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Golf course nursery opens sales to public

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TALK TO ALAN for tech help. Click on services page.
COOKING class Fridays 10-11 a.m. Latitude 20


CONCERT SERIES CONTINUES at 7 p.m. Saturday April 6 in the 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 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

Students learn about indigenous plant life

at Community Center and golf course farm

By Staff
    A double community resource for plant lovers and horticulturists was discovered this week when, by invitation from resort golf course manager Jose Luis Ortega, the Pelican Free Press was invited to join young Community Center students from the Poblado on a lecture tour of the golf course nursery.
Many Ingles living on the resort side probably do not know the golf course operates a substantial farm for indigenous plant life about a quarter mile into the jungle by way of the Poblado Main Road.
The best part for plant lovers is that many of the seedlings and healthy young saplings nurtured there by caretaker Chimal are now being offered for sale to area residents.    *-+

During the tour early Monday for about 30 students and several teachers, the Pelican was introduced to Community Center teacher Emiliano Escobar, whose vast knowledge of plant life was on display as he spoke to students and the press about the Community Center’s own nursery forfruit trees—which are also for sale in limited quantities.
The golf course nursery is sited on land owned by developer and fideicomiso (trustee)Roman Rivera Torres. It is located about a quarter mile into the jungle from the end of Main Street in the Poblado. Stay left at the fork in the road at the Red Cross building (former police station), go straight through iron gates and continue about a quarter mile or so up the dirt road.
If you should want to go there to see what’s available with an eye to buying some palm life, first check in at the golf course club house to make arrangements for the visit. It is suggested you wear slacks and shoes to discourage insects. You will also enjoy the thrill of a car ride on the arid, rutted old-Mexic0 road.
The students were being introduced to a variety of local plant life and the many various species of indigenous plants flourishing in this verdant oasis. The process of stem cutting to propagate the plant and how water is delivered to them on the farm was also explained.

There was something exotic and ancient learning about the familiar Mayan Ch’it palm that adds quite a bit of greenery surrounding the golf course fairways and how it was once used to thatch roofs. The plant is ubiquitous here, so it was also unexpected to learn the Ch’it,so abundant here along the Yucatan coast, is a threatened plant in the rest of Mexico.
And while man now assists nature in propagating plant species, most plants continue to regenerate naturally. One tree, the Ceiba, which has been considered sacred by the Mayans for centuries, bears a fruit that splits open to reveal a core of fibers, like cotton, to which seeds attach themselves. When the wind blows the fibers away from the mother tree, the seeds fly with the fibers to more open areas to colonize. Some end up in window screens.

Among the Maya, the central world tree was conceived as or represented by a
Ceiba tree, or Kapok, and is known variously as awacah chan] or yax imix che. Its spiny trunk is represented in Mayan folklore as an uprightcaiman, or alligator.
If Puerto Aventuras snowbirds and expats had a garden club, it could arrange for lecture tours.
The nursery provides the golf course with plantings to refresh and refill its tree lines and also contributes greenery to adorn the sides of main roads in the resort and repopulate the Phase 4 construction project currently ongoing.
With all that, explained Ortega, there is enough plant life remaining for sale to residents and others in the local open market. Proceeds can be used to continue the work of the nursery in beautifying this area.
The teacher, Emiliano Escobar, listed some of the fruit trees being propagated at the Community Center, just down the street from the Red Cross building on the Main Road, as orange, lemon, papaya, chile and jalapeno plants and more. Escobar can be reached at 984-116-2162.
Earth is everybody’s house, and teaching the young to take good care of it is welcomed reinforcement of the notion that what we devastate in the name of progress needs to be reforested and regenerated.

Commerce Corner…

Last season’s speaker earns law degree

Aventurans who were curious last year about the pending changes in Mexican visa law might remember hearing or reading about law student Solomon Freimuth’s talk at the Colonos meeting room dissecting what was at the time a confusing array of visa ifs, ands, maybes and buts.
Well, Freimuth has now passed all his requirements to practice law on his own and has opened an office in Playa del Carmen, but the ifs, ands, and buts of visa law continue to puzzle.

