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Monthly Archives: April 2011

Easter on the rocks; winds blow visiting vessel ashore


  The high season is, alas, on the wane and so are many of the activities it brings. Accordingly, the Pelican Free Press moves from its weekly publication this week and into the sporadic off-season mode as pertinent news dictates. We will contact you by e-mail as usual when new editions are published and will be back in stride for the high season in November.  Stay tuned and stay informed.


Nobody injured as Cancun craft attracts curious beachgoers

    There she was, a roughly 30-foot cabin cruiser rocking gently with the surf on the stony bottom just off Villa Del Mar on Easter Sunday, greeting curious onlookers and the Federal Marines to a lazy-day diversion.

    The first call to the Pelican Free Press came from Inger Bjerre who came upon the scene during her morning walk, reporting to us the early, skimpy details of what had happened and how the Marines were on the beach evidently taking the situation in hand.
The Pelican, camera in pouch, winged quickly to the scene, first encountering armed Marine sentinels, other military personnel in blue uniforms who were surveying the scene and evidently guiding the vessel’s salvage. One of the Marines pointed out the craft’s owner as he waded a shore with a backpack in hand and rueful smile.
He identified himself as Juan Ruiz, from Cancun. He wore a blue T-shirt with large letters saying “CUBA” but declared “I’m Mexican.” As he spoke to the press, several Marines came by and high fives were exchanged along with brief conversation, then several Mexican men, also high-fivers, attracted his attention as workers and onlookers strode by.

       Ruiz said the boat had been disabled the day before as it maneuvered near the north channel entrance to the marina and evidently struck a rock, disabling the vessel’s ability to propel itself. Overnight the wind took on that task and drove the vessel nearly onto the beach broadside.
Beach walker Jim Caddey, of Quinta del Sol, said he’d seen the vessel earlier on Saturday just sitting, it seemed, outside the channel entrance to the marina. Then he saw it again at about 9:30 p.m. after watching a basketball game. She had nearly washed up on the beach broadside, he said, and  had her running lights on. He said he thought he could hear a pump and water being bailed.
Ruiz said there were four people aboard making the holiday trip from Cancun. He said nobody was injured. Beachgoers watched as burly young men carried large beams of wood out to the disabled vessel to shore up her spine, or keel, so that a personal watercraft could tow her out to deeper water undamaged and where she would not flounder.
Fortunately, the vessel grounded before reaching one of the several stone piers running out from the beach into several feet of water. She was freed from shallow water later in the day and hauled out to deeper water to await some mechanical repairs. In related news, navigation to boats under 40 feet was stopped on Isla Mujeres Tuesday because of high winds. But later in the week, the Navy had to come to the aid of two small vessels adrift at sea. There were no injuries.

                                                               Red rose

First PA dentist opens full-service office here

    Dr.Enrique Perez, a native of Mexico City and 12-year-practicing dentist in Cuernavaca, has opened what is believed to be PA’s first ever full-service dental office. It is located in a minimalist space at the junction of the steps leading up to the Colonos office.

    In addition, his wife, Sonya, is proprietor of the Sushi Mi restaurant that opened a few weeks ago in Centro C0mercial  between Tiramisu and Mangos. Though it had just opened for business,  Sushi Mi participated in the Colonos annual food fest. They have a 4-year-old son and are now living in the resort area.
Cuernavaca, for the uninitiated, is an industrial city in south central Mexico’s Cuernavaca Valley near Mexico City. It is a popular tourist and health resort destination,   indicating doctors  there have the skills to satisfy.
In addition to regular dentistry such as fillings, extractions and other purely medically required services, Dr. Perez has taken a number of courses in aesthetic dentistry and Botox application, including a dental implant course at Harvard’s Department of Restorative Dentistry.
Dr. Perez earned his degrees from Metropolitan and International Universities in Mexico City and various other specialized courses in places like Las Vegas. His services include orthodontics, the latest in computer generated crowns, caps, implants and laser whitening.
His family’s move to Puerto Aventuras from a large 120 square meter office in Cuernavaca is simply explained: “This place is so beautiful. It’s amazing. Our son even loves it here.” There are no beaches in Cuernavaca.
While he and his wife are starting their businesses here simultaneously, Dr.Perez is splitting his time between the dental office and the restaurant when he has no dental appointments.
To accommodate walk-in patients when he might not be in the office, he has a sign “OPEN” posted on the door with a phone number to call, 984-112-2561. “I come in every morning and turn everything on. If people call me,I can be there in less than five minutes,” he said.
Dr. Perez is a runner and expects to join more than 400 runners in this year’s annual PA runathon.
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OFFICICAL VISITOR HERE – An agent from INEGI, Mexico’s census and geographic agency, began on Tuesday visiting living units in PA taking the census. The agent is Jose Ramos Benumea, and is carrying identification that you may request to see before answering his census questions. The Colonos administration asks that you all cooperate
with this effort

