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Monthly Archives: February 2017

February 15, 2017

Centro’s lost art…

ARTISTS AND SHOPPERS mingle at the final art exhibit held Sunday at the information center. (Staff Photo)

Struggling to hold back tears,
director laments the end of
open 
art exhibits in Centro locale

By Staff
Gladis Perez smiled broadly through tell-tale tears on Sunday as she greeted artists and visitors to the final art show to be held at the information building at the junction of Bahias Xcacel and Yanten.

The art work of 16 area artists was on display outdoors and inside the  building, which will be reborn as a real estate office, said the Fideicomiso, the trust that owns the property.

GLADIS PEREZ smiles as board behind her empties of art work, indicating good sales at Sunday’s final exhibit at Centro location.

The cause for tears was obvious. Perez directed intermittent art shows at that locale for nearly three years in addition to forming an artist’s workshop on Wednesdays where budding area artists improved upon their skill and creativity and where friendships were forged.

But there also was a reason to smile. Perez said the Colonos, which is the property owners’ association, in tandem with the Fideicomiso have agreed to each purchase a backstage door at the cultural center on Bahia Akumal to lock the items needed to continue conducting the workshop there.

Unfortunately, she said, it is a difficult location in which to host overnight art shows since there would be no room to safely store the artwork overnight. “Maybe we’ll be able to work something out to have one-day shows,” she said with a glint of hope in her eyes.

Several years ago the practice of allowing artists to display and sell their wares on the dolphin walk in Centro was discontinued when retailers there paying rent complained the art sales were siphoning revenue from their potential sales. The site remains out of the question, Perez inferred.

Cooks sought to participate
in international food fest

Home, restaurant chefs can sign up now

The Colonos Sports and Cultural Committee is readying for the popular 7th annual International Food Festival of Puerto Aventuras on Sunday, March 17, on the grounds of the Colegio.

Aside from offering the community and guests the delightfully distinct tastes of international cuisine, the idea is for each chef to present one dish from one country. It’s a way of introducing each other to the traditions of each country through their food.

It is not “high level cuisine”, but the traditional food, what we eat every day, or during the holidays, the Greeks, the Chinese or the Turkish.  Not lobster or caviar, something more simple but characteristic of each country. México will participate by states: Puebla, Yucatán, Nuevo León, etc.

There must be enough of each dish to feed  250 to 300 people  small portions, a taste of flavor, 30 grams of meat or 30 grams of pasta.  Nothing big, we would like everyone to be able to taste 10 countries before being full.

There are two ways to participate: A private citizen cooks his or her recipe  to introduce his or her country without any commercial intent. In this case, the Association of Colonos will refund the food cost (but we need the receipts) up to 2,500 pesos. Obviously, the Association of Colonos provides also the installation: tables, chairs, cups, main course or soup dishes, napkins, etc.

As commercial business (restaurant, hotel, food dealers), the company makes its own publicity, in any way they want, but we need it to identify with one country: Chinese restaurant, Argentinean parrilla, French cheese import, etc. The Association of Colonos provides the installation of tables, chairs, cups, main course or soup dishes, napkins, etc., but not the food. This is the cost of publicity.

The committee asks participants to decorate the tables a bit and, if it is possible, to wear something representative of the country or state they  represent. We need to know ASAP who wants to participate, name of the country and the dish that will be prepared.

Invite your neighbors and friends from other countries to participate. We expect around 600 people at the event. Drinks are sold separately

For more information, please contact Carlos Quiñones at coordinacion@colonos.org, tel. 873-5116 or at the Colonos office.

FADING LIGHT signals end of the day for Fatima Bay beach goers. (Manuel Caballero Photo)

 Commerce Corner…

LXV Outdoors Co. enhances local
access to top paddleboard brands

A LOT TO CHOOSE FROM during LXV Outdoor’s demo day in Puerto Aventuras on March 4.

By Staff
Go on a cruise, enjoy the sun, slim down, build up, be the captain, go where the Queen Mary couldn’t, meet great people and do it all simultaneously right here on the Riviera Maya. How?

