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Costa Maya Newsletter > Archived Costa Maya Newsletters > Costa Maya-Mahahual June-2011 Newsletter

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*********** Costa Maya-Mahahual Newsletter-June 2011 **********

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

Editorial- News that's too Good to be True for Mahahual and the Costa Maya

Hi Costa Maya Neighbors,

Worldwide, most news reporting is irresponsible - but I'm convinced that Mexican news is completely over the top - as are Mexican politicians making overly optimistic statements. With that in mind, I thought I'd review the latest news that will surely end up impacting everyone who vacations or owns property on the Costa Maya. Some of the following may actually happen - there is a new tourism secretary and governor who have just taken office with lots of promises.

Marcia with Baracuda

TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE NEWS ITEM #1: You probably by now have heard about the ferry that is potentially planned to go from Tampa Florida to Progresso. On Friday June 5th, the new director of tourism for Quintana Roo announced that they are in talks to bring the Ferry to Mahahual. The planned ferry should carry up to 500 vehicles. This is a little incredulous because there are only about 300+ rooms in the Costa Maya.

TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE NEWS ITEM #2: Fast train from Cancun to Chetumal and perhaps Costa Maya, as some news reports have stated. This news was reported in both Yucatan and Quintana Roo newspapers. French investors plan to build an electric train that will go to the hotel zone and a light rail to the Riviera Maya. The state secretary of Tourism (SEDETUR), Juan Carlos González Hernández said the Governor's (Roberto Borge) plans are to make this a reality. I have a hard time believing private funding will bring it this far in the next few years without major growth occurring. More Info. . .

TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE NEWS ITEM #3: New Airport in Chetumal. Reading this, you must think I am kidding. Since the current airport cannot be expanded due to Eijido land, a new airport in Chetumal is being proposed. More information under Quintana Roo News. More Info. . .

TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE NEWS ITEM #4 Probably shouldn't even be in here, but yes, recycling is being attempted yet another time. This time it has a corporate sponsor - an unlikely pair - Diamonds International and plastic recycling. May not be a match you might normally think went together, but worth supporting. More info under Mahahual news.

TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE NEWS ITEM #5 - This rumor has been circulating for a while, but we heard it again at the meeting with the new secretary of tourism last week. When the new airport location was mentioned in Calderitas, they also mentioned the bridge from Chetumal to the Costa Maya as a justification for that location. I can't seem to find any recent information about the bridge, but will continue to research it

TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE NEWS ITEM #6 Bank coming to Mahahual. On June 3, the secretary of Tourism announced "talks" with a bank that plans to open in Mahahual. They didn't mention which bank or when it would happen, so I figure this one may happen (some day).

TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE NEWS ITEM #7 - (actually this one I believe) - It was announced in el Diario de Quintana Roo that land has been donated for a cemetery. I'm happy to hear this, there have been a few deaths in Mahahual with no where to bury them.

TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE NEWS ITEM #8 - (Believe this one!) Saving the best until last, Mayan Beach Garden will be hosting the 4th of July sans fireworks. We'll be preparing Cochinita Pibil on coconut rolls. Its free for everyone - and if you'd like, bring a side dish and BYOB. The Wrack bar will be open for those who forget with $10 peso beer. More info. . .

TOO GOOD (for some) TO BE TRUE NEWS ITEM #9 - I"m not of the opinion that anything that destroys mangroves is good and I think there might be other options, but a plan for a 3rd street bypassing the current cruise ship day traffic jams was announced last week for Mahahual. More info. . .

Life will go on in Mahahual whether or not these items actually occur. In the mean time, have a great Summer wherever you are and pray that the hurricanes veer far away from the Costa Maya and all of you!.

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

Sign up for up-to-date info at Costa Maya-Mahahual Live Blog with updates and current events


mahahual and Costa maya news

Current and Upcoming Mahahual events - Mark your calendar

  • Dorado de Plata - June 3, 4 & 5
  • Fund-Raiser for Green Team in the Casitas 15 JUNIO 2011
  • Jatsa' ja - 19, 29, 21 of August

President Calderon - secret visit to Mahahual?

It was rumored that President of the Republic, Felipe Calderón and his family enjoyed the weekend of June 3 in the Costa Maya, near the area known as "Rio Huach", coinciding with the international fishing tournament "El Dorado Plata, ". Indeed there was an unusual amount of troop activity, the presence of Federal and Presidential police.

