January 2021 Newsletter

From myself, Sonoran Resorts, and the Sonoran Resorts Sales Team, we wish everyone a very happy, healthy, and prosperous 2021!

We have just made it through a pretty unusual year and, in spite of everything, our sales team actually did much better than one may have expected during such a tumultuous year. Yes, tourism was down, and sales were down from the previous several years, but overall things were much better than they could have been, and the prospect of 2021 being a tremendous year is very high, in my opinion. There really is much to be thankful for. Living in paradise and working for the Sonoran Resorts are two things right up there on my list.

Winter is officially here with some pretty chilly weather setting in over the last couple days, but overall the weather has been very good. I have seen the very calm, glasslike surface of the ocean on so many days as I drive down the road to my office at the Sonoran Sky, that it has been tempting to just turn around and go launch my boat. But, work still comes first, so on to the office I go. Glad that I love what I do. Weather in the wintertime here is, I guess you could call it, a bit unpredictable. Normally when I head to work in the morning, I take note of the temperature reading in my truck and, during December, I have seen temps from 46 degrees to 70 degrees. As they say, if you don't like the weather, just wait a few hours and it will change. We usually get a good number of warm sunny days over the wintertime and the town is very quiet this time of year so it can be a great time to visit. 

Last night was New Year's Eve and, despite the covid protocols and the 11:00 curfew in town, there were certainly folks celebrating. Music and fireworks could be heard right as the clock struck midnight and continued for quite awhile afterwards. I do think that it was very much subdued compared to previous years though, so a good number of people obviously did adhere to the restrictions. 

Our 2020 Annual Food Drive has officially ended and I would like to thank everyone who was able to drop off donations. I will make the rounds to the offices tomorrow to gather everything up and will drop it off to be distributed to those who need it. Just because our food drive is over does not mean that there are not still countless people in need of assistance in this town. There are many worthy people and organizations that will gladly make sure that your donations get into the hands that need them the most, so please keep giving as often as you can. We are always open to accepting donations in all of our sales offices as well if it's more convenient for you.

Many of you know that we co-sponsor the Barrett Jackson show in Scottsdale every year and we always have an information booth set up there during the entire show. The show is normally in January, but due to covid, this year's show has been postponed until March. I posted an article below with more information, but we'll be there, just as we have been for the past 9 years. Hope you can make it to the show and come to see us. Another January mainstay event has been postponed as well is the RCPM January Jam. More info on that below as well.

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:  
IMPORTANT: Some email providers cut this newsletter off before the end. If that happens on yours, please scroll to the bottom of this email and click "View Entire Message" to see the entire newsletter. 

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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Americans Feel Safe in Mexico, Despite Pandemic
U.S. tourists aren't welcome in many countries around the world because of the high number of coronavirus cases surging in the United States. But at least one country is keeping its borders open: Mexico. And many Americans, keen to escape the cold or lockdowns, are flocking to its stunning beaches.

On a recent weekend visit, Sharlea Watkins and her friends enjoyed a few beers at a restaurant overlooking the Sea of Cortez. "Look at it out here — it's beautiful," said Watkins, pointing to the wide blue expanse of the ocean. "And it's warm," she added. Back in Boise, Idaho, where all the friends live, it has been in the 30s. And the months indoors have been tough. It's beautiful. We feel safe," she said.

Mexico has had a high death toll from COVID-19, however despite the second wave of the disease and the fast-rising case numbers in other countries like the United States, Mexico doesn't require travelers to show proof of a negative coronavirus test or to quarantine upon arrival.

So when two of Watkins' friends decided to tie the knot and wedding venues at home were closed because of the pandemic, the group went south of the border.

Steve Edwards, who builds homes in Boise, was performing the nuptials. "I'm an ordained minister, ordained through the Internet," he said, drawing raucous laughter from all the friends. He said he had the couple jot down their vows at the bar and they'd read the vows once out on a sunset cruise.

Tourism officials are cheering the return of tourists, especially those from the United States. Figures for October, the last month available, show that over half a million Americans visited Mexico.

According to Mexico's National Institute of Statistics and Geography, tourism lost more jobs than any other industry. Nearly a third of all businesses in high tourist areas have closed down.

And a warning in late November by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advising Americans against travel to Mexico seemed to threaten even greater job loss. There have also been news reports that American tourists could have contributed to coronavirus outbreaks in Mexico.

But officials insist they have instituted tough safety protocols, which they tout in ads running on several travel websites. In one example, an announcer declares that "before you visit, get to know the rules," with a frame highlighting mask-wearing that shows a woman snorkeling among fish. Another frame plugs self-distancing rules with an enticing scene of a lone surfer in vast blue waters.

Officials say that safety really does come first. Hotels and restaurants are open with limited capacity, visitors' temperatures are taken before entering stores, and masks are mandatory. Police and the Tourist Assistance Unit monitor the situation.
Tourists Get Mixed Messages About Travel to Sonora
In March, the Sonoran beach town Puerto Peñasco, or Rocky Point, shut its doors to the outside world.

“It was terrible. I can’t say any other word. It was terrible,” said Maru Zacatelco, owner of EcoFun Adventures which offers sightseeing tours on the Sea of Cortez.

Like many other businesses in Rocky Point, EcoFun Adventures closed for nearly five months this year as the city tried to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

But since Rocky Point reopened its beaches in August, Zacatelco says tourists have been flocking back, despite binational restrictions on travel at the U.S.-Mexico border.

“I saw more people this past December than any other December. Which I really think is because people were locked up for so long early on,” she said. “So yeah, I mean surprisingly we’re doing really good.”

She hopes it stays that way. And so does Mayor Kiko Munro. “If anybody decides that Peñasco is the place to be, we’re ready for them,” he said.

He said Rocky Point has successfully balanced restarting its tourism-dependent economy while keeping people safe. The city has only reported 336 cases - that’s far fewer than most cities in Arizona or the rest of Sonora, where cases are soaring. Though because Rocky Point, like other parts of Mexico, has conducted much less testing than Arizona, it’s like that the true number of COVID-19 cases are actually much higher.

And Munro admitted that Rocky Point hasn’t been entirely spared from the toll of the virus. “The mortality rate is really really high,” he said. However, he said, the 50 reported coronavirus deaths in Rocky Point are due to local transmission, not the city’s re-embrace of tourism.

Even after nearly three months on lockdown and with new COVID-19 precautions, Rocky Point received more than 800,000 visitors this year. That’s less than half as many as usual, according to the city’s tourism bureau. And while some months this fall were abnormally busy after the city’s lockdown during the spring high season, that’s unlikely to be the case this winter. The beaches are always less busy when cooler temperatures hit, and the city’s strict sanitation protocols, occupancy limits, and 11 p.m. curfew will likely put a damper on holiday festivities that usually attract visitors.

