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February 22, 2017

PA’s People…
Virtuoso Arlindo Silva to perform for Red Cross fundraiser Feb.25 

By Staff
The high season’s first concert of 2017 featuring violin virtuoso Arlindo Silva in a solo presentation will be held at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25, at the Puerto Aventuras Cultural Center on Bahia Akumal.

The event will benefit the local Red Cross clinic and ambulance located in the poblado but serving emergency needs on both sides of the highway and nearby communities…

This will be Silva’s second concert here for a charitable cause, the first held in April 2015 for the medal-winning Youth Sailing Club of Puerto Aventuras.

With symphony 21 years

Attesting to his considerable musical talent, Silva, a native of Portugal, was first violinist with the Symphony Orchestra of Portugal for 21 years, accompanying numerous world artists of the era. He then furthered his musical studies at Northwestern University in Chicago, during which time he first visited Puerto Aventuras.

Upon completion of his studies, he returned for a brief time to Portugal then embarked on a life-changing visit to Puerto Aventuras three years ago…and remained. He is now living here with his family.

As in his acclaimed previous concert here, Silva’s considerable repertoire displayed the versatility and flowing transition of the consummate artist with renditions of classic baroque by Bach, to the hard rock and blues of Led Zeppelin, to Pagnini’s brilliant compositions using the instrumental techniques he advanced. There will be contemporary pieces adding diversity to the musical evening.

Elevates level of culture

Silva’s presence here has lifted the community’s musical opportunities to a new level via the Academy of Music school he inaugurated two years ago in a Centro studio .

There are now 40 students and seven teachers in voice, piano, guitar, percussion, violin, and wind instruments such as the saxophone, thus sustaining the community’s rhythm of cultural life.

Silva’s first concert here delighted the audience with a blend of musical styles performed with the emotion, conviction and practiced skill of the accomplished musician. A well-satisfied  audience at that concert presupposes another delightful experience on Saturday evening.

Tickets are 200 pesos ($9.79 US) and are available at the Colonos office, the red Cross clinic in the poblado and at the door.

Colonos notes post-concert buffet

The Colonos  says a post-concert buffet dinner at The Divot cafe on the golf course is also intended to raise funds for the local Red Cross – which is funded by donations only.

Colonos coordinator Carlos Quinones said combined dinner and concert tickets are 800 pesos (400 to the local Red Cross) while dinner-only tickets are 600 pesos and include a 200-peso donation to the Red Cross. He emphasized this is a separate event to render additional  aid to the Red Cross and to help complete an enjoyable evening.  

  Play soccer, fight arthritis, learn Spanish, try trivia with friends, be a chef, pair wine and food, lots to do…

Free lecture on fighting arthritis will be presented at 10 a.m. Feb. 28 in the Colonos meeting room by professor emeritus James White of UCSD… Trivial pursuits coming up at 4 p.m. this Sunday, Feb. 26, at Latitude 20 Restaurant with proceeds going to the poblado Community Center. Come enjoy live music after the game, says owner Jim Stubbs… Soccer players invited to play on resort team Sundays, 9 to 11 a.m., at the Puerto Maya sports complex field. The resort team, ages 15 to 50 wearing red and black shirts, has informal fun games with a poblado team. The field is in back of the  Oxxo store on the main entrance road at Chedraui’s… Spanish classes taught by Maestra Gloria Contreras are under way at the Latitude 20 Restaurant. Beginners class from 9 to 10 a.m. and advanced class from 11 a.m. to noon on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Contact her at cel 984-108-3517 for more information…

Food and wine pairing events are scheduled for 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 22 (Oops! Sold out) and Thursday,Feb. 23 at the Divot Cafe next to the Golf Course clubhouse. Seating is limited to 30. Must reserve and pay 500 pesos charge in advance by calling Steph at 984-802-8939 or at the Divot…

Sign up now at the Colonos office to participate in the international food fest…

SIGN UP NOW at the Colonos office and share your ethnic cuisine with your friends and neighbors.

