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Monthly Archives: December 2015

December 2015, Week 3

Assembly OKs 5 percent fee hike

as voters air a number of issues


By Staff
Voters at the Colonos annual assembly Saturday approved with unanimity and applause a 5 percent increase in the maintenance fee and a 2016 monthly operating budget of M$1,414,290 (USD $81,279.25 at last Sunday’s exchange rate).

Also ratified were all 2015 financial and audit reports, thereby putting a feather in the cap of the Colonos’ handling of community finances. Annualized, 1,414, 290 pesos totals a 16,971,480 peso budget, or $975,351 USD.

Slightly more than 50 percent of stakeholders registered to vote, with 23 hotel and condo managers representing 3,800 votes and 151 individual votes. A lower turnout than usual prompted board Chairman Jorge Kaufer to express disappointment, while several other speakers opined it was because voters in general trust the community leadership’s handling of affairs.

Voters vent, air ideas

That was not to say that PA, like communities worldwide, is not without its social and structural imperfections worthy of debate. Various residents spoke from the floor on such issues important to them.

Karla Hinton, who had a petition in hand, spoke of creating a community dog park on Colonos land near the main gate. Ron Hughes, of Chac-Hal-Al, warned of worsening traffic and parking congestion around Centro and questionable use of common parking space by carts for rent.

John Klug, of Centro, suggested, to applause, the purchase of several defibrillators for emergency treatment of heart attack victims. Debra Howard spoke of registering and immunizing dogs against transmittable disease particularly if the dog park idea gains traction and exposes more dogs to close socialization.

Multi-Condo manager Carlos Suarez suggested cooperation between condos and the Colonos to assist condo managers in collecting delinquent maintenance fees from deadbeat owners. Oscar Calderon, another manager, questioned payment methods and specifics for Fatima Bay beach reclamation on behalf of his constituents.

Canal homeowner Angelo Mouzouropoulos spoke on a number of issues including community cooperation to improve security. Rick Neubert implored the Colonos to consider placing an English-speaking person on night duty at the main gate to improve emergency communications, yielding applause.

Traffic monitoring sought

Several attendees spoke on the recurring issue of golf carts and bicycles roaming about in the dark without lights and the need for maintenance of the tennis court turf if the venue is expected to attract more players at night at reduced fees.

And in what could be considered a smudge on the assembly’s otherwise upbeat proceedings, resident Octavio del Rio sought in vain to form an oversight committee that he said would assure equal treatment on issues involving building codes, zoning and returnable guarantee fees.

Del Rio alleged that board Chairman Kaufer ignored zoning rules on a rental duplex property he owns that is in a single-family zone but paying a maintenance fee for a single family instead of two. He alleged that his complaints to the Colonos resulted in his being bullied, harassed, threatened and insulted. Kaufer remained silent during the assembly while several voters suggested such a committee as del Rio proposed would not be empowered to handle what is essentially a municipal rather than Colonos responsibility.

Two sides to the story

After the meeting, however, Kaufer, a long-time volunteer board member active in community affairs, responded to a press inquiry noting that his property and payments conform to municipal law and Colonos regulations. “I have a clear conscience,” he said, “As you know, Colonos fees are paid by key (bedroom), so having a duplex instead of a 4 bedroom house does not mean I pay less on my Colonos fees, I pay exactly what I should. According to Municipio, this kind of construction is considered “unifamiliares” because you can’t sell each apartment separately. It is only one property and it does not exceed any of the building restrictions (COS, CUS height etc).

Kaufer claims the bullying was the other way around, that del Rio bullied and insulted Colonos GM Rincon and further would not pay the required guarantee fee on construction of an investment property. “But I do have a duplex,” Kaufer explained,” because I wasn’t able to rent the house for a long time and when I modified it, I rented it right away. My conscience is clear and I never used or abused my power as president of the board.” He  had decided not to confront del Rio at the meeting because “it would take forever to finish.”

Beach plan explained

Puerto Aventuras developer Roman Rivera Torres explained the already-started piecemeal approach for beach reclamation along Fatima Bay and the engineering and payment strategies he hopes to pursue with waterfront condo owners going forward.

