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Property Owners > Archived Newsletters > March/30 - marzo 2008 -

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

***********************Newsletter: 30 - Mar. 2008**************************


Hi Costa Maya Neighbors

As always, the preparations for Semana Santa (Holy Week) were an event. Starting the week before Easter, Semana Santa is like Memorial day, Labor day and the 4th of July holidays rolled into one. I'm not sure what equivalent holidays exist elsewhere in the world, but Latin countries all over the world celebrate Semana Santa. In Mexico, everyone goes to the beach. This year was especially celebratory because Semana Santa was rolled up with Benito Juarez day, the full moon and the Vernal Equinox. Mahahual started talking about preparations for Semana Santa months before the date. Despite the preparations, I went to town on the Tuesday before Easter to replenish our own reserves of beer and everyone was out of Corona, Pacifico and Leon - already! Meanwhile the campers were covering the beach with nylon tents. In the past, those tents would have been in the town of Mahahual, but they weren't allowing them this year, so they pitched them elsewhere on the beach. It wasn't hard to find cleared beaches after Dean. Constant 20 knot winds gusted to higher speeds with common frequency causing camping to be less than ideal. You walked outside and got sand blasted. The poor trees and post-Dean planted shrubs were drying up and shriveling in the salt laden air. We've lost at least 5 inches of sand before it seized. The new soft sand deposited in Mahahual is also getting blown away and eroded by the wind driven waves. Still, they came with their tents and had fun. The hotels were full and the restaurants busy. Without the cruise ship passengers in the way, Mexicans enjoyed Mahahual the way they used to. I noticed that only a few of the prices had gone up and there wasn't quite the gouging we have seen in the past.

Over the Easter Holiday I had the opportunity to visit the US. Everyone was talking about the economy. We are already feeling it here in a decrease of advance reservations. We are finding even homes are renting out with less advance notice. In an effort to promote the rental homes in the area, there are some great offers listed below under Vacation Rental Promotions. You can also find more homes for rent on the Mayan Beach Garden website and last minute promotions that might be posted.


This week's topic is about FONATUR's decision to pull funding from the Costa Maya. Read the article below for more information, but in a nutshell FONATUR announced they were pulling funding for the Costa Maya. Marcia's opinion? I think it's a good thing. Playa del Carmen and Tulum evolved naturally without FONATUR support. I think all of us would rather not live in a place that looks like it was designed on a computer. This is always a danger when someone comes in and builds something according to a grand plan. My only regret is that without funding, we won't get the infrastructure we need for power and water (I personally don't want a golf course). Anyone have any other opinions or information about this? If so, please log on and give your opinion. More on this subject below.
FONATUR pulling funding:


FONATUR announced the first week of March at the VI Tourism Forum that they were canceling the 400 million pesos contribution that had previously been dedicated to the Costa Maya. Director of FONATUR, Miguel Gomez Mont stated the reason given behind the suspension of funds is the General Law on Wildlife and Wetlands/Mangrove Protection which was passed in 2007 and supports the North American Wetland's Conservation Act passed in 1999 of which Mexico is a member. Amid protests, Mexican President Calderon signed this bill into law. Sixteen governors vowed to fight it, including Quintana Roo's Governor Felix. The headlines stated that the announcement was like a bucket of ice water dropped on the Costa Maya development community. After the destruction of Hurricane Dean, this was indeed a disappointment for many. It has always been known that the area had mangroves and that it was a protected area, so the announcement now doesn't make a lot of sense to many. FONATUR will finish Costa Maya projects that have already been funded, such as the Malecon, but no further money is currently targeted. Felix, the governor of QRoo has stated that he will still put money into the area and it will move forward even without the funding, progress may just take longer.

I've included the Wetlands Act Declaration below so the readers of this newspaper and more fully understand the issues and value of what has happened. The arguments were effective enough to cause the withdrawal of funds from not only Costa Maya but from a project on the Pacific coast as well. You can read the North American Wetland's Conservation Act at


CANCUN, MX .- Under the World Wetlands Day (February 2) the Citizen Environmental Monitoring Centre (OCVA), a movement which comprises 120 citizen organizations, launched the "Declaration For the Protection of Mangrove in Mexico. " According to UN figures, 35 percent of mangroves worldwide have been lost . In Mexico authorities estimate that it has lost 65 percent of this ecosystem, of which only 655 thousand hectares throughout the country. Most alarming, they say, is that each day the loss continues at a rate of 63 football fields. Locally, in the municipality Benito Juarez (Cancun area) estimated a loss of mangroves of 40 percent since its founding as a tourist centre.
The following is a translation of the act:


