|Costa Maya Newsletter> Archived
Costa Maya Newsletters > December, 2009 -
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
You can now read up to the minute Mahahual happenings at http://costamayablog.mahahuallive.com/
*******************Costa Maya Newsletter*******************
December / Diciembre 2009
The sun is shining and the palm trees are swaying in the breeze but I did NOT find myself wishing for a white Christmas. I love this weather and I love Mexico. I want to wish all of you Feliz Navidad (belated) and próspero año nuevo and hope to see you some time in 2010 .
May God bless all of you and all of your loved ones and may this year bring a lot more prosperity than we have seen in the past few years (Mahahual and Mayan Beach Garden included!)!
This month's email is short and sweet - I'll be sending more information after the first of the year. In the mean time, there's a great new years tradition that is worth copying. In every home on New Year's Eve, families and friends take grapes and at midnight they make 12 wishes - one per month. They eat a grape for every month - if the grape is sweet - the wish comes true.
May all your grapes be sweet! May God bless all of you and all of your loved ones and may this year bring a lot more prosperity than we have seen in the past few years (Mahahual and Mayan Beach Garden included!)!
Past newsletters can be found at NEWSLETTER ARCHIVES
mahahual and Costa maya news
Promotional video of the Costa Maya
Check out this promotional video of the Costa Maya. Note how the entire Costa Maya now includes Chetumal, Bacalar and all points in the South part of Quintana Roo. Its in Spanish, but worth a look. http://www.grandcostamaya.com/cgi-bin/arts.cgi?news=50&lang=SP
Bus Schedule link
The Bus Schedule is not more or less back to normal. I can't verify the accuracy of this link, but it is heartening to see Mahahual represented in this bus schedule. Thanks Kurt Meier for sending it along. http://thebusschedule.com/mx
Lapis store now open in Mahahual
If you are looking for high end jewelry in Mahahual, you now can find it at Lapis, which just opened. It is located right outside the port security gate. Lapis began as a small store in a corner of the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul in 1974 and has become today a worldwide renowned brand,with factories in Italy, Spain, The Czech Republic and Turkey.
In 2001 they opened their first store in the Mexican Caribbean at Puerto Aventuras - you might have seen it on 307 during some of your travels to the Costa Maya. Lapis in Mexico has stores in five destinations: Puerto Aventuras, Cancun, Tulum, Cozumel and Mahahual.
The grading of the Rio-Indio to Placer beach road is progressing. They have graded all of it and filled about 50% of the road. When it is finished, until the potholes return - heading south without going around to the Placer access might be almost as fast. If you have never driven the entire loop - make sure you do it on your next visit. It is a beautiful drive.
The highway improvement from Tulum to Cafetal Junction is also nearing completion. The drive is now much safer and quicker. Going through Playa del Carmen, however is worse than ever. They are building bridges to bypass the major intersections and get you through Playa more quickly - but I don't expect any of them to be open for a while.
No clinic in Mahahual . . . But. . .
|At this point in time, despite lots of angst on the part of many (especially Xcalak Polly) Mahahual and Xcalak may not have a spay and neuter clinic this year. However, anyone in Mahahual and Xcalak are welcome to bring their dogs and cats to Bacalar if they would like! The VIDAS Bacalar clinic will be Jan 8-17th (with a day off in the middle - wed, Jan 13th).
lost Passport - what to do
We had an incident with one of our guests that brought to light something that could happen to all of us, and that is the possibility of loosing your passport. Misinformation about what to do is rampant.
One of our guests had her purse stolen (by the way - ALWAYS LOCK YOUR CAR DOORS!) and was left without any ID, passport or any tangible information to prove who she was.
The US consulate has a method to take care of "stranded Americans" as they call this situation. But she could have circumnavigated a lot of the bother by having a copy of her passport in her suitcase or other location. In order to get her a temporary passport, she had to go to the police and file a report. My guests opted to go to Merida instead of the Cancun embassy, having a fun side trip in the Colonial capital of Yucatan. It took them several hours to take care of the ID issue before they could get a new passport.
Because they had no ID, they had to find someone in the US to fax a copy of their birth certificate to the US Consulate and any other ID that might prove who they were. Their friend had an expired driver's license which proved useful. When they left the country, the police report saved her the $50 USD fee for having lost her tourist visa (the little paper they tell you not to loose when you enter Mexico) at the time of departure.
Following is the statement on the US embassy page on lost passports.
The Embassy encourages you to report the loss or theft of your passport to local authorities, and to obtain a police report.
Obtaining a replacement passport is a two-step process. First, you must report the loss or theft of your valid passport immediately to the nearest U.S. Passport Office or U.S. Embassy or Consulate using form DS-64 "Statement Regarding A Lost Or Stolen Passport."
The second step is to apply for a replacement passport.
More information is available at http://travel.state.gov/travel/lost_passports_abroad.html.
