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Monthly Archives: April 2013

Compromise sought on issue of night noise



FOOD, FASHION, ART & MUSIC FAIR at Latitude 20 Restaurant in Puerto Aventuras will be held from1 to 5 p.m. Sunday (April 14) with more than 20 artists, craftsmen, cooks and fashion clothiersdisplaying their skills/wares for the public’s enjoyment.
Young musicians from the Colegio, who have scored a hit with the public here at previous Latitude 20 events, will be entertaining for the entire afternoon at this pleasing venue overlooking the the newest and exciting dolphin pool and shows.
Among well-known area artists will be Isabel Schober and Michele Brown, who is also a local vocalist appearing intermittently at Latitude 20 with pianist Jerry Fastrup. Eight chefs from well-known local eateries like Cafe Ole and Mango’s will be there to serve up palate-pleasing delights. Also on hand will be selected items from Mexicoo Craftsware and information on Chinese medicines, said Latitude 20 owner Peter Metrick. He  said he is trying to create a “community venue where everybody knows your name,” with local events such as this. “If it is well received this year, then we’ll begin a little earlier next year and start to grow it,” he said.


begins at 6 tonight (April 11) at the Lol Ha Restaurant and other local venues and times over the 3-day event that will feature among the comedians the last-minute addition of Camilla Cleese, the daughter of Monty Python icon John Cleese, who will attend and perform. For times, venues, performers and other details, please go to www.akumalcomedyfestival.com.

Briefly, the schedule: Today: April 11, 6 p.m. at Lol Ha Beach bar and showcase; 8 p.m. at Plaza Ukana Grateful Dead Stage, and 10 p.m. at La Buena Vida Late Night Show.
    Tomorrow, April 12; 6 p.m. at La Buena Vida; 8 p.m. at Plaza Ukana and 9 p.m., live music from Courtney McClean and the Dirty Curls at La Buena Vida; 10 p.m., La Buena Vida Late Night Show.
Saturday, April 13; Festival grand finale show starts at 4.30 p.m. at Plaza Ukana Cancha (basketball court – Akumal entrance); 5.30 p.m., Improv comedy with Kim Schiltz and Jim Robinson; 6.30 p.m. – live music from Courtney McClean and the Dirty Curls; 7.30 p.m., Jarana regional dancers, Montessori children performance, Address from the Akumal Delegado (Major); 8 p.m., Best of the Best comedy headliners and 9 p.m., live music with Natalie and the Foxes.There will be food, drink, and merchandise for sale throughout the evening.


Colonos seeks  solution to “noise” pollution


‘Al Fresco’ and ‘Mariah’ help carry sound

By Staff
     It’s a nice idea on paper, but mixed-use zoning, that is, blending residential and commercial activity as in Centro Comercial, sometimes creates as many problems as it tries to solve. A case in point is the ongoing flap over what is booming night “noise” to some and just “music” to denizens of the dark looking to drown themselves in pounding, brain-numbing cacophony.


Noise complaints drifting into the Colonos administrative office have become frequent enough, General Manager Armando Rincon said this week, to warrant recent random decibel measurements in Centro and elsewhere, followed by a congenial and cooperative meeting with commercial interests.
Security Chief Jesus Galdeano, armed with a sound meter, took measurements on 27, 29 and 30 March at two locations that appear to be the source of most noise complaints in the Centro area, “Mango’s” and “Gringo’s Cantina,” Rincon said.

Breaking the sound barrier

     While 65 decibels on a sound meter is the accepted level of noise authorized by the municipal government – and not exceeded here most of the time – Galdeano’s report did show several Gringo’s Cantina holiday week measurements surpassing the authorized decibel level.
One reading hit a high of 82.1 decibels at 10:30 p.m. on March 30. That measurement was taken two meters from the restaurant. Other readings at different distances measured 75, 78.5 and 78.4. None of the tests at Mango’s on the same dates went beyond 65.
Now, it has gone beyond that as the Colonos considers asking municipal authorities for help. One way would be to deny licenses that allow operation beyond 11 p.m., as in a night club license that allows activity until 3 a.m. Having to turn to the municipal authorities is a distasteful prospect for the Puerto Aventuras visionaries who have tried to shape an idyllic “society by agreement.”

