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Local Island NEWS in English - Updated Weekly
News for the Week of May 4, 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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Cozumel Arrivals: 14 Ships this Week
5/03 - Numbers fall dramatically this week in Cozumel as cruise ship arrivals show 14 ships registered to dock for the first week of May 2015. This is 7 less than the number of ships last week and 6 less than the "20 in port" which marks a "high season." With the slide into low season now underway, an estimated 42,000 people will visit Cozumel this week via these cruise ships leaving an estimated US$ 3.4 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 10 ships dock there, only 2 ships will dock at TMM/SSA International pier while Punta Langosta pier will see 2 arrivals and the downtown San Miguel pier will have -0- arrivals with passengers tendering in.

This week begins with 2 ships docking on Monday, 3 on Tuesday, 2 ships Wednesday, 2 on Thursday, 2 on Friday and then Saturday will bring 3 ships in port and Sunday will see -0- ships in port.

View the Cruise Ship Calendar for this Week
Cozumel Celebrates 167th Edition of El Cedral
With full fanfare by ejidatarios (local land owners) and Cozumel, the official opening of the Festival of the Santa Cruz de Sabán in the town of El Cedral took place last Wednesday in the presence of the Governor of the State, Roberto Borge Angulo, as well as municipal and communal authorities headed by the Ejido Commissioner, Gabriel Yam Chan.

The Governor Roberto Borge Angulo, accompanied by his wife Mariana Zorrilla de Borge, President of the State System for the Integral Development of the Family (DIF), and their daughters, Roberta and Paulina, inaugurated the fair of El Cedral 2015, being held at this location since 1848, in honor of Santa Cruz de Sabán.

With the ribbon cutting ceremony, Borge Angulo inaugurated the fair then he moved to the main palapa where he crowned the Queen, the most beautiful flower and the Godmother of the celebrations in honor of the Santa Cruz de Sabán, Mariana Zapata Suarez, Andrea Espinoza Villanueva and Xiomara García de García, respectively.

Borge Angulo stated: “As Governor and native to Cozumel, I am pleased that we are here today crowning our Queen and Godmother which commemorates the 167th celebration of this tradition. El Cedral deserves to be in a movie, and I agree with them that there are people interested in making a possible projection of the story” he concluded. In addition, he thanked each of the workers who with their effort, made the town of El Cedral look impeccable for the festival.

El Cedral has established itself as one of the main celebrations of the State and Mexico and each year more tourists visit to join the celebrations.
Turtles Will Suffer Due to Stolen Sand
Regarding the more than 300 square meters of sand that was stolen in the Eastern dune area a few weeks ago, it is assured that this will create a negative ecological impact. So far Profepa, unlike other cases, has reacted faster than normal and is now thoroughly investigating this case which caused annoyance and resentment from the people of Cozumel.

Recently the Federal Attorney for Protection to the Environment (Profepa) confirmed the damage caused in an approximate area of 301.50 square meters in a natural area of nesting sea turtles in danger of extinction. Profepa specialists determined in a preliminary investigation that this involvement is particularly suffered by species such as the green turtle (Chelonia mydas) and loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta), by which, with the passage of time will suffer the real involvement by this irresponsibility. The environmentalist organization Sky, Earth and Sea in Cozumel and the National Commission of Natural Protected Areas (Conanp), lodged the complaint. Profepa then reviewed the area called Punta Morena to verify this gigantic theft of sand.

The Federal Attorney General proceeded to impose new closure signs at the site known as "The northern portion and the eastern seaboard, terrestrial and marine on the island of Cozumel", inhabited by these turtles, listed as: "threatened with extinction" in the official law NOM-059-Semarnat-2010.
CMC Hospital COSTAMED Earns National Certification
Always in search of excellence and growth, Costamed medical group is pleased to announce that the CMC Hospital COSTAMED in Cozumel has been certified by the General Health Council, which provides the most important national certification in areas of hospital quality. The CMC now becomes the only accredited hospital in Cozumel and this is important for the community and businesses that require hospital services which guarantee its value. Dr. Ricardo Segovia Gasque, together with his team, has prompted this great project in which it invested human capital and material resources, always in pursuit of excellence.

Until January of 2015 in the country there were 103 certified private hospitals, for a total of 3 thousand 172, today the CMC COSTAMED joins this prestigious national club of hospitals that make up only 3% at national level.

The national hospitals certification program is based on a model of quality and continuous improvement, which means that CMC COSTAMED will continue implementing new ways of ensuring the safety of patients, the quality of care and hospital safety regulations among others. They are homologated with international standards for hospitals (such as the International Joint Commission) and they carry a strict evaluation of multiple aspects such as: human resources, physical facilities, medical equipment, technological equipment and the organization in general. "It all started two years ago, focused on one goal. Since then, we have provided the best care in health for patients” explained Dr. Dagoberto Rodríguez, Director of Group Health at COSTAMED.

