Thursday, November 11, 2021

Isla Mujeres News & Events Thursday, November 11

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Both zones of the state remain in Green Stage 1 next week, Nov. 15-21, and the state will remain Green on the national semaforo for the next two weeks. The Governor pointed out that Cancun (Benito Juarez) has dropped to an average of less than 10 cases daily, compared to nearly 250 when it was peaking, and Solidaridad (Playa del Carmen) reports an average of around 7 cases daily, compared to its high of about 180 daily. He said not to be alarmed at the 1226% increase in Isla Mujeres, because it was averaging around zero cases daily, and is near zero again, after a small uptick of one or two cases. The left/vertical axis is the daily average cases & for Isla Mujeres, the first number is 0.5 & highest peak (last year) was just under 3.5.  The Governor stressed the importance of maintaining habits including masking and social distancing, and not letting down your guard. 

Today/Thursday ~7:45am...A low pressure system interacting with humidity from the sea is expected to cause rain and squalls in our area today and tomorrow. Cold front #8 is arriving this weekend. While I was downloading that photo, the weather changed & there was a downpour for about 20 minutes, then a big rainbow & the sun came out. But it rained most of the day. Photos from MaraVilla Caribe.

Drawing on Sunday! Contribute to a great cause & take a chance on winning one of these excellent prizes! The clinic provides free glucometers & supplies & education to isla diabetics.
And please consider visiting these generous businesses! To buy tickets: PayPal.Me/isladiabetesclinic or Zelle address and say it's for the fundraiser to generate tickets in your name! Thanks for your support!

Buen Fin started yesterday (Wednesday) and continues thru Tuesday, Nov. 16 with discounts available, mostly at franchise stores like Chedraui, who typically discount alcohol & appliances.

Saturday, Nov. 20 at 5p behind the Casa de la Cultura, tickets 1000p / $50usd. Tenor Mario Monge will perform in front of the Caribbean Sea, accompanied by the concert performer Isabel Mesa Vega, the Cancun string ensemble and the Mariachi band Sabor a México, as part of the Grand Opera Gala to benefit the DIF social service agency. Tickets can be purchased at the Palacio Municipal (Town Hall), the DIF office, and the APIQROO (Port Authority) in Cancun 9a-4p. Call 998 318 6564 for more information.

Families, and a group of young people, have been providing meals for the truck drivers who are hauling the accumulated trash from the Transfer Facility to the mainland landfill at night.

The People Decide---Citizens of Isla Mujeres can participate by sharing their opinions about proposals for the Municipal Development Plan at three tables located at the Town Hall (downtown) and the Blue Dome by the Community Center (in La Gloria) and the IEEA dome by the Cruz Roja from 9a to 4p. Or they can participate at the website and at forums. This is part of the "La Gente (the people) Decide" program, whose deadline is Nov. 26th.  The six topics are-- 1.- Isla Mujeres with Dignified Public Services and Sustainable Urban Development; 2.- Isla Mujeres with Tourism and a Strong Economy; 3.- A Safe Isla Mujeres; 4.- Isla Mujeres with Decent Health: 5.- Inclusive and Humane Isla Mujeres and 6.- Isla Mujeres with a Good Government.

VIDEO--Here's Mayor Atenea Gomez Ricalde touring the municipal police station after signing a Police Coordination Agreement with the state government. "It's time for our people to regain confidence in their police officers," she said. The tour included the island's C2 video-surveillance area, which is linked to C5 and monitored 24 hour a day. (C5 is the state Center for Control, Command, Communication, Computers and Quality.)

