Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Isla Mujeres Daily News & Events Tuesday, December 24

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Friday's sunrise

Photo credit-Ruth Lacey
From the City....

On December 24th, trash collection will take place at 1pm, so that the workers can spend Noche Buena (Christmas Eve night) with their families. On Dec. 31st, trash collection will also be at 1pm so they can have the evening off.

It was a record-breaking season for the nesting turtles, whose eggs were protected at the Tortugranja, Turtle Hatchery, where activities also take place to raise environmental awareness, including talks, tours and conferences. Director Deline García Canto explained that every year, the nesting turtles arrive to the shores of the island and there are coordinated surveillance activities by the municipal government, the state government and volunteers. 
   This year, there were 12 Hawksbill nests with 1610 eggs and 1297 offspring, which is a hatching rate of 81%. There were 86 Loggerhead nests with 9396 eggs and 7501 offspring, which is an 80% hatch rate. There were 1554 Green turtle nests with 170,831 eggs and 134,953 offspring, which is a 79% hatch rate. The total for all three species is 1652 nests, 181,837 eggs, and 143,751 hatchlings released.

Benefits of compacting your trash. It reduces the volume of your trash. Our garbage has an environmental impact. Help us maintain an Isla Verde, Green Island. ~~Mayor Juan Carrillo

Good results from Crime Prevention efforts  

VIDEO of Civil Protection cutting up a tree that fell due to winds associated with Cold Front #23.

TVisla Mujeres    
Cold Front #23 interrupted nautical activities LINK  

Naveganto's first ferry, of three, has arrived in Puerto Juarez, and may be operational on Friday LINK 

   Noti Isla Mujeres     

Legislator Atenea Gómez Ricalde, leader in the PAN party, said it is a tradition each year to distribute hundreds of toys to the young islanders in the schools of Isla Mujeres VIDEO  

 VIDEO from Dec 19 of loose sheets of metal atop the Taxi union lodge blowing in the wind, with caption noting this could be dangerous to any pedestrians in the area if they blow loose. 

Personnel with Civil Protection were touring the island ensuring the storm grates weren't obstructed and checking for fallen branches & trees and any other effects from Cold Front #23. (photo)

VIDEO of wind blowing palms & waves with whitecaps with the arrival of Cold Front #23.

VIDEO from Dec. 19th of children dancing on the Town Square  

During negotiations with the bus company, the taxi union didn't achieve its demands to prevent the buses from going to Garrafon & Punta Sur and to Sac Bajo. However, an agreement was reached to reduce the number of trips to Sac Bajo, which will be one trip per hour or two trips every two hours. This was confirmed by Mayor Juan Carrillo Soberanis, who served as a arbitrator at the meeting.
Regarding the taxi union's request that groups of tourists aren't organized to be transported to Isla Mujeres attractions such at the Tortugranja and Punta Sur, it was determined that this issue will be analyzed. As of Thursday, tickets were being sold to tourists aboard the ferries from Gran Puerto and the Cancun Hotel Zone.
The buses operate 6a-10p, are air conditioned, with security cameras & 31 passenger capacity. "Quintanarooenses" are state residents. "3ra edad" are seniors, "PCD" are persons w disabilities, & "Presentando identificacion" means with ID's. (Senior ID is an INAPAM card.) "Sencillo" is one way.
Regarding #1 & #2, the Centro-Colonia routes, they are the same route, in opposite directions. #1 goes south on Rueda Medina, then north thru the colonias and past Bachilleres on Jesus Martinez Ross to Centro. #2 goes south on Ross past Bachilleres & into the colonias, then north up Medina to Centro. (Bachilleres is on the east-Caribbean side and Medina is on the west-Bay-"Cancun" side.)


From  Por Esto :

Beaches invaded by tourists   

Playas invadidas de turistas

Dec. 22. The sun was shining from an early hour, which motivated tourists to leave their hotels and visit the beaches, and in the afternoon the weather began to change again with the arrival of Cold Front #24, which was expected to close the port for small boats on Sunday afternoon, which is expected to continue thru Monday, with forecasts of winds of over 45 km/hr. Temperatures are expected to drop with the new cold front, allowing an enjoyable Christmas Eve and Christmas for thousands of families and visitors. The fishermen were unable to work since Wednesday.

