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Costa Maya Newsletter> Archived Costa Maya Newsletters > August, 2010 -
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 and Facebook

*******************Costa Maya Newsletter*******************
August 4th / Agosto 2010

Hi Costa Maya Neighbors-

The big news for August is the 3rd annual Festival of Jats'a-ja - coming the weekend of August 13, 14, and 15th. According to a collaboration of my Mayan friends and after discussing at length - they all agree that Jats'a-ja means the rain that comes into a house after it rains. The translations on-line seem to concur. I think I now know what that means. Here in the tropics - when it rains very hard, there is this mist that rolls into open windows and lands lightly on everything - perhaps that is what it is (only it comes in DURING the rain). Regardless, while its a strange name for a festival, the tourist department of SEDATUR thought it would be a good name to celebrate the rebirth of Mahahual after Hurricane Dean.

Marcia with Baracuda

Three years has passed since Hurricane Dean - and many things look completely different. The anniversary made me look at some pictures and thought I'd put up a "then" and "now" picture looking back into the mangroves from the roof of MBG and in reverse- looking from the little building in the back..

entrance to Mayan Beach Garden after dean Three years after Dean

Other historical pictures will be on display at the Photography Exhibition on the 14th and 15th. Even if you cannot attend, you still have time to enter the photography contest. There is no fee to enter, you can email digital copies of photos to Winners will receive free stays at hotels and homes such as Mayan Beach Garden and Casita Dragonfly and will also be included in a calendar whose sales will go to promote next year's festival. . We are still looking for sponsors if you are interested in helping out. More information on the full program of festivities is included in the on-line version of the newsletter below. Please consider sending in something for the competition and be part of the Costa Maya/Mahahual community. The deadline is Aug. 11th 8:00 AM Central.

The photography exhibition is only one of the activities that will be part of Jats'a-ja. If you are anywhere near Mahahual, please make a trip to Mahahual and experience Jats'a-ja in person. My favorite activity is the ceremony of the boats and Mayan Blessing on the seas and on Mahahual. Those events occur at dusk on the 13th.

Also, if you find yourself in the area and would like to get a tour of Costa Maya Villas- email me. I'll be in town frequently. Jats'a-ja schedule .

Your Costa Maya Neighbor - Marcia Bales, writing this from Placer - 20 km north of Mahahual.

Past newsletters can be found at NEWSLETTER ARCHIVES

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Festival of Jats'a-ja Aug 13, 14, 15 Schedule of events

English Espanol

Friday 13 of August 2010

OPENING SPEACH OF THE FESTIVAL at 5:30 pm by president of the Municipal of Othon P Blanco, Andres Ruiz Morcillo

The exact route is to be determined, but will start in front of the office of the Port Captain where the offerings to the gods will be prepared by Mayan shaman from Tihosuco, Q. Roo. All participants are asked to wear white in reverence to the ceremony.

Mayan Ritual where prayers are offered to Mother Earth asking that the hurricanes and storms stay away from Mahahual and asking the blessings on the boats. Please wear white to the ceremony in reverence to the occasion.

Preparing ceremony

FIREWORKS at end of ceremony marking the start of the Festival of Jats'a-ja'

DISCO 10:30 PM at Tequila Beach with live band and show

SATURDAY Aug. 14, 2010

The theme of the exhibit and contest is nature and an emphasis on the environment. Categories: Water, Land and Air/Sky . Both visitors and locals are invited to participate. Pictures must be entered as digital and will be reproduced as 5x7. Prizes will be awarded for the best photographs.
Duration: 2 days -Contact Daniel Rosas 9831341570 or Marcia Bales to enter - info@mayanbeachgarden

LION HUNT SAFARI 9:00 AM- 1:00 PM at Plaza Martillo, in front of Marlin Tours.

