Costa Maya Newsletter > Archived Costa Maya Newsletters > Costa Maya-Mahahual March -2012 Newsletter
*********** Costa Maya-Mahahual Newsletter-Mar 2012 **********
Hi Costa Maya Neighbors,
small yellow roundish fruits: excerpt from www. backyardnature.net
Guayas are sometimes called Spanish Lime, Genip, Mamoncillo and Grosella de Miel . In the Yucatán Spanish speakers often refer to them as Guaya Cubano, or "Cuban Guaya," for there is a native Guaya with smaller fruits. The main Guaya found in markets is from the fair-sized tree Melicoccus bijugatus of the Soapberry Berry. The fruits are about 1 inch (2.5 cm) in diameter containing a single large, round seed, which is sometimes roasted like a chestnut. The seed is surrounded by a yellowish, translucent, sweet/sour, juicy pulp. Juice from the pulp is used for flavoring drinks. A Guaya fan writes, "Bundles of guaya are sold by street vendors. The best way to eat them is frozen. Just pop a bunch in the freezer and wait a bit. With a bit of a tear the husky skin pops right off and the whole fruit can be popped in the mouth. It is so astringent and fresh it is like eating a guilt-free fireball. The only drawback to them is that the juice will permanently stain clothing." The plant is native to the West Indies, Central and South America.
Known in English as guavas, are musky-flavored, soft-pulped fruits produced on small trees, Psidium guajava of the Myrtle Family, and native to tropical America. Guavas come in a huge variety of shapes, sizes (1-4 inches long, 2.5-10 cm), and tastes, but most in Mexico have yellow (maybe white or brownish) skins. Notice their slightly rough skins and atop each fruit there's a puckered-out place bearing the remains of the flower's calyx. These "persistent calyx lobes" help us distinguish guavas from other medium-size, yellow fruits. Guavas are an acquired taste. Many think that guava-flavored ice cream tastes better than the actual guava fruits.
"Golden Spoon" and "Nance" in English, nanche fruits are produced by the tree Byrsonima crassifolia, of the Malpighia Family, native to tropical America. Notice that they are different from guavas in that their skin is shinier and their attached stems more slender. These fruits are so acid that most Northerners don't care for them (NOTE: including yours truly). They're eaten raw and occasionally added to soups and meat stuffings and soaked in rum and given as gifts at Christmas.
Jocote or Ciruela Roja
Known in English as Red Mombin and Hog Plum, jocotes are tree fruits, produced by Spondias purpurea of the Cashew Family, which is native to tropical America. Often jocotes are eaten raw but Mexicans also like to mash them in water, add sugar, and drink the water like Kool-Aid. They are 1-2 inches (2.5-5 cm) long. Jocotes are usually reddish, but can come close to being yellow.
Ciruela or Spanish Plum
Sometimes known in English as Yellow Mombin, the Spanish name ciruela means "plum," and these tree fruits look and taste a lot like northern plums. They are very closely related to the above jocotes, being in the same plant family and genus. They are Spondias mombin. Note the large, white, very hard, boxy seed. After growing on leafless tree limbs for months, the fruits ripen at the end of the dry season, in June or so. They are good raw and also make tasty preserves
Good afternoon, we are helping the mother of an American attempt to locate her missing son, Franklin Stubbs. He was last seen in Pedro A. Santos, Quintana Roo on January 8, 2012, although we’ve heard he may have recently been in Bacalar or Mahahual as well. His briefcase was found a couple of weeks ago, but no sign of him.
Nombre/Name: FRANKLIN LAWRENCE STUBBS
Estatura/Height: 1.77M / 5'10"
Blonde hair, blue eyes
If you have any information regarding the whereabouts of Franklin Lawrence Stubbs please contact U.S. Consulate Merida (American Citizen Services) at (999) 942-5700 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Person needing blood transfusion - type AB Negative
It has come to our attention that an American is in urgent need of a transfusion requiring AB Negative blood, which is rare. If you have AB Negative or O Negative blood and are willing to donate, please find information below regarding the donation process in Cancun or Cozumel. For general requirements for donating blood in Mexico, please visit http://medicasur.com.mx/es_mx/ms/ms_sal_em_bansan_requisitos_donacion
Banco de Sangre del Hospital General
SM 65, Andador 5, Calle 12 y 13
Telephone: (998) 887-2695
Centro de Salud
11 Sur y 20 Av Sur
Telephone: (987) 872-0140 or 0525
Please note that you will need to designate the donation to Gregory John Agness. Please email the confirmation of your donation to email@example.com so that we may inform the hospital.