Rumored to have joined him were Minister Juan N. Silva, president of the Supreme Court and Senator Manlio Fabio Beltrones Rivera, president of the Senate.

Calderon made an official visit to Mahahual in June of 2009 where the photo at the right was taken..

Felipe Calderon - Presiden to Mexico

Recycling Wednesdays

Maureen and Flor, who work for Diamond's International are heading up the Green Team that will now be accepting recyclable plastic on a regular weekly basis from 9 to 12 every Wednesday. They are asking for only plastic bottles and aluminum. These need to be separated into seoarate bags and brought to Las Casitas at Calle Chinchorro entre Paseo del Puerto y Calle Manglar. It is the second last building from the end - a dark blue two story building at the end of the same block as Mobius. Any profits will be used for garbage cans and development of more sophisticated recycling system.

They are kicking off the program with a Fiesta and fund raiser on 15 June, 2011 at 1:00 in the casitas. Bring your plastic with you. There will be music, food and drinks for sale.

Jatsa- ja' - 19, 20, 21 of August 2011

If you are looking for an excuse to visit Mahahual this summer - time it for the weekend of the 19, 20 and 21 of August. If you've never been to Jatsa' ja, you'll be delighted at how fun this festival is, especially the opening festivities. As soon as I have the schedule I'll be posting it, but one thing for certain- there will be a photography contest. We also hope to be accepting artwork as well, but only if we can get a place to safely display the artwork. In the meantime, look through your photos and get ready to submit the best ones. The past festivals have featured sporting events, art events and nightlife.


electricity along the beach road (Rio Indio - Placer)

The following information is specifically geared to the Rio Indio to Placer access, but is the method that all areas can use to get electricity in their area. Ted Garcia has already spent an extraordinary amount of time researching this project. IN addition to making life easier, we all know that getting electricity to our lots increases the value. If you want your property to be included in the effort, please contact me directly and I will give you Ted's email and phone number in the U.S. Note: Ted often travels internationally, so email is the best method.

"Dear Friends,

"For the past few weeks we have been working behind the scenes with CFE and other government agencies learning about what needs to be done to bring electricity to El Placer. We were all highly energized and motivated by the newly constructed 2 Km electrical line built by Mr. Luis Contreras beginning at the Rio Indio and ending at his property. Our goal is to have this same power line extended all the way to El Placer. Based on discussion with CFE, there is nothing stopping us from doing so if we follow the proper procedures and regulations. This has been a dream of many of us for a long time and while it will not be easy it is within our reach if we collaborate and work as a community.

Electrical Poles in Rio Indio

The purpose of this email is to establish preliminary contact with property owners in the Rio Indio-EL Placer segment of the Costa Maya to assess whether there is sufficient interest in this initiative.

At lot of preliminary work has been done with CFE's Maintenance and Planning Departments in Chetumal, as well as several local contractors interested in building the line (including the company that built Mr. Contreras's). Below is information outlining in detail the procedure that has to be followed to petition for building a *private* line. NOTE: this may ve of interest to everyone on the Costa Maya.

From studying this document and from multiple phone calls and one 1-1 meetings, it is evident that, while laborious and lengthy, extending the electrical lines to El Placer is *very much possible* and indeed within the procedural guidelines set forth by the CFE. I believe that the best option is to form a Property Owners Association (POA). The main purpose of this email is to find out who is interested and to give you a wide scope of what is involved.

If you are interested in forming a POA, please send me your contact information (email, phone for now) and location of your property.

You can read more about the details . . . .

Thank you. Ted Garcia

Bypass road and continuation of Malecon

On June 3, 2011, at a meeting of business owners in Mahahual, a proposal was announced that would add a two-way by-pass road through the mangroves. In addition, the 2nd phase of the malecon would be added, extending the malecon another kilometer. The 2nd phase of the malecon cannot be completed without the road, as currently the only way south is the beach road. The project also includes work on the area of the light-house, although the proposed plans met with some resistance. It sounded to me like it was a done deal and funded. Permits have not been acquired, however.

