Priming for next construction boom
DAYLIGHT SAVING TIME will occur Sunday, April 6, when we spring forward one hour at 2 a.m.
HOLIDAYS: Palm Sunday, April 13; Passover, April 14; Good Friday, April 18; Easter, April 20
AKUMAL COMEDY CLUB Festival returns April 30-May 3. See story below.
WIDE SMILE – Visit our local dentist before heading north. Click on the Smile logo
VILLA CHOICES for families, friends. Click on Akumal Villas at left for a family vacation.
REPAIR LEAKS BEFORE THE RAINY SEASON, click on Definitive Solutions for help.
LIBRARY HOURS Mon-Fri from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. More than 15,000 English and Spanish books to choose from.
ENTERTAINMENT NIGHTLY at PA’s Latitude 20 Restaurant: Salsa band playing Saturday nights
RESERVE NOW for summer car storage at Riviera Maya vehicle and boat storage. Click the logo at left.
FISHING SEASON HERE: Click on Capt. Rick’s for sportfishing adventure
REMEMBER Puerto Aventuras Catering for small house parties or large weddings. Click logo at left.
BIKE WANTED TO BUY, men’s. 984-802-8705
CONCERT tomorrow by “Flamenco Fusion,” Friday, (April 4) 7 – 9 p.m. at the Cultural Center. Tickets 150 pesos. Five piece band with popular violinist Guillermo Guiterrez , dancers, beverages.
PIRATA from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the Colegio. Hamburgers, pirate boat ride, basketball, fun. To support school musical “Hairspray.”
ARTS AND CRAFTS FAIR at Latitude 20 Restaurant is from noon to 7 p.m. Saturday April 5 along the Lagoon of Dreams. Artists and handicrafters are invited to reserve space under an awning along the walk facing the lagoon. Entertainment by Teresa Lopez and the Reggae Band, ‘Black Soul’ from 6 to 9:30 p.m. The restaurant will remain open. More information and reservations at 984-802-9372 or email Isabel at email@example.com.
PELICAN HITS PARADE – By Computerize
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State of the Town: Part 2
Update of Phase 4 development
project yields several surprises
If we could fit Puerto Aventuras’ Phase 4 development project into a piece of luggage, here is what you would find if you opened it today.
In the main compartment you would discover 132 house lots, five hotel lots, five condo lots, one mixed use lot that will hold a boutique hotel, beach club and restaurant along a man-made beach.
You would also see room for a nine-hole golf course extension, 4.3 kilometers (2.67 miles) of stamped concrete roads flanked by a smooth-riding bicycle lane and narrow green space separating the bike lane from a safe and welcoming concrete sidewalk with tree-line bordering the golf course extension.
Tucked in a corner would be space for 2.15 kilometers (1.33 miles) of 38-meter wide (124 feet) canal at the widest point for an average width of 22 meters (72 feet) that allows every one of the house and hotel lots canal frontage. The condo lots between Barcelo and along the south side of the caleta have sea and caleta frontage.
You would also see one section closed to development. That would represent the 15 percent of open space set aside for the entire 42.8 hectares, or 105.7 acres.
A few surprises
The side pockets of your luggage would contain a few surprises. One is that the first of the 132 homes to eventually be constructed is already on its way to completion. “We have arranged for every lot to have temporary provisional utilities, electricity and water, needed for construction,” said developer Roman Rivera Torres.
Surprise number two is that all road construction is scheduled to be completed next month, April 2014. The third unexpected note from Rivera is that primary work has already begun on extending the golf course into 18 holes and will continue in piecemeal fashion.
While existing zoning regulations and building codes remain essentially the same for Phase 4, Rivera said, one major visual change is that all buildings will be painted “bone white.”
Putting to rest one of many rumors about the project, Rivera said all passenger vehicles will continue to use the existing Main gate and that another existing gate farther south off Highway 307 will be open for construction vehicles only, as it now is.
Russian investors have already presented plans for a 140-unit condo complex on several lots between Barcelo and the caleta. In addition, a Mexican investor group is planning two condo developments fronting the caleta, but, said Rivera, has opted to use only a portion of the 28-unit maximum allowed and limiting one of the lots to 18 units.
And just last week, the local press was touting a business in Playacar that has been successful in luring Russian weddings to this area, indicating increased attention to the Riviera Maya by Russian nationals, a relatively new market.
At the top of the Chac Hal Al caleta (see map above) dominated by the ruins of an ancient Mayan outpost and a nearby cenote, a conservation holding has been established along with a restricted historical zone containing the cenote and Mayan ruin.
