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May 2013  Issue 125

Return to Home Page   2009 Index  2010 Index   2011 Index   2012 Index

MESSAGE FROM THE STAFF

The April showers have passed – actually it was kinda a dry month – and now we are ready for the May flowers and Mother’s Day, among many other special days.

The BIG thing in April was the Akumal Comedy Festival, and we have a little piece on that from Marieke Brown, who did a fantabulous job bringing everything together.  We also have the early forecast for the 2013 hurricane season.

More importantly, the turtle nesting season has begun in Akumal, with CEA reporting our first nest in front of Akumal Beach Resort!  Please inform your workers and guests to turn off the lights on the beach, or at least change them to red or amber, and keep the dogs off the beach.  Thanks so much and we look forward to a successful season!

And, for additional information about Akumal and Puerto Aventuras, don’t forget to check out Sac-Be and the Pelican Free Press
 

IMPORTANT MAY FACTS

Several stories are passed around to show how the month of May was named.  The most widely accepted explanation is that it was named for Maia, the Roman goddess of spring and growth.  Her name related to a Latin word that means increase or growth.

 Taurus: April 21 – May 21

Gemini   May 22 - June 21

 May Birthstone:  Emerald 
  
May's birthstone is the emerald.  Emerald is the green version of the mineral Beryl.  It was considered to be the talisman of the goddess Venus, and to represent faith, goodness and kindness.  Emeralds vary in color from light to deep green.  It is commonly thought that an emerald's green color derives from the presence of chromium and or vanadium replacing some of the aluminum in the mineral's structure.  The stone can, however, lose its color when heated strongly.  The emerald's name is indirectly derived from the Greek word "smaragdos," a term ambiguously applied to several kinds of green stones.

May Flower:  Lily of the Valley
   
The May flower, Lily of the Valley has the botanical name of Convallaria magalis and originated in Europe.  Today it is distributed widely throughout North America and North Asia, but in northern Europe it is still found as commonly as wild flowers.  It is a small, bell shaped flower that gives off a large scent that attracts not only people, but bees who like to collect the pollen that the flower produces.
 

MAY BIRTHDAYS

Birthdays and Anniversaries
1          Monica Estrada and Juan Antonio Huerta Anniversary
2          Sandra Titze
2          Steve & Heather DePaola
2          Diane Daniell
4          Russ & Stephanie Motley, Anniversary
4          Dylan Vladimir Chan Tec; son of Miguel (head waiter) & Imelda
4          Kai Christopher Brown         
5          Michele Meyer Correa
5          Susan & Macon Gravlee Anniversary
5          Dean & Alison Keegan Anniversary
7          Steve & Ingrid Clouther Anniversary
10        Memo & Marcy Essy Anniversary
11        Yijie Zhuo Dooley
12        Chris Firth
14        Lucas Kai Schober Thai
16        Dave Bliss
16        Steve and Kathleen Cole, Anniversary
15        Karl & Dawn Shubert, Anniversary 
18        Derek Firth
18        Bob & Sherwood Anders Anniversary
19        John & Shaileen Rounds Anniversary
20        Monika Titze
21        Jissou VanderElst
22        Max Danger DeAngelis
27        Crayton Walker
27        Nance & Creighton Walker’s Anniversary
30        Erin Dooley
31        Terry Fredette

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

 Missed March Birthday 
9          Shaileen Rounds

 

2nd AKUMAL COMEDY FESTIVAL REPORT 

By Marieke Brown- Akumal Comedy Festival Coordinator and Program Manager

 The 2nd Akumal Comedy Festival was a great success, with 10 shows being performed over 4 days, plus an art vernissage hosted by La Lunita restaurant on Sunday April 14, 2013.  We managed to raise a little over US$4,000 to help the Otoch Paal Montessori school build their badly needed new classrooms.  To find out more about this cause, and to donate, please click Otoch Paal Montessori.

If you missed out on buying your Akumal Comedy Festival t-shirt, it is not too late, as we still have about 15 left!  Please contact info@akumalcomedyfestival.com, and we can arrange to have one shipped out to you in the USA or Canada.  All proceeds from t-shirt sales go directly to the Montessori school's new classroom project.

In addition to that, we were able to generate lots of media attention for the village of Akumal and the Montessori School with write ups in USA Today, the Riviera Maya Tourist Board website, Mayan Explore, Yucatan Today, 984 Magazine, The Akumalian, Pelican Press, Sac Be and many other news streams.  24/7 Comedy was also broadcasting live from Akumal twice per hour throughout the week to 35 radio stations across the USA, including Iheartradio.

Just in case you missed them, here are photographic highlights of the events over the weekend.

