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February 2009  Issue 74

Return to Home Page    2008 Index


This is going to be One Wild and Crazy Month, to paraphrase Steve Martin.

 The first week of the month is going to be one absolutely spectacular event after another, as February is kicked off with Super Bowl Sunday at the Beach Bar on the 1st.  On Monday, the 2nd, we celebrate Groundhog Day, and Akumal’s Groundhog Day Inner Circle is planning a MMMaaahh-vellllousss celebration.  Then, there is Candlemas Day (a predecessor to Groundhog Day), which is also on the 2nd.  And, if all that is not enough, Friday the 6th is Robin’s Best Shirt Award night.

And, if you want more, there’s a full moon on the 9th, and mid-month brings “Friday The 13th,, and then Valentine’s Day is on the 14th; and you need to see Charlene about buying some raffle tickets.  There’s an Akumal Council General Assembly meeting on the 13th, and President’s Day is the 16th.

Moving into the latter part of February we have the Academy Awards bash on the 22nd, followed closely by Carnaval on February 21 – 24.  On February 23 to March 1 there’s the PGA tournament at Mayakoba, and then there is the CEA Annual Festival on the 25th and 26th.

And while all this is going, Mexico takes time to celebrate two major holidays, Day of the Constitution on the 5th and Flag Day on the 24th.

We need the Coconut Cabaret to put on its rendition of “Mama Mia”.

 As a result of all this, this might just be the longest issue of The Akumalian yet.

Two new things this month.

Last month The Staff included a link to a Reader Survey under the LETTER FROM "THE STAFF", and the results are being published under The Akumalian Reader Survey.  Check them out.

Little Known Facts.  This is something new for The Akumalian, and it was suggested by Denny Mahan.  The idea is to have a repository for little known facts, observation, and trivia, and you, the reader, can submit your pieces of wisdom.   Check this out at Little Known Facts.



Aquarius:  January 20 - February 18
Pisces:  February 19 - March 20

 February Birthstone:  Amethyst
Amethyst is the purple variety of quartz and is a popular gemstone.  If it were not for its widespread availability, amethyst would be very expensive.  The name "amethyst" comes from the Greek and means "not drunken."  This was maybe due to a belief that amethyst would ward off the effects of alcohol, but most likely the Greeks were referring to the almost wine-like color of some stones that they may have encountered.  Its color is unparalleled, and even other, more expensive purple gemstones are often compared to its color and beauty.  Although it must always be purple to be amethyst, it can and does have a wide range of purple shades.

Amethyst can occur as long prismatic crystals that have a six sided pyramid at either end or can form as druzes that are crystalline crusts that only show the pointed terminations.  As a mineral specimen, amethyst is popular for its color and nice crystal shapes that produce a handsome, purple, sparkling cluster.

 February Flower:  Violet
Viola species typically have heart-shaped, scalloped leaves, though a number have palmate leaves or other shapes.  The vast majority of Viola species are herbaceous, however a substantial number are acaulescent in habit without any noticeable stems, while the others have short stems with flowers produced in the axils of the leaves.  The simple leaves of plants with either habit are arranged alternately; the acaulescent species produce basal rosettes.  Plants always have leaves with stipules that are often leaf-like.


Birthdays and Anniversaries
1          Bill Brab
5          Sam Nejame
5          Bill McClendon
7          Hugo (Miramar chef)
9          Terry Turner
10        Gary Ness
10        Alex Gonzalez
11        Karen Kantor
15        George Alvarado
19        Myrna Sparks
22        Hagen Clements
23        Bob Anders
23        Chris McCasland
25        Jim Farrell
27        Shelley Cope
28        Judy Baxter

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

 Missed December Birthdays

Eden Skye was born on December 30, 2008 at 10:06 pm to Dani Knod and Jamie Cost






Photo courtesy of Sac-Be



The Staff missed this last month, but it needs to be reported.

Chinese New Year is the longest and most important celebration in the Chinese calendar. The Chinese year 4707 begins on January 26, 2008.  This is The Year of the Ox.

Chinese months are reckoned by the lunar calendar, with each month beginning on the darkest day.  New Year festivities traditionally start on the first day of the month and continue until the fifteenth, when the moon is brightest.  In China, people may take weeks of holiday from work to prepare for and celebrate the New Year.

Legend has it that in ancient times, Buddha asked all the animals to meet him on Chinese New Year.  Twelve came, and Buddha named a year after each one.  He announced that the people born in each animal's year would have some of that animal's personality.  One of the twelve animals in the Chinese zodiac, the Ox is a sign of stability and strength. It also denotes prosperity through hard work, and people born in the Year of the Ox are said to be dependable, patient and intelligent, while possessing an innate ability to achieve great things.

