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March 2010  Issue 87

Return to Home Page   2009 Index  


Thank goodness February is over!!  It was one very busy and hectic month, as seen by the number of “Events” we had in Akumal.  Scroll down to “Events” on last page.

With the Academy Awards, Easter, St. Patrick's Day and Daylight Saving Time (US only) coming in March this year, it looks like March could be just as busy and hectic, albeit without the defined social “Events”.



Recognize the gorilla – dressed for Valentine’s Day by Butch - from Brazoria, Texas?


There was a lot going on in February, and quite a few photos have been posted in the Photo Gallery under Events.  You should take some time and go through them all, especially if you were there.  The BIG Event for March is going to be the Academy Awards party at Lol Ha on Sunday, March 7th.

Also note that the Akumal Telephone Book has been updated, as has the Birthday & Anniversary lists.  Check them out to ensure you are there, and your information is correct.  The Staff is looking for some input for some ‘missing’ people, as well as correct information, for people living in Las Sirenas and the jungle.  There are lots of missing House Names.  The Video (DVD) Library has been updated too.

Use the Subscribe Box up in the top left hand corner to add more family and friends to the extended Akumal community.


Pisces:  February 19 - March 20

Aries March 21-April 19

 March Birthstone:  Aquamarine
This lovely blue-green crystal is a semi-precious stone and looks terrific wrapped up in silver wire, set in a ring or pendant, or loose in a special display. This March birthstone is big enough to make a display by itself.  Aquamarine is mined primarily in Brazil, Nigeria and Zambia.

March Flower:  Jonquil
A daffodil is also known as a jonquil or narcissus.  It is a symbol of rebirth - a sign of spring.  It is the flower for March, because that is when the spring equinox begins.




There are four (4) birthdays on March 8.  Most of you know two of them, and a few may know three, but The Staff doubts that if anybody else knows all four.

Birthdays and Anniversaries    ¡Feliz cumpleanos!
1          Jorge Vera
1          Alma Boada
3          Demetrio
5          Bart Smith
5          Bob Doebert
7          Greg & Karen Goudy Anniversary
8          Steve Clouther
8          Rick Tompkins
8          McKinlee Anne DePaola
8          Tony Gonzalez
9          Kevin Fredette  
12        Paige Clements
12        CeCi Chiosso
13        Lydia Pontius
13        Karen Goudy
13        Lynn Chase      
19        Sharon Fredette 
22        Sherwood Anders
23        Kelly Flynn
24        Rhett Schobert
25        Rocio Cue Romero
26        Tom & Judy Baxter Anniversary
27        Christian Li Schober Thai
28        Marisol Danu 

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

 Missed February Birthdays / Anniversary
February 12     Jock Horner, who came to Akumal to celebrate.


Laura Bush and her staff, especially Charlene, did a fantabulous job supporting the Akumal United Fund during the Super Bowl Event at the Lol Ha Beach Bar.  It turned out to be a Super fund raiser.

Laura reports $16,130 pesos were raised through the various items for sale (T-shirts, DVD, and book) and the great betting pool on February 7.  The bulk of the funds come from the betting pool, where a substantial amount comes from winners, who turned their winning back into the Akumal United Fund.

Pictures from the Event can be found at Akumal Super Bowl Party.


On Wednesday, February 17th, the Akumal Council held its first General Assembly Meeting of 2010 at the Lol Ha Restaurant, and the meeting was well attended, organized, and run.  And, it started on time and ended on time (12:00) after a defined two hour duration.  Well done!!!

 The Akumalian informally reports on the proceedings of these meetings, so what is reported here is by no means intended to be the Minutes of the meeting, because the Akumal Council will be posting the official minutes on its web site  

 Marcy Essy, the Treasurer, gave a report on the financial situation of the Akumal Council, and she noted that in the very near future, membership fees and donation will be able to be done using PayPal.

