WIDE SMILE – Visit our local dentist before heading north. Click on the Smile logo
CHECK THIS OUT! WeRWater has a new website, pool products. Click logo at left
VILLAS AKALAN to rent close to the Riviera Maya’s prime beach at Tulum.
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 at PA’s Latitude 20 Restaurant
DANGER WET FLOOR? Don’t slip, don’t fall, give Innovative Floor Solutions a call. Click left.
SECURITY CAMERAS help guard your home when you are gone. Click on Mayan Security.
FISHING SEASON HERE: Click on Capt. Rick’s for sportfishing adventure
REMEMBER Puerto Aventuras Catering for house parties, biz meetings or large weddings. Click logo at left.
HOT EVENING? Take a cool walk to Jessie Gelato in Centro and taste the relief
Puerto Maya building boom continues
The Pelican’s recent “State of the Town” series would not be complete if it did not mention the growth occurring on the other side of the highway in the Puerto Maya development. Unscientific census taking generally pegs population there as high as 20,000, including the Poblado, while the number of living units usually are not worked into the mix.
The Pelican made a brief fly-over last month with Puerto Maya resident manager Yolanda Porqit, who pegged current population of that development at 9,498. They arrive at that figure by assuming an average of three persons per living unit, of which there are currently 3,166.
However, additional housing construction is going on in two more Puerto Maya tracts, one with a proposed 799 units and the other with 356, or a total of 1,155. Add that to the 3,166 units already occupied and you have a total of 4,321 units when they are all sold by next year. At three persons per unit, projected population is 12,963, rounded out at 13,000, not including the Poblado.
Population projections from the Puerto Aventuras resort developer now entering the last phase of construction there has estimated an eventual PA population of around 30,000 including Puerto Maya, the resort and the Poblado.
Helping to get the Puerto Maya units sold and giving labor the hope of improved domestic accommodation, the government is offering subsidies of 64,000 pesos to qualified individuals and families on a basic unit that sells for 295,500 pesos, the manager said.
A tour of the development shows certain amenities lacking in the Poblado. For one, it has a surprisingly well-designed park and playground for children. It slopes down from the wide main street that connects the residential area to the Chedraui retail complex by the highway. The park slopes downward via tree- and shrub-lined paths to a well-equipped children’s playground tucked away in a gully to dampen street noise and add to privacy and solitude.
Conagua provides water from tanks that provide distribution pressure to the units. The streets are exceptionally wide and bordered with generous cement sidewalks and green strips. The development thus far also has two schools, from K through high school; a police sub-station, convenience store outlets and other retail establishments. There are also two sports domes that appear to be well used by the community for various events and casual play. There is seamless integration with the adjacent Poblado community.
The manager said Puerto Maya is a project of the private Grupo Vivo Inmobiliario, which determines the number of units it will build. While the more advanced refer to the type of construction offered as “cookie cutter” housing, the company goal and type of construction is intended to lift lower-wage labor into better housing than it has at prices it can afford, particularly with the subsidy.
The company has nine developments ongoing in the coastal region here and Tabasco. They are: El Encanto, Chetumal, 1,041 units; Paraiso Maya, Cancun, 5,958 units; La Venta in Tabasco, 2,734; Maya Real (homes), Chetumal, 585; El Encanto, Tabasco, 760 (Homes); La Fluerta, Tabasco, 1023; The Guadalupe, Cancun (homes), 1,120; Mundo Habitat (homes), Playa de Carmen, 215.
In photos below, a mother collects her child from the school, in background, and begins walking home. At center right is the police sub-station and new construction of more units, and, below, Oxxo convenience store and a sports dome.
Suspected thief leaves town
as another caught red-handed
The Colonos reports that a person suspected in a string of robberies and attempted robberies has left town under pressure from local Security. (Meanwhile, in a late-breaking development, one of two men attempting to break into an apartment across from the San Marino Condos on Privada Xel Ha was caught by Colonos Security who held the suspect for municipal police. More on this in the next edition.)
Colonos GM Armando Rincon said that after six events were reported to security, the Colonos distributed a letter containing a description of the person that was given to the Colonos by the first person who had a confrontation with the suspect.
“Immediately, three other residents approached us with information and description of the suspect who we tracked to a condo unit on Bahia Yalku. We placed a guard outside the condo 24/7 and as a result all incidents ceased,” Rincon said.
He said he approached the condo owner and showed him a newspaper clipping that accused the suspect of stealing 20,000 pesos in Isla Mujeres in 2013. The owner advised the suspect and he subsequently left town, Rincon said.
