Sunday, January 29, 2023

Isla Mujeres News & Events Sunday, January 29



    Tonight at 8p on the Town Square, a folkloric dance troupe from the state of Guerrero, "Iyolmasehuayotl" will perform two estampas* over the course of an hour. This presentation by 40 experienced dancers is part of the first Isla Mujeres Fair of Art & Culture for this year.
* In folkloric 'estampas', the performances include historical or traditional representations. 


The fair & folkloric dance presentation have been cancelled. 


     Yesterday, (Saturday) for World Day of Action Against Global Warming, personnel from ZOFEMAT, Public Services, and the Parks & Gardens departments, together with CONANP, carried out a general cleaning along the Eastern Coastal Road (Perimetral Oriente) in the mangroves and among the endemic plants, removing 1.5 tons of waste. The City thanks the members of the island community who joined in, raising awareness about the importance of taking action to combat global warming. 

    After Friday's rain, the children's parks were open again on Saturday, for their normal hours of 4p to 10p and the Mayor encouraged families to come out and enjoy these public spaces which are being improved.

Photos posted yesterday by Tony Garcia, the rest can be viewed here (FB LINK)


     More than 80 runners are competing in the nonstop 24-hour ultra-marathon which began at noon yesterday (Saturday) along the Caribbean Malecon. The event includes participants from foreign countries such as England, Nigeria and Guatemala. A strong Mexican contender is Islander Vladímir Estrella Blanco, who is hoping to qualify for the 2023 Taipei World Cup.


 Mayor Atenea Gomez Ricalde posted these pictures yesterday saying we woke up to this beauty after the rain....

    Rain fell heavily in the wee hours of Friday morning, and personnel with the municipal Civil Protection Department were out working to keep the drains clear downtown and in the colonias to reduce flooding and improve safety. After the rain stopped, personnel with the Public Services Department swept the streets to remove the leaves and litter.

        Here's the Security Alert issued by the US on Monday in response to recent aggressiveness by Cancun taxi drivers toward Uber drivers, who were granted permission to operate by the state government last week, after a long legal battle. 
The viral videos of conflicts and arrests have raised concerns locally as well, and in Cancun there is a plan by residents to boycott taxis on Friday, Jan. 27th. A supporter of the boycott wrote, "Enough of the abuse, if you want us to take a taxi, improve your service, train your drivers, do not abuse the rates and always take care of the passengers". 
Officials and tourism promoters returned from the annual FITUR convention in Madrid this week, where millions of pesos were spent promoting our state to more than 82,000 tourism professionals.


Tuesday, Jan 24....

     This is a statement by many Hotel & Tourism Associations of Cancun, Isla Mujeres, Puerto Morelos and Tulum of their stance against recent aggressions by cabbies toward tourists boarding vehicles using digital platforms and the drivers of those vehicles, as well as the roadblocks by the cabbies.
It says they totally disapprove of these actions which detract from the image of this destination and harm all the hard work that has been done for the promotion of tourism, putting sources of employment at risk for residents. They specify that the problems are being caused by drivers with Cancun's taxi union "Andres Quintana Roo".
They request and demand that the appropriate authorities provide a prompt solution to these violent attacks and ensure free transit. It is imperative that the Rule of Law be applied legally and equally.


      Tuesday, Jan. 24 in Cancun.... The Cancun Police were giving rides from the Hotel Zone to the airport during 'lane closures' of Kukulcan Avenue, caused by angry taxistas. The caption said the street was reopened, but two hours later, they posted that Kukulcan was blocked by taxis again.There are many opinions in the comments about behaviors such as these by the cabbies in response to Uber drivers providing rides again, which was declared legal last week. Cancun residents organized a Taxi Boycott for Friday, Jan. 27.

Monday, Jan. 23 Caribbean coast....

Here's the Paypal LINK  which says: "Dr. Greta has been a medical resource on the Isla Mujeres for years. She serves many patients in the community at no cost or low cost. We want to provide the clinic with a new ECG machine and a HgbA1C machine. In addition, testing for diabetes, strep, covid, urinalysis, etc are expensive -yet needed. Please donate generously!!" 

