Sunday, March 28, 2010

Bidding Opens for the New International Riviera Maya Airport

The Secretariat of Communications and Transport (SCT), the government agency responsible for infrastructure and telecommunications Mexico, will publish on April 15th the bases of the bidding process for the construction and operation of an airport in the Riviera Maya.  Read full article from Mexico Investor Digest here.

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Saturday, March 27, 2010

Q: Who is Mexico's Largest Gold Extractor?

A: Canada

Read the Article from Mexico Investor Digest Here.

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Friday, March 26, 2010

The History of Puerto Morelos

This article, "Puerto Morelos: Yesterday, Today, and Forever..." is re-printed with the permission of The Puerto Morelos Tourist Guide.  The article was originally featured, in two parts, in the Puerto Morelos Tourist Guide editions printed in 2008.


By: Ale Gaxiola

“Quintana Roo is a promised land for those who are willing to dedicate their passionate efforts to her.” Gutierrez Tibón, in his book “Adventures in México”, Chapter Praise to Quintana Roo, 1955.

Archeological evidence has demonstrated that Puerto Morelos belonged to the Old province of EK-KAB (means Black Bee), one of the seventeen districts of the numerous Mayan territory (1250-1541 A.D.).

In the coastal zone of today’s Puerto Morelos existed two Mayan structures, their stones were used to build the leaning lighthouse, next to the Fishermen’s Pier.

During many centuries the Spanish galleons would sail along the coast of Quintana Roo. Historians mention the sea routes along the southern territory, from Isla Mujeres to Tulum and even as far as Chetumal Bay.

Any merchant vessels were shipwrecked among the reefs at Puerto Morelos, their treasures have been lost in the bottom of the Caribbean and it could be a strange and wonderful adventure to be able to discover them.

The Puerto Morelos modern history begins in 1898, when the Colonizadora de la Costa Oriental of the Yucatan Company was founded to exploit and farm the agricultural and forest products from the surrounding jungles.

In 1900, Puerto Morelos was referred to as “Punta Corcho”, and it was chosen as a natural harbor that could offer safety to navigation, good depth and protection because of the natural reef barrier.

On November 24th, 1902, President Porfirio Díaz decrees the creation of the Territory of Quintana Roo, and then Puerto Morelos was under the political administration of the Isla Mujeres Municipality.

Around the year 1904, Puerto Morelos boasted a Post Office to communicate correspondence with Cozumel and even as far as Puerto Progreso in the neighboring State of Yucatan, and from there to the rest of the country.

The first population census was done in 1910, with a result of 76 persons (41 male and 35 female). In this year, the Port was the only coastal community with telephone and postal service. 

In 1921, the population greatly diminished due to an influenza epidemic which was recorded as very severe, and the census reported just 28 inhabitants (18 males and 10 females).

In Puerto Morelos, in the year 1923, the “Colonia Santa María Company” built warehouses to store mainly gum, which was harvested in the surrounding jungles. This gave the Puertomorelenses great economic strength.

Around the year 1929, the Puerto was already considered a town, with wooden houses built in a single lane along the coastal street and a pier for fishermen. Today you can find the Pelicanos Restaurant in this same spot.

In 1931, President Ortiz Rubio decreed that the Territory of Quintana Roo would belong to the States of Campeche and Yucatan. There was much administrative confusion, and as a result there are few records during these years, but with President Cardenas the Territory of Quintana Roo is once again established in 1935.

On February 1929, the 55 inhabitants founded the “Ejido Puerto Morelos”, with a Presidential grant of 21,420 hectares of jungle. Now the Puertomorelenses could farm and exploit their own land and the economy grew faster than ever. The 1950 census showed a population of 80 inhabitants (43 males and 37 females.)

During the fifties, the growth of Puerto Morelos spread to the jungle areas (two kilometers inland from the coast) because migrations of people from the Yucatan and foreign countries. 

With the beginning of Cancún as a resort destination in 1970, the demand for a labor force was greatly increased, and because of the proximity of Puerto Morelos to this new resort, a slow growth in the residential area known as “Colonia Joaquín Cetina Gazca” began.

In 1971, the “First of June Fishing High School” was founded, and today it trains youngsters as fishing technicians.

