******** Costa Maya-Mahahual Newsletter-May 2014 *******
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- and art came to Mahahual
As I sit here at Mayan Beach Garden reflecting on the quiet and piece of the beaches in Placer - just a week ago, Semana Santa was in full force and the town and neighboring beaches were overflowing with people, trash and fun. This year, The puebla welcomed guests to streets that never looked better thanks to many helping hands cleaning streets and playas, and artists creating new works of art. The aftermath of Semana was better this year thanks to the new Alcaldia and two trips up and down the beach roads picking up trash. The only complaint I heard was the usual, that vacationers didn't spend enough money, but it was a pleasure to see Mahahual full of families, music and people vacationing on the biggest holiday weekend of the year.
This year, visitors will find that Mahahual has had a new look as a result of an "artsy" spring with the completion of several murals in town and the arrival of the second Cruzando Fronteras (Crossing Borders) on March 1-8, 2014. Not only did the festival result in the addition of new public art but artists remained in the pueblo continuing the beautification of Mahahual. One of the main additions was Argentinean sculptor Sabrina Coco's piece entitled "The Fish" which is made entirely of recycled materials.
Regardless of the art that has been added, the town would not be beautiful were it not for the work of Diamonds International under the direction of Senka (who owns the Dulca Vita gelato shop). Her day job is manager at Diamonds International and she made sure the DI staff were put to good use cleaning the streets and beaches on non-cruise ship days and organizing and promoting a spay and neuter clinic. Stop by Dulca Vita and order something delicious and let her know you appreciate the work she does for Mahahual. I would also like to put a plug in for our newly elected Alcaldia, William Calderón. You may remember that he was the first Alcaldia in Mahahual and we are glad to have him back. Garbage is again getting picked up and some streets mended.
Since pictures are the best way to show off the new artsy Mahahual, I've included a lot of shots of the festival and new works of art to entice you into attending next year's Cruzando Fronteras. You can view them in the body of the Newsletter under Mahahual News.
Find out more about the event at: http://www.mahahualcruzandofronteras.com/
Your Costa Maya Neighbor,
Marcia Bales. . .writing this from Placer and Mayan Beach Garden Inn - 20 km north of Mahahual.
Past newsletters can be found at NEWSLETTER ARCHIVES
mahahual and Costa maya news
Calendar of events in Mahahual
- Governor's cup fishing tournament 3-4 of May
- Jatsa'-ja 2014 - New Dates! Stay tuned.
- Cruzando Fronteras 2015 Feb. 28 - Mar 7
Cafetal-Mahahual Highway to Receive "Improvements"
It was announced in late August that Cafetal - Mahahual highway will receive 10 million pesos. However, the first phase of the project was improvements to Cafetal highway that consisted of tar and gravel surfacing only. There wasn't enough tar to hold the gravel and several accidents occurred in the area of the road work. Please watch for that if you are traveling along Cafetal.
Water Infrastructure upgrade by CAPA
Over a year ago Isaac Hamui Abadi announced a tourist park like Xcaret will be built in 2013. He announced that the complex will be built on an area of 16 hectares, where there will be water activities like canoeing with a mayan touch. (see article below)
As of May 1, 2014, there are no signs of a water park in the area set aside for the purpose. However, a water park can't be built without water. It is general knowledge that Mahahual doesn't have enough water. Anyone who has stayed in a Casita knows that there isn't enough water pressure to flush the toilets, so People are forced to install cisterns and pumps to provide water to do every-day things. CAPA (Federal water rights management) is making an investment in the infrastructure of Mahahual that will improve the life of everyone, not just provide water for the water park. Although the timing of the water improvement is suspicious, if everyone benefits, it is a win for all. CAPA is installing new water pipes from Oasis (km 39 on the Cafetal highway) to Mahahual. The pipes will be able to supply sufficient water for the entire town for some time. In the meantime, be careful as you drive along Cafetal-Mahahual Highway as the road narrows to one lane where they are working to install the new water pipes.
