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Local Island NEWS in English - Updated Weekly
News for the Week of July 4, 2022

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: 18 Ships this Week
07/04/2022 - Numbers go down slightly this week in Cozumel as cruise ship arrivals show 18 ships registered to dock as we celebrate Independence Day. This is 1 less than the number of ships as last week and 2 less than the "20 in port" which marks a "high season" number. There were -0- ships in port during the same week of 2021 due to COVID.

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 host to 11 ships docking there, 4 ships will dock at SSA International pier while Punta Langosta pier will see 3 arrival and the downtown San Miguel pier will have -0- arrivals with passengers tendering in.

On Monday 1 ship will dock, 3 ships dock on Tuesday, 6 ships on Wednesday, 4 ships on Thursday, 1 ship on Friday, 3 ships on Saturday and Sunday will see 0 ships in port. To see a complete list of this weeks ship arrivals, please visit Insider's Weekly Cruise Ship Schedule
Uncertain Future Of Cozumel Corals Infected By Bleaching
The future of the corals in Cozumel is not as bright as we think, despite the fact that bleaching has decreased, it is clear that there are still threats that could further affect the life of the corals, at least actions are being developed to reverse this type of damage.

Specialists and researchers established that in 2012 there was a significant impact on the reefs, but over time an improvement in this aspect has been noted and now the percentage of bleaching on the reefs is low. They highlighted that corals depend largely on algae known as "zooxanthellae", which through photosynthesis, provide the sustenance they need to survive, generating a symbiosis between coral and algae, he added. Unfortunately, there are other threats for which they have not adapted, the so-called anthropogenic effects such as pollution, the destruction of mangroves, soil erosion, deforestation, overfishing, indiscriminate extraction, excesses in marine tourism and climate change are some of the factors that could destabilize the ecosystem. The specialists also pointed out that the rise in temperatures, due to climate change, causes coral bleaching, a result of their response to stress, which makes them weaker and more fragile against diseases. They ruled out that there is currently a significant mortality of corals, on the contrary they have recovered significantly and today they are considered healthy, but they are always exposed to risks and changes in temperature, that is why they are always monitored to know their conditions.

It is important to mention that the reefs are natural breakwaters that repair themselves and protect the coastline, at no cost to man, they also provide food and protection for countless marine creatures, such as sea urchins, hawksbill turtles, crabs, lobsters, among others.
Cozumel International Airport Being Remodeled
An area for pre-checking in Customs, the expansion of the Immigration zone, new facilities for toilets, administrative offices and redesign of the flow of passenger arrivals, is in process at the Cozumel International Airport. Around 90 million pesos are invested in these works, reported Jorge Carlos Campos Romero, manager of the terminal operated by Aeropuertos del Sureste (Asur). The executive said that it is a reengineering to be able to maximize time and space in the flow of passengers arriving at the tourist destination. He was confident that the works will be ready next year.

In Asur statistics, the airport registered in 2019 a traffic of 552,633 national and international travelers. Its main provider of users are the United States, Canada and other states of the country. Cozumel is currently connected through United Airlines with Houston, Denver, Los Angeles, Chicago. While through Southwest, with Houston; American Airlines connects with: Miami, Dallas, Charlotte and Austin. While with the Frontier airline it connects with Chicago and Denver, and Sun Country, with Dallas. On June 4, government authorities, representatives of the private sector and the hotel industry attended the first arrival of the American Airlines flight from Austin, Texas, which from now on will connect Cozumel on a regular basis with 1 flight every Saturday.

The director of Tourism and Economic Development, Badhi Sleme Flores, highlighted that one of the destination's objectives in terms of tourism is to promote the overnight segment which, according to statistics, is the tourism niche that leaves the most economic benefits for the island. In 2020, according to Asur, Cozumel closed with 270,757 passengers, while in 2021 it received 526,518.
The Influx Of Visitors From Europe And Asia Grows In Quitana Roo
The first semester of 2022 has been an atypical period for hotels established in the first few blocks of the city of Cozumel, which, although there has been demand, this comes from special tourism.

