******** Costa Maya-Mahahual Newsletter-Feb. 2013 *******
Costa Maya Newsletter: of
interest to visitors and property owners and anyone looking to learn more about the Costa Maya, Mahahual /
Majahual - Rio Indio - Placer - Uvero - Punta Herrera - Xcalak and
other points along Quintana Roo's Southern Coast
Editorial- Mahahual FACEBOOK Pride
If I want to know what is happening in Mahahual, I have to "LIKE: everyone on Facebook so that I can find out what is happening. Virtual meeting notices show up frequently and I am forced to participate in the greatest time vacuum ever invented or I miss out. The only way you can stay on top of things is to "like" and "lurk." Fascinating Mahahual tidbits can be found somewhere on Facebook, especially if you speak a little Spanish.
- Fernando sadly announced today that he is closing 100% Agave. (more under Mahahual News)
- Feb. 18-24, 2013 --The most important event is Cruzando Fronteras, a cultural exchange festival between Mexico and Italy. Thanks to the efforts of the Italian hotel owners, Mahahual is blessed to be the host for Quintana Roo.
- Feb 1-23 - Limpieza de Mahahual - the yearly beach cleaning event. More about that below. Save your pop-bottles and scavenge the beach and roads. For the first 23 days of the month - collect all you can. Then on the 23, an over-all cleanup will commence.
- Some of the Condominiums at Costa Maya Villas are available for rental through private owners.
- There is a new bakery in the Casitas on the West end of Kohunlich with such wonderful things as Chipotle cebolla, Multigrain with pumpkinseeds, Habanero-cilantro Cheese, Herbed breads, and they take requests
- A couple of new very high topes went up in mahahual town and now someone is advertising "do you want one outside your business?" I didn't see any takers, but some people wanted money spent on garbage cans instead of topes, others didn't see it coming and have lumps on their head.
- Yoga classes have started on the rooftop of the building where Otto's place is.
- A jaguar sighted in the area between the pier and the Pemex might be the reason small dogs have been missing in Mahahual.
- The Casa De Cambio in Mahahual is now under new management
I hope you have all had a great Holiday season and please stop by if you are around this season. It will be a short one with Semana Santa happening on the last week of March, but I do like to see people in person and not just on Facebook.
Your Costa Maya Neighbor,
Marcia Bales. . .writing this from Placer and Mayan Beach Garden Inn - 20 km north of Mahahual.
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mahahual and Costa maya news
Calendar of events in Mahahual
- Cruzando Fronteras - Cultural exchange with Mexico and Italy - Feb. 18-24, 2013
- Feb 23 - Mahahual Clean up day
- ADO returned to Mahahual on Dec. 12th 2012 with
- Dec. 21st, 2012 - Renewal of the Mayan Calendar (or end of the world festivities) Mahahual is still here
- Jatsa'-ja 2013 - 3rd weekend in August (start organizing your photos for the photo contest)
Fernando's 100% Agave announces closure
Probably the saddest news of all is that Fernando's 100% Agave is closing its doors. Since Hurricane Dean, Fernando has been a fixture in the town- first in the little restaurant and then in the the huge two story Palapa South of the Captain's port.
However, he found the huge space was just too expensive to run and pay all the employees (knowing the cost of electricity that businesses have to pay, I can only imagine!). First he started closing on non-cruise ship days and then on weekends. I couldn't be sadder about this announcement. The space has already been rented by the owners of Papa's BBQ (see bit about that below).
I can only all wish him well on his next venture and hope he remains a fixture of Mahahual.
Facelift in the Casitas
As a result of Hurricane Ernesto, Puerto Costa Maya is fostering improvements in the area of the Casitas. The Costa Maya Port projects approximately 450,000 cruise passengers in 2013, about the same as in 2011. You can see the change - a new path down the middle of the dividers and general clean up is apparent. In the past, leaving the Port required that busses drive though a lot of slum looking streets. You will notice the change this year since it is a definite improvement.
2014 is looking like a big year based on berthing requests already received at this early stage. Though bookings from operators like Carnival and Royal Caribbean are not in, lines like Disney, Norwegian and Holland America have indicated they’ll be back.