But, Munro said, visitors who want to come are welcome. “Of course we always relate to the staying home policy which is the best in order to prevent COVID. But if you’re thinking of going out of town you might as well consider us as a safe place to visit,” he said, adding later: “Again, we’re reinforcing the call to stay home. But if you’re not going to stay home, if you are thinking about getting out of the city, you can rest assured that Peñasco is taking the necessary precautions.”

Other leaders, though, are sending a different message. “We’re putting out a call, very respectfully, for people to avoid traveling, avoiding leaving their homes, avoid getting sick or getting other people sick,” said Guaymas Mayor Sara Valle. “I don’t think it is the right moment to visit our municipality.” It’s not easy, she said, for a community where many people who work in the tourism industry are already struggling this year because of lost jobs and income. But she hopes getting through 2020 safely will.

At least for now, though, Guaymas — home to the popular beachside destination San Carlos — won’t be closing beaches and tourist attractions like it did earlier this year, Valle said. But with cases rising around the state and across the border, she thinks travelers will heed her call to stay away this winter in hopes of being able to visit when it’s safer next year.

“There are so many people in Phoenix who come to visit us. People from here, with family here, and we want them and we care about them. But this year, we want them to stay home,” she said.

These conflicting messages aren’t just a matter of different policies in different places. Sonora Governor Claudia Pavlovich announced Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020, that she has asked the Mexican government to make Sonora a priority for doses of the coronavirus vaccine.

Earlier, as Sonora governor Claudia Pavlovich urged Mexican nationals, known as paisanos, not to come home for the holidays, the state’s tourism head Luis Nunez was touting the tourist appeal of a newly earned “safe travel” certification.

U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Christopher Landau told the newspaper El Financiero this month that visiting Mexico during the pandemic is safe — as long as travelers follow sanitary protocols.

These confusing messages and poorly implemented or scantly enforced policies are putting people’s health at risk, said Maria de Barajas, a researcher with Colegio de la Frontera Norte, Barajas has been studying cross-border mobility amid the pandemic.

“We’re turning a blind eye, telling people to come, half-way protecting ourselves, and we’re creating a situation where we’re going to end up having to shut everything down not by choice but because people are getting sick and dying,” she said.

Barajas doesn’t agree with U.S.-Mexico border travel restrictions because she considers much of the travel being barred essential for border communities. But she says the restrictions haven’t worked anyway because U.S. citizens and permanent residents, unlike their Mexican counterparts, can still easily cross back and forth. That’s because they are allowed to return to the U.S. under the restrictions, and there is little southbound enforcement in Mexico to keep them out. “That’s created an asymmetry that does nothing to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, but has very serious impacts on people living in border towns,” Barajas said.

And economic hardship in Mexico, where government assistance is essentially nonexistent, has left leaders little choice but to throw open the doors to tourists. With coronavirus cases spreading quickly on both sides of the border, she said, tourists shouldn’t be traveling.

“Well, the truth is they shouldn’t be going out. I mean, the reality is these people should stay home right now,” she said. “But we can see that they are traveling. And if we can’t stop them from traveling, we need to take all the right precautions.”

Rather than continuing to talk about restrictions that aren’t being enforced, she said, government leaders, business owners and travelers themselves need to be doing more to actually protect workers and communities from coronavirus, she said. That means increased testing and contract tracing, especially for workers, as well as careful adherence to social distancing, mask-wearing and other measures.

Last month, Jose Flores recorded a live show packed with tourists at his Rocky Point business the Boo Bar. He said seeing those visitors sitting on his patio, listening to music and looking out over the ocean was a happy moment from a very stressful year. He needs those cross-border visitors to stay afloat.

 “A lot of us can’t afford to be shut down any more, because we went through this for months and are still suffering through strict protocols and the potential for getting sick,” he said. “But another lockdown, that would be the worst, the worst other than getting sick and dying.”

Flores thinks that there is a way for tourists to visit safely, and that Rocky Point is doing a good job. Bars like his can only operate at 40 percent capacity, they require face masks and workers have been trained to carefully sanitize. But tourists also need to do their part to keep the city safe, he said, because the only thing he fears more than shutting down is for friends and family to get sick.

“If you feel sick or if you feel scared, I wouldn’t travel, for one,” he said. “And for two, abide by city protocols, state protocols and establishment protocols. It’s not our fault that you need to wear a mask, but you need to wear a mask. It’s not our fault that you need to step on a sanitary mat, but you need to step on the sanitary mat, and you have to get your temperature checked. So I think above all, have respect for our current protocols and restrictions. And you’ll enjoy yourself.”
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Thank You for Stepping Up in 2020!

Together we have accomplished so much: A message from Kathleen Duncan

Hello friends,

As the founder of the program in Rocky Point, I want to share some of the incredible work that you have helped make possible. Here are just a few of my favorite highlights from this last year:

During the fall semester, more than 300 elementary school students students were receiving daily academic support and resources at one of three homework clubs operated by the AIM team. Since the pandemic forced a transition to remote learning, five new mobile homework clubs have been established to provide a record number of students with daily meals and critical educational resources not available in their homes.
AIM opened its first ever technology lab to provide middle and high school students with consistent access to the internet, computers and printers—resources essential for academic success at these grade levels. 

The AIM team developed strong partnerships with all local colleges, as well as several community and government organizations. These partnerships have enabled them to provide more comprehensive support to young people throughout the community.

And my favorite highlight from this past year…

We have a record 42 high school graduates from our program now attending college and we have our first ever college graduate!

None of this would be possible without you and I am humbled and honored by your support of our mission to provide young people in Rocky Point with a path out of poverty through education. On behalf of all of us at Steps of Love, our local team in Rocky Point and, especially, the amazing, resilient students we have the honor of serving, we thank you for your generosity. HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!

Kathleen Duncan
Founder, AIMpeñasco
Board Member, Steps of Love
This year, with restrictions prohibiting holiday gatherings and students facing unprecedented barriers to education, we have a unique opportunity to bring joy and education to young people in Rocky Point.

Lack of access to remote learning means no hope for a better future.

Before COVID 19 education was the best chance our students had to escape poverty. It still is.  

The pandemic has presented us with tremendous new challenges as we work to find ways to safely bring critically needed resources and support to students in crisis. Despite these challenges, we are more committed than ever to our mission of providing young people with a path out of poverty through education.