 Road to Ruin....
     During the Presidential visit to our region earlier this week, AMLO said that a 21 km road will be built to the archeological zone of Ichkabal and Paamul II, to provide access for passengers of the Mayan train, from Bacalar. 
Ichkabal was once a large, important urban center of the Mayan Kaanu'l (Snake) dynasty and contains large structures, up to 46 meters high. It covers about 30 square kilometers (12 sq mi) and was named by the first researchers who arrived in 1995, brought by local guides. 
Work carried out in 2009 indicated it is older than Uxmal or Chichen Itza, with its origins in the Preclassic period. One article says its period of greatest social and political development was from 1000 BC to 320 AD. Another says its structures date from 300-400 BC up to 1500 AD. Although the Mayan "collapse" supposedly occurred around 900, when large cities were abandoned, archeologists have found indications that Ichkabal was inhabited for most of the very long history of the Mayan people.
One structure is 40 meters (130 ft/~11 stories) tall and 250 meters (820 ft) at its base, which is four times the size of the Temple of Kukucan at Chichen Itza. Since much of the large site is covered in jungle, more details are expected to be revealed as it is developed.
This is a ~4 minute video from October with a walk-thru by the journalists and archeologists, as well as aerial views. It says Ichkabal is now considered one of the largest and most important urban centers in its time. The INAH (National Institute of Anthropology and History) has been working for months with the goal of transforming it into a major attraction along the Mayan Train route. The archeologist explains this area was a ceremonial center, consisting of various monuments surrounded by residences. The structures were used as temples and centers of government, and possibly for astronomy. The captions say the central complex covers an area of seven hectares (17 acres), which is greater than the nearly five of Mexico City's Zocalo. Of the five temples, only one has been excavated. At 2:00, it shows one of huge stucco masks they found, which were reburied to preserve them. Next is one of the artificial water reserves constructed by the ancient Maya, which she says are true works of hydraulic engineering. She says their excavations are still in the early stages and may reveal many surprises, because this is one of the largest Mayan cities of the early periods. LINK:

This is a ~5 min video from 2010, by the INAH, with auto-captions in English, activated at the Settings icon (not the CC icon). It notes that in the 1930's archeologist Izardi Ramos reported two sites in this area and the INAH had to search for them in the jungle. LINK:



There's a unique 'stingless' bee in our region, whose honey has been cultivated by the Maya for centuries, and is respected for its medicinal properties. It's still vendors traveled to PDC to offer it, I'll put their link at the end. Here's some history about bees & honey in our region:
Bees in the Yucatan
From stingless Mayan bees... to fat European bees... to aggressive Africanized bees
"Honeybees" (Apis mellifera) aren't native to this hemisphere and were introduced to the New World by European settlers in the 16th century. In the Yucatan, cultivation of European honeybees began in the late 19th or early 20th century. The introduction and exploitation of these bees reportedly caused a 90% decrease in hives of the native stingless (Melipona beecheii) honey-producing bees.
In 1986, Africanized honeybees (Apis mellifera scutellata) arrived to the Yucatan Peninsula. They quickly began interbreeding with and displacing the European bees, and are now well established throughout the region. The native stingless "Melipona" bees are a separate species and don't interbreed with the European and African "Apis" honeybees
One study found that when African bees first expand into a new location, within 5-10 years the African genes predominate and European genes decrease to less than 10 percent. This scientist stated: "The colonization of much of the Western Hemisphere by the African honeybee in the last 60 years is one of the most rapid and impressive biological invasions in recent history." African bees in the tropics swarm up to 16 times per year, compared to 3-6 times for wild European colonies.

