Saturday, December 7, 2019

Isla Mujeres Daily News & Events Saturday, December 7

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What a beautiful day for a CABALGATA! After their ferry ride, the horses & riders are scheduled to begin the procession at NOON, going thru downtown & then along the Caribbean coast... (The route wasn't published, this is based on word of mouth from a participant, and it also was last year's route. Expect some traffic detours)...past Maravilla Caribe Bed & Beach...and Madera Food & art, among others. In the past, they've also done some performing while waiting at the airstrip &/or afterwards at the southern part of the isle.
This is part of the Patron Saint celebrations for Our Lady of Immaculate Conception, aka "Conchita", who will be honored at 7p by a vehicular CARAVAN, and at 9p by MARIACHIS (with a mass, at the Catholic church on the Town Square). Tomorrow the Communions will be at 10a, the BOAT PROCESSION in the Bay at 3p, and the closing mass starts at 6p.

Bus Fares & Info
FARES: 10 pesos for local & state residents presenting their INE voter credentials, and 38 pesos or two dollars for others. Passengers with disabilities, seniors who qualify for an INAPAM card, and students with their school credential ride for five pesos. An "All Day Pass" will be offered for 175 pesos or nine dollars allowing the rider to get on & off along the entire route.
HOURS: 6am-10pm every day.
STOPS: Downtown, the buses will stop at four designated locations: by Andrés Quintana Roo Elementary School, by Playa Centro, the API parking lot, and by the ferry. For the rest of the route, they can make stops at any point.
SIZE, ETC: There will ten buses, each with a capacity for 31 people, that are ~7 meters long. They will be new, with A/C, GPS, a first aid kit & fire extinguisher. The inauguration ceremony is Monday at noon on the Town Square, then service will begin.
ROUTE: It was previously announced that the route will be from northern Guerrero west to Medina, south to Peces, east to the Caribe coastal road, traveling north & then north on Medina; and that there are plans to install bus stops with shade.
 Information provided by the municipal Director of Transportation, Mario Alexander Carrillo Cen, published at Ayuntamiento De Isla Mujeres. The article was also about the four new mainland buses, with a 41 passenger capacity & I don't know which are pictured.

The breathtaking views from the cliffs of the island offer unique photographic opportunities, but please keep in mind that they're made of fragile limestone which is prone to erosion & breakage, and that it's easy to misstep when distracted. Yesterday, staff with the municipal Department of Civil Protection & Firefighters were practicing rescues on the cliffs--this summer they carried up a French senior citizen who'd merely dislocated his shoulder, but others have been less fortunate. (They've also carried up beached dolphins for medical evaluation & treatment.)

Road closures today in Cancun during 35th International "Rock 'n Roll Marathon
It says the event will take place Friday afternoon & all day Saturday with about 5000 athletes running various distances, affecting traffic in the center of the city as well as the hotel zone. This will cause a total of 69 road closures over the two days, with participation by 105 officers and 22 vehicles.
Events include 20 bands. Participants will run distances of 5, 10, 21, and 42 kilometers. Maps at link.

From the City....

Monday at noon--Inauguration of new buses on the Town Square  

VIDEO with caption alleging that work at the Maritime (API) ferry terminal is putting tourists at risk and asking the reader's opinion.     
   La Tertulia  

Around 6:30 am today, a twenty-two year old motorcyclist suffered an injury to his right leg after colliding with a parked van or truck in colonia Caridad del Cobre, and was taken to the hospital by Red Cross paramedics.

From  Por Esto :

Aguakan appeared before the City Council  

Comparece Aguakan ante el Ayuntamiento

Inauguration of public transportation on Monday  

El lunes, vuelve el transporte público

Blessing of "Mayan Atrial Cross"

Bendicen la Cruz Atrial Maya

     The bishop of the Cancun-Chetumal Prelature, Monsignor Pedro Pablo Elizondo Cárdenas, blessed the Mayan Atrial Cross as part of the celebrations for the Virgin of the Immaculate Conception, with the participation by the children's guild.


  This blog is brought to you by....

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.   
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.