Successful "Christmas Caravan"

Realizan la “Caravana Navideña”

    On Saturday, locals & foreigners participated in the annual Christmas Caravan with dozens of decorated golf carts, and costumed characters as Santa Clause and Disney characters, distributing candy & toys. Many of the drivers and passengers were in Christmas clothing & the procession gathered near the dome of Colegio Bachilleres (in front of MaraVilla Caribe). Many foreigners participated, including those who reside on the island and those who visit annually. It is noted that many senior citizens spend the winter here.

Lack of promotion & maintenance for the artisanal "Flea Market"

En el abandono el mercado artesanal “La Pulga”

   The artisanal "Flea Market", located in front of Poc Na hostel, was inaugurated in 1993, and the roof needs attention because it is leaking. Initially there were nearly 40 small spaces for vendors, but with slow sales, tenant began to leave them and now there are less than 20. The tenants offer the cultural richness of Mexico with souvenirs for visitors and various crafts available at low prices. However, promotion is needed for the location.

Isla Mujeres News Briefs  


  See City notice above about trash schedule. 
  The other brief is about the university branch being established at the CROC union Community Center, which will begin classes in January, with each program lasting three years and four months with the endorsement of the SEP, Ministry of Education. Information is available there between 9a and7p.

Many reservations

Reservaciones, al tope

  Occupancy is at 90% and expected to reach 100% on Sunday, and to decrease on January 2nd, according to the hoteliers. For those seeking lodging between Dec. 22 and January 1st, there is almost nothing available. The hotels of the municipality of Isla Mujeres have 7000 rooms, as well as vacation homes, and local families who are receiving relatives and friends. It is noted that the small hotels face serious compeition from these vacation homes, and have repeatedly asked the government to address the people who are making money without paying taxes.

Aguakan will resume work in January  

No concluyó el trabajo Aguakan

    The work to introduce the wastewater network at Punta Sur will resume in January. They were required to resurface the road when the work wasn't completed by December 15th. When they resume, it will be reopened in small sections to reduce the impact on the thousands of tourists who visit that part of the island daily during the winter holiday season.

Isla Mujeres News Briefs   

Breves de Isla Mujeres

Dec. 21  The Naveganto ferry company resumed operations on Saturday, with 15 round trips daily between Isla Mujeres and Puerto Juarez, from 6:15a to 8:45p, departing a quarter before each hour from Puerto Juarez, and 15 minutes after each hour from Isla Mujeres. The passengers were comfortable inside the boat "Itzae". The round trip price for state residents is 70 pesos, Mexicans pay 190 pesos and foreigners pay 265 pesos.
  The beaches are cleaned daily between 5a and 10a on Monday thru Friday and from 7a to 10a on Saturday & Sunday.  Concessionaires and their employees are asked to ensure that their customers cooperate with recommendations and don't litter plastic that can go into the sea, and to ensure that there are sufficient receptacles available for trash.

The other two Naveganto ferries are expected to arrive in January

Toda la flota de Naveganto llegará en enero

 It is noted that they also sell tickets online.

Port was reopened for small boats  

Reabren puerto a la navegación menor

Frequency of buses in Sac Bajo reduced  

Reducen frecuencia de transporte en Sac-Bajo

Dec. 20  During negotiations with the taxi union, mediated by the Mayor, the bus company, “Consorcio Empresarial del Sur TPE”, agreed to reduce the frequency of their buses in the tourist area of Sac Bajo to one every half hour, which is said to be reduced from about every five minutes or about 10 trips per hour.   The agreement will be evaluated every two months for compliance. The municipal authorities also must designate the bus stops on Rueda Medina downtown, particularly in the port area.  Comments on social media indicated support for the municipal authorities. 
   When the agreement was reached on Wednesday afternoon, more than 100 taxistas arrived to hear the results, which they did not agree with, but under the circumstances they had to accept the legality of the situation., and the former taxi director, "Wato" who was at the negotiations said, "The company is legal and has the endorsement of the legislature. There's nothing we can do."  He is credited with the protest that began on Tuesday, to generate pressure to get the parties to talk, which began on Tuesday, and the concluded on Wednesday, late in the afternoon. 
   The taxi drivers wanted the buses to withdraw from Sac Bajo, but the Mayor said his government has agreed to meet the citizen demand for transportation. The Mayor showed the agreement which was in his hand, signed by the union representatives, reducing the frequency of the buses to Sac Bajo to two trips per hour, which is one every half hour. The bus company canceled bringing tourist groups to two hotels in that area.