Obviously people who go to bed early or simply view peace as a paid-for blessing are in disagreement with business establishments and neighbors that insist on blasting needless late-night noise/music through pounding, ear-piercing sound systems.
Rincon has subsequently met with representatives of target businesses and characterized the general attitude as understanding and eager for solutions. He said a Gringo’s Cantina spokesman explained there was a glitch with the amplification equipment on the night measurements exceeded the 65-decibel norm, the only night that happened.
The Mango’s spokesperson explained that Mango’s has a municipal night club license allowing it to operate until 3 a.m., overriding the Centro Comercial HOA’s general agreement of noise reduction at 11 p.m. Municipal regulation trumps Colonos and HOA rules.

    Solution requires considerate agreement

Two main culprits poking a hole in the solitude of Paradise for those who retire early or simply seek solace in their own living quarters are “Al Fresco” – outdoor dining, imbibing and music playing, and “Mariah” as in “They Call the Wind Mariah.”
Since nearly all dining and dance venues on the Riviera Maya are Al Fresco, there are no walls to contain music/noise particularly if music is amplified and in many cases over-amplified to reach beyond the borders of a particular venue without containment walls or draperies.

Not only is it a disturbing problem for the quiet crowd living in close proximity, but a vexing situation for nearby businesses whose acoustic entertainment may be drowned out by the boom band next door.
In the case of some hotels that play music outdoors near their pools with no roof or walls, Colonos Board chair Jorge Kaufer said wind gusts whip in off the sea heading inland, elevating the sound waves over nearby building barriers and sends the sound galloping some distance to bombard inland residential neighborhoods where too-loud music becomes unpleasant noise for those trying to sleep.
Other noise problems arise when owners of some private homes and condos become crudely inconsiderate of their neighbors by extending over-amplified party times beyond 11 p.m.  or when late-night drivers blast sonic booms from car radios.
Since Al Fresco and Mariah are beyond human conversation, a solution or solutions must be exacted from the parties involved by agreement and compromise. Noise levels can be decreased to a bit below the 65-decibel limit while the sleep crowd defers to the fun-seekers until 11 p.m.
If there is continuing conflict, the Colonos administration says it will have little choice but to petition municipal authorities to step in. It has long been the tradition of Puerto Aventurans to remain free of burdensome municipal oversight. Only by solving local problems locally through compromise and agreement can that tradition continue, Rincon inferred.

Commerce Corner…

Bilingual business newspaper eyed for Riviera Maya


Would also work in tandem
with Pelican Free Press

By Jon Felperin  [email protected]
      Ninety six out of every 100 businesses in Mexico are small enterprises. This 96% of “Micros o Pymes” account for 40.6% of all jobs here. As in other parts of the world, entrepreneurism is gaining attention in Mexico. Federal, state and local authorities are making resources available to the average citizen thinking of starting his or her own business.
One problem has been the scarcity of accurate information about the various government programs or incentives available and how to qualify for them.

In the Riviera Maya, the problem is compounded by the many foreign residents who are still working but who are not actually part of the Mexican public system. For example, the Italian population in the Riviera Maya is purported to be between 7,000 and 10,000.  As such, non-Mexicans simply have trouble obtaining bank or mainstream financing, as anyone who has ever had to pay cash for his or her real estate readily knows.
There is the issue of having almost no public information available in English or other languages, while local happenings, opportunities or innovations remain best-kept secrets among small groups of like-minded, Spanish-speaking people.
Hence the launch of the new Riviera Maya Business News, a monthly supplement of the El Quintanarroense local Spanish-language newspaper, that will begin circulation of its bilingual business edition on April 25, 2013.

The idea for this supplement came from the collective desires of local business people to interact more with the foreign and international communities and to build a bridge between the 3.6 million visitors to our area each year and the fewer than 300,000-plus residents who make the Riviera Maya our home.
As previously reported in thePelican Free Press, a new business organization called United Businesses (Negocios Unidos) has been making a splash by organizing business networking groups and nightly events to help foster small business management and marketing practices.
Together with the Tecnológico de Monterey (the MIT of México), Negocios Unidos and Monterey´s Idess social incubator are helping to make free or low-cost business services and mentoring available to the public. And now Negocios Unidos is collaborating with the El Quintanarroense to create a bilingual business publication insert that is reflective of current economic activities.
The newspaper will be divided into six or so large sections and carry topics related to small businesses, start ups, the tech scene, marketing, finance, real estate, social entrepreneurial efforts in Mayan communities and information staples related to hotels, restaurants and general tourism.
The Riviera Maya Business News hopes to work closely with the Pelican Free Press to provide Puerta Aventuras´ residents with greater coverage and insight into business developments and opportunities for English-speaking residents in the Riviera Maya.