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
Fine dining a few steps away at Da Luisa or try the neighborhood eateries a couple blocks farther. We provide a list of links & direction to over 20 eateries within ten minutes walk, including Mango Cafe,  Mike's Pizza, Brisas, Rosa Sirena, Manolitos, La Chatita, Green Verde, Kash Kechen Chuc, and the large department store-grocery , Chedraui & local craft brewery.  Visit marinas, bars, & beach clubs that are minutes away by bike or on foot. Attend Yoga classes a couple villas away at Casa Ixchel. Fresh juice, produce & tortillas a few blocks away in the village, as well as a variety of other stores. It takes 20-30  minutes to walk downtown.
Full moon rising over the Caribbean 
December 12   6:46
December 13  7:42
December 14   8:42
December 15  9:44
December 16 10:46
December 17 11:48

Painting by Pamela Haase at MVC
 Sunset  ~6:04-6:16p (start-end/mo) 
Sunrise ~7:08-7:24a (start-end/mo)
December Events 
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

Thursday afternoons ~3p-8p Artist Fair on the Paseo de la Triguena off the Town Square at the malecon by the food trucks. 

Thursday, Nov. 28 The Festival for the Town Saint, Our Lady of Immaculate Conception began
when the icon was removed from her niche. 
 The Cabalgata horse procession is Saturday, Dec. 7th at noon & Por Esto says it will travel from downtown to the colonias. That evening at 7pm is the vehicular caravan around the isle, and at 9pm is the Mass of the Mañanitas with Mariachi.
On her Day, Sunday, Dec. 8th are the Communions (10a) and the procession by the boats in the Bay (3p), with the closing Mass and return to her niche at 6p.
The first four photos are by Bruce, including the cabalgata as they passed by MVC Bed & Beach....offering him tequila. The last two are by Tony Garcia.

Sunday, Dec. 1 at 7pm on the Town Square--Lighting of the Christmas lights & dance troupe performances!
The Guadalupe-Reyes holiday period begins with the celebrations for the Virgin of Guadalupe, whose day is Dec. 12 and continues thru Dia de los Reyes, Three Kings Day on January 6th.

Dec. 11 Singing of Las Mañanitas outside the Chapel of Our Lady of Guadalupe in colonia Salina Chica ~10p-midnight.

Guadalupe pilgrims
Dec. 12. Dia de Guadalupe, patron saint of Mexico. There is usually a run in the morning from the downtown church to Punta Sur to the Guadalupe Chapel, after the 7a Mass. There is usually a procession in the afternoon with children dressed up as Juan Diego, and shepherdesses, between the downtown church and the Guadalupe Chapel. Pilgrimages are made in honor of Guadalupe, sometimes carrying her statue on their back, which is blessed before they return to their homes.

Friday, Dec. 13-Geminid Meteor shower peaks and is considered one of the best & "most reliable", because the individual meteors are bright, and they come fast and furious. More than 100 per hour may be visible, although this year the fainter ones will be invisible because of the full moon.

The Posadas Navidenas take place Dec. 16-24 and usually include at least one event on the Town Square, featuring regional dances and probably costumes from different parts of Mexico. Schools, businesses, City departments, and individuals celebrate the season and comraderie at posada parties. "Posada" means "Inn" and the term commemorates Joseph and Mary seeking shelter for the birth of Jesus, but it's a general term for these seasonal parties. During this period, you'll see groups of children caroling and carrying a branch, singing "La Rama", which is a regional tradition & it's appropriate to reward them with coins.

Saturday, Dec. 21 Winter solstice is December 21

The Annual  "Elmo Christmas Golf Cart Caravan" is Saturday, Dec 21st,  meeting in front of MaraVilla Caribe Bed & Beach (in Bachilleres, in front of the dome, just north of Salina Chica on prolongacion Aeropuerto aka Jesus Martinez Ross) and Casa Ixchel at 5:30, facing south. The procession of decorated carts is led by characters in costume, Elmo, Mickey & Minnie & Santa, and the participants toss candy & toys as they wind south thru the colonias, and then head downtown. Both foreign & Mexican residents participate & everyone's invited...BYOCart & Candy/Toys 

Saturday, Dec. 21 Ursid meteor shower

Tuesday, Dec. 24 Noche Buena, many businesses may close early so employees can celebrate with their families.

