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Local Island NEWS in English - Updated Weekly
News for the Week of December 15, 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.

We appreciate hearing from our readers and welcome your questions, suggestions and comments. Please send them to:

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: 28 Ships this Week
12/14 - Numbers remain high this week in Cozumel as cruise ship arrivals fall to 28 ships registered to dock for the third full week of December 2014. This is 3 less than the number of ships last week and 8 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 84,000 people will visit Cozumel this week via these cruise ships leaving an estimated US$ 6.7 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 11 ships dock at Puerta Maya, 9 will dock at TMM/SSA International pier while Punta Langosta pier will see 8 arrivals and the downtown San Miguel pier will have -0- ship arrivals.

This week begins with 5 ships docking on Monday, 6 on Tuesday, 3 ships Wednesday, 3 on Thursday, 6 on Friday and then Saturday will bring 5 ships in port and Sunday will see -0- ships.

View the Cruise Ship Calendar for this Week
New Ferry Will Begin January 2015
The end of the duopoly in the route connecting Playa Del Carmen-Cozumel by ferry was confirmed last week by Playa Del Carmen’s Municipal President, Mauricio Góngora Escalante.

It should be noted that the entry of a second transport service a decade ago did not benefit passengers crossing to the island of Cozumel as was expected because for more than 30 years group Molina-Aviomar practically has maintained monopoly by imposing exorbitant prices.

According to information gathered by reporters is that within in the first days of January 2015, the new boats will operate at a price of 60 pesos one-way. This should not only help the local people's economy, but merchants on the island of Cozumel as well because of an expected increase of visitors from the 223 million passengers in the year 2013.

Finally, it should be noted that for years local people, mainly workers who commute daily or weekly to and from the island of Cozumel for work, have demanded a ferry company with accessible prices, because the cost of 326 pesos round trip hurts the economy. Although the operation of a third ferry company is expected to benefit providers of tourist services because lower ticket prices, a greater number of people can now visit Cozumel.
Visiting Physicians Change Children's Lives
An interdisciplinary medical team of 11 people of the Smile Train Foundation came to the island of the swallows to carry out corrective surgeries of lip and cleft palate (LPH). These doctors have been coming to visit the island for three years. It was estimated that some 40 surgical procedures were carried out on the 12th and 13th of December. In one year, the Smile Train makes 15 campaigns with up to 80 patients each, all completely free.

Reconstructive surgery can cost between 50,000 and 60,000 dollars. There are patients who require up to four to make the total reconstruction of the lip and palate. Rogelio Martínez, plastic surgeon of the Smile Train team, explained that the LPH are the most frequent congenital malformations and important of all disorders of the face. In Mexico they occupy first place among all congenital malformations of the face.

For its part, Eva Carolina Flores Osorto, representative of Smile Train Mexico and volunteer coordinator at ABC medical center of the city of Mexico said that this birth defect is not a matter of life or death, but in just one hour, this surgery can change the life a child. Georgina Ruiz de Marrufo, President of the DIF (Integral Development of Families) thanked the physicians for their presence in the municipality.
Cozumel's Mayor to Assist in Animal Welfare
Cozumel’s municipal President Fredy Marrufo Martín took an oath to carry out promotional activities to promote culture in the protection and welfare of animals. According to the newsletter issued by the Secretary State of Ecology and Environment (SEMA), Rafael Muńoz Terab, he thanked the members who took on this challenge and commitment to raise awareness about the importance of caring for the animals. He invited the members of the Council to carry out actions that will primarily educate children of the island on how to provide good and decent behavior in the treatment of animals .The goal is to teach children to respect animals and values that do best for the society.
San Gervasio Ruins Significant to Cozumel's History
The ruins of San Gervasio in Cozumel are a pre-Hispanic settlement which was named after the 20th Century. The site was a former cattle ranch. Mayan women went there to worship the goddess Ixchel (deity of fertility, childbirth, moon, medicine and tissue).

According to the history of San Gervasio, it was constructed in the classic period (300-400 d. C.). The acropolis "El Ramonal" was the guiding Center from which all the village settlements of the Island were controlled.

From the late classic (600-1200 d. C.), Murcielagos and El Cedral became administrative centers for their respective communities. During the End of the Classic Period (1000-1200 d. C.) the “Itzaes” (Warriors) dominated Cozumel by controlling trade between Yucatán and the region of Ulua. San Gervasio became one of the most important pilgrimage centers in Mesoamerica and was the scene of an intense commercial exchange.

The ruins are located about 20-30 minutes from Puerto Maya, about 11 kilometers from the transverse road to the East of the city. The entrance that leads to the ruins is marked by a reproduction of an ancient Mayan Temple.

Data generated by the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH), point out that these ruins are the only ones that have a permanent program of conservation and archaeological research in Cozumel, which consist of several buildings connected to each other by paths called "sacbes" (original name of Mayan roads).

The architectural ensembles that can be found include; "Handyman" (called thus by the impressions of human hands that are preserved in the interior walls of the main building), Chichán Nah, or "Small house" (small temple of East Coast style), the Alamo (so called in allusion to the huge tree that accompanies it). Nohoch Nah, "Great House" (Post classic Temple), Bat (due to the large number of bats inhabiting the interior of its main building sometime), Ka´Na (High House) where a temple is preserved with two small rooms).

San Gervasio is the only archaeological site open to the public in Cozumel. Visiting this site is essential if you want to have a complete overview of the island and to learn the importance of the ancient Mayas of Quintana Roo.
Cozumel's Planetarium Ready to be Named
Cozumel inhabitants will participate in choosing the name and logo of the Planetarium which is currently under construction on the island. As of now it is 60% complete with an investment of $59,600,000 pesos and will be opened in the first quarter of the year 2015.

The Planetarium is built so that the projection room has seating for 95 people, Museum of the Mayan culture will have capacity for 150 visitors and the main Auditorium for 190 people. The Observatory; the Museum and commons areas of water, terraces, walkways, parking, library and services areas surround the sacred tree of the Maya: a yaaxche.

The director of Social appropriation of Coqcyt, Hernán Herrera Jimenez, mentioned that the Planetarium is built on an area of 9,998 square meters; the building will occupy 5,048 square meters and the rest will be green areas. This is a unique work in Latin America, with a team of imaging in 3D- 360 as well as high-tech sound equipment.
Xcaret Park, the Second Most Popular Hit on Facebook
The social network “Facebook” unveiled the list of the issues that were most popular and most visited places in Mexico during 2014. In second place within the most visited sites is Xcaret Park, Riviera Maya. The charts included in the summary of 2014 were prepared based on the frequency with which an issue was mentioned on Facebook between January and December of 2014, reported the site : The most visited place of Mexico was the Historic Center of Mexico City, followed by Xcaret, then Parque Fundidora in Monterrey and the main Plaza in Mexico City. In tenth place was the archaeological site of Chichén Itzá.
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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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