At Chinese New Year celebrations people wear red clothes, decorate with poems on red paper, and give children "lucky money" in red envelopes.  Red symbolizes fire, which according to legend can drive away bad luck.  The fireworks that shower the festivities are rooted in a similar ancient custom.  Long ago, people in China lit bamboo stalks, believing that the crackling flames would frighten evil spirits.

In China, the New Year is a time of family reunion.  Family members gather at each other's homes for visits and shared meals, most significantly a feast on New Year's Eve.  In the United States, however, many early Chinese immigrants arrived without their families, and found a sense of community through neighborhood associations instead.  Today, many Chinese-American neighborhood associations host banquets and other New Year events.

Chinese New Year ends with the lantern festival.  Some of the lanterns may be works of art, painted with birds, animals, flowers, zodiac signs, and scenes from legend and history.  People hang glowing lanterns in temples, and carry lanterns to an evening parade under the light of the full moon.

In many areas the highlight of the lantern festival is the dragon dance. The dragon, which might stretch a hundred feet long, is typically made of silk, paper, and bamboo.  Traditionally the dragon is held aloft by young men who dance as they guide the colorful beast through the streets.  In the United States, where the New Year is celebrated with a shortened schedule, the dragon dance always takes place on a weekend.  In addition, many Chinese-American communities have added American parade elements such as marching bands and floats.

And, as we say in Cantonese, Gung Hei Fat Choy!  May you all have a happy and prosperous Year Of The Ox.

Was there a Dragon Dance in Akumal?





Super Bowl XLIII will be held on Sunday, February 1st in Tampa Bay, Florida.  And while the New England Patriots will not be there, do you see any similarities between the Super Bowl XLIII logo and the Patriot's logo?  However, there will be the 'usual' festivities at the Lol Ha Beach Bar.

Site: Lol Ha Beach Bar, Akumal Central, Quintana Roo, Mexico
Date: February 1, 2009
Kick-off: 5:28 p.m. AST
Network: NBC
Home Team:  Arizona Cardinals
Away Team:  Pittsburgh Steelers

Halftime Performance:  Bruce Springsteen

The 2009 Super Bowl will be played at Raymond James Stadium, which opened in 1998, and it is known worldwide for its fan amenities, superb playing field and unique features.  One such feature—and arguably its most famous—is Buccaneer Cove.  Located in the north end zone of the stadium, the 20,000-square-foot cove features a 103-foot-long authentic replica of an early 1800s pirate ship overlooking a façade fishing village.

 Of historical note, this game matches up two franchises previously merged into a single team (“Card-Pitt”) for the 1944 season in response to the depleted rosters during World War II.


Groundhog Day is always on February 2, and it is a traditional festival celebrated in the United States and Canada on this date.  It is a cross-quarter day, midway between the Winter Solstice and the Vernal Equinox.

Punxsutawney Phil is a groundhog and the most famous resident of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania.  On Groundhog Day of each year, the town of Punxsutawney celebrates the beloved groundhog with a festive atmosphere of music and food.  During the ceremony, which begins well before the winter sunrise, Phil emerges from his temporary home on Gobbler's Knob, located in a rural area about 2 miles east of town.  According to the tradition, if Phil sees his shadow and returns to his hole, the United States will suffer six more weeks of winter.  If Phil does not see his shadow, spring will arrive early.  During the rest of the year, Phil lives in the town library with his "wife" Phyllis.

A club of Phil enthusiasts, known as the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club, take care of the famed rodent year-round.  A select group called the Inner Circle plan the annual ceremony.  Members of the Inner Circle are recognizable by their top hats and tuxedos.

  Here in Akumal, we have our own Akumal Groundhog Club Inner Circle, comprised on Bud & Alice Blatner, and they too should be recognizable by their top hats and tuxedos, but due to the conflict with the Super Bowl on the previous day, there may be some variations.  The Inner Circle is preparing the groundhog jerky appetizers, and in preparation for the big day.  Be there at the Beach Bar on Groundhog Day.


Candlemas Day has numerous origins and meanings.

In modern life many people may not be aware that on February 2 we celebrate an ancient feast, common to the Church of both East and West, which is mentioned clearly in Leviticus and Luke.  February 2 is "Candlemas" in many churches and is the day for observing the ritual purification of Mary, forty days after the birth of Jesus, as well as the presentation of Jesus in the Temple in Jerusalem.  The day has pagan roots and was a Christian adaptation of the older practices for this midwinter festivity from which we get our "Groundhog Day."  Since the presentation was also the purification of Mary, the church developed ritual practices known as the "Churching of Women" or "Thanksgiving of Women after Childbirth."  The following is an explanation:

·        Seven days after Christmas, January 1, is the feast of our Lord's circumcision

·        Thirty three days after that, February 2 is the feast of his being offered in the Temple, the purification of the Virgin Mary.  So Candlemass is forty days after the birth of Jesus.