Franco González Alcérreca, president of the Cozumel Center Lodging Association, revealed that the presence of visitors from Europe and Asia has increased, niche markets that are not common on the island. He announced that the businessmen of this association are working, internally and independently of the authorities, on a tourism promotion campaign to attract visitors, since he stated that many arrive from the Riviera Maya, but they only do so for a few hours, so that it is necessary to make them stay. "Cozumel is not an expensive tourist destination, as the idea is sold to visitors in Playa del Carmen, and it is not a place that can see everything in a few hours," emphasized the businessman.

The conversation with Franco González began by talking about the decrease in the demand for rooms currently registered by the 14 hotels in downtown Cozumel, known as small, and which have a standard of approximately 400 rooms. According to the businessman, after a peak in February and April in which up to 100% of occupied rooms were registered, currently the figures are a maximum of 40%, which he attributed to what is known as "low season”. In this sense, he mentioned that they are "cooking" a strategy to attract tourism and for it to discover Cozumel, generating overnight visitors. He added that taking advantage of the sargassum issue that affects the entire Riviera Maya and that the island is free of this natural phenomenon, Cozumel should be the destination of choice for all visitors. In general, he said that the plan is to use social networks to show that in Cozumel there are options such as gastronomy, history, culture and sports, to mention the most important ones. As for the release date, he said that it will be sought before the summer holidays.
State’s Latest Real Estate Project Inaugurated On Island Of Holbox
Karisma Hotels & Resorts and Margaritaville inaugurated their new hotel on the island of Holbox. Last week, Margaritaville St. Somewhere by Karisma, Punta Coco was made official in Holbox.

Hotel dignitaries were on site for the inauguration of the 275-million-peso ecotourism resort. The hotel covers an area of 5,700 m2 and offers 39 suites in six different styles. The hotel complex, which Karisma says is owned by a group of investors from Cancun and operated by renowned hotel consortiums, created more than 500 jobs during construction and 65 after opening. Daniel Lush, VP of Operations for Karisma said “we are excited to elevate the hotel experience in Holbox with an authentic product and the safeguarding of ecology. Our priority is to be part of the community, integrating the products offered or produced on the island as unique experiences for guests. “In addition to using materials from the region such as hardwoods from the Yucatan, Mexican products were used in all areas as well as amenities such as natural oils that have cruelty-free certifications.”

The company says that since opening in March, they have already had a 75 percent occupancy rate with visitors from the United States, Canada and Europe.
Need a LEGAL U.S. Notary Service? THIS is your solution!
It has happened to ALL of us U.S. Citizens who spend significant amounts of time living / working in Cozumel: reading the dreaded words on a document: "Notarized Signature Required." It's such a simple thing and no one wants the added expense of travelling back to the U.S. just to have their signature notarized but there are many legal processes in the U.S.A. where nothing BUT a notarized signature will be accepted.

Some common documents that U.S. Citizens need notarized while living abroad are: Real Estate Deeds or Mortgages, executing Wills, Powers of Attorney, requests for Birth / Marriage / Death Certificates, Permission for a parent to get a minor’s US Passport, banking / insurance / bonding documents, permission for a minor to travel without parents or application for duplicate or replacement vehicle titles just to name a few.

In the past, the most common solution was for a U.S. Citizen to make their way to the nearest U.S. Consulate or Embassy where notaries are always available but the fees involved can be quite expensive. In addition there is the cost of actually travelling to the Consulate and who knows if appointments will even be available especially if the notarized signature is needed urgently. Plus now the COVID related complications of backlogged appointments and limitations on office hours just creates more of a headache for something that is supposed to be relatively easy and inexpensive.

Another option frequently used has been that of a U.S. Notary operating outside of their country and jurisdiction. While this option is usually easy and cheap (often free or for a donation), it is one of those situations where "you get what you pay for" because technically these U.S. Notaries are operating ILLEGALLY as they are outside the legal jurisdiction for which they are authorized to notarize documents. In theory an illegal notarization could be attacked and challenged in the future and nullified causing legal issues with the documents signed. A fraud challenge to a Notary operating outside of the USA, simply involves a court asking the Notary to present their passport to the judge. Immigration stamps inside the passport will prove the Notary's whereabouts when documents were signed and if this was done inside the Notary's legal jurisdiction or illegally outside their authorized jurisdiction.

