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When ‘down’ is ‘up’ in spirited Puerto Aventuras

HAPPENINGS THIS WEEKEND:

ALSO HAPPENING IS the Colonos Convocation at 9:30 a.m. Saturday Dec. 10 in the Salones Playa of the Dreams Hotel. It should be an interesting meeting with several presentations, one on a land/construction issue and the other by Anat Kah, the “United Fund” of Riviera Maya.

Letters…

 

Community night launched despite a mix-up

Dear Friends of Pelican Press and Latitude 20′:   

 

 

I am writing this with tears of emotion in my eyes. During the last four years, the three active members of the Community Park Committee, we have been fighting to create a community spirit in Puerto that will ultimately create a Community Park.
This fight has been tiring at times, and lonely practically all the time. But this morning, I just realized that it was worth it.
I went this morning very ashamed of myself to apologize to Peter (from Latitude 20′ restaurant), to ask him to delay once more the Community Dinner. My personal life has been chaos the last 2 weeks, and every spare second was used to organize the launch of the classes for adults and kids at the Community Park, so honestly, it was not possible to invest a second on the organization of the Community Night.
I felt bad, because Paul (Pelican Press) has help announcing it and Peter and his team (Latitude 20´) had worked very hard on the menu, even bringing the ingredients from Puebla to make it very special.
When I arrived with my very sad face at Latitude 20´ at 8 a.m. to apologize to Peter, he welcomed me as always with a big smile, and told me: “Liliana, we have 1,500 pesos for the park that we collected in the Community Night.” I could not believe it! I said, “But Peter, I didn´t help at all, I didn´t even show up. I had reheated dinner last night as I was in Playa running some errands until very late. Peter told me: “Liliana, we are a team, when one member is busy the rest keep the show on”. I gave him a hug and run away from the place before he could notice the tears in my eyes. It has been the first time that a non-member of the Community Park Committee has taken on himself one full task for the park, beginning to end.
He didn´t work single handed, all of you, the writers and readers of the Pelican Press helped it happen.So, I can only say THANK YOU. Thank you for showing up, thank you for helping, thank you for being part of our Community Park.
As I suspect that most of the attendance to the dinner was above 40 years old, the money gathered will be spent in the Adults Zone of the park. In the next issue we will report in what was actually spent.
Please, come to the Information Palapa in the park, to learn the latest things that we are working on.Thank you again, and hoping to see you all in our January Community Dinner.

Gratefully,
Liliana Viola,
Community Park Committee.

Chaotic benevolence brings joy to 1,300 kids;

PTO AVENTURAS PROVIDES SANTA, TOYS, CASH, VOLUNTEERS

From staff and contributors   

It was a sea of children with cherubim faces scrubbed and polished and joyful and expectant and in awe of none other than Santa Claus, also known as Santa Flaco, in this case. It was  a slim Tim Day from Puerto Aventuras whose good humor put him under white beard and red suit minus the girth to dispense holiday and toys to big-eyed girls and boys from eight PA and Playa area elementary schools (children aged 6-9) on Dec. 1.
The scene at Centro Maya in Playa del Carmen might have been described as chaotic benevolence as clutches of volunteers,  moved tables and chairs to and fro, then fro and to. Others frantically worried about having sufficient toys while teen-aged volunteers  and adults jointly piled presents high in supermarket baskets and otherwise coordinated a meltdown of the North Pole into sunny Mexico.
The brown-eyed, bright-toothed children as usual captured the hearts of onlookers as they exited buses, formed lines with hands on the shoulders in front of them, and smiled their way into the food court remodeled for the ‘Macroposada 2011’ Christmas party with stage and auditorium seating.
For Juanito, one of 13 volunteers from PA and ace contributor to The Pelican Free Press, the event was a “good time  had by all”.
Juanito, who  coincidently was celebrating his 69th birthday on the same day said… “I can’t imagine a more rewarding thing to do on my birthday than spend multiple hours with these delightful children. Although trying to accommodate 1,300 kids can be a bit of a workout, they were all so polite, well behaved and appreciative, that I was repeatedly dazzled by the specialness of the day.   