All lion fish that are captured will be used in the lionfish culinary contest. As part of the contest, participants will learn how to prepare the fish safely. Restaurants will participate in an exhibition to show how lionfish can be prepared deliciously.
For more information contact Julie Minter 9831307315 Blue Ocean / Yolanda Ross 9831034739 Tortuga Azul / Gonzalo Ruiz 9831206070 Marlintours

RECYCLE WORKSHOP 9:00am - 1:00 pm in front of National Beach club.
This will include demonstration on Glass cutting, creating recycled paper, making bags, compost, frames for mirrors- all out of throw-away's.
For information contact Ana Antillanca 9831105354 National Beach

This contest if for Children. Using items from the beach or around their homes, they must make some type of art or useful recycled item. The best three items will receive prizes.
For information contact Ana Antillanca 9831105354 National Beach

Traditional dishes from restaurants of the Costa Maya.
To participate contact Adriana Cordero 9831239237 Rest Paraiso

Live band from Chetumal, stage & show - free

Sunday August 15, 2010
SUNDAY MARKET - STARTING AT 7:00 am Location: in the field next to the clinic

Race starts in front of the Port Captian's circle and ends at the fishermen's pier. Participants are individual or teams of 2.
For more information contact Ernesto Parra 9831020477

BEACH VOLLEY BALL TOURNAMENT begins at 10:00 AM in front of the public beach at the light house. 2 or 3 persons per team.
For more information contac Caty Barrera 9831258830

SAND SCULPTURE CONTEST BEGINS AT 10:00 AM ON THE BEACH between Tequila beach and the lighthouse. Begins at 8:30 AM

EXPOSITION OF CRAFTS FROM THE RECYCLE WORKSHOP 3:00 pm. in front of the port captain.

MASS OF THANKSGIVING 4:00 pm at the village church by the soccer field

CLOSING CEREMONY 5:00 in front of the port captain - Plaza Martillo

Viernes 13 de Agosto del 2010

INAUGURACIÓN 17:30 horas. Plaza Martillo
Presidida por el Ing. Andrés Ruiz Morcillo, Presidente Municipal de Othón P. Blanco.

PROCESION NÁUTICA 19:00 horas. Plaza Martillo
Paseo por el canal de navegación, partiendo de Capitanía de Puerto hasta el final del fundo legal. Las embarcaciones serán decoradas por los participantes quienes llevarán a bordo a los visitantes que deseen acompañarnos. En el trayecto, se lanzarán al mar las ofrendas florales que previamente se distribuirán en cada embarcación.
Desembarcarán frente a Capitanía de Puerto, donde estará preparado el altar para la Ceremonia Maya. Se solicita a los participantes vestir de blanco.
CEREMONIA MAYA 20:30 hs aprox. Plaza Martillo
Ritual Maya ofrecido por sacerdotes provenientes de Tihosuco, Q. Roo que consiste en una oración a la madre Tierra, solicitando su clemencia hacia sus pobladores con el fin de mantener los huracanes y malos tiempos lejos del lugar y bendecir estas tierras.

JUEGOS PIROTÉCNICOS Al término de la Ceremonia
Lanzamiento de fuegos artificiales que marcan el inicio del Festival del Jats'a Já

Tradicional baile disco en el Tequila Beach

Sábado 14 de Agosto del 2010

El tema de la exposición y el concurso es la naturaleza y la protección al medio ambiente. El concurso existen 3 categorías: Agua, Tierra y Aire. Podrán participar locales y visitantes. La medida de la fotografía deberá ser
impresa en media carta. se premiarán las mejores fotografías.
Duración aproximada: 2 días
Mayores informes con Daniel Rosas 9831341570 / Riccardo Trombetti 9831166919 Kabah-na / Marcia Bales Mayan Beach Garden

SAFARI DE PEZ LEON 9:00 – 13 h Plaza Martillo, frente a Marlintours
Captura de pez León cuyas presas se utilizarán en la muestra gastronómica. Se distribuirán previamente volantes informativos acerca de la limpieza y preparación del pescado. El fin de este torneo es iniciar a comercializar esta especie para motivar su pesca y de esta manera erradicarla ya que pone en peligro las demás especies marinas.
Mayores informes con Julie Minter 9831307315 Blue Ocean / Yolanda Ross 9831034739 Tortuga Azul / Gonzalo Ruiz 9831206070 Marlintours