     The video's captions say: "One of the departments our administration received with the most deficiencies was Public Security (municipal police). However, we are working to improve the conditions of our police with better salaries, better equipment, and recruitment of a greater number of officers to achieve a dignified department for our Isla Mujeres." The post's caption says: "With this tour ... we were able to identify the conditions in which the officers work. We are committed to working in a coordinated manner to dignify the work of police men and women."
     The Mayor explained that the Police Coordination Agreement includes periodic evaluations of control and confidence for all the active personnel, and will help the municipality in all that is required to maintain social peace and respect for good government. It seeks to provide the families of Isla Mujeres with certainty about the good performance of municipal police department officers.
     The state also agrees to integrate the Policía Preventiva (Preventative Police--the regular officers), Turística (Tourism police) and Tránsito (Traffic police), which will allow for a more organized department. A call will be launched in the near future to increase the number of officers in the municipality.
     Another benefit of this agreement is to provide the officers with access to certifications which would allow them a greater range, giving them access to better salaries like those at the state and federal level, and providing them with better working and living conditions.
    (Note--Some of the "control & confianza" aspects of evaluations of police officers & candidates include transparency about finances and financial associations, background checks, etc.)

    At today's press conference, the Mayor said she's very happy to report that 10,100 tons of trash have been removed from the Transfer Facility since she took office on Sept. 30th. She said about 40% of the accumulated garbage has been transported to the mainland landfill during the nightly trips. She hopes to have the job completed by her 100th day in office, noting the amount of accumulated trash has been estimated to be around 35-40,000 tons.
      She announced that smaller trash-collection trucks will arrive next week to replace the larger ones that worked well for collecting the large amounts of trash that had accumulated in the streets, but the smaller trucks will function better on our narrow streets. She implored residents to comply with the collection schedule in order to keep the colonias cleaner and improve their image for both islanders & tourists. She emphasized that this is a priority and municipal personnel will continue their education efforts about the schedule which include visiting homes and businesses to talk with residents, distributing brochures, and publishing notices.
        She said the island has come out of its semi-darkness with more street lights functioning now. More than 80% of the public green areas have been cleaned. Clean-ups in different areas will continue on Saturdays. She thanked everyone for their work and made assurances that taxpayers' contributions are being used for the public good and to put things in order.
       She concluded by saying the Public Services workers and transport-truck drivers deserve dignified working conditions and pointed out the lack of bathrooms and handwashing facilities at the Trash Transfer Facility. She said she is committed to fixing this problem. FB VIDEO   

     This graphic explains that the 13 trucks transporting garbage nightly from the Trash Transfer Facility to the mainland landfill have carried away 10,100 tons, which is 12,750 cubic meters. They've made 44 crossings for a combined total of 519 loads in 43 days, working since this municipal government took office.
       The trucks leave Punta Sam at 8:30pm, arriving on the island an hour later and at the TTF at 10p. Two excavators load the trucks, finishing at 12:30-1a. The drivers sleep on the isle and a special ferry crossing at 5am delivers them to the mainland.
      Contamination comes from leachate filtering through the soil into the underground water table and the sea. This open-air trash accumulation doesn't only contaminate our location, it also makes a bad impression with the tourists who travel around our island daily.
      The work is made more difficult because organic and inorganic trash are mixed together, lacking separation.
Source--Mayor Atenea Gomez Ricalde  Translation-Ronda Winn-Roberts

Cuban 'balseros' / refugees in this small, precarious boat arrived to Isla's eastern coast near the gas station & Colegio Bachilleres last night or this morning. The reporter notes that mostly foreigners live in this area and he asks the resident if they have pictures or witnessed their arrival. (No, when they got up at 8:30a, the items were there and no people.). He describes the scene, noting the officers are with the municipal police force, and possibly some with the Fiscalia (Attorney General). The reporter estimates the boat would carry 4-5 people, and notes the officers are interviewing the neighbors to see if anyone saw anything.FB VIDEO by IM Noticias. Screenshot from video-photo credit to 