Environmental agency, Navy
bear down on Akumal scofflaws

Order turtle guides, tourists out of water 

New rules: Fewer swimmers and no more flippers in Akumal Bay. (File Photo)

The government has finally cracked down on scofflaws in Akumal who were importing tourists to swim with turtles without having a permit to do so.

Agents from the Environmental Protection Agency (Profepa) backed by armed Navy personnel cleared the bay of swimmers and guides last week – temporarily including permitted guides – to get a handle on what has been transpiring between rogue guides and the cooperatives that are permitted. More than 100 unhappy tourists also were directed out of the water.

Environmental agency personnel (Profepa) have explained the rules for swimming with turtles, which includes limits on how close to get to the turtles and each other and the non-use of flippers. The idea also is to limit the daily intake to 120 swimmers to protect the turtles from overexposure.

The Akumal Ecological Center and permitted operatives have been asking for government intervention and are reportedly pleased to have received it. Profepa agents said Navy personnel will be permanently assigned to regular beach patrols to assure rules are being observed.

Despite the enforcement measures being taken, reports out of Akumal say tourism remains robust…

The Mail Bag…
Hard Rock’s loud music
aggrieves nearby neighbors

Dear editor:
As a resident at Pueblo Escondido (about 100 yards south of Hard Rock) we are very upset about the change in the noise policy at the Hard Rock resort.

Most days – by 2 or 3 p.m. – it is not possible for us to be outside due to the noise level. Some nights the music has played until well after midnight, and the really loud music is not confined to the weekend.

Even with our doors closed we can clearly hear the music. In the past, we have recommended a number of friends and a couple of corporate events to the Hard Rock. I can assure you we will not do that again.

Their music is being played at a volume beyond legal limits and at a level that can cause permanent hearing damage. Please change your policy Hard Rock!

Signed/Wayne Greenberg
(Ed. Note: 
Colonos GM Armando Rincon has received complaints via condo administrators also and has contacted Hard Rock management to register the complaints. Nonetheless, Hard Rock plans its biggest event of the year from Feb. 27 to March 3, Rincon said. In his opinion, he added, the wind played a role in carrying the music to Puerto Aventuras. The previous local Hard Rock manager did much to abate the music, and thus, the complaints.) 

Happy 50,000th birthday
to tough Mexican microbes

By Staff
If an old mine in Mexico can give up a find of 50,000-year old life forms, one must wonder what prehistoric wonders local cenotes may harbor.

Perish the thought of living inside this crystal for 50,000 years eating iron and manganese tacos…with the same spouse!

The discovery, in an old 800-meter deep mining cave in Naica, Mexico, by scientists with the US National Air and Space Administration’s  astrobiology institute involved ancient, dormant “super-life” microbes and viruses locked in crystal but still surviving under punishing conditions on iron and manganese.

The discovery was revealed at a meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Boston, Mass., by a NASA scientist ironically named Penelope Boston. The findings have yet to be published or reviewed by peers following nine years of work.

But if certified, say the scientists, it will be another example of how tough life on earth is and how adaptable living things can be despite the bumps in the road.

The Roundup…

Ing. Jaime Ruiz

Following a “meticulous” search, the Colonos has hired Jaime Ruiz as its new director of operations. Ruiz began his duties overseeing the public works labor force on Feb 6. The Colonos administration said it would appreciate the public’s support of the new director.