·       April 10, 2013 - Teaser shows in Puerto Aventuras and Playa del Carmen

·       April 11, 2013 - Akumal Comedy Festival officially kicks off with 3 shows in Akumal

·       April 12, 2013 - 4 more shows in Akumal as the comedy festival continues

·       April 13, 2013 - Grand finale with the best of the festival comedians

 You can also find an artistic documentation of the festival renowned courtroom artists Aggie Kenny and Elizabeth Williams, here on their Akumal blog

  As the Akumal Comedy Festival is a completely free event, it would not have been possible without the support of sponsors Stand up! Records, Akumal Direct Reservations, Locogringo, Vista del Mar Hotel, Hotel Akumal Caribe, La Lunita, The Romero Complex, Buy Playa Real Estate, Scott Brown Photo, CEA, Dive with Natalie and Ivan, Cancun Valet, Namaste Tours, Cuauhtemoc Moctezuma, Galeria Lamanai, Turtle Bay Cafe, Mexicarte, and Tequilaville Restaurant, for helping us to aid local causes, drive tourism growth, and bring world class laughter and entertainment to the village of Akumal.  

Massive thanks also goes out to Marcy and Memo Essy for being the backbone of the festival, and to the hard work of all of the volunteers.  Thank you also to the venues, the sound teams, the artists, and of course the performing comedians and bands who all donated their time to this event.  Those who attended would agree that the caliber of comedy was extremely high this year, and Akumal was privileged to have internationally famous headlining comics Glenn Wool, Jimmy Shubert, and Alysia Wood here to entertain us!

Next year’s Akumal Comedy Festival has already been penciled in for May 1-3, 2014, with a very exciting line up to be confirmed!  We look forward to seeing you there!

Best regards,
Marieke Brown
984 105 8475
Official Website - www.akumalcomedyfestival.com
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/events/465166833521078
Twitter - @akumalcomedy

 

TAX DAY STUNTS

Tax Day isn't just a pain in the wallet.  It also sucks upgobs of time and emotions.  That explains why so many marketers are embracing it as a day when they can play the hero with acts of kindness, such as handing out freebies.  Big names from Arby's to Office Depot will be doling out everything from Tax Day snacks to free printing.  Even Trojan — yes, that Trojan — is getting in the Tax Day freebie mix.

No one has a wackier Tax Day stunt than Trojan, which handed out Trojan vibrators (worth up to $39.99) at "Pleasure Carts" in San Francisco and Los Angeles. Bruce Weiss, vice president of marketing says, "It's a stimulus package they will never forget."
 

EARLY 2012 HURRICANE FORECAST  

The start of hurricane season is 4 weeks away, and four independent forecast outlets unanimously agree it will be a busy one.  Colorado State’s Bill Gray and protege Philip Klotzbach, the pioneers of seasonal hurricane forecasting, predict a blockbuster hurricane season, with 18 named storms, 9 hurricanes and 4 major hurricanes. (The 1981-2010 30-year averages are 12.1 named storms, 6.4 hurricanes, and 2.7 major hurricanes.)  “We anticipate an above-average Atlantic basin hurricane season due to the combination of an anomalously warm tropical Atlantic and a relatively low likelihood of El Niño,” Klotzbach and Gray write in their outlook.

El Niño events typically suppress hurricane activity in the Atlantic by increasing wind shear that is hostile to storm development.

The Colorado State duo not only predict a large number of storms, but also a high likelihood that a hurricane and, perhaps, major hurricane will make landfall along the Atlantic and/or Gulf coast.  They say there is a 72 percent chance a hurricane will strike the coast and a 61 percent chance of a major hurricane coming ashore.

The U.S. has avoided the landfall of a major hurricane in 7 consecutive seasons, the longest such period on record.  Hurricane Wilma was the last major hurricane to strike the U.S. coast back on October 24, 2005.

It’s reasonable to wonder whether these April hurricane forecasts are accurate.  Last year, forecasters in April called for an average to quieter than normal season, and it turned out to be a busy year with 19-named storms, tied for the third most on record.  Seasonal forecasters emphasize the difficulties in predicting hurricane activity in April but say they have made progress in developing these predictions.
  

PRIMERO DE MAYO, MAY 1st  --  MAY DAY

Primero de Mayo is the Mexican national holiday that is equivalent to the U.S. Labor Day.

 May Day occurs on May 1 and refers to any of several public holidays. In many countries, May Day is synonymous with International Workers' Day, or Labor Day, which celebrates the social and economic achievements of the labor movement.  As a day of celebration the holiday has ancient origins, and it can relate to many customs that have survived into modern times.  Many of these customs are due to May Day being a cross-quarter day, meaning that (in the Northern Hemisphere where it is almost exclusively celebrated) it falls approximately halfway between the spring equinox and summer solstice.

