|Here's the webcam LINK, which also has time lapse of the past 24 hours.|
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This storm is now Tropical Depression #10 & heading up the eastern Caribbean, posing no threats to the Yucatan. (There's also a storm on the Tx coast that could get up to TD level today/tonight, before it loses umph by landing, and bringing rain.)
On Sept. 14th, the annual procession to Isla Contoy with the Virgin of Caridad del Cobre, Patron Saint of Fishermen, took place, followed by a Mass at the chapel there. She'll stay there for the remainder of the lobster season, which ends Feb. 29th. More than 100 boats and 1000 islanders were expected to participate.
The lobster season is off to a rough start with 59 cases of decompression illness treated at the Hyperbaric Chamber since July 1st, in addition to two fishermen from separate incidents who died en route to the island. There were 16 cases in 15 days, which are generally caused by divers going down deeply, often for an hour or so, then ascending too rapidly.
Photos from the Monday morning parade and the Sunday night Grito festivities.The parade went up Rueda Medina from the Naval base to the Monument to the Fishermen, and included students from island schools, the Navy, the DIF group, the Red Cross, Civil Protection personnel and firefighters, and an exhibition of antique cars.
(From Sunday)... Celebrating Mexico's Independence from Spain with dancing, drinking, dining, bell-ringing, fireworks, a parade & El Grito! (Not in that order.) Tables go on sale at noon, expect an epidemic of La Cruda mañana. 😉The parade will affect traffic in the morning. ¡Viva la Independencia! ¡Viva México!
Article I wrote on Sunday, Sept. 15th...
Tonight & tomorrow, Mexico celebrates her revolt against Spain in 1810, which began with the "Grito of Dolores"--a passionate speech by priest Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla that is commemorated simultaneously by millions of Mexicans, led by the President and by Mayors on their Town Squares. The President rings Hidalgo's historic church bell, followed by a chant-response with the crowd, the national anthem and fireworks. In Isla, this will be followed by dancing to the band "MegaBoom". The chant goes something like this, with the crowd responding--¡VIVA(N)!:
"¡Mexicanos! ¡Vivan los héroes que nos dieron patria! ¡Víva Hidalgo! ¡Viva Morelos! ¡Viva Josefa Ortiz de Domínguez! ¡Viva Allende! ¡Vivan Aldama y Matamoros! ¡Viva la independencia nacional! ¡Viva México! ¡Viva México! ¡Viva México! (Long Live Mexico!)
"Dolores" is the name of the town where Don Miguel Hidalgo was sent by the Church when he was fifty, for his questionable reputation of reading prohibited books and fathering children. When Isla Mujeres was founded, it was named in honor of this historic location.
Hidalgo was a former college professor & considered one of the country's leading religious minds. He was beloved by his parishioners for his tireless efforts on their behalf, and fifty-seven years old when he sparked the war.
In addition to seeking independence from Spain, thousands of Creoles (Mexican-born Spaniards), mestizos and natives were rebelling against the ruling class of Spanish-born aristocrats, the Gachupines. Loyalties were divided in New Spain (Mexico) after the Spanish king Ferdinand VII was taken captive by Napoleon, who replaced him with his brother, Joseph Bonaparte. Hidalgo was among the Creoles who had remained loyal to Ferdinand. He wanted independence, racial equality, and redistribution of land.
As Hidalgo marched toward Mexico City under the banner of Our Lady of Guadalupe, his untrained, poorly-armed followers swelled to nearly 100,000 civilians and campesinos. They captured various cities along the way, but were forced to retreat from the capital. They were defeated in January, 1811, after encountering an army of 6000 well-armed and well-trained Spanish troops. Hidalgo fled north toward the border, but was betrayed, captured, and executed by a firing squad, ten months after his "Grito"- Cry for Independence. It took Mexico a decade to gain her freedom.
The Sept. 16th parade usually starts around 8-9am going up Rueda Medina, usually starting from the Naval base.
#1 Festivities start at 10p & include DJ Dani & Megaboom. Tables will be on sale today at the Town Hall from 12p-8p. (Graphic-it's in the events section below)
#2 Hidalgo, "The Father of Mexican Independence", is on the 1000 peso bill with the Dolores church & bell.
