It was a slightly out of body experience recently to wander in the town square to the sound of the bagpipes. Bev and Earl, residents from Canada, had organised for a group of Scottish Highland Dancers to visit PM. They danced in the Park, at the jungle market and on the beach to everyone's delight. Time for our Annual Charity Bazaar 10am-3pm Saturday April 18th in the Park. We are still looking for things to sell in the bazaar - bring household items, clothes, sporting goods whatever you don't need to Frank's place before Thursday please and we will sell it. Money from this bazaar will be used to complete a classroom in the kindergarten El Principite in the colonia. The school is highly overcrowded and these kids need more space and we can give it to them by getting rid of our junk.
The 2009 Fishing Tournaments - again we have duelling teams. The 'Grand Slam' is April 24-27 with cars and motor bikes as prizes bound to attract a big fishing crowd and the the Marine day Celebrations take place May 29-June 1st and members of the community will be helping this year to reintroduce ancillary activities to the fish killing - bikini contest, greased pole climb, sand sculpture competition etc.
The charity, El Mundo para Puerto Morelos, is currently running a competition at the high school for the student most improved before June 30th. Sandy Matas is the instigator of the idea and is donating a laptop computer for first prize and Ann and Allan Elliott are also donating a computer for 2nd prize. I think we may also have some second hand ones coming for 3rd and 4th prizes - what an inspiration this will be. We recently delivered some walkers and wheelchairs, kindly donated by our visitors, to DIF for use at the Senior Citizen's Club (Niza in the photo is the Mayor's daughter and speaks Spanish , French and English) and at the same time met the young Doctor Leonard Perez Moo, who works mornings at the DIF Rehab centre next to the National Park tourist display palapa, he wanted us to meet a very special little girl Maria Luisa Sandoval who was born with spinal injury which leaves her with out the ability to use her feet easily and at 4 is still not talking. Her mother is about to have another baby (I know I know) so Luisa will not receive the full time attention she needs. She needs a child's walker and special ankle support shoes KAFO size 15 (since starting to write the newsletter one of PM's regular supporters has pledged the walker - we still need the shoes) . In case you were wondering what happens to your donations you can see one of the walkers in use here, you can see the children playing with all the balls we collected last term (thankyou), eating food donated at the kinder and all the school supplies you left at Mama's Bakery, thank you again and forgive me if I have not emailed you personally. The teachers at the kinder put on funny hats to say thank you as well. There's been lots of renovations going on around town - in front of the Park the landscaping is nearing completion while we wait for the end of construction of the pergolas. The Tea Room opened in its stunning location and great design. It is currently closed and we all hope it reopens soon. The third beach access road nears completion and really adds to the beach atmosphere. The residents to the south of this access paid to pave the road in front of their own houses but have added a chain and a padlock Voila! private road..I don't think so, let's hope the Municipio reminds our neighbours that we do not have private roads in Puerto Morelos. On that note, we have had community security meetings in the last 2 months, I am surprised that not many ex pats attend these as they are very informative and it also gives the community a platform to voice their opinion, a much more effective place than on a bar stool! The first was called by the mayor and attended by the Chief of Security Police and Civil Proteccion to discuss the series of extortion calls received by many people in the village. Those affected got up and told their story about how they were threatened and bullied, over 80 people were affected luckily only a couple were foolish enough to drive to Cancun and pay these anonymous individuals. The Police were impressed at the community action (this has happened all over Mexico but PM was the first community objection action) and were investigating, there has been no reoccurrence. The second was called by the Mayor at the request of the new Chief of Police, it is worth noting that these meetings all started on time and were efficiently conducted. There was talk about how all the Police groups would work together, that more lamps and speed signs were coming, that there is a schools progamme for seat belt wearing. The Police Chief said there would be much more security for Easter and that they really need you to report crimes and that you must look after your children and not let them wander the streets and she asked for help when we see a problem to please call them. There were many questions from the floor and it was also stated that the State is looking into why it takes so long to make a report! The third meeting was this last week and was for us to meet the new Tourist Police headed up by Cte. Carlos Novelo (998 1869803), they are a combination of Tourism and Transito Police and will be looking after the area from the highway to the beaches. Carlos and some of his men speak English and are happy to be in PM and have so far been treated very well with a lot of people waving to them and bringing them water and being friendly, let's keep this up we may get them to stay a while. They plan to cut down the drunkeness and trucks on the pier as it is the first image most people have of PM, patrol the beaches, stop graffiti and gangs. He is concerned that PM does not go the way of Cancun and intends to help us preserve the atmosphere of the village. He spoke at length about corruption and pointing out again that it takes two - you give, they take. You must NOT pay the Police or even TRY to bribe them - please tell all your visitors the same thing. Besides the fact that you are only adding to the corruption problem the real fines themselves are very low and easy to pay here or in Cancun if you are stopped outside PM. New 'no fine' Tourist notices will be introduced where the Tourists are stopped and given a ticket with a warning but if stopped again their data will be on the police file so they will be fined. Dogs are now allowed on a leash on the beach except over Easter. There are new garbage bins going in and Saturday and Sunday pickups. They asked that restaurant owners not use the public bins. They advised that the Federal land opposite the Handicraft Market has been cleared and is now Municipal parking at 5p an hour and that we now have lifesaver toweres and three lifesavers on duty for Easter and at weekends thereafter. There is a new Chief of Civil Proteccion Hector Martinez Huerta (998 1310825) Leon Salas is now the Assessor (998 1156749) . We had some great donations over the last 2 months including several sets of fire boots from our friends in Kelowna, BC, that were a great boost for the guys. The Puerto Morelos fire truck was recently fixed by our friends from Texas at Barnone and then promptly disappeared whenever I asked where it was they said it was back in the workshop or being painted. Anyway I fronted up to the Chief of Bomberos in Cancun last week and he claims that it needs 80,000 pesos worth of repairs. The Mayor and Leon claim that he is getting his trucks mixed up so we are in a fight to get out pumper back, such as it is. The Kelowna folk also brought much needed baseball supplies. Real Estate in Puerto Morelos is a little slow at the moment but everyone is holding firm on their prices and there are several interested parties around so an optimistic mood pervades here. Another diary note will be that there is a Charro (Mexican rodeo) competition next Sunday April 19th to be held at Santa Isabella ranch (alongside Ocean Leader fish warehouse, go down to Bonfil and take the turnaround) which is a great fun event. I also recently visited the town of Puerto Vallarta on the Pacific coast to look at horses. It is a much bigger city than I expected with a huge US retiree population but with a wonderful beach front malecon and some interesting back alleys and side streets. On the way back, I stopped in on Merida to see the final day of the Hennessy Polo Cup, the teams are seen here and we discussed the upcoming Copa del Rey May 8-16 in Puerto Morelos, another diary note for you. Puerto Morelos also saw the annual Swimming Competition recently, much bigger event this year and well organised, there was beach entertainment, swimmers of all ages and time to chat to friends. I also visited Holbox island for a friend's birthday, we lashed out and hired a light plane (nail biting for me) and flew over the magnificient series of waterways that surround Holbox. Off season on Holbox was gorgeous and we had a very pleasant and relaxing stay at las Tortugas and ate at Pelicano's , very little wind and no sandflies, all together a great getaway weekend. Another meeting with the Mayor was to discuss the Public Health Clinic and our issues with them. The charity has done considerable work bringing equipment and supplies to the clinic and we asked that technicians be supplied to the clinic to use the machines we have provided more regularly, they took that under consideration, suggested the machines could be used in Cancun which I refused. Dr Coronado, Health Department, said he would be very supportive of any seminar we would want to put together with visiting specialists, so if you know of someone coming who is a medical specialist and could spare a day for a seminar let me know, especially in the areas of opthamology, ear, nose and throat, dermatology and gynaecology. The picture is Dr Coronado , our new Mayor Francisco Mendoza Reyna ( 8710117) and me on a bad hair bad dress day! New doctor in town Dr Javier Olea MD 998 8742110 he has an office on Rojo Gomez between Habaneros and the Laundry. Bar Ixchel has been doing great business this season, despite many days closed by the wind and still a great fun place to be. Ana's free english classes at the Libary in the Colonia have been a great success and her classes on Friday and Saturday are full. There's been all sorts of little fairs in the colonia and even a series of stalls selling Oaxacan wares. We have the new shop that Jody is running, La Vuelta which stocks all sorts of gifts as well as handy reasonaby priced Puerto Morelos clothing. Jody said to let you know that the battle to stop the over development continues, 32 individual's papers were accepted by the judge but we need more before the end of April if you have not yet provided them with your utility and signed letter and 300p please email Jody for details 'firstname.lastname@example.org'. Also on the artist side, Susan Harrison has been selling gorgeous hand made yoga mat bags, bag bags, aprons, arty boxes and more from her round house on Ninos Heroes. We are hoping Susan will have a stall at the bazaar so you can see her there or call 998 2184135. Sunday April 12 is the last day for the Jungle Market but Jungle Spa is still going and some friends who visited recently were raving about how wonderful the massages were they received. For bookings email : email@example.com. Taqco, is the newish restaurant above the little mall, and well worth a visit when you want to try something new, I think the tacos are the best thing they do and very reasonably priced. They also fill up your glass with wine to the top (or maybe he knew I was coming) and let you loose with a marker to write messages on the wall. Paradise Pier has changed thier look inside decorating with a lot of fun Mexican iconic items, menu same same and the Coyote restaurant opened inside Carmen (Hacienda) Morelos I have yet to try. Today we are launching the Sponsor a Puerto Morelos Student intiative. The principals at the Primary School in the colonia have chosen these students as most in need - all we are asking is that you pay their 200 pesos school fees for the year starting July 2009 as their families cannot afford it. Please donate it to the charity and specify for this project. We will send you the photo of the child and provide an avenue for further interaction These a
re the students Lidia, aged 12, lives with her m
other, her father died. Geovanny, aged 8, and his 3 brothers and sisters, lives with his grandparents, his mother died in childbirth. Wilberth, aged 7, lives with his mother and grandmother, his father is dead. Gelmi Margarita, aged 9, lives with her parents and 4 brothers and sisters. Victor, aged 6,lives with his parents and 2 siblings, very sociable, good attendance and he completes his homework (do we know any cleft palate experts?) . Lorenzo, aged 9, lives with his parents and 5 brothers and sisters, has regular respiratory issues. Israel, aged 10, live with his grandparents and 2 siblings
Diane and Martina recently rescued a pregnant dog from near the NH Hotel - Martina. now has the mother (very good natured) and 7 puppies looking for good homes, give Martina a call if you can help 998 2134595. The little Tejon on the right lives in the Colonia and is named Rita.
I do still have some fun with my horse and you can see me here exercising the beautiful Mandarina who will be one of the stars in the upcoming Polo Tournament. As usual, I thank everyone for all their wonderful donations to Puerto Morelos, please keep it coming (don't need any more pencils or crayons need teaching materials such as alphabet and math flash cards, puzzles, brain teasers ( like putting round peg into round hole), posters, maps), and remember the bazaar next Saturday and that we still need volunteers to help with the charity. Happy Easter to everyone.