 This day also used to have great significance in the rural calendar, because the date lies half way between the winter solstice and the spring equinox, so it marks the day upon which winter is half over!  It is a time of the year which naturally forms a transition period in winter - there is a sense in which thank God we are moving on into brighter and better days.

Like many Christians festivals, including Christmas itself, Candlemas has roots which lie deep in pagan roots and an understanding of nature.

Imbolc was an important day in the Celtic calendar. (pronounced 'im'olk' also known as Oimelc) comes from an Irish word that was originally thought to mean 'in the belly' although many people translate it as 'ewe's milk' (oi-melc).  As winter stores of food were getting low, Imbolc rituals were performed to harness divine energy that would ensure a steady supply of food until the harvest six months later.

Like many Celtic festivals, the Imbolc celebrations centered around the lighting of fires.  Fire was perhaps more important for this festival than others, as it was also the holy day of Brigid (also known as Bride, Brigit, Brid), the Goddess of fire, healing and fertility.  The lighting of fires celebrated the increasing power of the Sun over the coming months.  For the Christian calendar, this holiday was reformed and renamed 'Candlemas' when candles are lit to remember the purification of the Virgin Mary.

As Candlemas traditions evolved, many people embraced the legend that if the sun shone on the second day of February, an animal would see its shadow and there would be at least six more weeks of winter.  Bears or badgers are watched in some European countries, but the German immigrants who settled in Pennsylvania found an abundance of groundhogs, and late in the 19th century a few residents in Punxsutawney began celebrating the groundhog as weather prophet.  So we have Groundhog Day.

You may know the rhyme:
If Candlemas day be sunny and bright,
Winter again will show its might.

If Candlemas day be cloudy and grey,
Winter soon will pass away.

 In Mexico, Candlemas (Spanish: Día de La Candelaria) is celebrated with Tamales.  Tradition indicates that on January 5, the night before Three Kings Day (the Epiphany), whoever gets one or more of the few plastic or metal dolls (originally coins) buried within the Rosca de Reyes must throw a party on Candlemas.  In certain regions of Mexico, this is the day in which the baby Jesus of each household is taken up from the nativity scene and dressed up in various colorful, whimsical outfits.


Día de la Constitución, February 5, is an official holiday that commemorates Mexico's Constitution.

The Political Constitution of the United Mexican States of 1917 is the present constitution of Mexico.  It was drafted in Santiago de Queretaro by a Constitutional Convention during the Mexican Revolution.  It was approved by the Constitutional Congress on February 5, 1917, with Venustiano Carranza serving as the first president under its terms.

The Constitution of 1917 came to be the crystallization of the revolutionary ideals that were elevated to the category of constitutional norms.  On it, were included advanced principles of social reforms and rights in favor of peasants and workers, in addition, it was formulated to govern all the Mexicans without distinction of race, creed, social or political condition, since in it were elevated to the rank of constitutional norms the freedom of thought and of belief.

Nevertheless, many years were spent before consolidating a Constitution according to the times and circumstances of the Mexicans.  Throughout history, different fundamental laws were emanated of a Constituent Congress.


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” for February. 

The January competition was won by Kevin “Red Beard” McKee, and the photos for the January competition are located at January Best Shirt Award.


In celebration of Robin’s Best Shirt Award, The Staff of The Akumalian has arranged for the ISS (International Space Station) to do a fly-over during Happy Hour on Friday, February 6th, just as Mary is to announce the winner.  The ISS will fly over Akumal – almost directly overhead – in a north west to ESE direction at exactly 6:21 pm.  See the diagram below for the exact track and time.



The Full Snow Moon will be on Thursday, February 9 1:51pm AST.  Since the heaviest snow usually falls during this month, native tribes of north and west (hilly area) Akumal most often called February's full Moon the Full Snow Moon.  Some tribes also referred to this Moon as the Full Hunger Moon, since harsh weather conditions in their areas made hunting and fishing very difficult.




February 13 is on a Friday.  Do you have paraskavedekatriaphobia?

Did you know?  The fear of Friday the 13th is called paraskavedekatriaphobia.

Did you know?  March 13 is also on a Friday.

