The Akumalian

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

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December 2007 Issue 60

Happy Holidays



Things picked up considerably in November, and the expectation is that December will be an extremely busy and active month as many "locals" return to Akumal for the last "Best Shirt" Award of 2007 and the series of December holidays and festivities, including Christmas.  It's also a good time to return to Akumal to get a 25 percent discount on early payment of the property taxes.


1998 Ford Explorer Eddie Bauer Edition in excellent condition with no body rust.  This vehicle has always been parked overnight in a garage.

 The Explorer Eddie Bauer is 4WD and has leather seats, air conditioning, cassette and CD player, roof rack, tilt steering wheel, power sun roof, power steering, power front seat adjustments, keyless entry system, and split fold-down rear seats.  Standard on the Eddie Bauer is the 4.0 liter SOHC 205 horsepower engine.

New features for 1998 models included a new liftgate with a larger liftgate glass and revised handle, new tri-colored tail lamps, a new rear bumper, revised paint colors and a new wheel line-up.  Also new are the soft release parking brake, standard full size spare tire, and the available SecuriLock passive theft deterrent system.  

Contact for more information.



Great news!  We will once again be able to pay our property taxes in Akumal! 

The service will be available at TSA on Thursday, December 13th and Friday, December 14th, from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM.  It would be advantageous to go to the Municipality in Playa del Carmen and get a copy of your 2008 bill before going to TSA to pay the bill; quicker and less confusion.

If you pay at this time you will receive a 25% discount!

If the land tax is paid:

·        December 1st to 15th = 25% discount.

·        December 16th to January 15th = 20% discount

·        January 16th to 31st = 15% discount

·        All February = 10% discount

Please bring a copy of your last payment to get your new assessment.  The municipality only accepts cash, but if you wish to pay in check, you can cash your check in TSA, and then pay the taxes.



The Akumalian has agreed to be a de facto site for reporting and publishing various communications that are issued by the Akumal Council (Consejo de Desarrollo de Akumal S.A.) as another vehicle for communicating to the extended global Akumal community.  The official web site for the Akumal Council can be found at is the "Home" page being utilized as an anchor for the Akumal Council, and it has been expanded to host pages for/about General Meetings and Events, Letters to the Municipality, and Letters to the Membership. 

A new section has been added just for the North Akumal Road project, and you should look at this and the pictures of the progress.  See North Akumal Road Update.



Sagittarius - November 22 - December 21
Capricorn -  December 22 - January 19

 December Birthstone: Blue Topaz
December's official birthstone is the Blue Topaz.  This beautiful blue gemstone is also the traditional gemstone for a couple's fourth wedding anniversary.

 December Birthday Flower: Poinsettia
Though known for its association with the holidays, the poinsettia is also a December birthday flower. Poinsettias traditionally symbolize success and good cheer.



Birthdays and Anniversaries
5          Joyce Hornor
5          Susan Gravlee
11        Phill Combs
21        Diane Mahan
24        Laura Bush
25        Francys McCasland
30        Richie Fredette

 There must be more than this.  Let's hear about YOUR birthday before it happens.

 Missed November Birthdays / Anniversary
None that are known; got everybody, right?



For the Day of the Dead, a Mexican tradition is to set up a colorful table with the pictures of loved ones that have passed on, along with their favorite foods.  Many flowers and decorations make it a wonderful way to honor the dead.

The Lol Ha Staff set up a beautiful table this year, with some of our dear friend's pictures, including Pablo Bush, Robin Groble, and Mr. and Mrs. Jones, longtime regulars to Akumal Caribe Hotel in the winters for over one month stay, who both have passed away.  Mrs. Jones passed away in Akumal.




Hanukkah begins at sundown on December 4th.

Hanukkah, the "Festival of Lights," starts on the 25th day of the Jewish calendar month of Kislev and lasts for eight days and nights. In 2007 Hanukkah begins at sundown on December 4. With blessings, games, and festive foods, Hanukkah celebrates the triumphs—both religious and military—of ancient Jewish heroes.

