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October 2015



Pumpkin Carving, a fun and creative activity directed by Cate Hauser for area youth (and parents too if they wish to advise) will be held again on the terrace of Jessie’s Gelato in Centro at 4 p.m. Oct. 24. Ms. Hauser has carving tools for 20 participants, who must bring their own pumpkins, and if more than 20 youths wish to participate, she and Jessie’s will have a repeat event for others. Parents are invited and cautioned that the tools are rather sharp. She suggests the event be limited to age-appropriate youth. The artsy-faced pumpkins will decorate the community for Halloween on Oct. 31.

Annual Halloween Party at Latitude 20 restaurant – The “ever popular” costume bash begins at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 31, with live music, dancing, special drinks and costume competition, says owner Jim Stubbs. “We are already taking bookings for this popular annual event,” he added. “As always, everybody is welcome, with or without costume, and we look forward to another great-fun Halloween celebration.”  The event also signals the start of the annual return of snowbirds.

US daylight saving time ends Sunday, Nov. 1 when it reverts to eastern standard time (EST). Since Quiintana Roo changed its time zone last year to permanent EST, the time here will remain the same on Nov. 1 as the US “falls back” one hour to join Q. Roo in eastern standard time.

Monthly recycling  is scheduled for this coming Friday at the Skate Park from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Meanwhile, Playa del Carmen reports recycling rose by 9.6 percent so far this year putting the program on track to exceed the 306,000 tons collected last year.

The annual road race will be held this season on Jan. 31. Registration will open in October. Stay tuned for more information.

Not feeling well? Call the House-Call Doctor for relief

New security chief comes

with 13 years of experience


By Staff
Colonos General Manager Armando Rincon has announced the appointment of Luis Eduardo Espinosa Mata as the community’s new security manager. Espinosa, who speaks English, began work here on Sept. 18  after several weeks of the Colonos operating the security system without a manager. Chief Espinosa replaces former chief Jesus Galdeano who has moved into the same position at the Barcelo Hotel.

“I want to add that Mr. Espinosa has a degree in electronics and communications, as well as courses in paramedical, tourist security and other specialties. He has 13 years of experience as security manager in the hotel industry and he has skills and knowledge of administration and operations, civil protection and first aid. Espinosa has also been employed by the federal police.

“We will appreciate all the support fellow employees and residents can give to our new co-worker as we look forward to his quick orientation and assimilation into the community,” Rincon said.



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MRI coming to Playa hospital

It is being reported that by the end of November, the general hospital in Playa del Carmen will have MRI equipment in operation, while hospitals in Cozumel, Cancun and Chetumal are expecting cat-scan maxhinery later in the year.

MRI is the acronym for “magnetic resonance imaging” and plays an important role in photographing of the body’s internal anatomy and physiology. The image yielded from MRI enhances the information required by doctors to determine more accurate diagnoses and analyses.

Mexico listed by US as narco

nation, but will continue aid

By Staff from news sources
A list of 22 countries that produce – or form transit corridors – of illegal drugs into the US was released by the Obama Administration in September. Although the list includes Mexico, the US said it would continue to help its neighbor nation combat cartels.

The US cited Mexico’s continuing efforts to cripple the power and impunity of transnational criminal organizations via the Merida Initiative, which has as its goals the continuing cooperation between the two countries to achieve respect for human rights, support the rule of law, buttress public safety and decrease demand for drugs.

Countries on the list are, besides Mexico, Afghanistan, Bahamas, Belize, Bolivia, Myanmar, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, India, Jamaica, Laos, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Panama, Peru and Venezuela .

In a notification to the Congress, Obama determined that Bolivia, Burma (Myanmar), and Venezuela “failed demonstrably”during the last twelve months to make sufficient or meaningful efforts to adhere to their obligations under international counter-narcotic agreements.

In accordance with provisions of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act (FRAA), the President determined that support for programs promoting democracy in Myamnar and Venezuela remain vital to the national interests of the US and therefore grants Burma (Myanmar) and Venezuela National Interest Waivers, the State Department said.

A country’s presence on the list does not necessarily reflect its counter narcotics efforts or its level of cooperation with the United States on illegal drug control, the statement said.

Meanwhile, methamphetamine production in mid-Western US states has dropped dramatically but, surprisingly, without a corresponding reduction in street sales and use of the drug. This means, say officials, that Mexican-made meth is finding it way into the US and filling the gap. Also, as reported in the New York Times, Mexican cartels have turned to producing powdered heroin and sales are booming in the US mid-West, along with more than 100 overdose deaths in that area. On another front, more arrests of prison and government officials have been made over the escape of major drug dealer  Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman and 13 so far will be tried, according to federal officials.

