Sunday, March 22, 2020

Isla Mujeres Daily News & Events Sunday, March 22

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In the Governor's speech on Thursday, he explained his plan "Together We Move Forward" to confront the coronavirus. He said families who have lost their job or source of income will receive monthly food support. He said if necessary, the convention centers will be enabled to serve people affected by Covid-19. His plan has three stages:

STAGE ONE-Saving Lives

1. Identification of cases & contacts to avoid further contagion.
2. Isolation with clinical & epidemiological monitoring of identified cases and their contacts.
3. The state has been preparing since January by training more than 1500 people from the health services staff including doctors, paramedics and nursing personnel, and there are 12 hospitals to provide care.
4. Some new health centers and hospital have been established that have not begun operations, in the municipalities of Tulum, Puerto Morelos, and Othon P Blanco, as well as the Oncological Hospital in Chetumal, which may be adapted for this type of care.
5. If necessary, use could be made of facilities such as the Convention Centers in Cozumel, Chetumal, and Cancun.
6. Quintana Roo Police, Army, Navy and National Guard personnel have been trained to detect cases, in addition to asking all who have symptoms and have made a trip abroad to notify us to attend to them.
7. Screening with health questionnaires, thermal cameras and thermometers have been established at all entry points of the state to identify people with symptoms.

STAGE TWO-Support for families during the stage of health and economic crisis

1. At this stage, tax incentives will be available to companies that show solidarity with the workforce.
These include: Subsidy deadline extensions, deferral of payment of state taxes and reduction of amounts, suspension of deadlines in matters of facultades de comprobación, suspend audits, regulatory supports, and postponement of expiration dates for state services.
2. A. The state government will make an agreement with the employers so that the workers do not lose their jobs or a pre-paid salary is available to survive the contingency.
B. The state government will provide monthly food support for each household where families have lost their jobs or source of income, starting in April.
C. The state government requests and encourages that Social Security, INFONAVIT, the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE), and Aguakán, as well as the banking, commercial, cell phone, pay television and internet providers, make an analysis and implement flexibility in terms of collections and avoid suspending services to families that are seriously affected in the contingency, avoiding credit bureau and sanctions.

D. He urges shopping malls, supermarkets, pharmacies, gas stations, and convenience stores to keep up their supply and avoid abusing consumers with unjustified price increases. 

 STAGE THREE-Launching an immediate recovery for our destinations
He said...

 1. If we maintain our base of expert workers and we maintain our hotel infrastructure, our restaurants, our airports, ports and tourist services in good condition, we will be ready for immediate promotion and accelerated recovery.
2. We will seek to restore all the events that were suspended or postponed and ensure the rescheduling of travel so that the tourists who postponed their visits come to our destinations.
3. We will create attractive packages and promotions for immediate activation of our destinations.
4. We will have promotional campaigns aimed at key national and international markets.

   We want to move forward toward solving the problem. We will continue to provide ongoing reports about how we are progressing.I want to insist that the key is teamwork. Times like these put institutions, systems, solidarity and character to the test.
   We must lean on each other as a big family and show the world again why we are such a warm, trustworthy tourist power. Be an example for the future generations of Quintana Roo residents of mettle, generosity and vision of the future. We will reiterate our maxim as a society: Together, we will succeed.

#1--CFE invites you to use their app and visit their website to obtain documents and pay bills. You can contact them at 071 or via Twitter. Their customer service centers will operate at normal hours and in compliance with governmental recommendations to avoid groups, helping with the measure QuedateEnCasa--Stay at Home.

#2 Aguakan ensures consumers that tap water and wastewater services will be maintained. They are determining measures for the benefit of their clients to obtain more facilities and regulatory mechanisms to provide stable consumption in their homes. In compliance with governmental recommendations to avoid contagion, clients are invited to use the phone number 073, which is free and available 24 hours a day, as well as using Facebook and Twitter @DHCAguakan.

