Costa Maya (Majahual) Ship Schedule (reposting from last month because I've been asked where to find it)
You can find it at : Puerto Costa Maya Calendar
Mahahual meeting of Businesses 3/20/09
Dignitaries in attendance : president of the municipio, Secretary of Tourism for Quintana Roo, head of the restaurants for Chetumal, The Doctor - the director of Businesses for Costa Maya, President of the Costa Maya, President of the hotels for Chetumal, Representative for Semarnat, William Calderon (alcaldia for Mahahual) Director of Development over the Costa Maya and the Port Captain.
Head of the Municipio, Andrés Ruiz Morcillo (second from the right) had quite a few things to say:
- No massage tables on the beach mixing with the restaurants (not sure what that means exactly as no one representing the massage therapists was there to comment)
- Leash laws - reconfirmed the leash law. The animal control officers are serious about clearing the tourist area from stray and sick dogs. They can't afford to have a tourist bitten in this climate of poor economy. They will extend their vigilance up and down the beaches. Don't argue with them. They have a right to take any dog that is not fenced in or leashed and can come onto your property. If your dog has a tag they have to hold the dog for 72 hours before euthanizing them. With no tag, they can kill them immediately.
- He announced the near completion of the improved road from Cancun to Chetumal, including access to Mahahual and the Costa Maya
The secretary of Tourism (on the far right in the picture):
She stated that a new Ruin - Xcabal would be opening up soon. the ruin is West of the town of Bacalar about 35 km. No opening date for the open of the ruin was given, but the ruin is starting to get pre-press, mostly in relation to a road that is on the plans that will connect Dzibanche, Xcabal, Dzibanche, Kinich-Nah, Kohunlich. See below for more information about Xcabal.
She commented on how expensive Mahahual was - the taxis and some of the restaurants . Also the aggressive nature of some of the waiters and vendors is not a good image of Mahahual.
When I asked what the Tourist department was doing about combating the reports that Mexico was dangerous. She replied that it is a serious situation in the north of the country. The department is working on travel agencies that work with tourism. Regarding the opinions of US citizens: Promotions will be extended in the USA, Canada and Europe. They are going to be doing rebuttals to the news on CNN, Fox and creating promotions that QRoo and the Yucatan is safe. Tuesday the 24th of March, she is meeting with the police department to guarantee safety of tourists without fear.
Environmental and SEMARNAT issues
The Mayor of Mahahual announced several projects including the planting of mangroves to replace the dead mangroves on the west side of town. The representative from SEMARNAT talked more about this, but also about the need to get the federal zones. She said that there have been several federal zones purchased by people who do not own the land adjacent to the federal zone. She encouraged everyone to acquire the concessions for their federal zone to avoid problems. She put a plug in for her own services, but it requires the services of a biologist to purchase the rights to the federal zone. First an environmental impact study has to be done followed by a request to both the county and the federal government. It takes about a year to get your federal zone.
Every year, all of Mexico rushes to the beach for Semana Santa. Thanks to an aggressive advertising campaign, the Costa Maya is going to be crazier than ever. There is even a little "kiddy-fair" with rides for the kids in mahahual. It is located on the corner where you enter the casitas. The fair will be up for two weeks starting on April 5th.
Every room in Mahahual is booked. Things started getting crazy on the weekend of the 4th and 5th of April. When I went into town to buy sodas on monday, there wasn't any to be had and no Corona beer. We are stocking up now!!!!! During the days of Semana Santa and also on Cruise ship days, maps and promotional material will be given out to people in Mahahual. Of interest is a Map of Mahahual - both the beach and the casitas. You can see the map on the Mahahual section of Mayan Beach Garden web site.
Camping has always been the order of the day in Mahahual. Last year they tried to eliminate camping on the beach altogether and failed. This year there are lots of areas set up for camping legally along with bathrooms.
Painting classes in Mahahual
The following information was kindly provided by Marilyn Marshall who is attending the classes. During the week of Semana Santa, there will be no classes held.
Teacher's Name :
He is a professor at the University of Chetumal.
Turn down the road where the Kindergarten school is (light green building with red and white fence around the front patio). Travel nearly to the end of the street, it's a 2 story house with a large mural painted on the side... easy to see (left side of street).
Currently meeting on Fridays at 10:00 a.m. (he would like to teach Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays) depending on students.
He does not charge for classes, however, we have been paying him 50 pesos per class to help defer his expenses.
He supplies the paint free, brushes are 36 pesos, canvases are 100 pesos for 2 ft x 3 ft. mas o menos, framing depends on the type of frame you choose they run 30 - 50 pesos.
At the present time we are working with acrylics... not sure what else he has to offer..
Fransisco is intent on using recycling materials to create purses from chip bags etc... he would like to bring more culture and recycling into this area. He is only interested in adult classes at this time.
