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Local Island NEWS in English - Updated Weekly
News for the Week of November 28, 2016



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.

We appreciate hearing from our readers and welcome your questions, suggestions and comments. Please send them to: questions@cozumelinsider.com

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: 28 Ships this Week YEE HAA!!
11/27 - Numbers stay high this week in Cozumel as cruise ship arrivals show 28 ships registered to dock for this final week of November 2016. This is 3 less than the number of ships last week and 8 more than the "20 in port" which marks a "high season" number. As Fall winds down to bring us the holidays and HIGH Season for 2016, an estimated 70,000 people will visit Cozumel this week via these cruise ships leaving an estimated US$ 5.3 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 host to 16 ships docking there, 5 ships will dock at TMM/SSA International pier while Punta Langosta pier will see 7 arrivals and the downtown San Miguel pier will have -0- arrivals with passengers tendering in.

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

View the Cruise Ship Calendar for this Week
World's Largest Cruise Ship Visits Cozumel
The world's largest cruise ship “Harmony of the Seas” arrived in Cozumel for the first time last week with a total of 8,794 people, of which 73 % are passengers. The official reception of this ship, by the Port Terminal Administration and the Integral Port Administration of Quintana Roo, was private and without access to representatives of the media.

The 18-level Harmony made its maiden voyage in May 2016 and will now arrive twice a month to Cozumel as part of its tour of the Caribbean by making stops in Haiti, Jamaica and Cozumel. This giant cruise liner has a length of 362 meters, 65.7 meters wide with a gross weight of 226,963 tons and travels over the ocean at a speed of 22 knots driven by four gigantic propellers in its bow.
Cozumel Remais the Leader in Cruise Ship Arrivals
“The presence of the Harmony of the Seas on Cozumel Island shows that Cozumel remains the leader in the arrival of cruise ships on the American continent” stated Pablo Aguilar Torres, representative of the Tourist Promotion Trust of Cozumel Island (FPTIC).

Pablo Aguilar was one of the guests at the reception of the cruise liner by TMM Agencies in the ceremony of the Royal Caribbean International ship that arrived at 07:00 in the morning to a pier to the south of the island. He added, without giving figures, that the presence of the thousands of tourists who arrive aboard this ship mean a significant economic boost for the economy of the island and a full confidence in the destination. During the annual convention of the Florida and Caribbean Cruise Federation (FCCA) in October 2015, it was announced that the average per capita expenditure of a passenger is $170.

Meanwhile, in the area of passenger transport, on the night of November 23, the San Miguel passenger terminal welcomed the arrival the new vessel of the Ultramar shipping company. This new ferry will cover 10 round trips between Cozumel and Playa del Carmen, according to information provided by David Chulin Barrera Captain of the boat. The Ultramar Ferry boat holds 850 passengers and has ample amenities for the users and another similar vessel is expected to be operational by mid-2018.
New Mayor Accused of Ecocide
According to the Secretary General and its Technical Secretary, the Municipal President of Cozumel, Perla Cecilia Tun Pech, has decided to not stop the construction of the road to "Laguna Ciega", located at the northern end of the Island, although environmentalists provided legal arguments to stop the works.

A tour of the area showed that at least one meter of the terrain has been removed in a stretch of approximately two kilometers for the construction of this road which is located in the area of influence and protected by Mexican Environmental Legislation and International Agreements. The access road is closed and those who wish to reach the lagoon or Passion Island must do so by an alternate and parallel road, because about 2,000 meters of surface has been removed.

Guadalupe Álvarez Chulin de Azueta, President of the Environmental group Cielo, Mar y Tierra, A.C. (Citymar) announced that on November 16th during a meeting with the Mayor and some members of her cabinet, she was Informed that the Mayor approved to carry out a route along the road that leads to Laguna Ciega. The President of Citymar said that during the meeting they were informed that this tour was accompanied by personnel of the National Commission of Natural Protected Areas (Conanp) on the Island. The environmentalists showed documents such as the official SGPA / DGIRA / DG / 06595 dated September 7, 2016 by the Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources that gives view to the Secretariat of Infrastructure and Transport of the Government of the State of Quintana Roo (Sintra ) of the Environmental Impact Manifestation Analysis (MIA) of the project called "Improvement of Access to the Laguna Ciega" located in the northern part of the island and municipality of Cozumel. One of the highlights of the document shows the prohibition of filling, clearing, burning and desiccation of vegetation. The expansion of the road is already a fact and work has begun of clearing and extraction of stone material, said the conservationist who added that what is allowed is the maintenance of the existing road provided it was not to be expanded or paved but the project contravenes these provisions.

SINTRA states that the wildlife populations distributed in the area represents 170 species of fauna and that represents 57 percent of that on Cozumel Island including 53 winter species, 17 temporary residents, 5 summer residents and 13 of the 19 endemic species and subspecies of the Island. Guadalupe Álvarez affirms that the impacts to the wild fauna and flora by the increase in the influx of vehicles and their speed along with the presence of the humans in the zone were not evaluated. Despite all these arguments, Francisco Javier Pizaña Alonso, Technical Secretary and Dora Patricia Uribe Jiménez, Secretary General asked for more information that would enable them to stop the work. An application that was 100 percent backed by Perla Tun.
Another Year Without Hurricanes
“The 2016 hurricane season officially ends on November 30th and there is no longer a danger to the geographic zone of Mexico and specifically to Quintana Roo, thanks to the arrival of cold fronts”, stated the Department of Meteorology and Climatology of Civil Protection. In the Atlantic and Caribbean Sea, 14 named tropical cyclones have been formed, when the anticipated forecast indicated 15. There was the possibility of a formation of the 15th this past week but it never formed.

"In terms of evolution, we have had 14 named tropical cyclones, of which 3 have been category 1 and 2 hurricanes, and another three have been 3, 4 and 5. Most in the waters of the Atlantic Ocean, without representing risk to us, nor a direct impact in our country. Except Earl, which hit Belize in Category 1 and caused heavy damage in the center of the country, reaching an area between Veracruz and Alvarado until arriving in Puebla, "said Luis Antonio Morales Ocaña, a weather forecast specialist. He pointed out that this 2016 marks 9 years of not being impacted by a major hurricane in the state of Quintana Roo and the Yucatan peninsula, since 'Dean' in 2007 impacted in category 5 in Mahahual.

The State Coordination of Civil Protection predicts that the winter season will be one of the coldest in recent years in the area.
Local Photographer Wins Prestigious Award
Jeronimo Avilés Olguin, a local documentary filmmaker and naturalist, together with a team of collaborators, won the “Pantalla de Cristal” award for best nature photography and best scientific dissemination by the 'Mangroves of the Maya World' documentary, which airs on Nat Geo.

Several of the scenes filmed correspond to the system of caves called Crustacea, which is to the North of Playa Del Carmen and for years has been documented by National and International researchers. "What touches us most is that this is the best photography of nature and better popular science we have seen, and we are very happy” stated the “Pantalla de Cristal” Organization. This is not the first time Jeronimo Avilés Olguin was recognized. He previously won the ”Silver Palm” Award in 2012 for a documentary and the “Rolex Award” in 2008 for research. "They are team awards, not personal awards", he said. On the issue of the mangrove in Playa del Carmen, he expressed concern due to the devastation that has occurred. This is an important factor despite its economic and environmental importance.

The documentary also won a prize as best narration, which was conducted by the Mexican actress and singer Sasha Sokol.
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