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Local Island NEWS in English - Updated Weekly
News for the Week of November 23, 2015

Beginning in December 2002, Insider was proudly the first website to provide readers the Cozumel News in English.

Articles are slected from local newspapers which we feel will be of interest to our diverse audience. These articles are then translated into English. We cannot always investigate the veracity of a particular article but offer these translations as a reflection of the Cozumel community news just as reporters write it for Por Esto, Diario de Quintana Roo, Novedades and El Seminario and many other sources.

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Note: All translated articles are the property of Cozumel Insider and cannot be used, displayed or reproduced without express written permission from Cozumel Insider.

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Cozumel Arrivals: 25 Ships this Week
11/22 - Numbers remain high again this week in Cozumel as cruise ship arrivals show to 25 ships registered to dock for the fourth week of November 2015. This is 4 less than the number of ships last week and 5 more than the "20 in port" which marks a "high season" number. As the high season now gets underway, an estimated 75,000 people will visit Cozumel this week via these cruise ships leaving an estimated US$ 6 million dollars behind in the local economy.

High season for cruise ship arrivals typically runs from November 15 - April 15 each year with the remaining 7 months of the year considered "low season."

This week Puerta Maya pier will be the big economic winner as 11 ships dock there, 9 ships will dock at TMM/SSA International pier while Punta Langosta pier will see 5 arrivals and the downtown San Miguel pier will have -0- arrivals with passengers tendering in.

This week begins with 1 ships docking on Monday, 6 on Tuesday, 5 ships Wednesday, 5 on Thursday, 4 on Friday and then Saturday will bring 4 ships in port and Sunday will see -0- ships in port.

View the Cruise Ship Calendar for this Week
Cozumel Hosts 4th Edition of 'Scuba Fest'
Cozumel will host the 4th edition of the International Diving Festival “Cozumel Scuba Fest” from December 8th through 13th. The event was announced in Santa Barbara, California and the presentation was attended by Jean-Michel Cousteau and confirmed the attendance of the Marine Biologist Sylvia Earle.

The Council of Tourism Promotion in Los Angeles and the organizers of "Cozumel Scuba Fest" convened in a press conference to publicize the program activities and three different diving routes to appreciate the underwater beauty of the Mesoamerican Reef and this year live the unique experience of immersing oneself in the cenotes of the Yucatan Peninsula. Jean-Michel Cousteau stressed the need to move forward and keep this project that benefits Cozumel Island and promotes diving for the 4th consecutive year.

Marine Biologist Sylvia Earle is considered a living legend of underwater exploration and is known by the nickname of "the Lady of the Depths". She has dived deeper than 400 meters in 1979 in Oahu Hawaii. This was a free dive without any assistance from the surface. In addition to prominent Californians divers, the function was also attended by the photographer Manuel Lazcano, who along with Jean-Michel invited the Californian community to attend the event in Cozumel.
Cozumel Celebrates 166 Years of Existence
Starting as a settlement with just 100 inhabitants, Cozumel has become a destination for cruise ships and international tourism with a current population of around 100,000 inhabitants and receives 3.4 million visitors a year. On November 21st, the municipality of Cozumel celebrated this milestone.

In 1849, 21 families came to Cozumel in search of refuge since at that time, the Mayan rebellion flogged the continental part of the territory of Yucatán which belonged to Quintana Roo and which was governed by Miguel Barbachano and Terraza. Later, in a somewhat inaccurate census, the population appeared to have been divided into 161 men and 146 women, but that count did not include children. A decade later there were 1,709 people according to data taken from the call to elect a Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Legislators, and Municipal authorities dated June 16, 1862.

166 years have passed since then so the City Council celebrated with a ceremony in Andres Quintana Roo Park the morning of November 21st, which was headed by the Mayor Fredy Efrén Marrufo Martín. The first time that this date was commemorated was on November 21, 2012, when Benito Juárez Park still retained its ancient appearance and for that moment Marrufo Martin was Deputy for Cozumel.
Cozumel Documentary Wins Award
For the first time, Cozumel participated in the San Sebastian Film Festival in Spain and won third place receiving a Bronze medal. The documentary is entitled: "Cozumel, a Diamond in the Mayan Caribbean ". This feature-length film shows the wealth of the Island in nature and underwater.

The 39th Edition of the San Sebastian Festival included 32 films that were shown in the main theatre of Donostia-San Sebastián. The award winning film "Cozumel, a Diamond in the Mayan Caribbean" was directed by Karlos Simon and Executive Producer Pedro Joaquín Delbouis. The Real Underwater Activities Sociedad of San Sebastian Club consist of 160 members and 10 members led by its founder, Francisco Pizarro and the director for six years, Nano Cordobilla.

