It’s New Year, time to ponder once again the ‘days gone by’ or, as poet Robert Burns wrote it, “Auld Lang Syne.” The old days, years and friends ought not be forgotten but fondly remembered. Similarly, 2015 should be whatever you want it to be, a bounty of fresh friends comingled with fond memories and new promise.
“Should old acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind? Should old acquaintance be forgot, and the days of old lang syne.
We all have paddled in the stream, from noon ‘til dinner time; while seas between us broad have roared, since times of old lang syne.
And here is a hand, my trusty friend, and give us a hand of yours; and we will take a good will drink, for times of old lang syne.
And surely you will pay your pint, and surely I will pay mine; and we’ll take a cup of kindness yet, for the days of old lang syne.”
Quieres aprender Espanol?
(Want to learn Spanish?)
Teachers, Latitude 20 team up
to help gringos speak Spanish
Informal, enjoyable Spanish classes – food for the brain – are being offered this season with some new twists that ought to please older students serious about getting by in Spanish and then some.
Gloria Contreras, certified teacher and translator, told the Pelican Free Press she will begin two classes on Monday, Jan. 5. There will be a basic class for newcomers from 11 a.m. to noon followed by an intermediate class from noon to 1 p.m. The twice-weekly sessions will also be held at the same times on Wednesdays at the Latitude 20 Restaurant by the Lagoon of Dreams.
Alberto Andres de la Fuentes, a popular instructor and teacher at the colegio, is also planning conversational “coffee klatch’-type sessions later in the day also at Latitude 20 although a precise time and schedule has not yet been announced. “We choose a conversation topic to do in Spanish and my job is to help around with vocabulary and pronunciation. I’m already doing it in English and it has been great,” he said. Interested parties can reach Andres at 984-140-3976 for further information.
Aside from the quite practical usefulness of gringos learning to speak at least some basic phrases in Spanish here in PA, a rudimentary knowledge is also helpful to travelers since – in case you didn’t know – Spanish is spoken in 21 nations, most, but not all, in Central and South America with the exception of Belize (English) and Brazil (Portuguese).
And if you travel or live in the U.S. West and Southwest, you probably already know that Spanish is spoken by 41 million U.S. residents. Population wise, Mexico is the largest Spanish speaking country in the world with 111 million population, although Argentina is the largest Spanish speaking nation land-wise. Equatorial Guinea in southwest Africa is the smallest Spanish nation with about 500,000 population. (Spanish is so popular that it is even spoken in Spain.)
As to learning simple but helpful phrases, consider if it would be helpful for you to know, or paste on your refrigerator, the following.
Red Cross Ambulance Service: Dial 065. A Spanish-speaking EMT answers. Short phrases that might be helpful: Send an ambulance please –Por favor, mande una ambulancia; My name is- Mi nombre es; My address is – Mi domicilio es; My phone number is – Mi numero de telefono es; I am very sick – Estoy muy enferma; My wife/husband had a heart attack – Mi esposa tuvo un ataque cardiac!; I fell and I am hurt – Me cai y estoy herido!
Ms. Contreras’ classes will be limited to 10 students. Each class will be closed to new students after two sessions to avoid repetition. New classes will be started if enough students sign up.
Cost is 100 pesos ($6.79 USD) ($7.89 CAN) payable in advance for 10 classes (or five weeks). That’s 1,000 pesos total or ($78.89 CAN) ($67.88 USD) total for the five weeks, materials included. Just bring a pen/pencil and notebook. Sign up by calling Ms.Contreras at cel.984-108-3517 or show up at the first class of your choice.
COOKING CLASS DAY CHANGE – Latitude 20, now under new ownership, will switch to 10 a.m Saturday, Jan. 3, for this week and resume on Fridays beginning Jan. 9… THE PUBLIC LIBRARY at the Colegio will be open during the holiday season from 10 a.m to 4 p.m. on Tuesday Dec. 30 and Tuesday Jan. 6… CENTRO COMERCIAL annual assembly is scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 10…THE 7th ANNUAL Puerto Aventuras road race this year is Sunday, Jan. 25, and will begin at 7 a.m. at Porto Bello, same place as last year, but end at the large palapa in Centro’s Dolphin Discovery, which is the major race sponsor this year. Local runners can register at the Colonos office during working hours. For more information on registration and costs (200 pesos for adults, 150 for children) click on the Colonos site in the right-hand column …ART SHOWS are held each Thursday evening at the Information and Art Center…
Poblado delegate reports
40 percent hike in sales
New street paving in the Poblado this year has had an inviting and beneficial effect on the local business community, driving holiday season sales some 40 percent higher than in recent years.