We the undersigned citizens, academics and civil society organizations recognize the importance guarding mangrove ecosystems and the urgent need to protect them, because they:

  • Provide a wide range of environmental services that benefit communities adjacent to them and systems tens of miles away from these
  • Are key ecosystems that protect the coastal zone from hurricanes and floods, capture greenhouse gases, therefore mitigating the effects caused by climate change
  • Accumulate freshwater inland areas, forming large reservoirs that can supply the needs of small towns
  • Provide an ecosystem essential for a large number of species. Most groups of plants and animals are represented in the mangroves
  • Serve as a habitat for many important species which represents an indispensable source for the fishing industry. The life cycle of a wide variety of crustaceans, mollusks and commercially important fish could not be completed without the presence of mangroves
  • For its beauty, richness of species and location, these ecosystems are visited by thousands of tourists annually, generating an important economic spilled into the activities naturalist and ecotourism

    At the same time we express our concern about the safety of mangroves in Mexico and recognize that:

  • Mangrove forests are being lost at an accelerated pace
  • The degradation of mangroves have negative impacts on fisheries and increases the vulnerability of the coasts and coastal communities against climate change
  • There is a strong pressure to legally unprotect mangroves, implemented mainly by groups with economic interests in the Mexican coasts
  • The economic compensation for the clearing of mangrove forests that are promoted as legal reforms, it is not a simple process because it is virtually impossible to restore them and because they do not recover the benefits which accrue
  • Therefore, we urge the Legislature and the federal government to undertake the actions necessary to ensure that no change in the rule of law for the General protection of Wildlife, with the goal of continuing to provide protection to mangrove

VACATION RENTAL PROMOTIONS (2007 Spring and Summer))

We know the economy is making everyone jittery, but it is a great time to visit the Costa Maya. You can still see what Dean did in the area, but most of the beaches have been restored. I love it without the Cruise ship passengers. If you are thinking of coming down to check out your property, think about staying in a rental house. There are some great prices and some great houses. You can see all homes at

Rio Indio Oasis - **Great deal for those last minute trips**

Short term Private room (2 persons) - inside of 20 days from reservation date - full use of all amenities and shared common area.

$95/night 1st night - $75/night each additional night (plus taxes)
Long term rental discounts from list price (all seasons)

2 weeks - 20% discount
3 weeks - 25% discount
4 weeks - 30% discount
4 weeks plus - 40% discount

Mayan Beach Garden -

Mayan Beach Garden is offering 15% off any cabana reservation during the month of June and July PLUS the 5th night free. Just mention this newsletter to get the discount.

Casita Dragonfly - "Couple's" special

Good only for two person rental on this two bedroom house South of Mahahual. $600 a week or $100 per night for the months of April, May and June plus taxes. Normal rate for all other rentals. Must mention this email.

Villa Costa Maya

May -August is discounted 10% from this time last year, NOW ONLY $455 per week plus taxes. Staying a month? The rate is $1300 for that period.


In the opening editorial, I mentioned the strong winds we've had. Along with the winds have been wind driven waves and strong surge. A sad by-product of the wind are dead turtles showing up on the beach. The following is courtesy of Karla Nelson from Placer:

"We are seeing a lot of baby turtles washed up on shore. This is due to the strong winds we are experiencing. They do not have the strength for this and become exhausted. If you find a dead turtle washed up on the beach you should bag it in ice and call Roberto from ECOSUR in Chetumal (contact below). He will make arrangements with you to get it. They will perform a autopsy to find out why it died.
If you find a live turtle you have two options. Place the turtle in a container with a little salt water. Give it some Pedialite (can be bought easily in Mahahual, etc.) Try to feed it tiny pieces of fish. If it won't eat. mush up the fish in a little water and use an eye dropper or a syringe and squirt it down its throat. Do this for about 3 days so it can regain it's strength. Then let it go at night. Or, once again, call Roberto and he says he'll take care of it. If you are in the Playa del Carmen area, call Ana Negrete, director of the turtle program in Xcaret (contact below)

Roberto Herrera (Chetumal)
Cell # 983-7520565

MV2 - Ana Negrete (Director)
Cell # 984-8715273

Let's all do our part. If you are unable to do the above please contact me, Karla next to MBG, and I will do it for you."