The Colonos reminds residents that the community’s video surveillance program coupled with pro-active residents are greatly helping to keep minor crimes at a minimum. (For more information on the first suspect and his female partner, click on the Colonos site in the right hand column.)
Public’s tips underscored
The public’s activism and help led to the ouster of a suspected thief was also attributed to the Mexican Marines’ rescue of 18 kidnapped Central American migrants, including children, in the state of Tamaulipas, which shares a roughly 142-mile border with the state of Texas.
Media reports there of the discovery of victims and subsequent arrest of two suspects noted the rescue operation by the Marines was made possible by tips from an aware public. That awareness plus quick response by lawmen is a major tool in the battle against crime. say enforcement officials.
‘Hole in Wall’ gang steals
$8K of bathroom fixtures
under nose of filtro police
Compiled by Staff
Thieves broke into the back wall of a plumbing supply business located just a few hundred feet from a police filtro outside Playa del Carmen in early June and made off with an estimated 80,000 pesos of bathroom fixtures.
The intruders broke an opening in the wall of from 1.50 to 1.60 meters to gain access to the loot. The business was not immediately identified for obvious reasons.
For those who might muse “only in Mexico,” there was a story out of Rhode Island in the U.S. a few years ago when a brazen thief walked into a gasoline station across a roadway from the fire station, picked up the cash register while the owner was busy in the mechanic’s bay, put it in the trunk of his car and drove away in plain sight of firefighters who watched the entire proceedings from across the way.
“We thought he was a cash register repair man,” the embarrassed firefighters later told the press.
Survey: Public servants seen ‘corrupt’
Mexico’s 2013 National Survey of Government Quality and Impact found 88.3 percent of Mexicans feel public servants engage in corrupt practices in dealing with the public. Survey results were announced by the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI).
Forty-eight percent of respondents said corrupt practices are very frequent among public employees with 40 percent saying corruption is “frequent”. Respondents, 88 percent of them, said corruption is either “very frequent” or “frequent” when dealing with the police.
Respondents also said they found corrupt practices in dealing with political parties, 84.4 %, and public prosecutors, 78.4 %. Nonetheless, corruption was only the number 3 problem cited by respondents. They placed crime first, 70.4 %, and unemployment as the nation’s second biggest problem. The survey included 1,000 households in cities with 100,000 population.
Neighbor state site gets UNESCO nod
The state of Campeche on Quintana Roo’s western border has received a designation by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization UNESCO, with the naming of ancient Maya city and tropical forest of Calakmul as World Heritage sites, both of which are in driving distance from Puerto Aventuras. It is the first “mixed site” added to UNESCO’s list.
“The city played a key role in the history of this region for more than 12 centuries and is characterized by well-preserved structures providing a vivid picture of life in an ancient Mayan capital,” the agency said.
The site added to the World Heritage list is in the southern part of Calakmul Biosphere Reserve and is reportedly the second largest area of tropical forest in the Americas as well as the best protected, covering 1.78 million acres.
Commerce Corner…Compiled by Staff
Pemex gears for competition,
faults filters for ‘bad gas’ rap
Pemex is preparing to modernize its 10,900 service stations nationwide to position itself against expected private competition beginning in 2018. The government is debating legislation to allow competition for the first time since Pemex was nationalized in 1938.
Pemex, which alone services the nation’s 25 million cars, says it will launch the Pemex brand, improve the image of customer service, bring new products to market and forge partnerships with leading companies.
It has also launched a training program that will eventually reach all of its 26,000 managers, supervisors and sales staff. It was not clear whether Pemex would move into the self-serve market and/or equip pumps with credit/debit card capability, the company said at the inaugural of the annual petroleum retailers convention in Playa del Carmen.
Meanwhile, Pemex rejected blogged complaints of ‘bad gas’ in some Yucatan areas by noting the problem with gunked-up fuel pumps was the fault of independently manufactured gas filters carried by independent station operators.
TV diversification set back
Meanwhile, the government’s effort to bring competition in the TV industry where Carlos Slim’s America Movil and the duopoly of Televisa and TV Azteca, by introducing and auctioning off two new national networks to competition has been postponed to September 2-3. It was to be held in June.
The auction for 20-year concessions of the country’s first television frequencies is aimed at diversifying content, among other goals. The deadline had to be postponed to bolster legal certainty since secondary legislation has not yet been approved.
Restaurants up prices
A spokesman for area restaurants reports says prices are going up for menu items by 3 to 5 percent as the result of higher gasoline and wholesale food costs, particularly meat and dairy. He said what cost 90 pesos just weeks ago now costs 135 to 140 pesos, about a 35 percent increase. If nothing changes in the summer tourist season, snowbirds from the north might be looking at higher prices come winter.
