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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Global Summit over Lessons Learned from Influenza (H1N1) to take place in Cancun July 1-3rd 2009

Health representatives from forty countries, the WHO, and the Pan
American Health Organization and the highest level specialists will be
in attendance

Cancun, Mexico -June 29th, 2009 -- Cancun has been designated as the
host destination for the Global Summit over Lessons Learned from
Influenza A (H1N1). During a press conference held on June 22nd, where
the Minister of Health, Jose Cordova made the announcement, the
Governor of Quintana Roo, Felix Gonzalez, emphasized the importance of
this event for the state as it shows the reestablishment of confidence
and trust in the country, specially in this state, where tourism
continues to recuperate at a rapid pace.

In addition, Gonzalez announced the event expects the participation of
the general directors from important organizations, such as Margaret
Chan from the World Health Organization (WHO) and Mirta Roses of the
Pan-American Organization of Health. Likewise, he is counting on the
presence of 40 ministers of health from different countries, as well
as on the highest level specialists with the ultimate goal to inform
the public about everything regarding the Influenza virus (H1N1).

"After a month and nine days of having lifted the warning in countries
such as United States and Canada, Cancun has 65% hotel occupancy, only
ten points below what we consider normal for this season, in
comparison to last year, which represents that the state is recovering
its tourism activity following the health crisis," signaled the
Governor.

"The Global Summit will not only position Mexico and Quintana Roo as a
safe place for tourist activity, but also will serve as platform to
exchange knowledge and information regarding Influenza A (H1N1) virus
benefiting people around the worlds," added Gonzalez.

"Mexico's immediate reaction, taking control of the epidemic in a
matter of a month, and acquired knowledge is proof that the world can
only benefit from Mexico's experience," said the Minister of Health.

About Cancun
Cancun is located in the northern part of the southeastern Mexican
state of Quintana Roo. The island of Cancun is in the shape of a "7"
and is bordered to the north by the Bahia de Mujeres; to the east by
the Caribbean Sea; and to the west by the Nichupte Lagoon. Cancun is
Mexico's largest tourist destination and boasts 146 hotels with a
total of 28,808 rooms.

Opportunities for new experiences abound in Cancun, which offers
visitors an ideal setting for interacting with nature and discovering
Mayan culture.

Cancun Convention and Visitors Bureau www.cancun.travel

MARIELISE GARCIA
Senior Account Executive
1111 Brickell Ave, Suite 1350
Miami, FL. 33131
T 786 709 2489 ext 189
F 305 532 1845
marielise.garcia@newlink-group.com

Wine Country Cuisine at Hacienda Restaurant

by Steve Dryden

Culinary options in Mexico’s premier wine country of Guadalupe Valley are limited when it comes to quality and consistency. As a wine tour operator who offers lunch options it is important to find venues that provide good food at reasonable prices along with excellent service. Over the years I’ve given all the valley restaurants business, but few have lived up to my expectations for service, quality, reliability and reasonable pricing. Finally, discovered Hacienda Restaurant in the village of San Antonio de las Minas that met and exceeded all the details I had been hoping for to compliment my wine tour business. Now 99 percent of my clients love this place for the food, service and the natural ambiance.

This outdoor restaurant is situated in the midst of a retail plant nursery where guests are surrounded by lush ferns, diverse flowers and exotic blooms under the canopy of ancient oak trees. Light jazz and soft rock music flows through the trees and the daily breeze from the ocean is often perfumed with scents from the blooming flowers scattered about the plant nursery. Hospitality and great service enhances the atmosphere, but the menu really captures the show with a diversity of great options. The artisan cooks in the kitchen offer great presentations and large servings of fresh fruits, vegetables, seafood, pasta, poultry, meat, as well as traditional Mexican cuisine. Fresh is ups are made daily, most of the produce is grown locally and transformed into savory salads. Their menu has a focus on healthy cuisine with an emphasis on unique salads and fresh seafood.

Finding Hacienda Restaurant is somewhat challenging, but simple if you follow these directions. As you enter San Antonio de las Minas from Ensenada on Highway 3 look for a large Corona beer sign on the right side of the road as you enter town. Turn right there on the only paved road and follow it to the third stop sign, turn left, follow the dirt road across the creek and turn right into their driveway. They are open everyday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and offer a brunch on Sunday for US$10 that is very popular.

Letters to the Editor - July 2009

Letters to the Editor

Mexican Men
With great respect, I direct myself to you to express my great discontent caused by the article "Mexican Men," May 2009 edition. I welcome and appreciate that people like you dedicate themselves to the task of writing about Mexico, but as a Mexican, the way she talks about Mexican men is an insult.
I refuse to accept her comments, because I believe that the lady is no one to interpret Mexicans like that. I know and have faith that Mexicans receive Americans with open arms and without judging them. I find the way in which she says how Mexican women use eyeliner or how we Mexicans think about"‘balls" when we order eggs for breakfast insulting—please! Maybe the lady wanted to appear "funny or amusing," but it wasn’t; not for many people.
I await a public apology; and you should be more careful about what is published. Thank you and have a nice day.
~Lilian Vega

Lilian, on behalf of the entire Mexico Living staff, I apologize to you and everyone else that this article offended. It was intended to be humorous, and in no way meant to belittle Mexican men. If you'll read it again, there is no reference to Mexican women; it merely says, "young good looking woman."

After receiving your letter, I asked my American husband to read it. He thought it was funny and said, "Honestly, this could pertain to any man of any nationality. But, for American men, we'd have to replace 'eggs' with 'nuts!'" So, some thought it was funny; others did not.
We appreciate your feedback and hope that you accept our sincere apology.

