Saturday, March 7, 2020

Isla Mujeres Daily News & Events Saturday, March 7

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Residents! The 2020 National Census is taking place this month & they're putting stickers on your house (#1 is ours). Time to cram for the quiz in Spanish! 😉 Here's the "Cliff Notes"...
They're going to ask you.... How many people reside in your home & their names, ages & gender. If any are disabled & if you have access to health services. Marital/partner status. Religion. What languages are spoken & how much education you've had. Employment status. If you've resided elsewhere in the past five years. Your ethnicity & parentage. What your home is made of & how many rooms & bedrooms. If you have tap water, drainage, electricity. If you have appliances, cars, cell phones, internet & other items.

The 2010 Census reported there were 738,103 US citizens residing in Mexico. and both governments estimate that number is now well over a million. Last year, INM (Immigration) reported they have 77,000 US citizens registered, which indicates nearly nine out of ten US citizens residing in Mexico lack the legal status of a resident visa. (The Census-takers don't care, they're just collecting data.)

The first Census after Isla Mujeres was founded took place in 1865, during the reign of Emperor Maximilian. People were required to remain at home for five days, and those who could not had to leave their personal information and signature with a proxy. Failure to comply could result in a fine of one to 25 pesos or twice as many days in jail. The census-taker received a one peso payment for each person recorded, a one peso fine for each one omitted, and two days in jail for each peso he was fined and couldn't pay.
468 inhabitants were registered in Isla Mujeres, of whom 223 were male and 245 female. 130 were between 0 and 9 years old or 28%. Nearly half the population (48%) was under the age of 20. Of the 158 males over 10 years old, all but ten listed occupations, with the majority being sailors, laborers, and fishermen. The adults included a blind man & two with dementia. Among the children under 10, fifty-one males had occupations as laborers, fishermen, carpenters, and seamen. By 1900, the population had grown to 651.

At the 2010 Census, the island had 12, 642 residents, and it's estimated that number has now doubled. The mainland had 3561, for a total of 16,203 in the municipality.

Here's the past sixty years...
1960 1071
1970 2663
1980 3164
1990 10,448
2000 10,666
2010 12,642

Graphic #3 asks where were you born. #4 shows the countries of origin of foreigners living in Mexico, indicating three out of four are from the US, according to INEGI, the national statistical agency. #5 is an 1877 Isla Mujeres street scene.
**The designations on the INEGI label mean: C-Census done, P-Census pending, D-Uninhabited house, NV-Not a house, VC-Collective house. (I left a note that our house IS inhabited & to knock hard, please.)

Sunday is International Women's Day & in Mexico, Monday is 'Un DĂ­a Sin Nosotras'. Here's a couple articles explaining what this national strike is about. The first is from the Washington Post & the second one is by three female Mexican legislators, from different parties, in English.

From the City....
    The Technical Collaboration Committee of the ALBA Protocol for the State of Quintana Roo was installed in Isla Mujeres. This protocol aims to act immediately in the search for girls or women who are reported as having disappeared or their location is unknown, for the three levels of government to work together in a coordinated manner. The Mayor thanked the Committee members & spoke about his commitment to opposing violence against women and to working in coordination with the prosecutors and specialized units of police to help find women and girls alive who are reported missing.

In commemoration of International Women's Day, which is celebrated every March 8th, and to raise awareness about the damage caused by violence in our society, the municipal Women's Institute conducted a march thru downtown with participants dressed in white or purple, with the slogan “Caminata VisualĂ­zame”. They walked from the monument to the Fishermen on Medina to the Town Square, where a self-defense class was held. Norma Estela Bacab Garrido, director of IMM, said that during this Women's Month there will be various activities including conferences, talks, workshops, tours and marches to raise awareness about the importance of non-violence against women.

Follow these recommendations to help us prevent Coronavirus--Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Cover your nose and mouth with the inside of your elbow or with a disposable tissue when you sneeze or cough. Wash your hands before touching you eyes, nose or mouth. Avoid direct contact with people with respiratory problems.

Taxistas were given information about Coronavirus LINK  
       The person in charge of the epidemiology department of the Community Hospital of Isla Mujeres, Rosalinda de la Peña, gave a training course to members of the Isla Mujeres Taxi Union, “Gustavo DĂ­az Ordaz”. The leader of the taxi union said there is a lot of misinformation about this disease, which can cause panic, leading to a serious absence of tourism, which occurred some years ago with the AH-N1 influenza. Fortunately, there have been no cases in Quintana Roo, but he said we must be prepared for any eventuality.

