Costa Maya Newsletter
Newsletters > May 2007
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
May 10, 2007**************************
* Recent Meetings in Mahahual
* SURVEY - what is your impression of Mahahual?
* Message board for Costa Maya Neighbors - topic on the Malecon
* Electricity efforts for Costa Maya - a WIN!
* Home-owners association for Placer - first task ELECTRICITY
* Articles of Interest in the news
* Federal Zone
* Passport problems
* Cruise ship news - How stupid can you get?
* Mahahual activities
* Houses for Rent in Chetumal, Uvero and Placer - long term and vacation
* Spotlight on your Neighbors
Last month I stated that I hadn't used the services of the doctor
and asked if anyone could provide references or experience. Little
would I guess that we would have two guests injured in the period
of a few days. We have been here 3 years without incident, and then
all of a sudden, two in 3 weeks. The first injury required stitches
that were quickly taken care of by the doctor in Mahahaul. My guests
were satisfied with the service and the fact that he could speak a
little English. I've heard mixed reviews on the Mahahual doctor, however
so would like to hear back from anyone that knows more. Shortly thereafter,
someone fell and broke their ankle. It was pretty apparent that the
ankle was broken so we didn't even bother stopping in Mahahual, but
headed straight for Chetumal where it could be x-rayed. The only clinic
I have heard where someone had gone before was Carranza clinic and
since I knew where it was (on Carranza, a lime green building a few
blocks west of Heroes) I took the guest there. We didn't have to wait
long and the service was very good. Consultation, x-rays and cast
cost less than $100 USD and an orthopedic surgeon cast the foot and
read the x-rays. The doctor told our guest to have it looked at again
when the swelling went down. She had to have a pin put in the ankle
when she got home, but there were no complications based on the treatment
here. All in all it was a good dry-run for something potentially more
serious and I would take someone there again. The only down side was
that it was two hours away and difficult to find someone to speak
English--although the fact that I spoke a little Spanish and it was
siesta time probably meant they didn't look very hard.
You can find this issue of the newsletter and archives of past e-newsletters
at this location:
RECENT MEETINGS IN MAHAHUAL
Whether you live in Mahahual, Uvero Puticulb, Xcalak or anywhere
else in the Costa Maya -- what happens in Mahahual sets the tone for
everything that happens on the Costa Maya. A series of meetings have
been occurring that have a lot to do with property owners up and down
the coast and already there are small wins. Basically, there is a
protest against the actions of government agencies who are not listening
to the people of Mahahual, but making their decisions based on plans
that are moving target and from two hour away offices in Chetumal.
The latest win has been the announcement by FONATUR that they are
no longer claiming all the power, removing a HUGE hurdle for those
of us along the beach. Already power is going into kilometer 55. On-going
meetings have been scheduled for Thursday nights, but on Friday May
11th, there is a special presentation of the new plan for Mahahual.
This includes a Concrete Malecon running along the beach. Many of
the vendors of Mahahual are opposed to this because people like walking
along the sandy streets and feeling they are in a fishing village.
The people of Mahahual want to keep this feeling. It may be a done
deal because it was announced in the Chetumal newspaper that the Malecon,
as the walk-way is referred to will be built in the year 2008. The
officials at the meeting on Thursday the 3rd of May surely indicated
as much, stating that this was part of the FONATUR plan and that they
know more than we do about tourism.
SURVEY: WHAT IS YOUR IMPRESSION OF MAHAHUAL?
In an effort to convince the "powers that be" that they
don't know what the tourists really want, the people of Mahahual have
created a poll to see what Tourists are saying about Mahahual as they
visit. It's quite "cruise-ship" visitor centric, but I've
created an on-line version of the survey that you can take. Since
all of you must have at one time been tourists in Mahahual, PLEASE
take the time to participate in this survey. The results will be given
to the dignitaries coming to Mahahual Friday, May 11th. Click on this
link to take the survey. The survey will remain available until the
17th of May. I will post results in the next newsletter.