May Edition

I've read the May issue cover to cover and love how much wonderful info is packed in. For the most part the writing is fun to read. Please pass on my comments to the appropriate person(s). You guys are doing a great job with the guide and it shows Northwest Mexico in a good light for those considering living here. Thanks for your great work!
~Sue McDevitt, Ensenada

Sue, thank you so much for the wonderful feedback. I will definitely share your compliments with all the writers and the publishers.

SEND US FEEDBACK
As always, we are interested in hearing from you, what you think of Mexico Living, and the topics you’d like for us to cover. Send your suggestions and comments to editor@mexicoliving.info.

Monday, June 29, 2009

San Felipe Weather...A Sticky Wicket

Pictures by Sean:
Click to enlarge


San Felipe Weather...A Sticky Wicket

Yesterday was hotter than Hell! I checked..Hell Michigan's high for yesterday was only75 degrees, here at Weather Central it was 97 degrees and about 80% humidity...the light breeze just wasn't enough to keep the sweat evaporating and it was STICKY!

Today's weather should be similar except at the moment we have a stiff breeze which is making it much more comfortable. Lots of cloud cover today and again later this week. There is a 30% chance of precipitation in the northern Baja area but looking at the radar noting seems to be pointed at San Felipe directly. but be prepared you know these roofs were designed to keep the sun out...Expect to see a trickle of tourists and old friends start arriving early for the fourth of July weekend, San Felipe's last bash before the long, hot, lonely summer...Enjoy!

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Therapeutic Massage in San Felipe , You Need Me To Knead You

Mexicali Forecast San Felipe should be cooler
Monday: condition icon Chance of Rain
High: 39°C Low: 27°C
Tuesday: condition icon Partly Cloudy
High: 41°C Low: 25°C
Wednesday: condition icon Partly Cloudy
High: 42°C Low: 27°C
Thursday: condition icon Chance of Rain
High: 42°C Low: 28°C
Friday: condition icon Clear
High: 43°C Low: 28°C
Saturday: condition icon Clear
High: 42°C Low: 26°C

San Felipe, B. C. N.
Temperature:31 °C
Dew Point:28 °C
Humidity:80%
Wind:S at 18km/h




Centavo's Two Cent: Sail or sale?

One of the most vital elements of retirement is the fact that you now have plenty of time to devote to your dreams. You can no longer be stymied by lack of time, energy (well, maybe energy) or resources. You always said, “When I retire I’m going to do what I always wanted to do_______ (fill in the blank.)” Right? Now that you are finally retired, and your excuses are waning, it is time to review your possibilities.

I have always been somewhat unrealistic about what I could do in my life. Although I consider myself successful, I have been categorized as a dreamer. That description and...Oh yes, a romantic. My partner has spouted these words to me over the years, and not necessarily as compliments.

Now, when you have a little extra cash floatingaround, and opportunity presents itself, you can acquire the “toys” that eluded you while you were
working on your career, raising kids and trying to stabilize your investments.

If you live in Baja, you must have at least one ATV...maybe a sand rail, or a VW dune buggy (for desert escapades), some craft that will get you on the ocean....and a tan that tells the world that you have plenty of time for these things!

The ATV came by way of Wisconsin. It was shipped to Phoenix and trailered (yep...you need one of those) to San Felipe. It had only been used for 27 hours...perfectly broken in. The dune buggy was purchased rom Baja neighbors who were trying to complete their swimming pool. Win-win situation, right? The kayak belonged to a friend who called us from the Phoenix airport telling us that it couldn’t board the plane as luggage on route to China. If we didn’t pick it up it would be sent to Goodwill. No way was that happening. The Jet Ski and Topper sailboat were items too reasonably priced to pass up on a Saturday run to the Cachanilla Swap Meet at El Dorado Ranch.

At this point, I was reminded that I already had a 10-foot Walker Bay Boat purchased before we moved to Baja—because I had dreamed about fishing in one. I had exchanged the 8-foot Walker Bay for a 10-foot because on its maiden voyage on a Phoenix lake it promptly sunk as I was trying to get in it. The 10-foot boat became too difficult to throw in the back of our truck (another story purchase), so in order for me to use it, I had to get a boat trailer to haul it around. The electric motor that I had for the boat would not do well in salt water so I bought a small gas motor and all the things gas motors need to propel a boat at sea. We can’t store the Walker Bay in my garage yet...too much stuff. Our little Topper sailboat? Well, if we don’t sail it soon, we’ll sell it. Watch for the flyer...

Editor’s Angle - Let’s Talk!

Editor’s Angle - Let’s Talk!

It’s an honor to finally meet all of you, our loyal readers.
John and Rachel Pack, the publishers, appointed me as the Editor several months ago. I’ve now had the privilege of working with the writers for over eight months. And, as you may have noticed, a lot has changed.
My goal is to continue with the policies developed by these two entrepreneurs, while striving to raise the guide’s standards, reputation and visibility even further. To do this, I already work with the journalists to ensure quality and consistency of articles submitted, encourage them to think outside the box, and actively pursue interesting topics.

Now, it is time to start working with you!
There’s an old axiom in the publishing business that says something like: When it comes to reader interest, one letter is a response, two letters are feedback and three are “jackpot!”

I take this literally—when we get more than one response or inquiry about a subject, I know it’s something that we must pursue. Let me give you a great example: The May edition was supposed to be “Yard and Gardening”; but, we received so many letters regarding the “so-called” safety issue in Mexico that, at the last moment, we sent a journalist out to get the “real” scoop.

The “three are a jackpot” principle applies in more ways than one. As the new editor, I would like to take this opportunity to ask what you like about the changes and additions we have made recently, what you don’t like, and what YOU would like to read more about in future editions.

Reader Submissions: Do you like reading “true” Mexico Blunders? How about the “Tidbits”?

Cover Stories: Starting last month, we added more FEATURE stories and fewer “local/city” articles. Should we be getting in “deeper” with longer articles or should they contain more/fewer photos? What subjects would you like to read about?