Medical group COSTAMED works every day in search of continuous improvement; the services that can be found in this certified hospital include the best intensive care in the region, trauma and emergency center, the most advanced in the region for magnetic resonance scanning, a hemodynamics room (unique in Cozumel), a center of gastroenterology and advanced endoscopy. Also included is a hyperbaric medicine unit with the largest hyperbaric chamber in the Caribbean, comprehensive pediatrics and dental laboratory among others. We have a wide range of staff specialists, which are certified by the Council. We have increased our services and specialties including cardiology, neurosurgery and urology, now based in Cozumel, stated the hospital.

Cozumel island can now say that is has a certified hospital recognized in all of the Caribbean and is available for the community and for the tourism industry.
Lionfish Population Has Declined
Due to efforts in the area of capture, the fishermen of the island have noticed a decrease in lion fish in Cozumel; however it continues to be a source of income to some families, since there is demand for this product.

The President of the Cooperative Society of Fisheries Production, Eduardo Pérez Catzin, said that there actually has been a decrease of lionfish in the waters of the island, thanks to the efforts of members to the cooperative fisheries "Cozumel" this invasive species is no longer a danger to the reef. He said that now many families depend on this product, since the fishermen catch it to be sold in hotels, restaurants, fishmongers and even for export to the United States by means of a distributor.

He pointed out that there is a sheet of paper filed with the Secretary of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fishing and Food (Sagarpa) that allows its extraction by associates, as well as adding it to the list of species that can be traded on the island. It is important to note that according to statistics, four years ago when the invasion of the lionfish problem began, the average catch was 700 kilos per month of this species, while now the average ranges between 300 and 400 kilos per month.

He stressed that this is results of four years of hard work making campaigns, gastronomical samples, and promotion of this capture since lionfish began with a "bad reputation" because it is poisonous. This bad image has been overcome due to the fact that the meat is white and soft and that there is no risk to consume it.
New Bicycle Lane Ready for Competitions
With being under construction for the past two years, the bicycle path on the eastern part of Cozumel has finally been finished with the installation of separation poles known as bollards to block the passage of motorized units. However, there are some motorcyclists who ignore the signs and invade the intended route for cyclists. The Poles separate the road on the eastern side including the road from Santa Cecilia Beach to Punta Sur. This makes up a 22 km ride. “Those who ignore these signs are evidence of the lack of road culture that exist in the island” stated Domingo Vivas Osorio, Deputy Director of Traffic. He also added that he expects this measure to be imperatively respected.

Cozumel is now positioned as a sports destination in international competitions since the 2009 Ford Ironman and now includes MetLife Ironman 70.3, the Gran Fondo race and the triathlon ITU World Championship, so it seeks to ensure the safety of the athletes, who come to visit the island months before the competitions to train. “Motorists, please respect the athletes who use the bike lane”, asked Humberto Suárez Castillo, Director of Public Works.

On November 4, 2012, Felipe Calderón inaugurated the road perimeter in which was invested more than 186 million pesos for its expansion and modernization including the bike lane.
Growing Concern About Cat Population
Due to the lack of education that exists regarding the sterilization of pets, it is estimated that today the population of cats in Cozumel is considerably large. Therefore participation from citizens is crucial to avoid that these numbers continue to grow at an alarming rate.

The head of animal control on the island, Osvaldo Cruz Cruz, said while the dog population is the one that has been attended mainly by capturing these animals, cats are now also a subject of concern. While the cat population is less than the dogs, this must be attended to right now to avoid future problems.

It is said that cats are a problematic species and that they have very few predators and reproduce very easily, so ideally people who have dogs or cats should sterilize them to prevent uncontrolled reproduction. He pointed out that when cats are trapped, they are reviewed to find out if they have already been sterilized by looking for a small mark made at the time of sterilization. It is reported that cats are more difficult to catch and that they come out at night and are quite agile.
TV's Jesse Pinkman of Breaking Bad Receives Award
Generating spaces for cinematic quality, proposals and projecting films that promote debate and awareness around social issues are two elements that have been characterized at the Riviera Maya Film Festival since its inception.

The fourth edition of the RMFF embodied these two important aspects with the delivery of a special recognition to an actor who currently stands out for his acting and human quality: Aaron Paul, (TV’s Jesse Pinkman of Breaking Bad fame) received this recognition during the closing Gala of the event which was held on April 29 at the Hotel Yucatan Platinum Princess in Playa del Carmen.

“At the Riviera Maya Film Festival we believe that film and audiovisual media, in general, can be vehicles of social transformation and therefore recognized Aaron Paul, an actor who has made us think, not only with his work in various series and films but also with its support to social movements", said Paula Chaurand on the recognition that the actor received. Regarded as one of the young actors with greater projection in Hollywood, Aaron Paul is also highlighted for his participation and support in campaigns and movements that seek to raise awareness about social problems such as harassment among young women.

Winner of three Emmy Awards for his role in the series "Breaking Bad", Aaron Paul helped raise funds for the "Kind Campaign" movement, co-founded by his wife, the actress and Director Lauren Parsekian, which seeks to raise awareness and provide support to women suffering bullying by the other women in the school environment.

Aaron Paul has given his support, promoting and seeking funds for this Association, a good example that through the cinema, one can contribute to social transformation. In this way, Aaron Paul stands out as an example on the artistic level and in aspects of social consciousness, both values that the RMFF promotes.
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December 24, 2014 (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.
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