Hanukkah is a relatively minor holiday in the Jewish year. In the United States, however, its closeness to Christmas has brought greater attention to Hanukkah and its gift-giving tradition.  Amid the ever-growing flood of Christmas advertising, it may seem especially fitting that the Hanukkah story tells of Jewish culture surviving in a non-Jewish world.

The Hanukkah Story
Nearly 2,200 years ago, the Greek-Syrian ruler Antiochus IV tried to force Greek culture upon peoples in his territory. Jews in Judea—now Israel—were forbidden their most important religious practices as well as study of the Torah.  Although vastly outnumbered, religious Jews in the region took up arms to protect their community and their religion.  Led by Mattathias the Hasmonean, and later his son Judah the Maccabee, the rebel armies became known as the Maccabees.

After three years of fighting, in the year 3597, or about 165 B.C.E., the Maccabees victoriously reclaimed the temple on Jerusalem's Mount Moriah.  Next they prepared the temple for rededication—in Hebrew, Hanukkah means “dedication.”  In the temple they found only enough purified oil to kindle the temple light for a single day.  But miraculously, the light continued to burn for eight days.

The Menorah
The lighting of the menorah, known in Hebrew as the hanukiya, is the most important Hanukkah tradition.  A menorah is a candle stand with nine branches.  Usually eight candles—one for each day of Hanukkah—are of the same height, with a taller one in the middle, the shamash (“servant”), which is used to light the others.  Each evening of Hanukkah, one more candle is lit, with a special blessing.

The menorah symbolizes the burning light in the temple, as well as marking the eight days of the Hanukkah festival.  Some say it also celebrates the light of freedom won by the Maccabees for the Jewish people.


Strictly speaking, the tradition of St. Nicholas is not synonymous with the role of Santa Claus in the U.S.  As practiced in many European countries, the celebration of St. Nicholas is separate from the Christmas holidays, and occurs during the 2 weeks prior to December 6th, which is St. Nicholas's day.  Sometimes St. Nicholas Day is the main holiday for gift giving, and not Christmas.

St. Nicholas was born in 271 AD and died around December 6, 342 or 343 AD near the Asia Minor (Turkey) town of Myra, where he later became Bishop.  He performed many good deeds and was a friend to the poor and helpless, and upon his death, myths soon sprang up about him all around the Mediterranean Sea.  He was reputed to be able to calm the raging seas, rescue desperate sailors, help the poor and downtrodden, and save children.  He was soon named as the patron saint of sailors, and when Myra was overthrown, his bones were transported by sailors to Bari, a port in Italy, where a tomb was built over the grave and became the center of honor for St. Nicholas.  From here the legend spread on around to the Atlantic Coast of Europe and the North Sea to become a European holiday tradition regardless of religion.

In anticipation of St. Nicholas's nightly visits, children in several European countries put their shoes in front of the fire place.  They sing traditional songs and provide a carrot or hay for the horse.  At night, Black Pete puts gifts and candy in the shoes.

In the Netherlands, families celebrate St Nicholas's birthday the night before his feast day (December 6th).  At one point during the evening, a loud knock will herald the arrival of Sinterklaas and at the same time candy may be thrown from upstairs; when the door is opened, a bag of gifts will be on the doorstep.

 In Germany, St. Nicholas is also known as Klaasbuur, Sunnercla, Burklaas, Bullerklaas, and  Rauklas, and in eastern Germany, he is also known as Shaggy Goat, Ash Man and Rider, and he is more reflective of earlier pagan influences (Norse) that were blended in with the figure of St. Nicholas, when Christianity came to Germany.  After the reformation, St. Nicholas's attire began to change, maybe as a reflection of the change from the Roman church, and he started to wear a red suit with fur.  His dark-skinned helper is most often known as Knecht Ruprecht.  Although he still visits many homes on Dec 5th/6th and leaves candy and gifts in the children's shoes, more recently St. Nicholas has begun showing up on Christmas Eve in Germany and is called Father Christmas.