May Day has become an international celebration of the social and economic achievements of the labor movement.  Although May Day received its inspiration from the United States, the U.S. Congress designated May 1 as Loyalty Day in 1958 due to the day's appropriation by the Soviet Union.  Alternatively, Labor Day traditionally occurs on the first Monday in September in the United States.  People often use May Day as a day for political protest, such as the million people who demonstrated against far-right candidate Jean-Marie Le Pen in France, or as a day for protest against government actions, such as pro-immigrant rallies across the United States.
 

ROBIN’S BEST SHIRT AWARD, MAY 3rd 

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

It’s time for yet 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 Henderson, is ready to once again be the judge and jury as she selects the “Best Shirt” for May.  And, as we go to print the criteria are still somewhat nebulous, but it looks like “coolest”, “neatest”, and “most colorful” might garner a lot of brownie points.

Last month, the “Best Shirt Award” went to Russ Motley in a close victory.  See the photos in the April Best Shirt Award Photo Gallery.
 

IS THE BANK TRUST BECOMING A THING OF THE PAST? 

Bill abolishing residential bank trust requirement passes lower chamber as Senate awaits its turn.

 Mexico’s Chamber of Deputies, similar to the U.S. House of Representatives, passed (356-119) a measure abolishing the “bank trust” requirement for foreigners in what is known as the “restricted” zones, like the Federal Zone, such as entire coastal Maya Riviera.  Trusts will still be available for those who might want them.

The measure would allow foreigners to own land for residential purposes only without having to go through the expensive “bank trust” (fideicomiso) arrangement that many buyers viewed as an unfair requirement and burden on foreign investors.

Representative Hectar Gutierrez de la Garza noted there were 60,000 bank trusts issued in the past 12 years that in his opinion represented 60,000 situations “that we are trying to avoid.”

 Now the bill goes to the upper chamber, the Senate, where anything could happen, as is usually the case when the two chambers try to effect compromises to please a variety of constituencies.  But if the Chamber of Deputies’ voting numbers are any indication, it is quite possible the end of the fideicomiso era could be in sight.

It is probably too soon to tell what all this means to current owners who bought under the trust rules, since debate on the measure isn’t over until the Senate votes.  Will all the existing trusts be voided as well? 

Ending the trust requirement is a boon to Akumal and all other developing areas within the 30-mile coastal and 60-mile border zones where the bank trust is required.  Foreign buyers will be able to accomplish their deals faster, and Mexican property owners will be able to sell faster.  Buyers will save dollars on the trust creation and be free of yearly trust costs, thus eliminating bank charges for doing what amounts to nothing.  Less expense and less hassle should be another enticement to buy and retire in what most snowbirds, x-pats and Canadians from the frigid north see as “Paradise.”

To repeat: As passed by the Chamber of Deputies, elimination of the trust is for residential property only, not business.  Abolishing the trust process makes buying a house look less daunting and will better accommodate current owners with property for sale.

Now to wait for Senate ratification.    Let's hope they move faster and more decisive than the US Congress.
 

COMINGS AND GOINGS

            Things are starting to quiet down a bit as we head into May.

 Comings, and Were Here:

            The “Here in April” group:

  • Bente Palmer made a surprise visit to Akumal and her condo at The Reef.
  • Tony, Judy, and Alex Gonzalez were back for another spring break around Easter.
  • Pat & Cheryl Reagan were spotted at the beach bar.
  • Sol & Jackie, friends or Richard & Arlene Pargot, were visiting in Las Vigas.
  • Gene & Mary Ellen Langan were in South Akumal for a short stay.
  • Lunda Schwartz was also reported to be in South Akumal.
  • Don Papa is back for a short visit to Puerto Aventuras.
  • Dennis and Barbara Burris were also in town.
  • Lucy James is back with Jim.
  • Mike & Peggy Stone have returned.
  • Patsy Tyler and Suzy Campbell are back in The Reef Penthouse with friends.
  • Phill & Lisa Combs are in Tankah for a very short visit.
  • Gary & Myrna Sparks are back in town.
  • Wally & Jan Koenst are back in Aventuras Akumal.

 The “Coming in May” group:

  • Who know??

  

KENTUCKY DERBY, MAY 4th 

The 139th running of the Kentucky Derby will take place on May 4, 2013.

The Kentucky Derby is a Grade I stakes race for three-year-old thoroughbred horses, staged annually in Louisville, Kentucky on the first Saturday in May, capping the two-week-long Kentucky Derby Festival.  The race is over one and a quarter miles (2 km) at Churchill Downs.  Colts and geldings carry 126 pounds (57.2 kg) and fillies 121 pounds (54.9 kg).  The race is known in the United States as "The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports" for its approximate duration, and is also called "The Run for the Roses" for the blanket of roses draped over the winner.  It is the first leg of the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing in the US and typically draws around 155,000 fans.