Survey - Mahahual Tourist survey
MESSAGE BOARD FOR COSTA MAYA NEIGHBORS
If you haven't yet, please check out the message board this month.
The discussion topic this month is "squatters." We've noticed
lots of squatters on property lately. Does anyone know the law on
this? Log on and voice your opinion. Do you have squatters on your
property? How do you get rid of them? How can you keep them off? Has
anyone had experience getting rid of squatters? Pam Laurion, an active
discussion board member has started a discussion on squatters -- please
log on with your comments.
One other item of notice. We've mentioned the problem of Spammers
before on the message boards and last week we had 30 new members in
one night -- not a single one was a legitimate Costa Maya Lover! So
now, you will have to Register and wait for a confirmation email before
you can post on the boards. I'm sorry we had to do that, but poor
Bridget the moderator was spending all of her time deleting their
comments. If for some reason, I have inadvertently deleted a comment
of yours or failed to include you in the group that can create topics,
please let me know.
GOOD NEWS! It appears that the unconstitutional activity of FONATUR
blocking CFE from granting electricity to property owners on the Costa
Maya for the past 8 years has now been removed. If I understand correctly,
the official stance is that the FONATUR edict was 8 years old and
they didn't intend for it to still be in place. Regardless of the
truth, I'm very grateful to Juan Carlos Ortega who made this an issue
of public awareness. Weekly there were articles in the paper which
resulted in attention from the state. As I am writing this, electrical
crews are connecting the kilometer 55 neighborhood to power.
The government is not going to bring electricity up and down the
beach road because FONATUR no longer has blocked it. Only by the efforts
of individual neighborhoods will this happen. We all know that property
values increase with the arrival of services so it is in our best
interest to work to bring it here. One of the first things the Electric
company has advised us to do by is to create local Home owners associations.
This is common in Mexico. Each association not only will help get
electricity and water but can function to deal with a broad spectrum
of neighborhood issues such as security, beach cleanup, garbage and
road improvement. There are several neighborhoods in the Costa Maya
as I see it:
- Rio-Indio Access to Placer
- Uvero to Puticulb
- Mahahual South to Punta Herreradura
- Xcalak north to ? (I'm not as familiar with this area)
Each neighborhood must group together and form a home-owner's corporation.
Each corporation needs a President, Secretary and Treasurer. If you
are interested in creating one in your area, we can "cookie-cutter"
a corporation and maybe save some money. The Costa Maya Live message
board is a great place to find your neighbors and work on ways to
collectively work on getting services. As a resident of Placer I am
currently working to put together a non-profit corporation for the
Rio-Indio to Placer neighborhood.
HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATION FOR PLACER - RIO INDIO --FIRST TASK, ELECTRICITY
If your property is in the Placer to Rio Indio area WE HAVE A DEADLINE
OF FRIDAY MAY 11TH. WE ARE LOOKING FOR YOU! We can't have a home-owner's
association without the home owners. Pease make a concerted effort
to send your information in to Ted Garcia. A representative from the
state will be here at the Mayan Beach Garden hotel on FRIDAY May 11th.
Please get your information in this week so I can show him that we
have a lot of people wanting power. We can't get any action if we
only have 20 names when I know there are well over 200 people with
lots between Placer and Rio Indio.
If you are not in this area, it would be a good idea to send it in
as it will help identify other neighborhoods with a concentration
of people. If we band together to get the power installed, it will
be less expensive. Even though FONATUR's barriers are no longer in
place, the power company is not going to run electrical power to us
without property owners doing something. Even if you don't think you
will ever build, the investment you made in your property will be
more valuable if you have electricity, so please don't procrastinate.
Getting potable water here is also on the agenda.
In order to be included, the following information MUST be submitted
for EACH property owned (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
- Name of person with power of attorney to sign a legal document in
behalf of your corporation/property.