#3 Hidalgo is on the new 200 peso bill released this month, with Morelos
#4 Cinco de Mayo, May 5th, commemorates the Battle of Puebla where the French were defeated in 1861, which didn't stop their invasion, resulting in Emperor Maximilian and his wife Carlota ruling Mexico for a few years.
#5 Bell of Dolores was moved to the National Palace.
(From this weekend)...
Watch out for the crabs at night & try to avoid running them over!! During September's full moon, the Blue Crabs move between the mangroves and the ocean to spawn, so they're crossing the roads that get in their way, like in Sac Bajo. The City organized a campaign to assist them.
Personnel with Civil Protection removed two swarms of bees from the cemetery, which prompted me to write this article about our native, imported, and invasive bees.
Bees in the Yucatan--From stingless Mayan bees to fat European bees to aggressive Africanized bees
"Honeybees" (Apis mellifera) aren't native to this hemisphere and were introduced to the New World by European settlers in the 16th century. In the Yucatan, cultivation of European honeybees began in the late 19th or early 20th century. The introduction and exploitation of these bees reportedly caused a 90% decrease in hives of the native stingless (Melipona beecheii) honey-producing bees.
In 1986, Africanized honeybees (Apis mellifera scutellata) arrived to the Yucatan Peninsula. They quickly began interbreeding with and displacing the European bees, and are now well established throughout the region. The native stingless "Melipona" bees are a separate species and don't interbreed with the European and African "Apis" honeybees
One study found that when African bees first expand into a new location, within 5-10 years the African genes predominate and European genes decrease to less than 10 percent. This scientist stated: "The colonization of much of the Western Hemisphere by the African honeybee in the last 60 years is one of the most rapid and impressive biological invasions in recent history." African bees in the tropics swarm up to 16 times per year, compared to 3-6 times for wild European colonies.
Mayan Melipona Stingless Bees
The Yucatan peninsula is home to a unique type of stingless bees that have been cultivated by the Maya for thousands of years. In addition to being ingested as a sweetener and used as a medicine, Mayan honey and beeswax were used as currency, as offerings to deities, and to pay tribute (taxes). These stingless milipona bees are still kept in log-hives ("jabons"), but this ancient beekeeping tradition is dying out. Wild milipona bee populations have reportedly decreased by as much as 80% in recent years. However, beekeeping cooperatives have recently been established to preserve 'meliponicultura' and the state of Yucatan has a new program to assist these beekeepers.
Melipona bees only produce a liter or two of honey annually, compared to 50-70 liters by typical (Apis) honeybees. Their honey has exceptional antibacterial properties, and is used for treating wounds and eye infections, in addition to being ingested. It has a unique flavor and a thinner consistency than 'regular' honey. .
A two thousand year-old Mayan ceramic "jabon" (melipona beehive) in Guatemala was firmly dated from the late Pre-Classic period, 300 BC- AD 200. Illustrations in the 1100 year-old Madrid Mayan Codex show male & female deities harvesting honey and conducting various rituals associated with beekeeping. The Aztec Mendoza Codex includes drawings of towns giving jars of honey to the Aztecs as tribute, and the Aztec Florentine Codex mentions the stingless bees and their honey, as does the Matricula de Tributos (Indigenous Tax-Tribute Records)
The Spanish also demanded tax tributes of honey and wax, and in 1549, over 150 Mayan villages paid 3 tonnes of honey and 281 tonnes of wax to the Spanish. Early chroniclers reported seeing apiaries of 1000-2000 log-hives, with well made entrances and stone plugs (panuchos) on each end. During colonial times, wax & honey were exported to Europe.
On Isla Cozumel, archeologists found round structures that could have been apiaries and pairs of round coral and rock objects that may have been "panuchos", which are used to plug beehive-logs ("jabons"). At various sites throughout the region, apiculture artifacts, such as incense burners in the shape of beehives have been found. There are images of the "Descending God", who is believed to represent the Bee God "Ah Mucen Cab" on various Mayan temples. There is a depiction of this deity on a temple in Tulum. (Photo #3, from Wiki.)
Modern Honey Production
Mexico’s honey exports initially dropped by more than 50% when the Africanized bees arrived in the mid-80's, but production has since recovered considerably. In 1992, Mexico was the fourth largest honey producer world-wide, producing 60,000 tonnes of honey and 4200 tonnes of beeswax. Eighty percent of Mexico's beehives were kept by small farmers or households as a subsidiary or hobby crop.
