Maya Newsletters: of primary interest to property owners on the Costa
Maya, - Rio Indio - Placer - Uvero - Punta Herrera - Xcalak and other
points along the coast
June 12, 2007**************************
* Malecon in Mahahual
* SURVEY RESULTS - what is your impression of
* Message board for Costa Maya Neighbors - topic
the new Malecon
* Home-owners association for Placer and Uvero/Pulticub
* Articles of Interest in the news
* Federal Zone - more information
* Recycled Plastic - Someone is buying it, and
it isn't Mexico!
* Recommendations to environmentally conscious
* More Spanish on-line
* Mahahual News
* Mayan Beach Garden news
* Novel idea for lot clearing
* Houses for Rent in Chetumal, Uvero and Placer -
long term and vacation rentals
* Spotlight on your Neighbors
Last month I made a visit to the US, and I'll have to admit, I've
been hit by consumerism. It's been 3 years since I've been back to
Seattle, where we are from. I was astounded at the choices. There
were SO MANY CHOICES! Of course I'm not oblivious to the concept of
selection because I'm constantly searching on the internet. But to
see it placed before my eyes, where I could touch it was wonderfully
confusing. I wanted to buy every new gadget I saw. Contrast that to
searching for anything here in Quintana Roo. It's frustrating at best.
For example, If I were to go into a store in the US to purchase salad
dressing I would see floor to ceiling variety -- every shelf would
have multiple brands, flavors, nationalities - and in some stores
there might be 200 different bottles to choose from. Here in Chetumal
(the closest city), you might have Ranch, Italian and Oil and Vinegar
of one brand in little tiny bottles. This lack of choice ranges from
furniture to light fixtures, to construction materials to clothing.
I spent days looking for a decent light fixture and had to settle
for something less than what I wanted. It's not impossible to find
what you want, its just a lot of work and no guarantee that the item
will be there when you next return to the store OR in the quantities
you need. In one way, I think that's good. When I can't find things
I want to buy, I save money and make do with what I have. Regardless,
keep this concept in mind when you are planning your house and set
expectations accordingly. You may have to "make do" with
what is available. Often that means concrete. The Yucatan workers
are certainly artisans at concrete work. Other things may require
you to look around or settle for alternatives. Don't think I've completely
settled with the Costa Maya "Status Quo." My Costa Maya
friends will verify that I still live in a box -- mainly because I've
yet to find what I want to fill it with!
You will note that this email is originating from CostaMayaLive.com.
this is because so many newsletters were coming back to me, I thought
perhaps I had been registered as SPAM by someone. I am trying another
route and see if this has better response. Pleas add this sender as
a safe email address to avoid it going into SPAM.
You can find this issue of the newsletter and archives of past e-newsletters
at this location:
MALECON IN MAHAHUAL
Despite the protests of many of the residences of Mahahual, it appears
that the Mahahaul Malecon will proceed forward, commencing construction
in August. For those of you who are not familiar with the word Malecon
-- the direct translation is "levee" but more specifically
a waterfront walkway/seawall. If you have been to Mazatlan or Puerta
Vallarta, similar malecons exist in that area. In this case the Malecon
is a 7 meter wide concrete walkway that is almost 3 kilometers long
and stretches from the Port past the light house Southward. There
are still many things open to discussion, but the choice given to
the town was "take the money for the Malecon or some other town
will." According to Manuel Conde Cante, the Delgado of FONATUR
in Quintana Roo, 40 million pesos will be spent on the project which
will include drainage, culverts, underground power, garbage receptacles
and bathrooms. Expect to see many of the ad-hoc businesses on the
Federal zone to disappear, but legitimate businesses along the Malecon
stand to benefit. The project will be built in 3 phases, with the
first phase starting at the light house and extending to the Soccer
field. In the meeting held in Mahahual, many questions were left hanging.
For example, where will the vehicular traffic go? In the first phase,
that won't be a problem as there is already a road that circumvents
the Malecon. What will happen to businesses during the construction?
How will businesses on the south of the Malecon be impacted in Phases
2 and 3? Will businesses loose some of their property to the Malecon?