A sixth mototaxi group has been denied a permit to operate in the Puerto Aventuras poblado and Puerto Maya sections where the three-wheeled vehicles have already multiplied like rabbits. Officials are now setting rules limiting operations to five unions limited to 15 mototaxis each, or 75 vehicles total.  No further word on inauguration of mototaxis in the resort…

Another bar has closed in Playa’s tourist zone as the result of the “Blue Parrot” shootings and what the local press describes as an increase in criminal activity such as extortion, proliferation of questionable kiosks believed to be scamming tourists. The bar, “Mezcallina” follows the closure of the “La Santanerra” in January. While some observers say there are noticeably fewer tourists on 5th Avenue, businesses in Centro say they’ve seen an uptick here. The Blue Parrot itself will not reopen to make way for a new hotel and disco, say reports…

“I’ve got water!” – That’s what PA artist Peter Terrin called out from the cab of his van at Chedraui’s parking lot recently. As a renter, he was caught in the middle of a non-payment battle between the water concession and Hoo Haa lounge over non-payment of water bills and had to do without  water for a  time before bringing some in from the outside. Now, evidently, the bills have been paid and the water is flowing again…

Another shootout, but no injuries, was reported on Highway 307 when police approached a vehicle that fit the description of one involved in the earlier robbery of a safe from a notary’s office in Playa del Carmen. The car’s occupants fired at police and tried to escape by entering the Iberostar hotel where they were apprehended. The safes were later found in a private home…

The price of gasoline is fluctuating daily, but the federal government assures consumers that prices will not spike beyond reasonable market expectations. Average cost for Magna the past week, the so-called regular gasoline used in most cars, has been around 15.87 per liter. Weekly costs by federal region will be published in the Energy Regulatory Commission’s website…

A hit and run death was reported over the weekend on Highway 307 near the Catalonia Hotel when a man tried to cross the highway at night. Municipal police unit and Red Cross ambulance in Puerto Aventuras responded but the victim had already died from apparent head trauma and the car and driver nowhere to be found…

Nature Watch…
No evidence of diminishing
numbers of birds in resort

The lineated woodpecker shows how much wood a woodpecker can peck as it ponders how much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck…(you finish it).

By Gayle Sandholm
Several people have asked whether there are fewer birds around this year.  The construction around town with fewer trees and undergrowth may affect the bird populations.

I have no evidence on diminishing numbers and have identified 43 different birds in the past few weeks including turquoise-browed motmot and black headed trogon.  Four anhinga are reported to be frequenting the “bird island” on the right as you enter Puerto.  There are lots of orioles, flycatchers and buntings to be seen.

My find of the week is a life bird (first time seen) for me.  The Lineated Woodpecker is 12 ½-14 inches (31.5-36cm) long, quite large for woodpeckers.  Its range is from southern Mexico to northern Argentina.

They use their powerful necks and sharp, long beaks to chip out holes in trees searching out insects, ants, termites, beetles and their larvae.  They usually collect insects from the bark crevices with the help of a sharp and sticky tongue.  They also will eat seeds from fruits, berries and nuts.

Its brilliant red crest and white line down its neck are unmistakable.  When I saw this one I thought it was a pileated woodpecker common in parts of the US and Canada.   After some research I find that pileated woodpeckers are occasionally found only in the northernmost parts of Mexico.

What a delight to see this splash of red looking for a meal.   I can add this one to my list of life birds seen around town. So, keep looking up to discover the natural wonders to be seen here in Puerto.
(Ed. Note: Evidence of bird numbers can be collected by using the PPW scale – Poops Per Week – left on car tops parked under Centro’s trees.)  

PRODUCTION DEADLINES: The Pelican Free Press encourages and welcomes public announcements of events and activities. The deadline for publication during our weekly high-season schedule is 10 a.m. on Mondays. Thank you. Disclaimer: The Pelican Free Press is not responsible for content and/or claims made on sponsor web sites or social media links.

The end – Previous edition below


February 15, 2017

Centro’s lost art…

ARTISTS AND SHOPPERS mingle at the final art exhibit held Sunday at the information center. (Staff Photo)

Struggling to hold back tears,
director laments the end of
art exhibits in Centro locale

By Staff
Gladis Perez smiled broadly through tell-tale tears on Sunday as she greeted artists and visitors to the final art show to be held at the information building at the junction of Bahias Xcacel and Yanten.

The art work of 16 area artists was on display outdoors and inside the  building, which will be reborn as a real estate office, said the Fideicomiso, the trust that owns the property.

