Costa Maya Newsletter > Archived Newsletters > April 2007

Costa 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

***********************Newsletter: April 1, 2007**************************


* Message board for Costa Maya Neighbors - topic on ATVs and Medical care
* Electricity efforts
* Learn Spanish on-line
* Articles of Interest in the news
* Costa Maya Clean Beach committee commences
* Properties for rent
* April 1 - Daylight savings in Mexico -- NOT April fools!
* Sea turtle advocates appeal to the Vatican
* Houses for Rent in Chetumal, Uvero and Placer - long term and vacation rentals
* Spotlight on your Neighbors

Hi Neighbors,
I've now been here on the Costa Maya and in Placer for almost three years. In the entire time I haven't been sick. I've watched my staff get all sorts of pains and illnesses and pooh-poohed every little cold and sniffle as they shuffled off to the doctor or left work because of a "febre." Then a couple of weeks ago I got my first "tropical" cold. It knocked me flat for a couple of days and I just couldn't think straight. I now have a lot more sympathy for those who get the dreaded "tropical" cold. Which, by the way, if you do need to go see a doctor, there is a new house across from Super Carolina that has a "doctor - 24 hour" sign on it. So far, we haven't taken advantage of his services, but that's the type of progress we like to see. Medical care is one of the topics on the discussion board. If you have the time, please take the time and comment, especially if you had had the opportunity to use Medical care in the area and can recommend someone.

You can find this issue of the newsletter and archives of past e-newsletters at this location:


If you haven't yet, please check out the message board this month. In the messages about Neighborhoods is a topic by Carol Tumbler from Balamku who is leading an effort to stop high impact vehicle tours from the beach road. Elsewhere along the coast, such as in Tulum, these businesses have been required to create their own off-road terrains and not drive up and down the roads that cut through our property. They are dangerous, noisy and don't contribute to road improvement. If you recall, we just got our road improved last month by TransCaribbean real estate company. It was expensive and we want to keep it nice. Imagine hearing a tour of 20 ATVs or Jeeps roaring past your home several times a day or jet skis ripping past where you are swimming - that's exactly what is currently occurring South of Mahahaul and north of Uvero to about km 7. If you plan on renting your home out to others in the future, you want to market it as a place of peace and quiet. There doesn't seem to be an area of the Costa Maya that isn't impacted by this industry. At least voice your opinion on the matter and find out what we can do. Thanks in advance for supporting the neighborhood and thanks to Carol for laboring to rid the area of these noisy machines! Topic: ATV

Also, if you've used any medical care in the Bacalar or Chetumal area that you might recommend, please let everyone know (also vet care!). I personally have refrained from going to a doctor because I didn't know where to go. I've since learned that there are some very good clinics in Chetumal. If you have had any experience, please contribute and let others know. Topic: looking for good Medical care


Two months ago we asked for you to join in an effort to bring electricity to the beach. We've had a better response last month, but we still need more names, having only collected 13! Again, I'll reiterate - this is a group effort! Ted Garcia, who has been collecting these will be in the area this week and hopefully will find out more information. There has been some news about the previous request for power in behalf of the people of Mahahual. There have been a couple of articles in the paper covering the plight of the Mexican citizens denied power by FONATUR, and there will be more coming. Again, to reiterate, we are trying to join in with those who are fighting FONATUR's claim on all of the electricity. The power company is not going to run electrical power to us without property owners doing someting. Even if you don't think you will ever build, your property will be more valuable if you have electricity, so please don't procrastinate.

In order to be included, the following information MUST be submitted for EACH property owner (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
  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:

Ted Garcia
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.


I found a program on-line that takes what Spanish you know (but didn't know you knew!) and expands on it to help you learn Spanish. Spanish-is-easy includes some mnemonics to help you remember (although I still struggle!). They also have the first few chapters of a workbook that you can download and print up. Again, they cell CD's, but the on-line free-bies are worth looking into.


  • MEXICAN CONSTITUTION ON-LINE Mexican constitution of 1917 translated into English ..
  • American Chocolate week (March 18-24) Listen to a radio show about the history of chocolate or read about Europeans' introduction to cacao by the Mesoamericans in the article "Conquests of Chocolate" in Word format .
  • Biodegradable plastic especially for saltwater? A new environmentally friendly plastic that degrades in seawater may make it possible to toss plastic waste overboard without killing turtles, dolphins and other marine life, according to research presented at the 233rd national meeting of the American Chemical Society by scientists from the University of Southern Mississippi. We'll believe it when we DON'T see it, but I hope it works and is commercially viable!
  • Over fishing sharks is impacting the entire ecosystem, causing the proliferation of Rays. If you snorkel a lot, that may seem harmless every time you see this big beauties, but rays and skates eat a tremendous amount of muscles, clams and my favorite -- scallops.


While the US started Daylight savings early, Mexico actually slid its start date a week later than it had in the past to the 1st of April. The change actually left some guests sitting on the tarmac for a while waiting for the USA air to get their act together trying to figure out what time it actually was going to be when they landed. No joke, Mexico's April fools is not on April 1st, but it's equivalent is celebrated on Dec. 28th, or the day of the innocents. Originally created to remember the killing of babies by King Herod, The day has morphed to include jokes and harmless pranks.