 LEGEND HAS IT: Never change your bed on Friday; it will bring bad dreams.  Don't start a trip on Friday or you will have misfortune.  If you cut your nails on Friday, you cut them for sorrow.  Ships that set sail on a Friday will have bad luck – as in the tale of H.M.S. Friday.  

One hundred years ago, the British government sought to quell once and for all the widespread superstition among seamen that setting sail on Fridays was unlucky.  A special ship was commissioned, named "H.M.S. Friday."  They laid her keel on a Friday, launched her on a Friday, selected her crew on a Friday and hired a man named Jim Friday to be her captain.  To top it off, H.M.S. Friday embarked on her maiden voyage on a Friday, and was never seen or heard from again.


Mike & Debbie were back in Playa Caribe in early January
Richard Dooley & Kelly Zhuo arrived with a slew of family members in tow in early Jan.
Lucy James returned from her snowy trip to the Pacific Northwest; Michael was here too
Frank Hatch & Lennie Maietta were back in Casa del Sol in early January
David & Nancy Poor are back with pooch.
John McCullum returned for business, from Roatan
Hurley Hackler has returned from another trip to Spain
Hugh Maynard and Carolyn were back for their winter break in early January
Adrian is back.
Paul & Gayle Rasmussen are back in Jade Bay
Tony & Judy James have returned from the snowy northwest.
Lynne and Sage Dorsey, along with daughter Laurel and boyfriend Paul, were at Luna Azul.
Larry & Karen Kantor are back on the Lagoon
Sy & Diana Wiener came back for a short visit
Betty McElhatten arrives on Valentine’s Day.
Leroy Wiedman is here and Margaret arrives on Valentine’s Day with Betty.
South Akumal had a number of visitors - here for the Vecinos Meeting - in January:
Gary & Oveta Vardell; Rene was here too.
Terry & Lisa Turner
Bay & Chris Haas, and Chris’ dad
David Richards, with David Jr.
Hollis Hines, George Plamondon, and Billy
Macon & Susan Gravlee, plus Susan’s mother and sister
Michael & Lunda Schwarz
Gene & Mary Ellen Langan
Crayton & Nancy Walker
Larry & Shari Jackson
Bobby Orlando & Mary McCarney
Mark & Maureen Hiller
Shane Hampton
The Sheas
   o       The Coles
Steve & Catherine Dehn
Tom & Judy Baxter

  • Laura Bush has returned for the Super Bowl “party” at Lol-Ha
  • Dave & Dan Zucker are back at Casa de Gatos
    • Bill & Oteka Barb are returning to Casa San Francisco with Patricia Murray on Feb 1, Bill’s birthday.  Joining them will be Curtis Chenault (Oteka’s dad), Bob & Doris Hailey, and Mike & Sandy Dickenson


  • Kathy & Jim Farrell went back to Austin to get a new computer, but they are back.
  • Kevin “Red Beard” McKee left town in early January for a 6-week trip north
  • Scott Brown and Marieke are going north to help Terri, Joelito, and Diego Datica with the twins
  • Denny & Diane Mahan are escaping the February social scene with a three week trip to Florida
  • Richard & Arlene Pargot are heading off to Guatemala



The next scheduled meeting of the Akumal Council General Membership is on Friday, February 13, 2009 at 10:00 at the Akumal Council’s Office above the new Real Estate office by the parking lot.  The theme is: Planning for 2009 and Beyond.

 The Minutes from the last General Assembly meeting on Wednesday, November 19th have been posted on the Akumal Council’s web site at November 2008 General Meeting.



Within The Akumalian, other newsletters, other correspondence, and maybe other web sites, you may be reading/hearing about a well kept secret, the new Akumal United Fund.  Based on a suggestion from The Akumalian to the Akumal Council, the Akumal United Fund was created under the auspices of the Community Liaison Committee, which is headed by Laura Bush Wolfe.

The idea is to follow the concept of the United Fund in the United States (give to one organization who will then distribute the donation among designated organizations covered by the United Fund).  Hence, the goal/charter is: "The Akumal United Fund was created to be an easy way to provide financial support to local non-profit agencies.  By donating to the United Fund you help designated non-profit agencies within the community."

Laura and the Committee have initially identified “Education” and these entities to be beneficiaries of the Akumal United Fund:

  • Hekab Library-Maggie McKown
  • Otoch Paal Montesorri School,-Eleanor Zucker,
  • Frida Kalo Library,- Leticia Cordoba
  • Primary School- Mariana Galindo Landa
  • Plaza Comunitaria Transformando Educando( Adult Education Center) – Gloria Calderon-
  • Delegacion Akumal Pueblo – Santos Pech Leon Delegado (For Security and Common Area)

 Laura has created the Akumal United Fund Blog (still a Work-In-Progress) where you can find all the information you want to know about this effort.