One’s music, another’s noise
as Centro issue erupts again
The universal but unintended consequences of mixed-use zoning are raising more dust in the Centro retail area In Puerto Aventuras over music being played louder and longer than the limits set by the Centro homeowners’ association.
In a letter to HOA members – this includes business owners and living unit owners above the businesses – the Vigilance and Supervisory Committee has identified three restaurants targeted by their neighbors as breaking Rule 81 of Mexican law and the HOA’s by-laws as regards music, also known as noise when it disrupts neighbors trying to sleep or enjoy the peace.
The letter identifies Cafe Ole, Joel’s Restaurant and Paul Wedge’s Pub as disturbing neighbors with nighttime music exceeding the 68 decibel rule for noise.The law states music should be kept inside the establishments or line of business and not exceed 69 decibels. Exacerbating the problem is the fact that none of the buildings are soundproofed, as are many in the north countries.
The letter states, “We understand that…having music is part of their business…but we must respect neighbors who have the challenge of living in a mixed-use environment.” The letter also notes that an effort to bring businesses into compliance on other matters as well has led to verbal and physical abuse of some Vigilance Committee members. The association is calling for harmony and an August 2 meeting to discuss all of the above and to present views and possible solutions that are fair to all.
Centro Maya called ‘ghost town’
The Centro Maya shopping plaza on the outskirts of Playa Del Carmen’s south end, a banking, movie theater and shopping place for Puerto Aventurans, is being called a “ghost square” by some retailers there hungering for enough business to remain open.
While some retailers have already closed shop, others hanging on say their sales have dropped from about 80 percent four years ago to 30 percent this year. Several retailers said the plaza has failed to market itself property and fight for more public transportation from the rest of the city and its suburban communities.
They said they now have to compete with Plaza Americas in the city’s north end, which is serviced by more public transportation. The complaints did not differentiate between summer and winter sales, when more snowbirds are present.
MUSICAL CHAIRS has been on the Centro menu as Gaylita and Gary have resumed the operation of the Cafe Ole while Bill and Ally Belair, who operated Café Ole for a brief period, have moved to Hippo’s…DONNA’S BAKERY in Centro is adding a home delivery program of organic vegetables to her usual baked goods offerings…SOLAR ENERGY companies are moving into the Mayan Riviera, an area that, according to a recent energy forum in Cancun, is the highest catchment region in the country at 5.8 kilowatt hours per square meter per day. A spokesman for the hotel association said at the forum that hotels are not taking advantage of this sustainable energy source because of high up-front costs. Several solar panel manufacturers have moved sales representatives to this area including eSun whose site can be visited by clicking on its logo in the sponsor column…ANOTHER DOLPHIN DISCOVERY has opened at the Grand Sirenis Hotel in Akumal, the eighth one in Quintana Roo…TAXI AND PRIVATE DRIVERS complained of higher gasoline prices due to tax increases on the product. The latest 12-peso hike upped the tax to 77 pesos per liter to yield prices of 12.77 pesos for magna, 13.45 for premium and 13.28 for diesel…SOME AREA HOTELS are using hawks to keep other birds away from hotel restaurants in the tourist areas… REALLY ROLLING! Mexico auto exports reached record heights in the first quarter rising 8.7 percent from the same period in 2013. Companies in Mexico made 1.02 million units in that period of which 82.9 percent headed for foreign markets…THE DIRECTOR GENERAL of Civic Aviation and the International Air Transport Association have declared that Cancun International Airport has reached saturation point, yet no progress on a proposed terminal in Tulum…FARMERS NEED HELP to stay on the job in southern Q. Roo, says a farmers’ association group seeking help from the government. The group says farmers are leaving the field for work in the tourist areas for lack of assistance from government and private sources. They say it’s a shame because the land is the most productive in the region…TEQUILA IN CHINA is growing at such a pace that China is on the verge of becoming the second largest importer of Mexican tequila…BEACH LOSS in Cancun is reported as 60 percent over 40 years…PUERTO AVENTURAS AIRPORT – Land clearing has begun in the western jungles of Puerto Aventuras for the Playa del Carmen Aerodrome which will be moved as soon as the new facility is ready. No word yet as to what will happen to the prime land currently hosting the aerodrome…HOME DEPOT building advancing in Playa del Carmen. Can Costco be far behind?
The Mail Bag…
I want to say thank you for the great publication, I look forward every week to my newsletter and miss you when you move to monthly! As I’m hoping to become a resident in the near future I am an avid fan! I just wondered if you could help me- I’d love to know if there are any Brits living in PA who might be willing to give some advice on the practicalities of a move from the UK.
