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San Felipe News Briefs - May 2009

by Carlos and Julia Bono of Sahuaros Realty

March was busy in San Felipe, and while tourism to Mexico is down, the San Felipe economy seems to be holding up. Home construction in the Mexican neighborhoods is consistently moving forward, and some of the finished condos at Playa del Paraiso are already being occupied after U.S. investors bought the development. Businesses opening this month included Oshii, San Felipe’s first Japanese restaurant. Ken Jackson and Elsa Carrasco are the proprietors of Oshii. It is next to Motel Super 7 at the corner of Manzanillo and Mar Jonico Sur. Another addition popular with Mexican families is La Cabana Restaurant, located on the corner of Mar Rojo Sur and Ensenada. Also, Rosita’s Restaurant, a San Felipe Malecon favorite, has added Wi-Fi service and a computer terminal for their Net-savvy clientele. The San Felipe Title Company, a bookstore offering new and used books, mostly in English, has relocated to Mar Caribe. It was formerly next to the downtown Baja Java, which will be closing in June and transferring operation to its already-open café in Playa San Rafael that features a live music Sunday brunch.

Regarding infrastructure development, the section of the highway to Mexicali that was under construction is in the finishing stages and is scheduled to open mid-April. Also, the San Felipe Rotary Club donated two ambulances to the municipality of Mexicali that includes San Felipe. On April 3 a meeting took place at the San Felipe delegacion to finalize security arrangements for Semana Santa, the huge Mexican festival on April 7–12. The event brings a large influx of Mexican tourists to San Felipe, and the combined federal, state and local police forces needed to coordinate to keep the peace. As an additional security measure, four CCTV security cameras were installed on the Malecon.

Concerning events, the Tecate SCORE 250 off-road race was held on March 14, and over 200 racers signed up, a better-than-expected turnout. The Cancer Walk sponsored by the San Felipe Rotary Club on March 21 drew a large yellow-shirted crowd that walked down Chetumal from the Arches and began partying upon reaching the Malecon. The Hobie Cat Regatta was the same weekend with 26 entries, and so was Benito Juarez’s birthday when local officials including Delegado Hazael Sierra gathered before Bandidos to honor the ex-president. That same weekend, The Lighthouse Restaurant hosted the 5th Annual Folk Music Festival and Cowboy Poetry event. On March 28, San Felipe partied at the 3rd International Blues and Arts Fiesta, organized by Mexico Living and the San Felipe Lions Club. The event was well attended, with blues music fans enjoying a variety of U.S. bands, plus local talent like Agave Blues and Vatos Locos. Art booths exhibited work from regional artists. That same weekend, the Universal Golf Foundation held a Charity Golf Classic Tournament benefiting Sonshine Hacienda, a children's center in San Felipe. The tournament featured a celebrity challenge and was held at the Las Caras de Mexico Championship Golf Course in La Ventana del Mar.


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