Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Isla Mujeres Daily News & Events Wednesday, December 11

  Here's the webcam LINK, which also has time lapse of the past 24 hours.
Join the 10,000 followers of Isla Mujeres News & Events on Facebook for more photos, videos, events & updates  
~Please visit our sponsors~

 Other sites we host: Isla Mujeres History on Facebook & Website 


TONIGHT--The run in honor of the Patron Saint of Mexico, Our Lady of Guadalupe, is this evening & travels a new route. It begins with the 7p Mass 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. The Mass of Mañanitas will be approximately 10:30, sung in her honor.
Source: Parroquia Inmaculada Concepción Isla Mujeres

Some information to help you understand the holiday season on Isla Mujeres....

Santa sang us La Rama this weekend!? It's been a season of Cultural Mashups! Dia de los Muertos festivities came early on Halloween, the Patron Saint Festivities started on Thanksgiving, & the Guadalupanas crashed the Conchita celebrations, which were still going on when Santa & his helpers came a'caroling La Rama! Let me explain...

"La Rama" is sung by kids carrying a decorated branch, who expect some pesos in return, which are used for their Christmas "Posada" party. It's a tradition in this region, so carry some spare change & be patient, it's long. 😊

A "Posada" is a Christmas party, which occur during the "Posadas Navideñas", Dec. 16-24th. It means "inn", commemorating Mary & Joseph seeking shelter. Local businesses contribute gift certificates for the raffles that are often part of Posada parties.

Your "Rama" contribution is called an "Alguinaldo", which also refers to the payments made to workers at this time of year. Employees are given a mandatory bonus of half a month's pay, including housekeepers, & you're expected to tip the trash collectors, water & gas deliverers, etc.(Residents)

"Guadalupañas" are devotees to the patron saint of Mexico, and in this case their pilgrimage included driving around the island in two trucks with sirens blaring. More usual pilgrims can be seen walking with an image of the Virgin of Guadalupe strapped to their backs. There will be a Run in her honor starting at the downtown church on her Day (12th) after the 7a Mass & Mariachis will serenade her at a celebration the night before (tomorrow) at the Guadalupe chapel in Salina Chica. "Conchita" is the island's patron saint, whose festivities ended Sunday.

"Guadalupe-Reyes" is the holiday period from Dia de Guadalupe (12th) to "Dia de los Reyes Magos"/Three Kings Day on Jan. 6th, when Mexican kids get their presents, and treats in their shoes from the Three Magi. There's a big toy give-away at Ruben's restaurant on Guerrero. Eat your "King's Cake" pastry carefully...if your piece has the plastic baby, you're providing the tamales for Candlemas, Feb. 2nd.

"Noche Buena" is Christmas Eve, when the local families celebrate, which may include setting up tables & pinatas in the side streets. It's also the name of a beer sold seasonally by Bohemia, and different each year.

Two "Christmas Caravans" with decorated vehicles tossing candy & presents will tour the isle, one by the City & the other by locals & foreign residents & visitors...which is Dec. 21st assembling by Maravilla Caribe B&B facing south, in front of the Colegio Bachilleres dome at 5:30.

"El Viejo" means 'old man' & symbolizes the old year. In #3, he's a small pinata, holding our Carnaval beads & #4 is a typical version, which is usually loaded w firecrackers & set ablaze for New Year's.

Photos #1 & #6 are Guadalupe pilgrims biking & walking past Maravilla Caribe Bed & Beach, past years. .#5 is a Rama branch & la Virgin of Guadalupe.

No photo description available.

From the City....

