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Costa Maya Newsletter > Archived Costa Maya Newsletters > Costa Maya Newsletter Dec, 2010

You can now read up to the minute Mahahual happenings at and Facebook

******************* Costa Maya Newsletter *******************
December 2nd / Diciembre 2nd 2010

Costa Maya Newsletters: of primary interest to property owners and those interested in Mahahual / Majahual - Rio Indio - Placer - Uvero - Punta Herrera - Xcalak and other points along Quintana Roo South

Hi Costa Maya Neighbors - Upsurge in Mahahual activity and Lost in the Jungle

If you have had the opportunity to visit Mahahual lately you might be surprised at the amount of building going on. Restaurants, beach clubs and small hotels are the primary focus of this activity. Newly opened on the Malecon is Caballo Blanco Hotel, located just past Tapas bar and with a pharmacy and small restaurant on the street level. Additionally two new hotels are being built next to Tequila beach and Costa Maya Villas Condo Hotel is nearing completion. The skyline is rapidly changing (although I wish the skyline included the internet tower pointing north!)

Marcia with Baracuda

Mahahual had a very good slow season this year with 3-4 ships most weeks. With the added promotions of Mahahual - "In Search of the secret Paradise of the Maya" this should be a great year. Sadly for the vendors, at this point, few cruisers visit Mahahual, but if the cruise ships are in - make a point of visiting the shops around the pier. They are clean, the sales people don't call out to you to enter their store and the prices are reasonable. I've listed just some of the things you might want to know about below (more information is in the body of the newsletter)

  • Mayan Beach Garden opens "The Wrack" bar in Placer.
  • "The Wrack" Bar hosts Monday night football and weekly Crab races
  • Senor Frogs is now open in "new" Mahahual
  • Beach road south of town is to be repaired. 
  • Dentist in Mahahual once a week
  • Walmart in Chetumal open
  • Medical School at the University of QRoo is announced
  • Chedraui's opens in Felipe Carrillo Puerto
  • Zoo reopens in Chetumal

I'm not quite sure how to feel about all the activity - for most of us it is good news. When you must make your living from tourists, you need the infrastructure and attractions. Those of us who like the solitude and quiet, resent it. I am in the middle - I need to make a living but I like my quiet. So when I had a guest who wanted to go into the jungle, I jumped at the chance to take him. With machete in hand, I found my normal jungle trail was under water, so I found a new one. It had been machete cleared at one time and we were able to follow it to a clearing where we watched beautiful Yucatan Jays. That was where I lost my way. Kim will confirm that I have no sense of direction. I knew where East was, and I knew that the sun is lower in the horizon, so even adjusting for the winter sun, I still managed to find myself in the middle of massively thick trees and vines with no clear way to get back to my car. Knowing I am lousy at finding my way, I let my guest tell me where to go. Not a great idea either as he seemed to be as capable as myself. I knew I should mark the trail - and thought the cut marks from my machete would have been enough - it wasn't. After walking through biting soldier ants, zigzagging through what I thought were paths, machete cutting my way through very thick jungle, making palm frond walk-ways over swamping ground, I managed to make my way back to the road about 200 yards South of where I had entered and with only a big blister on my thumb to show I had had an Indiana Jones adventure. Yes - I am one of those women who regularly looses her car in the parking lots of shopping centers, which is why I should learn to "mark my trail."

When I got back to Mayan Beach Garden I knelt down and said a few words of thanksgiving for my safe escape from the Jungle. As we enter holiday season - may all of you have a wonderful season with many opportunities to kneel down in thanksgiving! - Please drop by and see us.

Your Costa Maya Neighbor - Marcia Bales, writing this from Placer - 20 km north of Mahahual.

Past newsletters can be found at NEWSLETTER ARCHIVES

Sign up for up-to-date info at Costa Maya-Mahahual Live Blog with updates and current events (although won't happen until the internet is back up and working)


mahahual and Costa maya news

Senior Frog's Opens in Mahahual

If you like to collect T-shirts from ports of Call, this is good news. If you want your vacation to a foreign country to feel different every year, this may make you uncomfortable. The first time I saw a Senior Frogs was in Mazatlan many years ago before there was one in Cancun or Playa. I thought it unique and charming. It was bound to happen- the homogenizing of all Mexican tourist traps. Senior frogs opened in the area outside the pier not far from the other franchise - Hard Rock Cafe.