Horse racing in Kentucky has a rich history, dating back to 1789 when the first race course was laid out in Lexington.  However, it was almost 100 years later, in 1875, that Churchill Downs officially opened and began its tradition as "Home of the Kentucky Derby."

Once again, Akumal’s Derby festivities will be held at the Lol Ha Beach Bar, and there will be reserved seating for the locals wishing to be “up front and personal” with the 2013 “Run for the Roses”.  The coverage for the 139th Run for the Roses and the Triple Crown on May 4, 2012 begins on NBC Television at 5PM (4PM AT), post time approximately 6PM ET (5PM AT).  Come early and bet often.

100 pesos for a WIN ticket
50 pesos for PLACE ticket
20 pesos for a SHOW ticket

 Come early, thirsty, and hungry.  It’s all going to be there at Lol Ha’s Derby Day.
 

THE MINT JULEP

Early Times Mint Julep Cocktail is a ready-to-serve beverage that has been “The Official Drink of the Kentucky Derby” for 20 years.  Each year almost 120,000 Early Times Mint Juleps are served over the two-day period of the Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby; a feat that requires over 10,000 bottles of Early Times Mint Julep Ready-to-Serve Cocktail, 1,000 pounds of freshly harvested mint, and 60,000 pounds of ice.  Try one and you’ll understand why it has been a Kentucky Derby tradition for so long.

The Mint Julep has always been a symbol of Kentucky's rich heritage and hospitality. Perhaps General Simon Bolivar Buckner put it best when he wrote from the South Pacific during World War II: "A Mint Julep is not the product of a formula.  It is a ceremony that must be performed by one possessing a true sense of the artistic, a deep reverence for the ingredients and a proper appreciation of the occasion."

Many Kentuckians claim that when a Julep is done right, you can hear the angels sing.  One 19th-century jurist is said to have ruled, "Who has not tasted one has lived in vain."  Then again, newspaper editor Henry Watterson's recipe for the perfect Mint Julep is somewhat different, his recipe: "…throw the other ingredients away and drink the whisky - straight."

 Early Times Mint Julep Recipe
Ingredients:
2 oz. Early Times
1 tbsp. simple syrup (recipe below)
Mint sprigs
Crushed ice

Crush a few mint leaves in the bottom of an 8-oz. glass, then fill with crushed ice.  Add one tablespoon of simple syrup and one tablespoon of water.  Add 2 ounces Early Times.  Stir gently until glass frosts.  Garnish with a fresh mint sprig, sip and enjoy.

Simple Syrup with Mint Directions:
1 c. water
1 c. sugar
1 bunch fresh mint sprigs

Combine sugar and water.  Boil for 5 minutes without stirring.  Pour mix over a handful of mint leaves, and gently crush the mint with a spoon.  Refrigerate overnight in a closed jar.  Remove mint leaves, but continue to refrigerate.  Stays fresh for several weeks.

 

CINCO DE MAYO, MAY 5th

            The holiday of Cinco De Mayo (The 5th Of May) commemorates the victory of the Mexican militia over the French army at The Battle Of Puebla in 1862.  It is primarily a regional holiday celebrated in the Mexican state capital city of Puebla and throughout the state of Puebla, with some limited recognition in other parts of Mexico, and especially in U.S. cities with a significant Mexican population.  It is not, as many people think, Mexico's Independence Day, which is actually September 16.

The battle at Puebla in 1862 happened at a violent and chaotic time in Mexico's history. Mexico had finally gained independence from Spain in 1821 after a difficult and bloody struggle, and a number of internal political takeovers and wars, including the Mexican-American War (1846-1848) and the Mexican Civil War of 1858, had ruined the national economy.  During this period of struggle Mexico had accumulated heavy debts to several nations, including Spain, England and France, who were demanding repayment.  Similar debt to the U.S. was previously settled after the Mexican-American War.  France was eager to add to its empire at that time, and used the debt issue to move forward with goals of establishing its own leadership in Mexico.  Realizing France's intent of empire expansion, Spain and England withdrew their support.  When Mexico finally stopped making any loan payments, France took action on it's own to install Napoleon's relative, Archduke Maximilian of Austria, as ruler of Mexico.

France invaded at the gulf coast of Mexico along the state of Veracruz (see map) and began to march toward Mexico City, a distance today of less than 600 miles.  Although American President Abraham Lincoln was sympathetic to Mexico's cause, and for which he is honored in Mexico, the U.S. was involved in its own Civil War at the time and was unable to provide any direct assistance.