Business Briefs…


BOAT STORAGE DEAL was announced by Riviera Maya Dry Marina and Storage on highway 307 across from the Paamul entrance. The first five boats will get secure dry storage and maintenance for $3 a foot per month. The company also announced it will open its consignment section on Monday and begin accepting items, from cars, boats, to furniture and equipment,on consignment. Drop by from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 to 3 p.m. Saturdays and say hello to owner Ken Kindred… NEW STORE selling children’s clothing is opening in one of the retail stalls at the Chedraui Market in Puerto Maya…A GLASS SLIDING DOOR was shattered at the Chedraui eastern entrance last week. It wasn’t known if a person walked into the closed door or some other kind of accident or failure. We did notice a small boy bump his head hard on one of the doors last week. Be careful…TOURIST SPENDINGin Playa del Carmen’s retail sector took a healthy leap over the holidays reports a Playa representative of the National Chamber of Commerce…OFFICIALS are predicting the total arrival of 4 million tourists to Riviera Maya by the end of this year…

Filet of Soul: Slowly came the night…

By Staff
     About 180 fans of soul showed up to hear two talented vocalists wail the blues at the Puerto Aventuras Cultural Center Saturday night in a concert billed as “soft” jazz.  Unfortunately, “soft” was hardened by over-amplification, a problem that besets this community as today’s lead story notes.

Vocalists Alejandra Milan and Claudia Trevino, both bi-lingual, had the voice, movement and stage persona to charm and entertain the audience while the four musicians, Alex Can on guitar, Arturo Solis on drums, Pedro Mantecon on piano and Hiram Gomez on bass showed technical expertise that was essentially diminished as soft music was, by excess volume, sometimes transformed to noise.
The pained heart of the blues pumps softly. It doesn’t pound and crash with visceral reverberation.
Nonetheless, some of the selections evoked memories of the Newport Jazz Festival  that attracted hordes of young aficionados in the days when talent wasn’t corrupted by super amplification. Saturday night, we saw couples here hug. We noticed shapes in the darkened venue moving, nay, flowing, to and fro and side to side. We saw feet tapping to the beat. We felt the success of the performers when the urge to dance suddenly hit us.
And we felt, once again, the sense of community these events bring to Puerto Aventuras as friends in the audience hug, tell short stories, laugh, shake hands, joke and in general enjoy being with each other in the same place for a few hours. It tells us there is more to a concert than music and noise, yes?

In case you want to know…

Charity golf team renders an accounting

The 2nd annual charity golf tournament held last season rendered a statement this week of proceeds and their distribution.
Tournament chairman James Jamieson also applauded the generosity of the golfers, sponsors, volunteers and contributors of auction items who together raised a collective $16,500 USD.
While proceeds of the 1st annual tournament helped construct the new high school in the Poblado, the continuing efforts of a few dedicated people in urging the government to fulfill its educational obligations was successful and more classrooms and utilities have been installed at the high school at government expense.

This activity has freedproceeds of the 2ndannual tournament to be distributed more broadly. After much research and discussion with community groups, Jamieson said, the golf committee chose to assist three worthy causes.
The major thrust continues to be the education of the Poblado children, and $12,000 USD has been allocated to the newly reorganized Friends of Puerto Aventuras (FOPA), which has merged with Puerto Aventuras Educators (PAE) in an alliance dedicated to the continuing education of children and young adults in Poblado programs. Both organizations have had a long presence in Puerto Aventuras.
The golf committee donated $2,800 to the recently opened Red Cross clinic and ambulance in the former Poblado police station to help purchase medical equipment and provide crews that staff the facility 24/7 with appropriate living accommodations at the clinic.
The remainder, $1,600 USD, funded the purchase of essential school materials for the Jardin De Ninos: Marco A.Milan pre-school, which is under the direction of Prof. Sebastiana EK EK, director of Plantel Education.
The highly successful golf tournaments required a committed team, numerous volunteers and responsive local golfers, all of whom deserve the community’s appreciation. With Jamieson on the committee were his wife, Jeannette, co-chair; Glenna and Bob Uecker, Dick and Sally Dawson, Bob and Pam Beisenherz and Don and Diana Black.
FOPA, which organized in the 1990s, is now under the administration of Fred Devos.     At the helm are Richard Coburn and Paul Ramsey. Sally Wood-Evans, a founding member, continues to counsel the organization.
Since its formation in the 1990s, FOPA has sponsored English language classes for varied age groups, created a donation-based library, initiated computer literacy courses and distributed scholarships. Currently 34 students receive scholarship stipends to post-secondary schools and colleges.