In the Decree of 1974, Quintana Roo becomes a free and sovereign state with seven municipalities. Puerto Morelos is established as a part of the Benito Juárez municipality with Cancún as it’s most important city.
Puerto Morelos has been visited many times by researchers. In 1978, The Fishing Ministry creates the Aquaculture Research Center, to study turtles.

The Research Center of Quintana Roo (CIQROO) was established in 1979, to do investigations for the proper development of Quintana Roo. In 1980, The Institute of Oceanography from UNAM University opens its doors in Puerto Morelos researching marine habitats, due mainly to the great international importance of The Arrecife de Puerto Morelos National Park.

On December 2nd of 1981, “The Puerto Morelos Cooperative for Fishing Production” is inaugurated with the goal of doing controlled exploitation of lobster fishing. Urban land lots were assigned to it next to the “Colonia de Pescadores”. Around this time, and under the Federal Government Administration, the “Alfredo Barrera Marin” Botanical Garden was founded. It is sanctuary to the Mayan jungle “Yaax-ché”.

Since the 1990’s Puerto Morelos has had a balanced growth. People from all over Mexico and many other countries have made it their home. Several public schools have opened, and in 1995 the “Mauricio Sánchez Jimenez” library was founded.

On February 2nd 1998, a Federal Decree gives the Puerto Morelos reef the status of Protected Natural Area. It is home to a wonderful and rich submarine life and it plays an important role in tourist and fishing activities.

In Puerto Morelos you can find the only ecological crocodile farm and native zoo in the region; “Crococun”, where visitors can see from very close the natural habitat of these prehistoric animals. It opens daily from 9am to 5pm.

At Central Vallarta the “Verde Lucero Cenote” and some time later the “Tres Bocas Cenote” and the “Boca de Puma Cenote” are inaugurated. These natural sinkholes are only part of what visitors to the “Cenote Route” can enjoy. There are more than ten of these around the area. Some, like “Selvatica” and “Boca del Puma” also have zip lines, bike trails and other services for the tourist.

From the year 2000, the neighboring cities of Cancún and Playa del Carmen develop rapidly into internationally known tourist destinations. Also in Puerto Morelos, but to a lesser degree, we see some tourist projects develop, since we are also part of The Mexican Caribbean and The Mayan Riviera.

Today Puerto Morelos offers the visitors all the comforts that the most exclusive tourist is looking for. Hotels with a five star rating as well as quaint family hostels have been built where tourists can expect the best service. There is now an accelerated touristic development and growth. Many efforts are being taken to coordinate all expansion projects and to ensure that natural protected areas are not trampled so this precious jewel is well taken care of.

Puerto Morelos has around 5,000 inhabitants, miles of beautiful and deserted beaches protected by the reef, so all visitors can enjoy them safely.

  • Diario Oficial de la Fedración.
  • Merino, M. 1991 “Atlas Ambiental Costero”.
  • Dachary, César A. y Arnaiz Buerne S.M. “El Caribe Mexicano”.
  • J. Eric S. Thompson. “Grandeza y Decadencia de los Mayas”.
  • Instituto Nal. De Ecología. “Conservación y uso sustentable de los arrecifes de México”.
  • Anécdotas y comentarios de la comunidad de Puerto Morelos
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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

How to Register Your Mexican Cell Phone by April 10th

Mexico has passed a law that all cellular phones must be registered to their owner by April 10th.  (That's the wierd message you keep getting on your phone lately if you haven't done it yet.)  

Why?  As of February 2009, Mexico has a new law that requires all  cell phones users register their phones in an attempt to track cell phones if used to commit a crime.  [Obviously, most criminals are not going to commit crimes using cell phones registered in their own name -- so I am not optimistic on the practical outcome of this policy -- But that's neither here nor there...]

So, to register your phone you will need to submit your CURP number via text message to your cell phone provider.  There are other methods to register as well, but all depend on the fact that you are registered with a CURP number.  If you don't have a CURP, none of the methods will actually work to register your phone. Each cell phone service (i.e. Telcel, USAcell, NEXTEL, Moviestar) is different, so check online with your provider for instructions.  

Don't have a CURP?  Then, you will need to go to a main office of your cell phone provider, with your phone and passport.  They can register your phone manually using your passport number.  Unfortunately, you will not be able to register your cell phone via text message. 