While there is no end to the play on words with Mahahual, (Mahahagual being one of the latest) there may in reality originate from Mayahuel the goddess of the maguey that it was named after. It was thought that the aguamiel collecting in the center of the plant was her blood. Other deities, such as the Centzon Totochtin (400 rabbits) are associated with it, by representing the drink's effects, and are the children of Mayahuel. I read that to mean that all drunks are the children of Mayahuel and the sign in town that reads "Welcome to Mahahual a drinking town with a diving problem" may have some legitimacy!
The following is an important article sent to me by Denis Couture, from MexicoCaribbean. I've edited it to make is shorter, but if you need more information you can email him directly to receive the full article and prices. PLEASE TAKE THE TIME TO READ.
Have you ever wondered what happens if you should suddenly pass away and your property is held in a Mexican corporation? Unfortunately in the last 4 months, I’ve had 2 clients suddenly pass away. Neither of them had a Mexican will.
The lack of a Mexican Will is going to create problems for surviving heirs and drag on for some time. The widowed spouse of one of my clients wants to sell her property, but is going to be delayed because she and her husband did not have a will. Although both of their names are listed as shareholders in the Mexican corporation that holds the property, this is not a substitute for having a will.
In a way it’s not all that different than not having a will in the U.S. or Canada. It greatly complicates the process and generally results in added time and cost before things are settled and assets are disbursed to the appropriate heirs. And as we all know the courts and attorneys reap the benefits that rightfully belong to the heirs.
Given the complexity of not having a will in the U.S. or Canada, you may not be surprised to know that in reality it’s going to be much more complicated, time consuming and expensive in Mexico. But you can protect yourself and make your life or those of your heirs much simpler and less expensive by having a well drafted and legal will that is enforceable upon death.
When Should You Have a Will? The simple answer is whenever you have physical assets in Mexico that you want to bequeath to your heirs in the event of your death. I am writing this from the perspective of bequeathing real estate but if you have other tangible assets in Mexico, those could be included as well. For real estate located in Mexico which is owned through a Mexican corporation, a Mexican will makes perfect sense and in my opinion is essential. Property held in a fidecomiso, the alternate way for foreigners to own property, does not require a will. The reason is that the trustees, who are in effect the owners, indicate as part of forming the trust, those that are to succeed them. So in effect the fidecomiso acts as a kind of will for the purpose of bequeathing real estate, but I recommend that you should discuss this with an attorney. In all other cases including the corporation, foreigners really need to have a will in order to avoid complications.
Benefits: In addition to the benefits mentioned above, another significant benefit in having a will is the avoidance of having to comply with international law. Under normal circumstances, in order for international transactions to be legal, documents need to be translated into the accepting country’s language, in this case, Spanish. In addition, other legal actions and procedures are required by both countries, which all require time and money. You may recall that when you set up your corporation that you had to have your documents apostilled by the Secretary of State’s office in your state or province in order to legitimize and legalize the transaction. That was relatively simple, but wills require much more bureaucracy and expense by both countries administering them. The Mexican will, in essence replaces all of this bureaucracy. Also, don’t make the mistake of thinking that your U.S. or Canadian will can be enforced in Mexico. Many people assume this, but you may find it’s far more difficult and costly to try to enforce this will than to create a separate Mexican will to deal with your Mexican assets.
The will is executed before a Mexican Notario. As a result, the document is considered legal and binding for purposes of Mexican law and upon passing of the testator, can be executed with assets disbursed in a relatively efficient timeframe. Under normal circumstances this can take place in three to four months. Without a will, the process of passing your assets on to your heirs can take at least one year and possibly more depending on the complexity. Take the simple and less costly option and have a will prepared. Don’t leave your heirs with a mess on their hands after you’re gone.