Sand has already been trucked and deposited at Chac-Hal-Al and Omni Hotel and Beach Club in a move to provide immediate and improved access to the federal beach zone for holiday visitors and residents.


Rivera also updated progress of the Phase 4 development, saying the infrastructure is relatively completed, that 50 of the 110 house lots have been sold and paid for and that integration with the rest of the Colonos could be accomplished within a year, meaning the advent of public streets there.


He said a condo complex will begin going up in February, but that two hotel lots adjacent to Barcelo and the caleta that were purchased and then abandoned by Russian principals are again for sale.

Will finish golf course

Rivera said the second nine holes of the golf course need only grass and water and that if adjacent hotels like the Hard Rock and Barcelo do not buy the course within a year – with guaranteed use for PA residents – he will finish it. He took that opportunity to remind residents his is not a fly-by-night operation and that it will be here for a long time to complete its community vision.

He took voters on a brief historical trip using old photos on a screen that depicted the community’s development from early stages to the present, an exercise that drew enthusiastic applause.

Regarding the 2016 budget, it was noted by Kaufer and GM Armando Rincon that the maintenance fee has increased by 25 percent over the last six years, averaging 4.5 percent annually, but sufficient to cover 20 percent higher expenses. The 2016 increase will help the Colonos hire three new employees and two extra security guards.

Proponents of most suggestions from the floor were invited by the Colonos administration to meet, discuss and pursue their ideas. Some of the above issues will be reported in more detail in subsequent Pelican news blogs. Stay tuned.

Christmas reminder that the Colonos office is accepting gifts and/or money to buy presents for Colonos employees who do such a good job maintaining the community. Gifts can be brought to the Colonos office during working hours. The gifts will be distributed at the annual employee party in the Poblado this Friday, Dec. 18, so hurry. “As usual we look forward to your generosity,” says the Colonos board of directors…

It’s property tax time again and agents from the municipality of Solidaridad are in the Colonos meeting room only two more days – until Friday (Dec. 18) – offering substantial discounts for payment. A 25 percent discount is in effect during December and the agents are accepting payment from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. They accept payment by credit card. There is a 15 percent discount for those who pay in January and 10 percent in February. The Colonos advises that those who pay more than 10 taxes should send their catastral numbers (property number) to [email protected]

Trivial Pursuits Sunday, Dec. 27, 4 p.m. at Latitude 20 with Shannon Rachynski. Proceeds go to the needy. People are asked to bring an unwrapped Christmas gift for the children of the Poblado… Annual road race scheduled for Sunday, Jan. 31. Time is getting short,so sign up at the Colonos office. There are 10K and 5K races and shorter jaunts for children. More information later… And yes, there will be a food fest this year in March. Stay tuned…


Puerto’s first ‘Petangue’ tourney

attracts more than 40 players

By Staff
There was welcomed activity at the Information and Art Center parking lot last Saturday as the first seasonal “Petanque” tournament got under way in Puerto Aventuras. Play was on four custom courts installed by Gilbert Chaine, a Mexican of French origin and local builder who donated material and labor.

The game, born in the cradle of France, attracted 57 registered players who broke up into teams and played from 11:30 a.m. to about 7 p.m. before the winning team of Moroccan Mohamed Esmajahed, a chef, Frenchman Gerard Bonnfoy and Belgian Francis Gayina, a tourist who heard about the tournament while visiting a daughter here, walked off with a bottle of champagne.

Christophe Adams served as master operator monitoring the games whose players included Mexican, North American, French and South African nationals of all ages and gender who joined in the fun.

Players and spectators retired to El Bistro Café nearby, sponsor of the tournament, for the awarding of prizes. Another seasonal tourney will be held in March, then May, said Gladis Perez, Information and Art Center director. “The plan is to have one in each of the four seasons,” she said.

The game consists of hurling pitch balls of hollow metal at a smaller “target” ball to see which team can get the pitch balls closest to the target ball. In a sense, its a French counterpart to the game of horseshoes in the US, Italian ‘bocce” and Canadian curling on ice.

Players have to keep both feet on the ground and within a circle when pitching on a “boulodrome” court, which is where the name “Petanque” originated because it means “feet fixed.”


