Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Isla Mujeres Daily News & Events Wednesday, March 25

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From the City....

  The City announced that as of today, March 25th, they will no longer allow the arrival of the tourism excursion boats, including the catamarans that come from Puerto Juarez. They also won't allow the groups of tourists who come to the island on the ferries in tours offered by comisionistas. The Ultramar ferry service to the Cancun hotel zone will also be suspended.
   This is part of the preventative measures against Covid-19 implemented by the Mayor as part of his commitment to the health of island families. The Director of Tourism said that the catamarans, boats and comisionistas are contributing greatly to the recommendations of the federal, state and municipal health authorities.

   As of 6pm on March 24th, the total number in Quintana Roo of negative cases is 84, cases under study is 16, and positive cases is 22, which are all located in Benito Juarez (Cancun) except three in Solidaridad (Playa del Carmen.) They are eight Mexicans and 14 foreigners, of whom all are in social isolation, except one is hospitalized. They are 13 men and 9 women. You're reminded to employ social distancing with 1.5 meters between people.

    The Mayor, City Directors and members of the City Council will donate the majority of their salaries to food aid for people with limited resources due to the situation caused by Covid-19 and the need to stay at home during the quarantine. The Mayor said this is a time to be united with solidarity to cope better with the situation which several countries are going through, and the officials agreed and decided to help by granting part of their salaries to provide dispensas (boxes of food & basics) and assistance with food for the most vulnerable people in the municipality.
   The Mayor explained that Mexido is in Phase Two of the plan at a national level, noting that recommendations made by SESA (Ministry of Health), the state government and the WHO (World Health Organization) are the official sources of information. He urged everyone to avoid rumors and false news spread on social networks and Whatsapp.

VIDEO of the Mayor's update about Covid-19 explaining that there have not been any cases nor any suspected cases on the island, and they are working hard at prevention measures, noting it is very important that people get their information from official sources. He said there will be solidarity and food aid to help people without income during this time. He says they've suspended the tourism boat excursions and catamarans to the island (and the tour groups that come on the ferries w comisionistas). He encourages the tourists who are here to depart and for the residents to stay in their homes, reminding everyone of the importance of hand washing, not greeting physically, keeping social distance, and staying at home. If you are working, stay at home when you finish. It is most important thing is to not leave your homes, unless it is very necessary. He reminds everyone to consult official sources for information and avoid rumors.

VIDEO of Governor Carlos Joaquin and Dr. Alejandra Aguirre Crespo, head of SESA.

Don't leave your house if it's not NECESSARY
~~From the City of Isla Mujeres


New Ultramar schedule effective yesterday (Tuesday) adding two more crossings, to allow passengers to maintain a healthy distance
The Port Authority has implemented the "Healthy Distance" recommendations at the Maritime Terminal. (Photo by AM Noticias, posted March 23, 9:32am)

As of Monday afternoon, WHO upgraded Mexico's status to Phase 2, with local cases. (Phase 1 is imported cases only). LINK   

Between 6p Sunday & 10a Monday, the number of confirmed cases  of Covid-19in Cancun (Benito Juarez) nearly doubled, from 10 to 19, and the total in the state increased from 12 to 22. The other 3 cases are in Solidaridad (Playa del Carmen).
The Director of the Isla Mujeres Community Hospital said, "It is important to continue to carry out the necessary hygiene measures recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO), the Ministry of Health (SESA) and the State Government.
"This is a health situation which must be taken seriously, not as a vacation; this is the time for the population to stay at home, to avoid going to public places of agglomerations of people, to remember to frequently wash your hands, don't touch your eyes, nose and mouth. and when coughing or sneezing-use the inner angle of your elbow or disposable tissues," concluded Dr. González Mora Xhanat Tze.

 The Mayor posted the 10a update saying you are a fundamental part to curb this contingency, listen to the recommendations about hygiene and health. Avoid leaving the house.