In France, he is now called Pere Noel (Father Christmas), and he travels in the company of Pere Fouettard.  Pere Noel leaves presents for good children, while Pere Fouettard disciplines bad children with a spanking.  Pere Noel only sometimes leaves presents on St. Nicholas day, more often now on Christmas.  St. Nicholas day was celebrated formerly in Russia, but under Communism he was changed to Grandfather Frost and wore blue instead of red.  In Sicily, he comes on December 13th and is called Santa Lucia.


Come one, come all, to the Beach Bar, where we’ll have a ball.

It's time for another "Best Shirt Award", which is held on the first Friday of each month during Happy Hour at the Lol Ha Beach Bar. 

This award is based on Robin's penchant for good, classy Beach Bar shirts, and his sister, Mary, is ready to once again be the judge and jury as she selects the 'Best Shirt' worn by a male for December.  And, as we go to print the criteria are still somewhat nebulous, and they seem to be changing as we move into the Winter.

The November competition drew a huge number of very colorful and ambitious contestants, and, as it turned out, Bob Mather from Casa Zama took top honors over a high stepping crowd of competitors.

The photos are located at Best Shirt Award.


The first thing to know about celebrating Christmas in Mexico is that most everybody takes off the last two weeks in December - to party, spend more time with the family, visit with old friends, even make new friends.  One of the biggest fiestas of the year - in small towns, big cities, the beach resorts, everywhere - Christmas in Mexico is celebrated in a variety of ways.  A common denominator is the posada, a recreation of Mary (on donkey) and Joseph searching for a "room at the inn."  Accompanying them is a choir of small children who knock on doors asking for lodging for the weary couple.  By previous arrangement, there are no takers.


Poinsettias are traditional Christmas plants.  When people shop for turkeys, crackers and presents, they also pick up a poinsettia.  Their vivid red bracts (leaves) have become associated with Santa's coat and robins' breasts.

Poinsettias are native to Mexico, where the Aztecs used them in the 14th, 15th, and 16th centuries both for medicinal purposes and for making dye.  Poinsettias are 'short day plants', meaning they flower when there are less than 12 hours daylight, to ensure the minimum of competitors of pollinating insects.  The colored red leaves surround the base of the tiny flower heads and are designed to attract insects that might otherwise overlook the flowers.

The Christmas connection to poinsettias comes from a Mexican legend which tells of a poor girl who dreams of bringing a beautiful gift to favor the Virgin Mary for a Christmas Eve service, yet has nothing worthy.  On the way to Church, she meets an angel who tells her to pick some weeds.  She kneels by the roadside and, despite her protests that they are far from desirable, gathers a handful of common weeds and makes her way to a small chapel where she places her offering on the altar.  The moment she does, they burst into blooms of brilliant red poinsettias and her sorrow turns to joy.  The Mexicans renamed it Flor de Nochebuena (Christmas Eve Flower).  

The ancients knew this plant as Cuetlaxochitl, which means "the flower of leather petals".  The ancients considered all flowers to be divine gifts of the Gods, not only because of their wonderful beauty, scent and color, but they were also believed to be metaphors of the most beautiful feelings.  This star-shaped, red, winter-flowering plant was a special favorite long before the arrival of Columbus.

Poinsettia Day is on December 12th.  It was declared in honor of the death of Joel Roberts Poinsett, whom the plant is named after.


Ever wonder what it is all about when the Mexican children come around the Beach Bar with a box and sing for money?  Here's the "rest of the story".

Each night during Advent, the 24 days leading up to Christmas, children of the neighborhood travel from bar to restaurant singing a song and collecting money.  With them they carry a picture of the Virgin of Guadalupe, somehow set up with a candle.  It's typically a little box, with flowers and candles in front of the Virgin. 