Harmony prevailed


Recital offered tuneful glimpse

of Puerto’s musical future

By Staff
Students at the Puerto Aventuras Rock School of Music gave a good account of themselves at a recital in the PA Community Center last Saturday featuring a 4-year-old violinist, a 75-year-old former Olympic medal winner and a group of young students who gave a commendable performance of making music together after only eight months of study.

The school, owned and mentored by accomplished violinist Arlindo Silva, is located above the Hoo Haa lounge in Centro. It has seven teachers offering voice, piano, guitar, drum, saxophone, flute and violin lessons, then integrating the students into one performing band.

Saturday’s recital – free to the public – was a no-frills affair absent sales of sodas, wines, munchies and programs usually accompanying concerts at that venue. Instead, the production was a holiday gift exchange. Students gave freely of their developing talents while the audience of about 200 presented a gift all students can use, the applause of encouragement and appreciation.

The evening began with a very serious trio of the youngest violin students – one of them only 4 – offering a brief and well-played basic arrangement that was followed later in the program by an upbeat, bouncy voice and guitar rendition of Cantarra-Cantarei by Pilar Roldan, 75, who in 1968 won a silver medal for fencing at the Olympic games in Mexico City, the first Mexican national to take home an Olympic medal.

The 2-hour exposition ofbudding talent was a mélange of solos and group offerings featuring voice, guitar, drum solos usually backed up by Maestro Silva on the keyboard and the student ensemble.

The commitment and rapport between the students and their teachers was palpable. Those in the audience who find joy in supporting and nurturing the young as they evolve into contributing adults was equally evident. Music lovers look forward to gauging the improvement next year.

Commerce Corner…

Mexico beats inflationary spiral

despite the peso’s devaluation

What it means for local service economy


By Staff
There is optimism in Quintana Roo for a profitable holiday tourist season, said Manuel Mendoza, CEO, of the Riviera Maya Hotel Association, as the dollar rose again to an exchange rate of 1-17 last week against the peso.

One reason is that hotels list prices in US currency on an international level regardless of where the Mexican peso is. This means that while the dollar receipts remain the same, hotel operational expenses incurred with pesos represent a comparative savings.

That same bargain is also available to the tourists who exchange dollars for pesos at around 1-16.2 to purchase various items and foodstuffs at retail. That’s because, according to some theories, Mexico has found a way to avoid traditional inflationary spirals even as the peso currency is devalued.

Those theories are the subject of an article appearing in the Mexico Star via Bloomberg News and published below as the first of a two-part series:




The Peso, Part 1

Wavering peso breaks tradition,

avoids consumer price hikes

From Bloomberg News and Mexico Star
By most traditional economic gauges, little is going right today for Mexico. Growth is sluggish, oil exports are falling and credit markets have started to dry up.

Yet beneath the surface, a surprising and little-understood transformation is ushering in one of the country’s most important developments in years: the peso’s age-old link with inflation has been broken. No longer does a plunge in its value trigger an automatic surge in consumer prices. In fact, the most recent data suggest that it causes almost no inflation at all.

It may seem like an obscure, wonky topic — “pass-through” is the term used by analysts — but it’s hard to underestimate the significance in an emerging-market nation like Mexico that’s trying to climb into the ranks of the world’s developed economies.

First, it protects the purchasing power of consumers in a country where about half the population lives below the poverty line. What’s more, it gives central bankers the kind of policy flexibility they never had before. Without having to worry about inflation, they can avoid the classic trap that afflicts so many developing nations: having to raise interest rates and choke off economic growth every time financial turmoil causes a selloff in the currency

It’s a transformation that Mexico’s top officials began touting over a year ago. Economists and investors, though, were skeptical. As Credit Suisse Group AG’s Alonso Cervera says, “we had to see it to believe it.” Now they have. Over the past 12 months, as the peso plunged 17 percent against the dollar, Mexico’s annual inflation rate fell to a record-low 2.3 percent from 4.2 percent.

Bank of America Corp. says the currency’s impact today is almost imperceptible, with each 1 percent decline in its value fueling less than 0.05 percent of inflation. Two decades ago — when consumer prices soared over 20 percent in just four months after the government devalued the exchange rate — the peso-to-inflation ratio was 10 times higher, the bank estimates.

