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Property Owners > Archived Newsletters > May 21, 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 Quintana Roo

*******************Costa Maya Newsletter*******************
21 - May. 2008


Hi Costa Maya Neighbors (turtles!!!!)

Sometimes we have experiences that feel like we are just a touch closer to God. One of those experiences graced my path recently. You might remember I had mentioned that there were a lot of baby turtles washing up on the beach with some unknown malady. A couple of weeks ago, I found one washed up on the beach during low tide, yards away from the cooling sea water. It was small, about 6 inches from its nose to the tip of his shell. At first I thought it was dead, but I picked it up so that I could put it in the freezer and return it to a laboratory.

Marcia with Baracuda
Photo of Marcia, courtesy of Captain Graybeard
baby turtle rescued
Baby Turtle (not sure if it was a girl of boy, but we called him a "he")
I stuck it in a discarded plastic cup with some sea water and it seemed to move its flippers. Excitedly, I took it back to Mayan Beach Garden and emailed a Turtle specialist in Akumal. He said to put it in a large bucket and feed it fish. After a day, the little turtle seemed to be swimming about in the water and bumping his nose into the edge of the bucket, so we put him in a wash basin and he livened up but wouldn't eat any fish. For two days I tried, despairing that he might starve to death in my container. As a result of having shrimp on the menu, I tried it, and he gobbled it up. After about 4 days, he was eating a jumbo shrimp a day and I had fallen completely in love with him!

On day five, he was getting pretty strong, swimming about the wash basin and leaping toward the shrimp. I knew it was time to release him. About a 100 yards from shore, I let him go. At first he didn't know where to go, zigzagging back and forth in all directions. After a time he headed out to the reef. I was surprised at his strength. He would dive down to the bottom and then swim up to the top for a breath and then back down to the bottom, doing most of the swimming down at the bottom and resting at the surface. It was one of those close to nature experiences that leave an impact as I following this little turtle in the huge Caribbean. He would turn around knowing I was there and then continue to lead me to the reef. I was astounded at his strength and ability to swim so far after being so close to death just a few days earlier. Occasionally he would rest, floating like a little rock on the sea surface. No wonder less that one in a thousand actually live to adulthood - they would be so easy for a bird to pluck them out of the water or a barracuda to chomp them in half! At the reef line, sadly I realized I had to leave him and turned back to Mayan Beach Garden. But when I looked over my shoulder, there he was!!!! Following me! I knew that wasn't good, so I started swimming faster and lost him, but not without a moment of panic and loss! Amazingly, I have been blessed to seen a turtle every day I have snorkeled, but none are MY baby turtle! I realized how possessive we of the human race can become (and I don't like that feeling one bit!)

Past newsletters can be found at NEWSLETTER ARCHIVES

PS Christmas time reservation requests are coming in daily. If you are planning on a Christmas time visit - please book your accommodations soon!

MESSAGE BOARD DISCUSSION: One night Hotel accommodations in the Tulum/Playa del Carmen area

It's been quite slow on the message boards lately, but I could really use some input from you all! Does anyone know of a hotel with parking that would be good to stay in when making the drive from Cancun to Mahahual? Most of the flights I take come in at 3:00 which is too late to make it all the way to Mayan Beach Garden. I also would like something I could suggest to guests. The hotel I used to suggest has gone up-class on me (not really, they just doubled their prices and not their quality). I'm looking for a new one especially if I can get as far as Tulum, but everything seems so pricey there or pretty far off 307. THANKS in advance for your ideas! if you have trouble posting, e-mail me at

This month's topic - hotel:


MEXICO CITY, April 27 - Fifteen thousand people marched through Mexico city protesting a Mexican energy reform proposal. Led by leftist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who narrowly lost the presidency to Calderon in 2006, they maintain that it is a veiled attempt to privatize the state-run industry. Mexico is the world's sixth-largest producer of crude oil, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, and the No. 3 supplier of oil to the United States. The leftist Party of the Democratic Revolution and some smaller allies disrupted the upper and lower houses with round-the-clock protests this month to block Calderon's plan. They lifted the protest last week after the ruling National Action Party agreed to a broad debate on the issue. Calderon wants to partner with international oil companies in order to uncover new deep water oil deposits and lift declining output and reserves. Mexico needs to do something, at this rate, oil reserves are declining at a rate that would only leave Mexico with 20 years more oil.


Global Vision, partnering with the University of Quintana Roo has moved their base of operation from Mahahual to Punta Gruesa in the Cazona area. Many of you may know where Maximo's place was and where he entertained Jeep tours from the cruise ships. Post Dean and post cruise ships, it is now the base of operation for Global Vision. The coral reef and fish monitoring programs work they did in Mahahual not only helped ecologically but made them part of the community. What many people don't know is that anyone can be part of this program. If you have the time, it is ideal for anyone who wants to scuba dive on the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef whilst helping conservation initiatives to protect the fragile marine habitat. They have 5 week to 10 week programs where you camp on the beach and dive every day as you map the reef and study the marine life. You can find out more information about the program at Global Vision Mexico Expedition


Legend of the Crystal skulls

After I can't remember how many years, (but Harrison Ford looked relatively young in the last one) they are releasing a fourth Indiana Jones move - "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skulls," which opens in U.S. theaters on May 22.