Freimuth’s office is at Avenida Constituyentes and 10th St. where the rotary is. He is on the second floor of the Xaman Ha building directly across Scotia Bank on Constituyentes . Enter the building at the iron gate on the 10th St. side. More information available by clicking on the ‘My Mexican Lawyer’ icon on this page.
A bi-lingual native of Oregon, Freimuth spoke to a packed audience at the Colonos Meeting Room last year as part of an informative speaking series launched by local resident John Schwandke.
How Freimuth made his way from Oregon to Mexico  as a young man was a bit more adventurous than taking a direct flight from Portland or driving a Cadillac Escalade loaded with household stuff.
“I hitch-hiked with my black Labrador,” he said last week during an interview in his office. That was a bit before the outbreak of narco wars and the travel fears they engender for wise  travelers.
“The people were really wonderful. I felt in physical danger only once, when I was hitch-hiking across the street from a bar in a small village. The drunker the patrons became, the more they started to yell at the gringo to get out of town.” He said a woman in a nearby restaurant got somebody to drive him out of the village.
He traveled all along the Pacific Coast and the northern Sierra Madre. “It wasn’t that bad,” he recalled. “I got dumped in the middle of nowhere a few times and left in places I thought I’d never get out of. It was a good experience but I would never do it again,” he quipped with a winning smile.
Freimuth had been a college student in Oregon when he opted for travel the hard way. He finally settled in Playa del Carmen and over 18 months took high school tests required of a foreigner in order to matriculate at the Universidad International Americana para el Desarrollo.
Now married to a Mexican national and father to a 2-year-old son, he said he took a number of odd jobs to earn a living as a plumber, maintenance man, property manager and intern in the law firm of Calderon and Associates.
He also performed a required 480 hours of community service to get his licensure, which takes about a year following schooling. He did his service for the Carritas international aid group doing immigration work and with the Yoliguami shelter for pregnant women.
.           As he awaits his licensure “card”, he said he can practice in any phase of the law except appear in court, which an associate does with/for him.


      ONLINE FLYERS were being distributed this week by Cafe Ole asking residents to battle a proposed ban on amplified live music in the Centro district. The ban reportedly is being proposed by members of the district HOA’s vigilance committee and would include all businesses except Gringo’s Cantina, which is not in the district association. Live acoustic music would be permitted.

In Case You Want To Know…

God helps those who help…the Red Cross

      A nucleus of Puerto Aventuras Ingles and locals has been helping the new Red Cross drop-in clinic and ambulance service in the Poblado acquire basic equipment for its small clinic that services both sides of the highway, particularly in emergencies requiring first-responder ambulance transportation. Anyone can join in helping.
And in a development this week, smiling, healthy looking young volunteers were at our main gate collecting for the regional Red Cross and pasting stickers on the windshield of cars whose driver donated.

     One couple from the resort who wished to remain anonymous has already donated the $500 cost for a sterilization machine so the rest of us who might need to use the Red Cross clinic or ambulance will be better protected from infection.
The three doctors and six paramedics there have furnished the group with a list of items they recommend having available in the service of all residents .
The list includes a shovel stretcher, kits of cannulas oropharyngeal, stethoscope Littman, immobilizers, airway kit, portable flow meter tank, stiff neck collars of various sizes, baumanometer, electrocardiograph machine with monitor.
The staff also needs – and not all necessarily new – some lockers, a stove, gas tank, two mattresses and bureau. The donor group has determined a priority for the $500 sterilizer, already taken care of, then $625 USD for 13 remaining smaller items and last the $4,075 electrocardiograph.
Individuals and homeowner associations can choose to buy one of the less expensive items or contribute to help fund those that cost more, such as the the electrocardiograph, estimated at $4,075 USD plus tax of $407 – though it seems medically inappropriate to tax medical equipment, yes?
A little over $3,000 in equipment has already been purchased with proceeds from last year’s Charity Golf Tournament. Another donor has contributed a hot water tank to continue the flow of hot water at the clinic.
Anyone wishing to contribute to what could help them in a medical emergency can contact John Schwandke at j.schwandke@gmail.com
Meanwhile, volunteers will be collecting donations along major thoroughfares in Playa del Carmen for the regional Red Cross – from Akumal to Puerto Morelos – until April 17.


