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Monthly Archives: March 2014

Priming for next construction boom



DAYLIGHT SAVING TIME will occur Sunday, April 6, when we spring forward one hour at 2 a.m.
HOLIDAYS: Palm Sunday, April 13; Passover, April 14; Good Friday, April 18; Easter, April 20
AKUMAL COMEDY CLUB Festival returns April 30-May 3. See story below.
WIDE SMILE – Visit our local dentist before heading north. Click on the Smile  logo
VILLA CHOICES for families, friends. Click on Akumal Villas at left for a family vacation.
REPAIR LEAKS BEFORE THE RAINY SEASON, 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 PA’s Latitude 20 Restaurant: Salsa band playing Saturday nights
RESERVE NOW for summer car storage at Riviera Maya vehicle and boat storage. Click the logo at left.
FISHING SEASON HERE: Click on Capt. Rick’s for sportfishing adventure
REMEMBER Puerto Aventuras Catering for small house parties or large weddings. Click logo at left.
BIKE WANTED TO BUY, men’s. 984-802-8705


CONCERT tomorrow by “Flamenco Fusion,” Friday, (April 4) 7 – 9 p.m. at the Cultural Center. Tickets 150 pesos. Five piece band with popular violinist Guillermo Guiterrez , dancers, beverages.
PIRATA from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the Colegio. Hamburgers, pirate boat ride, basketball, fun. To support school musical “Hairspray.”
ARTS AND CRAFTS FAIR at Latitude 20 Restaurant is from noon to 7 p.m. Saturday April 5 along the Lagoon of Dreams. Artists and handicrafters are invited to reserve space under an awning along the walk facing the lagoon. Entertainment by Teresa Lopez and the Reggae Band, ‘Black Soul’ from 6 to 9:30 p.m. The restaurant will remain open. More information and reservations at 984-802-9372 or email Isabel at [email protected].


For 3/27/14


Last 24 hours 

Last 7 days

Last 30 days






State of the Town: Part 2

Update of Phase 4  development

project yields several surprises

By Staff
If we could fit Puerto Aventuras’ Phase 4 development project into a piece of luggage, here is what you would find if you opened it today.

In the main compartment you would discover 132 house lots, five hotel lots, five condo lots, one mixed use lot that will hold a boutique hotel, beach club and restaurant along a man-made beach.

You would also see room for a nine-hole golf course extension, 4.3 kilometers (2.67 miles) of stamped concrete roads flanked by a smooth-riding bicycle lane and narrow green space separating the bike lane from a safe and welcoming concrete sidewalk with tree-line bordering the golf course extension.

Tucked in a corner would be space for 2.15 kilometers (1.33 miles) of 38-meter wide (124 feet) canal at the widest point for an average width of 22 meters (72 feet) that allows every one of the house and hotel lots canal frontage. The condo lots between Barcelo and along the south side of the caleta  have sea and caleta frontage.

You would also see one section closed to development. That would represent the 15 percent of open space set aside for the entire 42.8 hectares, or 105.7 acres.

A few surprises

The side pockets of your luggage would contain a few surprises. One is that the first of the 132 homes to eventually be constructed is already on its way to completion. “We have arranged for every lot to have temporary provisional utilities, electricity and water, needed for construction,” said developer Roman Rivera Torres.

Surprise number two is that all road construction is scheduled to be completed next month, April 2014. The third unexpected note from Rivera is that primary work has already begun on extending the golf course into 18 holes and will continue in piecemeal fashion.

While existing zoning regulations and building codes remain essentially the same for Phase 4, Rivera said, one major visual change is that all buildings will be painted “bone white.”

Putting to rest one of many rumors about the project, Rivera said all passenger vehicles will continue to use the existing Main gate and that another existing gate farther south off Highway 307 will be open for construction vehicles only, as it now is.

What’s where?
Russian investors have already presented plans for a 140-unit condo complex on several lots between Barcelo and the caleta. In addition, a Mexican investor group is planning two condo developments fronting the caleta, but, said Rivera, has opted to use only a portion of the 28-unit maximum allowed and limiting one of the lots to 18 units.

And just last week, the local press was touting a business in Playacar that has been successful in luring Russian weddings to this area, indicating increased attention to the Riviera Maya by Russian nationals, a relatively new market.

At the top of the Chac Hal Al caleta (see map above) dominated by the ruins of an ancient Mayan outpost and a nearby cenote, a conservation holding has been established along with a restricted historical zone containing the cenote and Mayan ruin.

With private property bordering the left and right flanks of the cenote, and the conservation holdings occupying the remainder, will the public from Phases 1-3 still have access to the caleta?