Municipal delegate Olivia Zamudio Escobar told the local press that people visiting the Puerto Aventuras resort section have ventured into the Poblado in larger numbers this season, enticed perhaps by the new streets and other beautification projects.
Those who have not been in the Poblado for a while will notice the difference new, blacktopped streets have made vs. the dusty, rutted roads prevalent just over a year ago. There also appears to have been a resurgence of pride in the bright, happy colors of some newly painted houses.
Locals working in the area service industry and in construction also contributed to the holiday sales picture for retailers and restaurants because they have prospered more this year than last. In addition, many Pobladans work locally hrough the holidays and remained here to shop and celebrate , according to the delegate.
Wage hike called ‘insult’
One indication of wage improvement for workers locally was a wage adjustment to avert a potential strike last January by the CROC union members who were assuaged by “harmonizing” salaries at a Colonos cost of 2,000 pesos a month in the monthly payroll and one-time payment of 35,000 pesos. The strike threat was withdrawn in May of 2014, according to the Colonos.
But for what it’s worth, the National Commission on Minimum Wages has just announced a 4.2 percent increase in the country’s minimum wage in two geographic areas. The increase on the West Coast raises the daily minimum wage to 70.10 Mexican pesos (currently about $4.80 USD) while the East Coast hike is only 2 pesos and 68 cents, or 66.45 pesos daily wage (around $4.55 USD),which Q. Roo CROC officials have labeled “an insult” to labor.
CROC is the acronym for the Revolutionary Confederation of Workers and Farmers (Confederacion Revolucionaria de Obreros y Campesinos).
No such thing as a free lunch, but…..
Blowout sends car swerving
off 307 into Paamul woods
Puerto Aventuras Red Cross responds
The staff of Pelican Free Press witnessed its third car accident on Highway 307 this year when a car apparently had a tire blow out and, in the process of swerving to avoid other cars speeding along, went off the road near the Paamul entrance and crashed into the woods, wounding two persons, one with possible serious injury.
The Red Cross ambulance out of Puerto Aventuras was first to arrive at the scene shortly after 11:30 a.m. Saturday and raced one of the injured with a neck brace on a gurney to a medical facility in Playa del Carmen as police began an investigation at the scene. The car was soon removed by a tow truck.
Meanwhile, the Red Cross in Playa del Carmen reported 40 calls from the colonies for an ambulance during the hours of Christmas eve and Christmas day, tying a record set last year. Horcio Moreno, managing director of the Red Cross unit in Playa, said family quarrels spurred by too many alcoholic drinks doubled the 2012 number of Christmas incidents.
The unit reported 25 people were treated as the result of physical family quarrels and the remainder of cases brought on by diabetic and hypertension reactions.
(Puerto Aventuras has a quiet but active group – some members engaged in International Rotary – supporting the Red Cross in Puerto Aventuras and Playa del Carmen. Read more about what they are doing by clicking on the Red Cross button at the top of this page.)
Colonos Assembly 3: The cost
Getting a general feel
for the Colonos budget
What 2015 spending plan totals in dollars
Residents who are not part of the budget process as presented at the annual assembly might be somewhat confused by what running the Colonos costs in U.S. and Canadian dollars over a year.
A quick glimpse of the proposed budget chart provided in the Dec. 13 assembly’s annual report shows a proposed budget of 1,302,000 (in pesos). If one bothers to check what that is in USD at the current favorable exchange rate of around 14.7 pesos to the dollar, it represents the relatively tiny amount of about $88,000 USD or $102,718 CAN, certainly not enough to run the Colonos operation for a year.
That’s because, as presented in the chart, the 2015 budget of 1,302,000 is a monthly figure, not the yearly amount usually cited in most budgets. So for 12 months, the total budget figure would be 15,624,000 pesos, or around $1,061,000 USD and $1,232,000 CAN at the current exchange rate.
There is a reason for the monthly budget model. Historically, Colonos’ fiscal year has begun in February and run through the following January. (This will change in 2015, when the fiscal year will be from January to December.) At the time of the December assembly only nine months of the current fiscal year have been completed, so using monthly average budget figures makes it easier for laymen to compare the current year’s income and spending with what’s being proposed for the coming year, notes a member of the Vigilance Committee.