143,000 turtle hatchlings released  

Liberan más de 143 mil tortugas

 See above.

Tourists returned to the beaches   

Regresó el turismo a las playas

 Dec. 19  Although there were fewer visitors than desired at the beach due to cloudiness, there were tourists enjoying the beach. The winds had diminished, but there were still gusts of 40kph, from Cold Front #23. Most of the visitors arrived on the ferries, because the recreational fleet that brings them from Cancun & Punta Sam-Isla Blanca wasn't yet active.

Port closed due to Cold Front #23

Cierre de puerto a causa del Frente Frío 23

Dec. 18  On Wednesday, the carg ferry suspended its crossings to Punta Sam after one trip in the morning, and the winds were expected to decrease in the afternoon. An noon, many cargo vehicles were waiting in the parking lot at Punta Sam, but not on the island.
   The passenger ferry to Puerto Juarez continued to operate normally, but there were fewer visitors. Some ferries arrived from the Cancun Hotel Zone, but departures were suspended when rain began pouring shortly before 10a. Nautical activities were reduced and there were many cancellations for the group catamaran trips. Their activities were expected to resume on Thursday, when the effects of the storm were expected to decrease. The boat tour operators didn't go due to the intensity of the winds and rain.

Strong winds affected trees  

Fuertes vientos derribaron árboles

Dec. 18  On Wednesday afternoon, strong winds from cold front #23 caused several trees to fall, without any incidents.  As of 1:30p, the water level in the salina lakes wasn't sufficiently high to turn on the pumps, which is when it reaches 10cm above the zero level. It was at about five centimeters. The Director of Civil Protection explained that turning the pumps on before it reaches the 10cm level could cause them damage. There were activated on October 23rd, in association with Tropical Wave #46. They have a capacity of 180 liters per second, at a rate of 10.8 cubic meters per hour and the ability to pump out 259.2 cubic meters in 24 hours.
  The downtown pump near the Casa de la Cultura was operating at medium capacity.  Civil Protection personnel were making patrols and had received four reports of fallen trees at noon, but nothing extraordinary. Part of Rueda Medina downtown experienced flooding when precipitation was heavy, because that storm drain system hasn't been efficient for about a decade.

New Naveganto ferry arrived  

Arriba nuevo barco de Naveganto

Dec. 18. Naveganto planned to resume operations on Friday with their ne 200 seat catamaran boat, "Itzae". Two more boats will be aadded in January. They suspended operations of their heavy boat on November 18, with plans to replace it with lighter, more economical boats, but there were delays in resuming service. The boat arrivedin Puerto Juarez at 7:30pm on Tuesday, with plans to test it on Wednesday, which were postponed by poor weather.
   The boat was built in a shipyard in Progreso, Yucatan, with navigation technology and environmentally-friendly engines, offering savings for the company and quality service for the passengers. The rates are 35 pesos one way for islanders and state residents and 70 pesos round trip. Children are 13 one way, 25 round trip, students are 14 and 25 pesos, Mexicans and foreigners pay 140 and 265,  and their children pay 155 and 220.

Isla Mujeres news briefs   

Breves de Isla Mujeres

 Due to the strong winds that accompanied cold front #23, there were several brief interruptions of electrical power on Tuesday night and Wednesday, mostly only a few second long.

Cabbies protest buses & want routes restricted  

Taxistas rechazan transporte urbano

See above.

Quality public transportation  

Transporte público de calidad

 The Mayor spoke about the need for quality transportation, taxis and buses, noting the taxistas have rights won by their seniority and the buses have legal rights with their concession to provide service throughout the island.
Town hall activities interrupted by protest

Y la guardia de antimotines que impedía paso

See above.


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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.

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.

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

Guadalupe pilgrims
Dec. 12. Dia de Guadalupe, patron saint of Mexico. At 3pm is the procession with children dressed up as Juan Diego, and shepherdesses, from the downtown Catholic church on the Town Square to the Guadalupe Chapel in Salina Chica overlooking the Caribbean. Pilgrimages are made in honor of Guadalupe, sometimes adults carry her statue on their back, which is blessed before they return to their homes. 

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
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.

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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