Monday, the Federal Government inaugurated the National Healthy Distance initiative, which advises:
1. Stay home if you have symptoms compatible with Covid-19 & the usual hygiene advice about hand washing, coughing/sneezing & greetings;
2. Suspend non-essential (non-substantive) activities;
3. Reschedule events with more than 5000 people.
4. Take measures to protect the elderly and vulnerable & plan to have someone to care for them if they are sick. Measures include staying 1.5 meters from them & avoiding contact, providing food so they don't go out, and hand washing 10-20 times daily for at least 20 seconds. Use 10ml bleach per liter of water to disinfect surfaces.

Also on Monday--WHO changed Mexico's status to Phase 2, because the country is experiencing non-import cases. (Phase 1 is just travelers, 2 is when they infect the local population.)

TVisla Mujeres    

LINK   The Director of Tourism, Gustavo Rodríguez Orozco, said that hotel occupancy was at 12 percent, but is decreasing even more. He said the situation is complicated because due to the seriousness, nobody knows for sure when we could be talking about a recovery. He said, "We hope this doesn't take long, but the predictions are very discouraging."  He said these hotels on the island have closed, and he believes there are others...
 -Hotel Secreto
    –Hotel Palace
    –Hotel Zoetry
    –Hotel Marías Kan Kin
    –Hotel Playa Arena
    –Hotel Los Almendros
    –Hotel Marcianito
    –Hotel Xbuluha
    –Hotel Color de Verano
    –Hotel Villa Kin
    –Hotel Sueño Maya
    –Hotel Posada del Sol

Link     Visits to the jails and prisons of Quintana Roo have been suspended as of Tuesday for the safety of those who are incarcerated. At first there were protocols and education. They have implemented screening and sanitation measures, with healthy distancing, face masks, no physical greetings, frequent hand washing and use of antiseptic gel, as well using your inner elbow when sneezing or coughing. Then family visits were reduced to 50% with access on two of the four authorized days, and it had been immediately suspended for minors and older adults.

The Mayor of Cozumel is considering implementing an 11pm curfew, except for true emergencies, and if they decide to implement the curfew, it will begin on Saturday night. LINK  

The Governor advised the ferry companies who serve the islands to continue operating and to reduce the  number of passengers in order to respect healthy distancing, He said actions have been taken in the Maritime Terminals for healthy distancing. He said, unfortunately, the borders cannot be closed and you cannot avoid the free transit of people, but measures can be taken to prevent this pandemic. Monday, Ultramar announced an increase in the number of crossings and are allowing fewer people on each trip, so that the passengers aren't crowded. . LINK  

Photos from yesterday (Tuesday) of empty streets from Isla Mujeres al Momento

   Noti Isla Mujeres     

The hospital is having a Polio Vaccine Campaign, and children under five years old can be brought to the vaccination booth located outside the Community Hospital between 7a and 1p, Monday thru Friday.

From  Por Esto :

Fewer & fewer people at the beaches LINK 

March 23--The beaches looked almost empty due to the decrease in visitors. At 2pm, Playa Norte was uncrowded and less than a dozen boats were moored offshore. Sales have dropped to 30%, which includes the food business, causing waiters to earn very little in tips. The weather was good throughout the day, and people were arriving on the ferries, but few were seen in the streets or at Punta Sur. Hotel occupancy was below 50 percent & hoteliers say they no longer have reservations for the next two months. Downtown, about a third of businesses have closed their doors, and about a quarter of the eateries. The large and small businesses have products on their shelves and a sufficient food supply is ensured during the period of contingency, with the cargo ships from Punta Sam making five trips daily, and transporting the food trucks. The municipal authorities have made an agreement with the ferry company and the grocery stores to maintain the supply throughout this period.

Trips to Isla Contoy cancelled LINK  

March 22  The National Park of Isla Contoy was closed as of Friday March 20th, according to the tour operators.


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"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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