Aside from employee wages, insurance, rent and other household–type fixed costs, the Colonos budget in 2014 funded repairs to the cultural center palapa, painting projects, new stamped concrete pavement along a missing strip on Yanten and the west lane of the main boulevard heading toward the main gate.
Also, the uncomfortable cobblestone entrance at the main gate was smoothed out, to the delight of local drivers and other general road maintenance such as filling in potholes completed. The Punta Celis roadway was widened to better accommodate traffic.
The budget also includes funding the security force, purchasing video cameras that have proven a big help in identifying and in some cases capturing felons, purchasing motorized and other equipment for the public works and security departments, repairs to infrastructure such as main gate barriers, adding topes and vados to roadways where requested or deemed necessary to slow traffic and general safety projects such as building the new pedestrian path on Bahia Chemuyil.
The budget also supports the administrative staff to oversee the work, take payment of fees, issue permits, I.D. and gate passes; listen to and act upon general community complaints and keep an open line of communication with the various municipal departments such as rubbish collection and animal rescue of the municipality of Solidaridad in Playa del Carmen. The administration also provides oversight and coordination with the private infrastructure such as water and sewer supply.
The Colonos administrator is general manager Armando Rincon. He reports to the elected Colonos board, which includes Jorge Kaufer, president; Guillermo Lobo, secretary and Irma I. Ramos, treasurer and two voting members, Gerardo Diego and Daniele Gracis.
Representing another layer of financial and administrative oversight is the Vigilance Committee that includes Carlos Suarez, co-owner of a property management company; PA developer and Arq. Roman Rivera Torres, and retired U.S. mortgage finance executive Tim Howard, all of whom have significant financial and administrative expertise.
Argentine court frees zoo ape
under a writ of habeas corpus
Joins life similar to free-roving spider monkeys of PA
The tendency of some people to “humanize animal behavior”, particularly with canine pets, has been characterized by Adrian Sestelo, an Argentinian zoo biologist, as one of man’s “most common mistakes.”
His studied comment of animal vs. human life stems from a recent, pioneering legal opinion in Argentina that freed a 28-year-old orangutan ape from a zoo on a “habeas corpus” petition.
The court decision referred to the ape as a “non-human person” and ordered it released from captivity into a wild-life sanctuary to roam free.
A habeas corpus is a petition with the power of a court order to a jailer, for example, to present a prisoner before the court to determine if the jailer, or custodian, has the legal right to detain the prisoner, or, in this case, the “non-human person.”
It’s a landmark ruling in view of the fact that previous similar U.S. petitions to free orca whales and a privately owned chimp in New York rejected the notion the whales and monkey were “persons” enti
tled under the law to the human rights and protections of habeas corpus.
An animal rights group filed the Argentine petition to free “Sandra,” 29, who was described as being, by nature, a calm, solitary animal born in captivity in Germany and sent to the Argentine zoo 20 years ago.
Orangutan, incidentally, is a Malaysian word meaning “forest man.” Observers say the decision, if it survives an appeal, would open the door to many more such petitions to free captive animals. Dolphins, who appear to exhibit some human-like learning abilities, gives readers in this area something to ponder.
Puerto Aventuras is way ahead of Argentina, though. It already allows its resident spider monkeys, that is, “non-human persons,” to roam free and comingle (at a safe distance) with the cosmopolitan population of Mexicans, Canadians, Italians, Americans, Russians, Poles, Spaniards etc. that inhabit and share what many here label “Paradise.”