In this tradition, the children go door to door in their neighborhood, singing this song.  They sing or shout it very quickly so that it’s almost impossible to tell what they are saying.

POSADA, DECEMBER 16th to 24th

Las Posadas, the remarkable buildup to Christmas Eve, is perhaps the most delightful and unique Mexican tradition. Beginning December 16th, it commemorates the events in the journey of Mary and Joseph from Nazareth to Bethlehem.

Las Posadas are a series of nine charming children’s processions which are uniquely, genuinely and exclusively Mexican, seemingly invented by the early Spanish missionaries solely to comfort and convert the former Aztecs.

The tradition of the nine days of processions (Posadas) began soon after the arrival of the Spaniards in Mexico.  Clever San Ignacio de Loyola created the custom to teach the story of the birth of Jesus and more importantly, to coincide with the nine day Fiestas of the Sun, which celebrated the virgin birth of the Aztec Sun god, Huitzilopchtli, from the 16th through the 24th of December.  Special permission was received from Rome to celebrate nine "Christmas Masses" to represent the nine months of Mary's pregnancy.

Children in the villages will set out each evening from the church for a pilgrimage to a different neighborhood.  This procession symbolizes the journey made by Joseph and Mary from Nazareth to Bethlehem and Joseph's search for shelter (Posada) at an Inn (also Posada).  The peregrinos (pilgrims) include Joseph leading Mary on a burro, an Angel, shepherds, kings, and a large flock of excited, giggling, jostling, bumping, wiggling, shiny-eyed others, most with bright ribbon and flower decked shepherds' staffs which they tap in time to the music.

The verses of the traditional Posada song are exchanged back and forth between Joseph and the group outside each house and the Innkeeper and the group inside.  At each location, Joseph asks for entry, until finally at a prearranged location, the Innkeeper and friends sing from inside the shelter (house): "Enter holy pilgrims, receive this humble corner, that while we know it is a poor lodging, it is given as the gift of heart."

And the party begins, with joyous music, pinatas, with candy, fruit, and treats for everyone.  Like the fiestas held by the ancients to honor Huitzilopochtli, the Mexican Posadas are full of the deepest of feeling; laughter mixed with deep spirituality, combined with the Mexican’s thirst for diversion from the daily sameness of survival.  This is truly a merrily religious celebration, and for most of the children, far more anticipated than Christmas itself.


The Annual Akumal Christmas Candlelight Service will be held on Saturday, December 22 at 6-7 PM on the Akumal Stage by the Peak Gym; start time is a punctual 6:00pm.  Once again, there will be an Advent Service with music performed by local singers in English and Spanish, as well as the world famous Live Nativity Scene.

See 2006 Photos.


            The Akumalian is working from a remote site in Harwich, Cape Cod, Massachusetts and is dependent on on-site reports from the Lol Ha Beach Bar for this month's "Comings and Goings" section, so the verbiage may be a little dated once this issue is published.  Anyway, it's a best effort, and BIG thanks go to Mary Henderson for her reports.


·        Tom & Judy Baxter were back in Akumal Sur for 5 days

·        Bay & Chris Haas, along with and Chris's father, Lonnie, were back at Seven Seas

·        Gayle & Paul Rasmussen returned to Casa Magica at Jade Bay for a spell

·        Lucy James has returned from her extensive trip to Africa

·        Karen & Larry Kantor were visiting at Casa Mariposa

·        Bob & Diane Mather were also back, in Casa Zama

·        Linda Pongracz is back after 3 months in LA

·        Salvador is also back after his extended stay up north.

·        Rhett, Kazue, and Beniko Schober returned from the extended visit to Japan.

·        Phoebe Barrett, with son Cubby and his wife Amanda, were here for Halloween

·        Joel & Katie Datica also flew in for the Halloween celebrations

·        Steve & IngridC are returning on December 4th for the December "Best Shirt"

·        Bud Blatner is also returning (on the 1st and Alice on the 13th) for the "Best Shirt" Award.  Bud has implied that he has a (solid) gold shirt from the King Tut Exhibit.