By all means, Rivera said. The plan is to gently carve two walking/bike paths from the main road along the conservation area to the top of the caleta (see map) for access to the federal zone along the water.

The federal zone is a strip of land along all waterways that is owned by the federal government. It can’t be sold to private parties. It is public land. The Mexican government owns land the full length of the beach along the coast and adjacent to the ocean within 20 meters (66 feet) from the mean high tide.

Whether the caleta area will still offer the same primitive ambiance as it does today will be a matter of personal opinion and environmental sensitivities of the individual developers who have purchased lots and will build there.

Offsetting the potential for disappointment among nature lovers who frequent the caleta for solace, swimming and snorkeling, will be the exclusion of motorized boats that trail odorous fumes and transport dozens of tourists at one time on guided snorkeling tours. (See photo)

Rivera said the exclusion of motor boats should not come as a surprise since motor boats are already banned along a line in Fatima Bay to protect swimmers, snorkelers and the aquatic environs. “We are simply extending the line along the same plane from the bay to the caleta entrance,”  he said.

Asked about the increasing amount of sand collecting in the caleta, rendering some areas just waist high to average-height people, he said the plan is to pump sand out when it is appropriate to do so.

A boutique hotel and beach club, fashioned somewhat on the idea of the existing Omni Hotel in the Centro area, will greet residents and travelers as soon as they enter the Phase 4 area from Boulevard Puerto Aventuras. The hotel will be constructed on land to the left of the entrance while a restaurant, spa and other amenities will be situated on an island. A man-made beach also will be located there. As one travels along that portion of the boulevard, five hotel lots line the left side of the boulevard from the entrance to the development’s only rotary.

It won’t be difficult to remember the names of the streets in Phase 4.  There are only three of them. The Main thoroughfare continues to be named Boulevard Puerto Aventuras, which leads to two residential side-streets, Caleta Chac-Hal-Al and Caleta Xcaret, two names that residents are already overly familiar with.(Next week:  Water, coming and going, lights and golf)

BELOW LEFT, YOU CAN SEE FOREVER, almost, until reaching a curve, upper right, and rotary, lower right, where machinery is digging a canal alongside the rotary,(blacktop at left.)



If laughter is the best medicine,

get well at Akumal Comedy fest

Akumal 2014 web banner1

Top talent lined up for April 29-May 3 shows


Reported by Marieke Brown

The Akumal Comedy Festival is ecstatic to be back for its third year in the Riviera Maya, from April 30 – May 3, 2014.  In the last two years, the festival has seen such acts as Chad Daniels (Comedy Central Presents, Just for Laughs Comedy Festival, The Tonight Show), Jimmy Shubert (Comedy Central Presents, “2 Broke Girls,” “The King of Queens,”), and Glenn Wool (The BBC Stand Up Show, Edinburgh Festival, “Edinburgh and Beyond” for Comedy Central).

The lineup for 2014 has just been released, and will feature Tim Harmston (Late Show with David Letterman, Comedy Central, NBC’s Last Comic Standing), Ray Harrington (Comedy Central), Mary Mack (Just For Laughs Festival, NBC’s Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central’s Live at Gotham), Paul Hooper (HBO Comedy Festival in Vegas, the Boston Comedy Festival, Michael Moore and Jeff Garlin’s Traverse City Comedy Arts Festival), and Chris Garcia (NPR’s This American Life, WTF with Marc Maron).

Each year, the Akumal Comedy Festival works closely with local communities in both Akumal and the Riviera Maya at large, and all festival proceeds go to a local charity.  This year, the Akumal Comedy Festival is proud to team up with the Red Cross.

Providing essential emergency services throughout the world, the Red Cross is one of the oldest charitable organizations in the world.  Locally, the people of the Mayan Riviera depend on the Red Cross daily, as many areas here are made up of isolated, smaller communities.  Even highly popular tourist areas like Tulum, Puerto Aventuras and Akumal rely on the Red Cross for immediate care, community outreach, and life saving training for hotel, resort, and restaurant staff.

The Akumal Comedy Festival is produced by Stand Up! Records, and promoted by Comedy Playa (formerly, Comedy Below Sea Level).  2014 will be the first year that the festival officially branches out into Tulum and Playa del Carmen with a show at Mateo’s in Tulum on April 29, and a Press Party kick-off event at legendary Wah Wah Beach Bar on April 30.

