Costa Maya Newsletters: of primary interest to property owners from Mahahual / Majahual - Rio Indio - Placer - Uvero - Punta Herrera - Xcalak and other points along the southern coast of Quintana Roo
*******************Costa Maya Newsletter*******************
Maya Neighbors- reflections on Tropical Storm Arther
Photo of Marcia, courtesy of Captain Graybeard
Water is our most precious resource here on the beach. As much as we hope for electricity to come to our properties, the need for water is far greater. It isn't uncommon to go months without rain and then get five inches of water over night. After Dean, one of the main considerations we made during restoration was how to capture more water. We eliminated the charming palapa roofs in favor of concrete roofs and added more cisterns. It kills me that we still have roofs that aren't collecting water right now - design flaws in our earlier, less educated days on the Costa Maya when we thought all we had to do was drill a well. I'll be covering more on water in the next few newsletters. If anyone has any resources they can point me to and that I can in turn share it with this group, please pass it along. The more we are all educated, the better decisions we can make as we build on the Costa Maya.
Past newsletters can be found at NEWSLETTER ARCHIVES
PS If you are planning on a Christmas time visit - please book your accommodations soon! - Only a couple of properties left!
CRUISE NEWS - WHEN IS THE COSTA MAYA PORT REALLY OPENING?
months ago I reported that the Cruise ships were ahead of schedule and
were going to start accepting cruise ships in July. The
stance of the port hadn't changed until Tuesday June 24th.
The question is -- if they
build it will the cruise ships come? Apparently not. I've
liberty of pasting most of the following from Cruise Critic.com.
They seem to have their pulse on what is [NOT] happening with
the cruise ships - especially this port. The following article was posted on
Friday the 27th, after a series of misinformation from the port (see dated material below)
23 June, 2008 Costa Maya Confusion Over Ship Return Dates
Editor's Note: Costa Maya is working to update the information they provided to us last week about cruise lines' plans to return to the port following its massive rebuilding as a result of a strike by Hurricane Dean last year.
At this point, we do know that its information on some Royal Caribbean ship visits along with Disney and Ocean Village calls is incorrect. Officials at the port are working to provide a more accurate timetable; stay tuned and we'll keep you posted.
(June 21) -- Costa Maya, the port of call carved out of a jungle along Mexico's Riviera Maya, had been one of the most popular stops on Western Caribbean itineraries until Hurricane Dean last fall demolished the place, along with the much loved village of Majahual.
So the good news yesterday that not only would the port reopen earlier than expected it also would welcome Disney Magic, as its first ship, on September 27, generated all the more excitement. The information was provided by the port's Miami-based public relations firm. Other major cruise lines committed to returning include Princess, Celebrity, Norwegian Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean, Carnival Cruise Lines, Regent Seven Seas, P&O Cruises, Windstar, MSC Cruises and Ocean Village.
But wait a minute. Confused Cruise Critic members slated to cruise on that Disney Magic voyage, immediately contacted us, saying they'd just been informed that their September 27 sailing would call at Grand Cayman instead of Costa Maya. Even more bizarre is Costa Maya's claim that Royal Caribbean's Grandeur of the Seas and Splendour of the Seas would make visits this fall. It turns out that neither ship is anywhere near Costa Maya during the season (according to a Royal Caribbean spokesman, Grandeur's calls aren't scheduled until 2010 and Splendour is in South America).
The Costa Maya spokeswoman tells us she's trying to track down the "most updated call info" (the schedule she provided to us is dated June 17) and we'll keep you posted.
But remember this: It's not enough for a port to simply say -- we've rebuilt and we're ready to accept you. Cruise lines must also send in their own teams to inspect both the facilities and the shore tour operations. A source at Disney told us that the company has not yet made such an inspection and until that's completed its Disney Magic will not be calling there. "
Marcia's NOTE: Cruise Cal.com has Disney Magic scheduled for September 28th , a few ships in October and November ships every Friday and several others during the week. Apparently no one knows what is happening. We'll keep you posted.