·        Neil, Paula, Katie, and Ellie are returning on December 19 for Christmas in THEIR new condo at Mi Casa del Mar in North Akumal.

·        Lisa Combs is in Tankah through early January, and Phill will be making trips back and forth to/from Guanajuato.  Rumor is they relocate to San Luis Potosi next Spring.

·        Kathy Sonheim Farrell and Jim returned to Akumal on December 1st.


·        Nancy & David Poor departed after 4 months of remodeling Casa Romero

·        Paul Sanchez-Navarro went to Texas to have Thanksgiving with his mom.


In the middle of November, Denny & Diane Mahan experienced their own personal Coming & Going. 

Elli Paige Clements was born to Diane's daughter, Paige Clements, on November 15, 2007 at 7:47 AM.  She weighed 7 pounds 7 ounces and was 19 ½ inches long.  She has dimples and thick light brown hair with strawberry highlights. 




On a sad note, Denny's dad, Richard, passed away on November 14th.  Denny and his brother, Dick, were there with their dad when he passed away.  His memorial service was on his 87th birthday, Monday, November 19th.



Winter Solstice is on Saturday, December 22, 2007, 1:08 A.M. EST (12:08 A.M. AST). It marks the solstice—the beginning of winter in the Northern Hemisphere and summer in the Southern Hemisphere.

The winter solstice marks the shortest day and the longest night of the year.  The sun appears at its lowest point in the sky, and its noontime elevation appears to be the same for several days before and after the solstice.  Hence the origin of the word solstice, which comes from Latin solstitium, from sol, "sun" and -stitium, " stoppage."  Following the winter solstice, the days begin to grow longer and the nights shorter.

In the Northern Hemisphere, the winter solstice occurs on December 22, when the sun shines directly over the tropic of Capricorn; the summer solstice occurs on either June 21 or 22, when the sun shines directly over the tropic of Cancer.  In the Southern Hemisphere, the winter and summer solstices are reversed.


Christmas, or Christmas Day, is an annual holiday on December 25th that marks the traditional birth date of Jesus of Nazareth. Christmas combines the celebration of Jesus' birth with various other traditions and customs, many of which were influenced by ancient winter festivals such as Yule and Saturnalia.  Christmas traditions include the display of Nativity scenes and Christmas trees, the exchange of gifts and cards, and the arrival of Santa Claus on Christmas Eve. Popular Christmas themes include the promotion of goodwill, giving, compassion, and quality family time.

In Western culture, where the holiday is characterized by the exchange of gifts among friends and family members, some of the gifts are attributed to a character called Santa Claus (also known as Father Christmas, Saint Nicholas or St. Nikolaus, Sinterklaas, Joulupukki, Weihnachtsmann, Saint Basil and Father Frost).

Santa Claus is a variation of a Dutch folk tale based on the historical figure Saint Nicholas, or Sinterklaas, who gave gifts on the eve of his feast day of December 6.  He became associated with Christmas in 19th century America, and was gradually renamed Santa Claus or Saint Nick.  In 1812, Washington Irving wrote of Saint Nicholas "riding over the tops of the trees, in that selfsame wagon, wherein he brings his yearly presents to children."  The connection between Santa Claus and Christmas was popularized by the 1822 poem, "A Visit from Saint Nicholas" attributed to Clement Clarke Moore, which depicted Santa driving a sleigh pulled by reindeer and distributing gifts to children.  The popular image of Santa Claus was created by the German-American cartoonist Thomas Nast (1840-1902), who drew a new image annually, beginning in 1863.  By the 1880s, Nast's Santa had evolved into the form we now recognize.  The image was standardized by advertisers in the 1920s.