We are incredibly proud of our AIMpenasco team and their commitment to do ‘whatever it takes’ to provide students with the resources they need to stay in school during this pandemic. Until in-person classes resume and homework clubs can reopen, our local team is working tirelessly to bring daily resources and support to hundreds of students throughout the community. In addition to laptops, WIFI and educational materials, they are also bringing daily meals to students who might otherwise go hungry.

If you have already used your 2020 charitable state tax credit, please consider making a tax deductible donation on our website at https://stepsoflove.org/helping-students-in-crisis/

You can now deduct up to $300 in charitable contributions made in 2020 even if you don't itemize, thanks to a provision of the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act.
Kings’ Day Gifts and Traditions in Mexico
Never a country to shirk its festive responsibilities, Mexico traditionally closes out its Christmas and New Year celebrations on January 6th, Día de Reyes or Three Kings Day.

Also known as Epiphany, the date marks the visit of the Magi to the Christ child: they are traditionally considered to have numbered three wise men, corresponding to the three gifts mentioned in the Bible.

For many years, Three Kings Day was the date when gifts would be given to Mexican children, who would put shoes out before going to bed on the evening of January 5th. Although this was gradually and inexorably taken over by the imported tradition of Santa Claus, families here maintain the tradition of giving children toys on Three Kings Day. Rather than the main course, this is for many a complement to the excesses of modern-day Christmas; “Por no dejar” —for the sake of keeping it— as some may say.

The continuation of Three Kings Day celebration is notable in the commercial world — toy prices in Mexican stores aren’t discounted to unload leftover inventory until around the second week of January, and the days leading up to January 5th can often see shoppers out late at stores and markets desperately seeking to fill last-minute orders.

The extravagant meals taken at Christmas and New Year are not repeated on Día de Reyes, but instead Rosca de Reyes (“Kings’ Loaf”) is eaten, usually with hot chocolate. The large oval-shaped cakes — sweet bread topped with crystallized fruit and sugar — are interspersed with little plastic dolls representing the baby Jesus. Whoever gets a doll in their slice, and you have to cut your own to avoid feelings of being cheated, is supposed to buy the tamales on February 2nd — Día de la Candelaria: a Catholic tradition celebrating the presentation of Jesus in the temple.

How many of the people who get the slices with dolls actually end up buying the tamales themselves is an open question. But you probably don’t want to gather for Rosca with people who insist on further slicing each slice horizontally to inspect for dolls: not the spirit you’d want to start out the year with.

Rosca de Reyes, of course, shows up in the shops long before January, just as Pan de Muerto is usually available long before Día de los Muertos—in some places as early as August.

There are other ways in which Día de Reyes marks the end of the long holiday season, sometimes referred to as Guadalupe-Reyes to describe the slow month between Our Lady of Guadalupe on December 12th and the grade schools going back for the new term around January 7th.

It’s also the time to start taking down Christmas trees, festive lights, and other seasonal decorations. But there’s no rush.

Candelaria on February 2nd isn’t a holiday in the sense of having the day off work, but it does come a few days before the Constitution Day holiday, which is celebrated on the first Monday in February. That is also an official holiday, and for U.S. sports fans it has the added advantage of usually being the day after Super Bowl Sunday.

So tamales and American football. It doesn’t get much more convenient, or neighborly, than that.


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.

Local Family Loses All in House Fire
A devastating fire recently consumed a house on Emiliano Zapata, in the Ferrocarrilera neighborhood. The house and all contents were completely destroyed and the family needs some help getting back on their feet. While common in the USA, the vast majority of local residents do not carry homeowners insurance here.

The fire was prevented from spreading to neighboring homes and structures only through the fast intervention of neighbors and City Firefighters. If you are able to help the family, here is a list of needs:

Girls clothes ages 8 and 11
Men's clothes size 34 and M/L shirts
Women's clothes size 11/13 and M/L shirts
Bedding and all general household items

Please drop any donations off at one of our sales offices and let the agent there know that they are intended for the family who lost their home. We will make sure that everything gets to the family..
RCPM January Jam Postponed
In an effort to minimize risk during the recent surge of COVID-19, RCPM has chosen to move the upcoming January Jam Weekend over MLK Weekend to President's Day Weekend, February 12-14, 2021. 

The new weekend will feature all the fun the annual event has delivered over the years along with safety measures such as temperature checks, reduced capacities, face coverings and hand sanitizer.

Tickets will go on sale in a couple weeks as well as other event information including Lineups, Golf Tournament, Venues and sets including new music from RCPM!

Questions can be forwarded to circusmexicus@gmail.com 
Whale Watching Season Begins
CEDO has obtained a permit for whale watching tours in Puerto Peñasco. The season starts today, January 1st, and ends on April 30th. Learn more at https://www.cedo.org

There are also a number of private whale watching tour operators who can take you and/or your group out to experience the majestic creatures. Most notable among the tour boats are: Oscar, with Del Mar Charters, Maru, with Eco Fun Tours, and Francisco, with Pancho Villa Charters. A quick search on Google of Facebook will get your their contact info easily.

If you have never gone out whale watching in the Sea of Cortez, I highly recommend it. Once you have seen the whales in the areas around Rocky Point, you may want to get really up close and personal with whales and their calves, by taking a trip with Tony Ballesteros. Check out: mysticwhaletours.com
Mayor Forecasts Better Things for Puerto Peñasco in 2021
2020 was undoubtedly the most complicated year in Puerto Peñasco’s recent history due to Covid-19, remarked mayor Ernesto “Kiko” Munro. Yet, he indicated, he foresees better things for 2021.

Despite the health emergency, pain, loss, and fear, along with the unfortunate irresponsibility and indifference of many, we have learned a great deal this past year. The mayor noted, this has not only been on the clinical-medical side, but also socially, within the family, and the work place as the world won’t really be the same and has changed to confront a different reality in 2021.
Locally, he added, Puerto Peñasco has to face a brutal drop in tourism, which is the city’s main economic pillar. This drop has impacted the city’s own finances, though the city was able to maintain constant public services throughout the year.

Munro believes plans and projects for 2021 are sufficient to take on present challenges, while planting infrastructure necessary to responsibly further the municipality’s economic recovery.
Blankets and Jackets Donations Needed
As we wind up our food drive for another year, it is important to remember that the needs of local folks continue. Even in the best of times, there are so many in and around this community that are barely surviving day by day, but with the added weight of a drop in tourism dollars coming into town because of the covid pandemic, it's pretty easy to imagine how much harder things have gotten for many.