Mahahual development plant

Mayan Beach Garden - New at MBG

4th of July invite to all

Please accept our invitation to join us at MBG for the 4th of July Neighborhood get-together. We haven't had one at MBG since 2007 - shortly before Dean. Taj Majahual has done it the last couple of years, but this year it is back at MBG and we'll be co-hosting it with Taj Majahual. Mayan Beach Garden will be burying pork in the ground and serving it with fresh baked Coconut roles. We are hoping you will be our guests and spread the word to anyone who is in the area. There is no charge for the meal and everyone is invited. Bring a pot-luck side-dish, dessert or appetizer to go with the pork. BYOB, but for those who forget - The WRACK bar will be open and Bill will be serving $10 peso/$1 USD beer. We will be dining on the beach with the Mayan Beach Garden dining room acting as back up in case of bad weather.

Mayan Beach Garden closed most of June

Mayan Beach Garden will be closed from May 22-June 23. This is so we can add 2 second story beachfront rooms over our South Cabanas. These will have a better view and breeze during the warmer months and puts our beachfront room count up to 5. We've been limping along with 3 beachfront rooms since Dean and decided this was the time to do it. Right now it doesn't look too pretty, but the exterior should be finished by the end of june at which time we will reopen. During this time most of my staff are taking extra days off and the restaurant and Wrack bar is closed as well.

Nature sessions with Jim Conrad continue during MBG's construction period.

Jim will continue to do nature walks and study the flora and fauna during the time we are closed. You can also participate in Jim's nature meditation sessions as well. He will continue writing his newsletter from Placer and excerpts from the past couple of newsletters are included below.

A couple of people have consulted with Jim regarding native plants and trees that they can plant on their property. If you are in the area through October - you might want to take the opportunity to learn what is available.

Jim is also teaching Spanish at Mayan Beach Garden on Mondays and Thursday mornings at 11:00. We've been spending a lot of time learning verb forms lately. Everyone is welcome - the lessons are free, but Jim always appreciates a piece of fruit as a thank you.

Jim Conrad

Limitless Possibilities -
Men's 12 step retreat with Dan Griffin

When: Nov. 9-13
Where: Mayan Beach Garden
Who: Men with at least 3 years sobriety

Here’s some of what is included in every Limitless Possibilities Retreat:

  • ALL retreat materials
  • An awesome program with group activities, exercises and reflective personal time
  • Hotel stay at an exclusive resort in a gorgeous destination
  • Lodging, meals and tropical non-alcoholic drinks
  • Excursions and transportation
  • A one-hour massage
  • Any water gear (snorkeling, boogie boards, etc.) you might need
  • Transport to and from the airport
  • Everything but the airfare is included.

Man's way through the 12 steps

A Man's way through the 12 steps

A fresh interpretation of the healing process established by the Twelve Steps, with an eye toward the social, cultural, and psychological factors that affect men— and thus their recovery from addiction.
Learn More

GRiffin Enterprise
Dan Griffen

Dan Griffin, M.A.:

  • Sixteen years of experience in the mental health and addictions field
  • Expert in the area of social construction of masculinity in AA and in the culture at large
  • Recipient of the first fellowship offered for counselor training at Hazeldon
  • Eight years of drug court experience
  • Author of A Man's Way Through the Twelve Steps, the first book to speak directly to men's experience in recovery
  • Co-author of Helping Men Recover, the first gender-responsive and trauma-informed curriculum specifically for men

Spear Fishing Charter packages at Mayan Beach Garden

Spear fishing Costa Maya
More Info. . .


Those of you who may have wanted to learn how to spear fish with an expert - the time is now here. Mayan Beach Garden is partnering with Costa Maya Spear-fishing and Mike

Spear Fishing is the ultimate in sport fishing. The use of tanks for Spear fishing is illegal in Mexico, but free diving and snorkeling is completely legal. Mike has all the permits needed to take you either from shore or boat snorkel. With a few tips, you'll find you can stay down longer and even maybe spear fish.

Spear fishing is highly selective, uses no bait and has no by-catch Meaning no hurt turtles, Dolphins, Manatee, or other protected specie . With education and proper regulations, spear fishing can be the most ecologically sustainable form of fishing.

Costa Maya Villas New Pictures

Costa Maya Villas Condo Hotel has turned from beautiful to WOW, and when you come to Costa Maya, you will have to visit. My office is nearing completion (well sort of) - still need internet connection there to do business, but every time I go I see major improvements. This week it was landscaping and the addition of some of the tallest trees in Mahahual since Hurricane Dean. The pool deck is being poured and the parking lot graded, stairs getting finishing touches and Palapas nearing completion. .