Mayan Melipona Stingless Bees
The Yucatan peninsula is home to a unique type of stingless bees that have been cultivated by the Maya for thousands of years. In addition to being ingested as a sweetener and used as a medicine, Mayan honey and beeswax were used as currency, as offerings to deities, and to pay tribute (taxes). These stingless milipona bees are still kept in log-hives ("jabons"), but this ancient beekeeping tradition is dying out. Wild milipona bee populations have reportedly decreased by as much as 80% in recent years. However, beekeeping cooperatives have recently been established to preserve 'meliponicultura' and the state of Yucatan has a new program to assist these beekeepers.
Melipona bees only produce a liter or two of honey annually, compared to 50-70 liters by typical (Apis) honeybees. Their honey has exceptional antibacterial properties, and is used for treating wounds and eye infections, in addition to being ingested. It has a unique flavor and a thinner consistency than 'regular' honey. 
A two thousand year-old Mayan ceramic "jabon" (melipona beehive) in Guatemala was firmly dated from the late Pre-Classic period, 300 BC- AD 200. Illustrations in the 1100 year-old Madrid Mayan Codex show male & female deities harvesting honey and conducting various rituals associated with beekeeping. The Aztec Mendoza Codex includes drawings of towns giving jars of honey to the Aztecs as tribute, and the Aztec Florentine Codex mentions the stingless bees and their honey, as does the Matricula de Tributos (Indigenous Tax-Tribute Records)
The Spanish also demanded tax tributes of honey and wax, and in 1549, over 150 Mayan villages paid 3 tonnes of honey and 281 tonnes of wax to the Spanish. Early chroniclers reported seeing apiaries of 1000-2000 log-hives, with well made entrances and stone plugs (panuchos) on each end. During colonial times, wax & honey were exported to Europe.
On Isla Cozumel, archeologists found round structures that could have been apiaries and pairs of round coral and rock objects that may have been "panuchos", which are used to plug beehive-logs ("jabons"). At various sites throughout the region, apiculture artifacts, such as incense burners in the shape of beehives have been found. There are images of the "Descending God", who is believed to represent the Bee God "Ah Mucen Cab" on various Mayan temples. There is a depiction of this deity on a temple in Tulum. (Photo, from Wiki.)
Modern Honey Production
Mexico’s honey exports initially dropped by more than 50% when the Africanized bees arrived in the mid-80's, but production has since recovered considerably. In 1992, Mexico was the fourth largest honey producer world-wide, producing 60,000 tonnes of honey and 4200 tonnes of beeswax. Eighty percent of Mexico's beehives were kept by small farmers or households as a subsidiary or hobby crop.
In 2012, the state of Yucatan produced the most honey in Mexico, but by 2017 their production had decreased by 58%, (from >10,000 tons to 4350 tons). During that five year period, honey production in Quintana Roo increased by 41%, (from 2160 tons to 3045 tons). This is partially because honey produced in Quintana Roo has often been sold in Yucatan, and counted in their statistics.
Most of the beekeepers in Q Roo still work on a relatively small scale, with an average of 35 hives each. There are approximately 3400 beekeepers, and a total of 119,000 hives. The hives produce about 30 kilos each, and about half the honey is sold domestically and the other half is exported.Ninety-five percent of the honey is harvested in the first half of the year. (These statistics are several years old.)
Bee Families
There are ~20,000 species of bees in the world, divided into seven families. Of those seven families, only one, Apidae, contains honey-making bees. The most well-known of the honey-makers are in the genus Apis, aka “honeybees”, of whom all but one originated in southeast Asia.
Although they are less well-known, the stingless Melipona are by far the the largest group of honey-making bees, with over 500 species found throughout the tropics. There are 46 stingless species registered in all of Mexico, of which 16 are native to the Yucatan Peninsula Of these 16, six can be cultivated for their honey and wax, but due to their social characteristics, the "Melipona beecheii" are strongly preferred. Their name in Mayan is Xunán Kab (La Señora Bee).
     The other cultivatable Yucatecan Melipona species are: Tsets (Melipona yucatanica), Kantsac (Scaptotrigona pectoralis), Sacxic (Trigona nigra nigra), Us-cab (Plebeia frontalis) and Bo'ol (Nannotrigona perilampoides). There are also ancient beekeeping traditions in the highlands of Puebla, where tiny stingless melipona bees ("Scaptotrigona mexicana") are kept in small clay pots.
The Mayan Melipona beechii bees construct small 'honey pots' within their nests, unlike the combs of typical stinging honeybees. These stingless bees may be tended by women & children, and thought of as pets. Housewives say if there is fighting and discord in a home, the bees will leave. Generally, the hives are permanent, because once the queen has been fertilized, she can't fly. They are resistant to many of the parasites and diseases that affect the Apis honeybees.
A 'guardian bee' stations itself at the small opening, and meliponas defend themselves by biting, like ants. They are pickier than their European and African counterparts about which flowers they visit, which makes them vital to keeping our tropical forests healthy. There are plants that can only be pollinated by these bees.
Interestingly, Melipona beechii bees have migrated to Cuba where wild populations are thriving and they're now being cultivated. In 2017, the Cuban Society of Beekeepers changed its name to the Cuban Society of Beekeepers and Meliponiculturists.
 Here's the a link to beekeeper-vendors who bring their community's wares to the coast intermittently...