Where they’re always glad you came – Latitude 20 Restaurant

Mexlaw says…

Opening of new court system

will improve search for justice

The opening of Playa del Carmen’s first oral trial courtrooms expected this year will change the system of administration of justice. Many administration mistakes will be avoided, guaranteeing that criminals will be prosecuted correctly.

Parties will be appropriately allowed to present their cases and be judged by the applicable law and facts, without fear of personal interpretations or judgments by judicial authorities undermining their case.

With this system, cases have a chance to be concluded sufficiently, with each matter being given the most appropriate care through rational and efficient use of judicial resources. Due to the transparency of the system and the efficiency of the process, citizens should have more confidence in the judiciary branch.

Additionally, this administration of justice will help erode the slow development of procedures that currently tarnish the image of the Mexican judicial system that too often personifies the adage that justice delayed is justice denied.

Keep in mind that with the simplification of this process, citizens hopefully will be more motivated to exercise their constitutional rights and to report illegal conduct, which will consequently help combat crime and promote active involvement by citizens in the pursuit of justice.

These measures to support Mexico’s transition to an accusatory justice system involving oral trials are a response to continuous complaints regarding the high levels of impunity that are prevalent in Mexico.

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Don’t do this!..

 Engineers advocate for updated

building, urban planning codes

By Staff
Anybody who has had problems with the quality of living quarters they have purchased in Solidaridad, along with potential buyers, might be pleased to know that the local College of Engineers over the summer called for updating Solidaridad’s building code to keep up with the times and improve the environment and construction requirements.

Jose Tomas Farfan, president of Solidaridad’s Association of Engineers, suggested that construction requirements and environmental urban planning need to stay abreast of the community’s rapid growth. To accomplish that, Farfan said a coordinated effort between all parties involved in construction, housing and urban planning need to work together on updates to their various specialties.

The goal is to obtain a document that includes strategies to improve streets, housing construction regulations, green space and utilities infrastructure. In addition, continuing education and training courses for various specialties in the building trades were proposed.

Call Alan’s Tech if your electronics are a wreck

Tulum Rotary charity golf

tourney set for Oct. 31

The Rotary Club of Tulum and the Tao Foundation will host their first Annual Charity Golf Tournament on Saturday October 31, 2015, at Bahia Principe Golf Course. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Tulum Rotary Club and the Tao Foundation.

The tournament will be a four-person scramble format. Tournament day check-in begins at 7:00 a.m. and Tee Time is at 8:00 a.m. Registration fees are $110.00 US before Oct. 13 and $130 US after that date.  Cost includes greens fee, cart, lunch and drinks (water, soda and juice) and a goody bag.

Prizes include 1st, 2nd and 3rd place plus longest drive and closet to pin.  We will also be having raffle ticket prizes.

The Rotary Club of Tulum is one of many clubs in Mexico and around the world. Our programs include diabetes testing in Tulum, Akumal and Chemuyi; dental hygiene programs for school children, support for the Tulum Red Cross as well as the Tulum Fire Department and many other programs.

The Tao Foundation presently assists in the Mayan village of Xache on a variety of programs including educational support, health and diabetes testing, support for special surgeries for children and environmental awareness programs. For more information or to register for the tournament, please contact 984-100-5097.

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New “tourist card” could ease

traffic stops for minor offenses

Radar guns re-introduced in this area

Officials in the Cancun-Tulum corridor – one of the top ten magnet areas for tourism – are trying to ease the problem of tourists being stopped by police for minor infractions and could, in the long run, reduce complaints concerning police bribery incidents over alleged speeding, particularly in cases of rented cars. (See letters section below.)

While the project is not currently cemented into a law, the cards could be in a trial run come the winter season, say officials working on the project. They estimate that 7000 cars are rented daily in the Benito Juarez (Cancun), Solidaridad and Tulum municipalities.

The officials say they are working to line up cooperation from rental-car companies operating in the corridor. The companies would be responsible for distributing and collecting the cards from renters.

On a parallel front, police departments from Cancun, Solidaridad and Tulum, along with military agencies and the attorney general’s office, have been meeting to formulate strategies of cooperation and coordination in the effort to better deliver security to the northern Yucatan states.