Get yourself a paddleboard, your own personal yacht with no worries about a broken mast, slip fees, a fouled diesel or shallow channels. Just glide over it all with the trusted power source of the ages – the human body…abetted by a paddle and snippets of imagination.

Vickie McNair

The Riviera Maya’s go-to paddleboard guru is Vickie McNair. A seasoned diving instructor, paddler and business woman, she originated the Aquanauts dive shop in Puerto Aventuras during the late nineties and made it work..

Thanks to LXV, finding the right paddleboard and accessories to fit personal requirements is now at hand here on the Riviera Maya, more precisely, in the Puerto Aventuras community. No need to shop far-off vendors or travel distances to find boards from top-line makers

“We keep a substantial inventory here at our warehouse, along with a line of accessories to satisfy just about every need,” McNair said. How does an interested person know if he or she can adapt to paddle boarding?

VISIT IDYLLIC PLACES like the caleta in Phase 4 of Puerto Aventuras.

“We conduct demonstration days twice a month on the placid Puerto Aventuras canals that provide excellent surface for beginners,” McNair explained. Everything is there for adventurous people who want to try their hand at the sport. “We bring a variety of boards and paddles for them to try besides giving basic instructions on getting started,” McNair added.

LXV represents three major manufacturers, the original touring board by Tahoe SUP, race and surfing boards from KM Hawaii and recreational boards from Odyssey. Some boards are also tailored for specific uses such as doing yoga and fishing. The company also carries inflatable boards  in backpacks for people on the move and conducts private demonstrations by appointment.

Research what LXV’s service has to offer by way of basic training, demonstration days, board styles and sales, special events like tours and races by clicking on the LXV logo in the sponsor column to link to the website and Facebook. There you’ll see and learn about the products and prices, read constantly updated local news blogs of interest to paddle boarders, such as the time and location of the next demo day in Puerto Aventuras on March 4.

Then contact Vickie at:  Contact phone: 984-119-6708; Contact Email: vic@lxvoutdoor.com
Website: www.sup.mx; Facebook Link: https://www.facebook.com/lxvoutdoor.mx

Want to sleep? Go to this lecture

FREE LECTURE on Ten simple ways to improve sleep will be presented at 10 a.m. Feb. 21 in the Colonos meeting room by professor emeritus James White of UCSD…

Recycling this Friday, Feb. 17 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the newly redecorated skate park on Blvd. Puerto Aventuras. This year, there will be recycling twice a month. Stay tuned for dates.

BINGO is coming up at 3:30 p.m. this Sunday, Feb. 19, at Latitude 20 Restaurant with proceeds going to the poblado Community Center. Come join the fun, says owner Jim Stubbs… SPANISH CLASSES taught by Maestra Gloria Contreras are under way at the Latitude 20 Restaurant. Beginners class from 9 to 10 a.m. and advanced class from 11 a.m. to noon on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Contact her at gloriatraducciones@hotmail.com or call cel 984-108-3517 for more information…

Dates of note this month… In Mexico –  Feb. 19, Army Day; Feb. 24, Flag Day; In USA,   Feb. 20 Washington’s birthday (observed as combined Presidents’ Day); Feb. 23, flag raised on Iwo Jima in 1945…

Did you know…
Familiar Bimbo brand bread
here is world’s biggest bakery

The world’s largest bakery was started right here in Mexico in 1945 by Lorenzo Servitje who died last week in Mexico City. He was 98. He was the founder of the “Grupo Bimbo” brand, not realizing the colorful connotation the word had in the US and Italy. To him, it was a takeoff on the family-values words “Bambi” and “Bingo.”

Lorenzo Sevitje

He, a brother-in-law and a brother introduced sliced white bread to Mexicans the year WWII ended. Today, the Bimbo conglomerate includes brands like Wonder Bread, Entenmann’s, Thomas’ English Muffins, Sara Lee, Brownberry, Boboli and New York brand bagels in the UK among many other brands.