Below are some new pictures.. Only two units remain unsold.

Costa Maya Villas Rooftop Hot tub
The roof-top hot tub is only missing tile - what a view!

Below, the pool and palapa is almost ready for party time.
costa Maya Villas pool

Costa Maya Villas and Cruise ship

For more information contact or Marcia at

The Agouti,
excerpt from www. (Authored by Jim Conrad)

On an average day at least once I see what's shown at the right.

That's a Central American Agouti, DASYPROCTA PUNCTATA, a rodent member of the mostly South American Agouti Family, the Dasyproctidae. The species is distributed from southern Mexico south through central South America.

The picture shows a small one about the size of a rabbit nosing around our compost heap, as usually it does early each morning. Adult agoutis are as big as small pigs and from a distance look just like pigs with rodent heads. Despite their rabbity manner of sitting they run like pigs, too, stiff-legged and fast, their bodies high off the ground, not hopping.
However, if you scare one by quietly biking up behind him on a calm morning, he can make an amazing leap with those rabbity back legs -- more than six feet from a standing position.


Agoutis bear five toes on their front feet and three on their hind feet. They walk on their toes, not flat- footed like many rodents. The tracks I've seen show only three toes on each foot.

Getting a good picture of an agouti has been hard because either they're grazing in morning light too dim for a sharp picture, or else in broad daylight they're zipping across roads too fast to get a camera ready. Judging from the daily collection of new prints in dust along the road, there are lots of them.

Agouti tracks

When I hear animals crashing through the underbrush as my bike glides by, I'll bet that most of noise is caused by agoutis. Agoutis are diurnal -- active during the day. Mostly they eat fallen fruit, and one way to find them in dense vegetation is by listening for their gnawing on hard seeds.

One thing I'd like to photograph is their courtship ritual in which the male sprays urine on the female, who then goes into a "frenzy dance," leading up to mating. Agouti young need about 487 days to reach maturity, which seems a long time for a rodent, and the average agouti life span is nearly 14 years, which also seems long for a rodent. is published weekly from Mayan Beach Garden in Placer. The information on the Agouti comes from the June 6, 2011 issue.

Quintana Roo news

Another Hotel opens close to the Cancun airport

As much as I love the Courtyard by Marriott, I've actually found them full once or twice. I'm glad to announce Comfort Inn as another option for those having early flights out of Cancun airport. I haven't been there yet, but on the map, it shows that it is closer to the airport than the Courtyard. Current prices are about $10 USD less than Courtyard.

Comfort Inn Cancun Aeropuerto (MX067)
Carr. Cancun/Aeropouerto M4 L577560 Cancun, Q. Roo, Mexico, Cancun, MX, 77560
Phone: (52) 998 272 5200
Fax: (52) 998 272 5201

Playa del Carmen Overpass bridges completed

I finally made the trip from Mahahual to Cancun and to my delight, the Playa del Carmen bridges that by pass the majority of the traffic have been completed. The view from the bridges as you sail past the city let you see how truly large Playa del Carmen has become. The city stretches far to the west.

Unfortunately, there is still quite a few lights that you will have to stop at, but the new bridges shave at least 15 minutes off the journey from Cancun to Mahahual. You can drive 80 km an hour on the new bridges.

Playa del Carmen Bridge

Tulum airport News

Unfortunately, it appears that the Tulum airport has met yet another snag. The SCT notified ASUR that the bidding process was declared void because none of the technical bids presented by the participants complied with the requirements established in the bidding documents. As a result, the economic proposals will not be opened and will be returned to the bidding participants. There was no mention of more time or another bidding opportunity. What does this mean? It is hard to say, but it appears to be dead - OR - it's in ASUR's court. .

New Airport in Chetumal is proposed

As reported in "El Diario de Quintana Roo"

Because the current Chetumal airport terminal cannot be enlarged as a result of conflicts with the Chetumal Ejido, in two weeks the municipio will propose a project to build a new airport in Chetumal. The mayor of Othon P. Blanco, Carlos Tenorio Mario Villanueva, said they are working on the final details of the project to be officially submitted to the State Government. The new proposal is a result of the fact that there is no agreement on the ownership of the land were the present airport is located. The State Government's intention is to connect the southern part of the state in order to realize their economic goals. The new airport's location is in Calderitas.