 David Poor, the Secretary, opened up a small meeting of the founding members to accept the new members.  The new, formal name is Consejo de Communidad de Akumal   New members were welcomed into the ‘new’ Akumal Council.

 The General Meeting then started, and it followed the published Agenda.

Affirmation of the Mission Statement

Affirmation of Membership Financial Commitments

Election of the new Board of Directors:
a.       President: Pablo Diaz Lavin
b.      Vice President: Paul Sanchez-Navarro
c.       Treasurer: Marcy Essy
d.      Secretary: David Poor

 Election of new Committee Chairs:
e.       Community Liaison: Laura Bush
f.       Environment: Paul Sanchez-Navarro
g.      Education: Leticia Cordova
h.      Security: Laura Bush
i.        Aventuras Akumal: Maimo Essy
j.        Akumal Central: Bobby Sapia
k.      Jade Bay:
l.        North Akumal F: Bud Blatner
m.    North Akumal G: Mary Carmen
n.      North Akumal H: Mary Henderson and Rhett Schober
o.      South Akumal: Claudia Munoz
p.      Yal-kul North: Russ Motely

Concerns by Section:
South Akumal
·         Illegal entry from highway to service road to get to S. Akumal and Punta Sur
Security coverage with regards to (lack of) police patrols
Utilizing pot-hole filler when it’s in North Akumal

 Jade Bay:
To report later.

 Akumal North:
Pollution in Half Moon Bay and Yal-Kul
Getting rid of sewerage.
Invasion of the mangroves for dumping trash and waste.
Too many topes being installed everywhere with no thought to planning.
Usual discussion on getting vans going to Lagoon to pay a fee.
North Akumal does have access to Lagoon – few people know of it – and it is being invaded by ……. And, it would be lost if municipalized.  Do we want to be private and keep it, or do we want to be regularized and lose it.  Needs separate discussion.
Rhett Schober says he has funding of $30,000 to do road repair and is looking for matching funds to get the project started. He has a bid of $56,000 to do the first three sections, starting where the section by the tennis courts – after the curve – ends.  Rhett is willing to spear-head the project.

 Akumal Central:
Looking at guard at the entrance (arch) to stop buses from entering.  They should be stopped at the entrance to the parking lot.

 Additional Comments:
Any and all additional comments and/or suggestions should be sent to the Akumal Council at

 President’s Report;
Mary Carmen, the out-going President, gave her report, which was basically a thank you and acknowledgement to all the people who supported her and the Akumal Council during her tenure.

 Security Committee:
Laura gave a brief report.

 Community Liaison Committee:
Laura gave a brief report, covering the recent fund raising events for the Akumal United Way and the distribution of funds.

 Environment Committee:
Paul gave a report covering a lot of aspects of this, including re-cycling.  Re-cycling has caught on in Akumal, and I believe Paul said 26 tons in 2008 and 30 tons in 2009 were re-cycled.

 Regularization Committee:
The main message here is: “You need to be regularized” and “You should get the beach concession.”

 Meeting Adjourned at 12:00


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 March. 

 Thierry Vander Elst won the contest for February, and those photos are at February Best Shirt.


For you early birds, the HST (Hubble Space Telescope) will be flying directly over Akumal on the morning of March 5 at 5:02 am.  It will be coming out of the WSW heading towards the NNW.


The 82nd Academy Awards ceremony, presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, will honor the best films of 2009 and will take place March 7, 2010, at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California.  It will be televised in the United States on ABC.  Actors Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin will host the show.  Martin will host for the third time, after previously presiding over the 73rd and 75th ceremonies, while Baldwin will host the show for the first time.