For more information on this year’s lineup, sponsorship opportunities, or how to become a Friend of the Festival, please contact us or visit the Akumal Comedy Festival web site

Give to the Red Cross at the gate

then look up at the sky and smile

By Staff
Resort residents get the opportunity to support the Red Cross today and tomorrow (April 3-4) from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the main gate where students from the Poblado will be stationed to accept donations in the life-saving agency’s annual drive and plans are under way to knock on business doors for help as well.

Like a blood transfusion, donations keep the Red Cross pumping out myriad services like first aid services cleaning and sewing up bad cuts,  clinics and ambulances 24/7, always at the ready to help anyone – Poblado, Paamul, Akumal, Tulum and Playa – natives and gringos alike who are injured or ill and giving advice to new mothers and others who may need it.

More than 100 students and members of the CROC union of hotel and construction workers and local leaders from the Poblado schools, the resort’s Fideicomiso and Red Cross stirred up applause as they explained the services of the Red Cross locally.”You can’t believe the difference it has made here in the Poblado,” said municipal delegate C.Olivia Zamudo Escobar.

After the Red Cross mission was explained, the executives were the first to donate as the bottle was passed around and the crowd applauded. As to the resort, just last week an ambulance was called by a male vacationer outside a condo complex who thought he was having a heart attack, an example of why it is good to have a vibrant and well-equipped Red Cross nearby.

PHOTO BELOW: Red Cross Ladies Auxiliary Chairman Teresa Jimenez of Playa del Carmen, addresses the crowd under the sports dome in the Poblado on Tuesday as other local leaders listen. In top left photo, local leaders are among the first to drop donations in the collection bottle as, below, Red Cross emergency technicians stand by.



EDITORIAL-ITO – We did what no gringo is supposed to do. We got in line at about noontime at the Registry of Motor Vehicles in Playa to get the registration plates we had previously paid for. The half-hour wait wasn’t as tortuous as what had been painted by friends who had gone at 8:30 a.m. and whizzed through the process. What was irritating though was when the large woman carrying all sorts of papers and towing three men behind her, brazenly pushed in front of the line and shouted to the workers inside the cage, the men subsequently cutting in ahead of the line to be served. And nobody said a word. Now that was vexation to say the least, yes? But we looked on the bright side. It wasn’t as unnerving as water boarding…












Food festival cooks, volunteers

deserve enthusiastic applause

By Staff
It was like sitting under the yum yum tree. One concession after the other offering, from a generous slice of whole roasted goat courtesy of the Dreams Hotel and to tasty tacos from Latitude 20, assorted rice and beans and sausage and cupcakes and gelato and exotic foods from India, Cuba, Serbia, Italy, Belgium, France, and other far-off places – even like the “lazy water”concoction of rice milk, water and gin made for a gastronomer’s holiday at last Sundays 4th annual food festival on the Colegio grounds.

Only Canada, with a considerable presence here in Puerto Aventuras, was too busy with shale oil extraction, salmon fishing and political discussion over secession, did not muster a dish but made up for it by providing a squad of diners.

Even the USA barely slid into home plate in the last inning when Bev Terrell and David Bellile were enlisted by event chairman Jorge Kaufer’s family in the waning days before the event. “I take art lessons with Mrs. Kaufer,” Terrell said, “ and she asked us about eight days before the event. We had no idea what to present, but we asked around and the consensus was ‘mac’ n cheese.’

Particular appreciation goes to the Dreams Hotel staff for taking the heat from large charcoal grill to cook a whole goat on a day that was already hot. The many volunteers helped not only sate appetites in such a nice, varied way but created an atmosphere of pleasant socializing among members of the community and their guests.

Kaufer said 325 tickets were sold and 300 were needed to “break even.” He said about 400 had been expected to attend. “All the comments I received were good ones,” he said, and that was in line with the many comments heard by the Pelican from people enjoying the fruits of the chefs’ efforts.

BELOW: Catalonia Resort Hotel staff (left photo) dishes out eight types of “papas” or “finger food” a delightful assortment of exotic  morsels, as, (left to right) Colonos coordinator Carlos Quinones and family enjoy the day, bartenders whoop it up, and a white hot charcoal grill from Dreams adds to the heat while a little girl wants to dance like mama.