This includes, in Solidaridad, the revival of the “radar gun” which will measure the speed of vehicles along area roadways. Speeders could face a fine of up to 25 minimum wages.

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Feds eye med prescriptions;

tourists may face a problem

By Yucalandia
The Mexican government now requires that every prescription for controlled pain medications (like barbiturates and opiates) include the patient’s CURP number. As has happened with Immigration and visas and Customs and importing vehicles, the Mexican government now tracks prescriptions with a new national computer data-base system. (The CURP number is like a social security number used to track residents.)

This presents significant problems for visitors in Mexico on Visitante/Tourist visas because they have no CURP number. CURP numbers are somewhat equivalent to a US Social Security number. Temporary visitors to Mexico do not get CURPs with their visas. Residents, as Residente Temporal and Residente Permanente, do get CURPs as a part of their visa.

Specifically, medical tourists who come to Mexico for economical treatments cannot now get controlled pain medications under this new policy. Yucalandia says it will provide updates if there are changes in the law or rules.

Investment Properties Mex builds dreams on time and budget

Briefly Noted…

A citizen petition filed with Semarnat, the ministry of environmental and natural resources, has resulted in a call to the community for comment on recent barrier installations by the Catalonia Hotel to prevent beach erosion and block the landing of sargassum along its beachfront. Semarnat wants to assess the viability of the project and is open to community input… Female day of empowerment will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 17 at 61 Bahia Yanten. More information at 984-115-4180, or 722-456-7826 and 998-577-2664… Storm Joaquin was churning in the Atlantic off the Bahamas on Monday with 40 mph winds that could strengthen as it headed west toward the Mexican coast in an otherwise quiet hurricane season… so far. The season ends in November…

Sewer installation work at the Golf and Racquet Club requiring a trench across Bahia Xcacel between the club parking lot and Hippo’s Restaurant was scheduled to begin Monday (Sept. 28) and take 10 days to complete. Traffic will continue to flow but at a slower pace and drivers are asked to plan accordingly…

Help for kelp – Scientists and government officials conferred recently on the invasive presence of sargassum along the Mayan Riviera coast and predicted the invasion could continue for another 10 years because of the prevailing Gulf Stream currents and other environmental factors… Meanwhile, the effort to keep area beaches free of the pesky sea grass seem to be working along the Riviera, which has been reporting clean beaches lately, keeping the area alive for tourism… In addition the government agency Semarnat is requesting another $65 million to continue cleaning and other offshore operations to control the kelp…

Population rising – The Municipal Council of Population in Solidaridad reports a population increase of 11 percent in the first half of the year, adding to last year’s total 206,000 municipal population. With another half year to go, the municipality is well on its way to reaching a predicted increase of 18 percent in 2015… Meanwhile, population growth is expected to continue in Puerto Aventuras with the development of Phase 4 in the resort, which now has an estimated population of 3,500+, and continuing growth in the Poblado and Puerto Maya to exceed 15,000…

Security cameras – Following the success of security cameras in Puerto Aventuras, the city of Playa del Carmen has installed a monitoring system along 38 major intersections in addition to using GPS technology to view garbage truck routes and other city activity. Also added to the mix to be controlled at the Center for Urban Intelligence and Monitoring, will be intelligent traffic lights to improve vehicular movement by reducing waiting time at traffic lights…

VW check – Mexico says it will test nearly 40,000 VW diesels in the country in the wake of recent VW revelations on toxic emissions…Caterpillar says it may move 40 manufacturing jobs from the US to one of its plants near Monterrey, Mexico…

Try Mayan Security for that extra feeling of safety.

The Mail Bag…

Another police stop

image Dear Editor:
I would like to respond also to the residence owners that were taken victim of police dishonesty in July. We own a residence in Puerto and are planning retirement there. We have had our condo for over two years and really appreciate the the local population’s friendly ways and customs.

We were stopped also in May and the police demanded money and were going to take my license. The exact same thing was said to us that we were 1 kilometer over the 80 kph speed limit going to the airport. This has us wondering if it is going to continue. We have never had a problem in two years. It happened in the same place as the other residence owners.

Now my wife is getting concerned about retiring in Mexico. Is there anything you can do to get the word out or any suggestions if this happens again? Thanks.

Signed/Kevin Koester

(Ed. Note: See below)

Try to observe the facts

Dear Editor:
I was reading about the police extortion in Pelican Free Press . It is important to know the number of the police truck or the name of the officer so we can make an anonymous call to report it. The date and the hour is important too, so it is fine to put it in the complaint as well. Regards.