Father Christmas, who predates the Santa Claus character, was first recorded in the 15th century, but was associated with holiday merrymaking and drunkenness.  In Victorian Britain, his image was remade to match that of Santa.  The French Pere Noel evolved along similar lines, eventually adopting the Santa image.  In Italy, Babbo Natale acts as Santa Claus, while La Befana, is the bringer of gifts and arrives on the eve of the Epiphany.  It is said that La Befana set out to bring the baby Jesus gifts, but got lost along the way.  Now, she brings gifts to all children.

The current tradition in several Latin American countries (such as Venezuela) holds that while Santa makes the toys, he then gives them to the Baby Jesus, who is the one who actually delivers them to the children's homes.  This story is meant to be a reconciliation between traditional religious beliefs and modern day globalization, most notably the iconography of Santa Claus imported from the United States.

In Southern Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Sudtirol and Liechtenstein, the Christkind brings the presents.  The German St. Nikolaus is not identical with the Weihnachtsman (who is the German version of Santa Claus).  St. Nikolaus wears a bishop's dress and still brings small gifts (usually candies, nuts and fruits) on December 6 and is accompanied by Knecht Ruprecht.



In case you do not get those presents from Santa you were hoping for, here's something to consider.

There are approximately two billion children (persons under 18) in the world.  However, since Santa does not visit children of Muslim, Hindu, Jewish, or Buddhist religions, this reduces the workload for Christmas night to 15 percentage of the total, or 378 million (according to the Population Reference Bureau).  At an average (census) rate of 3.5 children per household, and that comes to 108 million homes, presuming that there is at least one good child in each.

Santa has about 31 hours of Christmas to work with, thanks to the different time zones and the rotation of the earth, assuming he travels east to west (which seems logical).  This works out to 967.7 visits per second.  This is to say that for each Christian household with a good child, Santa has around 1/1000th of a second to park the sleigh, hop out, jump down the chimney, fill the stockings, distribute the remaining presents under the tree, eat whatever snacks have been left for him, get back up the chimney, jump into the sleigh and get on to the next house.

Assuming that each of these 108 million stops is evenly distributed around the earth (which, of course, we know to be false, but will accept for the purposes of our calculations), we are now talking about 0.78 miles per household; a total trip of 75.5 million miles, not counting bathroom stops or breaks.  This means Santa's sleigh is moving at 650 miles per second or 3,000 times the speed of sound.  For purposes of comparison, the fastest man-made vehicle, the Ulysses space probe, moves at a poky 27.4 miles per second, and a conventional reindeer can run (at best) 15 miles per hour.

The payload of the sleigh adds another interesting element.  Assuming that each child gets nothing more than a medium sized Lego set (two pounds), the sleigh is carrying over 500 thousand tons, not counting Santa himself.  On land, a conventional reindeer can pull no more than 300 pounds.  Even granting that the "flying" reindeer could pull ten times the normal amount, the job can't be done with eight or even nine of them.  Santa would need 360,000 of them.  This increases the payload, not counting the weight of the sleigh, another 54,000 tons, or roughly seven times the weight of the Queen Elizabeth (the ship, not the monarch).

600,000 tons traveling at 650 miles per second creates enormous air resistance; this would heat up the reindeer in the same fashion as a spacecraft re-entering the earth's atmosphere.  The lead pair of reindeer would absorb 14.3 quintillion joules of energy per second each.  In short, they would burst into flames almost instantaneously, exposing the reindeer behind them and creating deafening sonic booms in their wake.  The entire reindeer team would be vaporized within 4.26 thousandths of a second, or right about the time Santa reached the fifth house on his trip.

Not that it matters, however, since Santa, as a result of accelerating from a dead stop to 650 MPS in .001 seconds, would be subjected to centrifugal forces of 17,500 g's.  A 250 pound Santa (which seems ludicrously slim) would be pinned to the back of the sleigh by 4,315,015 pounds of force, instantly crushing his bones and organs and reducing him to a quivering blob of pink goo.

Therefore, if Santa did exist, he's dead now; Bummer.

 Merry Christmas anyway.



