mujeres    

City tells Aguakan to respond   
The City of Isla Mujeres has advised Aguakan to respond to resident demand regarding work to install sewer lines at Punta Sur, because the work has been suspended leaving piles of debris. City officials want the debris removed and warning signs erected to prevent tourists from being involved in traffic accidents during this summer vacation period. They also said it is important that this island looks beautiful and impeccable, so Aguakan should meet its responsibilities. LINK

Mobile vendors under control  
The municipal Director of Fiscalizacion (Enforcement) said they are conducting ongoing operations to monitor that mobile vendors aren't arriving from Cancun and working without permits, and gave assurances that no new permits have been issued and the situation is under control. He said there are about 280 mobile vendors with permits, who are being supervised, and no plans to issue more permits.
     He noted that there has been a good response from the established stores concerning removing merchandise from the sidewalks.  LINK

Ultramar announced their two big new ferries will arrive next month LINK  
  Most of this information has already been translated. The boats recently left a shipyard in the UK and will be transported to the Mexican Caribbean aboard a freighter for a trip that will take up to three weeks. They have a capacity for 450 passengers and will be fast, comfortable, with the best technology, according to company representatives. They say these will be the best ferries that Isla Mujeres has ever had, and note that demand increases significantly during holiday seasons, which is why the company decided last year to invest in these new boats.

 Golf cart missing since Friday was recovered on Tuesday   
After publication on Tuesday of photographs of a the missing golf cart belonging to the rental agency "Ciro's", it was found near "Chichi's" restaurant-bar on Friday, where it had been abandoned by tourists, but no one had looked for it there. 
  Staff at the restaurant weren't suspicious because they had assumed the rentor of the cart was staying there, until they saw the photographs online, and contacted Ciro's. It had been rented on Friday by a tourist from New Orleans, Louisiana, Zahwa Ali Hollifield, for two hours and not returned, and its whereabouts had been a mystery since that evening. After the agency was unable to locate it, they filed a complaint with the prosecutor's office, and checked with the vehicle ferry managers to ensure that it hadn't left the island.
   Por Esto reports that staff with the rental agency and agents with the prosecutor's office had searched for the blue "Wrangler Jeep" type cart, #44, at various areas including the mangroves, Sac Bajo, Punta Sur, and the ferry terminal, but apparently not at North Beach where it was found. They note that various private scooters have disappeared in recent times, presumably dismantled for parts, and recently a relatively new scooter was put in the Salina Grande lake, presumably for revenge.
   The theft complaint was withdrawn after the vehicle was recovered, undamaged.  LINK  

Downstate, Not in Isla Mujeres: On Wednesday, the forest fire "Muyil", affecting 2500 hectares of the Biosphere Reserve Sian Ka'an, was 55% under control, with more than 140 people fighting the fire, including a brigade from the National Forestry Commission (CONAFOR), specialists, and 21 people from the nearby Ejido.
  The Reserve consists of 528,147 hectares.  Since July 8th, there has been coordination between the Ministry of National Defense (SEDENA), CONAFOR and the National Commission of Natural Protected Areas (CONANP), as well as municipal authorities. Thirty-eight forest fires have been recorded in the state during the 2019 season, and fires have been extinguished on 6047 hectares. The Governor tweeted that work on controlling this fire is progressing and he hopes it will be extinguished in the next few days.

Historian Fidel Villanueva Madrid says it is necessary to rescue Boca Iglesias LINK   
 The Boca Iglesias Catholic church is located where the first people in the region were baptized and has a very significant historical value, says local historian Fidel Villanueva Madrid. He laments that the site, which is currently involved in a legal dispute, is in a state of abandonment over a claim of ownership. He wants the INAH (National Institute of Anthropology and History) to intervene, noting that two months ago an agreement was reached with the new INAH director, and anticipated that the project will be delivered this month. 
  Mr Villanueva says he has made proposals to the municipal government regarding rescue projects for  Boca Iglesias, Hacienda Mundaca, Punta Sur, Rancho Viejo and El Meco, among others, so that they are no longer abandoned. He admitted that it is likely that the lack of attention to these sites is due to a lack of sufficient resources, given the federal cuts.