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. Please be sensitive of his time
and resources and do not call him just to "chat" about this
action. We really appreciate his efforts in compiling this info.
ARTICLES OF INTEREST IN THE NEWS or ON-line
Costa Maya emerges as tourism destination. Several on-line
news sources have recently reported that the Costa Maya is now Mexico's
second most popular cruise destination and is one of the few ports
in Mexico to receive over one million visitors yearly. Plans for Costa
Maya will break from the Mayan Riviera and Cancun's tradition of all-inclusive
resorts and high-density tourism products. Instead, the development
strategy calls for a maximum of 10,000 rooms, all to be developed
as eco-friendly structures. Ultimately, the region will be mostly
comprised of smaller boutique hotels catering to adventure-seekers,
cultured-travelers and visitors looking to enjoy its unspoiled land,
sea and beaches. As a port of call, Costa Maya has already experienced
a 15 percent growth, said Chetumal tourism director Noemi Canto. (NOTE
from the editor: If you might recall, this is a far cry from the 27,000
rooms that FONATUR had on the plans only a few mints ago!) http://travelvideo.tv/news/more.php?id=11151_0_1_0_M
Bus service to Belize Travelers traveling from Belize to Chetumal
can now travel in style on the National Transport. Three deluxe buses
will make three trips from Belize City to Chetumal daily at six, nine,
and eleven a.m. Its a direct line, Belize to Orange Walk, Orange
Walk to Corozal, Corozal to Chetumal. The ticket to Chetumal will
cost sixteen dollars one way, and thirty-two for a roundtrip.
Coastline protection to begin - The governor of Quintana Roo
said a project to stop the gradual disappearance of the beaches at
Cancún will get underway in May. In October 2005, Hurricane
Wilma blew away most of the sand from Cancún´s beaches,
requiring an investment by the government to of US$20 million for
their restoration, a project that was finished in April 2006. Since
that time, north winds have carried away almost 1/2 of the restored
beach. the new project will cost about $1.2 million US and will consist
of installing 1200 meters of special tubing 5 meters in diameter at
four different places along the coast. The tubes will act as barriers
that keep the wind from eroding the coastline. This doesn't include
the additional sand that will have to be loaded back onto the beach.
Poor environmental planning is the result of the sand loss.
This is a friendly reminder -- if you haven't purchased the federal
zone adjacent to your property, please look into it. We've been hearing
rumors of large tour groups buying up federal zones adjacent to public
accesses. We don't know if there is any truth to the rumor, but the
best protection against someone running a business on your beach is
to purchase the federal Zone. Go on the Costa Maya Live Forum for
recommendations to get your federal zone, or contact me directly.
If any one has any experiences regarding federal zones that others
can learn from , please share them on the Costa Maya Forum.
A new law that went into effect in January that requires U.S. citizens
to have a passport when taking a plane to Mexico, Canada and the Caribbean
is creating a huge demand that is peaking now that the summer travel
scene is looming. I've already had two cancellations due to the passport
Part of the backlog was due to new requirements for children and
those traveling to places where previously only a birth certificate
was needed (like Mexico). NPR reported that the State Department has
waded through an unprecedented crush of applications, at the rate
of more than 1 million per month. The last week of March, the State
Department issued a record 412,000 passports, the most ever in a seven-day
period, topping a record set just the week before. Even though the
agency had geared up for the new law, passport centers were overwhelmed.
Processing times for standard applications jumped from eight weeks
to three months or more, and the time for expedited applications
which cost an extra $59 went from two weeks to four. I had
a guest who ordered an expedited passport and after 8 weeks, still
didn't have her passport.
Lesson? if you are planning on a trip to Mexico any time in the future
and need to get a new passport or renew your old one -- do it early
and get it expedited!