 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

Monday, January 23, 2023

Isla Mujeres News & Events Monday, January 23


 Hello again!

    I'm back...with the Carnaval schedule, recent news, photos, history & more! The MVC ads are gone because we're retiring from renting, with a big "Thank you!!" to the great guests who've stayed with us over these many years. I've continued posting news, events & history on FB during my blogging break, and I apologize for being unable to keep up with this page. Thank-you for your continued readership, and "Welcome" to any new visitors!


Carnaval begins on February 4th with coronations, and ends on Fat Tuesday, Feb. 21. The theme is "Soy Caribe"-"I'm Caribbean".
SAT. Feb 4 at 5:30p--Coronation of the Kings & Queens who are children, 'minis', and special at the Open Air Theater in La Gloria.
SAT. Feb. 4 at 8p--Coronation of the youth Kings & Queens at the Kiosk in Salina Chica.
THURS. Feb. 9 at 7p--Coronation of the Kings & Queens who are senior citizens at the Cachibol court of the Senior Center (in La Gloria).
SAT. Feb. 11 at 7:30p--Mask Night--An Event for a Cause. Coronation of the Queen of the Señoras at the Calipso Events Room.
SUN. Feb. 12 at 7:30--Coronation of the Queen of Diversity at the Calipso Events Room.
FRI. Feb. 17 at 7:30--Coronation Gala--Coronation of the Kings & Queens of the Isla Mujeres Carnaval 2023 with a performance by King and Queen entertainers Lorena Herrera & Carlos Arenas and a performance by DJ Shei on the Municipal Esplanade (Town Square).
SAT. Feb 18 at 7:30--Night of Fantasy--Comedy show with Tila Maria Sesto and the Carnaval Grand Dance with live music by Junior Klan on the Municipal Esplanade.
SUN. Feb. 19 at 7:30--Night of Joy--Performance by Nani Namu & Her Stars and Dancing to live music by Alex Mont & Merengossa on the Municipal Esplanade.
MON. Feb. 20 at 7:30--Night of Tregueñas--Comedy Show by Chino Fernandez and Dancing to live music by Jemanuel and Los Panas on the Municipal Esplanade. 
Wed, Jan  18....
Isla Mujeres received more than THREE MILLION TOURISTS in 2022, according to Mayor Atenea Gomez Ricalde who added, "and this year we're going for more!".
She said, "We're ready to show the world our beautiful beaches during FITUR 2023", which is an important international tourism convention held annually in Madrid, that starts tomorrow. In these pictures, she's sifting sand with the ZOFEMAT crew, who clean the beaches each morning.

 Tue, Jan 17....

