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Local Island NEWS in English - Updated Weekly
News for the Week of April 27, 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: 21 Ships this Week
4/26 - Numbers improve a bit this week in Cozumel as cruise ship arrivals show 21 ships registered to dock for the final week of April 2015. This is 3 more than the number of ships last week and 1 more than the "20 in port" which marks a "high season." With the slide into low season now underway, an estimated 63,000 people will visit Cozumel this week via these cruise ships leaving an estimated US$ 5 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 6 ships dock there, only 4 ships will dock at TMM/SSA International pier while Punta Langosta pier will see 4 arrivals and the downtown San Miguel pier will have -0- arrivals with passengers tendering in.

This week begins with 3 ships docking on Monday, 4 on Tuesday, 1 ship Wednesday, 6 on Thursday, 4 on Friday and then Saturday will bring 2 ships in port and Sunday will see 1 ship in port.

View the Cruise Ship Calendar for this Week
Ecology Director Must Explain Secret Meeting
Director of Ecology, David Martínez Viana must explained the real reason for the “secret” meeting with another person regarding the possible complicity of the theft of sand a few weeks ago. It has been requested that the current delegate for Profepa in Quintana Roo come to Cozumel to address this issue of sand theft. An official stated that once the complaint is made by Zofemat to Profepa in Cancun for the theft from the dune, it corresponds to federal investigations to determine those responsible, by mentioning that it will be on the lookout for the possibility of the same acts which should not happen. Drastic measures must take place at this time if not, it could encourage others to perform this type of environmental crimes if those responsible for the theft are not brought to justice. The first theft of sand occurred in October 2014

David Martínez Viana was seen in a meeting with Juan Barbachano Herrero, owner of the beach club Buccanos along with another employee Fidel Ladrón de Guevara, and Carlos Rafael Muñoz Terab, head of the Ministry of Environment. The Mayor pointed out that the Ecology Director, has to give an explanation about that meeting- what was spoken, what purpose did it serve, what was the topic, and what was the final agreement. All of this must be revealed to avoid suspicions before the public opinion and citizens make their own guesses. Official must give face, answer questions, and through the media give the reason for that meeting, since it leaves much to the imagination and speculation.

It appears quite ‘coincidental’ that a photograph was taken exactly two to three days after the sand extraction was unveiled. There are many doubts that the official has reported the event since he has an obligation and the public want to know the reason for that meeting. Part of the sand was found at villas Costa del Sol and at Buccanos (property of Juan Barbachano Herron).
Direct Benefits of the Ecosystem Still Unknown in Cozumel
Specialists from several countries gathered in Cozumel to analyze, disseminate and integrate public policies of the so-called ecosystem services.

Christopher González Baca, Manager of the office of the National Commission of Natural Protected Areas (Conanp), explained that these are nothing more than natural resources, like the sea, which provides fishing, recreation, carbon sequestration; or the reefs, which provide protection against hurricanes. He said that with these analyses, they are looking to obtain numbers that so far have only been estimates, for example, the income obtained by fishing, diving or hospitality.

The meeting was conducted in compliance with the Strategic Plan for 2011-2020 biodiversity and the goals of Aichi, Japan and relevant parties to save biodiversity and improve benefits for people. Gonzalez Baca described these services as benefits people obtain from ecosystems. There are two types, the direct and indirect. Among the first is the production of food and water supplies, while the indirect benefits are related to the functioning of the ecosystem process that generates direct services. They included training and storage of organic matter, the neutralization of toxic wastes, the process of photosynthesis and nutrient cycling. Biosphere reserves provide important ecosystem services, as they are sources of water, regulate the climate and control erosion.

Unesco considers that the main causes of the degradation of these services are linked to changes in institutional, cultural, demographic, patterns of consumption and production. Works which are developed in Cozumel are two courses which are conducted simultaneously and are referred to as Ecosystem Services Integration (ISE).
State of Quintana Roo, Safe Place to Visit
The US State Department has released a statement that violent crimes such as kidnapping, vehicle theft and assaults committed by members of organized crime groups led to a warning for travelers to 20 States of Mexico. Fortunately, Quintana Roo is located outside this warning.

The US State Department warned U.S. citizens recently about the risk of travel to certain places ( 20 Mexican States) due to the security threats posed by criminal groups in the territory, reported the web portal “CnnMéxico”. According to the US State Department : “There is no evidence that organized crime groups have attacked tourists or American citizens because of their nationalities. The areas in Mexico where there are some levels of violence related to drug trafficking and crime is in the border region”.