Around Town: Do you like the “Around Town” articles in each city? Would you like to see more or less of them?

Well, I could go on and on, but you’re getting the point. We truly want your feedback. This is YOUR guide to the Good Life in Northwest Mexico. So, tell us what YOU want!

We are interested in hearing from you, what you think of Mexico Living, and the topics you’d like for us to cover. Send your suggestions and comments to editor@mexicoliving.info, and we’ll get to work on them before we even read “three for the jackpot!”

Rosarito Beach Mayor Hugo Torres Begins San Francisco Promotional Tour

ROSARITO BEACH BAJA CALIFORNIA, MEXICO---Mayor Hugo Torres and other city officials today began a two-day San Francisco visit to promote tourism, business investment and real estate opportunities in this region.

The focal point of the visit is a forum called “Doing Business In Mexico,” which also includes representatives of other regions of the country.

Both the federal government of Mexico and the Mexican Consulate in San Francisco assisted in arrangements. Rosarito Economic Development Director Hector Reyes and Convention & Visitors Bureau President Laura Wong also are on the trip.

“Rosarito has been a popular tourist destination for the U.S. for decades, and we are the focal point for the construction of vacation and retirement homes along Baja’s Gold Coast,” Torres said. ”About 14,000 foreign nationals now call Rosarito home. In addition, many foreign firms have recognized the advantages of doing business here.”

But Torres said the some unbalanced media coverage of Mexico’s crackdown on organized crime have falsely created the impression that the area is unsafe.

“The battle against drug cartels is an important one that is of vital concern to both Mexico and the U.S.,” Torres said.

“But our visitors and typical residents are in no way at risk from it, despite many media stories that have suggested otherwise.

“Most recent stories and media outlets now recognize that fact, which has been verified by many leading U.S. officials, including the U.S. consul for Baja. But much damage has been done and we need to work hard to reverse the inaccurate perception.

“Trips like this will help do that by informing people that we have wonderful things to offer visitors, residents and investors, all in a safe and welcoming environment.

“We’ll continue with similar trips and other efforts in the future, to make sure the accurate story of our area is told.”

MEDIA CONTACT:
Ron Raposa
(619)948-3740
ronraposa@hotmail.com

Marisa Molina
Foreign Residents Attention Office
FRAO (661) 614-9697

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Paving the Way for Growth and Tourism

Paving the Way for Growth and Tourism
by Christa Thomas

Current federal and state initiatives aim to build a better Mexico. These projects will construct new and improved roads, rails, airports and ports to increase the coverage, quality, and competitiveness of Mexico’s infrastructure. The improved infrastructure means a brighter economic future for Mexico, and safer and more efficient travel for both residents and tourists.

President Calderón launched an aggressive initiative, the National Infrastructure Program (NIP), which plans to generate and spend a staggering amount of money over the next five years. The NIP began implementation in the second half of 2008.

In announcing the initiative, President Calderón stated, “Infrastructure is synonymous with social and human development. Nowadays, competitiveness, economic growth and countries' opportunities for well-being depend largely on the solidity and modernity of their infrastructure. As Mexicans, we have the opportunity and historic responsibility to make the decisions that will conclusively promote the country's development.”

The World Economic Forum’s 2007 Global Competitiveness Report ranked Mexico 61 out of 131 countries. According to President Calderón, in order to improve these results, the NIP has set the following general objectives:

increase the coverage, quality and competitiveness of infrastructure
make Mexico one of the world's main logistic platforms, particularly in transport and energy improve Mexicans’ access to public services, particularly among the most disadvantaged promote balanced regional development without reducing the growing competitiveness in the north of the country create more permanent jobs through the investment and economic growth that will be created by the development of infrastructure
promote sustainable development through projects that respect the environment
promote the infrastructure required to increase tourist activities that will trigger employment and regional development.
The Program identifies over 300 infrastructure projects, divided into four main areas:

highways, roads and bridges
railroads, ports, airports, urban and inner urban transport
water, irrigation, drainage and sanitation
projects designed to preserve the environment and biodiversity

The NIP seems to be more than just political rhetoric as it is backed by the National Infrastructure Fund which signals a decisive step in the financing strategy for the modernization and expansion of the country's infrastructure. The National Infrastructure Fund started with a $40 billion investment in 2008, with increases promised during the following five years.

International Support
The U.S. government also signaled its commitment to Mexico’s infrastructure development by signing grant agreements totaling more than US$1.7 million. U.S. Trade and Development Agency Acting Director Leocadia I. Zak said that the grants are to further five projects that support NIP objectives. The grants will be used to fund separate studies on plans to expand Puebla International Airport, Querétaro International Airport and San Luis Potosí International Airport; a study on a proposed municipal water desalination facility for the Municipality of Puerto Peñasco in the State of Sonora; and technical assistance to the Comisión Federal de Electricidad in strengthening environmental management at the power plants, substations, and power transmission and distribution facilities that it operates.

Highways, Roads and Bridges

President Calderón stated that this year $22 billion will be allocated to building and modernizing roads. The Program includes plans for the construction or modernization of more than 100 miles of highways and rural roads.

Over $1 billion will be spent on works such as the Toluca-Palmillas, Toluca-Naucalpan and Texcoco-Calpulalpan highways. Another $9 billion will be assigned for conservation and maintenance.

Tourism Minister Rodolfo Elizondo said top projects include Huatulco, a beach resort that will receive $108 million in investment from the federal budget plus $1.48 billion in private funds for a development that is expected to be finished by the end of the current administration. Riviera Nayarit, Golden Beach and Puerto Escondido will also benefit from the planned investments.

Early this year, the President inaugurated the Chalco 1 Junction, which involved a $120 million investment and is part of the Mexico-Cuautla highway project.