Sees hope in new government approach

Dear Editor:
     I want to thank you for the excellent reporting you do on our beloved Puerto Aventuras.
Especially your courage in reporting on the child molester who apparently did many things to ingratiate himself with the community.
Your report on the Easter service was beautiful, insightful and hopeful as was the report on the new government. All of us who come to Mexico see the hard work and gracious spirit of the Mexican people and want to see them have a better life.
We hope our spending there helps and the tips, donations and gifts will make a difference in at least some peoples’ lives. But the real difference will occur when the government adopts policies to give everyone a chance like the current administration seems to be doing.
I wish the new administration the best in reforming the inequities and expanding the resources of Mexico to benefit Mexicans more equally.


Church Services…

STA. TERESITA del NINO Jesus Y la Santa Paz (Roman Catholic)
Puerto Aventuras poblado masses: daily/Mondays through Sundays, 7 p.m. (Spanish) and Sundays, 9 a.m. (Spanish) . Church office Tel. 984-206-6245 (daily, 9 a.m .- 1 p.m. and 4 – 8 p.m.)
Contact: The Rev. James Hogan
CORPUS CHRISTI (Roman Catholic)
Calle 110A entre 25, Playa del Carmen (near Soriana)
Mass: Saturdays, 11 a.m. (Spanish)
Church offfice: 803-0600
Contact: The Rev. James Hogan
FELLOWSHIP CHURCH PAAMUL– Non-denominational English worship Service is at 9:00 a.m Sundays in Paamul at the Palapa Church and at 10:45 a.m. at the Hacienda Real Hotel, Avenida 10 and Calle10 in Playa del Carmen.
LIGHTHOUSE CHURCH TULUM – “Lighting the way to Life” English worship Service is non-denominational, 10:00 a.m. Sundays with continental breakfast at 9:30; located on Highway 307, 1.2 miles past San Francisco grocery, hospital and Subway, next door to fruit stand.


Phrase a week … By Gloria Contreras, state certified interpreter




This restaurant is the most expensive in the area. “Este restaurante es el mas caro de la zona”
Anyone interested in learning the language can please contact Ms. Contreras by email at[email protected] or Cel: 984-108-3517 so she can prepare materials in advance.
(Classes are from 8:30 to 9:30 a..m. Tuesdays and Thursdays at Tiramisu Restaurant and all are welcomed to attend. The fee is 150 pesos per session.

AA and Alanon meetings…




AA and ALANON meetings are held at the public library at the Colegio as follows:
AA Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m; Thursdays at 6 p.m. and Saturdays at noon. ALANON meeting is held Mondays at 6 p.m., also at the library. Meetings are “open” and non-members are welcomed to attend.

What’s Playing…

See for yourself what’s showing at the local movie houses in Playa del Carmen at the links below.
Centro Maya: http://cinemex.com/

Las Americas: http://www.cinepolis.com/_CARTELERA/cartelera.aspx?ic=70#Cine215

Briefly noted…

Compiled from staff, contributor and media reports
JAGUAR RUMOR in Phase 4 was circulating in PA’s Centro Comercial a few weeks ago. It was given some long-stretch credibility last week when wild fires in Bacalar, not so far from PA, chased a jaguar from the forest to be then struck by a car on a highway. Farm workers found it…HEALTHY IDEA, WHY NOT HERE?  A two-mile bike path was carved into Playa del Carmen for the observance of World Health Day. Interim Mayor Rafael Kantun led bikers from 88th Street along 5th Avenue to the highway and Painters Avenue. The idea is to encourage bikers to exercise in a group Sundays from 8 to  11 a.m. along that path. An organized bike ride along a predetermined path might be a good idea for Puerto Aventuras (?)…THOUSANDS OF SWIMMERS in Playa but not one drowning is reported in the wake of the Holy Week vacation that flooded this area with tourists. It’s a tribute to the increased patrols by police and Red Cross that responded to 23 cases of missing children, all found; nine false alarms and 97 first-aid cases…


