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Monthly Archives: February 2014

How NOT to drown in a rip current

REMINDERS:

FOOD FEST participants sought by Colonos. See story below and sign up! 
VILLA CHOICES
for families, friends. Click on Akumal Villas at left
SALSA DANCE LESSONS, Wednesdays, 10 a.m., Latitude 20 Restaurants. All welcome. Have fun! Just 30 pesos per hour lesson.
IF THE RAINS leaked on your property, click on Definitive Solutions for help.
LIBRARY HOURS   Mon-Fri from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. More than 15,000 English and Spanish books to choose from.
ENTERTAINMENT NIGHTLY at Latitude 20 Restaurant
RESERVE NOW for summer car storage at Riviera Maya vehicle and boat storage. Click logo at left for web page.
TECHNICAL PROBLEM? – Check Alan’s Repair at left for list of services
ALL THE POOL supplies you need. Click on WeRWater logo for list of products that work.

COMING ATTRACTIONS:
COPPELIA’S BALLET
and Man With the Golden Voice along with Colegio talent, March 8, at 7 p.m. in the Cultural Center, to benefit the PA library and school art projects. Evening of song and dance;, food and drink for purchase, silent auction of local prizes – dinners, hotel stay, landscaping, fishing trip and more. Donation 100 pesos at school office, library or at the door. See display below.

 

Pobladans protest at City Hall;

seek PA beach access lane  

  

By Staff:
   The age-old search for access to beaches through private property expressed itself again last Friday. A group of protesters from the Puerto Aventuras Poblado lined the basement of City Hall in Playa del Carmen to criticize the apparent lack of effort on the part of the municipality to give some 16,000 inhabitants of the Poblado and Puerto Maya access to the local beaches.

This is a universal problem that pits private property rights against the peoples’ legal right to walk upon and enjoy the federal beach zones along the water’s edge. Getting there is the conundrum, because they have to pass through private property. It becomes doubly difficult when such private property belongs exclusively to gated communities and hotel enclaves existing under the law. First, they have to get through the main gates, then cross private beachfront property.

Similar situations exits along some tourist areas in the United States where long sections of public beach go mostly unused because there is no parking along the narrow roads, a situation that wealthy landowners aim to maintain.

Some 30 protesters carrying placards and petitions signed by many Puerto Aventurans met with the city clerk. They are asking the municipal government to intervene with an early solution to the access situation. They said as it is they have had to go some 15 or so kilometers to Akumal – a relatively open community with a small Poblado – to enjoy beachfronts that essentially belongs to all the people. But even there, says Cox Tun Orlando, a PAP (Puerto Aventuras Poblado) resident, access issues are arising.

The Hard Rock Hotel, the Puerto Aventuras Resort Community and Barcelo’s all-inclusive are all gated. In the case of the resort, beach access has also been an issue with some home and condo owners who have had intermittent, temporary problems accessing the beach through the resort’s hotels and private waterfront properties. It has been said that an access lane was inadvertently omitted from the resort’s master plan, leaving the entire waterfront as one continuous barrier of legal private property.

As it is, beaches in the PA resort area have been decimated by nature, losing considerable waterfront land, which in turn has greatly increased taxes on those private waterfront properties. It is doubtful the federal zone remaining could handle the potential increase in beach users that a 16,000 population represents.

Could nearby X-Pu-Ha area of mostly undeveloped beachfront, combined with direct daytime shuttle service from the Poblado, potentially offer an acceptable solution?

What we heard…

Driver offers advice to people

worried about getting a TIP

Kantenha loop now open to cars

By Stan Glab of Tankah Tres

  “In case anyone needs to get a new vehicle TIP (Temporary Import Permit), don’t be discouraged. The process I just went through was a breeze! I had my original TIP from 2010, before the laws changed. I was supposedly still legal because my status is Residente Temporal. However, I have been stopped twice and told the TIP was out of date and that I needed to get a new one or they could impound the car. Obviously not all the police thought I was legal.

On the advice of people who know more about these things than I do, I decided to bite the bullet and drive to the Belize border and struggle though the process. But to get the new TIP, I learned, you don’t have to leave Mexico!