Protesting the Mahahual inclusion into the Municipality of Maya Bacalar

The business owners and inhabitants of Mahahual have published a protest in the newspaper in an effort to avoid inclusion in Municipio of Maya Bacalar. Currently the entire Costa Maya is part of Opon P Blanco. A municipio is the equivalent of a county or township. The protest was published on March 6th in the newspaper. Reasons for not being included are many. Primarily, the reason is to remain under the stewardship of Chetumal. The maturity and influence offered by staying in Opon P Blanco are very beneficial to the Costa Maya at this juncture. Opon P Blanco is the largest Municipio by land area in Mexico.
Of interest to many is the fact that the Municipio of Tulum was just granted the first week of March.

New organization for Mahahual business owners

I don't quite know the name of the Mahahual tourist associated business owner's organization that I've joined , but it currently holds great promise for having some impact. Active committees include security and ambiental (environmental), among others. It costs 1,000 pesos to sign up and $250 pesos per month for dues. Meetings are Saturday afternoons at Tequila Beach. The Chamber of Commerce is working closely with this organization.


  • The jungle roads going south to Xcalak and north to Uvero are getting tarred and graveled. During that process, the roads can be dangerous because of the loose gravel. We've already had an accident with one of our guests hitting loose gravel - please be careful.
  • Another improvement is that the signs indicating the turnoff to Mahahual / Costa Maya have been restored on 307.
  • The new roads in Mahahual are still being improved. They recently dug trenches for the installation of power, water and sewer along the new roads. They are still not paved, but significantly better than they were pre-improvement.
  • The Malecon is still under construction.
  • 307 - the improvement to the highway from Tulum to Cafetal junction is moving along. Watch for change of lanes and construction crews. It is not always marked well. You will love the new road - it makes it much safer to drive (now if only they would build a bypass to Playa del Carmen!
  • Traffic in Playa Del Carmen is getting very bad. Please allow for an extra 1/2 hour to get through this area, especially if driving in the afternoon.


Early in March, during a period of high winds, someone deliberately set a fire on the west side of the beach road, approximately 1 km north of Mayan Beach Garden. The fire first spread South to Punta Placer area before the winds changed direction. It then spread north into the Sapphire area of Placer, burning trees in the B lots of Sapphire. Those affected were lots 8B and higher with the worst damage being in the 11-20B lots. I have photos of some of the lots. Please email me if you own lots here and I'll make a point of finding your lot and emailing you pictures. No homes were destroyed, although the fire came very close to Slahetka's new construction on lot 7A, (since the hurricane, lot numbers are harder to find so I may not be exactly accurate on the number). The fire, which covered over a kilometer north and south was reported to the police on the second day of burning. They came and looked at the fire, but no one came to put it out. I solicited help from the Chamber of Commerce who called the Department of Civil protection in Chetumal. It took them two days to come and put out the fire. Sapphire lots burned on the last day. I contacted a biologist who reported this to PROFEPA and SEMARNAT. They are looking into this as a suspicious fire.

Fire in Placer
Burnt remains


Consistently people ask, " What is the status of the airport in Tulum?" The Spanish group Obrascón Huarte Lain (OHL), announced its interest in participating in the construction of the international airport in the Riviera Maya which is still under study. They join other business groups such as CEMEX and ASUR seeking to be granted the project. OHL is one of the primary investors in the Riviera Maya projected to spend over $ 50 million USD to the development of Mayakoba resort, located about nine miles north of Playa del Carmen, hosting Cancun's first professional golf course.

Meanwhile, the plot thickens. Mexican airport operator Asur will fight to take part in the bidding process. Chief Financial Officer Adolfo Castro said ASUR will take the case to court if government authorities do not allow the company to bid for the rights to build and run the airport. The government, ever more sensitive to monopolies, has not yet decided if Asur can participate in the bidding process. The sticking point is competition because Asur already operates nine airports in Mexico's southeast, including Cancun, Cozumel and Merida.

"If they do not allow us to participate we will use all the legal tools that we have in hand in order to protect our rights and in order to be part of the bidding process," Castro told a conference call with analysts. Once built, it is estimated that Cancun, which currently accounts for 70% of Asur's traffic could loose 20% to the new airport.

If ASUR does choose to sue, it could slow the development of an airport in Tulum. I certainly hope this gets resolved soon.