Briefly Noted…

PAINTING MISSING – A painting by local artist Michel Brown, who died last week, was reportedly taken from his locked apartment last week, which is why it was not auctioned during Sunday’s gastronomica event at the Colegio…THE RED CROSS annual drive is under way until April 20 with a goal of raising 1 million pesos. Puerto Aventuras has a Red Cross clinic and ambulance so that any support given will be reflected here as wellMEXICO plans to auction off one oil field per year beginning next year. Private and foreign companies will be invited to bid under the Nieto Administration’s new regulations…THE LARGEST SOLAR PLANT in Latin America has gone online in Baja California Sur. It has 39 megawatts of generating capacity…EUROPEAN DELIGHT – China buying 70 Airbus jets for $10 billion. Think of his: If the salesman is working on commission, he can retire…SO FAR THIS YEAR, 147 people have been arrested from Jan. 1 to March 15 in Mexico on kidnapping charges and 15 victims of kidnapping  have been rescued…TULUM businesses calling for safer swimming and snorkeling at its beaches by banning boats from popular reef/swim areas…TEN KIDNAPPERS allegedly belonging to the Zeta drug cartel were killed in a shootout with police last Friday in Perote, in the state of Veracruz, through which pass snowbirds on their way to Yucatan…IF THE SHOE FITS – Mexican shoe stores are complaining that the Chinese shoe products coming into the country untaxed are undercutting prices and business. There are 80 registered shoe stores in Playa del Carmen but with unregistered outlets, the number is more like 110…SOLIDARITY is battling drug use by youth via educational programs within the school system to curb growth in the practice that saw a 25 percent jump in student drug use, mostly marijuana, between 2011 and 2013…THE NAKED BODIES of an unidentified man and woman were discovered at the boutique Chocolate Hotel on 307 in Playa last Friday when a clerk went to tell them their rental time was over. The cause of death, believed to be carbon monoxide, is being investigated…A WOODEN WHITE ELEPHANT DOCK at the foot of 16h St. in Playa will be dismantled and the beach made safe again for swimmers…AEROGOLF? – It doesn’t mean flying over the hole and dropping the ball in. It’s what developers on Cozumel are proposing for the island, an 18-hole golf course and residential aerodrome that would take nearly nine years to complete. So far, permits have been withheld by federal agencies…WHALESHARK SEASON is near as the so-called “giants of the sea” that can measure up to 44 meters (1144 feet ) will begin to congregate by the hundreds in nearby waters between May and September in the search for plankton…THE U.N. SAYS 20 percent of LatAms between 12 and 18 are not in school…A FEW WEEKS AGO thieves were hijacking truckloads of limes: Now the police in Mihoacan discovered a cache of 55,479 gallons of stolen gasoline and arrested a 26-year-old alleged member of a drug cartel who was guarding the site… MORE THAN 50,000 CARS of Easter visitors are expected on the Riviera Maya this year, 35,000 of them going in or through Playa del Carmen. Police organizations report they will beef up patrols to help tourists and prevent accidents. Infractions not involving speeding or drinking will  be treated with warnings and advice…A 3-HOUR running shootout Tuesday between Gulf cartel gunmen and the military in Reynosa, across the border from McAllen, Texas, took the lives of six people, as yet unidentified. The city was temporarily paralyzed when gunmen forced truckers to block roads…VAN AND TAXI drivers fear the loss of business if plans for a trans-peninsular train include direct service from Cancun to Tulum…

The Mail Bag…

No stamp of approval here

Dear Editor:
I have been living alone in PA for more than six years and have kept in touch with my friends through regular mail and email. A letter or card is so much nicer than an email. Over the years the mail has been very slow and I have only experienced a few occasions where mail was sent to me and I never received it. Last year, I did receive most of my Christmas cards and birthday cards, but they were delivered in late February and March. I still enjoyed and displayed them.

This year I only received one card from my Aunt in Europe, nothing from Canada or the US. My family and friends keep asking if I received their mail, but I have not. What is going on with the mail delivery? I am expecting at least 20 pieces of mail. I have gone to the post office and spoken with Benjamin our Postal Worker and he has not received anything else to date. I am just wondering if you may know something or if anyone else has complained.

Signed/Heidi Petre

(Ed. Note: Anybody have any ideas about this?)

Dear Editor:

Dear Residents:

In compliance with the Law on the National System of Statistical and Geographic Information (INEGI), the economic Census of 2014 that began in February and whose representatives have now reached this area may come knocking on your door. The census takers are properly uniformed and have ID. We ask you to give them your cooperation to perform their job.

signed/Carlos Quinones,

Colonos Administrative Coordinator


SAY IT IN SPANISH by Gloria Contreras, teacher and certified translator

I need a:

Necesito un plomero  a plumber;

Una reparación à – a repair

Un carpintero à – a carpenter

Un doctor à – a doctor

Un mecanico à – a mecanic

Una persona que hable inglés à – a person who speaks English

(Reach Gloria for lessons or translations at © 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