This year, there are ten (10) films nominated for Best Picture, and they are Avatar, The Blind Side, District 9, An Education, The Hurt Locker, Inglourious Bastards, Precious: Based on the Novel "Push" by Sapphire, A Serious Man, Up, and Up in the Air

The Oscar telecast will take place Sunday, March 7 at 7 p.m. AST at the Lol Ha Beach Bar, where Laura Bush will be hosting the Akumal segment.  The Akumal segment will include the official Red Carpet with a selection of “stars” who are in town for the festivities; Laura is looking for more “stars’ to parade on the Red Carpet.  Send an e-mail to Laura if you are a 'star' and going to be in town.

Laura says, “It will be a star studded night with many celebrities that love Akumal, choosing to join us on this important evening!  We will have the red carpet ceremony with them and anyone else wanting to walk the red carpet and get interviewed.  You can surprise us, or let me know in advance to prepare for the interview.

I will also have some mystery stars to play the game,’Guess Who', and a chance to win all kinds of prizes!

“Chef Reynaldo, aka. Chef Reynaldo ‘Ramsey’, Is taking a break from ‘Hell's Kitchen’ to cook up a festive feast of small plate appetizers, so tables can do some serious gourmet tastings!

 “We need a few more paparazzi to take pictures and stalk the stars!

“Of course, Charlene will be at her table with the Oscar nominees in 4 categories laid out so everyone can take part in the chance to win if you guess the right Oscar winners!

“Some items will be displayed at another table for the silent auction. 

“All this to benefit Education in the Pueblo through the Akumal United Fund.

“The North Palapa will be white table cloth.”


In the United States Daylight Saving Time begins at 2:00 a.m. local time on the second Sunday in March.  On the first Sunday in November areas on Daylight Saving Time return to Standard Time at 2:00 a.m.  When Daylight Saving Time begins turn your clocks ahead one hour. When Daylight Saving Time ends turn your clocks back one hour.

The names in each time zone change along with Daylight Saving Time. Eastern Standard Time (EST) becomes Eastern Daylight Time (EDT), and so forth. Arizona, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, U.S. Virgin Islands and American Samoa do not observe Daylight Saving Time.

In the United States, Under the Uniform Time Act, the Department of Transportation is in charge of time zones in the United States and ensuring that jurisdictions observing Daylight Saving Time begin and end on the same date.

During DST, clocks are turned forward an hour, effectively moving an hour of daylight from the morning to the evening.

The main purpose of Daylight Saving Time (called "Summer Time" in many places in the world) is to make better use of daylight.  We change our clocks during the summer months to move an hour of daylight from the morning to the evening. 

The idea of daylight saving was first conceived by Benjamin Franklin (portrait at right) during his sojourn as an American delegate in Paris in 1784, in an essay, "An Economical Project."   Some of Franklin's friends, inventors of a new kind of oil lamp, were so taken by the scheme that they continued corresponding with Franklin even after he returned to America.

The idea was first advocated seriously by London builder William Willett (1857-1915) in the pamphlet, "Waste of Daylight" (1907), that proposed advancing clocks 20 minutes on each of four Sundays in April, and retarding them by the same amount on four Sundays in September.  As he was taking an early morning a ride through Petts Wood, near Croydon, Willett was struck by the fact that the blinds of nearby houses were closed, even though the sun was fully risen.  When questioned as to why he didn't simply get up an hour earlier, Willett replied with typical British humor, "What?" In his pamphlet "The Waste of Daylight" he wrote:

In 2005, President Bush signed into law a new energy policy bill that would extend Daylight Saving Time by 4 weeks beginning in 2007:

In the European Union, Summer Time begins and ends at 1:00 a.m. Universal Time (Greenwich Mean Time).  It begins the last Sunday in March, the 28th, and ends the last Sunday in October. In the EU, all time zones change at the same moment.  This year it’s March 28 to October 31.


In Akumal, Daylight Saving Time begins at 2:00 a.m. local time on the first Sunday in April (the 4th).  On the last Sunday in October (the 31st ), areas on Daylight Saving Time fall back to Standard Time at 2:00 a.m.  The names in each time zone change along with Daylight Saving Time.  Central Standard Time (CST) becomes Central Daylight Time (CDT), and so forth.  The state of Sonora does not observe Daylight Saving Time.