Two things that most people don't consider when they think of donating to the locals in need are blankets and jackets. The vast majority of local homes in and around town do not have heat beyond maybe the propane stove. And, propane is expensive and used for cooking rather than keeping warm. So, for the next couple months, please think of helping a local family stay warm. Check your closets, garages, and storage units to see if you have extra blankets or jackets to donate.

There are always people and organizations who will get your donations to those in need. Local churches, DIF, the Rotary Club, and many more are always ready to help. And, you can always drop off any donations in one of our sales offices, and I will personally make sure that they get to those in need. This year, you can also drop off blankets and jackets at the Rocky Point Times office or with Russ Black at the Mermaids Market. Thank you all in advance for helping someone who needs it :)
La Esperanza Community Center – An Unsung Hero Helping Those in Need
The Community Center "La Esperanza Para Nueva Vida" on Avenida Lazaro Cardenas, in the Eastern part of Rocky Point that few tourists ever see, came into existence 18 years ago as a result of hard work, dedication, and love, by a few people who wanted to make the lives of those in need a little better. The center has slowly grown, mostly through donations, over the years and it continues to improve and transform in order to accommodate the needs of the people to whom it serves.

Today, the center offers food packages to hundreds of families each month, who would otherwise go without enough to eat. They have fun events throughout the year and at Christmas so that families can experience joy and the kids can receive gifts. Prior to covid, these festivities would attract over 1000 children, and every one of them went home a little happier than they had been before they came. Since the covid restrictions have come into effect, the gatherings are limited to much smaller groups, but the effect on the children and the families remains the same.

The center offers vocational training courses to adults in order to help them find employment and improve their lives. They teach English, Dressmaking, Computer Skills, Beauty Salon Skills, Personal Care, and many more – all free of charge to those taking the classes. They offer counseling for those in need and find shelter for abused women and children. So many people depend on this center, that it is a shame that it doesn’t get more attention – and donations.

Now that covid has changed the way kids are learning, the center has stepped up to set up a computer center for kids from homes who don’t have a computer – or internet – or even electricity. They have had bake sales, yard sales, donations drives, and more to garner funds for an addition to the center in order to add the extra space needed. Much has been accomplished, but they still need help. If you can volunteer your time, an unused computer, groceries, or money, it would be gladly welcomed. If you have a skill and would like to teach it to willing students, child or adult, they would be happy to have you. Basically, this grass roots center will grow and expand as much as allowed based on the resources that are available to them. Contact rpbarbo@gmail.com for more info or to help
Barrett-Jackson to Reschedule Scottsdale Auction to March 2021 to Safeguard Customers, Sponsors and Guests
Barrett-Jackson announced the company will reschedule its January 2021 Scottsdale Auction to the week of March 22, 2021, at WestWorld of Scottsdale, with exact dates to be announced soon. The difficult decision to postpone the auction was made out of an abundance of caution to safeguard auction customers, sponsors, guests and employees from the current spike of coronavirus cases – the worst since the pandemic began – as well as the spike in the number of cases following the upcoming holidays that health authorities are predicting. The live March event will include the return of the Barrett Jackson Cup Competition, featuring 50 vehicles from some of the nation’s top custom car and truck builders.

“While every indication showed that our bidders, consignors and sponsors were behind our efforts to hold our auction next month, we decided it would be prudent at this time to safeguard everyone’s health,” said Craig Jackson chairman and CEO of Barrett-Jackson. “We determined that moving our event to March 2021 seemed like the right thing to do to avoid the coronavirus spike that is currently being predicted. We appreciate the support we have received from the City of Scottsdale and State of Arizona regarding this decision. We were widely praised for the safety protocols we put in place for our recent Fall Auction, and we want to be able to provide customers and fans the same safe environment and great Barrett-Jackson experience during our Scottsdale Auction this spring.”

Barrett-Jackson proved that returning to live events safely was possible with their October 2020 event. The company went to great lengths to safeguard the health and safety of guests. While plans were underway for the January event with extensive measures in place, the uncertainty related to the coronavirus pandemic led to the decision to postpone.

Among the hotly anticipated No Reserve collectible cars already consigned for the March Scottsdale Auction are two late-model Ford GTs, including a 2018 ’67 Heritage Edition (preview) with less than 20 miles and a 2017 (preview) with less than 80 miles, which includes a purpose-built trailer. Another showstopper crossing the auction block is one of the last 10 1965 Shelby GT350s produced (preview), which won the “triple crown” in the Shelby world and also received the Authenticity Award for Outstanding Thoroughbred.

“This is truly an unprecedented challenge in our country’s history, and one we take very seriously,” said Steve Davis, president of Barrett-Jackson. “Our decision to delay the auction was made to protect the public’s safety and health. Our consignors have been very supportive, and we already have a fantastic docket of collector cars shaping up for the March auction. We look forward to delivering the Barrett-Jackson experience that enthusiasts enjoy at our flagship Scottsdale Auction in March of 2021.”

Current ticket holders can have their tickets transferred to the new event dates. Full refunds will be also available. Details for transfers and refunds will be communicated directly to ticket holders.

Sonoran Resorts is a regular sponsor of the show, and we have an information booth at the show every year. We will be there again this year in March, so if you come to the show, please stop by to see us.
La Bajada de Los Pescadores Area Upgrade in Process
Through approval from the State Government, in an amount close to 5 million pesos, work has begun to start paving the entire area surrounding "La Bajada de los Pescadores", or the public boat launch area at the entrance to the Malecon area. The project kicked off in a ceremony attended by Mayor, Kiko Munro, Trustee, Perla Alcantar, and Deputy, Lázaro “Chichí” Espinoza.

The work will consist of hydraulic concrete pavement on the surrounding streets and asphalt the parking lots. In addition, a perimeter fence, bathroom module, and public lighting will be installed.

This work will greatly change the image of the port area through a radical improvement of the image, in continuing the overall upgrade and modernization of the area which has been ongoing for several years. The perimeter fence and area lighting will also greatly improve security of the area.

Before ceremonious flag waving, local Deputy Lázaro Espinoza Mendívil reported that this investment of almost 5 million pesos was achieved through direct efforts partaken by him before the State Government. He explained the pride and satisfaction that he felt in assisting to get this project approved, which he said will beautify the area and will make La Bajada de Los Pescadores a worthy addition to the area which supports a large part of Puerto Peñasco's economy and therefore, will be beneficial to the fishermen and the general public of Puerto Penasco, who deserve it.

Municipal President Kiko Munro also highlighted the accomplishment and thanked Deputy Lázaro Espinoza for his efforts, noting that it has been one of the commitments of his administration to assist and promote all the people who work in La Bajada de Las Pangas area of land in the town of Puerto Peñasco.