Leukemia strikes popular local artist



DAYLIGHT SAVING TIME will occur Sunday, April 6, when we spring forward one hour. .
PA’s 4th ANNUAL FOOD FEST is 1 to 5 p.m. SUNDAY, MARCH 30
BIKE WANTED, men’s. 984-802-8705 or cel 984-131-7771
Festival returns April 30-May 3. Stay tuned, more later
VILLA CHOICES for families, friends. Click on Akumal Villas at left for a family vacation.
REPAIR LEAKS BEFORE THE RAINY SEASON, 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 PA’s Latitude 20 Restaurant: Salsa band playing Saturday nights
RESERVE NOW for summer car storage at Riviera Maya vehicle and boat storage. Click the logo at left.
REMEMBER Puerto Aventuras Catering for small house parties or large weddings


3/21/14           Today,  Last 24 hours,   Last 7 days,  Last 30 days,  Total

Hits                  893           2485                8412                30129           117609


World food festival this Sunday

has dishes from Cuba to India

Being held at the Colegio from 1 to 5 p.m.


By Staff
The 4th annual world gastronomic event gets under way this Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Colegio grounds with an invitation from the Colonos Cultural and Sports Committee to come sample foods from around the world but prepared locally. The Colonos Cultural Committee says it added more participants last week and now has a total of 23 and two more possibles from Holland and Q. Roo.

Chairman Jorge Kaufer advises that, judging from the success of the previous events, it is best to come early. “If you want to sample everything, arrive early. By 3 or 4 p.m. some countries will be out of food.”

He said the “Celestial Steel Drums” group will provide live music for several hours and that the Puerto Aventuras Sailing Club, which has been putting Puerto Aventuras on the national sailing map with its collection of victory medals and hosting national regattas, will have the beverage concession. The club will be  selling beer, wine and soft drinks (maybe coffee). Proceeds will help fund the club’s participation in annual events throughout the country and scholarships for young sailors.

Tickets to the event are $150 for adults and $100 for children and are qvcailable at the Colonos office or at the entrance. Country recipes to be tasted are from Cuba, Italy, France, Serbia, Jamaica, India, Argentina, Switzerland and from areas of Mexico.


State of the Town: Part 1

Stable future for Puerto Aventuras

assured by space, construction limits



Townwide population could reach about 30,000

By Staff
As the Universe itself expands, so does Puerto Aventuras. The good news is that, unlike the endless heavens, the expansion of Puerto Aventuras into its final phase of development, Phase 4, has a conclusion. It will be reached long before this peaceful coastal community becomes burdened with the negative trappings of another Cancun or Playa del Carmen.

Puerto Aventuras resort is predicted to reach “buildout” – the point at which most available building space is occupied and there is no more room to expand – in about a decade.

That is the studied prediction of visionary developer and architect Roman Rivera Torres, who, one could say, has borrowed General Electric’s motto hawked by Ronald Reagan, a GE spokesman who became an American president: “Progress is our most important product.”

And progress is what this series of reports is all about. It concerns the present and the future of Puerto Aventuras as a unique community born of, and sustained by, Rivera’s concept of understated community living and steadfast commitment to it. “We now have a resort population of 3,200 fulltime residents that expands to 8,000 with the addition of transient residents in the high season,” he notes.

When Phase 4, the resort’s final development project currently under construction, reaches near-buildout in about 10 years, the resort community population is expected to hover around 7,000 fulltime residents stretching to 12,000 with the annual flow of transients.

In addition, the population in the Poblado and Puerto Maya across the highway is expected to explode from the current 15,000 to 20,000 fulltime residents, creating a combined small city of nearly 30,000 fulltime residents that includes both sides of the highway. “When I built the Poblado, I did so for an expected population there of 3,200,” Rivera said with a sense of wonder.

What helps make Puerto Aventuras unique is that it isn’t a Cancun or a Playa del Carmen, nor will it ever be. When development began in Cancun in the late 60s, infrastructure was subsidized by the federal government and the Hotel Zone as we know it, an island, was uninhabited. It was allowed to grow relatively unchecked for 40 years. It attracted private investment and by 1975 the zone had 1,769 hotel rooms. That in turn attracted more tourists arriving for the sunshine and fun, which in turn spurred more development. By 2008, the zone had a whopping 27,000 rooms. It became a victim of urban sprawl that incubated  a population of less than 50,000  in 1975 to an estimated  722,000 this year.

Development drifted southward along the Riviera Maya and reached the storied, “sleepy fishing village” of Playa del Carmen that, like Cancun, has experienced phenomenal growth in a relatively brief period of time and continues to expand northward and westward. It now has a population of more than 150,000. What Rivera has achieved in Puerto Aventuras is a microcosm of a well-equipped urban center without the disquieting traffic, crime and social problems big cities engender.