Basically, legend states that the ancient Maya possessed 13 crystal skulls which, when united, hold the power of saving the Earth -- a tale so strange and fantastic that it inspired the latest Indiana Jones movie. One version of the legend claims that if all 13 skulls are not reunited and lined up together before the Mayan "Long Count" calendar runs out on Dec. 21, 2012, when it reaches the end of a 5,126-year cycle, the world will fall off its axis. . . an interesting concept to say the least and a theory that existed long before the movie's inception.

Experts theorize that the hundreds of existing crystal skulls are fakes that were probably made by antiquities traders in the 19th century. Buyers were often told that the skulls were made by the Mayas, whose civilization peaked between 300 and 900 AD While no crystal skull has ever been excavated from a documented archaeological site, Mayan priests worship the skulls to this day, and real- life skull hunters still search for them. The skulls' legend has spawned a new breed of new-age followers. Some believe the skulls can emit and focus light, project visions and even influence terrestrial forces

Distributor Paramount Pictures refused requests for interviews or information on the film, the first Indiana Jones movie since "The Last Crusade" came out in 1989.. You can find out more about the legend in this month's Archaeology Magazine (whose image I borrowed at the start of this article).

May/June 2008 issue of Archaeology Magazine covers this subject in more detail.


There will never be another hurricane Dean. As hurricane names, Dean, Felix and Noel are no more. Storm names are usually retired because of sensitivity reasons or because of extreme death and destruction. Dean will be replaced in the series with Dorian.


American consumers seeking information about which seafood is sustainable, safe,and healthy need to look no further than the new government-run online consumer education tool., Visitors to the site will learn about sustainable seafood and how to distinguish science-based fact from fiction. features information about 50 of the most commonly harvested and farmed species that are consumed in the United States. The species-specific pages offer more information than you will probably ever want to know but may be of particular interest since it includes facts about mercury and offers helpful hints about selecting, buying, storing and preparing seafood to ensure quality and safety.

Mutton snapper
(photo courtesy of NOAA)


  • 1 de Mayo Labor Day (paid day for workers)
  • 5 de Mayo Anniversary of the Battle of Puebla
  • 5 de Mayo 19th Anniversary of the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD)
  • 10 de Mayo Mother’s Day
  • 14 de Mayo 13th Anniversary of the Mexico Ecologist Green Party (PVEM)
  • 15 de Mayo Teacher’s Day


  • 1de Junio Navy Day
  • 15 de Junio Father’s Day


Two soloists and 2 bands fronted Jonny O, the headliner.


Costa Maya Blues Festival

Only a small crowd turned out for the 3rd annual blues festival in Xcalak due to the scheduling of the Governor's fishing tournament held on the same day.

Nevertheless, it was lovely. The weather was perfect, $10 got you a beer and entrance into the festival. It started at 4:30 and I left before it was over due to the long drive to Placer, but things were just starting to groove!

Mahahual - Fishing tournament

Just a quick word about the fishing tournament. It was held the SAME weekend as the Blues festival. Bad timing for the blues festival because it was on Day 1 of the Fishing tournament and people were celebrating big time at Tequila Beach. Your neighbors, Karla Nelson and Beau Speed were in Second place at the end of the first day having caught a sailfish, a wahoo and a mahi-mahi in Beau's little Ponga and the motor that Karla hauled up stairs during Dean (hers was broken in two). They were the only people from the US in the tournament and Karla was the only woman. They ended up in 6th place (congratulations!). The governor of Quintana Roo also participated in this event. Mahahual was packed.


May 15, 2008 - Watch out for extra military checkpoints in the area. The Governor of the Mexican state of Quintana Roo, Félix González Canto, has stated that the southern border of Quintana Roo with Belize is under high vigilance in an effort to avoid the trafficking of drugs, weapons, and illegal immigrants. Canto recently informed the press that the Mexican security force has doubled its vigilance at the Mexico Belize border and surrounding area after alleged reports that two containers from the Belize City port were stolen; the two goods containers are suspected to be filled with weapons and drugs.

The governor made the statement while at a teachers’ conference in the city of Chetumal. The security vigilance extends on both land and water border areas. While investigations by the Customs and police department continue on the disappearance of the containers, Mexican authorities have said the security measures at the border will remain permanent.


The 1st phase of the Malecon is about completed. I thought you would enjoy some updated photos.





As a historical reference, this is an image of the advertised version of the Mahahual Malecon




Looking North






You can see Tapas bar to the left






This is a rotunda (for lack of a better word) in front of the port captain. On the beach side, the little structure is an information kiosk.




I was happy to see they had planted greenery around the palm trees to help keep the blowing sand down. This is a pretty invasive species, it will be interesting to see how they will end up maintaining it. Note the garbage can.


Planter bench. There aren't nearly enough of these. Also, the square light.