Finally, Eng. José Luis Villalobos Jiménez, who will directly supervise the work, explained that it will consist of the construction of 1,600 square meters of hydraulic concrete, 6,000 square meters of asphalt, to fully paving the area. In addition, a lighting system with 20 poles and the lamps will be installed, the perimeter fence will be built with concrete blocks and cyclonic mesh fencing, and a bathroom module with services for both men and women will be part of the project. The work is planned to conclude within 90 days, with the goal to finish by the end of February 2021.
Mexico Begins Mass Coronavirus Vaccination
Mexico started a mass coronavirus vaccination program last week, with a nurse first to be shown receiving the jab, in the country with one of the world's highest Covid-19 death tolls.

Maria Irene Ramirez, a 59-year-old nurse, received the first televised injection at a hospital in Mexico City. "It's the best gift I could receive in 2020," she said. "It makes me safer and gives me more courage to continue in the war against an invisible enemy. We're afraid but we must continue."

The televised launch came a day after the first 3,000 doses produced by US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech arrived by courier plane from Belgium. The first batch of vaccines, which are being guarded by the military, is destined for frontline medical personnel.

Mexico has registered more than 120,000 Covid-19 deaths and around 1.35 million infections, according to the authorities, who acknowledge that the actual toll is probably much higher.

Mexico has the world's fourth highest Covid-19 death toll, after the United States, Brazil and India.

The government has promised to make vaccinations available free of charge across the country of almost 129 million people -- a massive logistical challenge.

Mexico was the first country in Latin America to receive the vaccine, followed closely by Chile and Costa Rica which were also due to begin immunization programs last week.
CEDO Looks to Exciting Opportunities in 2021
2020 was a challenging year, in the extreme, for the entire world due to the coronavirus pandemic, itself a result of environmental degradation caused by the unsustainable actions of humans on our environment. Scientists have long predicted that declining natural habitat and increased exploitation of wild species virtually assures human exposure to potentially devastating novel diseases in the future. Virtually the whole world is confronting the enormous challenge of how we must reorganize how we live and how we work.

CEDO’s programs integrate people, knowledge, and solutions to foster resilient communities and ecosystems in and around the Sea of Cortez and surrounding desert areas. We catalyze and empower these communities to self-development and to self-manage for their own well-being. And ours, too! We at CEDO promote the sustainability of our region’s main fisheries by raising environmental awareness and undertaking actions for the protection, conservation and sustainable use of habitats and species.

The message of our 2021 tide calendar is “Biodiversity Nourishes Us”. Throughout the year, our activities will connect the biocultural heritage of the region where the Sonoran Desert meets the Sea of Cortez—from the ancient Tohono O’odham people, who lived lightly in this land. It was shaped by the Spanish colonial expansion and the establishment of fishing communities.

We will continue to work with fishing cooperatives by promoting fishery improvement projects (FIPs), market incentives, and culinary conservation. Culinary Conservation means leveraging informed and empowered consumers to support the work being done by responsible fisherfolk, in collaboration with partners like CEDO, to make our seafood more sustainable, economically viable, and environmentally responsible.

With the launching of CEDO’s school of the sea, we will work to certify the labor skills of fishers and practitioners and dignify the fishers’ work. This work, already endorsed by the Mexican government, dignifies the fishers’ work by enabling recognition and structure for their labor force.

We will tackle the long an unresolved issue of waste from fishing and tourism activities. 80% of the marine debris comes from land-based activities. We will focus our efforts on linking businesses through a circular economy approach, creating environmental clubs, cleaning beaches, and removing derelict fishing gear that is hazardous to wildlife.
Our conservation work will focus on estuary conservation, migratory bird monitoring, sea lion disentanglement, vaquita marina educational activities, desert pupfish conservation, and establishing a center to aid injured or abandoned wildlife.

Finally, we will improve our exhibitions at our field station and visitor center, “the Campus”, in Puerto Peñasco. These facilities host thousands of people every year, and are recognized as an important learning center and attraction for various visitors, including tourists, school groups, members of the general public, academic institutions, fishers, and other organizations.

We recognize the scope and magnitude of the challenges faced by CEDO and its partners and we believe that we can confront and work systematically to overcome these obstacles. CEDO stands and continues in service to our mission: To foster vibrant communities and resilient ecosystems in the Northern Gulf of California and other ecoregions by integrating people, knowledge and solutions. We need your continued support to keep the lights on in our Tucson office and to retain our talented team members.
Organ Recipient Waiting List Increases in 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly affected organ donation throughout the country of Mexico - in such a way that the list of people waiting for organs grew significantly, raising the number in this State to at least 377 to date, stated Enrique Clausen Iberri, from the Secretary of Health.

The Secretary of Health official pointed out that as of today there are 377 people on the transplant waiting list in the State of Sonora, of which 347 are waiting for a kidney transplant, 24 for a cornea, and 6 for a liver. As of December 21, 2020, 23 corneal transplants, 8 kidney transplants and 2 liver transplants have been performed in Sonora.

The official also explained that in March of this year the National Transplant Center recommended the cessation of organ donation and transplantation activity, except in cases of utmost urgency or priority due to the onset of the covid pandemic.

'' The COVID-19 pandemic has had many collateral effects, among them it has greatly affected the donation and transplant programs of the world, the country, and the state. We call on the population to be cognizant of this issue and inform family of their intention to be donors, '' he stated.

For his part, Ernesto Duarte Tagles, director of the State Transplant Center (Ceestra), commented that the main recommendation is that all donors and recipients must have an RT-PCR test for COVID, which can be done by the State Public Health laboratory or, in a private facility.

He shared that in the third quarter of 2020 in terms of donation and transplantation activity, Sonora ranked as the State with the most donations due to brain death in the country, and it was the State which prompted this program to become nationwide, as the General Hospital of Ciudad Obregón was the first to perform this action. Subsequently, the General State Hospital in Hermosillo was ranked as the hospital with the most kidney transplants done in any institution throughout the country's health sector.

For this reason, says Tagles, the same national donation and transplantation subsystem were the ones who issued the guidelines for the reactivation of donations and transplants on August 11 of this year. An action which have just been reviewed and updated on December 9th and 10th.

Duarte Tagles pointed out that much remains to be done, so it should never be forgotten that organ donations save lives and that even in a pandemic this is required, especially since so many patients who need a transplant are still waiting for a donor.