Hechizo will be re-opening for a la carte dinner service from Friday, November 23, 2007 through Sunday, December 2, 2007.  They will then close, and re-open again for the season on Friday, December 14.  Seating times are at 6:30pm, 7:30pm, and 8:30pm.

For the months of December and January, Hechizo will be open every evening.  From February onwards, it will be open Tuesdays through Sundays (closed every Monday).

On Christmas Eve (Monday, December 24th) and Christmas Day (Tuesday, December 25th) Stefan and Hui will be offering a set menu instead of the a la carte fare.  Reservations can be made through the cellular (Telcel) phone (984) 100-0710, or by e-mail ( ).  

Christmas Menu

served on Monday, December 24th, and Tuesday, December 25th, 2007

seating times: 6:30pm, 7:30pm y 8:30pm


amuse bouche


watercress salad with mild blue cheese dressing,

toasted pecan nuts and spicy green apple-raisin chutney


red snapper and lobster napoleon on eggplant caviar,

oven-dried plum tomato and basil sauce




magret of maple leave duck on sweet potato purée

and mild chile chipotle sauce


chocolate custard-filled poached pear on gingerbread


coffee or selection of teas


$640 per person

(price in pesos; gratuities not included)

(we do not accept credit cards or personal checks)



This celebration is not a festival originating in any of the 55 African countries, nor is it an "African" Christmas celebration.  Kwanzaa is an African-Americans celebration of life from 26 December to 1 January.

Dr. Maulana Karenga introduced the festival in 1966 to the United States as a ritual to welcome the first harvests to the home.  Dr. Karenga created this festival for Afro-Americans as a response to the commercialism of Christmas.  In fact, one might say that Kwanzaa has similarities with Thanksgiving in the United States, or the Yam Festival in Ghana and Nigeria.  The word "kwanza" is a KiSwahili (Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania) word meaning "first."

Five common sets of values are central to the activities of the week: ingathering, reverence, commemoration, recommitment, and celebration.

 The seven principles (nguzo saba) of Kwanzaa utilize Kiswahili words: unity (umoja), self-determination (kujichagulia), collective work and responsibility (ujima), cooperative economics (ujamaa), purpose (nia), creativity (kuumba), and faith (imani).  Each of the seven candles signify the principles.  Like the Jewish Hannakah, candles are used to represent concepts of the holiday.

 The symbols of Kwanzaa includes crops (mzao) which represents the historical roots of African-Americans in agriculture and also the reward for collective labor.  The mat (mkeka) lays the foundation for self- actualization.  The candle holder (kinara) reminds believers in the ancestral origins in one of 55 African countries.  Corn/maize (muhindi) signifies children and the hope associated in the younger generation.  Gifts (Zawadi) represent commitments of the parents for the children.  The unity cup (Kkimbe cha Umoja) is used to pour libations to the ancestors.  Finally, the seven candles (mishumaa saba) remind participants of the several principles and the colors in flags of African liberation movements; 3 red, 1 black, and 3 green.

Gifts are exchanged.  On December 31, participants celebrate with a banquet of food, often cuisine from various African countries.  Participants greet one another with "Habari gani", which is Kiswahili for, "How are you/ how's the news with you?"



Not much new around town.






The Full Cold Moon is on December 23 at 7:16pm AST.  Among some Maya tribes, it's also called the Full Long Nights Moon.  In this month the winter cold fastens its grip, and the nights are at their longest and darkest.  The term Long Night Moon is a doubly appropriate name, because the midwinter night is indeed long, and the Moon is above the horizon a long time.  The midwinter full Moon takes a high trajectory across the sky because it is opposite to the low Sun.