“They slayed the inflation dragon,” said Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s Alberto Ramos.

Next Week: What’s behind the change

Briefly Noted…

Group Spanish lessons are returning to Puerto Aventuras this year with Maestra Gloria Contreras who has been teaching informal groups here for quite a few years. Classes will be held Tuesdays and Thursdays at 11:30 a.m. for beginners and 12:30 p.m. for advanced and intermediate. Contact her at [email protected] or call cel 984-108-3517 for more information…

Expect a full moon over the Mayan Riviera this Christmas, a rare occasion that last happened in 1977 and won’t happen again until 2034, says NASA’s Goddard Space Center… Canada-Mexico link increased this year as Canada’s seasonal agriculture workers program grew by 8.4 percent to more than 21,000 workers…

Tulum voted first worldwide destination on the rise by Trip Adviser. Coming in second was Cartegena, Colombia, and third, Porto, Portugal… Mexico development of a dengue vaccine that is 60.5 percent effective against dengue and 93.2 percent effective against severe dengue as noted earlier in The Pelican, has now been cleared for worldwide use… Escaped Cartel boss “El Chapo” Guzman says on social media he’ll destroy ISIS if it messes with his Mid-East drug business. The comment turned out to be a hoax attempt at satire…

Nestle’s , whose ubiquitous coffee-making machines are in area supermarket cafeterias, has opened its 15th manufacturing plant in Mexico with a pledge of more to come… Mexico City’s federal district has become its own state with its own constitution and is no longer a district…

The latest federal census counts a population of 1.5 million in Quintana Roo state, a 13 percent spurt, with men edging out women 50.1 percent to 49.9 percent. The population is mostly concentrated around Cancun and Playa del Carmen. Some 23,000 foreign nationals are included in the count. On average, there are four police officers for every thousand residents…

Eyes on China, Iran – Mexico is pursuing more tourist business from China while it also eyes China as a market for doubling its farm product exports there. Meanwhile, there are Mexican overtures with Iran to expand energy accommodations… PEMEX has discovered two shallow-water oil deposits in the Gulf that will eventually yield 40,000 barrels a day…

Nature Watch…

Happy hummingbird provides

model for hum of humanity

By Staff
Before departing last spring, a neighbor called our attention to a small, walnut shaped item protectively ensconced in a bush on a branch about three feet from the ground.

It was a hummingbird nest, the real-life likes of which had never before so closely graced our vision. So small, so adorable, so architecturally noble, yet so simple, so prompting us to learn more about this micro-wonder of nature.

The nest is tiny because the bird is tiny at 3 to 5 inches. It weighs less than a US penny (2.5 grams or 0.882 ounces or 0.005 pound) and whizzes through the air at an average 34 miles per hour- forward or backward.

This hover-bird – like a helicopter – flaps its tiny wings about 50 times per second – almost as fast as tongues flap at a political debate. It is obvious the birds derive their name from the humming sound of those wings a-flapping as they hover to extract the sweet nectar of a red flower.

While we think of the “bear” in connection with hibernation, these tiny birds a-humming achieve a state of hibernation-like torpor to conserve energy. When in that state, usually at night or when food is scarce, the bird’s metabolic rate, which is the highest of animal life, drops to 1/15th of normal.

Some of the species use spider silk and/or lichen to bind the nest – about the size of half a walnut shell. Usually two eggs are produced and incubate for 14 to 23 days. The unique qualities of the silk allow the nest to expand as the hatchlings grow. Females are larger and have bigger beaks than males. Guess who is the boss of the nest.

These little hummers – not to be confused with an aesthetically deprived automobile – have been around for more than 22 million years and have been diversifying ever since, the ornithologists tell us. Unlike human nations, about 140 hummingbird species are able to coexist peacefully in shared territory.

Let that be a lesson to the discordant hum of mankind.

PRODUCTION DEADLINES: The Pelican Free Press encourages and welcomes public announcements of events and activities. The deadline for publication in any given week is Monday at 5 p.m. for production mid-week, usually Wednesday. Thank you.