Work on the sports complex that was postponed earlier has resumed in the Puerto Maya neighborhood of Puerto Aventuras … An estimated 12,000 people per day crossed the channel in ferries to Cozumel during the holiday period while businesses and beaches on both sides of the channel were reported at near full occupancy…The New Year begins with a prediction of continued cold fronts until sometime in mid-February, bringing cooler evenings and more rain than usual for this time of year…Playa del Carmen, which usually has about 21,000 vehicles in the city that jumps to about 40,000 during the holiday season, surpassed that this year with a record 56,000 vehicles using and/or passing through the city…The Mexican government laments that the case of 43 missing students in Iguala has obscured the good news that crime in general has been significantly reduced in the country with homicides down 15 percent, robberies down 11 percent and other crimes reduced by similar percentages…The body of a Catholic priest who had been shot and killed near Guerrero was found in a nearby municipality on Christmas day. Guerrero state is where 43 students remain missing and believed murdered… Turkey plot – Police were summoned in Playa’s tourist area last week by passersby who smelled a foul odor from the trunk of a parked car. When police opened the trunk, it turned out to be more of a “fowl” odor of a Christmas turkey the owner forgot to remove from the trunk…The Tulum Ruins attracted a daily average of about 4,500 visitors equaling 80 percent of hotel and restaurant occupation…
The Mail Bag…
Thank you to Sr. Roman Rivera Torres for speaking to us at our annual meeting. We were happy to hear that if you do not have a buyer for the golf course by April 2015, you will immediately lay the water lines and complete the other infrastructure necessary to finish the remaining 9 holes. Bravo, this is good news!
I thank the members for the opportunity to speak at this forum. The golf course completion is not only important for adjacent property owners, but for all of Puerto Aventurans who play golf.
Especially to the Hotels and Restaurants that attract thousands of people a year. It would be nice to keep the revenue of the golfers here at our local restaurants and hotels. We look forward to April and the improvements to come.
Some Mexican New Year traditions
Here are some traditions in Mexico for the celebration of New Year’s eve or locally known as Año Nuevo. One is downing a grape with each of the twelve chimes of the bell during the midnight countdown, while making a wish with each one.
It is said that Mexican families decorate homes and parties, during New Year’s, with colors such as red, to encourage an overall improvement of lifestyle and love,;yellow to encourage blessings of improved employment conditions; green to improve financial circumstances and white to improve health.
Mexican sweet bread is baked with a coin or charm hidden in the dough. When the bread is served, the recipient whose slice contains the coin or charm is believed to be blessed with good luck in the new year.
Another tradition is making a list of all the bad or unhappy events from the current year; before midnight, this list is thrown into a fire, symbolizing the removal of negative energy from the new year. At the same time, appreciation is expressed for all the good things had during the year that is coming to its end so that they will continue to be had in the new year.
Some traditions include a family dinner at 1:00am , the traditional meal being turkey and mole, a tradition which has now spanned worldwide. Those who want to party generally go out afterwards, to local parties or night clubs.
If you’re in Mexico, you can still enjoy festivities in the street. In Mexico City there is a huge street festival on New Year’s Eve; celebrations center around the Zocalo, the city’s main square. You can expect a lot of firecrackers, fireworks and sparklers. At midnight there is a lot of noise and everyone shouts: "Feliz año nuevo!" People embrace, make noise, set off firecrackers, and sing Auld Lang Syne. Sounds like Times Square, yes?
To our sponsors, reading audience, story contributors, officials public and private who share information for the public knowledge, and to one and all, The Pelican Free Press wishes you silent nights and days that are bright with the promise of peace and prosperity. So…
“Have yourself a merry little Christmas,Let your heart be light; From now on our troubles will be out of sight;
Have yourself a merry little Christmas, Make the Yule-tide gay; From now on, our troubles will be miles away.
Here we are as in olden days,happy golden days of yore; Faithful friends who are dear to us, gather near to us once more;
Through the years we all will be together, If the Fates allow, hang a shining star upon the highest bough,
And have yourself a merry little Christmas now.”
Song written by Hugh Martin and Ralph Blane and introduced by Judy Garland in the 1944 musical “Meet Me in St. Louis.”
Merry Christmas – Feliz Navidad!
Doe Stowell, 80, long-time resident, dies
Doe Stowell, a 16-year resident of Puerto Aventuras who celebrated her 80th birthday with family and friends last March at the Latitude 20 Restaurant, died Tuesday (Dec.23) shortly after arriving here from Minnesota several weeks ago.
Doe, also known as the “Grand Dame” of Puerto Aventuras, was a fixture along the Dolphin Walk for most of her years here, launching an informal breakfast club with the late Parker Woods and others including his daughter, Sally Evans, that persisted at various local restaurants after Mr. Woods’ passing and continues today, “…although I don’t get out that much anymore,” Doe said at her party last March.
She created an artistic canvas through the years here as she spent entire days wearing a large-brimmed hat and sitting in a portable chair into the night to watch dolphin births. “The Dolphin Discovery staff was so generous with biological information,” she said, “…that I think I earned two years of biology credits.” As one thing leads to another, she also developed an abiding interest in the ritual of sea turtles and their propagation on nearby beaches where she would venture to protect the nests.