Lol Ha Christmas Eve Dinner Menu  

·        Grilled Shrimp and Plantain Banana skewers with Mango Sauce $145

·        Seared Scallop Ceviche- with thin sliced cucumber, fresh orange segments and shallots $145

·        Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail- tangy cocktail sauce spiked with horseradish $120

·        Quesadillas Lol ha - Mushroom, grilled sweet peppers and manchego cheese. $69

·        Fresh crab quesadillas $99


·        Cream of Potato Soup with Smoked Salmon and Rosemary flatbread wafer. $79

·        Lol ha House Salad $68

·        Mixed Field Greens Salad- with blue cheese crumbles, carmelized pecans, and pear slices.  $68


·        Prime Rib – Served with garlic mashed potatoes and Broccoli Cheese Gratin  $340

·        Roast Duck with Sweet Onion Port Marmalade – served with Garlic mashed potatoes and Broccoli Cheese Gratin  $220

·        Grilled Salmon with Sweet Thai Chili Sauce and Shrimp skewer – served with Jasmine Rice and stir fried vegetables.  $220

·        Stuffed Chicken Poblano - Lightly breaded and stuffed with Manchego Cheese, chorizo and poblano peppers. $179

·        Caribbean Lobster Medallions with Pesto Sauce – served on a bed of Linguini $399

·        Roasted Vegetable Linguini- in Pesto sauce, with eggplant, roasted peppers, sundried tomato, olives, oyster mushrooms, and toasted garlic bread on the side. $159 


·        Hawaiian Quesadillas – grilled pineapple, cheese, and smoked ham inside  $69

·        Chicken Strips on a Stick- served with Marinara sauce and a side of macaroni au gratin $69

·        Make your own Ice Cream Sundae- any ice cream, with a tray of toppings for you to choose! $59 

To reserve please email  . Once the reservation is confirmed, they will need a $10 USD per person deposit sent by check to our US reservations office.

Check made out to Laura B. Wolfe, address: Akutrame, Inc. PO BOX 13326 El Paso, Tx 79913. Atn: Liliana


Seatings available 6:30, 6:45, 7pm, 9:00 and 9:30

Second seatings (9:00 and 9:30) will enjoy music to dance by starting at 10:30pm.  The DJ will play music from the 50's, and 60's, Latin, and Rock n Roll.  Playlist will be on each table for special requests! 


·        Seared Scallops with Carmelized Leeks and Caviar Sauce $145

·        Ahi Tuna with Tropical Salsa- bite size pieces, lightly seared with a Pineapple Soy Ginger and Avocado Salsa $120

·        Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail – With Tangy Horseradish Spiked Cocktail Sauce $120

·        Fried Green Tomatoes –Lightly breaded and served with a smoky chipotle cream sauce $68

·        Tuscan Style Onion Soup – with Crispy Prosciutto and Parmesan Wafer $69


·        Lolha House Salad $68

·        Mixed Field Greens and Arugula Salad – with Dried Cranberries and Fresh Shaved Parmesan in a light Champagne Vinaigrette Dressing $68


·        Prime Rib- Served with Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Zuchini Gratin $340

·        Rosemary Rack of Lamb – served with Mint Jelly,  Garlic Mashed Potatoes, and Spinach Soufflé $240

·        Caribbean Salmon with Guava BBQ Sauce and Mango Salsa – Served over a bed of Linguini and Fried Bananas $199

·        Seafood Risotto- Safron infused Arborio Rice with clams, mussels, lobster, scallops, Spanish Sausage and oh so much flavor! $240

·        Chiles en Nogada –  Stuffed Poblano Pepper with Ground pork and beef, spiced with raisins, nuts and capers. Served with walnut cream sauce and fresh pomegranate $179 


·        Quesadilla Trio- Combo plate of Hawaiian, Cheese, and Peperoni Quesadillas $79

·        Mini Meat Lasagna - $79

·        Make your own Sundaes $59 

To reserve please email  . Once the reservation is confirmed, they will need a $10 USD per person deposit sent by check to our US reservations office.

Check made out to Laura B. Wolfe, address: Akutrame, Inc. PO BOX 13326 El Paso, Tx 79913. Atn: Liliana


Once again, Robin’s "Best Shirt Award", was the only recorded "Event".  

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