In the event that your passport is lost or stolen while in Mexico please come in person to the Passport & Citizenship Unit (Working Hours). No appointment is required to replace a lost/stolen passport if you have need to travel soon. Depending on your personal circumstances, the Passport office will process your application for a new full-validity or emergency (limited-validity) passport. Application requirements, including fees, for emergency passports are the same as those for full-validity passports.
You will need proof of citizenship (an original or certified copy of a U.S. birth certificate, Consular Report of Birth Abroad, or a Naturalization certificate) and a photo ID, such as a driver's license or school ID. The cost of the passport is $100 USD for adults and $ 85 USD for minors under age 16.
The Passport & Citizenship Office will only issue emergency passports that are needed for urgent travel. Applicants requesting an emergency passport will be required to provide proof of immediate travel plans such as a valid itinerary or airline tickets, as well as an explanation for why the travel plans cannot be changed to allow sufficient time for the processing of a full-validity passport (usually about two weeks). In most cases, same-day issuance is possible for emergency passports. However, some cases require approval from the Department of State prior to issuance.
Those of you who love the Mayan Culture might be interested in the following information about Mayan culture. Scheduled to open in Dec. lf 2010, the newly excavated ruin of Dzibanche will be one of the largest cities in Mayan-dom. Rivaling that of Chichen Itza and Calakmul. Ichkabal should be of interest to those living in the costa Maya as a visit there is only 2 hours from Mahahual. The site's most impressive temple is one of the tallest, standing at 48 meters or 150 feet.
MayAN BEACH GARDEN NEWS
If you are going to be in the area, don't forget to check out our menus on-line. We are open to special requests, so if you have a special event and want to try out a specific dish - email us a few days in advance and well make a change in the menu. Reservations are always a good idea!
If you've ever spent time at Mayan Beach Garden, you have experienced Lupe's cooking. Now Lupe is teaching classes on Mexican and Yucatecan cooking. You don't have to be a guest at Mayan Beach garden to sign up for the classes, which are taught only on weekdays. Learn how to make all those Mexican dishes the way the Mexican's do. Lupe doesn't speak any English, but she does a good job of understanding bad Spanish! Plus I'm around to translate. You can check out the different cooking classes at http://www.mayanbeachgarden.com/activies_cooking.html
Cool kayak for fisherman available at MBG
If you didn't see this last month, I'm repeating since it was a slow month last month. We are really excited about these new kayaks that Jeff Kean has let us try out. Here is some of the marketing material he has created for us:
"MBG has just recently introduced the first Freedom Hawk Kayak to this area. Without a doubt these are the finest flats fishing / lagoon fishing kayaks on the market. Enjoy be able to position yourself to stand up and present the perfect cast to unsuspecting fish. *Freedom Hawk Kayaks are reserved on a first come first served basis."
Jeff tried the Kayak out yesterday and gave us some tips on fishing. He said it is perfect for the lagoons out back because it is so silent and doesn't spook the fish and the fact that you can stand up in these allows you to not only see the fish better but stand to cast. You can try one out and rent it for a day, or If you want to purchase one of the Kayaks, we can "make it happen" according to Jeff.
Eggs - Refrigerate or Not?
If you have entered any market in Mexico - including Chedraui and other large supermarkets, you will probably notice they don't refrigerate their eggs. Ever notice they don’t refrigerate eggs in some European countries as well? You walk through the market, and the eggs are just out in the open. Why don’t they refrigerate them? They don’t need to, because the eggs aren’t washed before heading to market. There is a protective coating around eggs when they are hatched from the womb of the chicken. It's called "bloom." In the last portion of the chicken’s oviduct, a thin protein coating called “bloom” is applied to the shell and it keeps harmful bacteria or dust from entering the egg shell pores. Once the bloom is washed off - air and bacteria can enter the egg.
So why is this valuable bloom washed off the eggs, necessitating refrigeration? Well, it sometime contains portions of excrement or other discolorations. It’s perfectly harmless (these particles are coated in bloom too), but unappetizing to American shoppers. You can wash the eggs off just before you break them, if you want.
How can you tell an egg is fresh? Smell is one way. The other way is to put it in water - if it floats - it isn't as fresh as if it doesn't float. The reason is that air enters through the egg shell drying out the egg. It leaves that little pocket of air you find at the small end of eggs that you find in eggs that have been refrigerated for a long period of time. A fresh egg doesn't have that little pocket of air.
We like the flavor of unrefrigerated eggs - they taste better. Here at Mayan Beach Garden, we buy directly from the egg suppliers and keep our eggs out on the counter. I don't think we've ever kept eggs longer than two weeks because we go through them. You should be able to keep them safely outside the fridge for up to 3 weeks if they still have the "bloom" on them. Here in Mexico you can buy 3 eggs if you want and use them that day. If you are going to store them longer than 3 weeks or they are already failing the float test - you should consider refrigeration.