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Easter fortifies link at Puerto Aventuras church

DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME, Sunday, April 7, 2013 at 2 a.m.clocks are turned forward 1 hour to 3 a.m. local daylight time instead. Sunrise and sunset will both be about 1 hour later on Apr 7, 2013 than the day before: There will more daylight in the evening.

CONCERT SERIES CONTINUESat 7 p.m. Saturday April 6 in the Puerto Aventuras Cultural Center featuring a night of soft jazz, soul and rhythm and Blues featuring vocalists Alejandra Milan and Claudia Trevino and a musical quartet of piano, bass, drums and guitar.. Tickets 80 pesos at the Colonos office and at Bamboo. Songs by favorites like Diana Krall, Christina Aguilera, Chaka Kahn and more.
ARTISTS, CRAFSTSMEN wanted to participate and market their products at a Fun, Food, Fashion and Arts Fair from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday April 14 at Latitude 20 Restaurant while Colegio students offer entertainment. Any artist, cook, tailor or other craftsperson who wants to participate is asked to call Peter at 984-128-2933 or his chef, Daniel, at 984-593-1362. Contact can also be made at [email protected] …
COMEDY FESTIVAL, April 11-13, in Akumal

In a humble church, a royal Easter emerges

      By Staff
There is no majestic organ booming here in this modest palapa church. In its place is an acoustic guitar and a small choir of uncertain voices lifting skyward in supplication and praise, albeit with volume diminished as it escapes from a place without walls to contain the sound
No matter. The dawn sun filters through the palapa fronds and curves its light beneath the roof. The air is fresh, clean and delicious – something money can’t buy. The makeshift pews are full as the Easter Mass begins.        

Late arrivals un-stack Coca Cola chairs in nearby rows and place them under a red, plastic Coca-Cola canopy anchored to a thin metal frame. Innocent children with big, brown eyes hug their parents lovingly as they cautiously study those different-looking gringos in the next pew, or amuse themselves ever so quietly strolling up and down the center aisle or playing with curled leaves nature deposited on the floor as though they are toy cars.
The notion that humanity divides itself by a highway, a railroad track, an ethnic difference, a color or by relative wealth is, for the moment, lost here in Santa Teresita Church on Easter, the day Christians interpret the resurrection of a crucified Christ as  symbolic of one’s own difficulties and faith-based renewals.
The Rev. James Hogan, the youngish priest who celebrates the morning Mass, makes a point of  linking life’s painful episodes to subsequent rebirth as symbolized by the crucifixion and resurrection.
He evokes the name of Viktor Frankl, a Jew and Holocaust survivor who lost his nuclear family in a concentration camp and, once freed by allied armies, walked across a field, looked at the brilliant blue sky and thanked his God for not abandoning him in Holocaust Hell.
Frankl subsequently repaired his crushed spirit and became one of the key figures in existential therapy, a prominent author and source of inspiration for humanistic psychologists who believed in the importance of finding meaning in all forms of existence.        

During the Mass, in a moment of religious irony, one cannot help but think of Christ bent under the burden of the cross when a worker passes by the church, his body bowed by the weight of  a thick wooden door he is carrying on his shoulders, crossing the dusty field under a blazing sun and disappearing on the other side. Nor can one not compare that scene with the one, earlier across the highway, of gentlemen in golf carts on a verdant fairway, underscoring the two economies, so near and yet so far.
It is encouraging to watch representatives of these two stations hold hands in the knowledge that in daily life they help each other, one by generously sharing some of the wealth and the other earning it through labor…and patience.        

