Monday, March 15, 2021

Isla Mujeres Daily News & Events Monday, March 15

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This is a long weekend ("puente"), with banks, the government and many (non-tourism) businesses taking a holiday today in honor of Benito Juarez, whose birthday is next Sunday. The government will hold a commemoration ceremony and place a wreath on the bust at the Juarez avenue roundabout.
Benito Pablo Juarez Garcia was the 26th president of Mexico, and its only indigenous president. He served five terms from 1858 until his death in 1872, as a liberal who came into office after Mexican politics had been dominated by conservative Antonio Lopez de Santa Ana for three decades. The years under Juarez's leadership are known as La Reforma Del Norte / Reform of the North. During this time, large tracts of Church land were redistributed to the poor, the army was put under civilian control, church and state were separated, and civil rights were expanded including outlawing slavery and the mistreatment of indigenous Mexicans. His presidency was followed by three decades of dictatorship by Porfirio Diaz.
Benito Juarez was born in a small Zapotec village in Oaxaca on March 21st, 1806, and orphaned three years later. His grandparents died shortly after his parents and he was raised by an uncle. From a young age, he worked as a shepherd and in the fields. He didn't learn to speak Spanish until he was 12, when he walked to Oaxaca City to join his sister, seeking employment and an education. She had gone to work there as a maid and cook and he was given a job in the same household as a servant. He was assisted by a Franciscan bookbinder who was impressed with his intelligence and desire to learn. He made rapid progress after the Franciscan enrolled him in a seminary, but when he realized he had no calling to become priest, he began studying law. He sought political office even before he graduated as a lawyer in 1831, and was elected to the City Council of Oaxaca City in 1832. Then he served as a legislator and held various judgeships of increasing importance and responsibility. Juarez gained a reputation for his impeccable honesty, his ability to work with both conservatives and liberals, and his resistance to corruption.
At that time, Mexico had undergone three decades of domestic violence, emerging with a nearly bankrupt treasury and two strongly oppositional political factions. The Conservatives wanted to protect the status quo and represented the large landholders & large cities, the Catholic Church and the professional military. They wanted a highly centralized state based on the institutions and ideology of the Colonial period. The Liberals were seeking democratic reform and represented the small merchants, rural politicians, farmers & ranchers, and some intellectuals.They wanted a constitutional democracy based on the ideals of Rousseau and Jefferson with abolishment of colonial prerogatives and redistribution of land.
In October, 1843, Juarez married the adoptive daughter of the upper-class couple who had hired his sister and then him, long before the birth of his wife-to-be. Margarita Maza was 17 years old when she married the 37 year-old judge. After accepting his proposal, she commented, "He is very homely, but very good." Their marriage was considered "ethnically mixed" because her father was from Genoa and her mother was Mexican, of Spanish descent, while Juarez's family was indigenous.
The couple had 12 children together, including a set of twins, of whom seven survived to adulthood. They also adopted Juarez's daughter from a previous relationship, whose mother died when she was three. Juarez also had an older son from that relationship, who Margarita was aware of and got to know later.
In 1846, the Liberal Party took power and Juarez was elected to the national legislature the following year. This required him to relocate to Mexico City, but he soon returned to Oaxaca to be appointed, then elected, as Governor. In this role, he became a participant in national politics during the war with the United States (1847-1848). He promoted guerrilla resistance against the US and opposed the Treaty of Hidalgo, which gave away nearly half of Mexico's territory, including Texas, California, half of New Mexico and most of Arizona, Nevada, Utah and Colorado.
He was Governor until 1852, when he became a law professor, and was briefly imprisoned after dictator Santa Ana resumed power in 1853. Many liberals were exiled at this time, and he was arrested and deported to Cuba. Then he went to New Orleans, where his wife sent him money and he worked in a cigar factory, while conspiring with future Liberal leaders of Mexico to implement reforms and rebuild their shattered country. He returned to Mexico after Santa Ana's government collapsed in 1855, and the Liberal party took power. He was appointed as Minister of Justice, then President of the Supreme Court, and he became leader of the Liberal party. In 1857, when the previous president voluntarily retired, the Constitution decreed that executive power transferred to him as the President of the Supreme Court. Simultaneously, the Conservatives named their own President, repealed the Liberal Reform laws and sent troops to exterminate the Liberals. Juarez fled to Veracruz.