Where will the promised Bathrooms be constructed? How will this impact
the look and feel of the village that makes it so charming? We'll
keep you posted! If you own property in Mahahual, this may or may
not be good news, although property values along the Malecon will
likely go up. If you would like to view a PowerPoint presentation
on the development of Mahahual, you can do so at this link. http://www.costa-maya.org/espanol/vinculos/pdu.ppt
SURVEY RESULTS: WHAT IS YOUR IMPRESSION OF MAHAHUAL?
Thank you to all who participated in the survey last month. The results
were interesting, especially some of the comments. I don't have space
to provide all the results, but here are some highlights based on
MESSAGE BOARD FOR COSTA MAYA NEIGHBORS
If you haven't yet, please check out the message board. The topic
this month is the Malecon. What is your opinion of it? do you have
questions, comments - Do you own property in Mahahual and want to
talk about it with others? Even if you have property in the Biosphere,
what happens in Mahahual affects you. You will have to register to
make comments or take the poll.
Current Topic: What is your opinion of the Malecon: http://costamayalive.com/Forum/viewforum.php?f=13
Last Month's Topic Squatters: http://costamayalive.com/Forum/viewforum.php?f=13
The results of requiring people to register and be accepted has been
successful. We haven't had a single spam entered. Still at least 12
spammers register every day in an effort to destroy our neighborhood
message board. Thanks for your ongoing support. If for some reason,
I have inadvertently deleted a comment of yours, your are unable to
post or if I've failed to include you in the group that can create
comments on the message board, please let me know. Thanks go to Bridget
Montalvo for helping clean up the hundreds of bad names that had registered.
We have been mentioning neighborhood associations as a venue to
which property owners can group together to get services and create
communities. Two organizations are already forming.
Property owners association of Rio-Indio Access to Placer -- (Asociacion
de Colonos El Placer-Rio Indio AC) Ted Garcia, who has been collecting
names for the Electricity effort (thank you Ted!) has agreed to be
president of the Rio-Indio Placer neighborhood association. We have
already contacted a lawyer who has filed for the name "Asociacion
de Colonos El Placer-Rio Indio AC". In the meantime, the non-profit
association is looking for all of the neighbors. We need your names
and information to proceed with getting electricity and water. Unfortunately,
the visit of the official to Placer was postponed and when I went
to the US, we haven't been able to reschedule. Still, I was impressed
that at the Malecon meeting in Mahahual he publicly apologized. There
is still time to get your information to Ted (see his contact info
Even if you don't have your paperwork ready (for example, your property
may not have closed) please consider getting your name into Ted if
you are interested in joining the Association. Our first order of
business is -- you guessed it Electricity and Water. The cost to set
up the non-profit association is about $10,000 pesos. We will be soliciting
membership fees at some point in the future to pay for the startup.
At this point we haven't decided what that is. Ted Garcia is the president,
Karla Nelson is the Treasurer and Marcia Bales is the 3rd officer.
Uvero to Pulticub -- Pam Laurion who has property in Pulticub
is working with the same lawyer and looking for more neighbors to
join the non-profit in this area. If you have property in Cazona,
Alma or other areas north of Uvero -- this is your neighborhood. Pam's
email is Tropicalbreeze5@yahoo.com. She too will be collecting membership
fees to join.
Other groups not yet organizing (that I know of) are:
- Mahahual South to Punta Herreradura
- Xcalak north to ? (I'm not as familiar with this area)
Each non-profit needs a President, Secretary and Treasurer. If you
are interested in creating one in your area, we can "cookie-cutter"
several neighborhood association corporations and maybe save some
money. The cost of a neighborhood corporation is around $1000 USD.
Split between neighbors, its inexpensive. The Costa Maya Live message
board is a great place to find your neighbors and work on ways to
collectively work on getting services. There is a neighborhood section
specifically created for finding your neighbors.