The Staff has not seen the Akumal Council’s Agenda for the February 13th General Assembly Meeting, but it is believed that this will be one of the agenda items.

Please be advised that The Akumalian has the position that the last bullet item above should not be supported by the Akumal United Fund.  The security and common area of the Akumal Pueblo should be supported by funds directed to the Akumal Council, not the (educational) Akumal United Fund, which should be used for the educational aspects of the children of Akumal.  


Every February, across the country, candy, flowers, and gifts are exchanged between loved ones, all in the name of St. Valentine.  But who is this mysterious saint, and why do we celebrate this holiday?  The history of Valentine's Day -- and its patron saint -- is shrouded in mystery.  But we do know that February has long been a month of romance.  St. Valentine's Day, as we know it today, contains vestiges of both Christian and ancient Roman tradition.  So, who was Saint Valentine and how did he become associated with this ancient rite?  Today, the Catholic Church recognizes at least three different saints named Valentine or Valentinus, all of whom were martyred.

One legend contends that Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome.  When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young men -- his crop of potential soldiers.  Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret.  When Valentine's actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death.

Other stories suggest that Valentine may have been killed for attempting to help Christians escape harsh Roman prisons where they were often beaten and tortured.

According to one legend, Valentine actually sent the first 'valentine' greeting himself.  While in prison, it is believed that Valentine fell in love with a young girl -- who may have been his jailor's daughter -- who visited him during his confinement.  Before his death, it is alleged that he wrote her a letter, which he signed 'From your Valentine,' an expression that is still in use today.  Although the truth behind the Valentine legends is murky, the stories certainly emphasize his appeal as a sympathetic, heroic, and, most importantly, romantic figure.  It's no surprise that by the Middle Ages, Valentine was one of the most popular saints in England and France.


192 million Valentine’s Day cards are exchanged annually, making Valentine’s Day the second-most popular greeting-card-giving occasion.  (This total excludes packaged kids valentines for classroom exchanges.)

Nearly 60 percent of all Valentine’s Day cards are purchased in the six days prior to the observance, making Valentine’s Day a procrastinator’s delight.


President’s Day is the 3rd Monday in February, and this year it is the 16th.  This also is Washington's Birthday (observed).

The original version of the holiday was in commemoration of George Washington's birthday in 1796 (the last full year of his presidency).  Washington, according to the calendar that has been used since at least the mid-18th century, was born on February 22, 1732.  According to the old style calendar in use back then, however, he was born on February 11.  At least in 1796, many Americans celebrated his birthday on the 22nd while others marked the occasion on the 11th instead.

By the early 19th century, Washington's Birthday had taken firm root in the American experience as a bona fide national holiday.  Its traditions included Birthnight Balls in various regions, speeches and receptions given by prominent public figures, and a lot of revelry in taverns throughout the land.  Then along came Abraham Lincoln, another revered president and fellow February baby (born on the 12th of the month).  The first formal observance of his birthday took place in 1865, the year after his assassination, when both houses of Congress gathered for a memorial address.  While Lincoln's Birthday did not become a federal holiday like George Washington's, it did become a legal holiday in several states.

In 1968, legislation was enacted that affected several federal holidays.  One of these was Washington's Birthday, the observation of which was shifted to the third Monday in February each year, whether or not it fell on the 22nd.  This act, which took effect in 1971, was designed to simplify the yearly calendar of holidays and give federal employees some standard three-day weekends in the process. 

Apparently, while the holiday in February is still officially known as Washington's Birthday (at least according to the Office of Personnel Management), it has become popularly (and, perhaps in some cases at the state level, legally) known as "President's Day."  This has made the third Monday in February a day for honoring both Washington and Lincoln, as well as all the other men who have served as president.



Internet Café is Closed
    Is it a sign of the global recession or the expanded availability of wireless Internet around Akumal?  Whatever the reasons, the Akumal Internet Café, Cyber Akumal, has closed it doors and is gone.

 Akumal Business Center
   It is rumored that a local property manager is going to take over the space that was Cyber Akumal and open a Business Center that will provide links to the express couriers (Federal Express, DHL, Airborne, etc.), among other related services.  More will be reported on this as it becomes a reality.

 Hotel Akumal Caribe Reception
Have you noticed the relief painting beside the entrance to the reception for Hotel Akumal Caribe at the arch?  It’s the work of Oscar Romero, a well recognized sculpture, painter, and muralist, who comes to Akumal every year and stays at Hotel Akumal Caribe.  He was born in Mexico and has been living in Chicago for 25 years.