The vernal equinox and the Maya spring eternal

By Jeanine Kitchel
We’re living in the 21st century. Western civilization is far removed from the jungles, the plains and the tundra – so why is the equinox important to us today?

Often associatedwith the first day of spring, the vernal equinox — when day and night are equal in length all over the world – occurred yesterday, March 20, this year. The autumnal equinox will be September 20.
At equinox, the sun crosses directly over the equator and the earth tilts neither away nor toward the sun. Because the equinox is based on the earth’s movement around the sun, there’s a three-day window in which the spring equinox can occur — as early as March 19 and as late as March 21.
But why do we take an interest in the equinox? Humans have always been stargazers. Early on in our coming of age, the ancients made up the constellations and stories about the sky. Today, we’re still gazing at the same sky but with a little more oomph. We’re sending out advanced satellites, telescopes, and Rovers to bring back information from the stars and planets, and we’re writing scientific documents, basically new stories, extolling what lies outside our atmosphere.
So even though we’re in a sophisticated, high-tech world, we still celebrate the importance of the relationship between our sun and our planet, the earth.
In agrarian times, spring was ushered in by the equinox, which meant it was time to plant crops. That may not be so important to us today, but have you ever wondered why Easter is a floating date rather than the same day each year?

Easter’s date, even in these modern times, is the first Sunday following the first full moon after the vernal equinox. This year that full moon is March 27, and Easter falls on March 31. So even though we may feel we’re far removed from any consequences of the equinox, we are still rooted in a pagan cycle of historic events due to the date of that celestial occurrence. Because the spring equinox has ties to Christianity’s most important event, Easter, many believe it centers on the theme of resurrection, and not only of the earth’s waking call from a dark winter.
One of the most famous equinox ceremonies in North America takes place at the Mayapyramid site of Chichen Itza in Mexico. If you’ve had a chance to be there during spring or fall equinox, you’ve witnessed an astounding performance. About 4 p.m. the sun casts a remarkable shadow onto the looming Temple of Kukulkan due to its placement in the sky, the building’s position, and the Maya’s precise mathematical calculations prefigured more than a millennia ago for this event. The shadow slithers down to the bottom of the staircase and ends at the serpent’s mouth. This spectacular feat was made possible by the Maya’s ability to calculate the sun’s effects on earth at equinox.

In the Maya world there are many buildings built to specifications that coincide with the equinox. Some scholars believe the importance placed on it relays to the resurrection of the Maize God, Hunahpu, and the turning from the darkness of winter towards the light of spring, ushering in planting time. The fall equinox no doubt pays homage to the harvest.
On the other side of the globe in Egypt, the equinox also represents a time of resurrection, for the god Osiris. Because of this it is said, the Great Sphinx of Giza is positioned to look directly at the rising sun of the spring equinox. In Cambodia, where scholars say the equinox represents the winning of the forces of light over darkness, the main temple Angkor Wat also aligns with the equinox sun. This seems to be the universal meaning of what is represented by the equinox: rebirth, awakening and light overcoming darkness, exactly what happens as we tilt into spring.
So even though we may be entrenched in this modern world, über-connected with our smart phones and computers and all forms of social media, it’s important to remember there’s a bigger picture out there, and it affects all humanity.
It is a thing as simple as how the sun and the earth relate, two days a year, on the equinox.
(Jeanine Kitchel has traveled extensively since she left corporate San Francisco in 1997 to move to Puerto Morelos where she founded a bookstore before recently returning to California.)