Merida - Mahahual direct ADO bus route
Great news, there is another direct bus route to Mahahual. You can now catch a bus from Merida to Mahahual. There are two buses a day running four days a week - Thursday - Sunday. This is great news, because many of the people that come here really HATE Cancun and Merida is great alternative. Furthermore, Merida is worth staying for a few days before coming here. I tried to pre-book a ticket on www.ticketbus.com.mx, but to no avail. As in all destinations that have to do with Mahahual, it is not on the list of origins or destinations. I've updated the ADO schedule on the Mayan Beach Garden ADO schedule page to show the new times.
Costa Maya mentioned in USA today
Many of you have already seen this article in USA today - here is a link to the article. It's a great review. Mahahual needs this kind of coverage! I would have loved to have included excerpts, but USA charges a fee to do so.
Spay and Neuter Clinic needs help
Due to lack of funds, the Mahahual Spay and Neuter Clinic has been cancelled. Polly of Xcalak and Ginny of Bacalar -along with Kevin Graham are organizing one for May... please contact me or one of the above if you can assist or for further information.
Mahahual School News and activities for children:
- Still waiting for the telmex internet service for the school.
- Sue Stapleton is looking for computer covers (in the U.S.) to donate to the school to protect their computers from the excess dust.
- John Schaeffer has offered to donate laptop computers to the schools. While they would gladly be received, John wanted everyone to know the implications of receiving them. Extra wiring has been installed and wired to the wall where the computers would be placed. The computers had to be put into a room that had security grates on the windows and doors (only one room has this). Chairs still need to be purchased for the students, tables need to be supplied... bookcases for the computer supplies, i.e. paper, cartridges, programs, etc. Eder had to install the spanish programs which we purchased. The Mahahualeans who are organizing this would like to prepare another room for a computer lab as well, but at this time it is most important that the room be secured first.
Children's Marathon activity
Date: April 25, 2009
Time: 10:00 a.m.
Place: Tequila Beach Club
Trophies and ribbons will be given out, there will be a clown, sodas (supplied by coca-cola and chips, balloons and candy.
Activities around Mahahual
Quintana Roo NEWS
- Spanish Classes:Sundays at 1 p.m. at Corona House! Starting again on April 19th.
- Circle of Faith Bible Studies:Corona House at 10 a.m. every Sunday
Ruins of Xcabal
At the meeting in Mahahual the opening of a new ruin of Xcabal was announced. We've been aware that there was a new ruin 30 km west of Bacalar towards Reform, but when we tried to find it we were faced with first muddy roads, secondly a fire and the last time we were told we couldn't go there without a permit. The permit hasn't really changed, but the fact that they are already announcing a new road to the Ruin is good news. The road will connect the ruins of Kohunlich, Dzibanche and Xcabal making a loop. This will enable tours to see all three ruins from bus tours. At this point, the state says that 22 of the 30 km of road are finished, but it may still be 2 years before the ruin is open to the public.
Xcabal is being compared to Calakmul and Tikal in terms of size and importance to the area with hundreds of structures and one very large temple. It is an old site, pre-dating the time of Christ. Xcabal was discovered in 1995 and excavated for the first time by INAH in 1995. The main temple is reported to be four times the size of Kukulkan in Chichen Itza. When this ruin is opened, the Southern Part of Quintana Roo will become the most important area for Mayan ruins in all of Mexico. The reason that the city was hidden for so long was that it was buried for centuries overgrown by dense jungle.
Promotions for Quintana Roo Sur
The name "Costa Maya" has been successful in bringing attention to the area, but now Chetumal wants to be included in the act. The new add campaigns now include all of Quintana Roo South in the Costa Maya, not just the coast line to Xcalak. This would include Bacalar too.
Space port to be built in Quintana Roo
Yes, this has been reported in the news. Last year, the Mexican National Congress approved the founding of a national space agency, Aexa. In March, they announced that a Space port will be built on the border of Quintana Roo and Belize. While it may seem incredulous that Mexico has a Space agency, in the years of 1958-1960 they had an agency that fired a few rockets. Unfortunately the program didn't go forward and scientists were forced to go to other countries.
The new agency Aexa only has a budget of 21 million pesos per year, hardly enough to build a space port. Because Mexico is taking tourism seriously , one of the goals is by 2030 to be sending Tourists into Space! They say they can do it for less money than the US because they will be closer to the equator, hence the location. I couldn't find where in Quintana Roo this might really happen. The image below is on a body of water, but geographically it doesn't really make sense unless it were in Chetumal bay which doesn't have any mountains around it. I'll keep looking. The image below is taken from the Spanish language blog on the subject http://volaralespacio.com/wordpress/?p=15#more-15
MAYAN BEACH GARDEN NEWS
MAYAN BEACH RESERVATIONS UPDATE!
Last month I introduced Taj Majahual and Casa Guerin. At the time I didn't have a web site ready for Casa Guerin, it is now listed. Also, if you didn't see last month's edition, you might want to take a look at Taj Majahual too.