Progress in Puerto Aventuras, not all of it, is now centered on construction of the 42.8 hectare (105.76 acres) Phase 4. Rivera said 18.8 percent of the area is dedicated to conservation holdings that include a cenote and an ancient Mayan outpost by a caleta (cove), which is a much favored attraction to bathers and snorkelers for its relatively untouched surroundings, placid waters and sense of mystery and history.

There has also been a construction spurt in the golf-marina resort’s first three phases in the last two years, topping off the remaining lots with villas and small condo complexes. Rivera said there is a difference with this sudden spike. “It’s because there are more people building to live here rather than vacation,” Rivera said.

Rivera notes that five former mayors and other men of political and business station have chosen to live with their families in Puerto Aventuras. “One day over coffee I asked some of them why they chose to live here. They told me ‘Because it’s safe.’”

(NEXT WEEK: An update on Phase 4 and the future of the caleta.)


BULLETIN: “I am very sorry to let you know that our friend, Michel, passed this afternoon (3/26/2014) at 2:40 pm.  Lourdes and Lorenia, friends, were in the hospital.  They will be taking Michel’s body for cremation.  His daughter, Vanessa, and her partner are expected to arrive from Paris on Sunday.  They will take his ashes out to sea in Cancun by boat to spread them and say goodbye.  This is all I know.   Hopefully, Michel’s friends will attend the Gastronomica on Sunday at the Colegio Puerto Aventuras where his trompe l’oiel painting will be auctioned.” (Reported by Gloria Fastrup) (See story below)


Popular PA artist, gravely ill

with advanced leukemia

By Staff
Well known artist, singer, teacher and Puerto Aventuras personality Michel Brown is reported to be terminally ill and has been hospitalized in Cancun with a diagnosis of advanced leukemia, reports friends Gloria and local pianist Jerry Fastrup. They summoned a doctor after Brown called them last week to say he was ill and could not attend a rehearsal. Brown sang with Fastrup’s band at Latitude 20 Restaurant on Saturday nights.

Brown has also been a familiar face on the dolphin walk in past years where he joined other local artists showing his graceful and creative art. In his seventies, he possesses the self-assured bearing of an aristocratic military officer and the physique of one who is no stranger to the gym, exercise and diet. Friends suggest he has a holistic approach to health that did not include regular medical check-ups and likely was unaware he had the condition.

The suddenness of the news shocked friends and acquaintances since they had spoken to him just several weeks ago when, with characteristic French certitude, Brown declared he was not just “very well,” but “very, very, very well.”

“It is very sad,” said Mrs. Fastrup.  “Michel is well-loved by adults and children alike.

He has given many of us painting, French and guitar lessons and has entertained us with his humor and song.  I am lucky to have seven of his paintings, which I have acquired over the years.”

To help defray expenses, some of his paintings were offered for sale last Saturday at an impromptu showing at Latitude 20 where he often sang.

“I am happy to report they are almost all gone except for three large paintings.  We held back the painting ‘Trompe L’oeil’  for an auction, unless someone offers $700 USD for it beforehand.  Trompe l’oeil is a French term meaning “deceive the eye,” an art technique using realistic imagery to create an optical illusion that objects existing on a flat canvas give the appearance of three dimensions. This one is painted on a door.

“I am hoping Colonos will allow the auction as part of the Gastronomica on Sunday (March 30) and if not successful, owner Peter Metrick said we can do it at Latitude 20 in conjunction with his Art Fest on April 5.”

Puerto Aventuras developer  Arq. Roman Rivera Torres, who is a Brown friend and patron, said during an interview this week, that Brown was to be part of a new and permanent art center being organized and scheduled to open soon at the Puerto Aventuras Information Center. Space there is being donated by Rivera for use by 17 local area artists so far.


Commerce Corner…

PA pair sees future for Tulum,

invests in housing market there

By Staff
A husband and wife team from Puerto Aventuras has made a property investment in Tulum, about 30 minutes from PA. It is their belief that the ancient, walled Mayan city is committed to historical and environmental preservation that precludes the kind of urbanized sprawl that has occurred in Cancun and Playa del Carmen.

In keeping with that view, Felix Jaber, a developer-contractor, and Georgina Lara, his wife and independent real estate agent of Puerto Aventuras, have already developed Villas Akalan, six new-construction rental apartment units on Route 106 – the beach road – a block west from its intersection with the North-South Route 307 from Cancun to Belize that also serves as Tulum’s main street. “The units are in three separate buildings of two units each for privacy,” Jaber said, “each providing two bedrooms, 2 baths,open living-kitchen and ample covered terraces occupying a total of about 1,250 sq. feet.” A small hotel in keeping with the town’s plan to shun excessive growth, is also under development, Jaber said.