Marilyn's Mahahualaneans news

Mahahualaneans Silent Auction Review...
On Nov. 13th, a silent auction was held to raise money for the School system. The total income for the evening $16,025 pesos which was 2,000 more than 2009. "Thanks to the donors .... we couldn't do it without you - the support you give to the community is commendable and now we are ready to host the up and coming Children's Christmas Party!!!!"
Global Vision International is working on another recycling project. They have been instrumental in starting something in Punta Allen and Tulum.
  • The Km. 55 school is coming along. They are currently using the space even though it is not finished.
  • The palapa at the Primary school is in desperate need of repair.. it needs ALL NEW palapa grass.  We may need to host another bingo to support this project.
  • Secondary School is still waiting for the computers that are being repaired. 
  • Ray and Sue Jones will be arriving the first part of Dec. and will be conducting a "craft class" at Km. 55 school around Dec. 6th.  They are also brining 85 toys for the Children's Christmas Party. 
  • Montessori School.  Will be holding free music classes for children up to the age of 7.  They start tomorrow, Thursday.  For further information contact Becky at 983-110-8628. 
  • We will ask the Port Captain if it would be allowed to place the Nativity Scene near his office on the Malecon for better exposure.  Also if he could kindly supply power.  
  • We are looking for animals and a new angel to enhance the display.
English Lawyer Visit:

Marianela Peyrefitte visited on MONDAY, NOVEMBER 29TH  at 10:00 a.m. to hold an question and answer session for Foreigners along the coast. Review of that question and answer meeting is at the bottom of this newsletter.

Around Town:
  • A new Estetica has opened on Second Street beside the Pharmacy (just north of La Torilleria).  Rosy quoted prices of haircuts 40 pesos, manicure and pedicures 60 pesos.
  • Yara has opened her salon in Km. 55... on the first street leading into the Colonia beside the Tienda Abbarotes.
  • Spanish lessons are being offered by Maria.... please call her for further information 983 130-5925
  • English classes are being conducted by Fabi
  • Church bible studies are being held at Corona House on Sundays at 10:00 a.m. by Pastor Ralph Martens (children welcome)
  • Wednesday Ladies Bible Studies conducted by Debbie Blackburn are at 5 p.m. in the casitas, please email or phone her for location. 983-124-8618
Memorial Service:

Condolences are extended to the family and friends of Troy Dana Perez who drowned on Sunday Nov. 29th.  Troy moved to Mahahual six months ago and will be sadly missed.  A memorial service will be held in his honor on Thursday evening at 6:00 p.m. at Fernando's.  Anyone is welcome to attend.

Time to pay taxes

Just a reminder - you can get a 25% discount for paying your Mexican property taxes in December. In most cases, you can pay them in Mahahual. There is less of a discount in January and in February prices return to normal. This is also the time to pay your annual bank fees if you have a Bank Trust and/or your Foreign Corporation renewal fee if you have a Mexican Corporation.

Bus Schedule change again

This ia a good news and bad news notice. As of a couple of weeks ago, without any notice, ADO canceled a few of their bus lines in and out of Mahahual. Now the only ADO bus leaving Mahahual is 7:00 AM in the morning and 5:30 and 630 in the evening. The busses arriving to Mahahual are 7:30, 1:00 PM and 4:30 PM. These times are subject to change at a whim- so you should check times before planning on a trip. The good news is that other lines have picked up the slack. There are now several other busses coming and going in the Southern part of the state all day long, primarily the Caribe. It has both full size busses and Combi's. If you are concerned about changing busses, don't be. Kimberly Willick has written a review of a bus trip to Cancun below under Travel info below.

Mayan Beach Garden Announces "the wrack!"

As many of you know, the wrack is the line of seaweed and debris that gathers on the shore. Both good and bad can be found along the wrack - but we hope it will make you think about Mayan Beach Garden's new Bar every time you see it. Bill Ellis and Tricia Nelson will be running the bar. They are inviting you to visit.

We are happy to announce the opening of Mayan Beach Gardens’ new bar, “The Wrack” the neighborhood bar north of Mahahual for drinks and food.