TALLER DE RECICLAJE 9:00- 13:00 frente al National Beach Club.
Corte de vidrio, realización de papel reciclado, bolsas para mandado, composta, marcos para espejos.
Mayores informes con Ana Antillanca 9831105354 National Beach

Las manualidades deberán ser hechas por los niños participantes utilizando residuos de casa o encontrados en las playas y llevarán un mensaje. Se premiarán los 3 mejores trabajos.
Mayores informes con Ana Antillanca 9831105354 National Beach

Además de los platos tradicionales.
Mayores informes con Adriana Cordero 9831239237 Rest Paraiso

Baile popular con grupo en vivo

Domingo 15 de Agosto del 2010
DOMINGO DE MERCADO a partir de las 7:00. Al lado del Centro de Salud
Mayores informes con Reylan Alcaldía Mahahual

Actividad deportiva, que consiste en un giro, saliendo frente a Capitanía de Puerto hacia el muelle de pescadores, girando al faro y tornando a la capitanía de Puerto. Se puede participar de manera individual o en equipos de 2
Mayores informes con Ernesto Parra 9831020477

TORNEO DE BEACH VOLLEY 10:00 hs En las playas públicas del Faro
frente al Sak-Ha
Se permitirán 2 o 3 participantes por equipo.
Mayores informes con Caty Barrera 9831258830

CONCURSO DE FIGURAS DE ARENA 10:00 hs en la playa de Blue Bay.
Inscripciones desde las 8:30 am
Mayores informes con Julie Minter 9831307315 Blue Ocean

Frente a Capitanía de Puerto. Plaza Martillo

En la iglesia del poblado

CLAUSURA Y PREMIACIÓN 17:00 hs Plaza Martillo

John Dahlsen making art from Beach trash

Some times I get overwhelmed with the thought that the plastic I am picking up is going to go into a landfill and sit there for a million years, so I wondered if there was someone out there making art with Plastic and if I could get inspired by it. Sure enough - John Dahlsen is making both art and statements about the plastic. He is a very good marketer of his work and prolific as well. I've put a few of his pieces below, but you can see a complete portfolio of his work and theories on his website -

Look for Recycled trash to be a category next year in Jats'a-ja.

plastic bag art

<<Plastic bags

Many Thongs


<<<Plastic straws



The following quote is from writings on his web site:

"The unabated dumping of thousands of tonnes of plastics has been expressed in my assemblages, installations, totems, digital prints and public artworks. And yet, despite my outrage at this environmental vandalism, I returned to the beach daily to find more pieces for my artist's palette. "

John finds most of his garbage on the beaches of Australia


Travel news and Tips

Mexican Airline News

Mexicana Airlines filed bankruptcy in mexico on Aug. 4th. Furthermore, both Mexicana and AeroMexico were down graded by the FAA This means that neither can fly passengers to or from the US via Code sharing. Keep an eye on prices - I'm sure there will be some unexpected price fluctuations as a result.

New Immigration Forms and Procedures for FM2 and 3 visa holders

Samp-stamp-stamp . . . just when you thought you had it down - they change things on you. I flew to the US on the 8th of July and new forms had just been introduced, so there was a lot of confusion going on. By the time I returned, everyone seemed to know what was going on. The new regulations affect you if you have an FM2 or FM3 . Previously when you left the country you were required to go to immigration and fill out paperwork. They stamped your visa and the form and you went on your merry way. Now, with the new paperwork, you will be given an immigration slip that must be kept in your passport and returned to immigration when you re-enter Mexico. This is a pain, because US customs and Immigration kept trying to take the slip, not understanding that it was something I had to keep track of. I should have just stuck it in my FM2 - because no one looked there. They also now stamp your passport as you are leaving Mexico. When I returned, they looked for that stamp as well as the one in my FM2. I don't know what the penalty is if you loose the immigration form.

