* ADO bus service to Mahahaul - link
* Garbage in the news (but off the front page!)
* Cruise News
* Permits for land clearing
* PROFEPA proactive?
* Costa Maya Pics
* Holiday Inn (not)-- correction
* Post office drop-off and pickup in Mahahual
* US Consulate Holidays
* Custom's brokers
* Spotlight on your neighbors
* Properties for sale
Well the unusual weather continues. The rain finally stopped only
to be replaced by wind. Much of the sand deposited by Wilma is now
in dunes that one must traverse to get to the back of the property.
I now understand while some people plant grass close to the beach.
We've chosen not to, because of mosquitoes that can live in the grass
and bite even during the day. But on weeks like this, you certainly
stop and ponder the decision as you hopelessly watch the drifting
sand. Another by-product of the wind is the unusual amount of garbage
that has been brought by the surge. I don't remember seeing the beach
so full of garbage. Wilma at least pushed the garbage back into the
trees and out of sight. We had to clean it 3-4 times a day and still
it piled up. The wind blew for 5 days and today is finally calmer.
There will be a lot of clean-up afterwards! If you are visiting your
lot in the next couple of months, please keep this in mind!
You can find this newsletter and archives of past newsletters at
ADO BUS SERVICE TO MAHAHUAL - LINK
I have had a couple of emails asking for the ADO bus schedule and
more information. Here is the link: http://www.mayanbeachgarden.com/ADO.htm.
In addition to the ADO bus, the Caribe bus has added many additional
routes utilizing smaller busses that hold about 16 people. The busses
seem to be running more often in the morning and evening and sporadically
through out the day, stopping in Limones, Bacalar, Chetumal and Mahahual.
The difference between the ADO bus and the Caribe bus is that the
Caribe bus will stop anywhere along the road, you don't need advance
tickets, the schedules are a little loose and they may be full. The
ADO bus only sells enough tickets as they have seats, they only stop
at a few places and you can buy advance seats and they are more reliable.
All in all this is good not only for tourism but for getting workers
here. When we first started here, there was no bus service at all
and we had to drive an hour to pick up workers. Each of the towns
listed has a specified bus stop for the ADO bus.
GARBAGE IN THE NEWS
Garbage hardly makes for riveting reading, but in Mahahual it is
still a lively topic. The city has come to an agreement with the Mahahual
land fill and you can now drop your garbage off again. However, we
were told that you had to pay for drop-off. But when we went to drop
off our garbage the other day, no one was there to accept payment
so we are not sure what the policy really is or how much they would
charge had anyone been there.
If you are visiting your property, you may want to pack a few heavy
duty black plastic bags in your suitcase and plan on picking up some
of the plastic that has been deposited from the last few days of wind
and take it to the dump. That's a great idea because every piece of
garbage you pick up won't end up washing in and out or end up in a
fish's or bird's stomach. Note that the plastic recyclables can be
taken to the University's extension center where they are collecting
only Plastic bottles -- no glass, cardboard or aluminum. For now,
unfortunately you will have to take those to the landfill.
We will keep you posted on the on-going garbage saga!
PERMITS FOR LAND CLEARING
Many of you have expressed frustration with the Environmental Impact
processes and the fact that you are not supposed to clear land before
getting the study, making it almost impossible to figure out where
to put your house. We had been told by several people, including a
biologist who does EIS that it was OK to do machete clearing. We were
told by PROFEPA that while in general this is true, it is not true
for all species of plants. What that means is that there are several
species of plants that you can't clear without a permit. One of those
is the Chit Palm . There are several other species included, but EVERYONE
has Chit palm on their property. While beautiful, they are impossible
to transplant when large and they grow where you don't want them.
If you own property in Sapphire beach where they were planted by seed,
they are so thick you can't even walk into your property.
The permit process seems to be simple. There are people who can get
the permits for you, including the same people that do Environmental
impact studies. What I don't know yet is the cost and the process
because we just got notice of this yesterday. We are meeting in the
next few days with a person who does this, but If any of you have
had any experience with this process, please let us know and we will
pass it along to readers of the newsletter along with our own experience.
PROFEPA, the policing arm of Mexican environmental protection agency
SEMARNAT is usually associated with fines, shutting down projects
and generally strikes fear into the hearts of everyone who lives or
works in an environmentally protected area like ours. Because it is
so hard to find out the laws and so much mis-information abounds that
you basically don't find out the law until you have done something
wrong and they slap you with a fine. We met with representatives of
PROFEPA on Monday, March 13th regarding a new certification program.
According to the representatives, In this program you can sign up
and find out in advance of any environmental violations. If you are
in the program, rather than get served with a violation and fine,
you will periodically do an assessment and find out in advance what
needs to be done to mediate your violation. It was my understanding
from the meeting that you will be allowed up to 2 years to fix it.