Resignation of municipal Director of Tourism
After several years as the municipal Director of Tourism,  JesĂșs Castillo Magaña presented his resignation on  February 28, effective March 1st, citing personal and health issues. It hasn't been confirmed whether Gustavo Rodriguez Orozco will take his place, who had been working closely with the Tourism Department & currently serves as Director of Tourism Promotion within the Tourism Department. LINK  

It's not a restaurant, it's my house that is being constructed near Punta Sur  LINK   
        RaĂșl Miguel Navarro, who is the owner of the property under discussion in Punta Sur, said he has no plans to build a restaurant or business on the location. He said it is a house and not a restaurant, noting he already has two businesses of this type and doesn't want another. He said he doesn't intend to use the adjoining land as a parking lot. He said he is not incurring any irregularities.

From  Por Esto :

Installation of ALBA Protocol Committee   

Instalan comité de Protocolo Alba

 See City section above.

Construction closure on property of "Raul from Argentina"  

Clausuran obra del argentino RaĂșl

   Personnel with the municipal Department of Urban Development & the Environment placed closure seals on a wooden structure on the road to Garrafon, that would allegedly be a new bar, due to irregularities in its documentation. The owner of the property is named Raul, who is from Argentina, and construction of the wooden structure began some months ago. Neighbors requested intervention on Wednesday, complaining that the businessman wanted to convert a green area in front of Ariel Barandica's property into a parking lot, and inspectors visited the area.
    Witnesses said there is a structure behind the alleged bar that he wants to use for a rental property, whose construction was halted three years ago due to litigation, because the owner of the adjacent property to the west disagreed with the height of the construction. The Argentine businessman bought the property with the unfinished construction, supposedly with the intention of using the front part of the lot to attend to the many tourists who travel thru the area.
    The  rest of the article quotes the type of zoning in that area, noting the lots are a minimum of 500 square meters with a minimum frontage of 15 linear meters. The building area must not occupy more than 45 percent of the total land area, the modification of the land must not exceed 55 percent and there must be a minimum of 45 percent of the lot as green area.  It concludes by saying that buildings must not exceed three stories or 10.5 meters, except in the cases of palapas or in the case of artistic or sculptural elements, they may not exceed an additional two meters.

Punta Sur residents form neighborhood organization  

Vecinos de Punta Sur se organizan

  A group of 51 residents in the area of Punta Sur held a meeting to form a neighborhood organization, which they may call “Vecinos Vigilancia Punta Sur”. Their concerns include thefts in the area in rental homes, noise pollution caused by "The Joint", odors from the Trash Transfer Facility, and the case of an Argentine businessman who just received closure seals on his establishment. He was a subject at the meeting, with Ariel Barandica speaking in favor of supporting the conservation of the green area in front of his property on Manzana 44. On Friday, Mr. Barandica was finishing the planing of regional plants in this area along the road to Garrafon.
       Participants included PĂ­a FernĂĄndez, Constantino Caudana, and Ricardo GaitĂĄn.  They say their objective is to meet the need for peace and tranquility in the face of noise pollution caused by tourist establishments and to solve the problems of insecurity, which has included the installation of security systems and alarms. 

Section of Punta Sur Cliff fell  

Se desgaja acantilado en Punta Sur de IM

  A huge rock of several tons fell from the cliffs of Punta Sur to the beach below on Wednesday night, according to witnesses. The reporter viewed the results on Friday, noting this reveals how dangerous it is in the vicinity of the tourism area "La Iguana", where an older French tourist fell off the cliff last summer, after climbing over a fence seeking photographs and losing his balance. (He was fortunate to land on sand & only suffer a dislocated shoulder and abrasions & bruises.)
   There has been erosion of the cliffs in the past, which extend from colonia Meteorologico to the southern tip of the island. There are concerns about the visitors who risk getting too close to the edges of the cliffs, and the reporter notes there are many cracks in the rocks that are visible to the naked eye. He suggests that the situation should be evaluated by Civil Protection and says that taxi drivers and golf cart rental agencies want more police surveillance to prevent any more falls, which would bring discredit to this tourist destination.


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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 out of the pic at left.

"Reverse Sunset" (looking east from MVC)
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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, Coco Jaguar, Manolitos, La Chatita, Green Verde, Kash Kechen Chuc, and the large department store-grocery Chedraui & the 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.
Full moon rising over the Caribbean 
 At Sunset--March  9  7:09p (sets 7:07a)
March 10   8:13
March 11   9:17
 March 12  10:20
 March 13   11:22
This is the second of four supermoons for 2020. The Moon will be at its closest approach to the Earth while full, causing it to appear slightly larger and brighter than usual.

 Sunset  6:52-7:02pm (beginning vs end of month)
Sunrise ~7:07-6:40am
Painting by Pamela Haase at MVC
March Events 
Provided by MaraVilla Caribe & Isla Mujeres Daily News & Events

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

Sunday's at 1p there may be baseball games at the stadium in front of Chedraui. There are two teams, the Pescadores & the Cockteleros, who are in Category A & Category B of the same league, which is currently having the playoffs for the season championship.