In 2012, the state of Yucatan produced the most honey in Mexico, but by 2017 their production had decreased by 58%, (from >10,000 tons to 4350 tons). During that five year period, honey production in Quintana Roo increased by 41%, (from 2160 tons to 3045 tons). This is partially because honey produced in Quintana Roo has often been sold in Yucatan, and counted in their statistics.
Most of the beekeepers in Q Roo still work on a relatively small scale, with an average of 35 hives each. There are approximately 3400 beekeepers, and a total of 119,000 hives. The hives produce about 30 kilos each, and about half the honey is sold domestically and the other half is exported. Ninety-five percent of the honey is harvested in the first half of the year.
There are ~20,000 species of bees in the world, divided into seven families. Of those seven families, only one, Apidae, contains honey-making bees. The most well-known of the honey-makers are in the genus Apis, aka “honeybees”, of whom all but one originated in southeast Asia.
Although they are less well-known, the stingless Melipona are by far the the largest group of honey-making bees, with over 500 species found throughout the tropics. There are 46 stingless species registered in all of Mexico, of which 16 are native to the Yucatan Peninsula Of these 16, six can be cultivated for their honey and wax, but due to their social characteristics, the "Melipona beecheii" are strongly preferred. Their name in Mayan is Xunán Kab (La Señora Bee).
The other cultivatable Yucatecan Melipona species are: Tsets (Melipona yucatanica), Kantsac (Scaptotrigona pectoralis), Sacxic (Trigona nigra nigra), Us-cab (Plebeia frontalis) and Bo'ol (Nannotrigona perilampoides). There are also ancient beekeeping traditions in the highlands of Puebla, where tiny stingless melipona bees ("Scaptotrigona mexicana") are kept in small clay pots.
The Mayan Melipona beechii bees construct small 'honey pots' within their nests, unlike the combs of typical stinging honeybees. These stingless bees may be tended by women & children, and thought of as pets. Housewives say if there is fighting and discord in a home, the bees will leave. Generally, the hives are permanent, because once the queen has been fertilized, she can't fly. They are resistant to many of the parasites and diseases that affect the Apis honeybees.
A 'guardian bee' stations itself at the small opening, and meliponas defend themselves by biting, like ants. They are pickier than their European and African counterparts about which flowers they visit, which makes them vital to keeping our tropical forests healthy. There are plants that can only be pollinated by these bees.
Oddly, Melipona beechii bees have migrated to Cuba where wild populations are thriving and they're now being cultivated. In 2017, the Cuban Society of Beekeepers changed its name to the Cuban Society of Beekeepers and Meliponiculturists.
Sept. 14--Reduction in crime statistics
The City continues working a being the safest municipality in the State, and there have been significant decreases in crime which are attributed to ongoing crime prevention work. This year home thefts have decreased 38%, thefts of tourists belongings reduced by 71 percent, and vehicles thefts are 43% less. LINK
LINK The seventh edition of the Rally Maya will take place May 16-24, 2020 with 110 classic cars. They plan to begin in the state of Campeche and finish in Isla Mujeres. (photos)
VIDEO-Whale shark season concludes today (interview)
Armed robbery LINK
Sept. 14. Shortly before 2am, three armed burglars, with their faces covered, entered the private home of Martin Trejo Manzano and his family in colonia “Cañotal” and stole their savings. Mr. Trejo, of Minino's, said he got up shortly after 1:30 am to charge his phone, and went to the bathroom after sending some messages. He said he didn't hear the thieves enter because he had been sleeping alone in a locked bedroom. The intruders first came upon his wife, who was in another room, and then they came for him, knocking on the door several times. He went, thinking it was his wife or one of his daughters, but it was the intruders. He struggled with them, but was unsuccessful and received a blow to the head with one of the weapons that required four stitches. He decided to not to resist and he and his wife were tied up.
The thieves searched the house from end to end, taking money they found in a safe, which was on hand for replacement of some outboard motors, and some jewelry. After the intruders left, Mr. Trejo freed his legs, went to his wife, and they helped each other get free. The municipal police and personnel with the Prosecutor's office arrived, but nothing is known about the thieves and the 'loot'.