Fires in Mahahual, Costa Maya and Quintana Roo 2011 Continue

As one passes along the highways in Quintana Roo and the Costa Maya one can't avoid the smell of smoke. Furthermore - it not a rarity to see flames licking the sides of the highway without anyone watching the fire or seemingly to be aware of its existence. It's somewhat frightening. As of April 21st - over 2500 hectares have been affected - with Felipe Carrillo Puerto and Sian Ka'an Biosphere have been the worst affected. The good news is that it is that at the moment I am writing this, we've had the first measurable precipitation since early February.

Mahahual Fire damage
Charred remains along jungle road just north of Mahahual airport

Rumored Train from Cancun to Chetumal

On April 12, the state secretary of Tourism, Juan Carlos González Hernández , called on investors to look forward to the development of the municipalities of Bacalar and Othon P. Blanco as tourist destinations. In this regard , he indicated that there are plans to work in areas with potential, such as the historic center and recreation area in Bacalar and cruising areas and beaches in Mahahual. "With the federal Tourism Ministry " he said, "will develop some projects , such as the creation of a light rail route Cancun - Chetumal, new flights and connectivity to China , Russia and South America to increase the flow of visitors to the State." There was progress with promoters and travel agencies for the promotion of rural tourism and eco - archaeological tourism in the center and south of the state .

French investors plan to build an electric train, similar to that in Miami, which would connect the Cancun airport and end in the Hotel Zone. The project would create another train, which would run along the Riviera Maya (RM). The investment amount would range in the billions of pesos.

This could be two years in permitting.


I love you Xcalak


A couple of weeks ago I was driving, very slowly as the road is horrendous behind XTC and Hotel Flying Cloud, when a Great Kiskadee flew across the road immediately in front of me. Nothing strange about that, but SUPRISE, it had a writhing snake in it's beak.


The snake must have wriggled too much or struck the bird because it was dropped in the patch of grass by the road. I am not talking big snake, about a foot I think from the quick sighting as it dropped out of the sky. The Kiskadee then went from sitting in the fir tree immediately above where the snake was and hovering a foot or so above the grass looking for the snake. It didn't land to look, just hovered and peered down from the tree. While it was up the tree it raised it wings,' umbrella ish' in display showing the beautiful russet reddish colour and gave a loud cry. Within two, three minutes it was joined by another Kiskadee, it's mate I am presuming and they both did the looking, peering, hovering and the display with the wings and the cry.

Next, down flies a Mocking bird, landing on the edge of the grass, it too is looking and has puffed its self up to look important. I did momentarilary catch a glimps of the snake's head before it went back into hiding in the grass. So now there are two Kiskadees and a Mocking bird all looking for the snake, then up stomps a quite big iguana. It too wants in on this, I have never before felt sorry for a snake but that moment some people start walking down the road towards the "arena", the iguana runs back from where he came, the Mocking bird flies away and the Kiskadee's also depart.
I of course had no camera with me, I was only visiting a friend.
When I got back home I got straight on the computer to check this out, just one reference to Kiskadee's catching and killing snakes, that was from a naturalist who had been living in South America for thirty years and only ever seen it once. I consider myself lucky.

May/June Orchid
This is the time of year that the cowhorn orchids bloom. I have three blooming in my garden, the flowers are a lovely creamy colour with tinges of tangerine and a faint purple inside the throat of the flower. Elsewhere there are differing shades of colour, more orangey, even more purple but there are so many waving on their ten foot stems. I have just returned from a week in Belize, there they are everywhere but a much stronger colour orange. They grow on the trees and they are an absolute picture as you chug gently across the flats in Chetumal Bay, they are growing beside the ocean in whatever trees they can find to anchor on.
In my original Orchid reference book (Orchids of Belize) originally published in 1967 by Mr, Mrs Halcrow, they are named as Laelia Tibicinus (Schomburgkia T.) all the colours. I recently acquired a new reference book and find that they have been reclassified as Myrmecophila Tibicinus as they have a symbiotic association with ants.