Signed/Alberto Rivera

(Ed. Note: We presume it is also important to know which police (federales or local), the general location of the stop and whether you were on your way to the airport.)

Negative image discourages

Dear Editor:
Love your site! Keeps me updated on my home away from home. Was very interested in the police stopping tourists and the way some appear so corrupt !Another reason a lot of Canadians are afraid to go to Mexico!

Signed/ Maryann Parack

See the sea. Plan a dive. Click on Aquanauts

Nature Watch…

Try suggested home remedies

to help keep roaches at bay

By Staff
We were in a neighbor’s apartment quietly chatting of an evening last season when the lady of the house suddenly sprang up from her chair and raced across the room to grab a broom. We quickly spied the reason.

Crawling along the wall of the living room was a cockroach big enough to saddle and ride. As the neighbor went at it with the broom, the roach galloped off under a small space where the entrance door didn’t quite meet the floor and disappeared. “I hate those things,”  said our host, somewhat embarrassed for no reason.

The cockroach is a frequent non-grata visitor to living quarters, restaurants and anywhere there is something to eat. And they eat just about anything organic, from grease, garbage, wool and cotton fabrics, cardboard and wallpaper. More active at night, they live in dark, damp holes, cracks and where drains transit.

They  prefer spending time on porous surfaces such as wood, cardboard and paper and leave their scent on these surfaces to attract other cockroaches to the same area. What to do about that? Here are some suggested home remedies, albeit professional extermination is best.

One easy and affordable solution is to place chopped bay leaves in places where roaches can enter. Usually they resist the odor and move away immediately.

Onion and boric (acid?) powder: Another preferred remedy is to make a super effective and very cheap pulp by mixing half an onion chopped fine, half a cup of plain flour, enough beer or water to make the mix pasty, a pinch of sugar and three or four teaspoons of boric powder, available over the counter. Place ingredients in a bowl and mix into paste. Use soda caps to place the mixture inside. Put these caps in places (especially corners) where cockroaches forage. Warning: This can be toxic to household pets.

Lavender: Sprigs of lavender or tea bags with pieces of it on sites where cockroaches exit. Its aroma is reportedly pleasing to the human nose, but not to these insects.

Sugar and baking soda: Cockroaches have an acid stomach. To eradicate them, make a simple mixture of sugar with baking soda and place it in the favorite sites of these insects. They cannot resist the sweet and eat it right away.

Vacuuming: It seems  simple, but … It works! It helps reduce cockroach populations that you find behind appliances or furniture. The accessories are usually very helpful in reaching remote and inaccessible places. When finished, take out the bag, seal it and dispose of it.


September 2015:

Familiar sight takes flight


Some say Trump the man to beat

By Staff
Clown Prince Donald Trump, the prime entertainer of the 2016 US presidential race so far, is drawing mixed reviews from Mexicans, some who see him as a crass buffoon heavy on insults with nary a grand design, and others who shrug and view his candidacy as a joke where serious discussion should be taking place concerning cross-border diplomacy.

The Trump Pinata Craze was launched in the border city of Reynosa by craftsman Dalton Avalos in a family workshop right after Trump’s tirade branding Mexicans as “rapists” and sprouting other insulting pejoratives. Reportedly, Avalos used extra layers of papier-mache so the effigy could be whacked “real hard.”

As the majority of their friends in el norte, most Mexicans see Trump as a self-aggrandizing blowhard who is everything but a serious contender for the US’s top job. On the positive side, though, Trump’s insensitive adjectives are spotlighting US voter fatigue with the Washington crowd’s  blather. Will the real candidates please stand.


Mexico’s heroin production rises

to meet demand from the US

By Staff
Death by overdose of heroin increased 175 percent in the United States between 2010 and 2014, the US Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports. Meanwhile, Mexico’s poppy growers, mostly in the violence-ridden state of Guerrero where 43 students went missing last year and presumed dead, have increased production to meet US demand for the illicit product by 50 percent in 2014. The CDC has labeled heroin use in the US as “epidemic.”

Increased use in the US is spread across men, women and age groups and income levels. The largest increase in use was from non-traditional addict groups such as women, the privately insured and people with higher incomes who are presumed smart enough to avoid addiction…but are not.

Meanwhile, doctors at the Providence Crosstown Clinic in Vancouver, Canada, are expected to be the first to offer prescribed heroin as a treatment for the addiction when other traditional remedies fail.


