February 2021 Newsletter
Hello and welcome to February. The town is fairly busy this weekend and the weather has been good for the past couple days. We did have a bit of rain last week, and some wind, but overall this winter has been very mild so far. And just think, beautiful March is only one month away now. it will be interesting to see if Rocky Point has a large turnout for Spring Break. Normally, it is a very busy time of the year, but with the Covid virus still running loose, I doubt that we'll see anywhere near the normal turnout this year.

For those who are wondering, yes our town is open and tourists come and go unimpeded every single day. There are no extra checkpoints, no requirements to show a negative Covid test at the border when driving across, and there is no quarantine period waiting for you when you get back home. The same rules are in effect that have been in place for several months now. Masks required in public, reduced occupancy in most businesses and lodging places, 11:00 pm curfew, and the border hours are shortened to be 6:00 am until 8:00 pm every day. But, restaurants, bars, and beaches are open. The pools at our resorts are open and heated. Come on down and enjoy a few days at the beach, but know that the restrictions are taken seriously here, so please plan on following the guidelines if/when you come.

This time of year has become popular in recent years because of the large number of whales that frequent our area during these cooler months. As I understand it, they have arrived and tours have been taking eager passengers out regularly (mostly on weekends right now), to see the majestic creatures. If you haven't enjoyed the experience, I do highly recommend it.

Finally, before I move on, I do need to eat a little crow in regards to one of the stories that I posted last month. To preface the admission, it might be good for me to point out that Mexico has a day similar to April Fools Day in the USA. It is called Dia de Los Inocentes, and many Mexicans take it very seriously - to the point of posting false or misleading stories in National newspapers. In 2020, that day was December 28th. So, in my perusing news in search of relative content for my newsletter, I ran across a story that seemed very relevant. Well, long story short, I was had. Hook, line, and sinker...

So, for the few of you who pointed this out to me, thank you. And, for everyone else who actually thought that the pyramid of Kukulkán had collapsed, it has not. I apologize for falling victim and repeating a story that was posted as a "joke" on Dia de Los Inocentes. So, the good news is that the world did not lose an important historical site, and the bad news is that I fell for the gag and ended up with a little egg on my face. I think that the good news outweighs the bad.

Enjoy this beautiful month, come to Rocky Point if you can. If you need anything don't hesitate to ask. Let me put my experience and expertise to work for you, and remember, as always, I've been here full-time for over 13 years and I am more than happy to help you with whatever you need, whether Sonoran Resorts related or not.
Just give me a call or send me an email any time and I will do my very best to help you. If I can't help you myself, I'm sure that I can point you in the right direction and help find you someone who can. 
Besides the links below, you can our listings at the following:
AMPI Puerto Penasco MLS
Point 2 Agent Multinational MLS
Pick up a handout at any of our Sonoran Resorts
Barrett Jackson Show - Scottsdale and Las Vegas
Various Real Estate and Trade shows in AZ, NV, and CA

Our listings are also shared with the following:  
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Jim Ringquist

Broker/Sales Director
Sonoran Resorts Spa - Sea - Sun - Sky

Tourist Assistance Unit Advisory Committee (Tourist Assistance Police)

I hope that you enjoy my newsletter and continue to recommend it to your friends. Please feel free to give me thoughts, suggestions, or ideas for future newsletters. Puerto Peñasco is my home and I love to share the news and goings-on with you.

I do get email requests each month asking me to add someone to my list. While I certainly don't mind doing so, all you really need to do is click Sign-Up for Newsletter below, add the email address, and it will happen automatically. Not to worry - I will not spam you or share your email address, and you will only receive one email-newsletter each month on the 1st.

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US Agency Says there is Currently No Mandatory Quarantine in Place and No Negative Covid-19 Test Requirement for Land Travel
Some people are canceling their plans to travel to Mexico due to reports of a new U.S. quarantine rule – and, if there actually is a new rule, it is not currently being enforced. There is also no negative Covid-19 test required for land travel from Mexico to the USA.

An employee of the Mexican airline Volaris told the newspaper Reforma that at least five flights were recently canceled, including services from Mexico City to Los Angeles, Chicago and Houston. The worker said that flights to the United States were oversold on Monday but some were left with as few as eight passengers on Tuesday due to cancellations.

“They don’t take off like that [with so few passengers],” he said. “A lot [of people] canceled because they thought it was mandatory to stay in confinement for seven days in the United States. But that’s not the case, that’s just a recommendation.”

The CEO of Volaris said there is uncertainty surrounding the quarantine rule, which stems from an executive order signed by United States President Joe Biden which took effect on Tuesday. Enrique Beltranena said he interpreted the quarantine directive as a “recommendation” rather than a hard and fast rule, asserting that the presentation of a negative Covid-19 test is the only mandatory requirement for travelers to the United States via air. Note: there is no negative Covid-19 test required for land travel.

Biden’s executive order stated that travelers entering the United States are required to comply with Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) recommended periods of self-quarantine. The CDC recommends that people stay at home for seven days after returning from high risk international travel even if they test negative for Covid-19.

As things stand no enforceable quarantine rule is in place across the United States. And, there is no Covid-19 test required for land travel from Mexico into the United States.

Fernando Gómez Suárez, a tourism and aviation expert, said earlier this week that fewer U.S. tourists will come to Mexico if they have to go into isolation for at least seven days upon returning home. Such a situation would, of course, have a negative impact on the Mexican tourism sector, which has already been hit hard by the pandemic and associated restrictions.

About six in 10 international tourists who came to Mexico last year were from the United States, according to federal data, a figure that emphasizes the importance of the U.S. market. Locked out of European countries and other popular tourism destinations around the world due to the raging pandemic at home, United States tourists have flocked to Mexico, even as Mexico faces its own bad coronavirus situation.