Aquatic Park given the "Luz Verde"
On April 24, Isaac Hamui Abadi announced that the Aquatic park had been given a green light from the zoning department. The problem with the project is that Hamui was not able to purchase the land he had hoped to use for the water park. It has now been scaled down to 5 hectares from the 16 original Hectares because, the land negotiations fell through. The new land already belongs to Hamui and the Change of use has not been approved. The new water park should begin construction soon and welcome visitors in the 2015 season. Visitors will include not only cruise ship passengers but visitors to hotels and locals. This will attract more local visitors from mexico and Belize who visit for weekends. It originally was planned to be similar to Xcaret and Xelha, but it isn't clear what the new scaled back design will include. It is good news for Mahahual as this will bring in steady pay checks for construction workers who will frequent the restaurants and bars in the area.
The 2nd annual Cruzando Fronteras Arts happened during the dates of March 1-8th 2014. If you were fortunate enough to attend the festival during 2013, you will remember what a special event it was with workshops, music, art and theater. Below, I've included photos from the event.
|Body painting and sculptures at Blue Bay. Body painting by Yhazael Villegas from Quintana Roo.
|Participant Mask Workshop
|Recycled materials went into this sculpture by Argentinean artist Sabrina Coco
On Thursday night, Mahahual was treated to a piano concert performed by Luca Rebola and opera singer Maria Del Carmen Delgado. Hundreds of people watched, like Luca and Violeta on the left wearing Cruzando Fronteras t-shirts..
ANTÚN-KOJTOM, Mayan Artist displayed several of his works at a one man show at Matan Ka'an.
Guests of the festival were treated to Corazon y Vida Maya music and dance on Tuesday night.
Barbara Seibenlist Paloma created this painting which was on display in the Sindicato de Taxistas during the festival. In total, 3 locations were acting as Galleries with the addition of murals that were painted live on site. See article about murals below.
Next Year's Festival will be held Feb. 28 - March 6th. Make reservations early so that you can attend. That week is always one of the first to fill up.
New Murals in and about Mahahual
I suppose about now, you might figure that I am an art fan. Art is good for a community and those that support art can make a difference in that community fostering creativity and making a community come alive.
Freddy Prigol is an artist who came during Cruzando Fronteras 2013 and stayed. At the right he stands by the mural that he created on the wall at 40 Cannones.
Below, the two images shown are a before and after photo of Solo Chelas. You might know that better as Fernando's liquor store where you can by Modelo and Corona by the case. If you look close, you will see the word AGAVE on the tongue. If you are trying to find Fernando's little shop, look for the mural with the tongue.
At the bottom of this segment, there is a picture of the mural at Pizza Popis and one on Matan Ka'an's East wall. Next time you are in Mahahual, take a look around. . . Freddy is still painting in Mahahual, so you are bound to find more murals. By the way, Freddy accepts commissions to paints, and if you are someone that also enjoys promoting art,ask at Pizza Popis the next time you are there picking up Pizza.
ADO Continues direct to Cancun (changes again)
The ADO bus returned to Mahahual on Dec. 12th. The Bus leaves Cancun (note, not the airport) at 7:00 AM and arrives around 1:00 PM in Mahahual at Quinto Sol (next to Tequila Beach Club) after stopping in Playa del Carmen, Tulum and Carrillo Puerto.
The route stops in Playa del Carmen, Tulum and Felipe Carrillo Puerto. The ADO bus does NOT go to Chetumal. The Return route leaves Mahahual at 5:00 PM and arrives in Cancun about 10:00 PM.
This is the 1/2 bus size, so don't miss it thinking it should be somewhat larger. During holidays it fills up fast because it is smaller. .
Business Coming and Goings in Mahahual
Fernando's 100% Agave closes (again), but Fernando is at el Fuerte!
Fernando's restaurant history seems to always be changing. He is still around and working as the host at El Fuerte restaurant, on the Malecon, North of 40 Canones. You'll be pleased by the upscale ambiance, beautiful plates, and of course he still brings you tequila cocktails to drink and welcomes you like a long lost friend.
