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Local Island NEWS in English - Updated Weekly
News for the Week of September 28, 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: 12 Ships this Week
9/27 - Numbers depress a bit this week in Cozumel as cruise ship arrivals fall to 12 ships registered to dock for the last few days of September and first few days of October 2015. This is 3 less than the number of ships last week and 8 less than the "20 in port" which marks a "high season." As low season continues, an estimated 36,000 people will visit Cozumel this week via these cruise ships leaving an estimated US$ 2.9 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 9 ships dock there, 3 ships will dock at TMM/SSA International pier while Punta Langosta pier will see -0- arrivals and the downtown San Miguel pier will have -0- arrivals with passengers tendering in.

This week begins with 1 ship docking on Monday, 3 on Tuesday, 2 ships Wednesday, 3 on Thursday, 2 on Friday and then Saturday will bring 1 ship in port and Sunday will see -0- ships in port.

View the Cruise Ship Calendar for this Week
German Wins Half Ironman for Second Time
Andi Boecherer from Germany and Czech athlete Celine Schaerer were awarded first place in their respective categories in the Half Ironman 70.3 which took place in Cozumel last Sunday Sept 20th. They completed the 1.9 kilometers of swimming, 90.1 kilometers of biking and 21.1 of running under a grueling sun and high humidity. For the German, this is the second time that he was crowned as champion in this competition in Cozumel. His previous win was September 23, 2012. On a personal level, Boecherer improved his time compared to September 2012 when he won with a time of 3 hours 53 minutes and 45 seconds. This year his time was 3 hours 48 minutes 10 seconds, crossing the goal at ten-thirty in the morning.

43 minutes later it was the women’s turn when Celine Schaerer crossed the finish line in first place with a time of 4 hours 25 minutes 47 seconds, and three minutes later a South African, Jeanni Seymour finished with a time of 4 hours 29 minutes 37 seconds. All athletes were equally exhausted however, Seymour collapsed just crossing the finish line. She was then aided by paramedics of the Red Cross, who led her to the first aid tent for the athletes.

Mauricio Méndez, originally from Mexico City was the first Mexican to cross the finish line, finishing at number eleven, with a time of 4 hours 1 minute and 42 seconds. Meanwhile Alan Carrillo was the first Cozumeleñan to arrive with a time of 4 hours 10 minutes 56 seconds.

The presentation of the medals ceremony took place at noon that day at the entrance of a well-known supermarket located on Avenida Rafael E. Melgar just meters away from the finish line. The winners received their respective awards from the hands of Mayor Fredy Marrufo Martin, and the head of the Commission for Youth and Sport in Quintana Roo, Martin Cobos Villalobos. An economic exchange of $60,000 US was distributed among the winners of this Half Ironman 70.3.

At the end of this race, Gumersindo Jiménez Cuervo, director of public security and traffic, reported that no major incidents or injuries took place. Just a few fallen athletes, but nothing serious.

Regardless of the high temperatures that prevailed, family and friends of competitors remained for more than six hours at various points through town in order to support their favorite athletes with the waving of batons, as well as banners in hands as they sought to encourage participants of the 70.3 half Ironman Cozumel.

Click Here for Our Race Photos & More Info on this Event!
Cozumel Celebrates Tradition of San Miguel
Starting this weekend through Sept 29th, Cozumel will celebrate the honor of Saint Michael the Archangel, patron saint of Cozumel. Members of the parish with the same name invite the community in general to attend both religious and cultural activities that will be held starting this weekend. Since a few days ago some rehabilitation work has been taking place in the most ancient parish of Cozumel known as San Miguel. According to those familiar with the story, 70 years ago, the first stone of the Catholic building was placed there.

Around seven in the evening festivities will begin with families arriving who have had roots in this parish/church located on 10th Avenue with Juarez. This is the place where they will lower the image of the Patron Saint celebrating with the singing of songs. The ritual will continued with a tour of the surroundings of the Church where they will return shortly before eight o’clock when Catholics will celebrate the Eucharistic mass.

On September 29 - date of the feast of San Miguel Archangel, it is custom to sing a chorus of Las Mañanitas carried out at seven in the morning, while at six in the afternoon celebrations will continue with groups that will headline the members of the Cooperative Fisheries Cozumel, as well as citizens named Miguel’s, Miguelitos and Miguelinas. This invitation is extended to all the families who wish to participate in this celebration whereas it is also a way to preserve traditions.

Click Here to Read More & See Our Pics of Last Year's Event
Turtle Nests Could Reach 6,000 in 2015
“It is possible that this year the number of turtle nests could reach 6,000 “stated Rafael Chacón Díaz, Director of Environment and Ecology. The number of recorded nests in 2015 so far has reached 5,000 and this is due to the fact that actions are performed to ensure that the nesting cycle goes successfully.

Up until the evening of September 7th the Tortuguero camp at "San Martín Beach”, has accounted for the amount of 147 nests of "Loggerhead" (Caretta caretta) and 4,853 known as "White" (Chelonia mydas). He stressed the priority that actions are carried out to protect the flora and fauna in Cozumel including taking care of turtles each year as they arrive to the shores of the island to make their nests. Chacon Diaz, added that if they follow the same frequency of arrivals, it is possible that the present season will close with numbers greater than the 6,000 nests recorded in the year 2011.

Citizens can participate in the protection of the sea turtle by avoiding leaving their waste in the sand or sea, do not walk on the nests, do not move the markers, do not bring your pets to the nesting areas, as well as report any anomalies or sightings and join the brigades of nocturnal monitoring of the Tortuguero "San Martín."

