Hard Rock, Colonos join forces
to reopen PA Red Cross clinic
Agree on expanded ambulance options,
reopening gate to reduce response time
Two Puerto Aventuras resorts are of one mind when it comes to reopening the Red Cross clinic in the Poblado across Highway 307 and cooperating on expanded ambulance services that all residents and visitors can afford.
The spirit of collaboration was palpable when Colonos GM Armando Rincon and Vigilance Committee member Timothy Howard were cordially welcomed by Hard Rock Hotel GM Rene Malacara last week to discuss options for sustaining the PA Red Cross clinic over the long-haul, improving potential life-saving response time
of ambulances and mining sources of funding and in-kind services to make it all happen.
The trio agreed at the outset that reopening a long-closed gate between Hard Rock and Puerto Aventuras resort properties would add another layer of ambulance protection and swift response. The Hard Rock Hotel has a private ambulance on-site with links to Hospiten, a bilingual, well-equipped and staffed clinic interconnected to its major hospital in Cancun. With the gate issue resolved, response time would be quick but at a cost for service beyond the reach of the less affluent and/or uninsured.
It would be an option to the Red Cross ambulance located at the Red Cross clinic in the Poblado that services the entire area including the PA resort community, Hard Rock Hotel when needed, the Poblado, Puerto Maya residents and all emergencies. That’s a total population estimated at upwards of 15,000. The Red Cross ambulance, manned by at least two well-trained paramedics, does not charge but accepts sliding-scale donations for the service.
The RC ambulance is a necessity, the trio agreed, particularly for the Poblado, many of whose residents cannot afford private ambulance service or, in some cases, even a taxi to go to a clinic in Playa. Response time from the Poblado to the resorts would be about four or five minutes versus an average 30 minutes from the Red Cross emergency clinic in Playa del Carmen – a considerable life or death difference.
Malacara was generous in offering the Hard Rock facilities for possible fund-raising events and helping with in-kind services such as food for the Red Cross personnel. A suggestion from the Red Cross directors in Playa del Carmen was delivered by Howard that possibly the hotels in PA could place one or more Red Cross personnel on their payroll in exchange for CPR and lifeguard training. That idea also was well-received by Malacara.
For their part, Howard and Rincon shared options with Malacara that involve the collection of private donations – some already pledged – to be handled and accounted for by the Colonos administration and some possible volunteer efforts to conduct fund-raisers. Howard mentioned the probability of placing a question on the next Colonos general assembly agenda asking stakeholders to cover part of employee salaries via a nominal surcharge and thus have all potential users of Red Cross services and ambulance contribute minimally but equitably to the cost.
Howard also announced last week that Red Cross officials in Playa del Carmen have agreed to reopen the clinic and return the ambulance this month as fund-raising projects here get under way. Also, the seemingly dormant Anat Kah charitable organization started here by Christina Alexander, who has since resettled elsewhere for a job opportunity, has agreed that the certified organization will receive tax-deductible donations to be placed in a dedicated account for the PA Red Cross facility.
Howard said late last week details were being worked out with Anat Kah. “People will have three ways to donate: In pesos at the Colonos office (with a receipt from the Red Cross, I believe), or in US dollars via Anat Kah, either by check or credit card, with a 501(c)(3) receipt from them.” In fact, the first donation from the U.S. and through Anat Kah was received earlier this week, Alexander reported.
The details of these fast-moving developments were being worked out in an effort to reopen the PA Red Cross clinic as soon as possible for the protection of inhabitants and visitors.
This just in…
Clinic, ambulance returning
to PA Poblado by March 15
Following an emergency agreement by the Colonos board to advance 25,000 pesos per month ( $1,673 USD at latest x-rate) to pay half of Red Cross clinic and ambulance personnel salaries for 2015, the Red Cross says it will resume operations in Puerto Aventuras no later than March 15. The advance is contingent on the amounts expended be being repaid by the public, fund-raising and business donations for this year. One of several options being considered for subsequent years is a Colonos surcharge in the Colonos budget that would require Assembly approval.
Timothy Howard, of the Colonos Vigilance Committee, said the PA clinic staff already has been notified and a meeting was to be held this week to formalize the arrangement with the Red Cross.
Howard has expanded on the process of making donations: His report:
“Residents of Puerto now have three ways to donate, should they wish to do so:
- Peso donations in cash: Colonos GM Armando Rincon is ready to take cash donations in the Colonos office. He (or his staff) will log in the donor and the amount of the donation, which will be used as part of the monthly Colonos contribution to the Red Cross. He then will be able to give official Red Cross donation receipts to donors (although it may take a few weeks.)