Doe came to Puerto from the frigid environs of Minnesota and in the few years prior to her 80th birthday had developed a lingering illness that reduced her otherwise energetic charitable, community and environmental activities, but not her unending interest in them.
Her typical emails after returning to Puerto were profoundly joyful and went something like this: “I am so delighted to open windows, greet the sun, look at the sea, and see people here.” Nearly 90 friends and family attended her birthday party. Arrangements are incomplete.
Colonos Assembly 2: Security
Chef cooks up precious present
for Puerto Aventuras residents
Goes beyond call of duty to fortify security
Mexican-born chef Luigi Danieli Alberico was relaxing, half-asleep on the couch. Esmeralda, his girlfriend, was in a nearby chair watching television in their rented condo unit on Bahia Xaac, enjoying a respite from work. Outside, a group of people were escaping the searing September heat by frolicking in the pool.
“Esmeralda shook me a little bit and whispered that she heard a noise upstairs. I told her it was nothing. But we could see the balcony above us from the couch and as we observed, we saw a figure lean over the railing, look down and quickly pull back out of view. I don’t think he saw us. I think he must have thought we were in the pool”
Wearing only a pair of athletic shorts, Alberico sprung from the couch and ran out toward the pool from where he could see the condo’s second level. He saw some kind of movement, then ran around to the front of the building, up a flight of stairs where windows to the upstairs bedroom were located. There, he saw a man attempting to exit through an opened window. Upon seeing Alberico, the intruder turned, held onto some items he had taken, ran down the stairs inside the apartment, past Esmeralda and out the front door to a waiting, idling, rented car and sped off.
This is one of three examples cited by Puerto Aventuras Security Chief Jesus Galdeano at the Dec. 13 annual assembly showing that reactive citizens coupled with the new video camera system can make a long-term difference in the community’s attraction as a safe haven.
“I was confused and scared,” Alberico continued, “not sure of what I could do. But at the same time, I ran into the house for my car keys, then out to my car and caught up with the intruder. He had taken my money, my cell phone and a watch my girlfriend had given me. When he noticed I was following him, he began speeding toward the main gate, very fast, and nearly hit a woman pushing a baby carriage.
“At the gate,” Alberico went on, “I leaned out the car window and was shouting for the guards to stop the intruder’s car, but they had already lifted the barrier for another car in front of the intruder’s vehicle to go through and the intruder quickly followed that car out the gate before the barrier went down.”
At this point, Alberico said, he was gripped by anxiety not knowing what to do and subsequently mishandled his car, bumping it into the main gate structure and damaging the car’s front end. Determined not to let the intruder off so easily, he exited the car, rushed through the main gate toward the highway, barefooted, in what in retrospect seemed a vain attempt to stop the thief. Then Fate smiled for Alberico.
“Just then a police truck came by and stopped when they saw me running down the road in shorts and barefooted,” he said with a sheepish smile. Alberico, who is bilingual, briefly told the police what happened and asked them to follow the car. He jumped into the truck and the police began the chase as the officers radioed ahead to the police filter on Highway 307 in Punta Venado with a description of the suspect car and a request to stop it.
But the guards at the filter were in for a surprise. As they saw the suspect car approaching and prepared to wave it off, the car accelerated and sped by the policemen, almost hitting them, Alberico said.
But the robber paid the price at Centro Maya where “many policemen” and cars had blocked the road into Playa del Carmen. The thief finally stopped and by the time Alberico got there, the police had the thief under control, Alberico said, and his watch was returned to him. “But no money and no cell phone. The thief must have thrown that evidence out the window,” Alberico said.
In his annual report, Security Chief Galdeano noted in part that “…an important part of resolving some cases…has been that residents have understood the importance of reporting the events to the authorities…” He said that’s what helps keep a case open along with evidence collected by the local security force, particularly from video cameras, to assist detectives in achieving a successful prosecution. Consider that nearly 50 percent of theft cases in PA were solved in this reporting period, or 13 out of 27 cases in which the victims themselves played an important role.
“I used to keep my windows and doors open to enjoy the breeze,” Alberico said during a hindsight interview last week. But since the September event, he has moved to another condo and now keeps doors and windows closed and curtains drawn “because of what happened.” He has filed the necessary complaints to help prosecute the suspect.