Come join us 7 days a week until 10pm. Happy hour will feature a daily drink special every day from 5-6pm. We will be hosting Monday night football with buffet bar, game night, crab races, trivia night, scavenger hunts and more. Enjoy a sunset on the roof with our special "THE WRACK" cocktail.

We look forward to meeting you!
Bill Ellis and Tricia Nelson

The bar and restaurant are open Breakfast, Lunch and dinner.

Investment Seminar at Mayan Beach Garden - Jan 22-23

Upcoming Educational Seminar: Buying Property in Costa Maya and Lake Bacalar
Seminar Leader:
Denis Couture, PMP, PE
Date : January 22-23, 2011
Time: 9:00 AM
Location: Mayan Beach Garden
Seminar Cost:  $75 per person (2 attendees for $125)This 2-day seminar will cover all aspects of buying property in the Costa Maya and Lake Bacalar region and answer  all your questions. After this seminar you'll know if buying property in the Costa Maya is right for you. Topics will include:

  • Understanding the different areas of the 70 mile Costa Maya area and Lake Bacalar
  • What to look for in selecting property
  • How to legally buy property in Mexico and avoid the pitfalls
  • How to calculate closing costs
  • Knowing the differences between owning property through a bank trust vs. a corporation
  • Paying property taxes on your property
  • How to calculate capital gain taxes
  • Estimating building costs
  • Selecting attorneys and accountants
  • Opening a bank account in Mexico
  • Owing property in the Sian Ka'an Reserve (Biosphere)

If  interested or have questions, contact Denis at .  My recommendation is that you book a room for the night of January 21st,  in order to be there on time for the start of the seminar on the 27th. Contact information for Mayan Beach Garden is You can also contact them though their web site.   Hotel reservations will be handled on a first come basis. We have arranged a 15% hotel discount to those extending their stays and booking a room for 5 or more days. Payment of $75 per person or $125 per couple for the seminar can be sent through Paypal to

Make your reservations for both the seminar and hotel as soon as possible to guarantee your spot.

Costa Maya Villas take off

I've been talking about Costa Maya Villas since before Hurricane Dean. As the condo-hotel nears completion, it looms large on the horizon as the only structure between the lighthouse and the pier.

The pool is currently being poured, the building painted and landscaping should start before christmas. Windows and cabinets are also being installed. Please come take a look. If you are seriously thinking of investing in the Costa Maya, this is one of the best investments in the area because of the quality and the location - the picture below is real - I took it last Tuesday. .

Costa Maya villas and Cruise ship
pool deck

In the picture at the left you can see the rebar from the pool from the macedonian stone tile decks. By the time the next newsletter comes out, I expect the pool and my office to be finished. Todd Story from Mayan Paradise Properties says that the prices will be going up too, so don't wait if you are still interested - the prices have remained level all summer.

For more information contact or Marcia at

tulum airport news - tulum airport Express bypass

It has been a while since solid news from Tulum has been posted here. In the meantime, we've heard many rumors such as it won't be built, and they are having environmental problems. I have heard nothing official about any of those rumors, but the following information should be very information to all of you. It was posted on the Remax website.

The bypass project involves the construction of 26 kilometers (16 miles) of expressway which includes a branch to the future Riviera Maya International Airport, with a length of 5.5 kilometers (3.5 miles). The total cost will be 1.4 billion pesos ($120 million USD).

The bypass will begin just north of Tulum, bypassing the projected urban area, and running near the new airport, with an intersection with the Tulum Coba highway just past this point. South of Tulum, the bypass will rejoin with the existing highway where it begins to move away from the beachfront, going around the Sian Ka'an wildlife reserve and heading south to Chetumal and the Costa Maya area.

Unlike Playa del Carmen, in Tulum the existing highway actually becomes the town’s main road, where the main concentration of restaurants, services and tourist shops are located.

Not that you will want to wade through it, but A 700-page environmental Impact Survey (Manifestación de Impacto Ambiental -MIA) can be downloaded from the Environmental Agency of Mexico at:

Travel news and Tips

Police stopping people in Mahahual - know your rights

I've had two guests get stopped in Mahahual by a motorcycle cop when neither were speeding. Both were driving rental cars. We've talked about this before, but everyone driving in Mexico should know their rights as drivers. Please be aware that it is illegal to pay someone on the side of the road. It is illegal for the policeman to attempt to extort money from you and it is also illegal for you to bribe the policeman. Please look at our section on Driving on the Mayan Beach Garden Website.