This is the first time that Cozumel was involved as a destination with a feature film showing Marine life in the cave of the sleeping sharks, reefs, the cenote "Aerolito" and the presence of sea turtles and their care. The documentary also included the ruin site of San Gervasio including scenes of the Mayan Archeological zone considered to be the most important point of this civilization on the island and eventually to the Mayan culture without forgetting the beaches in the eastern area.

In the 2015 Edition of Cimasub, 32 videographers and 27 photographers presented short films online, slide shows and short films from 28 minutes in length and feature films of Mexico.
Baby Spider Monkey Under Guard
A baby spider monkey approximately 6 months old was orphaned and after being rescued after a citizen complaint. The monkey is under guard at the Department of Ecology and Environment when its owner made it clear that it was necessary to kill the mother since her instinct made her fight to prevent their separation.

Rafael Chacon Diaz, Director of Ecology in the municipality of Cozumel urged citizens to not buy specimens as the spider monkey since doing so is an illegal activity that can lead to legal problems to the people involved. He explained that the spider monkey (Ateles geoffroyi yucatanensis) is a species that can be seen in the continental zone of the State and if one is on the Island, it is here illegally.

The baby spider monkey was rescued and is under guard until the authorities choose a course of action to follow to ensure its health and safety. The biologist explained that the animal became dehydrated and undernourished but it is receiving the necessary attention. The monkey is being kept in a Natural Park since this will serve to reduce the stress that the little animal is suffering.

Chacon Diaz reiterated his call to the population to avoid the trafficking of these and other species due to the fact that since they are not native to the area, this can mean a disruption in the biological chain of micro, macro and mega natural systems that are in Cozumel.
Cozumel Airport Updates Luggage Screening Equipment
The Cozumel International Airport will renew its safety equipment for the revision of luggage, in order to continue providing better service and confidence to domestic and foreign passengers who arrive or depart from the island. New devices have the function of detecting explosives and other threats more efficiently.

Armando Jose Gamboa Vargas, Cozumel’s airport manager, announced that it received information from the “Airports del Sureste” (Asur) company, concessionaire of the airport terminal, which will change the way inspection teams review document suitcases and luggage by hand as part of the master program of development.

He explained that the current equipment, complying with standards, regulations and safety certifications, have reached their normal life cycle and although they are still functional, it is necessary to have modern appliances with the latest technologies available on the market.
Motorists Disregard Markers for Bicycle Lane
Some markers that were placed to restrict vehicular circulation in the bike lane in the eastern part of Cozumel are in deplorable conditions. This was confirmed after a citizen complained and he also commented on the lack of police surveillance in the area where cyclists train for participation in the upcoming events: The Gran Fondo New York and Ironman.

At the end of April, staff of the municipal public works department placed poles made of plastic pipe to notify cars and other vehicles to avoid entering the bicycle path, but the lane continues to be used by the drivers of vehicles and motorcycles, mainly taxi drivers. Two years ago the separate lane was built for the exclusive use of bike riders since in 2009 the island began to host international triathlons. To date, Cozumel has come to be known as “The Island of Sports". However, the markers did not last very long since motorists take advantage of the lack of surveillance to pass over them and destroy them, as a cyclist commented over the past weekend.

A tour of the cycle path revealed that at five points where these posts were placed, there are at least two destroyed and the remainder in poor condition. On the poles you can see the marks and stains left by tires and engine oil.
The 'Dog Whisperer' Visits the Riviera Maya
Known worldwide for his program on Animal Planet, Cesar Millan the “Dog Whisperer” visited the Riviera Maya for a short vacation break. Through social networks, the dog specialist shared some of his experiences on the tourist destination, where he enjoyed a holiday away from dog activities and savored some delicious local food such as tacos.

Although he resides in the United States, Cesar Millan is of Mexican origin. His home state is Sinaloa but this time he decided to visit the Eastern coast and the Caribbean Ocean.

Cesar Millan has gained popularity on social networks, with about 9 million followers on Facebook, 821,000 thousand on Twitter and almost half a million on Instagram. He is a public figure who keeps in contact with fans. By uploading photos of his recent visit to the Riviera Maya, he generated more than 73,000 likes, 980 shares and about 2,000 comments. Via his Instagram account, he shared a video which let his fans know that one of his favorite drinks is Tequila.
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May 5, 2015 (Most Recent) Comprehensive Mexico Travel Warning
Because we are continually asked about travel safety in Mexico and Cozumel, INSIDER always maintains the most recent, complete version of the U.S. State Department Mexico Travel Warning HERE on our website for traveler convenience.

The good news continues to be that there are currently no regional security warnings in place that cover Quintana Roo, Cancun, Cozumel or Costa Maya so make vacation plans now to get here for some fun in the sun!

The Mexico Travel Warning dated December 24, 2014 from the Department of State can also be viewed in its entirety on the Department of State website.

We worry so you don't have to.

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