Guest writer: Keith Turner - If a Butterfly flaps its wings

IF A BUTTERFLY FLAPS ITS WINGS in Thailand, they say it can cause a hurricane in the Caribbean. And though it would hard to find any empirical data that would support that statement, there must surely be a few nerdy dreamers out there in the world who would like to believe such a wild flight of fantasy (including me:))

I CHASED BUTTERFLIES all day long trying to get a good photo of these fluttering phenomenons in flight. Finally gave up after exhausting my little digital camera battery (and myself). The blue morphos is startlingly beautiful with its color originating from the refraction of light thru cyanide crystals in its wings. (poisonous) As its color is irridescent, the intensity of the blue changes from brightly intense to much softer hues as the viewing angle changes.
BLUE MORPHOS have a very irregular flight pattern due to having very large wings for their mass. And coupled with variable air currents under the total enclosure of the rainforest canopy, their flight is softly drifting and as magical as if choreographed by mischevious woodland fairies. Also totally unpredictable evidenced by the multiple scrapes and contusions I nurse every evening on my arms and legs inflicted during the chase by logs and thorny vines while in futile pursuit of these ephemeral little beings Blue Morphose
(rainforest trees have spikes on them specifically designed for impaling the dimwitted)
ROADKILL LEFT ON THE HIGHWAY is a good indicator of the general well being of the local population. In Belize, roadkill was most likely "whats for dinner". If you looked closely at the meat portion hidden amidst the rice and beans, identifying the bones became part of casual lunch conversation. They were either like nothing you had ever seen before or crushed by massive heavy trauma unlikely to have taken place at the slaughter house. Gibnut(Royal Jungle Rat) was especially popular and was served to the Queen upon her visit one time. (probably no coincidence Britain divested themselves of Belize soon thereafter)
CHASING DOWN FLORA AND FAUNA IN THE WILD is great fun until the hunter becomes the hunted. So I am keeping a eye out for velociraptors (you know, the scarily aggressive villainous meat eater dinosaurs of Jurrasic Park). Actually, I have seen their much smaller cousins with my own eyes......the "Jesus Lizards". They are everywhere. Running. Across the meadow, down the street, through the grocery store as absurdly supernaturally quick as your eyes can follow. The name follows from these little velociraptor sprinters running bipedal (upright on two legs) across a considerable expanse of water diving into the dense vegetation on their way to who knows where.
WHY DOES A CHICKEN CROSS THE ROAD? The short anwer is that they don't. Not sucessfully in this particular case. Pedaling furiously to arrive at Drakes Bay before the next deluge, I started seeing chicken feathers roadside a couple hundred yard prior to the shocking sight of the first roadkill chicken ever. Still lying in repose. It made you wonder what the world was coming to when people would rush for agouti, gibnut or even iguana roadkill.......but would leave a hen in its overwhelmingly tempting partially defeathered state on the highway undisturbed. Darn, maybe Costa Rica was way more economically prosperous than it seemed. A couple hundred yards later, incredulously I turned back to get a closer look. It was already gone, LOL.
Keith Turner


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.

House for Sale in Xcalak

This beautiful little house is perfect for someone wanting to open a restaurant as it is located in the center of town right on the beach. The home includes the federal zone a 16 x 24 meter lot and is owned by our dear Xcalak Polly.

The house comes furnished, is on the grid which means it includes water and power. Polly has always had internet via Satellite and the house includes satellite equipment.

i don't usually include this many photos when I do a free classified, but Polly has been so helpful writing her column that I couldn't help but let you all see what a beautiful home she lives in, even though all of us will be sad to see her go.










Side yard and entrance into back yard. By the way . . . the quad is SOLD.










Looking out over the bar into the large living room.









Bedroom with King size bed. Privacy wall separates dressing area and closet







Spacious front porch (large enough for outside restaurant style sitting) looks out onto the caribbean.

Email me directly for Polly's email address if you are interested.



Xcalak house

Looking for Articles

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

Electricity continued. . . .

"Here are some of the main facts we have learned from this preliminary process:

1) A single individual or group can apply for extending the lines and getting service. The application forms are part of the attached .pdf document.

2) The CFE will interact *only* with the applying representative (single person or designated representative of a group) who takes responsibility (technical, legal and financial) for the project.

3) Technical specs are required in the application forms (type of service as *private* or *commercial*, total amperage requested, voltage 110 or 220 etc.). One can request aerial or underground lines (this is clearly specified in the CFE document).

4) Phase 1. Estudio de Factibilitad. The CFE will study the application and within a month will let us know whether the project is feasible.

If not feasible we would be told how to modify it to make it feasible (for example perhaps underground lines are non-approved but aerial lines might be OK).