Also recently opened is the Coastal Highway north of Puerto Peñasco. Hal "Paco" Clark, President of San Felipe’s BC Lions Club says that the new highway makes a “very pleasant difference” as the trip, which used to take about 6.5 hours by car, is now reduced to 4.5 and is very scenic—passing miles of beautiful farmland and rugged coastline.

Railways

Mexico’s government and private partners will invest $47 billion in nine projects to expand Mexico’s railroad network. The NIP plans to expand the country’s railroad system by 881 miles of additional track over the next five years. This includes 10 multimodal corridors, which will be added to the current eight by 2012, as well as three new suburban train systems in Mexico City.

Maritime Ports

The Program will add five new ports to the existing 114. The new ports will be located in Baja California, Manzanillo, Veracruz, Campeche and Puerto Morelos. In January 2009, Mexico's Communications and Transport Ministry called for bids on seven tenders to expand ports' infrastructure. The budget for these projects is $9.72 billion, out of which 60 percent will come from public funding and 40 percent from private investors. Alejandro Chacon, head of ports and marine transportation, said that these tenders include the construction of a container terminal, facilities for fertilizers and minerals in Guaymas, an upgrade of the infrastructure in Mazatlan, a service station for oil platforms in Dos Bocas in Tabasco, and a container terminal in Manzanillo. Chacon said $23 billion of public and private funds will be invested between 2009 and 2013.

Airports

The NIP plans to construct three new commercial airports in Cancun, Sonora and Baja California. Other airports will be expanded, including those in Puebla, Cancun, Toluca, Loreto, Puerto Vallarta, Guadalajara, Monterrey and Merida. Most of the projects, valued at $5.4 billion, have already started.

Current Status of NIP
Like the rest of the world, Mexico’s economy has been hurt by the international financial crisis. In response, the Mexican government has introduced an economic stimulus program to support households and foster employment in the country. This includes accelerating the implementation of the NIP. President Calderón has announced that the government will use public spending to drive the economy and plans to execute the bulk of infrastructure investments during 2009. The construction of a new refinery, the expansion of ports and highways, new tourism projects and an aggressive home building program are part of the government’s plan.

Conclusion
President Calderón stated that his "government is making important decisions that will set us on the right path to putting Mexico on the world tourist map." And that “although the goal we have set is ambitious, I know it can be achieved. We are determined to turn Mexico into a leader as regards infrastructure development in Latin America and among emerging economies and by 2030 for it to be among the top 20 percent of [the] world's most highly rated countries as regards the competitiveness of its infrastructure.”

Mexico paving its way to economic recovery is good news for the tourist industry as it becomes easier to get to and move about the country. With already completed projects ranging from the new coastal highway out of Puerto Peñasco to the new cruise ship terminal in Guaymas, arriving in Mexico by car, plane or boat has never been easier. Plan your arrival soon, and plan to stay for awhile. But be careful—like thousands before you, you may not want to leave!

* $ represents pesos unless stated otherwise.

The first turtle of the season

The first turtle of the season just arrived on June 26 and nested in the sand at Las Ventanas resort in Los Cabos. And she immediately laid 131 eggs. Wow! The nest is being guarded by our Beach Attendants to keep the little ones safe. In 6 to 8 weeks, there will be an explosion of baby sea turtles scrambling from the nest across the sand to reach the safety of the water.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

San Felipe Weather...Very Interesting...But Humid

San Felipe Weather...Very Interesting...But Humid

OK folks it is that time of year when we can start getting some varied humid...Fortunately we can still (enjoy) a wide variety of humidity. Unlike Florida or other tropical places San Felipe's high humidity season isn't an always kinda thing. Even during the hottest parts of the summer we can have bone dry humidity...at least for part of the day.

We have some cloudy weather to way to our north and immediately to the west, bumping up against the west side of our mountains.Maybe even a bit of rain back there, but that's good for our water supply.

Today we are in the low nineties with higher humidity levels. Heat Index is up ...but you know that if you are here. Warming through the weekend with some clouds...Enjoy!

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Friday, June 26, 2009

Aquatic Wildlife in Puerto Peñasco, Mexico

Aquatic Wildlife in Puerto Peñasco, Mexico
by Realty Executives Mexico

More sea turtles and nests have been found in the area—stressing the regional importance for this group of very charismatic creatures. Ever since the legacy of “Peñasquita”—the first hawksbill turtle adorned with a satellite transmitter to track information concerning her migratory route and nesting grounds, released into the Eastern Pacific on October 24, 2008—more turtles and nests have been found in Puerto Peñasco.

Paloma Valdivia, education coordinator of the Intercultural Center of Desert and Oceans (CEDO), reported via press release that staff from Playa Encanto came across a young olive ridley turtle with a shell measuring just 30 centimeters in length. Unfortunately, this turtle was quite sick and later died. Shortly thereafter a tourist came across a young black sea turtle near Playa de Oro. Furthermore, she added, just recently a hawksbill turtle was found at Playa Miramar, which was also just a young sample! This turtle is currently recuperating from a slight illness at the CETMAR Aquarium and will be released around the same place where it was found.

The CEDO official added that, generally, the Northern Gulf of California is feeding grounds for sea turtles, although it is known that some species occasionally nest in Puerto Peñasco. “In fact, although no nest had been fully completed given the extreme climate conditions of the region, during the last three years there have been reports of nesting along different beaches,” she explained.

Nevertheless, this year the sea turtle nests have been in luck! Two nests of the olive ridley turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea), and one of the black sea turtle (Chelonia mydas agassizii), reported at Playa Encanto and Playa Miramar, respectively, hatched young ones successfully. Coincidentally, the young turtles were born on precisely the same day of Peñasquita's release.

Valdivia indicated that up to now, the importance of the Northern Gulf of California for young sea turtles had not received much reporting, which is a very important point within conservation efforts of organizations on a global level.