March 13, 2008 The Mexican government has opened its doors to Belizean workers allowing them to work legally in southern Mexican states. This offer became effective on March 13 and is opened to any Belizean sixteen years or older. Press officer at the Mexican Embassy in Belize Marcelino Miranda said the Mexican government has realized that there are a number of Belizeans working in Mexico and this is a first step in legalizing their status.
What Mexico is doing is recognizing a reality that there is a need for labor force in Mexico and that there workers already in Mexico who don’t have the legal documents. For all the Belizeans who want to work in Mexico this is good news because the procedure is going to be easier. With the temporary work visa workers will be able to work in the border states of Tabasco, Chiapas, Campeche and Quintana Roo.” If you are hiring workers, make sure they have these visas. Without it, you can not legally hire non-Mexican workers.


Sun, Fun, and Safety this Spring Break Season:
Over 100,000 American teenagers and young adults travel to resort areas throughout Mexico over Spring Break each year.  While the vast majority enjoys their vacation without incident, several may die, hundreds will be arrested, and still more will make mistakes that could affect them for the rest of their lives.  We encourage all U.S. citizens to phone home periodically to assure family members of your safety and inform them of your whereabouts.  Remember, whether you travel to Mexico by land, air, or sea, you are entering a foreign country and are subject to the laws and customs regulations of Mexico.
Registration with the U.S. Embassy or Consulate (in the country you are visiting) makes your presence and whereabouts known, in case it is necessary for a consular officer to contact you in an emergency. During a disaster overseas, American consular officers can assist in evacuation were that to become necessary, but they cannot assist you if they do not know where you are.  You can register with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate through the State Department’s travel registration web site.
For more information on how to stay safe this Spring Break please visit the State Department’s website:

Border Crossing Requirements:

The U.S. Embassy in Mexico City wishes to remind the traveling public that as of January 31, 2008, all adult travelers will be required to present both proof of citizenship and proof of identity or a U.S. Passport or SENTRI/NEXUS/FAST card, when entering the United States through land and sea ports of entry. This requirement results from implementation of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI), and applies to U.S., Canadian, and Bermudian citizens.

Oral declarations of citizenship alone are no longer acceptable. Instead, the following documents must be provided at the land and sea points of entry:

  • U.S. and Canadian citizens ages 19 and older will need to present a government-issued photo ID, such as a driver’s license, along with proof of citizenship, such as a birth certificate or naturalization certificate.
  • Children ages 18 and under will only be required to present proof of citizenship, such as a birth certificate.
  • Passports and trusted traveler program cards - NEXUS, SENTRI and FAST - will continue to be accepted for cross-border travel.
  • Aside from U.S., Canadian, and Bermudian citizens, document requirements for other travelers will not be affected by this change. There is NO change in entry requirements for Mexican nationals.

    Alert! Change in Passport Fees

    On February 1, 2008, the U.S. Government increased its fees for certain U.S. citizen passport services. For adult applicants renewing a passport, the total fee will increase to $75. For first-time applicants age 16 and over, the total fee will increase to $100. The fee for minors under 16 years of age will be $85.

    Alert to Parents! Parental Signature Requirements are Expanded
    Passport applicants who are U.S. citizen minors under the age of 16 must appear personally with their parents to establish identity, proof of citizenship and proof of relationship. For parental application permission, both parents must appear together and sign or One parent may appear to sign and submit the other parent’s notarized statement of consent, or One parent may appear, sign, and submit primary evidence of sole legal custody. Minors age 16 and 17 may apply in person with their own identification, but for security reasons, parental consent may be required. If your child does not have identification of their own, a parent will be required to accompany the child and present identification.

    New Passport Card Applications Now Available:

    The U.S. Embassy Passports Office is accepting applications for the new U.S. Passport Card accepted under the WHTI land border travel document requirements.  We expect cards will be available and mailed to applicants in spring 2008. 

    The passport card will facilitate entry and expedite document processing at U.S. land and sea ports-of-entry when arriving from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Bermuda.  The card may not be used to travel by air.  It will otherwise carry the rights and privileges of the U.S. passport book and will be adjudicated to the exact same standards.

    The card will have the same validity period as a passport book: 10 years for an adult, five years for children 15 and younger.  For adults who already have a passport book, they may apply for the card as a passport renewal and pay only $20.  First-time applicants will pay $45 for adult cards and $35 for children.   