- U.S. dollar donations by credit card. These can be made on the Anat Kah website: http://donate.icfdn.org/?dm_i=2P2A,2AI,1O1OB,372,1#npo/fundacion-riviera-maya-fund
If you go on this website, you’ll note several things. First, the donation says it will be credited to the "Riviera Maya Fund," not Anat Kah. Don’t worry about that. The Red Cross will get it if, after you make the donation, you also send an e-mail to Christina Alexander telling her you’ve made it and want it to go to the Red Cross clinic in Puerto. Christina’s e-mail address is: [email protected]. Right now there is no way on the Riviera Maya Fund website to indicate where a specific donation should be directed; Christina says she will try to get that changed (but even if she does, people still should send her a confirming e-mail).
The last thing to note about the credit card donation is that the processor they use takes five percent as a fee (you’re given the option to offset that by increasing your donation).
-U.S. dollar donations by check. You also can send a check in the mail. In this case, though, you make the check out to the International Community Foundation, and send it to: International Community Foundation, 2505 N Avenue, National City, CA 91950. As with the credit card donation, after you’ve sent the check you’ll need to send Christina an e-mail telling her you’ve done it, and that it’s for the Red Cross in Puerto.
For both the credit card and check donations, Christina will send you an official 501(c)(3) receipt that you can use to take a deduction when you file your taxes.
“The goal is in sight,” Howard said in thanking Puerto Aventurans in advance for their support. (See Anat Kah annual report below)
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RECYCLING at the skate park 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, March 6… COOKING CLASS - Latitude 20 cooking class is held at 10 a.m. Fridays. All are welcome to join in … SPANISH CLASSES at Latitude 20: Call Gloria Contreras at cel: 984-108-3517 for information… FREE LECTURE at 10 .m. March 17 in the Colonos room. The topic: There Is No Cure For The Common Birthday, But There Is Youthful Aging – Join Professor Emeritus Jim White and learn how to immediately slow the aging process… BENITO JUAREZ birthday is March 21 but observed Monday, March 16, when the Colonos office will be closed…
Thinking of going diving? Find a great learning experience at Aquanauts. Click on the logo at left.
Big Winner raffle…
Callous renters bring profits
to landlords, crass disrespect
to many sleepless neighbors
The booming rhythm a few nights ago blasted through the evening into the next morning to the chagrin of many residents trying to sleep. By 3:15 a.m., the party held by renters at Kali hotel/condos at the end of Caleta Yalku was in full swing. The noise did not subside an iota despite a request by Security to tone it down out of respect for neighbors along and across the golf course fairway and others on Caleta Yalku and environs.
“Security went there three times,” GM Armando Rincon said after the fact. “They went once and asked politely to turn down the volume. The renters said they would, but they didn’t. Security called municipal police and returned to the Kali complex only to find the gates closed to them.” By rule, Security is prohibited from private property unless invited in…which it was not. Damn the neighbors, damn Security and damn the police evidently. By about 3:30 a.m. the volume was reduced a little and the persistent booming finally ended at around 5:30 a.m.
Uncaring private parties are a thorn in the crown of Paradise. It doesn’t take rules and laws to remedy the problem. All it takes is consideration for one’s neighbors by moving the noise indoors at 11 p.m. A most respectful model exists in the Centro Comercial District and in considerate local hotels that end loud entertainment by 11 p.m. in consideration of others. The community is grateful to them.
Rincon feels condo administrators and owners should ensure that renters understand the preferred rules of this community as they apply to nighttime noise and stipulate that understanding in rental contracts. Then the police will have rules by which to act.
Save time, money, energy with
solar golf-cart roof, says dealer
Major golf course here testing the product
The clean and renewable energy era is getting a local boost with the novel idea of using rooftop solar panels on electric golf carts as the modern way of saving time, money and the environment over the long term.
While huge solar-panel arrays are already generating free power from the sun’s energy at airports, marinas, malls and private homes in many parts of the world – and selling left-over power to regional grids too – the Mayan Riviera is getting its introduction to the solar panel future in a smaller dose with an idea that is gaining traction here: Rooftop solar panels to power golf carts.
In addition, the Federal Electric Commission (CFE) said this week it has seen a savings of 500,000 pesos in Solidaridad by entering into contracts with some 60 private solar pane users who are selling unused power to the CFE, general savings that also apply to the solar-powered golf carts.
Leading that charge locally is Puerto Aventuras snowbird resident Gerardo Ruiz of Minnesota. He is an electrical engineer who sees the fiscal, environmental and time-saving virtues of charging golf-cart batteries with solar energy and negating the pesky requirement of regularly plugging into power sources to maintain the six batteries that power the average cart.
There are roughly 400 golf carts registered just in Puerto Aventuras alone, a number that has growth potential given the development of the outlying Phase 4 and promise of an additional nine-holes to the current golf course.