You may also notice two new "round-a-bouts" or glorietas in town. The Costa Maya Glorieta went up first at the entrance to the Casitas and the Costa Maya Pier. Angered Beachfront businesses in the town of Mahahual angrily demanded that this was not the correct label for the town, rather it should be called Mahahual. Within a few weeks, the Mahahual glorieta was created where you turn off to go to Mahahual which seemed to appease everyone.
In addition an arched entry way will welcome you as you enter into the casitas. It really is looking better.
Cruzando Fronteras - Festival of 2 Cultures
Cruzando Fronteras is a cultural exchange between Italy and Mexico. the festivities will be celebrated for over a period of 6 days and are spread out along the Malecon and in the area just outside the pier so that Cruise ship visitors may also participate in the events. It is hard to explain how important this festival is to Mahahual. The influence of Italy is already felt here in Mahahual and thanks in part to Luciano Consoli (Mata'an Ka'an), now there will be a cultural influence. The hotels are already filling up - it will be a wonderful week. Check out the web site for Cruzando Fronteras. It's in Spanish and Italian, but will give you a since of the scope of the project - something never seen here at Mahahual. The festival will include musicians, theater, dancers, film, sculpture, painting, poetry and more.
Thanks Luciano and all others that made this possible! The map below shows the locations of the events.
Coinciding with the Italy - Mexico cultural exchange is the yearly beach cleaning contest. Once again, Mayan Beach Garden is the collection point for the North section of the coast. On the flyer at the right, you can see the other collection points for dropping off the bags of Pet Plastic and other garbage. This year the goal is to create a permanent recycling center.
Please look for the business closest to you to for more information. There are two parts to the promotion: the collection of PET plastic and the collection of all other garbage.
This is the collection of all plastic used in soda bottles, and transparent food bottles, like cooking oil. The bottles should be clean and crushed and put in green bags, or white bags with PET written on the outside. This is a 23 day project, with collection starting on Feb. 1st and culminating on the 22nd.
OTHER trash: All other beach trash will be collected during an 8 hour effort on the 23rd of February and deposited in Mahahual. Please join with your neighborhood to make this contest successful.
Contact the businesses listed above for more information or the web site Limpieza Mahahual where you can donate to the clean-up activities.
Casa de Cambio
The Casa de Cambio in Mahahual has changed hands. New ownership promises to be open more often. You can view hours and current exchange rates on their web site NOTE: they close for a couple of hours in the afternoon, so please take note of that if you are making a special trip. Exchange rates are not great, but they are far better than in the airport and seem to be a bit better than they were prior to new ownership.
More local car rental options
Mexico Car Rental Group.
You can reach them by phone in the US or Canada Toll Free 1 800 81 36 371. What that means is now you can travel here by bus (actually. . .bus to Limones and taxi to Mahahual) and rent a car only on the days you want to. The rates are decent and you can reserve in advance. http://mexicocarrental.com.mx/en/index.php
Continental Rent a Car
Continental Rent a Car is located in the Holiday Inn, but they have a web site where you can rent directly. Their web site is in both English and Spanish and has the ability to book with your credit card. We have had Mexican customers say they would deliver a car here to Mahahual, but I am not sure how they accomplished that. They do say that they will deliver the car to the Chetumal Airport if you fly into Chetumal.
Europcar has an independent office in Chetumal. Located not far from Sam's club, this is a great option for renting a car in Chetumal, picking up in Cancun and dropping off in Chetumal.
The ADO bus that has been missing from Mahahual all low season with no promise of returning is now back. The date it returned to Mahahual was Dec. 12th. If you check on Ticketbus.com.mx, you will see that Mahahual is back on the list of destinations and you can pre-book a ticket from the airport all the way to Mahahual. The Bus leaves the airport at 3:45 and arrives around 10:00 PM in Mahahual after stopping in Playa del Carmen, Tulum and Carrillo Puerto.
