|Here's the webcam LINK, which also has time lapse of the past 24 hours.|
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Today at 3pm, a procession of little Juan Diegos, "Dieguitos" and Lupitas will honor the Virgin of Guadalupe by walking from the Catholic church downtown on the Town Square to the Guadalupe Chapel in Salina Chica, overlooking the Caribbean. (Juan Diego was the shepherd upon whose cloak the iconic image of Mexico's patron saint was miraculously imprinted, and witness to her miracles.)
Yesterday's nearly full moon rose while the setting sun was still casting light and shadows across the sky. Tonight it will rise just past sunset at 6:46p,
You can see some "shooting stars" tonight, but tomorrow the 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, often in ~15 minute "spurts" (with similar periods of little activity). They start slowly after 8p, peaking around 3a and continuing until dawn. They'll radiate from an area to the left of the moon, near a bright star called Castor. Look out over the Caribbean sea where there's less light pollution, but the fainter ones will be invisible this year because of the full moon.
Today, Mexico celebrates it patron saint, the Virgin of Guadalupe, & these "shooting stars" are reminiscent of the golden stars that adorn her mantle on the classic image which is believed to have been miraculously imprinted on the cloak of shepherd Juan Diego.
From the City....
VIDEO from the interior of a new bus being ridden by students-Public transport is now a reality in Isla Mujeres, with air conditioning, security cameras, and most of all, they're economical.
DIF (social service agency) event in La Gloria titled "DIF-Close to you
VIDEO of celebrations at the Guadalupe Chapel with the arrival of the bicyclists and runners and singing.
On Dec. 14th, dance troupe "Añoranzas" will represent Isla Mujeres at the 25th edition of the Fair of Oranges in Oxkutzcab Yucatán where they will perform to traditional Island Trovas under the direction of Jose Luis Velazquez.
From Por Esto :
Rescatan lancha que zozobróOn Monday, the Navy conducted a Search and Rescue operation and successfully rescued four people in a small boat north of Isla Contoy, who had left Cancun to go fishing and never returned. Their boat was towed to Isla Mujeres and they were determined to be in good health, departing under their own power with relatives.
On Tuesday morning, Naval personnel were working on a boat that had capsized and was upside down near the Naval pier, trying to get it floating upright. It is believed that this is the same boat that was rescued and docked there, waiting for its owners to present its documentation.
Reparation of three kilometers of road
Repararán tres kilómetros de vialidadThis information was already translated.
80% of corals near Isla Contoy are dead
Más corales muertos en Isla ContoyThe Director of the Isla Contoy Natural Protected Area (ANP) said that 80% of the corals found in the Contoy ANP are dead from the White Syndrome that is affecting the Mexican Caribbean. On Tuesday, the Technical Advisory Council for the Contoy National Park was held at the Town Hall in Isla Mujeres, with attendees representing the tourism industry, the fishing industry, academic specialists, and members of the community. who are part of that Council. The POA (Annual Operating Plan) was presented for 2020, which deals with various issues, including the capacity of the ANP.
The was a presentation from UNAM University about the problem of white syndrome throughout the Mexican Caribbean. It is noted that it has attacked the entire Mesoamerican chain, which is the second largest chain of corals in the world, beginning in Honduras and ending at Isla Contoy. The Contoy ANP Director, María del Carmen García Rivas they are currently cultivating the affected species in nurseries to be planted later in the reefs, which are doing very well, but the majority of the other corals are dead.
She said, "We thought that Contoy was going to be spared because it took a little longer to present the disease, but from July to September, in about three or four months, it was also affected." She added, "According to the UNAM researchers, it is not known exactly what can cause it, perhaps a bacterium, but as it is found in the water, it is difficult to detect and, unfortunately, there is still no solution."
Complaints & compliments about bus service
Quejas por el servicio de transporte urbanoThe urban transport service on the island began successfully, but there are also complaints about the fee structure system, which is higher for non-residents (of the state). There is also some confusion because the bus stops haven't been marked with signage. Foreign residents are concerned because they lack an INE credential (voting card) or any other document, except for their immigration visas, where have no indication that the bearer is domiciled in Isla Mujeres. (NOTE--This is incorrect. Our permanent resident cards indicate we obtained them in Q. Roo, and therefore are state residents. We are required to notify Immigration of any change of address. Many of us also have Isla drivers licenses, some have INAPAM cards (senior credential) and most have Ultramar resident-cards.).
There have been many favorable comments on social media about the start of the bus service, especially in regard to the students, who were often forced to walk home because taxi drivers fail to provide them with service. One commenter, Gladys G. congratulated the municipality on the progress, but opined that the price should be the same for everyone without discriminating against anyone because they come from another place. She said in all the countries where she has ridden buses, she has never experienced different rates for being from outside the country, noting this is "killing the chicken that lays the golden eggs". Another commenter said the buses should go to Sac Bajo and Punta Sur because there are many people who work there and must pay a great deal for a taxi or walk. She said, "For now it makes sense that they don't go there because of the bad condition of the road, but hopefully they will serve those routes later to assist the budgets of the people who work in these locations."
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
convenient to downtown
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)
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.
Sunday, Dec. 1 at 7pm on the Town Square--Lighting of the Christmas lights & dance troupe performances!
Wednesday, Dec. 11 The run is after the 7p Mass and here is the route. It begins at the Catholic Church on the Town Square, going toward Mundaca as usual, but then they will go into Sac Bajo, past Dolphin Discovery, returning on that same street, then going right to the Sacred Heart Church in La Gloria and along the Caribbean coastal road to the Capilla/Chapel of Guadalupe in Salina Chica. Singing of Las Mañanitas outside the Chapel of Our Lady of Guadalupe in colonia Salina Chica at ~10:30
Thursday, Dec. 12 Full moon rise just after sunset. Some meteors will occur between 8p and dawn, but tomorrow will be the main event.
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, often in "spurts". This year the fainter ones will be invisible because of the full moon.They begin slowly at ~8p, peak around 3a, and continue until dawn, radiating from a point left of the moon, near a bright star called Castor. Look out over the sea, there's less light pollution, and since they may come in ~15 minute bursts, there may also be 15 minute periods of inactivity or low activity.
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|
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.
Día de Guadalupe...honoring the Patron Saint of Mexico
|Dia de Guadalupe by Tony Garcia|
|Artwork by Pam Haase|
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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