Please note: Mexican immigration has changed to a more conventient location in the main ticketing area.

plantS of the month - Copper leaf and Frangipani

I have two ornamental plants that will grow in the sand and seem to be tolerant of all conditions but salty wind. They are not killed by the wind, but will drop their leaves and then recover. I have both of these in the garden here.



Here and there on the beach you might see planted in someone's garden a Copper leaf, ACALYPHA WILKESIANA, whose variegated, rainbow-colored leaves and flower spikes are shown in the photo taken by Jim Conrad from on the left. The variety I have looks identical to the one at the left, but while it tolerates sun and sandy soil - it does not like salt spray. My species is starting to recover from Tropical storm Alex, but looks as if it is coming out of a drought. In reality - it seems to be very drought tolerant, as I never have to water it.

Copper leaf is native to Fiji and nearby islands in the South Pacific. It's a shrub growing up to 15 feet tall, though on the beach most plants are only about 4 feet high. In the picture you can see two different- looking flower spikes: the pea-green, grainy-textured one to the left of center, and; the fuzzy, dark purple one below and to the right of center. Both are about eight inches long (20 cm). The one on the left is a spike of male flowers while the one on the right is a spike of female flowers. You can see a larger version of the photo at Jim's web site:

Copper leafs are easy to cultivate -- at least here. They can be started by cutting off a branch and putting it in wet sand. I think it prefers sun, because when in shade, it gets leggy and the leaves are sparse. Prior to Dean I had one that flourished in the area behind the restaurant sheltered from the salt spray.

Frangipani/ Plumeria or Flor de Mayo



A very popular tree here on the Yucatan peninsula is Frangipani or Plumeria. Here it is called Flor de Mayo. I've borrowed again from my friend Jim Conrad and suggest you visit his web page on Frangipani as it has some wonderful information about how it is used for ceremonies by Mexican indigenous people. Jim's picture ar the left has pink flowers, but the wild version I have found growing in the forests has white flowers with intense yellow centers.

Frangipanis are members of the Dogbane Family, the Apocynaceae, in which we also find mandevillas, oleanders and periwinkles. Plants in that family typically exude milky sap when wounded, and that's the case with frangipanis which "bleed" white latex copiously. Plantas Medicinales de Mexico reports that the white sap has been used to cure wounds and venereal diseases and to deal with tooth problems, but warns that it makes a "drastic and dangerous purgative."

When ever Frangipanis don't like the weather conditions they drop all of their leaves, leaving beautiful thick green succulent like branches, like the photo at the left. Even after hurricane Dean, it was possible to cut of branches from Frangipanis and root them in the ground, even after the roots rotted from the salt water. Extraordinarily easy to transplant, just break off a branch and stick it in the ground.



I love you Xcalak

Hola everyone!

If you should ever be so lucky as to get an invitation to a Mexican Baby shower -- GO.

It is so much fun, the Abuela to be, held the party at her house, we all gave 80 pesos which included a gift for the baby and your food. Abuela told us, (Gringos)  to come at 8.00 pm, the Mexicans were told 7.00 pm, so at 9.00 when everybody that was coming seemed to be there, the Mistress of ceremony's started the fun.
First game, pick a slip of paper and mime whatever is on it to the queen (mum to be.)  All child things, i.e. crying for milk, needing diaper changed, hungry, feed me, want my mum   .......    great fun, crawling across the floor to perform in front of the queen.
Did I say the decorations are the baby clothes, (bought with the money we all gave) on clothes lines across the room, interspersed with balloons. So many tiny outfits.
Next game, slips of paper again, each with a part of the body written on, hand, go kiss the queens hand, shoulder, leg, etc: all the way round the room. More games, food, then time to go home. How to make a "mum to be" feel extra special!