‘’ During this time of year everyone should reflect on giving not forget to talk as a family about being donors. Everyone is invited to join the campaign and rise to the challenge of saying I Support Organ Donation, do you? ’’, He stressed.
Mexican Wines Become More Sophisticated and Seek to Change the “Wine Paradigm”
The wine culture in Mexico has grown exponentially in recent years. Today, the wines produced in Aztec territory are recognized worldwide for their quality and great taste.

However, there are still prejudices in Mexico that wine is “only meant for special occasions.” According to Alberto Verdeja , the winemaker at Bodegas Domecq , wines can be enjoyed with a wide range of dishes and are not only intended for great culinary delicacies. A wine can enjoyed on a daily basis.

The Valle de Guadalupe, in Baja California, is historically recognized for producing exquisite wines. After having dedicated years of work to the production of blended wines, Bodegas Domecq, launched its first line of monovarietal wines (those made with only one type of grape for the most part).

The brand presents two new monovarietal Syrah and Nebbiolo grape labels. Proudly produced in Baja California, it seeks to convince consumers to explore and live 100% Mexican experiences.

“The land and the expression of the fruit are at the center of each wine that was produced seeking perfection, simplicity and unique characteristics , highlighting the terroir of the Gudalupe Valley. Each grape was meticulously selected, harvested and cared for in order to express to the maximum the peculiarity that distinguishes it ”, Verdeja comments.

A Little History:

Wine in Mexico has a great tradition and history. The crop spread in America in 1492 when the Spanish brought it to the new continent, since it was part of their daily diet. Historically it has been used as a medicinal method.

The colonizers found wild grapes, different from the European Vitis vinifera, the species with which wines were produced in the old continent. According to the magazine México Desconocido , there are no sure sources of which were the original places where Hernán Cortés decreed that the first vineyards of New Spain be planted, but it is known that the vine spread in Michoacán, Puebla, Guanajuato, Querétaro and Oaxaca.

Later, Jesuit missionaries were the ones who brought vine cultivation to Baja California in the late 17th century. In 1843, Félix Caballero founded the former Mission of Guadalupe, where wheat was sown and then exchanged for Vides. Thus, this was the beginning of wine production in the place we know today as Valle de Guadalupe. Then in the 20th century, the quality of this product began to improve.

The Wine Industry

Currently, production in Mexico is still much lower than the volume of wine imported from Spain, France, Chile, Italy, Argentina and the United States with 97% coverage, according to a market study by the Economic and Commercial Office of the Embassy of Spain in Mexico City (ICEX). However, Mexican labels are gaining presence in the market thanks to the acceptance and consumption of the young public.

Mexican wine has garnered an avalanche of international awards, 1,500 so far, but beyond that, it has become essential to the country’s economy, according to the Consejo Mexicano Vitivinícola (CMV).

The industry generates jobs for 500,000 day laborers, 14 states produce it and 2.5 million boxes are packed per year, a number that is constantly increasing.
2 Mexicans Recognized for Making World a Better Place
Two Mexicans are among nine people from around the world who have won the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) Inspirations Awards this year, which rewards people for their efforts to make the world a better place.

Ana Baquedano Celorio, a student who convinced lawmakers to make “revenge porn” illegal after an ex-boyfriend shared her nude selfie, and Lorenzo Rojas-Bracho, a biologist who braved poachers and pirates in efforts to save a critically endangered marine animal, will be featured on a December 30 episode of the BBC World Service program, Outlook.

Baquedano, now in her 20s, was a teenager when she sent a naked selfie to her boyfriend, who promised to delete it but instead later shared it, resulting in her being bullied and harassed.
Instead of being cowed by the experience, Baquedano led a campaign to make what her ex-boyfriend did a crime in her home state of Yucatán, which since 2018 punishes with jail time the publication of intimate images of people without their consent and classifies such images as child pornography if the person in the image is under 18.

Rojas-Bracho is a biologist known by some as “Mr. Vaquita” for his work since the 1990s in conserving the vaquita marina, a rare, endangered marine animal that is described as a tiny porpoise.

Part of Rojas-Bracho’s achievements regarding the vaquita been convincing other scientists that the animal still exists, but Rojas also carried on his conservation efforts in the face of threats from cartel-supported poachers.

The Inspirations Awards, given annually by the BBC World Service’s long-running program Outlook, shine a light on people with extraordinary personal stories. Both Baquedano and Rojas-Bracho’s stories have been featured on previous episodes of Outlook over the past two years.

“Every day on Outlook, we hear from people who take your breath away with their resilience, compassion, courage and determination to overcome difficulty and make a real difference in the world. These awards are our way of applauding their achievements,” said Mary Hockaday, controller of the BBC World Service English. “And in a year that has been so challenging, we’re delighted to end 2020 by celebrating the stories of people who give us so much hope.”

Some of this year’s other Inspirations Award winners included a London bus driver who converted a bus into a roving music studio that gave young men in local gangs the opportunity to make music and even virtually collaborate with rival gang members, and a former professional tennis player from Sierra Leone who founded a sports foundation that supports the country’s next generation of athletes.
10 Cultural Customs Only Mexicans Will Understand
Many may already know about the unusual or unfamiliar cultural customs Mexicans indulge in celebrating the New Year's period (wearing red underwear, for one); however, this rundown of the cultural quirks of Mexico will focus entirely on year-round events that prove especially baffling to newcomers in this country. With that in mind, here are some unfamiliar, and perhaps unexpected, cultural customs you’re likely to come face-to-face with in Mexico.

Throwing quinceañera parties…
Let’s start off with one of Mexico’s (and Latin America’s) most well-known cultural customs – throwing quinceañera parties for a daughter’s 15th birthday. While this has developed a reputation for being a bit over-the-top in recent years – and is shunned by many teenage girls – it is still an undeniably prevalent event on many a Mexican’s social calendar. Involving religious rituals and princess dresses, the Mexican quinceañera is probably something many outsiders fail to understand.

…but not singing happy birthday
However, despite a global reputation for throwing some of the most extravagant birthday parties in the world, you might be surprised to know that the ‘Happy Birthday’ song is probably not present at any of them. That’s because Mexicans instead sing ‘Las Mañanitas’ to the lucky birthday boy or girl. So, if you’re planning on spending an extended period in Mexico, you better learn the words – there’s nothing more awkward than standing in silence as everyone else sings along!

Not being able to say no
This is a big one amongst many Mexicans and can pose some problems if you’re asking for directions, in particular. Rather than telling you they don’t know where something is, you’ll find Mexicans will instead provide a roundabout set of directions accompanied by a vague wave down the street, in what may or may not be the direction you need to go. Always ask at least two or three people in the vicinity before you heed their advice.

