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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 [email protected] 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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