Mexico uses three time zones.  Most of the country uses Central Standard Time.


Pi, Greek letter π, is the symbol for the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. Pi = 3.1415926535.  Pi Day is celebrated by math enthusiasts around the world on March 14th.

With the use of computers, Pi has been calculated to over 1 trillion digits past the decimal.  Pi is an irrational number meaning it will continue infinitely without repeating.  The symbol for pi was first used in 1737 by William Jones, but was popular after it was adopted by the Swiss mathematician Leonhard Euler in 1737.

The ratio of the circumference to the diameter of a circle is the same for all circles, and that it is slightly more than 3, was known to ancient Egyptian, Babylonian, Indian and Greek geometers.  The earliest known approximations date from around 1900 BC; they are 25/8 (Babylonia) and 256/81 (Egypt), both within 1 percent of the true value.  The Indian text Shatapatha Brahmana gives π as 339/108 ≈ 3.139.  The Books of Kings (600 BC) appears to suggest π = 3, which is notably worse than other estimates available at the time, although the interpretation of the passage is disputed.

Archimedes (287-212 BC) was the first to estimate π rigorously.   Herealized that its magnitude can be bounded from below and above by inscribing circles in regular polygons and calculating the outer and inner polygons' respective perimeters.

By using the equivalent of 96-sided polygons, he proved that 223/71 < π < 22/7.  Taking the average of these values yields 3.1419.  In the following centuries, most significant development took place in India and China.  Around 480, the Chinese mathematician Zu Chongzhi gave the approximation π = 355/113, and showed that 3.1415926 < π < 3.1415927, which would stand as the most accurate value for π over the next 900 years.

The Chudnovskys Brothers found the following formula in 1987 and used it to set several π computing records in the end of the 1980s, including the first calculation of over one billion (1,011,196,691) decimals in 1989.  It remains the formula of choice for π calculating software that runs on personal computers, as opposed to the supercomputers used to set modern records.

 \frac{426880 \sqrt{10005}}{\pi} = \sum_{k=0}^\infty \frac{(6k)! (13591409 + 545140134k)}{(3k)!(k!)^3 (-640320)^{3k}}\!


The Guinness-recognized record for remembered digits of π is 67,890 digits, held by Lu Chao, a 24-year-old graduate student from China.  It took him 24 hours and 4 minutes to recite to the 67,890th decimal place of π without an error.

 On June, 17th, 2009 Andriy Slyusarchuk, a Ukrainian neurosurgeon, medical doctor and professor claimed to have memorized 30 million digits of pi, which were printed in 20 volumes of text.  Although he did not recite the entire 30 million digits that he claims to have memorized, some media claim that he was able to recite ten randomly selected sequences from the printed text of the 30 million digits.

 Pi Day is observed in many schools.  At least one cheer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology includes "3.14159!"

 On November 7, 2005, alternative musician Kate Bush released the album, Aerial. The album contains the song "π" whose lyrics consist principally of Bush singing the digits of π to music, beginning with "3.14"

 In Carl Sagan's novel Contact, pi played a key role in the story and suggested that there was a message buried deep within the digits of pi placed there by whoever created the universe.  This part of the story was left out of the film adaption of the novel. 


Albert Einstein, the first child of the Jewish couple Hermann and Pauline Einstein, was born on March 14, 1879 in Ulm, Germany.  Einstein learned to speak at a late age, he was considered a slow learner as a child, and he showed no particular aptitude for formal schooling.  In June 1880, his family moved to Munich where Hermann Einstein and his brother Jakob founded an electrical engineering company.  After the failure of his father's business in 1894 the Einsteins moved to Pavia, Italy.  Young Albert remained in Munich to finish school, but moved to Pavia to join his family after completing only one term.  Upon reaching Italy, he renounced his German citizenship, possibly to avoid obligatory military service, and became stateless.  At about the same time, Einstein “renounced his legal adherence to the Jewish religious community."