Unlike many countries, Mexico has not restricted flights from any foreign nation during the coronavirus pandemic. It hasn’t required foreign travelers or Mexicans returning home to quarantine upon arrival in the country either.

The lack of rules for international travelers and the absence of hard lockdown measures has made Mexico an attractive – and accessible – destination for people fed up with restrictions at home and eager to get away.
Covid-19 Vaccines Arrive in Puerto Peñasco
First doses have already been given to health personnel, beginning at the General Hospital

An unreported number of Covid-19 vaccines have arrived in Puerto Peñasco to begin the first stage of vaccination for health personnel in the state of Sonora. Recently, the first batch of 14,625 doses arrived in Sonora, which were distributed to various municipalities in the state.

The first to be vaccinated were personnel who work in the General Hospital. The facilities were guarded by elements of the National Guard, in order to maintain the safety of the vaccines.

Dr. Ramón Gerardo Espinoza Rubio, deputy director of the General Hospital of Puerto Peñasco, became the first health worker in this municipality to receive the Covid-19 vaccine on Wednesday 13 January 2021. Since that time, phase one, which is to vaccinate all health and public safety personel has continued, however the number of vaccines assigned for this town was not reported.

Mayor Kiko Munro works to get the COVID-19 vaccine to Peñasco faster

Given the openness shown by the Federal Government which allow governments and individuals to support the vaccination effort, President Kiko Munro contacted two accredited vaccine providers, one from AstraZeneca and the other from Sputnik V. The latter has recently been under consideration by the Federal government for approval by Cofepris.

The Mayor reported that the preliminary result from his inquiries is that there is a distribution chain available for such purposes, however, until now the order for 40 thousand vaccines has not been formalized because “negotiations are in the works to buy a batch of vaccines consisting of 10 million units.” A pool is being created between different entities, hospitals, and the government of Puerto Peñasco to participate in that effort," said Kiko Munro.

The Mayor explained that he will make a call, first to all PAN mayors, but also to other political parties to join and together make a greater request for the vaccine to be a reality in less time, to be used in the different municipalities of Sonora.

"What I seek is to make a call to all mayors, including the state authority, so that we join forces, we work together so that the vaccine reaches the municipalities as soon as possible, and thus there are fewer infections and fewer human losses", Kiko Munro said. “As this opportunity opens, we must not wait for solutions to come to us. If we join forces and resources, we will move faster, "said Kiko Munro.
Mayor Kiko Munro and DIF Deliver 31 New Scholarships
In the 5 years that the municipal administration has been working with DIF to provide educational scholarships and assistance, a total of 137 young people from Puerto Peñasco have graduated universities, and another 257 students have received scholarships through the DIF Scholarship, making a difference in the lives of almost 400 local students. In addition, DIF maintains a Student House in Mexicali to provide secure living accommodations for recipients of the scholarships who choose to further their education in one of the Universities in that city.

The Mayor awarded 31 scholarships from the DIF educational program, headed by the First Lady, Linda Pivac de Munro, President of the System for the Social Development of Families (DIF).

“I am convinced, because we have faced and overcome many obstacles that difficult does not mean impossible, and this was a challenge that my wife Linda and I imposed on ourselves from the beginning, to promote educational continuity. And to date, we have almost 400 young people who have had the possibility to continue their studies, and have the possibility of graduating which allows them to face the future better prepared, and above all, to have the tools to be the face and the living hope of the Mexico of tomorrow, and particularly of Puerto Peñasco ”, stated Kiko Munro, during his message to the students present.

He assured the group that in the Government he heads, promoting Education has been a constant and a priority, and they have had the great joy of supporting this number of young people who represent pride for their families. “I am sure that parents, grandparents, uncles and brothers feel proud and motivated because you are moving forward to become professionals, and you are doing very well. You have shown that you have the courage and interest to improve yourselves with the positive attitude to face all challenges ”, expressed Kiko Munro.

On this occasion, 31 scholarships were awarded to young students from universities: Universidad del Desarrollo Profesional (UNIDEP), Universidad Tecnológica de Puerto Peñasco (UTPP), Centro de Estudios Universitarios del Nuevo Occidente (CEUNO), Colegio de Bachilleres de Puerto Peñasco, and Center for Technological Studies of the Sea # 14.

Finally, on behalf of the First Lady, Linda Pivac de Munro, Mayor Kiko Munro thanked the invaluable support of Jorge Gaona and his wife, Shayna Sargent, owners of Manny's Beach Club and his brothers Jerry and Carlos Gaona, as well as his team, the support of players and organizers of the first Golf Tournament for their contributions, to Héctor Vázquez del Mercado, General Director of Las Palomas Beach and Golf Resort, local sponsors, and the State of Arizona. Thanks to this effort, 245,423 pesos have been raised for the continuation of the DIF Scholarship program.

Present at the delivery were: Imelda Zamudio Sánchez, Director of the Municipal DIF, representing the First Lady, Linda Pivac de Munro, President of the Puerto Peñasco DIF System, Terencio Gutiérrez Valenzuela, Municipal Secretary, as well as Regidora Juanita Espinoza Delgado, President of the Education Commission.


Short Shorts of All Sorts!

 Sometimes so much is going on in our little slice of paradise by the sea that we can't address the many short subjects with proper attention. To handle the hodgepodge of dangling subject matter, we invented the Potpourri Page. Here are a few "short shorts" to keep you up to date.

Big Tides, Bad Weather, and Inexperience Cause Ship Groundings
Two fishing boats were stranded due to bad weather and big tides.

As the tide receded very quickly, and the wind blew against them, two shrimp boats became stranded, leaving the crews unable to do anything other than wait for the tide to rise and float the ships again. The ships were stranded in the area of the main port and there was no danger of injury or loss of life.

According to local authorities, the mishap was due to the fact that the local tides come and go very quickly, and when an almost full moon and high wind is added, only the most experienced captains can enter and leave the port area without potential risk. In this case, the captains and crew were not from this area and were not used to the local conditions.