Looking South to 40 cannones







bathroom (what a waste of prime real estate!)






More views from South of 40 Cannones





beach side palapas. Also a good view of how hopefully the Malecon will get partially covered up with sand.





Note the lights. This is at the far South end of the Malecon (by the fisherman's pier) looking north.





Not a view of the Malecon, but a view FROM the Malecon looking out at the area that was SUPPOSED to be reserved for swimmers. Apparently the Port Captain had no authority to close the beach to boater and they are taking advantage of the situation.


"We had no electricity for a few days, because, I'm told, the jungle along the Mahahual - Xcalak road was on fire. I drove to Chetumal whilst it was smoldering and there on the side waiting for my car to pass was a mother raccoon with a "kitten" in her mouth ready to cross and take the tiny thing to safety. It seemed very apt as it was around Mothers Day.

You obviously all heard from your offspring for Mothers Day. If not, spend their inheritance, rewrite the will!!

The Pueblo Pier is being repaired, we have had truck after truck coming through, all full with huge sascab rocks, kicking up the dust. (My hosepipe doesn't reach far enough for me to wet the road down) The guys working on the pier are pushing wheelbarrows full of gravel from the road out to the end, T-shirts wrapped around their heads, hot and exhausted by the time they have done a round trip. They have worked really well, it's almost finished as far as I can see, just the concrete at the very end now.

I had a weeks vacation in Cancun and on the way back , between Tulum and Felipe Carrillo Puerto, we drove through clouds of Dark Kite Swallowtail butterflies. It is so sad to see them committing harri-carri squashed or fluttering their last on the road, we stopped and I got out and picked up three. Beautiful. It's so nice to go travelling..............but it's oh so nice to come home.

Reports from all over the place have said that the beach road North will be resurfaced starting.................... 5th May not sure what year though. True we have some big drainage pipes and a grader just outside of town but.................manana...

Is it true that bananas don't/won't ripen on the plant? I have green bananas, very green, is this a black plastic bag jobby?

Polly in Xcalak

Kite Swallowtail 16th May UPDATE the road into the pueblo is started!

Also reports about the bridge at Rio Huatch being repaired I took a ride up to the bridge on my new toy (Kevin Graham's ATV) the road is blocked by a rope strung across, piles of sascab and 5/6 full size coco palms that have been planted in what was the road. This is down as far as the most southern limit of the property. I couldn't even see the bridge or river from there, that's maybe a kilometer or two further North. Anybody know what's happening?


(THIS IS LATE - SORRY, BUT I THOUGHT I WOULD INCLUDE IT ANYWAY so you know what is happening) The U.S. Consulate would like to invite you to two upcoming town hall events in Quintana Roo. The first is at 6 p.m. on May 20 at the City Hall Complex in Playa del Carmen. The second meeting is at noon on May 21 at the Grand Oasis Hotel in Cancun.

These town halls will feature presentations on federal benefits and absentee voting. They also are a great opportunity to network with fellow Americans and learn more about the services that the U.S. government provides overseas.

The event information is below. Please note that the Cancun event will also feature a short presentation on emergency preparedness. Otherwise, the presentations will cover similar information.

Playa del Carmen Town Hall 6:00 p.m., Tuesday, May 20
Town Hall Auditorium
City Hall Complex
Avenida 20 between Calles 8 and 10
Playa del Carmen, Q. Roo

Cancun Town Hall 12:00 noon, Wednesday May 21
Grand Oasis Hotel
KM 16.5 Kukulcan Blvd. in the Hotel Zone.
Cancun, Q. Roo

We hope to see you there! Please RSVP to

U.S. Consulate Merida



The following article actually made me sad. I take great joy in the wildlife in the area and the thought of extinction of even one (except maybe Tabanos) would greatly sadden me. -(read the entire article at

"Between a quarter and a third of the world's wildlife has been lost since 1970, according to data compiled by the Zoological Society of London. Populations of land-based species fell by 25%, marine by 28% and freshwater by 29%, it says. Humans are wiping out about 1% of all other species every year, and one of the "great extinction episodes" in the Earth's history is under way, it says.

The Living Planet Index, compiled by the society in partnership with the wildlife group WWF, tracks the fortunes of more than 1,400 species of fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals, using scientific publications and online databases. It said numbers had declined by 27% in the 35 years from 1970 to 2005. Some of the worst hit are marine species which saw their numbers plummet by 28% in just 10 years, between 1995 and 2005.

Pollution, farming and urban expansion, over-fishing and hunting are blamed.

Populations of ocean birds have fallen by 30% since the mid 1990s, while land-based populations have dropped by 25%. Among the creatures most seriously affected have been African antelopes, swordfish and hammerhead sharks." <MB NOTE: Swordfish and hammerhead sharks are both species that are prevalent in this area.>

Shark picture courtesy of


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,



Updated: 20-May-2008

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VACATION RENTAL PROMOTIONS (2007 Spring and Summer, but don't forget Christmas!)

Check out these Costa Maya Vacation Home deals

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

See our new cabana look and take 15% off.

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 e-mail newsletter.

Villa Costa Maya

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