The End

December 2015, Week 2

Assembly to hear proposals

for fee hike, ‘doggie park’

By Staff
  An 8.56 percent budget increase and a hike of 5 percent in the Colonos maintenance fee will be presented to voters Saturday (Dec. 12) during the annual association meeting beginning at 9:30 a.m. at the Dreams Hotel.

Aside from updated information on the sand reclamation plans for Fatima Bay beaches, Phase 4 update and progress on the second 9 holes of the golf course, there will be several presentations from the floor including a request to create a “doggie park” and a petition to form an “Honor and Justice” committee.

Ron Hurst of Chac-al-hal condo complex will offer three items for consideration, two regarding the parking of commercial vehicles in common areas and another for installing signs to prevent parking in roundabouts. Hurst also wants to empower the Colonos administration to revoke gate passes of people who park illegally.

‘Doggie park’ proposed

The “doggie park” suggestion comes at a time when the permission given to a committee formed in 2012 to create a public park on the private island structures along the entrance boulevard has been rescinded for non-use and general neglect. Use of the park was disappointing and the public committee disbanded last year.

It also comes at a time when some residents refuse to cooperate with leash rules and picking up after their pets, particularly on the golf course expanse, and parking spots are at a premium in Centro. (See Nature Watch story below).

A debate could be in the offing concerning a possible proposal to have individual condominium unit owners pay the annual Colonos fee rather than pay one fee through the condo association as is now generally the case, with a few exceptions. The Colonos administration will point to the negative difficulties such a move would present.

Break-ins beget reaction

A wave of some 21 robberies – 16 of them break-ins – from January through April this year spurred added measures to combat criminal activity, including the cooperative construction of a watch tower along the border with Hard Rock Hotel, 2-month use of four extra night guards provided gratis by the security company, more lamps and cameras and an agreement with the PA developer for new fencing along the Phase 4 highway border to be completed early in the new year.

The actions, including improved use of technology, barbed wire barrier along Villas del Caribe and regular nightly patrols along the golf course were successful since the rate of robberies dropped precipitously from May to the current time.

Wider Omni beach to greet

residents, tourists for holidays

By Staff
  A parade of heavy dump trucks, a stone crusher and a singular front-end loader helped the Omni Hotel jump the gun on beach reclamation last week.

While Omni ownership had said a week ago it would begin depositing sand along its section of the Fatima Bay beach in mid-January, trucks began rolling in last week and have already deposited a considerable quantity in time for the holidays. Public access around the fitness center building is now more accommodating and strollers will have ample space to walk along the beach.

The amount of sand being deposited at this time falls quite short of the project’s ultimate 65-foot goal but will provide an average 12 feet of beach sand in the interim.

Omni property owner and PA developer Roman Rivera Torres noted the sand being deposited is more coarse than the beach’s natural white powder. That’s because it is the product of stone that was carved out of the earth in the Phase 4 canal project and crushed. He said the beach will be tilled at some point to blend the two types of sand.

Rivera Torres is expected to present a comprehensive explanation of the project at the Dec. 12 Colonos assembly.

“During the past seven years, the coasts of Quintana Roo, Belize and part of Florida have been losing their sandy beaches due to factors like rising sea level, longer lasting high tides, lower barometric pressure and continuous southeast winds,” he said. “Focusing the causes on nearby constructions (such as piers and barriers) is a mistake that can be confirmed by comparing beaches that remain virgin. Causes are global and of a larger scale.”

Free Christmas Gift of music


Joy of music being offered

Saturday as holiday tidings

Thirty students of the fledgling Rock Music School here in Puerto Aventuras will offer a variety of musical selections on various instruments and voice at a free, 1 1/2-hour recital slated for 7 p.m. Saturday in the Community Cultural Center on Bahia Akumal.

While the words “school” and “student” usually describe young people, the 35 students of the Rock School range in age from four to 75, creating a musical blend as varied as the instruments they play – piano, guitar, flute, violin, drums, saxophone and the one instrument that is the gift of birth – voice.

Maestro Arlindo Silva, proprietor of the Rock School located in studios above the Hoo-Haa Cafe in Centro and owner of a recently opened Spanish restaurant here, gave a stirring violin concert of eclectic themes and styles here last season, displaying the virtuosity of a masterful musician.