The fares have increased for the Ultramar passenger ferry. A tourist round trip increased from 462 pesos to 540 pesos, and costs the same from Puerto Juarez or the Hotel Zone. The Island residents round-trip rate went from 91 to 100 pesos and state residents now pay 200 pesos for a round-trip. (100 pesos is about $5.50usd. 540 pesos is about $30usd...using an exchange rate of 18.) **For the tourist rates, there's also an additional municipal sanitation tax charged. I've forgotten the exact amount, but I think it's twenty-something pesos per person.

 Sun, Jan 15.....


A new national law went into effect today, imposing more restrictions on smoking in public places and prohibiting the display or advertising of cigarettes for sale. Throughout Mexico, smoking is now prohibited in outdoor areas such as beaches, parks, and spaces where there is "collective gathering" or where minors are present. 
The law prohibits "carrying out any form of advertising, promotion or sponsorship of products made with tobacco". Merchants must store cigarettes where consumers cannot see or access them. A list of tobacco products with prices will be displayed, without logos, stamps or branding. The law includes sanctions for advertising tobacco products on social media, by influencers, on streaming services or via subliminal advertising.
Restaurateurs and small businesses are expressing concerns about potential economic losses. When Mexico imposed indoor smoking restrictions in 2009, many bars & restaurants remodeled to provide exclusive areas for smoking. This new law requires designated smoking areas to be outdoors where any service or consumption of food, drinks or entertainment is prohibited. The area must be physically separate, consist of less than 10% of the property, and have entrance signs prohibiting minors & warning about danger of exposure in the area.
Authorities say these changes are intended to protect the populace from exposure to tobacco smoke in all workplaces, public gathering places, public transportation, and in schools. Signs are required indicating these are smoke-free spaces.
The law specifies that smoking is prohibited on "patios, terraces, balconies, amusement parks, playgrounds and places where children hang out or congregate, urban parks, sports parks, beaches, centers for shows & entertainment, sports courts (canchas), stadiums, arenas, malls, markets, hotels, hospitals, clinics, churches, places of food or beverage service and transportation stops."
The sign says "Our sand isn't an ashtray"
 Also last Sunday.....

#1-The baseball team Langosteros de Isla Mujeres were crowned the champions of the Prospectos League of Quintana Roo. They visited the Mayor with the trophy and she expressed her support for the sport and pledged to work hand-in-hand with its promoters.
#2-Today at 5p there will be women's softball at the children's field, Ariel 'Picho' Magana, when the Isleñas take on the Cancun Linces (Lynxes). 
#3-Save your plastic caps! On Monday, Jan. 30th you can exchange them for toys at the Young Entrepreneurs Fair at the La Gloria Bicentennial Dome at 5p.
 Saturday, Jan 14....
#1-Today, the weekly Saturday cleanup took place in colonia Caridad del Cobre where municipal employees, volunteers and neighbors painted curbs, collected trash, swept, and removed junk.
#2-Yesterday, islanders showed their solidarity by participating in the charity event "Latin Rhythms for a Cause", filling the Town Square with energy, for the benefit of Daniela Diaz, who is undergoing cancer treatments. There were classes in Zumba, Salsa, Latin Rhythms, and Cardio. 
#3-The municipal government has been improving outdoor lighting around the island. Municipal officials conducted a supervisory tour in the colonias of La Gloria and El Cañotal, where progress has reached 90%. Overall, they have installed 211 LED lights, 17 posts, 6 transformers, six meters, and 5620 meters of 'neutranel' (neutral) cable, which are expected to reduce energy consumption. 
#4-The Mayor brought coffee and pastries to show her appreciation for the ZOFEMAT crew who clean the beaches every morning, adding that they also 'keep her informed of the island news'. 
#5-The Mayor joined the Governor and state representatives at a civil ceremony in Chetumal, commemorating the 48th anniversary of the promulgation of Quintana Roo's Constitution. The Governor was also promoting the New Agreement for the Welfare and Development of Quintana Roo.
#6-You're invited to participate in the municipal Christmas Tree Recycling Program on Mondays thru Feb. 13th, 10a-3p, to Hacienda Mundaca, to the Dept. of Ecology & the Environment.
#7-The Mayor announced that the fishermen who received support thru the Temporary Employment Program will continue working with the ZOFEMAT crew, cleaning beaches. Their consistent efforts were greatly appreciated during the most difficult parts of the Sargasso season.
#8- Tomorrow, the Isla Mujeres women's team, Las Islenas, will play the Cancun Linces (Lynxes) at 5p at the children's baseball field, "Ariel Piche Magana".
#9-Residents can take advantage up a 15% discount on their property taxes throughout January and a 10% discount on their trash payment thru the end of March. Qualifying seniors and those with disabilities can receive a 50% property tax discount.
#10-Registration is open for classes in Customer Service at the Community Center in La Gloria on Monday thru Friday, 9a-8p. It's a 40 hour course costing 360 pesos, held on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, 9a-2p.
#11-Residents can register for free Cataract Surgery thru January 27th at the municipal Health Department in the Community Center in La Gloria, 9a-4p.