Port authorities visited the site and, after writing up their respective minutes in the report, promptly issued a warning and a fine, telling the stranded crews that they should be afloat and able to leave again by 9:00 or 10:00 the next morning. Which they did, all safe and sound, and only feeling the embarrassment and pain of having paid the fines.
Barb's Dog Rescue Always Looking for Transport Volunteers
Most everyone who has spent any time in Rocky Point is aware of the good deeds performed by Barb and her crew of volunteers at Barb’s Dog Rescue. Once again Barb is asking for volunteers to transport dog food from the Phoenix area to the storage room, graciously donated by the owners at Gringo Pass Gas Station. The only limit of how many can be transported to storage in Lukeville is how many bags will fit into your vehicle. There is also need to transport bags from Lukeville to Puerto Penasco, however limited quantities can cross the border, so more trips with fewer bags per trip.

Another transport need concerns the dogs themselves. Quite often, families from the USA (mostly Phoenix area) will adopt a dog without seeing them in person. Whenever possible, Barb will send them to their new homes, hitching a ride with friendly volunteers who pick them up, take them to a prearranged meeting place, where the dogs meet their new families.

If you are able to help with any of these “transport” needs, or if you’re open to helping grooming, cleaning, or even just spreading the word, please contact Barb and let her know. Here’s her email address: barbsdogrescue@gmail.com
2021 Circus Mexicus Dates Confirmed
It has been a rough several months, and many shows and events were cancelled in order to maintain safety procedures and help prevent the spread of the Covid-19 virus. As we move forward in 2021, everyone is hoping that things will begin looking more like they did before the outbreak of the pandemic.

Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers, along with many of the groups that accompany them on their tours here in Rocky Point have cancelled recent events, but the good news is that the dates have been set for the 2021 Circus Mexicus Show. Here’s a message from Roger’s camp:

We are so excited to get back to Mexico in June that we're going to let Circus Mexicus go a little longer this year. RCPM is happy to announce that an extra day has been added to CM!! The Circus will now run June 10-14. Look for information on lineups and ticket sales in early March. The main stage will be in the giant lot behind Banditos (same place as the 2017 show) allowing for a huge amount of space to spread out. Until then, grab your accommodations now. Check out our partners at laspalomasresort.net and penascoluxury.com. We can't wait!
Fire Department Direct Phone Number Compromised. Please Use 911
The local Fire Department recently released an announcement to advise the general public that their direct line phone system has been compromised and to ask everyone to use 911 instead of calling the Bomberos directly, at least for the time being.

The story behind the compromise comes from someone seemingly deliberately trying to tie up the phone lines. What began as an apparent collection call looking for someone who is no longer associated with the Bomberos, became repeated calls and harassment, actually to the point of causing the phone lines to be busy through much of the day, thereby giving callers a busy signal – never a good thing in time of an emergency.

For this reason, they are asking that you call 911, the general emergency line, in the case of an emergency requiring assistance from the Fire Department. The dispatcher will then notify them by radio of the emergency so that they can send units as needed.

Obviously, they are working to resolve the situation, and in truth, it may very well be resolved by the time that this information is received, but to be safe, please use 911 if trying to reach them for an emergency. The Coordinators of the Civil Protection and Firefighters of Puerto Peñasco offered an apology for any inconvenience caused by the situation.
Happy Ending for Wave Runner Adventurer Lost After Dark
A tourist from Nevada was found alive and well, after a harrowing experience on a Wave Runner rental went all wrong. It started when he rented the machine and took off riding along the shoreline past the areas of Las Conchas and further Southeast.

A massive physical and social media search went out in an effort to locate him or the Wave Runner when he failed to return to the rental location, even after the sun had set. When he did not return, the rental agent contacted the authorities who then started the search and rescue mission.

After many assisting in the search began fearing for the worst, the Wave Runner adventurer and the machine were finally located on the beach in the area of the Las Conchas development, near the CEDO facility.

José Daniel Briones Aguilera, a 37 year old resident of Las Vegas, Nevada, was found in the early morning hours by two boats who had volunteered to assist in the search. He was alive and well, without injury or signs of trauma. When interviewed, he explained that at nightfall he lost all visibility at sea, chose to go straight to shore and to remain in place until he was located.
The Whales are Back!
The whales have arrived! Recently, a baby Grey Whale was spotted by a sunset cruise ship spouting near Sandy Beach. Previously, many in Puerto Peñasco were very excited a couple weeks ago when a fishing charter came across a small pod of Orca Whales who showed up not far off shore.

Del Mar Charters, Ecofun Rentals, and others offer tours, especially on weekends during January, February, and March. This year for the first time, CEDO, the internationally known Marine research center, will be offering tours as well, offering first hand access to experts who truly care for the whales.

Whales enter our waters from late December to mid-January and they tend to stick around until the middle of March. Exact dates are impossible to pin down, but if you want to have a unique, once in a lifetime experience, now is the time to be in Rocky Point.

There are tour boats to choose from and most include a limited open bar along with soft drinks and water. Here is a list of a few of the most popular tour boats. Due to the limited capacity restrictions due to the Covid-19 regulations, you should make your reservations in advance with the owners directly.

ECOFUN - 602-635-3736 or 638-388-9699 or ecofunadventures@gmail.com

DEL MAR CHARTERS - 520-407-6054 or craig@delmarcharters.com

PANCHO VILLA - 602-904-1700 or 638-110-3457 or panchovillarockypoint@gmail.com

GO BIG CHARTERS - 520-241-0014 or 520-241-1001 or sjthrush@gmail.com
Puerto Penasco Population Continues to Grow
According to the Inegi Census, Puerto Penasco has grown to 62,689 inhabitants.