Constant greetings and goodbyes
A strange tradition for outsiders is the constant, surprisingly formal custom of greeting the friends you run into on the street with more than just a simple hello or nod of the head. Instead, you’ll be introduced to everyone by name, before having to do a lap of hugs, handshakes and kisses (only one, and lean to the left), only to repeat this socially acceptable song-and-dance when it’s time to leave. This also happens in family homes as well as parties, to name a few instances. Charming, yes, but tiring too.

Indulging in copious displays of public affection
In a similar vein to Mexico’s hugging and kissing culture, you’ll definitely be privy to more than one display of public affection in your time in Mexico. It doesn’t matter if the couple is on a crowded metro, in an empty plaza or even just waiting to cross the street, you’ll certainly bump into at least one overly-affectionate pair at some point or another. Unlike many places, where they’d be stared at until they stopped, in Mexico most people are very accepting of it.

Always denying the sauce is spicy
This is a classic that lands many foreigners in hot water when they delve into the world of Mexican cuisine. While some vendors will take one look at you and direct you towards the supposedly mildest sauce on offer (the assumption is that non-Mexicans can’t handle their heat), others will repeatedly assure you that the sauce no pica (isn’t spicy) when it absolutely is. Just take care if you’re not a fan of a habanero chili and take no pica reassurances with a pinch of proverbial salt.

Adding lime and chili to everything
Sticking with food, one cultural custom many visitors find odd at first is the addition of lime and chili to everything, and we mean everything; potato chips, soups, sweets and even fruit, no foodstuff is left behind when it comes to the addition of this condiment combo. As there’s literally no escaping the Mexican love of sweet and spicy snacks, it’s probably best to try and tackle it head on. As the saying goes, when in Rome…

Using ‘¿mande?’ instead of ‘¿qué?’
This is a surprise even for those who speak different variations of Spanish, and is always heavily associated with the Mexican branch of the language. Rather than saying ‘¿qué?’ (what), Mexicans will always respond with a much more polite ‘¿mande?’ (pardon) instead, even amongst friends and family. This incredible linguistic politeness in Mexico is also seen in the use of ‘ustedes’ meaning ‘they’, rather than the more common ‘vosotros’. So, as well as your Ps and Qs, watch your mande’s in Mexico too!

Making everything a diminutive
On the subject of language quirks, Mexican Spanish is well-known in its addition of diminutives such as ito and ita to practically anything. While this ordinarily implies a sense of smallness to the object it’s added to, in Mexico this is rarely the case; be careful when you’re placing that second-serving order, because chances are that sopita won’t be a small portion at all. Alongside food, the most notorious usage of the ita diminutive is with ahora (now). Be warned, as ahorita definitely does not mean that something won’t take very long – quite the opposite in fact.

Arriving late
That brings us rather roundly onto our final cultural custom that non-Mexicans may have trouble adjusting to; constant lateness. If you’re used to arriving on time to things, whether they be appointments, meetings or just to catch-ups with friends, then prepare to spend a lot of time waiting around in Mexico, as turning up 30 minutes late is pretty normal. This is not a sign of rudeness, but it can be quite frustrating if you’re perpetually punctual.
Supreme Court Says Banks Must Refund Unrecognized and Unauthorized Fees or Withdrawals
The Court published a thesis which support the protections which arose from allegations of theft to user accounts, followed by the banks avoiding responsibility or reimbursement to the account holders.

The Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (SCJN) published a detailed thesis, in which it stipulates that banks must reimburse their clients for unrecognized charges or unauthorized withdrawals to their accounts, and even to pay interest on the amounts for the time that it takes to fulfil the claim.

"The banking institution must repay the amounts withdrawn and also pay ordinary and late interest at a rate of 6% for any delay incurred," reads the thesis published in the Federal Judicial Weekly.

The resolution comes after several complaints from account holders of various banks, who proved theft of their debit accounts and that they were not reimbursed by the banks.

The highest number of complaints involve Santander bank, after 572 account holders filed a complaint with the National Commission for the Defense of Users of Financial Services (Condusef) for theft of their accounts for amounts adding up to several tens of thousands of pesos.

In a statement, Santander denied that the thefts occurred due to failures in its security systems, and instead said that users had given criminals sensitive data that facilitated the theft.

The Association of Banks of Mexico said that these thefts were possibly carried out with a technique that involves the cloning of the SIM card that allows access to the user's digital bank to commit the theft. Despite the possible modus operandi, the SCJN maintains that the bank has an obligation with the account holder.

“If someone other than the account holder makes an unauthorized charge and causes harm resulting in loss of assets, it is presumed an oversight on the part of the bank and, therefore, the obligation of the depositary to respond to the depositor, which places him in a position of debtor against the creditor cardholder ”, maintains the thesis.
Pyramid of Kukulkan in Chichen Itza Collapses
The pyramid of Kukulkán, in the archaeological zone of Chichén Itzá, collapsed the night of December 27, during the show “Noches de Kukulkán”, a situation that caused alarm among archaeologists, businessmen, tourists and politicians.

Around 3 pm, according to some tourists, a strange sound was heard in the archaeological zone. It is now known that it was a fracture in the ground, in the vicinity of the pyramid, which could have been caused by the weight of visitors and street vendors concentrated in the location.

The sound was heard again at 9 p.m., and an opening in the ground became visible so that the archaeological zone began to be evacuated by Civil Protection personnel, before the astonished gaze of the personnel of the National Institute of Anthropology and History ( INAH) and the Patronato Cultur, according to witnesses.

A tourist, who preferred anonymity, stated that the Kukulkán pyramid began to tilt to one side, sinking into the cenote which was recently discovered by researchers from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). The visitor noted that the head of the feathered serpent was swallowed by the ground.

Friedrich Hohenzollern, a German visitor, said that the tour guides emphasized that it was the curse of Xibalbá, the first ravages of the Mayan Apocalypse, delayed for three years due to the fact that Quintana Roo adopted a different time zone than the one that governs Yucatán.

However, the first reports from the Secretariat of National Defense (Sedena) in collaboration with the INAH, indicated that the sinking of this Wonder of the Modern World occurred after a series of earthquakes registered over the past year in the peninsula.

The last of the tremors was registered on December 17, with a magnitude of 6.4, which shook the southeast of the country. According to information from the Mexican Geological Service, which has established conversations with the INAH, the Chichén Itzá event would be directly related to the earthquake.

The spokesperson for the INAH delegation responded to La Jornada Maya that the measures to be taken to restore the archaeological zone are still being studied, but that they will seek to prevent the pyramid from sinking further.