We left from our house three miles north of Tulum and got to the Belize border in about 2 3/4 hours. You follow the signs toward Belize but before you actually get to the border you take the road to the “Libremente” or something like that. (You’ll know it when you see it.). Drive past the red light/green light stop on the left and you will come to a small Kiosk.

From there go left across the road and park in the lot. The signs are not that good but we saw Bancerceto through the side door and went to the counter. There were 2 agents. One spoke English, one did not. We don’t speak much Spanish and the agent we got didn’t speak English. It was not a problem though since the process was so easy.

I told her I needed to cancel a TIP and wanted to get a new one. She took my old TIP paper, which you MUST have, and went to the car. She took a picture of the VIN number and removed the old sticker. She then gave me an official TIP cancellation paper.

Next she asked for my passport, my Residente Temporal card, my US drivers license, and my credit card. Within minutes she handed me the new TIP. We left and put the new sticker on the window and the whole process took about 25 minutes. I had to pay the $400 USD fee which I will get back when I return the car to ANY border crossing while my TIP is still good. There were also other fees amounting to about $50 USD that are not returnable.

The best part is that when we got our “temporary” visa last year it was good for 3 years. Therefore my car TIP doesn’t expire until March 2016 at which time I will need to get the car back to the US. Then I’ll proceed with getting a Permanente visa and a Mexican tagged car.

We were so pleased at how things went. It was relatively easy and not intimidating. On the way back, we suggest you get some pinas and jicamas near Bacalar and get some oranges and especially orange blossom honey just south of Lemones. It is the best honey I’ve had in Mexico in my 20 years of coming here. (I was a hobby beekeeper in the states for 20+ years so I know honey).”

 

Recognizing a rip tide

can help save lives

   By Staff:
   A few years ago, a PA resident lost his life while either snorkeling or body surfing near the Sirinis Resort and Spa just south of Akumal with a friend when he was swept seaward by the current. An attempt at rescue was unsuccessful in preventing death. We were also told red warning flags were out that day and fairly heavy wind was kicking up the surf.

The Pelican Free Press issues this annual reminder to swimmers as a precaution in observing red flags in rough surf and recognizing the formation of rip currents to help prevent accidental death.

For the uninitiated, a rip current, or simply “rip” is a potent water channel that flows from the shore to the sea through a surf line, sometimes flowing as fast as 8 feet per second. They potentially occur at any beach with breaking waves in the world’s oceans, seas and even large lakes. A rip is formed when wind and waves drive water toward the shore, forcing the water sideways. When wind and waves drive water toward the shore, that water is often forced sideways by the oncoming waves and it streams along the beach in search of an exit.

This results in the rip. It is more often than not narrow and found in trenches between sandbars, under piers or running along jetties.

There is a misguided view that undertow or rips pull victims under water when in fact the current is stronger at the water’s surface, which tends to dampen incoming waves, creating an illusion the water is calm. Some say this may deceive some swimmers and lure them into the swift-moving channel in some cases causing death following exhaustion while fighting the current.
Typically, the strongest part of a rip current is the direct line between the water’s edge and the sandbar opening, but the current will also pull in water from either side of the basin. In this way, a rip current might pull you sideways, parallel to the beach, before it pulls you outward, away from the beach.

Once the receding wave makes its way through the sandbar opening and meets up with water at its own level, its pressure immediately drops. Overall, the water flow pattern has a mushroom shape.

Depending on its severity, you may be able to see a rip current from the beach. Strong rip currents disrupt incoming waves and stir up sand from the ocean floor. When you’re at the beach, keep an eye out for narrow, muddy streaks in the ocean where there aren’t any waves breaking.
If you get caught up in a rip current, it’s crucial that you keep your wits about you. Your first instinct may be to swim against the current, back to shallow waters. In most cases, even if you’re a strong swimmer, this will only wear you out. The current is too strong to fight head-on.

Instead, swim sideways, parallel to the beach. This will get you out of the narrow outward current, so you can swim back in with the waves helping you along. If it’s too hard to swim sideways while you’re being dragged through the water, just wait until the current carries you past the sandbar. The water will be much calmer there, and you can get clear of the rip current before heading back in.