Reaping the fruits of tourism promotion by the municipal government of Isla Mueres LINK   (See translation below in IM al Dia)

Residents are complaining about Aguakan leaving damaged streets and debris alnong the Caribbean coastal road, with no progress in the past four weeks LINK

Armed robbery at Garrafon de Castilla rental agency
    An investigation is ongoing in the robbery on Monday at the Garrafon de Castilla rental agency. A cleaner arrived at 7:15am, and was approached from behind by a person with a gun as she was opening the gate, and was told to let them into the house. Inside were the daugher-in-law and grandchildren of Manuel Castilla, who were tied and gagged with tape. The robbery took less than 20 minutes, and the four theives ran away toward the walkway along the Caribbean. Minutes later the daughter-in-law freed herself, ran outside, and requested the police. The amount that was stolen is unknown. LINK

   Noti Isla Mujeres     

Investigation of alleged governmental favoritism benefiting Ultramar 
This article (shared by Noti) written by El Universal (LINK) says the Mexican government is investigating whether the Ultramar ferry company has benefited from illegal favoritism from the state and federal governments, particularly during the previous six-year administration.
The Federal Economic Competition Commission (COFECE) will participate in the investigation concerning whether other companies have been facing unfair competition from Ultramar, to their detriment. In June, Naviera Convoy & Marítima Isla Mujeres ended operations, after 27 years, in addition to the other companies that have discontinued ferry services, such as Transportes Magaña, Naveganto (?) and Marinsa Turismo.
It is noted that in 2006, COFECE imposed a fine of 45 million pesos against Ultramar and other maritime agents in Quintana Roo. It is alleged that the current head of the Port Authority (API), Alicia Ricalde, has continued to allow preferential use of the Cozumel docks.
The previous head of API, Erce Barrón, who allegedly agreed to the monopoly of docks and maritime services by Ultramar, is a protected witness in the criminal case against former Governor Roberto Borge. Governors preside over the API's. Board of Directors.
Last year, at the conclusion of former President Enrique Peña Nieto's, the then-director of Ports & the Merchant Marine, Guillermo Ruiz de Teresa, authorized navigational permits for the operation of three vehicle ferries of the Ultramar subsidiary, Carga Más por Menos.
Permits 3, 4 and 5 were delivered by the Director General of Merchant Marine on February 12, 2018, putting the concessionaires of Naviera Convoy, Marítima Isla Mujeres, Naveganto, Transportes Magaña and Marinsa Turismo at a disadvantage, because while Ultramar holds exclusive use of the public docks, while the other operators use the old API infrastructure.
It is alleged that Ultramar has an excessive concentration of the market because they are expected to reach 13 million crossings in 2019, of which 5 million will be on the route considered the "Jewel of the Crown", between Punta Sam (Cancun-Isla Mujeres) (sic). Information from ferry operators indicates that the total income from passengers and cargo represents about 1.5 billion pesos annually.
The investigation began after President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said there is a need to investigate the situation that unfair competition between the companies appears to be linked to political parties and politicians. He said this is a matter for the Federal Prosecutor's office.
The article says that Ultramar has been allowed to build its own docks and terminals and to pay less for services, which translates to costs of up to 80 percent less compared to their competitors on the Cozumel route, Golfo Transportación y Transcaribe.