       Every year for the past 4 years, he has organized a Sand Sculpture Contest on January 1, and there have been as many as 27 sculptures gracing Akumal beach for days, and only time and weather destroy them.

      This year, Oscar left Laura Bush Wolfe with a portfolio of sketches and art work to sell at fundraisers.  Proceeds are to go towards the Education fund of the Akumal United Fund - under the Akumal Development Council - which is under Laura’s responsibility. 

 Cold Spell
The artic weather that pushed south and east through the heartland of US during the week of January 11th and 18th was felt in Akumal as the cool wind and temperatures came from the north.  The temperature got down into the low 60s during the evening, and might have even dropped to 59 degrees early one Thursday morning.  This cold front also brought a fair amount of rain in the middle of the month.

The many of the locals were seen in sweaters and jackets, while the tourists enjoyed the mild (relative to the northeast) with tank tops, t-shirts, and shorts.

Acrid Smoke
In a place in Solidarida yet to be determined, garbage is apparently being burned in a landfill and/or dump, and the north wind is bringing a wretched acrid smell to Akumal and the Riviera Maya.  It always seems to be the worst in the early morning hours.

Numerous hotels, CEA, and people have written and spoken to people in the Municipality with absolutely no results or indication they are doing anything about it.  It seems that the Municipality wants the concerned citizens to identify where the dump is and bring proof to the Municipality before they will act.  There has been talk of hiring a plane to fly over the land in an effort to identify the location.


There’s a Playa Del Carmen MX307 By-pass

Thanks to Bud (pilot) & Alice Blatner (navigator), who filed this report.

There is a by-pass that goes around to the west of Playa Del Carmen, and it saves a considerable amount of time and aggravation when going to/from Cancun, or even just to the Cinépolis Cinema at Plaza de Las Americas in Playa Del Carmen.

       When going north on MX307 towards Cancun, turn left at the traffic lights for Centro Maya  (City Club and Soriana).  After .6K there is a glorietta, and you go straight through – it’s obvious.  Then a curve comes at 1.4K, and all traffic has to bear to the right there.  In all you go through 7 traffic lights, and an 8th light is back at the intersection with MX307. There are traffic lights at the intersection with Avenidas Juarez and Costituente, but they are not marked (no street or traffic sign).  It takes about 15 minutes, and the total distance is about 9K from start to finish.  Plaza de Las Americas is 4.5K after the Centro Maya turnoff.

When you're coming south on MX307 from Cancun, there is a sign for Universidad Tecnologia shortly before the light where you turn right to go to the by-pass.  At the light, there is a sign saying,”Go to the right for Arco Vial”.  I don't know what that is, but that's the place to turn for the by-pass.


The 81st Academy Awards ceremony will honor the best films of 2008 and is scheduled for Sunday, February 22, 2009, at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, California. It will be televised in the United States on ABC, and in Canada on CTV. Australian performer Hugh Jackman is set to host the ceremony for the first time.

The Academy Awards will be on the TVs in the Lol Ha Beach Bar, but there is not going to be the red carpet extravaganza like the last couple of years.  Those costumes you were preparing for this event can now be used for Carnaval.


Carnaval is an official Mexican holiday that kicks off a five-day celebration of the libido before the Catholic lent.  Beginning the weekend before Lent, Carnaval is celebrated exuberantly with parades, floats and dancing in the streets.  Port towns such as Ensenada, La Paz, Mazatlan, Veracruz Campeche, and Merida are excellent places to watch Carnaval festivities.  

Hosting an array of parades, parties, concerts, culinary festivals, cultural programs and beauty pageants, Mexican coastal cities offer Mardi Gras celebrations comparable to New Orleans and Rio de Janeiro.  Carnival in México has a long tradition dating back to the nineteenth century. Coming from the Latin word Carnavale meaning “goodbye to the flesh”, Carnival refers to the week before Lent (Cuaresma), where carefree abandonment and indulgence are encouraged.

Kick-off begins with the burning of El Mal Humor (Bad Mood), in which an effigy, usually modeled after an unpopular politician of the day, is hung and burned, followed by a flurry of confetti and fireworks. 

Host cities celebrate all sorts of parades daily, depending on the local carnival’s theme, which differs from region to region.  Parades display an array of floats, known as allegorical cars, decoratively inspired by Mexican scenery and normally featuring bright flowers and live entertainment.  Some parades require an entrance fee, and visitors are advised to get tickets to the parade as soon as they arrive via the local tourist office or hotel.