With private property bordering the left and right flanks of the cenote, and the conservation holdings occupying the remainder, will the public from Phases 1-3 still have access to the caleta?
By all means, Rivera said. The plan is to gently carve two walking/bike paths from the main road along the conservation area to the top of the caleta (see map) for access to the federal zone along the water.
The federal zone is a strip of land along all waterways that is owned by the federal government. It can’t be sold to private parties. It is public land. The Mexican government owns land the full length of the beach along the coast and adjacent to the ocean within 20 meters (66 feet) from the mean high tide.
Whether the caleta area will still offer the same primitive ambiance as it does today will be a matter of personal opinion and environmental sensitivities of the individual developers who have purchased lots and will build there.
Offsetting the potential for disappointment among nature lovers who frequent the caleta for solace, swimming and snorkeling, will be the exclusion of motorized boats that trail odorous fumes and transport dozens of tourists at one time on guided snorkeling tours. (See photo)
Rivera said the exclusion of motor boats should not come as a surprise since motor boats are already banned along a line in Fatima Bay to protect swimmers, snorkelers and the aquatic environs. “We are simply extending the line along the same plane from the bay to the caleta entrance,” he said.
Asked about the increasing amount of sand collecting in the caleta, rendering some areas just waist high to average-height people, he said the plan is to pump sand out when it is appropriate to do so.
A boutique hotel and beach club, fashioned somewhat on the idea of the existing Omni Hotel in the Centro area, will greet residents and travelers as soon as they enter the Phase 4 area from Boulevard Puerto Aventuras. The hotel will be constructed on land to the left of the entrance while a restaurant, spa and other amenities will be situated on an island. A man-made beach also will be located there. As one travels along that portion of the boulevard, five hotel lots line the left side of the boulevard from the entrance to the development’s only rotary.
It won’t be difficult to remember the names of the streets in Phase 4. There are only three of them. The Main thoroughfare continues to be named Boulevard Puerto Aventuras, which leads to two residential side-streets, Caleta Chac-Hal-Al and Caleta Xcaret, two names that residents are already overly familiar with.(Next week: Water, coming and going, lights and golf)
BELOW LEFT, YOU CAN SEE FOREVER, almost, until reaching a curve, upper right, and rotary, lower right, where machinery is digging a canal alongside the rotary,(blacktop at left.)
If laughter is the best medicine,
get well at Akumal Comedy fest
Top talent lined up for April 29-May 3 shows
Reported by Marieke Brown
The Akumal Comedy Festival is ecstatic to be back for its third year in the Riviera Maya, from April 30 – May 3, 2014. In the last two years, the festival has seen such acts as Chad Daniels (Comedy Central Presents, Just for Laughs Comedy Festival, The Tonight Show), Jimmy Shubert (Comedy Central Presents, “2 Broke Girls,” “The King of Queens,”), and Glenn Wool (The BBC Stand Up Show, Edinburgh Festival, “Edinburgh and Beyond” for Comedy Central).
The lineup for 2014 has just been released, and will feature Tim Harmston (Late Show with David Letterman, Comedy Central, NBC’s Last Comic Standing), Ray Harrington (Comedy Central), Mary Mack (Just For Laughs Festival, NBC’s Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central’s Live at Gotham), Paul Hooper (HBO Comedy Festival in Vegas, the Boston Comedy Festival, Michael Moore and Jeff Garlin’s Traverse City Comedy Arts Festival), and Chris Garcia (NPR’s This American Life, WTF with Marc Maron).
Each year, the Akumal Comedy Festival works closely with local communities in both Akumal and the Riviera Maya at large, and all festival proceeds go to a local charity. This year, the Akumal Comedy Festival is proud to team up with the Red Cross.
Providing essential emergency services throughout the world, the Red Cross is one of the oldest charitable organizations in the world. Locally, the people of the Mayan Riviera depend on the Red Cross daily, as many areas here are made up of isolated, smaller communities. Even highly popular tourist areas like Tulum, Puerto Aventuras and Akumal rely on the Red Cross for immediate care, community outreach, and life saving training for hotel, resort, and restaurant staff.
The Akumal Comedy Festival is produced by Stand Up! Records, and promoted by Comedy Playa (formerly, Comedy Below Sea Level). 2014 will be the first year that the festival officially branches out into Tulum and Playa del Carmen with a show at Mateo’s in Tulum on April 29, and a Press Party kick-off event at legendary Wah Wah Beach Bar on April 30.
