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3,800 more homes going up in Puerto Maya – but first……….

Golfers wanted for Tuesday charitable tourney

$100USD buys play, balls, cart, food, beverages, t-shirt, prizes, fun, and needed help for Poblado High School

Posted 4/7/2011 by Pelican Paulie
   If you play golf, then play for a terrific cause on Tuesday ( April 12) at the PA

course for the benefit of the Poblado High School. Tourney chairman Jim Jamieson apologizes for the short notice but moved quickly to create the annual event after learning of the Poblado High School’s dire need for doors and windows to finish the building. Tee-time is at 9 a.m.
If you play, sign up with Jamieson at 873-5336 or Bob Uecker at 873-5195 (Capt. Rick’s) as soon as you can for pairing. Those who have left for the north already can still help by donating to Anat Kah Charitable Foundation (tax free) atwww.anatkah.org. List the amount of the donation and specify it is for PA Poblado High School.
Also on the committee are Bob Uecker , Dick Dawson and Gordon Jumonville with considerable help from Javier Mangin who prepared brochures and posters, Roman Rivera Torre for free use of the golf course and Edgar Giffenig who donated use of the golf carts. Hamburgers, hot dogs and beverages, all donated, will be served between holes 9-1. Put the ball in the hole, and lift the Poblado High School out of the hole. Golfers from nearby communities welcomed!

    REMINDER: Sunday, April 10, from  noon to 4 p.m. is the 3d annual international food fest. It is being held at the Colegio and costs only 100 pesos to taste delicious samples of favorite fare from more than 20 countries and Mexican regions. See you there! Proceeds go to the Colonos Sports and Cultural Committee.

Now  back to Maya homes …
Foreigners can also can buy into low-cost development

   Posted 4/9/2011 by Pelican Paulie
      Now that our fascination with the Super Che market is normalizing, we turn our attention to the cluster of small buildings just across the street from the market as we enter the Che parking lot. The larger building is the sales office for Viva Groupo Inmobilario, the developer building the homes adjacent to the Poblado in a neighborhood called Puerto Maya. The smaller buildings are model homes of various sizes.

     The Pelican spoke to sales manager Yolanda Borges Poot and project director Jorge Santos del Campo to learn about this fascinating development that is building homes, they say, for anyone who can afford them, be they indigenous or foreign.
And while our story last week about the planned $150 million USD Dragon Mart between Cancun and Puerto Morelos attracted a few “wow” replies for the scale of its  planned creation of 4,000 living units there, it pales somewhat by comparison to what’s going on under our noses.
There are already 2,000 occupied units, Borges Poot said, and 600 more are being added this year andanother 3,200 in 2012. That would be a total of 5,800 units, exceeding by 1,800 the Dragon Mart plan. The expansion was what Chedraui took into consideration when it chose to locate a market in PA.

     We’ve heard people refer to these units as “shoebox” housing, but the Pelican prefers to view them as “row housing” which was once popular, decidedly more fanciful and making a comeback in American cities.
Sizes and prices: Four models are being shown: Three bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths in 1.065 sq. feet (99m2) for 550,000 pesos($46,335 USD or 32,622 Euros); two bedrooms, one bath in 721 sq. ft. (67m2) for 410,000 pesos ($34,540 USD or 24,318 Euros); one bed and bath model in 484 sq. ft. (45m2) for 300,000 pesos ($25,273 USD or 17,793 Euros) and a one-bedroom, one-bath efficiency unit in 409 sq. ft. (38m2) for 258,000 pesos ($21,735 USD or 15,302 Euro).
The furnished 3-bedroom model we saw had ample space for a vacation home on three floors, with a bed and bath on the third level , 2 beds and bath on the second, and 1/2 bath on the  first with kitchen, living-dining room. There are various 3-bedroom models. We are told buyers furnish appliances and floor coverings.

     The units are constructed in such a way that they can easily accommodate additions either by sprawling outward  on the same level, or going up one or two floors as money permits.
Puerto Maya is not a government-aided development. It’s private and mortgages are available through a company Viva works with, said Santos del Campo. The interest rate of about 13 percent is high for the indigenous people, and less for foreigners who are seen as carrying less risk.
”The majority of the people who are buying here work in banks, hotels or have government jobs,” Borges Poot said. Foreigners can buy through a trust, she said. “We sold one just a few weeks ago.”

     The Pelican spoke to a former Poblado official last year who said the population could reach about 13,000. Given the construction in Puerto Maya, that can’t be too far off.
As build out of the area begins to snake up toward the highway, it’s possible the development could attract more foreign buyers, given the prices for Euro holders particularly. For the price of a car, they can own a 3-bedroom vacation home if they can live without a communal pool. The sea is just across the highway, after all.
The population growth will impact business prospects, a notion that Chedraui took into account by reserving space for other businesses in their PA building. Now there is talk of the Anat Kah charitable foundation attracting a medical clinic, Angel Notion of Playa del Carmen, to the Poblado area. Some PA resort residents remind us that many Canadians bought somewhat similar construction in Chemuyil when that development did not attract local buyers.

Is the vehicle tax really on the way out?