So do yourself a favor and avoid any future Signature Notary problems by utilizing an ON-LINE NOTARY SERVICE. Thanks to remote online notarization (RON), you can notarize a document from anywhere in the world, using your computer or mobile device and the internet. It takes only 10 minutes and is quite an easy process right from the comfort of your own home or office any hour of the day or night.

All you need to do is click this link 24/7 Online Notary Service To use this service, the fee is $20 USD and you must have a device with audio- visual capabilities (like a smart phone, tablet or PC) and proof of identity (a valid US Government-issued photo ID such as a Driver’s License or Passport). You can then access and meet with a licensed Notary Public who will notarize your papers in a matter of minutes. The process is easy, quick, efficient and AVAILABLE 24/7 online!! So WHY take a chance doing it any other way?!
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December 8, 2021 (Most Recent) Comprehensive Mexico Travel Warning
Because we are continually asked about travel safety in Mexico and Cozumel, INSIDER always maintains a condensed version of the U.S. State Department Mexico Travel Warning HERE on our website for traveler convenience.

U.S. State Department Travel Advisory for Mexico Issued December 8, 2021 shows the Mexican State of Quintana Roo (includes Cozumel, Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Riviera Maya, and Tulum) to be a LEVEL 3 Advisory (Level 4 Advisory is Highest Risk):

There are "NO RESTRICTIONS" on U.S. government employees for travel to "ANY PARTS" of Quintana Roo state, which includes tourist areas such as: Cozumel, Cancún, Playa del Carmen, Riviera Maya and Tulum. However, U.S. government employees are advised to exercise increased caution after dark in downtown areas of Cancun, Tulum, and Playa del Carmen, and to remain in well-lit pedestrian streets and tourist zones.

U.S. citizens should as always exercise increased caution and be aware that according to Government of Mexico statistics, criminal activities and violence, including homicide, remain a concern throughout the State. While most of these homicides appeared to be targeted, criminal organization assassinations and turf battles between criminal groups that have resulted in violent crime in areas frequented by U.S. citizens. Bystanders injuries, while rare, have occurred. While not directed at tourists, shootings between rival gangs have killed or injured innocent bystanders. Additionally, U.S. citizens have been the victims of both non-violent and violent crimes in tourist and non-tourist areas.

Update/Recent Developments: JANUARY 25, 2022

Issued By: Merida Consulate General (Not Direct from State Department)

Location: Quintana Roo, Mexico

Event: In light of recent security incidents and criminal activity in popular tourist destinations including Cancun, Playa Del Carmen, and Tulum, U.S. citizens are reminded to exercise increased caution when traveling to the state of Quintana Roo. Criminal activity and violence may occur throughout the state, including areas frequented by U.S. citizen visitors.

Actions to Take:

Monitor the local news for updates, follow directions from local officials, and in case of emergency, call 911.
Avoid crowds.
Be aware of your surroundings.
Review your personal security plans.
Contact the U.S. Consulate or Embassy if you need assistance.

Update/Recent Developments: FEBRUARY 1, 2022

Issued By: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Location: Mexico in General

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 4 Travel Health Notice for Mexico due to COVID-19, indicating a very high level of COVID-19 in the country. Your risk of contracting COVID-19 and developing severe symptoms may be lower if you are fully vaccinated with an FDA authorized vaccine. Before planning any international travel, please review the CDC's specific recommendations for vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers. Visit the Embassy's COVID-19 page for more information on COVID-19 in Mexico.

Update/Recent Developments: MARCH 16, 2022

Issued By: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Location: Mexico in General

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 3 Travel Health Notice for Mexico due to COVID-19, indicating a very high level of COVID-19 in the country. Your risk of contracting COVID-19 and developing severe symptoms may be lower if you are fully vaccinated with an FDA authorized vaccine. Before planning any international travel, please review the CDC's specific recommendations for vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers. Visit the Embassy's COVID-19 page for more information on COVID-19 in Mexico.

The Mexico Travel Warning dated December 8, 2021 from the Department of State can also be viewed in its entirety on the Department of State website.
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