I have yet to try El Fuerte restaurant, but now that Semana Santa is over, I plan to go and take a leisurely lunch.
Another big change is that K@rlita's is now opening a small cafe on the malecon street level and focusing on desserts, coffees, pastries and delicious sandwiches and pizzas. If you didn't catch last newsletter, they are now located on the malecon, midway in the football field and on the street where the older woman with the beautiful mayan dress sells her fruit. This may be the first cafe on the malecon, so make sure and look for K@rlita's. During low season they will be closed
Veterinarian in Town
I don't know much information about her, but there is a new Veterinarian in Mahahual. You can email Monica at firstname.lastname@example.org, but I think it will be better to contact her through facebook, at " Veterinarian Mahahual"
Taormina opens in Aroma's location
Cafe Taormina opened in same location that used to be occupied by Aroma's. They specialize in Italian coffees, sandwiches, Botanas with a fairly large selection. Every time I pass by, it seems to be busy, so it appears that the same quality can be expected as the previous tenants.
Recycling with Ya'ax
Ya’ax Recycling is a private initiative working hard to get a recycling center off the ground. You can help by bringing in your recycled plastic. They can take aluminum cans, and plastic 1 and 2, which is a large part of the plastic on the beaches and in our kitchens. You can drop off plastic in the casitas on Calle Bacalar, 6 houses to the East of the main road. They also have a larger recycling center at km. 4 on the Xcalak Highway. Please support them.
French Pastry and Bakery
New French Pastry Bakery just opened on Calle Sierra between the Malecon and 2nd Street. That is North of the Soccer field for those who don't know where Calle Sierra is.
Aroma: Those of you who remember spending lazy mornings or lunches at Aromas may be saddened to hear that after 8 years, they have closed the corner location across from Baurudi's. At some point they might open another Aroma, but in the mean time Iris will be going to Germany with their son to get a better education and Stefan will be working at his former job as an Electrician.
ORO DE MONTE ALBAN is closing after several years of selling beautiful jewelry and interesting t-shirts on the Malecon. I guess Mahahual didn't provide the clientele to keep this quality shop open. or they were unable to communicate their wares. It will be sad to see them go.
Mayan Beach Garden - News from MBG
New Mosaic floors at Mayan Beach Garden
|Last summer we added two new exterior floor mosaics. One on the 2nd floor balcony rooms and the other in Beachfront King #2. This upcoming summer we will be adding a mosaic to the dining room floor and also rooms 2 and 3. Please stop by and see them!
Costa Maya Villas - A/C, Pool and hot-tub.
If you are coming to the Costa Maya and want to stay in comfort with A/C, Costa Maya Villa Condominiums are available for rent through Mayan Beach Garden Reservations. These luxury condos have A/C, granite countertops and both the best view and one of the largest pools and hot tub in Mahahual. Every Condo has a view of the caribbean and one of the deepest Turquoise colors in all of the Costa Maya. The photo below, REALLY looks like that!
See more pictures. . .
Queen Conch shows signs of Recovering
According to Sagarpa (Secretariat of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food) The sustainability measures formed between 2009 and 2013, have resulted in aa recovery of the density and abundance of the queen conch (Strombus gigas) in the producing areas of Quintana Roo. In November of 2012, a 5 year ban of all fishing of Queen Conch commenced.
Since 2011 the National Fisheries Institute (Inapesca) has performed studies and evaluations in the region of Banco Chinchorro. Based on the results of the study, it is now expected that the Conch could return to previous numbers.
Scientists sampled more than 29,000 square meters between 2012 and 2013, and found that the percentage of adult conch specimens maintained a constant size. however, the experts found an increase in the density of Juvenile conch specimens.