     PA residents with Mexico cars have been rumbling down to Playa del Carmen lately to pay their motor vehicle tax, then back again to pick up plates. “We waited 1.5 hours,” said one owner who probably wasn’t aware this is supposed to be the year the tax dies.
To begin, the assessment was originally imposed, with the consent of the people, as a way to pay for the 1968 Olympics, after which the tax would be abolished. Still waiting.
Mexican candidates for public office frequently use abolition of the tax as a hot-button talking point, but without results. President Felipe Calderon says it will be totally eliminated after this year…but don’t count on it. The reality is that the tax represents an average 1.6 percent of income for the states, or 13 billion pesos, which evidently would have to be replaced by fiscal reforms and replacement  sources of revenue.
The tax is criticized by some citizens because it has exceeded is original Olympics purpose, hasn’t been sufficiently used for road repairs, although the 307 overpasses seem to belie that view, and that owning a car is based on need for transportation and is not a luxury, say public opinion polls.

Paamul exudes commitment to Chumpon kids

New library dedicated; now working on a school

        The next time you drive by the entrance to Paamul along 307, smile appreciatively. The people from this tiny, shore-hugging village of crossover homes aren’t sitting on the beach in a haven of self-indulgence. They are quietly and consistently doing something positive for kids in a place you probably never heard of.

     It’s called “Chumpon” and it’s about 30 minutes into the jungle from Tulum. There are 137 children in school there. “When I first went to Chumpon in 2008,” said Larkat Tetens, a retired teacher/counselor from Texas and Paamul part-timer, “they had only one book, and it was in Mayan, their native language. They have to learn Spanish beginning in Grade 1,” Tetens said, “and from Spanish-speaking teachers. That one Mayan book was of little use.”
Tetens saw a need and with the support and help of Paamulians (or is it Paamulites?) who had been holding Christmas parties for Chumpon children for some seven years, including a Santa Claus named John Everett, money was raised and a one-room library built and stocked with donated Spanish language texts from the States.
Tetens personally hauled many of those volumes from Texas in her luggage, trip after heavy trip, about seven a year. The effort was worth it because, surprisingly revealing of the children, was their inherent intellect. Six of them, developing into what a U.S. teacher would refer to as students “at risk”,  were among the top 100 in Quintana Roo’s standardized testing. Not bad for a school with no running water, no bathrooms and no books.

    The library was built by Paamul and Chumpon residents, including students, working together in harmony like ebony and ivory, mixing concrete, laying blocks and painting. It was dedicated last month with a stock of 1,600 Spanish-language books and a talk by children’s book author Margriet Ruurs of British Columbia, who has donated some of her time and intellectual assets to the project. She has connected Tetens with a toy maker who will donate toys to the library and/or school.
Now, Phase II begins under the stewardship of Dot Ewen, to construct a one-room pre-school for 1 to 4-year-olds. The existing building is such that two poisonous snakes and several tarantulas were found inside recently, Tetens said.
The people of Chumpon, Tetens said, survive by growing fruits and vegetables. A few make furniture while others have formed a jam cooperative of seven women that sells various fruit flavors to major resorts. For a nominal fee, consumers can purchase jam at the factory. But Tetens says, these working parents value education in the knowledge it will help their children prosper. In addition, the teachers take ownership of each student’s progress, a theory that works there, says Tetens.
An auction held at the Paamul restaurant a few weeks ago netted nearly $4,000 USD for the school project plus 20 percent of the restaurant sales. Tetens says she has received a non-profit charity status in the U.S., making donations tax deductible atwww.booksformayans.org

Briefly Said…


TRIVIA: Name Mexico’s top 10 companies (as compiled by Mexico Business Web): See answers below…JAPANESE restaurant is now open in PA Centro…NEWS REPRESSION – An attempt made last week by gangs of men in vehicles to suppress freedom of expression in Q. Roo by preventing  distribution of the Novidades newspaper has been soundly criticized by politicians and civil leaders supporting freedom of expression. News also was suppressed in the recently defunct Pelican Press of Puerto Aventuras when it was shut down without notice by a webmaster only to surface a few days later in the hands of the editor as the Pelican Free Press … The Q. Roo bar association joined the chorus supporting free expression saying, “No  law or authority may establish censorship…or restrict freedom of the press” in Q. Roo …BACKLASH TO BACKPACKERS is surfacing in Tulum. Press reports  describe the packers as “foreigners” with “low purchasing power” who spend what money they have only for drugs,  cheap alcohol and fast foods, then sleep on and despoil the beach for lack of police supervision. Some PA residents have reported seeing men sleeping naked on the beach …  CREDIT RATING for Cancun had been downgraded by Fitch rating service that noted while the city has many good financial points, it is spending too much money … THE 23d WORLD DRUG SUMMIT was held this week in Cancun with representatives of 120 countries seeking strategies to limit organized drug crime … Top 10 companies: 1. Pemex – 2. CFE (electricity commission) –3. Cemex – 4. TelCel – 5. Bancomer – 6. Telmex – 7. Alfa – 8. Banamex – 9. GM – 10. VW

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