Saturday, August 15, 2020

Isla Mujeres Daily News & Events Saturday, August 15

  Here's the webcam LINK, which also has time lapse of the past 24 hours.
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     Today the municipality of Isla Mujeres reports two more cases of C-19 for a total of 118, with 7 deaths and 66 recovered. The state geoportal reports 26 active cases by colonia as: La Gloria-7,  Salina Chica-3, Salina Grande-3,Meteorologico-2, Caridad del Cobre-2, Lol-beh-2,Downtown-1, Aeropuerto-1, Electristas-1, Ampl la Gloria-1, Miraflores-1, Canotal-1, Colonia #6-1, and none on the mainland part of the municipality.
 The Incidence Rate for 8/14 is 9.23 (per 10,000 inhabitants), which is second worst in the Northern Zone, behind Holbox (LC) at 18.35, and fourth worst in the state, with Chetumal (OPB) in second at 14.99 and Bacalar in third with 14.06. The best is Cancun-Puerto Morelos at 3.28, then Solidaridad (PDC) at 4.48 and Cozumel at 5.09. Tulum is at 7.95.
  On the national map for 8/14 the municipality of Isla Mujeres reports 6 suspicious and 58 negatives (with 116 confirmed and 7 deaths).
       We've had 38 new cases in the first half of August, compared to 20 in the first half of July & 30 in the second half. Before July, five was the average number of new cases per half-month.

Isla's Patron Saint--A Case of Mistaken Identity
        Today is the "Day of Assumption", when Isla celebrated its Patron Saint, until it was discovered that "Conchita" had been misidentified and actually represented the Virgin of Immaculate Conception.
        In Mexico, Patron Saint celebrations include loud music, dancing, carnivals, fireworks, rodeos, religious gatherings, processions & a variety of other festivities nightly for a week or two. In the 1900's, musicians & families would travel to the island from around the region to join in this popular event. Her icon, kept in the church named for her on the Town Square, leaves her niche yearly to join the celebrations that begin in late November & conclude on her Day, December 8th. There's a local legend that attributes the bad weather that often occurs after her Day to her unhappiness about the celebrations ending.
         Because the statue was mistakenly identified during her first 24 years on the island, she is honored twice a year, but the August celebration is much more sedate.
Her nickname is "Conchita" & it's said she is one of three "sister" statues relocated by three fishermen from the ancient Catholic church, Boca Iglesia, in the late 1800's, several decades after Isla Mujeres was founded. The icons are wooden carvings with hands and faces made of porcelain & the other two were taken to Kantunilkin and Izamal.
       Boca Iglesia church is located ~40 miles north of the island, where the Spanish first landed in what is now Mexico, after visiting Isla Mujeres in March of 1517. Constructed the following year from Mayan temple stones, many consider it to be the first church in Mexico. This status is disputed because it lacked a priest, who disobeyed the Pope's orders & went elsewhere, probably due to its isolated location.
        Once the site of a significant Mayan city, the Spanish settlement never prospered, suffering many setbacks that included being seized by French pirates, attacks by Mayan rebels, and various hurricanes. It's believed that Spaniards brought the three statues to Boca Iglesia in the late 1700's, about a century before "Conchita" came to the island.
          Her first shrine on the isle was a small chapel made of wood and thatch, and legend has it that when it was time to move her to the church, it took eight men to lift her, with difficulty, although normally two people can easily carry her. After she was moved, the palm chapel burned down, to everyone's astonishment. Another version of this story says that enemies of the church attempted to destroy the icon in the small chapel, but the four men were unable to lift it, so they ran away, frightened. Their cabin burned down several days later, which was attributed to anger from the sacred image.
        It's said a thief once stole a ring from the image, breaking the statue's finger and hand. The parishioners asked the Virgin to punish the thief, who suffered an accident fracturing the same hand, and the same finger, and some time later he died when an "alijo" (cargo) fell on him, fracturing his spine.
           Islanders have claimed to see "Conchita" walking around the island or on the sea, perhaps seeking her sisters, and it's said that one morning her dress contained burrs and sand. There's also a legend that the fishermen (Cristino Avila, Pablo Xooc & José Cardós) who originally found the statues said there were burrs in their dresses, presumably from walking the coast.
         Islanders say they have witnessed the image shedding tears and others have seen her face expressing joy or sadness, or changing to images of their dying or deceased relatives. There are more than 20 groups of islanders, organized in her honor, who host celebrations in November-December, when, historically, thousands of Catholics participate in the processions & festivities for Our Lady of Immaculate Conception, aka "Conchita".
Photos by Tony Garcia-Thanks! Written by Ronda Winn-Roberts, Sponsored by Maravilla Caribe Bed & Beach.

