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Local Island NEWS in English - Updated Weekly
News for the Week of May 25, 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: 15 Ships this Week
5/24- Numbers remain low this week in Cozumel as cruise ship arrivals show 12 ships registered to dock for the fourth week of May 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." With low season underway, 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, only 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 ships 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
The Message of Ixchel Returns to Xcaret
Carrying the message of the goddess Ixchel, the canoes returned to Xcaret from Chankanaab Park, after completing the annual pilgrimage to Cozumel to make offerings to the deity of fertility.

The ninth assembly of the crossing that the Maya traveled to the "Island of the Swallows" in order to present their offerings to the goddess Ixchel, was successful as in years past. Each year this event has gained more and more followers. The first recreation had the participation of only 65 canoeists distributed in groups of five on board each of 13 canoes. However, this year there were 37 canoes with ten members each who rowed from Chankanaab to Xcaret.

With shouts of joy, the canoeists encouraged each other when rowing out of the entrance of Chankanaab Park on their return to Xcaret, receiving the support of people who came to watch the event. This recreation aims to keep the tradition of the annual crossing the ancestors performed to worship the goddess Ixchel in her sanctuary. The arrival to Cozumel was to ask for fertility of the land for cultivation, good climate, health for their families and continuity of life; and before leaving, the priests of the Mayan community established in the "Island of the Swallows", the ceremony of blessing and farewell, asking permission from the sea to navigate safely back to the mainland.

This time there were 370 men and women who departed last Saturday traveling an approximate distance of 28 kilometers to reach Xcaret as a final part of the tour. At least one hundred people gathered in Chankanaab Park to bid farewell to the travelers.
Cozumel's Remodeled Main Park Ready to Open
Although Cozumel’s new main park, Benito Juarez, has not yet been officially opened, people of all ages, locals and visitors alike are already coming to pass the day there. Remodeling the park had become a controversial reshuffle and just a couple of weeks ago it was unveiled that the park was considered a portion of Cozumel’s “Cultural Heritage”.

The boards surrounding the new infrastructure have been eliminated and it is now possible to see the progress of the work, which began on September 4th, 2014 with an investment of 95 million pesos.

Adults have already been visiting with their children, who can now enjoy large open spaces. The only original trace remaining of the old Park is the “Centennial Clock Tower” and a few old buildings such as the “House of the Germans”, whose fortune gave rise to what is known today as the “Cozumel Foundation.”
Cozumel Features an Underwater Bar
Could it be that having a good time with friends shopping somewhere already went out of fashion? The fad now is attending an underwater bar in Cozumel. The “Clear Lounge” is the first underwater bar in the world offering cups of flavored oxygen.

This place exists in a mall in Cozumel, located on the South coast of the island, where visitors can enter an underwater room to play Jenga, write messages to their companions or have fun with bubble guns. Another attraction is to take aquatic pictures with a digital background of drawings predesigned in crystals such as Martini glasses and mustaches. "The fun has duration of approximately 30 minutes, including a short briefing," as stated on its website.

To experience this new tourist attraction it is not necessary to know how to dive and you must be at least eight years old, and in good health to participate. Minors must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.
Volunteers Needed to Assist in Turtle Program
Without the work of volunteers, the preservation of sea turtles on the island of the swallows would be difficult according to the Director of Environment and Ecology. “We are looking for people to be placed in charge of surveillance and monitoring in nesting areas” stated the official.

In 2014 more than 1,200 volunteers involving foreigners, even from the Asian mainland, came to collaborate and learn how turtle conservation works. David Alfonso Martínez Viana, head of Environment and Ecology acknowledged the support and collaboration of the voluntary groups that are coordinated with the Municipal Committee of the marine turtle protection each year. From their accounts on social networks, the department invites people interested in joining these groups.

2014 registered around 3,270 nests, which meant a drop in relation to data from 2013 when it counted more than 3,800 turtle nests. Nesting areas are mainly located in the sandy areas on the East side of the island which covers natural protected areas, so the staff of the National Commission of Natural Protected Areas will also monitor to prevent pillaging of the protected turtles.
Mangroves Have Increased 20% in Quintana Roo
Areas of mangrove in Quintana Roo have expanded more than 20 percent in the last three years, and now cover an area of 183,000 hectares, according to the Department of Forestry of the State. Secretary of Ecology and Environment, Rafael Muñoz Berzunza said that in 2010, the National Commission for the knowledge and use of biodiversity did a study based on satellite photographs. He identified the type of vegetation that Quintana Roo had and determined that there were 128,049 hectares of mangrove. Three years later, the National Forest Commission (Conafor) made a new study with technological tools and validation in the field, according to which in Quintana Roo there are now 183,242 hectares, i.e., 55,000 more.

“The mangroves are not only a haven for birds but also migratory fish, crustaceans, mollusks and others, but it is a natural barrier against the erosion of the coast and high winds and waves generated by hurricanes” stated the official. "At the time, tourism and housing development was the main cause of the destruction of wetlands in Quintana Roo;" However, in time the voice of warning was taken into consideration. We understood that development is not at odds with the protection of our natural resources and today we see results”, said Muñoz Berzunza.
What Happened to the Maya ?
Have you ever wondered what happened to the “Maya”? Last week, Pat Roman, Mayan language teacher, presented the Conference "The Rebirth of the Maya", that offered his vision of their contribution to the history and culture of Mexico and how it gave value representing this current civilization.

"Rebirth means to go back to understanding the world that the Mayans understood what our ancestors showed us, because Maya has lagged in its culture. We need to reorient the Mayan culture and the Mayas", expressed the cultural promoter. This interest in the Maya is part of the conferences that were organized by the Cultural Center of Solidarity for the “Day for World Cultural Diversity” which was commemorated on May 21. Roman Pat felt that by not taking them into account, the identity of the Maya is practically lost especially when the young put aside their language to be in different community circles.

Among the speakers were Professors Felipe Castillo, of the Institute for the Development of the Mayan Culture of the State of Yucatán; Miriam Morales Xool, of the Academy of the Maya Language (Acamaya) and Fidencio Chel Briceño, of the Institute of Indigenous Languages (INALI), as well as Roman Pat.
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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. - Travel deals to top destinations
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