  • Beryl & Susanne Van Lierop were back for the February Best Shirt contest.
  • Shotsie was back in town with her two sisters in early February.
  • Greta Blanter and her friend, CJ, were in town for Valentine’s Day.
  • Jock & Joyce Horner visited the Mahans for Jock’s B’day on 2/12
  • Bob & Sherwood Anders made a brief return visit in mid February.
  • Jim Coke, looking very well indeed, was also in town for a few weeks.
  • Dennis Burris was back visiting the beach bar from Puerto Aventuras
  • Hurley Hackler is back for a brief visit after a long absence.
  • Steve & Judy Holz are back in Aventuras Akumal until April 1.
  • George Plamodon’s daughter, Elizabeth, and her family were in Los Primos in mid-Feb
  • Gail Olsen was back for the CEA Event
  • Tony, Joan, Cassie, and Alex Gonzalez were back President’s Week.
  • Fred Iden is back in Villa Caribe in Aventuras Akumal.
  • Sam & Sharon Goby arrived back in town on Feb. 19 for two weeks.
  • Gary & Myrna Sparks are back in town.
  • El Moreland and Pato were up visiting from Bacalar for a couple of days.
  • Greg & Karen Goudy are making their annual trip to Akumal
  • Richard & Arlene Pargot return to Las Vigas on March 7th 


  • Ryan Fredette went snow boarding in Maine during President’s week.
  • Marti Johnston has gone to India to attend the Maha Kumbh Mela in Hardiwar.

 With the exception of the visitors leaving, it looks like everyone else is staying put or sneaking out under the cover of darkness.


St. Patrick is revered by Christians for establishing the church in Ireland during the fifth century AD.  The precise dates and details of his life are unclear, but some points are generally agreed: as a teen he was captured and sold into slavery in Ireland, and six years later he escaped to Gaul (now France) where he later became a monk.  Around 432 he returned to Ireland as a missionary and succeeded in converting many of the island's tribes to Christianity.  Late in life he wrote a brief text, Confessio, detailing his life and ministry.  His feast day, March 17, is celebrated as a day of Irish pride in many parts of the world.

A popular folk tale says that St. Patrick chased all snakes from Ireland, but there is no historical basis for this story.  Another folk tale, that he used shamrocks to teach about the holy Trinity, is also generally agreed to be a myth.  In Gaelic the saint's name is Padraig.

                   The Gorilla and Butch are planning on enjoying St Patty's Day.

The day is the national holiday of the Irish people.  It is a bank holiday in Northern Ireland, and a public holiday in the Republic of Ireland, Montserrat, and the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador.  In the rest of Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, the United States and New Zealand, it is widely celebrated but is not an official holiday.

It became a feast day in the Roman Catholic Church due to the influence of the Waterford-born Franciscan scholar Luke Wadding in the early part of the 17th century, and is a holy day of obligation for Roman Catholics in Ireland.  The date of the feast is occasionally moved by church authorities when March 17 falls during Holy Week; this last happened in 2008 when Saint Patrick's Day was observed on March 15 in order to avoid it coinciding with Palm Sunday.

 Don't forget the green beer at the Beach Bar.


An equinox in astronomy is that moment in time (not a whole day) when the center of the Sun can be observed to be directly above the Earth's equator, and this month it occurs on March 20 at 5:48 EST.

There is either an equinox (autumn and spring) or a solstice (summer and winter) on approximately the 20th day of the last month of every quarter of the calendar year.  On a day which has an equinox, the center of the Sun will spend a nearly equal amount of time above and below the horizon at every location on Earth, and night and day will be of nearly the same length.  The word equinox derives from the Latin words aequus (equal) and nox (night).