Procedure: The process of creating a will in Mexico is relatively simple. You simply need to specify what you want your will to say, including primarily, who is to inherit your assets upon your passing. Keep it simple. The more complicated you make it, the more costly it will be. The attorneys can help in preparing a simple will which is included in the costs shown below. Under Mexican law three witnesses and two translators are required for a will to be valid. These can be provided by the attorney unless you specify someone else.
If you’re interested in pursuing a Mexican will further, contact Denis directly for costs and information. He has negotiated reasonable prices with an English speaking attorney and you can deal with him directly unless you have further questions.
Denis can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by U.S. phone at (248) 980-4014.
New Mexico Entry and Exit fees apply
Effective January first of 2012, the Mexican government increased entry fees for non-Mexican persons entering or in-transiting the country. The new DNI or Derecho de No Immigrante fee is $294.. That is an increase of 32 pesos. It covers tourists staying in Mexico for more than seven consecutive days and persons who may be entering at the Belizean border and traveling to Chetumal or Cancun to board flights to destinations beyond Mexico. Once a stay in the country exceeds thirty six hours, then the DNI becomes payable. According to the Mexican embassy, the DNI fee can be paid in Mexican pesos at any bank in Mexico. The fee often goes unnoticed because it was bundled in with charges by travel agencies or airlines; but everyone pays it, whether entering by boat, car or land.
I believe that FM2 and FM3 holders do not have to pay this fee, but I'm not sure how you would get this back if you bought a ticket on your US or Canadian passport but held an FM2.
Changes in malaria deferrals impacts local blood donors
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has revised its risk criteria for malaria for individuals who travel or live outside of the U.S. and Canada. Effective immediately, all donors who travel to any part of Quintana Roo, Mexico, will be deferred from donating blood for one year from departure from Mexico. This includes Cancun to Chetumal. Residents of Quintana Roo like myself, will be deferred for three years.
The Mexican Caribbean area is a popular travel location and this deferral may impact the ability to recruit blood donors, which could affect the stability of the blood supply. If it has been a while since you have been to mexico, you might want to donate blood before you come.
Recycling in the Peninsula
You can still drop of your Pet Plastic (bottles suitable for food) and aluminum cans at the Casitas. To find the location, turn left at the first intersection as you enter the casitas and go until you see two story blue buildings. There is a pale turquoise plastic container to put your plastic in. Please separate the aluminum and put it in the same container. Please do not put other plastics in this location or garbage. We don't want to loose this resource.
Aeromexico flights start flights to Chetumal airport in May
Last month I mentioned the international airport in Chetumal. Well, as a result of the new terminal being built, Aeromexico flights will start operation in May with flights leaving Chetumal in the morning and arriving at night. In the meantime, the Ejido land that the new terminal sits on is now in a lawsuit.
Felipe "Faisan" Fit for unFlappable Floppers
Roger Wood has graciously supplied this review of El Faisan y Venado in Felipe Carrillo Puerto.
"Last February we arrived in Cancun from snowy New Hampshire at our usual time of about 2:30 pm. After going through the airport formalities, we set out to rent a car and make our way to Costa Maya where two years ago we bought a "fixer-upper" right on the Caribbean coast.
I thought that I would try something a bit different by staying in a hotel in Felipe Carrillo Puerto instead of the normal Playa del Carmen. It would get us closer to our destination and we wouldn't have to wake up our caretakers at 11:00 pm that night to let us in.
On a previous trip I had scoped out "El Faisan Y El Venado", a hotel / restaurant, one block south after the glorieta on route 307 in Felipe Carrillo Puerto. We easily rented two rooms for about 418 pesos each (about $38). Each room had an adequate bathroom with good hot water. We brought sleep sacks with us just in case we did not have confidence in the beds' cleanliness. My wife is a nurse and I am a doctor and we both felt very comfortable not using the sleep sacks.
The air conditioning was great. There is no pool or internet in the rooms but internet access is available at a shop on the glorieta.
The restaurant downstairs is very good if you stick to the local cuisine. I recommend the pollo with mole for dinner. For breakfast try the huevos divorciados. Use the restroom in your room, the one in the restaurant is clean but it has never, to my knowledge, had a toilet seat.
