Skilled sailors funded, not born
ANNUAL ROAD RACE Jan. 19; first gun 7 a.m., sign up at Colonos office; plan your day around it!
NATIONAL SAIL CLUB REGATTA coming here Jan. 31 – Feb. 2 with some 250 boats. See story below.
COOKING CLASS on regional Mexican cuisine at 10 a.m. Fridays at Latitude 20 Restaurant through March. More info at 984-802-9372; Live jazz 7-9:30 Saturdays, Mr. R and Bohemian guitar 6:30 – 9 p.m. Wednesdays; special steel drum performance Monday, Jan. 13
FOR CATERED party information click on Puerto Aventuras Catering logo at left to see extensive menu and prices
LIBRARY HOURS resumed Jan. 7; Mon-Fri from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m.
MONTHLY RECYCLING at the skate park is between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m tomorrow, Fri. Jan. 10
VEHICLE TAXES on local plated cars need to be paid before the end of March. More info at https://shacienda.qroo.gob.mx/tenencias/tenenciasx.php.
WANTED TO BUY: Golf cart, aluminum frame, 4-person, good shape. Contact Carlos 984-111-1252
Puerto Aventuras’ lofty place
in Mexican sailing circles grows
Granted that small-boat sailing isn’t the spectator sport that football, hockey or soccer are, but truth be known, the Puerto Aventuras Sailing Club under the energetic direction of Daniel Gracis of the Colonos Sports and Cultural Committee, has worked some worthy wonders putting this community on the national sailing map.
And to their credit, a number of snowbirds and gringo residents along with a host of nationals, coaches and supportive parents, have put their time or financial shoulders to the helm by donating support of the growing program through the Adopt a Sailor Initiative, whereby donors commit a sum each month to train the young sailors and fund their participation in the national regattas. (See below)
Investment pays off big time
Talk about improvement! It was just several years ago that Gracis brought the first national regatta to these shores and pitted the area’s freshman sailors against some of the country’s best. The PA team pocketed a few medals to set the basic standard upon which to grow.
And grow it did. For example, in 2012, the team of some 30 yeomen in three classes – beginners, intermediate and advanced – garnered six medals in national contests and three medals in the national Olympiad. The following year, 2013, the collection of honors grew to 18 medals from six the previous year in contests and ten medals from three the previous year in the Olympiad, totaling nine medals in 2012 to 28 in 2013. Would that investments in the stock market do as well!
New season to begin here
It was the contribution of talent and skills by the Puerto Aventuras sailors that tipped the scale in 2013 leading to a national Olympiad Championship for the state of Quintana Roo, making the PA club the one to reckon with in future regattas and earning it the privilege to hosting the first national regatta of 2014.
That gets under way Jan. 31 to Feb. 2 this year and the big news is that some 250 boats are expected to participate in several classes, the predominant one being the Optimist Class, an 8-foot sailing dinghy that is the most world-wide popular sailing pram for youth under 16. It was originally designed to be an inexpensive way to train the sailors of tomorrow.
Good for local business
With the 250 sailors who man the one-person “crew” come family members, coaches and supporters leading the host organization to estimate more than 500 people needing housing and food. Several restaurants each year contract with the team to provide meals for the competing sailors while the event itself showcases Puerto Aventura’s potential on both sides of the highway.
Another improvement this year is that PA developer and architect Roman Rivera Torres has provided the team with office space where advance work can be more easily accomplished such as providing sanitary, electrical and telephone communication.
Some 11 qualifying races will be held nationally this year in such distant places as Puerto Vallarta, Acapulco and at the world cup Optimist in Argentina. It’s a busy schedule that requires support from the entire community. Currently, there are some 60 area children involved in the program and more waiting in line, assuring a continuing supply of sailors.
Watching the action
Sailing aficionados who want to be close to the action can sign up with several catboats offering seating along the race course sidelines for up-front viewing. Last year, other fans polished the lenses of their binoculars and watched from shoreline vantage points while others sat at their favorite beach locations, while still others prevailed upon dear friends with rooftop lounges to share their bird’s nest advantage. Surprisingly, much of the action could be seen from the shore and faithful onlookers began to identify some of the boats by their numbers to add to the excitement of the race.
How to Adopt a Sailor
All the information you need about funding a young sailor for a one-year commitment to training is available by calling Sr. Gracis at 984-127-1392 or reaching him at email@example.com
He will inform you that sailing is a sport that brings its participants in continuous contact with nature and helps develop self-esteem and decision-making skills in maturing children, something they can rely on throughout their lifetime. Gracis says such a gift makes the investment of 7000 pesos a month one that stock market slumps can never diminish. Enjoy the races.