In reality, the day is longer than the night at an equinox.  Commonly, the day is defined as the period that sunlight reaches the ground in the absence of local obstacles.  From Earth, the Sun appears as a disc and not a single point of light; so, when the center of the Sun is below the horizon, the upper edge is visible.  Furthermore, the atmosphere refracts light; so, even when the upper limb of the Sun is below the horizon, its rays reach over the horizon to the ground.  In sunrise/sunset tables, the assumed semi-diameter (apparent radius) of the sun is 16 minutes of arc and the atmospheric refraction is assumed to be 34 minutes of arc.  Their combination means that when the upper limb of Sun is on the visible horizon its center is 50 minutes of arc below the geometric horizon, which is the intersection with the celestial sphere of a horizontal plane through the eye of the observer.  These effects together make the day about 14 minutes longer than the night at the equator, and longer still at sites toward the poles.  The real equality of day and night only happens at places far enough from the equator to have at least a seasonal difference in day length of 7 minutes, and occurs a few days towards the winter side of each equinox.


The Sun has risen on the spring equinox at Dzibilchaltun.  On this day the temple itself frames the rising Sun through its central doorway.  At other times of the year, the Sun will appear to the right or left, which is either further to the north or south, deviating the furthest from this path we see here on the solstices.



Earth goes around the sun once a year.  Saturn goes around the sun once about every 30 years.  So you can see that our planet Earth has to pass between Saturn and the sun every year.  In 2010, this event – called an opposition of Saturn – will happen on March 21.  That makes March and April of 2010 the best months for seeing this most amazing and beautiful of planets.  Will you be ready? Save this article!

Can you see the rings of Saturn if you look with the eye alone?  No.  But you can see this golden world with your unaided eye.  It will appear as a bright golden “star” ... very beautiful.  And unlike the twinkling stars, Saturn will shine with a steady light.  That might help you identify it.

Since Saturn moves only slowly with respect to the true stars, once you notice the starry pattern around Saturn this year, you can spot this planet for several months at its best.

Okay. How can you see Saturn?

First, think about the fact that – when Earth goes between the sun and Saturn – Saturn appears opposite the sun in our sky.  That means that, if you’re looking for Saturn during the evening hours around the time of its 2010 opposition (March 21), you should be facing east, with your back to the sunset direction, in order to see Saturn.

In late March and early April, 2010, go outside after night falls and stand facing east.  If the sun has just gone down, Saturn will be on the horizon, probably too low in the sky to see.  So wait until mid-evening, when it’s good and dark, and Saturn is higher in the sky.  Then you’ll have a better chance of spotting it.

Think of it this way.  As the sun sinks below the western horizon, Saturn will rise above the eastern horizon at a similar rate.  Why?  Because, remember, at opposition, Saturn is opposite the sun!


Denny Mahan reports on these air dryers.

 We have tried various things, from small fans to light bulbs, over the years to keep our clothes in the closets from getting covered with mildew.  The BEST thing we have found so far, and we have about 8 which we brought down from the states, is the "AIR DRYR".  It is a great little product.

There are two sizes, and the smaller, oblong one (Davis Instruments Air-Dryr 500 Dryer), is just right for a closet.  It uses very little electricity, is very light weight aluminum, doesn't get too hot (you can put your hand right on it), and it keeps your clothing and linens, pillows, etc. nice and dry.  It does not make your clothing hot, it just keeps them dry.  The Air-Dryr 500 handles up to 500 cubic feet of living space, and draws only 0.6 amps, 70 watts.  Rectangular unit measures 14 x 5 x 4.5" 2.1 pounds.  $49.99 at 

            The larger, round one (Davis Instruments Air-Dryr 1000 Dryer) we use to keep an entire bedroom dry when no one is using it.  Just plug it in and set it on the floor.  Works great, and you don't have to run your air conditioning all the time to keep the room dry.  It consumes less than a 60 watt bulb.  No bulb to bun out and replace.  I even put one in our car when we are gone to the states, and it works great!  The Air-Dryr 1000 handles up to 1,000 cubic feet of living space, and draws only 1.1 amps,130 watts.  Circular unit measures 13.5" in diameter (34 cm) and 4.25" high (11 cm), and costs $52.00.