People drown when they thrash about in the water or expend all of their energy swimming. To survive a rip current, or any crisis in the water, you have to keep calm, and you have to conserve your energy. If you don’t think you can swim all the way back to the beach, get past the rip current and tread water. Call for help, signal to people on the beach and, if all else fails, wait for the waves to carry you in.
If you’re on the beach and see somebody else caught in a rip current, call for help from a lifeguard or the police. Don’t immediately dive in and swim out to the person. It’s too risky to swim out there yourself unless you have a raft, boogie board or life preserver with you.
People who are not excellent and strong swimmers must exercise sensible caution when entering water with breaking surf and noticeable undertow, particularly near sandbars, reefs and jetties. A rip current could be lurking nearby. Common sense dictates that people not swim or snorkel alone or venture out in deep water or heavy surf without a life preserver and/or friends nearby.

 

Commerce Corner…

Auto, boat storage firm gets

new on-site management

   Compiled by by staff, contributors and general news sources 
 

   A change in on-site management has been reported by Riviera Maya Dry Marina and Storage on Highway 307 across the road from the entrance to Paamul. Ted Faber, one of the original partners in the business is now living in Paamul and will be at the facility “99 percent of the time.”  His former partner, Ken Kindred of Puerto Aventuras, has decided to explore possibilities in another country, Faber said.

The change in operational management comes with new mechanical services for car and boat owners. Faber, who is a mechanic and metal fabricator in his own right, said the company has hired a car/boat mechanic of considerable experience and is now offering auto and boat maintenance and repairs such as brake work, tune-ups, tire rotations and other maintenance services.

Faber, who said he has come down from the state of Washington for permanent residency here will be installing a car lift and expanding his tool supply to handle most jobs. Faber is also a welder and has been repairing boat trailers and doing custom metal work. “If a customer can draw what they want, I can generally build it,” he said.

He has rigged a diesel, four-wheel drive dump truck with a pneumatic ball lift to haul boats in and out of the water and to move and transport large and small recreational vehicles.

The indoor auto storage was full last season, he said, and well on its way to being full this season. He said this year he is offering outdoor storage for cars as well at a reduced rate and if the owner doesn’t have a cover already, can arrange to have one made. All cars stored there, whether in or outdoors, receive continuous battery service, ventilation and moisture control. Since batteries are maintained by running the engines periodically, it is suggested that clients deliver their cars with a full tank of gasoline in the event they stay away longer than expected. The company is also offering a package deal that includes transportation to and from the airport.

“We’re filling up rather quickly this year,” Faber said this week. “We’re on a first-come, first-served basis.” Call © 984-139-6632 for reservations. More information available by clicking on the company logo at left to visit its website.

 
Mexico TV battle heats up  

   The Maharajah of Magador used to sing, “Take my rubies and take my pearls, take my camels and take my girls..” and here in Puerto Aventuras many a snowbird adds, “But don’t take my television service away from me.”

Televisa and TV Azteca, Mexico’s top two broadcasters, are demanding the new federal government agency, Ifetel, investigate dealings between Telmex and Dish Mexico saying they are a threat to competition. Ifatel was formed last year to soften the hold on the communications industry giants like Televisa and the Carlos Slim empire that includes Telmex, part of American Movil. 

The two TV broadcasters say Telmex is using contracts with Dish Mexico to enable Telmex to offer the triple package deal – phone, internet and television…and thus decrease the level of competition. The broadcasters claim the deal constitutes an illegal merger, harmful to competition and not in the best interests of end users.

As that battle rages, snowbirds and ex-pats, helped by technical advances, are going to great means to bring their own Television services from back home down to Mexico…

Slim ups NY Times stake

MEANWHILE, Slim and the Italian group Proto were preparing to sign a deal this week or next to become chief shareholders of the New York Times. Slim, who loaned the

newspaper $250 million to get through the hard times of the last recession, joins Proto to up their joint capital stake to 19 percent, 17 for Slim and 2 for Proto. The value of the stake was not made public

The agreement makes Slim-Proto principal shareholders but the editorial line will remain in the hands of the traditional ownership by the Ochs-Sulzberger family. Alessandra Proto, president of the Proto group, said as Amazon owner Jeff Bezos’ purchase of The Washington Post has shown, traditional groups can no longer operate large media groups without solid support during the industry’s period of transition.