    For more information on the Passport Card please visit

    Traveling Soon? Get Your Passport!
    Due to WHTI requirements, if you plan to travel by air in the next few months, plan ahead! It currently takes 4-6 weeks to process a passport application submitted at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City. The standard processing time for passports applied for in the U.S. is 6-8 weeks. For expedited passports, the processing time is 3 weeks.

    If the traveler is traveling in less than two weeks, they should email the Department via the form on or call 1-877-487-2778 to schedule an appointment.

    Voting-Exercise Your Constitutional Right:
    Wondering how to register to vote while living overseas? Visit, the official government website for overseas voters. You will need to fill out a registration card, with your US address (where you want to register to vote) and the mailing address here in Mexico (where the ballot will be sent). Every state is different and has different requirements for the registration card. The website has all the information for all the states. You send the registration card to the county in the state where you wish to register.

    Survey: Did You Have Problems Migrating to Mexico?:
    The Mexican Government is conducting a perception survey among citizens of the United States and Canada living in Mexico in order to identify the main difficulties they faced during the process of migrating to Mexico and once they have settled in the country. Its purpose is to collect information, analyze the main difficulties, and propose policy changes to facilitate migration to Mexico.

    Your participation is completely voluntary; please forward it to any other US or Canadian citizens living in Mexico you may know. All information provided will remain anonymous and strictly confidential, and will only be used for the purpose of this study. Follow the link below to complete the 5 minute survey.

    Services Provided by the U.S. Embassy in the Event of a Death of a U.S. Citizen:
    When a U.S. citizen dies abroad, the Embassy can notify the family at home and provide information about the options and costs of disposition of the remains. The Embassy can also prepare a Report of Death based on the local death certificate. This report can be used as proof of death in most legal proceedings in the United States. More information can be found at: or by calling the Embassy.


"We have had some excitement here in Xcalak, a couple of weeks ago we woke up to a Colombian panga on the reef in front of the dive shop. It was big panga with 3, 200 hp, Yamaha 4 stroke engines, plenty of room in the boat for cargo, but completely empty. It took all of one day, a big marine boat, a helicopter winching the marines on and off, and a couple of pangas to get it off the reef and on to the beach where it was then guarded day and night.

Last week with those strong winds we had a beautiful 40 foot sail boat blown on to the reef as she tried to get through the cut. Many local pangas, the marines and the Guardia de Parque tried to get it off the reef with no avail, sometime during the night it freed itself and was inside the reef in the morning. Unfortunately it has broken it's keel as well as it's Captain's heart.

The mangrove flats are drying out, sad to think that the wading birds will soon be gone for another year, those wonderful sights and sounds, candy floss when the white egrets and roseate spoonbills rise in a cloud when disturbed. Luis Bon and I went to check out a new rancho walk to take the birders (twitchers), he spotted some rare birds and is going back to check out early morning when there should be many more around.

I don't know if there are anymore like me down here!! I spent an hour the other morning watching a beautiful vine snake climb from a shrub up a tree and along my fence.
I went off to Chetumal another day, full of gloom and doom at the thought of immigration and renewing my FM2. On the Xcalak/Mahahual road I slowed as I saw a coatamundi cross the road, I then sat watching as 22 others followed, big, medium and small, that 5 minutes, put a smile on my face and everything went better in Chetumal.

I have a banana plant in my garden that is flowering, fruiting, this is amazing for me from cold, wet England.

Just time for a quick boast, I have two more orchids out, I must take some more photos.
Happy Easter.............Polly from Xcalak "

2008-INTERNATIONAL YEAR OF THE REEF (Please read this!)

Despite the length of the following article, I decided to include the important portions as it relates directly to the decision by FONATUR to remove funding from the area and the Wetlands Declaration listed above.

(CNN) -- In Mexico and across the world, the fragile ecosystems of coral reefs are under threat from human activity. Over fishing, unsustainable tourism, coastal development, pollution, the global aquarium trade and climate change are having a devastating effect on these fragile ecosystems, according to the International Coral Reef Initiative. The group has designated 2008 as International Year of the Reef in a bid to publicize the reefs' precarious predicament. Meanwhile fellow conservation group, Nature Conservancy, warns that if destruction continues at its current rate, 70 percent of the world's coral reefs will have disappeared within 50 years.

A report released in January by the World Conservation Union concluded that hurricanes and rising sea temperatures in 2005 -- the hottest year since records began -- caused large-scale examples coral bleaching, in which corals lose the essential algae that coat their surfaces, devastating more than half of the Caribbean's reefs.