If a policeman or someone posing as a policeman does pull you over, demand ID, take down his license plate number, ask his name and write everything down. Demand that they write you out a ticket and that you will pay it, but you want proof that you were committing the offense.

The US consulate says:

A written citation should be received before the payment of any fine. No money should be paid directly to a police officer. If you believe you are the victim of an extortion attempt, you should make a note of the officer's name and badge number, the time and location of the incident, and the number of the patrol car if applicable, and immediately call the US Consular Agency in Cancun or the US Consulate in Merida.

The US Consular Agency is located on the second floor of Plaza Caracol, Boulevard Kukulcan, km. 8.5 Zona Hotelera, Cancun, and can be reached by telephone at (52) (998) 883-0272. The US Consulate in Merida is located at Calle 60 No. 338-K x 29 y 31, Col. Alcalá Martín, 97050. The Calle 60 is located parallel to Paseo Montejo, the same street where Costco is.. The US Consulate in Merida can be reached by e-mail at or by telephone at (52)(01)(999) 942-5700 during working hours or (52)(999) 947-2285 after hours or on weekends.

Know your rights. Also, ask for a tourist card - or "get out of jail free" card from your rental company. If they don't have one - go to another rental company. Insist on it.

Traveling from Mahahual to Cancun by bus

The following is courtesy of Kim Willick who took the bus in September
I took the bus from the casitas, we zipped to Limones, where I changed to a Mayab , and there was not much of time to make the change. I rushed out of one bus and into the other.  Had I missed the Mayab there was a 1.5 = 2 hour wait for the next ADO that would be along. Very thankful for the help of both drivers, they were excellent.  (NOTE FROM EDITOR: the bus Kim took would have continued on to Valladolid and Kim wanted to go to Playa)
In Limones I was off in Phillipe Carrillo Puerto purchased a ticket for ADO to Tulum,  where in Tulum there was a Premier Bus coming, but my driver (again extremely helpful and thoughtful) walked me to the counter and I bought a ticket, walked back to the bus and on we went.  This particular ADO just stopped in Tulum on its way to Playa. 
I was heading South to a resort for a 2 night stay so I asked him if he could drop me on the highway and no problem he dropped me on the 307, I grabbed a cab in 2 minutes and off I went.
Note: very awesome.   The counter ladies did not want to sell me a ticket all the way through as if something happened they did not want me to lose my money.  I thought it was a bit funny to not sell me all my transfers at the time, but after my trip was over I was very thankful for their thoughtfulness, as I shaved off 1 - 2 hours by just arriving into a station and purchasing for the next bus off to get me closer to Playa.  So I purchased at each terminal my next leg of the journey.
I have limited Spanish, but there was a nice man who recognized me from Mahahual (he has jet ski's for rental on the Malecon), he made sure I did understand what the ladies had told me and yes wahoo I had.  There is always nice people around to help and there were clean bathrooms and a nice tienda at the Phillipe Carrillo and Tulum Stations.
I think the total was about 14.00 for the entire trip.  Mayab was comfortable and my baggage was great, lots of room, I did not have to share at seat at all. Even with the stops I was in Playa within 5 hours of departing the Casitas. 

Kathe's chetumal Tidbits

I've had a couple of people take me up on writing columns for the newsletter. This is great when it includes information we can all use. Kathe Kirkbride has volunteered to write information about Chetumal. Since we all have to visit there often - this is great information for all of us.


Did you know that you can get an INAPAM card as a resident of Quintana Roo? Having this card entitles you to large (50%) discounts on certain things like theater tickets and bus tickets and free or hugely discounted admission to museums. There is even a discount at pharmacies.

To get it, here is a list of requirements:

1. You must be at least 60 years old.
2. Supposedly you need at least a residence visa but I know that you can get it with only a tourist visa because they only ask to see your passport.
3. Take in a photocopy of the passport
4. Take in two copies of a juvenile size photo...get them at various places in Chetumal where you see Fotos.
5. They will ask for your address.