What perhaps hasn’t occurred to Alberico is that he has given the people of Puerto Aventuras the Christmas present everybody can use: Security and more freedom from fear.
That is because his hair-raising effort to catch an alleged thief, now identified by the police and security force cameras as a Belizian career criminal named Amado Edwan Gonzalez, is apt to bring an added measure of sanctuary to the community because the thief faces a 6-year jail term, according to sources.
As a follow-up to a Pelican story last February about a housebreak in which the owner played an important role in subsequently apprehending the thief who used his credit card, the owner recently reported that his money was returned – not by the bank that issued the card – but by the lawyer for the defendant in that case.
Actions by Alberico and other victims of the thefts reported during the year along with the identification capability of the community’s video camera system, “…definitely assisted in resolving some of the felonies,” reported the Security chief. And with that and the spirit of local yuletide photos below, have yourself a very Merry Christmas.
THE PUBLIC LIBRARY at the Colegio will be open during the holiday season from 10 a.m to 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 30 and Tuesday Jan. 6… CENTRO COMERCIAL annual assembly is scheduled for January 10…THE 7th ANNUAL Puerto Aventuras road race this year is Sunday, Jan. 25, and will begin at 7 a.m. at Porto Bello, same place as last year, but end at the large palapa in Centro’s Dolphin Discovery, which is the major race sponsor this year. Local runners can register at the Colonos office during working hours. For more information on registration and costs (200 pesos for adults, 150 for children) click on the Colonos site in the right-hand column… COOKING CLASS at Latitude 20, now under new ownership, meets Fridays at 10 a..m…ART SHOWS are held each Thursday evening at the Information and Art Center…SAY IT IN SPANISH -Stay tuned for next week’s edition of coming Spanish classes. All area teachers are invited to submit times, places and other pertinent information for their classes or private-lesson offerings…
Colonos thanks donors of gifts
for annual employee party
The Colonos held its annual Christmas party for workers on Friday and, reports General Manager Armando Rincon, the generosity of resort residents allowed the Colonos to distribute three rounds of gifts for workers and their children at the party held in the Poblado.
Some 40 employees – one of them with the Colonos for 22 years – mingled for about four hours enjoying food and conversation along with the distribution of gifts. Resort residents who gave cash in lieu of gifts helped the Colonos purchase seven “large” items such as a TV set and microwave ovens that were raffled on the third round. “This year we were able to distribute two gifts to everyone,” Rincon said
Rincon thanked the workers for their support throughout the year and assured them the support was mutual not only from the Colonos administration but, as well, from the people of the resort who appreciate their labors. Each employee also received an annual bonus gift card valued at 600 pesos each from the Colonos budget and board. (Party photos below by Edouard Reynoso)
The Mail Bag…
We wanted to make you aware that we had a problem with security at the front gate yesterday. We were told by Security Chief Jesus Galdeano that contractors were not allowed in Puerto Aventuras from Dec. 22, 2014, until January 2, 2015, without prior approval.
I asked Mr. Galdeano when did this policy take effect and he mentioned that it was effective yesterday (Dec. 22). Mr. Galdeano was kind enough to assist me with the problem and allowed my contractor to come and work on my project. However, this delayed my contractor as he had to park outside the gate, walk to my condo and request that I walk back with him to the gate to provide an extended explanation to permit his access. This was all very inconvenient.
I was shocked and surprised that as residents in PA we were not made aware of this policy in advance. There was no email notification and nothing on your website. I am not opposed to any policy that is for the betterment of PA. However, I am opposed to policies not being communicated in a timely fashion to PA residents. Thank you.
Signed/ Beverly and Kevin Schrab
(Ed. Note: Amen to that. The Pelican was also wondering why there wasn’t any construction going on in Phase 4 on Wednesday, Dec. 23. We shall endeavor to have the Colonos board be more aware of the weekly Pelican when it has significant announcements to make.)
More Russians vacationing
In the Riviera Maya area
The Riviera Maya continues to open new tourism markets, the latest being a spike of Russian nationals sufficient enough to prompt the Revolutionary Confederation of Workers (CROC) to begin offering courses in the Russian language for guides and service workers next year.
The Pelican has already published the intent of a Russian conglomerate to construct condos in PA’s Phase 4 as more Russian-speaking visitors pop up in Puerto Aventuras hotels. A spike in Russian tourism has been recorded area-wide with an estimated figure of around 40,000 Russian visitors last year, which represents about 2 percent of the total tourism market.