Mexico entered the War of Reform (1857-1860), a bloody period that disrupted the economy and tempted foreign invasion. For three years, Juarez and the Liberals governed from Veracruz while the Conservatives held Mexico City. The Church helped the Conservatives with money and troops, and the Liberals responded by implementing drastic anticlerical laws and confiscating church lands without compensation, except the buildings.
After taking office in 1858, President Juarez worked toward putting a liberal ideology in place, with laws for freedom of the press, separation of Church and State, agrarian reform, and submission of the army to civil authority. With Mexico in the midst of a civil war, his presidency was off to a rocky start. In 1859, the United States recognized the Juarez government, in 1860 the citizens elected him as president, and at the start of 1861, the Liberal troops captured the capitol city. Governing from Mexico City only lasted a couple years, before the Liberals were on the move again, fleeing a foreign invasion.
The War of Reform and ongoing instability caused economic problems and non-payment of international debts. The 80 million dollars in unpaid debts led to France, Britain and Spain launching a military campaign against Mexico. After two months, England (who was owed 69 million) and Spain (who was owed 9 million) withdrew their military support when they realized France intended to seize Mexico. They negotiated a peaceful agreement with Juarez, while France (who was only owed 2 million) escalated the War of French Intervention in Mexico (1861-1867).
The large, well-trained French army was defeated at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862, which is celebrated annually in the United States, with alcohol-induced enthusiasm, as "Cinco de Mayo". However, this victory had little impact on the war, and the French troops marched on to occupy Mexico City. With support from the Conservatives, Napoleon III took control of Mexico, expanding his empire by establishing a monarchy with the installation of Maximilian of Habsburg (Archduke of Austria) as Emperor.
France occupied the country with 40,000 troops, while Juarez was essentially in domestic exile in the northwestern corner of Mexico ("Paso del Norte") for three years, continuing to resist and to claim his government as Mexico's legitimate authority. His wife, Margarita, fled with the children to live with her family in New York, where two of their young sons died in 1864 and 1865. Although the United States issued statements disapproving of France's overthrow of the Mexican government, it was unable to intervene because of the US Civil War. In Mexico, the Imperialists controlled the cities while most of the countryside remained in a state of insurrection.
The end of the US Civil War in 1865 coincided with the beginnings of success for Juarez's forces, and US generals provided him with covert support along the Texas-Mexico border. Around the country, French troops faced increasing guerrilla warfare, a style of battle that reflected the experience of the Mexican fighters. Maximilian responded with the "Black Decree", promising to execute all Mexican prisoners of war, resulting in about 11,000 executions. Back in Europe, the war became increasingly unpopular with the French public as it drained their national treasury, and Napoleon III ordered the withdrawal of his troops. The US warned the Austrian government against sending reinforcements to Maximilian, who was unable to retain power without European support. His troops were defeated and he was executed in 1867, ending the monarchy and restoring the Mexican Republic.
Juarez returned to power in Mexico City and was re-elected in 1871, despite a constitutional prohibition against re-elections. His wife Margarita died of cancer that year, at the age of 44. The Conservative party was effectively defunct and discredited due to its alliance with the invading French troops. When Juarez was re-elected, one of the losing candidates was Porfirio Diaz, a hero of the French War, who launched an unsuccessful rebellion against the President.
In July, 1872, Benito Juarez died at his desk at the age of 66. He had accomplished a great deal in the final four years of his life. The government began to build railroads and schools; the military budget was cut; and the Church was stripped of its large landholdings. Most importantly, Mexico had its first effective government, based upon the Constitution of 1857, which guaranteed free speech, free press, right of assembly, and the abolishment of special legal privileges.
Porfirio seized power with a coup in 1876, on the principle of no presidential re-election, then went on to serve seven terms over a period of 31 years. He established a centralized autocracy whose economic policies benefited his circle of allies, foreign investors, and a few wealthy landowners, bearing little resemblance to the presidency of Benito Juarez. (PS There's no puente for Porfirio, but his birthday does coincide with the Independence Day celebrations on Sept. 15th.)
Written by Ronda Winn-Roberts for Isla Mujeres History sponsored by
Maravilla Caribe
Bed & Beach.