 Isla Mujeres History....

Isla Mujeres in the early 70's.
#1-Hotel Rocamar
#2-Boat tour at North Beach
#3-View of North Beach from Zazil Ha Hotel (now Mia Reef).
#4 & 5-Road to Garrafon Park
Photos by Gabriel Cano Gongora, posted by Temo Zurita on Recuerdos de Isla Mujeres.




Isla Mujeres History....
Attaining International Attention: Tourists "Discover" Isla Mujeres 
With a quiet lagoon on one side and the crashing Caribbean surf on the other, the hotel now known as "Mia Reef" sits on the rocky islet "Yunque" ("Anvil") off the northern tip of Isla Mujeres, where it played an early role in the development of tourism in this region.
In May, 1964, Mexico's President flew to the island to inaugurate the Hotel Zazil Há, considered the first grand hotel of the Mexican Caribbean. (This was before Cancun had an airport, and Isla's runway was improved for his plane's arrival.) The hotel consisted of 32 rooms, with 40 more located in double cabins. 
Guests were shuttled from the ferry dock in a mule-drawn train car. (Photos #2 & 3)
The Zazil Há was ahead of its time, before this region was taken seriously as a tourism destination by the travel industry. In the 1960's, Cancun was uninhabited except for a few caretakers working on coconut farms owned by residents of Isla Mujeres.
Zazil Há was built by Jose de Jesus Lima Gutierrez (RIP), who was a pioneer in the development of regional tourism. He organized the island's boatmen and divers into cooperatives, and created the first Travel Agency in the area, with offices in Merida and Mexico City. He established an airline with two planes, one with ten seats & a bathroom, and the other with six seats.
The next two photos are from this period, and the magazine ad (from 1965-66) says there's still time to invest in a lot on Isla Mujeres, where you'll find the prettiest beaches in América, for 25 pesos a square meter with views of the sea and lagoon, near Garrafon park.
Between 1960 and 1970, the island's population more than doubled, growing from 1071 residents to 2600+. Isla Mujeres had a total of 139 hotel rooms by 1970, with 8100 foreign tourists visiting annually. (Now there's more than that daily, sometime twice that amount.)
After nine years of hard work, Don Jose Lima had to give up his hotel in 1973 to the National Financiera. He played a fundamental political and entrepreneurial role in the development of tourism on the island and in the region, but he was a visionary. His family has benefited from his foresight and he continued to live next-door in his home "Casa de las Piedras" until he passed away at age 97 in 2009. He is fondly remembered as a community leader who worked tirelessly for the development of Isla's infrastructure and schools. (The former hospital was named for him.) He's internationally known for attracting Regattas to the isle (for about half a century), as well as for hosting Jacques Cousteau during his high-profile film-making visits.
In 1974, Cancun's first hotels, built by the government, opened and Quintana Roo became a state. Cancun's International Airport opened in 1975, private developers started building hotels on the mainland, and tourism intensified. The Cave of the Sleeping Sharks, near the island, was featured in National Geographic in 1975, and Jacques Cousteau's popular TV program dedicated an episode to it. (The cave shattered the scientific notion that sharks die if they stop moving, in addition to bringing international attention to the isle and its beauty.)
The last pair of photos show the start of Zazil Há's renovation, which the caption said was started May, 1976, and the companion photo is from December '76 or January '77, when it had acquired its triangular side. Both were taken by Architect Jose Antonio Lopez Aguado, who supervised the work. The resort has had a variety of names, including Zazil Ha Bojorquez, El Presidente Caribe, and the Avalon.
Here's an excerpt from a 1981 travel article which described the hotel Zazil Ha Bojorquez as "forlornly awaiting rehabilitation", after being knocked out of service by a hurricane the previous year. It promotes Isla Mujeres as a more laid-back, less expensive alternative to Cozumel and Cancun, a reputation that remains to this day:
"What sets Isla Mujeres apart from the better known and more fashionable Cancun and Cozumel islands is the generally lower price structure and a more casual atmosphere. This was pointed out to us by a young woman from Alaska who was staying at our hotel and remarked that she and a friend 'felt we were getting ripped off in Cozumel and Cancun.'
'We couldn't get a meal there for less than $30,' she said, 'and drinks were $4 each.' With her superior Spanish she had helped us get our room changed and recommended some good restaurants, an example of how easily friendships develop on the island.
"The most expensive hotel accommodations (at the Posada del Mar) run $44 a night for two people with Continental breakfast. A lobster dinner, the most expensive item on the menu at Ciro's Lobster House, costs $25 for two. The least expensive accommodations are offered by the Coco Beach Hostel where tent spaces and hammocks are rented for $2.50 a night. The fee includes use of showers and a checking service. At sidewalk cafes, $5 buys a meal of soup, fish fillet or turtle, venison, chicken, pork or beef, tortillas, a soft drink and flan custard."  LINK to 1982 article.