“What’s the main reason people buy into this idea?” Ruiz was asked last week by a curious breakfast group at the Omni Hotel. “It isn’t saving the environment or money,” Ruiz responded, “even though that’s correct. It’s saving time. Most people like not having to plug in under normal use.” He added, however, that golf-course carts that get more sustained usage require some charging.
He said his 255-watt standard panel is currently undergoing stringent testing by a well-known golf course on the Riviera Maya with an eye toward purchasing solar roofs for the maintenance carts.
Without delving into technical minutiae, Ruiz says the golf cart panels save money onthe cost of plug-in electricity and also by extending – sometimes doubling – the life of the average cart’s six batteries that can cost from $60 to $100 or more each. The batteries last longer as the result of the solar panel’s ability to keep batteries charged to 80 percent by virtue of continuous charging as the cart is being used or just parked in the sun.
Ruiz has designed a framework and rail system on which to attach the solar panel that also covers and conducts the necessary wiring to the cart’s motor qnd accessories. The system also fits neatly to various cart configurations. All pieces, manufactured here in Puerto Aventuras, are of aluminum and stainless steel while the solar panel glass is easily cleaned and highly resistant to weather damage including hail. Panels last a long time – as much as 25 years – because they are sealed and have no moving parts.
“I originally purchased the solar panel for my late mother’s golf cart, so she wouldn’t have to worry about charging it….hassle-free, “ says Cate Hauser of Chac Hal Al. “It is now my golf cart and I love not having to charge it.” Ruiz has two warranted products, a $600 USD standard solar panel rig for the average buyer that is certified by underwriters’ laboratory as fire retardant and hail resistant. He is distributor also for a prime $2,600 model manufactured by Solar Drive of Denmark –Solardrive.com – that carries a 25-year guarantee. So far, he says, he has sold eight regular panels and two of the Danish panels here.
Ruiz, who vacationed in Tulum 10 years ago with his wife, Lucille, “fell in love” with the Riviera Maya and settled in Puerto Aventuras nine years ago. Having been employed many years in the corporate world, he formed his own company in 2007 and sold it in 2011 to a corporation and began his new solar challenge.
“I know the panel will pay for itself in a year,” Hauser said. “I had some squeaky issues with it at first and Gerardo addressed them right away and has made everything easy and perfect.” Ruiz, who was born in Spain, educated in the USA and is bilingual, said sales include service familiarizing customers with the product. “It only makes sense to have a solar panel on a cart,” said Hauser. “It’s off the grid and worry-free.”
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The Mail Bag…
Illegal poaching of queen conch
being observed in Fatima Bay
Our Bahia Fatima is under attack. Regular illegal poaching and netting are happening now. It happens at night and during the day right in front of us. It is seriously depleting our stocks of conch, especially the queen or Caracol Rosada, which is currently protected, as well as our world class schools of permit and bone fish.
It is regularly done because we don’t pay attention and because our bay is not legally protected. Imagine trying to harpoon the only big grouper in Akumal, or Soliman or YalKu. It wouldn’t happen because the locals would stop you. Here in Puerto Aventuras, it happens regularly. The grouper are already gone. Now, our few schools of game fish and our conch are being wiped out by illegal netters and poachers.
The netting crews use long nets up to 100 meters in length with floats. Some of these crews told me that they use the netted fish for bait. On Monday, an individual was selling conch meat in the Marina Commercial. This cannot be tolerated. It is an illegal act under the laws of Mexico and those of conscience. The netters I’ve confronted tell me they are from Playa. The conch predator is local. I know him. I’ve chased him off numerous times. He has fired his harpoon at me. He tried to overturn the kayak of an observer when I informed him that we had his photo. He is a menace to us and to our bay.
I’m doing my best but I am one person. Armando Rincon, Colonos administrator, asked me to ask you to get the word out about this. We have had enough. I met with him and the head of security, Jesus Galdeano. We have met with the Marines. We are working with Zofamat and Semarnat. We hope to have the bay and all entrances covered with signs noting that the denizens of the bay are protected just as the land animals are.
if you see suspicious activities on the bay, ie. harpoons, snorkelers with visible or subsurface floats, snorkelers spending lots of time in one area, just call security at 984-802-9078. Lets put a stop to the plundering of our bay. Also, no one should approach anyone in our bay who is using harpoons of any kind. The important thing is to call security and point out the poacher to them. In my experience, confronting suspected poachers is just too dangerous.
Another Bancomer complaint
I too was treated very rudely by Napoleon while I was at Bancomer on my latest visit to Puerto in January. I ended up referring to him as Little Hitler. I have been banking at Bancomer for almost seven years but if his rudeness continues I will switch to another bank. He acted like he didn’t want to service me at all and made me wait an inordinate amount of time, which he delighted in doing.