IM Noticias

This article by SIPSE says that of the total international passengers that arrived at the Cancun International Airport, 95.5% came from the United States and Latin America, according to statistics from SEDATUR (Quintana Roo Secretary of Tourism). It doesn't give a time frame, but it's about funding promotional campaigns during the third trimester of the year, when >26 million pesos were spent promoting the Mexican Caribbean, in hopes of increasing visitors during the winter holidays.
     This money from the CPTQ (Quintana Roo Tourism Promotion Council) was divided between five promotional campaigns mainly focused on the markets of Latin America & the US, including:
    18 million pesos for promotion in Latin American May 1-Dec 31.
    4.1 million pesos for a campaign in nine US cities with direct connections to the Cancun airport through the Hearst platform in Sept, Oct, & Nov.
    >4 million pesos for a digital event "Premios Produ 2021" on Dec. 1 & 2nd with 50 hours of uninterrupted live content in the Latin American TV industry, as part of MIP Cancun 2021, promoting the Mexican Caribbean.
    183,000 pesos for 3-D letters at the Mexican Caribbean booth at the Cancun Travel Mart Oct 18-21.
     69,000 pesos for promotional material & tourist guides.

At Monday morning's press conference, Mayor Atenea Gomez Ricalde announced three actions for the benefit of Isla Mujeres:
>Launching a campaign "La Gente (the people) Decide" which will listen to the islanders for conformation of the Municipal Development Plan.
>Signing an agreement for coordination of police actions to strengthen and organize our police force, which was done this morning.
>Organic restructuring to provide the office of Contraloría with greater faculties of administrative procedures.

Las Gaviotas (Seagulls) Park was cleaned-up by the municipal Parks & Gardens Department, so that families will be able to enjoy a 'new face' on this public space, soon. Personnel with the Parks & Gardens Department continue working daily for an island that is "más bonita y limpia"/ prettier & cleaner.

Last week, municipal ZOFEMAT (Federal Zone) workers removed about four tons of sargasso, so that swimmers can enjoy the beautiful turquoise waters and white sands of North Beach and Playa Centro. The crews work from 5a to 10a on weekdays and from 7a to 9a on Saturday and Sunday. Their tasks include collecting garbage, sifting sand, and raking & removing sargasso.
The island's natural beauty, and especially its beaches, attract national and international visitors, contributing greatly to the local economic recovery. Playa Norte has maintained its recognition as an internationally acclaimed beach and was included among the 25 best in the world in the 2021 Travelers Choice Awards.

    In accordance with the Mayor's commitment to maintain a clean and orderly municipality, municipal officials, including personnel from the Department of Fiscalización (Inspection/Enforcement), visited the merchants at the colonia La Gloria Tianguis market, asking them to respect the assigned spaces there.
     Rubí Lora Sosa, directora de Gobierno / municipal Director of Government, said they are fulfilling the mandate of the Mayor to maintain an administration with open doors that is close to the people, and these actions will be maintained to continue with the dialogue between authorities and merchants, in this case.
     She said, "We seek to maintain clean, orderly public spaces because at the end of the day, this is a place where island families go shopping on Saturdays and Sundays, which in one way or another boosts the economy of approximately 60 vendors (tianguistas) and their families."
     The vendors/tianguistas were invited to join in a clean-up on Sunday, in coordination with the office of Fiscalización, and were encouraged to keep their areas clean and orderly before, during and after they leave.

Mayor Atenea Gomez Ricalde says progress had advanced to 40% at the Trash Transfer Facility, where her administration inherited a "lagoon" of garbage and has been working continually to remove it since Sept. 30th. She urged residents to comply with the trash collection schedule for their neighborhood.  FB VIDEO   of her speaking (in Spanish).

Second doses of Pfizer and Sinovac vaccines were administered Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday at the Bicentennial Dome in colonia La Gloria from 8a to 6p,

 Sunday's game was suspended of the Isla Mujeres Tiburones vs the Cancun Astros de Astra due rain affecting the condition of the Pescador baseball field.