But human activity at ground level is having an equally damaging effect, says Paul Sanchez-Navarro, Director of Centro Ecologico Akumal, an organization that monitors the impact of development on the reefs that thrive off the coast of Mexico's Quintana Roo. Pollution spilled into the sea by the thousands of hotels on the Mexican Riviera is "stressing" the coral reefs.
"There are a lot of nutrients going into the ground water caused by treated water from the hotels and municipal waste water treatment plants," he explains. "They inject the water into the ground and that makes its way into the aquifer... We've found way too many nutrients -- nitrates and phosphates -- and that comes from human waste, mostly urine." The result, says Sanchez-Navarro, is increased algae growth that effectively suffocates the coral, impeding its growth.

While coral reefs in other parts of the Caribbean have suffered from coral bleaching caused by rising sea temperatures, Mexico's reefs have largely escaped this partly due to the hurricanes that have battered this coastline in recent years. These cool the water down in their wake but damage the reefs in other ways: the World Conservation's report, "Corals -- facing the death sentence", found that 2005's Hurricane Wilma and Hurricane Emily decreased coral cover from 24 percent to 10 percent in the reefs off Mexico's Cozumel.

An occasional storm can actually have a beneficial effect on coral reefs, says Sanchez-Navarro, because the turbulence allows the coral to break off and spread. But the coral needs time to recover and the increase in category four and five storms, which some scientists believe is caused by climate change and rising sea temperatures, allows no time for this. "The difficulty now with climate change is that if we are going to have big storms every year then the coral doesn't have a chance to recover," says Sanchez-Navarro. "Normally you would have a big storm every five to ten years. The storm breaks up the coral but if the coral is healthy it starts to grow again and actually a hurricane every ten years is not bad because it disperses the coral in more places and then it grows up more."

The white sands that have made this stretch of tropical paradise so popular with tourists are generated by the breakdown over thousands of years of coral and the calcium it produces. Eventually no coral will mean no white beaches.

Sanchez-Navarro believes the depletion of Quintana Roo's reefs is already affecting the local fishingindustry. Around the world ten percent of all fish caught originate from reefs. "We'll probably see reduced fish stocks because there is less areas for them to take refuge in," he says. "We don't have numbers for them but we have observations made by divers who have been coming here for years who have noticed over time the depletion."

"This momentum that comes from the storm usually has this big surge but it hits the reef first and it changes the dynamic of the waves. Coral reefs drop the intensity of the storm significantly: the surge can become 75 percent less."

Sanchez-Navarro does not think that tourism in itself is necessarily damaging to the region's coral reefs. Snorkeling and sub aqua can cause physical damage to the reef if divers stand on the reef or anchors from boats are dropped in the wrong place. But with co-operation with the local dive schools he believes bad practice can be cut out.

The main threat remains the expansion of unsustainable hotels and the dumping of untreated pollution into the sea, he says.

"The biggest challenge here is defining what is sustainability for the region because there's so much investment, especially from Spain -- Spanish investment has bought up virtually the entire coast -- and they don't seem to be required to obey the law.
"They can cut down mangrove when they want -- they actually pressured the federal government to change the mangrove law because they bought up all this mangrove and they want to cut it down and drain it and fill it up with hotels."


As of the first of the year, we have been hearing about a lot of people being stopped for not wearing seatbelts. They seem to be targeting people as they exit the airport. It has long been a law, but now the police are wising up and extorting money from those not wearing seatbelts. I'm not sure what the fine is if you actually can get one of the police to write you up a legitimate ticket, but we've had guests pay from $200 pesos to $600 pesos. They haven't been wearing the seatbelt, so they feel guilty and pay on the spot. Remember, to pay a policeman by the side of the road is bribery and he or she is guilty of extortion. Don't do it. Let them write you out the ticket (but I dare you to get one of them to do it!!!!). Better yet, wear your seatbelt, follow the law and let the police extort money from someone else.

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, the newspapers are notorious for not verifying information 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.
Unless otherwise stated, all content is copyrighted by MMB Contractors Inc.

Until next month,
Best wishes from your neighbor,

Mayan Beach Garden, Boutique hotel on the Costa Maya
21.5 km. N Carretera Costera Rio Indio - Uvero
Mahahual, QRoo Mexico, 77940


Updated: 24-Apr-2008

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