Signed/ Andy Pittman
Added topes appreciated
The Colonos installed "speed bumps" (topes) on Blvd. Puerto Aventuras last week after a long time in the making. I just wanted to say thank you to Rick and Marti Lachaw along with others who have been persistent in making this happen. Thanks to the Colonos for listening and making it safer for the children and anyone walking on Blvd. Puerto Aventuras.
Signed/ Dr. James Sammon
I was very concerned last week when my husband and I rode our bikes to Phase 4. While my husband sat and watched people snorkeling in the caleta I went for a walk. I walked to the Mayan ruin and tried to go around it as I always used to, only to be led into a narrow pathway into a bushy area which led to the cenote.
As I was trying to find my way out of this maze of undergrowth, I came upon a sign in Spanish which said to "Beware of Crocodiles". I was very worried as nobody knew where I was, the path was so narrow, I didn’t know which way to go to get out and heaven forbid that there was a crocodile on that path as there was no way around it.
I think that there should be signs at every entrance into that area about crocodiles because if there had been I would not have ventured in there, especially on my own.
Signed/ Nesta Lacey
(Ed. Note: So far, the Pelican knows of no one who has actually seen a crocodile in that area.)
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Census takers from the Institute of National Statistics and Geography (Inegi) will be in Puerto Aventuras from March 2 to 27. Personnel in uniform and carrying identity papers will do the polling randomly. Anyone with doubts when contacted by a census taker can call local Security 984-873-5128 or Inegi directly 1-800-111-4634… The Hard Rock Hotel in Riviera Maya is in the running as a potential venue for the Economic Forum on Latin America to be held in May… Canada said to be complicit in the 2012 suppression of worker protests at a mine in Mexico, say two investigative agencies… Ten female dancers performing at the Chilly Willy nightclub were arrested and detained last week by agents of the National Migration Institute for being in the country illegally. They are scheduled to be repatriated to their home countries… Germany’s human rights commissioner has faulted lax rule of law as an underlying cause for Mexico’s runaway incidents of violence… The gas delivery company found responsible for the deaths of five infants at a Mexico City hospital explosion in late January has compensated families of those who died in the blast and is meeting the medical and emotional needs of survivors, the company, Gasistica Gas, has reported… The state’s symphony orchestra of some 50 musicians says a contemplated new municipal cultural theater in Playa del Carmen could be chosen as the home of the orchestra since it will have the proper acoustics and space for that type of event, meaning that the concert series would be within easy driving distance of Puerto Aventuras… A Playacar death occurred Monday when a motorcyclist slammed into a palm tree. Police said the deadly combination of alcohol and speeding was suspected… Mexico’s mid-term election on June 7 is open to a little more more than 83 million voters in a population of 113 million, the election commission has announced…
GIVE JESSIE GELATO a licking to cool the hot days coming our way.
Anat Kah renders 2014 report
to Puerto Aventuras community
(Ed. Note: Anat Kah is an all-encompassing charitable organization similar to the community United Fund in the USA. It’s relative absence in public discourse during the past several years was the topic of discussion among a group of men last week and is now answered by release of the agency’s annual 2014 report on Puerto Aventuras programs supported by the fund.) The report:
“Over the course of 2014, Anat Kah focused its philanthropic efforts in Puerto Aventuras in three specific areas: education, extracurricular opportunities and violence prevention. Each of the contributions made to these important areas has been based on a strategic vision for the future of Puerto Aventuras and its residents of all ages. Our belief that real social change depends on an educated, active and participatory community base, guided our fundraising and investments in 2014.
By supporting successful, long-running community educational and recreational programs, as well as developing and promoting an innovative community intervention to prevent violence through the promotion of positive relationships and community engagement, Anat Kah has achieved important steps towards its overall mission “to promote community participation, social investment and sustainable development in the Riviera Maya”. (Anat Ka is a charitable organization similar to the United Fund in the USA)
Pilot Project: Promoting positive
relationships for the prevention
of violence in Puerto Aventuras
”This innovative initiative seeks to address the problems of social and structural violence in Puerto Aventuras that have resulted in multiple harmful effects, as well as health and security issues, at the domestic, community and regional level. Quintana Roo is a state with one of the highest rates of violence against women in Mexico, despite being one of the most economically advanced states in the country.
The project is based on best practices from other successful violence prevention projects in Mexico and areas around the world faced with high levels of violence. This project is aimed at promoting “positive treatment” in human relationships, a methodology that has been proven to contribute to a reduction of violence at the community level.
The project also seeks to promote local participation and mobilization around common causes and concerns, creating new spaces for positive relationships and well-being, organized and led by trained community members, while at the same time addressing critical community concerns surrounding critical issues such as education, the environment, health and literacy.
To that end, in 2014, a group of 15 committed men and women from the Poblado of Puerto Aventuras and Puerto Maya, were trained as community promoters of positive relationships and violence prevention through 105 hours of educational and psychological workshops from the project’s coordinator, psychologist Elsa Solís.