This sounds great to us and we are signing up if indeed it turns out
to be a real program and not just a "good idea." I don't
know the cost, but was told that if several people sign up as a group
the cost would be less. I'll report more on this as we know the details,
and how to sign up. If you are interested in knowing more about this
sooner, please contact M.C.c Gustavo Puch Diaz. (01 983) 83 228 65
or email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. Mr. Diaz does
not speak English.
I suppose one needs something thematic to write about when traveling
the world via a Cruise ship. One person's creative visit to the Costa
Maya is chronicled in "Beans around the world." Black Beans,
no less! http://www.beans-around-the-world.com/costamaya.html
In other Costa Maya cruise news,
Rolling Stone Magazine reported about a theme cruise that featured
rock bands. I have been pretty isolated here lately, so I don't recognize
the names of the rock bands Lee Claypool and Umphrey's McGee, but
they are part of a fleet of "Jam Cruises" that feature groups
such as Dave Matthews (who I do recognize!). It's not cheap - $1300
compared to what a normal cruise might cost with the same port itinerary,
but they seem to be full and stopping at the Costa Maya!
COSTA MAYA PICS!
If you have never been inside the Costa Maya Pier or at Uvero Beach
Club (and wonder what you might or might not be missing), here is
a link to dozens of pictures of the area including the port. http://www.cancuncd.com/m-costa-maya-pictures/page_01.php
HOLIDAY INN CORRECTION
I reported incorrectly last month that the new hotel opening in town
was a Holiday Inn. Early on in the construction the sign said "Holiday
Inn" but that sign went down a couple of months ago. The new
sign went up last week and says "Costa Maya Inn." I am not
sure if it is affiliated with Holiday Inn or not.
POST OFFICE PICK-UP AND DROP-OFF
Several newsletters ago I reported that there was Mail Delivery in
Mahahual. The problem was that there were no set hours and it was
difficult to get mail consistently. Now there is a regular place of
business that is accepting mail from the post-office in Chetumal.
Eazyc@ll, whose primary business is an internet cafe and phone service
is now holding mail for general delivery. If you are expecting mail,
stop by Eazyc@ll and ask for mail in your name. Their hours of business
are 9am to 11pm. There is soon to be a mail box to drop mail off as
well, but at the time of this writing, I had not seen it. Eazyc@ll
is located two streets back from the beach, close to the soccer field.
US CONSULATE HOLIDAYS
Upcoming Holidays February - April, 2006.........
The U.S. Embassy, Consulates and Consular Agencies throughout Mexico
will be closed for business in recognition of the following U.S. and
Monday, February 6 The Anniversary of the Mexican Constitution
(Tuesday, January 31) Embassy Passport Administrative Day Closed to
(Tuesday, February 28) Embassy Passport Administrative Day Closed
to the Public
Tuesday, March 21 Benito Juarez's Birthday
Thursday, April 13 Holy Thursday
Friday, April 14 Good Friday
I have received several emails asking if I knew how to get personal
items into Mexico, including a car. You will need a customs broker
to do this for you, but I don't know of any personally. If you need
one, you might want to check out the Mexican Yellow Pages. This Spanish
only web site is recommended by the US consulate as a method to secure
services such as custom brokers (agencias aduanales). Even if you
don't speak Spanish, if you search (The Spanish word is "search"
is "buscar" on the home page) for "agencias aduanales"
you will come up with a list of businesses, some which have websites
in both Spanish and English. Custom brokers are needed:
1) if you plan on bringing in a vehicle to Mexico and want to license
it in Mexico
2) if you want to bring personal items into the US that are above
and beyond the allowed items
3) if you want to import items for a business.
4) other services having to do with customs
The customs broker processes the permits before the Mexican authorities
on your behalf for a fee. The US Consulate recommends that if you
decide to use the services of a customs broker, that you agree upon
the fee before the service is provided. The Mexico City yellow pages
mentioned above (www.seccionamarilla.com.mx) has a listing for customs
brokers (agencias aduanales).
When we moved to Mexico, we used Mayflower moving which took care
of the customs for us using our FM3. We didn't have to pay additional
customs. If anyone has had some experience with this, I'll post your
experience in an upcoming newsletter.
SPOTLIGHT ON YOUR NEIGHBORS: THE HOUSTONS
I forgot to put the link to the spotlight in last months newsletter,
so you probably didn't read about the Slahetkas. This month, I've
added the Houstons, who are from Edmonton, Canada and have property
in San Jose, which is about 4 kilometers south of the Placer Access
PROPERTIES FOR SALE
I know of several properties in the area that are for sale. All are
north of Rio Indio. Some in the Placer area and some north of Uvero.
We also know of a house and hotel for sale. Please contact me if you
are interested. If you are selling your property, let me know and
I'll pass it along to those who are inquiring.
Until Next month...
Regards from your Costa Maya Neighbor
Mayan Beach Garden, Boutique hotel on the Costa Maya www.mayanbeachgarden.com
Until next month or until there is some new news to report....