ADDRESS TO SEND YOUR INFORMATION
If you haven't done so already, Please send in the following information
as soon as possible. (legal descriptions and names are NOT enough):
- Name of owners as shown on your passport or FM3
- Name of corporation if owned by a corporation, or name and location
of your Fide Camiso Bank trustee
- Predial papers (your property tax statement)
- Copy of cadastral (the official document that shows the square
meters of the land, the legal description and the structures on
the land, as well as the appraised value of all.)
- Contact information
Ted Garcia has volunteered to help compile this information.
He owns property in Placer and knows the power issues we all face.
There are three methods to convey the information:
1) scan the documents and send them via email to Ted at TGarcia@appletonideas.com
2) Fax them to Ted at this number: 920 991 7345 (Please include
cover page with Ted's name)
3) make copies of them and mail them to the following address:
201 E Clearfield Ln.
Appleton, WI 54913
Tel: 920 991 8184
Fax: 920 991 7345 (Please include cover page with Ted's name)
Ted is located in the United States. We really appreciate his
efforts in compiling this info.
ARTICLES OF INTEREST IN THE NEWS or ON-line
- New International Airport Terminal - The second-largest in Mexico,
the Cancun International Airport has now completed a new third terminal
in order to better serve its millions of international visitors. This
US$100 million investment will double the capacity of international
passengers, providing over 136,000 square feet of newly available
space, 84 check-in counters, a platform equipped with 11 gates, and
state-of-the-art security equipment featuring the first CT scanning
system in Mexico. For more information, visit www.asur.com.mx. NOTE:
Please avoid confusion -- you may be coming into the new terminal
instead of the old one. If someone is picking you up, please let them
know the airline you are flying and warn them to check at which terminal
they should pick you up. You might also want to allow a little extra
timr for returning vehicles as it is yet to be determined how rental
returns will be affected.
- Cancun Beach Party - Family-friendly, this year will mark the second-annual
Cancun Beach Party a three-day long festival that brings together
visitors of all ages and interest from around the world. Guests will
join together on eight miles of Cancuns coast from August 10
through 12. Activities will include a sand sculpture contest, fireworks
extravaganza, a kite festival, art exhibits, a sailing regatta, a
food festival, aquatic demonstrations and beach parties throughout
the entire Hotel Zone. For more information, please visit www.arpcancun.com.
- Cancun International Film Festival - Emerging filmmaking talents
from Mexico and Latin America will be featured in this Novembers
inaugural Cancun International Film Festival, the Film Festival
for the Americas. For five days, the Festival will pay tribute
to discovering and developing Latin Americas aspiring screenwriters,
filmmakers and actors, including a program of showcases, tributes,
awards, forums, and panel discussions. The event is open in Cancun
to a worldwide audience of cinema fans, film professionals and journalists
from November 14 through 18, 2007. For more information visit www.cancuninternationalfilmfestival.com.
- Iron man Comes to Cancun -Sunday, September 23, starting from the
Iron man host hotel, the Fiesta Americana Condesa Cancun, One hundred
of the worlds top athletes will compete in Cancun this year
in what has been deemed by the Iron man organization as the
most beautiful half-marathon in the world. The Iron man Cancun
70.3 is a preliminary event for the final World Championship and will
feature a triathlon map that includes laps around the Cancun-blue
Mexican Caribbean waters, a bike path along the route of the Ancient
Mayans, and a running course along the citys main Kukulcan Boulevard.
For more information visit www.ironmancancun.com.
FEDERAL ZONE (more information)
Bruce Houston. one of your neighbors, sent me some information about
Federal Zones that I'm passing along. The following is based on information
that originated from the office of Ballote & Associates S.C.P.,
Attorney in Merida. Many of you may be familiar with Ballote and Associates
if you have purchased property with TransCaribbean Trust.
FEDERAL ZONE DEFINITION and IMPORTANCE
The strip of property 20 meters wide, adjacent to the sea is considered
as the Federal Maritime Terrestrial Zone. The Federal Zone is inalienable
, imprescriptible and not subject to sequestration. The Nation can
only grant a Concession for maximum period of twenty years. Any one
who is interested can obtain the Federal Zone Concession. The renewal
process has to be submitted a year prior to expiration of an existing
concession. There is yearly fee (as the property tax). The Federal
Zone is property of the Federal Government. In the event that the
Federal Government would want to expropriate it there is no process
that can stop them. The process to obtain it could take more than
Owning the Concession of the Federal Zone means that you will have
legal and exclusive use of that area. The Concession of Federal Zone
is also necessary to build infrastructures such as piers or just for
the simple purpose of not having anyone using that area and to keep
quietness in their properties.