Results of this intensive training show that the participants experienced great changes in their knowledge regarding the themes of the workshops, including the identification of violence in family and community settings, conflict resolution, and community organizing. Participants also reported behavioral changes as a result of their participation in the workshops, including the ability to engage in active listening and conflict resolution in a positive, non-reactionary manner. These changes in knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors at the personal and individual level, also impact how the community promoters engage with their families, neighbors, and the community at-large.
The next phase of the project has begun with the objective of expanding the reach of the positive relationships philosophy to more and more members of the community, through the organization of activities and projects. The local promoters, with assistance from the project coordinator, have planned a series of events relating to pertinent themes like gender-based violence, such as a theater production and movie-roundtables. They have also begun to design and implement community-based projects to address issues such as literacy, education, health and the environment, such as the creation of a community library, in Puerto Aventuras. The promoters will involve other community members in the development of these projects, creating new spaces where they can replicate some of the material and lessons from the workshops in which they participated. Each process and activity is designed to promote increased community cohesion, a key to reducing violence.
We are committed to the belief that social change comes through community mobilization, and are convinced that this initiative will stimulate strategic participation, organization and movement building in Puerto Aventuras for years to come. The model that we are developing, documenting and evaluating here will be replicated in other communities around Quintana Roo, and perhaps Mexico, increasing the real impact of this one project, and bringing positive relationships to an even greater number of people and communities in Mexico. Anat Kah plans to continue to support these local projects and groups, both financially as well as through the provision of technical assistance, where needed and when requested.”
(Continued Next Week.)
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Look! Up in the sky! Is that
a man-o-war or La Frigates?
By Gayle Sandholm
Most any day on the beach you will see the “Pirates of the Caribbean”. These large, long-winged, fork–tailed birds were called by the English the “Man of War” bird. The French called them La Frigates (fast warships) from which the common name Frigatebird is derived.
These pirates will chase other birds to steal their food, even shaking some until they regurgitate. They grab food from the water’s surface while in flight, feeding in flight as well. Frigates often soar high, seemingly without effort and are known to fly day and night without landing for up to a week at a time. This is possible, in part, because they have the lightest body weight in relation to wing area of any living bird. It is also necessary because they do not take flight from the water or a flat surface but leap from trees or cliffs.
The Magnificent Frigatebird is a meter long with a wing span reaching two meters. The Spanish name given this bird was Rabihorcado (forked tail) which can sometimes be identifiable in flight. Their bills are long and hooked. Mostly a lustrous black in color, females are larger and identified by their white breast.
Males seen in flight appear to have a dark breast, but when seeking to attract a mate or in mating season, display a striking red throat sac. Immature frigates have a white head and occupy the nest tree for up to six months before their first flight. On a recent fishing trip I saw up to a thousand Magnificents nesting in trees off Cayo Culbra, a small island south of Punta Allen. As our boat approached the guide said to look at the apple trees. The displaying males gave the appearance of red fruit. Arrr! matey, keep looking up, those “Pirates” are putting on a show in the theatre above.
NATURE NOTES: The regional lobster catch decreased by 50 percent between 2014 and 2015 because of heavy rains and increasing water temperature in 2013, report scientists who are studying the issue. The rains added too much fresh water to the mix, affecting larval growth of the salt-water species. Hard hit were the bays of the Sian Ka’an Reserve.
BIRD WALK, Wednesday, Mar. 11 — 9:30-11:30 a.m. Join two, local, amateur birders on a leisurely bird walk around Puerto. Comfortable shoes, water, binoculars if you have. Meet at the tennis courts near the Golf Course.
THE MELIPONA BEE that was threatened with extinction here just a few years ago is making a comeback in Mayan villages such as San Juan de Dios, Honzonot, San Silverio and others in the southern part of the state where hives are being cared for, protected and expanded with a view to future honey sales to France…
CALLING ALL CHEFS!
The more the tastier!!!
You don’t have to buy a $10,000 plane fare and circumnavigate the world to taste its infinite variety of cultural foods and spices. All you need is a 150- peso ticket to attend the fifth annual Puerto Aventuras Food Festival and get a sampling of what you’d find in other exotic places.
If the past is indeed prologue, this year’s event should please the palates with morsels of international delights from Japan, Portugal, Italy, Belgium, India, USA and national dishes from Puebla, Oaxaca, Tabasco and more. The Colonos Cultural Committee is calling on more chefs from various countries to participate in this year’s event being held in the ample Colegio courtyard. The Colonos notice:
“Here’s a notice for the chefs and cooks who like pleasing PA palates to prepare for the 5th edition of the International Food Festival of Puerto Aventuras to be held Sunday, March 15, in the ample setting of the Colegio of Puerto Aventuras.
This has been one of the community’s premier events in past years and a delicious way of getting to know people from around the world and the country as local chefs share their gastronomical culture and neighbors renew acquaintances.