It is located on Venustiano Carranza west of the Clinica Carranza and on the south side of the street. On the front of the building it says DIF in big pink letters. Sometimes they ask you to come back in a couple of days or hours to get the card and sometimes they make it on the spot.

New Shopping Center in Chetumal

A new shopping center with another Chedraui as the anchor store is being built and is supposed to be open in April 2011. It is located off the north side of Insurgentes on Constituyentes (the north extension of Benito Juarez).


I have seen it with my own eyes...WalMart is building a large building on the extension of Insurgentes to the east very near the Bay of Chetumal (completely the other side of town from Sam's Club). The building looks to be halfway complete. Next time I will stop and take a closer look.

My hope is that they will have a good produce section in which case I will no longer shop at Chedraui whose produce section is terrible! And I hope that they will have the selection and organization of Chedraui so I don't have to go to Bodega Aurrerá which has good produce but has poor selection and is a mess organizationally. nice touch is some shade for cars in the parking lot. It looks like it will open soon.

EDITOR NOTE: Grand opening was on Nov. 30th - Kim attended and said it was packed - couldn't even get a parking spot. He said that they had food there, so it must be a super Walmart (or minisuper?)


The next time you visit Chetumal, head straight out Insurgentes to the Bay and turn left. Follow that road past the University of Quintana Roo to the village of Calderitas.

Calderitas is getting a huge facelift with new sidewalks and a new boat launch ramp and pier (the construction has just begun). After you have lunch in town - empanadas at Tienda Punta Catalan or seafood 3 km farther north on the costera at Ichpaatun, go another 3 km north to the ruins of Oxtankah. I believe admission is 35 pesos.

Medical School

Here in Chetumal they are building a medical school...I will find out more about it and add some detail. To me, this implies better medical care here in Chetumal.

Chetumal Cultural events

Here is a link to cultural events in Chetumal - - (Website is in Spanish)

(NOTE FROM THE EDITOR) for example, coming up is an exhibition of works of Orozco, who was a contemporary of Diego Rivera and painted Murals throughout Mexico. The most comprehensive retrospective exhibition to date, the exhibition comprises 379 works, including drawings, watercolors, graphics, paint, ink, newspaper cuttings and photographic reproductions of his work inside and outside Mexico. In 14 exhibition halls of the Antiguo Colegio de San Ildefonso. Open until January 16, 2011


The Zoo Opens in Chetumal - Review

Sunday Nov. 28th marked the reopening of the Chetumal zoo with a new name - BIO Univer ZOO. When the zoo is finished it will be spectacular, but it opened before it was really ready, in my opinion. Only a few signs were up and most animals had not been moved to the new beautiful exhibits. Still, you could see that it is going to be a star attraction for the area. Every thing in the zoo is local - the animals, birds, fish and plants. When I walked into the jungle-like atmosphere, the temperature immediately dropped 10 degrees. The sheer quantity of plants is astounding. You get the feeling of walking through the jungle, even having to part the vines to get through in some places. It feels private and even sounds like a jungle with birds flying around all over. Attending the opening festivities were environmental representatives of the World Bank.

The representative from the world bank was on hand for the opening and it seemed like good news for the area. They confirmed that there were funds available for environmental issues and Mahahual was included in the planning. She charged the municipio with formulating an enforceable plan that would benefit the environment. Specifically in the area of protection of natural species, renewable resources and waste management. Certainly the Costa Maya could benefit from that type of program. Hopefully I'll be getting a chance to provide input into the process - I'm still waiting for the day when we have a real recycling program. world bank
If you want to visit the zoo, the price is not bad if you have an FM3 and your address on the FM3 states that you are from Quintana Roo. The rates in that case are 20 pesos for children and 30 pesos for adults. Non residents will pay $80 and $150 respectively. Hours of operation are 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM and Wednesday through Sunday. Hours for Zoo


I love you Xcalak

Xcalak mourns one of it's characters

Last month saw the passing of “Mosco”. He will be missed not only by his family and numerous friends here and in San Pedro, Belize but also by the many tourists he befriended and helped. Always buzzing around the pueblo welcoming tourists, fixing up a trip for them or selling his fish catch straight off the boat.R.I.P. Mosco.