Servitje inherited a small bakery/retail store in 1936 that was started in 1928 by his father who was from Catalonia, Spain. It was called El Molina, the mill. He resigned from his career as an accountant and with his partners imported modern baking equipment and procedures from the US. By the 1990s, he was selling more tortillas in the US than in Mexico.

The company started out with 34 employees. Today the Gropo Bimbo brand has 130,000 employees world-wide, 179 factories in 22 countries that make more than 10,000 prodxcts delivered by 11,000 vehicles. The brand’s income in 2014 was $14 billion.

The Roundup…

World’s longest flight by a scheduled commercial airline was completed last week by Qatar Airways in a 16 hour 23-minute flight from Doha, Qatar, to Auckland, New Zealand.  The distance was 14,535 kilometers, or 9,031 mile. The return flight is expected to be longer at 17 hours, 40 minutes because of prevailing winds…

Noise decibles are rising again from the Hard Rock Hotel in Puerto Aventuras as are ongoing complaints from foreign residents in some areas of the Playa del Carmen tourist zone.  Sound levels there are reaching 119 decibels (65 is the legal limit imposed by municipal law) since last year and the government has not taken action, complain residents.  Hard Rock management in Puerto Aventuras several years ago reduced sound levels, but an apparent  management change appears to allow louder music affecting the community…

LATEST PATROL PLANE for Mexican Air Force, except for identification markings.

Three aircraft flying in v-formation over Puerto Aventuras shoreline last week were the new Beechcraft T-6C Texan two-seater patrol aircraft acquired by the Mexican Air Force and stationed at the Cozumel military facility. One flew gracefully over the beach on Sunday morning as well. The planes arrived in time to celebrate the 102nd anniversary of the Air Force branch. The planes can stay aloft 3.5 hours and have a range of just over 1,000 miles and maximum speed of 363 mph…

Solidaridad’s “Red Code” was used last week for the first time this year in the wake of a double assassination outside an Oxxo store on Arco Vial in the Ejido Colony of Playa del Carmen. Police were reportedly mum about the case but comments culled from witnesses by the local press noted a lone gunman in a black car fired the shots in daylight  at about 1 p.m. as the victims entered their car… The event and the shooting deaths of eight people and shooting injuries to 15 people so far this year has spawned repeated demands for government action to protect businesses in Playa’s tourist zone…

Federal authorities are considering legislation that would end the use of military personnel in fighting crime and replacing or assisting policemen in providing security. Secretaries of Defense and the Navy have garnered support of legislators for an act intended to end the routine practice of combining national defense forces with local security forces…

A special economic development zone recently announced by federal agencies for the city of Progreso on the Gulf coast has already attracted interest from five corporations from the US, Asia and Mexico. They would invest in plants for development of software for cars and the communications industry. It is the first such zone in Mexico to be developed and is expected to generate 33,000 jobs over 20 years…

Municipal authorities have reminded the private resort Playacar, adjacent to Playa del Carmen Centro, that despite its privatization of security, as is the case in Puerto Aventuras, municipal transit laws still prevail, as in the case of mandatory helmets for motorcycle riders and other municipal rules of the road that go unenforced for lack of municipal police patrols…

Lime on the climb – The price of limes shot up in Chetumal from 15 to 25 pesos last week in the national market as local growers could not fill demand for the product because of a lackluster growing season. Lack of sufficient rainfall, say growers, affected production. Market watchers are predicting the price could rise as high as 100 pesos per kilo by April…

The Mail Bag…

SUNDAY MORNING SOCCER between resort and poblado teams invite players from 15 to 50 to join in the fun. (Staff Photo)

Resort has soccer team
Dear editor:
Puerto Aventuras has a football (soccer) team that plays on the Puerto Maya sports field every Sunday from  9 to 11 a.m.  They are friendly games against a team from the poblado.  Age range from 15 to 50 and up.   If you want to play, feel free to join in. Just come to the field on Sundays at 9 a.m. The PA resort team is the black and red shirt.