Those who want to participate – restaurants, hotels and individuals – are asked by the Colonos to confirm their intent as soon as possible to facilitate planning. “The idea is a simple one: one country,” says the Colonos, “one dish. It’s a way of getting to know each other and the traditions of each country through their food. It’s not high level cuisine, but the traditional foods eaten daily by the Greeks, Chinese Turkish and other countries.
We’re not looking for lobster or caviar, but something simple and characteristic of each country. México will participate by states, that is, Puebla, Yucatán, Nuevo León, etc.
Each dish must be enough for 250/300 samples, small portions, a taste of flavor, 30 grams of meat or 30 grams of pasta. Nothing big. We would like for everyone to be able to taste 10 countries before being full.
There are two ways to participate:
1) A private citizen cooks his recipe just to introduce his country, with no commercial intent. In this case, the Association of Colonos will refund the food cost (but we need the receipts) up to a max of $2,000.00 pesos. Obviously the Association of Colonos provides also the installation: tables, chairs, cups, main course or soup dishes, napkins, etc.
2) As commercial business (restaurant, hotel, foods dealer). 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: tables, chairs, cups, main course or soup dishes, napkins, etc., but not the food. This is the cost of publicity.
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. Call or contact Carlos Quiñones at [email protected] or tel. 8735116.
Tickets are $150.00 adults, $100.00 pesos children”
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Fabric store will locate
in PA’S Chedraui multiplaza
Lots of meanings get lost in translation. It was no exception last week attempting to learn what kind of business will occupy new construction at the Multiplaza Puerto Aventuras where Chedraui is located on Highway 307.
None of the employees in Chedraui and on the construction site itself knew. We asked a guard who was taking pictures of the ongoing construction if it was going to be a bank and, if so, which one. After a spate of gesturing and smiling and pretending we understood one another, the guard sort of agreed it was a bank.
The Pelican got in touch with the rental agent Ricardo Bonilla. He said it was being built for a clothing store called Parasini. So which was it? Bank or clothing?
The Pelican contacted Diane Tapia Garcia in Huixquilucan, State of Mexico at the home office of Frisa. That’s the national development company for the entire site and the ongoing construction. She said the “stand-alone” construction will house a fabric store called “Parisina.” The web site is www.laparisina.com.mx. The chain operation deals in fashion fabrics, sport uniforms, drapes and curtains and offers tailoring.
The new retailer will join Super Che and prepared food outlets Home Pizzas, Mei Xin and Salciccas sandwich and the coffee shop kiosk; the TelCel outlet and health and beauty outlets “Your Stylo” and “Similar Pharmacy” in the main building. It also houses several other businesses including a small fitness center and internet store, according to the Frisa website and observation.
The Frisa website also notes the multiplaza has 80,000 monthly visitors and 168 parking spaces. It has a land area of 11,669 m2 and the main building occupies 3,367 m2 of that. The food market and plaza were opened in 2011 and services a “local” population of about 15 – 16,000 between the resort, the Poblado and Puerto Maya as well as the surrounding areas of Paamul and Akumal.
Be safe, not sorry: Keep an eye on your property even while you’re gone. Get details by clicking on the Mayan Security logo in the sponsor column.
What’s in a name?
Knowing where you are
A resort resident remarked recently that the streets of the Poblado, having been repaired and resurfaced, has made for a pleasant sojourn to the other side of the highway either walking or biking, to browse, dine, shop, visit or get the car fixed.
It is being said the road work has inspired Poblado residents to join in the improvements by tidying up private and public property as the political municipal delegation representing Puerto Aventuras makes its need for continued betterments known in city council chambers.
One of the improvements sought is street signs. The local delegate has told the municipal government that residents and visitors complain of not knowing where they are when they reach crossroads. In fact, resort residents are surprised to learn that the Poblado streets actually do have names.
The main street, for example, that begins at the underpass, has been known by resort residents as simply “the Main Street.” But is has a name and that name is Avenida el Vivero, meaning “ plant nursery.” Unlike the repetitive names of streets in the resort area and Phase 4, the Poblado names are all different, making location much easier if only there were street signs.There are names like “Calle Chicozapote” and “Calle Ciricote” or “Calle Cocotehos” and calles Roble, Jabin, Yaxche, and Uva de Mar to name a few.
Ironically, there was a call at the last Colonos Assembly on the resort side for simplification of addresses there.
Centro votes to continue action
to recover common area space
The Centro Comercial Assembly held last Saturday voted to continue an action begun by a previous board to recover common area space used by Cafe Ole, according to a source at the meeting. The vote stipulated the action be taken according to proper legal protocol. The previous board was recalled recently and replaced by the current board after part of a fixed bar placed by the café on common area was demolished by action of the previous board apparently without proper judicial permission, the source said.