Xcalak Raffle

plans for Xcalak








For the last three weeks we have been selling raffle tickets to win a 22” flat screen Sony TV. Linda Zacarro gave us 10 tickets each to sell, in total 100 were sold. All profits channeled into the renovation of the old generator house into the Xcalak Community Centre.

It must be 6/7 years ago when CFE flicked the switch and we had light. Before that the pueblo had up to 4-6 hours electricity a night always supposing the generator was working. CFE gave the Generator House to the Governor of Quintana Roo who has now given it to the pueblo specifically for this project. When finished this will be, somewhere the children can go to learn English, use a computer, use the Library. It will have room for Artisans to display and sell their wares. It can also be rented out to offset expenses, it will be great for Quinceano's. Now Dia de Ninos, Christmas and other festive occasions where more room than normal is needed will be no problem. It is going to take loads more money to make this happen, but this is a good start.

The raffle was drawn at 6.00pm Monday 11th October. It was a revelation!

Where we were expecting to draw the first number as winner, no, it was decided that the last ticket drawn was winner!! It could have been 10th, 27th or any number that all present decide on. At least everybody knows their number was in the draw, as every number was tied up with the appropriate name. Well Nato was the lucky guy, he bought his ticket from Minnie the Delegardo's wife just an hour before the draw.

I have known Linda since she and Nick first came down to Xcalak to live while their house was being built. I was there when this project was a light bulb moment above her head, at least 3 years ago. It is going to be a long hard slog to realize this dream.

Anybody interested in more details, helping /donating can email Linda at


Those of you diehards still here will have noticed the Dragonflies, millions of them, (no exaggeration) here now for the bug feast.

This male Red Saddlebag was resting on my screen door. Across the road at the top of the beach there were Band Winged Dragonflies and many other different types. I hadn't noticed before just how beautiful they all are. Buen Provecho.

The Olivaceous Cormorants are nearly always on this sunken dredger drying out after fishing.

Walking down the beach and suddenly there is a panic in the water, something big and hungry is after these snappers. They were “flying”.


At the end of the pier Rosa was hand line fishing, her month old daughter Estrella Celestial asleep on her lap. Rosa's sister was in charge of putting bait on the lines I was relieved to see! At a month old, this really is a case of start them young. They had caught one medium size snapper for lunch and were working on catching more.





If you have been traveling through Quintana Roo in the last few years after Dean you may have seen these small concrete houses going up. Finally the program has reached Xcalak, this is the Mexican Government replacing wooden houses that were damaged or demolished in hurricane Dean. As I understand from talking to Moises who's wife Lennie has just had her house finished, well, you know, nearly! You had to have had a building that was on land assigned to you, or titled to you, to be eligible.

Huge trucks rolled into the Pueblo with blocks,cement, big cement beams, plumbing, electrical everything necessary to build a house. There was also money to pay the masons, plumbers,electricians, paid in stages, foundation, walls, roof etc. There are 14 new houses in Xcalak., more able to withstand hurricanes.

Classified Adds


If you have something you want included in the classifieds, please send it to Limit text to 100 words and pictures no larger than 216 pixels wide. Include a contact email or phone number. It is a good idea to use an email address that is not your primary address to limit Junk mail coming your way. There is no charge, this is being done as a community service.

2003 Honda Pilot--$11000 USD

Excellent car in very good condition. It has Mexican plates, 176K kilometers (109K miles) on the dial, 4WD, 3.5 liter V6, 5-speed automatic transmission, all maintenance done by Honda dealership and stamped in the owners manual, Michelin tires with lots of tread left, leather seating, power everything, three rows of seating (seats 8), OEM rubber floor mats over pristine original floor mats. Only issue is 2 small rust spots on the both rear door window frames and a small spot on the rear roof. Typical sea breeze rust spots. I am the second owner of this car and have only put 5K kilometers on it since I bought it back in June of this year. I know the original owner personally and she babied this car.  Only selling because I'm heading back to the states. I also have the original factura to sign over to the lucky buyer.   Asking $11000 USD.  You can contact me at or by phone at 984-141-6292

Looking for Articles

If anyone would like to submit articles to this newsletter that would be informational to others, please contact me at

Meeting with Lawyer  Lic. Marianela Peyrefitt

The following information was pasted directly from a document sent me by Marilyn Marshall who attended the meeting with an English speaking lawyer. Some of the information below regarding immigration does not match what is posted on the Mexican Immigration website. Please use this information as a general guideline, but contact your own lawyer if you have any questions. Thank you to Marily Marshall for passing this along.