Immigration Law Targeted

  Billionaire investor George Soros upped his philanthropic stake in promoting immigration reform in the U.S. last year by boosting the $3.25 million he donated to liberal causes in 2012 to $11 million in 2013, much of it going for lobbying efforts on behalf of immigration. The major recipient of his largesse last year was the Alliance for Citizenship, which last year promoted marches and rallies urging comprehensive immigration reform.

Join hands, join friends,

cook and share a patriotic

taste of your culture

 

From the Colonos: “Hello friends: We are ready for the 4th edition of The International Food Festival of Puerto Aventuras.
The date is Sunday March 30, 2014, at the Puerto Aventura’s School.We need anyone interested, to confirm their participation as soon as possible.

The idea it’s very simple: one country = one dish. It’s a way to know each other and to know the traditions of each country through their food. It’s not ‘high level cuisine’, but the traditional food, what we eat every day, or during the holidays, the Greeks, the Chinese or the Turkish. Not lobster or caviar, something more simple but characteristic of each country.

Mexico will participate by states: Puebla, Yucatán, Nuevo León, etc.Each dish must be enough for 250/300 samples, small portions, a taste of flavor. 30 gr of meat or 30 gr 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) 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, Argentinian parrilla, French cheese import. The Colonos will provide the installation of table, chairs, cups, main course or soup dishes, napkins, etc., but not the food. This it’s the cost of publicity.

2) 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 $2000 pesos. Obviously the Association of Colonos will provide also the installation of table, chairs, cups, main course or soup dishes, napkins, etc.

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.Tickets are sold in The Association of Colonos office at $150 pesos , children $100 pesos.

Info with Carlos at coordinacion@colonos.org tel. 8735116 or with Jorge at chupachiux@hotmail.com

Best regards, Association of Colonos Sports and Culture Commission.”

 

 

Phrase a Week… with Gloria Contreras, state certified interpreter
“Do not swim lone in rough waters.” In Spanish, you could say “No nade en aguas turbulentas solitario ”
Anyone interested in learning the language can please contact Ms. Contreras by email at nanigloria@hotmail.com or Cel: 984-108-3517 .

Church Services… Please click Colonos icon on right top of page.

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 5:30 p.m., also at the library. Meetings are “open” and non-members are welcomed to attend.

End this post clip_image001Previous post below

Valentine, concert lift weekend events

REMINDERS:

VILLA CHOICES for families, friends. Click on Akumal Villas at left
LIBRARY HOURS   Mon-Fri from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. More than 15,000 English and Spanish books to choose from.
RESERVE NOW for summer car storage at Riviera Maya vehicle and boat storage. Click logo at left for web page.
TECHNICAL PROBLEM? – Check Alan’s Repair at left for list of services
FOOD FEST participants sought by Colonos. See story below and sign up! 
ALL THE POOL supplies you need. Click on WeRWater logo for list of products that work.
COMING ATTRACTIONS:
COPPELIA’S BALLET
and Man With the Golden Voice along with Colegio talent, March 8, at 7 p.m. in the Cultural Center, to benefit the PA library and school art projects. Donation 100 pesos.

    

 Concert, variety show, golf

mark enjoyable weekend

By Staff:   

Puerto Aventuras hummed with delightful activity this past weekend, sandwiched as it was between Valentine Day – or day of Love and Friendship- on Friday and the first Cultural Center concert of the season on Monday evening. Several restaurants offered special holiday entertainment that attracted near-full houses. There was also a Colegio student variety show Friday noon to display budding talents and numerous private parties –some more boisterous than others – that steeped the community into a pool of energy and good fellowship.

The concert by “Bole” featuring sitar, violin and guitar in the capable hands of, respectively, Leonardo Nieto Jolie, Bogdan Djuvic and Jesus Mejia offered a potpourri of world music with a strong eastern flavor – from Serbia at the crossroads of central and southeast Europe to the exotic eastern capitals such as Riyahd in Saudi Arabia and teeming India. As such, the cultural differences as expressed by their music wasn’t for everyone in a Western audience. Then again, whatever is for everyone?