(Ed. Note: Take the main road from Chedraui into Puerto Maya for one block. Turn right at the Oxxo sign, go to the end of that short street to park in the lot on the right. The field is right there. Have fun!)

Signed/Thierry

PRODUCTION DEADLINES: The Pelican Free Press encourages and welcomes public announcements of events and activities. The deadline for publication during our weekly high-season schedule is 10 a.m. on Mondays. Thank you. Disclaimer: The Pelican Free Press is not responsible for content and/or claims made on sponsor web sites or social media links.

The end – Previous edition below

February 8, 2017

PA’s People…

The Hughes family curry
 stirred up quite a flurry

A FULL HOUSE and then some for local legendary Bet Hughes’ curry. (Photo by Amy Hughes)

Raises 35,000 pesos for social services

By Staff
When is the last time you invited 45 friends to your condo for dinner? Last week? Last month? Never?

John and Bet Hughes and their daughter Amy did just that and they remember it well. It was Jan. 15th in 2016. For the 12th consecutive year they invited friends to drop by their open house for a home-made curry dinner lovingly prepared by Bet in the Hughes kitchen.

Last year’s feast was a defining occasion as guests squeezed into nooks and crannies, did laptop dining or spilled out onto the two ample balconies. “It all started when we lived in Chac Hal Al and we invited a few guests,” recalled John, a British commando in his youth and a county director of public health. “Then every year a few more would stop by.” It didn’t stop Bet, who learned from friends to concoct curry in her younger days near an Indian enclave, from keeping up with the growing guest list.

After more than a decade of expansion, the Hughes household finally ran out of room and experienced an epiphany. They needed a bigger place. They asked friend Jim Stubbs of Latitude 20 to use his restaurant. He agreed. That’s why this year’s curry dinner on Jan 20 was held there and how “the team” expanded to meet the demand for Bet’s and Amy’s culinary skills.

THE CURRY CLAN -Happy together are, from left, Bet and John Hughes and daughter Amy after success of larger venue for annual curry charity dinner.

Advanced ticket sales predicted a need for more effort than usual. The menu offered four types of curry, all delicious by the way. The cooking was split between Bet and daughter Amy who each produced two types of curry and brought them to Latitude in eight large Lobster-type pots.

The Stubbs machine was added to the project with him doing the shopping and his staff the chopping and cutting, Amy explained. Friends in Paamul gathered 30 Paamulians to attend. “We really appreciated their participation,” the Hughes family said.

However, even the Latitude wasn’t expansive enough to handle what turned out to be an unexpected crowd of 175 that morphed the modest annual charity dinner into a rocking prime time event with live music and joyful dancing wherever space could be found.

Extra space on the Dreams lagoon walkway had to be used along with borrowed tables and chairs. Bet, a retired nurse and medical researcher in Great Britain before retiring here 15 years ago, and daughter Amy, a marketing executive in the UK and now in Mexico, took the numbers in stride, not realizing a walk-in crowd would show up.

This time they ran out of food instead of space, a compliment to Bet and Amy’s tasty cuisine, and had to turn away late-comers.  That won’t happen again. “We’re already preparing for next year’s event,” on Jan. 19, 2018,” Amy said. Different arrangements will ensure enough space, food and fun that this year yielded 35,000 pesos for the Transfomar Educando Agency serving the neediest people in Puerto Aventuras, Akumal and Chemuyil with education, work skills and social services.

Free lecture on foods that fight cancer

FREE LECTURE on super foods that fight cancer will be presented at 10 a.m. Feb. 14 in the Colonos meeting room by professor emeritus James White of UCSD… BINGO is coming up at 3:30 p.m. this Sunday, Feb. 12, at Latitude 20 Restaurant with proceeds going to the poblado Community Center. Come join the fun, says owner Jim Stubbs… SPANISH CLASSES taught by Maestra Gloria Contreras are under way at the Latitude 20 Restaurant. Beginners class from 9 to 10 a.m. and advanced class from 11 a.m. to noon on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Contact her at gloriatraducciones@hotmail.com or call cel 984-108-3517 for more information… Dates of note this month… In Mexico – Feb. 5, Constitution Day, banks, schools closed is observed first Monday of the month; Feb. 19, Army Day; Feb. 24, Flag Day; In USA,  Feb. 12, Lincoln’s birthday; Feb. 14, Valentine Day, Feb. 20 Washington’s birthday (observed as combined Presidents’ Day), Feb. 23, flag raised on Iwo Jima in 1945…