Tulum is very popular with the hipsters who like to hike and back-pack along the beach and enjoy that kind of ambiance,” Jaber said. But the area is no stranger to older residents and snowbirds as well who live up and down the coast. They frequently make Tulum a destination for day-trips to enjoy what is probably the last remaining pristine expanse of shore untouched by big development.

“The Tulum beach is like Playa del Carmen was years ago when it attracted tourists to the sleepy fishing village” but is now a teeming city by the crowded beach. “The Tulum beach is going to stay the way it is,” Jaber believes.


The couple said they wanted to provide rentals as close to the beach as possible but even closer to amenities like a supermarket, of which

there are three in Tulum and one, a new super-Chedraui, just a 5-minute walk from Villas Akalan. The apartments are within walking distance to an Oxxo convenience store, bike and car rentals, ATM, and just across the highway from a wide, cement walk and bike path leading directly to the beach, about an eight- to 10-minute ride away.

For the uninitiated, Tulum, spelled Tulu’um in Yucatec, meaning fence or wall, is the site of the only pre-Columbian walled, port city of about 1,200 inhabitants gracing the Mayan Riviera. It thrived between the 14th and 15th centuries and now contains the city ruins on a 39-foot bluff overlooking a sandy shore and sun-splashed waters  below that are enjoyed yearly by thousands of tourists.

The beach area extending just south of the ruins is fringed by a narrow, macadam road that winds along the shore’s powdery sands dotted with palm trees, small well-spaced hotels and palapa –roofed restaurants down to the Sian Ka’an Biosphere, a 5,280 sq. km. UNESCO World Heritage Site. Buy a drink or a meal and use restaurant beach chair and palapas all day. You’re in heaven!

The beach’s popularity was captured in a local news report during last week’s heat: “Yesterday it was observed that some families came from all over loading food and refreshments, some with nothing, others with the snack, but all seeking to mitigate the harsh rays of the sun at the beach.”

Jaber and Lara arrived in the  Puerto Aventuras area a decade ago from their native Campeche where Jaber helped run a family-owned hotel and learned to be a jack of all trades. Parents of two children, they sought a fresh challenge to a better life on the developing Mayan Riviera and have evidently found it.

The Villas Akalan have already attracted short- and long-term renters from Germany, Norway, Belgium, the United States and Mexico, said Lara, indicating that Tulum is indeed becoming a vacation as well as a day-trip destination.

Get the complete information, photos and on-line reservation for Akalan Villas by clicking on the Akalan logo in the left hand column of this page. Check it out then plan a stay close to Mayan history and the arguably best beach on the Mayan Riviera.


The local press reported this week that registration plates for Solidarity’s 60,000 registered cars and other vehicles have arrived, evidenced by the number of cars parked around the Registry of Motor Vehicles building in downtown Playa del Carmen. The process is evidently moving along quickly since many car owners did the paperwork while the 20 percent discount was in effect.

EDITORIAL-ITO – The CFE (Mexico’s Electric company) wants users – particularly snowbirds – to conserve electricity during the hot summer months by shutting down gadgets like TV cable boxes, Internet routers and refrigerators to conserve power when it is needed for air conditioners that get a maximum workout. We are certain all snowbirds would gladly comply if only Telmex and the various TV service providers would put a hold on their services at a reduced summer price. Currently, snowbirds need to shut down their service and go through the time-consuming torture of re-applying when they return, a process that can take weeks. From this corner, the ball’s in their court.


Government faulted for lack

of press freedom enforcement

Mexico City, Mar 19 (EFE).- Public officials accounted for 60 percent of the 330 acts of aggression against journalists and media outlets documented in Mexico last year, press-freedom watchdog Article 19 says in a new report.

The first 12 months of President Enrique Peña Nieto’s six-year term witnessed the largest number of attacks on journalists since 2007, according to the group, which takes its name from Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, proclaiming the right to freedom of expression.

“That it is the most violent year should frighten and worry us, but above all that it’s the most violent year against the press when he have the most robust system of institutional protection,” Dario Ramirez, Article 19’s director for Mexico and Central America, told a press conference.

The Mexican government has several agencies whose stated mission is protecting journalists and human rights advocates, including the office of the special prosecutor for crimes against freedom of expression.

But in its eight years of existence, that office has yet to secure a single conviction, despite an annual budget of more than 30 million pesos ($8.2 million), Ramirez said.