“You had to allow yourself to be swept up by the hypnotic tone that was sometimes serene and sometimes exciting,” said snowbird D. Vazquez of the U.S. The group accomplished that feeling to those who welcomed it by deftly using the musical tools of diminuendo and crescendo. Sometimes they played so softly that the over-70 crowd had a hard time hearing, then, quickly escalated to a feverish pitch that had violinist Djuvic nearly propelling himself out of his chair as he ran up and down the scale. His contortions while seated did not escape the delighted viewers. At times, the musicians transitioned into a blues-like repetitive track with the guitar and sitar, their tempo moderated by the disciplined tempo of the drummer.

Skill applauded 

The audience applauded vigorously after each selection, and while a handful of people departed after the first two selections, audience members asked randomly how they enjoyed the music inevitably said “I liked it” or “It certainly is different than what we hear from the Hard Rock Hotel,” and “They’re accomplished musicians” to “It was OK” to “I loved it,” the latter expression underscored by the majority via “me gusto” applause and whistles.

More than one person commented on the stage setting that simply and quietly lent a befitting ambience to the musical presentation. It was the work of PA artist Suzana Stojadinovic, herself a native of Serbia and coordinator of the event for the Colonos. Her richly-colored paintings served as a contrasting backdrop to the white and beige-clad musicians who were framed by triangular floor lighting and unassuming, potted plants as the scent of incense wafted up into the audience. “It certainly was worth the price,” said author and visitor Lily Miller of Toronto.

Other events

The children’s variety show – all that was missing was Ed Sullivan – featured varying talents that displayed the potential of youth, from break-dancing to ballet, skills with musical instruments – flute, drums, cello, piano and more – and even a magician, the only performer to show up in white shirt and black bow tie. The audience of their peers and parents was generous with applause and whistles in addition to the antsy chicanery of children flitting about the audience enjoying themselves.

One of the private weekend parties, this one hosted by Bart and Jean Duns of Canada, Arizona and Puerto’s waterfront Chac Hal Al complex, melded engineers, general businessmen, yachtsmen, retired radio station

owner, lawyers, the daughter of a Pulitzer prize winner and others into one festive room of interesting conversation, congeniality and humor spiced with a bit of political analysis on the pros and cons of this or that issue.

Also attending was Timothy Howard, former chief financial officer of U.S. mortgage giant Fannie Mae, whose insider book “The Mortgage Wars,” published last year, brings an insider’s explanation as to why the country – the world actually  – fell into the deep “housing-bubble” recession. It’s ripple effects are still washing ashore for millions of families hurt by the financial crisis and the continuing struggle to revive the economy. The book is available on Kindle and at the Puerto Aventuras Library in the Colegio, courtesy of Mr. Howard.

 

Commerce Corner…

Catering company’s popularity

grows with Puerto Aventuras 

By Staff
   Stars aren’t born overnight and Rome wasn’t built in day. Neither was Puerto Aventuras Catering, and thereby hangs a tale of long hours stretching into years in the evolution of a successful and creative culinary enterprise in Puerto Aventuras and along the Riviera Maya.

For chef Francesca Caputo of Puerto Aventuras, it began in Italy where she was born, then in Cancun where her basic skills were honed and parlayed into ownership of two restaurants, La Dolce Vita in 1984, which is still in operation under different ownership, and the defunct Savio’s.

“I have spent more than half my life here,” Francesca said during a recent interview. ”You could say I’m a little bit Italian and a little bit Yucateca.”

For Lenny Kraus, partner in Puerto Aventuras Catering, the kitchen career took off on the lush grounds of California’s Napa Valley where wine and food are inseparable. Kraus was employed by the sprawling Robert Mondavi winery, a name familiar to wine lovers everywhere.

Fate introduced them to each other here in Puerto Aventuras after Francesca had sold her Cancun interests, purchased a boat and sailed around with her children for a while. Then came a Puerto sushi shop called Arigato (‘thank you’ in Japanese). In retrospect, Francesca admits it was the wrong choice at the wrong time and it closed as the result of looming world recession and two devastating hurricanes in the mid-90s.

It was, nonetheless, a serendipitous event, because then she joined Kraus in the catering business, and from there, particularly in the last four years, their teamwork has refined and expanded the enterprise by creating a menu of international dishes and “always coming through’ for clients regardless of unforeseen impediments.