Puerto Maya sports complex
impresses at first glance, but…

SPORTS COMPLEX in Puerto Maya has running track, soccer field, andconvered basketball courts, right and left buildings, and swim pool. center building. (Staff Photos)

SPORTS COMPLEX in Puerto Maya includes professional race track, soccer field, and three covered facilities with basketball courts and swimming pool. (Staff Photos)

…it also resembles an unfinished symphony

By Staff
Drive down the main road of Puerto Maya from Chedraui’s, turn right at the Oxxo sign and you will come to what at first sight looks quite impressive.  From the roadway, you see a large expanse of open space surrounded by a neat, professional looking 6-lane rubberized running track encircling a well-marked artificial turf soccer field.

A PAIR OF RUNNERS pass the walled-in pool. Note the escalating ramp in center of photo leading from a basketball facility up to the pool area.

There were two young men running on the track, each to their own lane and pace. Further up the track was the outline of an elderly woman bent over a broom sweeping away the vegetative flotsam and sand dribbled upon the track from use, while two men worked apparently repairing as best they could a damaged edge of the turf.

We learned later the woman and the men were volunteers from the Puerto Maya/Poblado community doing what they could to maintain the municipal gift of a sports complex left by a previous administration 10 percent shy of completion around the edges.

On the soccer field, men in white T-shirts with markings on them were lined up for what seemed like a practice session as others on the ample field kicked a ball hither and yon with practiced dexterity.

A BASKETBALL court needing finishing touches.

On the other side of the field were three curved metal roofs gleaming white in the fading evening sun. Walking the cushioned surface of the track for a closer glimpse of what the roof on the right covered, we learned that it covered the semblance of a major league basketball court, locked and surrounded by a chain-link fence. Nobody was there.

To the left of the entrance to the court was an ample cement ramp rising to meet a solid stucco wall of considerable proportions whose entrance was guarded by a friendly policeman with a Uzi strapped around his neck, rendering unto him the voice of undeniable authority.

INVITING as it is, the pool is reportedly unusable.

He welcomed us inside where our eyes feasted on the glitter of the sun’s rays reflected from the quiet, azure water of a seemingly well-kept olympic-sized swimming pool with, like the basketball court, nobody in it.

The last covered area, detached from the other two, showed signs of life. It has a cement floor and two basketball courts that double as a place to perfect intricate moves on the skateboard and otherwise offering seating space to hang out.

A place to be.

Afterwards, we learned from a a local newspaper that the complex was constructed beginning in 2014 under a previous city administration that ran out of money when the complex was 90 percent completed. The pool, looking so inviting on a hot day, cannot be used, the newspaper noted, deterioration is already beginning to set on the artificial surfaces while finishing touches need, well, need to be finished.

It partly answers the question why, in a  community of thousands of young people, so few of them could be seen there.

The Roundup…

The skate park will be closed from Feb. 7 to Feb. 14. The Colonos has hired a muralist to paint the facility to improve its image for users and passersby. It will reopen Feb. 15…

While moto-taxis continue to service residents of the poblado and Puerto Maya, concerns plague the operation of the three-wheeled moto-bikes including a lack of oversight by authorities, tensions with regular taxi unions and lack of insurance requirements. There is a move on to allow five of the bikes to run routes in the resort once the difficulties are overcome…

Puerto Aventuras Delegate to the municipal government is asking for transit authority help in controlling the proliferation of moto-taxis operating in the poblado and Puerto Maya. The delegate, Heriberto Hernandez, reported the moto-bikes have increased in numbers to the extent that they are causing havoc in the streets…