The union already has a teacher and is looking for venues that can be used as classrooms. About 168 union members are already proficient in the English language, according to the union.
In another report, area hotels including those in Puerto Aventuras were reporting about 95 percent occupancy the first week of the holiday season and local restaurants and attractions welcomed a healthy increase in business. The local press reported on waiters who said they have been earning an average 700 pesos in tips.
The ‘coati’ is a leading critter
that overturns barrels at night
Short of training the “coati” population to buy and cook their own food, more residents of Puerto Aventuras need to assure their trash receptacles are either tip proof, placed in a locked bin, or at the least, not set out for collection until the morning when the rubbish truck makes its rounds.
The Colonos has been asking residents not to set barrels out at night in order to discourage the varmint population from making a mess that could eventually result in the proliferation of a rodent population that nobody wants, not to mention how messy spilled rubbish in front of a handsome home appears to others.
The white-nosed coatis that inhabit Puerto Aventuras are social animals like the people here, and hang around in groups of 20 or so instinctively foraging for food like insects, eggs and carrion. They overturn rocks, barrels, tree trunks for whatever edibles their long noses turn up under them. However, they have a preference for fruits and vegetables, to the dismay of farmers.
The coati – the term stemming from the indigenous Brazilian Tupi language “coa’ meaning ”belt’ and “tim” meaning ‘long’ – later expressed as “Kua’ti,” then into Spanish and Portuguese “coati.” They are climbers that live in trees and come to earth to forage. They are diurnal, not steadfastly nocturnal as are their cousins, the raccoon, but are adaptable to living around humans, tipping over their trash receptacles at night for scraps.
Like humans, coatis have favorite places to dine, that is, barrels that they like to visit during their roughly 7-year lifespan. The easier the barrel is to tip, the better.
Residents who have complained about the proliferation of coati in Puerto Aventuras doubtless would like to see their neighbors take steps to keep their rubbish away from these raiders who could then return to their natural habits and habitats and keep rodents at bay.
Construction of the new airfield to be situated in Puerto Aventuras west of Highway 307 will begin in January and the aerodrome ready by March said a state official. It will replace the small airfield in downtown Playa del Carmen…A new electric substation called Zac Nicte went on line last week just west of Playa del Carmen and is expected to improve upon electrical service and accommodate growth in Solidarity for the next 10 years… Low-cost Volaris Airline has initiated direct flights between Cancun and Las Vegas, and between Cancun and Miami hoping to draw more tourists to the Mexican Caribbean…New U.S.–Cuban relationship won’t hurt Riviera Maya’s tourism industry…yet… says director of local hotel association…Mexico is a-buzz over the prospect of Jeb Bush running for president of the United States, bringing with him the potential of the first Mexican-born First Lady, his wife, Columba Garnica Gallo. They met in 1971 during an educational exchange program in which Bush participated as an English teacher in Mexico. The link could give Republican Bush an edge in Democratic Florida…Ten merchant marine cadets are assisting local authorities in policing the beach areas of Playa del Carmen to ensure public safety for tourists who are expected to double their number in Playa during the holiday season…Photos of the 43 disappeared students in Iguala were used to decorate a memorial Christmas tree in Mexico City…Mexican Foreign Minister Jose Antonio Meade has rejected the notion that Mexico is seen world-wide as a “narco” state, saying instead it is a developing nation full of promise… Mexican President Pena Nieto is offering to help “normalize” relations between the U.S. and Cuba in the wake of the Obama-Castro agreement to start the process with small steps…An estimated 2.5 million Mexican nationals living abroad have returned to their homes in Mexico for the holidays…Arson by organized crime may be the cause of a fire that destroyed a Playa del Carmen lingerie shop on Constitution Avenue Sunday, say shop owners and the police. This possibly could fall into the crime of extortion which, according to crime figures released this week by the national System of Public Security, is highest in Quintana Roo with 17.9 reported cases per 100,000 inhabitants compared to the statistical national average of 4.5 cases…
New taxi fares listed for 2015
The Colonos office suggests that people taking a taxi to or from the following destinations take down the number of the taxi and the time and date in the event there is a disagreement on price. That will make it easier to present evidence in the event a customer wants to make a complaint. Below are the fares: Terminal refers to the bus terminal in Playa del Carmen. (Print and save)