“When our chefs go to prepare food for vacationers who have rented a private villa, we do everything for them to make their stay as care-free as possible, not only the cooking, but the shopping. We even review the villa before the guests arrive.”

A good thing, too. In one circumstance, a pre-check of one particular hacienda showed nothing in it worked. No water, no electricity, no gas. “Fortunately,” Francesca said unfazed, “There was a fireplace so we added charcoal to our shopping list and that was how we cooked…charcoal in the fireplace and emergency lights.”

Francesca is the operations manager while Kraus handles the business duties of the so-called front office in addition to a side-line web page development business that includes the official Colonos site.

As usual in start-ups, the business at first handled the smaller parties but as its reputation for delightful dishes and efficient service grew by word-of-mouth, larger parties such as weddings of 100 or so diners at beachfront sites began to develop, and so did the staff that now includes four chefs and trained staff of varied talents.

The Caputo-Kraus team is a strong supporter of training local workers from the Poblado. “It’s amazing how well they learn without a formal education, and how happy they are to do it,” Francesca said. She describes the example set by Pamela Ponce de Leon, one of the company’s four young chefs who “bring new energy and new ideas.”

Pamela’s ideas came into play when a client wanted to stage a “proposal party” in a cenote cave. No problem. Pamela, whose flan draws raves at local gastronomic events, arranged the decorations, flowers and all, brought everything needed for a fine meal and even a violin player to arouse the emotions and assure the answer would be “yes.”

Pamela’s husband, Daniel, by the way, is another young chef doing well as a partner in PA’s Latitude 20 restaurant.

In addition to meeting with villa caretakers to assure everything is in order for the arriving guests, the catering service also asks clients whether guests are on gluten free, vegetarian or other diets to design an appropriate menu.

The team has not forgotten how it started, though. It still welcomes the small house or condo cocktail parties, freeing the hosts to mingle with guests without worries. Even the tired woman of the house or bachelor aren’t forgotten. Special meals, such as lasagna, can be delivered to their home when they just don’t feel like cooking or going out.

For more about Puerto Aventuras Catering, click on the logo on the left side of this page to link to the company web site full of detailed information on breakfast-to-dinner menus, wedding and party planning, prices, wide variety of services offered and descriptive menu with photos of actual table settings. 

BIZ BRIEFS…

HAIR DRESSING Salon Mara Rojas has opened up in the Grand Marina Building near Bamboo…Grupo Bimbo purchased Canada Bread for $1.65 billion…Starbucks in Mexico will give a discount to customers with reusable cups…Mexican journalists in Veracruz demanding investigation of reporter’s kidnap-murder in a case of what police say is the result of “personal differences” with a bar owner who hired hit men for the job. The bar owner has been arrested… U.S. consular personnel were in Cozumel last week to discuss the possible closing of the island’s consular service office…Playa del Carmen will be represented at an international tourist trade show in Berlin to advance to Playa brand…Catching on is the export of invasive lionfish to the U.S., Canada and Japan with some 270 kilos exported so far in this young industry. It was about two years ago that the idea of clearing the local reefs of this invasive and ravenous specie adopted the informal slogan of “Eat ‘em, to beat ‘em,” which spawned cookbooks and more divers spearing the colorful but spiny lionfish…Mexican trucking association has filed a $30 million trucking arbitration against the U.S. for failing to fully open borders to Mexican trucks…Akumal Bay and Tulum were visited by celebrated Chinese vocalist Jolie Chan on a project to publish a travel guide in Chinese to increase tourism to the Riviera Maya from that country…CANADA considering dropping visa requirements for traveling Mexican nationals, says Mexican President Enrique Nieto Pena.

 

 

 

Beware pickpockets and thieves

that follow high season crowds

By Staff
   Several victims of thieves here have asked The Pelican Free Press to issue a warning to shoppers that at least one pair of pickpocket scammers have been operating in the area. In addition, the police are on the lookout for a suspect captured on a Playa del Carmen store camera using a credit card stolen from a home in Puerto Aventuras near the Catalonia Hotel.

