The Akumalian

Akumal's Newsletter for its Extended Global Community
Quintana Roo, Mexico

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Full Report, March 2007

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Dear Friends,

The Akumal Council was started with a vision. We had the idea and the hope that we could unite the community for a better Akumal. The primary forces in Akumal came together for the first time and there was indeed a new direction. There was a core group of volunteers who contributed their time and money, hired a paid professional, and we counted on the participation of the community to fill it out.

Akumal is a big investment in most of our financial and emotional lives, and the Council needs full community support if we are going to continue working to protect and improve that investment. There is still the core group doing the work and supplying the funds but otherwise we are experiencing a surprising decline of interest in the future of the Akumal Council.

Therefore, the Akumal Council is at a crossroads. Though we don't want to walk away from the work that has been accomplished, neither can we keep devoting our time, energy and money without major support from the community. If we are going to continue, we need your help, we need your interest, and we need your participation.

The Council's accomplishments are an example of what can be done with hard work. Keeping it alive requires vision, community participation and commitment from leaders possessing an intimate knowledge of the area and its people.

PREVIOUS ACCOMPLISHMENTS
We have established a respected reputation in the municipality which serves us in everything we do. This is in large part made possible by our professional leader, Sergio Gonzalez. We need him as much for what he knows as what he does. His duties include managing our legal structure and handling all of our accounting and tax details. He keeps our legal and written records, runs meetings, meets with officials, drafts minutes and reports, sends notices to the authorities, pays suppliers, and keeps in constant e-mail contact with the board.

We have established a police force in Akumal which has greatly reduced the amount of robberies in the area. This involves ongoing and monthly expenses which are paid by the Akumal Council.

We gained the 'rights' and did the preliminary rehab, including cleanup, paint and landscaping, on the Fidecaribe building out by the parking lot. The intention was/is to move the police out there, but after careful consideration we decided we couldn't commit to the cost of monthly upkeep at this time. Nevertheless, we have improved dramatically the appearance of the building that welcomes people into Akumal. If we get adequate commitment from the community, we will complete the necessary upgrade and move the police out there.

We have made dramatic changes in the new Master Plan of Development. This includes:
* A drastic reduction in the proposed population
* Receiving assurance that the 100 hectars will remain green.
* Been assured of a seat on the committee that directs the Master Plan.

We have achieved the first 2 steps of the regularization plan for North Akumal and are working on the third. This will make us a legal fraccionamiento and give us more legal rights in general and more parity within the community (fair play among community members) .

We helped organize and continue to provide the leadership for the much needed management plan of Akumal Bay. The purpose of this is to secure the bay by making it a safer place for bathers and to reduce the stress caused by boats on the delicate ecosystem.

After the initial contract was made by Vecinos de Akumal Norte, the council has pursued CAPA to provide water and to improve the infrastructure. There is still much work to be done in order to complete what they've started.

We have landscaped the areas out by the entrance at the highway, and we help to maintain them, along with the area between the highway to the arch, including the parking lot, walkway and the Fidecaribe building.

We've established strong relationships with our Spanish neighbors, (all inclusive hotels around Akumal) which have the potential to benefit us in numerous ways.

In addition, we bought and installed Akumal signage on the highway, we've arranged semi-regular visits by the jet patcher, we've organized 2 emergency cleanups (after Wilma and CAPA), initiated a trash campaign in the pueblo, we petitioned for traffic lights at the entrance at the highway (which were installed but then removed), gotten municipal help with the lighting on the walkway, solicited the bus stops as contributions from our bigger neighbors. To see more detail, go to
  http://www.akumalcouncil.com


WHAT WE WOULD LIKE TO ACCOMPLISH IN 2007
First and foremost, we need to assemble a board of directors that will be enthusiastic and willing to put in the time and do what is needed to meet our goals in 2007. Without this, there is no point in continuing. This requires that everyone reading this letter either contribute their time, money, or preferably both.

We need to establish a Project Agenda for 2007. Each point on the agenda needs to have its own committee committed to working towards that goal. While it's nice to be able to communicate face to face with your committee members, it is not essential. Since most of the communication is done via e-mail anyway, it is not necessary that you live in Akumal in order to participate.

Ongoing projects include:
* Continue with the Regulation Plan for Akumal North.
* Complete the potable water project with CAPA.
* Continue with the Akumal Bay Management Program - working together with the Akumal Ecological Association (CEA).
* Finalize the Master Plan of Development which will help to control the development surrounding Akumal.
* Work more closely with Bahia Principe and the other hotels around Akumal on several joint Akumal community and environmental based projects. Several exciting projects have already been discussed in which they are interested in investing substantial amounts of money (millions of dollars).

Please note that while several of our projects are specific to North Akumal, others effect all the Akumals. Since the large majority of our participation comes from North Akumal, it is only logical that we direct much of our energy there. In addition, many of these projects may eventually serve as guides to be used in the other Akumals. Projects that address Akumal Centro are of benefit to all the Akumals. We especially need participation from Aventuras, South Akumal, and Jade Bay, so that their issues become known and are addressed.


WHAT'S NEXT???
There's a decision to be made. Are we ready to abandon what the Akumal Council has started, or do we want to continue with the vision that inspired us in the first place?

For those of you who wish to join or renew, please send your checks, made out to The Akumal Council, to:

Akumal Council
827 Union Pacific PMB 8-522
Laredo, TX 78045-9452

Akumal residents can leave checks with Wendy at the TSA/Money Exchange or deliver them directly to one of the board members.


Sincerely,

The Akumal Council Board of Directors
--
Akumal Council
Consejo de Desarrollo de Akumal SA.
Email: akumalcouncil@gmail.com
Web site: www.akumalcouncil.com

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