Click Here to Reserve Space to Participate in Sea Turtle Liberations!
Dead Ocelot Probably Introduced by Ferry
Federal authorities have implemented occasional revisions to vehicles that arrive on the ferry in search of weapons and drugs, but not exotic animals that might be trafficked and it is Ecology Director, Rafael Chacón Diaz who commented on the possible trafficking of animals with the finding of a dead ocelot a few days ago.

Information was released last week that a young ocelot of almost 60 centimeters from head to the beginning of the tail was run over and found near 7.5 km of the South coastal road. Chacón Díaz stated that this species is not native to the island and most probably was introduced by someone trafficking animals via ferry.

Victor Vivas González, Director of Apiqroo in Cozumel, informed staff of the Secretary of Navy, Federal Police, Judicial Police, Military Garrison, and Public Security, to randomly check some trucks, mostly during vacation time, to verify that they are not introducing arms or drugs. The official added: "I now will put an emphasis on looking for some of these protected species and possible trafficking at the port of Cozumel".

He also said that the personnel at his command do not have authority when someone is transporting any protected species, "We don't have the authority to detain the person who is doing the illegal transport of animals as we can with substances or weapons that are transported into the terminal”. He concluded that he will maintain a solid working relationship with the biologist Rafael Chacón and that it would be worth it if ecology also added to the revisions to verify that any protected species being transported.
Peace Boat "Hibakusha" to Visit Cozumel
The Peace Boat “Hibakusha” project could reach Cozumel if negotiations can be set for a planned visit to the Island by the ship according to reports provided by the staff of the Technical Secretariat of the City Council. Information about the arrival of this boat began circulating since last week.

Ricardo Espinoza Freyre, Technical Secretary of the City Council, was asked about the presence of The Peace Boat and talks have been held with representatives of the project to bring the boat to Cozumel in late October of this year. The official said: "We are defining the dates and program of activities"

Hibakusha is a Japanese word which identifies the survivors of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki nuclear explosions. Today a group of survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki travel the world aboard the Peace Boat telling of their experiences and advocating for the prohibition of nuclear weapons in the world. These nuclear holocausts survivors and those who suffered the exposure of radiation were known as Hibakusha and for years were discriminated against, abandoned, denied employment and even denied the possibility of getting married.
Cozumel Ready for International Beach Cleaning Day
About 450 volunteers from public institutions, schools, organizations of civil society, private companies and trade unions, will participate in the “International Beach Cleaning Day” with the cleaning of about 24 kilometers of coastline in the eastern area of Cozumel, of garbage that gets placed there by sea currents from the Southern part of the American continent.

The international organization Ocean Conservancy in conjunction with the Directorate for Conservation and Environmental Education (CEA) and the Foundation of Parks and Museums of Cozumel (FPMC) organizes the 26th Edition of sanitation of beaches on the island. In 2014 almost two tons of waste was collected, which was then transferred to the landfills.

The cleaning zone runs between the St. Cecilia Beach (Mezcalitos), covering the Eastern transverse road passing Punta Celarain, and through to the inside of Eco Park Punta Sur.
Cozumel Celebrates "World Sea Day"
Within the framework of “World Sea Day", which is commemorated on September 29, the Direction of Ecology in coordination with the Directorate of Urban Development, carried out an activity of thorough cleaning to remove debris located by the sea by collecting half a ton of solids including ropes, plastic and glass waste.

Officials emphasized that the enormous biological wealth, which are our seas and oceans, are fragile and vulnerable and they also stressed that the extraordinary ecosystems are at risk due to climate change, the fisheries, the development of infrastructure and pollution. "Today is a day to remember that the health of the seas depends on measures taken, as well as our attitude to develop economic activities in a sustainable manner taking into account the care of nature" said Cesar Trejo Vázquez, Commissioner of Tourism and Ecology.

Rafael Chacón Díaz, responsible for the Direction of Ecology explained that within the framework of the "World Sea Day", a thoroughly cleaning was organized starting at the Municipal ramp (opposite Sedena) up to Puerto De Abrigo. Since 1978, the United Nations established September 29th as the “World Sea Day” in order to maintain and improve the safety of life at sea and in turn, to achieve that International Maritime Operations are efficient and to avoid pollution.
Quintana Roo: Possible Construction of Satellite Between Mexico and Ukraine
The construction of a satellite between Mexico and Ukraine project is more feasible than building a space port, irrespective of the place it would be located or by the investment required.

Víctor Alcérreca Sánchez, director of the Quintanarroense Council of Science and Technology (Coqcyt), indicated that all innovative ideas are acceptable, but to crystallize them, one must have promoters who are willing to invest large sums of money and wait for long term profits. However, the most feasible action is the construction of a satellite between Mexico and the Ukraine, since they already buy satellite services that are manufactured in other parts of the world, including the Soviet Republic.

A ship engineer commented a few years ago on the establishment of a basis for these purposes in Quintana Roo, but he never saw that as something concrete, it was just an idea. “The idea surfaced again with the possibility if it is being backed by a corporate sponsor willing to invest. Of course the main problem is who will put the money", he said. He reiterated that the project was mentioned in 2010 in the field of Aerospace by the Government of Quintana Roo, which consisted of building a launch pad for rockets, with a track or private airport, a unit of underwater training and a Space Museum. Details were never documented and only treated as an intention since such projects require an investment of billions of dollars.

Alcérreca Sánchez said that Quintana Roo has a project on the subject or is considering one at this time since the country has worked on the space issue for a period of two decades, mainly in Queretaro.
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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.
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