Costa Maya Newsletter > Archived Newsletters > Feb. 2005

Newsletters: of primary interest to property owners on the Costa Maya, - Rio Indio - Placer - Uvero - Punta Herrera - Xcalak and other points along the coast

***********************Newsletter: February 6, 2005**************************


Road Conditions
Continuing saga of mail delivery
Update on Recycling effort
Costa Maya Chamber of Commerce
Zoning and the use of Motorized vehicles inside the reef
Electricity -- READ THIS!

Hi Neighbors,

If you will note the email subject has been changed to include Xcalak. There are many reasons for this. Primarily I have been receiving emails from property owners south of Mahahual asking to be included on the mailing list. Also, most of the issues are relevant to everyone on the Costa Maya. I hope the weather where you are has not been too cold. The weather here has been almost too beautiful, with no rain. We could use some. Please keep the dry weather in mind if you are planning any lot clearing. The men who clear lots have a tendency to pile up all the cut timber, palm fronds and other plant material, dump gasoline on it and have one large raging fire. Fires can get out of hand and spread to neighboring lots. This kind of burning is illegal, and some time soon will incur fines. We have only seen one instance of fining, but we think that in a few months there will be more. Archives of this and previous newsletters can be accessed at

The rainy season has been somewhat brutal on some of the roads. You can still get up to Punta Herrera without a 4-wheel drive, but the going is slow in some areas. Thanks to Paradise Lodge, the north end of the Rio-Indo - Placer beach road is in great shape. The Woodwards who own Paradise have been having their workers fill in all the potholes. On the Jungle road north of Mahahual, there is a pretty big pothole just north of Mile Marker 2, but the rest are easily avoidable.

The good news is that the divided highway from Bacalar to Chetumal is looking very good. You can drive all the way from Bacalar to the Escarcega junction on a concrete road with wide shoulders.


Last month I reported that UPS delivered a package to Mayan Beach Garden on Dec. 24th, which I thought was a rather long delay, considering that it was postmarked Dec. 6th. Last Tuesday, Feb. 1st, I received a letter sent via US postal service the same day. Thanks to Gabe Zarnotti, we don't have to wonder which is quicker! The good news is that they both got here.

The recycling effort continues on. We (meaning all of you who have donated) made our first official donation to the city of Mahahual to expand the composting bins which are full. The first donation was $200 USD. The city made a formal thank you to all the "foreign investors" on behalf of the city who had no funds in which to do this. Ann and Neil Guerin, who were early donators were able to attend the meeting and meet the members of the "Costa Mayan solid waste management" group (Solid waste refers to the recyclable materials and calling our-selves the Costa Maya refers to the area from Xcalak to Punta Herrero.) " The money was turned over to the treasurer and I received a copy of receipts spent for wood and wire for the bins.

Since the last newsletter I received 3 additional donations to the Mahahual recycling effort (thanks!):

Neils and Wendy 1000 pesos
Wayne and Carla Kelly 1100 pesos
The Layman family 55 pesos

This brings the total collected to $1241 USD. $200 USD has been given to the recycling center of Mahahual making a balance of $1,041.27. I should be receiving a new proposal for the funds next week to expand the recycling collection bins to include glass and aluminum. Right now they only hold plastic. We will also help educate the locals about recycling by creating signs and brochures.

One of the problems has been trying to get the plastic from Mahahual to a recycling processing center. There is one in Chetumal, but at this point they are not coming to Mahahual to pick it up. Tom Steddum has donated his trailer and Orlando Iglesia, from the University of Quintana Roo has volunteered to haul loads to Chetumal when he goes to Chetumal. People here are really determined to make this work. Meanwhile, the dock has volunteered one of their large trucks to haul combined plastics from the dock AND Mahahual. Large organizations move slowly and so far it hasn't happened, but the effort continues to move on.

Also under "recycling news" is the fact that the environmental groups are really getting serious about recycling. Recycling bins have been placed throughout Mahahual for the collection of recyclable materials. One of the restaurants didn't like the bins so removed it. Several requests for removal didn't work so the local group went to Chetumal and got a $2100 warning fine assessed against the restaurant. The bins were back up the next day. They are also getting serious about mixing bones with compost in the city compost bins and and looking at assessing fines for restaurants that don't comply.


In a ceremony in Mahahual on Jan. 21st, 2005, The Mahahual Chamber of Commerce was given autonomy from the city of Chetumal. It will be known as the Costa Maya Chamber of Commerce and include the area from Xcalak to Punta Herrera. A vote was taken and Miguel Sosa was voted as the new president of the chamber of commerce.

Being a member of the chamber of commerce is quite a bargain. If you have a corporation, you can be a member for 200 pesos. We registered our corporation last week. You might ask why you would want to be a member of the chamber of commerce, but I think it is important for foreign investors in the Costa Maya area to have a voice in what is going on. I'll report more on the activities of the chamber of commerce in the months to come as I am on the board. I will be representing all of the foreign investors, the first time that foreign investors (non residents) have been represented in the state of Quintana Roo. In the near future, the membership fees collected by the chamber will be used to promote the following goals:
ATM machine in Mahahual (hopefully a bank as well)
Social Security doctor for the workers in the area
childcare center for workers in Mahahual
Web site promoting the businesses along the Costa Maya

On Feb. 3, there was a meeting in Mahahual at the Aricefe restaurant to alert everyone of the zoning laws for use of motorized vehicles (jet skis, boats, etc). There were many officials from state, local and federal environmental agencies as well as the Navy. A law has been on the books for quite a while that limits all motorized vehicles from being used INSIDE the reef. The only use of motorized vehicles is for transportation of passengers outside the reef and such use is limited to certain buoyed areas. These areas will be established in a workshop in Mahahual on the 18th of February at the Aricefe restaurant. Based on what zone you are in, there may be no motorized vehicles in your area at all and you may have to find other areas to put boats into the water. Prior to Feb. 3, the law was being ignored, but as of noon on that day, the law will be enforced by the Navy. Mahahual already has a buoyed area, but if you have a boat and wish to use it to get out to the reef, please avoid problems by making sure you go VERY slowly, avoid any wake inside the reef and only use your vehicle to transport yourself and any passengers outside the reef. I will report more on this when I can get a copy of the full law and a copy of the zoning regulations which should be available in English in the near future.

The first effort at getting attention for electricity failed. Now your property information is needed again since a copy of the list that was turned in was not made (sad lesson learned). We now have another opportunity to apply to CFE (the electric company). They now have very specific information that they need. Please email me back with answers to the following, and PLEASE pass this on if you know of any other property owners.
If you have or are currently building - how many rooms are there?, (this lets them know how much electricity they need in each house or facility)Equipment you need that requires electricity, such as refrigerators, TV sets, water pumps, air conditioners, etc.How many days of the year are you using the facility at the present time?If you are planning construction, when will this take place and can you answer any of the above questions about your lot?Address, Lot or the best idea of where you are located.
Owner's name
It is important to get this information back to me this month as the window for consideration is fairly short.


Thanks for your help and we'll report more next month as we learn more.

DISCLAIMER: The information in this newsletter comes from meetings I attend which are all in Spanish. I have to trust my poor Spanish or use an interpreter. Anytime I am incorrect, I will print a correction, so if you see any errors, please let me know.


Updated: 19-Apr-2008

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