I saw your article on fuel pump failure in the Pelican Free Press. I had to replace my fuel pump a month ago and the dealership attributed it to bad Magna fuel from Pemex. While we were there at the Toyota Dealer in Playa we saw another Van pull up and had the same problem. Pemex.
(Ed. Note: See comments above on filter problem)
Signed/ Carolyn and Nina Kumar
An a-maize-ing bike
in Puerto Morelos
When sailing yacht owners on Cape Cod in Massachusetts, USA, decide to make a transatlantic trip, some of them use a stationary bicycle hooked up to a generator to produce electricity and get exercise. There are no bike paths in the Atlantic.
An appetizing version of this idea has cropped up in Puerto Morelos. It is called a “bicimolinos” – a hand-built stationary bike that provides the ladies with exercise while simultaneously producing masa dough as a by-product of the pedaling energy. It’s a classic example of killing two birds with one stone, as they say.
The idea is popular in Central America countries like Guatemala and El Salvador and appears to be making its initial appearance on the Yucatan peninsula in Puerto Morelos via a project called “Maize Value.”
Reportedly, there are five people in that town involved. One of them, Viviana Diaz Velez Sofia, says the bike will help support a family’s economy by the sale of the corn tortillas as well as improve the health of the persons pedaling the machines. The project is scheduled to be in full swing next year.
CHECK THE COLONOS SITE for information to confirm your resident and gate passes as a security measure…PLAYA MOVIE HOUSES are reportedly doing rather well with an average of 12,000 fans showing up weekly…GULF HURRICANE BORIS dropped a lot of rain in Riviera Maya, hurting tourist retail and water-related businesses. But it wasn’t as bad as the downpours in the southern state of Guerrero where torrential rain caused evacuation of thousands of residents to safer ground …BEACH DUNE RECOVERY of about 20 percent is reported in Playa del Carmen area because of a planting program undertaken by the environmental protection agency Zofemat, which says the project is being helped by abundant rain…THE OVERPASS REPAIR project in Playa will be discontinued for the summer and resume in the fall…CULTURAL EXCHANGE program has been signed by Mexico-UK where each country will bring a series of events to the other country…SOME RESTRICTIONS on commercial travel from Belize to Chetumal have been lifted following a meeting on transportation issues…HURRICANE INSURANCE costs leave some 95 percent of small businesses without coverage, says a spokesman from the Association of Bars and Clubs in Playa’s tourist zone…CUT FERRY PRICE to Cozumel for all people of Solidarity by 50 percent is a movement under way to give all residents of Solidarity the same price break that islanders get for traveling to Solidarity on the ferry…A U.N RAPPORTEUR (one who compiles and presents reports) has suggested the Mexican government remove military units from the streets to reduce homicides brought on by clashes of drug-related shootouts…RED CROSS says it collected 75 percent of its goal as of mid-June…SHRIMP FLAKES have the potential to help sufferers of osteoarthritis, say researchers from the University of Veracruz, by helping repair cartilage/bone tissue. One in five Q. Roo females suffer from the ailment…HIGHWAY SHOOTING was fatal to a young taxi driver on Highway 307 near Paamul in mid-June. A second driver was shot four times and died in Playa del Carmen on the same day…GASTROINTESTINAL cases rose 5 percent since the heat and rain have arrived, says the General Hospital. Dust, dirty water and food gone bad are the likely culprits, say the doctors…DUST THOU ART – The red sunsets seen from the Yucatan in June stem from Saharan dust particles, an annual event, though the particles were not as dense this year…SOLiDARITY’S COMPTROLLER reports the state of Quintana Roo ranks fifth in the nation in corruption incidents and asks the public to report any attempts by public employees to extort favors during the performance of their duties…A MUNICIPAL CENSUS and survey began this week in Puerto Aventuras, reports the Colonos. Uniformed agents with identification are visiting homes and residents are asked to respond to this effort at achieving a population count, although responses are not obligatory, says the Colonos…A U.S. TOURIST drowned in waters off Sandos Playacar this week (June 25). Paramedics attempted to save her but the 53-year-old woman died from swallowing too much sea water, the medics said…AND STILL GROWING is the federal election District 1 comprising Solidarity, Tulum, Cozumel, Lazaro Cardenas and Benito Juarez (Cancun) that has an estimated 500,000 voters for next year’s federal election compared to 400,000 in 2012…
END THIS POST: Please refer to the Colonos site for church and al-anon services and other pertinent housekeeping information. Click on the Colonos icon in the top right column.