Costa Maya Newsletter > Archived Newsletters > May 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: 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 rentals
* Spotlight on your Neighbors

Hi 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:


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.


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.

ON-Line Survey - Mahahual Tourist survey


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.

Topic Squatters:


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)
  • OTHER?

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.


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
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.


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!)

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. It’s 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 problems.

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!


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 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 visiting


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.


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!).

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

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. 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


Updated: 01-May-2008

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