The caption says...Today is the day of the Virgin of the Assumption. Which, in addition to its religious symbolism, is part of our culture, for being one of the most beautiful traditions of the islanders.

 The Isla Mujeres Director of ZOFEMAT (Federal Zone agency), Kerem Pinto Aguilar confirmed that although the white sand beaches and turquoise-blue waters of Isla Mujeres will play a very important role in the municipality's economic recovery, they remain closed to the general public. The official explained that this is governed by the state epidemiological light, based on hospital occupancy and the number of C-19 infections, with Quintana Roo in the orange color. Therefore public spaces where large numbers of people could congregate, such as the beaches, still cannot be opened, until the color changes to yellow or green.
   She said, "There is no date yet to open the beaches; in Isla Mujeres we will comply with what the state epidemiological light indicates, in order to preserve lives & avoid exposing island families and visitors. We seek to avoid concentrations of people, so that in this way, spreading of the disease is contained."
    She explained that although the beaches are closed, ZOFEMAT crews are working Monday thru Friday 6am-10am and with the guards on weekends, in order to keep the beaches in optimal condition, for when it is prudent to open them for the enjoyment of locals and visitors.
     Ms Pinto Aguilar warned that in the face of the New Normality which Covid-19 has forced upon us, when it is time to open the beaches, this will be done with strict protocols and rules to avoid an increase in the number of positive cases. She concluded, "We are going to have to adhere to certain restrictions so that this doesn't become a high risk area of contagion."

   Noti Isla Mujeres     

     Janetti Delgado is a Mixed Martial Arts boxer, originally from Isla Mujeres. She is training for a fight next month in Mexico City, where she hopes to win the national title in the 145 pound division. She's also a mom & a lawyer. VIDEO  


  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 out of the pic at left.

"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 
 Just after Sunset--August 3 at 7:47
  August 4      8:29 
 August 5    9:07
August 6      9:42
August 7     10:16
August 8     11:22

 Sunset  7:25-7:03pm (beginning vs end of month)
Sunrise  6:21-6:30am
Painting by Pamela Haase at MVC
Turtles continue nesting in August. They can be observed mating offshore from Punta Sur during this month, and they nest along the eastern beaches. Tortugranja staff and volunteers gather the eggs and incubate them in the sand in a pen outside the facility. Three species nest annually in Isla Mujeres, Greens, Loggerheads, and Hawksbills, and very rarely, a Leatherback will attempt to nest, but generally the sand isn't sufficiently deep.

Swimming with the whale sharks takes place in August, which ends annually in mid-September. They congregate and feed on a 'buffet' of plankton and fish eggs from a type of tuna. Rays are also attracted to the feeding areas.  Photo by Tony Garcia

>>Meteors!! The Perseids are currently active & one of the most popular showers. They will peak in the early mornings of the weekend of August 11,12 & 13, but the moon will be at or slightly past its last quarter phase and interfering. However, the Perseids are bright & you may see 3 or 4 dozen when they are peaking, if you're patient. They continue thru the 24th. The Alpha Capricornids are going on now (thru Aug. 15) with only a few meteors per hour, but they are known for producing bright fireballs when active. (They peaked Tuesday & moonlight will interfere with visibility.)

Monday, Aug. 17-170th Anniversary of Isla Mujeres

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
LINK to NHC   

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