No carnival is complete without pageantry.  Included in the festivities are two major pageants: the crowning of the Reina del Carnaval (Carnival Queen); and the selection of the Rey del Carnaval (Carnival King), who may take on different names, including Rey Feo (Ugly King) and Rey de Alegría (King of Happiness), depending on the city.  Hopefuls compete amongst a handful of contestants in a grand ceremony for the coveted titles, followed by a massive party, featuring performances by regional groups.

Winners are crowned by a local government official and earn the privilege of being part of the major parades, normally held on Sunday and Tuesday during Carnival week.  To culminate the week of festivities, there is yet another symbolic burning.  This time, it’s of “Juan Carnaval", another doll symbolizing all that is impure.  The burning and burial of this character gives a fresh and new beginning to the period of Lent and the spring.


Mark Your Calendars for CEA's Fourth Annual Festival and Gala Event;February 25 & 26 in Akumal, in and around the CEA Center.

 Reuse, Recycle, Restore

 There will be Environmental Products, Games, Workshops, Tours, a Silent Auction and more.  The Woopets Life Size Puppets will be performing.  Their acts not only entertain but also address a variety of environmental issues and they are sure to inspire those of all ages.

 This year's Gala will feature Jurassic Band, an incredible '70s rock cover band

 What can you do?  CEA needs your participation in the Festival, so please plan to attend and tell your friends.  CEA is also accepting donations for their Silent Auction, as well as other donations and sponsors.  CEA is also looking for volunteers to help before and during the Festival.  If you would like to volunteer, sponsor an event, or donate to a great cause and help make the Festival a great success, please contact Marcy Essy at  or phone 984-875-9116, Aventuras Akumal.



The PGA TOUR returns to México for the second Mayakoba Golf Classic at Riviera Maya-Cancun, the PGA TOUR’s only official event to be held outside of the United States and Canada.  To be held February 23 to March 1, the Mayakoba Golf Classic will be conducted in Playa del Carmen at the Greg Norman designed El Camaleón Golf Club at Mayakoba, just 45 minutes north of Akumal. 


February 24 is Mexican Flag Day, a national holiday that honors the Mexican flag.

The national Día de la Bandera (Flag Day) celebration occurs on February 24.  On this day in 1821, all the factions fighting in the War of Independence joined together to form the Army of the Three Guarantees in response to the Plan de Iguala, which was signed by Vicente Guerrero and Agustín de Iturbide, officially declaring Mexico an independent country.  General Vicente Guerrero was the first military official who swore allegiance to the national flag.  Another flag tradition is that before every Olympics in which Mexico is a participant, the President hands a flag over to the flag bearer, chosen by their peers, to carry with them to the host city.

The Flag of Mexico is a vertical tricolor of green, white, and red with the national coat of arms charged in the center of the white stripe.  While the meaning of the colors has changed over time, these three colors were adopted by Mexico following independence from Spain during the country's War of Independence.  The current flag was adopted in 1968, but the overall design has been used since 1821 when the First National Flag was created.  The current law of national symbols that governs the use of the national flag has been in place since 1984.

Throughout history, the flag has changed eight times, as the design of the coat of arms and the length-width ratios of the flag have been modified.  However, the coat of arms has had the same features throughout: an eagle, holding a serpent in its talon, is perched on top of a prickly pear cactus; the cactus is situated on a rock that rises above a lake.  The coat of arms is derived from an Aztec legend that their gods told them to build a city where they spot an eagle and a serpent, which is now Mexico City.  The current national flag, the Fourth National Flag, is also used as the Mexican naval ensign by ships registered in Mexico.


The Australia Tennis Open is being played at Melbourne Park in Melbourne, Australia, and the Finals are this weekend: Women’s on Saturday January 31 and Men’s on Sunday, February 1st




The Australian Open tennis tournament is the first of four Grand Slams in the international Tennis calendar, and is hosted in the city of Melbourne.  Matches are played at the modern Melbourne Park facility on hard-court surfaces.

The Australian Open was first contested in 1905 as the Australasian Championships, and was contested by the best amateur players from Australia and New Zealand.  While the tournament was regularly held in Melbourne, other cities in Australasia also had opportunities to host the Championship and it was only in 1972 that Melbourne became the permanent home of the Australian Open tennis tournament.

As Australia's sporting capital, Melbourne is an ideal venue for the Australian Open.  The sports mad city ensures capacity crowds at Australian Open games, and offers Australian Open travelers a host of cultural and entertainment experiences.

One issue with the location of the tournament in the past has been the high temperatures experienced in Melbourne during the competition.  The Extreme Heat Policy and the construction of covered tennis arenas are both a response to this issue; temperatures generally run in the mid to high 90s.


