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Local Island NEWS in English - Updated Weekly
News for the Week of January 19, 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.

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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NEWS Archives:
Cozumel Arrivals: 31 Ships this Week
1/18 - Numbers remain high this week in Cozumel as cruise ship arrivals rise to 31 ships registered to dock for the third week of January 2015. This is 2 more than the number of ships last week and 11 more than the "20 in port" which marks a "high season." With High Season now in gear, an estimated 93,000 people will visit Cozumel this week via these cruise ships leaving an estimated US$ 7.4 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!

With dockings spread equally this week all piers will be big economic winners as 11 ships dock at Puerta Maya, 11 will dock at TMM/SSA International pier while Punta Langosta pier will see 10 arrivals and the downtown San Miguel pier will have -0- ship arrivals.

This week begins with 6 ships docking on Monday, 7 on Tuesday, 5 ships Wednesday, 4 on Thursday, 5 on Friday and then Saturday will bring 3 ships in port and Sunday will see 1 ship in port.

View the Cruise Ship Calendar for this Week
Cozumel Pre-Carnaval 2015 Events Underway!
Carnaval 2015 - Be Here! In a press conference held January 8, 2015 Cozumel Carnaval 2015 dates have now been OFFICIALLY announced
by the Presidente Fredy Marrufo Martin and the Carnaval Committee via the Municipio Office of Special Events as ~
February 11 - 17, 2015

This coming weekend pre-Carnaval events get underway to elect the King and Queen of Carnaval for Adults, Teens and Kids. This weekend 2015 Carnaval Candidates will be announced and each will have a chance to make a speech and animate the crowds by indicating why each wants to be the next King and Queen of Carnaval.

Be sure to reserve hotel and diving for these dates well in advance to be here for one of Cozumel's biggest celebrations with over 135 years of tradition! For a nice, home style place to stay, please consider Sherri's IslaMar Villas. Or call toll free from USA -732-8375 to check availability!

Check out the 2015 Carnaval Calander of Events ~ Some Details Pending for an idea of all the fun things going on!
Cozumel Will Have a New Time Zone
On February 1st, Quintana Roo will apply a new time change. According to information provided by the authorities, the time change will take place at two o'clock in the morning of February 1, 2015. That day the citizens in the State must advance the clock one hour to read three o'clock in the morning.

On December 4, 2014, in a session of the Chamber of Deputies in Mexico City, it was approved by an almost unanimous decision to apply the change of time zone which will govern the state of Quintana Roo. The reason for the change is to apply one more hour of sun to the state in hopes that it will benefit tourism.
Cozumel Sets Record for Visiting Tourists
Cozumel Island presented the greatest increase of visitors in its history with a rise of 32.5% in the number of tourists during 2014, and exceeded by a wide margin, the registered number of visitors in other tourist destinations of the State and the country, reported the State Secretariat of Tourism, Laura Fernández Piña. She added that this "spectacular year" for Cozumel was also framed with the generation of 20.7% more income compared to 2013, with $ 586 million dollars.

It was established that with 4.5 million visitors, Cancun remained in the lead at State and National level, which represented a 10% increase, while the Riviera Maya received 4.4 million tourists, increasing 7.5% as recorded 12 months earlier.

She stressed that 2014 ended as a landmark for Quintana Roo. All destinations of the entity reported an increase in the number of tourists compared to 2013. Finally, of the total number of tourists who came to the State, Cancun received 44% and the Riviera Maya to 43%, these two destinations host to 77% of visitors to Quintana Roo.

According to data provided by representatives of the Association of Hotels in Cozumel (AIHC), the United States provides most of the tourism that arrives to the island that stayed in hotels. In addition, from January to November 2014 National and European tourism recorded increases.

Within that period, 11 associated hosting centers calculated 228 thousand 825 visitors from the United States. This adds up to 53.99% of tourists. Europeans went up from 3% in 2013 to 5.85% in 2014 while Nationals tourists increased from 8 to 28.55% and the calculations are still not complete for the months of November and December of 2014.
Cozumel's Eagle Ray on the Threatened Species List
Cancun’s Planetarium unveiled that the Eagle Ray is on the red list of threatened species of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the oldest and largest global environmental organization in the world.