November 29th, 2010
The meeting with Lic. Marianela  Peyrefitte from Chetumal was held in the mayor’s office  in Mahahual, Quintana Roo, Mexico.  Here are the results of the meeting.  We are grateful to her for her time and her valuable information.    If you still have questions, please contact her by e-mail . Her address is listed below. 
Remember that any information given here is subject to change!!!!!! 
Individual cases will require an in depth review by an attorney and information pertinent to it.
1.  Please explain the best thing a foreigner can do to prevent “squatters” (possession) on their land?
She simply said, “Live there” or have someone live on the property.  
Be sure to have all your documentation current and all your obligations fulfilled, such as taxes, etc.
(Put up “no trespassing” signs and a fence.  Check on it periodically.)
Also discussed at this time was the law that every 100 meters there has to be a public access to the beach. 
2. What are the laws about federal concessions?
Federal concession is for beach front property – there are different  types of applications. 
a. For use to beautify and for your pleasure and protection.
b. To gain space from the sea to build a house.
                i)Need a form to fill out for the permit. (#01001?)
                ii)Need an architect and engineer  to do this
c.  For commercial use. 
If you don’t apply for federal concession for your property,  anyone can apply for your federal concession .   This allows you to construct things on your federal zone like palapas, etc. No foundations.
3.  Is Federal Zone regulations different inside the town of Mahahual than outside?
Yes.  They are trying to work together to work things out.
4.  Does the property owner of the lot next to the federal zone have “first right” to it?
Yes, but when you apply for federal concessions if someone else wants to use it you have to prove that you have “first rights”.  Federal concession is for 50 years and then renewed for 25 years.  If you don’t follow the rules you will pay a penalty and it is a long procedure.  You must have a title to the property, predial, cedual castestral and proof of your beach taxes being paid.
5. Explain how the Federal Semernat is different from the Municipal concession?
Mahahual has no municipal concession.  They work with the Federal Semernat.

6.  What is done if someone other than the property owner has received Federal Concession rights?
You have to prove that you have first rights- you are paying taxes on it, etc. (see question #4) Long battle. 
7.  Do foreigners need a Mexican will for Mexican properties?
It would be a lot easier and will save you time and money. It is not essential… but prevents complications. You will notice answers, addressing this, below.

8.  In what circumstance would it be beneficial to have a Mexican will?
A  Mexican will- in case of death is beneficial and it is dependent on individual circumstances.  Only a notary can provide a legal will (because it is confidential).   There is a big difference in a Mexican corporation and a trust so make sure that your lawyer is familiar with all these laws.  Also in Mexico,  wills are cheaper if you have one drawn up in the month of September (which is “Will month”)  The cost is about 1200 pesos.  Otherwise you are looking at over 3,000 pesos. 
9.  Owners that are unable to come to Mexico to change ownership (health reasons) –how can this be    done?
An attorney has to draft a meeting of the corporation and ask to change/sell the shares.  The minutes of the meeting are sent to the co-owner and he signs it and sends it back.  Be sure to check the documentation of the corporation and the title to see if there are any restrictions.  E-mail  the lawyer for further information.      (there is an underscore after mane)
( Notary and lawyer Marianela Peyrefitte)

10.  Federal trust or corporation- the pros and cons.
A trust is better.  Unless  you are here to establish a business and need a corporation for tax purposes. If you have a corporation and own a home that you are living in …. It is required that you also have a Fedicomisio Trust on that particular home. 


11.  Owning a foreign car vs. Mexican
Foreign Vehicle:

  • A foreign car must renew the importation at the Belize border yearly.
  • Insurance is through a Mexican Insurance Company… and is cheaper
  • You renew your license plates in your country of origin… which is reasonable.
  • A Mexican cannot drive a foreign car unless you are accompanying him/her in the vehicle.