This is NOT an EVENT in February.  It is something to put on your calendar and get involved.  Laura needs your help.

Message from Laura Bush Wolfe.

It is official! Akumal will host a very special celebration May 29 to June 7th to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Akumal.

The mission statement – going back and giving back.

We want this event to draw visitors from all over the Riviera Maya and Cancun  that are staying at other destinations , as well as to draw visitors to Akumal to stay at all of the various rental properties in all the bays.  The focus will be on anyone that enjoys a Festival, loves Akumal, or wants to get to know Akumal.  It is for new visitors, repeat visitors, friends and family.

It is also for the Pueblo of Akumal to be able to enjoy the various festivities and activities, as well as to have added exposure for the businesses of the Pueblo that are geared towards tourism.

The Festival will commemorate the history of Akumal starting in 1959 when Pablo Bush Romero headed  the first CEDAM expedition to the Matanceros Shipwreck. 

Guests will arrive on May 29th, so nothing is scheduled that day or night.

 Tentative schedule of events goes as follows:

 May 30th 6:30pm- 10pm at CEA info center and beach area

Theme:  A Taste of Akumal

Opening Ceremony – Keynote speaker (to be selected)

A Latin Dance Exposition by the Local Schoolchildren –  

 All restaurants  and businesses from both the Pueblo and Akumal beach side that want to participate will set up their booths while Latin music is played with a DJ, and people can buy services, products, food, and drinks from the various vendors.  This is an opportunity for all non profit associations to set up a booth also.

Each table will have a cost and the proceeds split between CEA and the Akumal United Fund of the Akumal Development Council.


 SPORTS: dates to be decided

Tennis Tournament, Fishing tournament, Triathlon, Diving Event

Part of the proceeds will be donated to CEA and The Akumal United Fund equally.

 PABLO BUSH ROMERO MUSEUM – Location: The Lo-Ha Game Room. 

We will house part of the artifacts from the Museum in Puerto Aventuras; no entrance fee.

The book “Under the Waters of Mexico” By Pablo Bush Romero, will be for sale here all week.  Part of the proceeds will be donated to CEA and the Pablo Bush Romero Scholarship Fund.


There will be a display of “Akumal In Pictures” all week with no entrance fee.  Anyone wanting to display their pictures of Akumal will be able to do so.  Ask your repeat guests to participate!

 Laura would like to also have someone interview some of the long time residents of Akumal Pueblo and Akumal Beach side so guests can hear their stories along with some pictures.  This could be in the form of a video presentation.

 SPEAKER SERIES – Location: CEA Info Center

Time: Late afternoon before dinner, dates to be decided.

Talks will be no more than 25 minutes with audio visuals, and the subject matter will pertain to exploration or ecology of the area.  Speakers need to be invited.  Example: caving, archaeology, CEA programs, anthropology.  Laura will have an audio visual presentation on some movies and pictures that her father left pertaining to the early days of Akumal and the Matanceros Wreck.  A donation box will be put out for CEA and Akumal United Fund.


 Each restaurant will be able to schedule a date and time for any special event they wish to promote during this week; i.e. Live Music, Special Dinners, etc, so as not to conflict with each other. In this way, our guests can go from event to event, and not miss out on anything.  Each business can decide if they would like to donate any of the proceeds to the two causes (CEA and Akumal United Fund ) designated as benefactors of the Festival.  It is not mandatory.


 June 6th – If we can get a sponsor for this event, the idea is to hire a top Latin band to play at the Cancha area.  An MC will give a message to bring the week’s festivities to a close.  The idea is not to charge if we can get funding for this. 

 Logistics and Notes

 Anyone can sell commemorative items with their own logo.  No specific logo has been developed for the event.  If we can get someone to design a logo at no charge, we can have everyone add it to the items they sell; i.e. T shirts, bags, caps, etc.

 A special limited edition replica of a Matanceros Cross is being designed by Richard Mazzola, and we will be selling them with part of the proceeds going to CEA.

 Now comes the good part!

 Laura needs to hear back from everyone right away.  The success of this Festival is dependent on how much interest and volunteers she gets to chair each event.  This is a community-based festival, and everyone will benefit from the exposure that Akumal will get in the press.  The Riviera Maya Association is very interested in helping us with the marketing efforts.

 Thank you !!!  Let’s make 2009 a year of “going back and giving back”!

 Laura Bush Wolfe



Once again, Robin’s “Best Shirt Award”, was the only recorded “Event” for January, but February is bursting at the seams.  


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