On Saturday, March 24th, they finally celebrated the founding of the Comite de Playas Limpias de la Costa Maya (Costa Maya Clean Beach Committee). Held at Tequila Beach club, The meeting was a virtual Who's-who of dignitaries and bureaucrats. Included in the list of attendees was the mayor of Chetumal, a Delgado from SEMARNAT, representatives from PROFEPA, the head of CONAGUA, representatives from the federal, state and regional level -- the list goes on. The meeting was merely a formality but a lesson in Mexican bureaucracy. The reason it is such an important thing is that all the water including the beaches, the lagoons and the aquifer belong to the Yucatan regional Watershed, which encompasses the entire peninsula and several states. The Federal Commission of water is CONAGUA. As an FYI, They are over potable water and sanitary systems in rural areas.

Every time I go to one of these meetings they include a PowerPoint presentation full of facts. That's OK with me, because its easy to take notes! From CONAGUA presentation I learned:

  • 2002--there were 94 cruise ships 2003 - 149 , 2005 - 299. I'm not sure what happened to 2004 and 2006 but you can see the trend. I can assure you that there are at least 12 ships a week during high season and 10 during low season.
  • The cruise ship was built in 2001 and is being extended this year to handle more cruise ships
  • There are 22 restaurants along the Costa Maya
  • There are 210 hotel rooms (some have closed)
  • They built the road to Xcalak in 2000
  • 2002 - started a study of the marina and the impact of cruise ships to the reef
  • 2003 - potable water came to Mahahual (oh to have it here!)
  • 2004 - Garbage pickup started in Mahahual
  • 2005 - started a local "clean the beach" campaign with signs in Mahahual

    They passed out posters with the committees mandate, which is Recycle and reuse. We'll see what happens, because attendees reminded the group that we have been trying to get a recycle program for years and the question was posed as to when we would see some results from the committee.


With Semana Santos coming up and thousands of Mexicans coming to camp on the beach, the following article is especially meaningful. Because of the common misconception of sea turtles as 'fish,' it is estimated that as many as 10,000 endangered green, loggerhead, and olive ridley turtles are taken for feast food each year during Catholic religious holidays. The tradition of eating turtles for Lent is stronger in Mexico that other Latin American Countries. The fervor for turtle eggs is bolstered by rumors of libido enhancement. An environmental campaign targeting the practice features Argentine supermodel Dorismar saying "Mi hombre no necesita huevos tortuga," (My man doesn't need turtle eggs). A group in Baja Sur is sponsoring a petition to gain support from the Pope. I've copied the letter below, with a link that you can click on to add your voice to a request to the Pope. You can also read the fascinating report on this issue "The Turtle Thief, the Fishermen and the Saint: A report on the consumption of sea turtles during Lent:

"Help stop sea turtle consumption during Lent

With a copy to: The United States Embassy to the Holy See, and the Pontifical Academy of Sciences.

March 2007

Your Holiness:

We are writing to you on behalf of one of Earth's creatures that does not have a voice of its own.

We are writing to you on behalf of ancient mariners that have long graced our planet with their presence.

We are writing to you on behalf of gentle giants that have touched many human hearts throughout time and across cultures.

We are writing to you on behalf of thousands that could be saved by a few simple words from Your Holiness.

We are writing to you on behalf of the sea turtles that are consumed during the Lenten season.

All sea turtle species face extinction and are protected by the national laws of many countries. During the Lenten season, devout Catholics around the world continue to consume thousands of turtles as a substitute for meat. Turtles, however, are not fish. They are air-breathing reptiles (still reliant on dry land for the bearing and incubating of their young), and their flesh is meat, and therefore does not fulfill strict Lenten requirements.

If people refrained from eating turtles during the Lenten season, it would help stabilize dwindling sea turtle populations around the world. We humbly beseech you to clarify that sea turtles are not appropriate food during Lent. Perhaps you can offer a prayer for the sea turtles. A few words from Your Holiness would inform the entire Catholic community, and help to protect these ancient creatures."


Sorry, I don't have the spotlight because I have been ill! If you have never checked out the Spotlight -- do so now.

HOMES FOR RENT IN CHETUMAL, UVERO AND PLACER - Long term and vacation rentals

CHETUMAL: Ever come down to the Costa Maya to take care of business on your property and end up having to spend a night or two in Chetumal? If you wonder where to stay, Graham and Linda Smith have a couple of houses in Chetumal that they rent out for the night. The houses are located close to immigration so its very convenient and Graham and Linda live there as well. The rate is $40.00 USA per night. The homes are fully equipped with a stove, fridge, water cooler, towels, linens, etc. There is space for parking a vehicle in front of the houses. Contact Graham and Linda at or call them at 360-927-2928.

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.


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. Pictures and 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. Please contact me for more information.


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


Updated: 01-May-2008

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