For more information on this year’s lineup, sponsorship opportunities, or how to become a Friend of the Festival, please contact us or visit the Akumal Comedy Festival web site
Give to the Red Cross at the gate
then look up at the sky and smile
Resort residents get the opportunity to support the Red Cross today and tomorrow (April 3-4) from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the main gate where students from the Poblado will be stationed to accept donations in the life-saving agency’s annual drive and plans are under way to knock on business doors for help as well.
Like a blood transfusion, donations keep the Red Cross pumping out myriad services like first aid services cleaning and sewing up bad cuts, clinics and ambulances 24/7, always at the ready to help anyone – Poblado, Paamul, Akumal, Tulum and Playa – natives and gringos alike who are injured or ill and giving advice to new mothers and others who may need it.
More than 100 students and members of the CROC union of hotel and construction workers and local leaders from the Poblado schools, the resort’s Fideicomiso and Red Cross stirred up applause as they explained the services of the Red Cross locally.”You can’t believe the difference it has made here in the Poblado,” said municipal delegate C.Olivia Zamudo Escobar.
After the Red Cross mission was explained, the executives were the first to donate as the bottle was passed around and the crowd applauded. As to the resort, just last week an ambulance was called by a male vacationer outside a condo complex who thought he was having a heart attack, an example of why it is good to have a vibrant and well-equipped Red Cross nearby.
PHOTO BELOW: Red Cross Ladies Auxiliary Chairman Teresa Jimenez of Playa del Carmen, addresses the crowd under the sports dome in the Poblado on Tuesday as other local leaders listen. In top left photo, local leaders are among the first to drop donations in the collection bottle as, below, Red Cross emergency technicians stand by.
EDITORIAL-ITO – We did what no gringo is supposed to do. We got in line at about noontime at the Registry of Motor Vehicles in Playa to get the registration plates we had previously paid for. The half-hour wait wasn’t as tortuous as what had been painted by friends who had gone at 8:30 a.m. and whizzed through the process. What was irritating though was when the large woman carrying all sorts of papers and towing three men behind her, brazenly pushed in front of the line and shouted to the workers inside the cage, the men subsequently cutting in ahead of the line to be served. And nobody said a word. Now that was vexation to say the least, yes? But we looked on the bright side. It wasn’t as unnerving as water boarding…
Food festival cooks, volunteers
deserve enthusiastic applause
It was like sitting under the yum yum tree. One concession after the other offering, from a generous slice of whole roasted goat courtesy of the Dreams Hotel and to tasty tacos from Latitude 20, assorted rice and beans and sausage and cupcakes and gelato and exotic foods from India, Cuba, Serbia, Italy, Belgium, France, and other far-off places – even like the “lazy water”concoction of rice milk, water and gin made for a gastronomer’s holiday at last Sundays 4th annual food festival on the Colegio grounds.
Only Canada, with a considerable presence here in Puerto Aventuras, was too busy with shale oil extraction, salmon fishing and political discussion over secession, did not muster a dish but made up for it by providing a squad of diners.
Even the USA barely slid into home plate in the last inning when Bev Terrell and David Bellile were enlisted by event chairman Jorge Kaufer’s family in the waning days before the event. “I take art lessons with Mrs. Kaufer,” Terrell said, “ and she asked us about eight days before the event. We had no idea what to present, but we asked around and the consensus was ‘mac’ n cheese.’
Particular appreciation goes to the Dreams Hotel staff for taking the heat from large charcoal grill to cook a whole goat on a day that was already hot. The many volunteers helped not only sate appetites in such a nice, varied way but created an atmosphere of pleasant socializing among members of the community and their guests.
Kaufer said 325 tickets were sold and 300 were needed to “break even.” He said about 400 had been expected to attend. “All the comments I received were good ones,” he said, and that was in line with the many comments heard by the Pelican from people enjoying the fruits of the chefs’ efforts.
BELOW: Catalonia Resort Hotel staff (left photo) dishes out eight types of “papas” or “finger food” a delightful assortment of exotic morsels, as, (left to right) Colonos coordinator Carlos Quinones and family enjoy the day, bartenders whoop it up, and a white hot charcoal grill from Dreams adds to the heat while a little girl wants to dance like mama.