The National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI) released the results of the 2020 Population and Housing Census, releasing current data collected during the month of March in Rocky Point, Mexico. The data collected showed that Puerto Peñasco currently has 62,689 inhabitants, living in 19,176 private homes. The state of Sonora has a total population of 2,944,840 inhabitants.

Annual population growth in Mexico slowed to just 1.2% during the past 10 years as young people increasingly prioritize work over starting a family and consequently have fewer children on average than their parents and grandparents.

Mexico’s population was just over 126 million last year, according to 2020 census results published Monday by the national statistics agency Inegi. The figure represents an increase of 12.2% compared to 2010 when the population was 112.3 million.

The annual growth rate of 1.2% over the 10-year period is the lowest since the start of the 20th century. In the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s, annual population growth was above 3% before falling to 2% in the ’80s, 1.9% in the ’90s and 1.4% in the first decade of the 21st century.
Baruch Sangines, a demographer and geographer, told the newspaper Milenio that Mexico could reach 0% annual population growth in a period of three to four decades if the trend continues. That would place Mexico in a similar situation to European countries in the 1990s, he said.

Sangines said that a major factor behind the decrease in population growth is that more people are focusing on their careers rather than getting married and having kids at a young age.

“Our grandparents, the baby boomer generation, had up to eight or nine kids at a very young age. There was a lower death rate [than in the previous wartime period] and a higher birth rate, which produced a population explosion,” he said.

“[Among] the new generations, especially in large cities, everyone wants to work and a lot [of young people] don’t want to get married. If they do decide to get married, [many couples] only have one child,” Sangines said.

The census found that women now have an average of 2.1 children compared to 2.6 in the year 2000. Unlike some other countries, Mexico depends very heavily on the birth rate for population growth because immigration levels are low.

Sangines said that migration helped to boost the population of European countries after the growth rate declined in the ’90s but noted that Mexico is not the final destination for many migrants.

“They [only] cross [Mexico] to go to the United States,” the demographer said, adding that questions need to be asked about what Mexico will do to boost population growth in the coming decades.

The Inegi census also found that 1.21 million residents of Mexico – about 1% of the total population – were born overseas, almost 800,000 of them in the United States.

Inhabitants per square kilometer: green indicates 11 to 59, brown 59 to 148, purple 148 to 254 and red 254 to 6,163.

In addition, the census found that the average age of Mexicans is 29, an increase of three years compared to the 2010 census and seven years compared to 2000. According to the National Population Council, the average age of Mexicans in 2050 will be 38 and Mexico will no longer have a “demographic bonus” – more working age people than non-working age (children and seniors.)

“Mexico will be an aged country in 2050, … [a lot of] old people with few young people,” Sangines said, acknowledging that the size of the nation’s workforce is on track to decrease as a percentage of the overall population.

“It’s something that worries demographers, the dependency ratio [the number of people not in the workforce depending on those who are] is going to be a lot higher.”

Sangines said the health system and pension system will need to be overhauled in order to meet the needs of a country with a large, older population and relatively few young people.

Some of the other findings of the 2020 census:

Females account for 51.2% of the population while males account for 48.8%.

México state, which includes many municipalities in the greater Mexico City metropolitan area, is the country’s most populous state with almost 17 million people. The small Pacific coast state of Colima, with a population of 732,000, is the least populous.

Quintana Roo recorded the highest annual population growth among Mexico’s 32 states over the past decade. The growth rate in the Caribbean coast state was 3.2%. Querétaro ranked second (2.6% annual growth) followed by Baja California Sur (2.3%), Nuevo León (2.2%) and Aguascalientes (1.9%).

The illiteracy rate declined to 4.7% from 6.9% in 2010.

Mexicans have completed 9.7 years of education on average, up from 8.6 years in 2010 and 7.5 years in 2000.

Among Mexicans aged 12 or older, about three-quarters of males and 49% of females are employed.

Internet connectivity rose to 52% of households from 21% in 2010.

Almost 7.4 million Mexicans speak an indigenous language, up from 6.9 million in 2010. However, the percentage of the overall population that speak an indigenous language declined from 6.6% to 6.1%.

Almost 21 million Mexicans have some kind of disability or physical limitation.

Some 2.6 million people identify as Afro-Mexican or of African descent.

Almost three-quarters of the population have some kind of health insurance.

An average of 3.6 people live in each home.

About 1.2 million homes don’t have access to running water.

Nine of 10 homes have a TV, 88% at least have one cell phone, 38% have a computer, and 47% have a car.

Rocky Point Receives Donation of Two Patrol Vehicles from Pinal County, AZ
As part of the Sister Cities Agreement between Florence, Arizona, and Puerto Peñasco, the donation and delivery of two patrol units was carried out in a move to help continue to reinforce security in this tourist destination, reported Mayor Kiko Munro.

The Mayor of Puerto Peñasco explained that it was near the end of 2020 when the Municipality of Puerto Peñasco, through the Public Security Directorate, managed the donation of the two police pick-up truck, both GMC Sierras, which were delivered on Friday, January 15, by Sheriff Mark Lambert of Pinal County, Saúl Núñez Gordiano, Administrative Director of Municipal Public Safety, as well as Luis Molina, Administrative Deputy Director.

“Thanks to the vision that we have achieved through the Puerto Peñasco Seguro Security Plan, and the Sister Cities agreements with different cities in the United States, we reinforce public safety with more equipment, work tools, training and education, making this city a one of the safest in northwestern Mexico and the State of Sonora ", said the Mayor.

He added that, in the immediate future, as conditions allow in regards to the Covid-19 pandemic, additional actions will continue in order to further strengthen Public safety and the Safe Corridor which exists between Lukeville, AZ and Puerto Penasco.

Kiko Munro recalled that it was in December 2019 that the Board of Supervisors of Pinal County, Arizona, issued the proclamation recognizing the Sister Cities relationship between that County and Puerto Peñasco, Sonora.