Road Race details re-cap
There will be 1–5-10 Km courses to cover all age groups and abilities. The first gun goes off at 7 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 19 at the Centro Kiosk, for the 10K race that includes ages 19-39, masters 40-49 years of age and veterans 50 years and older. The 5K race will step off at 7:15 for age groups 15-18; 19-39 and 40 and over. Children nine and under will begin their 400-meter race at 9 a.m. and children 9-14 will start the 1,000 meter course at 9:15. All courses are the same as last year.
Runners may register until 6 p.m. Jan. 17 at various locations. Registration is at the Colonos office in Puerto Aventuras along with sites in Playa del Carmen and Cancun. Late registration will be accepted, at 300 pesos. Maximum time to run the 10K is 1 hour and 50 minutes.
Latest story balances driving
experiences on roads north
By Staff and Yucalandia contributor
The Pelican Free Press recounted stories of two known local residents who drove north to the States from here without any major problems in the last several months. Now comes a hair-raising tale from a contributor to Yucalandia, published in Merida. This first-hand account of a rather strange encounter is from a person unknown in these parts. The story nonetheless contributes to the need for awareness when undertaking a journey along Mexico’s roads. None of this report has been corroborated independently by the Pelican Free Press. The author, as published in the Yucalandia, is “Sr. Osmon” who sent the story at 6:28 p.m. Dec. 29, 2013. The story:
“For anyone considering driving the coast road from Merida to Texas – don’t! Unless you want to run the risk of being abducted at gunpoint, and robbed of your belongings. We just returned from a trip to the US, mainly to attend a music conference in Chicago, but also to drive our Texas-plated Grand Cherokee out of the country and import it back in through Laredo.
“We became permanent residents last February and had done this for my Jeep in July through Grupo Cuevas in Laredo. At that time, we had gone up the coast to Ciudad Victoria then on through Monterrey and Nuevo Laredo; and we had returned the same way. This trip, we were leaving through Matamoros. Forty minutes north of Ciudad Victoria, we were accosted by five men in a pick-up wearing camouflage and flak jackets with “Policia” caps and brandishing automatic weapons and handguns.
“They drove us off a side road approximately 35 minutes (very fast) to a nondescript rancho where they held us for 4 hours while they went through and robbed us of most valuables, continually demanding more money. Since they didn’t hide their faces, and, as we observed at one point, they took very large plastic bags out of the trunk of one of their vehicles, we were convinced they would kill us (or else why take us so far from anything?).
“After a couple of hours, the jefes (bosses) arrived and one addressed us in English saying they wouldn’t hurt us but they just needed more money. We explained again that they had everything already and we weren’t rich people. After conferring among themselves for another hour or so, he told us “what the boys had done was a mistake.” And that we were in “a black Grand Cherokee” and “they had been looking for guns and drugs.”
“He said they were going to give us our stuff back and let us go. I asked him if they were going to kill us and he said, “No, no, we just needed some money.” He also asked if there was any kind of device in our Jeep, our phones, or the computer that the Americans could use to track them. They drove us back the way we came, and about 10 minutes before we got to the highway, the driver got out of our Jeep, walked back to the pick-up, got in and they drove back toward the rancho.
“"My husband jumped out of the back seat and into the driver’s seat and we raced to the highway, turned north and drove as fast as we could to the border. The FBI agent we reported to in Houston told us that, obviously, they weren’t cartel or we wouldn’t be here today. They were just thugs. Small consolation that wouldn’t have helped knowing as it was happening. Did we get our stuff back? One American cell phone, one video camera (no cables), and one credit card (and the Jeep, of course). We’re now a statistic but not one of the worst statistics. We’ve been driving that route for 18 years but we sold the Jeep after we got to Houston and will never drive again."
The good, bad and ugly
of holiday business scene
The weather was ugly, beach erosion was bad, but business was good over this holiday season in Greater Puerto Aventuras and Playa del Carmen. Cold front weather bringing torrential and persistent rains also provoked pounding surf that pummeled away much of the sand in Playa’s 38th Street area, flooded streets and created more potholes, again indicating that mankind has yet to find a cure for Mother Nature’s destructive habits. For those in Puerto Aventuras who lament the erosion of Fatima Bay beach areas, know that the community hasn’t cornered the market on that universal problem. It’s also rampant along the entire east coast of the U.S. and Hawaii
Adventurous tourists literally flocked 5th Avenue in Playa on Saturday despite the inclement weather, painting a canvas of colorful parasols and bright yellow rain slicks, probably all purchased locally, bringing financial sunshine to retailers. Finding a restaurant with an empty table became quite a task at around 2 p.m. Saturday when one had to walk a considerable way into the North End to find an ”empty” table where a respite from the weather was as welcome as a hot meal. Conversely, the beaches were near-empty.