From the moment the queen conch larva settles, it takes about four to five years until it reaches 20 cm in size of the total length. In Quintana Roo annual catches of more than 300 tonnes of the queen conch have been reached in past years. The most recent study estimated a current quantity of only 210 total tons available. In 2012, however, when the ban started, they estimated only 186 tons were in existence. Hopefully this is a sign that the ban is working.
news around Mexico, Quintana Roo and the yucatan peninsula
The Price of Limónes
In March, Mexico was shocked when the price of limes shot up to $60 pesos a Kilo (equivalent to $2 a pound). Now you may pay that price in the US or Europe, but in Mexico that is considered robbery and it was a subject of great debate on television and radio talk shows.
The increase was explained as a 52 percent reduction of the domestic production of lime. One reason was the the plague known as Yellow Dragon Citrus and the other was the wet climate November and December, which resulted in flower rot and therefore less production. In addition, cold months in some of the northern states curtailed production.
Because this is Mexico, Limes became a hot commodity. In the state of Veracruz a semi truck loaded with 632 twenty five kilo (approx. 75 pound) boxes was hijacked. This mobilized three levels of law enforcement. After an intensive operation 127 boxes of the precious cargo were salvaged.
Prices have backed off a little to $48 pesos a kilo as of May 1st.
2 Billion pesos to be invested in Tourism in the SE part of the country
Mexican president Pino Nieto announced on Wednesday May 8, 2014 that
the SE part of the country comprised of Chiapas, Campeche, Quintana Roo and Yucatan will recieve an investment of 1.2 billion pesos in 180 projects to spark more tourist activity in the region.
Golden Princess Casino in the Free Zone Closes
Those of you who have slipped over into the Belizean Free Zone to Gamble have one fewer option as the oldest Casino closed on February 21st of this year. 130 employees lost their jobs.
According to Belize New 7, the Princess Group of Companies has decided to try its hand at a Casino in Chetumal. Mexican authorities are relaxing restrictions on gambling, so it opened up an opportunity for a new Princess Casino. Since most of the patrons are Mexicans from Chetumal, it would seem that the reasoning is sound.
The new Princess casino is reported to be going into the Hotel Arges Suite on the Avenida Lazaro Cardenas in Chetumal.
Cancun Celebrates It's 44th Anniversary
|Cancun turned 44 years old in and the entire city and its residents are celebrating big time! 44 years seems like little time, in comparison to the 300 or 400 years of other cities like Merida or Mexico City, nonetheless Cancun with its 26 kilometers of beach hotels is now an important economical city to the entire country of Mexico. It caused me to do some research and I found this photo from the 70s of a deserted Mexican beach that would someday be full of Hotels.
|When doing research into the History of Cancun, I found some amazing photos of the beach erosion during that past 40 years. This is just a taste of the photos from that site. This is a blog, so you must scroll through this page to find the photos. You will find photos of land building, clearing and before and after of many of the hotels in the area. Because Cancun is such a dominant presence in Quintana Roo, it is interesting to see the changes.
Cancun Facts (from Wikipedia):
* Founded in April 20, 1970
* Population: 628,306 (2010) and grew to
722,800 in 2014
* The first hotel actually built was the Playa Blanca, which is now Temptation Resort
* Hotel zone is fourteen miles (26 km) of beaches shaped like a number "7"
* There is one Mayan Ruin in the Hotel Zone of Cancun; El Rey with a nice museum and one to towards Punt Sam in the north called El Meco (which I had never heard of until I checked out Wikipedia's Cancun listing.)
Mexico to Turn on the Pumps
After years of declining output, Mexico’s energy industry looks like it will be turning a corner in 2014. Legislation was passed in December to end the monopoly by Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) and open the industry up to foreign investment. After the energy bill was ratified by a majority of Mexico’s states, it was signed by the president and it is reported that the first licenses for foreign energy companies will be issued in late 2014. Leftist groups are protesting, but this time, it looks like it will happen.
Paying Othon P. Blanco Property Taxes on Line (instructions)
I've mentioned this a few times in the newsletter about paying Taxes on line and have heard back from several sources who were successful. I've decided to leave this in the newsletter because so many people are interested in doing it. This will allow you to pay your own Costa Maya Property taxes from the anywhere in the world and save having to pay someone to do it for you - plus you have a digital copy of the payment. It is possible if you have not paid your 2014 taxes, that you can do so now using that link. NOTE: if you pay in December there is a 25% discount.