ANOTHER TRAVEL WARNING was issued by the U.S. State  Department this week, It could be discouraging to people who drive here from the States because  all states through which one must pass are included in the warning. Again, forewarned is forearmed. Check the State Department website before making the drive. Yucatan Peninsula is not included in the warning but Highway 101 in Tamaulipas has been dubbed the “Road to Death”…LOST IN TRANSLATION – Felix,who attended the tree planting, is from Germany, not Amsterdam, according to sources and the proper spelling for chair of the event is Dulce Carillo Chabolla. The Pelican appreciates these clarifications…TULUM AIRPORT BIDS for construction are being received by the Ministry of Communications and Transport. Among bidders are Tradeco Construction Co. and a consortium comprised of Grupo Mexico and Grupo Aeroportuario del Pacifico. If it ever gets built, the airport would be about 15 miles from the coast in Tulum toward the Coba ruins…SEVEN ALLEGED MEMBERS of the Zetas have been

detained in Cancun and several weapons including an AK47 and super 38 and 9mm handguns along with more than 700 assorted cartridges confiscated…CONDOS ESMERALDA and Turquesa are getting a new neighbor it seems. Workers have cleared the lot just outside the main gate, on the Turquesa side, to evidently make room for constructing a home…Q. ROO’s HUMAN RIGHTScommission is investigating complaints that some civil servants and the police have been violating human rights at times of arrest of individuals for various infractions…

Chedraui could triple in 5 years, grow with Puerto Maya

Eight of 20 retail spaces spoken for; bank sought by brokers

     THE SUPER-CHE market that opened here just last December expects to triple in size in five years if the current trend of home sales in the Puerto Maya development continues, says local Chedraui manager Lic. Roberto Becerril Gomez. He took over as manager several weeks ago and is living in a PA resort condo.
Readers should recall that the Pelican Free Press reported in a recent edition that 5,800 housing units were expected in Puerto Maya, 2000 already occupied, eventually creating a substantial customer base for Chedraui and other businesses planning to occupy the 20 retail spaces currently in the building.

So far, eight of those spaces are spoken for, reports Sandra Garcia, on-site building manager for Grupo FRISA, a commercial and industrial properties and management company. They include Hogar Pizza, Macrocel (cell phones), Internet, Estetica hair salon, Comida Mexicana food store, Parripollo, a chicken purveyor; Comida China, a Chinese food restaurant and F. Similares, a pharmacy. (Three of these are in the negotiation stage).
Garcia said brokers are out in the community trying to round up a bank branch because there appears to be a demand for one. This envisioned growth spurt prompted one negative comment from a reader that growth brings problems.
Becerril, the Chedraui manager, has been with Chedraui for 18 months, working before that for several organizations including eight years with Wal-Mart and two with City Club among others. The jobs required frequent transfers, keeping the Mexico City native on the move to various areas of Mexico.
Ironically, on the day of the interview when Becerril said he works roughly 60-to-70 hours a week, a study was released on CNN noting that Mexico had surpassed all other nations in work productivity, ranking first with 9.9 hours of labor a day.

“We are doing incredibly well at this location,” Becerril said in English. “The company didn’t expect to grow so fast.”  This location, the Pelican learned earlier, was established to service indigenous and foreign peoples, therefore, considerable attention has been paid to selecting and supplying foodstuffs familiar to both constituencies.
Becerril said the current split between indigenous and foreign shoppers is roughly 60-40 percent. It’s a fluid figure dependent upon the growth of the Poblado versus resort populations and the fluctuating number of foreign visitors in a given year.
The store has 90 full- and part-time employees, mostly from the Poblado and Playa del Carmen, compared to the larger markets employing 150. Some 25 trailer trucks a week, about three a day, make deliveries there.
Asked why price tags on shelves hardly ever match up to the specific item above or beneath them, he shook his head. “Prices change so frequently,” he said. That’s why a pricing or code bar reader his been installed at the end of aisle 03.
In an industry that apparently  serves itself with frequent transfers, Becerril can only hope one doesn’t come down the pike too soon for him. “I like it here. I like the store, I like the area.”

PA kids qualify for National Olympic sailing run in May

      With just a year and a half of training, the PA Sailing Program for youth that operates on donations has landed an invitation to compete in the National Mexico Olympic sailing games May 1-15 in Progreso,Yucatan.
About 200 competitors in classes ranging from Optimist, laser and sailboard, will be attempting to bring home a medal. From what onlookers can see from the beach at Omni, the young sailors seem to know their stuff as their Optimist class boats sail smoothly and tack smartly along the horizon.
Ten sailors chosen to represent the PA club are: Massimo Augusto Melgarejo Venegas, 10; Mariano Botello Beja, 10; Marcelo Melgarejo Venegas, 11; Sofia Morales Islas, 10; Frida Machorro Garcia, 10; Edouardo Reynoso Zuniga, 14; Jonathan Beunfil Carreon, 14; Alan Isaac Uh Moo, 14; Keyla Hernandez Oviedo, 11 and Carlos Buenfil Carreon, 11.
Sailing instructor Armando Gallardo Rodrigues wishes them “happy results. I’m sure that when you are a child, you can work to make dreams come true.”