Ruben is collecting donations of food (and presumably cash) at Ruben's Restaurant isla mujeres, across from the downtown Mercado.His restaurant is closed today & here's a Paypal link Yesterday they put together 25 dispensas using reusable Chedraui bags. .
Link to article in English "Step-Up and Support Your Local Mexican Economy  

While the world is experiencing a health emergency due to Covid-19, Isla Mujeres has responded to governmental recommendations to stay home and go out only if necessary. On Saturday, around the entire island, there were empty streets, shops and beaches.
Photos from AM Noticias

STATE Report--As of 6p yesterday, in the state of Q Roo, there have been 96 suspected cases, of which 61 were negative, 23 are awaiting test results, and 12 were positive. Of those, 5 are Mexicans, 1 is a foreign resident in Cancun, and 6 are foreigners. All 12 are in social isolation, of whom one had been in a Cancun hospital, but made satisfactory progress and was discharged to recuperate in social isolation.The age range is 17-71 years. The distribution is 10 in Benito Juarez (Cancun), 2 in Solidaridad (Playa del Carmen), and zero in the other municipalities, including Isla Mujeres. From the State Secretary of Health.

Alcohol sales at stores prohibited by the City until further notice.

Officials recommend people stay home except when necessary to go out, and they've banned alcohol sales in stores. Churches were advised to stop meeting and sports were cancelled, as well as the events scheduled for May. Schools are closed, as are the senior centers, daycare centers, etc. Bars are closed, but not restaurants, yet.
The Governor is planning food subsidies next month. Last night, Belize closed its borders to non-residents, the Florida Keys implements that today, and Cuba on Tuesday. Many people are flying out to their home country, but hundreds of South Americans are stranded in Cancun.

 Yesterday's sunset. Guinness The Cat contemplating the reverse sunset. Traces in the sand of wandering iguanas & hermit crabs in the madrugad

 Sunrise yesterday....

From the City....

   With the aim of caring for the population and to contribute to the state and federal governmental efforts to prevent the contagion and spread of the Covid-19, the City continues to carry out preventive actions and, on this occasion, the directors of the various municipal department joined in the medical screening of the people entering the island at the entrance and exit docks.
    City Council directors have joined the health authorities performing temperature checks and detection of symptoms at the docks for Ultramar, Ultracarga, Perla Negra, and El Comejen, among others.
    The City Secretary General toured the downtown Municipal Mercado to talks to the sellers about hygiene measures they must use during this contingency, and to make them aware about the importance of following the recommendations of the authorities.
    The Director and staff of Civil Protection and the Firefighters visited the beaches to provide advice to people there about the importance of social distance and taking the necessary hygiene measures for the prevention of Covid-19, such as frequently washing your hands, covering your mouth if you cough or sneeze with your inner elbow, or a tissue, as well as to avoid leaving their homes to avoid contagion of sickness.
    Civil Protection Director Merced Ortiz Maya said that in accordance with instructions from the Mayor and to follow the recommendations of WHO (World Health Organization), there have been ongoing efforts to communicate with the business owners, the beach club owners, and in this case the visitors who come to the beaches of Isla Mujeres.
     He said, "This is a health situation that must be taken seriously, it is not a vacation. It is a time when the population should be at home avoiding going to public places of agglomeration, therefore our Mayor, in accordance with the World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations and, in coordination with the three levels of government, has postponed large events including the Ixchel Batlle, the Open Water Championship and the Maya Rally ".
     In conclusion, the Director noted that other City efforts to fight the coronavirus have included the sanitizing of buses, combis and taxis on the island and in the Continental Zone. Recommendations about hand washing and other recommendations have been distributed via social media and on flyers to the general public, schools and shops.

VIDEO report by the Mayor on the evening of March 20th
There have been no cases nor suspected cases in Isla Mujeres.
In the daily report from the state Secretary of Health this evening, she said there are 11 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the STATE, of which 8 are imports and 3 are contacts, mostly their families in the same home & none are hospitalized. You might recall the first confirmed case in Q Roo, and the first confirmed case in Yucatan, were announced a week ago, on Friday.
The Mayor's video from this evening--
Currently there are no cases & no suspected cases in Isla Mujeres.
The government and scientific community are working together for effective plans, etc
It is important to remain calm...(gives assurance).
It is important to take care of the elderly and those who are susceptible due to chronic medical conditions like diabetes and hypertension, at home.
The three levels of government are working together, making preparations, with strict protocols for suspected cases. The hospitals and clinics are ready to protect the health of the islanders. The buses & taxis are being disinfected. There is screening on the docks with checking the temperatures of every passenger, as well as providing sinks for hand washing and dispensers of disinfectant. Today, on the 20th, begins the school break, for the protection of the children. The senior citizen center has been closed to protect the elders. He says something about the government providing money for the seniors and pregnant women who must remain at home. He talks about closing the bars, discos, and gyms day before yesterday. He talks about state governmental help for the small and micro-businesses with discounts on documents and licenses. For the same reason, the City is suspending the activities of fiscalizacion during this emergency, They're suspending the CENDI fees (daycare) and fees from the merchants at the Mercado Municipal.
This is the work of everyone, Everyone needs to stay a meter apart. Don't leave the house if you don't need to. The more you stay inside, the more you help prevent the propagation of this illness. Don't take vacations during this contingency, wait until it is over. Don't spread rumors, obtain information from the official sources. He gives reassurances.