GLADIS PEREZ smiles as board behind her empties of art work, indicating good sales at Sunday’s final exhibit at Centro location.

The cause for tears was obvious. Perez directed intermittent art shows at that locale for nearly three years in addition to forming an artist’s workshop on Wednesdays where budding area artists improved upon their skill and creativity and where friendships were forged.

But there also was a reason to smile. Perez said the Colonos, which is the property owners’ association, in tandem with the Fideicomiso have agreed to each purchase a backstage door at the cultural center on Bahia Akumal to lock the items needed to continue conducting the workshop there.

Unfortunately, she said, it is a difficult location in which to host overnight art shows since there would be no room to safely store the artwork overnight. “Maybe we’ll be able to work something out to have one-day shows,” she said with a glint of hope in her eyes.

Several years ago the practice of allowing artists to display and sell their wares on the dolphin walk in Centro was discontinued when retailers there paying rent complained the art sales were siphoning revenue from their potential sales. The site remains out of the question, Perez inferred.

Cooks sought to participate
in international food fest

Home, restaurant chefs can sign up now

The Colonos Sports and Cultural Committee is readying for the popular 7th annual International Food Festival of Puerto Aventuras on Sunday, March 17, on the grounds of the Colegio.

Aside from offering the community and guests the delightfully distinct tastes of international cuisine, the idea is for each chef to present one dish from one country. It’s a way of introducing each other to the traditions of each country through their food.

It is not “high level cuisine”, but the traditional food, what we eat every day, or during the holidays, the Greeks, the Chinese or the Turkish.  Not lobster or caviar, something more simple but characteristic of each country. México will participate by states: Puebla, Yucatán, Nuevo León, etc.

There must be enough of each dish to feed  250 to 300 people  small portions, a taste of flavor, 30 grams of meat or 30 grams of pasta.  Nothing big, we would like everyone to be able to taste 10 countries before being full.

There are two ways to participate: A private citizen cooks his or her recipe  to introduce his or her country without any commercial intent. In this case, the Association of Colonos will refund the food cost (but we need the receipts) up to 2,500 pesos. Obviously, the Association of Colonos provides also the installation: tables, chairs, cups, main course or soup dishes, napkins, etc.

As commercial business (restaurant, hotel, food dealers), the company makes its own publicity, in any way they want, but we need it to identify with one country: Chinese restaurant, Argentinean parrilla, French cheese import, etc. The Association of Colonos provides the installation of tables, chairs, cups, main course or soup dishes, napkins, etc., but not the food. This is the cost of publicity.

The committee asks participants to decorate the tables a bit and, if it is possible, to wear something representative of the country or state they  represent. We need to know ASAP who wants to participate, name of the country and the dish that will be prepared.

Invite your neighbors and friends from other countries to participate. We expect around 600 people at the event. Drinks are sold separately

For more information, please contact Carlos Quiñones at coordinacion@colonos.org, tel. 873-5116 or at the Colonos office.

FADING LIGHT signals end of the day for Fatima Bay beach goers. (Manuel Caballero Photo)

 Commerce Corner…

LXV Outdoors Co. enhances local
access to top paddleboard brands

A LOT TO CHOOSE FROM during LXV Outdoor’s demo day in Puerto Aventuras on March 4.

By Staff
Go on a cruise, enjoy the sun, slim down, build up, be the captain, go where the Queen Mary couldn’t, meet great people and do it all simultaneously right here on the Riviera Maya. How?

Get yourself a paddleboard, your own personal yacht with no worries about a broken mast, slip fees, a fouled diesel or shallow channels. Just glide over it all with the trusted power source of the ages – the human body…abetted by a paddle and snippets of imagination.

Vickie McNair

The Riviera Maya’s go-to paddleboard guru is Vickie McNair. A seasoned diving instructor, paddler and business woman, she originated the Aquanauts dive shop in Puerto Aventuras during the late nineties and made it work..