LIST OF DOCUMENTS NEEDED TO START THE PROCESS:
1. A letter to the Ecological Resources Delegate stating your will
to obtain the Concession.
3. Copy of the corporation papers.
4. Power of attorney (granted to a legal entity in Mexico).
5. A copy of the ID of the legal representative of the corporation.
6. Plot plan made by a certified topographer.
7. Four pictures of the Federal Zone (Beach) from every cardinal point.
8. An official map where the property is located.
9. Use of the property adjacent or next to the Federal Zone.
10. Application to the Delegate of the Department of Urban Development.
11. Property tax receipt through 2007.
12. Current City Assessed Value.
13. Tax Identification Number of the Corporation.
Mexico City will issue the Concession in 10 to 12 months in the event
there are no more requirements to fulfill once the documents are submitted.
Thanks Bruce for forwarding this information on. For more information
you can email email@example.com
RECYCLED PLASTIC -- SOMEONE IS BUYING IT
I get many comments about the garbage on the beach. "Can't someone
do something?" "You would think they would find a way to
make money from all that plastic." A radio article on NPR radio
reported that only about 23 percent of bottles in the US, including
soda, are recycled. The bottles are chopped into chips, each smaller
than a cornflake. Then, they're heated and turned into tiny white
pellets of recycled PET, which competes on the marketplace with virgin
PET. It's a hot market so hot that the Chinese are coming to
the U.S. to buy nearly 40 percent of the bottles Americans recycle.
While used bottles from the U.S. are going to China, reclaimers are
even going to Canada, Mexico and Latin America to find PET. In all,
they imported nearly 300 million pounds of flakes and bottles in 2005.
Recycled PET can be made into fiber, and then purchased by companies
who are turning it into carpets, clothing, automotive parts and even
new bottles. With so much demand for the empties and so many
bottles in the marketplace My question is: Why can't someone
here find a way to make it pay so that Latin America will be incentivized
to pick up their own trash?
RECOMMENDATIONS TO ENVIRONMENTALLY CONSCIOUS HOTELS
In response to global warming, The hotel association in Chetumal
sent out a very forward thinking newsletters to the Costa Maya "eco-hotel"
industry. It included some pretty standard stuff that we've heard
before, but wouldn't hurt to reiterate here. Since many of you are
looking into building homes for personal or for rental or businesses
at some time or another, you might want to take a look at some of
these ideas as you design your house. Forgive my comments interspersed
in the list of ideas -- I just couldn't help myself!
WATER -- seems to be the biggest issue (I'll confirm that!).
- Showers use less than baths. you save 7,000 liters a year.
- They suggest wetting yourself, soaping off, then turning it back
on to rinse yourself off.
- Turn the water off while shaving or brushing teeth.
- When you are finished, use the water to water plants
- Only wash if you have a load that is completely full. You can reuse
laundry water for cleaning.
- Grow native plants that don't have to be watered. When dry season
comes, live with falling leaves.
- Plants will come back when the rain starts.
- Water used to cook food can be used to water plants
- Don't throw any leaves, or other items into the ocean, even if
organic. (I'll vouch for that, it doesn't compost in salt water)
- Don't forget to plant a tree at least once in your life (I love
- More than 50% of all solid waste is recyclable (according to a
study done by the Amigos de Sian Ka'an - 83% of garbage in Mahahaul
- If you can't recycle something, think twice about using in your
home or business
- Use cloth napkins, towels and other items instead of paper buy
items in glass instead of plastic because it is considered "clean"
- Avoid serving or eating red meat because of global warming from
clearing land used to raise beef.
- A kilo of beef uses more water than 365 showers.