Another life was claimed on Highway 307 in Punta Venado a few miles north of Puerto Aventuras when a red VW slammed into a CFE cement pole Monday. Police said the driver, who was alone in the car, evidently fell asleep at the wheel…

State Governor Carlos Joaquin is showing a renewed interest in train service from Cancun to Tulum, but it is a more ambitious project than the federal government announced a few years ago that was dropped because of the economic downturn. Feasibility studies were done for the first project that would have had a trans-peninsular Cancun-Calica-Merida route…

E-Pura evidently has taken to heart last year’s difficulties in timely deliveries to all its customers during PA’s high season. The company made extra trips last week to assure customers wouldn’t be without a delivery for more than a day. Customers hope that policy will continue…

Former US fugitive William Bowen who was taken into custody in Puerto Aventuras last April by US marshals has been sentenced to jail with a mandatory release date of April 24, 2020. He may face other US federal charges before then, reports Monica Staab, a victim of Bowen’s fraudulent activity in Colorado. Bowen was a partner in a questionable real estate business here when he was apprehended…

Airbnb (Bed and Breakfast) reports that Riviera Maya came in second to Mexico City in the number of guests using the services, and 40 percent of them from the USA. There were 171,371 visitors to Mexico City and 149,671 to the Riviera Maya. Puerto Vallarta hosted 83,585…

The Xcaret bus accident that resulted in the deaths of two people two weeks ago and was at the time believed to have been caused by a sleepy driver losing control on The 307, has been clarified after investigation. Police now say the driver had to suddenly turn when another vehicle encroached on has lane. Police say it was an accident…

Violence takes another victim, this time the Playa del Carmen bar “La Santenera” in the tourist district. Owners said they were closing in the wake of the “Blue Parrot” bar massacre in January and ongoing difficulties with criminal elements working the district. Owners of the place for 13 years were quoted as saying, “It gave us a lot of pain to see what happened to our BPM (music festival) friends and it is in our heart to have to accept that this is the reality.”

The Mail Bag…

Whose idea was it?

Dear Editor:
I would like to say that whoever had the idea of the golf cart parking area and motorcycle parking area to make more room for vehicles deserves a big slap on the back. It is working great.

Signed/John Lacey

Ed. Note: It was a combined effort by Fideicomiso and Colonos working together to seek out and implement extra parking spaces, not only in Centro but elsewhere as well. And it is working! Let’s not forget the cart drivers who may be putting themselves out a bit for using the new parking areas for their intended purposes. Three cheers to all!

Health watch…
Colonos has Security phone
for English speaking residents

General emergency number is 911

Responding to a request from the floor of last year’s assembly, the Colonos inaugurated a Security Office telephone number for English speaking residents and visitors wishing to register a complaint or call for help. The number is cell 984-214-7589 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. –

Residents are also reminded that the general emergency phone system number has changed to 911 from 066.

Other emergency numbers remain in use, including the number 984-114-9713 for the house-call doctor servicing Puerto Aventuras, Paamul and Akumal.

The Colonos also reminds residents of the emergency ambulance services available: The numbers:

Red Cross ambulance: 065; Puerto Aventuras Security 984-873-5173 and (English) 984-214-7589. Tell them what your emergency is, and whether you want the Red Cross ambulance or a private ambulance.

If a private ambulance, they will send the closest one available. Or call directly for the Ambulance at the Barceló: 044-984-876-2250; Ambulance at the Hard Rock: 044-998-214-4132. The Red Cross ambulance is without cost (although they would appreciate a donation, based on your ability to pay), and will take you to the hospital of your choice. The private ambulances will bill you for the service and both will take you to Hospiten in Playa del Carmen where most of the staff speaks English.

PRODUCTION DEADLINES: The Pelican Free Press encourages and welcomes public announcements of events and activities. The deadline for publication during our weekly high-season schedule is 10 a.m. on Mondays. Thank you. Disclaimer: The Pelican Free Press is not responsible for content and/or claims made on sponsor web sites or social media links.

The end – Previous edition below

 

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