For March 14, the municipality of Isla Mujeres continued to report a total of 276 cases, 25 deaths and 231 recovered.

There have only been two reported cases of C-19 in the past month in Isla Mujeres, and no new deaths. The total was 274 on Feb. 13 and 276 March 14. The reported death total remained at 25, with the most recent reported Feb. 10th.
The seniors (60+) and some medical personnel received vaccines (AstraZeneca) three weeks ago, for a total of 1790. (Our population is in the vicinity of 20k, by official counts.)
Our Northern Zone has been in Yellow since Sept. 7, except four weeks in Orange Jan 25-Feb 22.

The state geoportal still has the data for March 12 which continued to report six active cases located as Meteorologcio-3, Salina Grande-1, Amp la Gloria-1, and colonia 006-1. It has been reporting that since February 10th, so it's probably outdated.

Today, March 15, the municipality of Isla Mujeres continues to report a total of 276 cases, 25 deaths and 231 recovered. The Growth Rate of cases for our Northern Zone has decreased from 0.18 to 0.15.
The state geoportal for March 15 continues to report six active cases located as Meteorologcio-3, Salina Grande-1, Amp la Gloria-1, and colonia 006-1. It has been reporting that since February 10th, so it's probably outdated.

 From the City (Ayuntamiento de Isla Mujeres)

         The municipal government of Isla Mujeres invites the populace to participate in the "Race for Isla Mujeres 2021" which will be held next Saturday, March 27 along the eastern malecon, following recommended health protocols. The 5km & 10km race will begin at 7am by the "Isla Mujeres" photo op sign behind the Casa de la Cultura downtown (intersection of Guerrero & Abasolo).
Registration is free, and the only requirement is to fill out a form with the participant's personal information, at the Department of Sport and Physical Culture or the contact number is 998 302 4182.
        Anyone can sign up, but the number will be limited due to the need to follow health protocols in the face of the C-19 pandemic that we are still going thru, said Oswaldo González Barredo, Director of the municipal Sport & Physical Culture Department. The event will be carried out in compliance with all hygiene and healthy distancing measures, and is intended to continue the economic recovery of the municipality in a responsible manner, he said.

 Location of the office of Sport & Physical Culture.

       The municipal government reports that it is working to keep its commitment to maintain the beaches of Isla Mujeres in optimal condition, via the ZOFEMAT (Federal Zone) agency. The Director of the agency, Kerem Pinto Aguilar, said that although the sargasso arrival season has begun, it is removed almost immediately to preserve the beauty of our beaches. She said the crews start early and work diligently. She noted that there has been normal amounts so far this season and said hopefully there won't be the large amounts that have occurred in previous years.

 La Tertulia 

     The Director of the municipal DIF social service agency, Yusely Lopez Tec said the newborn who was found abandoned in a doorway on March 10th was transferred to a hospital in Cancun on Friday to receive a blood culture test that isn't available on the island. The infant was transported with support of medical personnel from the Community Hospital and paramedics, and she was accompanied by staff with the Procuraduría de la Defensa del Menor y la Familia, Child Protection agency.

     Ms Lopez Tec said it is important to do this study and others while taking advantage of her being in a better place to be cared for and recover from the infection that was shown in her tests. At the time a tourist couple found the newborn, she was wrapped in a blanket, abandoned on the welcome mat of home, still with the placenta, blood, and dirt. The director said that despite the infection, she is stable, and in the custody of the state DIF who will transfer her when her health is recovered, to the home-institution in Chetumal where they will be in charge of caring for her and the adoption process.

      The official spoke about the many couples interested in adopting who have not had the joy of having children of their own, noting that it is necessary to be sure they meet the requirements and indicate that they would give their unconditional love, which this little girl or any other child deserves.


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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, 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 Feb 27 Saturday rose at 7:27p

Feb 28 Sunday it rose at 8:28p

March 1 Monday  at 9:29p

March 2 Tuesday at 10:31p

March 3 Wednesday at 11:33p

Full Moon rises Sunday, March 28 at 7:12p

Monday, March 29 at 8:15

Tuesday, March 30 at 9:19

Wednesday, March 31 at 10:25

Sunset 6:51- 7:01(beginning vs end of month)

 Sunrise 7:05-6:41


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

 On Saturday, Feb 27 the first preseason baseball game was scheduled at 1p. Pre-Covid 19, games were on Sundays starting at 1p (with pregame activities at 12-12:30 sometimes), at the Pescador field in front of Chedrui, when they were scheduled.

Friday, March 5th:  When public events were held, there was an annual 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. This will presumably be conducted with a limited number of officials (without inviting the public) or virtually. The expedition of 110 men and 3 boats sailed from Cuba and and around the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula, battling with the Maya, until all but one were injured, and over 50 died. The uninjured fellow went missing when they visited Florida, and Hernandez Cordoba died after returning to Cuba.

Monday,March: 8 International Women's Day

 Saturday, March 20: Spring Equinox

Monday, March 15: The third Monday in March is a day off for the birthday of Benito Juarez, which is on Sunday, March 21st.

Wednesday, March 17Día de San Patricio / St Patrick's Day

Sunday, March 28: Palm Sunday  


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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