“We have a young singer – you won’t believe her voice – among the performers as well as a septuagenarian guitarist,” Silva said. He opened the school here only 8 months ago with 20 students that he said have greatly improved under the school’s teaching methodology while adding more students to the school’s population.

The studio, which has seven teachers for the various instruments, is generally open 1 to 8 p.m. weekdays and 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays. Call 984-142-6660 for more information.

The concert is part of an active weekend of things to do. See Upcoming Events below.

 An art conference on Mayan murals of San Bartolo, Calakmul, Tulum, Xelha, Cacaxtla and Bonampak will be delivered in Spanish by Maestro Claudio Obregon from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday (Dec. 11) at the PA Art and Information Center. Admission is 100 pesos and space is limited. More information at 984-802-9047.New game in town –

A French game called “Petanque” is coming to Puerto Aventuras for a one day only tournament beginning at 11 a.m., Dec. 12, at the Information and Art Center. Thirty players have reportedly signed up for the event so far.The game consists of hurling pitch balls of hollow metal at a smaller “target” ball to see which team can get the pitch balls closest to the target ball. The game here is expected to draw players from Playa, Tulum and maybe Merida, said Gladis Perez of the Information and Art Center. The rules are simple and anyone of any age is welcome to play, she said. The tournament is free, will be accompanied by an art show and is expected to last about two hours. It is sponsored by Le Bistro Cafe…

Christmas reminder that the Colonos office is now accepting gifts and/or money to buy presents for Colonos employees who do such a good job maintaining the community. Gifts can be brought to the Colonos office during working hours. The gifts will be distributed at the annual employee party in the Poblado on Dec. 18. “As usual we look forward to your generosity,” says the Colonos board of directors…

It’s property tax time again and agents from the municipality of Solidaridad are present in the Colonos meeting room this week and next week offering substantial discounts for payment. A 25 percent discount is in effect during December. The agents are accepting payment through this week and also Dec. 14 through 18, from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. There is a 15 percent discount for those who pay in January and 10 percent in February. The Colonos advises that those who pay more than 10 taxes should send their catastral numbers (property number) to [email protected]

Some residents arrived early Monday to make payments but several glitches sent some of them back home to get cash because the equipment just installed to handle the payments couldn’t process credit or debit cards. Some, like William Brock, had waited for about 20-30 minutes before being told they needed cash. Municipal employees handling the transactions expected the problem to be repaired later on Monday.

Trivial Pursuits Sunday, Dec. 13, 4 p.m. at Latitude 20 with Shannon Rachynski. Proceeds go to the needy. The last event raised 2500 pesos for the youth center in the Poblado. People are asked to bring an unwrapped Christmas gift for the children there… Annual road race scheduled for Sunday, Jan. 31. Sign up at the Colonos office…

Akumal remains embroiled

over use of access road

By Staff
   No solution appears to be on the horizon in the battle over the crowded and poorly maintained access road to Akumal Bay while federal agencies study and sit on the situation.

Akumal’s private Ecology Center believes the access road to the center and the shore is a private way while an association of local service providers claims more than 40 years of public use gives them a right of way.

The service association filed a complaint with federal authorities over two years ago when the Ecology Center claimed the right over the road, thereby fostering a complaint by some service providers that they were being denied beach access, a claim steadfastly denied by the center.

The rutted dirt road is currently lined with various stands, kiosks and taxis parked pell-mell near its apex under an entrance archway, creating disarray.

None of this, however, appears to have curtailed the influx of day-trippers wanting to swim with the turtles, or dine at the beach’s popular restaurants or the occupancy of the newly opened, 434-room Secrets Hotel on the beach.

The community’s problems elicited this opinion from one of its resident activists:

“Puerto Aventuras is light years ahead of Akumal in terms of community organization and ability to grow public services.  We are still stuck in this nomansland where we are not private, but we are not a public municipality either. 

“With no HOA (homeowner association) here, the owners and businesses are constantly receiving calls from people asking them for money as there is no communal fund. It’s the same people again and again who do the giving, while others choose not to contribute.  I know that no system is perfect, but Puerto Aventuras is a comparative shining star of a community….”

