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Local Island NEWS in English - Updated Weekly
News for the Week of November 24, 2014

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: 31 Ships this Week (Woo Hoo!)
11/23 - Numbers continue to improve this week in Cozumel as cruise ship arrivals rise to 31 ships registered to dock for the fourth full week of November 2014. This is 2 more than the number of ships last week and 11 more than the "20 in port" which marks a "high season" beginning meaning HIGH SEASON is in full swing now on the island! With Thanksgiving this Thursday an estimated 93,000 people will visit Cozumel this week via these cruise ships leaving an estimated US$ 7.4 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." However it seems this year, Cozumel is enjoying a much welcome early beginning to high season!

Once again this week Puerta Maya pier will be the big economic winner as 10 ships dock at Puerta Maya, 11 will dock at TMM/SSA International pier while Punta Langosta pier will see 9 arrivals and the downtown San Miguel pier will have 1 ship arrival.

This week begins with 4 ships docking on Monday, 5 on Tuesday, 6 ships Wednesday, 5 on Thursday, 7 on Friday and then Saturday will bring 3 ships in port and Sunday will see 1 ship.

View the Cruise Ship Calendar for this Week
Princess Cruise Lines Heavily Promoting Cozumel
To celebrate their 50th anniversary, the shipping company “Princess Cruises” brought six transatlantic ships to Mexico and the Caribbean aiming to promote tourism to the Mexican beaches and the region, according to the Notimex agency.

The Director for Latin America of this shipping company, Ruth Leal, pointed out that per night, Princess Cruises is charging less than $50. An unheard of promotional rate which serves to promote tourism of cruise to the country but also to allow more Mexican families to take cruise ship vacations.

Cruise ships, including the newly named Regal Princess, already arrived in the port of Fort Lauderdale in Florida where they will make trips to Cozumel and the Mexican Caribbean as well as to Bermuda and elsewhere in the region.

Ruth Leal said that as part of its 50th anniversary, prices range from $ 449 per person for 7 nights and three nights for $299. These prices are cheaper than any hotel ashore.

She also stated that the shipping company will build a new ship, which will enter into service in 2017. The new vessel will be 143 thousand tons, at a cost of approximately 600 million Euros and will carry for 3,560 passengers and will have the same characteristics and design introduced by sister ships (launched in 2013) Princess and Regal Princess (May 2014).
Cozumel Prepares for Scuba Fest 2014
The third edition of "Cozumel Scuba Fest" will take place from December 9th thru 14th with a series of activities which includes the completion of the delivery of the "Pot of Gold" to the families of Ramón Bravo.

The events will include diving for youngsters, the screening of various films of the marine world, as well as keynote lectures and other activities. Included in the events will be a visit to the sculpture of Jacques Cousteau which was submerged last year.

In order to place Cozumel in the top ten diving spots, Pedro Joaquín Delbouis, organizer of the committee, plans on bringing about 40 media outlets both national and international to give proper promotion to this event. The municipality has already posted covers in magazines.

The official stated that for the opening day, he will welcome Jean Michel Cousteau, as well as the Executive producer of the documentary "Pelagic Mexico", in parallel to the taping of film “The Current” at Coral Princess hotel. He is projecting a registry of more than 300 participating divers, as well as the realization of a gastronomic exhibition to be headed by the National Chamber of the Restaurant Industry and Spicy Food (Canirac) at the Convention Center to be called "Taste of Cozumel". This will include lionfish tasting.

Divers will have the opportunity to participate in a reunion of "Diver friends of Ramón Bravo", most beloved diver in Mexico, who presented the best reefs in the region to Cousteau. All attending will see the unveiling of a sculpture in the “Golden Divers Museum”, located at the height of Villablanca reef.
Cozumel's Taxi Drivers Ask For Rate Increase
A survey among taxis drivers in Cozumel claim that they are expecting a large increase in income for the next two weekends with the arrival of the first edition of the Gran Fondo New York and the Ironman Triathlon.

Taxi operators agreed that the season was not as low as others. However, they still await an improvement beginning this month. They claim to have knowledge that the General Secretary of the Trade Union of Taxi Drivers, Fernando Marrufo Martín, already made a formal request for the increase of the rates to the Government of Quintana Roo.