PAINTING MISSING – A painting by local artist Michel Brown, who died last week, was reportedly taken from his locked apartment last week, which is why it was not auctioned during Sunday’s gastronomica event at the Colegio…THE RED CROSS annual drive is under way until April 20 with a goal of raising 1 million pesos. Puerto Aventuras has a Red Cross clinic and ambulance so that any support given will be reflected here as well…MEXICO plans to auction off one oil field per year beginning next year. Private and foreign companies will be invited to bid under the Nieto Administration’s new regulations…THE LARGEST SOLAR PLANT in Latin America has gone online in Baja California Sur. It has 39 megawatts of generating capacity…EUROPEAN DELIGHT – China buying 70 Airbus jets for $10 billion. Think of his: If the salesman is working on commission, he can retire…SO FAR THIS YEAR, 147 people have been arrested from Jan. 1 to March 15 in Mexico on kidnapping charges and 15 victims of kidnapping have been rescued…TULUM businesses calling for safer swimming and snorkeling at its beaches by banning boats from popular reef/swim areas…TEN KIDNAPPERS allegedly belonging to the Zeta drug cartel were killed in a shootout with police last Friday in Perote, in the state of Veracruz, through which pass snowbirds on their way to Yucatan…IF THE SHOE FITS – Mexican shoe stores are complaining that the Chinese shoe products coming into the country untaxed are undercutting prices and business. There are 80 registered shoe stores in Playa del Carmen but with unregistered outlets, the number is more like 110…SOLIDARITY is battling drug use by youth via educational programs within the school system to curb growth in the practice that saw a 25 percent jump in student drug use, mostly marijuana, between 2011 and 2013…THE NAKED BODIES of an unidentified man and woman were discovered at the boutique Chocolate Hotel on 307 in Playa last Friday when a clerk went to tell them their rental time was over. The cause of death, believed to be carbon monoxide, is being investigated…A WOODEN WHITE ELEPHANT DOCK at the foot of 16h St. in Playa will be dismantled and the beach made safe again for swimmers…AEROGOLF? – It doesn’t mean flying over the hole and dropping the ball in. It’s what developers on Cozumel are proposing for the island, an 18-hole golf course and residential aerodrome that would take nearly nine years to complete. So far, permits have been withheld by federal agencies…WHALESHARK SEASON is near as the so-called “giants of the sea” that can measure up to 44 meters (1144 feet ) will begin to congregate by the hundreds in nearby waters between May and September in the search for plankton…THE U.N. SAYS 20 percent of LatAms between 12 and 18 are not in school…A FEW WEEKS AGO thieves were hijacking truckloads of limes: Now the police in Mihoacan discovered a cache of 55,479 gallons of stolen gasoline and arrested a 26-year-old alleged member of a drug cartel who was guarding the site… MORE THAN 50,000 CARS of Easter visitors are expected on the Riviera Maya this year, 35,000 of them going in or through Playa del Carmen. Police organizations report they will beef up patrols to help tourists and prevent accidents. Infractions not involving speeding or drinking will be treated with warnings and advice…A 3-HOUR running shootout Tuesday between Gulf cartel gunmen and the military in Reynosa, across the border from McAllen, Texas, took the lives of six people, as yet unidentified. The city was temporarily paralyzed when gunmen forced truckers to block roads…VAN AND TAXI drivers fear the loss of business if plans for a trans-peninsular train include direct service from Cancun to Tulum…
The Mail Bag…
No stamp of approval here
I have been living alone in PA for more than six years and have kept in touch with my friends through regular mail and email. A letter or card is so much nicer than an email. Over the years the mail has been very slow and I have only experienced a few occasions where mail was sent to me and I never received it. Last year, I did receive most of my Christmas cards and birthday cards, but they were delivered in late February and March. I still enjoyed and displayed them.
This year I only received one card from my Aunt in Europe, nothing from Canada or the US. My family and friends keep asking if I received their mail, but I have not. What is going on with the mail delivery? I am expecting at least 20 pieces of mail. I have gone to the post office and spoken with Benjamin our Postal Worker and he has not received anything else to date. I am just wondering if you may know something or if anyone else has complained.
(Ed. Note: Anybody have any ideas about this?)
In compliance with the Law on the National System of Statistical and Geographic Information (INEGI), the economic Census of 2014 that began in February and whose representatives have now reached this area may come knocking on your door. The census takers are properly uniformed and have ID. We ask you to give them your cooperation to perform their job.
Colonos Administrative Coordinator
SAY IT IN SPANISH by Gloria Contreras, teacher and certified translator
I need a:
Necesito un plomero a plumber;
Una reparación à – a repair
Un carpintero à – a carpenter
Un doctor à – a doctor
Un mecanico à – a mecanic
Una persona que hable inglés à – a person who speaks English
(Reach Gloria for lessons or translations at © 984-108-3517)
Church Services… Please click Colonos icon on right top of page.
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 5:30 p.m., also at the library. Meetings are “open” and non-members are welcomed to attend.