If you are looking for fresh farm eggs with no antibiotics, The little tienda at KM 5 E of Cafetal junction has wonderful fresh brown eggs - often laid that day. Many people who don't normally like eggs find that fresh eggs (like anything in the food world) taste delicious to them.
New Homes for Rent
Mayan Beach Garden is proud to introduce two new homes. Both homes should be available for February Rentals - the hardest time to find homes for rent. Both homes are nearing completion and the owners will be "test-driving" them in the next month. Contact me for more information email@example.com.
Casa Azucar - Casa Azucar is located about mid way between Rio Indio and Placer. Those of you who know where Lynn and Jerry Zimpleman's home is will know the location as it is next door. The home has 4 bedrooms and can sleep up to 10 comfortably. It is something that has been needed in the area - an affordable home for large groups. This is located on a great beach.
Palmas dos Cientas - This is the first home to be available for rent in Sapphire Beach. Those of you know how nice Placer beach is will be even more impressed by Sapphire beach. Sapphire is 2 km north of Mayan Beach Garden. This luxury home has a unique moorish design and huge wrap-around porch making it stand out from any other home in the area. Plus arguably, it will have the most comfortable mattresses on the Costa Maya.
Watch the Mayan Beach Garden web site for web pages on these two homes or contact me for more information.
Palmas Doscientas large deck
Costa Maya Villas
If you are going to be in the area, make sure and visit the construction site of Costa Maya Villas. The project will be ready for rentals Winter 2010 and the goal is to have one of the first floor units available as a model to look at in the next couple of months. They have now roughed in the second floor and you won't believe the great view from every unit. You can check out the progress of the Condos on the Mayan Paradise Properties web site.
If you don't know where they are located, you can reach them by turn left at the light house - driving north on the road that parallels the beach at the lighthouse. They are being developed by Mayan Paradise Properties Inc. After Dean, the project was temporarily on hold waiting for environmental and zoning changes. Although construction has begun there are still units available at pre-construction prices. Financing is available.
|NEWS FROM XCALAK
Sorry there were no photo's last month, I have Vista, I really don't know what happened apart from lots and lots of updates but I just couldn't attach my photo's. More updates and low and behold, photo's now attach.
To the left is the croc photo from last months news! Leigh Daykin took this photo.
This is a young Ceiba tree, Yaxche, sacred tree of the Maya. It has mean spikes/thorns on the trunk.
'This magnificent tree, one of the largest in the Central American Rainforest, is a very straight light gray barked tree with a unique flat top crown. Its huge buttressed roots provide shelter for bats, and the transition from the underworld to the "middle ground" and then to the heavens. The "middle ground" is populated by huge anteaters that claw into the large termite nests in the branches. The crown is very special indeed. The branches radiate out almost horizontally, forming a perfect roost site above the canopy for the magnificent Harpie Eagle, the largest eagle. It is the Mayan symbol for God of the Heavens, as the bat is their symbol for God of the Underworld'. It grows straight, and very tall, the link between heaven and earth.
Guiberto with a Ceiba in the background, he spoke of this tree with reverence.
I can't wait for the Pitaya to be ready!
(NOTE from Marcia) The yellow flower will become a delicious fruit called Pitaya. This seasonal fruit is only available in summer months.
||We have a new Mini Super in Xcalak, location, just before you get into town. For those of you who know, opposite Gabi's house.
It's called Mini Super Javi, painted a beautiful lavender and mint green. The best thing, ........ it has "STUFF" and you walk around and pick up goods and put in a basket, YES really, then go to the till and pay. Everything is priced. They have cool cabinets with cheese, milk, even some fruit and vegetables.
||In the middle of the pueblo, on the "main" road a lot with an old wooden house has been sold. The house has been renovated, new wood where needed, a new porch, roof, and a coat of turquoise paint and it looks great.
||At the other end of the lot they built this beautiful little Belizean stilt house.
||Captain Victor has almost finished his new house, location, next to his old house. His children are mostly grown and gone so this is a smaller version, built up on stilts to catch the breeze.
||We have regular visitors from Canada, Snowbirds, it's great when they are here, they give so much to the Pueblo and especially the children. Look at all the lights they brought down this year to decorate the house with. All the children love it, so do I.
||This week the Kinder school children have been traveling to the hotels and houses to sing carols. They are collecting money for their Christmas presents from school. I am not sure if they get them at Christmas or on the Day of the Kings. The old traditions are melding with the new, who can blame them, two lots of presents!
I walked down to listen, it was charming to hear jingle bells in Spanish.
Happy Christmas and I wish you everything you wish yourselves for the New Year ahead.
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
Unless otherwise stated, all content is copyrighted by MMB Contractors
Until next month,
Best wishes from your neighbor,
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