We parked in the hotel's parking lot across the street. It had gates but I don't think they got closed that night. The car was fine the next morning. This hotel is not handicap accessable. The stairway to the rooms is narrow and there is no elevator. All rooms are on the second floor. Take a room in the back hallway. It will be away from the street noise (but closer to the roosters). While I was in town, I visited Chedraui's Supermarket, the public market and got four watches repaired at a sidewalk stand on the glorieta. (I dropped them off on my way to Costa Maya and picked them up on the way back home.)
This hotel is not what could be called "rustic chik" but it is comfortable, clean, safe and you are likely the only gringos staying in town. So if you find yourself short on daylight and a bit long on carretera, "El Faisan y El Venado" in Felipe Carrrillo Puerto is an option you may enjoy trying.
by "Rodger Wood from Costa Maya"
Legal loophole allows Gay Marriage in Quintana Roo
According to Fox News Latino, the state of Quintana Roo features "a legal gap in the Civil Code," which doesn't specify gender in regards to those interested in getting married. The International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association have already started collaborating to make deals with airlines and hotels for gay marriage packages. The state has said that it will leave it up to individual municipalities to make rulings as to whether licenses can be issued.
XCALAK POLLY What's New in Xcalak:
We get some amazing people coming here for vacations. Christmastime brought Tina and Kevin, Vets from Vancouver, who were here with their two boys. They filled up with gas in the Mahahual Pemex station and saw the stray dogs that were hanging around there. They then spent their precious vacation time driving up to Mahahual each day to feed these poor dogs.
After a few days they ended up outside my house having been told that other people also drive up and feed the dogs, me being just one of them. We all piled into my car and off we went to catch the skinniest, all ribs and backbone, bring her back and get her spayed and homed. Easy! Well we tried everything, we had caught "Millie" her sister who was always on her own at the Pemex Station. She was quite happy in the car, eating.This skinny little thing was having none of it! We went and bought rope and a broom handle and Kevin made a lasso affair. Three hours and a lot of food later we called it quits. She didn't want to be caught. Barby and Debbie have also tried, she is still "free", lots of us have tried with no avail.
She gets fed, I update Kevin and Tina. Millie, the one we caught and was with me while we waited for the free clinic in Mahahual for her to be spayed, went from strength to strength and has a new home. Tina wrote out pages of helpful notes, and left me the remainder of the antibiotics she had brought with her just in case they were needed.They said they had enjoyed their time here and have promised to return. Wonderful. Come back soon please.
February brought Bruce and Jan from San Francisco here visiting friends who have a house on the beach. Bruce is an orchid guy, so when they came to visit he wanted to see just what I had growing on the trees in the garden. It would be the week that only one orchid flower was out! He then totally amazed me by naming everyone of the plants I had in Latin and their English name. Turns out he is known in San Francisco and elsewhere in the orchid world as the Orchid Whisperer.
He is in the process of writing, compiling an orchid book. He was really keen to see where the orchids grew so I offered to take them. It was so much fun. I brought my machete and a broom handle. Broom handle very important, at the edge of the jungle before entering, strike the stick on the ground three times while chanting go away snakes we are coming in. Bruce thought this was the best and promptly took over the stick and every few yards did the striking and chanting, funny. Turned out he hates snakes and bugs. We found a couple of different orchids and some air plants for him to look at. The Cow horn orchid has a special relationship with ants and the one that grows here isMyrmecophila Christinae a newer species only from Quintana Roo. Ours is the lovely creamy yellow. It was a really great morning, Bruce, Jan come back soon.
Have you ever been thinking about something that you haven't seen for a while? then low and behold .......
I was out in the garden pruning (that's an understatement), and thought, it's ages since I have seen a snake in the garden! I turned around and this beautiful little thing was peering over my shoulder watching my cats intently. I asked nicely and it let me get my camera and ... hey ho. It's a Mexican green headed tree snake otherwise known as a Parrot snake. I bribed the cats to come in before they noticed it, the next morning no trace. Hopefully it managed to elude the other cats and dangers here in "town".
People often ask what I miss about England, well this ............ the first flower of spring.
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