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How to Register with Your Consulate When Travelling Internationally

Yesterday, I posted an update I received via email from the U.S. Consulate in Merida.  It got me to thinking that I should pass along the following info as an FYI:
  • Did you know that countries recommend registering with your consulate prior international travel or living?  By notifying your consulate of your international travel/move, they will know that you are within a particular country should a crisis strike (i.e. hurricane, flood, earthquake, etc.) and can better assist you in notifications, evacuations, etc.
  • If you are a U.S. citizen, at the time that you register, you also have the option of receiving email updates pertaining to the country in which you are traveling or living -- like the one that I posted yesterday.  These notifications are infrequent -- they aren't flooding your inbox with junk -- and I have found them to contain very useful information.  (I assume that other countries' consulates offer the same type of notification system.  Feel free to leave a comment here on the blog if you know this to be the case.)

Links to Register for International Travel:
  • U.S. Citizens
  • Canadian Citizens
  • Not intending to leave out other countries -- but this list is endless.  If you know your the link to your country's registration website, please leave it as a comment for others to reference.

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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Absentee Voting for U.S. Citizens get Easier

Here is an update from the U.S. Consulate regarding new and improved procedures for Absentee Voting:

U.S. Consulate Merida, Mexico
Warden Message Dated March 18, 2010

New Law Makes Absentee Voting Easier for Overseas Americans

     On October 28, 2009, Congress enacted the Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment (MOVE) Act.  This legislation amends existing law regarding overseas voting in federal elections, and should make voting easier for overseas Americans.

New Procedures for 2010 Elections

       Beginning with the November 2010 general election, and for all subsequent general, special, and primary elections, states will be required to mail out ballots at least 45 days prior to an election for a federal office.  This requirement may cause some states to select earlier primary dates in order to comply with the 45 day mailing deadline, or to request waivers due to special circumstances.

  In addition to mailing ballots to overseas voters, the states will be required, at the voter's request, to provide registration forms, absentee ballot request forms, and blank ballots via fax or email.  However, each state's laws determine whether ballot requests or voted ballots can be returned via fax or email.  The new law prohibits states from rejecting marked ballots based
on notarization, paper size, or paper weight requirements.  The witnessing requirements of individual states remain in place.

Overseas Absentee Ballot Requests

  Effective immediately, states will no longer be required by federal law to continue to mail election materials to overseas addresses (even when they are determined to be invalid) for two complete general election cycles on the basis of a single ballot request. It will now be up to each state to determine how long to continue to send out election materials before requiring overseas voters to submit new ballot requests.  This change, sought by local election officials, should greatly decrease the volume of voting materials sent abroad to addresses where Americans no longer reside.

State Department Recommendations

     In light of these changes, the Department of State recommends that all U.S. voters residing abroad request absentee ballots from their local election officials at the start of each calendar year, and whenever there is a change of address, change of e-mail address, or change of name, by completing and sending in a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA).  To locate information on your specific state's requirements, and to obtain an on-line version of the FPCA, please visit  Voters may also pick up a hard copy of the FPCA from any U.S. embassy or consulate.  FPCAs may be mailed to your local voting officials in the United States via international mail or from any U.S. embassy or consulate.  Many states allow U.S. citizens overseas to submit the FPCA by e-mail or fax.

     The Department of State strongly encourages all U.S. overseas voters to provide email addresses or fax numbers on their FPCAs to enable local election officials to transmit election materials in the fastest manner available, which should then allow sufficient time for the return of voted ballots.  For information regarding your specific state, please visit

Emergency Ballots
The Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB) serves as an emergency ballot for the November general elections for federal offices, although some states also permit its use for elections for state and local offices. Beginning in January 2011, the new law allows use of the FWAB for primary, special, and runoff elections for federal offices.  Voters who request an absentee ballot
in advance of their state's ballot request deadline, but who fail to receive an official ballot from local election officials in time to vote, should complete the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot and send it back to local election officials in time for it to be counted. An on-line version of the FWAB, together with instructions for its use, is available at

The Voting Assistance Officer at the U.S. Consulate in Merida is also available to answer questions about absentee voting.  To contact the Voting Assistance Officer, send an e-
mail to

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Sunday, March 21, 2010

Puerto Morelos Travelogs: Isla Deb visits Puerto Morelos

Another chance to "see" Puerto Morelos from another's perspective!  Isla Deb, apparently a frequent Isla Mujeres visitor, took a detour this trip and stayed in PM instead.  (Maybe the trip has made her a PM convert.)