The Catholic Church of Isla Mujeres, will provide summer courses for children ages 6-12, through the United America foundation. at the facility that will become the new university. VIDEO  
VIDEO from the Tortugranja that said there are 350 nests being protected in the incubation pen, with more than 38,000 eggs. (July 17)

VIDEO whose caption says workers with the Mobility Institute are reviewing documents of taxis and golf carts to avoid "pirating".  (July 16)

 On Monday, the Navy conducted a medical evacuation of a 92 year old female passenger from the cruise ship "Norwegian Breakaway" which was 3.5 nautical miles northeast of Punta Sur. The emergency call was made to the Naval Command by the ship which was headed to Honduras because the passenger suffered symptoms of a vascular brain event with arterial hypertension. The patient, who was in stable condition, was transported with her relatives to a private ambulance at the Naval station in Puerto Juarez, to be taken to a hospital for specialized medical care. VIDEO:

A young man driving a motorcycle hit a parked vehicle near the park "Jaula" in colonia Salina Chica (Photos) (July 15)

VIDEO & Video (of vehicles)--Scenes for a foreign film are being shot in Isla Mujeres (This morning the trucks & trailers were at the north end of the airfield.)

VIDEO from Trash Transfer Facility whose caption says the amount of trash collected daily increased by 30% during the summer holiday period to up to 60 tons daily.

  Isla Mujeres al Dia      

Photos of police and members of community at a crime prevention event offering entertaining activities, education, and positive role models, to generate connection, confidence and communication to prevent juvenile delinquency and crime.

Photos of beaches & tourists noting that promotion of the Pueblo Magico is an ongoing effort, with participants including the Tourist Promotion Council of Q Roo (CPTQ) and the hotel association of Cancun & Puerto Morelos, as well as by the municipal government of Isla Mujeres. It notes the ranking by Travel & Leisure Magazine among the top five island destinations in Mexico and Central & South America due to our clean beaches, natural riches, safety, and friendly residents. It is noted that the beaches don't have sargasso, and two more beaches have earned the Blue Flag designation. The municipal director of tourism promotion mentioned that a new product to attract tourist is bird watching the 56 species, which include migratory birds, so different ones can be seen on every visit. 

Nice sunset VIDEO (July 16)  Photos from Playa Riito (across from Mia)

Cleanup photos with article noting 8 tons of brush-trash were collected & removed from the colonias, by City crews with the Parks & Landscaping Department who cleaned, pruned, and swept the green areas, sidewalks & curbs in “La Gloria”, “La Caribeña”, “Ampliación La Gloria” and the park “Las Fragatas”. The department Director said it is important to keep the streets clean so islanders and visitors can enjoy a safe, healthy island, and his agency is responsible for pruning, mowing and sweeping, with two crews of six people who do this work daily. They attend to the green areas, parks, schools, and streets, and ask that the residents help take care of the environment by cleaning up feces of their pets and taking out their trash for collection at the appropriate time.

IM Noticias   

 IM Noticias reports that the robbery at Garrafon de Castilla rental agency, located across from the Town Hall involved the theft of 90,000 dollars and about 400,000 pesos for an equivalent of more than 2 million pesos. A woman was among the four armed thieves who ran away along the walkway along the Caribbean. No one has been detained, the complaint has been filed, and the investigation is ongoing.

IM Noticias reports that the street and roadside along the Caribbean coast between the Trash Transfer Facility and Punta Sur looks like "a war zone", with many holes making it difficult to pass thru and presenting a terrible image for the hundreds of tourists who visit the areas. Workers indicated the project is being done by Aguakan to introduce sewer pipes and drainage for the real estate complex "La Diosa", which is described as large and luxurious. Drivers and residents are complaining about the inconvenience, that it is damaging to vehicles, and needs attentions. (photos)

From  Por Esto :

Isla Mujeres news briefs

Breves de Isla Mujeres    

On Sunday, the Isla Mujeres Cockteleros, who have already qualified for the tournament, and will be playing the Bonfil Ejidatarios, who are still seeking to qualify, at the El Pescador baseball stadium at 1pm (in front of Chedraui).