March 20-- The Director of the Isla Mujeres Community Hospital has advised members of the community to remain in their homes and to only go out for essential reasons. She asks that you only come to the hospital if it is really necessary and truly urgent, in which case adults should come alone and minors or seniors should only have one companion. This is to decrease the risks of contagion. Help us and take precautions to care for yourself. COVID-19 coronavirus is something we must take seriously, and we are still in the time of containment of its spread.

TVisla Mujeres    

Screening procedures have been implemented at the Gran Puerto Terminal used by the Ultramar passenger ferries. These measures include screening passengers for elevated temperatures and a review for symptoms of coronavirus. Ultramar employees received training on the preventative measures they should take, since their work involves contact with customers, including hand washing advice and correct use of face masks. LINK  

Starting tomorrow, Monday the 23rd, the number of taxis on the island will be reduced by 50 percent.
The union has asked the concession owners to reduce the rents of their concessions for the next 30 days to help the operators.
The operators said the situation on the island is causing great concern, given the possibility of a general closure for their services. They noted that several tourism centers such as Garrafon and Dolphin Discovery have closed their doors and hotel room cancellations are occurring every day. They said that it is hardly worth going out from day to day, which is why they needed the support of the taxi union, which they received.
The union leader, José Magaña Galué said, "Throughout our long union history we have faced many problems, many of them due to the whims of nature, now we have had to face one more, but I am sure that united and listening to the recommendations of our authorities, we will move forward.”
He said the cleaning program will continue with the application of disinfectant when the vehicles enter the taxi stand, and that it is the responsibility of the drivers to clean their cars and disinfect their hands.

From  Por Esto :

Few visitors at the beaches
Poco visitantes en las playas   
On Saturday, tourism was decreased at the beaches and consequently various businesses were closed, while hotel occupancy had been dropping and hoteliers say it is at about 50%, down from 70% last Monday. They say nearly all the reservations have been cancelled for April.
At 4pm, you could see about 30 recreational boats at Playa Norte, but the beach loungers weren't occupied, and the loungers on Playa Centro were also mostly empty. A majority of the catamarans that bring visitors to the island have stopped working and plan to take at least two weeks off, which contributed to the minimal activity on the main street of Rueda Medina. Golf cart agencies said their vehicles aren't being rented, according to information obtained shortly after noon. The popular tourism areas in Sac Bajo were half empty, and workers are being affected.
Surveys are being carried out in the maritime terminals in Puerto Juarez, Punta Sam and Isla Mujeres regarding the origin of the passengers, where they have traveled before reaching this state, where they are staying, and if they have any symptoms such as headache, sore throat, fever or cough.
The surveys are carried via a QR Code, so that the visitor answers through their cell phone, avoiding direct contact and allowing it to be done remotely. Fifteen employees of APIQRoo (state Port Authority) received training to carry out the surveys, and there is a SESA (State Health Department) booth in each terminal to inform tourists about the measures being carried out to prevent COVID-19.

I'll finish this manana....


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"Reverse Sunset" (looking east from MVC)
Free amenities include hammocks, portable beach chairs, beach towels, washer & dryer, loungers, shared bikes, BBQ grill, and safes.  Panoramic views from the rooftop terrace. Large sliding doors open to a patio & the white sand backyard-beach, overlooking the Caribbean sea.  Downtown is  ~ a mile away; we're on all four bus routes or  flag a $3 taxi. Off street parking. You can enjoy the music & crowds downtown, then return to the quiet neighborhood of Bachilleres and  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, 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.

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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