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Local Island NEWS in English - Updated Weekly
News for the Week of October 27, 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: 20 Ships this Week (Woo Hoo!)
10/26 - Numbers really improve this week in Cozumel as cruise ship arrivals rise to 20 ships registered to dock for the fourth full week of October 2014. This is 2 more than the number of ships last week and equal to the "20 in port" which marks a "high season" beginning meaning HIGH SEASON has ARRIVED EARLY to the island! With Halloween upon us an estimated 60,000 people will visit Cozumel this week via these cruise ships leaving an estimated US$ 4.8 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 9 ships dock at Puerta Maya, 4 will dock at TMM/SSA International pier while Punta Langosta pier will see 7 arrivals and the downtown San Miguel pier will have -0- ship arrivals.

This week begins with 4 ships docking on Monday, 4 on Tuesday, 2 ships Wednesday, 6 on Thursday, 3 on Friday and then Saturday will bring 1 ship in port and Sunday will see -0- ships.

View the Cruise Ship Calendar for this Week
Cozumel: Watch for Migrating Monarchs Oct 15 to Nov 15 !
Beautiful Monarchs Roosting!The great monarch butterfly migration might actually include Cozumel as part of its route! The annual migration where millions of monarchs make their way south to the mountains in central Mexico has been underway now for over a month and will continue until early December. All islanders are being asked to be on the lookout for monarchs as they could be flying over the island on their way to the mountains between October 15 and November 15th.

Most Monarchs enter Mexico through Texas, but there are reasons to believe that some east coast U.S. migrants fly through Florida to western Cuba and the approximately 120 miles across the Caribbean to Quintana Roo. There is also evidence that some Monarchs fly from Alabama/Mississippi across the Gulf to northern Yucatan state because Monarchs have been photographed flying south from Alabama and landing on Gulf oil rigs. Monarch roosts (Monarchs roost together at night) have been photographed in the Celestun biosphere area. Some Monarchs at those roosts may have flown from Cuba and across the Yucatan Peninsula.

Both the Caribbean flight path and the Gulf flight path are hypotheses that need verification. So, islanders or visitors, please keep an eye out these next few weeks in Cozumel for any sightings of Monarchs and report them to our butterfly friends who are trying to validate these important hypotheses! Confirming flight paths can lead to better conservation plans in the future! Simply note the date, time of day, number of monarchs and any observations and email to Doug Allen at Email a Monarch Sighting!

Meanwhile, here is Doug's latest butterfly report as he travels the Eastern seaboard States in the U.S. tracking the 2014 monarch migration.

Here in upstate SC, Windmill Hill, 8 miles from the NC border and 12 miles from the southern Appalachians, we had our highest Monarch total nectaring on the Lantana yesterday- at least 13 individuals. As with bird feeder counts, 13 is the highest number seen at one time and no doubt underestimates the total. Last year we counted a total of 7 individuals all autumn. We have counted upwards of 40 Monarchs nectaring here on Windmill Hill so far this month. I have not seen any tagged Monarchs yet.

We have goldenrod and a dozen other flower species in bloom, but the Monarchs definitely prefer the Lantana. Unlike most other species, they seem to have little preference for whether the Lantana is in the sun or in the shade on warm days.

I spent the better part of two hours yesterday watching about 10 Monarchs from 4 PM until after 6 PM in an effort to discern where they would fly after nectaring. The Monarchs seemed to be much more wary after 4 PM than they had been earlier in the day when I could often approach within a few feet. Between 5 PM and 6 PM, Monarchs, one at a time, took of in a southwesterly direction. In only a single case did two take off together. This suggests to me that our Monarchs are probably headed for the gulf coast (or Texas) and not Florida. One of the butterfliers this past weekend at Edisto Island is from the Florida panhandle and reports impressive Monarch migrations there where they seen to take off across the Gulf of Mexico, probably for the Yucatan peninsula where they are reported.

To read more about the monarch migration and its possible flight path over Cozumel, check out the Conservation Corner section of our November Cozumel Travel Talk Newsletter!
6th Annual Bird Watching Festival to Take Place
The annual “6th Festival de las Aves" will take place from November 7 - 9 on the island of Cozumel to promote the conservation of island species through projection of films on the subject, outings in the field to observe feathered creatures and a keynote speaker among other activities.

The information was released by the head of the National Commission of Natural Protected Areas (Conanp) in Cozumel, Christopher González Baca who said that on the island there are people who have practiced bird watching for some time but seek such activities to promote the preservation of the many island species.

Cozumel is habitat to three indigenous species and 14 endemic subspecies of birds and is the refuge of migratory species. Those interested in participating in the workshops of observation will have a cost of between 250 and 450 pesos. They will enter its habitat and learn techniques for monitoring of the birds that inhabit or migrate to the island, as well as the fragility of these species.
Cozumel Fishermen Found After Going Adrift
Three fishermen who went fishing towards the direction of Passion Island were lost but staff of the Naval Sector of the "Search and Rescue Station" implemented an operation and located them near Puerto Morelos.

It was learned by radio that last Monday, three fishermen nicknamed "La Chabela," "El Merengue" and "Mandinga" were lost on board the boat named "Yajaira" which started out to fish in the morning heading towards the North of the island located between five to six miles from the lighthouse of Punta Molas.

Everything indicates that a mechanical failure in the engine sent the boat adrift. This was when the fishermen called their employer by cell phone and he in turn did the same to the Naval Sector. According to the information provided by Angel Jesus Martin Rivera, a fisherman from the Passion Island set out on board a similar vessel in support of the search for his companions.

