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Easter fortifies link at Puerto Aventuras church

DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME, Sunday, April 7, 2013 at 2 a.m.clocks are turned forward 1 hour to 3 a.m. local daylight time instead. Sunrise and sunset will both be about 1 hour later on Apr 7, 2013 than the day before: There will more daylight in the evening.

CONCERT SERIES CONTINUESat 7 p.m. Saturday April 6 in the Puerto Aventuras Cultural Center featuring a night of soft jazz, soul and rhythm and Blues featuring vocalists Alejandra Milan and Claudia Trevino and a musical quartet of piano, bass, drums and guitar.. Tickets 80 pesos at the Colonos office and at Bamboo. Songs by favorites like Diana Krall, Christina Aguilera, Chaka Kahn and more.
ARTISTS, CRAFSTSMEN wanted to participate and market their products at a Fun, Food, Fashion and Arts Fair from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday April 14 at Latitude 20 Restaurant while Colegio students offer entertainment. Any artist, cook, tailor or other craftsperson who wants to participate is asked to call Peter at 984-128-2933 or his chef, Daniel, at 984-593-1362. Contact can also be made at info@latitude20restaurant.com …
COMEDY FESTIVAL, April 11-13, in Akumal

In a humble church, a royal Easter emerges

      By Staff
There is no majestic organ booming here in this modest palapa church. In its place is an acoustic guitar and a small choir of uncertain voices lifting skyward in supplication and praise, albeit with volume diminished as it escapes from a place without walls to contain the sound
No matter. The dawn sun filters through the palapa fronds and curves its light beneath the roof. The air is fresh, clean and delicious – something money can’t buy. The makeshift pews are full as the Easter Mass begins.        

Late arrivals un-stack Coca Cola chairs in nearby rows and place them under a red, plastic Coca-Cola canopy anchored to a thin metal frame. Innocent children with big, brown eyes hug their parents lovingly as they cautiously study those different-looking gringos in the next pew, or amuse themselves ever so quietly strolling up and down the center aisle or playing with curled leaves nature deposited on the floor as though they are toy cars.
The notion that humanity divides itself by a highway, a railroad track, an ethnic difference, a color or by relative wealth is, for the moment, lost here in Santa Teresita Church on Easter, the day Christians interpret the resurrection of a crucified Christ as  symbolic of one’s own difficulties and faith-based renewals.
The Rev. James Hogan, the youngish priest who celebrates the morning Mass, makes a point of  linking life’s painful episodes to subsequent rebirth as symbolized by the crucifixion and resurrection.
He evokes the name of Viktor Frankl, a Jew and Holocaust survivor who lost his nuclear family in a concentration camp and, once freed by allied armies, walked across a field, looked at the brilliant blue sky and thanked his God for not abandoning him in Holocaust Hell.
Frankl subsequently repaired his crushed spirit and became one of the key figures in existential therapy, a prominent author and source of inspiration for humanistic psychologists who believed in the importance of finding meaning in all forms of existence.        

During the Mass, in a moment of religious irony, one cannot help but think of Christ bent under the burden of the cross when a worker passes by the church, his body bowed by the weight of  a thick wooden door he is carrying on his shoulders, crossing the dusty field under a blazing sun and disappearing on the other side. Nor can one not compare that scene with the one, earlier across the highway, of gentlemen in golf carts on a verdant fairway, underscoring the two economies, so near and yet so far.
It is encouraging to watch representatives of these two stations hold hands in the knowledge that in daily life they help each other, one by generously sharing some of the wealth and the other earning it through labor…and patience.        