She said that while in Puerto Peñasco, it is necessary to take care of the beaches where nests have been detected; it is much more important to protect the feeding grounds at sea, as turtles spend many years there and their reproductive success does not only depend on the environmental health of the site where they are born but rather the sites where they grow.

“We all can contribute to saving the sea turtles. If you want to help, pick up trash found on the beach, report any fishing or eating of sea turtles to the proper authorities (PROFEPA in Mexico), and let CEDO know if you find a nest or a sea turtle on the beach. Only we can prevent their extinction,” stressed the press release.

San Felipe Weather... Weekend Weather Forecast


Pictures by Sean:
Desert Collage
click pic to enlarge


San Felipe Weather... Weekend Weather Forecast
Forecast from Mexicali Reporting Station:


5-Day Forecast !
Friday Saturday Sunday Monday Tuesday
Clear
104° F | 78° F
Clear
107° F | 80° F
Chance of Rain
105° F | 80° F
Chance of Rain
105° F | 82° F
Chance of Rain
96° F | 80° F
Clear Clear Chance of Rain
20% chance of precipitation
Chance of Rain
20% chance of precipitation
Chance of Rain
20% chance of precipitation

Yesterday's San Felipe Weather was warmer and sticker than it has been in a while with temperatures on 95 degrees at Weather Central.

This Mornings temperature has started at 80 and is expected to get to 95 degrees here near the water again. Mexicali & San Felipe locals believe that during the hot weather there is a 10 degree difference between Mexicali & San Felipe...in San Felipe's favor. As far as precipitation all maps indicate that the cloud cover and chance of rain is likely to be contained to the border area. Our weather should remain warm to hot and just right for going to the beach...Heat Index will be up...Enjoy!

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Mexicali Generated Weather
Updated: 11:00 PM PDT on June 25, 2009
Friday
Chance of Rain. Scattered Clouds. High: 105 °F . Wind North 8 mph . Chance of precipitation 20% (trace amounts). Heat Index: 102 °F .
Friday Night
Clear. Low: 80 °F . Wind South 6 mph . Heat Index: 84 °F .
Saturday
Clear. High: 105 °F . Wind NE 8 mph . Heat Index: 100 °F .
Saturday Night
Chance of Rain. Scattered Clouds. Low: 78 °F . Wind South 8 mph . Chance of precipitation 30% (water equivalent of 0.02 in). Heat Index: 86 °F .
Sunday
Chance of Rain. Partly Cloudy. High: 105 °F . Wind South 8 mph . Chance of precipitation 30% (water equivalent of 0.02 in). Heat Index: 104 °F .
Sunday Night
Clear. Low: 78 °F . Wind SSW 6 mph . Heat Index: 86 °F .
Monday
Chance of Rain. Scattered Clouds. High: 107 °F . Wind ESE 8 mph . Chance of precipitation 20% (trace amounts). Heat Index: 109 °F .
Monday Night
Clear. Low: 82 °F . Wind South 6 mph . Heat Index: 89 °F .
Tuesday
Overcast. High: 107 °F . Wind SE 8 mph . Heat Index: 96 °F .
Tuesday Night
Partly Cloudy. Low: 77 °F . Wind SSE 6 mph . Heat Index: 89 °F .
Wednesday
Chance of Rain. Scattered Clouds. High: 104 °F . Wind ESE 8 mph . Chance of precipitation 20% (trace amounts). Heat Index: 111 °F .
Wednesday Night
Scattered Clouds. Low: 78 °F . Wind SW 4 mph . Heat Index: 93 °F .

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Global Summit over Lessons Learned from Influenza (H1N1) to take place in Cancun July 1-3rd 2009

Global Summit over Lessons Learned from Influenza (H1N1) to take place in Cancun July 1-3rd 2009

Health representatives from forty countries, the WHO, and the Pan American Health Organization and the highest level specialists will be in attendance.

Cancun, Mexico -June 24th, 2009 -- Cancun has been designated as the host destination for the Global Summit over Lessons Learned from Influenza A (H1N1). During a press conference held on June 22nd, where the Minister of Health, Jose Cordova made the announcement, the
Governor of Quintana Roo, Felix Gonzalez, emphasized the importance of this event for the state as it shows the reestablishment of confidence and trust in the country, specially in this state, where tourism continues to recuperate at a rapid pace.

In addition, Gonzalez announced the event expects the participation of the general directors from important organizations, such as Margaret Chan from the World Health Organization (WHO) and Mirta Roses of the Pan-American Organization of Health. Likewise, he is counting on the presence of 40 ministers of health from different countries, as well as on the highest level specialists with the ultimate goal to inform the public about everything regarding the Influenza virus (H1N1).

"After a month and nine days of having lifted the warning in countries such as United States and Canada, Cancun has 65% hotel occupancy, only ten points below what we consider normal for this season, in comparison to last year, which represents that the state is recovering
its tourism activity following the health crisis," signaled the Governor.

"The Global Summit will not only position Mexico and Quintana Roo as a safe place for tourist activity, but also will serve as platform to exchange knowledge and information regarding Influenza A (H1N1) virus benefiting people around the worlds," added Gonzalez.

"Mexico's immediate reaction, taking control of the epidemic in a matter of a month, and acquired knowledge is proof that the world can only benefit from Mexico's experience," said the Minister of Health.

About Cancun
Cancun is located in the northern part of the southeastern Mexican state of Quintana Roo. The island of Cancun is in the shape of a "7" and is bordered to the north by the Bahia de Mujeres; to the east by the Caribbean Sea; and to the west by the Nichupte Lagoon. Cancun is Mexico's largest tourist destination and boasts 146 hotels with a total of 28,808 rooms.

Opportunities for new experiences abound in Cancun, which offers visitors an ideal setting for interacting with nature and discovering Mayan culture.