A Planetarium official stated that talks will take place in January on the "conservation and research of the striped Eagle Ray in the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico. He stressed that Dr. Kim Bassos-Hull who will deliver the lecture, is leading the project for research and conservation of the species. Dr. Bassos -Hull is affiliated with the Mote Marine Laboratory, one of the oldest in Florida marine research laboratories.

The Eagle Ray is one of the most charismatic and fascinating species in these waters. Cancun and Cozumel are privileged places to receive large groups of this species during the winter, where it is possible to share moments to see them diving, said the institution.
Cozumel Experienced Record Temperatures in 2014
The year 2014 saw recorded temperatures of 40 degrees centigrade (over 100 F) in Quintana Roo, in accordance with the National Water Commission and the National Weather Service. Cozumel was the city that presented the highest temperature (40 degrees C), in addition to five days when the thermometer marked a maximum between 37 and 39 degrees. Cancun had 10 days with the same temperature range; Chetumal reported 35 to 37 degrees, being the highest 37.2 degrees.

According to the UnoTV News Agency, 2014 was the hottest on the planet since the beginning of records in 1880, reported the American Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency (NOAA). The institution also indicated that global warming reached a new and worrying level in 2014. The average temperature on the Earth's surface and oceans was the highest in all the years since records were started in 1880 stated NOAA. The agency reports say that the record of warming has spread across the world. Measurements taken by NASA independently arrived at the same conclusions.
Cozumel's "Cenote Park" in Need of Rehabilitation
At this time, the “Cenote Park” on 65th Avenue is the subject of some rehabilitation work. This was confirmed by the Director of Public Works in Cozumel, Miguel Alberto Salas Coral.

His statements contradict those of his counterpart of ecology and environment, Eliot Reyes Novelo, who claims that they are already working on a project in this public space which opened in its second phase December 2012 at a cost of one million 722 thousand 810 pesos.

The Cenote Park, which contains one of the largest urban cenotes, was visited by Félix Finkbeiner, founder of the international organization "Plant for the Planet" in April 2013. He stated that at that time it had shown signs of lack of upkeep. A wooden platform structure built at the entrance is shown in poor condition and neighbors say that at night there is no lighting.
Young Assistants Help the Mangroves of Cozumel
The Lakes of Punta Sur, the most important ecotourism park on the island of Cozumel, are the subject of permanent monitoring by the group “Youth for Conservation”, whose members have traveled to other States of Mexico and abroad to publicize its methods of work in this field.

The mangroves of Cozumel were severely affected by Hurricane Wilma, in 2005, so its conservation is paramount to form an indispensable part of the biological chain that ends in the reefs of Cozumel.

United States, Canada, Japan, Switzerland, as well as several States of the Mexican Republic are the scenarios in which this environmental group has assisted. They have been sponsored by the Foundation of Parks and Museums of Cozumel (FPMC) since 2003. There are between 20 to 35 volunteers, explained Jesús Benavides Andrade, director of "Punta Sur", where every weekend these young people and adolescents come to do field work.

By using methods learned based on trial and error as well as orientation of the FPMC specialists, they have begun to see results of reforestation of mangroves. The task of reforestation of mangrove includes the use of bamboo, which is drawn by the current off the coast of Cozumel. It provides a natural manner to replant the seeds of mangrove which are previously collected.
Playa Del Carmen: Illegal Animal Handlers Arrested
In Playa Del Carmen, nine members of a gang dedicated to the exploitation of exotic animals in this tourist area were arrested by officers of the Municipal Tourist Police (PTM) for verbally assaulting passers-by who took photos and didn't leave a "TIP” that they request between 200 and 300 pesos. Among the animals on display is a lion cub of 2 months, two lemurs and four squirrel monkeys, which were removed to the offices of the Federal Attorney for Environmental Protection (Profepa).

The Municipal Tourist Police officers carried out three interventions on Fifth Avenue in response to a number of calls for aid made by tourists to the emergency phone number claiming they were attacked verbally and physically by the subjects devoted to the exploitation of these animals. The nine detainees and seven animals were removed and detained and placed under arrest arrested with charges of insults and attacks to tourists.

Authorities of PROFEPA have reported that exposure for profit of wild animals on Fifth Avenue has become a problem that is getting out of hand. They have no permissions and they roam along the avenue unless any authority stops them. The animal handlers become aggressive with people who try to take a picture and are arrogant in the way they shout at visitors until they are paid. This situation scares tourists and ruins the image of this important vacation destination.
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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 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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