The latest increase was authorized in 2009 and fuel increases make it necessary to increase the rates now. The requested increase is 10%. If authorized, the new rates will begin in 2015.
Cozumel Expects New Ferry Transportation to the Mainland
Supposedly, by January 2015, two new passenger ferries, the Maya I and Maya II, will begin to operate in the route between Cozumel and Playa del Carmen. The boats which are just four years old had been operating elsewhere with the names of Kilimanjaro I and II. They will arrive to Cozumel between late November and early December of this year.

This would raise the number of companies providing this service on the island to three and according to officials in the marine environment in the municipality, this should break the monopoly that exists now in the movement of people between the island and the Mainland.

In 2013 alone, the shipping boats Mexico and Ultramar mobilized 2,000, 449 people between Cozumel and Playa del Carmen. To put this figure in perspective, Cozumel received 2 million 738 thousand tourists from cruise ships that same year.

This weekend could confirm that a group of investors, predominantly from Cozumel, made the purchase of the two vessels, Kilimanjaro I and II, which are already on their way to Cozumel from Tanzania.

Reports provided by sources related to the maritime business in Cozumel, revealed that these boats are model 2010, so they are relatively new boats. It is estimated that the cost of each of the two vessels, is around $7 million.
Crocodiles Becoming a Big Attraction in Cozumel
Officials continue to overlook that crocodiles are treated properly in the natural reserves of Punta Sur and Chankanaab. The aim is to safeguard this species of reptiles.

The Director of Conservation and Environmental Education for the Foundation of Parks and Museums of Cozumel, Héctor Gonzáles Cortés, reported that environmentalists aims to raise awareness and educate the population and the tourists in the conservation of this species native to Cozumel. "What we specifically do is assure that humans avoid having direct contact with the animal and avoid the accidents that have occurred in the past", he commented.

It should be noted that there is a considerable amount of crocodiles which need to be captured and returned to their natural habitat mainly in Punta Sur ecological reserve. This is the perfect environment for the development of these reptiles on the island.

Gonzalez Cortes pointed out that the intention of having this species on Island is that tourists can learn more about the crocodiles with all safety measures in place, as well as provide more information so that they fully understand the reptiles.
Cozumel Seeking to Host the World Cup Trialthlon in 2016
Cozumel and the Mayan Riviera requested to host the World Cup International Triathlon, ITU, which seeks to accommodate more than 10,000 competitors for 2016.

The more familiar event organized on the "island of the swallows" is the Iron Man and Half Ironman, which gets about 3,000 competitors. “Cozumel has proven its ability to receive, with great hospitality, the participants of these events and hopefully we will be selected “said Darío Flota.

The ITU World Championship would take place at the end of 2016 where the best athletes of the world would compete.
It would be the third time (since 1989 when it began) that Mexico would become headquarters for the event. Canada leads in hosting the event with five times.

Cancun was host to the World Championships in 1995 and then again in 2002. On the first occasion, Simon Lessing from Great Britain and Karen Smyers from the United States, conquered the Crown.

Since 1989, the ITU World Championship has been presented in France, United States, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Mexico, Australia, Portugal, Japan, Switzerland, Germany, Hungary and China.
Skinned Body of a Jaguar Discovered in Playa Del Carmen
In Playa Del Carmen, the body of a skinned animal was discovered. It could be a female jaguar, according to the community network for the conservation of the Jaguar (network CoC Jaguar). "We already took samples but cannot confirm this as of yet. “According to the features it could be a female.” stated Laura Arguello, Member of the network.

The corpse was seen last Sunday afternoon by a woman who was walking along the dirt road that connects Villas del Sol with mission Las Flores to the West of the city and shared it on social networks, but the publication was subsequently eliminated. However, members of the CoC network of Jaguar arrived to review the animal along with an official from the animal Genetics Laboratory, to confirm that it is a jaguar. "Now we have to monitor the area to verify or discard if there were offspring where the body was found."

The Federal Attorney for environmental protection (Profepa) sent biologist Raúl Olarte, specialist in these specimens, to study the dead cat but as of yet, no comments have been made.

Luis Nah and 60 members from different Mayan organizations, such as the National Assembly Indígena Plural for Autonomy (Anipa), as well as the philosophical group Hambaj Ka'an, along with International agencies are asking for an investigation into the case.

He said that the jaguar is a superior being in any field not only within the Mayan culture, but most of the indigenous groups are located in the area called Mesoamerica. He commented that the second in importance is the Macaw, a bird that has disappeared in the area.

He called this an unprecedented and serious crime and hopes that a close investigation takes place.
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October 10, 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 August 13, 2014 from the Department of State can also be viewed in its entirety on the Department of State website.

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