 Basketball at the court by the Red Cross Nov 8, 10 & 12th: 

In response to ongoing complaints, access will be restricted for boats anchoring off North Beach. Installation of a resistant buoy line is planned, with a Protocol of Use for the boats that arrive daily to this popular area.
According to Harbor Master /Capitanía de Puerto Mario Martínez, the program of protection is part of the program of ordinances for the anchorage of boats in the National Marine Park Costa Occidental de Isla Mujeres, Punta Cancún & Punta Nizúc.
Signage will be installed warning swimmers to avoid crossing the buoy line into the boat area, as well as signage warning boats not to anchor within 10 meters of the buoy line. The plastic-coated steel line will be 800 meters long, and will be installed by the municipal Department of Civil Protection.
As part of this ordinance, it is expected that all boats will make payments for use of the mooring points, which should be installed shortly. In addition, there would also be a payment for anchoring at Playa Norte, but it is not clear whether that will be paid to the federal or municipal government. This is expected to begin before the end-of-year vacation-season starts.
For months, complaints have been made about this issue, with concerns about swimmers being left unprotected by a lack of buoys. The Harbor Master explained that replacing the buoys is the responsibility of the Civil Protection Department, while his office is authorized to monitor the area and to impose sanctions for infractions.  Source--IM Noticias

Friday....The clean, sargasso-free beaches of Isla Mujeres are ready for visitors and las familias isleñas to enjoy this weekend.

Friday--Residents, entrepreneurs and city employees worked together cleaning up the market / mercado "Audomaro Magaña" in colonia El Cañotal, as part of the program "Cleaning-up Isla Mujeres" / "Limpiando Isla Mujeres".  FB Video   

Video by Noti Isla Mujeres  from the Convention Center featuring 40 sculptures by Reinaldo Bolio Suárez Fachelli, whose installation at various locations around the island is planned by the end of the month, for the benefit of cultural tourism. Screenshots from Noti's video--

A truckload of scooters head to the impound yard as Traffic police continue to set up checkpoints and issue sanctions for expired registrations/plates. They said fines aren't being issued for expired driver's licenses because they currently unable to generate them due to a lack of materials.


      It seemed fitting that our first pandemic public event was a three-day festival celebrating our dearly departed. Next we're looking forward to the parade honoring Día de la Revolución, which generally features an abundance of cute kiddos dressed in Revolutionary outfits. The Monday-off is Nov. 15th, the Día is the 20th, and the schedule of events is TBA.
     The Revolution began on Nov. 20th in 1910 against dictator Porfirio Diaz, who spent more than three decades as President of Mexico. He was known for favoring European styles & the rich elite members of society, as represented by the islanders in the first two photos. You're likely to see many young baby-doll (and gun) toting "Adelitas" (aka "las soldaderas"), who played key roles as camp-followers.
In the fourth photo, the young islander in yellow represents Carmen Serdán, a heroine who accidentally started the Mexican Revolution a couple days early. She's accompanied by Poncho Villa, Zapata (w hats), Madero (in black), and Gen. Huerta (uniform), followed by Adelitas. The golf cart in the last photo represents the important role of the railroads.
     The island Patron Saint Festivities take place during the last week in November, concluding on her Día, December 8th. The Guadalupe-Reyes holiday period begins the night before Mexico's Patron Saint's Día on December 12th, and continues thru King's Day / Día de los Reyes Magos on January 6th.
    Celebrations resumed because C-19 cases have drastically decreased, moving our status into Green Stage 1, with reminders from officials about the importance of maintaining sanitary measures like masking, which continues to be mandatory in public. They also report that our state boasts one of the highest vaccination rates in the nation with 97% of adults partially vaccinated and 81% fully vaccinated.

Friday, Nov. 5....

    In his weekly video last evening, Governor Joaquin said the federal government is assisting with investigations of yesterday afternoon's shoot-out in Puerto Morelos when ~15 armed men in balaclavas arrived by boat to a resort beach, assassinating two men and sending tourists fleeing for cover. He said this attack by one crime group upon another crime group puts the image of the state at grave risk and is a serious blow to the development and security of Quintana Roo.
    On Oct. 20 at an outdoor restaurant in Tulum, a female travel-blogger from California and a German woman were killed in crossfire that also wounded three European tourists.  Article in English Link.

   This blog is brought to you by....

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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, 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.


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 US National Hurricane Center 




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