Wednesday, Dec. 25 Christmas  Most tourist-oriented businesses will be open 

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

NYE on Town Square by Eduard Joao
Tuesday, Dec. 31 New Year's Eve celebration on the Town Square with a band. Tables can be purchased in advance, and are usually put on sale after Christmas, but they sell out quickly & there's not a lot of advance warning before they are available. The last ferry is usually cancelled, and the first one or two on New Years Day. The celebration begins before midnight and continues until morning. It is traditional for many islanders to greet the dawn at Punta Sur, where the sun touches Mexico first. Some businesses may start late, or be short staffed until later in the day.

 In December, Ruben's charity (link) is very active collecting toy donations & putting together hampers for low income families, to be distributed on Three King's Day, January 6th.
Photo:Tony Garcia
Patron Saint of Isla Mujeres: "Conchita"

The icon of the Virgin that is honored during the Patron Saint festivities is one of three "sister" statues removed from the church of Boca Iglesia in 1890 by several fishermen. (Boca Iglesia was one of the first churches established in Mexico, and is in the municipality of Isla Mujeres.). It is thought that the statues were brought to the church by the Spanish in the mid to late 1700's. They were carved from wood, with hands and faces of porcelain. The other two are in Izamal, Yucatan and Kantunilkin, Quintana Roo. The ruins of the church are difficult to access thru the mangroves, by boat, and in recent years, access has been blocked by private property owners.

Día de Guadalupe...honoring the Patron Saint of Mexico
Dia de Guadalupe by Tony Garcia
According to accounts published in both Nahuatl and Spanish in the 1600s, the image of the Virgin Mary appeared to the indigenous peasant, Juan Diego, in the hills of Tepeyac in the outskirts of Mexico City on December 9, 1531, when Juan Diego was on his way to the city from his village. (Later she also appeared to his sick uncle.) The young woman was surrounded by light & spoke in Nahuatl, telling Juan Diego that a church should be built in her honor at the top of Tepeyac hill, where there had once been an Aztec Temple to the goddess Tonantzin.
Artwork by Pam Haase
    But when Juan Diego told this to the Spanish archbishop, the priest didn’t believe him and told Juan Diego to go back to Tepeyac and ask the Virgin for a miracle. The Virgin told Juan Diego to gather Castilian roses at the top of the hill. She helped arrange the flowers in Juan Diego’s tilmátli (a type of cloak), and he carried them back to Mexico City.
     When he arrived on December 12 and opened his tilmátli in front of the archbishop, the image of the Virgin of Guadalupe had been imprinted on the cloak. It is still on display at the Basilica de Guadalupe, one of the most visited shrines in the world.  Written by Ronda Winn Roberts

Pinatas & Catholics: Changing Customs

Pinatas are an essential part of the Christmas posada celebrations, which take place Dec.16-24. "Posada" means inn, and these celebrations commemorate Mary & Joseph seeking shelter in Bethlehem for the birth of Jesus. The parties include refreshments, songs and prayers, (or may be less religious) and the breaking of a pinata, which traditionally has seven points, representing the seven deadly sins. Although much of the religious significance has been lost over the years, traditionally, breaking it symbolized the triumph of good over sin, and receiving rewards from God. Although blindfolds aren't usually used in Isla, they're said to symbolize blind faith, and the person providing guidance represents the guidance of the Church. Here, the pinata is usually suspended on a pulley so it can be hoisted up and down, while attendees sing the 'pinata song' and children take turns swinging at it.
The custom of breaking pinatas among Europeans is said to have come from the Chinese, via Marco Polo. In our region, the Maya had a game in which each player, blindfolded, hit a clay pot suspended by a rope, which contained valuable cacoa seeds.
When the Spanish arrived in the "New World", they found the Aztecs celebrated the origins of their God of war for 20 days in the month of panquetzaliztili, aka December. During these festivities, the Mexica priests hung banners and placed a clay pot, richly adorned with colored feathers, on a pole of the temple. When it was broken, small treasures fell as an offering at the feet of Hitzilopochtli. The Spanish Conquistadors made use of these Aztec traditions when converting them to Christianity, covering the clay pot with colored paper, and imposing new meanings and traditions.
The Spanish exchanged these December celebrations for events called "Misas (Masses) de Aguinaldo" in which passages & representations allusive to Christmas were read, and small gifts, called "aguinaldos", were given to attendees. Nowadays, this is the name of the end of year payments that are mandatory for workers in Mexico, (and the equivalent of two week's pay). Written by Ronda Winn Roberts 

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. .
      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.

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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