More information about the products and ordering can be found on Amazon at Air Dryer 500.  They are also available at many other stores, and at National Marine Products they are a little cheaper.  You can bring a couple down every time you come.


            Bob Mulgrew is the gringo representative for the Catholic Church of Chemuyil, and he reports they are trying to build a decent church to replace the current one that is sticks, dirt and asbestos roofing.  Special Masses are conducted in the parking lot, due to lack of space inside.  Guess what happens in inclement weather?  Many of our employees (1/3 - 1/2) in Akumal, Akumal Sur, Aventuras Akumal, Jade Bahia, etc. live in Chemuyil.

            There will be a raffle on May 10th.  Tickets $50 pesos each, and the prizes are:
*****   a Nissan car,
*****   additional raffle items will be a surprise.

The winner(s) will be selected by a number system in the national lottery.  This seems to be VERY secure.  Contact Bob Mulgrew to buy raffle tickets for this worthy cause.          



Gabriella Way
During the South Akumal Owner’s Meeting in January, George Palmondon suggested naming the short stretch of the service road south of the entrance to South Akumal as Gabriella’s Way in honor of Gabriella Herbert, who has done so much for South Akumal.  Well, George delivered the sign, and it was dedicated in mid-February. 

Gabriella Points the Way to South Akumal      Photo by Hollis Hines


 Valentine’s Day Basket
During the Valentine’s Day dinner at Lol Ha, the huge Valentine’s Day basket was raffled off, and Sherwood Anders was the winner.  Looking good.  Ask Bob Anders about the Belgian ‘chocolates’ he ate.

Photo by Bob Anders

                                                        Sherwood Digs Into Her Winnings

The Akumalian covers the extended world of Akumal, and since there’s not too much “New around Akumal” – other than all the events – The Staff voted to add this little piece from Brazoria, TX. 

            This is the recent art project, an art glass coffin, done by Chris McCasland and Butch.  Chris says, “I finally have, an art exhibit in west Texas in March, my first show in 15 years, and we just finished the art glass coffin, which I regard as the most significant piece of art we have ever turned out....way over the top.

"The coffin is done in eglomise, reverse painted glass over wooden form.  Butch did all the work and the upholstery too.  I just designed it and did the glass painting.  It is in the Aesthetic style of the Victorian period. I call it the lost coffin of Oscar Wilde."

            What do you think?









            Know Avenieda Juarez in Playa del Carmen?

March 21st is a National Holiday in Mexico to commemorate the birthday of Benito Juárez, who rose from humble origins to occupy the Presidency of the Republic on several occasions during the turbulent second half of the 19th century.

Benito Pablo Juárez García (March 21, 1806 – July 18, 1872) was a Zapotec Amerindian who served five terms as president of Mexico[1]: 1858–1861 as interim, 1861–1865, 1865–1867, 1867–1871 and 1871–1872.  For resisting the French occupation, overthrowing the Empire, and restoring the Republic, as well as for his efforts to modernize the country, Juárez is often regarded as Mexico's greatest and most beloved leader.  Juárez was recognized by the United States as a ruler in exile during the French-controlled Second Mexican Empire, and got their support in reclaiming Mexico under the Monroe Doctrine after the United States Civil War ended.  Benito Juárez was the first Mexican leader who did not have a military background, and also the first full-blooded indigenous national to serve as President of Mexico and to lead a country in the Western Hemisphere in over 300 years.