 Information about the buses  
  The Director of Transportation, Mario Alexander Carrillo Cen, said the company Empresarial del Sur TPE is providing ten 31-passenger buses for the island and four 41-passenger buses for the Continental Zone. He noted that public transport has been one of the main demands of the citizenry, which was not met for many years for various reason, and now this will directly benefit the island population as well as tourism. He said the rate for state residents with their INE is ten pesos and 38 pesos without it, and the rate is five pesos for students, with their credential, and for senior citizens and people with disabilities. For tourists, the rate is 38 pesos or $2, and they are planning to have an All Day Pass for 175 pesos or nine dollars. 
   He said the bus stops downtown will be at Andres Quintana Roo Elementary, Playa Cento, the API parking lot and the Ferry, unlike the colonias where they can make stops at any point. Their schedule will be 6a-10p,

The buses were inaugurated on the Town Square on Monday, with the Governor participating. There are ten 31-passenger buses, equipped with air conditioning, GPS, first aid kits, and fire extinguishers. The are called the "Islanders", and the mayor said that each clause of the agreement with the concessionaire must be adhered to. The Governor spoke about the importance of having an alternative in addition to the transport already available in the municipality, noting this will directly benefit the population.  The ten buses for the island are smaller than the four for the Continental Zone, and are about 7 meters long.  They began operating on Tuesday, and are going thru the colonias (not the original published route), but not Sac Bajo or Punta Sur.

Authorities with the three levels of government attended the initiation ceremony on Rueda Medina for the annual security operation "Holiday Decembrinas: Guadalupe-Reyes 2019 ”. The Mayor said they will do their part to ensure tranquility, and asked that residents take appropriate measures in regard to pyrotechnics which can cause accidents, especially to children.
He said Isla Mujeres expects to have 85-90 percent hotel occupancy, with up to 25,000 visitors crossing daily to this Pueblo Magico which will be ready to receive them with open arms and the best conditions.
He said, : “We are all here with only one objective, for families and tourists to enjoy their vacations, end the year having tasty dinner and sharing special moments with their loved ones in our beautiful municipality,
Agencies who will be increasing their efforts include the municipal police, Civil Protection & the Firefighters, Public Services, the Tourism Department, the state Port Authority (APIQRoo), the Federal Zone agency (ZOFEMAT), the Navy, and the Red Cross, among others.
The Director of Civil Protection said personnel with his department have been trained and certified in various practices including water rescues and vertical rescues, and they will give their best efforts to ensure the end of the holidays end tranquilly with a "Saldo Blanco".

TVisla Mujeres    

The City and Aguakan reached an agreement that on Tuesday (yesterday) repairs would begin, patching ans sealing the total width of the road in two stages, along the three kilometers affected by their work. They also guaranteed the three kilometers at Punta Sur will be totally leveled and durable, to avoid affecting the movement of travelers, especially during the current holiday season. LINK

   Noti Isla Mujeres     
VIDEO of Naval personnel assisting with a small boat that sunk, with the reporter saying they are going to put it upright, but then he had to quit filming. It's not far from shore, near Rueda Medina and the Naval pier.

VIDEO of firefighters with the Department of Civil Protectionputting out a white car that was in flames, in Punta Sur near Employee entrance at Garrafon Park, and the police are also there. The reporter says they received a call, and that the car looks like a total loss, but the cause of the fire is apparently unknown, and apparently only material damages, no people were harmed.

VIDEO with Hector Gil Chables aka "Picus" saying the Cockteleros streak continues and they were victorious over Playa del Carmen

   La Tertulia  

In the early hours of Tuesday, thieves went to the business and home of  the taqueria Carnitas behind the Yamaha dealer in Salina Chica, and tied up the owners with tape and took belongings of value such as cell phones and jewelry, and about 30,000 pesos in cash. It is noted that in recent weeks, the National Guard have been patrolling on the island in addition to the municipal police and military.

The Navy located and rescued four people in a small recreational fishing boat north of Isla Contoy, in response to a call that they had not returned to Cancun after going fishing yesterday. The search and rescue effort included the use a Persuader type aircraft, a MI-17 helicopter, a coastal patrol, and a Defender type boat. The boat was towed to shore and the crew were determined to be in good health, leaving later with their relatives by their own means.

From  Por Esto :

Terminal expansion expected to be completed in January 

Se aprovechará al máximo espacios disponibles

The Governor reviewed the construction area for the extension of the Maritime Terminal of Isla Mujeres, which is being done with an investment of ~5.5 million pesos, creating 255 more square meters for public use. They are expecting up to 30,000 tourists daily in high season. The project will join two buildings in front of the pier and on the south side there is an expansion to facilitate the tourist traffic, especially during peak hours. It was originally expected to be completed by the end of the year, but now it is expected to be finished in January.