The Mayor of Peñasco pointed out that, through this alliance formation, friendly labor relations are fostered and benefits are promoted for the inhabitants of the region in addition to the importance of the Sister Cities movement that has been used successfully in the United States.

In this relationship with the Pinal County work is being done to foster a Development Plan for the construction of industrial parks boasting mutual benefits, ecotourism, health tourism, and the exploration of desalination services, providing water for residents and visitors
Netflix to Invest US $300 Million in Mexico This Year
Netflix will invest more than US $300 million in Mexico this year to make about 50 original productions.

Forbes México reported that the “Netflix originals” will either be local productions or international ones to be filmed here.

The slated 2021 investment is 50% higher than the $200 million the content platform and production company allocated to Mexico projects last year.

Forbes said that Netflix also provided it with information about other plans it has in Mexico. The business magazine and website said that the company is in the process of opening a new office in Mexico City that will become Netflix’s Latin America headquarters.

“We’re excited about the opening this year of our Latin America headquarters in Mexico City. We expect that by the end of 2021, our regional office will have more than 100 employees,” Netflix said.

On January 1, 2021, Netflix México officially came into existence as a separate entity to its parent company. It is the exclusive local distributor of Netflix services to Mexican customers.

News of the $300-million investment in new content will no doubt excite lovers of Mexican-made Netflix originals. Control Z, a teen drama, and Oscuro Deseo (Dark Desire), a thriller series, were among the Mexican productions that were extremely popular with audiences here and in many other countries around the world last year.

Netflix told Forbes that it intends to go beyond drama this year and delve into the comedy, adventure and action genres. It also said it would make reality programs and documentaries.

“All these titles will be from Mexico for Mexico and the world,” Netflix said.

The popular streaming service has about 200 million subscribers around the world, including approximately 7 million in Mexico.
Puerto Penasco is Promoted as a National Tourist Destination
The president of the Sonoran Association of Tour Operators reported that the promotional event held for several travel agencies and providers was a success.
The private initiative, together with the Sonoran Association of Tour Operators, Guides and Tourist Hosts, as well as other providers of tourist services from Puerto Peñasco, have started promoting this beach destination as a travel alternative for Mexican national tourism.
Julio César Rascón Torres, president of the Sonoran Association of Tour Operators, described the recent promotional event which was held with local travel agencies from Hermosillo, Nogales, and Ciudad Obregón, who would promote the destination nationwide.
In the promotional event called "I want to go to Puerto Peñasco", the Route of the Missions was also promoted, along with the participation of the Magdalena de Kino, Caborca, Pitiquito, and Trincheras Municipalities.
“In February and March, the Tour Operators Association, in coordination with several private companies, will present tourist packages of five days and four nights to be promoted by travel agencies and tour providers with the goal being to promote tourist packages leaving from Hermosillo and going to Magdalena, following the Route of the Missions of Father Kino, and then to Caborca, Puerto Peñasco, and also to visit the Pinacate Reserve and the Gran Desierto de Altar. That’s the idea, to promote those destinations for travel agencies ”, he explained.
At this point, the promotion is being done completely through private initiative, he said, but later the project will be presented to the Tourism Promotion Commission, so that it can attract additional support in promoting it, in an effort to attract more visitors.
“For Peñasco there is a lot of room for market growth from places such as Tijuana, Ciudad Juárez, Monterrey, Guadalajara, and Mexico City. It is a very important place as a great beach destination. That was the idea of this meeting, to promote more within Mexico, because Puerto Peñasco is already positioned very strongly with the North American community. The idea of this event is to promote to the national market ”, he explained.
The prices will also be accessible for the national market, as they seek to work as a team to facilitate everything from logistics to being able to offer competitive costs within the Mexican internal market, helping to reactivate the economy in new ways.
Tourist Auxiliary Unit (TAU) Agents Extensive Training Continues
Agents of the Tourist Auxiliary Unit (TAU), as part of their ongoing training, recently concluded two courses, earning them International Certifications in the Use of the Police Baton and Certification in Use of Handcuffs by the ASP of the United States, informed TAU Director, Carlos Bravo Ramírez.

The Director of the TAU explained that the purpose of this training in police techniques is to reinforce skills and preparation in security matters through the Puerto Peñasco Seguro strategic plan coordinated by Mayor Kiko Munro.

The public servant pointed out that Master Sergio Camacho, President of the International Association in Special Tactics and Police Instruction of the City of Phoenix, Arizona, was in charge of training the agents of this Unit during the later part of December, 2020.

“Thanks to Mayor Kiko Munro's commitment to important issues such as citizen and visitor safety, this Tourism Police Unit continues to be trained and educated, with the aim of continuing to offer the best services by developing agents with a profile of respect and kindness, however having been trained for a quick response in the case of an emergency call”, expressed Carlos Bravo.

Among other courses and training for the operational personnel of the TAU and Public Security are, special techniques and tactics, defense, disarmament, arrest tactics, bodyguards, and firearms use, as well as training in search and rescue, taught by personnel of the Secretary of the Navy of Mexico.
Chester the Cheetah Bids his Final Adiós to Mexico This Week.
The cartoon cheetah that has symbolized the Cheetos snack on its packaging and in TV commercials since the mid-1980s will no longer appear on packaging in Mexico, in compliance with a law passed in 2018 aimed at informing consumers about unhealthy foods and beverages and restricting how such items are marketed toward children.

In October 2018, when the regulations were passed, Katia Yetzani García of the nonprofit El Poder del Consumidor said they were based on the Pan American Health Organization’s statement that such marketing toward children takes advantage of their inexperience with advertising.
The secretary-general of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, Angel Gurría, said last year that “the incidence of overweight and obesity among the Mexican population has reached alarming levels,” with about 73% of Mexicans considered overweight. Childhood obesity, he said, has doubled from 7.5% in 1996 to 15% in 2016.