Marching on toward Mexico City, the French army encountered strong resistance at the Mexican forts of Loreto and Guadalupe.  Lead by Mexican General Ignacio Zaragoza Seguin, a small, poorly armed militia estimated at 4,500 men was able to stop and defeat a well outfitted French army of 6,500 soldiers, which stopped the invasion of the country.  The victory was a glorious moment for Mexican patriots, which at the time helped to develop a needed sense of national unity, and is the cause for the historical date's celebration.

Unfortunately, the victory was short lived.  Upon hearing the bad news, Napoleon had found an excuse to send more troops overseas to try and invade Mexico again, even against the wishes of the French populace.  30,000 more troops and a full year later, the French were eventually able to depose the Mexican army, take over Mexico City and install Maximilian as the ruler of Mexico.

Maximilian's rule of Mexico was also short lived, from 1864 to 1867.  With the American Civil War now over, the U.S. began to provide more political and military assistance to Mexico to expel the French, after which Maximilian was executed by the Mexicans - today his bullet riddled shirt is on display in the museum at Chapultepec Castle in Mexico City.  So despite the eventual French invasion of Mexico City, Cinco de Mayo honors the bravery and victory of General Zaragoza's small, outnumbered militia at the Battle of Puebla in 1862.
  

ETA AQUARIDS METEOR SHOWER, MAY 5 & 6

This shower has a relatively broad maximum but is expected to show the greatest number of meteors before dawn on May 5.  The waning crescent moon should not really intrude too greatly on this year’s Eta Aquarid show.  At northerly latitudes – for example, in the northern U.S. and Canada, or northern Europe – the meteor numbers are few and far between.  In the southern half of the U.S., 10 to 20 meteors per hour might be visible in a dark sky.  Farther south – for example, in the Southern Hemisphere – the meteor numbers increase dramatically, perhaps two to three times more Eta Aquarid meteors streaking the southern skies.  For the most part, this is a predawn shower.  The radiant for this shower appears in the east-southeast at about 4 a.m. local time (the time at all locations) and the hour or two before dawn offers the most meteors.  The broad peak to this shower means that some meteors may fly in the dark hour before dawn for a few days before and after the predicted optimal date.  The most meteors will probably rain down on May 5, in the dark hours before dawn.    

The eta Aquarids are flakes of dust from Halley's Comet, which last visited Earth in 1986.  Although the comet is now far away, beyond the orbit of Uranus, it left behind a stream of dust.  Earth passes through the stream twice a year, in May and October.  In May, we have the eta Aquarid meteor shower, in October the Orionids.  Both are caused by Halley's Comet.

The eta Aquarids are named after a 4th-magnitude star in the constellation Aquarius.  The star has nothing to do with the meteor shower except that, coincidentally, meteors appear to emerge from a point nearby.  Eta Aquarii is 156 light years from Earth and 44 times more luminous than the Sun.
 

WHAT’S NEW AROUND TOWN?

AKUMAL

 La Lunita Update
            La Lunita is now closed on Sundays.  It is open Monday – Saturday from 11:00am to 11:00pm.

 

Richard Mazzola’s Painting of the Month
            Richard Mazzola has his gallery, Ak-Nah Galeria, in Plaza Ukana, and back in February he had a very successful art show; see Richard’s Art Show.  As a result, The Akumalian is featuring one of Richard’s painting each month.

            This is one of three paintings Richard did of Akumal bay.  He took a photo 20 years ago at 6 in the morning when the sun was exploding over the point.  This one of Akumal bay is 30x15, and this has been sculpted to give it texture; one of the other pictures is also done with the sculpting medium.

Visit Richard’s Gallery for more info on Richard and his art work.

 

New Techie in Town
  
Last October we had a new techie move to town.  Kai Kirk moved down from Dallas with his family and left his high stress corporate job behind.  He specializes in most all things Information Technology (which really just means he knows computers).  He has over 13 years of formal experience in the field and even longer as a hobby.  He loves technology and is already helping people out down here (guess who helped Gary get the Locogringo webcam back online).

Here are some of the services he offers: computer setup assistance, operating system installation, virus eradication, internet troubleshooting, performance tune-up, hardware upgrades, data backups, and more.  He supports Windows, Mac, and Linux computers and is also well versed in most all manners of computer networks.  You can reach him at 984-114-3344 (telcel), 817-382-2294 (U.S.), or techie@yucantech.com

 

Akumal’s New Curbing
            In an effort to defeat parking along the entrance road to Akumal from the highway, a curbing is being built along the right side.  Needless to say, this is a first class effort that should go a long way to keeping the road open to traffic.

