Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Isla Mujeres Daily News & Events Wednesday, January 6

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   Today is Three Kings Day, when children in Mexico receive gifts from the three Magi Kings. If the family has a Nativity scene, these figures are added on the night of the fifth. Traditionally, children leave hay in their shoes for the Kings' mounts, hoping to find gifts when they awake in the morning. This holiday, aka "Epiphany", occurs twelve days after Christmas and celebrates the revelation of baby Jesus to the world, as represented by the gift-bearing Magi. On Kings Day, families, friends & coworkers share "Rosca de Reyes", a sweet bread shaped like a wreath, with baby Jesus figurines baked inside. If your slice has a figurine (there are usually multiples), you're supposed to provide tamales on February 2nd, Candlemas. The Rosca is often accompanied by hot chocolate or atole.
In January, the year's weather is forecast by "Los CabaƱuelas", and later flying ants, songbirds & flowering trees are consulted
   This traditional system of weather prediction uses the weather in January to predict the weather for the rest of the year. Since there are 18 months in the Mayan calendar, the first 18 days of the year predicted the weather for the rest of the year. The 19th and 20th days indicated the weather for the summer and winter solstices. (Mayan months are 20 days long, plus 5 extra days per year.)
   Nowadays, each of the first twelve days of January represents a different month, so Jan 2 indicates the weather in February, Jan. 3 is March, thru Jan 12 predicting for December. Then you count the months backward, so Jan 13 forecasts December's weather, thru Jan. 24 representing January. Then you use half-days, and Jan 25 represents January-February, thru January 30th forecasting November-December. On January 31st, each hour represents a month and for this final prediction, 12 gourds may be filled with salt, one per hour, whose moisture indicates rain.
    Mayan farmers also make predictions based on animal and plant behavior in other months, particularly concerning when the rainy season will begin, how long it will last, and if there will be droughts. In late March, the yuya, aka Calandria bird, begins nesting, and forecasts of rain or drought are based on the types of material used and the size of the nest. The characteristics of the flowers of the "Jabin" tree (Piscidia piscipula), blooming in February-March, indicate whether the rains will come early or late. A third indicator is more short term; indicating intense rainfall within 24 hours, when the ants begin moving and carrying their offspring to higher ground. Also, if the "Chachalaca" birds (Ortalis vetula) are singing in the afternoon between 2 and 4, rather than their usual morning hours of 6 to 9, heavy rains are expected. There are also flying ants whose annual mating swarms predict the planting season.

 This nifty digital brochure features photos of many of the flora & fauna that live off our coasts, and some of the birds, with their names in English & Spanish (& Latin). Did you know there's a 10-square-mile National Park/Natural Protected area off the isle's west coast & two others to our south, for a total of over 33 square miles? The graphics show what activities are allowed or prohibited in the various areas & where the popular diving & snorkeling sites are located, with their names.LINK  

Tuesday, Jan 5-- , Isla Mujeres continues to report a total of 242 cases of C-19 with 21 deaths and 199 recovered. For Jan. 5, the state geoportal reports 8 active cases by colonia as: Meteorolotico-5, Salina Grande-1, Caridad del Cobre-1, and La Gloria-1. On the national map for 1/5, Isla Mujeres reports 171 suspicious and 142 negatives. Our state has improved to Yellow category on the national epidemiological light.


The Mayor posted (on his FB page, LINK ) to clarify misinformation regarding the C-19 vaccine, noting that in accordance with the National Vaccination Plan, the municipal government is cooperating with the Secretary of the Navy to carry out a census of the island population, in cooperation with the operations of the corresponding health authorities. 


In addition to the Mayor's statement explaining that the municipality is cooperating with the Navy and health authorities by taking a census of the island population in cooperation with the National Vaccination Plan, the State Health Department posted this advisory on their official page (LINK)  Its graphic shows the 5 stages of vaccine distribution & the text says "It has been reported that there are people going house to house in the municipalities of Isla Mujeres & Benito Juarez asking for data and copies of voter registration cards, with the reason that they are part of the planning brigades for the application of the vaccine against C-19. This is a hoax. Citizens are invited not to provide personal information or information about their property/assets to people who come to their home offering vaccines. The State Health Services of Quintana Roo (SESA) are not requesting information from the community for the preparation of lists of people to whom the vaccine will be applied. It is reiterated that vaccination against COVID-19 in Mexico consists of 5 stages. In the first....". Then it goes on to review the 5 stages shown in the graphic, which are:
1. Dec 2020-Feb 2021--Front line health workers
2. Feb-April--Remaining health workers & Age 60 & up
3. April-May--Age 50-59
4. May-June--40-49
5. June-March 2022--The rest


 Jan 4--Day of the Journalist in Mexico, recognizing the important work of these people (Posted & captioned by the Mayor.

Tomorrow, Jan 7, there will be a six-peso increase in cost of a round-trip ferry ticket for island residents, who receive preferential rates via the "Ultraplan". Resident tickets will increase from 84 pesos to 90 for round trip and from 42 to 45 pesos for one-way passage. Advisories were posted at the terminals last week and the appropriate municipal and state authorities were notified, according to a company representative, who added that this rate hasn't been increased since 2015.

 From the City (Ayuntamiento de Isla Mujeres)

 The City has implemented its annual program for recycling Christmas trees, which can be dropped off Monday thru Friday 10a-3p until mid-February at the Reception & Collection center located at the Mundaca Hacienda.


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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  


Full moon Jan 28 Thursday 6:40p

Jan 29 Friday at 7:41p

Jan 30 Saturday at 8:41p

Jan 31 Sunday at 9:40p

Feb 1 Monday at 10:39p

 Sunrise ~7:24

Sunset 6:21-6:37 (beginning vs end of month)


Public events have been suspended due to C-19. Holidays have featured online competitions and events. 

Jan. 6 Dia de los Tres Reyes/Three Kings Day

The Thor Heyerdahl traveling school-sailboat normally visits in late January-early February with about three dozen high school students on board. Under the tutelage of the experienced crew, the students learn to work together, sailing and navigating, as well as receiving their normal lessons. They sail from Germany to the Caribbean, but it's very possibly suspended this year. 

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


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