Chester is being replaced on Cheetos packages with a more generic letter “C” that nevertheless incorporates elements of the character that will be reminiscent to those familiar with it.

The law banning Chester and other cartoon characters began taking effect last October when the packaging of food and beverage items high in sugar, salt, fats or calories started displaying uniform seals in large, striking black-and-white lettering announcing that they contained excessive levels.

The upcoming ban — on cartoon characters, drawings, and celebrity images on packaging — applies to foods and beverages that qualify for at least one of these government seals. It does not become obligatory for manufacturers until April, when other famous characters like Tony the Tiger — and Mexican packaging cartoon superstars like Rey Carlos V (a candy bar image), Melvin the Elephant (Choco-Krispies), and the gansito (a goose character featured on a popular snack cake packaging) will also disappear from Mexico’s store shelves.

Mexico is not the first country in Latin America to get rid of cartoon mascots on unhealthy foods. Chile passed a similar law in 2015 against the packaging or advertising of foods high in calories, fat, salt, or sugar that uses “hooks” directed at minors under 14. As a result, most cereals and other “junk foods” in the country have packaging free of such imagery.

Chester Cheetah was created for an ad agency in the United States in 1986 by Brad Morgan, whose voice was briefly featured in the original U.S. animated commercials. A Saturday morning cartoon around the character planned by the Fox network in the 1990s, Yo, It’s the Chester Cheetah Show, was scrapped after groups like the Action for Children’s Television raised strong objections to it as an insidious marketing tool directed at children.
Mexico Marks the Enactment of its Constitution with a National Holiday
February 5th is a national holiday in Mexico that marks the enactment of its Constitution, Día de la Constitución.

Mexico’s Constitution was drafted in the colonial city of Queretaro, north of Mexico City. It was legalized on February 5th, 1917, by the country’s Constitutional Congress. Venustiano Carranza was the first President to serve under the terms of the new constitution.

In years past, Mexico would have marked this holiday on February 5th but, in 2006, Congress approved an initiative whereby a number of official holiday dates would be observed on the nearest Monday to the official date, thus creating long holiday weekends. This year, the observed day is Monday, February 1.

2017 marked the 100th anniversary of the Constitution and to commemorate the centenary, the Bank of Mexico issued a limited edition 20-peso coin and a limited edition 100-peso banknote celebrating the date. On the centenary of the revolution in 2010, the bank issued a 100-peso commemorative banknote for that occasion as well but, although they remain legal tender, they are rarely if ever seen in trade now and have become a collector’s item.

The Mexican Constitution was drafted following the Mexican Revolution, led by Francisco Madero against the dictatorial regime of Porfirio Diaz (an era known in Mexico as “El Porfiriato”), in pursuit of political and agrarian reforms, and social justice.

Although it took several years for Mexico’s political upheaval to settle down following the revolution and subsequent enactment of the Constitution, to this day the document continues to rule and shape Mexico’s social, political, and economic landscape.

One of the key Articles of the Mexican Constitution to come to light in recent years is Article 27, which deals with the ownership of land in Mexico. Specifically, it states, foreigners may not own land within 100 km of a land border or 50 km of a sea border. In a bid to open up land development to foreign direct investment the administration of President Carlos Salinas de Gortari introduced ‘Land Trusts’ (fideicomisos) in the 1990s; administered by banks, they provide foreigners with title and rights of the land in all but direct name. Before this law came to pass, foreigners who bought land near the border in Mexico used a ‘presta nombre’ (borrowed name)—a Mexican national whom the buyer could trust to hold title of the land, with a gentleman’s agreement existing between the buyer and the title holder. Obviously, the current system is much more secure for foreign buyers and investors.
Mexico’s Famous Tycoon Carlos Slim and President of Mexico, AMLO, Both Diagnosed with COVID-19
The Mexican businessman, Carlos Slim, one of the world’s richest men, has been hospitalized with COVID-19, spokesman (and son in law) Arturo Elias Ayub said on Wednesday, January 27th.

The 80-year-old telecoms magnate has been receiving treatment at the National Institute of Nutrition, a public health center in Mexico City, since his son confirmed on Monday that he had tested positive.

“He’s in [the hospital] for analysis and monitoring, but he’s doing very, very well,” Elias said.

Slim is Mexico’s wealthiest man. His family controls America Movil, the largest Mexican telecommunications provider, whose operations include mobile and fixed-line voice services, wireless, internet, and fixed-data services.

Meanwhile, President López Obrador is well and has only mild symptoms days after he announced that he tested positive for Covid-19, Interior Minister Olga Sánchez said Thursday.

Speaking at the regular news conference usually presided over by López Obrador, Sánchez said the 67-year-old president continues to carry out his duties as head of the executive branch of government.

The interior minister said that López Obrador, a former smoker with a history of high blood pressure who suffered a heart attack in 2013, will return to his daily pressers as soon as his doctors give him the green light to do so. He is currently in isolation at his home in the National Palace and being monitored by a medical team led by Health Minister Jorge Alcocer.
“I assure you that he is very well, very optimistic as always, in a good mood and very soon we’ll have him with us,” Sánchez said.

Speaking at the Health Ministry’s Wednesday night coronavirus press briefing, Deputy Health Minister Hugo López-Gatell said that López Obrador had “minimal symptoms.”

“He’s had a few brief episodes of low-grade fever and practically no other discomfort. When he’s asked repeatedly, he finally gives in and says ‘a little bit of a headache since you’re asking so much,’” he said.