Mexican Vehicle:

  • No need to do importation paperwork
  • Insurance more
  • The tenencia (license plates are a great deal more expensive)

12. FM3 better than FM2?

  • Renewable ever year.
  • You can work
  • You can apply for a Mexican credit card, Mexican loan or have a Mexican bank account. 
  • You cannot vote.
  • You can only be gone 182 days per year (max. absence of 2 years within a 5 year period).

(You may want to check the website for  changes, as they are frequent)

  • 1 year renewable
  • Can only stay in Mexico 182 days
  • Can apply for it as many years as you want, no limitation
  • You can work if you apply for the active FM3

Categories for FM3 and FM2
Rentista – living with resources from your country, allowed 2 activities

13. Are foreigners still restricted to owning land 50 kms from the Mexican borders?
                50 kms from the ocean and 100 (kms) from the Mexican borders north and south.


14.  Can anyone other than immigration ask for your passport legally?
                Yes, notary can ask for it to demonstrate that you are legal, power of attorney, police to ensure you are legally in the country.  Take copy of your passport with you.  Any authoritative person can ask for it.
15.  What are the laws for common law marriage (men and women living together)?  Are they entitled to ½ of the assets? (for will purposes)
The concubina o concubino law – yes, the person is entitled to ½ of the assets if you can prove that you are not married to someone else and that you do not have someone else (not a wife) besides the concubina/o.
16.  In case of our death in Mexico or the US, do we need a will with my daughter on our corporation.  She gets everything thru our US trust?
a. If so, how much is the cost?
b. How long does it take?
Yes, but you will pay attorney fees here and it takes a long time.  A Mexican will is easy and low cost.
17.-19. Where can a body be cremated here?  What documents are needed? Who can give authorization?
A Mexican will is necessary if you wish to state whether you want to be cremated or not here in Mexico.  Cremation must be done through a funeral home.  Campos de Luz in Chetumal  is the only funeral home that does cremation.  However other funeral homes work in cooperation.
If you die and have no will, no family or friends, you have no option, you will be cremated and buried in the common burial ground.
20.  What is the procedure for flying a body home to a foreign country? 
Contact the US consulate or US embassy to help you with the paper work.
21.  We have had our Mexican wills drawn up by an attorney in Chetumal, MX and in place since 2001 and have them located here in NY with our US wills along with other important Mexican legal documents.  Our 2 sons are beneficiaries of our homes and also our Mexican lot and house in Placer which is held in our corporation and is in both of our names.  When we die can they receive a “Power of Attorney” to sell our property via our written instructions/directions in our Mexican wills when they are ready to sell? 
Power of attorney must be Mexican.  If you didn’t sign papers in front of a notary it is not official.


22.  Our corporation is in both of our names, if and when one dies before the other, do we just produce a “death certificate” from here in the USA to prove exclusive Corporation/House/Lot ownership?
Shares need to be moved via a meeting. 

23.  When selling property, what are some of the ways to avoid capital gains or taxes?  Is she able to handle all of our real estate needs when buying or selling property?  Generally speaking, what are the fees?
If you have a trust you can sell  your house and avoid or reduce capital gains tax. You will need your tax ID number, residence status, and factura for charges of brokerage and other charges.   
24.  How exactly are property boundaries defined and how to convert a Possession title to a full title.
Proof you paid the taxes
Make sure there are no other owners.  You will have to hire an attorney and come before a  Judge who will make the final decision based on “other possible” owners.    
Lic. Marianela Peyrefitte
Av. Alvaro Obregon #232-1
Cell Phone: 983-120-6255
Email address:

It was suggested by Marianela that we hold a separate meeting to deal only with “Immigration queries” and she confirmed that she would be willing to bring an Immigration officer with her to answer the questions.  This is something we will consider in the new year if we have enough interest. 
Thanks to each of you who took the time to attend.  I hope this helps to some degree and offered you the opportunity to clarify some of your concerns.


The editor of this newsletter (me) makes no claims that the information here is completely true. I am not a news reporter, Spanish is not my native language, the newspapers are notorious for not verifying information and this is not my primary business, but rather a service to the neighborhood. If you find something untrue PLEASE let me know and I will print a disclaimer. I try to verify the information but even the newspaper prints up rumors, so I can only report what I read and hear.

Unless otherwise stated, all content is copyrighted by MMB Contractors Inc.

Until next month,
Best wishes from your neighbor,


Mayan Beach Garden Resort