Laura Wolfe reports, "I spearheaded the fundraising over a year ago and was able to raise $6,500 USD for it from various events and private donations of local businesses on the main bay.   Enough to do the curb and plants thereby avoiding bus parking at the entrance road. In future if we can get more funds, we will put in another walkway and lighting on that side of the road." 

            Now, if only something could be done to prevent/minimize the parking along the road from the curve by Las Casitas to Casa Magna.

 

New Building on Entrance Road to Akumal
            The Staff has determined that this little building at the entrance to Akumal - just across the driveway by Akumal Real Estate – is a 2nd and more permanent home for the Akumal Pirates, who still have the palapa by the parking lot.

 

Parking Lot Fee
            The parking lot across from Akumal Real Estate now charges 50 pesos to park.  This is a municipal parking lot, and the Tulum Municipality is charging for it's use now;  it is now directly under the control of the Municipality in Tulum. 

One would think they would re-invest some of the profits into a more stable and professional sign.

 

ONDARTE Is Closed
            Maribel has shuttered ONDARTE and moved the Que Onda restaurant back under the palapa, where the décor is very well done, with numerous paintings left from some of the artists who spent time at ONDARTE.  While the menu is somewhat limited, the pasta is very fesh and excellent.

 

Akumal Needs Its Beer
     During the last weekend in April, when The Akumalian staff photographer was out taking some photos for this issue, there was the usual traffic jam between Super Chomak and Pueblito.  Part of the reason is seen in this photo, where Corona and Heineken were taking up most of the road for an extended period of time.

South Akumal News

Baxter’s Dog Is WANTED
  
Tom & Judy Baxter’s dog, Chico, has been missing since Wednesday (April 24) afternoon.  He's a wonderful dog and they want him back.  Flyers have been posted, and if you see him please call their home in Akumal Sur at: 984-875-9145, or Gustavo's cell at: 984-144-7128.  Gustavo's cell number is on his tag.

 

TULUM

ZAMAS Restaurant’s International Chef & Mixologist Series
   May 5-8
: Chef Alicia Jenish of the Grand Cafe in San Francisco will be at ZAMAS to infuse her brasserie style cooking with touches of Mexican and Caribbean cuisine.  As ZAMAS sits on a coconut plantation, she’s excited to use coconut water to braise pork ribs, which she plans on serving with fresh turmeric, cilantro and ginger.  The restaurant’s outdoor grill will be used for mussels, and local octopus will be braised for a flatbread finished off in the restaurant’s wood-burning oven.  Chef Jenish will also lead a class on how to make a classic steak tartare.

 Susan reports, "Chef Jenish will cook specials on the 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th of May during the dinner hours (6-10 pm).  The specials will be priced competitively -- that is, not that much more than our standard specials menu.  We will most likely not have that much live music on those nights, but if we do it will be soft music! I hope to see you at ZAMAS!!!!"
 

Lighthouse Church - Tulum
  
English speaking - Non-Denominational Christian Worship Service

Every Sunday at 10:00 a.m. in Tulum.  For more information and directions: www.lighthousechurch.mx

  

PLAYA DEL CARMEN

Lighthouse Church - Playa del Carmen
English speaking - Non-Denominational Christian Worship Service

Begins April 21 and will continue to meet every Sunday at 6:30 p.m. For more information and directions: www.lighthousechurch.mx

 

MOTHER’S DAY IN MEXICO, MAY 10th   

In Mexico, Mothers Day is celebrated on a fixed day of May 10.  Mothers Day in Mexico is celebrated in a colorful fashion.  Children honor their mothers and thank them for their efforts in bringing them up, and According to a custom in Mexico, sons and daughters make themselves present in the house on the eve of Mothers Day on May 9.

Mothers Day is celebrated with gusto as churches in Mexico organize special mass, and the highpoint of the event is the orchestra, which plays "las mañanitas" and distribution of 'tamales' and 'atole', the traditional early-morning meal to all local mothers.

On Mother's Day, people in Mexico gift flowers and cards to their mothers.  There is also a tradition of giving gifts on Mothers Day.  While the older children buy gifts from the store, the younger ones prepare handmade gifts to honor their mothers.  In several schools, Mothers Day functions are organized where little ones present skits and songs to express their gratitude for their mothers and to entertain them.
 

MOTHER’S DAY IN U.S., MAY 12th   

Mother's Day is a holiday honoring mothers, celebrated (on various days) in many places  around the world.  Mothers often receive gifts on this day.  Mothers Day is celebrated on the 2nd Sunday of May in the United States and Canada.