The assembly also voted to increase the 15-pesos per m2 fee for common area encroachment by some condo units that occurred years ago to the 55-pesos per m2 price paid by commercial units. The assembly also approved the use of demand notices to members who are delinquent in maintenance fees by more than one year.
CONDOMINIO PUNTA ROCA assembly is at 9 a.m. Saturday Feb. 28 in the Colonos Room… SEASIDE OPERA CONCERT & BUFFET BRUNCH at the waterfront Omni Hotel 12 noon March 1, organized by the Utopia Group to promote musical culture in Puerto Aventuras. Tickets at [email protected] or call 984-168-0249 …RECYCLING at the skate park 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, March 6… COOKING CLASS - Latitude 20 cooking class is held at 10 a.m. Fridays. All are welcome to join in … SPANISH CLASSES at Latitude 20: Call Gloria Contreras at cel: 984-108-3517 for information… FREE LECTURE at 10 .m. March 17 in the Colonos room. The topic: There Is No Cure For The Common Birthday, But There Is Youthful Aging – Join Professor Emeritus Jim White and learn how to immediately slow the aging process… BENITO JUAREZ birthday is March 21 but observed Monday, March 16, when the Colonos office will be closed…
The Mail Bag…
Bancomer’s Napoleon meets his Waterloo
Thanks again for a great Pelican Free Press! Just wanted to say that I too had the same problem with Bancomer back in November. After dealing with customer service by phone and then sending them a long written report, and following up with three or four requests for an answer, I have heard nothing back. I was with Bancomer for seven years and could not believe how badly I was treated. I did not wait to deposit my cheque and instead went to CI Banco and opened a new bank account. They were very professional, courteous and friendly and after only two weeks I had my new account and my Canadian funds were in my account , ready for me to spend. What a treat to not have to deal with “Napoleon” ever again!
Signed/ Heidi Petre
(Ed. Note: Others are also criticizing Bancomer’s veiled policy on preferred status and asking for a clear explanation that has thus far not been forthcoming.)
The other side of Paradise
In the last several years, most condo complexes have improved their properties, even some with limited resources like Puerto del Mar and San Carlos. It makes us aware the community was designed more than 25 years ago from scratch when proper construction materials were scarce or non-existent. That scarcity is beginning to show as the community infrastructure ages.
We now have different types of street substrate, water and sewer systems of questionable quality and durability, various types of unfriendly topes including the “tope on tope” outside the Centro Comercial zone; landscaping and sidewalk designs made from whatever is available, without benefit of standard strategy.
As property administrators continue to meet at the various assemblies, I would suggest some thought be given and pressure applied to effect long-term corrective planning to include: hiring a proper company to study the existing infrastructure condition and list priorities for a long-term overhaul plan; invite Cablemas and other utilities to cooperatively install underground systems, the water company to improve the water and sewerage infrastructure, standardizing road surfaces, all of it done in phases of a long-term plan and spending priorities. The Centro Comercial overhauled its property over several years and it looks and operates much better.
There are only two things that separate PA from resorts in the Riviera Maya like Bahia Principe, Playacar, Mayakoba and others: a Marina, which Puerto Aventuras has, and an 18-hole golf course, which has yet to extend from the current nine holes, but that’s another story. I suggest homeowner associations send the developer a letter asking to update the marina.
We no longer host a marina full of million dollar sport-fishing boats or get the five to ten mega-yachts we used to. Now maybe one or two boats are worth more than $100K. It’s a catch 22. Why invest if there are a bunch of derelict boats, but then why would a nice boat come if it’s a derelict marina?
In the last 25 years, other than some corrective maintenance, there has not been any work on the marina and it shows. It’s a lot like the larger community – five different types of posts, many types of electrical boxes, several walkway places caving in, etc. It took me some time to write this letter yet I am sure you all could add to it. The goal here is to get the community thinking of its future needs.