ELECTIONS FOR MAYOR/ALCALDE
Four candidates are running for Mayor/Alcalde in the town of Mahahual. The stakes are a little higher this time with more opportunities for corruption. I don't mean to imply that the candidates are dishonest, but in the past, Mahahual had a Delgado, which was a figurehead, more than an official with any authority. The position of Alcalde is more closely related to a Mayor. The four candidates are William Calderon, Jose Fernandez (from Chepe's supermini), Saul Toledo Aguayo (a resident of Bacalar and arguabley not a valid contestant) and Jose Luis Rosas, ower of Aricife restaurant and the Delgado of a couple of years ago. The election is sunday the 29th of June Polls open at 9:00 AM
MEETING OF TOURIST BUSINESSES
TRASH IN THE NEWS
XCALAK SPLASH FOR TRASH
I just found out that since Hurricane Dean, Xcalak has had a monthly "Splash for Trash" - how cool is that? Itīs that time of the month again. Splash for Trash will be be on June 28 and 29 this month. they begin with beach pick up on Saturday morning followed by snorkeling clean up in the lagoon, and then diving clean up on Sunday, weather permitting. This is sponsored by XTC diving, SEMARNAT, CONANP and other businesses in Xcalak. Local hotels are encouraged to get their guests to participate. The following is from Susan at XTC:
"Even if you can just get a group of people to pick up trash on the beach it makes such a huge impact. We give out free lunch and then somebody usually buys a case of beer at the end of the day. It's actually a lot of fun and we find some really interesting trash (and a lot of trashy trash).
The nice thing about having the biologists involved is that they discuss the importance of how to properly and safely collect man made waste w/o injuring yourself or damaging the environment. In April, they decided to leave something that looked like a roof rack from a car in the water as it had new coral growth all over it. And they left the cover to a lawn mower because it had become a lobster condo. Liliana and her co-workers usually give a briefing, in English, to explain the best ways to remove trash w/o removing or harming any animal life. A lot of those beer bottles have an animal or two living in side that must be gently removed, if possible, before you remove the container. And there are always issues of sharp, rusty metal and broken glass."
BEACH CLEAN-UP RIO INDIO TO PLACER
Less community minded and more "I'm fed up with the trash and I'm not going to take it any more" Gabe Zarnoti of Placer is having teams of men cleaning up the trash from Rio Indio to No Placer. It is a true fact that garbage washes in and out over and over again, so this effort will not only keep our beaches cleaner for a while, but also protect wild life in the process. PLEASE help him and if you visit your beach, plan on bringing garbage bags with you and pick up the trash - not just on your lot but on your neighbors. Perhaps they will reciprocate when they visit. If everyone cleans up their neighbor's lots as well as their own, we will have a cleaner place. If you don't have the room to take garbage into Mahahual in a dumpster or to the land fill, you can bring the bags here to Mayan Beach Garden. As much as I don't want the trash around here, I would much rather not have it on the beach. We'll make sure it gets picked up by the garbage trucks. This is not the only effort to clean up. John and Valarie McChristy cleaned a good portion of Punta Placer, so if you have property in that neighborhood, you'll know who to thank. .
OCEAN CONSERVANCY AND WORLDWIDE BEACH CLEAN-UP DAY
Each year, on the third Saturday of September, Ocean Conservancy and 350,000 ocean advocates like you meet on beaches and waterways the world over to gather, tally and report on the trash in our waters. This year's event is on Saturday, September 20th in your community and promises to be even bigger than last year. Online registration is now open so come sign up now to be a part of the sea change!
