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Local Island NEWS in English - Updated Weekly
News for the Week of January 26, 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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Cozumel Arrivals: 29 Ships this Week
1/25 - Numbers remain high this week in Cozumel as cruise ship arrivals dip to 29 ships registered to dock for the fourth week of January 2015. This is 2 less than the number of ships last week and 9 more than the "20 in port" which marks a "high season." With High Season now in gear, an estimated 87,000 people will visit Cozumel this week via these cruise ships leaving an estimated US$ 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!

This week Puerta Maya will be the big economic winner as 11 ships dock at Puerta Maya, 10 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 4 ships docking on Monday, 6 on Tuesday, 4 ships Wednesday, 6 on Thursday, 6 on Friday and then Saturday will bring 3 ships in port and Sunday will see -0- ships 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 presented in full costume and each will try to animate the crowds to vote for them in the coming week's competition for King and Queen of Carnaval 2015.

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 for an idea of all the fun things going on!

PLUS ~ take a look at our exclusive INSIDER photos of the weekend's Pre-Carnaval Events!

Photos - Introduction of Candidates for Carnaval 2015 King & Queen

Cozumel Moves to Eastern 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 in hopes that it will benefit tourism and activity planning of guests.
Illegal Removal of Black Coral Still a Problem
Black coral is dying off rapidly because of irresponsible divers who continue to extract it illegally. So it is important that the federal authorities address this problem and punish those who are caught in this illegal activity. The President of the Union of Craftsmen of Cozumel's Coral Black, David Calderon Uc, is sorry to say that divers continue to prey illegally on this marine material and has asked the federal authorities to be more vigilant with this practice since it is clear that it is affecting whatever portion of the species that remains.

He stated that while there is a lot of black coral in the sea, the illegal removal must stop because it is an activity that affects those who depend on this material to survive. So he asked that while the municipal police patrol the cruise ship piers, if they detect people carrying any black coral in bulk that they check for permits to eradicate the illegal trade.

So far, in Cozumel only two permits exist nationwide for the extraction of black coral, which belong to Gamaliel Chan Aguayo, and Armando López Maglah, professional divers who have much experience extracting this material without causing damage to the environment. He pointed out that in Cozumel are about 30 families that depend on black coral to survive.
Cuba Poses No Threat for Cozumel's Tourism
Cozumel is not worried about the opening of Cuba as a new tourist destination now that it has solved problems with the United States stated a Member of the National Association of Tourism Water Operators (ANOAT) in Cozumel, Cesar Zepeda Escamilla.

"At this time the water sports operators are not concerned with the opening of Cuba since we have better equipment and years of experience" explained Escamilla. In addition, he stressed that the island boasts better infrastructure than Cuba. Therefore it would be difficult to beat Cozumel as a tourist destination. He said that on the subject of reefs, that Cuba is not, nor will be a competition for Cozumel, since Cozumel has the best marine ecosystem of the Caribbean Sea.

"We have done research on the reefs of Cuba and it does not compare at all to the beauty of this island. When Cuba opens, it will only be another Island destination to visit."
Cozumel Recycles 170 Tons of Kelp
Students and employees of the City Council have removed 170 tons of kelp that had accumulated on the coast of Cozumel adjacent to the municipal pier.

The director of the Federal Maritime Zone (Zofemat), David Martínez Viana, explained that last Monday, with the help of a dump truck, 14 cubic meters of kelp (about 150 tons) was removed from the area from the San Miguel dock to 2nd Street. And on Tuesday an additional 20 tons. The collected residue was transferred to an area where it will be temporarily sheltered until it finishes the process of degradation then it will be returned to the beach. Viana Martínez, explained that this build-up of Sargassum is a product of the cold fronts from the season associated with climate change.

The official explained that with the help of 150 people including workers from Zofemat, public services, environment and ecology, cadets from public security, students from high schools and Universities , as well as the Volqueteros "Vicente Guerrero" (truck drivers ) Union and other companies, they have managed to improve the view of the coast of the island.
Cozumel's National Parks Raise 10 Million Pesos
An average of $ 10 million pesos was collected last year in the sale of more than 350,000 bracelets used by national and foreign visitors who attended the National Parks of Cozumel which covers from Caleta to Punta Chiqueros. These resources are sent to the Commission of Natural Protected Areas (Conanp), reported Christopher González Baca.