Loans to women entrepreneurs  

Entregan créditos a la palabra a mujeres

    The Governor led an event at the La Gloria dome, with the Mayor in attendance, for the state program "Credit on the Word of Enterprising Women". He congratulated three women for their work, who are beneficiaries. HE said the program will help women have more productive lives and bring income into their homes for their families. They can have a business as a form of self employment and improve what they have, and become more secure. He said economic independence also reduces domestic violence, and he noted that according to INEGI (national statistical agency) three out of every ten households in Mexico are headed by women, and he estimated that number is higher in this state, saying, "At least half of the homes in Quintana Roo are run by women."
   The program awarded credit to 166 women of 5000 pesos which a term of 11 months, starting at the second month. 

Isla Mujeres new briefs   

Breves de Isla Mujeres

The bad practice of some drivers to park on the  downtown sidewalks causes breakage of the manholes and registers of the telephone, light, and wastewater services. There is a recently broken register in front of the old hospital on Guerrero, and others that are a few meters away that are broken, which is considered a potential hazard for children or seniors.
  The other brief is about the taxi drivers having a dialogue with the City regarding the new buses, and they don't plan to have any demonstrations, contrary to some rumors.

Destruction of protected plants 

Destruyen plantas protegidas por la ley

Por Esto says that protected plants, such as mangroves and chit, are being destroyed by individuals in violation of the Island's Urban Development Plan, which was updated in 2009 to extend thru 2030. It prohibits solid construction in the Federal Zone, and in the lagoon systems of Las Salinas and Makax. However, some recent occupants of these properties claim they have authorization, but did not present documents.
   The PDU says the total area of the island is 402.71 hectares of which 22.8 are interior lagoons, leaving usable land of 379.9 hectares, of which a total of an estimated 210.4 are for residential, commercial, industrial, and tourist uses. Of the remaining area, 62.1 hectares are for roads, 17.9 for ecological conservation, 18.7 for cultural heritage, 54.1 for seawalls, beaches and the Federal Zone, 1.6 for the port area, 7.3 for parks, and the 22.8 that are the interior bodies of water. This refers to both current capabilities and new dedicated service, and the PDU estimates housing zoning for 14,654 inhabitants, which has already been exceeded.
    A resident said that the entire shore of Salina Chica was distributed, which leads to the "libramiento" (liberation?) of the perimeter road, leading to the Guadalupe Chapel, and they said former Mayor Paulino authorized the occupation of these properties. It is noted that this refers to Paulino Adame Torres, who has been accused of appropriating several public properties.
   Por Esto says the "invasion" has been systematic for two decades, and that politicians have been 'regularizing' properties before the federal government, including ones facing the Makax Lagoon and Salina Chica lake.

National Guard checkpoint  

La GN cuida de la ciudadanía

  The National Guard conducted an crime prevention operation on Sunday near the preschool "Gabriela Mistral" reviewing vehicles searching for weapons or drugs. Two weeks ago the business community made a written request to the Mayor and the Governor for coordination between the three levels of government to stop robberies of tourism businesses, requesting the presence of the National Guard. The municipal government is also planning to install dozens of surveillance cameras at strategic points on the island in January.
   The National Guard has been conducting patrols on the mainland part of the municipality at Punta Sam and Isla Blanca since this summer.

Isla Mujeres news briefs  


  On Saturday, a third luxury hotel opened in Sac Bajo, the Hotel Beló with 70 rooms and All inclusive service. It is located next to the Izla hotel which opened a couple of years ago. Another hotel is about to open on the downtown property by the malecon and Casa de la Cultura, where Perla del Caribe hotel was once located. Work is about to resume on  two hotels of which one is downtown behind the Social Security facility, and the other is along the road to Garrafon. 
   There has been a good response to the property tax discount of 25% during the first half of December, which will be reduced to 20% the second half, and 15% in January and February.


  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.

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. 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.
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

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.