After Mass,Father Hogan reminds the people that the 11-year-old church, so nicely and lovingly decorated by its parishioners for the holy Easter celebration, has seen its better days and reminds them that Pobladan parishioners are anxious to help build a new house of worship, a common place to represent their faith, their pride and their aspirations.
To that end, as several men take up the tithe, one cannot help but notice another hallmark of the two economies, one dropping a small coin or two in the collection basket, and the other folding in higher denomination bills.
A new church would be constructed adjacent to the existing one which itself appears to be in a most appropriate place: It is across the street from the new Municipal Police Station, a two-story building replacing the previous tiny station now occupied by the Red Cross. The police station and church  – physical and spiritual guardians –  overlook a roomy park and playground with considerable equipment for juniors to enjoy in safety. On the other side, is the field that, for this writer, will always conjure up the image of a small man carrying a large door over a bent body on a steaming but grand Sunday morning.
“This is a simple church,” intones Father Hogan, “whose parishioners have shown great love in decorating it with flowers and bunting and making it into such a grand hut for this Easter morning.” He pauses a moment as the two economies hold outstretched hands in deference to one humanity, then adds. “But the people would like a new church.”
          Let us pray their aspiration is as ambitious as federal reforms proposed by the new Pena Nieto government, as depicted in the following editorial.


COMMERCE CORNER… (Reprint of a New York Times Editorial)

Mexico’s Ambitious Economic Agenda

By The New York Times Editorial Board
Published: March 31, 2013

Mexico’s new president, Enrique Peña Nieto, has proposed reforms that could make monopolistic industries like telecommunications more competitive, bolster oil production and improve the government’s finances. The proposals are commendable and could transformMexico’s economy. But success is far from guaranteed.
Mexico has long failed to take full advantage of its many assets, including big energy reserves, a growing middle class and access to the American market. One obstacle has been crony capitalist policies that have concentrated economic power in the hands of a few oligarchs. As a result, Mexicans pay much more for goods and services like phone calls, medicines and airfares than the citizens of most other advanced countries, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Mr. Peña Nieto is the young face of Mexico’s grand old political party, the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, which governed the country for more than 70 years and is responsible for many of its problems. He argues that it has changed and that he and the PRI are ready to take on vested interests like the broadcasting giant Televisa and the telecom colossus América Móvil, which is controlled by Carlos Slim Helú, who also owns about 8 percent of the Class A shares of The New York Times Company.
In recent weeks, Mr. Peña Nieto and leaders of the country’s two other large parties agreed to introduce more competition in broadcasting and telecommunications by giving a new regulator the power to break up dominant companies and award licenses to new firms. Mr. Peña Nieto also plans to reform the country’s tax code to cut down on evasion by corporations and the rich. And he wants to allow the country’s state-owned oil monopoly to form joint ventures with foreign energy companies to improve its ability to produce oil from deepwater wells.

The big questions are whether and how these proposals will be implemented. The new regulator overseeing the telecommunications and broadcasting industries will need real authority and political backing to confront powerful companies that have undermined previous efforts to allow more competition. In the energy sector, policy makers will have to guarantee that concessions involving foreign oil companies are awarded fairly and transparently and are not handed out to a favored few.
One house of the Mexican Congress has already approved a new telecommunications law and changes to the constitution that could usher in education reformsthat will pay off in the long run. Other proposals like tax reform have been delayed because other political parties oppose plans to expand the country’s value-added tax to food and medicine, which are not currently taxed.
Mr. Peña Nieto, who took office in December, is not the first Mexican president to attempt big economic reforms, though he has moved further and faster than his predecessors, who were often stymied by the PRI. Now that the PRI is back in power after a 12-year absence, it must demonstrate that it can turn Mr. Peña Nieto’s ambitious agenda into national policy.



PUERTO AVENTURAS CHEDRAUI market and two real estate offices in Tulum were sanctioned by the government for charging prices above the labeling, misleading advertising and unjustified price increases…NO WORK YET on the Fatima Bay beach reclamation project, according to Pablo Besquin of Oceanus, the company managing the project. He said in correspondence this week that “nothing has started yet. We are in the process of fund acquisition. We will keep you informed of our progress.”

In Case You Want To Know…

On taking a short  ‘trip’ of medical discovery Smile

By Xari Farrar
Mexican housing is constructed of concrete and tile. Even the ceilings. Very hard. If you want to test how resilient something is, throw it against any part of a house and get an immediate, though jarring, answer.

