The Akumalian

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

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The Akumal Council
General Assembly Meeting, Friday, September 7, 2007

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This was basically an informational meeting for the membership and all those who attended. We had a attendance of 17 people, members and non members, plus the BOD Go to Sept. 7 Meeting for the Photo Gallery.  Thank you all for coming.

Please recognize that this is only an informal report of what transpire at the meeting by one of the attendees.  And, the reporting attendee had to leave the meeting just after Agenda item number 4, so this is very incomplete.

This was designated as an INFORMATIVE meeting scheduled to go from 11:00 am to 12:15 pm, and it was held in the old Fidecaribe building at the end of the parking lot across from Akumal Real Estate.

 The published Agenda was: 

  1. Welcome and List of Attendees
  2. The Old Fidecaribe Building, now AKUMAL TOURIST CENTER
  3. Police Report
  4. Bus Stop at the Highway
  5. Municipio de Tulum. Brief Report by Gonzalo Arcila.
  6. Membership Report
  7. Main Entrance Cleaning
  8. North Akumal Management Plan Status

First of all, Gonzalo acknowledged and thanked David Wolfe for providing the electricity and air conditioning to the upstairs of the Fidecaribe building for the meeting, and Laura Bush Wolfe provided the chairs, tables, and refreshments.

The Old Fidecaribe Building
Without a handout on the specifics, some of what is reported here may be slightly different than the actual facts and dimensions.

The Akumal Council (AC) now has this building, and it is using the upstairs room for an office and meetings.  One of the on-going issues and concerns of the Akumal Council was the retrofitting and on-going maintenance and support of the facility and associated expenses.  The AC has found a company who is taking on a four year lease, and they will sub-divide the downstairs into equal sections, one for their use, and the other for the Police Station.

Unfortunately, I did not catch the name of the company who is taking the lease, or exactly what they are doing with their downstairs office, but it sounded like "legal Services" and/or Tourist Center.  What is most important though is that they paying rent of $600US per month for the first year, $700US per month for the second year, and $800US per month for the third (and fourth) year.  And, they have agreed to:

  • remodel the first floor for a uniform image
  • remodel the landscaping
  • provide air conditioning for upstairs
  • contract for the utilities; i.e. electricity and water
  • pay all expenses of the building

Then a discussion came up on who from the AC authorized this.  Was it voted on by the general membership?  Anyway, the BOD was cool in explaining how they have been working on this project for over three years, and they decided and authorized this.  Anyway, David Poor made a motion for the general assembly to approve this work with the Fidecaribe building, and Jim Ferrell seconded the motion. It was voted on and unanimously accepted.

There still are some final negotiations/discussions to be held with the company taking the lease, but hopefully everything can be in place as a finished product well before the beginning of High Season.

Police Report
The Akumal Council BOD arranged to have two very distinguished representatives of the Municipality Police for this report.  They were:

Cmdt. Rodolfo Del Angel Campos
DIR. DE LA POLICIA MUNICIPAL PREVENTIVA
Tel. (984) 877-3340

Lic. Carlos Vincente Munoz Jimenez
SUBDIRECTOR GRAL. DE SEGURIDAD PUBLICA Y TRANSITO
Tel. (984) 877-3340 ext. 232   Cellular (984) 187-3597
e-mail seguridad_solidaridad@yahoo.com.mx

Lic. Carlos Vincente Munoz Jimenez did the presentation from a PowerPoint presentation he read from on his laptop computer.  This presentation is available at 

The first point was the influence his department had on working with the highway department to make MX307 safer for pedestrians and vehicles, because there have been way too many deaths on the highway.  They were instrumental in: 

  • Building the pedestrian overpasses
  • Installing the speed bumps and pedestrian signs
  • Creating the trun-arounds and associated signs

 The speed bumps are going to be painted, and additional signs BEFORE the speed bumps are going to be installed.

SteveC strongly suggested that they do something with the lane delineation along the highway, because in certain spots it is extremely dangerous, even for those of us who drive it on a regular basis.  The old (before 4 lanes) lane lines are still there, and in some places they are painted over with new ones.  In on place near Barcelo, the high speed lane just narrows into nothing, except the median strip.  This NEEDS to be corrected before high season.