Register for the event in your area today: http://www.oceanconservancy.org/site/R?i=2MwfMJaAAlJWfjW8NJLHag..I
I was thinking it would be a fun excuse to come to Mahahual for a September "beach clean-up" vacation -- its kind of nice here in late September. . . . ;-)
BELIZE TOURISM AND IMPACT ON THE COSTA MAYA
The 2007 Belize tourism board statistics show that of all over night stays 60% of tourists are from the U.S. Out of the 251 thousand 656 overnight stays in 2007, Mexicans only accounted for a little more than 2%. It is because of this that the Belize Tourism Industry Association, B.T.I.A. is making it a goal to get more tourism from Mexico. Why is this good for the Costa Maya? For one thing, it is cheaper to fly to Belize city than it is to Chetumal and there are direct flights from the US. With that in mind. . . read the following:
VOTING WHEN LIVING IN MEXICO
Generally, all U.S. citizens 18 years or older who are residing outside the United States during an election period are eligible to vote absentee in any election for Federal office. Some states allow overseas voters to vote in state and local elections as well. http://www.fvap.gov/
Saturday 31st May was Xcalak pueblo's birthday, needless to say Arthur spoiled it. We just celebrated it a week later, great fun. A Punta/Reggie band from San Pedro Belize, beer and dancing. Mariners day on Sunday 1st June was also a complete no go. Our Port Captain Suzi (she is only the 2nd female port Captain in Mexico) rescheduled and here are a couple of photo's taken at the end of the new pier between rain storms.
Tuesday 10th June - while taking my son and his girlfriend to Mahahual to catch the ADO bus the most beautiful big black jaguar ambles lazily across the road in front of us, then we see parrots,ospreys,snakes and turtles. Now they know why I love living here in the jungle. You never know what you are going to see.
Talking of living in the jungle, last week a friend went into the Pemex in Mahahual and saw Jose Luis from Matahual chasing one of the pump attendants around the forecourt yelling that he had been robbed. We in Xcalak use this Pemex station very reluctantly, we know we are going to get scammed. Really clever scams.
Well I saw this on another message board, and asked Whales permission to post it here.
'Being a technical geek, one of the Pemex scams has been worrying me for a while. How could they reset a pump to zero, start it pumping and still scam you on the amount? Sounded very technically difficult without a trick pump and I couldn't imagine the pump jockies having the access or the ability to pull that off. However, I knew from a prior experience it could be done, but how, especially on a digital pump? I was determined to find out. It was easier than I thought.
I pulled into the Pemex station just before the San Francisco market in Tulum, got out of the car and ordered 200 pesos of Magna. I then watched the attendant reset the pump to zero and then punch in the amount of 205 pesos on the auto stop. The pump was running and was at about 130 pesos when he asked if I wanted him to check my tires, thinking to myself "here it comes", I said no they were fine. He pointed to the front tire and said it was low. For a fraction of a second I started turning my head in that direction and then immediately turned back toward him as he calmly reached over an hit the stop button on the pump. Bingo, the pump instantly went from 130 pesos to 205 pesos and stopped. I yelled at him and said "what are you trying to pull". He pointed to the amount, I yelled at him again and said "you stopped the pump, we are going to the oficina" and started walking to the office and motioned for him to follow. He turned to the other attendant, they exchanged some words in Spanish and he said in pretty good English, "what do you want?" I said I wanted 80 more pesos of gas. He reset the pump to zero again, pumped in 80 more pesos, I gave him the 200 and left, so I guess I actually scammed him out of ten pesos . Moral: Never take your eyes off the pump while it is pumping, no matter what anyone around you says or does.
In Merida I also tried Iguana mama's trick of using a 100 peso note since there is no corresponding smaller bill for them to switch it with. (They usually try to switch a 200 with a 20 but there is no 10 peso bill, only coins) It was a worthwhile effort Iggymom, but no cigar. I ordered 100 pesos, he pumped it in, I gave him a 100 peso bill. He then asked me where I was from, I told him "Colorado" and he held up a 50 peso note. I busted out laughing at him (this is really getting to be a fun game for me) and said "you know and I know I gave you a 100" he just sheepishly turned around and walked to the next car as I got in mine and drove away.
Another Xcalakeno says,"I now have someone who will help with the people and problems in the Mahahual Pemex. Will you please get any one who has had a problem to write an e mail. Just give an honest account of the gas attendants there." Garrik22@hotmail.com
Is this a case of if we don't use it we loose it? Remember how awful it was before it was built.
Polly in Xcalak