CRUISE SHIP NEWS
HOW STUPID CAN YOU GET? It is so hard to fall overboard that
when someone does go over the side, it's either because, sadly, it's
a suicide attempt or it's because they're being incredibly foolish,
said Carolyn Spencer Brown, editor of the Web site CruiseCritic.com.
In the recent case of two people falling over board, it was certainly
the latter. The ship Grand Princess was headed out of Galveston on
its way to the Costa Maya when they fell over-board. They were found
four hours later 150 miles off Galveston, Texas. Neither was seriously
injured, and they asked the cruise line to keep their names and the
circumstances that led to the fall private. However, Mahahual was
just teaming with rumors as eye-witnesses of the rescue reported that
the rescued man and woman were not wearing any clothing. Now what
WERE they doing to fall off of a railing? One can only speculate.
The ship was late docking into Mahahual and affected all the ship
schedules that day.
TRAFFIC INCREASES ON THE COSTA MAYA - I'm not sure how official the
information is, but in several articles, Hamui, the owner of the Costa
Maya Pier is quoted as saying that the Costa Maya is now the 2nd most
visited port in Mexico. There surely has been a lot of traffic in
town. All winter there wasn't a weekday without a ship in. Now things
are slowing down, but still there will be more traffic this year than
last where there were some weeks with no ships. This coming summer
there isn't a week that doesn't' have at least three ships a week.
Beginning in June, the ship-free days are Saturdays, Sundays and Tuesdays
You can check out the days that cruise ships will be in Mahahual by
MAHAHUAL ACTIVITIES (NON-CRUISE SHIP)
SEMANA SANTOS - We like to see things happening in Mahahual that
have nothing to do with the cruise ship. Aside from construction and
community meetings there are lots of activities. Semana Santos saw
even more people visiting Mahahual. This year, the price of Ice and
water went up, but not much else. The beaches were covered with tents
and after they left - covered with garbage. Still it was nice to see
families vacationing together and nice to see them go again.
ANNUAL FISHING TOURNAMENT - The last weekend of April, Mahahual hosted
the annual fishing tournament. I've never seen so many vehicles parked
in Mahahual. Some quite large fish - Marlin, Mahi Mahi and Tuna were
at the weigh-in. The governor of the state of Quintana Roo attended
and all was quite civilized. If you are a fisherman, you might want
to consider vacationing in the area next year during this time when
the big fish are running.
MINI-OLYMPICS - The day of the laborer was May 1, Mother's day is
May 10th and children's day was May 5 (or the 4th, I may be off a
day). In celebration of the day of the child, Mahahual Wednesdays
Women's organization sponsored a mini-Olympics in Mahahual. Local
business donated money for prizes and snacks. The women's group meets
every Wednesday at the Costa Maya Inn. Their next project is to rise
money and build some shade for the school children.
SPOTLIGHT ON YOUR NEIGHBORS
If you would like to be featured as a spotlighted neighbor, please
contact me. Its a great way to get to know people (I think some of
you have promised me some pictures!). 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. http://www.mayanbeachgarden.com/Rental_Homes.html.
LONG TERM RENTALS
PLACER: Many of you may be familiar with Fabio's house, which is
just South of Mayan beach Garden. I will post pictures and full information
later on this weekend, but his house is available for long term rental
if you are interested. Please contact me for more information.
UVERO: Many of you visited Dr. Greg Zeman's home before he died.
His house is now for sale or long term lease. More information will
be posted on the website above as soon as the specifics are verified
by the owners. The large one-story two bedroom house has a built-in
care-taker, fans and air-conditioning in the bedrooms. The fully furnished
house runs on a combination of solar and generator and includes washer
and dryer, satellite TV and other amenities. Pets allowed. Here is
a link to that house:
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 hear. THANKS!!!!!
Until Next month...
Regards from your Costa Maya Neighbor
Mayan Beach Garden, Boutique hotel on the Costa Maya
21.5 km. N Carretera Costera Rio Indio - Uvero
Mahahual, QRoo Mexico, 77940