The second point was that they are concerned about the safety of Akumal on both sides of the highway; i.e. the Poblado and the Tourist Beach area.  They have five (5) policemen assigned to Akumal, and that equates to one for every 400 people.  The have two pick-up trucks and two motorcycles assigned to Akumal, and they are no longer using the bicycles; Sergio commented that the motorcycles need maintenance.

The third point was that Akumal is a relatively tranquil area compared to Playa del Carmen and Tulum, and with the Police presence in Akumal, they have seen a  significant reduction in the home robberies.  The biggest security issue now seems to be with tourists and visitors leaving valuables (cell phones, watches, cameras, etc.) unattended on the beach, where they are easy pickings for any unscrupulous thief. 

The fourth point was a report of arrests for this year, up to July 31, 2007.  There were 31 arrests, and these were as listed here: 

  • 26 were related to the consumption of alcoholic beverages
  • 2 were related to being on the highway under the effects of drugs
  • 3 were related to quarreling/fighting on the highway

Finally, the police cannot solve all the problems.  Many things are out of their control.  It is important to make the tourists aware of the risks and problems, and how to prevent violations.  They must be made aware of the importance of protecting their belongings, and if there are any security violations, call 066 (cell phone or Telmex) immediately; this number also has coverage in English.

Bus Stop on the Highway
This was a minor item that Gonzalo used as an example of the importance of the visibility of the Akumal Council.  A while ago, a business man approached Gonzalo with a picture of the palapa bus top on the highway in disrepair.  The man suggested he rebuild the palapa bus stop, as long as he could have an ad for his business on the side. Gonzalo agreed, with the stipulation that the Akumal Council also get an ad, and together they agreed if the first one worked out OK, he would also do the one across the highway; the second one never got done.

As this Agenda item was winding down, Gonzalo had Gary Walton talk a bit about what Loco Gringo did to help bring aid and support to the people down by Bacala and Chetumal who got hit bad by Hurricane Dean.  I left during this part, but it should also be noted that Rhett Schober also arranged a collection of food and clothing around Akumal for delivery to people in the Bacala and Chetumal area.  I am sure there were others doing similar collections and distributions as well.

I was not in attendance for the remaining Agenda items, but Sergio Gonzalez Rubiera provided following information.

Municipio de Tulum
Gonzalo offered a general scenario on this possibility.  There is nothing in concrete yet, but there is of course a serious project of the State Government to create a 9th Municipality in Tulum.  The question for us is, "Will Akumal belong to Solidaridad (Playa del Carmen) as it is now, or will belong to the new Municipality of Tulum?"

 As far as we know, this decision will be taken some time next year by the Governor, and we don't believe that they will take our point of view into consideration, but we have to show some position.  Gonzalo is recommending that whatever the final decision is, Akumal should ask for transparent information and demand the services we require as community. 

Gonzalo has more up-to-date information on this and will follow up soon.  For now, we will send an official letter from the Akumal Council demanding resources and funds to reconstruct Akumal, specially the North Akumal Road, after Hurricane Dean.

Membership Report
As of September 6th, we have collected $38,489 US (approximately $423,378.00 pesos) from 46 members, and we have nearly $10,000 US in our bank account.  This report does not includes the Special North Akumal Road Fund.

Special North Akumal Road Fund
There is a non-Akumal Council Project focused on the road in North Akumal, going from the Akumal Dive Shop to the “old” Police Station/gate. The estimate to develop a new road with ADOCRETO is $50, 833 US.  So far North Akumal has pledges (in US dollars) from:

$  5,000 Susan Mead  
$  5,000 Oscar Constandce 
$10,000 Las Casitas 
$  3,000 Loco Gringo
$    500 Laura Bush
$    500 Akumal Dive Shop
$    500 Myrna Bush
$    300 CEA
$    250 TSA
$ 5,000 CAPA
$30,050 Total Pledged

 And, on the day of our Meeting we have received:
$    200 Rodney Flake
$    100 Lety Cordova

Gonzalo expressed confidence that we will have the new road by December 15th 2007.

Main Entrance Cleaning
This is a project to clean up the whole entrance to Akumal from the highway to the parking lot, including fixing the curbs and a general new look for of all the green areas.  It will take approximately $4,000.00 US, so the Board has decided to wait some time with this initiative.

North Akumal Management Plan Status
We are about to start the 3rd stage of this Four Stage Project, which costs approximately $4,000.00 US, in order to continue with the process to regularize Akumal and then present the entire Executive Project to the Mayor.

 

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