Signed/ Capt. Andy Beltran
Work was continuing this week to assure the reopening of the Red Cross clinic in the Poblado and the resumption – and possible expansion – of ambulance service for all of Puerto Aventuras. Stay tuned … There is a proposal in the municipal council of Solidaridad to run the approval of new alcohol licenses by the city council for discussion rather than allowing licensing agencies to distribute licenses and permits at their discretion without council debate. Politicizing the process could perhaps benefit PA in controlling hours of operation of license holders to conform to local policies… U.S. Weather Conditions have affected the tourism market here, say businessmen, but travelers from other countries and Europe are helping make up for the many canceled flights from the U.S. because of incessant snowfall and extreme cold…Mexico speaks out on violent extremism – Interior Secretary Miguel Chung, speaking at the U.S. Summit Against Violent Extremism said last week that “It is not enough to deal with expressions of violence to ensure the tranquility of nations. We must also build responses to the root causes that generate it.” … Mayahablantses is the Spanish word for people who speak the Mayan language, and in Solidaridad, according to the last census, there are about 19,000 of them. While snowbirds think of bilingualism here as Spanish-English, for many Mayans it means Spanish and Maya… The infamous “Rubygate” sex scandal involving former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi reportedly is reaching Playa del Carmen where properties were allegedly purchased as “hush-money” for a then under-age Moroccan prostitute known as “Ruby,” with whom Berlusconi allegedly cavorted. The Italian government is investigating… Colombian Narco-cops intercepted a shipment of 3.3 tons – yikes! – of cocaine hidden in mineral compost headed for – guess where – Veracruz, Mexico… Gaining Ground – Tulum’s Small-Hotel Association is reporting an increase in occupancy from 70 to 73 percent over the same time last year… Tulum’s population has climbed rapidly from 2008 to 2014 with an increase of 20,000 new residents – from 10K in 2008 to 30K currently, creating more jobs in the hospitality sector… Researchers in Playa del Carmen report the HIV infection rate in the municipality has risen 33 percent since last June… Mexican President Pena Nieto will meet with Queen Elizabeth and UKPM David Cameron next week to sign cooperative agreements in the energy sector. Pena Nieto will also deliver a speech on investing in Mexico and then make a state visit to Scotland… Foreign immigration and customs agents will be allowed to carry self-defense firearms of limited capacity in Mexico to protect themselves in the course of their duties handling illegal transport of drugs and people across borders…
CFE pole breaks, hangs from
heavy wires on Bahia Chemuyil
Woodpeckers, termites not culprits in this case
A telephone pole cracked and fell onto Bahia Chemuyil last week and remained down for several days while security personnel directed traffic around it. It hung precariously from heavy wires and was buttressed underneath by a supporting pole. The incident called attention to a recent announcement by the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) that – get this – woodpeckers and termites were causing some $500,000 pesos a year in damage to the company’s wooden posts.
The company reported that the average damage to poles from woodpeckers, termite and weathering is about 20 poles a year needing replacement. But in 2014, 30 poles were damaged from those sources and had to be replaced.
The pole that cracked and fell on Chemuyil was for a different reason, said Colonos GM Armando Rincon. He said the pole had simply deteriorated and had been reported to the CFE many times over the last three years as needing replacement. Most poles are pressure treated with chemicals to last about 50 years under local conditions.
Each post and the labor required to install and wire it exceeds 20,000 pesos, said the CFE. There are roughly 300 poles carrying power lines in the local district.
Go softly and carry a big stick,
crocs at cenotes can be quick
By Staff –
There is a sign near the cenote in Phase 4’s conservation area to beware of the crocodile reportedly hiding out there. This Pelican has never seen it and, upon learning that the specie can run pretty fast on those awkward legs and has a mouthful of 68 teeth, a few of which hang menacingly over the lower lip, (see photo), it’s probably just as well. Crocs are apt to lunch on pelicans as they do other birds and small mammals like pet dogs, for example,
A local amateur biologist who spends a lot of time by the Phase 4 cenote enjoying the isolation says he has never seen the croc mentioned in the sign, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t there. Yet, the croc shouldn’t be too difficult to spot since an adult male Morelet –so named after the French naturalist who discovered the species in the mid-1850s – can grow to 10 feet – sometimes 14 feet by nature’s whim, and weigh in between 84 and 128 pounds.
The naturalists tell us the Morelet may look as if it couldn’t run the annual Puerto Aventuras road race, but don’t be fooled by those stumpy legs, the rear ones webbed at that. While the croc won’t outrun a gecko chasing a cucaracha, it can keep up with and maybe surpass folks who’ve been collecting social security for a few years. The crocodile is described as having “explosive” capabilities because of strong muscles and that includes sprinting.
The Morelet prefers secluded fresh water habitat near rivers, marshes, lakes, cenotes and the Yucatan’s grassy savannahs. Young crocs live in dense cover to protect themselves from predators, which explains why they aren’t always easy to spot. The Morelets breed between April and June and can lay between 20 and 45 eggs. Unfortunately, the Morelet can also be cannibalistic, devouring its own specie.
The juveniles are bright yellow with some dark bands and, if not confused with various lizards, have been spotted off the Phase 4 main road dashing into the brush looking for mama.
NOTES: An effort was to begin this week by the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT) to make residents aware through a publicity campaign that a ban on fishing, taking or eating the Queen Conch specie has been banned since 2012 for five years in hopes of replenishing the stock.
LIONFISH: While details haven’t been released, there is expected to be a lionfish tournament off Playa del Carmen sometime in March to continue efforts to rid the invasive specie that despoils the reef habitat,. The tourney follows on the heels of similar previous tournaments held after the fish was promoted as edible and a cookbook published several years ago.