Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Isla Mujeres Daily News & Events Wednesday, December 18

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It's rainy & overcast, because Cold Front #23 is located over the Peninsula, (a high pressure system from the north), and interacting with a low pressure system (which extends from eastern Florida to the western Caribbean).
Today's forecast for the island says isolated & occasional showers, so there's a chance it may get intermittent, but currently it's very grey out there. It says winds from the north at 15-25 kph, with occasional strong gusts, 'cool to hot' temperatures.
(Sources: National Weather Service-CONAGUA, and Civil Protection).

From the City....

Mayor and other officials took a tour of road repairs done by Aguakan on the three kilometers of road at the southern part of the island, which were damaged by the installation of the wastewater network, to ensure it was repaired and sealed in accordance with the agreement with the City.

City ensures a clean island during the December holidays

Photos from Cultura Isla Mujeres of Sunday night's  Noches Magicas performance on the Town Square with the Cancun dance troupe "Tutu" and Isla's folklorico troupe “Al Son del Corazón”.

VIDEO The DIF social service agency provided a Posada Christmas Party in the Senior's park for the seniors with food, fun, a raffle and a pinata.

   Noti Isla Mujeres     

VIDEO of interview with "Wato", former head of the taxi union, explaining the objections of the taxistas to the buses having routes into Sac Bajo and Punta Sur, noting they have no issue with service in the colonias. They are at a gathering of taxistas at the northern end of the airfield, who depart at the end of the interview, and the reporter says they are walking to the taxi stand.

VIDEO of taxitas in front of Town Hall, which is closed with police in front of the doors, some in 'riot gear', with peaceful conversation between officials and union representatives & taxistas. The reporter says they've agreed to have five people go inside to discuss their complaints, and the taxi representatives enter.

VIDEO about project refill with ~6-8 locations in Isla Mujeres were reusable water containers can be filled rather than purchasing plastic bottles, with an app (@FindTap) to show where they are located. By TV Aztez QRoo.

VIDEO of taxi drivers and members of the union waiting outside the Town Hall for a response while their representatives are inside talking with authorities concerning their objections to bus routes in Sac Bajo and Punta Sur.

VIDEO of Mayor talking with the group of taxistas in front of the Town Hall saying they have a right to assemble peacefully and the police are there preventatively, and that they will listen and talk together, noting the officials and taxi representatives are currently talking.

The new Naveganto ferries have arrived and are docked in Puerto Juarez (photo)

After two hours of waiting for results of a dialogue between municipal authorities and taxi union representatives, it was determined thad a meeting would be required with representatives of the bus company before any agreements could be reached, which are being requested by the union. At 10am, a group of taxi drivers met at the northern end of the airfield, with the intention of walking toward the taxi union offices (at the taxi stand) and then to the Town Hall.
   Aware of their intentions, the municipal authorities ordered the presence of many police officers, including in riot gear, to stand at the entrance of the Town Hall, and during this time workers and taxpayers didn't have access to the municipal offices inside. The police chief arrived almost immediately and asked the protestors to choose representatives to go inside and present their demands to the City General Secretary, Miriam Trejo Leon. After an hour and 45 minutes had passed, the Mayor, Juan Carrillo Soberanis, spoke briefly with the group and with the former taxi union leader, Eduardo Peniche Rodriguez, aka "Wato". After another hour, the union representatives came out with the Mayor, who explained the presence of representatives of the bus company is required in order to reach an agreement. It was proposed that this meeting take place on Wednesday, or on Thursday, Dec. 19. The taxi union is requesting that the buses only operate downtown and in the colonias, and that they don't go to Garrafon, Punta Sur, or Sac Bajo.

IM Noticias claims there are "good odds" / "altas probabilidades" that the buses could be replaced by combis (smaller vehicles) as a result of upcoming negotiations between the taxi union and the bus company. The other issue is avoidance of routes in Sac Bajo and Garrafon. However, nothing will be known until the meeting is held between representatives of the company and of the taxi union.
   The taxi drivers say that combis have less capacity and would therefore affect them less. Combis also have the advantage of representing a lower investment and lower fuel costs for the concessionaire, as well as being faster and more comfortable for the passengers. 
   Regarding the issue of the routes, this is a very hot topic, and it is feared that neither side will yield. The taxi drivers have been serving these routes for a very long time, and the bus company is protected by their concession document.

VIDEO of Mayor addressing taxista protestors. Earlier VIDEO of Mayor talking with the taxistas and "Wato"   Earlier Video of police chief talking with taxi protestors.

Article from Dec 16 with two bus photos, saying there are concerns about a potential confrontation between taxi drivers and drivers of the buses which went into operation less than a week ago, becuase the buses are going to the areas of Garrafon, Punta Sur and Sac Bajo, when it was thought there was an agreement they would only serve the colonias and downtown.  Around midday on Monday, one of the buses was seen returning from Punta Sur, down the road along the Caribbean Sea. It was said that although the bus concession allows them to serve the entire island, it had been determined they wouldn't go to Punta Sur and Sac Bajo, in order to avoid affecting the taxi drivers.