After Mass,Father Hogan reminds the people that the 11-year-old church, so nicely and lovingly decorated by its parishioners for the holy Easter celebration, has seen its better days and reminds them that Pobladan parishioners are anxious to help build a new house of worship, a common place to represent their faith, their pride and their aspirations.
To that end, as several men take up the tithe, one cannot help but notice another hallmark of the two economies, one dropping a small coin or two in the collection basket, and the other folding in higher denomination bills.
A new church would be constructed adjacent to the existing one which itself appears to be in a most appropriate place: It is across the street from the new Municipal Police Station, a two-story building replacing the previous tiny station now occupied by the Red Cross. The police station and church  – physical and spiritual guardians –  overlook a roomy park and playground with considerable equipment for juniors to enjoy in safety. On the other side, is the field that, for this writer, will always conjure up the image of a small man carrying a large door over a bent body on a steaming but grand Sunday morning.
“This is a simple church,” intones Father Hogan, “whose parishioners have shown great love in decorating it with flowers and bunting and making it into such a grand hut for this Easter morning.” He pauses a moment as the two economies hold outstretched hands in deference to one humanity, then adds. “But the people would like a new church.”
          Let us pray their aspiration is as ambitious as federal reforms proposed by the new Pena Nieto government, as depicted in the following editorial.


COMMERCE CORNER… (Reprint of a New York Times Editorial)

Mexico’s Ambitious Economic Agenda

By The New York Times Editorial Board
Published: March 31, 2013

Mexico’s new president, Enrique Peña Nieto, has proposed reforms that could make monopolistic industries like telecommunications more competitive, bolster oil production and improve the government’s finances. The proposals are commendable and could transformMexico’s economy. But success is far from guaranteed.
Mexico has long failed to take full advantage of its many assets, including big energy reserves, a growing middle class and access to the American market. One obstacle has been crony capitalist policies that have concentrated economic power in the hands of a few oligarchs. As a result, Mexicans pay much more for goods and services like phone calls, medicines and airfares than the citizens of most other advanced countries, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Mr. Peña Nieto is the young face of Mexico’s grand old political party, the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, which governed the country for more than 70 years and is responsible for many of its problems. He argues that it has changed and that he and the PRI are ready to take on vested interests like the broadcasting giant Televisa and the telecom colossus América Móvil, which is controlled by Carlos Slim Helú, who also owns about 8 percent of the Class A shares of The New York Times Company.
In recent weeks, Mr. Peña Nieto and leaders of the country’s two other large parties agreed to introduce more competition in broadcasting and telecommunications by giving a new regulator the power to break up dominant companies and award licenses to new firms. Mr. Peña Nieto also plans to reform the country’s tax code to cut down on evasion by corporations and the rich. And he wants to allow the country’s state-owned oil monopoly to form joint ventures with foreign energy companies to improve its ability to produce oil from deepwater wells.

The big questions are whether and how these proposals will be implemented. The new regulator overseeing the telecommunications and broadcasting industries will need real authority and political backing to confront powerful companies that have undermined previous efforts to allow more competition. In the energy sector, policy makers will have to guarantee that concessions involving foreign oil companies are awarded fairly and transparently and are not handed out to a favored few.
One house of the Mexican Congress has already approved a new telecommunications law and changes to the constitution that could usher in education reformsthat will pay off in the long run. Other proposals like tax reform have been delayed because other political parties oppose plans to expand the country’s value-added tax to food and medicine, which are not currently taxed.
Mr. Peña Nieto, who took office in December, is not the first Mexican president to attempt big economic reforms, though he has moved further and faster than his predecessors, who were often stymied by the PRI. Now that the PRI is back in power after a 12-year absence, it must demonstrate that it can turn Mr. Peña Nieto’s ambitious agenda into national policy.



PUERTO AVENTURAS CHEDRAUI market and two real estate offices in Tulum were sanctioned by the government for charging prices above the labeling, misleading advertising and unjustified price increases…NO WORK YET on the Fatima Bay beach reclamation project, according to Pablo Besquin of Oceanus, the company managing the project. He said in correspondence this week that “nothing has started yet. We are in the process of fund acquisition. We will keep you informed of our progress.”

In Case You Want To Know…

On taking a short  ‘trip’ of medical discovery Smile

By Xari Farrar
Mexican housing is constructed of concrete and tile. Even the ceilings. Very hard. If you want to test how resilient something is, throw it against any part of a house and get an immediate, though jarring, answer.