Cancun Convention and Visitors Bureau www.cancun.travel


MARIELISE GARCIA
Senior Account Executive
1111 Brickell Ave, Suite 1350
Miami, FL. 33131
T 786 709 2489 ext 189
F 305 532 1845
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San Felipe Weather...Warming In Spurts

Picture
Golf Course at El Dorado Ranch

Nice Day To Play Golf

San Felipe Weather...Warming In Spurts.

This mornings low temperatures were in the mid to upper 70's (which means I can't blame heat for my lousy internet connection). Yesterdays morning was also very pleasant. Later in the day temps got into the low to mid 90's. Dinner time on the Malecon was just perfect with the remnants of yesterdays extreme high tide, It is always exciting to be there with water nearing the wall.

Somewhere near noon thirty as I finally connect to the intenet it is 90 at Weather Central and if we are to follow the recently established we should be seeing the temperature inching up over the next few hours then backing off. Currently there is a strong breeze keeping the sweat at bay.

Higher temperatures are predicted for Mexicali in the coming days so we should start seeing a lot more Mexicali residence hitting the beach this weekend...Enjoy!

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Mexicali Generated Weather
Updated: 5:00 AM PDT on June 24, 2009
Wednesday
Clear. High: 39 °C . Wind South 18 km/h . Heat Index: 35 °C .
Wednesday Night
Clear. Low: 25 °C . Wind WSW 14 km/h . Heat Index: 29 °C .
Thursday
Chance of Rain. Scattered Clouds. High: 42 °C . Wind NE 14 km/h . Chance of precipitation 20% (trace amounts). Heat Index: 44 °C .
Thursday Night
Clear. Low: 26 °C . Wind West 18 km/h . Heat Index: 28 °C .
Friday
Clear. High: 42 °C . Wind SE 14 km/h . Heat Index: 43 °C .
Friday Night
Clear. Low: 27 °C . Wind WSW 10 km/h . Heat Index: 29 °C .
Saturday
Clear. High: 41 °C . Wind SSE 25 km/h . Heat Index: 40 °C .
Saturday Night
Chance of Rain. Overcast. Low: 29 °C . Wind West 10 km/h . Chance of precipitation 20% (trace amounts). Heat Index: 29 °C .
Sunday
Chance of Rain. Scattered Clouds. High: 42 °C . Wind SE 14 km/h . Chance of precipitation 30% (water equivalent of 1.43 mm). Heat Index: 53 °C .
Sunday Night
Scattered Clouds. Low: 27 °C . Wind WSW 10 km/h . Heat Index: 32 °C .
Monday
Clear. High: 43 °C . Wind SSE 21 km/h . Heat Index: 39 °C .
Monday Night
Overcast. Low: 28 °C . Wind WSW 14 km/h . Heat Index: 33 °C .
Tuesday
Chance of Rain. Scattered Clouds. High: 40 °C . Wind NE 14 km/h . Chance of precipitation 20% (trace amounts). Heat Index: 42 °C .
Tuesday Night
Partly Cloudy. Low: 28 °C . Wind WSW 14 km/h . Heat Index: 29 °C .

Got Boat?

Take it to the Sea of Cortez - Boating in Mexico
by Anita Kaltenbaugh

Most boat enthusiasts are unaware how easy it is to travel with a boat to Northwest Mexico. Not by boat, but with boat! Yes, I mean hitching your favorite floating friend to your truck or SUV and hauling it across the Mexican border to the beautiful Sea of Cortez.

Crossing the border with a boat is not as difficult as one may think. In fact, quite the opposite is true; it’s a relatively simple task. To all those gringos who imagine they will lose their boat, wreck their boat or encounter foul play if they cross the border and sail on the Sea of Cortez, we outlined the skinny on how to cross the border with the boat and what to do with it once you arrive in Mexico. Checklist for a boat to cross the border:
  • Current boat registration
  • Title to the trailer
  • Owner’s passport (passport required as of June 9, 2009)
When arriving at the border, stay in the same lanes as any other vehicle. If you see the Green Light at the border, that means keep going nice and slow. If you receive the Red Light, there is room to pull over and they may ask you to pull the cover off the boat, show the boat registration and the trailer title. Very simple and quick as long as you have your paperwork, proper ID and are prepared. Numerous marinas exist in Northwest Mexico; typically larger towns have more than one marina where you can launch, dry dock, and rent a slip by the day, weekend or year. Additionally, most marinas will flush the boat out for around $5 and wash the boat for a small fee. This will clean the saltwater out and get your boat ready to return
back to the States. Puerto Peñasco, San Felipe, San Carlos, Guaymas, Puerto Escondido, Santa Rosalina and La Paz all have marinas on the Sea of Cortez with available slips, water, power, showers, fuel docks and boat launch. Ensenada and Rosarito Beach also have marinas on the Pacific Ocean. The best thing in many of these small villages (besides the clear blue, spectacular Sea of Cortez) is the proximity of the marinas to the condos, hotels and homes. There are not many affordable places left in the world where you can drive your boat in the slip, jump out and head to your condo or hotel, and be door-to-door in 5–10 minutes. Depending on where you are in Northwest Mexico will determine your boating adventure. Depending on the type
of boat, speedboat, sailboat or cruiser will determine how far you can travel. The weather, time of the year and your experience level will also determine what type of journey you embark on.