In addition, there is a new kiosk where tickets will be sold for destinations such as Cancun, Villahermosa and Merida. The location of the kiosk will be in front of Quinto Sol. The Million dollar question for me is. . . how long will that last? Hopefully always. ;-)
Friday's around 3:00 in the Casitas across from Donusoso (used to be Barudi's) the local Lutheran Church runs a Soup[ Kitchen for families, most of them with lots of children from kilometer 55. If you are interested in helping, contact Deb Blackburn. Debbie says she can accept donations via PayPal and you may contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Big Papa's BBQ - new business
Big Papa's BBQ opened on the 2nd story across from the Port Captain. This is about in the middle of the Malecon and just north of Fernand's 100% Agave. Big Papa's will also be leasing 100% Agave Bar and will be creating a Beach Break for the Cruise ship crowd. They serve lunch and dinner specializing in smoked chicken and pork as well as hamburgers and smoked meat tacos.
Oh. . . and they have a mechanical bull and because it isn't a bar, children can ride it.
Mayan Beach Garden - New Photos from MBG
We added a new Handicapped ramp to access our Beachfront Suite - (for all of those bad knees!)
New "Beach trash" Mosaic at Mayan Beach Garden
Costa Maya Villas - Private Units now available for rent.
Its been a while, but a few of the Costa Maya Villa Condominiums are now available for rent through Mayan Beach Garden Reservations. These luxury condo has A/C, granite countertops and both the best view and one of the largest pools in Mahahual. Every Condo is beachfront. See more pictures. . .
Five Year Moritorium on Caracol harvesting
"Better a Ceviche late, than never. . . "
Caracol Rosada (Queen Conch) has been an endangered species for a while. The numbers here, however have dropped so low that now there is a 5 year moratorium in place to protect them. This has created a black market and "conch" runners have rushed to fill that market. As you pass the military checkpoint, you may find that you have quite a wait as they look through coolers in search of contraband caracol. Last week in Chetumal the price was $250 pesos a kilo. They told me that the Caracol came out of Campeche, but who can tell the difference?
My neighbor Beau Speed has been here for 28 years and said when he first came here, you couldn't walk out into the water for fear of stepping on a Conch, now it is hard to find a live one.
Please help the species and avoid purchasing conch/ Caracol from vendors selling them on the beach. Also, if you find them on a menu, speak up. With everyone's help, the species will recover and we will again be able to enjoy Conch Ceviche.
news around Mexico, Quintana Roo and the yucatan peninsula
New Mayan Museum in Cancun
If you are planning on staying up in Cancun, you might want to visit the new Museo Maya de Cancun. Located in the Hotel zone it is Cancun's first museum and a must see for Mayan enthusiasts.
Included are pieces on exhibit that have never been shown before to the public for lack of a venue. Articles from Dzibanche, Ichkabal (not yet opened) Kohunlich, El Rey and others.
Below is an artists 3-D rendering of the project. The Museum opened on the 4th of November 2012.
INAH introduces Virtual tour of Banco Chinchorro
For those who would like to see what Banco Chinchorro looks like, INAH has introduced a new virtual tour of Banco Chinchorro. It requires some downloading speed from your computer, but well worth it. Turn off the Audio if you find the images are not loading properly. I found that by doing so I was able to just see the images without having it follow the audio before it downloaded. Makes me want to go all over again.
New Mayan Museum in Merida "El Gran Museo del Mundo Maya de Merida"
As if Cancun and Merida were competing, Merida has also opened a new Mayan Museum. The following is an article written by Sara Thomas, who has property in San Jose and visited in February.
If you're near Mérida, don't miss the new Museo del Mundo Maya, just north of town about 10-15 minutes by car. In fact, it should entice you to visit Mérida again. It just opened in December, 2012.
Most all of the artifacts from the older Museum of Anthropology and History in Mérida, have been transferred here.
In the center is a huge spiral containing the elevator, and stairs. To the side is the escalator.
Right now the museum is divided into two main exhibits: 1) the extensive Maya rooms and (2) Chicxulub meteor, Dinosaurs and the Geology of the Yucatán Peninsula. (a temporary exhibit.)