Calls for new Maya Riviera airport

revived after cave-in on the 307


By Staff
A roadway cave-in on Route 307 between Cancun and Playa del Carmen last week prompted a renewal of efforts to resume plans for a new airport serving the Riviera Maya and construction of an alternate seacoast route besides 307.


The sinkhole, presumably caused by an underground flow from a cenote or river, confounded traffic to and from the busy Cancun airport causing many visitors to miss their flights despite commendable response by the police and public works to set up detours and repair the roadway.

Repair was accomplished in 24 hours. At least two injuries were reported while one pickup truck barely avoided being swallowed by the hole left in the highway. Two people on a motorcycle were injured because of the road collapse. Laudable efforts by airport and airline personnel also were noted in helping passengers and airlines link up with later flights.

Spokesmen for businesses and hotel associations in particular said the event underscores the importance of resuming federal efforts to build an airport in the Tulum area – a planned project that was scuttled last year by  President Pena Nieto’s administration in favor of another airport in Mexico City.

Manuel Paredes Mendoza, executive director of the Riviera Maya Hotel Association, pointed out that the Riviera Maya has 10,000 more hotel rooms in the aggregate than does the Cancun area, highlighting what the association says is a need for an expanded transportation infrastructure.


Commerce Corner…


Women wing it over Pacific;

feat sets a plane terrific record

By Staff
Aeromexico completed its first transcontinental flight with an all-female crew on Aug. 19 when the huge Boeing jet piloted by females made the record setting flight from Mexico City-Tijuana-Shanghai, a 15-hour jaunt over 11,049 kilometers (6,865 miles) with 170 passengers aboard.

In addition to a female pilot and two co-pilots, there were 10 stewardesses completing the crew of 13 on Aeromexico’s historic flight, which is intended to set the stage for a new norm of using female crews as part of regular operations. The flight was made with the agreement of the Association of Airline Pilots in Mexico and the Association of Flight Attendants (ASSA) of Mexico.

In another flight of fancy, the Mexican Air Force base on Cozumel – Island of the Swallows – will receive eight new and modern airplanes to replace the current Pilatus PC-7 and will be used to help control and combat organized crime, according to air force officials.

Mexico, Canada tell US

they fear Pacific Rim deal

Mexican and Canadian auto parts makers say they  are worried about the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact proposed by the US because it could negatively affect some one million workers in the two American nations.

They are concerned mostly with a concession sought by Japan that would allow Pacific Rim partners to ship Mexican and Canadian-made auto parts in Asian made cars to the US duty free despite substantial parts content from Mexico an Canada.

Ed Fast and Ildefonso Guajardo, Canadian and Mexican trade ministers, said they fear their respective sectors would suffer severe economic damage.

Agents representing the two countries’ manufacturing sectors issued a joint statement noting that: “If this provision were to come into force, our companies and workers would be placed in a competitively disadvantaged [position] in the North American market. [It] would seriously compromise our operations in the North American region, and we may be forced to significantly reduce our operations.”


Let the snowy north know

early that you’re waiting

It won’t hurt for the Mayan Riviera tourist industry to blanket the northeastern USA and nearby eastern Canada news outlets and internet social pipelines with the Farmer’s Almanac weather predictions for this coming winter.

The venerable 199-year-old almanac sees another “deja vu” winter blanketing states from Maine to Montana with piles and piles of  snow somewhat like the record-breaking 100 inches that buried Boston last winter.

How bad was it? Friends and acquaintances around Boston are already weighing get-way options. We tell them we think Jet Blue Airways has pretty decent fares for non-stop flights to Cancun out of Boston during the high season. We suggest they might want to consider a now escape to the Mayan Riviera where there are plenty of great villas, small and large and or(all inclusive hotels to choose from.

We suggest they start with Pelican Free Press sponsors Akumal Villas (see logos in left  hand column of this page), Roguez Realty and the unique Gaia Hotel in Tulum for great choices of shore-front villas that can be shared by families and friends. They all guarantee “no snow.”

And as luck would have it so far, Hurricanes Danny and Erika gave us a pass and forecasters don’t see much of a threat as the Atlantic hurricane season rolls gently by without any overt threats. Of course, weather is unpredictable to a degree. Plan accordingly.