She has some fantastic photos of town, including this one she took of our office building:

Be sure to read from March 7th onward to see all of her Puerto Morelos adventures!

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Saturday, March 20, 2010

MRP Real Estate: PRICE REDUCED! 2 Bdrm Condo with Ocean View!

Just a quick update on one of our MRP Exclusive Listings:

2 Bedroom / 2 Bath Condo with Ocean View!

Affordable opportunity to own just ½ block from the beach and a quick walk to the town square!

Comfortable living spaces, good- sized kitchen, laundry/storage, and terraces are all highlights of this second floor unit.

The small, quiet, six unit complex offers lovely common garden, pool, shade palapa, and off-street secure parking.  Low condominium fees make this property super affordable on an ongoing basis!

PRICE REDUCED: $300,000.00 USD

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Monday, March 15, 2010

It's TIGRES Season! WhooHoo for Baseball!

Tigres Season starts up with the season opener against Merida on Wednesday night!! 

This year, we are splitting season tickets with neighbors Ken & Kathy and are looking forward to some great games!  For those of you who haven't gotten to see the Cancun Tigres play, it's a great game, good entertainment, excellent people-watching, incredible food, great drinks, ...and...CHEAP!  That's right, CHEAP!  You don't need to complete a loan application at these games to stuff yourself and enjoy great seats -- whatta' concept!

The stadium is located near Costco in Cancun.  Tickets are very reasonable and can be purchased at the door.  Although, lines for popular games are long -- so it's best to stop by earlier in the week to pick up tickets.

The teams website is:  They have their calendar thoroughly hidden and non-printable on their website, so I have went to ridiculous lengths to get and edit the screenshots below for everyone's convenience (including my own).  If the game is a Home Game ("En Casa) there is an orange stripe at the top of the date box.  If it's an Away Game ("Como Visitante") there's a blue stripe.

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What is a Notary in Mexico, anyway? Bet it's not what you think!

A Notary in Mexico is COMPLETELY different from Notaries in the U.S. and Canada.  Other than sharing names via literal translation, the similarities basically stop there.

A Notary, "Notario" in Spanish, is a licensed attorney who has had an internship in notarial law, worked under a Notary for some time, has passed a public examination, and then has been given a lifetime appointment by the State to act as a Public Notary.

They oversee many types of transactions in Mexico: Incorporation Documents, Wills, Rental Contracts, Powers of Attorney, Protocolize Public Deeds, Real Estate Sale Transaction Contracts, etc.  

Specifically, in real estate sales, their duty is to be a NEUTRAL party that does the following:
  1. Ensures that the sale contract meets legal requirements and standards
  2. Ensures that the parties signing the contract are indeed who they say that they are
  3. Performs a title search to ensure that the property's title is free of liens/encumbrances, including the verification that there isn't an ongoing sale on the property already
  4. Collect the taxes/fees due to the federal and state government as a result of the transaction
  5. Register the property's deed (escritura) with the Registrar of Deeds after the sale.

It is important to note that the Notary is a neutral party -- therefore he is not representing the buyer or seller's particular interests.  The Notary will ensure that everything meets legal standards.  However, the onus is on the buyer to ensure that he has made wise choices up to the point of the sale and/or is aware of the implications of his/her actions.  While not necessary, this is why many buyers choose to also higher an attorney to represent/advise them during the sale process.     

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Saturday, March 13, 2010

Monday, March 15th is a National Holiday: Day of Benito Juarez

Just a quick FYI:  Monday, March 15th is a national holiday, Day of Benito Juarez.  Banks will be closed and most employees will have the day off.  [Mayan Riviera Properties' office will be open.]

Benito Juarez was a hero in the Revolution and was the first indigenous President in the Western Hemisphere. Click here to learn more about him.

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Friday, March 12, 2010

Agility Dog Show this Saturday and Sunday!