Following on from Marcia's piece in last month's newsletter, after the storm, I found a baby Oriole sitting on the fence. The parents were in attendance but I really didn't get a good look at them, they were very secretive. The baby stayed on the fence or in the nearby bushes for the next three days after which I went out to look for it and find instead a fair sized Rat snake under the bush.

A couple of days later I was watering the plants in the late afternoon after another really hot day when something wiggled. There was the Rat snake totally stuck in the chicken wire protector I had round my new plants. He was really really stuck, he tried to get through but his middle was just too big for the hole.  He tried so hard he scuffed his skin off where he was trapped. I consider myself to be pretty intrepid but I am not that brave. I went round the pueblo asking if anybody would come and help with a snake, answer, I can kill it for you, but this was not what I wanted. Eventually I found a brave sole, and between us, me holding the front part down with the broom, long handled, so it wouldn't turn and bite it's savior Alejandro, and him welding the wire cutters, in less than five minutes the rat snake took off across the garden.
Okay I know what you're thinking, but a couple of days later I saw a very young Oriole with parents on the lot next to me. I want to think it made it! Sorry no photo's of stuck snake, I seem to forget in emergency's.

Whilst wandering out in my garden in between showers the other day ................... I watched a Cicada emerge from its cocoon . When you think that it could have been "doing it's stuff" under ground for between 3 - 20 years. It really is quite beautiful when it emerges, big eyes, creamy green, gossamer wings drying off ready for inaugural flight.
The Internet tells me this could be a Tibicen,

The chachalaca's have got their babies!  Stupid birds! Kamakazee birds! what ever you call them they have little balls of fluff with legs running after them.
Problem, they have no idea where to go when they are on their own, with added responsibilities, up to 10/12 of the little things  trotting between the parents, Oh wheeeeeeeeeeee, watch out, they are starting out straight ,but then , no, straight back the way they came, under your car wheels.

Ouch. I have just seen some obviously very bad parents, just the one ball of fluff in between Mum and Dad!! I don't even want to think about it!

Xcalak has had the Veterinarians from University of Merida here for two weeks doing a study on the diseases dogs catch from ticks and fleas.  Heart-worm, Erlichia, Anaplasmosis and because of this they are anemic, they also can have Hemolysis (Auto-destruction of the red blood cells). The Vets worked  so hard, it was so hot, they went door to door taking blood samples and giving rabies shots. Of course while they were here some dogs that were sick got treatment. Lucky dogs. 125 dogs gave a blood sample and got a rabies shot. In the next 2 months they are going to study these samples in the laboratory and then return here to treat the dogs that are sick.  This program is thanks to CONAB, Marie Carmen and the Park people.
These are the same Vets that came and did our Animal Clinic here in January. They have agreed to come and do a clinic for Xcalak every January. Now we know for certain that it is going to be an annual event I think it will be easier to raise funds and get medicines and medical supplies here. All donations gratefully received. 

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. This month there is only one, but I hope to have more next month. .


2 Bedroom 2 bathroom Beachfront House by owner. There was some damage from Hurricane Dean (structurally sound). Will sell "As is". Located about one km. north of the Uvero Beach Club

Casa Roja  was one of the few structures in the area that survived Hurricane Dean, a category 5 storm.  Needless to say, the home is extremely well built.  $9K USD was spent after the storm to reinforced the foundation (soil added and compacted), which was not damaged during the storm.  While the structure is sound, accessories were lost in the storm (doors, windows, generator ruined, solar panels, etc).  To keep the property safe, we pay a grounds keeper to live on the property.  Power is supplied from generator and water is from a cistern.


Zeman house


Asking:                     $225,000 USD
Located North of Uvero - Casa Rojo
Lot size:                    20m x 42.38m x 20m x 39m Beachfront
Builder:      Rex Sunderland 

Looking for Articles

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


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 and hear.

Unless otherwise stated, all content is copyrighted by MMB Contractors Inc.

Until next month,
Best wishes from your neighbor,


Mayan Beach Garden B&B Hotel