There was a feeling of satisfaction and relief along the Dolphin Walk in Puerto Aventuras Centro where local snowbirds and residents who had no stake in the business scene nonetheless luxuriated at the sight of diners filling most restaurants and enjoying themselves despite the dismal weather. It shows that there is public empathy for the business people when too many tables are empty and stock sticks to the retail racks and shelves.
Filipe Rosado, former manager of Hippo’s and now managing the newly opened Hoo Haa cafe and bar (the former Gringo Dave’s) said that despite the weather and opening just past the dawn of the holiday season on Dec. 30, business was good. In his experience, “…people who come here try all the places and go back to the ones they like the most.”
Glenna Uecker of Capt. Rick’s sports fishing said while this isn’t the top of the fishing season, business was good for the time of year despite leaden skies. The reason, she inferred, was that their clients were landing tuna, sailfish and wahoo.” Federico Martinez of Joe’s Pub also reported an ebb and flow of good business depending on time of day and presence of downpours.
THE CENTRO HOA will hold its annual meeting at 9 a.m. Jan. 25 in the Colonos meeting room to discuss, among other things, a new payment system for drinking water and a draft of a new floor plan for the common areas…TELMEX has advised its customers that as of Jan. 1 the IVA tax increase of 5 percent will begin appearing in phone bills. The company wants to be sure that the increase noticed by customers is for the tax and not a hike in service charges…AND THE PRICE IS? – Residents of greater Playa del Carmen – and that includes Puerto Aventuras – continue to complain that many retail outlets including supermarkets post prices on shelves that are not what you pay at the checkout counter. The nation’s consumer protection act requires prices be clearly and accurately marked but the rule is largely ignored despite some enforcement attempts. Grin and bear it seems to be the attitude…MISINFORMATION continues regarding the changes in the IVA tax rules and policies, prompting the national Chamber of Commerce to conduct workshops in local areas. Check your local Chamber for more information…FARE HIKES can be expected in taxi and colectivo services for 2014, mostly due to the IVA 5% tax increase, taxi officials have reported. TUSCA, buses that transport locals, is exempted…CUBA, a potential major competitor for tourist dollars and second-home market, welcomed 2.8 million visitors in 2013 despite U.S. travel sanctions. The country had hoped to reach the 3 million mark…VENEZUELA wants to triple its income from tourism from 3 to 9 percent of GDP by 2019 and says it will take major private investments…
The Mail Bag…
“The Colonos board needs to be more user friendly in its notes to the owners. We do not speak or read Spanish yet the bills and notices of meetings and goings on come ONLY in Spanish. Each time we get our bill or letters from them we have to get them translated. Many times things are going on that we would like to be a part of but by the time we get someone to read them to us we are too late. Its time for them to consider the owners and make the bills and notices come in the two languages…The only way I ever find anything out is from your publication.”
Signed/Sharyn and Dean Guzzi
(Ed. Note) Spanish-speaking people probably have a similar complaint about the English-written Pelican Free Press, although the Pelican has translation flags for several languages. Suggestions: Put a Spanish-English translation dictionary in your “favorites” bar and use it to translate bills and notices immediately, since most of them are brief. Also, check the upper left hand corner of the Colonos home page for the translation flag to read that quarterly publication. If you’re still frustrated, just shout out “Estoy tan agravado!” (I am so aggravated) and see if that helps. Good luck and thanks for sharing…
Compiled from staff, contributor and media reports
ONCE IN A LIFETIME – If you are still breathing earthly air come August, 2014, you will be treated to something you will see only once in your lifetime. The Chinese reportedly call it “Silver Pockets Full.” The month of August will have five Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays – talk about long weekends! Just think, the next time that happens in 823 more years, nobody alive today will be around. Quick! Spend all your money!…NOT SINGING IN THE RAIN – As bad as area roads have become festooned with potholes – some large enough to swallow a burro whole – the rains have had more disastrous effects in Merida where a major underpass now has to be closed whenever it rains a bit too much because of considerable flooding. Evidently it was built over a cenote…POLICE in Cancun are being questioned about the death of a U.S. citizen who was arrested for disorderly conduct and died on his way to jail while in their custody…CANCUN ALERT – Reconstruction of parts of Cancun infrastructure is causing a number of detours on busy roadways. Anyone planning to visit that city from here should remain alert to detour signage…PUERTO RICO logged 13 murders in the first five days of 2014…MEXICO has prosecuted more than 4,500 military personnel since 1985 for desertion…THE BODY of an unidentified male was found in a mangrove near 88th street beach in Playa del Carmen’s north end. Police said the body was bruised and a rock with blood stains found near the scene…
Phrase a Week… with Gloria Contreras, state certified interpreter
Will there be concerts in Puerto Aventuras this year?” In Spanish, you could say “¿Habrá conciertos en Puerto Aventuras este año? ”
Anyone interested in learning the language can please contact Ms. Contreras by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or Cel: 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.