A confidential source stated that the three fishermen were found by the Navy onboard their vessel a few nautical miles from Puerto Morelos, where the current dragged them. All were apparently unharmed.
Cozumel Celebrates 40 Years of the State with a Time Capsule
To commemorate the 40th anniversary of the birth of the State of Quintana Roo, the municipality of Cozumel placed a "time capsule" with treasured writings and objects representative of the current municipality. This will be left to future generations and the plan is to open it in the year 2024.

To celebrate the 40 year anniversary of the state, the island performed various educational, cultural and sports activities which includes the establishment of the "time capsule" in the vicinity of the Park, Quintana Roo, next to City Hall. Citizens of Cozumel contributed objects or written material and treasures that describe the current life of the municipality of Cozumel in the State of Quintana Roo. The idea is that future generations will open and reveal its contents in a decade. The capsule included books, paintings, and lyrics to the song: “Cozumel”, a sculpture carved in wood and a copy of the first report of municipal government, among other objects.

The Governor of the State, Roberto Borge, said that "this event is relevant to Cozumel and Quintana Roo because we live day to day with freedom and sovereignty and this will remind us to commit ourselves to the inhabitants of Quintana Roo, but in addition to keep the commitment of being a part of Cozumel".
Cozumel's Problem of Discarded Matresses
Citizens of Cozumel continue the bad habit of tossing out used mattresses. CAMAR collects a large amount of these materials tossed into public or vacant lots. They ask the population to be more responsible and take this waste directly to the proper installations.

Juan Angulo Chim, director of CAMAR in Cozumel acknowledged that several mattresses in all the colonies are collected on a daily basis. He added that: "Virtually no zone is saved. We receive reports from all areas. We work to meet these demands to help provide a better image in the city". He said that the average number of mattresses that are collected per month is a little more than 100, but now that they have a telephone line (852-3553) he expects that the number will surely increase. Angulo Chim stated that if the collection of mattresses is not made, it would create a bad image for the Island and especially for tourism.

Questioned about if citizens should be charged for the collection of mattresses, the director acknowledged that it would be a good alternative to create more responsibility from the people, but that decision would directly correspond to the city. Instead, they might impose penalties for those who throw waste in the lots.
Still No Permits for Punta Sur Construction
The construction project of the nature reserve of Punta Sur ecological cabins remains in the evaluation process. The current federal executive of Semarnat in Quintana Roo, Raul Gonzalez Castilla, said that that they have been carefully reviewing the ecological topic, and are still checking some requirements about how they will link the project with the environment and how they can compensate any ecological impacts there. The official pointed out that in this type of project, Semarnat is very careful and must meet guidelines that coincide with the law so that there is no damage to the ecological environment and assuring that things are done under the strict legal framework.
Autumn Brings More Fish but Fewer Tourists to See Them
September and October is when the water landscape of the reefs of Cozumel and Playa de Carmen are more abundant with colors and marine species, however, snorkeling and diving services sales are at approximately only 20% of high season levels. "This is the time of year when there are more schools of fish but fewer people that see them," stated José Gómez Burgos, Secretary of the tourism cooperative of the Caribbean.

The official explained that besides Cozumel, some of the ideal places for snorkeling are Moc Che and Punta Venado near Playa Del Carmen because there are very low-lying areas in which you can see many varieties of coral.He said that the season has been difficult, and although there has been no threat of a hurricane, the services sold to tourists this low season have been very few. The advantages are that there is no need to book in advance as in high season where tourists need to reserve in advance in order to secure spaces while available.
Quintana Roo Athletes Recieve Money for Equipment
The State Government is investing just over $ 800,000 pesos in equipment for 15 young Wind Surfing medalists who have demonstrated that they have the capacity to continue to represent the state of Quintana Roo. This was announced by Martín Cobos Villalobos, President of the Youth Commission and Sports of Quintana Roo.

The official revealed that the State Government’s investment will be delivered in the form of a loan. Previously this benefit was delivered directly to the participants and the money was never used correctly. "We hope that on this occasion there will a responsibility on the part of the athlete and his team." Basic beginner’s equipment could cost between $ 750 US and up to more than 5,000 and dollars for professionals in the industry. The team is aimed at the windsurfers who have distinguished themselves in recent competitions at national Olympiads. The program also hopes to support the medalists of weightlifting and wrestling.
Famous Rocker Ozzy Osbourne to Visit the Riviera Maya
One of the legends of heavy metal and founder of the band Black Sabbath will be in the Riviera Maya in 2015. British singer Ozzy Osbourne invites the public to enjoy a holiday on the beach, accompanied by heavy metal music during the "Ozzfiesta", which will take place from May 27 to 31, 2015.

The Hard Rock Hotel in the Riviera Maya will host five days of music, comedy and shared time with one of the legends of heavy metal and founder of one of the most important bands of the genre, Black Sabbath. The Osbourne’s website indicated that among the activities they will provide is a dinner hosted by Sharon Osbourne and a welcome party with a special acoustic set from Zakk Wylde.

The festivities will include a session of questions and answers with Ozzy Osbourne and his band, a full concert with "Black Label Society," nightclub stand-up comedy will be offered by Jim Norton and Jim Florentine, as well as a charity tournament to benefit the " Sharon Osbourne Colon Cancer Program." In addition there will be a movie night.

The Festival will conclude with a show on the beach with Ozzy Osbourne. Tickets for the festival are on sale as of Friday, October 17,2014.
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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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