- Tinned products, (in tin cans) use many resources and energy --
choose other alternatives.
- Don't consume exotic or endangered animals and obey the seasons
for things like Lobster and Conch
- Heating water is one of the most wasteful uses of electricity.
They suggest training yourself to shower in water that is between
50 -60 degrees.
- Wash clothes in Cold water - always Wash dishes in cold water -
(Dawn dish detergent cuts grease and a tiny amount of Clorox in a
sink full of water will disinfect all of your dishes)
- Don't run the water to rinse your dishes.
- Better to cook with gas than with electrical energy.
- Turn off TV, radio, lights, computer (screen) if you are not using
- Try and avoid purchasing items from PVC. It contaminates and is
MAHAHUAL AREA NEWS (NON-CRUISE SHIP)
- The Mahahual Women's group meets every Wednesday at 2:00
PM at the Costa Maya Inn. Their next project (aside from hanging around
the Costa Maya Inn Pool) is a Bingo game that will raise money for
a palapa on the school playground. Currently there isn't adequate
shade for the primary children. If you are around town, planning on
joining the group and meeting some of the local females in town.
- Sad commentary on the new Mahahual Pemex Management, but
its true. The new set of workers at the Pemex is robbing customers.
I got caught once, but not again! I've had several guests leave fuming!
The trick that caught me is that when you pull up to the pump, if
no one is on the opposite side, they say that the pump on your side
is not functioning. They pull the hose around and put it in your tank.
Meanwhile, there is probably 50 or 100 pesos already on the pump.
You are distracted by cleaning the windshield, or a flat while this
is happening. They will do this even if you say give me 200 pesos.
Don't let them start pumping until you walk around and see that it
is zeroed out.
- Mayan Beach Garden will soon have competition! The condos
we mentioned in a newsletter ages ago should be starting in July --
permits are verbally approved, just waiting for formalization. The
first class condos are located south of the lighthouse in Mahahual
and north of the Pier. Another hotel is being built off the beach
but adjacent to the soccer field. There are also two new small hotels
south of Mahahual. (Hello -- Airport?)
- The first house in Sapphire broke ground earlier this month.
The newly started home owned by Diane Duncan is located on lot 3A.
For those of you not familiar, Sapphire is an area named by TransCaribbean
trust and located between the Placer Access Road and Mayan Beach Garden.
Sapphire has some of the most spectacular beaches on the Costa Maya
and for a few years has not had any development on it.
MAYAN BEACH GARDEN NEWS
Many of you will remember the small hotel owned by Tom Steddum --
El Placer del Caribe. Tom sold the 4-room hotel a year ago to a group
of radiologists that include some of your neighbors (Kent Lancaster
and Chris Sheir). It has been under remodel and is nearing completion.
El Placer del Mar (slight change in name) rooms will be run and managed
by Mayan Beach Garden. The rooms will have air conditioning, canopy
beds, private decks, lots of light and will have a Spanish look an
feel with lots of sunny bright colors. We are aiming for rooms to
be available in August. We'll let you know in the next newsletter.
NOVEL IDEA FOR LOT CLEARING
Gabe Zarnotti's and Cindy Crawford's house just got started last
week. Many of you know Gabe and Cindy and we want to congratulate
them, not for getting their house started but for coming up with a
great idea that benefits the entire community (and anyone that might
visit Costa Maya Beaches). Rather than clean the weeds down to the
sand on his lot every week, he has decided to put his lot cleaning
bucks cleaning the garbage on the beach. Once a week, a worker starts
at his lot and spends 1/2 a day cleaning garbage north and 1/2 day
south. All the plastic and glass is collected in a garbage bag that
is picked up by the garbage truck once a week at Mayan Beach Garden
. This doesn't just impact things visually , but encourages turtles
to nest and keeps it from washing back out to sea and coming back
on YOUR beach. Thanks Gabe and Cindy!
MORE SPANISH ON-LINE
I carry a little purse sized Spanish dictionary wherever I go. Its
pretty handy and has most common words. Still, I like electronic versions.
Here are a couple of handy resources for translating on-line.