   La Tertulia  

VIDEO of police chief & taxista protestors with caption noting they have an agreement not to obstruct the public roadways. VIDEO of taxistas walking to siteo. VIDEO of taxistas in front of Town Hall, talking with Chief of Police. The caption says that their protest stems from the arrival of urban transportation in the municipality with (the taxistas alleging there are) four routes for the islanders and six that are apparently directly for tourism in the area of Punta Sur , Garrafon, and Sac Bajo. Their leader is asking that the tourism routes be stopped because this could seriously affect the taxistas.  VIDEO of Mayor talking with waiting protestors while their representatives are inside talking with the City General Secretary. VIDEO of taxi union Director and Mayor, who explains they are arranging a meeting as soon as possible between the bus company and taxi representatives to reach an agreement. The Mayor spoke about the importance of dialogue without disputes or altercations since Isla Mujeres is known for it's peacefulness, and the government is seeking a solution that is for the good of the families who live here.

From  Por Esto :

University branch opening on the island    

Abrirán módulo universitario en la isla

    In January, module for the Instituto Universitario Yucatán Península will open at the Community Center of the CROC union (Revolutionary Confederation of Workers and Campesinos) offering coursed in Business Administration, Law, and Teaching (pedagogy).  The University has been working at the Community Center to assist young people and adults with completing their educations at the primary, middle school, and high school levels. 
     The cost for students will be 1000 pesos per person and a monthly payment of 2000 pesos per person for CROC members and 2500 pesos for others. Classes will be held on Saturdays, and the curriculum may be expanded in the future.  This university is backed by people of good will, both foreigners and Mexicans, principally assisting those who have less, and has served the community of Leona Vicario for two years. 
   The other University which is constructing its own building in colonia La Gloria, has funding from a Catholic foundation in the US & Mexico, and is planning to announce the start of classes in the summer, with courses in tourism, to train young people for employment in that field.

Volume of trash expected to increase 40% during the upcoming high season  

Se incrementará un 40% el volumen de basura

  The trash collection routes and times are given which are...Beaches-5a-noon, Sac Bajo-Barrafon -Punta Sur-1p-6p, an additional route downtown 6p-7p. At the night, 9p-3a there are two routes thru the colonias serving La Gloria, Cañotal, Miraflores, Lol-beh, Caridad del Cobre, Salina Grande, Salina Chica, Meteorológico y Electricista.  Residents are asked to comply with this schedule to avoid trash being left in the streets.
        Residents are reminded to use resistant bags not exceeding 25 km, noting there have been accidents with plastic bags that only hold up to 10km. Street sweeping downtown and on the main avenues takes place from 4:30am to 11am, and there will be shifts in the morning and afternoon from the Public Lighting Department to reinforce this work and attend to any situations. The Parks and Gardens departments continue working on the island and mainland.

Raising awareness about coral conservation  

Promueven conciencia sobre cuidado del coral

    Biologist  María del Carmen García Rival, proposed on social media that Christmas lights and decorations not be used in honor of the dead coral in this region. She is leading a coral repopulation campaign, in coordination with many volunteers, and she is in charge of the program at Isla Contoy and Puerto Morelos. She says this will raise awareness and generate fewer pollutants, many of which end up in the sea.

Isla Mujeres news briefs  

Breves de Isla Mujeres

 There was an armed robbery at Marina Paraiso on Saturday night, but the amount and details weren't made public, except that a small armed group appeared and subdued all personnel and took cash.
    The information about the Cockteleros in the other brief has already been translated.
   It is noted that an experiment at the Australian Great Barrier reef indicated that placing speakers at the bottom of the sea can help resurrect dying coral reefs.

Recommendation of more signals at sea  

Escasa señalización en áreas marítimas

Isla Mujeres is closing the year with an excellent tourist image   

IM cierra el año con excelente imagen turística

Ten passenger golf carts: An attractive plan  

Carros de golf de 10 plazas, atractivo plan

  The Urban Management Plan that was updated in 2009, includes a vision of Isla Mujeres with electric vehicles that would function in the same manner as taxis, with these photos of 10-16 passenger electric carts. This was included in the presentation two decades ago, and duing its revision ten years ago, this was retained. The Plan (LINK) is for 2009-2030 and the photos are on page 159.
     This proposal hasn't been considered under the new Mobility Law of Quintana Roo (which went into effect about a year ago).  It is noted that a hotel is Sac Bajo has a 10 passenger cart similar to one of these for its internal use, which was reviewed recently during a Mobility Institute operation. It is noted that there are currently up to 200 taxis on the island, although it isn't known how many are actually in operation. It is noted that there has been popular support for the arrival of the buses, because the taxi drivers prefer to transport tourists over families, especially in high season.

Everything is ready to receive vacationers  

Todo listo para recibir a vacacionistas

  This information has already been translated, and this article notes that the certifications of the three Blue Flag beaches of Isla Mujeres were recently renewed. (Playa Centro, Playa Norte/North Beach, and Playa Albatros.) They are reevaluated every six months to ensure the quality of the water and sand.


  This blog is brought to you by....

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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.

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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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