Naveganto ferries increased their schedule for the Independence holidays LINK
Sept 13th was the 31st anniversary of Hurricane Gilberto LINK
Known as the "hurricane of the century', in 1988 the storm was a tropical wave off the coast of Africa on Sept. 3, a tropical depression on Sept. 8, becoming Hurricane Gilbert on the 10th. It passed Jamaica on the 12th with winds of 240 kph, and increased in strength, becoming a category 4 on Sept. 13th in the Cayman islands, and then increasing to Category 5. On Sept. 14th it hit the northeastern coast of the Yucatan Peninsula with record-breaking low pressure and an historical impact. It crossed the Peninsula that day on its way to the Gulf, where it regained strength and hit Mexico a second time as a Category 3, on Sept. 16th, causing damages in the state of Tamaulipas. Governmental statistics indicate Gilberto took the lives of 300 people and caused 800 million dollars in damages, which exceeded Paulina who hit Mexico in 1997 and took the lives of 250 people.
The director of the Tax Administration System of Quintana Roo (SATQ), Jesús Contreras Gómez, said that it is necessary to motivate and encourage entrepreneurs to comply with their tax obligations. He said that despite this situation, in Isla Mujeres there is a good amount collected, because compliance is good from hotel chains and companies that have moved into the municipality. These entrepreneurs generally meet their obligations punctually, because they hire staff for this purpose.
He explained that many people who reside on the island or in the Continental Zone don't understand how to make their payments. Businesses who don't meet their obligations are often companies that have less economic activity, and are among the so-called "RIF", Régimen de Incorporación Fiscal, who don't comply out of ignorance.
He said that in order to attract these taxpayers, the SATQ has installed a service module, whose staff are responsible for clearly informing and facilitating payment of tax contributions and all the related administrative procedures, which can also be done at SATQ's website and social media site. (In Spanish, SATQ = Sistema de Administración Tributaria de Quintana Roo).
Next week the new taxi rates will become official LINK
Sept.13 The head of the state Mobility Institute, Jorge Pérez Pérez, said the newly authorized taxi rates will become official next week, which have undergone changes in each municipality, from the increase that was initially announced. He said the changes vary between the municipalities and the different routes, noting " pero quedó muy chula, ya verán” ("It's very cool, you'll see."). They will be announced next week.
Photos of the classic cars with announcement about the Maya Rally 2020 (see above) VIDEO of the classic cars that visited for the parade.
VIDEO of a golf cart that had flipped at the roundabout with the Memorial to Ramon Bravo, at the entrance to Sac Bajo, causing contusions to one of the tourists.
Photos of the "Champions"--Cockteleros baseball team with their trophy, who won the league competion on Sunday.
Photos from the Virgin of Caridad del Cobre procession and celebration on Isla Contoy.
The state Civil Protection agency announced that the Tropical depressions in the Gulf and in the Atlantic represent no risk to the coasts of Mexico.
Free pap tests and HPV testing (age-dependent)
On Sept. 19 at 10am, there will be nationwide emergency simulations--announcement from the state Civil Protection agency VIDEO
Exactly fifty years ago today, on September 17, 1969, the Governor of the Territory of Quintana Roo announced that more than a billion pesos would be invested in the area of the Cancun lagoon. (Q Roo became a Mexico's youngest state five years later, in December, 1974).
The Pescadors baseball team of Isla Mujeres beat the Cancun Taxistas 4-0 at a home game (on Sunday), who are competing in the league "Libema".
Photos of the classic cars taken behind the Casa de la Cultura, by the photo op sign, and other photos of them.
Photos with caption that the Cocteleros of Picus won the league championship, beating the Cancun Rockies 3-0, at the Isla Mujeres "Pescadors" stadium.
Article about the discovery of the Cave of the Sleeping Sharks.
Announcement of invitation to participate the 1st Municipal Veteran's Basketball Tournament and for those planning to participate to attend a meeting on Friday Sept. 20 at 6p at the Las Hormiguitas basketball court
On Sept. 13th, about 80 students from the preschool-kinder "Maria Enriqueta Carmarillo y Roa" marched thru colonia Salina Chica dressed in white & carrying Mexican flags, celebrating the 209th anniversary of the Grito of Dolores, in advance of the Civic Parade.