Regardless, whether you find yourself on a long overnight adventure or a short day trip, floating on the calming waters with the sun in the sky and the clear blue water below you should be on the top of your not to be missed list. One way to cross the Sea of Cortez is to travel from San Felipe to Puerto Peñasco, either direction 73 nautical miles across with full-service marinas in both ports. Depending on the speed of your boat will determine how long it takes you to cross the sea. My experience tells me with a cruiser or a sailboat plan on 6–8 hours across. If you have a speedboat and flat seas you’re looking at 2–3 hours. From either Puerto Peñasco or San Felipe you can head south and explore the Sea of Cortez. Puerto Peñasco to San Carlos/Guaymas will be a little longer trip, roughly 290 miles. Plan a week for this trip (one way) and get ready to take pictures and a journal, and be prepared. San Felipe to La Paz will provide a beautiful long sea journey through Bahia De Los Angeles, Santa Rosalina,
Mulege, Loreto to La Paz. And of course, if you would rather head down the Baja Passage, depart from Ensenada or Rosarito Beach and head south the hole way to Cabo San Lucas. It is exciting how many choices exist for cruising the Sea of Cortez. Obviously, plan ahead, be safe and be prepared.
In my opinion, the worst part about boating is getting off the boat. Leaving the crystal blue waters of the Sea of Cortez is the hardest part, not because of crossing the border with your boat, but merely due to the outrageously perfect weather you just boated in for the weekend and
now have to leave. Actually, besides the heartache that the vacation is over, crossing the border to reenter the USA is very simple. Follow
your standard rules of crossing and be prepared for a few questions from the U.S. border, such as:
  • Who owns the boat?
  • How long have you owned the boat?
  • Did you sleep on the boat?
  • Where did you go in the boat?
Pretty simple. So, if you have a fishing, cruising or fun-loving boat you’ve been hauling around to the lakes, try something new and enjoy the gorgeous waters of the Sea of Cortez with dolphins, sea lions and flying fish. This marine jewel, teeming with life, is a beautiful ocean with plenty of room for everyone.

Happy Boating Amigos!
Frequently asked questions about taking a boat to Mexico: 
 
What do I need to cross the border with a boat?
  • Boat title and trailer registration
  • Passport (required as of June 1, 2009)

Do I need to have a special vehicle permit to take the boat across the border?
  • No special permit or vehicle registration is needed to go into the State of Sonora or Baja Norte; it is part of the free zone.

Is there any cost to bring my boat into Mexico?
  • No cost or charge—it's absolutely free to enjoy the Sea of Cortez.

Where can I keep my boat once I arrive in Mexico?
Puerto Peñasco
San Felipe
San Carlos/Guaymas
Puerto Escondido
Santa Rosalia
La Paz4 marinas with over 500 slips and full services and fuel
  • Costa Baja Resort & Marina
  • Marina Palmira
  • Marina de La Paz
  • Marina Fidepaz Singular
  • Go to www.exploringcortez.com and click on Marina’s link for details on each marina
Rosarito Beach
Ensenada
  • Ensenada Cruiseport Village- over 198 slips full services and fuel provisions, www.ecpvmarina.com

Is there gas at the marina?
  • Yes, both gas and diesel are available at Puerto Peñasco, San Felipe, Guaymas, San Carlos, Puerto Escondido, Santa Rosalia, La Paz, Ensenada and Rosarito.
 
Do I need to make a reservation prior to coming down?
  • A reservation can be made by calling any of the marinas; this is suggested for busy weekends.
 
What happens if my boat has a problem or needs repair?
  • Contact any of the marina’s and they will refer you to a local contact. Always know the VHF channels of the closest marina. A good guidebook will go a long way.
 
Where do I go cruising on the Sea of Cortez?
  • Anywhere and everywhere; how much time do you have?
  • Day trip to Bird Island (about 30 miles from Puerto Peñasco)
  • Enchanted Islands south of San Felipe
  • Various anchorages around the coast
  • Bahia de Los Angelas
  • Bahia Conception
  • Whale watching (seasonal)
  • Dolphin watching (play some Jimmy Buffet on your boat and watch them appear)

Can I go fishing on The Sea of Cortez?
  • Absolutely, there is more sea life in the Sea of Cortez than anywhere else in the world.
  • Dorado, grouper, flounder to name a few
  • You must have a fishing license (approximately $10 a day or $40 a year)

Do I need to watch the tide charts?
  • Most local newspapers or magazines have a tide chart. It is a good idea to look at one before your trip. Just be aware of high and low tides and reefs close to the shore. Visit www.mexicoliving.com or subscribe to the print edition of Mexico Living and receive one monthly.

What do I need to reenter the United States?
  • Passport (mandated as of June 1, 2009), boat registration and trailer title.

Monday, June 22, 2009

The Giant Mexican Fish


The Giant Mexican Fish
Dried-up Colorado Takes Toll on the Giant Totoaba
by John C. Cannon

The Colorado River vanishes before it reaches the Sea of Cortez in all but the wettest years. Companies in California and the southwestern U.S. have diverted its once-vibrant flow to quench their thirst for water and power. Now, a new study from the journal Biological Conservation reports that the dwindling of this major artery has changed the way some marine fish in the Gulf of California grow and develop.

The study focused on the totoaba, a giant endangered fish that once thrived in the region. The damming of the Colorado River has choked the natural flow of sediment and nutrients, causing sandbars and beaches to erode. Similarly, a protective estuary in the Gulf of California once formed by the river no longer exists, leaving few places for young totoaba to find food and hide from predators. According to the study, these drastic habitat changes—along with pressures on the totoaba from overfishing—have made it impossible for the young fish to grow quickly enough for the population to recover.

Weighing in at nearly 300 pounds, the totoaba, a fish in the drum family, was a tasty staple in the diet of people in what is now Mexico for millennia before the fishery collapsed in the mid-20th century. In 1975 Mexico designated the totoaba as an endangered species and closed the fishery, attributing the decline to overfishing. However, the totoaba population has not bounced back since the ban. Shrimp and gillnet fishermen probably take a share of protected totoaba and don't report the by-catch to authorities, but in the absence of a directed fishery, biologists expected the totoaba population to climb.