I unwittingly tried it by carrying two glass bowls downstairs one evening without switching on the the stairwell light because I have used the stairs so often I can do it in my sleep. The bowls and I made it to the bottom, but then I took an unexpected  trip on the last step and ended up in a knotted heap on the floor. The bowls  careened onto the floor and crashed onto the tiles like meteors. They shattered, scattered and splintered noisily from the front door to the terrazzo.
The clamor startled and alarmed my husband,  a native of the Arkansas hill country, hence, a hillbilly. Hillbilly sped down the stairs and tried to imitate a first-responder by reaching down to help lift me off the floor. I waved him off, all the while groaning and grunting and grappling to recover and checking to see if I was still in one piece. Oh, good!! Nothing missing. It was more of a “death by a thousand cuts” scenario.
Meanwhile, Hillbilly had gamely grabbed the broom to begin channeling the three million pieces of glass covering the floor like a carpet of diamonds into a disposable pile. However, in his haste to rescue his only means of communication in a foreign country, he left his shoes at the side of the bed, so was reclaiming the floor barefooted!!!

This, in turn, alarmed me!!  So, I began to carefully unwind my knotted body back into something resembling an upright human with bones. I finally managed to work my trasero (back side) onto the bottom step that had tripped me, and from there into an upright position. My knees rebelled violently as I pulled myself up, but I made it and took over the “diamond dust” clean-up.
The next day, I had a large, green right ankle which nicely coordinated with my large, yellow left knee. However, I was getting around fine, and went beachcombing that afternoon to prove it. Although, there have been a lot of Rice Krispy noises emanating from my knee.
But the bottom line is, I passed this year’s bone-density test for free and with flying colors. And, I don’t have to do it again for three years!!Smile


Donations beget improved Red Cross clinic

Dear Editor:
      We had a 2nd equipment dedication ceremony at the new Red Cross Clinic in Puerto Aventuras on Tuesday.  Not only for new equipment, but also for another tour of the facility to see the numerous improvements made to enhance living conditions for those who work there.
These improvements include a new hot water heater that distributes hot water to both the men’s and lady’s showers and a kitchen sink that will be installed on Thursday of this week.

Other items added include four new mattresses with pillows and bedding, two storage lockers, a large stainless steel serving table with a portable two burner gas range sitting on top, numerous shelves, a bathroom mirror, shower curtains and a series of matched storage cabinets to better organize the medicines.
A much needed sterilization machine for instruments has been ordered and is expected to arrive in three weeks.  The former police station had none of these items when the Red Cross was handed the building in December.
Plans for a proposed building expansion continue to develop and I will keep you posted as we learn more.  For now, that portion of the “Friends Project” remains in the “hope and dream” stage… but is moving in a positive direction with a lot of support being generated.  Other than continuing to develop the expansion plan, we have for the time being satisfied all the priority needs that had been asked of us. Good Job Friends!!

Signed/John Schwandke

Agonizing over a friend’s misfortune

Dear Editor:
      Once again, I applaud the integrity and sensitivity in the reporting of the Pelican Free Press regarding a local resident and child pornography.
I also resonate with the comments by Jayne A. Halle, RN, BSN, MS, CNS-BC. Her experiences with the victims of child pornography and her care in helping with the challenges of a healing journey sound so familiar.
I was blessed to have had the opportunity to be a licensed counselor in the Minnesota Public School System for over 36 years. I worked with and learned from primarily middle and high school students  from all over the world as well as Minnesotans.

The almost superhuman courage it takes for a victim of child pornography to finally “revisit” in what is felt to be a safe and non-judgmental environment is a humbling experience. For years, secretly feeling responsible for the acts performed and at the same time having great hesitancy in trusting almost all adults is a very compelling argument for publicly identifying the perpetrators.

It is a similar challenge that sexual and physical abuse victims are faced with, especially when they were victims at critical developmental stages in their young lives. All children and adults deserve understanding (not sympathy), acceptance (without judgment) and love (without conditions).
Only then can the healing begin. A letter writer and mother of two children, Polly Bouker, has every right to “know” her neighbors and to provide for the safety of her children.
Andrew Leigh’s support of his friendship with Doug is also laudable, but I cannot support the specific behaviors that led to Doug’s arrest. I too was, and I think still am in a modified way, a friend of Doug and his companion dog.
Doug’s fast response and willingness a few years ago to drive me from Puerto to an emergency clinic in Playa del Carmen saved my life during a scary onset of significant cardiac challenges. So I will say publicly, thank you Doug, for the good and unselfish things you did. But I am also compelled to say, it deeply saddens me for the selfish betrayal of innocent young children. Shame on you. You were capable of so much more unselfish concern.
The Easter season is a time of rebirth.  May we re-evaluate our treatment of all those around us and share unselfish kindness, understanding, acceptance and friendship.