Missing golf cart found by North Beach  

Carro de golf aparece en Playa Norte

See translation above.
Tourists are arriving, but not spending money  

Llegan turistas, pero no gastan

 The massage therapists at the beach say they are operating at 50 percent so far this summer season,which is less than last year at this time. Those renting lounge chairs and umbrellas on Playa Centro and North Beach have a similar report, tho they say more tourists are arriving, but they don't seem to be bringing spending money.
  A noon, the rows of empty massage tents could be seen, which concerns those who work there, because they are aware that there is only a little over a month left to the vacation period, and then there will be three months without income in September, October, and November. Their income improves in December with the winter visitors, and in some cases they can each make up to 1000 pesos per day. Currently they are hoping to attract more customers, so that the lucky ones can make 500 pesos per day.
   The small hotels report that occupancy is low and many stores and restaurants say that sales are slow.

Maintenance on the Tourism building at Punta Sur   

Inicia mantenimiento de parador turístico

  Maintenance is being done on the tourism building at Punta Sur, which is made of the hardwood, sapote, so most of the structure won't need replacement for a decade after it was constructed, according to workers on the project. There was a termite nest on the structure but no damage to the wood.  Fumigation and chemicals were all that was required.
  One of the neighbors was annoyed and angry, and said that termites don't enter sapote wood. She objected to the cutting of the beams, and said one of the workers told her they are going to build a palapa.

No operational PROFECO office on the island  

Inoperante oficina de la Profeco en la isla

    The state delegate for the Consumer Protection Agency hasn't been appointed, and the PROFECO offices in Chetumal and Playa del Carmen closed last week. Employees there were notified they will no longer be able to take complaints in person, and would have a month to conclude pending cases. There were plans to install a PROFECO booth at Playa Centro to receive complaints, which could take place on Wednesday, July 27, however in the absence of a state delegate for the agency to endorse decisions, mediation would be difficult.

Navy provided medical evacuation for cruise ship passenger  

Semar presta auxilio a un crucero

Mysterious disappearance of rental golf cart   

Misteriosa desaparición de un carrito de golf

Owners of small hotels claim occupancy statistics are inflated by officials

Se quejan pequeños hoteleros

   Owners of small hotels say occupancy rates are inflated and are  less than officially reported, while the Tourism Department says rates are higher than reported because not all rentals are willing to provide daily occupancy rates. Additionally, tourists who stay at houses and apartments that don't contribute to the 3% lodging tax are not counted in the statistics, and the municipal agency isn't provided with their occupancy inforation.

Isla Mujeres news briefs   
Breves de Isla Mujeres   

 Recent community activities by the Crime prevention unit included and event with the children and community of colonia Guadalupana that included a video.
  The Isla Mujeres Pescadors baseball team won Sunday's game against the Chetumal Guerreros with a score of 6-4.

Amount of trash increased with summer holiday season  

Se incrementa la basura

  Summer holiday season causes a 30% increase in garbage, which complicates the removal of the thousands of tons of accumulated trash at the Transfer Facility. Las month 1300 tons of trash were removed from the facility, but now Ultramar has imposed more restrictions about it s transport, alleging that the bad smells bother the tourist passengers. In June, there was an accumulation of 7000 tons.
  Businesses located south of the site, as well as those that are southeast and southwest, are affected by odors from the facility, due to the prevailing winds. There are various recreational sites in that area including the Playas Lancheros, Albatros, and El Pescador, among others.

Complaints about boats from Puerto Juarez bringing too many people to visit the fish by Playa Riito 

Piden frenar a lancheros de Puerto Juárez

  There are many multicolored fish in the waters between El Yunque islet, where Mia Hotel is located, and el Riito beach on the island. Tourism service providers are concerned about heavy stress from the excessive number of boats from Puerto Juarez who are bringing large numbers of tourist to the location.  There are concerns that the fish will leave the area and it is noted that this was once an attraction for local people. They say there are governmental agencies who are able to reduce the overload. Sometimes there are 100 individuals in the area at the same time, causing chaos.

Very good year for turtles   

Muy buen año para las tortugas

  This information has been translated.


Motorized para-gliders cruising down the Caribbean coast this weekend. Lotsa turtle nests lately, photo is from Monday morn....and a pod of dolphins passed as we welcomed a guest/friend on Sunday.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fri-Mon, July 19-22- Whale Shark Festival 

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

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