5) Phase 2. Estudio Tecnico. The CFE will conduct a technical study regarding the technical parameters of the project (allotted amps, size of cables, type of poles, etc).

The CFE will charge a fee for this Technical Study, whose amount depends on the *size of the project* (amps requested, cross section of cables, aerial or underground etc). We have no idea of what these fees might be, nor can we estimate a "benchmark".

6) Phase 3. Semarnat and CFE will require an environmental study (impacto ambiental) for either aerial or underground lines. Costs are variable from $5000-20,000 US according to whom you ask and who is asking.

7) Phase 4. The applicant will choose a contractor from a list of CFE pre-approved contractors.

8) Phase 5. The contractor will build the line following *strictly* the terms of the CFE *Estudio Tecnico*. The applicant will bear the construction costs to be paid to the contractor. During construction, the CFE will maintain an inspector on site making sure that the construction conforms to the CFE *Estudio Tecnico*. The cost of the inspector are born by the applicant. We do not know their entity.

*NOTE* The CFE permits the applicant to choose the CFE itself as a contractor. This removes the *inspector* and the related charges. If so, however, the entire cost of the project is charged upfront and the process is slower (source: Ing. Canto, jefe de Planeacion CFE Chetumal).

9) Phase 6. When the line is completed, it is inspected by the CFE and approved after possible corrections, if any.

10) Phase 7. At this moment *each individual along the line* can apply for service and sign a service contract with the CFE.

Applicants will pay for their own transformer (which could be shared by 2-3 people/homes). This is pretty much standard and similar to the contract we all have with our utility company back home.

11) While paid for by the individual or group, the line is technically *property of the CFE*. As such the CFE will maintain it, and it will grant permission, by the same procedure, to extend it further to other users/applicants, if requested. In particular the line to Mr. Contreras belongs to the CFE and we *do not* need to ask permission to anyone other than the CFE to extend it (source: Ing. Canto jefe de planeacion CFE Chetumal)


In a phone interview with an Engineer at Empresa Roma (the company that built Contrera's line), he indicated that the cost in Rio Indio was about $60,000 pesos per Km. This has not been verified but at least is a starting reference point regarding potential costs. We have heard informally that we can do better than this, but we have also heard that it could be up to 10,000 USD per KM. Note that these estimates are for above ground lines (underground can be considerably more expensive).

There are 11.5 Km from the Contreras line to the Placer cut. There are at least 20 homes on that stretch, (not including bare lots) so the cost per property could be very reasonable if most people participate.


It is unlikely that a single individual will either:=

(i) take legal and financial responsibility for a group of more than 20 owners or

(ii) pay alone for the cost to bring electricity to his/her property.

Because of this we feel that a possible way to proceed would be to form a Property Owners Association (POA) and applying to the CFE as such.

The POA might have benefits of its own (security to the area, road maintenance, possible common hurricane insurance, beach cleaning, support mechanism in case of a natural disaster, etc)


This e-mail is intended to explore whether there is sufficient interest among the property owners in the Rio Indio-Placer corridor to follow this path.


In the interest of *clarity/disclosure/transparencia*, we all should be aware that forming an association (POA or otherwise), has its own legal steps including but not limited to:

  • -) registration with a Notario Publico and related fees
  • -) deciding on a *governance* (procedures to elect a president, a vice-president, a secretary and a supervising Board, as well as their functions and the extent of their latitudes.)
  • -) collecting and depositing fees in a properly established bank account, to pay for the procedures with the CFE, Semarnat, Contractor etc.
  • -) monitoring the proper use of funds
  • -) making sure that *ALL* contribute, to avoid that just a few will pay and the others will rip the benefits


1) Limited-Goal-Association:

If a POA appears *too committal* a group could be formed with the *SOLE POURPOSE OF BRINGING ELECTRICITY to El Placer* and to be dissolved after that goal is reached. This however will not avoid the legal steps outlined above. Most of all, and in all cases, we need an *ENFORCEABLE MECHANISM* by which all the associated individuals contribute to the costs of the initiative.

2) A good-hearted-individual (perhaps too risky for one single person) who will take responsibility (legal, financial etc) for the entire group, to interact with the CFE, not relying on any common *enforceable* structure.

Suggestions, comments and information on how to achieve these goals are very much appreciated."

Contact Marcia at for Ted's email and phone number.


Mayan Beach Garden Resort