The Patronato Cultur, through a newsletter addressed to the media, stated that “it is regrettable to lose one of the most important archaeological sites on the planet, but this makes the Kukulkán pyramid a true wonder of the world, since it will soon enter the realm of the hanging gardens of Babylon, the Colossus of Rhodes, or the Lighthouse of Alexandria. This new distinction will increase tourism ”.
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What is the True Origin of the Piñata - Mexico or China?
This month, in light of the holiday season, I decided to share some history and a recipe of a different sort. One that you don't eat - although, arguably you do, because the contents can definitely be eaten. The famous Mexican Piñata:

There are several versions about the origin of the piñata, one version is attributed to Marco Polo who saw them in China and eventually brought them to Europe. However, there are versions that show that cultures such as the Aztec and the Mayans already had a similar tradition.

In Mexico, piñatas are a fundamental part of the festivities and they became the main element of the famous Christmas Posadas. Almost every single person who grew up in Mexico has broken some in the birthday celebrations or Christmas Posadas. This colorful object gives moments of fun and joy in meetings.

Today you can find piñatas of all shapes and colors; even specific themes such as superheroes and Disney characters.

The three versions of the origin of the piñata:

The piñata in Aztec celebrations
The Aztecs used clay pots as a base for the piñata; they decorated them with feathers and other small ornaments. They did this to celebrate the birth of the Aztec god Huitzilopochtli. It was broken with a stick, thereby dropping the treasures as an offering at the feet of the deity.

Origin of the piñata in the Mayan civilization
Another version about the origin of the piñata comes from the Mayan civilization, who, it is said, played a very particular game in their celebrations. This pastime consisted of hanging a clay pot full of cocoa from a rope and trying to break it blindfolded.

Marco Polo’s travels
The famous Italian traveler and merchant Marco Polo in one of his adventures in Asia saw how, during the Chinese New Year celebrations, the figure of an ox full of seeds was broken. This fact caught his attention and he decided to take the tradition to Italy, where it was adopted to commemorate Lent.

This tradition finally reached Spain, where it took on a new meaning. The best-known version is attributed to the Spanish since they brought the piñatas with them when they arrived on the American continent.

Tradition and religious symbolism of the piñata
Spanish evangelists used piñatas to hasten the conversion of the Aztecs to Christianity. They transformed the ceremony with the clay pot into a religious ritual, where each element served as a metaphor for good and evil.

They took the pot and decorated it with colored paper, in order to give it a more striking appearance. In addition, before hitting the piñata, they had to turn 33 times, which represented the 33 years of Christ’s life.

The traditional seven-spike piñata symbolized the seven deadly sins: gluttony, lust, laziness, anger, envy, pride, and greed.

The blindfold represented blind faith and hitting the piñata with the stick means the virtue or strength you need to overcome sins.

When this object breaks and falls to pieces it is as if you have defeated evil and the candy or fruit that falls is heaven’s reward for this.

Today the piñata is just a symbol of fun and entertainment for the celebrations in which it is used. Furthermore, it is a tradition that has captured the hearts of Latin America and the world.

How to make a piñata?

Necessary materials

A big balloon
Liquid glue
Crepe paper and china paper of different colors
Seven cards (they can be white or of different colors)
A small brush

Steps to follow

Boil water with flour and liquid glue in a pot until it reaches a thick consistency, the resulting mixture is known as paste

Inflate the balloon to the size you want the piñata

Cut the newspaper into long strips and relatively wide

Take a string and hang the balloon from some static surface

Take a little paste with the brush and spread it on the surface of the balloon. After this, put the newspaper strips on it, taking care that the upper part of it is not covered. A small hole should be left to introduce the sweets and the fruit of the piñata

When the balloon is covered, let it dry a little and repeat the same procedure until making several layers of newspaper

When you have a thick layer of newspaper strips, let it dry for a couple of days to proceed to pop the balloon

Once dry, you must make some holes to put a string from which you will hang your piñata

Then you have to line the resulting sphere with crepe paper and china paper to taste

Cones will be made with the cards to stick them on the surface of the sphere. You can decorate the cards with the same crepe paper or china paper

At the end you should dry it well and fill it with the content of your preference
No Hay
If you have lived in Mexico for a while, the title of this article will sound a familiar ring. If you come to live in Mexico for a while, you will, without doubt, become well acquainted with these two words.

No Hay, in Spanish, means “there isn’t any,” and in Mexico the term may be applied to almost anything, anytime you need or wish to acquire something.

The term may be used to express a dearth of foodstuffs, “No hay leche” (no milk today), stuff in general, “No hay lentes de contacto” (no contact lenses in stock), and even services, “No hay luz” (power cut).

While the overall availability of all kinds of things and services is Mexico has improved immensely in recent years, in comparison to its northern neighbor, a continuous reliable supply of certain types of goods can still be a hit-and-miss affair here, even in some of the more up-scale stores where imported goods are most readily available, and where items on display this week might not be there again in a month—and might never return.

This inconsistency of supply can sometimes be a source of frustration, in most part, because Murphy’s Law dictates that in Mexico, the infamous ‘No Hay’ will spring up at the precise moment when whatever isn’t available will cause you some inconvenience, and never when it really doesn’t matter.

It could be that your car just broke down, and ‘no hay’ applies to the very part it happens to need now; perhaps the local store has run out of a key ingredient you need for tonight’s dinner party; the gift idea you saw in-passing at Sam's Club won’t be there next month; or perhaps you’ve been looking forward to eating tamales, and the restaurant you sit down at “doesn’t have any today.”

The impact of ‘no hay’ also depends upon where you are situated, how much energy you’re willing to expend in locating whatever it is you want or need, and what price you’re willing to pay to obtain it.

For example, if a store in a larger city that you go to says ‘no hay,’ there’s a high probability that some other place in the town will have stock, if you’re willing to wear-out the boot leather on your soles (but more often, the car tire tread) to find it. If you are in a smaller community, ‘no hay’ could mean ‘no hay’ for hours, days, or weeks, —or ever— leaving you with little alternative but to try the next nearest ‘bigger’ town or city. Or Amazon.com.mx and its Latin American equivalent, MercadoLibre.com.mx.

The ‘no hay’ effect may be mitigated with some forward planning, but it can never be completely avoided.

Part of the art of living in places like Mexico is that one comes to accept that, on some occasions, you just can’t—and that’s as it is. In the moment when it happens, ‘no hay’ may be frustrating or inconvenient to your situation. Nonetheless, when you live in Mexico, the omnipresent ‘no hay’ will pay homage to your situations sooner or later.
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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