Signed/Denny Wall



Church Services…

STA. TERESITA del NINO Jesus Y la Santa Paz (Roman Catholic)
Puerto Aventuras poblado masses: daily/Mondays through Sundays, 7 p.m. (Spanish) and Sundays, 9 a.m. (Spanish) . Church office Tel. 984-206-6245 (daily, 9 a.m .- 1 p.m. and 4 – 8 p.m.)
Contact: The Rev. James Hogan
CORPUS CHRISTI (Roman Catholic)
Calle 110A entre 25, Playa del Carmen (near Soriana)
Mass: Saturdays, 11 a.m. (Spanish)
Church offfice: 803-0600
Contact: The Rev. James Hogan
FELLOWSHIP CHURCH PAAMUL– Non-denominational English worship Service is at 9:00 a.m Sundays in Paamul at the Palapa Church and at 10:45 a.m. at the Hacienda Real Hotel, Avenida 10 and Calle10 in Playa del Carmen.
LIGHTHOUSE CHURCH TULUM – “Lighting the way to Life” English worship Service is non-denominational, 10:00 a.m. Sundays with continental breakfast at 9:30; located on Highway 307, 1.2 miles past San Francisco grocery, hospital and Subway, next door to fruit stand.


Phrase a week … By Gloria Contreras, state certified interpreter



How many workdays for my document to be ready?? “En cuantos días hábiles esta mi documento?”
Anyone interested in learning the language can please contact Ms. Contreras by email at[email protected] or Cel: 984-108-3517 so she can prepare materials in advance.
(Classes are from 8:30 to 9:30 a..m. Tuesdays and Thursdays at Tiramisu Restaurant and all are welcomed to attend. The fee is 150 pesos per session.

AA and Alanon meetings…



AA and ALANON meetings are held at the public library at the Colegio as follows:
AA Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m; Thursdays at 6 p.m. and Saturdays at noon. ALANON meeting is held Mondays at 6 p.m., also at the library. Meetings are “open” and non-members are welcomed to attend.

What’s Playing…

See for yourself what’s showing at the local movie houses in Playa del Carmen at the links below.
Centro Maya: http://cinemex.com/

Las Americas: http://www.cinepolis.com/_CARTELERA/cartelera.aspx?ic=70#Cine215

Briefly noted…

Compiled from staff, contributor and media reports
LAST WEEK’S PLANE CRASH on the highway in front of Sam’s Club has generated another round of complaints from businesses near the small air strip for further safety precautions…JAM PACKED is how locals are describing an apparently successful holiday week and weekend. The beaches, here, Tulum, Akumal and in Playa, were reportedly packed with bathers and sun worshippers while local restaurants in Centro Comercial were also unusually crowded Easter night. It’s good sometimes to count your money along with your blessings. On the down side, there were 14 rescues of bathers in Playa del Carmen, most of them intoxicated…24 CRUISE SHIPS stopping in Cozumel were expected to deposit 72,000 visitors and add about $5 million  to the local economy…THE 5TH AVENUE tourist information booth that was closed for improvements to the street may not reopen…RIVIERA MAYA will be promoted on a pay TV Channel in Spain…RIVIERA MAYA hotel occupancy increased by 7 percent over last year’s Easter holy day season…FOUR PEOPLE DIED in a speeding taxi in Tulum this week,including a child. Rescue personnel did not respond to the scene until three hours later because they did not have gasoline to get there. It shows the foresight of Puerto Aventurans who created a fund to assure the local Red Cross ambulance always has the means to purchase petrol…

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Pelican Free Press Newsletter

For emergency phone numbers, church services, “resident” and “gate” card forms and processes; rules for golf carts and motorcycles, pets, construction by-laws, recycling schedule and other pertinent community information and services, please click on the Puerto Aventuras Colonos icon below. Thank you

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