The interviewee stated that last year $ 10 million pesos was raised, $ 2 million more than 2013. This is a good amount of income for the island in the sale of bracelets which tourists must purchase to enter to the National Parks or Natural Protected Areas.

The bracelets were sold to about 350,000 people, at a cost of 28 pesos per unit. The cost is expected to increase to 30 pesos soon. Highest sales were seen in the months of April, March and December. Although visits were high during the holidays of Easter and summer, December was busiest.

He also said that all the resources obtained are sent to the Commission on Natural Protected Areas (Conanp), since according to the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources is used for usable resources and the improvement in the protection of turtles arriving at the beaches in the National Park. In addition to keeping alive the areas that are not visited, for example; Chinchorro or areas that are to the South of the island.
Renate Herberger Swims for the Conservation of the Seas
The long distance swimmer Renate Herberger will attempt to swim 120 kilometers of coastline around the Island of Cozumel to raise awareness for the need for conservation of the seas and species of flora and fauna residing in them to assist future generations. The swimmer of German origin will spend about a week swimming eight hours a day to an average of 20 kilometers per day. This is the first time that she will try a tour of this nature.

Renate said that in her experience, the marine sanctuaries do not receive the necessary protection and we know more about the Moon than oceans. She commented that 5% of the dolphins that exist in Cozumel are imprisoned and this is torture for these marine animals, and that the garbage generated by cruise tourism and pollution are the main cause of climate change. Marine ecosystems are of fundamental importance for the Earth, said the German who resides in Canada. Other locations the planet where she has swum are Barbados, Costa Rica, Germany and Mexico in the waters of the sea of Cortez.

The swimmer was going to start her swim last week at the main down town pier however; the event might have been modified due to inclement weather.
Cozumel Presents Mayan Sunset Rituals
With the aim of attracting more and better tourism to Cozumel and on the initiative of the Confederation Employers of the Mexican Republic (Coparmex), a representation of a Mayan ceremonial-ritual called "Maya sunset" will take place.

Juan González Castelán, director of tourism on the island of Cozumel explained that in this show is it estimated that there will be around 30 actors on stage, members of the folkloric ballet, all characterized as the ancient inhabitants of the island. This event matches the four areas which seek to promote tourism such as cultural, ecological, sports and the underwater world.

The show will be promoted among hotels guests on the island. Visitors will be invited to attend the presentations that will be held in the evenings during sunset. The scenario will take place at the main Esplanade of the flag. This event seeks to publicize the importance of Ixchel, Goddess Mother of the Mayans, to National and International visitors. As of right now, the presentations were scheduled to begin by the end of January.
Missing Link of the American Man Found in Tulum
It is rare that international media turns its gaze to Mexico due to an archaeological discovery but several years ago, the remains of a 12,000 year old skeleton named “Naia” was discovered in the “Black Hole” cenote in Tulum.

The Greek archaeologist Spyridon Marinatos used to say that "To dig is to open a book written in the language which the centuries have spoken within the Earth". It was the State of Quintana Roo, in an underwater cave, which spoke to tell this probable story: A girl of about 15 years of age was interned in a cave in search of water when the irregularity of the soil caused her stumble and fall to the bottom. The young woman drowned, but her body was well preserved by the ecosystem to the extent that the archaeologists of the Project Speleological Tulum (PET) concluded that there was a genetically intact skeleton that has been found on the continent. "The so called “missing link” in the history of the American man".

The discovery of Naia (named in honor of the nymph Naiad guardian of the sweet waters of the Greek culture) revealed that the American man has its origin in the group that crossed the Bering Strait. The natives of the Mainland acquired their own physical features only as a form of microevolution to adapt to the conditions of their new land.

Science magazine was the first to reveal the news. Immediately, National Geographic then titled the great event: "Naia- help to solve the mystery of the first Americans." Archaeologists from around the world had always wondered why native Americans do not seem to have more ancestors who came to America during the Pleistocene era. Naia’s remains have craniofacial features of ancient paleoamericanos and mitochondrial DNA of native Americans today.
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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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