 Punta Sur 1970 by Tony Garcia.....

And back to the news.....Thurs, Jan 12... 

Yesterday, magistrates of Mexico's Supreme Court (SCJN) approved the entry of Uber into operation in Quintana Roo, for both passengers and food. The decision said that Uber should not be subject to the laws which regulate public service vehicles such as taxis, which require operators to have a concession granted by the state government.
The taxi drivers have been arguing that Uber represents unfair competition, because cabbies must meet various requirements and pay considerable fees. According to Uno TV, there are only 141,000 registered license plate concessions, and they claim a taxi license permit can be sold on Mercado Libre for up to 45,000 pesos, with a cost of 11,447 pesos for the transfer free. 
Police authorities are maintaining vigilance in response to threats that taxistas may stage blockades. Taxi unions have resisted the entry of Uber passenger service in Quintana Roo for over a decade. A taxi union lawyer claimed that the Uber company will still need to request authorizations to operate. The Secretary General of FUTV (United Front of Volante Drivers) of Quintana Roo said that more strikes or blockades won't be carried out, noting that the rights of the citizens must be respected, but there have been drivers threatening to disrupt traffic.
There are many positive responses to the news on social media from residents of Quintana Roo.
 Weekly update on Thurs, Jan 12.....
#1) Mayor Atenea Gomez Ricalde announced that during the December holiday season, 428,000 national and foreign tourists visited our municipality, bringing economic benefit to the island, as well as Costa Mujeres. 
#2) She thanked the ZOFEMAT workers for keeping the beaches clean and attractive, and she delivered more equipment to them. She noted that from Dec. 16, 2022 to Jan. 8, 2023, hotel occupancy was at 95%, hosting 83,375 tourists, who were all attracted to our beautiful beaches. 
#3) She said that during the December holiday season, the amount of garbage increased by 40%, and the Public Services workers collected 1800 tons of trash. They did not let down their guard and provided collection services without interruption, keeping the island clean and beautiful. 
#4). The Mayor requested a visit from the Director General of the State Mobility Institute, Rodrigo Alcazar, and they took a tour together, discussing the image and mobility issues of the downtown area. They want to work out a technical proposal to address the traffic problems, as well as civilian construction. The Mayor said that this year her government will continue to transform Isla Mujeres with great projects that will benefit island families, in coordination with the Governor and state officials. 
#5) The Traffic Police were instructed by the Mayor to be very attentive on Monday to the children returning to school, to ensure they arrived and departed safely without traffic problems. 
#6) You're invited to watch the Isla Mujeres women's team, Las Islenas, play the Cancun Linces (Lynxes) on Sunday at 5p at the children's baseball field, "Ariel Piche Magana".