Thanks to LXV, finding the right paddleboard and accessories to fit personal requirements is now at hand here on the Riviera Maya, more precisely, in the Puerto Aventuras community. No need to shop far-off vendors or travel distances to find boards from top-line makers

“We keep a substantial inventory here at our warehouse, along with a line of accessories to satisfy just about every need,” McNair said. How does an interested person know if he or she can adapt to paddle boarding?

VISIT IDYLLIC PLACES like the caleta in Phase 4 of Puerto Aventuras.

“We conduct demonstration days twice a month on the placid Puerto Aventuras canals that provide excellent surface for beginners,” McNair explained. Everything is there for adventurous people who want to try their hand at the sport. “We bring a variety of boards and paddles for them to try besides giving basic instructions on getting started,” McNair added.

LXV represents three major manufacturers, the original touring board by Tahoe SUP, race and surfing boards from KM Hawaii and recreational boards from Odyssey. Some boards are also tailored for specific uses such as doing yoga and fishing. The company also carries inflatable boards  in backpacks for people on the move and conducts private demonstrations by appointment.

Research what LXV’s service has to offer by way of basic training, demonstration days, board styles and sales, special events like tours and races by clicking on the LXV logo in the sponsor column to link to the website and Facebook. There you’ll see and learn about the products and prices, read constantly updated local news blogs of interest to paddle boarders, such as the time and location of the next demo day in Puerto Aventuras on March 4.

Then contact Vickie at:  Contact phone: 984-119-6708; Contact Email: vic@lxvoutdoor.com
Website: www.sup.mx; Facebook Link: https://www.facebook.com/lxvoutdoor.mx

Want to sleep? Go to this lecture

FREE LECTURE on Ten simple ways to improve sleep will be presented at 10 a.m. Feb. 21 in the Colonos meeting room by professor emeritus James White of UCSD…

Recycling this Friday, Feb. 17 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the newly redecorated skate park on Blvd. Puerto Aventuras. This year, there will be recycling twice a month. Stay tuned for dates.

BINGO is coming up at 3:30 p.m. this Sunday, Feb. 19, at Latitude 20 Restaurant with proceeds going to the poblado Community Center. Come join the fun, says owner Jim Stubbs… SPANISH CLASSES taught by Maestra Gloria Contreras are under way at the Latitude 20 Restaurant. Beginners class from 9 to 10 a.m. and advanced class from 11 a.m. to noon on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Contact her at gloriatraducciones@hotmail.com or call cel 984-108-3517 for more information…

Dates of note this month… In Mexico –  Feb. 19, Army Day; Feb. 24, Flag Day; In USA,   Feb. 20 Washington’s birthday (observed as combined Presidents’ Day); Feb. 23, flag raised on Iwo Jima in 1945…

Did you know…
Familiar Bimbo brand bread
here is world’s biggest bakery

The world’s largest bakery was started right here in Mexico in 1945 by Lorenzo Servitje who died last week in Mexico City. He was 98. He was the founder of the “Grupo Bimbo” brand, not realizing the colorful connotation the word had in the US and Italy. To him, it was a takeoff on the family-values words “Bambi” and “Bingo.”

Lorenzo Sevitje

He, a brother-in-law and a brother introduced sliced white bread to Mexicans the year WWII ended. Today, the Bimbo conglomerate includes brands like Wonder Bread, Entenmann’s, Thomas’ English Muffins, Sara Lee, Brownberry, Boboli and New York brand bagels in the UK among many other brands.

Servitje inherited a small bakery/retail store in 1936 that was started in 1928 by his father who was from Catalonia, Spain. It was called El Molina, the mill. He resigned from his career as an accountant and with his partners imported modern baking equipment and procedures from the US. By the 1990s, he was selling more tortillas in the US than in Mexico.

The company started out with 34 employees. Today the Gropo Bimbo brand has 130,000 employees world-wide, 179 factories in 22 countries that make more than 10,000 prodxcts delivered by 11,000 vehicles. The brand’s income in 2014 was $14 billion.