Recently, a team of scientists hypothesized that the difference might have something to do with the loss of fresh water from the Colorado. This river flow once infused the Gulf with nutrients and food sources, creating the estuary that was prime habitat for young totoaba. The team, led by University of Washington aquatic biologist Kirsten Rowell (formerly based at the University of Arizona), thought the construction of the Hoover Dam in 1935 might have triggered the problem.
Rowell and her colleagues compared the ear bones—or otoliths—of fish that lived after construction of the dam with totoaba otoliths found in the refuse heaps, or middens, of civilizations dating back 1,000 to 5,000 years. The team sliced the bones in search of clues about the comparative growth rates of these animals. "They grow concentrically," Rowell said, "so it's sort of like taking a jawbreaker and cutting it down the middle." Analogous to the rings of a tree, thicker bands appear in the otoliths during years of more growth.

From this comparison, the scientists found that young totoaba had grown more quickly if they lived before the damming of the Colorado. Further, they discovered those "pre-dam" fish matured sooner—in some cases, as many as five years earlier than their "post-dam" counterparts. That's a major change for a fish with a lifespan of up to 25 years.

"Fishing wouldn't cause that upheaval in life history," Rowell said, so her team guessed that it might have something to do with losing the estuary created by the Colorado River. An estuary, like a pot of soup, depends on the mixing force of flowing water. River water brings its own nutrients from the interior of a continent, but it also stirs up particulates from the river bottom when it approaches the sea, making a life-giving broth. Some 60 percent of fish that end up on American tables spend part of their lives in these fish nurseries around the world, where food is more abundant. Critically, vulnerable baby fish can find shelter from predators among more numerous plants in healthy estuaries.

Since the Gulf of California estuarine habitat started to disappear in the 20th century, younger totoaba haven't been able to find food as easily. As a result, they were smaller than pre-dam fish of a similar age. Over generations, this also led the fish to start breeding at an older age. "It's a general rule in fisheries that the larger you are, the more resources you have to give," Rowell said. The post-dam fish, smaller than their forebears, now don't have enough energy to spare to reproduce until later in life.

All of this becomes doubly concerning when the pressure from indiscriminate fishing tactics like gillnets cull many young fish. A century ago, such fish might have already spawned and left a new generation to ply the waters of the Sea of Cortez. But today, adolescent totoaba snagged in nets aren't as likely to be mature enough to have bred.

Because of the relentless drawdown and diversion of the Colorado, the estuary may be beyond saving. However, the U.S. Department of the Interior did attempt to restore some of the lost habitat in a controversial move. The department, which operates the Glen Canyon dam above the Grand Canyon, released some of its water to flush sediment downstream. But many environmental groups criticized the action as destructive, arguing that this simulated flood—much bigger than a natural spring flood would be—was too concentrated and would likely be too harsh for the sediment to stick and form the sand bars. The results still aren't conclusive.

"The impact of this research extends beyond the fortunes of a single species," Rowell said. The implications might require some tough choices as the global community faces potential food shortages. She added, "Fisheries seem like a really great way to get protein. Are we going to give water to this ecosystem that may fuel fisheries? Or are we going to build more houses? Population growth in water-starved areas only increases the need for freshwater and hydroelectricity."

"This is an example of something that's happening all over the world," said Jorge Torre, a conservation biologist and executive director of the conservation group Comunidad y Biodiversidad (COBI), based in Guaymas, Mexico. Torre called the research "a very nice proof" that altering an ecosystem, even from great distances in space and time, can dramatically affect the species that call it home.

It may be too late to transform the Colorado River delta back into the habitat it once was. Torre said, "We need to be practical—we're never going to have that water again." But he noted that as the world population grows, fresh water and the fish it supports will become more precious resources. Torre hopes policymakers will pay attention to the hard lessons learned from the totoaba.

John C. Cannon is a graduate student in the Science Communication Program at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

San Felipe Initiates An Art Co-Op

San Felipe Initiates An Art Co-Op
Desert Mothers' first Playshop a huge success!
by Penny Nask


There is wonderful news about an organization of artisans willing to take part in the community by bringing Mexicans and Americans together to create works of art in our picturesque little town!

Donna Roberts, and all of her unyielding energy, has challenged San Felipe to work towards a dream that she has had for many years.
A co-op can be many things. But in Donna’s heart, it is a plan to give Mexican women a chance to create art and to be able to sell it for profit. This is not a new idea. Many countries have been given seed money to start small, women-owned businesses. The women involved in these projects are successful because of the organizational skills learned, their productivity and the self-esteem gained.

It can be difficult to make connections between Mexican and Americans with language and transportation problems. However, Donna has been rethinking and revising her plans. These issues will not stop her.

When Donna called a meeting to brainstorm ideas for a co-op, she already had engaged a famous mosaic artist to travel here and offer a ceramic workshop. We tested the waters. Would local Americans be interested in paying for a three-day workshop to learn how to create a mosaic art piece? Would these participants let our Mexican locals come for free? The answer was a resounding YES! . . . and the workshop was renamed “Playshop” in honor of the fun we anticipated having.

Our co-op artworks will be displayed and honored. Americans and Mexicans will work together to create these art forms. They will be categorized as “fine art.” We have commitments to make this happen.

The first Playshop was so successful that we had to limit participants because of space! No one seemed to mind that it was a bit crowded. All of us produced, in three days, mosaic pieces that made our instructor, Aida Valencia, proud!

You didn’t have to have any artistic talent going into this project, but I am sure many of us can now reevaluate our artistic skills because if it.


So what is the future of Donna’s idea? Well, for one thing, she has aptly named our co-op Desert Mothers. As you read this we are “birthing” this organization with love and hope.


What is next? Stay tuned . . . but for now these photos inspire and validate the progress of the dream.

There will be other Playshops featuring other art mediums. For more information or to get on our emial list, contact
bajadonna@gmail.com.