The government hasn’t disclosed whether López Obrador is being treated with any medications.
How Busy is the US-Mexico Land Border?
The US-Mexico land border is the world’s busiest land crossing. Data reveals the colossal volume —and types— of crossings traversing the land border each year

Mexico and the United States share a 1,954-mile land border, stretching from the Pacific Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico. This land border (parts of which encompass the Rio Grande/Rio Bravo) is the busiest land border in the world and strategically important to both countries for their shared interests in commerce, culture, and tourism. The movement of people and vehicles across this land space is a cornerstone of the economic well-being of all Mexican and US border states.

The US Department of Transport collects detailed records of border crossings every day and very helpfully makes those data available via its website.

To better understand the scope of these pedestrian and vehicle crossings, here is the downloaded data for 2019 —before things became more restricted in 2020— to get a handle on how much traffic typically crosses the US-Mexico land border.

This is what the data reveals:

US-Mexico land border crossings by type (2019)

The US DOT’s data classifies ‘crossing types’ into the groups listed in the table below. The numbers represent ‘crossings’ not unique numbers of people and vehicles. The data reveal that in 2019 there were:

Crossings Type Volume

Passengers in Personal Vehicles 136,890,096
Pedestrians       49,175,926
Bus Passengers 2,153,331
Train Passengers             9,568
Personal Vehicles            73,085,262
Buses   151,541
Trains   11,673
Trucks  6,440,255
Truck Containers (Full)  4,766,152
Truck Containers (Empty)            1,754,507
Rail Containers (Full)      491,994
Rail Containers (Empty) 607,840

Summary analysis of land border crossings (2019)
There were 239,567,746 passenger crossings in 2019, of which:

188,228,921 (79%) were Passengers in Personal Vehicles; and
49,175,926 (20%) were Pedestrians;
there were 2,153,331 Bus Passengers (1%), and
9,568 Train Passengers (negligible %).
There were 79,828,599 vehicle crossings in 2019, of which:

73,085,262 (92%) were Personal Vehicles;
6,591,796 (7.8%) were Commercial Trucks; and
151,541 (0.2%) were Buses.

Related to the transportation of goods by road and rail, in 2019 there were:

6,520,659 Truck Container crossings of which 4,766,152 were full and 1,754,507 were empty;
in addition, there were 1,099,834 Rail Container crossings of which 491,994 were full and 607,840 were empty.

Busiest US-Mexico land border crossing points

This table shows the the top 10 border crossings along the US-Mexico land border in 2019, by volume and type. San Ysidro is the busiest crossing by far, followed by El Paso. Most of the the annual crossings are made by personal vehicles and their passengers, and pedestrians.

Crossing Name Crossing Type   Volume
San Ysidro          Personal Vehicle Passengers      25,845,348
El Paso Personal Vehicle Passengers      18,703,243
San Ysidro          Personal Vehicles            14,979,363
Otay Mesa         Personal Vehicle Passengers      11,372,048
San Ysidro          Pedestrians       10,799,398
El Paso Personal Vehicles            10,528,448
Laredo Personal Vehicle Passengers      10,373,765
Brownsville        Personal Vehicle Passengers      9,416,489
Calexico              Personal Vehicle Passengers      9,005,892
Hidalgo Personal Vehicle Passengers      8,267,555

Data Source: You can learn more about border crossing volumes and types and download the data from the US DOT website. The data sets also contain crossings between the US and Canadian land border, which are not included in the data presented in this article.
Virtual Platform Launched to Make Culinary Trips Throughout Mexico
Technology and gastronomic cultural diffusion come together in this project that revalues ​​what is born and made in Mexico.

The Mexperience Company, together with Huawei, promotes a new way of exploring Mexican gastronomy through virtual experiences through which you can learn to prepare recipes as well as investigate what is behind the culinary identity of a state or an area from the country.

The pandemic forced us to change schemes and The Mexperience Company is proof of this. Faced with the impossibility of traveling and living in person, this alternative takes advantage of the technology and the push of an international brand such as Huawei, to reach any corner of Mexico in order to spread the cultural, gastronomic, and tourist diversity of the country.

When you buy a Mexperience, you receive at the door of your house everything you need to know up close what the cuisine of a certain place is like, depending on the theme of the event. On a specific day and time, you can connect via video call with an expert, and possibly other fellow travelers.

In each Mexperience the role that the selected elements play within Mexican culture is explored, it is shared about their current condition, the communities from which they come and the recipes that make the gastronomy of Mexico have been considered as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, according to Unesco, since 2010.

According to Laura Pastrana, who is the founder of The Mexperience Company, all the edible supplies, beverages, and crafts that come to the participants’ homes are purchased through a fair trade scheme with small producers throughout Mexico. This, according to her, is a way to revalue her work and give it a greater projection.

The Mexperiences may differ, depending on the nature of the subject and the desire of viewers. The same can be Mexperiences live by Zoom, Mexperiences classes to learn how to prepare recipes, or even Mexperiences on demand, which can be experienced without the need to connect in real-time.

They all have different themes depending on the season, for the moment they will remain virtual until the pandemic subsides enough to allow us to have physical encounters, and they cost around 1800 pesos for two people.

The role of technology has always been important for the current development of the world; however, when you team up with the gastronomic culture of a country like ours, the match becomes perfect and safe.
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Arroz con Leche
Arroz con leche varies with each Mexican grandmother who makes it so finding the “best” recipe for Mexico’s take on rice pudding all depends on whom you ask

In Mexico, arroz con leche is a longstanding traditional dessert, and there are as many ways to make it as there are grandmothers willing to share their recipe.

While it’s a simple enough dish, there are secrets to success that involve the ingredients, cooking methods and level of patience (ahem). Traditionally arroz con leche, or rice pudding, is made by slowly, slowly cooking rice in sweetened whole milk until the rice is soft and the milk has thickened. Cinnamon, vanilla and sometimes nutmeg can be added before serving.