 Jan. 10th....
This is a Brown Pelican, and the Mayor notes that 300 species of birds can be seen in Isla Mujeres in the course of a year. It's National Bird Day, which originated in the US in 2002. 
The Mexican government says that Mexico has more species of birds than the US & Canada combined, noting that around 11,000 species of birds inhabit the world. Mexico is in the top ten countries in terms of biodiversity, and the Yucatan Peninsula is a special region because of the biodiversity of its various ecosystems. Mexico's birdwatchers, amateur and professional, have noted 543 species of birds on the peninsula, which is about half of the birds found in Mexico. (Source:
World Migratory Bird Day will be observed in October in Mexico and Central & South America (and in May in the US & Canada).

Jan. 5th...
Recycling Contest!
There are two contests, one for island residents and the other for those who live in the Continental Zone of Isla Mujeres. Participants in one cannot participate in the other.
Families can opt to register to recycle ONE of the two choices, "PET" or "cartón". (Plastic bottles are made of PET and cartón is cardboard, and may include paper.)
The recycled materials must be clean and compact. They will be weighed and registered, and a receipt will be given at each donation.
Each family must make a video that is one to three minutes long, which explains the dynamics of separating the material they have chosen from the two options, and how each member of their team has gotten involved. Each video must be uploaded to Facebook with a description that includes the family's last name, the names of the participating family members, their chosen material (PET or cartón), the contest they're in (Island or Continental Zone), and they must tag the Mayor's Facebook page, Atenea Gómez Ricalde. Governmental workers are excluded, as are non-residents of the Isla Mujeres municipality.
On the island, registration began yesterday and continues thru Jan. 11th at the Palacio Municipal (town hall), the Community Center (La Gloria), and the Department of Ecology & the Environment (Hacienda Mundaca). Required documents include a utility bill less than 3 months old from an Isla Mujeres residence, an ID (voter card or driver's license) of a parent or guardian from Isla Mujeres, and the completed registration form.
Recycled materials should be delivered on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 10a-3p, to the municipal plant nursery at Hacienda Mundaca from Jan. 9th to Feb. 3rd.
The judges will consist of environmental specialists and there will be three winners in the Island contest and three winners in the Continental Zone contest. For the island, the selection will be made Feb. 24 at noon on the Municipal Esplanade (Town Square). The list of winning families will be published on the official Facebook pages of the Mayor and the Municipality (H. Ayuntamiento de Isla Mujeres).
The contest begins Mon, Jan. 9 and ends Fri, Feb. 3, 2023.

Jan. 2.... For the first time in the history of Quintana Roo, owners of private vehicles will receive free (liability) insurance when they exchange their plates from January to March 2023. The insurance will take effect when the taxpayer concludes his 2023 paperwork at the SATQ offices. They will receive a brochure explaining the terms and conditions. (License plates are exchanged every three years, with registration renewal & this is an exchange year.)
Jan. 1....
 2023's first rays of sunshine touching Mexico at Punta Sur.

 Dec. 30....The Governor announced that the Cancun airport is becoming the first in Mexico to use electronic passport processing. There are 14 automated stations already in operation in Terminal 3. The process takes about 30 seconds for visitors with passports from the US, Canada or Mexico. **Note...These are only for tourists, not residents.

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 MujeresLINK to US National Hurricane Center