One thing is certain, make sure and disable pop-up blockers on whichever browser you are using. We've heard success from people using both Firefox and Google Chrome, but it may not work for you, so try another browser if you can't get it to work. The benefit to Google Chrome is that it has an auto-translate function that works on this site.
Instructions (thanks to your Costa Maya Neighbors Loyd & Barb Saenger):
Put in Catastral #: ours is 17 numbers long -- put in all 17 - then click on BUSCAR (search) for your tax for that property. You should see your property info (Owner name/type), and 2014 tax amount, etc. Click "Realizar Pago" (Make Payment). This is where you have to allow pop ups, and it will pop up a payment window to enter Visa/Mastercard info.
Site is secure - after I paid for our 1st property (we own 3) - B of A (my credit card) - put a hold on the account - called me within 2 minutes and asked about the transaction - after verifying information and telling them would have 2 more - they released the hold and was able to pay the other two properties without an issue. This is a very easy way for owners that are not in Mexico when the discounts are offered to pay their taxes.
Loyd & Barb Saenger
NEWS FROM XCALAK
XCALAK POLLY What's New in Xcalak
Just before Christmas the pueblo voted in a new Delgado. His name is Jorge (Vaquero) Castro. In his first week in office he organized the basurero (Land fill) which was an absolute disgrace. Bags and everything just thrown in and the animals ripping open the bags and the contents then going all over the road and up the verges for quite a way.
Very off putting for visitors and residents and very unhealthy.He put a fence around and padlocked the gate. He has a couple of people working there, and hours when you can drop off your basura. There is a price list list for dumping so it all pays for itself. Simple and clever.
Next he got a combined effort going, Mexicans and the rest of us that live in Xcalak and we have a road grader working on all the roads. This morning I drove and then walked the road South past the Cemetery which goes to Zaragoza, it was a treat, the holes were gone, it was more or less level. A great improvement which I am sure the Marines will appreciate.
When the road North is finished it will be amazing as we all continuously complain about driving "the road" as it is now.
He told me yesterday that we are having signal masts for Internet, hooray..........
Three days ago I was returning home after a very nice lunch with Michael Owen and Tina when I hit the deepest nastiest pothole on the whole road. My tire burst, I managed to keep the car on the road and to stop it. Eventually! A couple of tourists from Holland stopped to help and then Luis who owns Xcalak Agua Purificada stopped. They are angels all of them. Luis said if I could get 8 bags of cement he would get his guys in his truck to go and mend all the potholes. . . I asked one person, Paul Swenson, if he would help,expecting him to contribute a bag, he has bought the whole eight and Luis wanted to start getting the holes filled today, Sunday. Another Hooray.
Just heard it is being "fixed" right now.
What a difference a Delgado makes!!!! We are we again, not them and us!!!!! So nice when we all work together for the pueblo we love.
Viva Mexico ........
Xcalak Land Fill
Compiled by Karen Raffa
The New Delgado, Jorge Castro combined with the effort of the Xcalak community has successfully cleaned and organized the Municipal land fill and the future plans are to enclose the property with a gate and fence. The town Committee has decided to control the use of the land fill with new rules:
The dump will only be open Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 10am -4pm.
Price per trip will be paid upon entering the dump
Cars. . .$30 pesos
Pickups. . .$50 pesos
The town committee will penalize anyone who dumps on closed days or dumps in other places along the road.
This is part of the new Town organization, in order to have appropriate management of the waste and we appreciate your cooperation. Questions or answers please go to www.delegacionxcalak.com or email@example.com
Classified adds have moved to this link Classified Ads. If you have something you want included in the classifieds, please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Limit text to 100 words and pictures no larger than 600 pixels wide, but preferably 432, so that text can go side by side the photos. 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 a community service for sale by owners.
New this month is a boat with motor.
Looking for Articles
If anyone would like to submit articles to this newsletter that would be informational to others, please contact me at email@example.com.