Some people like an arroz con leche that’s more soupy; others prefer it firm. That’s just a matter of cooking time, the ratio of rice to milk and, to some degree, about the type of rice you’re using.
What’s the best kind of rice to use? Some say long-grain rice is best, some swear by short-grain for a creamier result. Some believe in arborio rice. Quien sabe? But don’t use “Minute Rice” or any kind of arroz precocido (precooked rice); it defeats the purpose of the rice starch cooking into the pudding.

Sugar is the time-honored sweetener, and for good reason: using granulated sugar or piloncillo (unrefined whole cane sugar) helps the milk caramelize as it cooks down, creating a complex depth of flavor.

Rice pudding is a favorite all over the world, where it’s called by different names and baked, boiled and simmered in a variety of ways. Legend tells us a big bowl of kheer was the Buddha’s final meal before his enlightenment. In Chinese cuisine we find ba bao fan, made with eight kinds of fruits or nuts and eaten at the New Year. The Lebanese serve meghli to celebrate the birth of a child.

The Philippines’ tsamporado, a chocolate rice pudding, traces its history to early trade with Mexico; innovative Filipino cooks revised the Mexican champurrado by substituting sticky rice for masa.

If you’re going to make arroz con leche at home, here are a few versions of the traditional recipe. You be the judge, and see what you think.

First, let’s start with YouTuber Doña Angelita’s recipe.

Doña Angelita’s Arroz con Leche

5 liters whole milk
½ kilo rice, washed
1 big cinnamon stick
5 small piloncillo cones
½ cup white sugar
1 cup raisins
Put 1 liter of the milk, plus the rice and the cinnamon stick in a large pot. Cook uncovered until rice is soft.

Add the remaining milk, piloncillo, sugar and raisins. Cook, stirring constantly to make sure it doesn’t burn or stick to the bottom, for about 30 minutes or until thickened.

Kind-of Classic Rice Pudding

¾ cup uncooked white rice
2 cups whole milk, divided
⅓ cup white sugar
¼ tsp. salt
1 egg, whisked
⅔ cup golden raisins
½ tsp. vanilla extract
Bring 1½ cups water to a boil in a saucepan; stir rice into boiling water. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes. Set aside.

In a different pan, combine 1½ cups of the cooked rice, 1½ cups milk, the sugar and the salt. Cook over medium heat until thick and creamy, 20–30 minutes.

Stir in remaining ½ cup milk, the egg and the raisins. Cook 2 minutes more, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla and let cool.

Old-Fashioned Arroz con Leche

1 cup uncooked rice
2 cinnamon sticks
¼ tsp. salt
2½ cups water
4 cups whole milk
1 cup sugar
In large pot over high heat, combine water, rice, cinnamon sticks and salt. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to simmer. Cook 15 minutes.

Add milk, stir, cover and cook on low for another 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in sugar, cover and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Uncover, raise heat to medium and cook for 5 minutes until pudding thickens. Remove from heat and cool.
That’s What False Friends Are For
There are many pairs of words in English-Spanish that look and sound similar but have very different meanings

Native English speakers more or less know that if you’re struggling to find a word in Spanish, you can add an ‘o’ or an ‘a’ to the end of an English noun —as well as “idad” for words ending “ity” and “ología” for “ology” and “ismo” for “ism”— and have a 50% chance of coming up with something close enough that people will understand what you are getting at.

Of the remaining 50% chance, there’s roughly a 33% chance each that you will: a) be misunderstood, b) say the opposite of what you mean, and c) make a complete fool of yourself.

The creative adaptation of word endings works better if you have a rough idea of which English words are Latin based, since both languages share those roots. Words with Greek origins will also usually work, since many are used for scientific names or terms.

This causes mistakes with words that have a similar root or origin but have come to change their meaning in one or the other language. These words that look and sound similar but have different meanings are called false cognates —incorrectly, it turns out— or false friends.

Some examples of false cognates

Sensible in Spanish means sensitive, or even touchy. Sensato is the word for sensible.

Sano in Spanish means healthy or whole, or clean (as in jokes), but not sane. Sane in Spanish is cuerdo—which implies “in his or her right mind”—and sanity is translated cordura, which can also mean prudence.

Sanatorio is a hospital or clinic, and sanitario is a (public) toilet or restroom.

Compromiso means commitment, promise, or engagement (to be married or any other kind), and the word for compromise is componenda, although in Mexico arreglo is commonly heard. Hardly anyone uses the word componenda.

Asistir means to attend (e.g. a meeting or event), — less commonly it may mean ‘to witness’ — but it doesn’t mean ‘to assist.’ If you want to provide help or assistance you would use the word ayudar.

Sometimes the meaning of similar-sounding words is the opposite or entirely different, for example, terso means smooth, not terse, and en absoluto or absolutamente means “absolutely not!” I absolutely agree would be estoy completamente de acuerdo.

There are many of these pairs of words in English-Spanish, and lists of them can be found with an online search.

English-language influence on Spanish words

The transliteration of English to Spanish can also produce words that don’t exist, and native Spanish speakers who know English are also guilty of this, particularly in business world concepts which have their origin in English.

This increasing brush with the English-speaking world has led to more and more frequent use of the hitherto uncommon disrupción and disruptivo, although there is no such verb as “disrumpir,” according to the Academy, which notes the English influence of the former two words.

The fashionable words, ‘accountable’ and ‘accountability’, cause no end of problems for conference speakers, who frequently end up using the English term with apologies: responsable and responsabilidad are perfectly good words, but the compound noun rendición de cuentas leads to speaker’s block when trying to convert that into an adjective.

The online generation has no such qualms about cognates —false or otherwise— and happily takes computer and internet jargon from its original English and tags on the necessary Spanish endings, including conjugations: uploadear, atachar, taguear, tuitear, rebootear, etc. are among verbs in common use.
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Let me know if you would like links to any of the earlier ones. (Almost 10 years worth)
Just for the fun of it...

Jim Ringquist