Different countries celebrate Mother's Day on various days of the year because the day has a number of different origins.  One school of thought claims this day emerged from a custom of mother worship in ancient Greece.  Mother worship — which kept a festival to Cybele, a great mother of gods, and (mythology), the wife of Cronus; was held around the Vernal Equinox around Asia Minor and eventually in Rome itself from the Ides of March (March 15 to March 18).  The Romans also had another holiday, Matronalia, that was dedicated to Juno, though mothers were usually given gifts on this day.

In the United States, Mother's Day was copied from England by social activist Julia Ward Howe after the American Civil War with a call to unite women against war.  She wrote the Mother's Day Proclamation.  In the UK, the day now simply celebrates motherhood, and thanks mothers.

According to the National Restaurant Association, Mother's Day is now the most popular day of the year to dine out at a restaurant in the United States.
 

ARMED FORCES DAY, MAY 18th

Armed Forces Day is a special day observed in many countries to pay tribute to both men and women armies who have served the countries.  Different countries observe Armed Forces Day on different dates.  Most countries determined their Armed Forces Day based on certain events which was significant for the countries and related to the countries’ armed forces.

On August 31, 1949, Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson announced the creation of an Armed Forces Day to replace separate Army, Navy and Air Force Days.  The single-day celebration stemmed from the unification of the Armed Forces within one department -- the Department of Defense.  Each of the military leagues and orders was asked to drop sponsorship of its specific service day in order to celebrate the newly announced Armed Forces Day.  The Army, Navy and Air Force leagues adopted the newly formed day.  The Marine Corps League declined to drop support for Marine Corps Day but supports Armed Forces Day, too.

In a speech announcing the formation of the day, President Truman praised the work of the military services at home and across the seas and said, "It is vital to the security of the nation and to the establishment of a desirable peace."

In an excerpt from the Presidential Proclamation of Feb. 27, 1950, Mr. Truman stated:

“Armed Forces Day, Saturday, May 20, 1950, marks the first combined demonstration by America's defense team of its progress, under the National Security Act, towards the goal of readiness for any eventuality.  It is the first parade of preparedness by the unified forces of our land, sea, and air defense.

The theme of the first Armed Forces Day was "Teamed for Defense."  It was chosen as a means of expressing the unification of all the military forces under a single department of the government.  Although this was the theme for the day, there were several other purposes for holding Armed Forces Day.  It was a type of "educational program for civilians," one in which there would be an increased awareness of the Armed Forces.  It was designed to expand public understanding of what type of job is performed and the role of the military in civilian life.  It was a day for the military to show "state-of-the-art" equipment to the civilian population they were protecting.  And it was a day to honor and acknowledge the people of the Armed Forces of the United States.

The first Armed Forces Day was celebrated by parades, open houses, receptions, and air shows.  In Washington D.C., 10,000 troops of all branches of the military, cadets, and veterans marched pass the President and his party.  In Berlin, 1,000 U.S. troops paraded for the German citizens at Templehof Airfield.  In New York City, an estimated 33,000 participants initiated Armed Forces Day "under an air cover of 250 military planes of all types."  In the harbors across the country were the famed mothballed "battlewagons" of World War II, the Missouri, the New Jersey, the North Carolina, and the Iowa, all open for public inspection.  Precision flying teams dominated the skies as tracking radar was exhibited on the ground.  All across the country, the American people joined together to honor the Armed Forces.
 

THE PREAKNESS, MAY 18th 

This is the 138th running of The Preakness.

 The Preakness Stakes is an American flat Thoroughbred horse race for three-year-olds held on the third Saturday in May each year at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland.  It is a Grade I race run over a distance of 9.5 furlongs on dirt.  Colts and geldings carry 126 pounds (57 kg); fillies 121 lb (55 kg).  It is the second leg of the US Triple Crown, with the Kentucky Derby preceding it and the Belmont Stakes following it.  The horse must win all three races to win the Triple Crown.

The Preakness Stakes has been termed "The Run for the Black-Eyed Susans" because a blanket of Black-eyed Susans (Rudbeckia hirta, the state flower of Maryland) is traditionally placed around the winner's neck.  The attendance at the Preakness Stakes ranks second in North America and usually surpasses the attendance of all other stakes races including the Belmont Stakes, the Breeders' Cup and the Kentucky Oaks.  The attendance of the Preakness Stakes typically only trails the Kentucky Derby.

 The Woodlawn Vase
  
Created by Tiffany and Company in 1860 as a trophy for the now defunct Woodlawn Racing Association, the Woodlawn Vase is presented each year to the winning Preakness owner.  An assessment in 1983 of $1 million easily makes its silver design the most valuable trophy in American sports.  Until 1953, winners were awarded possession of the vase until the following Preakness.  That all changed when A. G. Vanderbilt’s Native Dancer won it but his wife did not want to take on the immense responsibility of the vase’s safekeeping.  Now the winning owner is awarded a $30,000 sterling replica on a permanent basis while the perpetual is on display at The Baltimore Museum of Art and brought to Pimlico under guard for the annual running of the Preakness.
 