They began their march at Comex and it terminated at their school on the northern edge of the colonia, where they enjoyed games & festivities. (photos)
Photos of flipped golf cart, noting it was caused by imprudent driving and occupied by three Mexican tourists, two women and one man. One of the women, who appeared to be driving, suffered a hard blows to her body and a wound to her head which was bleeding. The cart is #93 of the Joaquin agency, and the police and Red Cross provided assistance.
From Por Esto :
Celebrating the 209th anniversary of the start of the Mexican War of Independence
Many participants in the Independence Day parade
Isla Mujeres news briefs
Naval personnel and vehicles participated in the Independence Day parades in Cancun and on the island.
Security operation instituted
Nearly all of the ~800 rental golf carts were leased and the taxi dirvers were busy.
A "Cry" of hope
Occupancy rates and sales have been sharply declining since the end of August, and those in the tourism industry hoped for an improvement over the Independence Day weekend. Occupancy was 44 percent on the island from August 30 to September 5th. The overall rate, including the mainland, was 58% , which is a 30% decrease from the summer high season.
Campaign begins to protect blue crabs
Decreasing crime rates
Isla Mujeres news briefs
There were two baseball games scheduled on Sunday, at the El Pescador field, at 10am and 1:30p.
There are two categories in the children's baseball league, and the Isla Mujeres team in the 5-6 year old category won the opening game, defeating Puerto Morelos. The other category is 7-9 year olds. There will be a competition on the island in two weeks.
20th procession for the Virgin of Caridad del Cobre
After the 7:00 mass at the downtown Catholic Church, the procession went to the Maritime Terminal and the icon for Our Lady of Charity of Cobre was transported aboard the boat "Regina". Dozens of fishing and tourism boats participated, with more than 1000 parishioners, for the 30 kilometer trip to Isla Contoy that takes about an hour. Another mass was celebrated at the Contoy chapel,that was built 20 years ago. She will remain in that chapel until the lobster fishing season concludes on February 29th.
There was good weather and a "saldo blanco" (no incidents) for this event, which included involvement and coordination by various agencies including the Harbor Master, Civil Protection, the Navy and the municipal government. The event attracts many children and some Catholics from other municipalities, who enjoy the traditional event which also offers an opportunity to visit this very regulated reserve, which is protected by a Management Plan. (Normally, visitors aren't allowed on that section of Isla Contoy, where the fishing camp and cabins are located). Normally, a maximum of 200 people are allowed to visit the island. Each year about 70 tourists join the event.
|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
September 13 6:56
September 14 7:30
September 15 8:04
September 16 8:38
September 17 9:14
September 18 9:51
September 19 10:33
September 20 11:18
Painting by Pamela Haase
Sunset ~7:00-7:05p (start-end/mo)
Sunrise ~6:30-6:36a (start-end/mo)
Provided by MaraVilla Caribe & Isla Mujeres Daily News & Events
Wednesday nights at 8:45p, the group "Isla en Bici" bike around the isle, meeting at Juarez & Abasolo. Lights required, helmet recommended. LINK
In September, fishermen in this region are banned from catching Shrimp & Conch LINK
The new date for the Women's Fishing Tournament "El Dorado del Caribe" still hasn't been announced.
|By Diane Daniel|
|Nests & tracks at MVC B&B|
|By Tony Garcia|
Whale shark tour season ends in mid-September. September tends to be one of the busier months for storms & hurricanes.
Sunday, Sept. 8-Soccer at 5p at the field in Salina Chica--Club Isla Mujeres vs Noh Bec
Saturday, Sept 14-8a Boat procession taking the Virgin of Caridad del Cobre to Isla Contoy from the Marine Terminal pier, after the 7a mass and a procession to the dock. About 1200 participants are expected, and about 120 small and medium sized boats.
Independence Day Celebrations:
Sunday, Sept. 15- MegaBoom will perform. Festivities start at 10p & include DJ Dani, and the Mayor reading the Grito & ringing the bell. Tables on sale at the Town Hall from 12p-8p.
Monday, Sept 16-Parade on the main street usually scheduled to start around 8. It usually goes from South to North from the Naval base, with a reviewing stand in the vicinity of the 7-11.
Monday, Sept. 23-Equinox-Autumn begins
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