This is a pretty nice Spanish dictionary, with quite a few words
- This is an automatic translator on Google. You can translate
entire documents. It works quite good on short sentences and pretty
poorly on long sentences. Don't rely on this unless you know a little
bit of Spanish. The translation is not Latin American, but Castilian
and sometimes the translations just don't make sense. For example,
the word "Basura" which is commonly understood here as "trash"
is translated as "sweepings."
http://babelfish.altavista.digital.com/ Babelfish is another automatic
translator. It is similar in that it doesn't differentiate between
Castilian and Latin American Spanish. You can translate large documents.
This is another dictionary that specializes in business terms. Even
if you speak Spanish, often you don't know the Spanish business term,
OR if you are looking for a certain trade or legal term, this may
Free Translation is a company that has human translators -- always
the best when something is really important. However, they have a
machine translator as well. On their machine translator, our test
word "Basura" comes out Trash. They can translate full sentences
and short documents
-- I like this translator for single words. It is only English to
Spanish, but it tolerates misspellings and offers grammar suggestions.
MORE INFORMATION ON PASSPORTS
June 11, 2008: (sent out by the US Consulate in Merida) The U.S.
Departments of State and Homeland Security announced today that U.S.
citizens traveling to Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda who
have applied for but not yet received passports can nevertheless temporarily
enter and depart from the United States by air with a government issued
photo identification and Department of State official proof of application
for a passport through September 30, 2007. The federal government
is making this accommodation for air travel due to longer than expected
processing times for passport applications in the face of record-breaking
The Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) was mandated by Congress
in the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 to
strengthen border security and facilitate entry into the United States
for citizens and legitimate international visitors. WHTI requirements
for air travel took effect on January 23, 2007.
Adults who have applied for but not yet received a passport should
present government-issued photo identification and an official proof
of application from the U.S. Department of State. Children under the
age of 16 traveling with their parents or legal guardian will be permitted
to travel with the childs proof of application. Travelers who
have not applied for a passport should not expect to be accommodated.
U.S. citizens with pending passport applications can obtain proof
of application at: http://travel.state.gov.
This accommodation does not affect entry requirements to other countries.
Americans traveling to a country that requires passports must still
present those documents.
As early as January 2008, the Departments will begin to implement
WHTI at land and sea ports of entry. A Notice of Proposed Rulemaking
outlining a phased implementation is expected to be published in the
Federal Register within the next two weeks.
Travel document security remains a top priority for the U.S. Government.
Both the 9/11 Commission and the U.S. Congress urged strengthening
of travel documents to prevent entry of terrorists across our borders,
reduce use of fraudulent documents, and speed up entry procedures.
For the latest travel information, Americans traveling abroad should
regularly monitor the Department's Internet web site at http://travel.state.gov
where the current Worldwide Caution Public Announcement, Travel Warnings
and Public Announcements can be found.
SPOTLIGHT ON YOUR NEIGHBORS
Its been a few months since I've added a new spotlight, but this
week meet Pam and Don Laurion. They own property in Pulticub. Pam
is currently organizing a neighborhood association from Uvero - Pulticub.
Meet her and Don at http://www.mayanbeachgarden.com/PropertyOwners_spotlight.html
HOMES FOR RENT IN UVERO AND PLACER - Long term and vacation
PLACER: Many of you vacation in Cancun or Akumal or somewhere
in big resorts and only come visit your property for a day. What a
shame! The Costa Maya is a great place to vacation -- it takes at
least a week to appreciate the beauty and get into the rhythm. We
encourage you to visit the area for a longer period of time. Staying
in a beach-home gives you an opportunity to see what you would like
to have in your own home. We represent several owners homes and offer
them for rent on our website. We'll be adding some new homes soon
that are currently in construction, so please take a minute to look
at what's there. We even have houses that are air-conditioned if you
want to visit in August but don't feel you can "take the heat!"
Also, please take note that mid December - end of March fill up fast,
so you might want to get your name in and put a hold on a property.
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 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
Until Next month...
Regards from your Costa Maya Neighbor
Mayan Beach Garden, Boutique hotel on the Costa Maya