Murders of reporters and “newsrooms filled with fear” reflect a continual deterioration of freedom of expression in Mexico, he said.

The violence leads to self-censorship and there are parts of Mexico where reporters “don’t want to report the news because they are afraid,” Ramirez said.

One of the worst areas is the Gulf coast state of Veracruz, where 10 journalists have been slain since the start of 2011.

In Mexico City, Article 19 documented 34 instances of police aggression against journalists in 2013, including arbitrary arrests of reporters covering public protests.

“The government has received the information that the situation is worrisome, it has offered to respond in that regard, but it has done nothing concrete to resolve the situation,” journalist and author Juan Villoro said at the press conference.



Briefly Noted…

THE RED ROSS annual drive is under way until April 20 with a goal of raising 1 million pesos. Puerto Aventuras has a Red Cross clinic and ambulance so that any support given will be reflected here as well…A REAL ESTATE company plans to construct family vacation housing in Playa del Carmen saying that integrating family units will provide an accommodation that other tourist areas lack. All that’s needed now is movements recognizing the potential of assisted living housing…LIME PRICE  from 63 to 90 pesos a kilo in some places has exceeded the daily minimum wage of 63 pesos, causing hardship in poor families. A downward price trend is expected, but if that does not occur say restaurateurs, they may have to raise Easter holiday prices..…PLAYA BUSINESSES along the waterfront say they are losing business as their beaches lose sand, noting that the February loss was particularly high…TWO ELDERLY PEOPLE were seriously injured last Thursday when the tricycle they were riding to cross Highway 307 near the Puerto Aventuras Resort was struck by a van. The local Red Cross and police responded and brought the couple, who sell chopped fruit and snacks, to a Playa hospital…GOV. DEVAL PATRICK of Massachusetts and Jeh Johnson, Secretary of Homeland security, visited with Mexican officials last week, Patrick on trade and Johnson on border security…ECONOMIC DIFFERENCES exist between the Nieto Administration, which predicts 3.9 percent growth this year, and Mexico’s central bank that says it sees no evidence the economy was bouncing back at the beginning of this year…MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR fraud case has led to the arrest of Amado Yanez Osuna, main stockholder of Pemex contractor Oceanografia for allegedly defrauding U.S. based Citigroup’s Banamex unit of $360 million and other irregularities…PEMEX says it will invest $27 billion this year to increase oil production to 4 million barrels per day (bpd) by 2025, up from the 2013 output of 2.52 bpd…MEXICO’S new federal police force, the “Gendarmerie” is expected to hit the streets 5,000 strong in July…THE MEXICAN HOUSE has passed a federal law of competition that would end monopolistic practices that they believe have a negative impact on economic growth…AS TEMPERATURES RISE so does irritability, increased alcohol  consumption and domestic problems. Also, officials suggest increased hygiene such as frequently washing one’s hands particularly before eating to avoid illness. A word to the wise ought to be sufficient… 


The Mail Bag…

Another theft from golf cart

Dear Editor:
Hi, we love reading your informative pages while we are away from our Mexican home, and hope it continues. Quick comment re: golf cart theft outside Latitudes. Why on earth would one leave a wallet with passport, cash and driver’s license in an open golf cart? I wouldn’t do that in front of a bunch of trustworthy monks!! Too much temptation!

On a side note, my wife and I call PA our future retirement home, and bought there almost 5 years ago. We love it!. Sadly, we were victims of our 1st theft in January, our last visit there. We left our sippy cups in our golf cart, somewhat hidden in a cubby, to go for our morning walk. We parked outside of Peter’s Latitude 20 as well.Upon our return, one of our cups had been taken.

Not as crucial as one’s I.D and cash, but still feeling somewhat violated, and hurt. It was our 1st ever concern for the safety of our possessions in PA. I think it bothered us more than anything we’ve ever experienced there. The feeling of invasion of privacy. Petty theft, but theft either way…and they only took one?

Just venting, but I would NEVER leave anything that even looked remotely valuable in the open…even for 30 seconds! Keep up the good work!

Signed/ Rob Bernardi


Chart chip could lead to thief

Dear Editor,
Message to other boat owners: Last night (3/22/14) some POS (Piece of sh—) went on my boat and stole the chart chip out of my Raymarine E80 multifunction display. Its a Navionics XL9. Which only works in old outdated equipment anyway. So when someone tries to sell this to you, you should know its really worthless, no detail, worse charts I ever saw and you can pick them up on ebay for a few bucks. Anyway you will know who the thieves are in this marina if you are offered one.

Signed/Michael Savage


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

AA and Alanon meetings…
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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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

PA Colonos Information


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