Exempt from this alert are the Mexican States of Campeche, Chiapas, Guanajuato, Tlaxcala, Yucatán, Hidalgo, Tabasco, Oaxaca, Puebla, Querétaro, and Quintana Roo; the Federal District is also outside the warning. This travel alert replaces the alert issued on December 24, 2014.
Birds and Crocodiles Most Affected by Urban Growth
“The invasion of natural habitats due to the development of tourist and residential developments which has grown during the past 20 years is causing impacts on ecosystems of the local fauna” stated environmentalist pioneer Aniceto Caamal Cocoom.

He pointed out that examples of this occurs in coastal areas, where it is routinely observed by crocodiles which are coming more frequently to the tourist beaches and endemic birds have been seen closer to populated areas. Caamal Cocoom said that factors such as the construction of hotels on the coastal beaches, intentional burning to construct new sets of houses, as well as pollution and devastation of cenotes and mangroves, are leaving many species homeless in this geographical area. "Whenever development is invading their habitat they have no choice but to go out as there is no backup programs or care of these species” says the environmental activist.

He says that it would be important that between local authorities and the private sector to find ways to adopt projects in other States such as crocodiles farms to care for this species, which already operates in the state of Campeche.
Benefits and Dangers of the Sun
Do you know the benefits and dangers of the sun?

This is the season when tourists and locals spend their time to go to the beaches of Cozumel to soak up the Sun and wear colorful swimwear. A little sun is healthy as it provides the necessary vitamin D which increases the absorption of calcium in bones. It also can prevents rickets and can improve skin ailments such as psoriasis or acne, however, too much sun can be very damaging if necessary precautions are not taken.

For a pleasant stay under the Sun, the following is recommended:
►Start soaking up the Sun in moderation.
►Do not fall asleep when you're exposed to the Sun.
►If you have fine hair or baldness, it is advisable to use spray or gel sunscreens.
►Water droplets act as a magnifier. For this reason, you should dry off very well whenever you leave the water, and re-apply a sunscreen.
►If there is risk of contact with jellyfish, there already exist sunscreens with preventive effects for their stings.
►Drink plenty of water before, during and after exposure to the Sun.
►Try not to expose yourself to the Sun between 12:00 and 16:00.
►Keep in mind the reflective effect of the sand and water.
►Avoid abruptly entering the water after taking the Sun.
►Protect yourself with a CAP, t-shirt and sunglasses with 100% UV protection.

The Sun is a source of health, but should not be taken to extremes.
Preventing Heat Stroke for Yourself and Your Pets
"Long-term exposure to the Sun can have an impact on your health and can cause heatstroke. It is vital to stay hydrated”, stated Óscar Rodríguez Mendoza, the Director of Health in the area. The official recommends that the population in general not remain exposed during activities of physical demand without proper hydration during the four hours of increased intensity of the day. This can pertain mainly to children and the elderly.

The Director unveiled the five key recommendations to avoid being affected by high temperatures.

"The first is to all beach goers; that they should not be exposed for long periods of time to the rays of the Sun. Use fresh and light-colored clothing, do not exercise outdoors between 11 and 16 hours, increase the amount of oral electrolyte consumption, use hats and umbrellas, and, finally, remain in cool places”.

In addition, Antonio Morales, Municipal Meteorologist, warned that maximum temperatures occur between 11 and 15 hours, with a variable of 38 to 40 degrees (Celsius). These extreme temperatures become a health risk to the human body. In addition, it is reported that the solar radiation that is recorded, can be more than 1000 w per square meter, although this does not qualify as a heat wave due to the fresh winds of the Caribbean Sea, which help lower the heat index. But the official said that people should not rely on the breeze.

High temperatures not only affect humans but dogs can also suffer dehydration or heat stroke. So if you have pets, pay attention to the symptoms.

According to Veterinarians, dogs that suffer a heat stroke or hyperthermia, have dizziness, wheezing, troubled breathing, weakness, increased heart rate and some cases result in fainting. That's why it is recommended to check that:

• You provide fresh clean water at all times and have a space with cool shade where your pet can rest.
•Do not bring your dog out in the street for running during the hottest hours. And remember that the asphalt is too hot and can burn the pads of their feet.
•Feed your pet during cooler hours.
•In case of dehydration, it is most important that your dog retrieve the fluids and minerals he has lost. Attempt to give him water, but administer it slowly to prevent vomiting.

According to animal experts, a sure sign that your dog is dehydrated is to check his skin. Lift a bit of skin near the shoulder of the dog. A pet’s hydrated skin returns quickly to normal, but if your dog is dehydrated, his skin will take a little more time to return to its normal position.
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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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