Briefly Noted…

Umbrella time – The National Water Commission (Conagua) says September will be the wettest month of the year and that from the 15th of the month to Oct. 15 has the most potential period for a hurricane… Drug Stop – The US has sanctioned 15 Mexican businesses – one in Playacar – and six individuals for supporting a major drug cartel’s operations by laundering drug money. The action freezes assets held in the US and prohibits US firms from doing business with the companies and individuals… Meanwhile, US authorities implicated the Xaman Ha Center on Playa del Carmen Blvd., south of the Playa town center, as one of a number of businesses laundering drug money. Local businessmen here said it was a shame the illegal operation had to be routed by US rather than Mexican authorities…

While use of drones in this area has drawn a few complaints concerning invasion of privacy issues, Mexican authorities will be using them to guard against a reported increase in turtle-egg poaching… The peso hit its lowest point against the dollar last month at 17+ as authorities cautioned against increasing local prices for goods and services in deference to the local consumer… Akumal Bay was hit again with a major patch of sargassum recently just after cleaning up a previous invasion. Sargassum remains a problem to the point that a political party sponsored a contest offering a prize to whoever could remove the most sargassum in a given time period… Two 13-year-old girls visiting in Playacar last week were struck by lightning and died while on the beach. One other girl taken to a hospital survived…l

Rising profits – The Cancun area’s director of tourism reports the domestic tourist market grew from between 5 and 7 percent. Spending by that segment is about 38 percent of total tourist spending there…But small hotels saw a drop in business, some of it attributed to cancellations because of the sargassum invasion… Police recruits, male and female between the ages of 19 and 35 are being sought by the municipality as the municipal administration sustains courses for police to learn English and take continuing-ed courses at local schools… Compulsory medical checks for drug use will be made in November for some 500 drivers of public transport vehicles…

HIV cases in Playa del Carmen exceed the national average by five times, reports the Positive Life Association… PA poblado parents made their case when they blocked a teacher previously accused of raping a student in Playa del Carmen, from being transferred to a school in Puerto Aventuras poblado at the start of this school year… Employees burned when their Pepsi truck slammed into the concrete base of a sign at the Calica bridge a few miles north of Puerto Aventuras last week causing a fire. Two employees suffered major burns over 50 percent of their bodies. It was raining at the time, resulting in poor visibility – and reminding officials to assure continued lighting along 307’s black stretch from Akumal to Playa…

The federal consusmer protetion agency has conducted gasoline station inspections in Q. Roo and found  a small number of them falling short of proper “liter to liter” –or accurate – delivery of petrol to consumers, usually falling short of the paid-for amount either by design or malfunctioning pumps. Twelve locations were sanctioned in Q. Roo, but most of them in the Benito Juarez (Cancun), and Othon P. Blanco municipalities. None were reported in Solidarity…

Resurfacing of Arco Vial  roadway in Playa began last week and is slated to take three months to complete. Officials warn users of that roadway to leave early or use a detour of their choice… The second step up in the state’s minimum wage will rake effect in October with a slight increase to 70.10 pesos per day from 66. Inspectors will check to assure businesses meet the minimum pay or face fines up to 350 minimum wages… Reminders Drivers face fines for driving cars without liability insurance on federal highways… And – Licenses are now required for the practice of real estate business. Mexlaw in Playa del Carmen ( see logo on this page) has more information…


Nature Watch…

Not a Paamul Jack Photoshop joke!

And wait until you read

what happens next

By Staff

“Mommy, do goats grow on trees?”

“No, son. Wherever did you get that idea?”

The boy shows his mother the picture. She’s flabbergasted. It has to be Paamul Jack playing around with Photoshop again like he did with the crocodiles last April Fool’s Day, she thinks. (See April issue of Pelican Free Press).

Not so. It’s real..and these goats, looking every bit like branch managers, actually form a sort of sure-footed production line of grooming products. This photo was taken in the Moroccan village of Tamri where the agile goats perform a balancing act on narrow “argan tree” limbs to  access the argan fruit, which they obviously love to eat while performing their balancing feat.

But that’s not all there is.

After gorging on the argan fruit, the goats leave droppings under the tree containing the fruit’s seed. The seed kernels are collected, washed out (thoroughly one expects), ground and pressed to remove the argan seed oil…which is then used mainly as an ingredient in local culinary and cosmetic products. Moroccans dip breakfast bread in it, or spread it over couscous and other foodstuffs.

The oil is also gaining international favor as an ingredient in cosmetic products such as moisturizing creams and hair treatments, leaving us to muse about humans using oil from goat bottoms to groom the top of their heads. That’s nature for you.