The Roundup…

World’s longest flight by a scheduled commercial airline was completed last week by Qatar Airways in a 16 hour 23-minute flight from Doha, Qatar, to Auckland, New Zealand.  The distance was 14,535 kilometers, or 9,031 mile. The return flight is expected to be longer at 17 hours, 40 minutes because of prevailing winds…

Noise decibles are rising again from the Hard Rock Hotel in Puerto Aventuras as are ongoing complaints from foreign residents in some areas of the Playa del Carmen tourist zone.  Sound levels there are reaching 119 decibels (65 is the legal limit imposed by municipal law) since last year and the government has not taken action, complain residents.  Hard Rock management in Puerto Aventuras several years ago reduced sound levels, but an apparent  management change appears to allow louder music affecting the community…

LATEST PATROL PLANE for Mexican Air Force, except for identification markings.

Three aircraft flying in v-formation over Puerto Aventuras shoreline last week were the new Beechcraft T-6C Texan two-seater patrol aircraft acquired by the Mexican Air Force and stationed at the Cozumel military facility. One flew gracefully over the beach on Sunday morning as well. The planes arrived in time to celebrate the 102nd anniversary of the Air Force branch. The planes can stay aloft 3.5 hours and have a range of just over 1,000 miles and maximum speed of 363 mph…

Solidaridad’s “Red Code” was used last week for the first time this year in the wake of a double assassination outside an Oxxo store on Arco Vial in the Ejido Colony of Playa del Carmen. Police were reportedly mum about the case but comments culled from witnesses by the local press noted a lone gunman in a black car fired the shots in daylight  at about 1 p.m. as the victims entered their car… The event and the shooting deaths of eight people and shooting injuries to 15 people so far this year has spawned repeated demands for government action to protect businesses in Playa’s tourist zone…

Federal authorities are considering legislation that would end the use of military personnel in fighting crime and replacing or assisting policemen in providing security. Secretaries of Defense and the Navy have garnered support of legislators for an act intended to end the routine practice of combining national defense forces with local security forces…

A special economic development zone recently announced by federal agencies for the city of Progreso on the Gulf coast has already attracted interest from five corporations from the US, Asia and Mexico. They would invest in plants for development of software for cars and the communications industry. It is the first such zone in Mexico to be developed and is expected to generate 33,000 jobs over 20 years…

Municipal authorities have reminded the private resort Playacar, adjacent to Playa del Carmen Centro, that despite its privatization of security, as is the case in Puerto Aventuras, municipal transit laws still prevail, as in the case of mandatory helmets for motorcycle riders and other municipal rules of the road that go unenforced for lack of municipal police patrols…

Lime on the climb – The price of limes shot up in Chetumal from 15 to 25 pesos last week in the national market as local growers could not fill demand for the product because of a lackluster growing season. Lack of sufficient rainfall, say growers, affected production. Market watchers are predicting the price could rise as high as 100 pesos per kilo by April…

The Mail Bag…

SUNDAY MORNING SOCCER between resort and poblado teams invite players from 15 to 50 to join in the fun. (Staff Photo)

Resort has soccer team
Dear editor:
Puerto Aventuras has a football (soccer) team that plays on the Puerto Maya sports field every Sunday from  9 to 11 a.m.  They are friendly games against a team from the poblado.  Age range from 15 to 50 and up.   If you want to play, feel free to join in. Just come to the field on Sundays at 9 a.m. The PA resort team is the black and red shirt.

(Ed. Note: Take the main road from Chedraui into Puerto Maya for one block. Turn right at the Oxxo sign, go to the end of that short street to park in the lot on the right. The field is right there. Have fun!)


PRODUCTION DEADLINES: The Pelican Free Press encourages and welcomes public announcements of events and activities. The deadline for publication during our weekly high-season schedule is 10 a.m. on Mondays. Thank you. Disclaimer: The Pelican Free Press is not responsible for content and/or claims made on sponsor web sites or social media links.

The end – Previous edition below


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