A few comments from readers on fugitive story…


Dear Editor:
      As a board certified, clinical nurse specialist in psychiatry for over 30 years, a child therapist, and the director of a large, mobile psychiatric crisis service for many years, I must express my admiration to you and to Tere Rubio Mendiola, her associates, and the Playa Del Carmen/Mexico immigration services. It took courage and dedication to hold a known pedophile accountable for his crimes.
I am the person who sat with small children who were the victims of sexual crimes. I tried to convince them that all adults were not evil, and that all adults will not use you, hurt you, and damage you. I told them that their shattered lives could be rebuilt, and sometimes they believed me. But, often the scars of sexual abuse ran too deeply to repair a broken heart and childhood.
Child pornography is child abuse, and the actual documentation of criminal behavior.The images are produced during the sexual abuse of a child. In contrast to the common belief that most victims are “Lolita” type teenage girls, the majority of pornographic images are of children under 10 years of age with a significant ratio under the age of 3.
I do not agree with the writer who felt that the sexual abuse of children and child pornography is a “private matter.” It is only with the conscience and concern of a community that we can protect all children of all races, and income levels. It is only with our refusal to accept the criminal behavior of the pedophile as,”not our business” that we can prevent the atrocities that crush a childhood .
It is only when we stop listening to the rationalizations, lies and delusions of the pedophile predator that we can hear the screams and pleas of the victims.I do not believe that we become excused from this responsibility when we cross the boarder into “Paradise.” Thank you again for your responsible reporting and your courage.
Signed/Jayne A. Halle RN,BSN,MS,CNS-BC

Dear Editor:
      “The PFP has just made Por Esto (tabloid newspaper) look like the New York Times. Condolences.”
Signed/Sally Wood Evans

Dear Editor:
     As the mother of 2 children who has visited PA several times, I am shocked that anyone living and working locally would defend a convicted child pornographer. Mr. Leigh has some nerve chastising the Pelican Free Press for reporting the details of this story.
There are many families with small children who come to your area and need to know the nature of people with whom they may have come in contact. I am glad Mr. Bell has been returned to Florida where people know what he has done.
As for Mr. Leigh, why would he defend this man? Seems very strange to me.
Signed/Polly Bouker

Dear Editor:
“Thank you for your well-reported article on another expat fugitive among us. Three years ago my friend was murdered by her husband in Paamul. Another American fugitive in Paradise. In my eight years in Mexico I have seen numerous arrests of this type.
The Pelican is our only English language news source and should not limit itself to feel-good touristy articles. I myself work with young children here in Puerto and dread the thought of any of them being exploited in child porn. Please continue to keep us informed of ALL types of news.”
Signed/Judith Labrozzi

Dear Editor:
     “As a part time resident and property owner here in PA I am glad to see that reporting is not limited to good-feeling news. So keep up reporting the news as it is and as it happens.”
     Signed/Paul Bussoli


Church Services…

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

Have an excellent day “Que tengas un excelente dia.”
      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.

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
A WORKERS’ UNION leader has reported that four hotels in Playa del Carmen reported thefts from tourists by hotel staff members…ENVIRONMENTALISTS are agitating for more inspections of Playa construction projects in the urban forests. They allege that some projects are contributing to ecocide with impunity for lack of inspections and environmental law enforcement…AKUMAL ECOLOGICAL CENTER (CEA) has taken steps to assure passage of villagers through CEA property to reach the beach…QUINTANA ROO  was the first state to achieve universal health coverage and is now leading the nation in attracting more females in preventive care for such things as diabetes, obesity and hypertension, reports the state‘s secretary of health…PLAYA DEL CARMEN is reporting a good visitor count expected for the Easter holidays. Easter is Sunday, March 31…

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