PA comes together to plant trees for the future

      It’s been said you can’t see the trees for the forest. But that wasn’t the case this week when several hundred residents from both sides of the highway got together with a boy wonder at the barren and dusty Poblado playing field on the edge of the jungle and did see the trees……..only because there is no forest there.

Maybe someday there will be flourishing greenery in the Poblado if a bespectacled 13-year-old Amsterdam boy named Felix, local officials, volunteers and several hundred people keep to a commitment to make it happen.
The odyssey began Wednesday at a tree-planting party that saw hundreds of people plant small trees in a square all along the playground’s perimeter. The trees were selected and raised by a Calica biologist. Holes had been pre-dug but unfortunately not enough of them to handle all the trees, some of which were taken to the Colonos for planting.
Individuals bought into the Plant-a-Tree project with $150 pesos, received a T-shirt, certificate and a tree to plant in what turned out to be a fun undertaking.
Prior to the planting, the people sat in metal folding chairs or stood around facing a makeshift stage where event Chairperson Dulce Carillo Chebolla introduced a bevy of minor officials and volunteers including Jorge Chabolla, general manager of Calica, and Prof. Antonio Mier Diaz, Puerto Aventura’s delegate to the seat of  municipal government in Playa del Carmen.. They thanked all for participating while Chebolla also reminded listeners that if humankind stops felling so many trees, it wouldn’t have to plant them.
Sra. Carillo Chebolla also introduced Felix Furkbeiner of Amsterdam, the 13-year-old boy who launched a worldwide effort to plant a billion trees via the  United Nation’s plants for a planet program. He had been touring the Yucatan and agreed to participate in the local effort.
Spearheading the local drive was the PA Community Park Committee whose members Zsu Zsa Batt, Patricia Hernandez, Andy Pittman, Monica Tynan Day and Liliana Viola met for a marathon 4-hour parley a few weeks ago to plan the event. Since then they had been working  to distribute the $150 peso packets throughout the community.
How well the program works here will depend on how committed the people are to watering and nurturing their adopted trees until they are old enough to fend for themselves, like the children whose bodies they will someday shade.
Another similar event is planned for perhaps September for tree plantings around the new Poblado High School building.
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PAYING ATTENTION in the front row are young and old, while, in center, Colonos board president Beatriz Marron Vales wonders if her grandson, in a small extra-large size T-shirt, will grow, like the trees,  from an acorn to be a mighty oak. At right, event Chairperson Dulce Carillo Chebolla introduces Felix to the crowd.


AIRPORT CONSTRUCTION in Tulum has apparently  cleared all hurdles except announcing a bid winner sometime in July. The National Infrastructure Fund (Fonadin) has allocated “three thousand 120 million pesos” for the work and operations with construction expected to begin in December. Officials expect 700,000 passengers the first year of operations and 3 million a year after three years,compared to Cancun’s 11 million passengers in 2009. The project includes a runway of 3,450 meters, terminal, aprons, control tower and operations facilities. CARTING OFF CARTS – Whether it’s stealing or prankish “borrowing” by youth, it is wrong to take another’s golf cart for a spin then leave it out on the golf course for owners to retrieve. For the second time, a Canadian couple’s cart has reportedly been taken – and damaged a bit – from condos Turquesa. Cart manufacturers need to add theft-proof systems….IN GOOD COMPANY- The S&P this week gave the U.S. a negative outlook rating, just as Fitch gave one to Q. Roo last week, feeling lawmakers would not address long-term fiscal pressures thus creating a future risk…STUDY says Mexico tops  Japan  in number of paid,or underpaid, hours worked daily at 9.9 hours…PROTECT YOURSELF from Q. Roo’s high count of ultraviolet rays by using a #50 sunscreen and drinking plenty of water, says the Civil Protection Department…PRESIDENT FILIPE CALDERON and a considerable contingent of security forces arrived on Cozumel to spend the Easter holiday time at the Presidential Palace near the Air Force Base. His favorite hobbies are diving, sailing and driving his bike around the island’s streets…Q. ROO GOVERNOR Roberto Borge Gerardo Amara Betancourt has named lawyer Gerardo Amara Betancourt as State Attorney for the Environment with orders to enforce environmental laws. There has been talk in PA about construction being stopped in the mangrove area…THERE’S BEEN A SHAKE-UP in the State Judicial Police, with commanders from Chetumal and Cancun being transferred to other places and jobs…FOUR MONKEYS sighted simultaneously on Bahia Chemuyil this week in PA…CANCUN is celebrating its 41st anniversary as a resort town…

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