SACRED MAYAN JOURNEY, MAY 23 - 25

The Sacred Mayan Journey will take place at Xcaret for the 7th consecutive year.  This event recreates one of the most ancient traditions of the Mayan culture; the yearly pilgrimage of the Maya, who braved the ocean on their canoes and crossed to the island of Cozumel to worship the goddess Ixchel.

The voyage will be done in traditional Mayan canoes starting in Polé, today Xcaret, towards the island of Cozumel, as well as the return from Cozumel to Playa del Carmen (former Xamanhá part).

25 handmade canoes are prepared on the old traditional Mayan model, and 300 rowers from the communities of Xcaret, Cozumel and Playa del Carmen are trained for their navigation.  The Sacred Mayan Journey involves approximately 50 kilometers (total return), representing 6 to 7 hours of free paddling each way in the Cozumel Channel, which is 420 meters deep with a current from south to north 2 to 4 knots, adding to the crossing a level of risk and great physical effort for the rowers.

The project of the Sacred Mayan Journey was founded with the purpose of recovering one of the most significant traditions of the ancient Mayan people of the region: the ritual journey of the Cozumel Channel to worship the Ix Chel. Goddess.  This event began in 2007 to revive interest in the Mayan culture and strengthen the cultural identity of people of the area.

 See Sacred Mayan Journey for more information.
  

FULL MOON, MAY 25th  

The Full Flower Moon occurs on Saturday, May 25 at 5:25 a.m. AST.  In most areas, flowers are abundant everywhere during this time, thus, the name of this moon.  Other names include the Full Corn Planting Moon, or the Milk Moon.

The moon will also undergo a penumbral lunar eclipse, but the passage of the moon's disk into the Earth's shadow will result in one of the slightest eclipses of all, administering a mere touch of penumbral shadow at the northernmost part of the lunar limb.
 

MEMORIAL DAY, MAY 27th

Memorial Day is observed on the last Monday of May.  Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation's service.  There are many stories as to its actual beginnings, with over two dozen cities and towns laying claim to being the birthplace of Memorial Day.  There is also evidence that organized women's groups in the South were decorating graves before the end of the Civil War: a hymn published in 1867, "Kneel Where Our Loves are Sleeping" by Nella L. Sweet carried the dedication "To The Ladies of the South who are Decorating the Graves of the Confederate Dead". 

While Waterloo N.Y. was officially declared the birthplace of Memorial Day by President Lyndon Johnson in May 1966, it's difficult to prove conclusively the origins of the day.  It is more likely that it had many separate beginnings; each of those towns and every planned or spontaneous gathering of people to honor the war dead in the 1860's tapped into the general human need to honor our dead, each contributed honorably to the growing movement that culminated in Gen Logan giving his official proclamation in 1868.  It is not important who was the very first, what is important is that Memorial Day was established.  Memorial Day is not about division.  It is about reconciliation; it is about coming together to honor those who gave their all.

Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11, and was first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery.  The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873.  By 1890 it was recognized by all of the northern states.  The South refused to acknowledge the day, honoring their dead on separate days until after World War I (when the holiday changed from honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war).  It is now celebrated in almost every State on the last Monday in May to ensure a three day weekend for Federal holidays, though several southern states have an additional separate day for honoring the Confederate war dead: January 19 in Texas, April 26 in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Mississippi; May 10 in South Carolina; and June 3 (Jefferson Davis' birthday) in Louisiana and Tennessee.

Traditional observance of Memorial Day has diminished over the years.  Many Americans nowadays have forgotten the meaning and traditions of Memorial Day.  At many cemeteries, the graves of the fallen are increasingly ignored, neglected.  Most people no longer remember the proper flag etiquette for the day.  While there are towns and cities that still hold Memorial Day parades, many have not held a parade in decades.  Some people think the day is for honoring any and all dead, and not just those fallen in service to our country.

There are a few notable exceptions.  Since the late 50's on the Thursday before Memorial Day, the 1,200 soldiers of the 3d U.S. Infantry place small American flags at each of the more than 260,000 gravestones at Arlington National Cemetery.  They then patrol 24 hours a day during the weekend to ensure that each flag remains standing.  In 1951, the Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts of St. Louis began placing flags on the 150,000 graves at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery as an annual Good Turn, a practice that continues to this day.
 

EVENTS

During the month of April, there was the “Best Shirt Award” and The Akumal Comedy Festival.

 

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