There is going to be an agility dog show this Saturday and Sunday at the Marriott Courtyard hotel, just north of the airport in the Lagos del Sol complex.  See more info at their website:

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Reminder: Charity Bazaar on Saturday in the Town Square!

A quick reminder that tomorrow, Saturday, March 13th is the El Munda Para Puerto Morelos Charity Bazaar from 11 - 3 in the Town Square!

See prior post with more info here.
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Monday, March 8, 2010

Puerto Morelos Travelogs: Man on the Move Spots an Oldie but Goodie

The guys from Man on the Move happened to snap some great shots of an old Dodge Dart on the Streets of Puerto Morelos.  Check out their site for more photos...

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Sunday, March 7, 2010

Figuring Out How to Use the Dang Phone Around Here!

You know you've graduated to "local" status when you have some semblance of an idea of how to make a phone call.  While it would be a seemingly simple task, Mexico has managed to make it infinitely confusing!!  So, here's a cheat sheet.  Print it out and put it on the fridge ;)

The important thing to know when making a call is whether the number you are calling is a landline or a cell phone.  This will dicate the way that you dial the number.  Note:  There is one caveat to really throw a wrench in the deal -- If it is a NEXTEL cell phone number you are dialing, you will treat the number as if it is landline, NOT a cell phone.

Landline to a Local Landline Number: 
Dial the 7 digit phone number

Landline to a  Local Cellular Number:
044 + Area Code + 7 Digit Number

Landline to a Long Distance Cellular Number:
045 + Area Code + 7 Digit Number

Landline to a  Long Distance Landline Number (in Mexico):
01 + Area Code + 7 Digit Number

Landline to a  Long Distance Landline Number (in USA/Canada):
001 + Area Code + 7 Digit Number

Cell Phone to a Local Landline Number:
Dial the 7 digit phone number

Cell Phone to a  Local Cellular Number:
044 + Area Code + 7 Digit Number

Cell Phone to a Long Distance Cellular Number:

045 + Area Code + 7 Digit Number

Cell Phone to a Long Distance Landline Number (in Mexico):
01 + Area Code + 7 Digit Number

Cell Phone to a Long Distance Landline Number (in USA or Canada):
001 + Area Code + 7 Digit Number

USA or Canada to a Cell Phone:
011 + 52 + 1 + Area Code + 7 Digit Number


Area Codes:
998    Cancun to Puerto Morelos
984    Playa del Carmen to Tulum
987    Cozumel
999    Merida

International Calls:
00 + Country Code + Area Code + Number

Country Codes:
1    USA & Canada
44    Great Britain
39    Italy
49    Germany
33    France

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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Ongoing Collection of Goods for the Annual Charity Bazaar!

The folks at the El Mundo Para Puerto Morelos Charity do incredible work throughout the year.  There are a lot of fellow Puerto Morelians who support them, sponsor students through them, and participate in their events.

One of their annual fundraisers is a Bazaar, to be held March 13, 2010 in the town square from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m.

You have the opportunity to help in several ways!
  1. DONATE:  Collect any items that you would like to donate to the bazaar and drop them off at Catriona's House on 779 Calle Andres Quintana Roo.  They accept household goods, books, clothes, and just about anything that is re-saleable.  
  2. VOLUNTEER:  They are looking for volunteers to help out the day of the Bazaar.
  3. SHOP:  Come out to the bazaar on the 13th and find a great buy!  All of the proceeds go directly toward the charity!
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Monday, March 1, 2010

Quick Recycling Reminder

Just a quick reminder about the recycling schedule...

The city has monthly recycle days where they will pick up Plastics #1 & #2, Glass, Toner & Printer Cartridges,  Paper & Cardboard, Electronics, and Cooking Oil.  It is the last Saturday of every month from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. in the Town Square.  (Check the flier below for the dates.)

In addition, there are collection points for Plastics, Paper/Cardboard, and Glass in front of the DIF office on Av. Javier Rojo Gomez.  On the wall is a large painted sign that says "Punta de Acopio".  You can also drop off these materials at the Sam's Club just north of the airport.

For more info about great, biodegradable household products and garbage bags that can be purchased here in Mexico, see my prior post about "Living Green in Puerto Morelos".

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