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Local Island NEWS in English - Updated Weekly
News for the Week of August 3, 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: 12 Ships this Week
8/02 - Numbers remain very low this week in Cozumel as cruise ship arrivals show 12 ships registered to dock for the first week of August 2015. This is 2 less than the number of ships last week and 8 less than the "20 in port" which marks a "high season." With low season reaching its lowest, 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 8 ships dock there, only 4 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 ship docking on Monday, 3 on Tuesday, 2 ship Wednesday, 2 on Thursday, 2 on Friday and then Saturday will bring 2 ships in port and Sunday will see -0- ships in port.

View the Cruise Ship Calendar for this Week
Water Room Now Ready at Cozumel's Planetarium
The Committee on drinking water and sewage (CAPA) reports that the salon for teaching awareness about the use, management and conservation of water resources is nearly ready. This will be a part of the new Planetarium of Cozumel 'Cha 'an Ka' an', which will be inaugurated soon.

The Director of the Planetarium of Cozumel, Milagros Varguez Ramirez, Manager of the operating organism, José Luis Chacon Mendez, and the owner of the Agency, Paula González Cetina, toured the learning room facilities which is 95 % finished with a total investment of 500 thousand pesos, according to news resources.

Gonzalez Cetina pointed out that the objective is to provide those who visit the Planetarium an educational experience to recognize water resource as a fortune of territorial identity and guaranteeing its existence for the benefit of future generations. He explained that with the use of modern interactive technology in the themes of Maya cosmogony, climate change, deforestation and loss of biodiversity, renewable energy and a collection of water; that this will contribute to creating a new framework of reference for the proper use and care of water.

Cozumel Planetarium will be the third in its kind in the State, adding to the Planetarium Ka'Yok' in Cancun along with the Museum of Water Ch 'ooj K' and the Yook'ol Kaab in Chetumal.
Excessive Kelp Possibly Affecting Nesting Turtles
The group “Tortuguero del Caribe” has initiated formal receipt of documentation attesting objectively how the excessive amount of kelp is affecting nesting turtles on the Quintana Roo coast.

Just last week, it was reported that three specimens of marine turtles were found trapped between the algae, as well as a breeding “Chelonian” who probably died due to the fact that she could not return to the water because of the kelp after hatching. The latter case happened on the beach which is located on the coast of the hotel Sandos Playacar, in the Riviera Maya according to Mario Dib Rodríguez, founder of the ecological movement Hub Riviera Maya, who added that one of the causes of this death in hypothesis is unveiled by kelp that has become a barrier to return the turtles to the sea.

"We don't have an official report and we are going to ask the people who have commented verbally to do so in writing. We are not ruling it out and actually believe that at some point this could become a problem", said Gisela Maldonado Saldaña, Vice President of the group Tortuguero del Caribe. She added that one of the risks that could arise is when the removal of kelp was made, it could contain offspring of these reptiles, and therefore it is recommended that it be done carefully.
New Signs in Braille, English and Maya
As part of the project for the recovery and redevelopment of the Park "Benito Juárez", the department of public works has placed signs in Braille, English and Maya to provide better directions to the most important sites in the main area of the city.

Humberto Suárez Castillo, Director of the Management of Public Works, indicated that the signage that has been placed is to complement the works that have been carried out in the park. "A pathway for blind people was placed in the Park and these posts have a braille system so that regional, national and foreign tourists can maneuver better", said the official. He explained that the signs were installed at six points that give access to “Benito Juárez" park and two more are located at the intersections of various streets surrounding the park. In terms of the material used, Humberto Suárez said that Poles are aluminum, while the signs are made of a reflective film that is a base plate of the same material.

"In the course of the next week, we will be finalizing some details on the bases of the Poles. So far we have received good comments since they are guidance signs that will be useful for all visitors who arrive to this tourist destination" commented the public works director.
Cozumel's "Sports" Season to Begin in August
The annual “ Mister Sancho’s Triathlon” , which will be held on 20 August, officially starts the season of sporting events which will favor the arrival of thousands of visitors in low season which means a reprieve for the island's economy", said Juan González Castelán, Director of Tourism.

The official said that August inaugurates the season of sporting events, after the so-called "high season" representing the cycle of greater economic impact on the target with the arrival of the athletes and their teams. He mentioned that the first event of the year will be the "Mister Sancho’s 2015" Triathlon, a competition which will include the participation of 300 competitors in what has become a good opportunity for the athletes from the island to become part of the circuit of triathlons .

Juan González Castelán indicated that in September, Cozumel will sponsor the Half Ironman 70.3, as well as the ITU World Cup, while in November the Gran Fondo New York will take place in addition to the eighth edition of the Ironman Cozumel that represents "the Jewel in the Crown" of sporting events, because it involves more than two thousand competitors.

"These events have placed the island as a destination for sports tourism. Athletes come with families and spend long periods of time on the island for training. In general, the season sporting events will greatly benefit Cozumel", stated the official.
Easier Access To and From Cozumel this Summer Season
So far this summer season, the amount of tourists who visit Cozumel from the mainland has doubled in quantity with around 7,000 people daily.

In the off-season, ferry companies provide service to approximately three thousand people on a daily basis and on busy days with large tours, they can reach an increase of 1,000 more people, but this holiday season employees have increased their employment rate since they are providing service for several thousand more travelers.

With 3 ferry companies servicing travelers now and with added departures of boats, visitors can be accommodated better with the hope of providing a more pleasant experience traveling to and from Cozumel
Concern for Environment from Sunken Boat
Several weeks ago a small ship sank due to the fact that there were too many passengers on board as was stated by authorities.

No serious damage took place to the marine ecosystem once the boat sank carrying tourists near Palancar Beach. The head of the Department of National Reef Park, Cozumel, Rosalinda García Márquez said that CONANP investigated the place where the ship sank to verify what had been the environmental impact that this boat could cause. She said that fortunately it wasn't serious since the ship sank near a sandy portion underwater discarding any possibility of any spills of chemicals or fuels from the engine which could have caused an environmental tragedy. “We were worried, but apparently there was no serious spill in that area” stated the official.

García Márquez said that she is waiting for the results of preliminary investigations that dictate the precise reasons why the boat ran aground and the measures to be taken.
Cozumel Goes Underground With Internet and Telephone
In the most recent Council session meeting, a unanimous vote approved that the Telephone Company of Mexico provide telephone and internet services through micro pipeline.

The proposal was detailed by the Director of Urban Development, Melissa Angulo Gámez, who told the City Council that they seek to cover the basic needs of the newest colonies of Cozumel, Miraflores and Altamar. Angulo Gamez, explained that to avoid the placement of Poles in the new subdivisions, the company plans to provide such services through the alternative of micro channels, in accordance with article 19 of the regulation of constructions of Cozumel, which establishes that all new development shall have underground services, according to the urban development program.

She said that micro-channeling is an alternative or construction technique to distribute the secondary network that will allow access to the housing developments that are already completed and even inhabited. She also explained details of the project that they will also provide phone and Internet to households in the new colonies and residential developments still under construction.
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May 5, 2015 (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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