Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Isla Mujeres Daily News & Events Wednesday, October 14

  Here's the webcam LINK, which also has time lapse of the past 24 hours.
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Unfortunately, today the municipality of Isla Mujeres reports another death for a total of 18, with 215 positives and 177 recovered.
The national map for 10/13 reports126 suspicious and 92 negatives (with 215 positives and 17 deaths. 
The Geoportal for Oct 14 reports 3 active cases by colonia as one each Downtown, Salina Grande and La Gloria. 
Today's report wasn't published until ~5p.

Tuesday, Oct 13--Today's C-19 report for the municipality of Isla Mujeres is unchanged from yesterday with a total of 215 positives with 17 deaths and 176 recovered.   The national map was still down & the geoportal still had the data I already published.


 10/14-That broad area of low pressure continues to produce a large area of disorganized showers and thunderstorms. Strong upper-level winds are expected to inhibit significant development while the system moves W-NW over the next couple days. Formation chance thru 2 or 5 days is low-10%.

Hanal Pixan--Keeping Mayan Traditions Alive

This is an island whose community understands the importance of actively holding onto its traditions, while also maintaining its position as an international tourism destination. Holidays are celebrated both privately and publicly, offering opportunities for visitors to sample unique holiday foods and enjoy special events while learning about the Mexican-Mayan-Caribbean culture that makes Isla Mujeres so unique. (Public celebrations have been on hold since C-19).

Here, Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) mingles with the Mayan tradition of Hanal Pixan (Food for the Souls), and there are special tamales called 'pibis', for the enjoyment of both the living and the dead. Altars are assembled with photos of deceased loved ones and their favorite foods, to entice their souls to return for these special eight days.

In the wee hours of November 1st (after midnight of Oct. 31st) the souls of the children return, with the adults following during the early hours of Nov 2nd. The Mayas believe the souls of their loved ones stay until November 7th. During these eight days, called "Ochovario", women shouldn't embroider for fear of sewing the skin of a spirit. Men shouldn't go hunting for fear of shooting the soul of someone who was a hunter when they were alive. Black threads may be tied around the wrists of newborns to protect them from the evil spirits that haunt these days. On the eve of these celebrations, it is believed that the fine rain that often falls is used by the dead to wash their clothing before coming to the earthly homes that have been prepared for them.

Mayan ancestors believed humans were endowed with a soul or spirit, called "Pixan", which determined the vigor and energy of individuals, as well as their behavior. At death, the soul travels to a place that corresponds to their conduct in life. They believed the worlds of the living, of the dead, and of the gods were interconnected by snake-like roads used by Pixan/souls to travel to heaven and to return each year to be alive for eight days.

The souls living in the highest, most paradise-like 'heaven' were those of warriors, women who died in childbirth, priests, those who were sacrificed, and members of the highest social class. In contrast, the lost souls traveled to Mitnal, descending through thick roots of a ceiba tree to a cenote leading to the bowels of the earth where the shadows fade.

Altars vary by region, but in general, they're covered with an embroidered cloth and include a cross and images of saints, as well as photos of the deceased ones, candles, yellow 'mum' flowers and incense. It is presumed the souls are thirsty and hungry, and will enjoy the essences of their favorite beverages and foods. Offerings for children include marzipan candies in special shapes, cookies, chocolates, seasonal fruits, pastries, and toys. For souls who have no one to remember them, a small table may be placed beside the family altar, with a candle, water, and a plate of food, or a basket may be hung at the home's entrance with offerings inside. (The source for this information was Isla's town historian, Fidel Villanueva Madrid).

Normally, there are altar competitions in the schools (currently closed), a display at City Hall, and sometimes a City-wide altar competition. There have been no marches, parades or assemblies since the C-19 restrictions began, so it's a safe bet the annual candlelit procession of "Catrinas" won't be held, nor the other usual events at the Casa Cultura and the Town Square.

Special foods for Dia de los Muertos include sugar skulls and Pan de los Muertos, which is a sweet bun flavored with anise (for bitterness) and dusted with sugar (for sweetness). The dough is in the shape of bones, positioned to portray the circle of life, with a teardrop representing sorrow. Souvenirs include calaveras (skulls), Catrinas (more about her in my next article), and "papel picado", which are rectangles of tissue paper cut into elaborate designs. Written by Ronda Winn-Roberts.

This is a tear-jerker video about Hanal Pixan & making pibis:

The Readers Choice Awards of Condé Nast Traveler magazine, which has more than 715,000 readers, chose Isla Mujeres among North America's Best Five Islands 2020. The article by the state notes that Isla Mujeres was selected for fifth place and Isla Holbox for third place. 

Free mammogram campaign continues

The free mammograms are for women between the ages of 40 and 69. On the first scheduled date, there were 10 appointments and 8 women came. There are ten women scheduled for upcoming dates. The municipal DIF social service agency is coordinating this effort with the IMM, municipal Women's Institute. (If this is the same as previous years, the women go in groups on the ferry to a facility on the mainland.) For more information call 998-344-3722 or visit the municipal DIF facility 9a-4p.
 Remember to wash your hands frequently, take care of your health and avoid exposing yourself to contagion of C-19. 

Help us keep the beaches clean--Remember to pick up your trash when you leave. Help us preserve the beauty and magic of our beaches, and remember that keeping them clean is everyone's responsibility.


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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. In the quiet neighborhood of Bachilleres 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 
 Thursday, Oct 1 at 6:49, just after sunset
  Oct 2      7:22 
 Oct 3      7:55
Oct 4       8:29
Oct 5      9:07
Oct 6     9:48

 Sunset  6:34-6:11pm (beginning vs end of month)
Sunrise  6:38-6:49am
Painting by Pamela Haase at MVC

Turtles continue nesting in October.

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. The season officially ends on the 15th, but monitoring continues thru the end of the month. Photos of nest hatching out at MaraVilla Caribe Bed & Beach, that was missed by the Tortugranja patrols.






Oct. 6-10, -Draconid meteors, peaking on evening of Oct. 7, but should be worth watching on the night before and after, also This is an evening meteor shower, that you don't have to stay up late to watch...look before the waning moon rises in mid-to-late evening. It is usually a slow shower with a meteor every 10-15 minutes. But it is known for having 'bursts" of hundreds or thousands of meteors in occasional years, which aren't predicted with any certainty.  "Meteor showers are like fishing. You go, and sometimes you catch something." 

Oct 20-21-22-Orionid meteors peak in the early morning hours. There's more activity after midnight and the maximum amount in the pre-dawn hours of Oct. 20th & 21st . These are "shooting stars" from Halley's Comet & occur from early October to early November as the earth passes thru its debris.

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   

For nearly a decade, I've really enjoyed sharing information about Isla's many public events. Since March, the 'upcoming events' info has been sparse--moonrises & meteor showers mostly--because they're not being held. No baseball games, no performances on the square, no celebrations of holidays, no fairs, no marches or parades. You can count on me to inform you when the government gives the 'green light' to these activities! We all miss them & look forward to being able to gather together, residents & visitors, to celebrate Isla's culture, its talent, and its people...when it's safer & sanctioned.


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