…AND FOR THE RECORD: A statement by the president of the Consejo de Cuenca Peninsula de Yucatan published in several news outlets including this one that the Akumal Ecological Center had defaulted on a pledge was erroneous and the statement has been retracted. The pledge was paid in June.. 

Briefly Noted…

A new dining dimension has come to Centro Comercial by way of the MezcalX Restaurant at the former Tiramisu. The eatery is equipped with a vertical spit or rotisserie to offer “Tacos al Pastor”, literally, “the style of the shepherd.” It’s a cooking method brought to Mexico mostly by the early Lebanese settlers whose lineage also spawned Chedraui Market and Carlos (Saleem)Slim. Mexicans adopted the method, but substituted marinated pork for lamb. The vertical spit allows pineapple, onion juices or various spices to drip down on the meat as it cooks…

Doctor dies – An well-known Playa de Carmen doctor died in the Bisa Aesthetic Clinic on Constituent Avenue during a liposuction procedure last week. Authorities said cause of death was peritonitis caused by perforation of the stomach and intestines during the procedure. Officials are considering the possibiity of a manslaughter charge. The clinic is licensed … Temporary licenses to peddle Christmas items in Playa during the holiday season will not be issued this year because established businesses complained last year the peddlers decreased needed sales volume of tax-paying brick and mortar stores…

There is an ornament tree in the main office of the PA Colegio festooned with Christmas ornaments. Each ornament has the name of a child who is developmentally challenged or is the child of an employee. People can take an ornament and make a donation for the child. “There are many ornaments left,” said the person who wrote in about the tree…

It was a surprise to see a huge Santa sticking out the roof of a white Hummer as it made its way past the boat landing last week. Behind the wheel of the Hummer – as though replacing  Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer – was JohnTimmerman, owner of Hippo’s Marina Lounge where the giant Santa now stands ringing a silent bell of joy… A film crew was spotted shooting a scene near the Dolphin pools in the marina last Sunday… 

‘Colossus’ ship visit – The new “Anthem of the Sea” 16-deck cruise ship was to make its first visit to Cozumel this week, depositing a wave of nearly 5,000 consumers on the island… A Serbian national identified as Dusan Babic, 38, living in Playa and said to be part of an international drug ring, was detained by authorities after a traffic stop in Playa del Carmen over the weekend. Police say they found an assortment of packaged drugs including powdered cocaine in the Audi car…

World AIDS Day generally came and went unnoticed here last week except for the citizen groups monitoring the virus in Playa. They said 88 new cases of HIV were recorded so far this year… About 40 federal Gendarmes arrived in Playa by bus last week for a meeting with local police and officials to map out strategy for protecting the public during the holiday season crush… PEMEX plans an incursion into the US retail market by planning five gasoline stations in Houston, Texas. PEMEX is the acronym for state-owned Petroleos Mexicanos… Mexican President Pena Nieto is opposing attempts to legalize marijuana, opening the door to national debate on the issue after the high court ruled earlier this year that banning its use is unconstitutional…

Murder suspects detained – Three low-level drug dealers who were part of a highway robbery gang have been detained in the deaths of two Australian tourists found dead, shot and burned in their van on a Sinaloa highway… 120 new voters from the Puerto Aventuras delegation have registered to vote and received their certification, the municipality reports…

MexLaw Says…

What to expect from agents

when selling Mexico property

“If you want to sell property in Mexico, using a real estate agent to sell it is suggested as most foreign buyers contact agents first. Buyers rarely communicate directly with sellers in Mexico.

            The average agent commission varies between  4 to 8% depending on several factors.  If you consent to an exclusive mandate with an agent over a period of 3 to 6 months, then the commission will more likely be 5%.  If you are selling land or property in a less exclusive area of Mexico, then the commission is closer to 8%.  

Exclusive contracts usually have lower commission rates but they limit your exposure in the market.  If you consent to an exclusive mandate, set a reasonable time, between 3 to 6 months, or consent to a higher commission if the property is sold within five weeks. Reduce the commission if no sale is concluded after the initial period.