The Maya exhibits are filled with exquisite examples of original art, pottery, masks, jewelry, weapons, tools, steles, and figurines. The ones taken from Oxkintok and El Caracol, for example, are incredible in their clear details.
Most all are originals, not reproductions, with very few exceptions such as the of the facade of Sak Xok Alah from Ek-Balam. You walk through the door to a movie about it.
To allow for a change of viewing, there are many interactive exhibits that you can manipulate or walk on for clearer viewing.
There is an IMAX theater, a restaurant, and a cafeteria. You are allowed to take photos, but no flash.
Parking is under the museum and machines for paying for parking before you exit.
This newly opened museum is just beginning to function and you'll see workers finishing various details.
Some of the citizens of Mérida are concerned about the high cost of entrance tickets. Hopefully, there will be some free days soon. School children are already visiting the museum.
Seniors with INAPAN ID only pay $25 pesos and Sundays are free for residents of Yucatan.
NEWS FROM XCALAK
XCALAK POLLY What's New in Xcalak (or in this case - VERY DATED - sorry POLLY):
At the end of May I made a promise to Linda Zaccaro that I would make sure there was a Xcalak children's Christmas party this year. Linda worked tirelessly last year and it was a great party, hard to follow but ............
I had a delightful time yesterday, I returned to the Kinder- garden and after the little people had given me a group hug welcome I sat in one of the little chairs at the back. From there I watched as little hands grasped pencils and with tongues stuck out concentrating 22 princes and princesses wrote to Santa. I must admit I told them Santa was my friend, so, I'm really popular
I then went to the primary school and collected their letters, I did think the secondary school kids were a little too old for it, so just told them where and when.
Where. The park, Xcalak.
When. Thursday 13th December 3.00pm. Santa has said he will be there.
How. Without Frank and Sherry Weldele, Tom and Judy Hagmann, Bob and Sharon and many other lovely people who donated toys, money and time, this wouldn't, couldn't happen. Special mention, Carlos who made and donated all the piñatas'.
I took this photo just before I posted all of these to Santa and the Elves. I will take loads of photo's on the day, so you will see happy faces.
On another note, we all know each other out here, Xcalak, Mahahual, Rio Indio, Placer and Uvero ..........so I ask all of you to remember what we were all told and read about when we moved down here, DO NOT DRIVE IN MEXICO AFTER DARK.You may be the very very best driver in the whole world but, when you come around a corner and there is a BULLDOZER on a trailer with the blades overhanging the trailer sides by a meter.
Also the rain has encouraged the jungle to overgrow the road by another meter each side, there is nowhere for you to go, To make it even more difficult for you, trailer has no lights, the road isn't lit.
We in Xcalak lost Ron this way.
Nyree's Robbie, happy happy living his dream. Living on the beach with the most beautiful girl in the world and smoking a bit of wacky backy when he wanted. He had a fatal heart attack.
A young fisherman also lost his life in a boating/drinking accident. All in the same week. We miss them all, we would miss you. Please take care.
This photo is yet another reason not to drive in the dark, this was taken by tourists who had been staying at Casa Carolina. They left early morning and came across this beautiful creature 25 kilometers from Xcalak on the Xcalak Mahahual road. They seemed to think it had not long happened. We are not sure if it's a jaguar, ocelot or what. If you know please let us know. Very sad.
I have been told that there is a moratorium on Conch for five years, the fishermen are not best pleased. Stones and windows were mentioned. It is long over due, if they keep fishing there will be no conch. Lets hope that they stay with it this time. Didn't Florida have Conch at one time?
Whilst we are talking jaguars, Frank is a dedicated fisherman who comes and fishes here quite a lot. He always stays at Costa de Coco's and Alberto is his regular guide.
He was down just about a month ago and at Pizza night told us this story with photo's to back it up. He and Alberto were out on the flats looking for some different fishing areas. To their amazement they watched a jaguar chase an agouti along the beach and then around some mangroves and into the water. Jaguar went without dinner this time.
It is incredible to me that I live in the same place, space, as these beautiful animals.
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New this month is a boat with motor.
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