“So many smiling faces, all spick and span wearing their individual school uniforms, and being lead by some of the most smiling and caring teachers you’d find anywhere. It seems I couldn’t stop taking pictures. What a wonderful way to start the Christmas Season! All involved should be congratulated.”
That sentiment was echoed by Dulce Carillo of PA, who was toy coordinator and Monica Tynan Day who rounded up 11 volunteers besides herself and Mrs. Carillo to assure an adequate contingent from Puerto Aventuras   would assist the becalmed teenagers of the Sonar Despiert AC (daydream) organization in this year’s fifth Macroposada.
Numerous corporate and individual sponsors including Calica, Soriana, Centro Maya and the municipality, which provided transportation, police and chairs, also contributed toys and food generously while clowns, puppy dogs, performing macaws, dancers and tumblers captured the children’s attention between games that kept the students busy all morning.
Mrs. Tynan-Day reports that 17 toys were provided by 14 Puerto Aventuras families and cash gifts totaling 3,750 pesos from seven families with 1,750 from one family alone.  “The sponsoring organization said that our toys for some of these children would truly be their only  Christmas gift.” This is not surprising since the state has reported an uptick of families in Q. Roo that do not even have access to basic foods for their table.
Volunteering for the event along with Mrs. Carillo and Tynan-Day were John and Darlene Schwandke, Chris Landahl, Kay Strange, Inger Bjerre, Betsy Amy-Vogt,  Pauline Harper, Christin Herregers Dhondt, Dorothy Poritz Gauvin, Sofia Izurieta Jorio and Abby Segrove Sra.

 

Poblado street cleanup draws more than 200  helpers

More than 200 neighbors on both sides of the highway joined a successful streets cleanup in the Poblado last Saturday. The turnout was surprising considering the event was planned on short notice.
The volunteers joined 20 employees of Calica and 30 municipal employees in collecting “a lot of trash” said coordinator Dulce Carillo. She said there will be another cleanup event in January in an effort to foster pride in the poblado community.
She said it is part of a broader educational and training outreach to instill a practice of recycling as part of developing a better and more healthful community.

Matching funds offered in Anat Kah holiday drive

A local anonymous donor has offered to match 2:1 all tax-deductible donations being made to Anat Kah, this area’s answer to a united fund, during December, reports Christine Alexander, a fund director.
“For every peso donated this month, Anat Kah will receive three,” Alexander said. Gifts support a number of local programs including “after-school programs, youth leadership training, English classes for youth and adults, community health initiatives and training women for income opportunities. Every peso will count,” she said.
Tax-deductible gifts can be made through Anat Kah’s “Friends of” funds link or by direct deposit in Anat Kah’s account at Scotia Bank Inverlat  #23700178527 CLABE 044694237001785271.

Religious services…

Sta. Teresita del nino Jesus Y la Santa Paz (Roman Catholic), at the poblado; classes: Mondays through Sundays, 7 p.m. (Spanish);Contact church office: 984-206-6245 (4-8 p.m.- Spanish)
Corpus Christi Parrish (Roman Catholic); Calle 110A entre 25, Playa del Carmen (near Soriana); Mass: Saturdays, 9 a.m. (English); office: 803-0600; Rev. James Hogan.
Chabad Lubavitch Jewish CenterAvenida 10 entre Calle 6 , Playa Del Carmen; service: Sundays, 9 a.m.; tel. 984-876-5571; Contact: Rabbi Mendel Goldberg.
Lighthouse Church English Speaking Christian church, non-denominational, Meets t 10:00 a.m. Sundays; more information at 984-120-4169; located on Highway 307 in Tulum 1.2 miles south of San Francisco store, past the Mormon church, on the right next to the fruit stand.

Phrase a week By Gloria Contreras, state certified interpreter

Your bike (or scooter or car) suddenly breaks and you need to know where to have it fixed. You can ask: “Donde puedo arreglar (reparar) mi bicicleta (or)  (moto, coche)”
(Ms. Contreras teaches Spanish classes from 3 to 4 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays at Tiramisu Restaurant and all are welcomed to attend. The fee is $150 pesos. Reach her at 984-108-3517.)

BRIEFLY NOTED…

Compiled from staff, contributor and media reports
PRICES HERE TODAY are gone tomorrow: costs are escalating in the private and public sectors in the area despite all the publicity about pre-holiday bargains. Property taxes have inched upwards a few clicks while the usual 25 percent discount for early payers has tumbled to 15 percent. In the private sector, an indicator is that scooters in the local supermercado selling just a month ago for 14,999 pesos are up to 16,999…EXTRA LOUD MUSIC until 2:20 a.m. at 50 Bahia Xaac disturbed nearby residents trying to sleep as inebriated revelers refused requests from neighbors and Security agents to observe the Colonos anti-noise rule. Municipal police had to be called by Security…MORE FREQUENT monkey sightings are being reported by residents who live on Bahia Chemuyil, the golf course periphery, the community park, Bahias Xaac and Soliman… CHINESE FOOD is coming to a retail space in the Chedraui building across the highway…MEANWHILE PA residents are raving about the newer, larger Chedraui in Tulum…THE FIRST birthday party for a member of the Community Park kids’ group was held last week…U.S.A. AGENTS from DEA are helping Mexico cartels launder drug profits in hopes of tracing the money to the insulated kingpins, says the New York Times. Critics say the practice has not slowed the flow of drugs and may actually be helping the cartels…

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