I unwittingly tried it by carrying two glass bowls downstairs one evening without switching on the the stairwell light because I have used the stairs so often I can do it in my sleep. The bowls and I made it to the bottom, but then I took an unexpected  trip on the last step and ended up in a knotted heap on the floor. The bowls  careened onto the floor and crashed onto the tiles like meteors. They shattered, scattered and splintered noisily from the front door to the terrazzo.
The clamor startled and alarmed my husband,  a native of the Arkansas hill country, hence, a hillbilly. Hillbilly sped down the stairs and tried to imitate a first-responder by reaching down to help lift me off the floor. I waved him off, all the while groaning and grunting and grappling to recover and checking to see if I was still in one piece. Oh, good!! Nothing missing. It was more of a “death by a thousand cuts” scenario.
Meanwhile, Hillbilly had gamely grabbed the broom to begin channeling the three million pieces of glass covering the floor like a carpet of diamonds into a disposable pile. However, in his haste to rescue his only means of communication in a foreign country, he left his shoes at the side of the bed, so was reclaiming the floor barefooted!!!

This, in turn, alarmed me!!  So, I began to carefully unwind my knotted body back into something resembling an upright human with bones. I finally managed to work my trasero (back side) onto the bottom step that had tripped me, and from there into an upright position. My knees rebelled violently as I pulled myself up, but I made it and took over the “diamond dust” clean-up.
The next day, I had a large, green right ankle which nicely coordinated with my large, yellow left knee. However, I was getting around fine, and went beachcombing that afternoon to prove it. Although, there have been a lot of Rice Krispy noises emanating from my knee.
But the bottom line is, I passed this year’s bone-density test for free and with flying colors. And, I don’t have to do it again for three years!!Smile


Donations beget improved Red Cross clinic

Dear Editor:
      We had a 2nd equipment dedication ceremony at the new Red Cross Clinic in Puerto Aventuras on Tuesday.  Not only for new equipment, but also for another tour of the facility to see the numerous improvements made to enhance living conditions for those who work there.
These improvements include a new hot water heater that distributes hot water to both the men’s and lady’s showers and a kitchen sink that will be installed on Thursday of this week.

Other items added include four new mattresses with pillows and bedding, two storage lockers, a large stainless steel serving table with a portable two burner gas range sitting on top, numerous shelves, a bathroom mirror, shower curtains and a series of matched storage cabinets to better organize the medicines.
A much needed sterilization machine for instruments has been ordered and is expected to arrive in three weeks.  The former police station had none of these items when the Red Cross was handed the building in December.
Plans for a proposed building expansion continue to develop and I will keep you posted as we learn more.  For now, that portion of the “Friends Project” remains in the “hope and dream” stage… but is moving in a positive direction with a lot of support being generated.  Other than continuing to develop the expansion plan, we have for the time being satisfied all the priority needs that had been asked of us. Good Job Friends!!

Signed/John Schwandke

Agonizing over a friend’s misfortune

Dear Editor:
      Once again, I applaud the integrity and sensitivity in the reporting of the Pelican Free Press regarding a local resident and child pornography.
I also resonate with the comments by Jayne A. Halle, RN, BSN, MS, CNS-BC. Her experiences with the victims of child pornography and her care in helping with the challenges of a healing journey sound so familiar.
I was blessed to have had the opportunity to be a licensed counselor in the Minnesota Public School System for over 36 years. I worked with and learned from primarily middle and high school students  from all over the world as well as Minnesotans.

The almost superhuman courage it takes for a victim of child pornography to finally “revisit” in what is felt to be a safe and non-judgmental environment is a humbling experience. For years, secretly feeling responsible for the acts performed and at the same time having great hesitancy in trusting almost all adults is a very compelling argument for publicly identifying the perpetrators.

