February 29th Wine & Cheese Tasting Festival at the Pavilion Details TBD. More info call 686-577-1399 or 686-577-1002.
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February 4, 2012 – We are on our way south to Cabo San Lucas with our next group after returning with our January Tour on February 1st. The construction continues on many sections of the Highway and real progress continues. Mexico should be very proud about how much improvement they have made on the Baja Hwy system over the past few years.
Highway 3: Tecate-Ensenada
They have made great progress on 10 km/6 miles of construction since we were last on this on December 18, 2011. Lots of resources have been committed to this project and it shows. Only 5km/3 miles of construction remains and this is very passable by rigs of all sizes, lots of new pavement and the gravel sections are graded and packed. We expect this will be complete when our last tour completes April 3, 2012.
Highway 19: Cabo San Lucas – Todos Santos
This is an amazing project for sure and the resources, both human and equipment, are substantial, our guess would be 1000 workers and 100 pieces of road building equipment. We have heard they are working on this 24/7 and want this completed in time for the G20 Summit in June of this year, hosted by Mexico, to be held in Cabo San Lucas. The difference between our drive at the end of November 2011 and January 21, 2012 was significant indeed. Only the major cuts and bridge construction sections remain in gravel, well graded and packed. The balance of the highway is paved, some with all 4 lanes completed, other sections only 2 lanes. We are confident this will be complete for June and look forward to seeing what they have accomplished when we are there again in 3 weeks.
Santo Tomas KM 39-KM 49
We have seen immense progress on this project since November 5, 2011. The entire section is now paved, although not entirely complete, with the exception of the actual cut though the mountain at KM 44-KM 47 (best guess). You still must detour around this section, partially on the old road and switchback. We are confident that when we leave Baja with our last tour and drive this for the last time this season on April 2, 2012, we will drive on the new section that passes through the mountain. We can hardly wait!
Catavina: North & South
This has all been paved for some time now and now almost 100% complete. What is a bit puzzling and surprising is the new section south of Catavina where the new sections have developed potholes. We know little about the paving process, however can safely speculate that something went wrong with his particular project regarding the re-pavement aspects. The good news is we have seen road crews repairing many of these sections and the road surface is once again improving. Those that drive this section often will recall this was once the crappiest section of Hwy 1 for many years.
Our first experience on this 8KM/5 Mile section, between the Military Check Point and Jesus Maria, was in early November 2011 and was brutal to say the least. The detour was for “Gringos Only” and the worst Baja gravel road we had been on for years. It was like driving to the San Javier Mission before it was paved! We are pleased to report that everyone is now detoured off the section in construction and the gravel road is in great shape, well graded and flat. We were safely and comfortably driving 30KM/20 Miles per hour on this section. Progress on this section seems quite slow with only a few pieces of equipment a couple of crews ever spotted on the site. What is up with this? Who knows for sure, we will see how things are coming in a week when we return south.
Researchers from Wildcoast, a coastal and marine conservation group based in Imperial Beach, are calling on surfers who traveled to Baja California Sur during the past year to participate in a survey.
The purpose of the survey is to give researchers a better understanding of the social and economic impacts that surfing has on small isolated communities south of the border. The research will also be helpful when fighting against new development projects that jeopardize surf breaks and other coastal ecosystems.
"This information is crucial for decision makers to realize that surfing is not a fringe activity, and that the preservation of waves and coastal habitats actually has value...," reads Wildcoast's website.
Conservationists at Wildcoast say the results from the survey could eventually be used to help create a "Surfing Reserve" in Baja, an area akin to a national park, where the land, ecosystems, and surf breaks would be protected.
Wildcoast researcher A.J. Schneller has been looking into the benefits that surfing has on local communities in Baja for the past three years.
"[Surfers] are spending a lot of money in these communities and are creating social bonds with these communities. They are not just parachuting in and then bailing," says Schneller, who plans to release his findings in the coming months.
MEXICO CITY - The following is being released by Marca Pais - Imagen de Mexico:
CNN's World's Treasures asked Jeff Morgan, Executive Director of the Global Heritage Fund to compile a list of key Mayan sites in Mexico. The UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Chichen Itza in the state of Yucatan and Palenque in Chiapas made the list. The seaside site of Tulum, in Quintana Roo, was described by Morgan as a "picturesque" and "photo-friendly" spot.
Mundo Maya is a tourism initiative linking the Mexican states of Campeche, Chiapas, Quintana Roo, Yucatan and Tabasco. This region is home to 6 of Mexico's 27 UNESCO World Heritage sites, the most found in any other country in the world. Mexico estimates that 52 million tourists will visit southeastern Mexico in 2012, spending approximately $23 million.
"Crossing South" host Jorge Meraz explores Tijuana, Wednesday, January 25, 2012.
"Crossing South" is a travel show which explores Tijuana and Northern Baja. Bilingual travel companion and host, Jorge Meraz, takes the audience on a journey and demystifies the area.
Get to know the people, vernacular, foods, customs and places frequented by the locals. To find these travel treasures, Jorge goes further than the tourist traps. There's a lot to learn and fun to have right next door by "Crossing South."
In this episode, we take a look at a famous new skyscraper in Tijuana and interview the architect. Host Jorge Meraz then has a ball at the Tijuana Fair riding the rides and eating the foods. Later, we go to a music festival for the young TJ locals. And lastly, Jorge cooks with the chef at La Querencia making "Baja Med" cuisine, drinking rattlesnake tequila, and eating freshly hunted wildlife.
"Crossing South" is on Facebook.
Otis Holland, a former pastor from Henderson, Nevada who fled after being accused of sexually assaulting teenage girls in his congregation. He was captured Wednesday in Tijuana. - Baja California-SSPE.
TIJUANA - Days after being featured on the television show "America's Most Wanted," a fugitive pastor from Henderson, Nev., was captured Wednesday by Mexican authorities in Tijuana. Otis Holland, 55, is accused of sexually assaulting teenage girls in his parish who came to him for counselling.
Holland's arrest took place thanks to a tip from a viewer of the program's Jan. 20 episode, authorities said. On Wednesday, the information reached the U.S. Marshal's Office in San Diego, which in turn contacted members of Baja California's State Preventive Police. They arrested him that same day, and turned him over to U.S. authorities.
"It was a fantastic operation on both sides of the border, it couldn't have gone smoother," said Omar Castillo, a member of the U.S. Marshal's Fugitive Task Force.
Alfredo Arenas, chief liaison officer for the Baja California state police, said Holland was detained outside a house in Tijuana's Zona Norte, a neighborhood near the U.S. border. Holland had been living there by himself, and had not been there for long, Arenas said: "He had a couple of suitcases, the clothes were still inside."
Holland was being held in San Diego's Central Jail on Thursday, pending his removal to Nevada, where he faces a charge of conspiracy, one of child abuse and 11 counts of assault on a minor under 16.
According to the report aired on "America's Most Wanted," Holland founded the United Faith Church. He was first charged with sexual abuse in Dec. 10, 2010. He fled in July 2011, after more victims came forward, the report said.
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