Occasionally, Sunday evenings 8p on the Town Square "Noches Magicas" performances  

Fishermen in this region are banned from catching grouper, lobster and octopus during March  LINK

Sunday, March 1--At 1p at the Pescaodores baseball field the Isla Mujeres Pescadores will play the Rockies of Cancun, after losing the first game in their three game series in the semifinals. If the Pescadores beat the Rockies twice, they will win in Group B category of their league. The Isla Mujeres Cockteleros won the Group A category & are waiting to see who they'll  play from Group B for the league championship. LINK  

Thursday, March 5--There is usually a ceremony commemorating the arrival of Francisco Hernandez Cordoba in 1517, who is credited with discovering the Yucatan and what is now Mexico, after landing on Isla Mujeres. The expedition of 110 men in 3 boats sailed from Cuba and around the coast, battling with the Maya, until all but one were injured, and over 50 had died. Cordoba died after returning to Cuba.

Sunday, March 8--International Women's Day

Monday, March 9--Full Moon, which is the second of four Super Moons in 2020, meaning it is at its closest approach to the Earth while full, making it appear slightly larger and brighter than usual.

Tuesday, March 10-Civic Ceremony at 9am on the Town Square 

Monday, March 16--Day off in honor of the birthday of Benito Juarez on March 21st.

Tuesday, March 17--St Patrick's Day

Wednesday March 18--Observation of Oil Expropriation Day (not an official day off--businesses & schools will be operating normally). Commemorates the nationalization of Mexico's oil fields on this date in 1938.

Thursday, March 19--Spring Equinox

Thursday, March 19--Dia de San Jose, which MAY be celebrated with a dance on the Town Square.

Tuesday, March 24-- Venus reaches its greatest eastern elongation of 46.1 degrees from the Sun. This is the best time to view Venus since it will be at its highest point above the horizon in the evening sky. Look for the bright planet in the western sky after sunset. Mercury reaches its greatest western elongation of 27.8 degrees from the Sun. This is the best time to view Mercury since it will be at its highest point above the horizon in the morning sky. Look for the planet low in the eastern sky just before sunrise. New moon--lack of moonlight is the best time to observe galaxies & star clusters.

Friday & Saturday, March 27 & 28-- About 600 swimmers are expected to participate in the National Open Water Championship 2020 which will be held in Isla Mujeres on March 27 & 28. The winners of the 10 kilometer competition will represent Mexico in Tokyo during the pre-Olympic match for the Olympic games. The top 20 swimmers in the categories of 14-15, 16-17, and 18-19 divisions, in the categories of 5k, 7.5k and 10k will qualify for the National Conade Games 2020.

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


The buses operate from 6a to 10p. The overhead digital display indicates whether they're going to the Tourism areas or the Colonias.The bus numbers don't indicate the route, they're numbered 1 thru 10.

The main downtown stops are just south of the Maritime (Ultramar) Terminal & across the street from it. In Centro, the buses stay on Medina, except they turn around near the Convention Center, behind the downtown Mercado. Outside of town, there are no designated stops & you flag them. Exit thru the back door, first pushing the red button nearby so the driver knows to stop.

Pay the driver 38 pesos/$2usd (or $9/175p for an all day pass). The front seats are for seniors, disabled & pregnant women. The 32 passenger buses have air conditioning & security cameras. (State residents pay 10p, INAPAM card holders & local students pay 5p.)  LINK to bus company page on FB.


Route 1 goes down the western side on Rueda Medina and returns northward on the east side via Jesus Martinez Ross. Its west-east transit is Paseo de los Peces in colonia La Gloria.

Route 2 goes down the eastern side on Jesus Martinez Ross and returns northward on the west side via Medina. Its east-west transit is also Paseo Peces.

Routes #1 & #2 aren't exact opposites.
#1 takes J.M. Ross northward all the way from Peces to downtown, traveling thru Salina Chica,
 #2 going southward turns left/east just before Salina Chica, leaving JM Ross & taking the Caribe Coastal road thru Meteorologico. I've heard it turns right/west back into the colonias by Madera Food & Art.


Now the company advises riding #3 to Sac Bajo and #4 to Punta Sur. 

Route 3 goes to Sac Bajo, down the western side of the isle on Medina.
(It was originally advertised as also going to Punta Sur. Then they said it only went to P.S. when that was the destination of passengers aboard, and otherwise after routing thru Sac Bajo it turned east on Paseo Peces & returned via the Caribbean Coastal road, Payo Obispo.)

Route 4 goes to Punta Sur & Garrafon down east side on the Caribbean Coastal road and returning northward on Medina to town.

This isn't a bus route map, it's a street map, showing how Jesus Martinez Ross follows the Caribbean coast until becoming the main street of Salina Chica and going on to La Gloria, while the Caribe Coastal road (aka Payo Obispo) follows the coast. The east-west transit, Paseo de los Peces, is shown, but not labeled, between colonia La Gloria and the Mundaca Hacienda. 

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