The story was held from publication by the Pelican for a week by police request so local law enforcement agencies could distribute the photo among all agencies on the lookout for criminals. Two victims of  pickpockets at the local Chedraui market who asked to remain anonymous gave the Pelican accounts of their experiences. Here is one of them:

“Thursday, Feb. 6th , 2014: Shopped at Chedraui with a long list , at about 11:00 am . I carry a large “travel” wallet , which I put on the baby shelf of the cart where normally i watch it all the time . Just as I entered the first side aisle, a woman pointed and mentioned a problem on my back. I reached around and my hand came back with what turned out to be ketchup on it.

Just then , a man came into the aisle from the other end , carrying some children’s clothing , as any shopper might . When he “ saw what was happening “, he produced a Kleenex and offered to clean it for me . I am sure that, as I turned to do this, the lady ducked behind me, opened the wallet and removed my credit and debit cards.

When I was ready to check out I looked for the credit card , ready to go . That was when I noticed that it was gone. After a lot of “pushing “, I found a senior type who spoke English and asked if anyone had turned in cards. The answer was “no “ .

After taking a taxi home, I went to the local rental agent’s office and used the phone to call the bank (Canadian) that issued the card . By that time , there had been five quick withdrawals before the bank put a hold on the card. Clearly , there is a very professional group at work each one with their own part in the process.”

In the other case, the woman whose house was broken into and her wallet stolen said she had left the single-family home for only 20 minutes to run an errand. She said evidently the house was being watched by the thief who broke in through a door. In the meantime, the Colonos reports it has video of a suspicious vehicle idly roaming the resort. Security personnel are on the watch for it.

The high-season crowds of vacationers are natural attractions to itinerant pickpockets and scammers in all tourist areas. Forewarned, is forearmed. Unit owners are reminded they have the responsibility to securely lock doors and windows, drivers to lock cars, and shoppers to carry their cash and cards in a safe place on their person and be alert to their surroundings. The victims agree these things can and do happen anywhere.

Pelican sightings…

   Looked up from reading a novel on the Kindle the other day in the Chedraui cafeteria while waiting for the wife to shop when a butcher from the meat department in neat white slacks and knee-high white boots was leaving through the turnstile. The usual guard stopped him and like a cop on the infamous south side of Chicago, asked the man to raise his arms and spread for a body search…right there at the entrance! Think what you will.

 

C’mon! Cook something up

for the 4th annual

international food fest

From the Colonos: “Hello friends: We are ready for the 4th edition of The International Food Festival of Puerto Aventuras.
The date is Sunday March 30, 2014, at the Puerto Aventura’s School.We need anyone interested, to confirm their participation as soon as possible.

The idea it’s very simple: one country = one dish. It’s a way to know each other and to know the traditions of each country through their food. It’s not ‘high level cuisine’, but the traditional food, what we eat every day, or during the holidays, the Greeks, the Chinese or the Turkish. Not lobster or caviar, something more simple but characteristic of each country.

Mexico will participate by states: Puebla, Yucatán, Nuevo León, etc.Each dish must be enough for 250/300 samples, small portions, a taste of flavor. 30 gr of meat or 30 gr 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) 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, Argentinian parrilla, French cheese import. The Colonos will provide the installation of table, chairs, cups, main course or soup dishes, napkins, etc., but not the food. This it’s the cost of publicity.

2) 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 $2000 pesos. Obviously the Association of Colonos will provide also the installation of table, chairs, cups, main course or soup dishes, napkins, etc.

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.Tickets are sold in The Association of Colonos office at $150 pesos , children $100 pesos.

Info with Carlos at coordinacion@colonos.org tel. 8735116 or with Jorge at chupachiux@hotmail.com

Best regards, Association of Colonos Sports and Culture Commission.”

 

Phrase a Week… with Gloria Contreras, state certified interpreter
“How do you get to the caleta?” In Spanish, you could say “¿Cómo se puede llegar a la caleta ”
Anyone interested in learning the language can please contact Ms. Contreras by email at nanigloria@hotmail.com or Cel: 984-108-3517 .

Church Services… Please click Colonos icon on right top of page.

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 5:30 p.m., also at the library. Meetings are “open” and non-members are welcomed to attend.

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