Most agents will list your property on their website and have agreements with other real estate agents to network and share listings in an informal arrangement.  If another agent presents a buyer, you do not have to pay more commission as the total agreed-upon commission is shared between the agents.

            It is probable that you already know and trust a real estate agent. Although you rely on and trust the agent, ask how he or she plans to promote your property. Check the agent’s website.  Ask how many average visitors (hits) the site gets. 

Ask what off-line marketing will be done. You’ll be surprised how little off-line marketing real estate agents do when selling property that is mostly targeted to foreign buyers. 

When giving a mandate to a real estate agent, be clear as to the conditions of the sale and provide it in writing.  Don’t set a minimum price for your sale but ask the real estate agent to provide you with a price range that you would be agreeable to. 

Remind the real estate agent that you require a written offer in a language you can read.  Unlike the sale of property in other jurisdictions, it is common in Mexico to exchange offers and counter offers by electronic means (fax or email).  Once both parties have agreed to the terms and conditions of the offer, the only remaining item to discuss is the closing date before the Notary Public. 

Although you are the seller, it is recommended that you obtain your own legal counsel in Mexico to review the offer, the conditions and the deed of sale, as the Notary Public is neutral and only acts as an official representative of the state to receive and register the deed of sale and collect any taxes arising from the transaction.  They are not in a position to dispense legal advice or opinions to either party.

Meanwhile, some 57 real estate agents from this area have obtained certification from the local chapter of the National Chamber of Commerce following studies, although it is reported that others are obtaining the license through the Mexican Association of Realtors and through home study. Certification here is required to work as an agent.

For more information, click on the Mexlaw logo at left.

Nature Watch…

Loose dog digs fangs into

Tzereque, forcing comment

By Staff

It was a terrifying wail that un-mistakenly signified a life or death crisis of some sort. It jarred this writer from a moment of quiet reverie in the veranda shade that kept a broiling sun at bay.

From the kitchen came an “Oh my god!” exclamation as the lady of the house dashed toward the balcony, thinking perhaps a baby was injured. But two stories below. another voice, that of a woman chasing a dog, bellowed frantic orders in attempting to control her dog – that had clamped its fangs around the throat of a harmless, shrieking Tzereque, shaking it from side to side. The dog wouldn’t let go immediately.

When the dog – it looked like a spaniel – became distracted momentarily by the stern admonitions of its owner, the docile Tzereque, also known as “agouti,” saw its chance and sprinted off into the golf course wood line. Likewise, the dog retreated from the unheeded commands of its owner.

When the woman finally marched out from what is a private yard adjacent to the golf course – still trying to corral one of the two dogs under her questionable control – this writer called out to her that dogs are supposed to be on a leash. If they were, this wouldn’t happen. “I know,” the exasperated woman replied, “but they got away from me.” Hardly an excuse. They wouldn’t get away if they were on a leash in the first place.

The woman stomped back through the wood line and boarded her waiting golf cart, signaling to the observers that she was one of the few residents who want to own dogs but evidently are unwilling to walk with them and insensitive to the rights of other humans and the lower harmless animals to use a leash.The same woman doing the same thing was spotted again a few days later on the golf course.

There have been some vicious incidents here of dog attacks on humans, a child from Bahia Xaac who was attacked while running along the golf course and two women in separate Centro attacks as well, prompting the Colonos last year to require leashes on dogs and entering an agreement with the Playa del Carmen dog pound to intermittently monitor the community.

The effort, evidence shows, has been only mildly successful. Some scofflaws remain unresponsive to nurturing a society by agreement. Some evidently cannot resist the temptation to be uncooperative.

The tzereque, among the softest of soft targets, is about as harmless and docile as an animal can be. It is even a vegetarian. It is monogamous and mates for life. It feeds on fruit – no meat. Pairs live in a territory of about 2 hectares. They don’t bother anybody or anything. They build dens out of hollowed logs or under roots. They have a lifespan of 13 years – unless some negligent person’s free-range dog unmercifully cuts that life short.

PRODUCTION DEADLINES: The Pelican Free Press encourages and welcomes public announcements of events and activities. The deadline for publication in any given week is Monday at 5 p.m. for production mid-week, usually Wednesday. Thank you.

The end

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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