Today Benito Juárez is remembered as being a progressive reformer dedicated to democracy, equal rights for his nation's indigenous peoples, lessening the great power that the Roman Catholic Church then held over Mexican politics, and the defense of national sovereignty.  The period of his leadership is known in Mexican history as La Reforma (the reform), and constituted a liberal political and social revolution with major institutional consequences: the expropriation of church lands, bringing the army under civilian control, liquidation of peasant communal land holdings, the separation of church and state in public affairs, and also led to the almost-complete disenfranchisement of bishops, priests, nuns and lay brothers.

Juárez's famous quotation continues to be well-remembered in Mexico: Entre los individuos, como entre las naciones, el respeto al derecho ajeno es la paz, meaning "Among individuals, as among nations, respect for the rights of others is peace."  It is inscribed on the coat of arms of Oaxaca.

One of the reasons Benito Juárez is seen as representing Mexico is because his indigenous roots and seminary education seem to reflect the national mixture of races and cultures. Indeed, Juárez did much to overcome the prejudice against indigenous heritage, so prevalent in the 19th Century. He was fiercely anti-clerical, believing that the excessive power of the Catholic Church was one of the main obstacles to the development of the country. He led the nation in a struggle against neocolonialism and French intervention, earning the title of "Benemérito de las Américas", or deserving of the Americas’ praise.


Venus, the dazzling morning or evening star, outshines all the other stars and planets in the night sky.  It moves into the evening sky in March, low in the west as darkness begins to fall.  It will climb into better view through the spring and into summer.  It will disappear from view in October as it passes between Earth and the Sun.  It will return to view as a “morning star” by early November, and remain there for the rest of the year.

Once every eight years, Venus can be seen as an evening and morning star on the same day, and this happened last year around March 25.  Hang around for another seven years, and we’ll have that occurrence again in 2017.


Could Tlahuizcalpantecuhtli be the Aztec god with the longest name?

Tlahuizcalpantecuhtli was the twin/dual deity of the planet Venus, as Morning Star (Quetzalcóatl) and Evening Star (Xólotl).  Worshipped throughout the Mesoamerican region for centuries even before the Aztecs, he represented first and foremost the bright star that appears with its own unique brilliance very early in the morning in the Eastern sky.

Venus is very similar to Earth in size and mass - and so is sometimes referred to as Earth's sister planet.  It's usually the third brightest body in the sky after the sun and the moon. 

Venus the Morning Star, Codex Cospi 

The ancient Mexicans, being expert astronomers, could predict precisely on which days and at which times the star would appear and disappear.  Not only were they were well aware of its 584 day cycle round the sun, they even knew that its exact cycle is actually 583 days, 22 hours, 6 minutes and 40 seconds - and they allowed for the difference to be made up in their calculations every 88 years!

What's more, the ancient Mexicans had calculated accurately that the orbits of the earth (c.365 days), the moon (c.260 days) and Venus (c.584 days) come together only once every 104 years (two Aztec 'bundles of years' or centuries').  Their knowledge of time and its cycles was truly stunning.


The Full Worm Moon is on Friday, March 30, at 1:25am AST.

In this month the ground softens and the earthworm casts reappear, inviting the return of the robins.  The more northern tribes knew this as the Full Crow Moon, when the cawing of crows signals the end of winter, or the Full Crust Moon because the snow cover becomes crusted from thawing by day and freezing at night.  The Full Sap Moon, marking the time of tapping maple trees, is another variation.  This is also the Paschal Full Moon; the first full moon of the spring season.  



Robin’s “Best Shirt Award” on the 5th had lots of company this month with regards to “Events.”  Check out the Photo Galleries for the other Events, which include:

Super Bowl Party on February 1.

Groundhog Day on February 2.

Planet 2012 Art Exhibit on February 5.

La Buena Vida 14th Anniversary Party on February 13.  (No photos)

CEA Festival Gala Event on February 18.

Reception at David & Nancy Poor’s Casa Romero  on February 19.

 Back on January 5, there was the culmination of the 2009 Akumal Toy Drive


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