It is a similar challenge that sexual and physical abuse victims are faced with, especially when they were victims at critical developmental stages in their young lives. All children and adults deserve understanding (not sympathy), acceptance (without judgment) and love (without conditions).
Only then can the healing begin. A letter writer and mother of two children, Polly Bouker, has every right to “know” her neighbors and to provide for the safety of her children.
Andrew Leigh’s support of his friendship with Doug is also laudable, but I cannot support the specific behaviors that led to Doug’s arrest. I too was, and I think still am in a modified way, a friend of Doug and his companion dog.
Doug’s fast response and willingness a few years ago to drive me from Puerto to an emergency clinic in Playa del Carmen saved my life during a scary onset of significant cardiac challenges. So I will say publicly, thank you Doug, for the good and unselfish things you did. But I am also compelled to say, it deeply saddens me for the selfish betrayal of innocent young children. Shame on you. You were capable of so much more unselfish concern.
The Easter season is a time of rebirth.  May we re-evaluate our treatment of all those around us and share unselfish kindness, understanding, acceptance and friendship.

Signed/Denny Wall



Church Services…

STA. TERESITA del NINO Jesus Y la Santa Paz (Roman Catholic)
Puerto Aventuras poblado masses: daily/Mondays through Sundays, 7 p.m. (Spanish) and Sundays, 9 a.m. (Spanish) . Church office Tel. 984-206-6245 (daily, 9 a.m .- 1 p.m. and 4 – 8 p.m.)
Contact: The Rev. James Hogan
CORPUS CHRISTI (Roman Catholic)
Calle 110A entre 25, Playa del Carmen (near Soriana)
Mass: Saturdays, 11 a.m. (Spanish)
Church offfice: 803-0600
Contact: The Rev. James Hogan
FELLOWSHIP CHURCH PAAMUL– Non-denominational English worship Service is at 9:00 a.m Sundays in Paamul at the Palapa Church and at 10:45 a.m. at the Hacienda Real Hotel, Avenida 10 and Calle10 in Playa del Carmen.
LIGHTHOUSE CHURCH TULUM – “Lighting the way to Life” English worship Service is non-denominational, 10:00 a.m. Sundays with continental breakfast at 9:30; located on Highway 307, 1.2 miles past San Francisco grocery, hospital and Subway, next door to fruit stand.


Phrase a week … By Gloria Contreras, state certified interpreter



How many workdays for my document to be ready?? “En cuantos días hábiles esta mi documento?”
Anyone interested in learning the language can please contact Ms. Contreras by email atnanigloria@hotmail.com or Cel: 984-108-3517 so she can prepare materials in advance.
(Classes are from 8:30 to 9:30 a..m. Tuesdays and Thursdays at Tiramisu Restaurant and all are welcomed to attend. The fee is 150 pesos per session.

AA and Alanon meetings…



AA and ALANON meetings are held at the public library at the Colegio as follows:
AA Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m; Thursdays at 6 p.m. and Saturdays at noon. ALANON meeting is held Mondays at 6 p.m., also at the library. Meetings are “open” and non-members are welcomed to attend.

What’s Playing…

See for yourself what’s showing at the local movie houses in Playa del Carmen at the links below.
Centro Maya: http://cinemex.com/

Las Americas: http://www.cinepolis.com/_CARTELERA/cartelera.aspx?ic=70#Cine215

Briefly noted…

Compiled from staff, contributor and media reports
LAST WEEK’S PLANE CRASH on the highway in front of Sam’s Club has generated another round of complaints from businesses near the small air strip for further safety precautions…JAM PACKED is how locals are describing an apparently successful holiday week and weekend. The beaches, here, Tulum, Akumal and in Playa, were reportedly packed with bathers and sun worshippers while local restaurants in Centro Comercial were also unusually crowded Easter night. It’s good sometimes to count your money along with your blessings. On the down side, there were 14 rescues of bathers in Playa del Carmen, most of them intoxicated…24 CRUISE SHIPS stopping in Cozumel were expected to deposit 72,000 visitors and add about $5 million  to the local economy…THE 5TH AVENUE tourist information booth that was closed for improvements to the street may not reopen…RIVIERA MAYA will be promoted on a pay TV Channel in Spain…RIVIERA MAYA hotel occupancy increased by 7 percent over last year’s Easter holy day season…FOUR PEOPLE DIED in a speeding taxi in Tulum this week,including a child. Rescue personnel did not respond to the scene until three hours later because they did not have gasoline to get there. It shows the foresight of Puerto Aventurans who created a fund to assure the local Red Cross ambulance always has the means to purchase petrol…

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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

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